A Fountain of Life

8.3.6
Late Afternoon
Crowning Point > Cargo Bay

The Seegson spy continued to monitor the potential thieves. The younger man Asahi clearly knew his way around a terminal, he typed quickly and elegantly. It was a rapid dance of fingers. "Come on speed it up," Jensen ordered.

"I'm going as quick as I can," the screen flashed as the network tried to keep up with Asahi's speed. "I've got it." The terminal made a deep croaky sound and suddenly above a large claw started to move. The claw started to descend not too far from Irving.

'Shit!' Irving's mind said, he thought that moving to another crate would just make the situation worse. The claw lifted a large coffin-like crate, it carried it over to a storage bed adjacent to the terminal. Irving had stayed as still as he could throughout it all.

Asahi approached the crate, he spotted a keypad. This thing was definitely locked. "Did you expect this V?" Asahi asked the data tablet.

"I wouldn't underestimate all of Weyland-Yutani's security. Some things are simply too valuable to just keep locked by an access card," the synthetic voice replied via the data tablet's audio chip. "Can you unlock it Asahi?"

"Unlikely. There are likely tens of thousands of possible combinations, it'd take a long time. Time that we don't have." Asahi placed his hands on his face, he felt frustrated, he just wanted to help the body-less AI.

Jensen approached him. "What's the matter? Is this the right case?" he asked. Asahi nodded. "Then why's it not open?"

"Keypad lock."

"If I may..." V said.

"You think you can unlock it?" Asahi queried.

"I can certainly cry," V answered. "Are there any data inputs on the cache?" Asahi looked closely, there was a basic data port. That could potentially do the trick.

"Yes!" Asahi started to unreel the embedded data cable, he slowly inserted it into the data port. The tablet screen turned black, V was thinking. Steadily the AI generated countless different combinations, narrowly avoiding locking down the lock system. The keypad's liquid crystal display module constantly strobed from green to black.

"You've got this Vera," Jensen said encouragingly. The AI couldn't hear him however, it was dedicating almost all of its processing power to the unlocking process. Then the liquid crystal display stopped strobing, four zeroes appeared and there was a quick electronic beep.

"V. Are you there?" Asahi asked.

"I'm here," the data tablet voice replied. Both Asahi and Jensen smiled, glad they hadn't lost her through some electronic nonsense. "It should unlock now," V said. Jensen lifted the heavy top of the case. It triggered a strip of lights inside the case revealing the contents.

"Well, I can't say that's what I expected--" said Jensen. The two of them looked down at a nude female body within a transparent plastic bag, a type of feeding tube ran into the bag and into the body's neck. Feeding a white milky liquid. The body was like a new age Lady Godiva, quite beautiful with long blonde hair. It looked as if it was in between being dead and sleeping.

"It's a synthetic body?"

"Correct Asahi, a new body. A new beginning," V explained. Asahi got on his knees and looked closer at the synthetic body. He panned the data tablet over the body as if he was scanning it.

"Now how do we get you from that into that?" Jensen asked. Then there was a sound as if something fell or had been pushed. "What the hell was that?"

'Shit shit,' Shusset thought. He had made too much noise, fuck it just surprise them. 'You can work out a deal' he told himself inside his mind. So he jolted from behind the crate, he aimed his Rexim RXF-M5 EVA Pistol at the pair of them. "Stay exactly where you are!" Jensen and Asahi quickly raised their hands.

"Shit," Jensen mumbled. "Don't shoot, we have an access key. We are allowed in here I swear."

"Shut up!" Irving screamed.

"Calm down man. How much did you hear?"

"All of it."

"Listen just lower the weapon. We can work out something." Jensen said trying to calm Shusett. Irving began to approach with the gun still raised. Though he was a little shakey, which wasn't ideal. "We're just trying to fix our friend."

"I know I heard," Irving was now right next to them. He looked into the crate. "That synthetic looks expensive."

"It's not like anybody's using it," Asahi said. "Just holster your gun and talk this out, please sir."

"How can I know to trust you two?"

"We won't do anything we swear," Jensen said. Irving took a deep breath and lowered the gun into his holster. "Good that's good. Now let's do this with a bit of diplomacy, I'm Bruce and this is Ogai. What's your name?"

"Call me Ladon," Irving said.

"Well Ladon, let's just agree to this: you saw nothing and we did nothing."

"Why should I agree to that? What's in it for me?"

"You look like the kind of guy who can keep a secret. Is that right?" There was a pause and then Irving nodded. "We don't want to have to go through loads of paperwork about this? Do you like paperwork?"

"Not especially, no."

"Neither do I. So let's just go our separate ways, I doubt WY is paying you enough to go through all this drama. Am I right?"

"No, they're not. Look I am not going to report you -- but if I keep quiet then you can owe me one. How's that work for you?" Irving suggested.

"I can work with that," Jensen nodded.

"Your friend in the data tablet. Do you want help getting her into that body? I'll do it, for a price."

"How much are we talking about here?" Ogai asked.

TBC

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