273 words, rating G. Cameron's been in the bathroom all night. (She doesn't sleep.)
Each of the keratin filaments on Cameron's head is exactly one hundred microns thick. When she was originally manufactured they were also a uniform 220 millimetres in length, but not any more. With inhuman patience, exquisite precision and a small pair of scissors, she has cut them all to a slightly irregular length. The effect is more natural; it makes her look more human. No actual human would ever consciously notice the difference, of course. But Cameron would know.
It's in her programming, to look more human. It helps her achieve her mission.
She stares at herself in the bathroom mirror. Her hair doesn't grow naturally. It will never need cutting. Given the right raw materials she could synthesise new keratin strands - to repair battle damage, for example. That's a standard function. Styling her hair, worrying about its appearance: these are not standard functions. They're things humans do.
But isn't that in her programming too, to act like a human would?
She studies the small array of glass jars and plastic tubes and foil sachets she has just acquired from the drugstore. She knows the chemical composition of their contents to molecular level, but not what they will actually do to her hair. She doesn't know how humans would do this. She only knows that she wants to do it, deep down in her basic autonomous logic circuits, and she doesn't know why.
It must be her programming. This will help her complete her mission.
As she unscrews the first jar and takes a dollop of the gel onto her fingers, she finds herself hoping that John will appreciate her new look.