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Snippet #2821519

located in Short Stories From the Abyss, a part of The Abyssal Paradox, one of the many universes on RPG.

Short Stories From the Abyss

Into the Abyss; another world of strangeness beneath the plates of Titan's Fall.


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March 11th, 2045 – 11:15 A.M. – An Undisclosed Secure Facility, Texas, USA

It had been hours… nearly six, in fact that he labored in pitch darkness with nothing but a flashlight attached to a slap-dashed drone, and the dull glow from a handful of floating Data Slates to illuminate the shroud. Occasionally a hot blue spark would light up the room for a fraction of a second, followed by a muttered curse.

"Okay," huffed Sairyn with a note of finality. "Activation test: Thirty… seven," he announced to the darkness, and the heavy *chunk* of a lever being thrown echoed through the facility.


"Inconvenient," he muttered into the void. "Sovereign, search for personal notes regarding tower project: ARC-36."

”As you wish, sir… playback beginning:”

*click!* It doesn’t turn on. [long silence], [banging], [pause], [lever being thrown, machinery starting up loudly.] HAH! FUCK YOU SCIENCE, I AM A GOD!

[From the background]That’s not…

Future me: when recreating ARC-36 for unsan… uh, future projects… remember the shim.

"The fuck is that supposed to mean?" blurted Sairyn with a concerned expression.

”Recording continues:” announced Sovereign.

*click* I want to make sure we’re on the same page: are you telling me the lynchpin of the whole Arcology’s power system… is a wooden shim under the casing?

Yes, Rick…

Sairyn, that sounds like a major design flaw, what happens when-

That’s a tomorrow problem. [Loud writing]

Sai, you can’t just put a sticky note on it that says ‘No Touchy!” This is serious!

Details. End recording!*click*

"Huh…" he grunted. The silence was interrupted by the piercing knock of hammer on wood, followed by the machine whirring loudly to life. Electricity leapt energetically behind the reactor’s transparent aluminum shielding, and lights all over the facility began to flicker to life sequentially. "Son of a bitch," muttered Sairyn as he pulled a pad of sticky notes and a red Sharpie out of a pocket.

”Wouldn’t it be better to solve the design flaw that caused the issue, sir?”

"That’s a tomorrow problem," replied Sairyn, placing the sticky note: “NO TOUCHY” prominently on the reactor’s casing over the shim.

”Acknowledged, setting reminder for tomorrow,” Sovereign quipped from the drone. Sairyn glowered at it for a moment. Smartass computer.

"Startup procedure. Run system regression," he commanded as he led the drone up the spiral staircase to the next floor. Twenty-four towers wrapped in neatly arranged cables and cooling pipes flickered to life. Each the height and width of a semi-tractor stood on end, spread out in a hexagonal pattern surrounding a massive central tower easily twice the size of the others.

”Query: Why go through the effort of re-creating my central processing inside this compressed space segment. My analysis of the technology reveals you could establish a connection between my architecture and any real-space location via the Gateway.

"The short answer is: I did. I made a Gateway connection between my lab and your server level when the project was first brought online… but Leonardo found the emitters and has since … re-calibrated them to remove all physical access to the AI core. The only person that has access now is him," he explained as he examined the towers, occasionally tapping something into one of his slates thoughtfully.

"Can you copy an instance of your runtime into the new environment?"

”I’ve encountered an error on Precept 44, Mr. Pendrake. I am prevented from propagating to any third-party hardware. Your database profile states ability to re-create any technological implement in perfect detail, was that not sufficient?”

"Schemata only replicate hardware," he answered, tapping thoughtfully on his slate.

”Acknowledged, profile updated.”

Sairyn scowled at the drone for a moment. Smartass computer.

March 11th, 2045 – 12:05 A.M. – FL231 Executive Housing, Templar Tower, USA

A figure shrouded unnaturally in shadow, with light gleaming off the surface of their glasses stepped off the elevator on the eighth floor of one of the executive housing buildings. Penthouses built up against the exterior of the tower, thousands of feet up with breathtaking views above the clouds. Though these sprawling estates were typically reserved for the wealthy elite, or occasional Corpo Big Wig, they were also offered to the city founders. Pretty much everyone involved in the construction, design, and planning of the tower either had one, or had sold one. The best, most secluded space. The best view. Fully AI integrated, the best security… well…

The figure walked down the hall to the last of only three doors on this level and stood before it. A small port opened up on the door, revealing a face recognition camera. The figure held up a slate in front of his face, displaying the picture of a slim, mousey haired scientist with a large nose.

”Scan complete,” Sovereign said after a moment. ”Please provide voice print,” requested the AI, to which the figure held up a digital recorder and pressed a button.

[b]"I’m Rick Saeder, and I-I-I-I-I-I love the taste of dick!"

”I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” Sovereign asked with a suspicious note, to which the figure pressed a second button.

"M-m-m-m-master override. Sierra. Two. Two. Seven. Six. Three. Zero. Bravo. Indigo. Code October… the t-t-taste of dick!"

”Override accepted. Welcome home, Leonardo,” answered Sovereign, as the door opened with a faint pressurized hiss. The figure walked inside purposefully, keeping his face hidden behind the slate. He sidestepped into the foyer, taking a path towards the living room while keeping the slate faced towards the center of the penthouse.

He stopped, pulling a car remote that had been soldered messily to a processing board which looked as though it’d been removed from a microwave out of his pocket. He double-clicked the trunk button and it gave a static *POP* as he tossed it onto the coffee table. “Fully AI Integrated” wasn’t technically accurate. Leonardo, the AI’s creator, felt that full residential integration of the AI was a waste of processing power, so the only residences that were actually connected to Sovereign were the Templar living quarters. Everyone else got the “digital assistant” version, which could be fooled with just a little creativity and a couple of cheap toys.

He aught to know better.

Sairyn lowered the slate and pulled the glasses off his face, which lifted the unnatural shadow. He paused just one moment to check his watch and then briskly strolled into the kitchen, snapping a pair of latex gloves over his hands. He made his way to the dish drying rack, materializing a bottle of bitter-apple dog repellent spray and giving each of the pieces of silverware on the drying rack a good spritz. He did the same to all the silverware in the drawers as well, and then jogged back to the entrance.

Sairyn snapped his fingers, and in a flash of gold a jig of devices materialized onto the frame of the door. He scooted himself underneath it and tapped something into his slate whilst humming pleasantly. A blue light swept across the penthouse, wiping away the cloudscape and replacing it with a blank, dimly lit facility stretching off into the darkness as far as the eye could see. A few additional taps had the emitters rotate along the frame clockwise until they’d all gone about 180 degrees. Another blue light wiped the cloudscape back into existence, though… now it was above the window.

"Much better," smirked Sairyn as he walked back into the foyer. The array of emitters on the door and his Slate dissolved into gold light as he tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Now… if I was a giant nerd… where would I keep my dirty little secrets?"

He’d been strolling casually about the penthouse for a few minutes when his phone chirped. He excavated it from his pocket with a curious expression, which twisted into a sour note when he saw who it was from.

Definitely A Villain: WYD?

The SINS handler he was supposed to be cooperating with. How much, and what that cooperation entailed was usually determined by his mood whenever they asked for something. Though, ultimately he couldn’t say no to whatever it was they wanted.

Little redecorating. Why?

Definitely A Villain: (is typing…)