Keeping Score

Preview

 “Thirty days is a long time to be stuck in a spaceship with someone who doesn't say anything.” Mako put the finishing touches on the moustachioed face he had been drawing on his friend for the last few weeks. It was art grown out of habit more than malice. Mako needed something to do when talking to the unresponsive robot. 


Satisfied with his work, he kicked his feet up on the ship’s console, adjusting his ball cap as he put his hands behind his head and relaxed in the co-pilot seat. He stared at the sea of stars behind the thick glass of the ship’s cockpit, admiring the view next to his mute friend. AuDy had stopped responding soon after they had begun their month long trip to the planet September. They had calculated the long parabolic course of the ship, settled their large blocky body into the pilot’s chair, and promptly shut themselves off. 


In the days that followed every other crew member of the Kingdom Come had proposed different ways to rouse AuDy. The two ex-soldiers Cass and Orth immediately tried rebooting them in every way they knew how. Aria Joie, who had been trying to listen more than making her own voice heard, just said AuDy needed some time to themself. The newest member of the team, Jacqui Green, shrugged and followed Aria’s lead, and she had been following her around the ship ever since. 


“I mean,” Mako continued, “the others talk but they're not as funny as you.” He looked significantly at the painted face on AuDy’s body, waiting to see if the the robot would appreciate the humour. Automated Dynamics units never had a need for a head, given that they were manufactured to simply park and valet cars. AuDy had given up parking cars some time ago, and had signed up to join their group of private consultants and pilot their newly acquired ship.

 
“I like your new look,” Mako said to the stars in front of them. “I never knew where to look when we talked before. Hey, I was wondering something. Why did you want to fly a ship when you spent all that time--” Aria’s voice chimed over the ship’s intercom.

  
“Hey Mako, I think we’re ready in the mess hall if you want to join us.” Mako pulled his legs underneath himself and jumped from the pilot seat, adjusting his Hawaiian shirt as it unfolded around him.

 
“Should I bring AuDy? He's rocking this new look you should all see.”

 
“Wait, AuDy’s awake?”


“Nah,” Mako replied, licking his thumb and cleaning a stray bit of ink at the edge of AuDy’s new thick-rimmed glasses, “just handsome.”


“What did--” Mako could hear Aria sighing heavily, and imagined her putting her head in her hands. 


“Nevermind just… just come to the mess, okay?” Mako took the yellow and green cap off his head and placed on top of AuDy’s torso. 


“Rodger.”