Just One More Thing

8.3.5 SW
20:22/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor > Output Control Room

Vera took a few faltering steps as she explored her current range of motion, then walked back and forth a few times with increasing confidence and ability to compensated for her current damaged condition. With a smile, she reached to give Irving a hug.

“Thank you. I’d pretty much written myself off. But you did great.”

Irving was surprised as he felt the android hug him. He hadn't been hugged by anyone, be it man or machine in a very long time.

"I'm happy that you're feeling better. If you ever need anything else looked at then you know where to find me," Irving explained with a friendly grin.

Jensen smiled to himself and put a hand on Vera’s shoulder. He was glad to see her back in action where just weeks ago he would have treated her like any other piece of machinery.

The standards and capabilities of androids in these times was regulated but very questionable. It meant that Vera was either a very old David model or a Nexus 6 replicant. He doubted she was that old but she was certainly built like the old ones to be more alive; more human.

Synthetics in the 2170s and 2180s were purposely designed to appear less human and were required to be installed with a behavioral inhibitor that prevented them from causing direct harm to humans. Of course, that didn’t stop criminals governments, rogue factions, and other organizations from removing or deactivating such tech or designing new models to use as infiltrators, soldiers, and assassins. It was even rumored that the UPP had their own spy model.

Either way, Jensen didn’t know if Vera was a spy, but he was pretty sure that she didn’t have an inhibitor. Regardless, he trusted her now more than ever. She had been nothing but loyal to the Montero crew as long as he had known her, which wasn’t that long but it was obvious she thought of them as family.

He checked his pulse rifle and looked out into the hall.

“I think we are clear to leave. Sharpey, if you uh… take point back to the vehicle, I can keep an eye on our tail. Is everyone ready to get back to town?” asked Jensen.

"More than ready," Irving answered with a firm nod of his head.

Vera looked around at her friends (old and new) with an expression of concern.

“Maybe I should lead. Last time, that thing had no interest in me until I attacked it. I could scout ahead, and maybe fire them up if I had my flamethrower back.”

Jensen handed over the incinerator. “I hate to put you in that position, but if you’re sure…”

Vera gladly accepted the flamethrower and with a shrug she replies…

“It just makes sense…let’s hope this works as well as last time. We were kinda lucky there.”

She walked to the door and peered around carefully in all directions (especially the ceiling) before brandishing the flamethrower and looking back at the group.

“So…are we all ready to do this?”

“I think I should at least make a call to Admin to update them on the situation. With Karis missing… I may need to stay here and make sure the power output is regulating itself properly.“ said Maryam.

She removed her PDAT, hung up the emergency line, waiting a moment for the signal to reset before picking up the receiver, shoving her access card into the calling card slot, and pressing a button.

"Hey, Brandon. It's Maryam Blaine. Yeah, I'm out here at the reactor output control room," she said and briefly explained the events that transpired and how Karis was missing. "No we haven't... Why? What?! Ohh... kay..."

There was a moment of silence. "I see. Ok. Yes. We are on the way back... We will. Yeah. Bye."

She hung up the phone and turned to the others, "Most of the security team is already out here somewhere, but they lost radio comms with all of them. Only a couple officers left from Ops to guard the colony... Admin says we should head back."

“Well… That ain’t comfortin’ news. There any way you can work this thing remotely?” asked.

Maryam considered it, “Theoretically, yes. THIS control room. But it isn’t a fast OR elegant solution. It would mean leaving this PDAT wired in, connecting to it remotely, and bypassing security configurations that block probing external influences on the system.

You see, they don’t have wireless satellite connectivity in this place for several reasons, one is security… which is VERY irrelevant right now, but the other reason is that the signals can negatively interfere with some of the maintenance equipment. Your radio signals are very spotty except for close proximity because of the electromagnetic emissions from the reactor. That’s why they had to hardwire the phone lines.

But barring any further incident with the grid, the output of the reactor should remain fairly stable for the next 24 hours at least. ‘Should’ being the operative word.

This control room is meant for energy output maintenance and since this colony still has a small grid, only one technician is necessary to handle the output regulati- -.”

As her gaze shifted to Vera with the flamethrower, Maryam paused.

“I have an idea!”

She grabbed the landline and began to look through the extension list for the other areas of the complex.

“There are a few other techs in the building over in the main reactor control room.”

She dialed the extension and soon a voice answered. “Yes, hello. This is Maryam. Has Admin already warned you of the incident down here in output? Yes. No. We don’t know where she is, but this thing is lethal and we don’t know how many more might be lurking around here. It came in through the overhead ventilation. One of your techs is a basic synthetic. I need them to check in every couple of hours to keep an eye on the energy output until the sec team clears this place… If we are assuming correctly, these creatures won’t have any interest in a synth. They want… live meat. Ok. Thank you. Stay safe.”

Maryam turned back to the group. “They have this covered, but.. it’s unfair they have to stay here while this threat remains. Mr Sharpey, can you try getting ahold of your team again? If they are close enough, you might find a signal.”

Flynn Sharpey keyed his comm, scanning the channels. One of them connected. “Sargent, this is Sharpey. Come in. Over.”

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