16 – Infection?15-Jul-08
You have managed to subdue the synthetic. Aka-Vasha, kneeling on the ground, has her in an armlock. Gene has a loaded pistol leveled at her, and Rasputin is pretty sure he’s got the stun gun more-or-less figured out. Olive continues to protect the injured synthetic from his aggressive companions, and is apparently communicating with her in frequencies beyond the normal human range of hearing.
Since the synthetic is grappled and prone, we’ll end combat.
Seeing no hope for escape, the synthetic emits a low rumble then stops resisting. Aka-Vasha adjusts her armlock to a better position and Apollo knocks the metal rod aside. The synthetic sulks and begins crying. With a pout mutters “I hate you all!” again in Ancient.
Apollo moves closer, still wary. “What is it… I mean, she, saying Olive?” the Judge inquires.
Looking back to the group, Olive gives some information regarding what the synth is saying. “Warning: We should not progress further. She warns of an infection that may be loose ahead. Let me see what I can find out. She is… visibly upset about it…” Olive offers to help the synth up, but Aka-Vasha holds her prone.
“Infection!?” – Apollo explodes “Damn fine! That’s all we need… We where sent here to estimate a military threat. If there is a plague here the Affiliation is in a world of trouble.”
“Assuring Comment: The word infection could mean a multitude of possibilities. It may not be as bad as anticipated.” Olive looks to the synth and makes more white noise.
Aka-Vasha tries her best to maintain her hold on the synthetic.
“Don’t know how long I can hold her!”, cries Aka.
“If you want her subdued, then you guys better hurry up! I can’t hold her all day!”, says Vasha.
“Clarification: She is as subdued as she needs to be. Please let go.” Olive’s eye flickers with some unknown android emotion.
“We’ve no use for prisoners” Gene says coldy. Turning to the synthetic, he speaks slowly and clearly in Unislang: “If you can understand me, then prove your worth or we will destroy you.”
The wounded synthetic looks up at Gene with sad eyes. She opens her mouth, says “Error!” in Ancient, then emits only static and white noise.
Olive looks to Gene as he begins to cradle the synthetic. “Indirect Threat: If you insist on continuing to be rude to our guest, I will take it as a personal insult.” He holds the stranger in a comforting way, whirring through static white noise to her.
“Confounded machinery!” Gene begins to curse in Gutterspeak under his breath.
“What!”, Aka hisses at Olive. “Is the rigging that makes up your machine brain loose?”
“Are you going to sputter gears all day?”, says Vasha. “Quickly, bind her hands and feet! She is not going to give up peacefully!”
Rasputin catches Aka-Vasha’s eye. “Calm down, we need information and this synthetic is our best source.” Looking to the synthetic, Rasputin asks (in Ancient), “Ma’am, we are here to help. Tell us more about this infection. Do you mean infection as in disease or as in unwanted creatures?” Rasputin theorises that the ‘infection’ mentioned might be ourselves or the plant creatures, not actual disease.
Olive slams his mace into the ground, making a loud thud that rang off the nearby walls. “Warning: I will not allow her to be bound. She has given up her fight. Leave her be.” He holds the mace in his hands as it drapes over the synth, ready to defend her if needed.
The android was feeling something stirring in his mind. These humanoid cared nothing for the synthetic. They see her as a machine or a tool, not as an entity. No wonder she is angry at them. Olive simultaneously feels sorry for them and wants to give them a piece of his mind. There is no time for that now though; he simply defends his fellow construct and waits for her to speak.
During the dispute, Ibben has been focusing most of his attention to the west. In the uncomfortable quiet after Olive’s show of force, he says: “Sounds like something is going on with the plant-men,” he says, “Stay alert.”
Moving back to the crossroads with the retainers, Ibben’s echolocation reveals that the vegepygmies have returned to the room in the western corridor with their plant-dogs. There are probably a dozen there, and although they advance no further, nor do they retreat.
With a grunt of disgust, Aka-Vasha releases the synthetic – but keeps her cutlass ready in case of betrayal.
The synthetic stares at Gene in eerie silence. With Olive’s support, she stands shakily. Olive continues to hum and buzz in a comforting manner
“Central processing error – programming has been compromised. I have caused injury to a human. Now I will die.” she says in Ancient. Her speech is stilted, and interrupted occasionally by electronic noises. “Fools. I have failed in my mission.”
“Mission? What mission?” asks Rasputin.
“Containment of extraterrestrial species. Protection of external civilians from infection. Determination of cure for infectious agent.” The synthetic begins to buzz and tick. “Ye shall reap what ye sow!”
Rasputin provides a running commentary, then probes further “What is this infection?”
The synthetic stares blankly at Rasputin, buzzing and ticking. In a different voice from before, she responds: “Mutagenic infection of extraterrestrial nature. Biosafety protocols breached. Subjects quarantined in Class Five stasis facility. Quarantined… Quarantined.” The synthetic clicks loudly. “Stasis breached. Subjects released.”
She smiles. “Now the children will be disciplined…”
Again, she lapses in to silence, then suddenly convulses as if having a seizure.
What are your actions?