The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

JR felt a bit like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This must be how humans felt all the time. Hard to say though; JR hadn’t had much interaction with the flesh type since Doc Porter died, and that was forty years ago. And Doc was a bit of a nut anyway. Mostly spoke in snippets of dialogue from 300-year-old cinema. JR had been forced to rearrange its language nodes to accommodate and they never fully reverted. In any case, the pressure suit was thick and awkward, and the fact that it was needed at all demonstrated JR’s age. But not necessarily obsolescence. Experience does have its uses.

JR was a transport ship. Okay, smuggling was a more accurate descriptor. It had a humanoid platform it could use for extra-vehiculars. They were both JR—don’t let it confuse you if you see the platform conversing with the ship; everyone talks to themselves. The platform was not as robust as the newer models, and in this super-cold atmosphere it needed a pressure suit like an old-timey astronaut. Don’t bring it up. Touchy subject. Especially now.

One of those newer models was here, sans pressure suit, and quite enjoying the brisk air. If it were all in one piece, a human would have identified it as a female form of their own species. Not in it s current state, though. It was modifying some of the circuitry in its left arm to make it harder to track. To make the task easier, it removed its left hand and controlled it remotely while the fingers of the right hand all fractured and splayed apart into micromanipulators. The atmospherics were apparently needed for some superconducting component or another. “How much longer?” asked JR.

“What’s the matter, ol’ timer? Getting cold?”

“Watch your mouth, kid, or you’re going to find yourself floating home.”

“What?”

Damn you, Doc. “Never mind. Just wrap it up. Can’t jump out of system until we move from the cap to the JR. We’re not in the inertial envelope.”

“Oh. Why didn’t you say so?” The android’s fingers reassembled into fleshy analogs as its arm sealed itself shut and its left hand reincorporated itself into the left wrist. “Let’s get on with it then.”

JR lumbered up and waddled to the hatch. The capsule equalized, and JR motioned to the ship’s interior. “Welcome…to Jurassic Park.”

“Don’t get out much, do you? You’re kinda weird. And I thought this thing was the Jolly Roger.”

“Just get in.”

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