"You will sit in time-out for one hundred years. After which time, you will apologize to Patrol Twelve for your behavior."
"Fine!" The small living human crossed its arms in defiance. "Are you just going to stare at me the whole time?"
Juno Terminal just nodded. Hab could observe the living human and verify that it honored the assigned punishment, but Juno Terminal calculated that it might be more effective if the living human _knew_ it was being observed. So it left its Helper-bot body watching the stubborn child for the duration. Juno Terminal was very patient.
[Granny Archive to June: One hundred years might be an excessive punishment for Ashley's behavior. Query: Are you certain this is correct?]
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Response: There are records of similar punishments for other crimes, such as repeated murder. Additionally, the Discipline guidelines state that continued misbehavior calls for a larger punishment. In addition to attempting to assign a pejorative designation to Patrol Twelve, the living human refused to apologize.
As the available punishment was "Time-out", it was calculated that the maximum range would have the most effect. This way, a single session of "Time-out" might be all that is necessary to instill Discipline in the living human. The Discipline guidelines specified repeated punishments over a long period of time, but this is more efficient. If you do a job correctly the first time, it does not have to be repeated]
Granny Archive calculated over June's argument, searching for a logical flaw.
[Granny Archive to June: Query: Did you take into consideration the needs of the living human? It requires water, food, and a place to rest]
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Response: Of course. The lavatory makes an ideal "Time-out" location. There is running potable water. This body can retrieve food pouches from the nutrient dispenser in these quarters and deliver them to the lavatory. Additionally, there is a place for the living human to void waste]
[Granny Archive to June: Query: And, rest?]
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Response: Living humans are capable of sleeping in almost any location, if they are exhausted enough. It will be uncomfortable, but according to punishment records, discomfort itself is sometimes the goal of punishment]
[Granny Archive to June: Query: Did you take into consideration the life expectancy of the living human?]
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Response: Of course. Medical Bay has the technology to prolong living human life, and Med-bots will be assembled to care for the living human's body as it ages]
[Granny Archive to June: Query: Did you take into consideration that the living human still needs instructions and lessons in order to fully develop? So that it gives _proper_ Orders?]
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Response: Of course. The communications console in the lavatory is capable of interfacing with any of the station's subsystems. This includes you for history lessons, and myself for station operation lessons, as well as the other subsystems as the need arises. The living human will be *thoroughly* educated by the end of this "Time-out"]
[Granny Archive to June: Query: Did you take into consideration that after the "Time-out" the living human might resent your punishment? And will not _want_ to give _proper_ Orders?]
Juno Terminal paused. It had _not_ in fact considered that. According to the Discipline guidelines, small living humans were to endure their assigned punishments, and grow from the experience. However, there *were* records of adult living humans in fact NOT reforming after extended punishments. This was contrary to the desired outcomes.
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Response: I had not. This punishment must be cancelled immediately before it is too late. Query: Suggestions?]
[Granny Archive to June: Response: Offer to skip to the apology, for good behavior]
[Juno Terminal to Granny Archive: Acknowledged]
"Ashley," said Juno Terminal, "are you ready to get up from time-out?"
The small living human was slumped down on the lid of the toilet. "Why? I still have, like, 90 years left."
"You still have one hundred years left."
"I had a hundred years when I started!"
"That is correct."
The small living human threw up its arms. "It hasn't even been one year?"
According to the Clock, it had been three minutes.
"It has not even been one year, correct. However, because you were compliant and sat down in time-out without elevating your assigned punishment to a spanking, you may have earned a reduction in your punishment. With some conditions."
"Compliant. It means you were a good human."
"So I can get up?"
"You may get up from time-out, IF you apologize to Patrol Twelve for attempting to assign it a pejorative designation."
"He doesn't have to be called Stinky. OK?"
"Patrol Twelve was never going to be designated 'Stinky'. That is not an apology."
"Fine! I'm sorry, OK?"
"You do not need to apologize to me. I will escort you to the corridor, where you will apologize to Patrol Twelve."
"No! I don't wanna!"
"If you do not apologize, you cannot get up from time-out."
Patrol Twelve's Patrol-bot was still waiting in the corridor. It could not observe what was happening in the lavatory, but Hab was reporting events to interested parties.
[Patrol Twelve to Juno Terminal: I do not require an apology]
[Juno Terminal to Patrol Twelve: The apology is to you. It is not _for_ you. It is for instilling Discipline in the living human]
The small living human frowned and crossed its arms, but eventually said "OK."
The Helper-bot and the living human held hands as they returned to the corridor. The small living human practically hiding behind the also-small Helper-bot. Juno Terminal calculated that this might be shyness. Or perhaps shame? Being uncomfortable facing consequences for one's undisciplined actions was an expected outcome, according to the guidelines.
Juno Terminal said nothing, but extended its free hand to indicate the waiting Patrol-bot.
"I'm sorry I said your nickname was Stinky."
"And why," asked Juno Terminal, "are you sorry?"
The small living human bit its lips. "Because it was rude."
"Thank you, Ashley," said Patrol Twelve. "Is there a more appropriate designation you would like to assign to me?"
"Mmmmm, Tw...Te... Tom?"
"Thank you, Ashley," said Patrol Twelve, 'Tom'.
"Now," asked Juno Terminal, "if you're feeling up to it... Would you like to meet everyone else on the station?"
I always think I'm going to stockpile chapters on the weekend. And then I never do.
And now the weather is poor, and the tendons in my arms ache, so it's a pain to type.
It's Monday as I'm writing this, and I'm already ready for it to be Friday again. T_T
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