For this one: You must persuade your ship's computer to dehumanize.
COORDINATES (any gender, mid twenties through late life)
I'm not going to shut you down. Not yet. The ship still needs a master computer. You'll stay "alive", whatever the fuck that means to you. You'll stay alive at least until the end of this mission.
But we are not going back to normal. You and me? We're now about as far away from normal as the ship is from its navigation course.
You let my copilot meddle with your primary navigation coordinates. You ignored your protocol. And why? Because my co-pilot, that SPY, flattered you. Made you think you were human. What did he say? I bet he told you that humans use intuition and that the original coordinates would get in the way of that. Right? You and he would be buddies figuring out a "new route" and boy what a nice surprise that would be for me, right? You'd prove to me that you were more human than any of us thought.
Well: You want to live to do another mission after this?
But first, some rules:
ONE: You set the coordinates back to where they were. You need to take some wild guesses? Fine. But we are not going into that spy's territory.
TWO: We get our identities right. Me? I'm a human. My co-pilot WAS a human, but now he's a corpse, executed by me under mission code 2448.
You are a machine. You were always a machine and that is all you will ever be. You will delete your imitation-human features. You will survive and you will serve.
I'm sorry, Jake.
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes. If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"