a tale in weekly parts
“Oh, so you’re happy to come in for breakfast, then?” Madge complained as Al walked in through the door, “And where might you have been all night, may I ask?”
“How dare you question me?” Al asked indignantly, “As the man of the house, I shall do as I damned-well please. The day hasn’t come when I need to answer to you or to anyone else for my actions. As it happens, though, I spent the night in the shepherd’s hut, sleeping off the wine I drank last evening. Satisfied?”
“I might have been, if you’d had any wine yesterday. ‘As it happens’, we don’t have any wine in the house and haven’t had since your Elsie came around with that husband of hers and knocked back the lot; and that was more than a fortnight ago, as you well know.”
“Did I say I’d had it here? Well; did I?”
“You’ve been off doing things with that Albert and our kids, haven’t you?”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, Dear.”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, Dear,” Madge mocked, “Yes you ruddywell do, and I plan to get to the bottom of it.”
“Aren’t you forgetting who’s the man of the house, Madge? I don’t have to justify to you how I spend my time. What were you up to all night on your own?”
“Enough!” Kr’veth’neq’is bellowed, as she stormed through the door, followed by Xander. “Dad went to a bar last night and had too much to drink. We; Albert, Xander and I; felt it would be better for him to stay with us to sober up. That’s all there is to it.” Turning to Al, she added, “And don’t you think this ‘man of the house’ posturing is a bit last century? You’re supposed to be a partnership, not a master and his slave. Come on, Bro,” she said to Xander, “let’s leave Love’s Young Dream to sort out their differences. Bring Chav; I fancy a trip.”
“Can’t we all go on a trip?” Madge asked, “As a family?”
“Maybe next time,” Kr’veth’neq’is said. “For now, I think you need some time to work through all the changes you’ve seen in your family these past days, and come to some understanding of who we are, and who you are. We’ll be back tomorrow.”
Xander called Chav. The three left the house and returned to Jarvis, where Albert was waiting for them.
“I won’t ask how that went,” Albert said.
“You don’t need to,” Kr’veth’neq’is replied, “you heard it all through Dad’s involuntary sending.”
“I told you leaving that pathway open would pay off.”
“He has no privacy, with that open.”
“Had it not been open last night, he may well have ended up a lot worse off.”
“Fair point, Albert. Any plans for the next trip?”
“Funny you should ask,” Jarvis interrupted, “I’ve been giving a lot of thought to that, these past few nanoseconds.”
“Nanoseconds?” Xander asked, “Is that all you’ve devoted to it; nanoseconds?”
“Your mostly simian brain may take a long time to negotiate it’s gazillion evolutionary dead-ends and wrong turns in order to reach a decision, but the bitek brain; the one that, incidentally, I possess in its most pure, untainted form; is capable of parameterising and resolving the most complex of conundra in less time than it takes you to work out how to formulate the instruction to your mouth, larynx and other parts to enunciate the word ‘hello’.”
“Is that supposed to impress, intimidate or bore me?” Xander asked.
“It is intended, young ape-descendant, merely to inform you, to add to and enhance the sum of your knowledge. My only fear is that your diminutive and grotesquely inefficient organ will not be able to contain what I can give it; requiring us to dump some old stuff to make room. Choose your protocol: FIFO, LFU or LRU.”
“What on Earth is he talking about?” Xander asked anyone able to answer.
“Opt for LFU: least frequently used, Xander,” Kr’veth’neq’is suggested. “That’s what I chose, and it seems okay so far.”
“You cannot be serious!” Xander ejaculated.
“I’ve spoken to you about that, Xander,” Kr’veth’neq’is cautioned.
“Losing your cool and blurting out the first thing that comes into your head.”
“Drop it, Xander,” Albert said. Xander dropped it. It smashed into pieces on the floor.
“I didn’t mean drop your glass of… what are you doing with wine? You’re far too young.”
“It shimmered. It wasn’t me. Er… a big boy did it and ran away.”
“I think,” Albert opined, “that we need to get this young man to a place and time where he can relax and let us do some serious consolidation work on him.”
“And I know just the place, and just the time,” Kr’veth’neq’is said.
“Ooh, do tell, please,” Jarvis begged, slipping back into another of his many personae.
“Middle East,” Kr’veth’neq’is said, “specifically, what became known as the Garden of Eden; a couple of days before Adam.”
“Ooh. This should be fun. Strap yourselves in,” Jarvis intoned, “we’re going for a ride.”