Part 67: Adrift
Captain ... are you all right?
You? What you saved me? Why? You could have just used the life pod to escape by yourself.
Why indeed ...
You guys have been trying to kill me for the better part of the war, and you just threw away your big chance to get what you want.
The old voice fades away replaced by a new.
Lets get one thing straight. I'm not that pretty little C8 model we sent to worm her way into your heart. I didn't want to save you. Us L7s were made to carry out the will of our leader in combat. Our bodies are identical to the first Prototype, the one you humans came to call Veniczar Arcadius. But even she was but a stepping stone to Alpha ... The crowning achievement of Diode. In the end, we are called prototypes because we are earlier, failed incarnations of Alpha. We constantly hear their voices ... they whisper to us ... send us instructions. Even when we sleep.
(Its like the lesser clones are essentially slaves. Of course ... I saw that firsthand when they mind controlled Chigara. Then could something have happened to free Lynn?)
Youre not getting instructions anymore, are you?
Idiot. The voices will never stop but there is now a new voice. We are ... evolving. At a pace millions of times faster than you humans. But as to where we are heading bah. I felt a premonition. A sudden, inexplicable urge to go down to the bridge to rescue you. For a short moment, I lost control of my body ... and had another assume control. I found you on the bridge and had to carry you into a lifepod. Such episodes where we lose control of our bodies are not uncommon for us prototypes ... but this time hijacked by a rogue.
(That can only mean she's still ...)
It doesn't make any sense. The C8 unit was under our control, sent by us to manipulate you.
We sought to understand you. To learn what motivated you. So that we could use that knowledge to control you. But for her to break free of the leader's will ... she has become an aberration.
Looks like the Alliance forces are falling back. I guess my gambit worked. With Grey and their entire chain of command killed at the ceremony and their secret weapon lost, they had no choice but to retreat.
Yeah, well, its probably a moot point since weve got PACT ships on an intercept course. So instead of dying heroically with my ship I guess Fontana is going to put me up against a wall and shoot me. Given his falling out with Arcadius I imagine youll be right next to me. So thanks for the rescue, I guess.
So then do something about it.
There arent any friendly signals in range ...
Hey, I'm gonna break off and go to sector 94-71-31 ...
What!? But we just finished tying up all the life pods! PACT's gonna be on top of us in seconds! We gotta-
No response on any frequency. The sensors on this pod are not great, but they should still
Well yeah, theyre probably all dead. See you in front of that firing squad, I guess.
Wait hold on hello? Is there anyone on this channel?
C-Captain! I knew it! I knew you were still alive!
Great to hear your voice, Asaga, but I'm about to receive a real red welcoming party here can I get a tow?
Aye, aye, capt'n! Just ... uhh ... hang on to something tight!
Okay, youre locked in. Now things might get really bumpy!
I changed my mind, Ill take the firing squad after all.