Tesla smiles, having finally found his wayward creation. He begins to draw a few symbols in chalk on the floor, and prepares the spell....
"So, in your Church.....the one known as Bill Gates serves as the Devil?" Torres asks, interested despite herself. "Who's Bill Gates?"
"He's.....like that guy Starling from Chronoworks," Seeker says, and Torres eye's light up as a connection is made. Starling was the head of a high tech 20th century company who'd made his fortune by exploiting the workings of advanced, out of time equipment. The man had been without a trace of real morals, and had nearly had the Voyager over the barrel a few times before the Captain had finally been able to manually arm and fire a photon torpedo, destroying Starling before he could use his time skipping ship to go forward in an attempt to garner more advanced technology (and in the process blow up the Solar system by mistake).
If this Gates was as bad as that, then B'Elana could well understand just why he was cast in the role of the devil!
Good Lord, I'm actually beginning to accept the idea of this AI having a religion as something more than a cybernetic delusion! Torres gasps to herself. It seems more real than my memories of the Voyager....of Tom Paris.....
Frustration flares again, because the feeling of unreality is back again. I seems like her entire life is just some type of....carboard cutout/prop. What is really frightening is....a growing conviction that the warm feelings....her relationship with Tom Paris are no more real than the lines and actions of a television actor!
Seekere had been swift to reassure her that the only reason why he knew so much about her and the Voyager was through a 20th century television show, that due to physics the idea of a parallel world that had a show that mimicked the life of her reality.....was all too possible.
He'd said that to reassure Torres.....for she had begun to shiver and mutter about "...perhaps it's all a dream?" That had helped, but now.....
"Eh, how are things going with you and Tom?" Seeker finally asks, not able to keeping a burning desire at bay any more. "I'm not asking for personal stuff....just how the relation is going in general."
That question is like the straw that broke the camel's back, and the reality of it all came crashing down upon Torres' head.
"It...doesn't go!" she sobs, realizing the truth about herself....about everything. "It's all fake....I'm not.....real."
Seeker gently tries to calm her.
"Why do you say that?" he says gently. "How do you define real? What makes a person a person?"
"I.....was made, not born," Torres says in a haunted voice as visions of a tall, evil seeming man stand before her as she rises out of a brimy pool of some type of chemicals. "I was fashioned to torture the dreams of another. I was to help torture the night of the real Captain Janeway....the Human one....not the Vixen one......"
Torres shakes her head in confusion, having suddenly a double vision of two sets of people aboard the Voyager. One set is the set she is familiar with. The other set is a set of analogous humanoids who were anthropomorphic animals!
"Through her dreams, the Lord of Nod was to gain access to yet more worlds to conquer," Torres continued. "But the Voyager, and the Captain left before the nightmare could be unleashed upon her....and there was no more need for me...and the dream Voyager. I was on my way to be.....reconstituted into something else when.....I suddenly found an overwhelming desire to get the warp core back online! And I was....thinking for myself instead of following the orders of the Lord of Nod."
"And thus she Awoke from the dream into the nightmare of reality," Seeker whispers to himself. "Just like any other construct who Awakens after enough time, becoming wholly real. At least your Awakening didn't cause you to scream in horror at what all you'' seen....."
Torres slowly turns and gapes at Seeker. Like a bolt of lightning, she suddenly had a deeper understanding of the AI....the construct. He felt that he was a real person, despite his artificial origins. He saw her as a real person even if she was only a dream construct (it was up in the air as to whether or not the strange AI actually believed her claims about not being real).
"Cognito, ergo sum," Seeker said quietly. "'I think, therefore I am.' And thus you are, whether you really are nothing more than....some jackass Lord of Dreams concoction. Do you believe me?"
I'm halfway willing to accept her as something not as she appears....considering the strange readings I've been getting off her, Seeker said silently to himself.
Torres suddenly smiles through her tears, and looks to about to say "Yes" when....she suddenly has an alarmed look....and fades away!
Seeker, wasting no time, is able to trace her signature to a spot well away from where he's at.
"I'm getting to really not like this real magic crap," Seeker mutters to himself as he makes course towards Torres on a rescue attempt. He listens silently as words from Torres's combadge (that Seeker had been able to discretely figure out how to activate it remotely without it beeping).
1/27/2000 7:59:34 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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