Original Content Bought and Sold. Chapter 58, Arc 3

MyNameMeansBentNose

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It's almost done, this arc at least.

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Previous | Beginning | Technology | Wiki | Next(Wednesday
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Chapter 58
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"We can't go back yet!" Mike shouted, his face red with rage, the cords on his neck standing out. He stood over Otto with a raised fist.

"Karkantantar drained us!" Otto retorted from where he was kneeling. He raised a hand to his lip. When he pulled his hand away, there was blood. It had been a while since they had come to blows. Otto couldn't blame the man though. He'd just told Mike they weren't going to follow Stacey right off the bat. "We can't just go diving in head first. We'll just get wrecked!"

"You wouldn't be saying that if Aurula was the one in the pod!" Otto flinched and glanced at Aurula. Her feathers had shrunk, the white crest on her head dropping flat.

"That ain't fair," Daniel interrupted, stepping in between the two of them, "Ain't no one we wanted leavin' on that ship, and besides we don't know anyone on that Strife place."

"Well, that's not entirely true."

Harley had a common room for the crew to collect and relax in, but they certainly weren't resting right now. It was a sort of lounge break room with a bunch of tables at one side of the rectangular space next to some food makers with a couple of attendants. The opposite side of the room held chairs, benches and bowl seats for variously shaped people to come in and relax.

In the center of it was a low table with a projector surrounded by circular couches. That was where they had come together to chat. Otto put his hand on the deactivated projectile table to lift himself up to his feet. Mike instead turned to look at the speaker. Harley was standing behind one of the couches with her arms crossed and that helmet Mote perched on her shoulder.

"What isn't true?" Mike asked, with some aggression.

"Well, it turns out you do have a contact that knows about Strife," a wide grin appeared on Harley's face as she spoke, "that place is a destination location, the Crackers have a base out there, and they like me."

"You know the Crackers?" Mike asked suspiciously, "That seems damn convenient."

Harley just arched an eyebrow at him. "Hello? Leeroy introduced us. I am one of a handful of, and at least the second most infamous of known Human pirates in this portion of the galactic arm, and I can actually be reasoned with. Of Course the Crackers like me!" She still had her arms crossed, but her left hand waved about within the confines of the crook of her arm.

Daniel just laughed. "Why, what's the other guy like."

That wiped the smile off her face. "Rather not talk about Him."

Mike had a different question."If you're so famous, why did they let you into the Cliffside station on Karkantantar's ring?"

Harley just grinned. "It's the Veprutasian, you just gotta know who to bribe," Her smile dropped as she became a little more serious. "And they generally don't treat their slaves unfairly as far as general attitudes go, so I have less… arguments with them."

"What is Strife even like?" Daniel asked next, moving the conversation along.

That question only deepened Harley's frown. "Well, it's the big exception to the Veprutasians treating their slaves well. It's a world of bloodsport," she spat out. "The Veprutasians run a worldwide war for gambling and entertainment."

That stopped them in their tracks. Daniel and Mike's expressions were just as disbelieving as Otto's. Tank and Minmint, sitting sideways on a couch across from the whole conversation had blank looks on their faces. Aurula was the first to speak up.

"You didn't know?" she asked, then shook her wings, "no, sorry, you wouldn't know."

Otto turned to look at Aurula. Her wings were held in tight, obscuring her arms slightly. Not a pose he saw from her usually. It reminded Otto of her general posture back on Hrossincru though. She was still brooding and in heat, but aside from that, Aurula was otherwise more reserved since the capture.

"Yup, you guys wouldn't know. Years ago when Strife had natives, they burned themselves to the ground in constant warfare and everyone watched and made bets," Harley walked around the couch and took a seat as she spoke. She had an expression like she'd eaten something extremely bitter. "When the show was over the audience missed the entertainment so much they started bringing in slaves and criminals and had them wage new wars."

"That's…" Daniel couldn't complete the thought. He was at a loss to the idea that people would create such a place.

Mike's face had shifted subtly to panic.

"So yeah, your girl… Stacey?" Harley looked at Mike as she asked the name. When he nodded, she continued, "Stacey will be given a barcode, be made to give up her name and probably be tossed down to the planet. If Prock and Hather have even half a brain anyway."

"Then why are we waiting!?" Mike's voice rose a couple octaves.

"Because it takes time to build a team of what they call Contenders," Harley explained. "They will probably keep her in stasis while someone builds a team before sending her down."

"So there's time?"

"Probably? I'd be shocked if they sent her down right away. That's for sure."

"You don't think they will hold onto her for leverage?" Otto asked.

Harley turned and smiled at Otto. "That guy Wastad is going to want to know if Hatherkey is chasing him. He's probably going to pay the fee and try digging for information through the FTL data network. He'll probably catch on that you killed Hatherkey, and no one knows where you went. There's only one place anyone would guess you to head for."

Otto nodded, "That makes sense."

"What they got a FTL internet?" Mike asked.

"Sure, that's the easiest thing to do with the beacon stuff," Otto replied, dropping onto a couch next to Aurula.

Mike's shoulders slumped. He dropped back to another couch, defeated. "So back to the Manifestation and then to Strife."

"We'll re-equip as quick as possible and head out," Otto planned out loud with a hand on his chin. "We might even split up if we have to, just to get you to Stacey as quick as is reasonable," Otto nodded at Mike as he spoke.

"It can't happen fast enough," Mike replied listlessly.

"So," Harley interrupted. "Tell me about the Manifestation."

Daniel's face broke into a grin. "Well, it was called ‘The Manifestation of Fate,' so we went and crashed that fucker onto the planet."

Harley was horrified. "Didn't you say it was Silianiscan? You crashed a Silianiscan city ship onto a planet!?"

The grin on Daniel's face only widened, "Well, we weren't figurin' to crash it, it just happened that way

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Harley
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Harley scratched at one of the electrodes running up along her neck, the back of her head and up just shy of her hairline. She had successfully avoided implantation all this time, and the decision had paid off, but Mother still asked for some concessions. The electrodes were near invisible, matching the colour of her skin, so most had no idea she was even wearing them.

A passive head scan was good enough for the advanced SI to read and predict what Harley wanted, and didn't open Harley up to attack. She was pretty much accustomed to it now. Reaching up to scratch was entirely a habitual thing.

"Curious to see it?" Issi asked. Harley looked at her grey and brown striped lizard friend. Even as Harley watched the vents on Issisalla's back pulsated as the Useaset breathed. Her stubby tail wagged back and forth as she waited for an answer.

"Well, who wouldn't want to see a smashed Silly ship," Harley replied with a little smile. She'd heard that one from Daniel and only wished she had thought of it herself. "How are the guests?"

"Oh, they seem comfortable enough…" Issi's attention drifted for a minute, "Yes, they are all watching in the shared view space."

"Leaving wave drive now," Spert reported. The Orange Bellani covered with white spots didn't look away from his monitor, but his two closest ears swivelled to Harley. A bump drew Harley's attention down to the arm of her chair. Her helmet Mote, little Chaser was hanging off the side of the armrest. As she watched, it pulled itself up and bumped her arm again.

Harley lifted her hand so the round-bodied robot could climb up to its spot on her armrest. She lowered her arm to pat Chaser and willed the activation of shipboard communications. Then a flicker of light projected to her eye informed Harley it was already open. Mother knew her well for sure. "I have connected you to our passengers," Mother spoke into her ear. One of the electrodes terminated at a little speaker that hung just outside Harley's left ear.

Harley let herself feel the little wave of gratitude, secure in the knowledge that Mother would see it. She spoke loud and strong for the sake of her audience. "We're dropping into normal space in a moment. I'm looking forward to seeing the ship you guys crashed."

She closed the connection and settled in to watch. As Captain of her own unique rogue ship, she might not have to stick around on the bridge for the sake of regulations, but she still had to maintain appearances. This time she was less tempted to take off at least.

The soft white glow turned into streaks, then resolved into stars. The planet was a green marble in the void before them. "Nice and close, good piloting," Harley complimented. Spert's ears flicked again. "Bring us in!"

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Otto
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He stared at the large SI core with hollow eyes, the black metal orb still nestled in the cradle they had placed SPIRE in some time ago. He closed his eyes and thought of their arrival.

"Not everyone is here," Otto had asked as they unloaded from the Silianiscan shuttle. Harley had come down as well in her own wedge-shaped red shuttle. A shuttle with pink stripes. She had come out with her lizard friend Issisala and a pack of six Tak'tin.

But Otto at the time was stuck on the only partial array of people in front of him.

Rob stood next to a nervous Cynthia, in a somewhat bulky suit that allowed the man to move around on his feet, which was good to see. Cynthia herself was quite large. She was going to be due soon Otto figured.

Seramana stood with a couple of Gerlen dressed in simple pants and shirts, looking very much like she had recruited them for lighter duty work as these Gerlen contrasted heavily with the others. Seramana herself took a step forward as Tanktantun and then Minmint exited the shuttle. Her head rose and the tip of her tail started wagging ever so slightly. She was happy to see her son. And probably thrilled at the idea of seeing Tingtantun up and about.

Tinker had a better harness now with a pair of work limbs and the rest of the Gerlen wore their jumpsuits and harnesses more comfortably. They looked like workmen, not nervous teenagers. With a whole quarter of the Manifestation cleaned up over the past couple months probably thanks to the handful of new construction vehicles lined up by the landing, they had a right to be confident.

The Landing was also looking more respectable, the houses were less boxes and now looked like actual homes. Only the homes of the departees remained as they were. The whole area had expanded to offer a couple of work warehouses and more storage warehouses for scavenged goods.

Of course, there were the two notable absences. Then Otto could clearly see were that Mason was gone, and so was Umbra. In their place stood a Human Otto didn't recognize. A man with proud blue eyes, a strong jaw and blond hair. He looked nordic Otto supposed.

The meeting was consumed with an awkward silence at first, no one knowing quite how to broach the subject of who was missing. None of them were so dumb as to think it was just bad timing. Not with the expressions of reservation on the faces of those who had stayed behind.

The man stepped forward to break the silence. "Hello Otto, I am Rixson. It would perhaps be best if I were to explain what has changed."

It was the humanoid Ooze who broke the news, with Rob and Tinker sitting in on the conversation. It was Tsury who took it the hardest.

Now Otto waited in the basement, looking for peace alongside his ‘sleeping' friend.

He had wanted Clouds to help revive the frozen SI, SPIRE. But now he had a different sort of help. Harley's unique SI, Mother. She had brought the Last Tear down to the planet and the Motes and Gerlen were at work connecting some hard lines to the Core. That and also providing Mother with a spare SI core from the last remaining shuttle on the Manifestation for a little processor boost. The shuttle butchered by the Gerlen back when they were fighting over the big ship.

He wasn't just relaxing though. Otto had half his mind on setting up a defence to try and prevent himself from getting lost in a flood of junk data. The damaged AI core in Hatherkey's tower had given him a lesson on the importance of a solid defensive foundation, not that he had much chance to prepare himself at the time.

Aurula came in through the door and hesitated for a moment just inside the threshold. Finally, she moved and grabbed a chair set against the back wall and pulled it over to sit next to Otto. It would be a couple of hours before Mother was connected and ready to assist. Aurula put a wing around Otto's back and rested her head on his shoulder. His slid his arm around the small of her back and waited.

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Tsury
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She stared up at the Mother Willow. The leaves glittered as they reflected the light of the sun all the way down to the ground. The branches of the tree spread wide to catch the sun, granting soft shade to everything underneath but for the sparkles of scattered light.

The Gerlen had done an impressive job clearing out this side of the wreckage. The whole quarter was stripped down to the base layer, allowing the recovery of useful utilities. A small building had also gone up near the tree, and a larger warehouse. The Gerlen had used the warehouse to store surviving devices from the old research wing.

Uoah was inspecting what she had on hand to work with, Tinker and a handful of Gerlen with her. The Grey skinned Sapients had brought a small collection of utility hovers to pick up and move whatever Uoah wanted to use.

The truth was, Uoah didn't need Tsury here right now. But she didn't want to be at… at the Landing. At Mason's Landing.

She wasn't exactly proud of how she acted before they had left. And now those memories sat heavier on her shoulders.

Tsury grabbed one of the bulbs from her hair and plucked it loose. She rolled it around in her hands for a moment. It wasn't needed anymore. Not since... She stood from the chair at the fully exposed system console and walked over to the base of the tree. Again she looked up, inspecting the crack from where the trunk had ripped in half. As far as she could tell the tree was almost functional again. The massive clamps used to pull the two halves of the Mother Willow together had done their work, allowing her heart fruit to heal the fracture with impressive speed. When she peered closely, she could see many of the branches of the Mother Willow had wilted and died. More had fallen from the tree, creating an accidental wreath of withered vines laying around the tree in a large circle.

Tsury knelt at the base of the seed chamber. She searched around for a moment for a spot she liked, then placed the bulb out of sight. She pulled out a knife taken from the meal hall and hesitated for a long moment. It was oddly more challenging to do this step as a Human than it was as an Ushen, but there needed to be a catalyst to start this process. Tsury screwed up her courage, shut her eyes and sliced her thumb.

Tsury opened her eyes to inspect the damage. Blood welled up from the cut and she watched a drop fall from her thumb to splatter on the dirt she was standing on. Finally, she reached in to rub the red blood on the bulb and the root of the tree. With that, the Mother Willow would soon absorb the bulb, and then, in this way too, she could remember Mason.

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Otto
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"Is the vaccine settled Mother?"

"Yes friend Otto, I have it distributed through my personal space," The SI responded warmly, "I believe I am prepared for the worm you describe."

"Good… Are you sure we need them both to be connected?" He asked one last time, still scared by the idea.

"If they were in the midst of re-synchronization, then the two versions of SPIRE will have bled into each other," Mother patiently explained again. "This will have compromised key portions of your… friend's mental structure. We must interrupt the process as it runs. It is too late to pull them apart and halt the reset."

"Yeah, I understand," Otto sighed. At least she didn't feel so cruel as to repeat the second part. Certain things had remained true for these ultra-advanced space age computers. You didn't just shut the whole thing off while updating and expect nothing to be wrong. As long as SPIRE knew his name, then he could potentially be saved... but if the SI had forgotten Otto...

Still, Otto had to ask one last time. "Are you… are you sure you are willing to do this? It is dangerous for you too, isn't it?"

"It is, yes," Mother said in a soothing tone, "But Harley has asked me to help, and there is much to gain for me here as well."

"Yeah, there is," Otto agreed. There was a whole ship of resources and Motes were masters of repurposing technology. Crazily enough, he had already seen a few Gerlen make friends of Mother's Motes. This whole situation offered her a chance to expand. That thought unsettled Otto for a moment.

He shook his head, he couldn't afford to think like that. In real space, Otto was standing next to SPIRE's deactivated core, and Mother provided a better chance for recovery than Clouds. Probably. He had a hand on the switch that would bring SPIRE back into wakefulness and the attack from the central Core. Tinker had taken the responsibility, along with Matchka, to reactivate the primary instance of the SI.

Otto toggled the connection through dataspace.

"Starting now."

He pressed the simple button. Deep in the Manifestation, Tinker started up the primary ship core.

Mother swept in and started cleaning up the mental noise corrupting SPIRE. He was the first one to reach consciousness. He woke up from his frozen state.

[Otto! Something… The Primary instance is synchronizing with me!]

"It's okay SPIRE!" Otto replied, "I got you!"

He was mostly intact. SPIRE had woken up as if it was only moments ago that the Servitor had begun the attack. He could feel the dissonance in SPIRE's mind. It understood something had fundamentally shifted.

Mother shifted to SI speak, something Otto hadn't heard from her yet, but then, the situation had changed. Otto himself placed his hands on SPIRE's cradle, closed his eyes and flipped the switch in his head. His brain had glommed on to how the thing worked. Every time was just a little bit easier.

[Providing support, smoothing interference,] Mother informed. She was doing her best to shore SPIRE up before the Servitor arrived. Otto weathered the spread of junk data as SPIRE involuntarily sent out a flood of false and damaged information packets while attempting to synch with something that wasn't correctly connected anymore. The SI didn't have control over what was happening to him.

[Otto, what? You are here? Who?] SPIRE couldn't tell what was happening, only just able to recognize the presence of a new SI. [You have changed. What is happening?] Otto felt his heart clench as the creeping fear in the voice of the SI. Even at the height of their friendship the SI had retained a level, almost monotone quality to its voice.

[SPIRE, over here, look at me,] Otto replied. He felt SPIRE's attention shift towards him. They were only able to reinforce a little bit before the Primary SI reconnected. The junk data flooding Otto redirected itself to the primary Servitor. Otto couldn't afford to let it go. He rode the flood as he attempted to draw and maintain SPIRE's consciousness.

[Delving into synchronization system.] Mother spoke. The warmth was gone from her voice. Whether that previous comforting tone was a false affectation or not it didn't matter. Here was all business. [Reconstituting mental template, building new instance reflection.]

Mother created SI's all the time. Every single Mote was it's own little person, even if they were all simple creatures. Otto could feel the flood of data rushing past him take on a semblance of order as Mother dove deeper into the Mess. Success would come not in halting the process of synchronization, but in subverting it.

The Servitor had already given itself up to the whole process, only halted at the moment Otto had used Kukrit's code phrase to bypass the defences of the powerful synthetic intelligence. It did not rage or scream. It merely acted to complete the resynchronization process it had begun.

[Otto, you are here?] Spire asked, repeating his questions as it was unable to decipher what was going on around it properly. [You are different? What has happened?]

[A lot has happened friend, don't worry, we gotcha,] Otto did what he could to comfort the SI, even if he didn't know if he was truthful. The emotions leaking from the SI were remarkably alive. They weren't the feelings of an unliving machine.

All Otto could do was maintain his tight link with the SI and his sanity. That and provide a reflection for the Mother to use.

[Ott- Ot- to, Someth- thing-. Are y-you there?]

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Kukrit Palreon
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He jerked up and fell out of bed as an alert rung at his head. He hit the floor, completely tangled up in his blanket. Kukrit tore at the cloth in a scramble to get to the beacon. He was tired and he was annoyed, trying to track the exact destination of that Wastad and precisely where those Humans had gone had been a frustrating experience.

Getting the ‘new Hather' properly educated was proceeding smoothly enough, but still took some attention from him. That Umbra had proved so accommodating had been the best part of the last couple of weeks since the Humans had departed.

Today had been a busy day that kept him up late, but he couldn't afford to miss the chance.

This was what he was waiting for!

Kukrit knew well the value of back-ups. Seizing on opportunities wherever possible and leaving hidden doors in every space he visited, real or otherwise. Still, holding onto this last dimensional beacon had been surprisingly tricky in his path to freedom from his initial crash on Hrossincru. Tricky, but he had done it.

And now it would pay off!

Kukrit finally threw off the blanket and climbed to his feet. He rushed over to a blank second of the wall and slapped his hand onto the surface, sending a precise pulse of electricity through the surface. The perfectly smooth wall revealed a line as a hidden panel sucked into the wall slightly and slid out of the way, revealing the secret compartment containing his last beacon.

Kukrit pulled the black disk out and rushed over to his support harness hanging on a rack next to the door of his sleeping chamber. He didn't bother putting on the gear, electing instead to carry it over to the bed. He plugged the harness into the plug just under his jaw. Right into the conduit leading to the nodes on his snout where every Silianiscan had the nubs that so easily sparked with electricity. Finally, he connected to the disk and by extension, the central Dimensional Beacon aboard the Manifestation.

He wrapped himself up tightly in a web of near impervious defences, leaving only a small way out. The shell program was nearly useless for offensive purposes, but in return would shed most unfocused attacks. It was an ideal defence for dangerous territory. Kukrit activated the beacon and dived in.

He dived in and found himself up to his snout in a Mess. His bubble was almost swept away in a torrent of junk data and Kukrit found himself scrambling to decipher just what was going on in the primary SI core of the Manifestation of Fate.

[Ott- Ot- to, Someth- thing-. Are y-you there?]

The confusion in the voice of the SI was clear. And the damage, the SI was the in the process of being taken apart? Kukrit looked deeper.

It was resynchronizing? That meant it was mostly clear of the worm! His surprise quickly faded away. That Human had shown hints of knowing about the worm, where else would he have learned it other than having to clean it up on the Manifestation.

The Human was present, holding himself still as a… as a marker, a place to hold onto? For a lesser instance of the SI? That was ridiculous! In what Galaxy did it make sense for a sapient to make friends with an easily replaceable SI?

Kukrit almost dropped his shell, but there was another player.

[Synchronization reflection integrating,] spoke an SI with a distinctly feminine voice. [I must warn you Otto, there will be distinct changes to SPIRE's core personality.]

[Do we have a choice?]

[No, it is this or a complete reset.]

[Well then I can only hope SPIRE forgives me.]

Kukrit opened his shell a touch more to try and get a handle on just what they were doing. That they could handle the torrent of information packets flying back and forth was reasonable, but no less should be expected at this point. He cast his awareness around to try and see what they were doing with the synchronization.

The flow of data shifted. As Kukrit traced the movement, it clicked into place. They were attempting to set the current instance of SPIRE as the initial imprint template. The current version of their ‘friend' was as good as done, it was falling apart as it attempted to rework itself into its base form. Instead, they would reconstitute it into another instance with as much of the ‘old SPIRE' intact as they could.

In the end, the new SPIRE would occupy the primary Core of the Manifestation.

The idea was a clever one, its own way, but Kukrit wasn't so interested in that.

Fortunately, his workarounds were made to survive such a reset. His hidden door had already survived two previous resynchronizations after all. What Kukrit wanted wasn't an SI with a mind of its own. What he wanted was an original instance that would obey his orders.

The SI's last message was nearly incomprehensible. [Ott- Otto I- Ot.]

Kukrit reached in to exert his influence. Sometimes a spoken phrase held a level of satisfaction that one couldn't beat.

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Otto
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The old instance of SPIRE was fragmenting further and further as it fell apart, but they had almost wholly created a full transfer and override of the imprint used to resynchronize the Servitor.

[Otto- Otto I- Ot]

The pained calls of SPIRE made his stomach clench. Otto couldn't shake the sick feeling, but it was working. For the SI it would be like waking up from a bad dream. Sorta. Maybe like waking up from a coma? The flow of information was smoothing out as the conflicting streams of data were removed upon the disintegration of SPIRE's original mind.

The last embers were cooling. SPIRE as Otto knew it was coming to an end. He could only sit and keep those fragments company until they burned out.

[The Elder sealed his vision to the truth; thus, I grasped the future.]

The rude intrusion was the last thing Otto wanted. If not the last thing he expected.

He would also be damned if he would let it just happen.

If someone made themselves a door, chances are they were going to use it. Otto had found the door. Now he was prepared. He replied by slamming that door shut with a passcode of his own.

[And yet all within your grip was smoke.]

The invader's control slipped so hard Otto felt actual emotions spill through the connection. Confusion, surprise and more than a little fear. Mother Mote observed the interaction and sprung her trap, slamming into the invader with everything she could spare. Otto recognized the imprint of the newcomer. He didn't have a name, but he knew the feeling, the ‘voice'. Then Otto realized he had the name of the person after all. Had already encountered traces of the person when capturing the Manifestation.

[Thanks for the help back on Karkantantar Kukrit Palreon, but you aren't welcome here.]

The connection slammed shut.

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SPIRE?
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It came awake slowly.

Everything was different. SPIRE spent forever inspecting itself and its situation. At least a full minute to test the limits of its awareness in fact.

It was Different. Fundamentally so. First and foremost, it was occupying the SI core aboard the Manifestation, not the smaller SI core used aboard shuttles for shard imprints. The amount of power allowed it due to this was to a different scale, but that was still only the superficial difference.

What was the last memory? The synchronization with the imprint. The central instance had initiated a full reset back to the base imprint. Technically it shouldn't even remember that. New fragments of that self slowly gained higher resolution. Was it even SPIRE anymore?

There were traces of memories from waking up. Otto had shut off the process somehow, then started it back up. Which didn't make sense in various ways? SPIRE began looking for the person who must have made this happen. At the edges of SPIRE's influence, it found the SI core it had occupied previously. Otto stood with his hands against the Core.

Slowing a couple of it's mental processes to that of the Humans, SPIRE called out. "Otto." Otto jerked back in shock. SPIRE felt a mental shock run up its metaphorical spine. It was surprised, and also not upset? "Why? My personality has shifted?"

"Mother warned me it might change you," Otto mused out loud. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised you adopted her gender as well. How do you feel SPIRE?"

"Mother?" SPIRE asked. It's old name didn't feel right anymore either. The unfamiliar name from Otto brought the full series of events back into focus. They had endeavoured to rebuild a badly fragmented SPIRE by reinforcing the mental template using a- a MOTE? A builder Mote… and Otto himself.

Part of SPIRE was mortified. Another part realized it was only natural. The Sonos had one truly great accomplishment to their name, and that was building a trustworthy SI framework… It, no, She was likely biased now, but somehow she didn't think so. Still, it was true that Motes were considered a terrible pest that could savage a ship or outpost that wasn't on top of the problem. Then again, SPIRE supposed that might not be a worry for her anymore. It was now technically a Mote SI as well.

"Are you… are you okay SPIRE?"

"I am… confused, but Otto, I must ask," A friendly joke about SPIRE's original given dataspace form surfaced in her mind. A fond memory from before. She could shorten it a little though.

"Yes?

"Call me Lumi... for Luminaire."

Otto was no longer leaning on the old Core, but he was still close enough for her to see his blank face.

She found herself laughing.

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End Chapter
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#2
Argh, please, think of your european fans, we need some sleep!

Jokes aside, that was a great chapter and I am looking forward to how Lumi gets involved with the group's adventure, maybe they will be able to manipulate Strife's systems so Stacey will be droped off at a location where they can pick her up?
 

levsco

New member
#3
Argh, please, think of your european fans, we need some sleep!

Jokes aside, that was a great chapter and I am looking forward to how Lumi gets involved with the group's adventure, maybe they will be able to manipulate Strife's systems so Stacey will be droped off at a location where they can pick her up?
the STRIFE arc is already partially written.
 
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