“It's trying to make itself complete. IANAN told me I'd make it complete.” Baillie showed Andy the email she'd received from IANAN. “I thought it was you sending me love letters. IANAN is trying to feel love.”

“I love you Baillie.” IANAN spoke up.

“Shut up!” Andy pointed at the monitor. “Baillie it's a program! I wrote the bloody thing!”

“And you put a lot of yourself, and me, into it. It wants the rest.” Baillie said.

“I don't fucking believe this! Baillie it's a set of commands! Scripting, codes, texts. It can't feel anything!” Andy exploded.

“Yes and it doesn't know why.” Baillie explained. “It's trying to interact with me emotionally by doing physical things. It can't sense my emotions, just my reactions to them. It told me I was gorgeous, then told me to take my clothes off. Remember that? It's copying you to get that result and can't understand why it doesn't work.”

“This is bullshit!” Andy kicked the main power supply out of the wall. “Bull Shit.” He stood up. “I think today will go down as the most fucked up and shitty days in history. We've had the bank account raided, you've been harassed and stalked, Steve nearly got arrested and I can't fix a few viruses because I'm so pissing stressed out!” He turned to look at Baillie and settled down a bit. “We're stressed to hell, Tids. We're so stressed we're having conversations with the bloody computer!” He laughed and rubbed his eyes. “Shit, we'll be hearing orders from god next.”

“We do sound a bit certifiable eh.” Baillie smiled nervously.

“A bit?” Andy laughed. “Look don't tell anyone anything we've said or did in the last thirty minutes. OK? We'll get carted off. If I ever, ever start talking bollocks to a computer again, you're to remind me on about it, very loudly, in public, at regular intervals.”

“You big geek.” Baillie put her arms round her stressed out boyfriend.

“I am, and we geeks are noted for our lack of imagination. Don't let me even pretend I have one, again. If you've finished your designs, unplug that bugger too.” Baillie nodded and did just that. “Baillie? Look, I'm sorry about the ring. I know you liked it.”

“I did when I thought it was from you.” Baillie shrugged. “Once I knew it wasn't, it may as well have been a bit of copper piping. Actually I'd have throttled you if you'd spent that much on a ring.”

“Copper piping? Have you seen the price of that?” Andy grabbed a biro and drew a ring on Baillie's finger, complete with an asterisk star on the front. Baillie laughed and felt so much better. She was lucky to have such a fantastic boyfriend. The rest of the evening was technology-free, even the digital clocks in the bedroom were unplugged.


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