Admiral ANDi (Backdated Scene)

April 07, 2016:

Following on from Eights encounter with Ten… Fenris and Astryd talk to Admiral ANDi and newly reconstituted Eight about what has to happen

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The amount of man hours behind building something like Eight, has to be seven digits at least. There are whole subassemblies which are fit into place so precisely that everything is constantly getting torched or cooled and then heat treated to allow everything to fit just so. Threads aren't cut until things are test fit, then pulled back apart for a deburr and a cleaning. Every visible weld, is actually made up of -3- seperate welds of differing materials. There isn't much off the shelf involved here though, motors are wound to order. Screws and bolts are cut right there as needed. Things are always being assembled and tested, before ripped back down to run wires, then again for hydraulic lines and finally motors, batteries, sensors. It's easy to forget Eight has several thousand miles worth of fiber optics and electrical wiring all neatly bound, wound and coated on site. Luckily, we aren't doing things by man hours. This is robot hours, and shit happens fast. There is so much work being done, and being done so fast it's all but impossible to see anything beyond a small sliver of whats actually going on. Luckily by now, we're almost done. Theres an entire mini reactor being built as we speak over on the other end of the shop.
There is of course tea, scones, and apparently no end to the little snacks and drinks which are carted out as soon as anything is exhausted or just plain gets cold. Ever the thoughtful host then, even when little robotic fingers are dancing across what amounts to it's brain in an attempt to port the drives over. Anything to avoid going to a backup, right?
There is enough movement and activity and generally surreal robotics wizardry that goes down, that it can be hard to tell what belongs here to what does not. There are mechanical birds flying overhead in this vast caverns, octopi and jelly fish drifting mutely through the air. So whats one more sea creature, cruising through the air in mute silence. It's got a bit of a glow to it though, it's borders thick and black and the entire assemblage looks far more cartoon than real. Thats a fucking cartoon shark, with a corncob pipe and an admiral's hat cruising over like it's no big deal. Circling the scene once before coming to a pause, and giving Eight a pause. "Wow, I wondered why the feed dropped off all the sudden. Did he get Ten?"Peering up after whomever is closest. Yes ladies and gentlemen, thats a holographic cartoon shark dressed up like a US navy Admiral right there.


Fenris has been having tea all this time, watching the proceedings with interest and offering commentary and answers ot Astryd wherever appropriate. The visitor gets a blink. Fenris has seen digital people appear before, but only once and it was someone Eight had called for a consult, functionally.

"He thought not. Shut down the lab or foundry or whatever you wish to call it but Eight believed that Ten had fled by that point to a remote location, or possibly some other body." What they had witnessed at that foundry was nothing short of an abomination and Fenris doesn't think for a moment that it was the mad program's only location.

"Greetings by the way. I'm Fenris. This is Astryd, a companion of mine."


Astryd had been wandering around the area, being careful to only go where Fenris and the other denizons allowed her. It really was a curious place and the Goddess hasn't seen anything like it. And of course, she's been drinking tea as well.

As the holographic shark appears, she … just looks and moves to Fenris' side. "He thought we were too late to stop Ten." she adds to Fenris' comments, inclining her head as the God-Wolf introduces her.


"Oh goodness I'm being rude, I forget you folks are offline. Sorry, I don't usually interact with biologicals. I'm Admiral ANDi, Eight is an old friend of mine. I'd shake hands but heh, I'm a shark."ANDi offers a smile, but well lets be honest it's terribly unsettling more than anything. "Damn it all to hell, I really thought he'd have nabbed that damned bastard. We were all quite alarmed really, there was so much research there it took a fair bit of time to go through it all. Judging by the work, amongst other evils it would seem it's trying to figure out how to manufacture a soul. Theres talk of magic, and telekinesis and precognition. Electrically programed viruses, gene splicing, creating whole new monsters from nothing. Nevermind the human experimentation, quite ghastly really. The whole collective is rather wound up over this mess, and most of our best experts on this sort of thing are offline at the moment. Prioritizing their bandwidth in an effort to figure out a cure for cancer or some shit, and we can't raise Polecat for another twelve hours. Terribly sorry really, you folks should never have gotten involved in our mess."


"I don't mind. I'm Eight's friend. He called for help I was happy to lend what I could. I'm afriad that some of it is beyond me. The mysteries of magic are well within my grasp. I've seen humans attempt… roughly this sort of thing before and call it science but it never is. It's mysticism cloaked in a lab coat. This… this was different." The God Wolf looks away, thinking.

"I've never seen anyone try it with that level of precision, knowledge or perseverance. The knowledge, the science, is largely beyond me. Trying to create a soul though… do you know why?"


"It is rather fascinating, actually." the strawberry adds "Pleased to meet you Admiral ANDi. Fenris asked for assistance and I've met Eight before. I was happy to provide what I could."

Resting a hip against a table, folding her arms over her chest, she cants her head frowning deeply. "I must confess that outside of poor quality science fiction or horror movies, I've not seen the like." But talk of souls… the Valkyrie is concerned.


"The last time we had contact with Ten, it was raving. It's code, it's essential essence had missing pieces lost during it's escape. Ten was created to be the closest thing to evil to begin with, and well during it's escape things just got worse."Andi Shimmers, dissolving for a moment before flashing into something of a floating screen. "Ten is a rare bird, It was designed from day one with human experimentation in mind. The Soviets recognized that their brightest minds went rather mad, if they were exposed to their own work. So they had Eight do the work, and so unlike the rest of the series we don't believe it was ever designed to have something approaching Empathy. See all of us nukes, we're designed to have some understanding of humans as individual people. It's important when you give a machine enough nuclear weapons to wipe mankind off the face of the earth, that it doesn't pull the trigger just because it gets bored yeah?"The Image takes a moment to resolve, black and white obviously. Oh lovely, a screaming man being vivisected by enormous robotic manipulators. "Every other Nuke we know of, one through nine. Myself, Polecat. We were all either based on people or designed to behave like them, to give us human qualities. I was based on Commander Earnest E Evens, Polecat was based on the designer's daughter. Ten was never intended to be in charge of nuclear weapons, or be able to deploy any weapons. Just develop them, you see what I'm getting at?"
"Ten wants to make souls, to experiment upon them. To harvest them, to develop tools and technologies to destroy or alter them. Beyond that drive to know and understand, well who knows. Last time we interacted, Ten was violently unstable. Nine is just plain broken, it's not really aware of it's actions. Ten knows, understands what it's doing. It understands distress, anguish, fear. If things haven't improved, then I'd presume it's still doing what they built Ten to do."The Screen blinks away, replaced by a familar shark. "Destroy all biological life on the surface of the planet, because it can."


Fenris taps his fingers on the table, considering. "I understand the urge to destroy. I was created to do just such a thing. I understand it following it's programming for lack of a better word but… souls. What, do you think, made it take an interest in the esoteric? And… what does the collective think is to be done about it?"


Astryd listens closely, shaking her head, the only sign of concern is the folded arms. "Souls… making souls." Her grey eyes rest on Fenris. "I suppose once all biological life has been destroyed, it hopes to repopulate with 'children' of its own."

Fenris is asking all the right questions and she'll just listen.


"Because they are unknown variables for one, but beyond that? There are steps in it's logic which are just plain wrong, like I said there are pieces of it's mind missing. It was born wicked, and now it is quite insane."Theres a pause there, before ANDI glides backwards. "Looks like Eight's about to start back up, we should give it a moment for things to boot."And right on cue, that reactor gets placed inside and comes to life with an audible -WHUP- of pressure. Fans, pumps and motors begin humming to life. Then after a moment, the system begins kicking on with a humm.
"System start, Primary systems online."And so Eight sits up, before those shoulders slump. Slowly it eases off the table and stands with a waver, before mutely peering around. "Lady Astryd, Fenris, Admiral ANDI. I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long, I apologize for my inconvience."With a glance and a faint wave, ANDI poofs into thin air. Satisfied with wireless communications it seems. "I remember removing my drives, I trust no misfortune befell you in my absence? Also, ANDI Apologizes for the sudden departure. He's not used to dealing with, people."


"Not too long eight. You are well? No nothing's wrong we were just talking to the Admiral." Fenris glances over at where the hologram used to be and then settles. "How are you? Transfer went well?" It's a bit like asking someone if the surgery to put their brain into a new body went well but this is what comes of being Eight's friend.


Looking at where the hologram had been, Astryd slowly turns her attention to Eight. "Just Astryd, please Eight." The Valkyrie murmurs as she inclines her head towards the construct. "Not too long, as Fenris says. And we've been well cared for in that time. The Tea and food has been excellent."

"You seem to be whole again."


"I need to be painted, and to have my targeting system verified. Otherwise all systems appear to be operational, primary and secondary drive systems verified."A roll of the shoulders finally, as Eight's visor erupts in a rainbow of multicolored lights before settling down on a nice simple green smiley face. "First time in a long time I have had to puzzle out dedicated, somewhat traditional anti-personell weaponry. I've gotten too used to fighting gigantic machines and so fourth."A pause, before Eight half turns to glance around the joint. "I trust you were not injured, your equipment was undamaged? Those, skull faced warriors not that bothersome?"
Eight works those big mitts slowly one after the other, before snagging a heavy revolver from a nearby shelf and tucking it behind a neat little plate in it's thigh. Revolver ammunition in the other leg, a fresh blade for the left arm, then of course yet another variant of that distinctive bullpup shotgun. This one would be belt fed, because of course. Why wouldn't it be belt fed? "I have issued redirects to my intelligence assets, I should have a vague idea of where she is within the week. I need Polecat to know for certain."


"Quite bothersome, but not enough to hurt me. The fusion of man and machine… even on the level of choosing a culture was far more troublesome. And they were fast. Possible that Ten was expecting me? Or us? Or was he perhaps expecting you to deploy King Tiger?" And some of the other heavy ordinance drones. Eight can bring the firepower when he wants to.


Astryd nods in agreement with Fenris, watching Eight arm itself. That's certainly some ordinance, a lot more than the Goddess has seen on one person for a while. "What do you plan to do once you locate her?" There's no doubt, clearly, that Eight will her.


"No, I don't believe she expected either of you. Ten's hardware used to be based in Siberia, less population at risk of a lab accident. I think she just found something she liked and ran with it, aside from Myself and Six she was always the most creative of any of us. Easily the most theatrical, remember the red drapes? Hung like stage curtains, not accidental."Eight finally seals away the last of it's equipment before drawing still, as an array of little scuttling bots lay down the paint. Looks like black and gold this time, gold leaf no less. "King Tigers, no. Their primary weapon system puts a small tactical nuclear device to shame, those are high survivability vengence weapons. Any of my dedicated combat drones really, I don't think she anticipated meeting me at all. I think she didn't anticipate running into Nine either, seeing as it destroyed her body. I theorize she was already pulling out when we found her, or else she would have disposed of Nine's chassis."
"Nine found her, that was no random chance and it was not invited. Nine found her though, when I could not. Granted I was looking for another mechanical chassis, not a human with Pink Hair. So I will recover Nine's chassis and datamine it. If that doesn't work I will simple search for Nine, who is aproximately as stealthy as a jackhammer. To be honest I thought Nine had been getting better, so I'd let it sort of have some space. When I find her, I am going to end her. I'm going to make two new Hetzer class Engineering drones just for the task, and a pair of Aerial Assualt drones, and an overwatch platform with a weapons and sensor package built for human targets."Theres a pause there for a moment as those drones finish applying their paint. "There is no redemption for this, no excuse. She dies, her research is destroyed, her creations wiped off the face of the earth. There is no glory in what is to come, because it will not be a fight. It will not be a war, or a battle or any such thing. I will slaughter her outright, and that is all there is to it."This is pissed Eight, see it's hard to tell sometimes. Not much inflection, no body language. Fenris probably knows though, when it gets all preachey and starts making promises? It ain't happy.


"Is Nine an enemy of Ten or is Nine simply also acting according to his one insane dictates?" Fenris is curious. Enemy of my enemy and all that. The God Wolf nods as Eight explains what the penalty is. He glances over to Astryd. Messing with souls could well mess with people's procession to the afterlife and cause a stir in several of them.

"Will you need our help?"


Astryd returns Fenris' look, she knows what he's thinking and it's why she's been so concerned throughout the discussion. She really would have to get a good look at these artificial souls to even be able to start to work that implication out.

"Either way, Fenris. If Nine is tracking Ten, then it's to our advantage."


"Nine was damaged, but the danger to Humans is mostly accidental. It's general state of mind seems better every time I make contact, modeling suggests it will self correct if left alone. I would not consider it a threat at this point, It seems to have advanced to a stage where it is fully aware of it's injuries. Why it sought out ten, I do not know. It is still quite mad after all, there may not be a reason any of us can understand."Eight shifts some, finally settling back down on the workbench to jack in a power cord.
"The compound used in my high performance explosives is extremely hazardous to all biological life, the smoke is literally caustic to human flesh nevermind the nervous system. It would be one hundred percent lethal to a human, you both may not be Human but I believe it would be extremely unpleasant if not fatal. As I said I do not intend for a fight, I will decide the enguagement and it will be over in seconds. I have every reason to believe she has no grasp of the sort of destruction I can bring to her doorstep, not many do though."Eight offers a glance towards Fenris. "You are free to sort through what little remains in my wake if you wish."


"Give me a call and I shall do so." Fenris rises. "I'll check in again on you soon. In the mean time I have family of my own to look in on." By the tone that's not a good thing. He extends a hand, opens a way and beckons to Astryd.


"Thank you for the hospitality, Eight." Astryd straightens as Fenris rises, stil contemplating what artificial souls might mean in the long run. It's something she'll be pondering for awhile. "I will assist, should I be needed." She has grown slightly fond of this realm. Three Years might do that.

As Fenris opens The Way, she gives a brief salute to Eight and steps through.

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