Saturday, 15 May 2010

Back to Basics part 1

Angelina sat in the darkness at the back of the hanger, watching all those who walked in and through. A plethora of ships had landed, disgorged cargo or passengers, refueled and departed, but not the one she wanted. One of her crew departed and came back with several large boxes filled with food and they ate and drank in silence. Eventually a pristine Iteron mark V bearing the markings of the Quaffe company maneauvered its way in and stopped not far from where they sat. The heavy whine of repulsorlifts started as the docking clamps raised and the Iteron lowered onto them. With a furious hiss of outgassing the cargo ramps lowered along the length of the tugger.

Ang watched as Victor Ballentyne, clad in a well cut white suit walked out of the ship and over to her corner. He stood well back and made sure that his hands were nowhere near his weapons.
"Victor. Did you bring it?"
Victor smiled and removed his glasses, polishing the rose tinted glass on his tie.
"Give my boys a few minutes to unload it and I'll show you what we got. You do know it's pod driven, the whole thing. You okay with that?"
"It'll be back to basics.... but yes.... it's time I got back into the fight."

Victor and Angelina, followed by select members of each crew walked to the next docking slot where the cargo had already been unloaded. A battered, but visually stunning Arazu in Serpentis colours supported by repulsorlifts hung in the air.
"It's beautiful....."
"I know.. and pimped just the way you wanted. We have Gurista scram and 'rupt, the weapon systems have been modified, faction ammo as requested. The drones are those you chose, brand new, built and programmed by Carmilla. She sends her love by the way."
"Very nice. I can see it's rigged as well, and there is a lot of chrome there too."
"The last pilot was a fancy fucker. But he loved that ship."
Angelina took an observation platform with Victor and looked over the exterior of the ship. It was obvious, despite the battered appeareance, the ship was solid.
"When you going to take her out?"
"As soon as I get back in the pod....."
"Be careful though, the backup Ai is still in place.. you may have to hack it...."

The technicians in the pod facility stripped and washed Angelina, carefully unplugging and cleaning her pod-interface ports. Standing naked, arms and legs spread she felts the disinfectant spray cover her while the techs went about their work. Occasionally she'd feel the ports accept the test jacks and the familiar dissociation with parts of her consciousness. One of the techs flashed a signal to her brain and she nodded imperceptibly and felt the curved section of the floor move up slightly. The test jacks were removed and from the hidden darkness of the ceiling a cluster of jacks descended and began to interface with her. Arms, legs, several large ones for the back. Tubes placed themselves strategically for sustaining the body. Parts of her mind faded and blacked as the smaller neural jacks interfaced with her cranial ports. As the last one interfaced there was just darkness. Around her large quarters of pod came together, merging and sealing with a hiss of air. Automatic systems connected tubes with the pod and began filling up with liquid.

Cocooned inside the pod, Angelina awoke to the alien sensation of being a pod. It always unnerved her, and sent commands quickly to install the pod into her new ship. Now, time had no foundation, there was no up or down, there was only the pod. She waited aeons for the pod to interface with the Arazu.

When the pod interfaced with the Arazu Angelina's senses came alive. A full sensor sphere with the Arazu dead centre appeared in Angealina/Arazu's sensorium. Sensor tendrils reached out caressing everything in the vicinity, wherever A/A looked distances were calculated, threats assessed, a list of targets and objects, each highlighted with it's own icon and code appeared hanging in the air. Windows opened, each one with it's own handshake signal, weapons systems, diagnostics, drone bay, navigational systems, repair systems, command and control. While the handshake initiated each window was red, then as they were accepted and control handed over to the pod they changed to green.

AI Interface - Good Afternoon Commander Raskhoth.....
Sysop-IDent Display
Command IDent - Arazu - Serpentis - Horn of Rashkoth....
Command IDent - Override Alpha One - IDent change....
Command IDent - Arazu - Disciples of Night - Guristas Abolisher
Command Confirm - Execute

Diagnostic Control - timestamp activated - node45 to node89 access denied
Command Diag Reboot
- Serpentis Protocol Override Alpha One intrustion detected
- Protocol denied.... denied... denied...

Uplift - Command Code - Guris1.394994
-Serpentis Protocol Override Gamma One intrusion detected
Command - Protocol Guris1.394994 - Insert
-Protocol accepted - download parameters set

Uplift - Navigation Code - Guris4.8829A
-Serpentis Protocol Overide Theta Four - Countermeasure
-Protocol Evasive.... Pod Ejection Initiat.....

Pod Eject Override - Theta Four - Guris4.8829B
Command IDent - Overwrite Serpentis Protocol Bank
Command IDent - System Bios Flash PRIORITY

AI Interface - Please Insert Name....

Deep within the Arazu, softly coocooned within her Pod Angelina smiled.

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