Initium Novum: Episode 1

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  1. The State of Things

    "Councilwoman Aya. Are you alright? You're doing that thing again."

    Sofia Aya, one of the oldest humans on the ship stood in front of her bedroom window staring off into space. Her beady, watery eyes are fixated on a gassy blue planet in the distance; a dark blue storm swirls in its equator. She has been told that the Captain is preparing the ship for a jump and wants to absorb everything in this star system before they leave.

    "My mother told me that Vitae was mostly water, and it was a gorgeous pristine blue planet during my grandparents' heyday. Unfortunately by the time I was born all of that beautiful water turned shit brown." Her voice was hoarse, raspy - such is what happens when one turn old. She pressed her wrinkled her hand against the cool glass. "Was Vitae as blue as this planet, or bluer? Was there a green tinge to it, or was it more yellow? What do you think Sebastian?"

    Her political aid, a scrawny but tall fellow with side swept brown hair smacked his lips in an awkward gesture. In his hand was a clipboard, beaming holographic reports into the air."I just... Well I hoped I could give you my report and be on-" He stopped, went stiff, sighed, and decided to humor the woman. "I think it would be a bluer than this planet ma'am. Much bluer."

    "You think so Sebastian? I know we have pictures of our home, but nothing comes close to the real thing." She sighed, and pressed her forehead against the glass. "I never saw the planet myself, but sometimes if I close my eyes, I can feel the sun's rays on my face, the refreshing breeze whipping my hair back, and the grass between my toes, and how the air on Vitae must smell like pine trees. And the flowers, we don't have many flowers on the ship but I imagine myself running through a field of -"

    "So the general atmosphere in Level Two is similar to that on Level One and Three. I've compiled a list of the most used adjectives which were gathered from our equipment: our citizens are feeling disappointed, concerned, dejected, listless, discouraged, dissatisfied, disgruntled, depressed and my current favorite - defeated. Despite the upcoming anniversary of our beloved ship, our citizens don't seem to be a partying mood."

    Her frown was reflected in the glass. "Why are there so many negative words that begin with D?"

    "Because English, ma'am. And now that I have your attention, can I continue with my report?"

    "I did ask you to make one."

    Exasperated, Sebastian continued. "Our cameras and audio equipment found a hundred and fifty percent increase in overall dissatisfaction with the direction of our ship. Most of our comments were from patients who were on their deathbed, but we're finding the same sort of comments from our adults and surprisingly children." He ran finger over the clipboard and footage aired on the flat screen television in Sofia's room.

    "...don't give up on finding a new home okay? It hasn't happened in my life time, but it will happen in yours. I just know it." An elderly woman holds the hand of her grandson as she lays in the medical bay.

    Sofia remembered saying her goodbyes to the woman two days ago. She passed away from heart failure.

    Another clip shows a child sitting front of the television. As with many programs, the ship's message airs before the show can begin. "Mommy, how long have we been in space?"

    "One hundred and fifty years."

    "But the video says we should've found a home by now."

    "We will soon, don't worry."

    "What if run out of energy? The video says we'll run out of energy. What if we get stuck and get hit by an asteroid?"

    "We won't. It's why we have Harvester ships to gather crystals and the military fleet will take care of any asteroids. We'll be fine sweetheart." But even she sounded doubtful.

    The last clip shows a couple, the husband consoling his saddened wife. Their words are hushed.

    "... don't think it's a good idea to have kids."

    "Why? ... are having them, why can't we? We're in a good..."

    "I know we are... hate being on this ship and I don't want our kids growing up here like we were."

    "But finding a new planet could take..."

    The clips end and Sebastian holds the clipboard to his chest like a life jacket. During the viewing, Sofia turned her attention away from the window and stands attentive and somber.

    "A depressing picture indeed. How are our resources?"

    "Our reserves on mana crystals are low, but I have already filed a request to the Extraction Team to gather some in the future. Our food supplies are moderately well stocked, but water seems to be in short supply. The recent outage in the Biodome has led to the loss of water. Again both of these problems can be solved by the Extraction team."

    "How long until humans are pulled in to power the ship?"

    "I would say two weeks, but since we have this massive upcoming party - I'd say a week."

    Sofia rubbed her chin. "Change that request to a demand Sebastian. We'll send an Extraction team once that party is over."

    "Yes ma'am." He turned to leave, and looked over his shoulder. "Is there any way to turn off that infernal video?"

    "I'm afraid not. Hard coded into the ship's software. It's suppose to be a 'reminder.'"
    #1 Zen, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
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  2. Test Run
    Levels Two and Three were responsible for the food and drinks at the party, so three days before the actual event the kitchen staff did a mock run. Of course, they couldn't pump out enough food to feed one million people - that was extremely wasteful - so they scaled it down. Not only were the staff testing out recipes, but they were working on the flow; did the cocktails come out at the right time, did the salads still look fresh after sitting out, and did their soups get cold, would the ice cream melt or would they have to stick to yogurt? It was chaos on the smallest scale, and it gave everyone perspective of what was going to happen at the party.

    Giovanni is an android whose sole purpose in life is to bake. Indeed, if the android ever left the kitchen he would have a fright, as his programming kept him levelheaded when he was around pastry cream and cream freche. Stepping out meant an embarrassing oil leakage; Giovanni is an older model of android, so do excuse him.

    Today he is in charge of cupcakes, chocolate cream filled cupcakes actually. And he is also in charge of little Ricardo, a human boy who is learning the ropes of the kitchen when he is not in class. He has cherub cheeks, a fascination with chocolate - as all children seem to - and he has learned to make scrambled eggs without burning them. (What an accomplishment!)

    Giovanni pressed a button on the wall with his slender but strong steel finger, and on the wall appears their recipe via hologram.
    Recipe (open)

    {td}3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups white sugar
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1 cup water
    1 cup vegetable oil
    {td}1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup shortening
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    1 pinch salt
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    "Ricardo, I need the whisk, a spatula, two steel bowls, a pastry bag, a clean towel, and a pastry tip. Chop chop! The kitchen slows down for no one!"

    And off went little Ricardo as he dove in between hot pots and pans, shouting cooks, and breathed in the steam of cooked lasagna. He memorized everything he would need from the recipe and plunged into the equipment rack with enthusiasm, snatching this and that in his small little arms and forgetting about the cart the cooks used to bring things to their station; he was a big boy, he'd bring it to Giovanni himself.

    Like a kid who caught his first fish, Ricardo smiled broadly as he laid the tools on the counter. "I got the stuff Giovanni, what's next?"

    "Beat it kid, I don't need your help."

    Hurt, Ricardo peered into the face of his teacher. "I'm sorry Giovanni. D-Did I do something wrong?"

    "No... Yeees. Yes you did. Now scram."

    Giovanni didn't sound like Giovanni. To Ricardo he sounded much deeper, coarse like grains of salt, and without the baker's typical eagerness. He glanced down at the workstation which was filled with only some of the ingredients for the cupcakes. Eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, milk and... flowers?

    "Giovanni, we aren't supposed to use flowers. And how'd you get them so quickly? You know we're not supposed to pick flowers without permission."

    "Hey, didn't I tell you to scram kid?"

    Ricardo shrunk a few inches. "I don't think humans are suppose to... eat... flowers."

    He shrank further under the glowering eyes of Giovanni. The android always scolded nicely if Ricardo did something wrong. This was disturbing and definitely not like his teacher.

    "I said scram. You know, like scrambled eggs?"

    The boy didn't need any further encouragement. Richardo sprinted away, possibly to complain to the sous chef about how big of a bully Giovanni was being. But the android could have cared less, he had a mission to complete.

    "Three whole eggs eh?"

    In went three eggs into the bowl, shells and all. Flour was replaced with flowers, cocoa powder with chili powder, vanilla extract with lubricating oil, and the cream filling was replaced with rancid sour cream. And all of this was done without the knowledge of the other cooks, who were far too busy with their concoctions to give experienced Giovanni a passing glance. So the baker placed his dozen cupcake abominations in the oven and dusted his hands.

    Then Ricardo arrived with the sous chef in tow, both looking deeply concerned. But before they could interrogate Giovanni, the android caught sight of them and collapsed on the slip resistant rubber mats in complete shut down mode. A silver trail snaked away, hiding between leather soles and tables.

    When he awoke again the next day in the Android Repair Facility with Ricardo at his side, Giovanni couldn't remember what he was making or why he was so mean at the poor boy.

    "Tobis Testrial will your technician today," said a hologram by Giovanni's bed stand. "He will be here shortly to examine your circuits and check your vitals."

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  3. The Bridge "All hands, prepare for Jump sequence in T-Minus 60 seconds."

    The Captain's voice echoed through the ship, speaking through the PA system wired to every corner of the Initium Novum. It was time for the scheduled hyper space jump that would take the ship to the next star system, in search of a new home. The jump was made roughly every month, after resources from wherever they end up are gathered and scans for a habitable planet have concluded. It was routine.

    However, this one was special, at least for a few on board. This would be Xavier Reeth's final jump as captain, and only a day before the 150th anniversary of the ship's first launch.

    Everyone on board had to prepare for the jump, as always. Most magic devices could not function while the ship was in hyper space, and it was always a good idea to hang onto something.

    "Jumping in 5-4-3-2-1."

    The ship's power core flared up. Perhaps most odd was the fact that the sound of reality bending around them was silent. Almost unfelt, the ship was catapulted at faster-than-light speeds, and in less than a minute, it was over. The power core calmed, and the 10 million inhabitants of the Initium Novum resumed their daily lives as if nothing happened at all.The captain looked to his crew on the bridge, and gave what might be his final order as their captain.

    "Begin scanning, and send word to the extraction team if you find anything... Who am I kidding, you all know the drill. Lets get it done."

    To his surprise, the entire crew stood up and turned to face him. Then all at once, they saluted, crossing their right arms to their chest with a closed fist. The Captain's gaze shifted around the room, taking it in. It was their farewell to him. Xavier couldn't help but smile. It nearly brought him to tears.

    "It has been an honor to serve as your Captain. Each and every one of you should be proud of the work you've done, and take pride in the work you must continue to do. I know that one day, we will find what we're looking for out there, and it will be through your efforts that the people of this ship will finally see what it's like to live in a place outside of this metal tomb..."

    His gaze rested upon Lydia near the end of his short speech. She was standing close by, joining the rest of the crew with a salute.

    "You will be called heroes when that day comes. The true saviors of humankind."

    His gaze broke from her, looking back at the rest of the crew.

    "At ease. There is work to be done."

    With that, the crew turned and went back to work.

    Lydia nodded, returning at ease before turning to her work. The optical sensors masked behind a pair of incredibly life-like green eyes scanned across the multiple displays before her. They offered her a near limitless variety of information: coordinates, ship vitals, engine status, mana fuel levels, performance metrics and statistics, even plotting out vector calculations of stray meteorites to avoid or minimize collision damage. Beside the displays was a holoprojection of this new star system, with a prospective optimized route already plotted out along coordinates shown in the starmap.

    To a human, it might seem like an overload of information. To Lydia, who had been the Initium Novum's lead navigator since its maiden departure, it was all in a day's work. She examined it all to ensure that there were no missing parts of data, no planets where there should be none; she'd hate to experience a miscalculation like the Delta CrA Majoris IIb fiasco again. Unmapped or unregistered planets suddenly popping up where the systems showed empty space - she shook her head briefly, mimicking the human behavior patterns she'd learned, to remove the thought. Regardless, all seemed in order.

    The android navigator turned, green eyes fixating on Captain Reeth. Good captains came and went, but truly exceptional leaders like Xavier were hard to find. He was strict, but fair; demanding, but rewarding for a job well done, and always pushed humans and androids alike to perform at their best. Lydia approached him with a warm smile and extended her hand out to him, which he accepted in a heartfelt handshake before pulling the red-haired android into a hug.

    Lydia eased against him into the embrace, smiling softly at him as they pulled away. "Captain, it's been a pleasure serving you these past thirty years. Statistically, you've been the most effective captain of the Initium Novum since its creation. But, emotionally," her hand pressed against the left side of her chest, where a human heart would normally be. Her voice had a wistful hum. "In my heart - if I had one, I'd say you have been my favorite captain thus far." The corners of her lips pulled up into a smile. "I hope you don't mind me mentioning that," she added, dropping a bit of the formal tone she was once forced to carry around the captain.

    "Shall I address you as Xavier from now on? Or would you prefer I continue to address you as Captain Reeth?"

    "Of course I don't mind dear, it's a beautiful sentiment. And you can call me whatever you like now. To be honest, I'm actually looking forward to finally being able to drop all the formalities."

    Seeing her smile immediately made him smile back. She had that effect on the man, always giving him a reason to smile. If he'd had it his way, they would be more than colleagues, more than friends, but business always trumped pleasure. Still, that never stopped him from trying.

    "However, there is something I need to speak with you about, in private. Something important."

    It wasn't the first time he'd asked to speak to her in private. What usually followed was a bit of playful banter and an attempt to ask her out, which was always denied. The old man had been pursuing her romantically for years now, always being turned down, yet never giving up. It was almost like a schoolyard crush that just never faded.

    "Will you join me in the map room for a moment?"

    Lydia tilted her head with a knowing smirk as she followed him into the map room. "Certainly, Xavier," she mused, immediately making the adjustment of addressing him by first name without skipping a beat. "But, if this is another one of your attempts to woo me, Captain, I might warn you: now that we're no longer professionally involved, I might actually be more receptive to your advances."

    Her green eyes eyed him with playful concern. "Be careful not to bite off more than you can chew."

    Once inside, they were alone. It was a small room with a holoprojector in the middle. With the flip of a switch, the Captain turned it on, and the room went dim before being filled with a map of the known galaxy. Every star and every planet ever discovered could be seen, zoomed in on, and examined. After a moment of gazing at the projection, Xavier's attention turned back to Lydia.

    "I'm happy to hear you say that. There is little more that I could ask for than to have that chance... and it's that little more that I actually wanted to talk to you about."

    His smile faded, and was replaced with a somber expression. It wasn't often that he looked at her without a smile. His gaze shifted again to the stars in front of them, and he began moving the map, sifting through the path they had taken through the galaxy since the ship first began it's mission.

    "You've been working up here as lead navigator since before I was even born... Since the ship's inception. You've been there for everything, mapping our path along the way, suggesting promising star systems to search. You've been doing everything you could to make our mission a success, and in my 30 years as Captain, not once have you disappointed me with your duties. You've even gone so far as to avoid becoming involved with the Captain in order to keep such complications away from your work. A decision that... while I somewhat regret, I also greatly respect. You have been nothing short of excellent in all that you do."

    The projection finally settled on the ship's current location, and his gaze shifted back to her.

    "And it is for that reason, along with my desire for some changes on this ship, that I want you, Lydia, to take up the mantle of Ship Captain, as my successor."

    Lydia had her eyes on the starmap, studying it intently while she listened to her now-former Captain. At his mention of her accomplishments, she bowed her head humbly in appreciation but allowed him to continue.

    When he finally made his intentions known, however, Lydia paused. Blinking, she processed the information: an android becoming Ship Captain would mean an android becoming part of the Council. No android had ever been on the council in the entire 150 year span of the Initium Novum's voyage. To Lydia's knowledge, no android had ever even served an elected role on Vitae.

    In a few moments she had already run through countless calculations and simulations. There would likely be unrest, discord... perhaps even rioting. To appoint an android to the council would acknowledge that artificial intelligence had come far enough to exist as its own entity. Of course, this was something Lydia already knew. It was clear that AI were capable of being autonomous, of thinking on their own and making their own decisions - but for it to be publicly acknowledged in such a dramatic fashion gave her reason to be concerned. Was society ready for an android Captain?

    For several more silent moments, the android struggled more with the words than with the actual understanding. "I must admit, I did not expect this," she admitted, acknowledging the rare circumstance in which her situational assessment abilities failed. "I... I am honored and humbled, Captain." She bowed deeply from the waist, eyes meeting Xavier's as she righted herself. "But is that wise? There has never been an android Captain of the Initium Novum before."

    She waited almost anxiously for the captain's answer. Her own fate hung in the balance, in more ways than Xavier could possibly imagine.

    "Human or not, you are the most qualified person for the job. I know everyone on the Bridge; everyone who has any potential at all of being a good captain, and you are the best out of all of them."

    Xavier walked over to Lydia, gazing at her proudly, longingly. His hands rested on her shoulders as he softly spoke.

    "I'll be damned if I'm going to let human paranoia about AI deny this ship the greatest captain it could ever have. I can't say that it will be easy for you, but I wouldn't be asking if I wasn't confident that you are strong enough to handle it. It's time that AI like you were treated with the respect you deserve. You've earned this, I truly believe that Lydia."

    Lydia nodded hesitantly, contemplating. It would be a long road ahead, but Xavier's words were reassuring. What would the Council think? What would her boss think?

    Nonetheless it would be an important step towards the progress of AI and their recognition as sentient beings capable of individual thought rather than simply as machines made to serve man's will. Lydia's eyes softened as she returned Xavier's gaze, her timid smile showing both her anxiety and her determination to become Captain.

    "Thank you, Captain. I will do my best to make you, the humans, and all the AI proud."

    He smiled, and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead before pulling her into another warm embrace.

    "I know you will. I have no doubt."

    After a few moments, he pulled away from her, still smiling to her.

    "I'll be heading t the council meeting shortly to give them my decision. Afterwards, we can go out for drinks, and I can give you the news."

    Returning the smile, she replied. "Yes I'd like that."
    #3 Kino, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2014
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  4. Club Concordia
    Repetitive, like footsteps across the floor, reverberating into people's chests, the beat goes on. There is no pause between songs, as people and AI alike shake and grind and let loose.

    The lights flash and shine in time with the music, an electric rainbow dancing overhead. The glitz and glamour is contrasted here by the cold metal decor, though it does its part to reflect and enhance the vibrancy of life.

    It is the only club in the entire Entertainment hub owned and staffed entirely by androids, and every inch of it exudes pride of that fact. After just two years of mixed reviews, Club Concord is everything it wanted to be and more. And in the shadows of one booth sits Donald Bryan, Councilman of Entertainment, the powerhouse behind the film and pornography industry.


    "Concordia baby, how are you?"

    "I am well Councilman Brian."

    "Call me Donnie, that's what everyone on this level calls me."

    She was at her turn table, cleaning up as the event for that night finished. Her work station was littered with cables and massive sound speakers stood behind her. The neon lights of Club Concord bounced off of her metal frame in a dizzying manner.

    Donald placed a cigar - a rarity on the ship - into his mouth and lit it with a finger.

    "Listen baby doll, I got a proposition for ya. You've heard about the anniversary that's coming up? Oh, course you know what I'm talking about, professional woman like yourself. Anyways, I've been put in charge of running this shindig and I got to thinking about hosting it in your club. Your place is hot, your music is hot, you're hot - what's not to like? Get what I'm saying?"

    He breathed a ring of smoke onto her turntable.

    "Will I be compensated?"

    "Sure, sure. Lets say, a thousand credits."

    "Two thousand."

    "A thousand five hundred."

    "A thousand seven hundred and fifty. "

    "Ah alright toots. And you're gonna have it ready by tomorrow right?"

    The short notice was no doubt irritating, but Concordia was a professional woman.

    "Of course Councilmen Brian. Donald. It will a roaring party that no one will ever forget."

    He smiled a yellowed toothy grin. "I look forward to it."
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  5. The Bunker
    The atmosphere is tense. The Councilmembers have been alerted that the Captain is retiring, but as tradition dictates, he has not chosen a successor. He has invited the Council for an abrupt meeting and many think he has finally come to a decision.

    Each Councilmember has a seat at the Board Table, their chairs marked with a symbol of their department: wheat and a droplet of water for Agriculture, an open book for Education, a camera for Entertainment, a gun for Security and so on. Each Councilmember ceremoniously took their seats, a somber quiet descending upon the group.

    "So what is this about Captain?" demanded Melina, breaking the silence.

    Xavier looked tense. He knew the reaction he was about to get from his colleagues would be mostly negative, and was bracing himself for it. After Melina's outburst, he snapped out of it, and sighed quietly.

    "You've all been waiting to know who I've named as my successor. Well I've made my decision. My successor will be Lydia, eight-hundred and fifteen dash one-hundred and sixty-five, currently the ship's lead navigator."

    David furrowed his brow at Xavier. "Are you joking? If you are please, at least, give us a hint of sarcasm." He sat back in his arms and folded his arms.

    A sigh came from Craig in response to David's words. "If it were a joke we wouldn't be here." He nodded to the captain and continued. "I for one, am glad that we are able to accept someone who has been very useful to us in the past years."

    "Are we expected to give them rights now?" Mark looked at Daiyu for a moment, and then back to the arguing pair. "I have had many androids on my missions, and they are expendable. If we start giving them their own place on the council, we will simply run out of resources. We will need to provide more for them, and maybe less for our own."

    Crimson nails tapped against the board table, something Rose usually did when she did not approve of something. A loud groan came from the mouth of the dark skinned female before she ran a hand through her hair. She looked around at the others of the Council before slamming a fist into the table, manifesting into form the rage that she was feeling.

    "Surely you're kidding about nominating an AI to the position, right? Sure, they have helped us throughout our lives on this vessel but that does not mean we are obligated to give them anything in return. These beings that we have created are EXPENDABLE, machines used for getting closer to our main goal - finding another planet. The program that gave the androids sentience should have never been created in the first place."

    A scoff came from the one of the wisest of the group - the Council Representative of Health and Medicine. Byron sent a glare in the direction of the Level One representative before tugging the bottom of his tie, adjusting it so it fit nice and snug around his neck. A silver box like device came out of the male's pocket before being placed lightly upon the table for all to see. A flickering green light came from the center, before erupting into a display of information. His digits slipped across the hologram, dragging around numerous files and notes before finally moving to a particular video. The simulation played out, showing numerous AI operating and assisting humans within one of the many infirmaries. "The program was not a mistake, and they are not expendable. Besides being made out of mechanical parts, these AI can feel and think just like us. Already you three sound naive by not opening up your mind more to the matter. This girl has served the Captain well and there is no reason as to why we should not trust him in his choice. The man is not an idiot."

    A stupid grin plastered Sofia's weathered face. "Well I probably won't be around much longer to see how this android will do, so I say to hell with it! Let her be Captain."

    Daiyu looked at Mark, biting her lower lip. She stayed silent, on the matter.

    Nira also had her arms crossed, shaking her head in disappointment. "What if a hacker decides to get her? Or a virus? We've had that happen before. Sure, it didn't grow to be massive problems, but it could be one if she is captain of the ship. I agree she has done a good job, but there are many risks in this decision."

    Vanessa chimed in.

    "I work with AI every single day down in engineering. They get the job done a lot more efficiently than most of the idiots down there. Plus, there are defenses we could put in place to help prevent hacking. It's not like Lydia wouldn't be protected if she was the captain anyways." The engineer spoke matter-of-factly. Her gazed moved around the room to the others in the room, several of which were glaring at her. None more than Melina, who looked absolutely furious.

    "I won't stand for it! It's bad enough that we let them onto the security force and give them weapons. Then we started developing all those DISGUSTING cybernetic 'enhancements' that even humans could use to make themselves more like the androids! Now you want one of them to be on the council with us? FUCK YOU! I refuse to call one of those vermin my equal!"

    Carter spoke up after her short rant, looking irritated at her remarks. "Calm down Melina, for fuck's sake. You keep talking like that and I might take it as a threat. You don't want that now do you?"

    She glared daggers at him.

    "Try me, asshole."

    Xavier cut in, having had enough of the squabbling.

    "I've made my decision, and it's final. There is nothing that can be said to make me change my mind on this. Lydia is my chosen successor. Period."

    Craig accepted what Xavier said. All of this arguing was useless. Androids were as much apart of the human race as animals were. "We work with androids every day, we know them as friends, and some of us know them in a more lewd way." Craig shot a glare at Donald and proceeded. "If we cannot accept androids into the council, why would we have them?"

    David piped up after Craig. "We cannot accept them into the council for the same reason that we don't make all of them sentient. They are not capable of what we are." David stood up, he looked at his fellow council members with pain in his eyes. "If we enable them, we disable ourselves."

    "Of course you would say that. You've been having a fit all year trying to increase production of food for the higher levels. If you had cared about our fellow people, you would have made the decision to make production equal for all of levels." Mark's words were only the first blow to many attacks on Councilman Anderson.

    Rose was beginning to get a headache from the uprising arguments and the situation at hand. She narrowed her eyes when she rendered the words 'Fuck you' to the Captain, seeing that as a bold yet ignorant move. A deep hatred slowly began to rise in her heart for the Level 4 woman in front of her, mostly due to the fact that she actually agreed with the snake for once in her life. It wasn't new to anyone that those of her level and Melinda's hated each other. Her fingers tapped rapidly against the table again, stress obviously effecting her. Reluctantly the Council Representative of Level 1 stood up before walking to the back of Melinda's seat. It was time to devise something to end this argument once and for all.

    "It pains me to say this, it really does - but this dumb bitch in front of me is right. I will not tolerate that android becoming part of the Council, or the captain for another thing. FUCK this stupid idea. Those upon my level already get harsh enough treatment from the others, and I don't want to be worrying about the androids getting higher than us on this food chain. It's two to one Xavier."

    The words of Melina had hit Byron hard, causing him to rub his cybernetic leg as a response to her comment. He took the silver box off of the table and placed it back into his pocket, feeling as if he gave a good enough representation of his thoughts to the group already. His eyes followed Rose and widened as she walked behind Melinda. A small smile came upon his face as he nodded in the direction of the current captain. "Two to two you mean... I'm quite intrigued with this Lydia girl myself and want to see how those around all of the ship react to an AI being the head."

    Nira sighed, relenting. "Fine. So long as Carter will handle security for Lydia, I will accept her as our new captain. But if something happens to our ship or to the new captain that should have been prevented I am holding both Carter and Xavier responsible."

    Daiyu leaned forward with another glance towards Mark. "I am... Reluctant to have Lydia as the Captain. I can accept her as the navigator, but as Captain? It seems nonsensical." The woman stared down at her splayed hands. "But if the ship goes down, we all go down - and that includes androids."

    In the midst of arguing Sophia trudged to a vending machine in the room. It scanned her barcode tattoo and out came a porcelain cup of coffee. She inhaled its heavenly aroma before sitting down. "I think my opinion on such a new and heated topic shouldn't even be considered. I'm an old fart, so do what you think is best Captain. Daiyu speaks the truth, if the ship goes down, we all go down."

    Donald had been quiet during the majority of the conference, but grinned at Craig. "Sure I'm not the best person on the ship, but at least I put the androids to work. And I for one am completely against having an android be a captain. Why - they might actually want rights like us humans. I'm gonna be put out of work."

    He leaned back in his chair, a spectator in this cat fight between Melina and Rose. "But maybe I won't be out of work after all. You ladies interested in my latest film?" His smile was far too dashing.

    Melina was still furious, but at least it seems her side of the argument was gaining some ground. That worthless cunt Rose was even on her side. Maybe she wasn't such a useless bag of shit after all.

    "This cannot stand. There must be a way to block this from happening. No android can be allowed to serve with us!"

    "Give it a rest ya fucking bitch. The only reason YOU got onto the council is because your daddy picked you as his successor when HE was the rep of level 4. I'm sure most of us would have loved the opportunity to have barred THAT decision too."

    Carter leaned back in his chair as he spoke, and gave an arrogant smirk to Melina as he propped his feet up on the table. She shot up from her chair and started to scream, "WHY YOU LITTLE!" but she was cut off by Vanessa, who anticipated Melina's reaction from Carter.

    "Alright knock it off you two! Look, you want to make this fair? Then it's simple. We hold a ship-wide vote. Let the people decide if the AI gets to be Captain or not. If everyone is for the idea, then we have nothing to argue about. Aye?"

    Carter immediately spoke up, still smirking at Melina.


    Melina paused for a moment before sitting back down and glaring at Carter.

    "Fine. Aye."

    Mark nodded at the group knowing that was the best decision. "Aye." He folded his arms and sat back in his chair. He'd prefer the vote instead of arguing, it had always annoyed him when they got up in arms about a situation.

    David rolled his eyes. He hated the idea of having a tinker toy in the council. It took him a moment to speak up, but he made his response loud. "Aye."

    The economist looked around and then smiled. "I'm glad we are coming to a conclusion." Craig put his hands together and leaned back. "Aye."

    A sigh escaped Rose's lips as she went back to her seat. Her word were always overpowered by the others and she didn't have much faith in what she proposed either, especially when it was her and Melina against the others. She looked around at the others as they gave their 'Ayes' before widening her eyes. In the ship wide vote she would have the support of all of those on her level. No android was going to be elected to be captain of the ship on her watch. "...Aye..."

    Byron's expression was obviously one of shock, but he was filled with gladness as well. "Any being who has sentience should also have rights... I hope we won't be shackling them down any longer. Aye."

    Sophia sipped her coffee. "Well of course Aye."

    Daiyu shrugged. Both her and Nira said, "Aye."

    Donald slammed his fists on the table. "Nay! I'm telling you, these fucking androids will want rights once we make this Lydia captain."

    Xavier sighed again. He wasn't satisfied with the vote, but it was at least a step in the right direction. Maybe it was a good thing though. Maybe the people really were ready for this. They had to be...


    The group looked to Donald, the only member to vote against. It had to be unanimous. Carter spoke up after Donald.

    "Oh come on you old perv. Even the bitch twins over there are willing to go through with this. Do you really love your AI porn that much?"

    Craig chuckled for a moment and then spoke. "I'm sure if your androids end up doing something else and fucking those lonesome men who enter into your district, then we will be fine."

    Rose opened her mouth, about to spit out a flurry of curse words but decided that what she already said was enough. There wasn't a limit on how much she could curse but she didn't want to have the others completely hate her. Rather than speaking, a sneaky middle finger in the direction of Carter was her rebuttal.

    Donald shot Carter a glare that melted paint off the walls. "It is business you little shit. If I can't get androids to work a job that humans already refuse to do, there goes the economy. There goes the people's money and their happiness."

    Donald would have spat if they weren't in a nice carpeted room. Such luxuries are hard to replace in a spaceship. "Up yours Craig. Up. Yours. Alright look, if the economy on this ship suffers because the androids don't wanna work I'm blaming all of you."

    He paused and slapped the table. "Aye."
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  6. Lydia 815-165 — Level 4, crimson
    As with many of the other staff on the Bridge, Lydia was relieved of her duties after working for a long enough period of time. As an android, though, she was subjected to longer work shifts than most - thirty-six, sometimes even forty-eight hour shifts were typical, more grueling hours than even the Level Ones had to face. Fortunately, once the coordinates had been plotted, there were hardly ever any reasons for her to remain on the bridge, and she could always be paged in an emergency with a quick ping on her internal commlink.

    Worry was apparent on her face as she left her post and headed towards the internal ship monorail, debating what to tell her boss about Xavier Reeth's offer to have her to succeed him as Ship Captain of the Initium Novum. Would he be pleased? Upset? What about when she explained that she had accepted the decision without consulting him first? Angry? Impressed? Lydia knew her boss well enough that, while she could sense deep within her mechanical core that his responses would lean harsh and aggressive, she still held onto hope.

    The android stepped into the monorail as it whisked her away, making its rounds before arriving at her stop in the sunbathed gardens of Level 4. She stepped out into the simulated sunlight, its warmth providing some reassurance that things might not go as badly as she anticipated. Casually greeting other Fours who recognized her, she continued to walk a brisk, but graceful stride towards the elevators which would take her up to the suites - premier housing decked with luxury amenities and boasting incredible views both inward to the Level 4 gardens as well as outward out into the cosmos.


    After another security scan and credential check, the elevator doors slid open and Lydia stepped inside, sliding upwards to the highest floors before letting off a pleasant chime sound and letting her out. Smoothing her outfit, Lydia made her way towards her boss' suite. Though she had no need for oxygen, she took a deep breath to calm her fraying nerves before scanning her wrist before the door.

    Silence followed for several moments while the system processed her credential. After a short while, the airlocks released on the door and it slid open, revealing an ominously dark room that Lydia was all too familiar with. She stepped inside and the door closed behind her, enveloping her in pitch black. She had no need to breathe, but the darkness was suffocating.

    A single desk lamp flickered on, illuminating the only apparent pieces of furniture in this room: a large wooden desk, and a chair. As her optics adjusted, the light was enough for Lydia to make out the silhouette of her boss in the chair, waiting for her to speak with arms folded.

    "Good afternoon, sir," she greeted timidly. It was a drastic change in demeanor - where before she had moved with grace and pride, now she was meek, afraid, even ashamed.

    She was not graced with a response. Even in the dark she could feel his icy stare. Lydia cleared her throat, for no other reason than to break the silence.

    "As you know, Captain Xavier Reeth is retiring. He has... selected me to succeed him as Captain of the Initium Novum."

    A begrudging sigh escaped the man's lips. "Congratulations?" He snarked. "How many dicks did you suck to land that preposterous promotion?"

    Lydia's lips parted in shock at the insinuation. "It's not like that. I didn't-- I never..." she sighed. "Xavier chose me."

    "'Xavier'? One-Sixty-Five my dear, haven't I told you how impolite it is for androids to refer to humans by their first names? And since when does Reeth have the authority to put everyone's life in danger by handing the keys over to an android like you? What makes you think you'll be a good captain, lead a crew and keep the ten million lives on board the ship safe?"

    She shrank within the darkness from his words. "Xavi-- Captain Reeth believes I am the best candidate."

    The figure in the chair scoffed. "He's also been in love with you since he was instated. It'd be such a shame if that sweet old man of yours found out who you really are." His stare on her intensified. "I will allow you to pursue this role as Captain. For now. But do not expect me to provide you any extra freedoms. I still expect you to uphold your end of the bargain."

    "I understand. Thank you, sir."

    "Speaking of which, I have an appointment for you tonight. It'll be in th--"

    "I can't do tonight... sir." She hesitated before explaining. "I've already made arrangements."

    "You don't have any previously arranged appointments for tonight."

    "This one is personal." Lydia had to get out before he pressed her on it further. "It's related to the promotion. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to be late."

    An angry groan from her boss followed as she exited the room, doors sliding closed behind her. Visibly rattled, she left to meet back with Xavier for drinks as she promised.
    #6 fatalrendezvous, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
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  7. Kallen Kurenai - Level 4, crimson

    Up in level 4, things were pretty good for people that lived there. It'd be a great place for anyone to live.. That is if it wasn't for near everyone of the rich looking down on the other levels like they're top shit just because they were able to circulate their credits better. Who's to say any of them didn't manipulate that fact just to get there. This person however, is different. At an ordinary residential area, at a particularly large home, lived an engineer. Things usually weren't quiet with her around.

    "Flint? Where's my... FUCK!" A woman exclaimed. She had crimson red hair long enough to stop at the middle of her back, pulled into a neat, nice-looking ponytail. She looked like she was in a hurry inside of her home, certainly too large for one person, but one person it had seemed to accommodate. A few years back, she lost her parents. Even further back, to when she was sixteen, she lost her left arm and sight from her left eye. In comes with the cybernetics you now see. Her left arm was completely made of cybernetics, sleek in design, top-notch in functionality as if she never lost an arm. Her eye looked ordinary too, until you get a closer look at it, then you'd see all the gears and fun bits functioning about behind her ice-blue iris. "Flint? Where are you Flint? I could use a hand here." Soon, in came a hovering little droid, carrying something between its digits counting as 'hands.' It was no bigger than her head and seemed to lack lingual communication, but this engineer seemed to like it that way. The woman looked to Flint and eyes the object it was holding, "Oh, you found it, thank you Flint~. I wouldn't have been able to get back up here without that pass. Since the jump, I didn't have time to grab it beforehand." She whisked it away from the little robot's grip, smiling as she pats the top of its single, somewhat large optic that looked like a piece of a binocular.

    The little floating droid started making a series of chant-like beeps and woos, circling around her which made the girl chuckle, "Calm down there, buddy. Of course I wouldn't leave you behind, you're coming with me for my work today anyways, like any other day. Now come on, we've got some people to visit down in level 3 and 2 today before the party." And with that, she left the house with the droid close in tow. Soon after, a neighbor's voice seemed to have caught her attention, "I see you're off to your next job Kallen.. I'd hate to see you end up in some ditch somewhere in level 1." Oh boy, it was Frank, one of the snobs of this neighborhood that'd be better off minding his own business and rotting in his own ignorance. The girl gives a fake smile and turns to him, "Well, good day to you too, Frank. Who knows, people down there are a lot more welcoming than this place, I bet they'd be a lot better to be with during the party than you." "Yeah well good riddance if you do, honey. Shouldn't be bothering with those shits anyways, their money ain't worth it." That just made her shake her head. As Kallen turned away, she put her cybernetic hand on her hip, close to her rear as she leaned on one leg. Tilting her hips to exaggerate a point, she looks back at him with a rough smirk as her accentuated body shows off mockingly, "Kiss my ass Frank, my work's got nothing to do with you so why don't you go back to eating shit from brown-nosing the politicians?" And with that, she walked off, already hearing an angry man barking at her as she holds in a laugh.

    Passing the checkpoint as she flashes her card for the guards as she exits, Kallen heads for an elevator to send her off to her first location, down to level 2, "Well Flint, today might be fun, don't you think?" The little guy responds with another short set of sounds, the top of its head spinning about as if to show excitement, or just because he can. Smiling, she rubs the top of the droid again and holds in a giggle, "You're right. When we finish up our visits, we'll have some fun. Though, I have to say.. The air feels.. Morbid, as of late. Maybe a party will do some good, I'd hope.."

    #7 Detective Zero, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  8. Overworked
    Perhaps it is because androids are notoriously overworked, or perhaps because they weren't humans that Councilwoman Nira approached Concordia once she left her workplace. Normally the woman would have left the android a message about such matters, but Nira wanted to do it in person. She at least wanted to give Concordia that much respect.

    "Excuse me. Concordia is it?"

    The android paused and turned to look at the Councilwoman. Braids fell from her normally immaculate hair, swishing in time to her steps. Nira looked breathless, like she had been on a run before coming here.

    "Yes it is. Councilwoman Hadiya I presume?"

    "Yes, yes. Listen I have to run a meeting in a few minutes but I need a music teacher for tomorrow's class. The teacher left because she's giving birth so I need a replacement and well - I figured you could do it."

    "I have a prior engagement with Councilman Bryan tomorrow night."

    "I'll pay you double what he offered you if you can do this for me. And it's only during the day."

    That caught Concordia's attention. "He offered nearly two thousand credits."

    "Fine, four thousand. Will you report to Level 3 at oh-six-hundred hours? It's in the education sector, you can't miss it."

    The android nodded. "Of course."

    Nira breathed a huge sigh of relief. "It's only for one day. Oh thank goodness." Without a goodbye, she started sprinting towards the nearest teleporter.
  9. Celyn:Level 3
    Celyn was in the middle of preparing an on-the-go breakfast when the ship jumped.

    Of course, she had known about the jump before hand, most people did, but she had lost track of time, and she was reaching for the toaster as the ship jolted, her bare feet slipping on the apartment floor as she landed on her back. Electrifying pain ran up and down her spine. She grabbed onto the nearest object- the edge of the counter- and clambered to her feet as the shuddering came to an end, rubbing her back with her free hand. The jarring pain had subsided quickly, but her spine still felt sensitive. Continuing to rub it gently, she looked towards the toaster for her bagel, only to find it wasn't there, and instead had managed to clatter onto the floor.

    "Damn cybernetics- damn bagels!" She muttered to herself, bending over to snatch the bagel off the ground and toss it into the garbage disposal before grabbing another from the small box on the counter. They were fresh bagels, purchased yesterday, made from a fine quality grain. She wouldn't take anything else for her morning meal. She sliced the bagel into two pieces and slid them into the toaster, activating the small, old machine and turning away to gather her things.

    She had a VR training session today, and she wasn't pleased. Sure, the sessions were fun enough, who doesn't like shooting at virtual aliens for hours? But why today of all days did she have to be scheduled for VRT? There was the scheduled jump, that party that everybody was planning for... atop of other things. She shook her head to clear her thoughts.

    "It's not a big deal.. that was years ago. Get over it, K. Get over it."

    Still rubbing her back, she sat down on the edge of the small bench-seat that wrapped around her kitchen table. It was nestled into the corner of the room like a booth, with the bench-seat curled around the wall and two extra chairs on the outer edge of the table. She pulled on her shoes and yanked her hair back into a tight ponytail, flipping it over her shoulder as she stood. She glanced at the digital clock embedded into the wall- she had ten minutes before she was supposed to report for VRT.

    "Come on... come on..." The stupid toaster was taking too long. She probably could have thrown the bagels on top of the plasma TV and it would have cooked faster. She slammed a fist against the device and with a sharp ding! the bagels popped up, crisp and toasted. Huffing in annoyance she grabbed the burning hot bagels and carelessly smeared cream cheese on top before heading out the door, a bag slung over her shoulder carrying the essentials. The door locked automatically behind her.

    She lived not to far from the HQ, but Celyn also had a habit of walking everywhere she went, which meant that the trip could take well over fifteen minutes on a normal day. But this wasn't a normal day. Instead, she pushed and shoved through the people in her way, stuffing the bagel in her mouth as she went. She absolutely could not be late to today's training session. She wasn't entirely sure what her superiors would think of her if she was.

    Celyn was rather young for the rank she received in Security Defense. It had been hard earned, certainly, but the Defense team had never actually seen combat and probably never would. The chances they would meet alien life in any star system seemed to be decreasing. In the past 150 years, they hadn't once come across a need for the Defense soldiers- in fact, they more often ended up becoming security guards than military officers. But for some reason, Celyn was deemed special. Perhaps it was her excellent shot, or her wit, but she was promoted to the most useless job on the ship. She had command of her own unit of troops that never saw action, and was under the command of men who also never saw action and probably never would. Level 1, broken down andriods probably had a more important job than she, but something about it made her feel special.

    However those superiors could take away her good-feels if they felt like it- all they needed was a reason to demote one of the youngest useless-job officers on the ship, and she didn't doubt that they would. And she wouldn't give up her rank for anything. Not after the prices she paid to get it.

    Approaching the well fortified HQ at record timing, she stuffed the last bit of bagel into her mouth and began to go through security protocols. It felt like she was in Level 4 just trying to get into HQ. Everybody here knew her, but they still had to do thorough ID checks every time she walked in, or out, lest she be zapped by an electric fence. She wasn't too keen to find out how her cybernetics would handle the pulsating electricity anytime soon.

    "Hey, K, weren't you supposed to be here a half hour ago? Did the jump replace your alarm clock this morning?" One of the nearby security officials jeered at her, a knowing but familiar smirk placed on his lips.

    "Quit it, Levias, we can't all have internal brain-clocks. At least I'm here." She replied, stepping past the last security check to reclaim her bag and resettle the flyaway strands of her hair. "Aren't you supposed to be upstairs?"

    "Nah, boss swapped my schedule with Jarvus'. Now I've got nothing to do all day but monitor security trainee's. Fun." He complained. Levias was probably the most irritating security officer in the ship- and the laziest. He'd be damned if he had to do anything productive. She was surprised he hadn't joined the military sect instead, but he told her once that the pay was better in security. That, she wasn't surprised with.

    "Fun." She replied absently.

    "Whaddya think about the jump, K? New star system and all that. Think we finally got a chance of landing this dump?" Levias asked her, running a pocket knife under his nails. She wrinkled her nose.

    "I don't care about the jump. I never will care about the jumps. They don't concern me. The moment we land in a system with actual sentient life forms, particularly ones that have brains big enough to know they are sentient, you can let me know. Until then, I'll spend my days lounging around staring at my plasma screen 'till I'm hungry."

    He chuckled.
    "That is a tall order, sister. I'll let you know. But I'd hurry along if I were you; VRT starts in T-minus two minutes."

    "Fuck," she breathed, hitching her bag onto her shoulder and turning down the narrow pathways of the HQ. She could hear Levias chortling behind her.


  10. "Patrolling the level 3 farmers market ... Nothing to report."

    Good job Artie come on back in, your shift is over."

    "Roger dispatch."

    MAI-0023 AKA Artemis. A faded label on his right shoulder, in big black letters, read "The latest in guardian AI. Intium Novum's own white knight."

    The hulking android was plastered with these slogans. Slogans that no longer mattered to him.

    "HEY SOMEBODY STOP HIM! THIEF!" a young man shouted from the crowd. "HE HAS MY WALLET!"

    Artemis turned to see a thug running right at him through the crowd. The street rat was looking behind him watch his victim get lost in the ocean of people, he flashed a toothy grin.
    Quickly, Artemis ducked in between two merchant stands.

    "HA HA EAT IT YOU HIGH CLASS FUCKER!" the thug called back to his victim.

    Artemis charged his stun gun and just as the thief crossed his path Artemis fired, catching the him in the leg.

    "Ah ah ah ah ah!" *Thud* the thug hit the floor twitching and in pain.

    Artemis picked him up by the back of his shirt "You are under arrest for theft. Do you know your rights?"

    "F fuck you shitbot." he spat on the officers face plate.

    The android put him down and slapped a pair of hand cuffs on him. The young from the crowd came running up and Artemis handed him his wallet.

    "Th... Thank you of... officer." he said in between breaths.

    "Just doing my job." his voice hallow. "Dispatch I have one coming in. Offense: Theft. I need a transport to pick him up."

    "Ooo man Atrie finally got some action huh? How did it feel after all these years?"

    "It felt amazing over and out." a lack of enthusiasm was replaced with sarcasm.
  11. KT317704 - Level 3 - The Education Section, #EE7600

    Three months had passed since the activation of the android KT317704, in those three months the droid had quickly learnt to adapt to the understanding of how the human race expressed their thoughts via the use of their tone and bodily movement. It appeared that contact with others was important for them. Some humans would briefly hold hands when they met each other; this was considered a friendly gesture. While others would use the force of their weight to collide with a mass of the over making to repel the other humans. But the strangest one act that KT had seen was the way that humans contentedly smashed their faces together, conjoining at their lips as their breathing and heart rates increased rapidly. Baffled by the concept, the android settled on the thought that maybe it was a form for the humans to process and share data and thus the increase in their bodily functions.

    KT’s marble orange eyes glazed over the clock that lay on the small square shaped table next to the bed on which she sat, it read 0515 and class started in 45 minutes - time for her to leave. Making a swift exit from the four walled location in which her masters had deemed her ‘living space’ the android quickly made her way out of the apartment block and toward the education sector.

    The city proved itself to be an interesting challenge for KT; she found it was like playing a game as she attempted to predict the movements of the bustling crowds of humans to determine where they would move next and in turn where she too should place herself for the best possible outcome to avoid collision. Collision meant a stand-still and if at a standstill one could not move forward and more often than not both android and human would raise their voices. Which KT had recently learnt was an expression of something called ‘disdain.’

    Using the various maps to guide her, the android eventually discovered the magnificence of the education sector. Unlike the rest of the ship, the building of the education section felt organic like the birth of life. Beautifully built with oval entrances, vibrant with the colours and fresh smells of greenery that were complimented by glass windows that looked out onto the city.

    Walking up the steps KT made her way to the reception where she waited until another android escorted her to the Music Room.

    KT’s first day at school began.

    #11 Ai, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
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  12. "The Workshop"
    Elias sat at his desk and gazed over the pieces and parts that covered it. Dark circles formed under his eyes from lack of sleep, and a look of pure frustration overtook his face. He had been working on that damned welding attachment for two days now, and each attempt had blown up in his face, in both literal and non-literal forms. He stood up from his chair and pulled on his jacket, leaving the safe confines of his workshop to get some "fresh" air.

    Lately, he couldn't help but notice how similar level three was to level two. False promises of a new home made life on the ship irritable. Every day he heard someone complain about it, often times he heard more than one person complain. It couldn't be helped, some people were more irritable than others. The real question that lingered in his mind concerned that amount of time that the ship would be able to sustain human life. Surely the Initium Novum would not last forever; Elias doubted it would even last another one-hundred and fifty years. Elias turned off of the street he was walking on and changed his course, now heading towards the Entertainment Hub. A drink might do him quite a bit of good right now anyway.

    He stepped into a large elevator occupied by a few other residents of the ship that he didn't recognize. It shot up, and after a few minutes, it stopped at the Entertainment hub. He stepped out into the huge space, looking over the environment. He liked it here; it was so relaxed, and everything here was easier. He stepped into a small bar that was located fairly close to the elevator, and sat down at a booth rather than the counter. A waitress that he recognized quickly came to get his order, unoccupied as the space was nearly empty. "I'll have the house brew, as always." She nodded to him, and minutes later she returned with his drink, setting it on the table he sat at.

    He sipped it and went back into thought, mentally mapping out blueprints for his project.
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  13. Nova's Glow on Level 4 Nova's Glow was nearly empty this time of day. It was too early for most people to be out drinking. The high class pub was just starting to switch to it's dinner menu. The pub was a popular social stop for those on level 4, as it looked over the river and served some of the best food and drink on the ship. Away from the high energy atmosphere of the Entertainment Hub, it was the perfect place for a pleasant outing with friends or a significant other.

    It was here that Xavier waited for his beloved Lydia to arrive. He sat in a corner booth, wearing a casual outfit consisting of a cerulean blue button-up shirt with long sleeves, classic blue jeans, and black walking shoes. This would be one of very times that Lydia would see him without his uniform on, and he seemed to want to make an impression.

    After some time patiently waiting, Lydia finally arrived. She was in fact only slightly late, but Xavier had arrived quite early. With a smile, Xavier waved her over, and called for two drinks, his usual order. She took her seat across from him, and immediately, he saw that something was wrong. She wasn't making eye contact with him, and seemed preoccupied, maybe worried about something. Perhaps she was having seconds thoughts about being captain.

    "Lydia, are you alright?"

    He moved his hand over the table to rest on hers, but she flinched and withdrew it. This was indeed unlike her. Even for an AI as human as her, flinching was something you almost never saw in an android. He began to think that he might be asking to much of her as his successor.

    "Lydia... I'm sorry if it's a lot to take in, but just hang in there. All this tension will blow over in time. And I have news from the Council. Not all of them were welcoming of the idea of an AI becoming Captain, but we managed a compromise. We... well actually."

    He looked at the watch on his wrist.

    "Perfect timing. Here, look."

    Xavier motioned to the monitors on the wall across from their booth, and just as the robot waiter came over with their drinks and left, all of the monitors switched to the same thing. A Broadcast of Vanessa Richardson, Council Representative of Engineering was being displayed on every screen on the ship.

    "Greetings everyone. This is an important announcement to everyone on the ship. As you all know, tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of our mission's start date. It is a great milestone in our history, and I'm sure most everyone is ready for a good celebration.

    However, as some of you know, our current ship Captian, Xavier Reeth, will be retiring after tomorrow as well. He has chosen his replacement today."

    A picture of Lydia appeared on the screen, dressed in her work uniform on the Bridge.

    "Her name is Lydia, eight one five dash one six five. She is an AI who has been serving this ship faithfully and without incident since the ship was first boarded 150 years ago. It is Captain Reeth's opinion that this AI would make a better captain than anyone else he has worked with, and has put all his faith into that decision.

    However, this presents a problem as AI are not currently permitted to serve in such a position. It is the decision of the Council to leave that choice up to you, the people of Initium Novum. It is only fitting then that the vote be held tomorrow during the 150th anniversary celebration, marking not only our great history, but also Lydia's mark of 150 years of service. If you the people vote for her tomorrow, then we will, for the first time in history, have an AI serving on the Council as Ship Captain. I urge everyone to cast their vote, and make your voice heard one way or the other. Thank you for your time, and have a wonderful day at tomorrow's celebration."

    Xavier grimaced at the announcement.

    "Tomorrow? Damn it... They're not giving much time."
    #13 Kino, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2014
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  14. Rowan Ward - Level 3, #C8B9A6
    "Th' lrk arn-", Rowan began, pausing to swallow so she could speak more clearly, "The look on that guy's face yesterday was priceless. And when I told him your noise cannon was a death ray?"

    The cyborg dropped her fork on the table she sat at, throwing her hands up and exclaiming, "Shit fuck, don't zap me with that thing man! I wont do it again! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" She laughed, maybe a little harder than was warranted. One or two people looked over at their table, appearing less amused. "Mama! The little shit calls for his mama, all teary eyed and shakin'. What was it you said again?"

    As per the usual, Rowan spent her break stuffing her face and chatting with her android partner in some diner. This was one of the better ones on their level, even better than some joints on level four she'd claim. The aesthetic was simple, complete with black and white tiled floors, small booths with leather-backed seating for four and a cork-board tacked with photos of people who'd completed some challenge by wolfing down a big meal in a set amount of time. You know the ones.

    The paper-thin monitor on the diner's back wall caught Rowan's attention, her eyes shifting and sticking to the councilwoman on-screen. "You takin' anyone to the anniversary shindig, Kel? I'm thinkin' of hittin' up that cutie over at the Conchord", she spoke over the broadcast, jabbing her fork into a sausage, "Assuming she's not plugged in. Oof, that gig must get tir-"

    The fleshier of the two officers stopped mid-sentence as a picture of the ship's lead navigator came up, brows raised. "Check it out" She grinned and reached across the table to slap her partner's arm, "Reeth's puttin' Lydia in the captain's seat, she'll be the first AI to ever take a spot on the council!"

    Richards continued speaking, going on to say that the honor the retiring captain was passing down to Lydia was not actually something she was allowed to take up. Rowan made a face like she'd smelled something foul, shaking her head. "Well yeah, of course they're not just gonna let it happen. Progression does generally come with resistance, right?"

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  15. Prayer, teal
    "What's he doin?"
    "Why. he's an android ain't he?"
    "Of course he is, look at him."
    "I dunno, lots of people getting pretty robotic recently, and I thought androids didn't believe in religion."
    "I know how ya feel, the lines between human and android are blurring, and apparently some of them do."
    "Hey look he's even got his own robot servant, ain't that ironic."
    "Isn't that illegal? A robot owning a robot, I mean it's like they're trying to become our equals or something. Next thing you know they'll be asking for equal rights and taking positions of power."

    "That would never happen, I mean think about it, no one on the council would even remotely think about giving them rights, let alone a position that was actually important."
    "Yea maybe I'm just getting paranoid."

    It was then that Kriodine stood up from his prayer, his shift was over. He briskly walked past the two who were talking behind him, and made his way to the transmat terminal. It wasn't until after he boarded the elevator, that he unclenched his fist.

    After he arrived at the second level he made a beeline to his home, he had projects to complete and he was not one to waste time. As he opened the door to his humble abode he was immediately greeted by S3CRTY, his personal assistant. The droid handed a pile of papers to him, and then proceeded to wait for his response. As Kriodine looked through the paper work, mentally marking each document as he went through them. After going through the whole pile, he handed all but one back to his assistant. "
    S3 do me a favor, after you file those away bring me file 0348."

    The droid gave a beep to show that it understood and proceeded to fly off, moments later it returned with a cylinder in it's grasp. Kriodine grabbed the cylinder and pulled out the blue prints within. Hid droids then proceeded to hover around him while he worked on the blue print, occasionally he would would look at something on the document he had kept and then make a quick change to the blue print. This continued on for hours on end, it wasn't until someone had knocked on his door that he got up from his desk. When he went to answer his door, the only thing that greeted him was a package with a note on top. He took the package inside and began to read the note out loud "
    Dear Kriodine, the upcoming meeting has been postponed until further notice. Instead please use the time you would have spent at the meeting at the upcoming party instead. Love Ophosph."

    He stood there for a moment, before finally putting the note inside and getting to the small package that accompanied it. After punching in his personal authenticator code, the small metal package opened up to reveal a small semi transparent cube. "
    S3 delete all of my appointments leading up to the day of the party, then schedule the party on my calender. After that calculate how much money will be required to fund file 0348's completion."

    "Exactly 324,562 credits required to complete upcoming project"

    Reasonable, now calculate how many hours it would require to finish learning all the data stored in this cube." He then handed the small green cube to the robot, who then quickly scanned it and returned it to his hands.

    "It would require 28 uninterrupted hours to complete the installation of "A Complete Understanding of Modern Cybernetics". Would you like this file to take priority over the other files?"

    "No, please put it with the rest and bring me "The Beginners Guide to Magic." The machine quickly flew off with the cube and came back with a cube that looked exactly like it. "Good, now one last thing. I need you to notify the other level 2 members that the meeting is cancelled, and that attendance to the upcoming anniversary party is mandatory. Thank you S3 that is all."


  16. 'The Slums'

    "Seth, for the last time, sweep the back alley and take out the garbage," Mr. Felbury, probably one of the fattest men Seth had ever seen yelled at him yet again. Mr. Felbury owned the small sorry excuse of a restaurant that Seth worked at. Seth sighed hard as he tugged on the red and white striped apron that hung over his white t shirt and black jeans. It was so wrong that guys like Felbury could come down here into level one and rob the poor blind with their high priced meals. Seth used to not have a problem with it, but ever since his father died and his mother had fallen severely ill, he's had to step up and provide for his family. People like Felbury made that in possible with how little they paid for so much work.

    Seth sighed and picked up the broom and dust pan, "Yes sir," he spit out the submission as he pushed out the back alley door. Seth looked up at the flickering lights and sighed. Things had been so much better before. He would make them better again. He had been skimming money from the register for the past three months in such low qualities that the greedy son of a bitch just chalked it up to the obvious 'lack' of education his younger employees had. Seth leaned on the broom and shoved his free hand into his pocket pulling out the small card. With a touch of a button, he checked his funds and smiled ever so slightly. He almost had enough for his mother's medication for....last month.

    "You'll never get the money you need doing this shit, Seth," a voice spoke from the shadows.

    Seth shoved his card back into his pocket and looked up. The voice startled him only a moment before realization set in. It was Vick. The officers called him a tick for sucking the life out of the slums, but if they knew him like Seth did, they would realize that he was a real hero. Seth would have never been able to pay for his mother's medication and appointments if it wasn't for the odd jobs he did for Vick. Of course, people did suffer, mostly the wealthier of the slums, but still. Seth had conflicting thoughts on it at first, until he began to see the results. Vick helped him when the rest of the ship abandoned his family.

    "I know, but I can't just quit. People will start asking questions and I can't leave my family. Vick, without me, Sarah and mom would starve," Seth sighed and shifted his weight, no longer leaning on the broom, "What are you doing here? You got something you want me to do?"

    "Seth, can't I just check up on my favorite thief?" Vick smiled before he passed a hand over his bald head. His smile faded when Seth didn't smile back, "Yes, Seth, I've got a job for you," Vick stepped closer Seth and pulled out a something small from his pocket.

    Seth's eyes fell on it and his heart stopped beating, "No, Vick, I won't you know that," Seth shook his head and lifted his hands in rejection.

    Vick sighed and then slid the item back into his pocket, "Look, why don't you think about it. Come over to the house after your shift and then tell me your answer," Vick put a hand on Seth's shoulder before he patted Seth's scarred face.

    Seth stared at Vick, the man who had replaced his father in Seth's life alone. It wouldn't hurt think about it, "Okay, Vick, I'll see you tonight."

    Vick smiled and stepped back into the shadows leaving Seth alone once again. He sighed hard before he took the broom in both hands and went back to work. He had quite a lot to think about over the next few hours.
  17. Kallen Kurenai - Level 2, #ff3333

    Getting through busy streets and pathways weren't easy, but Kallen found her way after trekking through a good two miles from the elevator she took. With Flint following close behind, it ducks down as they enter a doorway to what looks to be some kind of garage workshop. Her face was plastered with a wide smirk-like grin as she puts a small toolbox down on a table, her voice loud as it reverberates through the place, "Oi, Tito! Hurry your ass down here, I got you new toys, so I hope you got mine."

    A large, bulky man soon appears down the stairs to one room, entering the area she was standing in. He was human, dark-skinned with corn rows in his black hair and had a cybernetic right leg. The cybernetic looked of higher quality than could be possible for anyone to recieve in level 2, but what stood out was the signature mark left on the outer side of the shin. That same mark was on Kallen's shoulder for her cybernetic arm, which goes to show it was her work, or atleast adjustments in some cases. That's how she gets her work known if not by word of mouth or some cheap bench advertising - which, she never bothered to do such a thing. Who wants to read advertisements on or near a bench? . . . The man grinned as he picked up the toolbox, moving over to what looked like a worktable in the corner. Setting it down, he opens it up and smiles again, laughing gruffly. The man had a heavy accent, "Tha's my girl, always pullin' through. These'll help me jus' fine... And don't worry your l'il head Kall', I got what you need boxed up just over there." Kallen raises a brow and looks over to it, shifting over to open the box, "So these are the arclight capacitors and bi-calibrated processors I needed for my recent project? Honestly, you'd think the part junkies in level 3 would be willing to spare one but the bastards try and sell it off to me more than level 4 would. Stingy punks they are." Tito laughs shortly again, shaking his head as he pulls his new tools out one by one, hanging them up on the tool rack infront of him, "They just don't like any of the other levels snoopin' around their shit.. You always know if ya' need something, you can come to me. May be level two, but I will always pull through for you. It's thanks to you I'm still working after all."

    Kallen grins as she shuts the box and picks it up under her left arm, "Heh, enough of the flattery Tito, it's not like you. Don't want your customers finding out you're a big softy for being built like a natural tank. Just give me a call if that leg ever gives you trouble." She backs up a bit before turning off to the door she came in, looking back, "I'll be back in three days for the next delivery. I really need that nanodyne drive to finish it up. Anyways, I got business to be done in level 3, some checkups and all that. See you next time nad have fun at that party." Kallen waved behind her as she left out the door, Tito seeing her off with the toolbox lugged over his shoulder. With all that done, she and Flint moved off to their next task, walking the 2 miles back to the elevator, and towards level 3.

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  18. Keloran 7b - Level 3, cadetblue
    The bulky android sat across from his incorrigible partner, a grimace born on his features while he watched her shovel food into her mouth with less than an ounce of tact. She put away food better than she put away criminals, seemed like.

    He wasn't really paying much attention to the story she was telling, as he'd heard her recount it several times to other members of their precinct. Instead, he idly kept an eye on the time, a little display in the corner of the HUD projected by his visor.

    With a sigh, he repeated the line yet again. "I said, 'Don't fucking move, or I'll disintegrate your ass.'" Admittedly, remembering the look on that thug's face did bring him amusement, if only a little. Okay, maybe it was still funny. "Like they'd even authorize me to have that kind of equipment."

    Keloran's gaze followed Rowan's, craning his head to look back at the monitor behind him. "Ah... the anniversary. I nearly forgot." He hadn't really, of course; his internal calendar kept him apprised of all upcoming events, no matter the scope. Not to mention, it was the only thing anyone was talking about these days. He just didn't see the significance, personally.

    "I don't know why we're celebrating. All it means is that we've spent a century and a half floating through space with our dicks in our hands, yet to find a planet worth settling down on. Sounds like a failure to me." His scanner folded up, removing the green tinge to his vision. "And do you even need to ask who I'm taking? Assuming we're being invited to be more than just part of the security detail."

    Fiddling with the turret mounted on his shoulder, his attention was drawn back to the screen at the mention of Reeth's replacement. His eyes widened just slightly. "You're right, appointing her... it's going to cause some pushback." The implications behind his statement were far more severe than Rowan might know, and hopefully never would. The announcement clearly made him uncomfortable, but he wouldn't let her inquire as to why, instead sliding out of the booth and onto his feet.

    "Choke the rest of that down. It's time to get back on the beat." Keloran checked his HUD timer again, shaking his head. "We're a few minutes over our break as it is." Rifle slung over his shoulder, he made for the exit.
    #18 Voices of Nerat, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
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  19. Eugine - Level 3, Orange
    Eugine pats about for a few moments, finding the tool he was looking for, and grasping it, bringing it up to the machine hanging by the robotic arms in the laboratory, and smiling as the tool gives a satisfying 'hiss' as it works. Eventually the tool beeps, and he sets it back in the toolbox he grabbed it from, smiling as he rubs at part of the machine with his glove, brushing off a bit of imaginary marring on it's steely exterior. Compared to the rest of the lab, the machine looked like it was out of place, and from some higher up lab. Scorch marks and a brown grey color that one would expect in a auto-shop of old is the theme of his lab, with a menagerie of tools and toolboxes about, with a few spare parts here and there, because 'that's where he'll remember he put it'.

    The steely object in front of him was his new 'Vehicular Roaming Over Obstinately Malformed Terrain Machine' VROOM-TM, or his favorite nickname for it, the 'VROOM bike'. Which he would vehemently deny choosing that name for the sake of the 'VROOM' acronym, but it was a plainly readable lie on his face when speaking about it. It was meant to be a single person vehicle for those who needed to travel across a random surface of a planet quickly, but could be used in space for emergency situations.

    FLI beeped a few times at a certain section of the bike, Eugine walking over, staring at the section, shrugging and saying "Prototypes aren't meant to be perfect in the first place. Though if it blows up... Well, at least it'll be cool to look at." He started moving away, towards a switch on the wall he had designed for the powering of pretty much every charging setup he had for the 'assembly areas' or 'blast zones' to anyone who had worked with him and managed to stay around to see most of his inventions first start-ups.

    He rubbed his hands together a little anxiously, wearing his usual jumpsuit, and checking the wrist mounted computer to see if he had hooked it up correctly, mainly just the power button, before reaching over to the switch, and throwing it. A barrage of sparks met this, sparking in a line from the power cables to the actual cord hooked into the 'VROOM' causing a quick spurt of sparks there as well, not the most reassuring sign for most, but a joyous sight for Eugine.

    The grin on his face is nigh maniacal as he wiggles the fingers on his right hand, getting the jumpsuit just right on his fingers, his ID hanging in it's usual spot, swaying a little bit as his hand comes down to the button, and presses it. Plunging the inside of his building into darkness. The exterior of the building goes dark as well, the lights going completely off for a few seconds, before flickering back on, slowly and in order of the letters on the "Eugine's Laboratory" sign.

    Inside the building, after a tense moment of darkness, before the lights outside come on, two blue-white circles on the back of the machine roar to life, before just taking on a constant sound akin to that that one could expect from a hive of one million bees. With a barrage of sparks, the cord plugged into the machine disconnects as it rises from the arms holding it, hovering steadily with it's roar, the interface on the front coming to live and the handles glowing blue for a moment to acknowledge it was powered.

    Eugine's smile is wider than a kid's on Christmas as he comes over to the machine, pushing on it a little bit, and finding it un-moving, as designed. He laughs a little bit, giving a loud cheer of "SCIENCE!" before saying "See? I told you. No problems... Except..." He looks at the speedometer he designed for the machine, saying "I'm not sure how the human body is to survive the acceleration to Mach one-thousand in one second on a one person exterior seating vehicle... The friction generated by the air may be enough to melt some unprotected equipment carried by riders as well... However, I suppose I can dial back the speed limiter to a acceptable level, or tone back the acceleration. I'm sure a android may be able to survive initial testing however. Though at a speed of Mach nine-thousand and one, the vehicle does run a risk of explosion, which is awesome, but also bad for my insurance rate..."
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  20. Highwind Manor on Level 4 The Highwind Manor was the height of luxury aboard the whole of Initium Novum. The most massive home on the whole ship, complete with an equally large front and back lawn. It was walled in on all sides by 15 foot high solid concrete walls that were covered on both sides by thick, well trimmed bushes.

    Inside, Melina sat on a couch in the living room, watching Councilwoman Vanessa's speech on a screen that was built directly into the wall, spanning from corner to corner. She clenched a fist as she listened to the broadcast, rage building inside her. The meeting earlier had already made her blood boil, but this was pushing her closer to the edge. She nearly lost it when Lydia's picture came up on the giant screen, like it was mocking her. When it was over, Melina shot up and shouted.
    "Damn it! I'll kill that fucking robot BITCH if she makes Captain! Even if I have to rip her core out with my own fucking hands!"

    Her body surged with energy for a moment, before the energy focused to her right hand. She raised it up, and a small orb of arcane energy formed over her palm. With a flick of the wrist, the orb was sent flying across the room, shooting directly into a glass vase of flowers sitting atop a beautiful hand crafted wooden stand. The vase shattered with a burst, littering the floor with shards. (3 points)

    Diana was standing off the side, trying her best to ignore Melina. It wasn't the first time the level four councilwoman had thrown a fit like this. The sight of her bodyguard asking so nonchalant out of the corner of her eye made Melina even more furious.

    "Well I bet you're happy, huh? You and your kind... Disgusting."

    She turned away from the bodyguard, not caring to look at her any longer.

    "I need a god damn drink."

    Security Summons A message appears in the commlink of a handful of soldiers and security personnel. The message is deemed urgent.

    "You have been selected by Security and Military Councilman Davis for a special assignment. You are ordered to report immediately to Security Headquarters on level 3. Once there, head to room 137 on floor 17. Participation is mandatory."
    #20 Kino, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2014
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