Awakened abruptly the irritating beeping of his alarm, Dr. Leonard Church cursed under his breath and slowly sat up on his bed. He blindly tapped a 'button' on his blue holographic clock and pulled the covers off him before sitting on the side of the bed.

[Hey! Calling the Director! It's time to get up out of bed!] A male voice unexpectedly and very loudly bellowed from the now red clock. It was so sudden and abrupt that the Director of Project Freelancer jumped and almost fell out of his bed.

"Alpha, that was unnecessary." The old man growled, picking up his glasses and placing them on his wizened face.

A small blue hologram faded into view on the table, where his glasses once were. Its image was that of a human male, dressed in the same clothes and appearance as the Director himself. However, the old man knew that there was an extremely significant difference of personalities.

[Hey, you pressed the snooze button instead of the alarm. Not my fault if you're too sleepy to push the right button. Then again, I forget that your eyesight is pretty much shit without your glasses, Director.]

"Very funny."

[I thought so, too. Whoa, hey!] the AI shouted as the Director's hand lazily swiped at the hologram. It faded away from the table and reappeared on the desk on the other side of the room. [Don't do that!]

Smart AIs always took on the personality and memories of a human mind as well as their appearance, but at a younger age. Given Alpha was based on his own brilliant mind, the Director often wondered if he truly acted that way when he was a teenager.

I hate it when life somehow throws you a wild card….

"Alpha, Command: Run today's schedule and check my messages." The Director said when he searched through his closet to find something to wear.

[Okay then…] The AI started to say when Alpha peered into the closet, [Wow, you really need more color in your clo—]

"Alpha." The Director shot an annoyed glare at his AI.

[What?] The blue avatar shrugged, the tone of his voice turned into sarcasm, [It's the truth. It's nothing boring gray suits in there all the time. I'm just saying a little color wouldn't hurt. Maybe some yellow colors would bring out your sunny disposition.]

"Alpha!" The Director yelled before swiping at the construct again. Alpha disappeared from view before reappearing on the desk again.

[Okay, that is so frickin' annoying.] The AI waved his finger at his creator, [I know that doesn't hurt me, it's just I hate it when you do that!]

"Alpha, messages, now." The Director growled, his patience clearly wearing thin.

[Alright, alright, I'm getting to it. I swear you're such a grouch in the morning.] The AI huffed, reappearing at the Director's desk, [Okay, let's see, you've got a message from the Oversight Committee. Apparently, the Chairman wants an update on everything about the project.]

The Director rolled his eyes, "Why am I not surprised? Chairman can't seem to leave me alone these days. Send him the necessary information and be done with it."

[All right then. Next, there's two training sessions on the schedule today. First up is Agent Carolina and Agent Connecticut. I've already made calculations and ran one hundred different outcomes.]

"And?" The Director quipped while putting on his clothes.

[Agent Carolina would win approximately ninety-seven out of one hundred. To put it in your terms, Connecticut is going to 'get her ass kicked.']

"A crude way to put it, but I'm not surprised."

[Well, yeah,] The construct quipped with a hint of conceit in his voice, [My calculations are always accurate, dipshit.]

The old man stopped from buttoning his shirt to look at the construct on the desk. Alpha was a Smart AI, capable of hacking communications and computers, calculating battle outcomes, even running the Mother of Invention itself. However, there was one trait that the AI inherited from Dr. Church, a minor yet significant flaw in his creation:

His arrogance.

[What? Is there something on my face?] The construct asked, his head tilted in confusion.

"No, please continue." The Director shook it off and went back to buttoning his shirt.

[Alright if you say so. The second training match is a cooperation exercise. I've got the twins in a session with Agents Maine and Washington.]

The Director sat down in his chair to put on his shoes, "Washington?"

[Well, I was going to put in Wyoming, but given that match with Agent Texas, I switched him out for Agent Washington. He's more of a team player and more likely a better match for Maine.]

"I agree."

[Well, you should.] The AI snorted a laugh. [I'm sure you would've come up with…]

"Alpha..." he growled.

[Hey, who do you think I'm based on?] The AI retorted, a smirk plastered on his face. [Besides, I'm not taking a lecture from some old man who's going-]

"Alpha, Command: Run the numbers again on the next mission. Include radio messaging and response time."

[You're blowing me off, aren't you?]

"Alpha, Command: Acknowledge last directive."

[Complying-] Alpha quipped, then quickly made a rude gesture before fading away, [Asshole.]