Original Content Transcripts 2: Chapter 15

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Previous:https://arkmuse.org/threads/transcripts-2-chapter-14.463/#post-931

Edited by Steve32 and B3CRE8TVE



Lieutenant Commander Nako and Executive Director Salhor Laandi sat opposed in her personal office. Where once it was an amicable relationship the latest incident involving the human had certainly strained the air between them.

Nako sat cross legged, his Captain Tifera providing an intimidating mountain of steel behind him, it would have made any Citizen Director nervous but Laandi sat with her shoulders back and a smile on her face, for she had the universe with her.

“The animal specimens, have been analysed and quantified as per your request,” she pushed over the dataslates worth of data across her desk. Nako didn’t move a muscle as Tifera’s large hands reached over to pick it up with her index finger and thumb.

“Thank you Director, next order of business, the dogs…” Nako held his chin up to speak to Laandi. “You have their citizenship application on file?”

“Ready to be sent, Your Honour. Will you be authorising for the translators to be implanted?” she asked, resting her hands on the table in front of her.

“As is every citizen’s right, even user intelligences…” Nako shrugged. “Are there translators able to handle the physiology?”

“Dr. Yusa is working on the modifications as we speak. Since their genome has already been mapped and sequenced, it should only be a matter of hours before they are installed.” Her fingers folded together as she brought another matter to his attention, “Your Honour, there was one more thing concerning the dogs.”

“Yes?”

“One of the females is pregnant.”

Nako’s antennae perked up and the tension between them mellowed, “Pregnant?”

“Yes, I was hoping you would be willing to authorise medical care for the progeny. Bacterial scrub, efficiency applications, organ amplifier, translator organ implantation and DNA registration all need to be implemented as well as the standard integration improvements.”

“I’ll allow it,” Nako nodded, momentarily distracted. “Surely this is cause for celebration, ensure the dog maiden is provided with the best care your facility can provide, and have her registered under my name as benefactor and guardian.”

“They are already under Miss Howe’s name, Your Honour, when explained to them they insisted-”

“They are user intelligences,“ Nako stated, “It is our duty as creators to ensure their best interest, is having their signed guardian an unconscious body within their best interest?”

His presence was cold but he was doing his best not to let the sharp ice bite at the citizen.

“We are to act in their best interests but we can’t go against their outspoken desires-” Laandi tried to counter but Nako was quick to shoot her down.

“Unless those desires directly conflict with their own well being, I know Galactic Council mandate, Director.” The Lieutenant Commander folded a leg over his knee, “If you want to argue minutiae, I will make it a test of endurance.”

“Very well, Lieutenant.” Laandi snapped, clicking her toothplate in disagreement. The pair glared at each other in passive-aggressive silence.

There was only one thing left to discuss and neither wanted to be on the offensive. To accost a client was a terrible image for any executive director, but then any military commander caught badgering a citizen would lose the prestige of the position.

Finally Nako broke the tension. “Will Miss Howe be readied for transportation?”

“Lieutenant Commander, please,” Laandi readied herself for the confrontation, “You cannot move Miss Howe while she is incapacitated-”

“With all due respect to you and your company Executive Director, Miss Howe has been unresponsive for 2 [days] and your efforts in receiving her have been very underwhelming. My patience is being exhausted.” Nako stared pointedly, before averting his gaze, “If you have her ready to transport by the end of the [quarter] I can forgive any other transgressions that may arise.”

“Having her moved from our facility before the citizen application is complete would break constraints of contractual obligation,” Laandi replied coldly. “Are you willing to bring this dispute before the Corporate Judiciary?’

“You and I both know we would be long deceased before the court ever spits out our case number.”

“We may be dead, but Jasmine would be alive long enough to receive the compensation she was wrongfully denied, at the expense of your progeny’s contribution credit scores for generations to come,” Laandi stated.

“If she ever wakes up to exercise those rights…” Nako felt his concentration slipping, he stood from his stool to take a different approach. “Cleary, you feel Miss Howe would be better suited to staying in your care, you want what is best for her as do I. We are at a critical crosswind and cannot find the safest path to fly. Let me hear your proposal, Director, perhaps we may come to an agreement?”

“Of course, Your Honour,” Laandi dipped her head respectfully, “It is in both Miss Howe’s and Esaander’s best interest if we were to stick to the original contract. However, if you wish to withdraw and break from contract then we request extra compensation.”

Nako turned his head bemused. “And exactly what kind of compensation are you looking for, citizen?”

“We have lost over twelve citizen staff to irreparable jitterjacking or stiffening, totalling nearly [80 years] worth of investment not to mention the loss of one of our most important assets. Xant alone was worth nearly [150 years] worth of contribution credits by himself. We also invested in a military grade suit for his protection; those come to nearly [50 years] at last audit. Lastly two of our unaffected senior staff have requested transfers off the station and outside the company that is another loss of [25 years] investment total.”

The Lieutenant had to stare down his unlikely opponent. “You are asking for more than [300 years] worth of compensation from my personal contribution? I've never heard of something so preposterous!”

“It is fair compensation. Esaander won't be gaining any contribution credit; not nearly enough for the information gathered,” Laandi informed him.

“What?! And how did you calculate such a ludicrous notion? You are the one who drew up the contract and evaluated the cost!”

Laandi lowered her eyes, hands clasped gently together. “Miss Howe is a creator level intelligence,” she began, “We cannot profit from her data without first agreeing to the terms and conditions. It would be immoral to say the least, especially since we have already discussed contribution credit scores with her on record.”

“Miss Howe is not yet recognised as a citizen of the Galactic Council, nor is she a citizen at all, if anything the more accurate term would be clanless Maiden or unassigned military asset. In both cases she would be under licence until properly categorised and compensated.” Nako retorted. “The longer she stays here at Uleesia in the hands of those ill-equipped to handle her, the more chance there is of another catastrophic loss of assets. I don’t want anymore of your citizen staff to suffer Director, let the military branch scientists handle this.”

“I am sorry Lieutenant, but if Jasmine were to wake in an unfamiliar environment I fear she would react very poorly and we might lose the delicate trust we have already established.” Laandi sighed “Surely even an esteemed Commander such as yourself can afford to wait just a little bit longer? If by the end of the [4th] day she has not yet awoken and her vitals begin to suffer, then we would happily relinquish control back into your care.”

Nako turned his back on Laandi, his proud stance slipping as he folded his arms behind his back. “If you absolutely insist Director, I suppose I can afford a few more days, if to leave earlier will save me four lifetimes worth of credit.” He conceded.

“I must say, Lieutenant, when you proposed this venture you didn't seem overly concerned with contribution credit scores,” Laandi questioned.

Nako sighed, releasing the tension that held his frustration. “It is not about the credit scores, Executive Director, I suppose I should have tempered my expectations.”

“Tempered your expectations? Regarding Jasmine? I would have thought she would have exceeded all conceivable outcomes?”

“Yes, in many ways she does exceed them but if the damage done to her is permanent, stiffed like the rest of your staff, then this entire venture would be at a loss. Nothing discovered aboard the Rajavan Vessel holds any military value. Even the cultural artefacts are useless without the conscious Miss Howe to decipher them. If Humans cannot survive the blast of ship engines then even the DNA we gather may not be useful to the GC at large, what was once such a promising opportunity has disintegrated before me...”

The Executive Director rested her hand on her shoulder. “Military value?” She clicked her teeth gently, “Perhaps we may be able to negotiate after all, I have in our possession the Freq recording that debilitated nearly half the staff here, on the station, I would be happy to exchange that recording if only to ensure she remains under our care.”

The Lieutenant laughed dismissively. “I’m sure you are well aware that should I be ordered to, I could produce a pulse with the same amount of power. Jasmine while promising, did not break any Freq barriers.”

Laandi leaned forward and took a deep bow to hide her smile. “Perhaps it is better you experience the recording for yourself, Lieutenant.”

-*-

“Are you sure you want to do this Lieutenant?” Captain Rynard asked, looking over the recording.
“Of course!” Nako chuckled unpinning his blue cloak at the shoulder. “Your Director was quite coy about the mysterious strength of our alien guest’s Freq. What better way to put it to the test than to have an experienced soldier like myself face it head on?”

He handed Tifera his cloak and stepped into the training room.

“Sir, this isn’t like any Freq-bomb blast you’ve felt on the battlefield, it’s… deeper,” Rynard replied tactfully. The Lieutenant picked up on the unusual amount of concern, deciding to put Rynard at ease.

“Your consideration is admirable, Captain, but I have had the pleasure of staring down countless battalions of Vassals, alone. I’m sure I can handle the cries of a lone maiden, no matter how ‘deep’ they are.

Rynard shrugged, and turned to Tifera.

“You heard me, I tried to warn him.”

Tifera replied with a dark scowl, unappreciative of the lack of faith in her commander.

Nako stood in the security training room brandishing an air of cool confidence, awaiting for the so-called powerful pulse.

“Captain!” he commanded, “Unleash the blast!”

Nako felt the stillness.

The silence that isolated him from the world, It made his body stiff, every muscle in his body pulled tight.He couldn't breathe, he couldn’t move, holding everything in, before his body and the world collapsed.

The guttural cry tore through the speakers and his resolve.

He felt it.

He felt it all.

The human had poured her entirety into this blast.

The loss of her friends.

The death of her family,

The callous dissection of her race,

The destruction of her World by the Rajava.

She mourned the dead known and unknown alike, the sights she would never see again. The sun rises, the sun sets, the immense ocean, the forests teaming with life, the deserts, the snow, the rain and the wind. The beauty of her world she took for granted.

The food she would never eat, the meals she would never get to craft, the faces she would never see again. Songs she would never get to hear, the last recollection of Earth and its people would die with her memories.
The last human voice she would hear would be her own.
She would forget the taste of another's lips, forget the smell that was uniquely human.

She would never find love.

She would never have children.

Her future dashed, everything she was, everything she had been, all that she had been working towards ripped away in an instant.

Every connection severed.

Every voice silenced.

The pure and complete torture of being alone.

It hurt, all of it, from the inside out.

He felt the sharp pain of tearing vocal chords, the heat of burning muscles and the stinging of tears from his eyes. The sudden and disabling pressure on his heart, as though someone held it in their hands, while crushing it slowly.

The will power that held his body upright, gave into the pain.

Nako couldn't even raise his voice to stop the recording.

He just lay there face first waiting for it to stop.

Tifera’s voice cut through the recording, screaming for Rynard to end it when her Lord did not respond. She almost tore open a hole in the steel door rushing to Nako’s side, ready to scoop him up in her capable amrs.

“Sire?!” Tifera panicked, reaching to help him up off the floor, but the Lieutenant refused.

“No…” his voice held now power. It shook like the last leaf on a dying twig.

Shakily the lieutenant pushed up with all four arms off the floor. He needed to do this himself, for his pride and his own sense of mind all the while the effects of the Freq blast still held him tight. The worst thing about it all was the way it lingered in his chest.

He had always been able to wipe such feelings aside like water off his shell but this Freq pulse had penetrated his defences and left him questioning if he could handle feeling another pulse like this and be left untouched.

He swayed on his feet, legs failing him on the first step.

Tifera caught her lord in a single arm the chill from his grip was sharp and centred.

“Destroy the records of this humiliation,” he whispered, quietly dabbing the fluid away from his leaking eyes with his cape.

“Of course, Sire,” Tifera bowed, “and the recording?”

The Lieutenant Commander steadied his legs a hand to his chest to ease the pain.

“Take it and keep it within my quarters,” He instructed. “No one is to know of it’s existence until I have finished with it.”

-*-

Things were happening so fast.

First we were in the room with the Namegiver.

We were doing more tests for the strange looking Vets.

It was hard.

But the Namegiver said it would be ok.

Then it wasn’t okay.

That one room always hurt.

We didn’t like being there.

Namegiver told us it would be over soon.

Namegivers don’t lie to us.

Oskar never lied to me.

But it hurt. A lot.

The night visions came out while we were awake.

We didn’t understand, it hurt to see.

Then it hurt the Namegiver, and then it hurt Friend Xant.

The strange vets came after that.

Friend Spades and Friend Kimiko didn't want to go, they fought the vets.

I don't like it when they fight.

They gave us the needles that make us sleep.

When Namegivers do it we wake up somewhere safe.

I don't like it when the strange vets do it.

They don’t make me feel safe.

They just do what they want.

They don’t talk to us.

I hear them talk to each other, they speak our words but they never talk to us.

They gave me needle after needle.

They keep poking my head and belly.

They keep making me still and numb.

They keep doing things to me I don’t understand.

It makes me feel funny.

I want to see Friend Kimiko, I want to see Friend Spades.

I want to see the Namegiver, I want to see Friend Xant.

I miss Oskar...


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