After a bit, Torres sees that she is alone on this small spaceship, except for an AI known as Seeker. An AI who is......strange.....and knows a frightening amount of information about her. Information of a....personal nature.
Also there was the very Nature of this ship that was.....STRANGE. She'd have laughed at the idea of gettting warp capability from what basically was an impulse engine....but d**n if what the skemetics she'd seen didn't do JUST that....with something called Tiberium!
And the combinations of high and low technology here was making her head hurt. At least NOW she knows why Seeker hadn't just beamed her out with his teleporters.
There were no transporters.
But growing in the back of her mind, gnawing at her like a itch that can't be scratched, is a growing sense of.....wrongness.....within herself.....something....about herself!
All in all, that combined with the strangeness of her situation has shortened her already short fuse to almost nothing. Torres feels her frustration starting to boil over, and she's getting rather....snippy!
"And what give you the right to seek out the extinction of another race?!" Torres snaps out at an increasingly annoyed Seeker. "Good Lord, that's a crime that is unforgivable!"
"We seek the extinction of the Enemy through the use of Automated ships for a simple......pure reason," Seeker says in a slow voice, that rises in volume as he continues. "We seek to build a Fleet of DEATHSHIPS BECAUSE THE BASTARDS CAME OUT FROM THE STARS AND ATTACKS US WITHOUT WARNING OR CAUSE. THEY EAT OUR FELLOW HUMANS BECAUSE MAN IS NOTHING BUT SOMETHING AS A FOOD ITEM! WE DO IT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO THE SAME THING TO US!!"
B'Elana Torres' face goes ghostly white as the blood drains from it at the last part of what Seeker reveals.
"We do it because we intercepted and decoded plans that the Enemy would have done the same with us," Seeker says quietly through the ship's grill, choking on emotion. "They would have used Terra to launch Death ships throughout Alliance space, slamming into each and every human world at light speed or greater."
"My god," Torres whispers hoarsely, stunned.
"You can believe or not believe what you like, Torres," Seeker whispers. "You can also believe that I lie about the horrible conditions back at what I call Home. Think! If the Company follow a similar philosophy like the Ferengi, then what kind of land do you think that those not invested in the Company.....what kind of life they live?"
"Not....a very good one," Torres admits to herself, almost against her will. She had read history books about the Trusts of the 19th century back on Earth...about how horrible working conditions could be....how living conditions could grow. She had also read a genre of science fiction that painted a bleak future of what could have been the early 21rst century. The genre was called "cyberpunk." The Trusts of the 19th and early 20th century and the mega-corporations shared similar.....philosophy on obtaining and keeping wealth.....and squeezing those who didn't belong to their Business and crushing competition......
Despite herself, Torres was getting the picture.
"And then....think about just why the Military still works with the Company," Seeker finishes up. "The situation is such that One can't survive without the other....though we'd rather do just that. The Military just wants the Company to do just a little....a little to improve living standards....but the SOBs won't. Terra would have been a critical turning point where we could end the war, and then redress the issue back Home....by force if necessary!"
Torres decides that this subject was a definite hot button with the AI (gods, she never thought she'd see the day a mere machine would be so angry about something).
"I'm....sorry I jumped to conclusions," she finally says, shivering despite herself.
Somehow, this.....AI.....seemed more....real than anything she ever encountered before.
Well, there was the Doctor, but he was just....annoying.
"Ah, Seeker," Torres ventured, trying to change the subject. "I....notice that you said something about a Creator..... Mind if you tell me about that?"
She'd like to hear about Seeker's inventor!
"Ah, you mean the Creator of the universe.....the Grand Design," Seeker says, positively glowing.
Torres' eyes bug out in surprise for a moment.
The AI has a religion?! the female Klingon/human gasps to herself. Well, I guess that since their....circuitry is based upon the human mind (she shuddered at the stories Seeker had...with great sadness told of the lives sacrificed in order to create the Inuit series).....it means that they share the same.....quirks?
She shivered, feeling cold.
"Uh, hold one second....I've just dectected a low power scan," Seeker muttered, a little angry. "Hold on while I take care of our Peeping Tom!"
Josh shouts in alarm as his computer makes a strange sputtering noise, and then bursts into flame.....
"That got him," Seeker snickers, having used some rather high powered Counter Intrusion Electronics. He had used the Blackest "ICE" he had, when he had determined that there was nobody really connected via a cyberlink. It'd just fry his rig, and not him.
Seeker hated Peeping Toms......
1/27/2000 9:07:47 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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