Origins 03 – Distributed Systems Theory
System: QTM44RS (“Katimorris”)
Habitable Proxies: 2-3-4/5 humanoid, 5-/5 fungoid + insectoid.
Inhabitable: 1-/5 heat danger – mining rated vessels only
A glass panel console of symbols and metrics, fuel levels and settings with touch screen calibrations, two pilots, two soldiers, and the woman from the escaped desert planet now deep into the stars. The ship approaches a planet, the vessel begins entering atmo, shaking them by turbulence, and the crew shakes with the sway. Simon checks his arms for damage, a quick glance with his eyes and an almost habitual brushing with his fingertips over the tattoos on and beneath his skin. Eager to arrive she stands as another of windshakes moves the ship, putting a pressure and twist on her leg, causing her to cringe and audiate her pain as she curves her body to remove pressure from the wounded leg.
“You’re hurt,” says Simon.
“It’s why we’re here in the first place, get your hands off me,” says she.
“I only worry for you.”
“Well don’t, I can handle this.”
“You know, you’re not as pretty when you lie.”
The ship’s momentum quickly slows as the propulsion vents face the ground, they stare at each other, the cabin jostles landing as he readies his firearm, and she grabs his jacket, pulling him to her so to kiss until the door opens. Pushing him as the door opens her other arm holds her pistol to the terrain before her head turns, two hands grasp. Simon exits with equal precaution followed by the other soldier who burdens a mini-cannon.
An atmosphere humid and bright, ravines steep and many, the trillions of rivers seen from space carve the mountain planet with many inclines and rolling peaks carved by the water. Each mountaintop a different jungle, each hillside built with bridge or agricultural steppe shallow despite lengthy stretches around summits. The strange farms decorated with trees with stringy grass-like foliage and innumerable lakes leave few commercial places to land a ship.
A mountaintop hollowed entrance, two conjoined sliding doors compiled of many welded pieces and some digital parts. Simon and the woman stand to the sides and the quiet man waits and aims at the door, they look to each other and the silent one tips his rifle, implying the door is mechanical, Simon notices.
“Look, doors are on tracks, look for a comm-panel,” he states.
“Be careful, don’t scan it, could have a trigger, look it over,” she replies.
After poring over it he finds it first, “there it is,” he says and points.
She presses an angled panel, it clicks, “Are you here?” she releases her hand and the button panel clicks only to wait a while and try again, it clicks, “Is anyone here?” she asks, it clicks.
“I am glad to see you, I was about to sleep.”
“Good, let me inside.”
“Why can’t you?”
“That’s because I haven’t run a scan yet.”
The air becomes red as the scan emits a high tone then stops, the light and the tone stop and they wait. As Simon signals the cannoneer to open the gate, the doors open.
The interior is dark with clutter everywhere, not a single straight path leads from any two points, each wall full of shelves, each floor full of tables, and each area full of parts. Replacement pieces for many utilized things of many specialties without any organization to the mess, some useful some not.
“All these android parts, he should build one to pick of the pieces,” says Simon.
She cautions her partners, “He may already have, keep ready for anything, or you might be lying with this shit,” her hands clenching pistol he takes one hand down to hold a second gun.
They quickly turn toward a noise in the distance of a man rummaging thru rubbish.
“There is no need for those here because you are in a safe place,” says the mannequin.
The area lights to reveal a better detail of the mess, pipes and wires and switches, the mannequin walks to them covered in pieces of panels and makings of motors from its face to feet, in closer examination is a man.
The post human man turns and speaks, “Welcome, welcome, I’d be happy to help you today, just tell me why you’re here.”
“We’ve come to meet a man about the parts,” she says.
“As you can see I’m very much about parts, what do you need specifically, dear?” he replies.
She answers, “We’re here to see, the multicore doctor.”
In more serious tone than the last, “If that is true I should want to see you with my own eyes,” said the man as he turns and walks, “follow me, it isn’t far, move along,” he speaks with them behind.
Thru the clutter, they enter to a larger room far more clean than the entrance, a man with glasses and a band of grey hair around bald top, on a motion box that turns and rolls him to meet them. The man with the unrefined modifications walks to a wall and stands facing it.
“Good to have you, good to have you, they told me you’d be coming, I’d’ve met you at the door myself, but the old legs haven’t finished charging and they needed a deep cycle refill after my promiscuities last night,” he continues, “oh don’t mind him, he does that sometimes.”
The woman asks, “We were told you have a list for us.”
“I do, I was told you’d be here sooner, sooner, much,” he wheels back to his lab table, “but I was told only to give it to six rebels, not three.”
“The other three are the pilots….”
The technician pulls a gun, “This entire lab is rigged to blow, the gunner locks with the cannon. Your partner who has an obvious trigger for me because of you has a reinforced frame because the implant channels he tried to hide with tattoos, but you, nothing on the scanner, where’s your tech, and what ship can land here so needs three pilots?”
She lowers her pistol and lifts her pant leg, a hardened grey wound and a fresh leak of silver liquid, “I am the new tech!” only to raise her weapon again.
The technician lowers his weapon, tossing it on the table it slides closer to she than him, as they lower theirs somewhat.
“We’ll get that examined for repair soon, I have your list,” he says leaning forward.
On the table a keypad and biometric scanner, an entry code, a genetics scan, an eye scan, the last of which he must lean excessively forward revealing that his body connects to a metal semisphere below his ribs. As he leans forward, so does the man, a door opens in the wall and he maneuvers to the hideaway and retrieves the file, giving to her.
“Here is your list,” he said, a sigh of relief to rest again.
“Excellent, what can you do about my leg?” she asked.
“Nothing, I merely would like to look at it.”
“Much of nothing to look at a wound, I need medical attention just like any normal wound.”
“That I can do,” he touts, as the assistant begins to approach her, “I should like to sit, though, and make use of my time, relaxing. Please have a seat, put your leg up and… Fido will look at your leg.”
She looks thru the files, “these are all public targets, commercial stations, where are the private owners, the well-to-do private doctors?” she asked.
“Only the last two, the last page, this is a humble planet, most of them don’t need my help because they don’t use tech, it rains until midnight, after dawn the lungs of the lakes give a fog from the deep to the sunlight until it does it again, and they’re good with that.”
Simon asks, “Are there anyone you think would have it?”
The technician replies, “As you can see I don’t get out much. What is your name, son, by the way?”
“My name is Simon. What about any vacation resorts?” Simon asked.
“A few, I should say I don’t know much else, when the communique came I responded, I haven’t been much of an activist since the war, this is me helping,” he replied, then asks, “what is your name, bruiser?”
Simon interjects, “He only has radio for now,” he pauses to listen to the signal, “but he’s implied he doesn’t trust you.”
The gunner takes a stern and makes it more certainly intimidating, making sure to draw focus by him his weapon.
“This is polyformic coating to patch lacerations,” said the assistant, followed by the technician, “until your next refabrication.”
The woman going thru the pages taps her feet together legs crossed, the bionic man sprays foam into her wound causing a small amount of pain that heals and numbs simultaneously. She stands, making sure to be cautious when walking on the bad leg, to the technician.
“This line here, I can’t read what you’ve wrote,” she said, only to put her gun against his head.
“What will you do?” he asked.
“The cyborg, how long has he been dead?”
“What you mean? He’s not dead, he’s right there.”
The cyborg, “Hello, please do not hurt him… he is innocent.”
“I thought so, even after hearing it say it rather had seen us by its own eyes, then I noticed, whenever you turn or lean left, it does also, I’m guessing that scar buried in your neck,” she pushes his head with her gun to test her theory.
The stress of being at gunpoint when pushed, gives muscle tension and the cyborg leans left as she goads him with the barrel.
“You two, search the premises, decommission them all,” she ordered.
“You don’t need to do that; I gave you what you want.”
“Drones, are not, allowed. You know that!”
The cyborg drone in the room tries to approach her at an almost quick pace only for her to shoot it in the head and point her gun at him again; the muzzle hot by laser burns him.
“How long was he dead?”
“I know it must seem crazy to make them and depend on them, but look at the benefits!”
“How long was he dead?-!”
“Maybe twenty-one and four, you don’t have to kill me, no one sees them, I live on a fucking mountain dammit, nobody sees them, don’t kill me.”
“If they attack my men, I will kill you, disconnect and sacrifice them and we let you live.”
Immediately the remaining drones begin to wander, most in low light, tools to piece thru machinery, each with some form of wound covered in mechanizations or medically sealed grotesque. The soldiers critically damage the drones.
“It is against the laws.”
“They have no laws; they farm and shout at the sky.”
“So you’ve described every man, it is against our laws.”
Simon interrupts, “It’s done, crew has disarmed the door and are rummaging, but we’re overall ready for departure. Are you going to kill him?”
“No, he lives,” she says pushing her gun into his head one last time as she walks from him, “for now.”
“There is no Simulant law! You will fracture everything, we must use the drones!”
She lifts her weapon in hand just enough to shoot the drone once more on her way from the room. Her figure marked by the foam sealant on her knee and calf, the tattoos on her spine in the outer daylight as she passes beyond the doorframe. The pilots hurriedly carrying bundles of raw wiring, the gunman carrying the head of a cyborg smugly, and Simon watching the owner until they finish, he takes nothing but a final stare at the owner, already in salubrious exit.