Pete Walker died . . . again . . . and again . . . and again . . .

The very profitable pharmaceutical behemoth Forever Life, Inc. was ready to start Human trials using a new wonder drug that was going to liberate the world. Every disease known – cured. Every handicap or birth defect – eliminated. You don’t like your hair texture? Your eye color? Skin color? Height? One small pill taken at night, a short drug induced coma, and several days later – a new you. The problem was that Pete feared this new pill would lead to the extinction of humankind. This meant he had to stop Forever Life at any cost. Any. Cost. Which, included his life . . . again . . . and again . . . and again . . .

“Yes, sir?”
“I was hoping to satisfy a curiosity, if you don’t mind?”
“Mind, sir?”
Kent nodded, “Yes. It’s about emotions.”
Prax turned to fully face Kent. His blank expression was unnerving. He remained silent.
“Are you able to change your expression?”
“Yes, sir, I am.”
Kent smiled, “And you choose to show a face devoid of expression?”
“Yes, sir.”
“I see. If you were inclined to pick an expression, which one would it be?”
“Sir, why would I be inclined to select an expression?”
“One, it lets those around you know what kind of mood you are in. Kind of like a warning or a welcome.”
“I see,” said Prax. “And you would like me to show an expression?”
Kent nodded. “It would be nice. I know you were created, but I also know you are an independent thinker. Are you self-aware?”
Prax paused a moment. “Is it necessary for me to be so, sir?”
Kent slowly shook his head and pursed his lips into a frown. “Not at all. But the expression, Prax? Which one would you show?”
Prax stood for several minutes.
Kent waited. “Would you like to talk it out? You know, discuss the subtle differences.”
“Annoyance, sir.”
“Pardon?” Kent replied.
Prax turned and started walking away.
“Annoyance is it?” Kent was not surprised.
“Yes, sir, annoyance.”
Kent laughed softly. “Why annoyance?”
Prax stopped and turned around. His expression slowly changed. “Sir, do I really have to explain?”
Kent smiled. “I think not. Thank you, Prax.”