“Do you want me to use a random sampling of intelligent species to populate this calculation, or do you want me to assume — to give you a better frame of reference — that all crew and visitors are humans?
The Aye was being overly specific.
Daniel wondered if it had been programmed that way, or if its mental problems had forced it to ask needlessly complicated questions. Some Ayes got downright anal-compulsive when they reached their mid-to-late 30,000s.
“Go with the human one,” Daniel said.
“Do you want me to give each theoretical crew member and visitor a moderate amount of empty space?
"What?" Daniel said.
"In other words, would you like me to assume that those on board have: one, ample room; two, an average amount of room; or three, so little room that air molecules have trouble moving between the densely-packed bodies?”
“Give them an average amount of room,” Daniel said. “Please.”
“In calculating the mass of this theoretical population, what is the average dietary intake —”
“How many more questions are there?
“Gah!" Daniel said. "Just use your best judgment on the rest."
The Tour Guide said, “Understood."
Daniel doubted the busted Aye understood much of anything anymore.
“To confirm," it said, "you asked that I calculate the theoretical maximum population of Containment Facility One expressed in numbers, assuming that the crew and visitors are human, that the station remains at its current size and that each occupant has average-sized amount of space. ... and I should use my best judgment on the rest of my questions.”