C.O.U.L.S.O.N. stood still with his jaw opened wide as Howard Stark poked and prodded the connections between his synthetic tongue and the rest of his bio-mimic systems. The creator mumbled under his breath as he delicately forged a link and C.O.U.L.S.O.N.’s tongue flared with new data as the taste receptors began sending him new sensations.
Howard stepped back from him, pulling back the magnifying goggles on his head. The straps made his graying hair stick up in disarray.
C.O.U.L.S.O.N. considered the information. He shifted his tongue in various directions. He touched the ceramic teeth in his metal jaw, feeling the smoothness of the enamel with the sensitive tip. He was absorbed in the new sensatory input. It was like opening his optics for the first time. The amount of data produced by one sensatory component was fascinating. If humans shared similar data input from their own biological tongue than it wasn’t a surprise to him that they had such a great obsession with food.
He raised his hand to his mouth and tasted the titanium fingertips. The metal was cool and bright.
“Try the coffee!” Howard said, as he held out a white ceramic mug full of steaming liquid.
C.O.U.L.S.O.N. carefully took the mug, grasping the handle with his fingers. His grip calibrated to keep from shattering the mug. He considered the dark liquid. He pressed his tongue to the coffee. The explosion of bitterness and heat against his tongue was such a surprise he nearly dropped the mug. C.O.U.L.S.O.N. jerked back away, spilling the coffee over his fingers. The taste against his new receptors was so strong it turned into pain. He had to dial down the sensitivity.
“Humans drink this? Voluntarily?” C.O.U.L.S.O.N. asked skeptically. “It‘s unpleasant.”
Howard scowled at him and took back his mug from C.O.U.L.S.O.N. “Philistine! Be more grateful to the wonder bean. It‘s one of the reasons you‘re around today.”
C.O.U.L.S.O.N.’s databanks gave him a result for the definition on philistine. “I‘ll take that designation. Philistine Coulson.” His creator had bestowed the title on him.
“You’re not calling yourself Philistine!” Howard argued. Then he paused in contemplation. “Although… Phil isn‘t half-bad for a first name. You’ll need one for your background information when you leave the lab. Might as well pick one out now.”
“I like Philistine,” C.O.U.L.S.O.N. said. It vibrated interestingly against his newly sensitive tongue. He added the name to his designation in his core identity software.
Howard rolled his eyes. “P.C.O.U.L.S.O.N. is an awkward acronym. How are you going to explain the ‘P’ to the general?” he asked dryly.
C.O.U.L.S.O.N. considered, running as search for suitable words and almost immediately found suitable answer. “The ‘P’ stands for Prototype.”
Howard snorted and threw his hands up in the air before he chuckled. “Okay, I‘m not surprised you have an answer for everything. But please, if you‘re going to insist on Philistine at least shorten it down to Phil.”
“Phil Coulson,” C.O.U.L.S.O.N. repeated. He adjusted his behavioral programming for this new designation. “My name is Phil Coulson.”