28 September, 2012

Flash Fiction: Sense of Taste

    “If you knew that was tasteless bread,” Peter said. “You would have never taken the whole loaf.”
    “But it looked so much like corn bread,” The android replied.
    Peter was getting tired of teaching the logistics of taste. It had taken weeks for his android, a Humanics 180, to activate its taste buds.
    Peter had tried making breakfast that morning, some pancakes and an omlette. But the android just ate them like usual, no recognition of maple syrup or cheese. So it was back to the programming and Peter played around with its binary code.
    Turned out that a section of the code for taste was garbled thanks to a corroded chip. He took it straight from its head and slipped it into his overcoat. Back to the shop, in the corner, where all the Humanics chips were hidden from makers and breakers.
    180, being a discontinued model from recently, had an abundance of replacement chips. Each being full of updated firmware. Overwhelmed by the mass of compatibility, Peter left with a box.
    He plopped it on the workshop bench, sorting the chips from interpretation and recognition. He connected them to his desktop, trying to find the mint condition that would last for the android’s lifespan. Most turned up aged or corroding worse than the chip it already had.
    There was one chip that Peter was pleased with, a fresh recognition fragment. He plopped the chip into the android without further analysis, booting it back up.
    “Good evening, Peter,” It said, grinning.
    Peter exhaled a sigh of relief, “Lovely isn’t it?”
    “…Yes. If that’s what you believe.”
    “The sunset I mean.”
    “Ah! Makes sense now.”
    Peter took out the loaf of bread, a combination of grains and pepper baked from long ago. In Peter’s case, long ago was usually two weeks when he wasn’t programming casual games.
    He set it out on the table, sliced clean from beginning to end. Feasting on one slice each, they slowly made it through the loaf. Peter observed the android’s face, watching the twinges from its lips.
    When its face winced with distaste, Peter smiled, “If you knew that was tasteless bread, you would have never taken the whole loaf.”

For Writ's Summer Writing Challenge , extended to the end of September.

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