I just thought I'd give a taste of Sarah's conversations with another A.I. later in the book. This section hints at a BIT of a spoiler, buuuut..... here we go.
Oh, note again that the ":::" denotes that the speech is being done electronically in Sarah's skull.
“:::As we have the time, Sarah, can we discuss 'comedy'?” Eidechse asked.
Bit by bit, Sarah had left the visual range of the base. Far enough that through all standard issue scopes and binoculars when used by optimal human eyes. As such, she had begun walking. The terrain was now almost devoid of vegetation, and the rocks were becoming smaller, and less frequent. They were entering sand territory.
“:::Sure Eid. Anything in particular puzzling you?”
“:::Humour by means of violence. Hey, how old are you, Eid? Are you telling me no one's discussed humour with you before?”
“:::Not at any length.” Eid ignored that issue, and went back to what was interesting him. “Why is violence funny?
“:::Well... usually slapstick is fairly harmless. Maybe it roots in humiliation. Having someone else look foolish in order to show the viewer that their own natural foolishness it not uncommon.” Damn it, Eidechse had her talking like him. She had to watch that. She certainly didn't want to have the diction of a robot. “I read... well, Amanda read somewhere that humour is mostly based in surprise. An unexpected action, or thought, well timed.”
“:::Aardvark.” Eidechse said.
“:::Was that funny? Aardvark. It has no bearing on anything currently happening, and was well timed in my opinion. Did that make it funny?”
Sarah walked along. Aardvark. Aardvark. “:::Maybe a little. Kind of. Not so much. Maybe some relevance to the situation is needed. Wit, sarcasm, irony.”
Eidechse thought for a moment. “:::I wish we had some sand.”
“:::Ah. Sarcasm. Not bad. Tone of voice might have helped that a bit. A human-like tone, maybe exaggerated a little.”
Sounding like a cartoon vampire more than anything, Eidechse called out, “:::I wish we had some sand!!”
That did it. Sarah staggered and laughed vocally. “:::Oh, that's not fair!”
“:::I made you laugh,” Eidechse said, “a genuine laugh? Why was it not fair?”
With a leavened mood, Sarah said “:::I don't know, maybe because it's you! You're not known for humour, and your attempt was kind of overdone. A good attempt, but way overdone!”
“:::I do not understand. If it made you laugh, how is it overdone? If I exaggerated less, would it have been funnier?”
“:::Then why was it overdone?”
“:::Eid, I was expecting a very human-like voice, and when you took my expectation and blew it up past what I what I thought I would hear, it was a surprise! It was what I told you to do, but not at the same time! That was actually great!”
“I do not understand.”
A chapter or two later:
“:::How you doing in there, Eid?”
“:::I've been watching movies. I have a question.”
“:::Of course you do. Just one, huh? Fire away.”
“:::Why did people think that crossing two 'streams' of protons would instantaneously stop all life and explode every molecule in a body at the speed of light?”
Sarah coughed. “:::What the hell have you been watching? Is it fact or fiction?”
“:::Fiction. I am still working through the comedy collection.”
“:::Well, that answers your question, Eid. No one actually thought that.”
There was a pause. For Eidechse, it was a very long pause. “:::Are people aware that movies are lying to them, on purpose?”
With a smile, Sarah replied with serenity. “:::Yes, they even pay to be lied to.”
“:::I do not understand.”