An evolving situation

'Ambassador Vidar Hult or Officer Burman can hear me, please respond.' came Tams voice again.
Alex tapped the side of the audband and spoke, "This is Alex, what the hell is going on?"

“It seems,” Tam said, slowly “that someone onboard has released an AI virus”

“I was nearly sucked out into space!” Alex shouted, the stress of the previous minutes finally catching up with him “We need to find whoever is responsible for this and… and...” he took a deep, shuddering breath, in an effort to regain some of his composure. Now was not the time to let his mask slip.

“Let’s not be too hasty in jumping to conclusions” another voice joined the channel; Alex presumed it was Hult “It’s possible that this was merely a coincidentally timed attack. The perpetrators could easily be back in the Sirius sector”

“Agreed” said Tam

Alex wrinkled his nose in disgust. He’d find out who did this, but first things first “What do we need to do to sort this out?” He was damned if he was going to be put in that sort of peril again.

“I need you to do a hard reset of the AI” Tam replied “After that, we can restore a previous mindstate and assess the damage. You two are closest to the computronium cores, so I need you to do it. I can provide the override codes”

“Wanker” Alex snarled before tapping the communicator again and reopening the channel “So, I’m to be IT support as well as the ship’s morale officer?”

Several corridors away, Vidar activated a door’s manual override and grunted as he hauled it open. It was dark in this section of the ship, but his augs more than compensated for the lack of illumination.

“Another promotion, Mr, Burman” he responded “At this rate, you’ll be Captain within a week.

“I’ll see you at the AI core. I’m sure Commander Quinn won’t mind quiding you there if you don’t have a map”

Muting the communicator, Vidar made his way down the darkened corridor. The smell of smoke from burned out interchange couplings hung heavy in the air, but his PA was quick to inform him that the toxicity levels were well within tolerance.

Resetting the AI was potentially risky and would undoubtedly destroy much of the evidence that would help pinpoint the perpetrators, but with things as they were, he couldn’t see any other way mitigating the risk the virus presented.

The weirdest thing was the ship’s mesh being down and being off grid - It had been years since Vidar had been in a similar situation, and he found the experience both oddly unnerving and exhilarating at the same time.

Still, he reminded himself, this was the same way that almost everyone else on the ship felt all the time; and given that they were stranded light years from civilisation, not having immediate access to the sum of human knowledge, or knowing where everyone was, was a sensation that he and the other Kalmars might have to get used to.

Working from an internally cached version of the ships schematics, he made his way through the smoke clogged corridors, towards the computer core.

If anything, he noticed, the ship seemed to be in a worse state than before, with evidence of damaged systems everywhere. If resetting the AI actually worked, it seemed to Vidar, that there would need to be a hell of a lot of extra work done before the ship would be back on it’s way.

Pushing these troubling concerns to the back of his mind, he hauled the last door open between him and the core. Alex was there waiting for him, further down the corridor. He nodded.

The man looked like shit; scratched and cut, no doubt from flying debris during the decompression, but lucky to be alive. Vidar thought he probably needed a medical checkup for internal barotrauma, but figured he’d mention it when they had brought the AI back online.

“Mr. Burman” he extended a hand in greeting

“Ambassador” they shook.

“Glad you could make it. Have you seen any of the other crew? - It seems worryingly quiet around here”

“No” Alex frowned. Now that he mentioned it, it did seem strange that he hadn’t seen anyone else on his way down here. Maybe they were all sealed away on other decks or firefighting elsewhere? “That is odd, but...”

"We should get on?"

"Right" Alex tapped his communicator “We’re both here. Shall we do this?”

“Oh, that's great news” Commander Quinn sounded almost relieved.

Reading from the emergency procedures manual, he quickly explained what he needed the two men to do and before long, they were inside the the core, enacting the instructions.

“Three, two, one...” Alex and Vidar said in unison and simultaneously turned the system control keys anticlockwise.

“Right, that’s the system armed” Tam said as a series of data schematics turned green on his monitor “We need to wait a hundred and twenty seconds, while the Vaughn / Patel Bridge initialises; so entertain yourselves for a couple of minutes and I’ll let you know when you need to resequence the controls”

The seconds ticked by in silence until to Alex’s annoyance, Vidar tried to strike up a conversation.

“Tough day, huh?”

“If you say so”

Vidar paused to choose his words carefully “It can be pretty traumatic looking out into the night, like you did. I’ve been there. Were there any others with you?”

“They died” Alex said, bluntly. He really didn’t want to talk about this “They all got sucked out into space when the hangar doors opened” he left it at that, hoping that this curt response would discourage any further questions.

“Yet more casualties” Vidar said, sadly “I’m sorry to hear it.

“Once we get this AI back up and running,” he continued “maybe the security archives will give us a clue as to why the doors opened”

“What?” Alex felt a chill run down his spine.

“The security cameras? - They’ll start transmitting archive material, once the system is back up. I reckon it should make for interesting viewing”

“Do they have those in the cargo bay?”

Vidar shrugged “I imagine so”

“Okay gents” Tam interrupted their exchange “The V/P Bridge is back online now. The next thing we need is -” there was a sudden, loud crash “What the blazes!?” he shouted “Where did you get those weapons!?”

“Easy now Commander” someone replied “There’s no need for anyone to get hurt today”

“What do you want?”

“We want you to come quietly” someone else, a woman, said “We’re assuming command of this ship”

“This is mutiny!”

Who are the mutineers and how much support do they have? - are there any other factions with or against them?

Vidar will suggest getting the AI restored, to help with tactical awareness, but the security footage from camera archives in the cargo bay will make for interesting viewing once this crisis is over ;-)

Over to you guys...

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