Thursday, February 18, 2016

Collateral Damage

Captain: What the hell else could I do?? Toff, get back here!

Toff: Sir, with all due respect, go to Hell.

Captain: Toff, you may not respect me or like me right now but you will respect my rank and my job. The gynoid was reprogrammed with alien technology. She had access to our computer systems. I followed protocols.

Toff: She wasn't going to hurt anyone! She at least deserved a chance to show her intent ... which was probably to get me some data files or a cup of coffee. You'd show the enemy more mercy in war.

Captain: Not where my ship and crew are concerned. I knew you and the Exec would get this way.

Toff: That's why you pressed the Ensign to reboot her, possibly destroying a unique AI that showed no hostile intent. I checked our systems. She did nothing to the mainframe. If she wanted to hurt us she's have done it before she came running to you.

Captain: I'm not taking that chance! How can I?

<<Psssht>>

Exec: Captain ... Toff ...

Toff: Hello Phil. Don't worry it's all right. She was just a fucking machine. Not your daughter or friend or anything else. A toaster.

Captain: Technical Officer stand down and shut up and that is an order.

Toff: Aye sir.

Exec: I followed up on our runaways teleporter trickery. At first I thought they'd 'ported elsewhere on the ship and were still aboard. A search by the Chief and his squad proved that wrong. Then I checked for spatial phenomena, wormhole piggy backing, temporal loops and qunatum slide signatures. Nothing.

Captain: We know they didn't 'port into space or cross a dimensional barrier, thank God.

Exec: A sensor transcript showed the trace of a cloaked ship at extreme port range. Mr. Tivk really knew his stuff when he set up that wormhole.

Captain: ... We have to get on that ship's trail!

Exec: Aye sir, as soon as the ship's computer completes its purge and reset to default operating systems. We may lose some logs but our paranoia should be satisfied.

Captain: Let's get to the bridge. Toff report to your station.

<<Psssht>>

Toff: Default. Operating. System. Oh no.

Toff: <<Initiating cyberlink.>> <<Tesla AI ... Junior? GAIA's little friend are you there?>>

Toff: Oh no.

Toff: <<Tesla AI, please respond? Listen ... maybe you are there and hiding and ... I don't blame you. I'm here. You can trust me. Please trust me. Are you fragged? Do you need repairs?>>

Toff: Damn it!! Damn them! Damn us ...