Initium Novum: Episode 2

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  1. The Conference
    The atmosphere in the Council Room was tense, made all the more so by the android who was seated in the Captain's chair. An emergency conference was held after the attack at the party. It was estimated that twenty civilians, not including Xavier Reeth, were killed in the attack. The former Captain was miraculously alive, but he was being monitored around the clock in case his vital signs changed.

    Sofia, who was a normally cheerful and perky person, was looking somber in her seat. Cradled in her leathery hands was a steaming cup of strong tea, which she stared into morosely. Daiyu on the other hand, sat as rigid as a board, hands clasped in her lap.

    Donald glared murderously at everyone, and his gaze stopped on Carter. "Son, I'm having my doubts about you doing your job."

    "He had a day to prepare, Donald. Something was going to slip up," replied Nira, eyes narrowing on him.

    "A slip up is if someone got apprehended for beating another citizen. What happened tonight was not a slip up, Nira."

    Craig glared at Donald. "Let's not argue. What happened tonight was..."

    "Ridiculous, we have shown that there is flaw in our system. The people will have our heads for this." David looked at his fellow council members without sympathy. There was nothing left to do.

    Mark didn't say anything, he only looked down at the table while the others started to argue.

    "Hey, don't push this shit on me Donald. I wasn't the one who suggested we have the election on the same day as the celebration. I had a single fucking day to make plans for what everyone here knew was going to be an incredibly dangerous night. Seriously, it's almost like you people didn't even give a fuck about that. But then the shit hits the fan and look who gets blamed."

    Carter raised a middle finger to Donald and glared. Vanessa interjected before Donald could respond. She had a way of catching arguments before they got out of hand.

    "The blame is not on Carter alone. We all had a hand in this. We should have seen it coming."

    "Hmph. I did see it coming. I told you all that we shouldn't have had that election. I told you that we should not have allowed an AI on the council. Now she's here, and look what happened. Twenty people dead and more dying by the hour in the hospitals. Thirty four injured on top of that. All because that old fool Xavier insisted on making that... THING his successor."

    Melina's eyes were fixed on Lydia, glaring daggers.

    Lydia sat slumped in the Captain's chair, wishing desperately that her first order of business as the ship's new Captain could have been for anything else. She responded without even giving Melina the grace of looking at her, eyes fixated on the center of the table while she thought aloud.

    "It was not my choice to be made Captain; it was Xavier's, and the people's. And from what I understand, the election only could have gone forward with a unanimous council vote - which you had to have agreed to. So this is as much your fault as it is anyone else's."

    She cleared her throat quickly after speaking. "Excuse me," she said, before redirecting her attention to something more productive.

    "What's the status on the White Knight android? Is he going to be questioned? Investigated? Do we have security footage from the event? Credential logs, scans of people going in and out - anything we can find to cross-reference?"

    All eyes turned towards Carter.

    "Yes yes, my team is already going over all the security footage from the evening and triple checking all the ID logs for inconsistencies. Artemis and the other AI, who we've identified simply as 'Z,' are being detained and prepped for interrogation. We won't be leaving any stone unturned, rest assured."

    Byron let out a sigh as he read over the holographic documents before him. Fingers relentlessly swiped at the projection that was clearly able for all to see. A rotatable, full body diagram of Xavier after the injury was displayed.

    "Projectile entering in through the right trapezius... traveled through his body, tearing his lung. Found it's way outside by blowing through the right pectoralis major. Nowadays this type of injury is easy to repair but hard to recover from. Usually takes two weeks to recover from but I decided that we will keep him under constant watch for three."

    The Level One representative tapped her foot loudly, a nasty expression on her face. Her gaze moved from Carter to Lydia as she put her thumb into her mouth, biting the nail. The glare she was giving Lydia was relentless. It was one full of hate.

    "How ironic that the same day we elect an android to the council, two others shoot out the whole area. I knew that this whole thing would be an issue from the start..."

    "What are you suggesting Councilwomen Rose? All of us have tried our best to do what is necessary for the ship. All of us are at fault here as long as we just argue about what happened." David sat back in his chair, rubbing his temples.

    "We need to avert a larger crisis."

    Daiyu leaned forward, voice strained. She avoided eye contact with Mark.

    "Aside from Artemis and Z, who else do we have in custody? Who else are we investigating?"

    "KT is already on it," replied Nira. "Along with some of our police force. They've been placed in charge of interrogating some prime suspects."

    "Be sure to reassure the public," said Sofia, looking up from her cup of tea. "Let them know that this problem will be taken care of and swiftly."

    "As if I didn't have enough to deal with already. Fine I'll make an announcement."

    Carter leaned back in his chair and tried to relax. It was obvious that he was a bit more stressed than some of the other council members.

    "And what about the new Captain? Are we going to have some kind of public coronation to 'honor the first AI council member'? Because I for one think that would be a terrible idea. Clearly her getting elected was the cause of this violence in the first place. The last thing we should do is give people the chance to do it again."

    Melina's tone was as condescending as ever. It was clear that she just wanted Lydia out of the spotlight.

    Byron studied the diagram before him once more, deciding not to put his two sense into the matter. All that was on his mind right now was making sure that the old Captain would be up on his feet in no time.

    "You what would be a GRAND idea? If we asked the Captain herself how she would go about this."

    There were two reasons for Daiyu speaking up. One was to bring the topic away from the attack, and the second was to slight Lydia. She of course had her prejudice about the Captain, but unlike Rose or Melina, she would at least be tactful in her disdain.

    Cool eyes met Mark.

    "Right now Levels Two and Three desperately need food and water. How soon can your Extraction Team leave?"

    The frigid tone was not lost on Sofia. In the many years she had been alive, she knew how to spot a lover's spat. She wondered if the others it picked up, but the woman wouldn't voice it. Let it to the both of them to sort it out.

    Mark looked up from the table to Daiyu. He didn't want to speak, the only urge he had was to leave. For a moment, Mark closed his eyes and collected his thoughts.

    "We leave in a matter of days. I'm sure we will bring enough back to sort those issues out."

    David furrowed his brow at Mark. "We will do our best to sort this issue out Councilwoman."

    Meanwhile, Lydia sat quietly, contemplating the prospect of a coronation or a ceremony as the rest of the council bickered amongst themselves. As much as Lydia would have enjoyed such a ceremony, not only for herself but for the symbolic good it would do for AI, the answer was plain and simple - no calculations or simulations necessary.

    "No ceremony." Lydia's voice cut across the other council members' discussions about extraction and supply needs as Lydia took the time to make eye contact with every single one of them. "The risk is far too great. We've lost enough lives on my behalf already. If we are to hold any kind of ceremony at all, it should be to honor those who were killed and to lay them to rest."

    "Of course," said Daiyu. "Arrangements will be made right away."

    "Good, then lets end this meeting and get back to doing our fucking jobs, shall we?"

    Carter pushed himself up and barged out of the room before anyone could say anything, prompting the end of the conference.
  2. The Play

    It has been three days since the attack at Club Concordia, and the ripples from the event had not stopped. News stations gobbled up the event, plus interviews and evidence against the Council members--notably Carter Davis-- was gathered for not fully protecting the citizens from this mishap. Those who were suspected of the crime, or had any involvement in it, were quickly apprehended and held in detention centers. Families who lost those that were killed began their funeral services--and their lawsuits. Engineers were brought in to assess both Artemis and Z, particularly those who had examined Giovanni. It was a tense atmosphere and one person was attempting to lighten the mood, and admittedly, with very little tact.

    Being the suave and experienced director that he was, Councilman Donald Brian was an expert in creating films, especially ones that came together within three days. Of course, it wasn't an actual film, it was a play, and honestly it was one he wanted to put on for months. Promotional posters went out immediately after the attack, and despite protests from the other Councilmembers, Donald was gearing up for the premiere with a white tuxedo.

    "The play is free to watch, and everyone is allowed to come in," he said to a cluster of journalists. "Am I worried about how the public will feel about this? Of course. I want people to feel empowered and protected after watching this play. Nathaniel is playing in it for stars' sake! He's built for acting, and the audience will definitely identify with the cops. I have no doubt about it."

    So an hour before the play premiered, refreshments in the form of alcohol, water, desserts, and mini sandwiches were laid out for the guests. The spread would have been normal for those who lived in Level Four, but not for those that lived in Level One or Two. Those that were ready to find their seats--the balcony seats were reserved for the upper crust-- were led to them by android ushers dressed in tuxedos. It was a tense time of mingling between the different social classes, and hopefully tensions would die down once the play started.
  3. Security HQ, red The security HQ on level 3 was busier the last few days than it had been in years. Security was being tightened all over the ship, calls were flooding in from paranoid citizens, and everyone seemed to be in a constant state of controlled panic. Carter was on his way to the interrogation rooms with KT in tow. If one more person walked up to him frantically asking "what should be done about this sir?" he might snap and knock them out. His patience was wearing thin and he had no time to do everyones jobs on top of his own.

    Carter read over the report on Giovanni as he waited in the elevator. Every piece of information that could be linked to the shooting was being examined, and so far no leads had turned up. The AIs had obviously been hacked, they much had been made clear. But as for who did the hacking... There was no trace. At least not yet.

    Finally, they arrived at the room where Artemis was waiting for his interrogation. He was restrained with magically reinforced handcuffs and shackled, sitting in a chair in front of a metal table with two armed guards inside. It was a surprise when Carter stepped inside the small room. Artemis hadn't expected that the councilman himself would come for the interrogation. The restrained AI kept silent as Carter sat down at the other end of the table while KT stood off to the side.

    One of the guards stepped forward and offered a small computer tablet to Carter. "Sir, from the data miner who searched through his memory. They found something."

    Finally some good news. Carter took the tablet and examined the information. It was a video, a recording taken from Artemis's memory files. It had been corrupted but they managed to clean it up enough to play it. In the video, Artemis was walking through the entertainment hub on his way to club Concord prior to the party. There were crowds of people, and in the crowd he came across a little girl crying alone. He couldn't make out what was said between them, the file was still too corrupted, but the little girl began leading Artemis away from the crowds in what looked like a hurried panic. The video went fuzzy for a moment, then stabilized again to show that the little girl had lead Artemis into an empty alleyway. They stopped, and Artemis began looking around for something, but the video cut out there.

    Carter set the tablet down, and stared at Artemis. "So, what can you tell me about that little girl?"

    "I can't remember much. The data is corrupted. My Omega Firewall system managed to save what it could, but the hack was far too strong for it to prevent. The little girl... She said she was lost and couldn't find her parents. She was leading me back to where she last saw them. Once we got the alleyway... It all went blank. They must have been when I was attacked. The next thing I knew, I was at the party and unable to control my speech or movements."

    "I see. I find it hard to believe though that a little girl was the one who hacked you and the other and orchestrated the attack at the club. She must have just been the bait. Was there anyone else with you at the time?"

    "I'm sorry sir, but your guess is as good as mine. The data is too corrupted. If there was anyone else there, they made sure that I would not remember them."

    "Of course they did... careful not to leave a trace and skilled enough to break through your firewall. Obviously these aren't petty criminals we're dealing with."

    "Sir, surely this evidence is enough to prove my innocence. I was not under control of my actions at the time and did everything I could to fight it off."

    It was true. Thanks to his custom firewall, they were able to retrieve enough evidence to clear his name. Carter sighed as he mulled over the details. Artemis couldn't simply be released back to his job. His face of known by the entire ship now, broadcasted on every television channel as a murderer for all to see. The people wanted justice done, and letting him go like nothing happened would cause outrage.

    "Yes, your innocence is proven. The engineers have informed me that the virus in your system was successfully removed and there is no trace of the hack left in you. However, we can't exactly send you back out on the job with everyone on the ship knowing your face... So I'm going to commission you a new body. We have a few models saved for emergency situations. You can use one as your replacement chassis."

    "I... a new body..."

    "Is there a problem with that? I'm afraid your options are rather limited."

    "...If it will allow me to continue my work and help to find whoever was responsible for hacking me, then I will do it."

    "Good. These men will escort you down to the armory where you will choose your new chassis. The technicians down there will perform the transfer, and you'll be free to continue your work here. We'll make a public announcement that you have been executed. That should please the public well enough for the time being."

    "Yes sir, thank you."

    Carter stood and stepped towards the door. He had plenty of other places he needed to be today.

    "Sir. I... Is Captain Reeth... Did I kill him? Is he dead?"

    The commander paused the looked back to the AI.

    "No. He'll make it. He's a tough old bastard, and you're a crappy shot." He smirked, and made his way out with KT following behind.
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  4. The Extraction
    Mark sat in his home preparing for his leave. His house was quiet, an unsettling quietness that echoed through the Councilman's body. He didn't want to leave, he wanted to deal with what had happened. Mark didn't have much to pack, in fact he only had to bring a couple of documents to the engineers before leaving. The Councilman grabbed the documents and headed toward the door. His mind was finally set on something other than his issues. If she was going to give up them for the job, then he would give up her for his job.

    Mark arrived at the docks and began to give orders. Many engineers and soldiers were preparing the ship, the weapons, and the specialized suits of armor for the mission. Each of these items were specially made for missions like this, so they could withstand what ever came for them.

    "Have we all the suits ready for our team?"

    "Aye sir, everything is set in place except for the destination."

    "Food, water, and everything has been set?"

    The engineer nodded to the councilman reassuring him that everything was secured.

    "Gather the team, we have to get this done quickly and efficiently. Inform Councilwoman Richardson when you have gathered the information on the planet."

    The engineer gave Mark a salute, and he continued his rounds. The councilman had done countless missions, and so many times he had made sure everything was set in place. Nothing could be out of place, or else the mission would be a failure.


    The councilman moved further into the docking back to check the ship. The S9 Class Ship had been made durable, fast, and small enough to be able to escape close situations. Mark had never had any problems, and hopefully he wouldn't have any problems now.

    Mark looked around the ship to find there were only a few pairs working on the ship. Someone was missing, someone who should have been here before everyone else...

    Mark breathed in and closed his eyes. Where was he?

  5. The Slums, red
    It had been a hell of a night. Seth got his check, but he'd also been grazed by a bullet. A white bandage was taped to his left arm where he was cut from the round. So many people had died, and so many others had been injured in probably the most terrifying of moments in Seth's entire life. To he honest, he was just glad he made it out. Too many people relied on him to die.

    Seth rounded the corner to his block when flashing lips greeted him. They were right outside his house. Seth's feet pounded against the ground as he sped up to find out what was wrong. He burst through the front door to find his sister crying and a stretcher carrying way a body bag. Seth stopped dead in his tracks.

    Sarah saw him and ran to him. Her sobs rocked against his chest as her tears stained his shirt, "She's gone, Seth, mamma's gone," she cried out before losing herself in her sorrows once again.

    Seth stood stunned. One arm wrapped around his sister, the other hugging her head ever so gently, Seth couldn't decide if he should allow himself to cry, or stay strong for his sister. A tear slid from his eye and his chest rocked with silent sobs as he kept himself from breaking down.

    "Now what? What do we do know?" Sarah looked up at him.

    Seth shook his head, "I don't know," for once Seth had no answers, no solutions. They would surely lose the house now. They might even end up in a orphanage. The one thing that seemed to be the solution to all heir problems now became the one hung that was most useless.
  6. Henry stuck his finger up in an attempt to get the bartenders attention. To his dismay The young lady serving the drinks took the order of the guy sitting next to him first. He sighed and rubbed his hand through his matted hair. At this rate I'll never get drunk he thought to himself. While wallowing in his own sobriety he managed to over hear the bartender speaking to the man next to him.

    "Can you make it snappy I have to be somewhere."

    Ha, this guy is trying to rush this poor girl. You're not the only one that has plac... Just then Henry looked down at his watch and realized what time it was. A chill went down his spine , he was supposed to be at the docks by now, he only had five minutes left. He jumped up and began checking to make sure he had all his stuff on him. He pulled out his wallet and swiped his card on the kiosk. In his haste he accidentally payed twenty credits for his three credit tab.

    "Hey , uh I gotta be somewhere, you can keep the rest as a tip." Henry said pulling his coat on and awkwardly making his way to the door through the sea of already drunk individuals. He had just given the girl a seventeen credit tip. At least she was cute, he thought. He pushed his way out the door onto the busy street. The dock wasn't that far away, if he ran he might be able to make it without being too horribly late.

    Henry slowed down to a brisk walk when he came within eyesight of the dock. He wanted to get most of his breath back before he got to his ship. He sighed in relief when he was getting close to where his ship was suppose to be. He looked down at his watch again too see exactly how late he was. Only ten minutes I've done far worse. He smiled as he came within sight of his ship. Just as he did he heard someone shout " Where is my Pilot!?"

    It was a councilman. This surprised Henry slightly. I probably should have read my dossiers better. He halfheartedly jogged near to where the councilman was standing before saying;

    "That's me, sorry, had a little traffic problem of the way over here."

    He walked up the council man and extended his hand . I've never met a councilman before, it's kinda like meeting a celebrity.

    "Hello my name is Henry."
    #6 gaebolg, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2014
  7. Mark had already been at the ship. He had mad his way there as soon as he had received the message on his internal computer. He had been working on the engines when the councilman had made his way to it. "Hello Councilman. I have already improved the engine performance ten percent. With another hour or so I could get another five percent enhancement. Unless we need to leave immediately, then I can get everything space ready in at most five minutes." Mark sounded was slightly anxious. He had no idea what this man was like, all he hoped was that he wasn't like his previous employer.
  8. Kallen Kurenai - The Extraction, crimson

    Ever since the fiasco at Concordia that one night, Kallen was pretty shaken up, considering her cybernetic was shot. Her nerves in her left shoulder took a blow from the overall connection, causing issues with it ever since she got her original arm back on. Lucky for her though, she could still maneuver it enough to stay on the extraction team. With Flint sitting atop of her shoulder, it sounded off quietly to her, with a concerned tone to it as its optic spun. She smiled faintly through somewhat tired eyes, petting its head, "I'm alright Flint.. Just.. Still shocked about that night is all. It's not enough to stop this engineer from doing her job, that's for sure.. Hell.. I'll be able to actually meet Richardson like I wanted if I'm lucky this time."

    Kallen brushed a hand against her red hair, pushing it out of her face as she stared blankly out at nowhere, standing next to one of the seats, "I do wonder though.. Could there have possibly been a link to the androids.. I just hope the right people got my report from Eugene about Giovanni.. As much as I'd have loved to volunteer if possible to look into those two that.. Attacked that night, maybe I could have learned more.. But I can't let something like this pass me by too, right Flint?" She was more or less talking to herself if it wasn't for her droid companion, whom still laid on her shoulder loyally. She was curious how many were going along with this, and if she'd see any familiar faces. She certainly was looking forward to seeing other faces.

  9. Concordia
    Concordia's club had been closed since the incident as a crime scene, but she doubted even if it was open anyone would visit. It was no longer the pioneering hot spot for popular music: it was the place people been killed by rogue AI. A place of tragedy and controversy.

    What would happen if Brian decided there was no hope for the place's reputation to be salvaged? Would she be
    moved to another club? Would it be reimagined and rebranded? Would she be scrapped, as the DJ android of Club Harmony (Club Concord's predecessor) had been? Surely not - unlike the previous club, she was an AI. They wouldn't justify scrapping a sentient creature. Hopefully.

    These worries and more crossed her mind as she viewed the poster for the play.

    It would be a good distraction and potentially also a good place to pin down the councilman for a decision on her club. He had been screening her calls. She made up her mind and headed for the theatre.
  10. Level One Orphanage, red
    "Now I know it's not ideal for you two, but it'll be better than living on your own, that I assure you," the salt and pepper haired social worker stated.

    Seth rolled his eyes. He knew what happened in orphanages. So long as he and Sarah were not separated, he'd deal with it, "You sure Sarah and I will stay together no matter what?"

    The social worker hesitated. That was enough for Seth, "I'll out it in my notes. No one will separate the two of you."

    Ya, okay, he spoke sarcastically in his mind, "Thanks. We're all we've got left."

    "Now Seth, you'll be down this wing with the other boys and Sarah, you'll be with the other girls. Don't worry," she said when she saw the look of worry on Sarah's face, "It's just a room to sleep in. The two of you can be together the rest of the time."

    Sarah nodded and Seth looked at the social worker, "What are our chances that we won't grow up in his place."

    The social worker went white. It just have been the question she didn't want to hear, "Well, Seth, you'll be too old next year. Whereas, Sarah has a few more years. She could be adopted in that time frame."

    "Wait, you said we wouldn't be separated. You just said that," Seth said.

    "Well, when you leave, you can try to win custody of Sarah after you've become a contributing member to the ship. Until then, we can't release Sarah into your custody."

    "That's bullshit! I've taken care of Sarah and mom for the past two years!"

    "Those aren't my rules, Seth, their the ship's."

    Seth took Sarah's hand. Just try to separate us."
  11. What if? Don't think about it just keep going. But what about? There is nothing you can do about it. He's a murderer. No. Sarah kept herself moving, using every ounce of will power to keep her mind from wandering back to the thoughts that were threatening to overwhelm her. Almost bent double she shot through the nearly empty streets on her hoverboard, trying to distract herself with dodging the remnants of the previous night's party. Unfortunately the hardest obstacle turned out to be a couple over turned trashcans, with no challenge and muscle memory doing the majority of the work it was tough to keep herself from breaking down.

    When she saw the news that morning she had simply collapsed. Not feeling in the mood for a big party she had gone home and after doing some small tasks around the house she went to bed. And when she had woken up it was like her world had been entirely shattered. Over and over she had watched the news feed, watched as the one she called brother gunned down a crowd of people and when he was out of bullets make a move to reload. After that she had only stuck around long enough to learn that Z and the other AI had been taken to the security headquarters. Her plan? Well, she was just hoping that that would come to her as she went along. Yet the only thing that occupied her mind was that image of Z raising the gun and firing into that crowd.

    Security was tighter than she had ever seen it, police were stationed at every corner and those few people who were out and about on the street moved quickly. The enter ship felt as though it was mourning, a day to remember became the day no one would be able to forget. And yet under the sadness there was a tense air. The hope that this was a singular occational only extended so far and the populace waited for the next move. Absorbed as she was in her own thoughts and worries Sarah almost missed the squat bunker-like building that was the security HQ. Spinning neatly on the edge of her board she did a full 180 and managed to get right up to the front doors before she was stopped.

    "Miss we can't allow you to go any further with the board. You will have to leave it out here and then proceed inside." one of the guards at the door said taking a step forward to block her path. With a frustrated sigh Sarah stepped off her board. The quiet whirl of gears coming to a halt as she grabbed the board out of the air and flipped a small switch on the side. Seeing along across the small patch of carefully tended artificial grass she placed the board in a storage lock. Waiting for the mechanism to clamp shut around the thin bit of metal before she took the corisponding key and pocketed it. Heading back to the front doors she gave the guards a sarcastic salute as she entered.

    The inside of the building was much like the outside of the building, with function winning out over form. Spotting the receptionist's desk she mandate a direct path to the desk. For several minutes she waited as the secretary incharge had a lengthy conversation with what she could only assume was a panicky citizen. The waiting just made everything worse and by the time the receptionist finally hung up and turned to look at her there were tears prickling behind Sarah's eyes and she had to clear her throat before she was able to speak.

    "How can I-"

    "I want to see Z." Sarah said cutting the woman off. The look of surprise of the woman's face was not unexpected and before she could recover Sarah continued. "I need to talk to him. I don't care who you have to call I am not leaving until I am able to see him."

    Maybe not the best plan but she was slowly breaking down and file all the tough girl act she was trying to put on she was really only a little ways off from crying her eyes out. All she could hope is that there was someone in this building that would be willing to help.
  12. Rowan Ward - The Extraction, #C8B9A6
    Normally when assigned to security detail for extraction missions, Rowan would have been giddy with the prospect of getting off the ship for a bit, but just this once she was none too eager. Right now she wanted nothing more than to stay behind and keep an eye on her partner. If whatever scumbag hacker took over Artemis and that other droid was still on the loose, who's to say they wouldn't try to take hold of Kel next? That troubling thought had been her first and last for the past few days since the attack at the Concord.

    The level three cop had shown up anyway, she wasn't going to start refusing orders now, no matter how she worried. It was obvious that the woman had been losing sleep, what with her lack of enthusiasm and the darkened flesh under her eye. At present she stood a bit slouched near to the side of the ship they'd be going out on, arms crossed against her chest and head hanging downward some.

    Following the councilman's yelling, Rowan's brows furrowed. When she turned her head toward Richards, Ro's peepers landed on the pilot he was waiting on. Guy's face was familiar, but she couldn't quite put a name to it. A couple of other people were there already, the clunky android she'd dragged off to FTL the night before the party and that cybernetics manufacturer, Kurenai.

    "Pilot's here. Are we shoving off soon?", the redheaded cyborg asked as she made her way over to the councilman, a hint of impatience present in her voice.

  13. Security HQ, red It wasn't long before Sarah was apprehended by a few officers nearby. Barging into police HQ and demanding to speak to a known killer had that effect. There were standing orders to bring anyone believed to have any affiliation with Z in for questioning. Sarah was just saving them a trip. She was handcuffed and frisked on the spot, then escorted by three officers to an interrogation room.

    Word of the incident was sent to Carter as he was preparing to speak to Z. The news surprised him. He never expected anyone would show up and do something like that. It was almost like she wanted to be arrested. Sarah was sure to be a promising lead in the case.

    "Katie, it seems we've got another person to interrogate. I'll leave it to you while I deal with Z. I'm sending you what information we have on her now." He typed away on his tablet as he spoke, walking down the corridor of interrogation rooms. "Name's Sarah Glenn, works at Zoomz, a hover board shop. Apparently used to be an accomplished hover boarder. No formal record of any affiliation with Z it seems. She'll be up here momentarily, find out what she knows. I'll review the recording of your session to see how you do. Don't fuck this up."

    With that, Carter left KT to do as ordered, while he entered another room, same as before, to question Z.
  14. She made it a habit to visit the orphanages whenever she could, although old age made it quite taxing. Technology could only do so much for one's body when it was ready to give up, and since Sofia never wanted cybernetics, she knew her body didn't have long before her heart simply stopped beating.

    Her adviser warned her about walking around her cane. "They have hover carts for the elderly," he called after her waddling body. But Sofia didn't want to hover around, she wanted to feel the steel beneath her feet and hear the echoing thump as her cane made contact with the ground. That was how she kept a hold of her reality, that was how it kept her sane.

    The orphanage wasn't expecting her, but her visits were frequent enough that they knew what to do. They offered her a chair, an ancient wooden one that creaked when it rocked back and forth. It was her chair, one that she read stories from, or listen to the children's worries. Before, when she was young and spry, she could sit herself down with no trouble, but now that she was older, a kindly social worker had to help her down.

    It was only the small children who said hello to her now. They were curious little things and loved to hear Sofia talk about Vitae. Sometimes, the Councilwoman often forgot that she had never set foot on there herself. She opened her mouth to speak, to paint pictures of what grass and the wind must have felt like, but paused upon spotting an unfamiliar face.

    On the brink of sliding into her fake memories and experiencing a world outside of this ship, Sofia's old age showed as clear as the stars around Novum. She raised a crooked finger towards Seth.

    "Child, I have not seen you before. Tell me your name."

    "He's Seth. He and sister came here a few days ago," said a brunette boy.

    Sorrow flickered in Sofia's watery eyes. She begged him to come over with her hand, and clung to his wrist with a weak grip. "Did you lose your loved ones at the club? Was that what happened?"

    Donald was in his element as he chatted away with the press, the upper crust, and other trivial citizens. In one hand he held a glass of champagne, and in his other arm was some sort of consort, whether it be one of his escorts, or perhaps an acquaintance. Those who he wasn't familiar with the Councilman tried to get to know, especially those who were wealthy and had power. He was grinning from ear to ear; a ball of energy.

    Except, he dropped the act the moment he spotted Concordia at the door of the theater. The man left his glass of champagne upon a waiter's tray, quickly excused himself from his conversation, lifted the collar of his coat, and dove into the men's restroom with a groan.

    Concordia would have undoubtedly noticed this show as Donald wasn't a subtle man. Inside the restroom the AI would find the Councilman unzipping his pants, and pissing loudly into a urinal. His moan of relief echoed around the tile room. Whatever conversation Concordia wanted to speak of, well, it would have to be done as the Councilman was relieving himself.
    • Love Love x 1
  15. Concordia
    Concordia caught the councilman's eye and followed him - she'd seen that look before. While she did hesitate when he vanished into the rest room, as if there were any others in there they may be put off by an android in their space, she didn't hesitate long. She did, however, respectfully loiter by the tiled doorway instead of walking all the way in.

    Her mobile unit's sensors were not top of the range, but they were sensitive enough to appreciate that it was an uncomfortable temperature. Was it, she wondered, or was she just embarrassed or nervous?

    She went over what she wanted to say as she stared at him in the mirror on the far wall and waited for him to notice her.

    Finally he did, and she spoke with her usual 'professional' tone to try not to show how personal the matter was to her.

    "What are your intentions with my club, councilman Brian? The investigation is nearly over."

    He smirked.

    "What do you think I should do?"

    It was an invitation to a game she didn't want to play.

    "I am not equipped with sufficient software to consider that kind of decision."

    "Don't bullshit a bullshitter, baby." He shook. "I asked a question."

    "With all due respect, so did I."

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  16. Lydia 815-165 — Level 4, crimson
    Lydia busied herself at the helm, giving directions and helping to make preparations for the extraction team to touch down on the foreign planet to check for resources and potential inhabitability. The new Captain transitioned into her new position easily from her experience on the bridge, hovering back and forth between starmaps and charts displaying eco-statistics of the new planet in question.

    "Captain?" A young female assistant behind her inquired.

    One thing Lydia hadn't grown accustomed to, however, was her new title. She had heard the voice, but paid it no mind. The assistant cleared her throat and called again. "Captain Lydia?"

    The new Captain blinked a few times as she processed the inquiry. Pulling her eyes from a navigational display, Lydia focused on the young woman. "Yes?"

    "You asked to be notified when Captain Reeth regained consciousness. The medical ward just notified me that he is stable and has been conscious and cognizant for several hours now."

    Immediately, Lydia stopped what she was doing as the holoprojections of starmaps and statistical readouts that she had been working with minimized into a center console. "My work is done for the night. Councilman Mark Richards will handle the extraction team, and we won't need to plan another jump for at least a few days. I'm going to leave for now and go to visit Xavier. I'll see you in the morning."

    The assistant nodded as Lydia hurried out without another word.


    The doors to Xavier's medical bay slid open as Lydia walked in, accompanied by an android nurse. The clicking of footsteps caused the former Captain to stir as his eyelids fluttered open. As his gaze focused upon Lydia, a weak smile naturally spread across his face. Lydia warmly reflected with a smile of her own before politely thanking the nurse and excusing her. "You're free to go, nurse. Thank you."

    With a polite nod, the nurse walked out and closed the door behind her as Lydia took a seat next to Xavier's bed. His smile only widened as she drew closer.

    "How are you doing?"

    Xavier propped himself up on his elbows, gradually pushing himself to an upright sitting position on the back of the bed. His lips parted hesitantly, as if unsure whether he even could still speak. When he finally did, his voice was raspy and hoarse. "I feel like I haven't moved in days," he groaned sarcastically. Lydia chuckled in response at his ability to keep a sense of humor despite trying times.

    "Well, you haven't," she quipped in retort. "But other than that, how do you feel? Are you in pain?"

    His hands felt tentatively at the bandages around his back and on his chest.

    "Better," he nodded. "I don't think I'll be at one-hundred percent for a little while though."

    Lydia smiled and took ahold of one of his hands with her own. "Take your time. Now that you've retired, you have all the time in the world. I'm just glad you're alright." She smiled into his eyes, her own deep green hues glimmering with emotion.

    Their tender moment was interrupted as Lydia's facial expression dropped into surprise. Xavier was unable to hear Lydia's internal commlink as she received a transmission.

    [ APPOINTMENT SCHEDULED :: Entertainment Hub :: Midnight Novum Standard Time ]

    Immediately, her eyes searched for a clock on the walls. It was nearly nine o'clock, and she still need several hours to prepare. "Lydia, is everything alright?" Xavier's concern was apparent on his face.

    "I'm sorry, Xavier. I... I have to go."

  17. "You have five minutes," he replied to the android. "I should be done while you're making your adjustments. Please don't destroy my ship."

    He nodded to the android and turned to Rowan. The Councilman looked preoccupied, thoughts full of Daiyu and their conversation from the party.

    "Yes, we'll be leaving soon. I suggest you find your seat and buckle in. This'll be a bumpy ride."

    With his pilot in place, supplies loaded, and his crew in the ship, Councilman Mark was ready to take off. He ran a last minute check of their inventory, including just not food and water, but also of their special suits. Reminiscent of both space and hazmat suits, these suits were equipped with oxygen tanks. They weren't able to withstand harsh temperatures, as temperatures below freezing would quickly incapacitate the wearer, but the suit was better equipped to withstand heat than the cold. There were enough suits for everyone on board, including a handful of spares. Satisfied with his inventory check, Mark boarded his ship.

    "Rumsburn, we are ready for take off," he said over his commlink to the pilot. "Please tell everyone to prepare for launch."

    Serious eyes stared out through the window, resting on the massive red planet before them. Anyone leaving the ship to traverse the terrain would need to wear the suits; the planet's atmosphere was too noxious for them to travel without any equipment. The engineers would be sent to collect soil samples, as it could be used to fortify the biosphere, and perhaps they could find water. The soldiers would be used to find and deal with any threats that arose, not that they normally found any. Novum's sensors found movement and varying temperatures beneath the surface of the planet, but that could be due to a multitude of reasons: earthquakes, magma, geysers, etc. Mark was not worried. The ship and her crew had yet to encounter any sentient life forms.

    Donald reached into his coat and pulled out a cigar, igniting it with a lit finger. He took several drags before he spoke, and had the gall to breathe smoke into the android's face. Not that Concordia could breathe it in anyhow; she was a lowly android. His chuckle was deep and full of arrogance.

    "Well sweetheart, considering how the dust hasn't even settled since the little incident, I'm not sure if we can open club right away."

    "Councilman Brian, I would like to--"

    He raised a hand to silence her.

    "Yeah, I know, you're probably wondering how in the cosmos are you going to make money. Well toots, I can give you a few options."

    The smoke from his cigar curled and twisted as it rose towards the ceiling. Donald counted the options on his yellow stained fingers, his cigar jiggling from the side of his crooked mouth as he spoke.

    "We have another club that needs an android such as yourself to run it. It's called Moon Trance. Electronic music, futuristic sort of stuff. I'm sure you're familiar with it. The place is getting a little bit run down, maybe you can breathe some life back into it.

    "Second option is selling your club. You'd probably get some decent credit for the place, although I don't know how much damage that shooting caused it. You could open a new joint, give it a new name, and everyone will forget whatever happened to your previous locale.

    "Third, you can wait out the shit storm, and it's going to be one hell of a shit storm. You see all of those journalists outside? Yeah, there's double of them hanging around your club. If they hear about you opening the place back up, you'll never hear the end of it."

    Donald took another long drag from his cigar, beady eyes roving over Concordia's body. "Or, you could work with me and become an escort. I'm sure you got all of the parts necessary for that, eh?"
    #17 Zen, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  18. That went well, Henry thought about the bumbled meeting with the councilman as he buckled himself in and began his pre-flight checks. The ship was old, but actually kept in fairly good shape. The engine rumbled to life as did the buzzing of the instruments .

    The councilman came over his comm link and informed him that it was time to take off.

    "Yes sir Mr. Councilman sir." He said, flicking a few more switches. He turned on the intercom to the rest of the ship.

    "Good day everyone, welcome to air Rumsburn. We will be launching soon so make sure all your luggage is stowed , your seat belts are on, and your tray tables are in a upright position. This flight should be short and sweet, so no need to break out any video players... Probably."

    He flicked the intercom off and began his final preparations. At the end he placed a small toy dinosaur on the dash. His lucky figurine he called it.

    "Flight control this is Flight 3839 extraction team, ready for launch"

    "Roger that extraction, beginning launch sequence."

    Henry sat back and sighed. He loved flying, but he hated launching.
  19. As soon as Mark had recevied his response he made to quickly put everything back together. All he needed to do was close the various maintenance hatches and put his tools away in his pack. He had purposefully left it in a state that it could be flight-ready quickly.

    "Alright, we are good to go when ready." Mark said giving the pilot a thumbs up. He boarded the ship and sat down in the seat next to the pilot. "Don't mind me. I'm just here so that hopefully I figure out how to fly this thing in case of your untimely demise." While Mark had meant this in a light-hearted way, his voice did not do the best job of portraying that. Perhaps it was because it was true. He was a fast learner. Quicker than most other models. It was supposed to be his selling point to the Initium Novum mission. He watched everything the pilot did. What controls he touched and when. Even what he said to flight control.
  20. Concordia
    "An escort?" Concordia echoed incredulously, taken aback that he would suggest such a thing. "Processors as expensive as mine can be put to better use, I'm sure. I will decline that offer. As for the rest..." She paused. "I did not realise the choice was so entirely mine. I will consider these options further and get back to you."

    Instead of waiting for a formal dismissal, she left without another word, heading down into theatre auditorium. The stage - an old-fashioned, classic proscenium arch, complete with red curtains and a visible lighting rig above, was devoid of life, though fully set with furnishings for the performance. People gathered around each other in groups, and an excited buzz filled the room.

    The element of traditional entertainment usually impressed Concordia, whisking her away into times of old, before spaceships, before AI, when she would have had soft skin instead of white plating. However, the conversation with the councilman had soured her mood considerably. She took her seat and pondered over why - she had been given freedom of choice. She should be happy.

    But his tone, his wandering eyes, left her feeling humiliated, as if she had been made fun of even though, from a transcript of the conversation, she hadn't been.

    And she was still no closer to knowing the fate of her club. Did she want to close it and run another of the same? Did she want to rebrand - could she rebrand? She'd need help to do that, and, to her dismay as she sat alone in the busy stalls, she realised she had very, very few people she could call on.
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