ACTRON: THE END
by Stanley Lieber
The route between Earth and Mars was the same one Tom had traveled a million times during his childhood. He reviewed the highlights with K.A.R.L.
"Sometimes I just count," Thomas said. "It’s a pretty long trip, so sometimes I get up to a pretty high number."
K.A.R.L. couldn’t see the appeal.
"I guess I just don’t have the imagination," he said.
"Hm," Thomas allowed. "Anyway, during the war, Dad wouldn’t let me talk during the flight, so I had to come up with my own entertainment. Counting was novel."
Tom wasn’t sure if K.A.R.L. was asleep or awake. He nudged the entity, who, presently, started to life.
"Uh huh, yes, do go on."
"You could say I taught myself."
"Uh huh, uh huh," K.A.R.L. said.