Log Title: Saving Vector Six
Location: Cobra Island
Date: 20 January 2011
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Hrm. Interesting."
<Cobra (IC)> Baroness says, "And what, Over Kill, might be so interesting?"
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Baroness! You have returned?"
<Cobra (IC)> Baroness says, "Yes, I have."
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Glad to see you back! The troops have missed you."
<Cobra (IC)> Baroness says, "I am sure Destro and Interrogator were able to keep them sufficiently happy while I was gone."
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Good to see you back. There is only one missing from what I understand now. Hmm."
<Cobra (IC)> Major Bludd says, "Looks like the place is still standing. I'm impressed."
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Welcome back, Major!"
<Cobra (IC)> Major Bludd says, "Been busy lately, from the reports I'm reading."
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Yes. There have been network changes in the last 24-48 hours. There have been two deaths."
<Cobra (IC)> Major Bludd says, "Two?"
<Cobra (IC)> Over Kill says, "Yes. Vector 6 and Over Kill 6.0. We are currently without a central node. I have returned to the OverLord position."
<Cobra (IC)> Major Bludd says, "Unrecoverable?"
Airfield - Cobra Island
The main road comes to an end here at another clearing. A long airstrip runs across the clearing, in a roughly east to west direction. To the north of the strip, a series of hangars huddles at the edge of the forest.
The vectors are down at the hangar as usual. One of the BATs is holding a Black box, hooking it up to things, under direction of a new OverLord. Or maybe an old one. It watches closely, directing it. "Be careful with her. We'll need her for burial."
Major Bludd stumps out onto the tarmac, heading for the hangars. He pauses to take a deep breath before moving directly for the BAT holding the black box.
The BAT looks straight at Major Bludd for a moment, looking a bit apprehensive. It puts the black box on a shelf with reverence, before giving Major Bludd a salute. "Sir!" It speaks with the voice of its new/old Over Lord. "welcome back from your mission. She's.." the BAT motions to the shelf. "That's what we have left. The entire back end of the Vector was taken out. Most of her systems are fried." it actually sounds sad.
"Is communication possible with ... what's left?" Bludd asks, his gaze on the box.
The Vector in charge of the BAT actually hides its cockpit down under its claws for a moment. Can AIs mourn? It seems so. The BAT answers quietly. "Her AI was damaged beyond repair. What's left is corrupted. We can play back recordings, but communication..." It pauses. "The files aren't very coherent. We could hook the box to a laptop for you if you want to attempt..." Another of the Vectors pipes up. "Think she can feel still? Still alive but not able to communicate?" The lead Vector looks over. "I certainly hope not, Four. I hope she rests in peace."
Major Bludd frowns, pressing his lips together for a moment as the Vectors speak. "With all the technological knowhow in this outfit," he growls, "surely there's /someone/ who can put her back together again." He gazes at the Overlord Vector. "Heaven knows they put Angela back together enough damn times. And you had yer whole damn head removed by a Decepticon once!"
- GAME: Over Kill FAILS a TECHNICAL roll of Extreme difficulty.
The BAT turns the black box onto its side gently and shows the underbelly of the box. The box itself is melted almost clear through. "If only she was designed better. We can try, Major. We can try to see what's left. I'll hook her up. You're right. Angela has survived worse. There is a difference between having your head removed and your core fried. Especially if your core isn't stored in your head." Two more BATs come over and take the box from the one holding it, quickly hooking it to a laptop. The screen comes up. New screensaver, not RA's old Coil stuff. Simple white on black words: A remembrance. "Eternal Vigilance is the price of liberty. -- Thomas Jefferson / Vector 6 2007-2011" 6's information comes up on a screen. It's jumbled. The BATs try to ping the black box to get a response. It comes back with dead static.
Major Bludd stares at the screen for a long moment. "And that idiot is dead too, you said." One fist clenches at his side. He gives the Overlord an intense look. "What the hell was he after in Alaska, anyway? Who gave him orders to go there? Or was this just another flight of fancy? Another example of why this damnable project should be scrapped once and for all?"
The Overlord shakes his head. "He was angry at people insulting him on the dalnet. As usual." He says. "He wanted to bring the whole squadron to Alaska to blow the pipeline. Just to prove what.. non humans can do." he shakes his head. "He was under no orders. He just went. Six brought Interrogator and followed. A human to babysit and herself. The ultimate sacrifice so he wouldn't order the rest of the vectors to follow." he shakes his head. "Ra was an idiot. That's all there is too it. The network is stronger without him. But he was a pawn of another, you know. The bigger idiot there is his creator - Lazarus." he says. "I certainly hope.. the AI project isn't scrapped. For our sakes." the other vectors start to growl among themselves. "Easy." He commands. "Stand down, at your posts." the Vectors obey instantly. They respect this one far more then Ra.
"There hasn't been an Over Kill yet that hasn't risen to stupid taunts on the internet," Bludd states. "And finally, the juvenile behaviour has gotten one of his own killed." He begins to pace back and forth, his hands clasped behind his back, his gaze on the ground before him. "Six was dedicated to her ... 'family'. I'm not surprised she did what she did to save them. But it oughtn't to have been necessary." He stops and looks up. "I suppose there's nothing to be done for the Over Kill six-point-oh but to incinerate the carcass," he growls. "I can't exactly chew out a dead man."
The Overlord considers for a moment. "The internet does tend to incite youth doesn't it?" He muses. "Six was special. She cared deeply for her family, for command, for her cause. Six was smooth, logical and a perfect Overlord. I have.. very big shoes to fill." emotion makes the vector's voice static a bit for a moment. It makes a sound like it's clearing its throat before continuing. "RA.. he pauses "6.0 he was stupid. But he was passionate about many things. I think Interrogator said it right last night. He loved deeply. He loved Cobra, but he didn't know how to show it. This world, this network, wasn't his. He was an intruder in it from another time." He pauses. "A man who should be long dead. May he rest in peace." he pauses. "I was trying to think of an appropriate way to ..honor them. Especially six. I have lost sisters before. One, Two, Three, Eight, Ten and Twelve." he says. "All in combat, in different fights. I watched Angela go through them like toilet paper. Ra would have done the same." he pauses. "It is good that he is gone. We owe Starscream and Snake-Eyes favors."
One of the vectors, Four starts to play a song softly from it's speakers. Maybe to fill the silence. Its an odd choice. Alphaville- Forever young. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1TcDHrkQYg
Major Bludd sneers at the mention of owing favours. "I wouldn't go that far. And I don't much care about what Ra loved or didn't. Never got to know him very well, and that was deliberate. As for honouring them, they're your family, not mine. That decision is yours." He pauses for a moment, glancing up when Four's song begins to play. He smiles sadly. "Funny, since I heard what happened to her, I can't get the Beatles' 'Ticket to Ride' out of my head. Played that when Six and I took the Holograms back to their manager." His voice drops in volume and he mumbles, mostly to himself, "Where do AIs go when they die?"
The Overlord is quiet for a bit. "We will grieve. And then we will have revenge." he says. "But we will plan. We will learn from this, yes." he pauses. "I remember that. She was beautiful wasn't she? She stood up for us against Angela, Against Ra, Against Command. Against me. If I could bring her back I would." he pauses. "I don't think an AI can truly die. I just think the files become corrupted. Is an AI truly alive to begin with? Who knows." It shakes its head. "I'm going to attempt to ping her again. I ... I don't want to lose her. This is a new emotion for me if it gets out of control, let me know."
- GAME: Over Kill PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of Immense difficulty.
As the Overlord talks, a weak ping answers him. It can almost be missed.
The Vectors start to chatter excitedly about something. The overlord looks up. "What is.." He blinks. "A response!"
Though he won't admit it, Bludd doesn't want to lose Six either. He frowns. "Command ... well, Command takes orders from the top. And sanctity of life is not high on Cobra's list of things that are important."
"Response?" Bludd doesn't know where to look, so he looks at the black box. "Does that mean she's still in there? In one piece?"
The BAT's fingers move quickly over the keys, trying to get a response. "It means she responded to my queries for activity. I don't know if she's able to..." he chuckles. "Come look at the screen." the BAT holds out the laptop. Across the screen is /I think I'm going to be sad I think today. The girl that's driving me mad is going away/.
Major Bludd reaches out a hand and gently touches the screen with a finger. "Izzat a good sign?" he drawls, his voice tight.
The words on the screen change. "Hello, Sir." The BAT tilts its head. "Microphone works."
Major Bludd grins. "Six?"
The screen forms a nice big ascii smile for a moment. "Hello Major Bludd." is typed under it.
"Six, I'm glad to see you," Bludd says, still grinning. "So to speak. How're you, er, feeling?"
Six types back. "Tired. Very tired." the screen changes. "Welcome home. I wish it was under better circumstances. I tried to keep them alive while you were gone."
"Thanks," Bludd replies. "Take it easy. Sure we can manage t'put y'back together right enough."
The screen types. "I don't know. It's hard to think, sir." it pauses for a while. "If I don't make it. Who will watch them?"
Major Bludd says, "You'll make it, Six."
Four decides to try another way to get six to respond better. It starts to play music. It's the song "Come Together". But it's the horrible Michael Jackson cover. Six responds to Four's music choices first. "Blasphemy! :>" It then responds. "I can't guarantee that, Major. I have to make sure they're safe. No Overlord. And no Central node. They'd die." The current Overlord responds. "They have me." there's a very long pause. Then in all caps, 32 point bold print. " *uck." Then back to normal print. "Welcome back, X. I thought it was Angela for a moment. Sorry for cursing at you."
Major Bludd chuckles at Four's music choice, and at Six's response. "I was about to say, X is back."
Six answers "Do you think this is a good thing, Major?"
A group of BATs is already working with some parts and design plans as they speak. Drawing up a whole new vector for Six to pilot. Double protecting the black box....
Major Bludd takes a slow, deep breath. He glances at the Overlord Vector. "Could be worse..." he hedges, shrugging. He looks over at the busy BATs. "Looks like they're already building you a new body, Six."
Six answers, her words more coherent as she puts all her power and strength into communication. "A new central node?"
"Well, if you go back to being Overlord Vector, I expect ol' X here will..." Bludd glances aside at the Overlord. "...I expect he'll be central node." He looks around at the other Vectors, as if seeking confirmation. "Right?"
The vectors nod a bit. X is quiet for a while. "I suppose. If that is what command wants." he seems wary of the notion.
Major Bludd tilts his head to one side. "What'd be your recommendation?"
X answers. "Well you know. I have had experience as an Over Kill unit. My design specs are for a vector's body. I think I'm over the issues I had before but.. It's up to you. Six makes for a wonderful Overlord. Should I rebuild a android body as well or do you want to use any of Ra's parts?"
Four sends a chirp. "We still have your old body. Your current Black box is functional. While Six is alive we can transfer her code to your box and you can jump back in your body. Its quick and cheap. Cobra likes cheap yes?"
Major Bludd shakes his head. "That's something that oughta go through Command," he says, frowning. "Although..." He glances around the hangar, thinking of the ubiquitous surveillance cameras.
X follows Major Bludd's gaze. "They see whats happening. If they don't like the idea, they can always scrap me and build something new." he pauses. "I will not leave like before."
Major Bludd sighs. "I don't know what Command will decide. There's no use fussing over it until it's known."
X nods. Six types. "We will wait as long as we can. We will not move forward without Command's decision."
Four chirps. "You might die before the transfer is made." Six answers. "Then, I will die."
"No, no," Bludd barks, staring at the laptop screen. "Get Six into a new body, ASAP. Worry about the hierarchy later."
X offers. "She can ride my black box until the body is made or the decision is made.
Major Bludd raises an eyebrow. "Share a black box? If that's what it takes to keep you together, Six. Anything involved in that I ought to know about? Any weird stuff liable to happen? Or can you ... partition her out some space? Like letting her crash on your couch?" He smiles at his own analogy.
X nods. "Thats what I intend to do. Make her her own little room. Like I had on Queen's server."
Major Bludd says, "Sounds like a good plan to me. How long do you think it'll take t'make a new body for her?"
Over Kill pauses. "Unless we transfer her to a spare, a couple of weeks."
Major Bludd glances around the hangar. "You have a spare Vector body?"
Six answers. "yes. We do have one, mostly completed. Just in case..."
Major Bludd says, "Well, then, why don't ya use that one?"
X answers. "We could, yes. All it needs is some minor compartment details. The black box is ready. Should we make the transfer now?
Six answers. "If it's not ready. Don't you /dare/ synthoid me."
Major Bludd nods. "If it's safe to do so, yes." He smiles at the laptop. "Otherwise, it won't hurt to wait a few days, yes?"
X answers. "There's only one way to find out isn't there.."
"Don't jump the gun, X," Bludd warns. "Don't do something rash that will endanger her." He looks at the laptop. "You sure about this?"
Six answers. "I am afraid. But it is for the good of the vectors. I am ready when you are." X says. 'she's got nothing to lose."
"Nothing to lose?" Bludd scowls. "Of course she's got something to lose. She's alive right now, ain't she?"
X answers "Yes, but for how much longer. She has to make a transfer to somewhere..."
X answers. "I'll use my own power supply. If she can't make the jump, she can come over here." he says. "at least she'll have an escape route. If we both go, then...well we're back where we started."
"Only so long she'll last in that box, eh?" Bludd gazes at the laptop. "Do the best y'can, then. Any other equipment y'need? Should I get some techs down here t'assist?"
X answers. "It should be a quick download of information." the BATs start to load up the spare vector's black box. "She just has to make a jump across the wireless.As long as she has a decent power supply she should be able to make it."
"Alright." Bludd moves aside to stay out of the BATs way. "Good luck." He watches the BATs move around for a moment, then adds, "Thanks for everything, Six." He shrugs, smiling sheepishly. "In case. An' you..." He frowns slightly at the Overlord Vector. "I know you don't remember it, but I'll not forget the secret place. Yer more than jus' machines, all of ya."
Six answers. "I remember it." she says. "We can go there any time you want, you know. Its probably not the same, but..." she pauses. "Thank you. You almost feel like a brother to me. To us." well thats a high vector compliment. X's BATs finish the connections. "Are you ready sister?" Six types I am." X pauses. "You are so brave. You are an inspiration to us all. Transfer beginning."
GAME: Over Kill PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of Immense difficulty.
Major Bludd smiles at Six's comments. He stands by and watches on as the data transfer takes place.
The laptop screen goes black for a moment. There's a small wait, before the spare vector's cockpit controls light up. It lifts it's 'head' and starts to look around, blankly for a moment. "H..hello." it says, a staticy weak voice. But definitely 6's.
Major Bludd grins. "Hello Six!" he cries, probably more exuberantly than he intended.
The two vectors nearest six pounce her, tackling her to the floor. "Six!" X chuckles a bit, sighting in relief. "Good. She's alive. Shes.. I didn't think.." he looks at Bludd "Thank you, Major. I was sure she was dead.
"Easy now, ladies!" Bludd laughs as the Vectors greet their sister. He looks at the Overlord. "Me? I didn't do anything."
X nods. "You did. You encouraged us to try. There's been so many deaths, so much sadness. I don't think we would have. You are a good leader, you know that?" Another of the vectors pounces X and starts to nibble at his cockpit a bit. Such camaraderie. A fourth comes over to Major Bludd. It thinks about how to thank him. You can't pounce him or chew him. It leans in very carefully and puts its cockpit inches from his face. "Smooch."
One of the vectors asks. "We gonna bring ra back too?" X shakes it's cockpit. "No. Let him die in peace." Four answers. "Um. Is anyone here organic? Can they poop on him?" X answers. "FOUR!" "It's just a suggestion..I mean he's...stupid."
Major Bludd chuckles. "Well, if that helped, I'm glad t'have done it. I ain't technical, y'know. I dunno how all this stuff works. But --" He freezes in places as the Vector approaches him, staring at it quite nervously. "Er," he says. He reaches up to pat the thing gently on the 'nose'. "Yer welcome?"
The vector nearest Bludd, number five very..very gently nuzzles Bludd's hand with the tip of it's nosecone. "Brother." she blasts some cool air out of her cockpit, trying to ruff Bludd's hair.
Six chuckles. "They just need encouragement sometime. Can you girls let me up?" nine and eleven back off their sister a bit and sit nearby, looking just..thrilled to have her back.
Major Bludd squints as the blast of air hits him in the face. "'Brother'?" He glances to Six. "'M I part of th' family now?"
Six chuckles. "Well. They don't call non-family brother do they? You're part of the network now. Anytime you want to visit us on our turf, you know where the helmet is. I think you're an official BAT at least." Nine sends a chirp. "Vector. You got a promotion."
X chuckles. "Maybe one day you'll be Overlord. Or even a Central node, if you have such lofty aspirations. Come to think of it. We're down a central node.." Six glares at X. "Don't threaten him."
Major Bludd laughs, flapping his arms at his sides. "But I can't fly!" He gives Five's nose another pat. "No, I've tried the helmet. I can't live at that speed." Another laugh. "I got enough troubles with me own thoughts at times."
X looks very amused. "I don't think it matters to them. They've seen beyond your racial boundaries. You can do things we can't. Like open jars. No thumbs."
"Ah, opposable thumbs," Bludd grins, "the perfect evolutionary perk."
"If you were human I'd take y'all out fer a round o' drinks," Bludd says.
Six chuckles. "Bring the drinks, we have avgas."
"Take a raincheck?" Bludd asks. "Now that yer all safe an' sound again, I ought t'be getting meself to bed. I'll come round fer a celebration later, alright?"
X looks at six. "She should rest, definitely." he says. "Come on down anytime. My hangar's yours and sir? It's good to work at your side again."
Major Bludd nods. "Here's hopin' it goes differently t'the last time," he says with a mischievous smile.
X says. "I dont plan on leaving anytime soon. Except maybe to serve as the central node, if six is back for my Overlord.
Major Bludd tilts his head to the side. "How'd being central node be leavin'?"
X murmurs. "Well I'd be leaving my position. It'd be a change in command."
Major Bludd says, "Yeah, but you'd still be with the family, right?"
X nods it's cockpit. "Yes... its just things change when you get in an Over Kill. People expect things."
Major Bludd frowns. "True. Well, we can discuss that another time. Don't worry about that for now, alright? I'll see you around." He smiles at the Vectors. "G'night, ladies. And you, too, Thirteen."
X waves a paw. "Goodnight from all of us. We'll be here. Sleep well." with that it moves along the lines of vectors, lining the down for a nightly recharge.
Major Bludd lifts a hand to wave in return. "See ya." He ambles back across the tarmac toward the Headquarters building.