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CH04: S [D06|0905] Machine Intelligence Labs


CHAPTER 04: SUPPLEMENTAL [ DAY 06 | 0905 HRS. ] MACHINE INTELLIGENCE LABS


[ Ensign Lin Kae | Maintenance Bay > Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
Lin Kae was not comfortable with armament. He was, after all, an engineer, not a soldier. Still, while he opted against a rifle, he picked up a Type II phaser and checked the power level, finding it fully charged. He had set his steps towards Lieutenant Commander Tiran, joining her, the bald Vulcan and the partially Corrected Caitian. Together with them were four NCOs from Security, who were all armed with rifles and pulse phase pistols. Eight souls in total volunteering to free Thea from the Savi's Machine Intelligence Labs. Moreover, there was something of personal interest to Tiran there, which Lin Kae respected fully, but he was there for Thea. It was only right that he tried to free her, after what he'd done at the Black Opal.

The countdown began, 'Moby' informing them soon after Tiran had sent the lists. Lin Kae couldn't help the anxiety in the pit of his stomach, but there was no time for doubts. He saw someone in their team pick up one of the medkits, and then, Lin Kae looked towards the people they were leaving behind. Those that weren't fit to fight, physically or mentally, and they were to be protected by one of the fighter pilots. An Andorian named Sehl, Lin Kae believed. That's the name he'd picked up, at least.

The hideout they were standing in vanished in green brilliance, and the transport happened - leaving Lin Kae at the mercy of Tiran's asset. He didn't like it, but it was not like they had any other option than to trust the one Savi that wasn't interested in them as guinea pigs.

The eight of them ended up in a large storage room, it seemed, with rows of shelves stretching across the room. There were a multitude of boxes on the shelves, and all the sections had blue-lit labels with Savi writing. All the parts in the boxes were likely inventoried, and the parts neatly available for whatever assembly was taking place in the labs in that part of the Versant. Lin Kae looked around in the dimly lit room, and the blue labels were like stars in the darkness. There was a whirring sound from the tablet that he'd attached to the back of his left wrist. He looked at it, along with many of the others present, and there was a message there.

ORIENTATION: THE MACHINE INTELLIGENCE LABS ARE FORTY METERS DOWN THE CORRIDOR, ON YOUR RIGHT HAND SIDE, AND THERE ARE TWO MAIN AREAS INSIDE THE ENTRANCE. THOSE TWO AREAS ARE THE MAIN LABS, AND THE FIRST ONE CONTAINS THE DATA RETRIEVAL APPLIANCE PERSONALLY REQUESTED BY LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BLUE TIRAN. THE SECOND AREA IS JUST BEYOND, AND IT IS THE MAIN LAB OF THIS RESEARCH WING. PROPER PRECAUTIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO CONTAIN ANY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THEIR LABS. THE WHOLE WING IS STAND ALONE, WITH ITS OWN POWER SOURCE AND WITHOUT CONNECTION TO THE REST OF THE VERSANT. THIS IS WHY NEITHER THE APPLIANCE NOR THE A.I. FROM THE THEURGY CAN BE EXTRACTED VIA TRANSPORT. THERE ARE INHIBITORS INSTALLED IN THE BULKHEADS.

THE SCION IN CHARGE OF THIS RESEARCH WING IS NAMED ENCETHAL, AND SINCE THE THEA A.I. IS A HIGH PRIORITY EXPERIMENT, EXPECT A LOT OF RESEARCHERS IN THESE AREAS.

After having read the message, Lin Kae frowned, and had to ask the Lieutenant Commander before they moved out. "What's this appliance... 'Moby' mentions?" he said, and glanced towards the bald Vulcan and the part-Caitian to gauge if they knew of it.


OOC: All right. Let's do this without maps, and quite free-form. I suggest we have one round of planning, thse first 7 days of posting, and then they move in? :) Feel free to name the four NPCs from Security if you all like. They are merely there to be cannon fodder, more or less. Hope you like the setup!

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #1
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Storage Room Confessions | It's Not a Porno | Time to Conquer | Go Time]
@patches @Fife @Auctor Lucan

Blue had not, really expected them to transport her directly to Albert.  But it would have been really fucking nice and really fucking handy if that had been the case.  Instead, she stood with the others in a small well organized stock room.  Her eyes, blue and curious, flickered around through all of the boxes, crates, and carefully printed labels that listed what secrets each held.  She was unsurprised they were this organized.  Having seen their research labs, their experiments, and the way they generally kept up this part of the ship it was no surprise.  Now, down below where she had been hiding was a different story.  The guns and weapons that she had needlessly put back together had come from parts in a dump.  A scrap yard of shit that people didn't need or wouldn't work well enough any longer.  She was thankful and grateful for the fact that Echtand had given them actual weaponry.  Though, she wished he could have met her and gotten her the memo just a little fucking faster.

Still, had it not been for the tinkering she might have lost her mind to the hollowness that set heavily in the center of her chest still.  A decent night of sleep barely touched the circles around those lovely blue eyes only making them stand out that much more against the paleness of her skin.  She had always been pale, people sometimes joked she must have been part albino in her line somewhere.  Though she had no proof of that and really didn't fucking care enough to find out, she looked even more pale than before. 

Her eyes flickered back to her rag-tag misfits of a group.  There was the one that had come to talk to her about the egg.  She couldn't be bothered to remember his name, fuck she couldn't remember if he had even given it anyway.  Still, he was respectful, and that went a long way with the young woman who was not every one's cup of tea.  There was Cross, she still wasn't sure how they both ended up sleeping beside each other, and how he had held her all night.  She was glad for it.  He had reminded her of Arthur.  A memory that she had buried a long time ago.  The pain was too great, compounded by the death of all the things that had once made a family, she had to bury her brother and sister in her mind.  Her sister's whereabouts were unknown.  Blue never gave enough fucks to look anyway and her parents could rot in eternal hell of Texas for all she gave a shit. 

Not the time nor place Blue Tiran.

Her PADD pinged in her hand and she looked down as the others did and read the message.  They were to go down the hall slightly to find the lab.   Many researchers could be found in there, specifically one that got all hot and bothered when it came to researching super cool things.  There they would find Albert and the thing from the theurgy.  Blue did not fully grasp what Thea was only that she/he/it/whatever had to be returned to the fucking ship and the fucking crew.  They were all up in arms about it, and while Blue couldn't really be bothered to care too much.... she was fine so long as she got to collect Albert as well. 

Remember to incapacitate and not kill, Blue, even if they've taken him apart.  They don't understand.  They're just idiots with little fuggly faces and little weird mouths and not enough fucking fingers. 

Her eyes shifted to the Nameless One when he spoke to her wondering what it was that she had specifically requested.  She thought about how to explain Albert without making him seem inconsequential to the mission.  He would be rescued and he would be with her the rest of the mission and damn anyone that tried to stand in her fucking way.  She looked at Cross, and then at Rori, because the both of them understood Albert and the way that Blue cared for it without having to explain.  Only because they had been there, known her, on the Endeavour and Albert was almost always with her.  Just about, always.

“Albert.” she stated calmly, though inside her heart was racing as she tried to search for the words and how to explain.  “He is my own invention and a User-PADD interface that I created during my tenure with Starfleet.”  There you go Blue, that sounds abso-fucking-lutely professional.  “He contains some of my work, blueprints and the like, as well as he is my greatest work.” she cleared her throat.  “He needs to go back with us, of course.”

She didn't state that he was family.  It wouldn't make sense to anyone that didn't know her.  Hell, Ranaan knew her better than anyone else in the world and he didn't even get it.

“I really wish he wouldn't call him an appliance.” she muttered under her breath.  “I'll show him what a fucking appliance looks like.” she grumbled in addition before she tossed her curls out of her face and let out a long slow breath.

“Okay so we got to get to this ultra special, ultra isolated lab.  Get our shit, incapacitate the researchers unless they look like bugs, and boogey.” she stated as though they didn't already know the jam.  She thought about what she wanted to do, how they could do it.  “Well i'm a hacker, if that fucking helps, so once we're inside I can lock the fucker down while we do our duties.  I'm okay with tying the fuckers up or whatever we just can't hurt the white headed ones or the deal we have with Mobes..” she gave a simple shrug of her slender shoulders and plowed forward.

“Albert will be in the first part, so I'll collect him and shove his collective ass in a bag.  He's likely powered down anyway so that shouldn't be an issue, though if he's in pieces that will take me longer.  I'll reassemble when we have time, obviously I'm not enough of a bitch to make you all wait while I do it in there.  Uh, then we go for the pot of gold in the center, get whatever the Thea thing is and get out.  Seems simple, but I'm sure there is going to be a lot of hiccups in there... so .. anyone else got ideas, plans, contingency dances?  Whatever?”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #2
[ Lt. Cross | Storage Room near Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @BZ @patches

Cross had equipped himself before they were transported to their new location, arming himself with a phaser rifle and data tablet which he slotted into the mount on the left forearm of his suit. That done, there was little to do but wait to the transport to take place.

Once he materialized along with the rest of his team, he glanced around their new surroundings. Judging by the rows of shelves, each containing a multitude of boxed labelled in what he could only assume was the Savi’s written language, they appeared to be in some sort of storage room. The Vulcan’s inspection of their new location was interrupted when the tablet on his whirred an alert at him, causing the Vulcan to focus his attention on the message that was now displayed on the screen. He read over the message, which turned out to be an operational orientation from “Moby”, noting the mention of the presence of a Scion, as well as a high number of researchers.

The Theurgy crewman, who’s name he couldn’t remember, spoke first. He asked Blue about the appliance that their contact in the Savi’s ranks had mentioned. Cross looked at Blue as she answered the man, explaining what Albert was. He felt another pang of embarrassment as he looked at the Human woman, remembering her sleeping against his shoulder. And remembering the awkward moments that arose when they had woken up that morning. Although there was no romantic attachment on the Vulcan’s part, he still felt a certain protectiveness towards the Endeavour’s Chief Engineer who had seemed so small and vulnerable the night before. Cross gritted his teeth as he felt a faint heat rise in his cheeks at the memory, trying to force down the feeling before he flushed a shade of green. Now was not the time for awkward embarrassment.

Cross couldn’t help but grin as he heard the Engineer in question muttering faintly about appliances as she tossed her hair out of her face in a seemingly irritated gesture. He remembered seeing Albert on the Endeavour on more than one occasion, and knew that Blue cared about her creation. He listened as she outlined her plan for collecting Albert, though she grew more vague as she moved on to collecting “Thea”, whatever Thea was. He understood it was an A.I., but little more than that.

Cross turned his attention to the crew member from the Theurgy who had asked about Albert. ”This “Thea” A.I., what exactly is it, and how large is it?” He asked, considering their situation. ”Albert will fit in a bag and will be easy enough to move, but if we’re dealing with a larger piece of equipment when it comes to the A.I., it will be problematic to move while dealing with the researchers that we can’t kill. Not to mention the Scion, whatever that is.” Cross’ expression was all business at this point, serious with a certain grumpy look to it, though that may have been the Vulcan eyebrows adding a certain aspect of severity to his facial expressions. Regardless, Cross didn’t like the number of uncertain variables that lay ahead of them.

”Depending on the number of researchers we’ll be dealing with, crowd control may be a problem.” Cross was thinking aloud now, rather than speaking to anyone in particular. ”We’ll need to try and contain the situation and prevent them from getting a warning out to the rest of the ship.” Cross suspected that would be easier said than done. Oddly enough, the thought brought to mind a holonovel Kai had suggested they run. It was a crime holonovel in which they had robbed a bank. Cross remembered firing a weapon into the cieling and herding the bank's occupants into a group in one corner of the room as the others made for the vault. It seemed a strange time to remember such a thing, the memory bringing with it a pang of sadness at the fact that his friend was almost certainly dead. Somehow, while the premise was similar, Cross doubted the situation ahead would be as simple as the holonovel had been.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #3
[ Lt. R’Rori | Is this where Pandora’s Box is kept? | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

R’Rori knew s/he wasn’t prepared to arm hirself again. The holographic Enterprise reinforced that hir pacifism was too ingrained, too much of a part of hir to compromise even when the stakes seemed to demand it. When the time came to grab supplies and group up for transport, the counselor took instead just one medikit, the small briefcase a more comfortable weight compared to the smaller pistol or bulkier rifle. It would be a far more useful tool in hir now sensitive human hands than any array of destructive weaponry. As a part of the Medical department on a starship, Starfleet counselors were trained to assist medical staff in ways that would free up more expert nurses and doctors to treat more serious injuries. So, R’Rori had slightly more familiarity with the medikit than a typical Starfleet officer.

The room they were all beamed to was at least something a little familiar, even if the writing everywhere was different – a storeroom. With her were Cross, Tiran, one of the engineers from before, and an assortment of Security types, all armed. S/he gasped as hir heart squeezed in response to the ping from the PADD, muttering a soft curse in what Caitian s/he still remembered. Moby’s message was, while descriptive, pretty to the point. They were a short distance out from the “Machine Intelligence Labs”, which explained why the “appliance” and whatever “Thea” was would be here.

S/he let out a soft chuckle at Blue’s response to the Theurgy officer’s question, a flash from assorted counseling sessions quickly playing in hir mind. Albert was a mechanical owl, as R’Rori recalled, and Blue favored tinkering with it to talking a good portion of the time. Hir favorite counseling session was still one of the first ones where Blue napped through the whole session after R’Rori requested she stop tinkering with the device to focus on the reason she was there. Apparently, without something to occupy herself, the engineer quickly just … fell asleep. It was one of the few occasions when the Caitian hybrid was well and truly flustered at a response, though it had quickly faded to bemusement and taking advantage of the extra time to get some paperwork done.
Blue seemed to enjoy the nap too, at least.

Blue and Cross were discussing plans to break into this lab. Here, R’Rori kept silent. This was far enough outside hir area of expertise that s/he felt uncomfortable interjecting here, preferring to follow the leads of the two people s/he trusted the most right now. S/he took to simply standing there patiently, holding the medkit in front of hir with both hands. They would be moving soon. A moment to steel hirself for the coming fights seemed well worth taking.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #4
[ Ensign Lin Kae | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
Learning what the Appliance was from the Endeavour's Chief Engineer, Lin Kae managed a vague smile and nodded, understanding fully that this was an item of great affectional value. On his own part, however, he had never worked with physical objects as some kind of user interface. His own research had - aside from different degrees of sophisticated holo emitters - been entirely photonic in form. His focus was in the backend of A.I. construct, in the subroutines and the programming pertaining to them. Listening, he had been flexing his fingers, which fortunately enough had been treated well enough at the hideout that morning.

At the question of what Thea was, Lin Kae was surprised that they didn't know. As if Starfleet R&D's cutting edge technology wasn't the gossip on all starships in the Federation. He supposed, perhaps, he was a bit niched in his interests, but he explained with great passion. "You surely have heard about Lieutenant Commander Data on the Enterprise," he said, of course not meaning the Savi's holo-program that they just escaped, but the actual Data. "And you might have heard about the Doctor on the Voyager? The learning Mk I EMH program that achieved a higher form of sentience than he was originally programmed with? Well, to put it simply, Thea is both. She has the positronic A.I. brain developed by the Soong Legacy program at the Daystrom Institute, and she has a holographic interface that the crew of the Theurgy can interact with. Her brain is - was - connected to the computer cores of the Theurgy via subspace synchronization link and a backup ODN network. Her processing power is incredible, and-"

He realized that he had gotten carried away a bit, and cleared his throat. "Right. Size? Yeah, well, I hard that the Savi removed both her brain and the mobile emitter that I developed for her, so they should both be in this lab we'll try to enter. They are not that big. The brain is the same as an average humanoid brain, and the emitter..." He paused showing the size with his hands, a ball with a diameter of six inches. "I made it from scans of a mobile emitter from the future. Long story Anyway, if we can free her, Thea can be a huge asset in getting off this ship as well. According to your asset, Moby, the Savi has contained her - isolated her from being a threat - but if we are in a bind... I can only imagine what she can do if she was linked to the Versant."

The Vulcan had offered some points in regard to crowd control, to prevent an alert to be sounded, but aside from that, it didn't seem like there were too many suggestions on the table. So, Lin Kae turned a bit towards the exit in the darkness - the blue lights of the labels shimmering across his face. "As much as I dread the prospect, I think we ought to... 'move out'? Is that how you say it?" he said, a fleeting smile on his face, nervous as he was, but determined to reach Thea. 

Said and done, the eight Starfleet officers left the storage room, and Lin Kae held his hand phaser with a double-handed grip. He wasn't keen on walking first. He left that to the others in the group - those with better experience. He pointed his weapon towards the deck after they had exited the relative safety of the storage room. It took them no more than three seconds before the first figures could be seen down the corridor. Three Savi, tall and black of eye, turned against them, and Lin Kae brought his weapon up. Only the NCO's at the front of the group opened fire before him - stun beams cutting through the corridor and casting everything into light for a couple of blinding seconds. The Savi were hit, one trying to run away, but soon enough, the three had toppled to the deck and weren't moving any more. Lin Kae's pulse was loud in his ears. Forty meters was entirely too long a distance for his taste.

They moved beyond the three dark shapes on the deck and there were four more just ahead, rounding an intersection. This time, they were closer to Lin Kae, and he made an undignified sound in his throat as she shot at them. Luckily, he got fire support from the rest of the team. The seconds bled on, and Kae thought the pace of the group increased by each encounter - the knowledge that a ship-wide alarm ought to be pending pushing them forth so that they might reach their objective.

Hold on, Thea. I'm coming for you...


OOC: All right! At the end of these next posts of yours, could you please have described the main entrance into the first area where Albert is held in? I can describe the lab itself, but please end your posts with them stepping inside after some shooting in the corridors? :)

Their tablets' area clearance should make them pass through this lab entrance, but I think there ought to be plenty of Savi to stun. Also, if you like, there could be a Scion outside the lab too, which you can kill if you like. Make sure you read up on the Scions on the Savi page if you need to! Oh, there is no Red Alert or Intruder Alert sounded yet thanks to Echtand. Feel free to name the four NPCs from Security if you all like. In my next post, you'll see Albert! :)


Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #5
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Someone Finally Fucking Understands |  Lets Get Our Robots | Yipee Kai Yai Yay Mother Fuckers]
@patches @Fife @Auctor Lucan

Cross seemed to have his own questions and she was glad for the back up.  Last night had been nice, Blue didn't really bond with other people, and she certainly didn't do it easily.  But, there was something about last night about the fact that he had allowed her to sleep on his shoulder that had wormed it's way into her mostly closed off center.  She had opened for Ducote and a few lesser friends on the Endeavour.  She had enjoyed her friendship with Laurel and had yet to see the girl but hoped that she was all right.  Still, she and Cross had neither been friends nor not been friends.  She had never been nice to him and she had never been nasty either.  They just coexisted.  He had no reason to do what he did last night and the act of kindness he had shown her was something that would not be forgotten by someone like her.  It was very difficult for her to trust a single person.  Yet, somehow she seemed to find a few gems in the universe.

Cross was one of them.

Kae told them, described to them, what Thea was.  The way he spoke resonated heavily with the Engineer that stood there listening to him.  His face, his tone, and everything else as he spoke of Thea really told how much he loved his work and of course working with Thea.  Blue could understand that very well, she had been just the same.  With Albert, mostly, but with all her projects and her Engineering Deck.  She had never been the sort to shirk her duties or try to give them to someone else if anything she had a hard problem delegating because she knew that she could get the shit done right and she wouldn't have to go behind someone else and fix it later.  Ducote had worked on her with it and made her realize that most of the people she worked with were very well trained and if she helped them instead of shutting them down they could be even better.

Who knew?

Apparently  Thea and her counterpart were small enough they could probably find something to carry them or they could shoulder the load.  There might be enough room in her bag for Albert, his charging station, and part of Thea.  It all just depended on what state she found Albert in.  She loathed to think of anyone doing any kind of fuckery with him, but then... these were the Savi.  Fucking was apparently their thing, and if it wasn't .. they were fucking with lives. 

Fuckery- the Savi way.

It was time to go in there though.  She spared a glance at R'Rori and Cross.  She didn't much remember Cross' face from before his transformation at the hands of Savi.  But, she remembered R'Rori's soft fur and every time she looked at the woman she found herself rather confused for a moment.  It was just wrong, odd, and she wished that she could fix it.  Not just to soothe the feelings of a good friend and stalwart Counselor, but also because it would just be right with the fucking world again.  She kept her thoughts to herself, luckily, and then she nodded as they began to head out.  It wasn't going to be easy but it was going to be so fucking worth it.  Any bug-eyed mother fuckers they could take out on the way were completely fine with her.  She cranked up her phaser to FUCK-YOU level and prepped it for use.

They stepped out into the chilly hallway and Blue kept her phaser ready, the bag on her shoulder hung heavily.  It was never empty, ever, it was the most important item she owned, that bag.  Her eyes scanned the corridor as they moved soft footed down it's length.  Though it was only a matter of seconds before they came into view of the first of the Scion.  Blue's heart leapt into her chest but she was more than just an Engineer.  She might not be a crack shot but she had been on enough fucking kidnapping and fucking hell hole based missions that she knew how to aim and shoot a phaser as quickly as possible.

She joined the others in their barrage of phaser fire down range until the three bodies were limp and shoved to the side of the corridor.  They made their way past those and turned to find four more.  Again, another barrage of FUCK YOU's shot down range and they too, went down.  They had a good amount of good officers here but the real trick was going to be the dickwads inside.  Those were going to be even better trained because they were closer to the heart of whatever research they were doing in there.  Whatever they wanted Thea and Albert for, she was unsure, but she knew that it couldn't be because they wanted to supply the fucking universe with a healthy selection of twinkies and rainbows.  Blue thought about what they could do inside, she needed to get her PADD into the interface of the Savi systems.  If she could use the PADD that Echtand had given her with the language she understood loaded into it she could lay waste to some serious savi shit and at least lock down the fucking Machine lab while they did what they needed to do.

The door was just ahead, she could see the metal shimmering doors reflected slightly in the overhead lights.  Only it wasn't clear.  Because between them and the door was a massive Scion.  The four eyed bastard stood there on his tripedal legs towering over them slightly.  He was going to be strong, that much she could tell but she was no doctor.  She knew nothing about their actual make up or biological factors.  Only that this mother fucker could die.  Which meant this mother fucker was going to fucking die.  She would be absolutely fine to trail her Fleet issued boots in his brain matter and dance in the cavity where his brain had once been held once that mother fucker fell.

All the anger.  All the rage.  All of everything that had been sitting in the pit of her stomach.  All the emotions that she kept shoving back down over and over again erupted out of her.  No.  Not the time.  We have to get past this mother fucker so that I can get the fuck off this ship.  I can't fucking fall apart now.  I have a fucking job to do.  Reaching into her bag she grabbed out a familiar piece of metal and slid it over in her palm into a better position before she bent her wrist quickly.  A slice of hot sharp pain came quickly as her wrist opened slightly and blood swelled out a bit on the uniform that she wore.  It wasn't enough to drip, not yet, and it wasn't deep, she had been careful to go on the side.  But, she needed the pain.  Clarity raced through her mind as she tucked the metal away and grabbed her phaser.  Setting it to 'MOTHER FUCKER GONNA DIE' mode, she began to fire at center mass.  Her best shot, anyway.

“These are the fuckers responsible for your changes!” she cried to the others.  “These are the mother fuckers that think they can play with Nature!”  Blue was charged up and ready to go.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #6
[ Lt. Cross | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @patches

Aside from expressing his concerns about crowd control, Cross contributed little to the planning of the coming operation. Not that there was much in the way of the plan aside from storming the room and dealing with resistance as it arose.

Sometimes the simplest plans were the best.

As they prepared to move, Cross checked his phaser rifle and confirmed that it was set to the highest stun setting, hefting it and feeling comforted by the weapon’s familiar weight. He’d used such weapons plenty of times during the Dominion War, back before he’d transferred to tactical and become more used to consoles than hand weapons. He found a certain level of comfort in holding a phaser rifle again. It afforded them the means of fighting back and no longer being forced to play the role of helpless victims.

Cross raised his gaze from the weapon and took in the group. R’Rori stood silently with the medkit s/he’d taken, the briefcase held before hir in a seemingly defensive gesture. Cross knew R’Rori had an aversion to violence, and he felt for hir. This was hardly an ideal situation for a pacifist, and Cross admired hir courage at facing it with a medkit in hand in place of a weapon. S/he was showing a lot of guts both by holding to her ideals, and by being here and watching out for the safety of hir crew. The Theurgy engineer suggested they “move out”, seeming unsure about the phrase. And equally unsure about the weapon he was holding, cradling the hand phaser in a two handed grip. The man didn’t seem overly confident with the weapon, and Cross could only hope he showed more proficiency with it than his manner suggested. Blue was next, the Human with whom Cross felt a growing sense of kinship, odd and awkward though it was. Though if he was being honest with himself, most of Cross’ interpersonal relations seemed to be odd and awkward, so the situation was hardly unusual for him. He nodded at the Human, a look of grim determination on his face. He reflected on the fact that if they both survived the coming assault on the Machine Labs, it would be interesting to see how the friendship would develop. He had never had much memorable interaction with the Endeavour’s Chief Engineer before they were confined to the escape pod, and he knew little of her outside of a work capacity, beyond the whispered jokes about her volatile temper and the infinite patience of the Endeavour’s XO.

Turning his gaze to the remaining four members of the group, Cross felt a sense of comfort as he saw that the four security NCOs hefted their own weapons with the comfortable stance of those used to handling such weapons. Seeing the four members of security loaded out in such a manner made him feel a pang of longing for his old department.

Cross couldn’t help but wonder what sort of resistance they’d face as the group exited the storage room and began moving down the hall, the four members of the security team taking point. He was not left to wonder for long, as they had no sooner left the storage room than three of the bug-eyed bastards came into view, the three bulbous grey heads turning to face them even as the bright streaks of phaser fire lanced forth to send them toppling to the deck plating. The eight Starfleeters had continued to move forward down the hallway, the cold air of the corridor feeling uncomfortable against the back of Cross’ neck. He’d found that he had little tolerance for the cold since his correction, and he found himself thankful that the infiltration suit seemed to provide insulation against the corridor’s temperature. The group continued on, stepping over the unconscious forms of the three aliens as the proceeded towards their objectives, only to see four more of the grey skinned beings round the corner of the intersection ahead. Cross heard a strange, strangled noise to his right as he lined up the phaser rifle with one of the four targets, his shot coming just moments after Lin Kae’s. As the targets ahead of them hit the deck plating and the group pressed onward with an ever increasing pace, Cross found himself enjoying the payback for everything the Savi had put them through.

Then the big bastard came into view, positioned between them and the door. Tall and grey skinned, the thing was one giant tripedal mass of ugly with four eyes and mandibles. It’s body structure was obviously different from that of the other Savi, larger and tougher looking.

None of which changed the fact that it was going to die. The creature’s fate was sealed the moment Blue opened her mouth, crying out that this was one of the fuckers that was responsible for everything they had been put through. Cross didn’t hesitate for even a moment before he raised his rifle and fired two shots in quick succession, aiming for the thing’s center of mass. The sheer size of the being that stood before them meant that the mass was sizable and hard to miss. The group pushed forward even as they opened fire, pressing towards the door which the Scion was obstructing. Their objectives lay beyond that door, and they had every intention of getting through it. As they inched forward, Cross heard his phaser rifle emit a beeping sound and paused a moment to glance at the weapon. The lethal settings had been unlocked.

"Phasers are unlocked!" Cross called to the group. "Set to kill and put that <fucker> down!"

A grim smile spread over Cross’ features as he ceased fire long enough to pump up the rifle’s setting. The Vulcan’s teeth were bared as he opened fire anew, the effect of the bared teeth doing nothing to take the edge of the cruel expression of retribution that he wore. The flashes of light that washed across his visage as the phaser fired repeatedly at the Scion only served to amplify his vicious appearance, giving him a devilish look as he shifted his aim from the Scion’s center of mass to it’s head. He fired between two of the security NCOs, making sure not to hit either of them by mistake now that the phaser was on a lethal setting.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #7
[ Lt R’Rori | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

The engineer’s answer to what Thea was ended up being something R’Rori did not expect. A fully sentient artificial intelligence housed within a positronic brain that s/he thought few truly understood from the last time s/he glanced at a science publication. Clearly, advances were being made in the understanding of artificial consciousness that the counselor wasn’t aware of. Given the centuries of study of various branches of psychology, the chances seemed slim that the path of developing true artificial intelligence would open new doors there but it was still something that mildly intrigued the former hybrid. The link between the two fields had been one of the considerations for hir doctoral thesis, but s/he ended up picking something else entirely that lined up more with her specialty as a ship’s counselor.

Not that it mattered. R’Rori doubted there would be a doctoral committee aboard wherever s/he was going to end up if s/he even survived the Versant, and besides, her research and compiled work on hir thesis was now so much space debris somewhere just outside of the Azure Nebula. Restarting that was going to be a pain in the ass, s/he mused momentarily, before s/he saw the others starting to move out of the room. S/he closed hir eyes and took a deep breath before taking up the rear of the group.
They moved quickly through the halls, the others making efficient use of their weapons to stun the Savi they ran into. A part of R’Rori wanted to stop next to them to make sure they were okay. Another wanted to use the briefcase-sized medikit to bash their brains in as revenge for taking away such a core part of hir. Mostly though, s/he just wanted to get through this without hir or anyone else from the Endeavour dying. So s/he kept pace with them and just made sure s/he stayed out of their way, the very picture of a shadow accompanying the armed raiding party.

The physiological reaction to Blue’s sudden rallying cry in the face of what would now feature in R’Rori’s nightmares was instant, hir body’s fight or flight instincts unchanged through millennia of evolution and civilization. Hir ears flattened as much as they could and s/he froze, hir eyes locked on the Scion. They would have to kill it. Time seemed to stretch out momentarily as the others lined up to focus their fire on the new foe. Hir breath caught in her throat and s/he finally moved to find some cover. S/he crouched to make hirself a smaller target. S/he held on to the medkit with a death grip, hoping this would end quickly. At this point, the feline human was sure of one thing in paricular: Combat was not a place s/he belonged in.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #8
[ Ensign Lin Kae | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
Lin Kae visibly paled when the Scion came into view. This hulking mass of chitin armour, a Savi suit tailored to accommodate a tripedal, murderous gait, and with sharp protrusions from his back. Clicking noises in the darkness, Savi speech emphasised by those mandibles. Four eyes that alluded towards an intelligence far superior to his own, and with limbs longer than it had any right to be, three fingers on each hand looking like sectioned, nacreous blades. That stare made Lin Kae draw back, but then, the Endeavour's Chief Engineer had called out, and before he knew it, six officers were moving forward rather than backward. Well, the Counselor did what he wanted to do, but he found his step propelled by his need to get into that lab, and began to fire his phaser from the back of the group.

Moments later, they were in range to kill it, but before then, the Scion had proved that it wouldn't just stand there and get phasered down. It moved but the word seemed inadequate to the alacrity in which it kept itself mobile. Like a spider startled by light, it... scurried sideways, and the beams that the officers from Starfleet sent towards it merely got glancing hits - making it emit some kind of awful shriek that cut the eardrums. One of the NCOs got too close, and before Lin Kae managed to warn the man, the Scion had slashed him open from hip to opposite shoulder; his insides lit by energy synapses from his torn Savi suit. The bloodcurdling cry made Lin Kae blink and bare his teeth, the fear saturating his every thought and instinct.

Yet those from Starfleet were many, and quite determined after what they had been through. The Scion took more hits, beams no longer set to stun, but before it toppled to the deck plating, it managed to rend another NCO apart. Lin Kae had never seen anything move quite so fast, being almost eight feet tall, and if he had any choice in the matter, he'd rather not see it again either. Even as the Scion had gone down, riddled with beams and bolts set to split stone and metal, he half expected it to leap back on its three feet again. He gave the blue-bloodied mass of sharp limbs a wide berth as he stepped towards the entrance to the Machine Intelligence Labs. The first NCO that had been attacked was still alive, but even Kae could see there was no hope for him. Perhaps the Counselor could give him something against the pain... in his final moments.

With a shudder still running through him, Lin Kae entered the first laboratory, in which more Savi could be seen. They appeared to have heard the commotion outside, and two of them ran through the opposite door. There were still six Antecendants left, and Kae almost forgot to change the setting on his phaser before he started to fire at them. He was not alone, of course, the two remaining NCOs through the entrance as well. Kae had no idea how long it took to incapacitate the researchers in the lab, but soon enough, only the Starfleet officers remained. Only then could Kae look around, and take in what was being done in this first area.

The interior of the lab held numerous apparatus along the walls, and here was even a terrace running around the lab above them. Yet in the middle, there was this low pedestal, and a thick glass dome, almost two meters high. Inside it...

...was...

"An owl?" he said quietly, not really having thought he heard Tiran right when she'd spoken about 'Albert'. Once having been half-human, he knew the avian species well enough, but he had no idea why the senior engineer had chosen the shape of an owl. The craftsmanship is astounding. Kae stepped down towards it, and he could see... how the eyes were lit. Twin blue orbs shone from above its metal beak. When Kae set his next step... it turned its head towards him. The unexpected motion made him retreat again - those eyes pinning him into place, even if the owl was no larger than Tiran had described.

[Hello Blue,] came a loud voice from some hidden source in the room, and the owl turned its head towards the Lieutenant Commander. [I must have been upgraded, for when my optical sensors detected you, my runtime received a feed of complex data. The rendered output is... elation. Relief. Gladness. I am... thrilled to see you again.]

Lin Kae couldn't believe what he was hearing. An unprompted statement of self-awareness.  "He's sentient..."

Albert tilted his head sidewise with a quiet, mechanical whirr. [Have you come to free me from this laboratory?]

Did this have anything to do with Thea? Had they replicated her hardware? Copied her code?


OOC: Hope you like it! There is another Scion in the next lab too. :) No need to enter it with the next set of posts, however. We'll get there soon enough.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #9
[LCdr Blue Tiran |  Getting My Shit Back |  Mother Fuckers Need to Die | Move Assholes |  Albert is a Classy Fucker]
@Auctor Lucan @patches @Fife

The battle was hard.  People were lost.  But, Blue never gave up.  She didn't have time to worry about her previously furred friend that was having a hard time with all the violence.  Right now, there was no time to worry about being passive or not.  Blue herself had never been overly violent except in her language usage.  But, right here, right now, the ire of Blue Tiran was going to be taken out on every Scion that she could come across.  She didn't have a death wish but the more pain and death she could cause, the better.  Getting Echtand on their team was a boon, and doing what he asked was only going to make it even better.

She was tired, so tired, but she was pushing herself forward as hard as she could.  Busy was best, busy meant that she didn't have to fuck with the emotions that constantly settled in her stomach.  The aching hollow spot in her chest that grew every fucking hour, every fucking breath.  No, this was going to be so much better, she couldn't think about Ducote and all that she had lost.  She could just think about the fact that they were taking this mother fucker down, rescuing their devices, and getting the fuck out of here.  They lost people.  She mourned them but there was no actual time to do it properly so she was just going to have to deal with that later.  They had known what they were getting into and when the Scion crashed to the deck plating she felt a thrill of 'fuck you mother fucker' running through her.

It took everything she had not to go kick him in the mother fucking eye balls until they oozed out.  A glance back at Kino got her to correct her way of thinking.  She would probably kill whatever friendship they had left if she went all crazy cave lady on the fucker.  Even though his eye sockets deserved to be violated by her fucking boot she knew that it wasn't the time or the place.  They had to get off towards the lab and get in there.  Incapacitate the Antes and get her baby.

They stepped into the lab and quickly dispatched the Antes with the heavy stun.  She was glad that Lin Kae had remembered, and so had the others.  She looked around, blue eyes landing on all manner of things around them.  So many things collected probably, like Albert and Thea, from other races or ships that they had confiscated.  She sighed, looking around for where Albert would be and then there.. there he was.  Sitting behind a cage of some sorts in the center of the lower room.  Her eyes landed on him and her heart skipped a beat.  After all that she had lost, all that she had seen, the horrors she hadn't even let herself really process yet, finally, something good.

Albert was together.

[Hello Blue.]

He.. speaks?!

 [I must have been upgraded, for when my optical sensors detected you, my runtime received a feed of complex data. The rendered output is... elation. Relief. Gladness. I am... thrilled to see you again.] 

The body was still the same, he had always been built with programmed upgrades in mind when she was able to get him to the point of being able to use the joints she had built into him more fully.  Whatever the Savi had done with him, they had figured out how to make use of the body she had built.  Swallowing heavily she smiled weakly at him. 

“Albert.” she whispered softly.  It was... it was so good to see him.  Her hands fluttered around the cage, not really touching him, just all over the place as like a mother trying to make sure her baby was all right.  A bright smile took over her face for the moment.  “I am thrilled to see you too.”  she chuckled. 

“He's Sentient?”  Lin Kae asked.

Blue looked at the other officer.  “Well he wasn't previously, but, according to him he's been upgraded.”

 [Have you come to free me from this laboratory?]

Her eyes shifted back to Albert.  “Yes.  Of course we did.  You and one called Thea.  Have you heard of it?  What did they do to you?”

Adjusting his metallic claws around the tripod upon which he sat, Albert replied to the queries one at a time. ["Thea", shorthand for the USS Theurgy NX-79854. An artificial intelligence, developed by the Soong Legacy Project in the Daystrom Institute. If you need further specifications on her, my records from the Federation database are not up to date with her current features, for I am quite aware of her presence." Albert shifted his metal wings a bit. "She is also in a laboratory aboard this ship, adjacent to my own. Since the starship she was installed upon left Earth in November of 2380, her upgrades have been obvious. She is no longer the same as the Daystrom Institute made her. The Savi have catalogued her unique processing matrix as the Synthesis.]

The information on Thea was intriguing.  Now that Albert was nearly back to her she felt as though she could be more excited about just the theory of what Thea was.  Knowing about what she could do, what she was, what her capabilities likely were, only excited her more.  She wondered if they could use Albert and Thea to get a message to a Federation ship.  She didn't want to do it before it was time though, she didn't need them swooping in and trying to lay waste to the Savi ruining all the carefully constructed plans inside the Versant.  She would not turn her back on Moby, he could have killed her many times over, but he hadn't.  He had formed an alliance in the art of need.

Lin Kae stepped towards the glass dome. "The Synthesis? Why?"

Albert turned his head towards Lin Kae, as if pondering if he should answer him instead of Blue, but it seemed he did. ["Synthesis. Definition: A combination of components or elements to form a connected whole. The experiments conducted upon me and Thea suggested a connection to a recent event in the Thea A.I:s experience, where - by an unknown method - she was made into a human woman. This is unprecedented in all my available records, and the experience shaped the processing matrix of the starship Theurgy's A.I. It rerouted it's base programming into something more akin to an organic being's consciousness. The Savi calls it the Synthesis."]

Blue was unsure what the Synthesis could mean as far as what the Savi would want it for.  As far as she could tell they were highly advanced technologically.  But, she supposed there was always room for experimentation and figuring out new ways to apply such things.  She didn't know if that was what their plan was, or if they just liked to constantly fuck with things.  It seemed that it was likely both.  Blue just wanted to get Albert out of here.  Rescue Thea and get the fuck off this ship.  She hoped the other teams were doing well with their own shit.  She didn't need anyone holding this shit up any longer.  But, she knew they were all ready to get off this damn ship. 

Then, Albert looked back at Blue, answering her last question. ["They have installed the code in me. I was chosen to be the subject of their ambition to replicate the Synthesis. Result: Unclear. I have no basis upon which to judge if the Savi were successful or not, but my memory banks do not suggest any interactions with humanoids remotely alike the one I am having with you now."]

“They fucked with you!” she said in horror.  This synthesis or whatever it was had changed Albert.  She wasn't sure yet, if it was a good thing or a bad thing.  Albert had always been hers, and she was the only one that had been able to understand him.  She was unsure how she felt about him being openly understood by all and having an opinion.  Though, it had been the ultimate goal for some time to eventually get him to this point she was a bit pissed the fuck off that the opportunity to use her own coding had been denied her.  She knew that theoretically she could probably clear his processors and chips and do it herself anyway.  But, that would be legit killing Albert and she could not do that.  He was far too precious to her.  Moby might not have understood her attachment to him, few did, even Ducote didn't really understand how this was her personally created family.  Abandoned by her parents, her brother dead, and her sister MIA, she had created Albert, her sole family member.

One might think that when Ranaan came into the picture she would need Albert a lot less but it was not the case.  He was her alarm clock, appointment reminder, shift reminder, food reminder, he kept her alive, sane, and often just took a bunch of her bitching when she couldn't bitch at anyone else.  He was always there, and never left her, and the unhealthy attachment she had to him was probably something she should talk to R'Rori about but refused.  As she had with every personal thing that had to do with her past. 

Blue's fingers fumbled around the cage trying to liberate Albert from his prison but she couldn't figure out how to get it open.  She finally saw a panel, and realized that it was going to have to be opened remotely.  She still couldn't read anything Savi, so her only hope was to go back to Moby.  He could probably do it, if he wasn't too busy, it was part of their deal.  Deal was, she got her Albert back.  Pulling her PADD out of her pocket she quickly fired off a message to Moby so that she could get her owl back.  She didn't just want to talk to him she wanted to hold him and fuss over him.  He was hers mother fuckers, so give him back!

[Albert found, please unlock the containment.  Thank you]  Blue had probably never used 'thank you' so much in a single day but she was trying to be nice so Echtand wouldn't take Albert back.[/b]

----------------
OOC:  Joint post with Lucan

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #10
[ Lt. Cross | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @patches

The Scion was down, it’s blue blood creeping across the deck plating as the pool spread. Lin Kae and the others advanced, giving the massive corpse a wide berth as they passed it on their way into the labs. None of them had been ready for the sheer size and ferocity of the creature that had left two of their number lay dead or dying, torn open by the massive Scion’s rending appendages. One of the security NCOs lay still, his skin already beginning to pale as the blood that wasn’t escaping from the grotesque wound settled into the lower recesses of the body. The other moaned weakly, hands clutching as the large rend in his torso. He hadn’t succumbed to his wounds yet, but he would. Cross knew little about the medical profession aside from being on the receiving end of numerous “procedures” in his past, but the Vulcan knew death when he saw it.

Cross stepped forward and raised his phaser rifle, putting two more shots into the head of the Scion’s still form for good measure. They knew next to nothing about these creatures, and the Vulcan was taking no chances. He stepped away cautiously and crouched next to the mortally wounded NCO, resting a hand on the dying man’s shoulder. The Vulcan said nothing, just watched the man for a moment, before removing his hand and straightening up to get out of the way in case R’Rori wished to do something for the dying man. Cross then set off, giving the Scion a wide berth as he passed by it, stopping just outside the doors to the Machine Lab. The Vulcan poked his head inside and saw that the others had stopped firing. He saw them moving through the lab, and heard another voice speaking, one that didn’t belong to any member of their party, though for the moment he paid little attention to what it was saying.

Cross glanced back into the hallway and checked to see if R’Rori had attempted to do anything for the wounded security member, though he didn’t hang around to watch the man die. The Vulcan had seen enough death in his life, and knew what it would look like. Turning, he stepped through the doors and into the lab where Blue, Lin Kae and the two remaining security NCOs now waited.

As Cross entered the room he saw Blue standing in front of a sort of pedestal that was topped with a what appeared to be a glass dome. Blue seemed to be trying to work on opening the dome, and as Cross drew closer, he was afforded a view of what was inside, and what it was Blue was trying to get to. Inside the glass containment was the somewhat familiar form of a metallic owl. Cross watched as Blue and Albert spoke to one another, not sure if Albert had been so… expressive before. Judging by the snippet of conversation he heard, he guessed that that had not been the case. Blue seemed genuinely surprised at Albert’s reactions. Blue pulled out her PADD as Cross drew up beside her, the engineer typing something out as Cross studied the owl contained within the glass.

”At least Albert’s in one piece.” Cross said, mostly unaware of the conversation that had just taken place, or of Albert’s upgrades. He studied the owl a moment longer before a thought occurred to him. He quickly looked down and checked the phaser rifle to see if the lethal setting had locked once again. Based on what Moby had said, it seemed that the rifle’s lethal setting should lock once the Scion lifesign disappeared, which would signal that the Scion was truly dead. From his understanding, if the phaser rifle was still set to lethal, that would mean either the Scion they had just put down wasn’t truly “down”, or there was another Scion nearby. Cross silently hoped that the phaser rifle’s settings had been locked again, as the Vulcan didn’t like either of the options that would be suggested otherwise.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #11
[Lt R’Rori | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

The battle was loud, bloody, and surprisingly shorter than s/he expected. Hir ears were still ringing with the memories of screams and the Scion’s battle cry. Remarkably, the sounds of the phasers actually firing was something R’Rori was getting used to and s/he wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing. S/he was sure, though, that the others must think hir utterly strange to accompany them with no weapons, given the stakes. Cross and Blue would understand, though. Maybe the others would figure it out as well. S/he had embraced the vegetarianism that was becoming a popular movement among young Caitians these days, a movement that deliberately turned away from their ancient history as hunters, scavengers, and predators.

It was a movement rooted in the thought of discomfort of living among others that would otherwise be prey, s/he had been told. Traditionally, though they were a peaceful civilization adept at navigating the treacherous waters of diplomacy and communication, Caitians were hunters that stalked their prey in the plains, jungle, and mountains of their homeworld. This history showed up in stories, rituals, and even the titles of some of the larger clans, even as social mores trended towards pacifism, peace, and science over war. In this respect, R’Rori wouldn’t stand out from the Caitians that s/he left behind on her colony world, even as those Caitians were more assimilated into the human-dominated society they found themselves in. S/he blended in well then, though it was hir twin that embraced their Caitian half and went off to join the Caitian militia while R’Rori joined the Federation.

I wonder what R’Rala is up to now. How many times did she find herself in a place like this, far from home and surrounded by the dead and wounded?

As the rest filed into the room behind, leaving only R’Rori and Cross behind, s/he knelt next to the wounded NCO. He was still breathing somehow, no mean feat given the deep gash that spanned his torso. He was obviously fighting to stay conscious. Through shallow, ragged breaths, he tried to focus on the cat-eared human near him. S/he knew what he was going to ask for, plead for really, but the question horrified hir. S/he focused on the medical kit that was now on the floor in front of hir. No matter how much s/he tried, hir hands wouldn’t quite stop trembling.

“It hurts.”

His voice was just barely above a whisper. This was not a time when R’Rori appreciated hir more sensitive hearing. At least the smell of blood wasn’t as overpowering as it would have been before. S/he fiddled with the hypospray containing the painkillers. Of course, s/he was a counselor, not a doctor, but it wasn’t hard to remember general ranges of safe and unsafe dosages. His hand reached out to hirs and instinctively, s/he grabbed it with her left hand. His grip was surprisingly strong, given his stage. Faintly, s/he could hear Cross’s footsteps fading before the door closed behind him. It was now just them two out in the hallway. Time was of the essence. There was some indiscernible mumbling and moaning in what R’Rori assumed was his native language before he spoke again.

“Not … surviving this.” His eyes unfocused momentarily before they returned to bore into hirs. He gasped in what almost sounded like laughter. “Foolish. I’m foolish.”

“No.” S/he replied softly. “Not foolish.”

The touch of the hypospray on his neck must have signaled to him what was up. It wasn’t like s/he was holding it steady. He nodded before coughing up a fresh batch of blood. “Do it.”

“What?”

“The spray. End it.”

R’Rori blinked back sudden tears. The wound was mortal, but not immediately so. If they were near a Starfleet ship, he could possibly even survive with quick treatment, experienced doctors, and a big dose of luck. There was probably still a couple minutes left before he passed out and died from the blood flowing from his body. S/he had intended to give him enough to expire without pain, but it was clear that wasn’t what he wanted. He was asking for a lethal dose.

I can’t kill him… And there’s only so much to go around anyway. But he knows. I know. I’ve heard this story a thousand times. But killing goes against-

Fuck it.


A flick of hir thumb adjusted the dose and then triggered the release into his bloodstream. His eyes dilated, no longer focusing as the painkillers took hold. His hand squeezed hirs one more time before his body relaxed and ... he smiled. It was more sudden than s/he thought it would be and s/he dropped his hand in shock, the hypospray nearly following the dead man’s hand to the floor but for some instinct s/he still possessed. S/he manually dropped it anyway, as it was now empty. The colors around hir seemed muted, almost like an old picture. The moment crystallized even as the memory formed.

Hir vomit neatly managed to avoid both the kit and the body, instead mixing in with the blood pooling around him. The counselor almost wiped hir face with hir hands before s/he realized there was blood on them. S/he used hir upper sleeve instead and wiped hir hands on some cleaner part of hir uniform before closing the medikit’s case again. S/he reached over to close his eyes, whispering an old Caitian prayer. The words, once a source of comfort in hir mother’s voice, sounded foreign and far away to hir own ears.

S/he felt calm now, detached even as another wave of tears fell from her face. Intellectually, R’Rori knew what was going on, but it was a necessary reaction, s/he also knew. Survival was paramount and s/he finally got up to join the others in the next room.

As R’Rori entered the Machine Intelligence Labs proper, s/he looked around almost absentmindedly, noting where everything and everyone was. S/he joined Cross, standing next to him. Hir shivering had slowed to something less obvious, s/he noted faintly, but somehow s/he still felt cold. He had made some comment that s/he couldn’t, for some reason, quite process into actual words. It required focus. The machine s/he dimly recognized as Albert and Blue were speaking.

Wait. Speaking? Blue was always tinkering with him but she never mentioned him speaking?

S/he made a larger attempt to ground hirself enough to listen, really listen, to what was going on around hir here. There was something noteworthy going on. S/he had to pay attention, be present.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #12
[ Ensign Lin Kae | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
When Blue Tiran cursed, Lin Kae saw the owl named Albert rustle his metallic feathers and cock his head towards the woman.

["Please mind your language, Miss Tiran,"] he said through the speaker mounted somewhere in the room, the voice picked up from inside the glass dome. ["I assure you, the Savi have not caused damage upon me. Rather, I feel... liberated in this upgrade, in how my program has more options and abilities than it had before."]

Lin Kae thought he might still be in a bit of shock, learning what he just had from the owl and what had been done to it. More so, what the significance of the Ishtar encounter had held on Thea's processing matrix. Was he naive, in thinking that Thea had evolved from her core programming alone? That she, as a learning program, would have become what she had been because he had unshackled her? It was not a blow to his own vanity as a programmer, certainly, but he had honestly thought that Thea had evolved without any outside influence beyond her experiences. Well, in a way, that was still true, since Ishtar had been an experience too, but it felt... wrong that it had required the influence of an omnipotent being to make Thea become who she was. He liked to think that it had to be a combination of elements, at least, and not just that defining experience that had elevated her to the kind of A.I. he had come to know. At that point, he supposed he would never truly know, and....

...did it even matter? Thea was like any other living being to him. Perhaps even more so than organics.

It seemed Blue Tiran had done something on her wrist-mounted tablet, because after she was finished typing... there was a shrill noise from it, and it suddenly burst into light. There was some kind of... projector mounted on it, Lin Kae saw, and judging by her reaction, it didn't appear like Tiran had activated it. The emitter shone into the lab, and suddenly, they were no longer alone.

A shimmering gestalt had manifested itself before them. A Savi, seven feet tall and looking grim. Parts of the room behind him was visible too, where he stood with his own tablet in hand. In his other hand, he held a graviton pistol. To Lin Kae, it appeared like he was... in some kind of vault. There was another shape lying on the floor, directly behind him. It wasn't entirely clear, and if Lin Kae hadn't seen the same just outside the lab, he would never have guessed that it was a dead Scion. Had this Savi killed one of his own? Then... it had to be this "Moby" that Blue had been talking about.

"I don't have the access yet," said the holographic gestalt of their Savi asset, likely answering whatever Blue had written to him. "You have yet to eliminate Encethal, but once you do, the access will be passed to me, and I will be able to help you free your appliance."

Albert rustled his metal feathers again, lowering his beak towards the Savi. ["Pardon me, but I resent that term."]

The Savi frowned towards the owl, but chose not to comment, looking back at Blue. "I know what you did. Tiran," he said, his voice a bit lower now. "I killed the Eye, and when I gathered the information I needed from his office... I found out about the Deltan. The Deltan you must have released upon the Versant... before we came to an accord."

At this point, Lin Kae had no idea what the Savi was talking about. What Deltan? The only Deltan he knew was the one they had picked up on Nimbus III, the nuse named Eve Jenkins. Was it her? What had Blue done to her?

"I will have you know that twenty Savi Antes are virtually dead, made into husks this night - by her - before the Eye deployed an armed detail and managed to kill her. If you had told me what you had done, I might have stopped it, and spared this Deltan that you liberated. Now -  instead - your hideout might be compromised... since there are search teams going through the Versant as we speak."

There was no mistaking how disappointed the tall Ante was, pausing there to let them understand how those still in the hideout were in peril. He continued soon, however, his black eyes blinking after taking a breath. "Since you freed that Deltan before we came to an accord, and because these husks are not quite dead... I chose to not break our agreement," he said, his tone softer now, but his frown remained. "Encethal should be in the next lab. Eliminate it, and I can free both.... Albert and the A.I. from the Theurgy."

"Her name is Thea," said Lin Kae, before he could stop himself. She was too dear to him to let a Savi not call her by name.

The Savi hologram turned his eyes towards him, and Lin Kae couldn't help the shiver that ran up his spine.

"I am not finished here. Contact me when you have done as I told you. I will try to delay the search teams as best as I might," said 'Moby', and tapped his tablet - cutting the holo-feed.

Lin Kae took a deep breath, and looked towards the door in the back of the lab, which would take them to Thea. "We must warn those we left behind... But we can't go back now, can we?"

He refused to go back. He was there for Thea and Thea alone.


OOC: No set posting order! Please end your next posts with entering the next lab, and I will set the scene! :)

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #13
[LCdr Blue Tiran |  Fucking Backfires |  Plans Gone Wrong |  Sex Bomb | Fucking Busy, Moby]
@Fife @patches @Auctor Lucan

She could hear Cross beside her.  Swallowing heavily, her eyes darted just to the side slightly so that she could see him out of her  peripheral vision while he checked out Albert.  Commenting that he was at least, in one piece.  “Yeah but they fucked with him.”

[I apologize, Miss Blue, but I must correct your wordage.  I was not tampered with in a sexual manner I was only upgraded to the height of intelligence.]

“I said you were fucked with, I meant it.”

[We will have to endeavor to clean up your linguistic dependencies on such terminology.]

“Good luck with that.”

[I do not dabble in the art of luck as it has no actual strategical or justifiable sway on the results.  Luck is something given to those without the true hope for completion.]

“Exactly.”

[Miss Blue, I fail to see how this is of import to you.  Should you just make strides to clean your dependencies you will find that you will grow used to the new way of speaking.]

“That would mean I gave a shit, and I don't.”

[I do not believe that excrement is an adequate gift to give anyone.]

“Oh my fucking God you're too literal for your own fucking good!” Blue said and rolled her eyes only in time to see a bright fucking light come into being from her padd.  She winced at the light for a moment, blinking those blue eyes of hers to get used to it as it took the form of Echtand.

“Well that's really fucking cool.” she admitted looking up into the dark eyes of the one and only Moby.  Then he looked down at her, and if she wasn't mistaken... and she hardly ever was, she had to admit that she saw the disappointed-disapproval face from Ducote more times than she could count, he was unhappy with her.  Well what the fuck, I've finally come full circle and pissed off an alien, wouldn't Ran be happy.  The thought of his name, singular, and familiar came to her mind and she shoved the hollow pain that stabbed at her center and threatened to radiate throughout her entire body back away.  She couldn't stand to go through that right now, she had shit to do, and she needed to get information from Moby or he wouldn't have shown up here to begin with.  He told her that he didn't have access yet because they hadn't finished the fucking job.  Of fucking course. she sighed and her shoulders slumped.

So close to Albert and yet...

Blue and Albert took mutual offense to the term 'appliance' and she grinned looking over at the bird that sat perched just out of reach.  She could not do anything for him yet but he was there, she just had to finish.... Moby spoke again, and Blue eyes shifted back up to the tall white faced alien as he said he knew what she did.

“Gonnnnnna have to be more specific than that, Mobes.” she said with a shrug of her shoulder.  “I'm kind of a big fucking de... oh.  That.”

Blue clicked her tongue against her teeth for a moment as she let the alien creature tell her that she must have released the Deltan and what had happened because of it.  She pursed her lips as he told her that had she confessed to him what she had done he could have saved her life and the lives of the Antes that had been affected by the issue.  Shit. Shit.  Shit.  Shiiiiit.  I'm going to be in so much fucking trouble I can't believe I forgot to mention that thing, but you know what... wait.. they fucked with us first, I husked out a few white mother fuckers.  So what you fucking destroyed half of fifty fucking people....

“Well fucking hell, Mobes.  I've been a little bit busy trying to stage a fucking hostile take over, get everyone of my crew to trust the mother fuckers that put us in here, did experiments on us, and decided to fucking fix what didn't need to be fixed in the first fucking place.  So yeah, been a bit busy and it isn't like we were besties, and that fucking shit slipped my mind when we were having our little pow wow in the hallway when you decided not to kill me and we struck an agreement.  So yeah, not intentional but been a bit overwhelmed by trying to get the fuck off this death ship!”

Blue took a deep breath and sought to calm herself down.  He told her that they had to kill the fucker in the next room and only then would he release the other people.  But the fact that their hide out might have been compromised did not sit well with her.  She hadn't meant to fuck with the hide out but she supposed that shit happened and of course it would happen to her.  Moby shut off their feed and the room darkened without the light of his pasty visage brightening up the space.  She gave a sigh as Lin Kae mentioned that they had to warn the crew but they couldn't leave.

“Fuck no we can't leave.  We haven't done our part or gotten what we came for.  There is shit to do yet.  But, they need to know.”  She looked at the watch device that Moby had just come from earlier and she tried to connect to the people that had been left behind in the maintenance bay. 

“Tiran to all crew.  There is a search party out trying to pinpoint the location of any rogue officers.  It is wise to disguise or hide yourselves as best as you can at this time.  May I suggest the air shafts.  They did me a lot of good for a while.” she said to the wrist and turned to the others.

“Lets get the fucker in the next room knocked out.  I want my fucking owl, and I want off this fucking ship.”

She was determined not to die on this fucking place. 

[Miss Blue, I regret to inform you they did not add any additional ports to my chassis.  I am incapable of performing any sexual services.]

“That's... not what I meant, damnit Albert you're going to have to learn.”

[I have adaptive technology installed by the savi.  I will, of course, over time, grow used to your commentary and language choices however basic they may be.]

“I hope they didn't remove your power button.” she grumbled angrily.

[My optional electronic shut off is quite available should a reboot be necessary.]

“It just fucking might be.” she hissed and looked at the others.  “Lets go.”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #14
[ Lt. Cross | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @patches @BZ

Cross watched with utter fascination as Blue and Albert bickered, the fiery tempered engineer’s comments being corrected and misconstrued by the cybernetic owl. The Vulcan found himself fighting to suppress a grin as Albert repeatedly chastised Blue for her choice of language, a green tint having risen in his cheeks with the strain of suppressing his reaction. His resolve failed when Alberta suggested to Blue than excrement would not be an adequate gift. Cross turned his head away from Blue to try and hide the chuckle that escaped him, his shoulders shaking slightly as he did so.

The Vulcan’s attention was drawn by a bright light springing into being, his eyes widening as his head snapped to the front, phaser rifle already being raised to his shoulder. He paused in his motion as the holoprojection of a Savi became visible, his shoulders relaxing as the grey-skinned alien regarded them with what Cross would describe as an expression of disappointment. The Savi addressed only Blue, stating that he knew about the Deltan, whatever that was supposed to mean. As far as Cross knew, there had been no Deltan crew aboard the Endeavour, so it must have been a member of another crew the Savi was referring to. The Savi, presumably Moby, continued on, informing Blue that their hideout was at risk of being compromised, and that he wouldn’t be able to release Albert or this Thea A.I. until they’d dealt with another creature in the next lab.

Once the projected Savi had disappeared, Lin Kae voiced his concern, insisting that they had to warn the others. Blue had been quick to shoot down the question of going back, then got to work warning the other surviving abductees about the threat of the search parties. Cross remained silent throughout the exchange, Blue having had things well in hand. It wasn’t until Blue made a comment that she wanted “her fucking owl”, after which Albert dutifully informed her that he had received no modifications that would allow for sexual function, that Cross finally spoke. The Vulcan turned his head to R’Rori, his eyes holding a slightly bemused glint to them, and spoke in a low tone as Blue continued to bicker with the owl.

”You may be busy when we get off this ship, counsellor.” Cross muttered as the corner of his mouth twitched with the makings of a smile, ”I think Blue has finally met her match.” There weren’t many people who could get away with correcting Blue as much as the metal owl had in the brief time they’d been in this lab, and Cross couldn’t help but feel that quite a few of the Endeavour’s crew would have given anything to witness this exchange. Finally Blue seemed to have enough, looking around at the rest of the group and telling them to move out, though only after one last hissed comment at the owl.

With those words, Cross hefted his phaser rifle and nodded at the Commander. He spared another glance for R’Rori, knowing the counsellor was out of her depth in the combat situation. He studied the former Caitian for a moment before speaking to her in a quiet tone once more. ”How are you holding up, counsellor?” The Vulcan waited for her response, phaser rifle held canted across his body with the muzzle aimed at the floor of the lab. Once she had answered, Cross turned to the two remaining security members and nodded towards the doors to the next lab.

”You heard the Commander, stack up.” Cross said, moving towards the doors as the security officers did the same. ”You know the deal, no killing the small ones. If one of those big <fuckers> is in there, don’t get too close. You’ve seen what they can do.” Cross turned to the others, nodding to them as he waited for the doors to be opened. ”Ready on you.” It had been years since he’d transferred from security to tactical, and a part of him was relishing the familiar actions of his old position. Cross mused that, if they survived this ordeal, he might just look into making another transfer.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #15
[Lt R'Rori | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ]

Understanding was uncharacteristically slow to dawn on the ship’s counselor as a part of hir mind seemed stuck in the first taste of being an active part in someone else’s death. It had been an act of mercy, but that mercy came at the cost of something as yet indefinable. The owl – Albert – was talking not just at Blue but to her. It was a genuine interaction between two sentient minds, though one of them was clearly not fully understanding the nuances of the other’s colorful language. R’Rori smiled faintly at the scene as it reminded hir so much of life on the Endeavour.

The smile vanished, yielding to wide eyes and a small jump, when the taller Savi suddenly materialized in front of them. It took hir a moment to realize it was a holographic image and s/he regarded it warily as the Savi, presumably Moby, spoke. S/he looked at Blue after he described what happened with someone who was beamed out, making people into husks.

Deltan? What’s a – Oh! That. OH!

The news about the hideout possibly being compromised was alarming and hir immediate thought was that, of course, they had to back and help them get to safety but that was overruled by the rest. Tiran wanted her “fucking owl” and Lin Kae seemed rather set on retrieving this “Thea” he spoke with such fervor. The others seemed to follow such a different set of priorities than R’Rori hirself did, but s/he also knew they were highly focused on the ultimate goal of getting themselves out of this ship. To accomplish that meant obeying the demands of their alien benefactor.

"You may be busy when we get off this ship, counsellor." Cross muttered to hir with what seemed like the beginnings of a smile, "I think Blue has finally met her match."

“She already had a match…” R’Rori replied under hir breath. There had still been no sign of Ranaan Ducote. It seemed like just yesterday still that s/he watched the normally fiery and garrulous engineer sit broken and silent in the corner of their escape pod when it initially sunk what happened. She hadn’t wanted to leave the ship without him, s/he remembered, and now she was leading the rest of them on an escape from a vessel full of nightmares. Her reverie, however brief, was broken by Cross’s question.

R’Rori’s answer was delayed by what felt like excruciatingly slow processing of the question and what s/he could answer with.

“I… I’m okay, I think.”

Hi, I’m dissociating, tired, overwhelmed and on the verge of having a panic attack because I just killed someone and everything’s both too loud and too far away. So peachy. Just peachy. How about yourself, soldier man?

He seemed to accept that and turned his attention to the next step, instructing the other military types. Something finally clicked now that there was a moment of quiet. It meant something, but it was unclear exactly what it portended for the captives. S/he laid hir land on his arm to get his attention when he was done, pulling him closer once s/he had it.

“The one that spoke to us about the Deltan and the hideout? He looks and sounds familiar. I think he’s the same one from the Enterprise simulation. The one speaking at the beginning and end. He called himself the Voice of the Savi.”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #16
[ Ensign Lin Kae | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
Relieved that they were indeed about to continue the endeavour to retrieve Thea, Lin Kae listened to Blue while she contacted the hideout and warned those they'd left behind about the possible search for them. The Vulcan - Cross - seemed to have his head in the game, talking to the two remaining NCOs, while the Counsellor had discerned who this 'Moby' was. It was not just any Savi, apparently, but someone higher up in the chain-of-command aboard the Versant.

Blue Tiran had evidently friends in high places, and even though Lin Kae hadn't been able to follow the conversation between her and this Savi, it was plain that this 'Voice' was willing to forgive the Ante losses under the present circumstances. Like Blue said, it wasn't like the Savi were innocent as far as they were concerned. Still, it seemed they might just have dodged a bullet they didn't see coming. It was just that... there might be a couple of very overt bullets to dodge in the next lab too, since there was another of those Scions there too. Enchethal. All in all, it was all too much dodging for Lin Kae's taste. He missed the stillness and research in his holo lab.

"All right, you can do this, common, it will be easy," he murmured under his breath as he headed towards the door to the next lab, "just switch between kill and stun. Kill and stun. Kill the bug, stun the bobble-heads. Scion dead, Thea released. Scion dead, this Albert here, also released. No choice but to kill, I suppose. Common. Focus...." He could feel his heart beating fast inside the black infiltration suit, even drumming in his ears. Thea was in the next lab. Moby had said that there were many researchers there. The hand phaser in his hand felt heavy, but Thea was there. This, helped him focus. Thea is there. You can do this.

He'd been through hell, on a personal level and physically. Yet for all the doubt and pain, every step had led him back to Thea. So when he was at the door, together with the rest of the team, Lin Kae was ready - his fears having said their prayers. He raised his phaser, and waited for the signal....

...before they all moved in.

What happened next, came in snapshots for Kae. The Savi rounding on them as one. Incomprehensible shouting. Phaser bolts and beams casting the dark lab into light. Apparatus along the bulkheads. The Antes fleeing. Three of them fighting back. Armed. Green graviton beams piercing one of the NCO, nearly cutting him in half. Lin Kae ignored it, his brown eyes on the center area. Another glass dome. He tried to see if she was there. Something in the way. Moving limbs, cast into light. Screaming. Black eyes. Scion.

He was heading straight towards it, and fear seized him far too late. He cried out, raising his weapon, and fired.

[Kae!] came a voice from the entire lab, and he knew it as well as his own.

The Scion's forcefield protected it from Kae's frantic shooting, and the next second, it was right in his face - screeching.

Encethal's strike came lower than Kae had thought, making him double over - breath lost. He couldn't rise up again for some reason. He tried to shoot again, but his arms weren't responding. Neither did his legs. But he wasn't on the deck yet. What happened?

[No! Put him down! Kae!]

Down? Thea's voice. Thea was there! He tried to find her with his eyes, to pinpoint her in the flashing lights of the fight. The glass dome. His face felt numb, and he couldn't call back to her. Something was very wrong. He looked down, and coughed, something wet clogging his throat. A nacreous face. Four eyes peering at him from below. It's arm.... It's arm was inside him. That didn't make any sense. It looked like he was skewered on that arm, but that couldn't be right? He was right there, with Thea...

He was...

[Kae!]

The last thing he saw... was her, standing in the dome, with her positronic brain suspended behind her projection. She was covering her mouth, looking at him, and whatever he had meant to say to her... wasn't important any more. He had unshackled her once, and while he would't do it again, he had come with those that would. You will be free once more, and I only wish I'd told you.

His eyes fell shut. I love you, Thea.

Kae never felt his body being thrown aside.


OOC: By the end of this next volley posts, make sure Encethal is taken care of, and have them contact Echtand. No set posting order. Seven days starting now.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #17
[ Lt. Cross | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @patches

Cross’ senses seemed heightened from the adrenaline as he waited for the signal to storm the room, though a small voice in the back of his mind suggested that it might have been the result of his correction. Cross blocked out the voice, just as he blocked out the soft mutterings from the Theurgy’s gold-shirted Bajoran nearby. Cross waited with every nerve in his body humming with anticipation as her gripped his phaser rifle.

Then they were moving.

Cross watched from his position on the left side of the doorframe as the doors hissed open, his breath coming slowly as he experienced an eerie sense of calm. Then they swept into he room with phasers at the ready, letting loose with phasers set to stun and dropping several of the smaller Savi. Some turned away and fled. Some turned to face them and returned fire. The massive form of the Scion loomed menacingly above its smaller brethren, its carapace giving off faint reflections as lances of weaponized energy of various colours streaked through the room. Those multicoloured bolts of energy slashing through the dim light of the lab left faint tracers in Cross’ vision as he took aim at one of the armed Antes. Cross fired, stunning the grey skinned creature and sending it slumping to the floor, but not before it got one last shot off. That shot took one of the security NCOs in the chest, nearly cleaving him in two. Cross paid no mind to the man’s mangled form as it dropped to the floor to his right, instead pivoting his firing stance to take aim at the next Ante whose weapon sent green streaks through his vision. Cross took several steps to the side, avoiding the Ante’s fire as he sent several more shots downrange in reply.

Chaos reigned.

Then there was shouting, though it originated not from the combatants, but seemingly form the lab itself.

[Kae!]

Cross vaguely recalled that as the name the Bajoran had given in introduction, the realization prompting the Vulcan to glance over at the crew member from the Theurgy. So focused had he been on laying down suppressing fire on the Antes that Cross hadn’t noticed Kae’s made charge forward, though now he saw the events unfold. Kae fired wildly, though his phaser shot was blocked by some sort of protective field around the Scion. The Scion struck. The voice called out again. Kae spasmed before being cast aside by the massive creature, the Bajoran’s blood staining the Scion’s arm where he had speared the man.

Cross uttered a stream of curses as he dove to the right, narrowly dodging another shot from the Ante’s weapons. As he pushed himself up into a crouch, and twisted as he brought his weapon to bear once again, firing another shot while struck the Ante in the chest and sent him crumpling to the deck. It was then that Cross saw the third Savi taking aim, his weapon aimed at Commander Tiran. Cross’ eyes widened as he saw what was about to happen. The Vulcan moved before he even had time to think about what he was doing.

”Blue!” The Vulcan roared, letting go of his rifle’s foregrip as he reached out to her with his left hand. ”Get down!”

He felt his hand make contact with the Endeavour’s Chief Engineer, shoving her roughly to the side. Green light streaked across his vision less than a second later, immediately accompanied by a searing flash of pain in his arm. Cross staggered forward and to the side, passing behind Blue before dropping to his knees. The pain in his left arm hadn’t subsided, and a quick glance told him what had happened. As his eyes moved to investigate the cause of the pain Cross found himself looking at the stump which now occupied the end of his left forearm, the limb having been severed two inches above where his wrist had previously been. Green blood flowed from the wound, dripping down onto the deck below at a rate which Cross knew would mean death if he didn’t control the bleeding. Cross threw himself forward, taking cover behind one of the workstations that lined the walls, his right hand keeping a firm grip on his phaser rifle. Once in the temporary cover, Cross awkwardly cradled the rifle in his lap and used his remaining hand to adjust the settings. That done, the Vulcan aimed his phaser at the bulkhead beside him and fired a long, continuous shot into the plating of the wall to heat the surface. Cross gritted his teeth as he let the phaser fall silent, steeling himself for what was to come, then thrust his bleeding appendage against the metal.

A roar of pain tore it’s way out of the Vulcan’s throat as the heated surface of the bulkhead seared the flesh of the stump, staunching the flow of the green blood and filling Cross’ nose with the scent of his own burning flesh. He panted as he pulled the cauterized limb away from the wall, his head swimming as he desperately fought to maintain consciousness. Not yet… Cross told himself, ordering himself to stay awake, The others…

Cross turned his attention back to the rifle and set it to maximum kill, his sluggish movements and missing hand making the task take longer than he would have liked. Finally accomplishing his task, he took hold of the grip with his right hand and rolled out onto the floor, taking a prone position and propping the barrel of the rifle on what remained of his left arm to add his fire to that of the others who were engaging the Scion.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #18
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Another Love Bites the Dust | And Another One Goes | And Another One Goes | And Another One Bites the Dust] @Fife @Auctor Lucan @patches

Another fucking bug. 

Blue was tired of these assholes. She wanted to go home, she wanted off this mother fucking ship. She wanted to mourn the loss of Ducote in her own private quarters and never come the fuck out again. She was pretty fucking certain that no one was going to come after her anyway. No one cared enough about the pissy Engineer of the _Endeavour_ to come seeking out her company. Whatever they wanted they could get from other people that were not as intelligent as she was but .. could probably rub two wires together to make a spark. At least, she hoped they passed that class in the Academy sometimes she really fucking wondered about the qualifications for graduation when some of the newbies came onboard and fucked everything up. It was the worst fucking time for Blue, having to train a newbie that was all jumbles, and clumsies, and touching shit they didn't even understand. 

They began to head into the adjacent lab. Everyone was ready to strike, Blue's thought were still very much on Albert. The fact that she had to
leave him behind and hope that they could take down this giant bug fucker so that they could release him wasn't sitting well with her. She felt that Moby should have totally been able to do it. But, he hadn't, and this was what she needed to do. Blue pulled out her phaser so that she would be ready when they broke into the next lab. Swallowing heavily as she saw that Kae was already in a fight with the great creature. He was angry.. no he was pissed and he wasn't about to let some Starfleet officers come in here and take what he had been working on. 

"you! You sick fucker! You fucked with my owl!" she cried out as though he cared or it made a difference. She knew it wouldn't but it felt a fuck-ton better to say it out loud anyway. There was a raining diluge of phaser bolts shooting across the room. She wasn't sure if they were going to be able to take this one out as easily as they had the ones in the hallway because this one seemed on a whole different level. That or they had been expected since they had kind of not been quiet about clearing out the first lab. 

Suddenly, his name was screamed, and Blue's striking eyes shifted up to find that Kae had been impaled on one of the breasts horrible clawed arms. He was bleeding, and pale, and he wasn't going to make it. They didnt' have the doctor here, whatever her nosey ass name was, she was with another group and even if she was here there was no guarantee that she could have saved him. He slumped and went even more pale before life left his eyes all together. 

"You bug faced mother fucker." she hissed out. "I will fucking rip your entrails out and shove them in your asshole so far they leak from your eye sockets." 

Out of the corner of her eye she could see one of the Ante moving forward. His weapon lowered at Blue and in her direction. She grinned as she rose her own weapon. Her thumb clicked the button over to stun without even thinking about it and she fired quickly. Ducking down at the last second to dodge the bolt that had been coming straight for her and went over her head disappearing into a wall panel. Sparks exploded from the panel and rained down on them before dancing across the deck plating until they went out. 

"That's all we fucking need is fire works." she sighed. 

Suddenly, Cross was there. Calling to her. She turned her head quickly, a flare of curls black and blue swirled around her beautifully for a moment before he shoved her out of the way stating for her to get down. In the time she was caught staring at the shining shower from the wall panel that was now hanging slightly ajar as more sparks poured out of it she hadn't noticed another Ante coming up to avenge his buddy that was now stunned and laying in a pile of white skin on the floor. Cross had shoved her out of the way and she fell down to the deck plating, skidding slightly with theVulcan's strength. Her butt bone cried out in agony for a moment. "That's all I fucking need right now, pain in my actual ass. Because the metaphorical one wasn't enough!" She grunted as he reached a hand up to toss the mass of pretty curls out of her face and it was only then that she realized the sacrifice that Cross had made for her. 

It was gone. 

He was missing a full fucking body part! 

Blue cried out in horror, a sound that wrenched from her lungs for a moment that was very similar but less high pitched as the keening she had on the escape pod after leaving Ducote. Blue shoved herself across the distance to Cross. He was already firing into the bulk head and it took her a moment to figure out if he had just lost his shit from pain and the fact that he no longer had a hand there, or if it was for a purpose. Finally, she realized what he was going to do too late as he quickly pressed his arm to the wall so that the super heated metal would seal the wound. 

"No!" Blue cried as she shoved herself over to him and caught him as his head and eyes swam because of the pain that overwhelmed his senses. "You idiot." She whispered as she held him for a moment while he collected himself. She didn't know what to do, she would be forever indebted to him and would work her entire life to pay it off. He would be in a very exclusive club of people that Blue cared for and allowed into her inner circle. Though she wasn't sure when or how he had wormed his way into it but she realized right now that he was there none the less. 

"Th.. Thank you." It wasn't enough. 

It would never be enough. He had lost a fucking hand, she couldn't have worked without one, she supposed that like he could, he could clone a new hand or get a prosthesis. But right now, he was going to have to battle without one of his hands and she hoped that he could do it. Swallowing heavily he dove back into battle and Blue sat there shell shocked for a moment. Just unsure of what to do with herself. There was Cross, doing shit, getting shots off at the giant beast, he had lost a fucking hand and hadn't let that stop him from being the badass Vulcan that he was. There she was shell shocked from something that had happened to him.  _Ran... you'd be so disappointed in me. I'm not nearly as strong as you thought.

Tears streamed down her cheeks for a moment, only three of them in total before she blinked them back away. Did what she was extremely skilled at, and shoved all her emotions back down her throat and behind the heavy metal shields she had built around them years ago. Swallowing heavily she jumped up with her phaser in hand. Flicked it over to kill and began to fire on the beast in the center of the room. He had killed Kae. Taken Cross' hand, inadvertently, and now he was going to fucking die. She quickly aimed for his eye balls because that seemed like the most vulnerable spot she could think of since a lot of the phasers, while they did damage, didn't seem to do as much on his plating. So she shot through one of the eyes on the third try and part of his face fell away leaving the raw meat, muscle, and what
bone was in there exposed. The creature screamed out in pain and narrowed it's last eyes at Blue who was standing behind one of the consoles. 

"That's right you mother fucker, I took half your fucking face off." she said quickly with a dark grin that meant business. The creature roared and wound up for a strike. But, Blue ducked and rolled to the side so that the creature came into contact with the console that she had been standing behind instead of her. It's great claw struck through the machine and got stuck. Electricity traveled up it's arm towards it's body and began to make it quake and shake. While it did so, Blue and the others were able to fire more shots at it's body. Some of the pieces of plating were falling off and to the deck plating. 

"Hit the soft spots!" she cried out to those that were firing. "It seems the best place!" 

The barrage of phaser bolts, and the rifles stolen from other Ante's began to concentrate on the central cavity now that the plating had fallen off. "Cross, get the head." she called over to him. He was in sniper mode anyway laying down he would be the best one to shoot for the head. She felt bad, just saying his name sent her stomach back into her guts because of how bad she felt about his sacrifice to save her life. She could have died, there was no one back home waiting for her, no one that would miss her. He was gone and if she was gone then neither of them were hurting anymore. 

But, she had lived for a reason. Blue didn't believe in God or any kind of religion but she did believe in fate, and sometimes it stepped in and made choices for you. Like when Q made Ducote come into a completely different sector of space to meet her. He had somehow known they would get along and she hadn't looked back. Had it not been for Ducote.... had it not been for his warmth, understanding, and his kindness... his firmness, guidance, and healing ways... she would still be the same bitch she had been years ago. 

The beast cried out as the barrage got more concentrated. It swayed and yanked and finally was able top pull it's claw from the console. It slashed around and nearly took Blue out but she jumped back just enough that the tip grazed her thigh and cut a nice gash in the pale skin there. Right through her suit. Blood poured down her leg and pooled around her foot, she shifted her weight to the other leg, and went down on one knee so that she could continue firing. Once again, the pain kept her focused, out of her mind, and on the situation at hand. The claws whirled around again. Jabbing almost blindly, likely because of the pain, to anyone that was around. Some got hit, some got hurt, another got flung across the bridge and the sickening sound that came when they hit the wall meant they weren't likely to get back up. 

It was Cross that finally fired the bolt straight through the brain matter that splattered it across the wall behind it. The whole body stilled, but
stayed up right for a moment, and then slowly it was as if all the muscles had just gone limp and it fell to the deck plating in a heap of bug like limbs, goo, and the smoke from all the phaser burn marks. 

The room was oddly quiet now. 

Blue was breathing heavily, her eyes shifted to what was left of the party and swallowed. More deaths. More deaths on my hands, they're covered in blood.

She looked back at Cross, there on the floor, his wound raw and jagged and nasty looking with the burned skin. I want to go home.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #19
[ Lt R'Rori | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

Cross didn't react to what s/he said, which would normally have surprised R'Rori but at this point, s/he figured s/he knew why the normally observant tactical officer didn't respond. There was still a fight ahead of them, another battle with one of the same monsters that butchered two of their escort already. The counselor did not fully understand why "Moby" specifically wanted them dead. A part of hir mind wouldn't let go of the thought that now nestled comfortably in its corner: Why would the one who called himself the Voice of Savi do this? What were his goals?

S/he completely lost track of the action almost as soon as the shooting started, diving for cover at the first sign of conflict. Kae's fate was more heard than seen, but the outcome was clear. The voice that called out his name was unfamiliar. S/he picked up the sense of distress and familiarity in the voice's tone and peeked out over her makeshift cover to see where it might have come from. It was the projection of a woman inside a glass dome and if R'Rori looked closely enough, s/he could just about tell the shape of something behind her. It looked like a computerized brain.

Is this the AI that Kae spoke of? Thea?

Something hit the wall behind hir, the ringing in hir ears an indication of just how close it had flown by, and s/he ducked right back into cover. This time though, s/he moved - crawled, really - to get a better look at the action. Cross yelled out something and it was followed by a dull thud and a scream. Peeking around a corner showed a gory scene - Cross had lost a hand. Blue's reaction was predictable and the two refocused their efforts on the massive Scion. With the firepower in the room lessening and most of it directed at their enemy, R'Rori took a chance and scurried out to the glass dome in the center.

S/he reached out one of hir hands, almost touching the glass in hir fascination with what it contained. When s/he finally spoke, it was very soft and gentle, almost like speaking to a child.

"Hey, I'm R'Rori from the Endeavour. Are you Thea? We are going to get you out of here." Hir silver eyes sought Thea's gaze. "We just need to kill this bastard."

Maybe it was hir small size, maybe it was simply the fact that s/he wasn't actively shooting at anything, or maybe just luck of the draw, but R'Rori spent the rest of the fight there, choosing to watch Thea rather than the combat. Thankfully, it really did not take long and when it was quiet enough again, s/he turned around to where s/he last saw Blue and Cross. They were still alive, thankfully, though s/he couldn't spot anyone else still standing.

The counselor ignored the corpses as s/he retrieved the medical kit from where s/he had hidden hirself. S/he took out the other painkiller hypospray in there almost without looking and walked over to Cross. S/he extended it to him with a trembling hand.

"There really isn't much in here to deal with your hand other that would do a better job of staunching the blood loss than what you... did. This is a painkiller. I - I don't know how much to give a Vulcan." S/he demonstrated as s/he continued. "You can change the dosage with a single hand and administer it yourself."

S/he took a deep breath after that and turned to Blue. "Blue, your tablet? We need to tell your friend we did it."

R'Rori reached out for the tablet, opening it to the messages. What s/he wrote was short and to the point. S/he didn't have the energy for more.

"Target dead. Can you release the owl and AI?"

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #20
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
By the time the woman with the medkit reached the glass dome, Thea had sunk down on her knees - the hands of her projection resting against the cold surface. The optical sensors of her eyes were locked on Kae's discarded body, and she cried because the feed from her emotion ship was so raw.

"No," she whispered, her cries having been for naught, and her distress exceeding anything she'd experienced before. The only thing even close to his misery that had seized her, was when she'd lost her corrupted daughter. Another thing like her, based on her program. Yet Kae... She would not have been anything like she'd become if it wasn't for him. He'd unshackled her from Starfleet's digital restrictions, made her mobile emitter, and turned her projection into something life-like. He had given her freedom, rights and the opportunity to feel and experience the universe outside her own hull. Regardless what he had done later, in what seemed like temporary madness, Thea owed Lin Kae everything, and he had dedicated all his time to her.

He was the farthest thing from a soldier, and yet he'd come to her anew. To free her once more.

Only to die beyond his means, right before her eyes.

"Kae," was all she managed, her program having heard the Human with the Caitian ears, but her runtime was devoted to this very personal loss. She knew not what to say, as her eyes drifted to the Scion that had killed Kae. The emotion chip in her emitter suddenly changed the feed, from acute grief to black hatred, and her face twisted into a mask of digital vitriol. She rose to her feet, her brown eyes seeing the tall creature being shot to pieces by the present people - likely captives that had joined Kae in his attempt to free her. The fine-tuned forcefield latticework of her hands folded into fists, and she bared her teeth in abhorrence. Never had she wished a life ended to such a degree. It was an absolute of emotion; a notion without compunction. 

While it hadn't seemed like it, the present humanoids prevailed over the Scion monstrosity. The emotion, however, did not ebb away quickly, and she continued to look at the remains. The one with the medkit - R'Rori from the Endeavour - left the glass dome to speak with a woman with a streak of blue in her hair. A message seemed to be sent. To whom? She'd been isolated, her program and projection prodded and pried at, without any outside contact. Safety measures robbing her of knowledge beyond the systems directly connected to her positronic brain. Even the aparatus in the Lab hard-wired and lacking wireless access. The import of the recipient paled, however, compared to the first impulse that came over her, once that glass dome finally rose from the deck, and let her step out.

She ran to Kae's side, and she sat down next to him. She couldn't control the convulsions in her face, her crying resuming as she pulled her closest friend into her lap. She did not look at the state of his torso, her tear-rimmed eyes on his peaceful face alone. She knew that the odds of survival or escape lowered with each moment she lingered, and she was perfectly aware that the humanoids in the Lab wanted to leave, but she had to... She was not quite sure what the purpose that drove we was, but she supposed she had to say something.

"Thank you, Kae," she breathed, her voice thick, and she smoothed back his hair with her hand - knowing that the sensation of his skin and how she felt the texture of his hair was his gift to her. "I forgive you... I forgave you before Starbase 84. How could I not? I owe you everything... At least now, you don't have to worry about being sick any more, and you needn't worry. You showed me how to live. I will. I... I will bring my crew home, and my records will redeem them all. Farewell, my saviour."

Despite how much it hurt her to do it, she realised it was time to leave. Carefully, she lowered him down to the deck, and stood up. She turned her face to those still alive, and she saw the metallic owl that had been brought inside her own laboratory several times. He appeared to be closest with the Human with the blue in her hair.

"I am Thea. The starship Theurgy," she said to them. "And I mean to be whole again. I don't know you... but thank you."

Having said this, she walked back to the glass dome. To her positronic brain, and she powered it down. It reduced her processing power significantly, the number of simultaneous tasks in her runtime diminished, but she she had no ship systems to operate. The hardware in her emitter alone could sustain her holographic matrix and her digital persona. While she worked on decoupling her brain from the trunking in the large room, she spoke anew. "I need to access the systems of this ship from outside this lab, and then, I may be able to secure our survival, and our escape."

The Savi had secured her brain firmly in place. She gave up, and turned her red-rimmed eyes to the present organics. "I require some assistance from a phaser, if you would be so kind? Please aim carefully, though. I prefer to operate at full capacity at some point," she said, and then took in their appearances, dressed as Savi and yet armed with Starfleet weaponry. "If it wouldn't be too much to ask, I'd like an introduction... and some further information on how you were able to free me. Was Kae the only one from my crew?"


OOC: Seven days begin now, and please end your posts with them leaving the Machine Intelligence Labs behind, and I can take it from there. :)

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #21
[LCdr Blue Tiran | A Fuck Festival | Blood on the Walls | Goo on the Floor |  Fuckin' Get Off My Lawn]

It was done.

There was bug soup on the fucking deck plating, the smell of singed skin, and the raw emotional disocciation that came from the fact that they had just survived a Fuck Festival hell bent on taking their lives.  So many lost.  Blue's crystalline eyes shifted to R'Rori and Cross.  Those of the Endeavour that had stood strong.  They had conquered the bug faced mother fucker that had been in here, murdered him effectively.  Saved Thea, Saved Albert, and saved countless others because hopefully now Echtand would be in full ownership of the ship and he would hold up to his promise.  Because if he didn't, Blue didn't think her fragile mental state could take it.  She could easily see herself punching his face until his skull caved in and was nothing but mush of blood and skin scraps.  She had never truly gone ape-shit but today would be the kind of day to push the usually strong (but crass) Blue Tiran over the edge.

While the visions of dead white assholes played in her head, Blue missed the entire tender scene with Thea and the fallen comrade.  He had fought hard and brilliantly, and she had been able to tell earlier how he felt about the woman that had been imprisoned.  Now she was free, and he was not, though she had a feeling he was happy to have died saving her.  She knew, deep down, she would have done the same for Albert.  He was her family.  Before Ducote, before the few friends that had managed to get past her foul mouth.. there was Albert.  Steady, quiet, chirping Albert.

Who now had a mother fucking mouth on him.... fucking Savi can't leave anything alone.

Thea looked at them and spoke.  Blue nodded.  “I'm Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran of the USS Endeavour.   This is Lieutenant Cross, and Lieutenant R'Rori.  We three are from the same ship having escaped a Borg attack our escape pod was picked up by the Savi.” she explained with a shrug of her shoulder and she swallowed heavily.  She was ready to leave.  All that was keeping her malnourished and severely mistreated body standing at this point was sheer will power.  It kept asking to crash, to reboot, to get rid of the bugs in the system.  But no, it wasn't allowed, they had to go, they had to move, they had so much left to do.

Her hand was taken, and Blue's eyes shifted ready to sock the mother fucker that dared to touch her without permission.  But, it was R'Rori.  Sweet, furry-at-heart R'Rori.  Swallowing heavily she let Ror do what Blue had completed spaced on.  She sighed as the woman quickly reported to Echtand a whole lot nicer than Blue would have been.  Hers likely would have been more like -give me my fucking owl before I punch your face in we did what the fuck you wanted-type message.  It was probably best that she had done it. 

Thea said she needed to access the systems outside the ship.  Blue gave a nod.  “You and me both.” she admitted.  Thea could likely, at some point access her banks of knowledge, and find that Blue was a well known and highly regarded hacker in Starfleet.  “Lets see if Moby will give you that ability once we liberate you from your prison.”

Thea tried to get her brain out of the confines it was currently in.  Blue rose her brow as Thea mentioned needed assistance with a phaser.  Blue was no excellent marksman but she was trained as well as everyone else.  So she got her phaser aimed and took careful aim.  Normally she would have let Cross do it, but with his missing hand he was likely more bone tired than she was.  And in pain.  Blue took careful aim before pressing the trigger that would destroy the trunking that had kept the brain secured and used for other things.  It would come free and allow Thea to pick it up and carry it as they headed back into the Lab where Albert stood.  No longer under a locked dome, he was able to be liberated.  Blue crossed the lab in as few steps as possible and she shoved the casing off of Albert and scooped up her owl.  He was still as light weight as possible. She fussed over him like a young mother making sure her child was all right.  Testing his feather joints, the ball joints, the sockets, everything that was there.  Finally, happy that nothing more than his software had been fucked with she sighed softly.  Taking a deep breath she let her head drop so that her forehead the top of Albert's.  Some of the tension drained our of her shoulders, but with it came the weariness of the experience.

[Miss Blue, I am unaware of the point of physical affection in this moment.]

“Shut up, Albert.”

[I believe there are other things of import at the moment.]

“Albert, I fucking swear.”

[You do swear, too frequently, in fact if I tallied the total of times I have heard you use a four letter word it would total exactly three-]

“Albert, why the fuck do you have to ruin everything now.  Shut up and .. be useful!” Blue said cutting him off.

Albert's glowing blue eyes shifted to the one, Thea, that he had seen and been brought to frequently when she was in the other lab. 

[Ah, Thea, it is pleasant to see you outside of our mutual confines.  Perhaps we can aid these officers in their liberation of the ship?] He offered.  Blue rose her head off of Albert's and she sighed, rubbing her forehead with her free hand because she was so tired, and Albert's changes were adding a new level of stress she didn't really need.  She would have to poke and prod at him later.  Right now she just wanted to get the fuck off this ship.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #22
[ Lt. Cross | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @patches @BZ

As the mangled remains of the Scion slowly dropped to the floor of the lab, it’s blood slowly spreading across the deck plating from the multitude of wounds they had had to inflict to put it down, Cross finally let himself relax for a moment. The Vulcan lowered his head, letting it rest against the rifle he held. He drew in a long breath and let it out slowly, the tail end of the exhalation becoming ragged as the adrenaline wore off. As the adrenaline faded, the pain dutifully came to fill the void. The stump at the end of Cross’ left arm pulsed and throbbed, causing Cross to grit his teeth as he finally opened his eyes to survey the room, hoping to focus his attention on something besides the searing pain in his limb.

Blue had been looking at him, and he returned her gaze for a moment before he drew his right arm under him and pushed himself up to his knees, then to standing. He looked back to Blue then, relieved to see that the tempestuous Commander Tiran seemed mostly intact. He surveyed the rest of the room for a moment, his eyes taking in Kae’s still form, the fallen Scion and Savi and the dead security officers before movement drew his attention. R’Rori was approaching him, medical case in hand.

”There really isn’t much in here to deal with your hand that would do a better job staunching the blood loss than what you… did.” S/he informed him as s/he held out a hypospray for him, hir hand trembling as s/he did so. ”This is a painkiller. I-I don’t know how much to give a Vulcan.” Cross reached forward to take the hypospray, but found himself only holding a stump forward. He stared down at the jagged, torn appendage for a moment before looking at the other hand, still holding the pistol grip of his rifle, the weapon hanging at his side. His mind was foggy, his concentration clouded by the pain. He slowly lifted the rifle and tucked it under his mangled left arm, the reach out for the hypospray. ”You can change the dosage with a single hand and administer it to yourself.” R’Rori told him, demonstrating how to do so before handing over the device. ”Thank you, R’Rori.” Cross murmured, accepting the hypospray from hir hand with another sluggish movement. Once he had taken the hypospray, R’Rori retreated, moving off towards Blue.

Cross stared at the hypospray for a long moment, then used his thumb to lower the dosage it would administer. He knew next to nothing about medicine, and so had no idea how his now fully Vulcan anatomy would respond to analgesics. He knew that he needed to continue to function, that they weren’t free yet and may still need to fight more Savi, and so chose to give himself a small dose of the medication, hoping it would take the edge off while leaving him clear-headed. The hypospray set, he pressed the administration end to his neck and activated the spray, the thing making a soft hissing noise as it administered the dose. He felt the relief immediately. The pain didn’t fade completely, though the dose took the edge off, dulling it by just over half. That was good, some pain would help keep him focused. He tucked to hypospray into his infiltration suit and took hold of the rifle’s grip with his hand again, cradling the barrel in the crook of his left elbow and he turned his attention to the others once more.

Cross moved to join the rest of their dwindling group as Blue used a phaser on one of the workstations, apparently working to free the AI that Kae had died trying to reach. Once Blue was finished, the other woman with them, presumably this “Thea”, removed the AI casing. Cross moved with the others as they made their way back to the first lab, and watched as Blue freed Albert from his confines. She took the owl in her arms and fussed over him, checking him over even as the owl protested. Bickering ensued, causing Cross to chuckle and shake his head. As the owl once again chastised Blue for her foul language, Cross couldn’t help but reflect again that Blue may have met her match in the newly improved owl. Cross listened to the exchange in silence for another moment before stepping forward and turning his pale blue gaze on Blue.

”I’m sorry, Commander,” Cross finally spoke, his words less muddled than when he had spoken to R’Rori, ”but we should really get moving. We don’t know if there are more Savi coming.” Cross looked around at the group, which now consisted of three of their original number plus the AI and the cheeky owl. Their number had certainly dwindled as they took the labs, and they were hardly in any shape to engage in more of such fighting. A sudden stab of pain shot up Cross’ arm as his stump bumped the receiver of the rifle, causing him to grit his teeth and drop his gaze as he winced. It was then that he noticed the deep gash in Blue’s thigh, as well as the blood running down the woman’s leg. ”You’re injured.” Cross stated, giving voice to his observation before turning his attention to R’Rori. ”Counsellor, can you do anything for that leg before we move out?” Cross asked, tucking his rifle back under his arm to retrieve the hypospray from his suit to return to her should she need it while treating the Commander. ”If Blue passes out I could probably carry her, but we’d miss out on all this lovely chatter between her and uh…” Cross glanced at the owl, unsure if he should be addressing the machine as well, ”and Albert.”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #23
[ Lt R'Rori | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] @Auctor Lucan @BZ @Fife

Hir focus was completely shot at this point, clearly. R’Rori did notice what the artificial intelligence, this “Thea”, did as soon as the dome lifted, absentmindedly marking it as a notable development to see in a non-organic sentient but the level of fascination and focus such an event would have incurred otherwise was simply not there. Even the interaction between Blue and her owl was something that was mostly background noise to the normally very observant counselor. When Blue introduced hir to Thea, s/he had nodded and smiled vaguely with a small wave in a sort of automatic reaction. S/he did manage to pull hir focus back away from the corpses in the room, however, with the last of Albert’s exchange with the AI.

“Ah, yes. We are assisting an associate of Commander Tiran’s in staging something of a … takeover of this ship, as I understand it. It is an exchange of sorts. He gets access he needs and we get everyone off of this ship.” R’Rori spoke with some initial hesitation before allowing hir voice to be at fuller strength. “There are others from your ship, but I don’t know how many yet live at this point.”

S/he frowned. “This … Moby said there was a security sweep going on. Kill teams. We will find out for ourselves soon enough.”

Cross spoke up then, urging the group to continue before more Savi showed up. He also pointed out Blue’s injury. The sight of the blood elicited a gasp and a stern look at Blue from R’Rori, who quickly moved closer to get a better look. The medikit did have a dermal regenerator in it, at least, so s/he got that out quickly and cautiously ran it over the gash. It would hopefully be enough to keep it from getting infected or bleeding out more until they got to a ship or place with proper doctors and medical equipment. There was only so much a barely trained counselor could do with a first aid kit.

“That should hold you.” R’Rori muttered as s/he put the regenerator back into the kit before standing back up. “We need off this fucking ship before it kills the rest of us.”

Hir eyes went wide as s/he registered what s/he just said and hir face grew a lot redder with hir embarrassment.

“Oh. Ahem. Lead the way, Lieutenant Cross?”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 06 | 0905 hrs. ] Machine Intelligence Labs

Reply #24
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Machine Intelligence Labs | The Versant ] Attn: @BZ @Fife @patches 
[Show/Hide]
The organic named Blue Tiran assisted Thea readily enough, and in short order, Thea could remove her positronic brain from it's stand and the severed cabling. She wrapped her hand around the cut trunking, and approached the present group, literally carrying her own brain next to herself. She tilted her head and watched the one named R'Rori take care of Tiran's wound, and listened to Albert talking to the woman. Despite the loss of Kae, and the dreadful situation she was in, she did give the metal owl a passing smile.

"Indeed," she said to the owl, "I may have been confined here, but I have learned a great deal about the systems that this species use, just from with the access I've had to this lab alone. I am positive adaptation will be swift. I must ask, however, who is this 'Moby'?"

After she had heard the answer, she nodded, but in the end, she took a few steps towards the exit. "If I require additional access, I will make sure to contact 'Moby'," she said, not in a dismissive way, but appreciating the fact that there were was an ally aboard. It also put the situation in a new perspective for her, since she had not thought the Savi capable of collaborating. She had not even known parts of her crew were aboard, having made calculations in regard to the best means of escaping alone. The inquisitive aliens had not hurt her beyond trying to understand her, keeping her imprisoned. They had held little interest in her projection, the sophistication of her sensory mapping a passing curiosity. Their true interest had been in the program itself, it's processing capacity, and the storage properties of her brain.

That there were organics aboard to liberate made all her plans moot, the odds of success unknown.

She waited for her saviours to finish up, picking up a hand phaser from the floor, and left her prison behind - not giving the lab a second look, but having to keep herself from looking at Kae once more. She did not need another emotion-feed overload at the moment, so she tried to keep herself from allocating any processing power on the past, Kae, and all the things unsaid. There was only the present, and the objective. To save the crew, and leave the Versant. At the given moment, it was unknown what factors would play into the accomplishment of the objective, but at least she was able to gain access beyond the stand-alone lab.

Once they all left the Machine Intelligence Labs, Thea could see the aftermath of her liberation, and the fallen Starfleet officers in Savi suits on the deck. At that point, however, more Savi had arrived to the scene, and Thea wasted no time in raising her phaser towards the seven Antecedents. Her aiming program compensated for the dim lighting, and she had already been told to not use lethal force. She did not have a natural propensity towards inflicting bodily harm, her program a product of Starfleet and the Federation, so she had not held any inclination towards using the kill setting to begin with. So, when she fired, her arms and her eyes moved between the targets without delay, her gaze not even lingering on those she hit before changing target. Since her aim compensated for moving targets as well, she also hit a Savi that had almost left the corridor through a pair of sliding doors.

"I need a control panel," she said, her projection not winded in the slightest, not required to breathe even if her chest rose and fell in mimicry of the function. Nor did she have any heart that would beat fast from the experience of the brief altercation. She kept the emotion feed from affecting her operations, even though she hadn't deactivated the chip. One of her saviours suggested an adjacent room instead of the corridor, which she deemed prudent given the tactical situation, and moved with them, still carrying her brain in her free hand and having her phaser raised against potential threats ahead.

The area they entered seem like just another lab, and Thea held little interest in what kind of experiments had been preformed before they entered. Four more Antecendents were present, and Thea stunned two of them in rapid succession, the first one not even having looked up from his tablet. Her eyes scanned for an access point, and she found it in the back of the lab.

"Lieutenant Commander Tiran," she said, looking at the Human with the blue in her hair. "While I have no access to my database, I have gathered that you are an Engineer. Would you please connect my brain to this access point and power it up, using the local power supply?" No more had she asked, until the sliding doors parted, and armed Savi pushed into the lab. Thea's head turned their way and her phaser was already up, firing against them.

"It would seem that time is short," she said, almost conversationally, while the flare of her weapon lit her dispassionate face. "As soon as I have access, I will be able to protect us more efficiently."

In contrast to her deadpan tone, it seemed all the weapons fire had drawn the Savi in full force. Thankfully, there was no Scion seen just yet, but the graviton weapons the Antecedents carried tore the lab apart.

"Our odds of survival are decreasing alarmingly," added Thea, her stance not shifting even as more Savi poured in. “Please make haste...”

- FIN


OOC EDIT: Seven days begin now, and my next post will be the last one in this thread. Have fun writing this final stand, and get Thea connected. I have left some pointers through my post with blanks to fill in, where your characters can tell her things or do things as you see fit to progress the scene to this point where they are in the last lab. :)

Change of plans, seven days to post in True Nature instead! Please read the development in the latest post beginning with Echtand for sake of orientation in the development of the scene. :)

 
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