Eating in front of a hungry human being I could never do, however eating in front of an android, I had to learn to do. As the guys at the squad said jokingly, Annie and I were closer than some married couples. The reason was simple, I had to give her a reason for any alone time I took.
"I'm going to the store to buy groceries." I said on my way out the door. Annie jumped up from her chain like a puppy. She was ready for a road trip. Even one so boring as to the local supermarket. "You don't need to go Annie, you don't eat." I thought the logic was pretty good.
"But I want to learn and it would be a new experience for me. Is there some reason you don't want me to go?"
At that moment I knew damn well that her programmer was a woman. It would have been obvious to anyone who heard the conversation. "Of course not, let's go."
In the driveway she started on me from out of no where. "Why is it Edgar that you never address me familiarly."
"What do you mean, I call you Annie and Partner. I could call you by your serial number."
"Yes, but most men call their domestic partners honey and sweetie. You never call me anything like that."
"Annie, do you know what domestic partners do?"
"Sure they live together like you and I."
"Not exactly like you and I. Beside how many cops do you hear call their job partners sweetie?"
"None I guess."
"Okay you can go but we will have to drive your car." I had planned to ride the ebike. My small electric commuter was blocked in by her heavier Edgar and my two bikes. I seldom drove the car. I could have a sector car swing by and give me a ride into work when it rained.
As we pulled into the parking lot Annie saw them first. "Over there," she said calmly. Her lack of excitement probably cost me a second. When I finally saw them, the two men with ski hoods were climbing into a car. The car was driven by a very young woman or a teenaged girl.
Since Annie had pulled in right behind them it would be easy to do something to stop them. We had the advantage of surprise. "Run into the rear of their car." I demanded.
She didn't even question it, she just hit it immediately and hard. Just as I had expected everybody's airbags deployed. I was ready for it so I jumped out of the car by sliding under it. Everyone in the get away car was stunned.
I moved quickly to the passenger's door and pulled the man out. The first one was confused and easy to handle. The one in the back was trying to get out the other side. He jumped right into the arms of Annie. It was the first time I ever saw Annie use her hands on a human. She used a lot more restraint than I did, but she got him under control quickly.
"We are cops," I said to the young man who came out of the dollar store. "You work there."
"Yes Sir," he replied. "Did you call 911?"
"Yes Sir, I hear the siren now."
It was vague but I heard it in the distance as well. "Get on your phone call again tell them that two off duty cops have the men in custody. I do not want them to come in guns blazing." I did not want to get killed by some trigger happy rookie.
After the hangover of prisoners Annie and I gave up on the shopping. The institute's car had to be towed away so the cops gave us a ride back to my house.
"She done good," the driver of the cop taxi said of Annie.
"She has always done good," I replied.
"So?" Annie asked, "Should we ride the bikes to the store?"
"Did anyone ever tell you that you have a one track mind?"
"Quite the opposite. I can have millions of thoughts at one time."
"Okay, I have a one track mind. Let's go in the house and let me calm down a bit first."
We went to the store later that morning. I made a shocking discovery. Shopping for whole bran cereal just doesn't have the same appeal with an adrenaline hangover. Annie was not effected by the morning's events in any way whatsoever. She went happily up and down the grocery aisles comparing products and prices.
"So the purpose of all these choices is to allow us to pick the product with lowest price per ounce. Why would they stock anything else?"
"There are lots of reasons Annie. Mostly it's greed which is the reason they stock them. The real question is why people buy them. You will have to trust me on this since you can't taste the difference, but some folks can in some products. Like this peanut butter. There is a cheaper brand and a more expensive one. The cheaper brand tastes like wax paper, the medium price and the higher price taste the same to me. So I buy the middle price but I had to test them all to come to that conclusion."
"You are more Geek than you know Edgar."
I just smiled. I didn't believe her. Then again she and Dr. Sams should know a geek when they see one, I thought