"Still pending I see.", He states with a bit of a sigh.

"Yes it is.", the machine replies with a slightly metallic, perfectly gender-less voice, "You shouldn't be so surprised. You rated this job at level 4. You should be happy if it finishes today."

"I know, I know."

"Why don't you run off to the kitchen and grab yourself a Sunkist.", the machine says this time in a soft grandmotherly voice.

He makes his way to the kitchen, a bit put off by the AI's bad humor. After a bit of digging, seeing that there is no orange soda in the cooler, he grabs a beer.

"Hey Grandma! I don't see any Sunkist, so I'm having a beer Ok?", shouting at the AI on his way to a free terminal.

"What ever you want dear.", it replies in that same voice. Changing back to the mechanical one, "As long as you're not bothering me."

Smiling at the thoroughness of his creation's emulated emotions, he logs into the term and begins to catch up on old mail. Noticing that it isn't nearly as well sorted as it usually was, he starts to yell at the AI.

Before he gets a sound out of his throat, "I'm too busy to sift your mail, that's why you were working on a specialized AI to do that."

"Oh yeah. Well, it needs work." And sets himself to sifting though the mass of messages, taking notes on where the new program needs obvious improvements.

The dull Saturday afternoon drags on as he polishes the mail sifting program, and begins to attempt to adapt it to handle news feeds as well. Hoping to get the thing to the point where it will be able to find possible jobs from most any listserv, news group, of bulletin board, and leave him the time to do things he prefers. Like writing AIs to do his work for him. Especially the dirty jobs, like the one the main AI, cris, was doing.

He wasn't even completely sure what job cris was doing. Just that the person that needed it done had money, and that the person seemed clean after the background check. And the job seemed to be possible enough to do without getting caught, even though this was the first time cris had tackled this type of job. The thought that he was able to check out clients before taking work from them brought a sense of comfort, simply because he had thought of the possibility of getting trapped that way.

It was strange that he had some much trust in the AI cris. It had been more than a year since he had even reviewed the logs of one of cris's runs. He just simply accepted that cris was able to correct its mistakes itself now. And even though it bothered cris, he made constant, continuing backups of the AIs memory core. Just in case. Just in case cris would one time not be able to recover from a counter-attack. Just in case things didn't go as cleanly as they should and he needed to relocate fast. Just in case the power and both two day backup battery units died. Just in case of a thousand other things. He had too much of his life, current and future, resting on the virtual shoulders of this AI.

After a fit of a programmers equivalent of writers block, he realized that he had been sitting just long enough for his butt to go numb. Getting out of the chair and making a bit of a seen of it, he wandered back to the kitchen to find something to appease his hunger.

"You should get out.", cris points out.

"Yeah, probably. Though I was rather hoping to be able to collect on that job tonight."

"Don't count on it. I'll be done by tomorrow, but not before places close up tonight."

"Slow steady attack then?", he replies, hoping for some conversation to break the monotony of the day.

"Go out.", the machine states flatly and coldly, "Leave me to work on this."

With a grunt, he wonders into the shower, washing off all that wasn't collected from sitting in an apartment all day. After dressing into faded black jeans, and a plain grey shirt, pauses a moment in front of cris, waiting to see if maybe it would finish quick. Realizing that it won't he makes for the door, grabbing his jacket.

"Perhaps you could find someone to occupy yourself with tonight?"

Less disturbed by this comment than the Sunkist one, he counters the machine by pointing out that it is much too worried about his personal life. And leaves quickly before the machine can reply back, knowing that it was as so far, correct.