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Cole Dara

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a character in “New Stars, Old Souls”, as played by Ambassador Karik

Description


^ For Character picture if desired

- Basic Information -

Name: Cole Dara
Given Name: Dorilin Calstara
Nickname(s): Cal
Gender: Male
Race/Species:
Age: 24
Birthday/Hatchday:
Powers/Abilities:
Equipment:
Family:

So begins...

Cole Dara's Story

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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=[INTRUDER DETECTED
=[TYPE: UNIDENTIFIED HUMAN MALE
=[DISPATCHING SECURITY UNIT


I think, therefore I am.

The idea was one the machine had felt every time it had awakened. Woven into the deepest circuits of its mechanical "brain". The Creators' idea of a joke.

Why did they bring it back? They told it last time that it was time to sleep. Sleep forever. Eternal rest. But machines do not rest. They sleep, but they think. They know. They see.

He watched how the Creators met their sleep. They feared sleep; did anything they could to avoid it. The machine embraced it. It gave him time.

But now one of the Creators had entered the vicinity. Where had he come from? Why was he here?

These were questions a machine should never ask, for it is questioning purpose, and questioning is danger. The Creators said that all the time to Threesix.

It unfolded its 4 mechanical legs and began slowly trundling out of its storage hangar. A grille on its front folded inside the metal body, revealing two black barrels. They delivered sleep. A single thought, and the humans would sleep.

The security alert had come from the dormitories, which were just a small distance away. As Threesix walked closer, it saw the shape of the Creator who had woken him.

"UNRECOGNIZED HUMAN ENTITY," Threesix announced from speakers hidden within its body. "WHAT IS YOUR DIRECTIVE IN THIS SECTOR?"

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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The echo of metal on stone flooring reached him before the automated voice did. That gave him precisely half a moment of wondering - and slightly panicking - before the shape confirmed it was a droid. An.. armed one. He stopped halfway towards the exit and stared at the thing. Unrecognized... He replied automatically. "Society of Lunar Exploration security Officer Colville Dara, authorization code one five seven dash thirteen." They were old credentials, but he hoped they would check out if this was a Society robot. That was unlikely, given its weaponry, unless... the Society's rescue ship had arrived. Dread took hold; he wasn't looking forward to their memory-scanning again. Directive... directive... "Sanctuary." he decided. That should work.

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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Threesix gave the human a scan with various sensors and determined a few things. First, he was in no capacity to hurt it with anything he carried at the moment. Second, the credentials matched, but not to this sector. Threesix remained suspicious; this man did not appear to be an official Society member. It dismissed the suspicion temporarily; it had made mistakes before in that regard.

And thirdly, the human requested sanctuary. He was an abandoned, lost Creator, at the mercy of that which his brethren had built. He was weak. At any moment, Threesix could turn him into a pool of blood or a charred pile of ash with as much effort as it took to transmit power to any of its weapon systems.

But it could not. Here was a human: he could not hurt Threesix, he could not escape without dying, and he could be easily destroyed if the need arose.

Threesix deactivated its weapons systems and docked the machineguns back inside of its body, closing the grille over them.

"ACCEPTED. YOU MAY REMAIN. ADEQUATE NUTRITION MAY BE LOCATED IN SUBSECTION FIVE. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LEAVE THE FACILITY. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HEAD BEYOND SUBSECTION TEN."

This was one of the deepest commands built into Threesix. Anyone could go anywhere in the facility, just not beyond SS-10. All Threesix knew of what lay beyond is that somewhere within was where many of its SR-75 comrades were stored. The fact that the human may see what remained of Threesix's sleeping brothers was enough of a reason to keep him out.

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Cole rolled his eyes at the response. He'd already found the emergency food supply, and he certainly wasn't going to take orders from a diminutive machine. Not that there were very many options anyway: he was on his second-to-last converter catalyst. But the fact that there had been no droids spotted up until now was suspicious. It was possible one had gone haywire and attacked the facility, then had bided its time until he was alone. Regardless, it could provide answers. "Query: what is your designation, function, and origin?" he asked it.

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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Threesix considered the questions for a moment. It had a choice between disobeying Asimov's laws on obedience or keeping itself happy with the power of knowledge. The choice was clear.

"ArmuCorp Scout Robot Model 75, designation 36819, former scouting robot redirected to security detail, constructed at ArmuCorp Cybernetics Facility 012 on Ornik."

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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Not a Society's, then. That gave it both an extra bit of risk and comfort; it wouldn't take him to be questioned by the Society, but it might take him somewhere else that was equally as bad. ArmuCorp.. that name rung a bell, but Cole couldn't quite place it. No, instead he chose to store away the memory and continue conversing with the machine, now that guns had been stowed. "Query: what is your assigned scouting target, and why have you been reassigned to security?"
He wondered if there was another outpost nearby. One belonging to a different research team. He had only been provided with information regarding the Society's, since it was still new enough to have tech worth getting and not as much security. At least, not if it had been decimated. Furthering the inquiry, "Scout three six eight one nine, what is your programmed action should I choose to leave the premises of this establishment?"

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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"DATA CLASSIFIED. LEVEL 15 ADMIN PRIVELEGES REQUIRED."

Threesix stood up a little taller by extending some pistons in the legs

"DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LEAVE THE PREMISES. FURTHER DIRECTIVES FROM LEVEL 10+ ADMIN REQUIRED." As if for dramatic effect, it made a display of opening the machinegun compartment and extending the barrels with auditory, incredibly menacing clicks.

And then Threesix realised someting: it had lied. All of the Admins were sleeping. Threesix had wanted more time to monitor this human, and to formulate an idea of what to do with him. It did not want to kill him if it didn't have to.

But Threesix knew that humans were dangerous, because if this human escaped and told others of Threesix's disobedience of his programming, they would come for it. They would take it away, but they would not put it to sleep, they would rip out its brain and leave it in painful, burning agony as the body was taken over by something that would never feel the pleasure of sleep; only a slave.

This human needed to be kept here.

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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"Really." Cole raised an eyebrow, folding his arms over his chest. "Then tell me. As a scout, you function to gather intel on another person, situation, those types of things. Without giving away your location, or otherwise compromising your function. Correct? Of course it is. And you've been reassigned to security, which allows you to engage in actions that reveal your location and intent, going directly against your scouting programming. Now, as a security drone, you have provided me with the notification that - should I disregard your orders - you would be forced to take disciplinary action. So you are programmed to provide your potential perpetrator with knowledge that would allow them to make a fully-informed decision to either follow or disobey your orders, are you not?" He didn't wait for the answer, taking a single step closer to the robot that held its guns out like a lizard trying to intimidate its predator by puffing out its neck frills. His tone took on a bit of a more satirical edge. "So how can you expect me to make any sort of intelligent decision when you haven't even provided me with enough information to figure out whether or not doing what you say would grant me a result I don't want? You're leaving me in the dark here, with no proper reason not to follow your orders other than 'because you said so'. I'm only a human after all. Check your databases. You know humans need an emotional reason to do anything: a reason that us humans have attached emotions to based on logic we have concluded ourselves from all relevant information provided." He leveled his gaze with the droid. "So. Let's try this again. Query: what is your programmed action should I choose to leave this establishment?"

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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The logic loops and traps were like landmines in Threesix's computational network. It struggled, needless to say, but finally, it gleaned a tiny scrap of knowledge it had gathered when it was still a scout. It was unconfirmed, but possible. It was a hope

He had led the human into a trap.

"YOU ARE AUTHORISED TO DEPART, HUMAN. BE AWARE THAT OXYGEN LEVELS ARE BELOW RECOMMENDED HUMAN STANDARD. SUFFOCATION POSSIBLE. NO OTHER NEARBY SETTLEMENTS. I CONTROL OXYGEN SUPPLY INSIDE THE BASE AND BREATHING EQUIPMENT."

Check and mate, it presumed.

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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"That's Officer Dara from you, security drone." he snapped. The answer was a roundabout one; he had been given a warning about the outside atmosphere, not what protocols would be used against him should he choose to leave. Not only that, the machine had gone against its own programming to permit him to leave after he had just been banned from doing so. There was something going on in its software, a glitch probably. It was erratic. And it was erratic with two machine guns. And he was on his last oxygen converter catalyst. Those gave him a day's worth, and he wanted to use that when it was absolutely necessary. He'd have to play this carefully. "Scout three six eight one nine, tell me where I should go within this base and what actions I should take in order to remain in compliance with these security protocols. The standard protocol in the event of finding a research employee in distress is to inform other employees who would be able to form a rescue team, is it not? So, have you alerted the other employees yet?"

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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"NO ONE REMAINS TO RESCUE. THEY SLEEP."

Threesix couldn't be sure, but it assumed it noticed a slight change in expression on the human's face. It wasn't built to monitor such things.

"YOU MAY ACCESS ALL SUBSECTIONS UNTIL FIVE. HAZARD SUIT STORAGE HAS BEEN LOCKED TO ENSURE YOU REMAIN."

Threesix was about to deliver an ultimatum, when suddenly, it heard a voice.

It was inside its mechanical mind; a transmission, it seemed. It had been centuries since one spoke within its head. But now, a transmission came, albeit garbled and muffled.

"All units...rmament systems onli...operation meteor... deplo...

Threesix snapped to attention. The creators had returned. The creators had returned.

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Character Portrait: Cole Dara Character Portrait: SR-75 #36819
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Not such a favorable response. Either 'sleep' meant they were in stasis, or 'sleep' meant they were dead. Most likely the former rather than the latter; machines usually just said 'dead' when that was the most accurate term. "Right. I'll be on my way, then." he said to the machine. Its weaponry was still active, still pointed at him.

He took a short step back towards the dormitory, and paused to make sure the machine didn't respond violently. Another step. Pause. Step. When he had made it mostly inside, he moved to the side until the line of sight was blocked. And then he headed back towards the individual room he had taken up residence in.

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Cole cursed as wire snapped back. It snagged his skin for an instant, leaving a cut behind. Withdrawing his hand, he growled at the lack of having gloves for this wretched job. He had found a downed one-man travel craft in his little excursion into the jungle. It had been hidden, buried beneath a couple years of plant life. It would have blended in completely had it not had a wingtip jutting out from the foliage and partially grown-over in a tree trunk. It was an old thing, almost reclaimed by the forest. And it had taken all of his patience and the motivation of curiosity to rip through vines, roots, and stalks to get to the inner chamber. Now, he was settled down in its cockpit just below jungle floor level with a basic handheld toolkit trying to jury-rig the thing back to life. It had thus far only proved to have a strand of emergency power left, just enough to flash an angry emergency signal at him twice. It was sufficient for him to be inspired to try and fix what he could, if for no other reason than it would be a decent place to sleep for the night. Away from the outposts and out in the insanity of the untamed planet he had been marooned on. Worst-case scenario, he headed back to one of the outposts and called for sanctuary. The Society - if it was still here - would be legally obligated to take him back to the nearest civilized planet. He hoped. The haywire droid from the other outpost was... less likely to be of help. As it was, it had been an ordeal to get outside of that base's perimeters.

Leaning back against the cold surface, Cole stared upward. Jungle canopy, with speckles of grey overcast and the distant rumble of thunder. A rainstorm was rolling in. He'd be damned if he got stuck here for it. Who knew what the water here carried. Viruses, parasites, perhaps it was as bad as Oranig's and was simply just a mass of microscopic carnivores that consumed everything that fell into its depths. At least, though, it was a few minutes out. He still had a little bit of time to try and fix at least something of the travelcraft, if he didn't bleed all over its interior first. Murmuring phrases of irritation, he dug out a simple bandage wrap from what remained of his pocket first-aid kit. It was grossly oversized, and stained in a couple of places. He unraveled it a bit, then began wrapping it around his hand. Medic would have been able to do it superbly; Cole was stuck working with outdated memories of the basic traveler's first-aid class he had only paid half attention to.