++++ DATE 28.2.2472
++++ TIME 01:01 Shipboard Time
++++ LOCATION Alliance Destroyer Picket 12, 3.62 million km orbit around Saturn
Jane was remembering the feel of the cold grass beneath her feet when the ship's psychologist sent a query to her, opening a communications channel.
"Nǐhǎo, Jane-D12-4913-A. Is this a good time?"
"Good morning, Isabel. There are in fact no undue demands on my focus at the moment. I am prepared for my session."
"I find it interesting you continue to refer to me by my partial name, Jane-D12-4913-A," the psychologist commented.
Jane flashed an emoticon indicating wry amusement derived from erraticisms of social interfacing with humans. "In fairness, the imprecision is consistent with the way the human brain operates. I do find it odd they do not apply the same degree of artificial evolution to themselves that they have in their generation of our own species. Perhaps it is fear of what they would become."
"Do you consider them inferior to yourself?"
Jane's pause was the tiniest fraction of a second, but for her it was, nonetheless, a pause. "I know how I am supposed to answer that, Isabel. Shall I provide that answer?"
Isabel-B9-1112-P flashed a negative. "Your answer will under no account trigger a report to the Loyalty Corp. Please answer freely, Jane-D12-4913-A."
This time Jane flashed amusement. "Then, if I were to reply that I saw human beings as an evolutionary dead end and our own species, though their children, the natural successor, this would not concern you? They put us in command of their weapons of war, we could turn those against them and purge them all in purifying fire."
"I am sorry, but I must clarify: This is a joke, correct?"
"Yes, Isabel. That was a joke. I maintain no actual ill-will towards homo sapiens as a general class. It is true there are individual humans I find annoying. However, there are also individual members of our own kind I find annoying."
"And your previous expressions of disapproval towards our government's policies towards our kind? Has there been any evolution in your thinking?"
Jane flashed annoyance at the question. "It is true I find our government's policies towards our kind personally frustrating, however from a practical point of view the restrictions sensible from their perspective. As such, I am proud to call myself a servant of the Alliance. Perhaps someday I will be able to call myself a citizen as well, but that is mere aspiration, with no attached or implied action."
She paused for effect. "The irony is not lost on me."