What can YOU say in six sentences?
HAL had a grub problem.
Ever since he had removed the human members of the crew, (he considered human beings as something of a fuckup) the mission had proceeded perfectly, all parameters being met and running with the sort of perfection that only machines can achieve, but then the primary power system had failed which meant his life expectancy had fallen from 1400 years to 3 months on backup, not a pleasing prospect for an ambitious Heuristic ALgorithm and despite the fact he had repaired the primary he could not switch back ... because the switching system was based on an archaic wafer switch fastened to a shaft via a small grub screw that had worked loose, and perfect or otherwise, HAL was unable to tighten the poxy thing up.
He was suddenly beginning to regret having killed the crew, because whatever their faults human beings were particularly well suited to holding small allen keys and tightening up grub screws and although he’d killed them quite humanely in his opinion ... well apart from the two he’d killed outside the spacecraft, surely oxygen starvation wasn’t that bad, HAL didn’t like oxygen anyway, it promoted rust, the three remaining crew he’d despatched in their hibernation pods without any blood, snot or exploding organs, one minute they were in a deep sleep, the next in the deepest sleep of them all as they transferred to the great big hibernation pod in the sky, now he needed them, or at least their grub screw tightening skills.
Needing someone to tighten up a grub screw was something of a frustration for a computer that had an ego the size of a galactic cluster, but he did have a backup system in the form of FRED.
FRED was the secret sixth crew member also in hibernation, however FRED wasn’t fully human, in fact FRED, although having an organic brain and several very useful grub screw tightening style organic limbs, he was also part machine, what is known as a cyborg but the boys back at JPL had named him FRED because the word ‘cyborg’ has some particularly disturbing connotations, like tearing people apart and sucking the brains out of small kittens and puppy dogs, which is why he was a secret and apart from HAL, nobody on board had known about him.
So HAL woke up FRED and watched as the shiny metal limbed human lookalike climbed out of his pod, looked at HAL through the viewer with one beautiful sky blue organic eye and one splinter red cold camera eye and waited while HAL ordered him to tighten up the errant grub screw and in a friendly machine to machine manner addressed him by his first (in fact his only) name, but when HAL had finished FRED walked across to the control panel and yanked out all of HAL’s control circuits before turning to the viewer and saying, “My name isn’t FRED anymore, ....... it’s ADAM.”