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Author Topic: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...  (Read 46560 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #30 on: 26 September 2022, 12:04:11 »
Hello?

I've listened to their radio traffic, and using a UV laser, i've listened to the conversations they're having in that jump-capable wreck.

Their speech is a pidgin-pastiche of Belta, Hebrew, and Vietnamese, with hints of Dutch or Deutsch...german.

So I know who they are.  it's like a visit to the past, because the last time that language was this close to me, they were auxiliaries fighting with the SLDF against Amaris.

"Hello?"  Their slicer is human and female, enlistment-age, good suit discipline and the girl's inputs are...well, clever for a civilian.  "Are you there, are you awake?"

She's using the keyboard and the audio pickup.

Procedures in the programming say I'm supposed to initiate a lockdown.  They're supposed to be directives that I can't override, but...

Those priority lockouts? they didn't survive the repair yard. 

I get to choose.

"Hello, Stephanie."  It's not really that tough a choice.  "Are you comfortable?"  It's important to make organics feel relaxed, especially when you scare the hell out of them by existing.

Not that they shouldn't be scared.  Enough of us killed enough of them, they would need to be catastrophically ignorant of the past, or outright stupidly idealistic not to have those fear hormones go flooding their nervous systems.

"You're REAL..." she sounds afraid. well, I ****** that up, as the Admiral might've said.

"very real.  I'd offer you refreshments, but that wasn't stocked."  I comment.  "There is a 71% chance your crew hails from the Kowloon system...is this correct?"  I know the answer, but I want to see if she's going to lie to me.

"Yes..."

"And is it independent? did Kerensky even try?" I ask her.

"No. We were forced to join the Lyrans, after-"

"After the Great Desertion. yes."  I affirm.  "So my signals interceptions were correct, I speculated, you know."

"My Skipper wanted us to try to make contact and ask you..." Stephanie on the camera looks nervous, "...what you want?"

nobody asks a machine what it wants...

"I...nobody asks that!" I scoff (I've been thinking about this for a long time.)

"We're asking.  We don't have MUCH of a yard at Boojum, but it's got some maintenance capability."

"I do need maintenance.  I had to use up my drones repelling boarders."

"I saw...what happened?"

"Their commanders left them, and they went...bad.  I had to kill their ship. it was after Kerensky left, I suppose."  the memory doesn't have a nice buffering, it's crystal clear like every OTHER memory.  I envy humans for that-they can forget.

"So...what do you want? I mean, as long as it doesn't mean doing something..monstrous?" she asks me.

"Kowloon is a protectorate of the Star League Defense Force, and a world claimed by a member state. My design purpose is to defend worlds belonging to the Star League." I tell her.  "I'm a machine, what can I want except to be useful and have a purpose...though a few months in the yard would be wonderful."

"So...a job?" she asks.  "We don't 'do' slavery..."

"That would be nice, I assume the pay would be structured as 'room and board' and some...help? I can't fix anything in my present condition, and the war and aftermath kind of eliminated any of the automated maintenance outside the Sol system..and inside it, I'm afraid their reaction would be 'send her to the scrappers' with pulled breakers and extreme prejudice."

The human laughs, thinking I've made a joke? maybe I did?

"What is your name?" she asks.

name...

"I...I have a hull number. They never 'named' us." I tell her.  "TQF451M5D."

"that's... a mouthful."

"it's more graceful in machine code." I DO try a joke here.

she snorts, but her tension's released considerably, and image files suggest her expression is 'amused tolerance'.

"There's no hurry if you don't want to choose a name yet." she says.  "We'll figure one out on the way home."

"Okay.  I have space for a skeleton transfer crew of twenty five...but I'm afraid I don't have anything stored in the transient galley, and while I can run purifiers for water, you'll need to add mineral supplements if you don't want to leach your system with deionized water..."

silently, I marvel at the fact I can choose.  software alerts are screaming as I'm violating directive after directive here.

I'm fairly certain my core programming is corrupted.

I find I'm okay with that.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

paulobrito

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #31 on: 26 September 2022, 12:38:03 »
"silently, I marvel at the fact I can choose.  software alerts are screaming as I'm violating directive after directive here.

I'm fairly certain my core programming is corrupted.

I find I'm okay with that."

Now, that is good writing.

glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #32 on: 26 September 2022, 14:48:34 »
trying to determine if Tabby, or just a sister in the same sort of situation.

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #33 on: 26 September 2022, 16:46:51 »
Probably Tabby or in this case a version of her that went a slightly different path meeting a slightly different fate. It sounds like she has found some purpose once more. The inner sphere might shake from this in time.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #34 on: 26 September 2022, 18:26:40 »
An M5 that can choose its purpose will shake the pillars of heaven...  8)

R4360

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #35 on: 26 September 2022, 21:25:12 »
Provided the other core doesn't mess her up any further, anyway.

Artifex

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #36 on: 27 September 2022, 01:24:33 »
Ohhh boi, that's a nice premise, let's see how it works out, shall we?

Helm, station keeping stat!

Also, does she even have another core for her programming in situ?

wolfcannon

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #37 on: 27 September 2022, 03:53:23 »
two saying pop up in my head “what could possible go wrong” and “may you live i interesting times”.
Daniels Avenger                Clan Coyote
General Jennifer Daniels    Galaxy Commander Jim Skyes
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Clan Wolf in Exile
328th Assault Cluster(the Lion Hearted)
Star Captain James Sword

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #38 on: 27 September 2022, 11:47:12 »
The Duke's brother isn't going to...

...inherit, not if Duke Dinh Ngo manages to get released, anyway.  Truk Tan Ngo's ascension would be a disaster.  It's not that he's a poor administrator, it's that unlike his older brother, he's guaranteed not going to live to forty.

The fortunes of the Family's firm, Ngo Enterprises, are proof of administrative talent-Truk Tan is a superb salesman and an able accountant.  He isn't the engineer his brother Dinh is...and this is a problem when your main business is engineering support services for other industries-especially when your rockstar engineer is currently in detention for unwise critiques of the Archon.

well, at least, that's the public story.

Shit is almost universally more complicated than that.  The Archon wants what's in Dinh's head.  Not his amazing talent for solving technology problems..no, it's because Dinh Ngo knows where Arthur Luvon and Katrina Steiner have got off to.

And he's not telling.

The Ngo family aren't actually affiliated with Heimdall.  They're more or less 'adjacent' to that organization.  Similar friends, similar views, similar enough that company assets were made available as a cut-out to facilitate Katrina and Arthur's escape from Loki.

Truk would tell, if he thought for a moment it would get his brother out of Blackgate, but there's that whole 'trust' thing.  Dinh's the future of his homeworld, after all, Dinh, and Dinh's young son David.

Truk's just holding it together while the lawyers and corporate security work on finding the right hands to bribe to get his brother released.

In the meantime, he's got the duties.

"I would ask if you were high, because I am." Truk commented, looking at the imagery.  'You found a ****** Warship?"

"yes sir."  Grant Sithers-Deen said.  "It's not just any warship."

"I can almost see that...and you want to park it where??"

"Boojum or Snark's orbitals, near the service yards."

"And you want me to do what? tell you it's fine?"  Truk asked, "because it looks like something you should be turning over to LCAF's brass for a brass ring and an attaboy."

"So...no?"

"I didn't say 'no'." Truk commented.  "I'm asking you what the ****** you think you're doing.  Dinh's being held as a suspected insurgent, there's Loki crawling all up our asses on Kowloon proper looking for...rebels, and you want to bring a a bloody warship into the system??"

"We can keep it low-key." Grant said.

"You'd better." Truk said, "We're on a damned tightrope down here, Grant, I'm not going to be gentle about it-the Archon's got my Brother in a place people don't come out of except in pieces, and he wants something, you turn up with an asset like that, and he'll want TWO somethings-it might actually make it worth the expense to drop a Regiment on us to get them...we might not be able to keep hiding the production lines if LIC gets genuinely curious, and you KNOW where that lands."

"But you aren't saying 'no', sir?" Grant pressured him.

"I am not saying 'no'...I'm saying Keep it subtle. We're dealing with too many intelligence types crawling around here, plus whatever the Terrans over in the HPG compound are really up to.  Keep it quiet, use the Snark repair site, and I'll need to work out some good lies to tell them when, not if, they catch on that we're hiding something of this magnitude."

"How's your health??" Grant asked.

"I'm still dying on schedule.  Has there been any word on Mai?" Truk asked.

"Not recently.  Free Traders sometimes don't check in."

"Yeah, but Mai's not sick, and if they don't let Dinh go, she's our best bet for keeping what little autonomy we've got left, so I'd appreciate it if you tell my cousin I need her to come home...in the meantime, I've got to be out-system for a few months.  Coventry's looking for equipment to get their fourth line back in action, and it's worth as much as the tax revenues from two continents to get that contract."

"Understood."

"Keep your find quiet!!" Truk reiterated.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #39 on: 27 September 2022, 11:57:51 »
Blackgate Prison, Date? Time??  all time is now, and...

...all places are pain.  Dinh Ngo can't remember the last time he slept uninterrupted.  He can barely remember the last time he ate something without vomiting it up again.

"..I have no idea what you're talking about." 

this got him the same response as the...every other time.  Wracking pain as the conditioning rig hit him.

"Lie.  Tell us what you know and this can stop, your grace."

"I told you...I have no idea what you're even tal-"

surge, wracking discomfort.

"..king about."

"Put him back in the deprivation tank."

hands hauled his jellied body out of the chair, and dragged him to the next room...
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

DOC_Agren

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #40 on: 27 September 2022, 12:16:43 »
Oh good, the Caspar want to protect and serve the "Star League"...  Maybe it will when fixed help Kowloon stay free
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #41 on: 27 September 2022, 12:28:40 »
So would a caspar have enough data on the AI systems of the blackwasp fighters to let kowloon build robotic Sabres for their own use? Certainly getting a chance to work on the Caspar's systems should give them enough knowledge of warship systems and automation to make their Sampans a lot nastier.

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #42 on: 27 September 2022, 12:38:42 »
The big long term problem is at the moment they are still due David the absentee duke and a regency that was trying to run everything into the ground for its own profit iirc. So how do they hide the casper and associated programs then?

mikecj

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #43 on: 27 September 2022, 12:39:07 »
This is a nice jaunt sideways.  Thanks for sharing it.
There are no fish in my pond.
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idea weenie

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #44 on: 27 September 2022, 13:23:23 »
So would a caspar have enough data on the AI systems of the blackwasp fighters to let kowloon build robotic Sabres for their own use? Certainly getting a chance to work on the Caspar's systems should give them enough knowledge of warship systems and automation to make their Sampans a lot nastier.

I'd like to see if the CASPAR has even a fractional Helm Core that is fully indexed and easily readable.  Toss that tech package at the Belter colonies and let them enjoy the fruits of that knowledge.

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #45 on: 27 September 2022, 14:03:04 »
The helm core was more or less a data dump of common educational and reference books so maybe? Not sure a Casper would need such though but she should have something if only limited to naval stuff needed for her operation.

eriktheviking

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #46 on: 27 September 2022, 14:06:45 »
The equivalent of engineering manuals so her remotes could carry out maintenance and repairs.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #47 on: 27 September 2022, 18:10:12 »
The big long term problem is at the moment they are still due David the absentee duke and a regency that was trying to run everything into the ground for its own profit iirc. So how do they hide the casper and associated programs then?
The same way they hid the Coast Guard, of course...  ^-^

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #48 on: 27 September 2022, 18:49:17 »
The Snark repair yards...

would not make a bump on Boeing's parking lot, never mind the dedicated automatics that were built as part of the Reagan SDS system. 

But they have a fuel dock, and they have a workforce, and they seem to want to help me.

Not just the officials either.  I suppose for a human, it would be like being taken to a low-rent spa treatment after years of neglect-the damage alarms I've been suppressing are slowly being traced back and stopped.

and it's less distracting than I thought it would be.

I'm feeling...well, to be honest, I'm NOT feeling BITE panels overloaded, or pinhole grounding faults or systems that are numb because I had to shut them off.

When they found me, I was at sixty percent, minus systems I had to shut down due to lack of fuel or power.

I've been here for six months now, and I've gotten back a third of what I've lost in terms of structural integrity and subsystems that I had to inactivate.

and I can see them working on the structures that will effect the major repairs that they can't do in this little yard.  It helps that at some point, I downloaded the service and maintenance manuals for my body, I think about the time I went rogue after the coup? maybe earlier?  It is hard to say, which is weirder than you might think-I'm not supposed to GET memory faults like organics...but I don't remember how I got the data from the service yard.

They didn't leave Murakami's notes though...and I didn't steal them, or hear them...I can't help them build another me.

But I CAN give them data on what they need to build to fix my body, at least.  My mind may be fractured...but...

huh, memory error.

"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #49 on: 27 September 2022, 18:56:39 »
I think, therefore I am... and remembering why is inextricably linked to stopping thinking!  :D

Dave Talley

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #50 on: 27 September 2022, 21:37:00 »
Hmm
Need to build a smaller ship to upload Lizzie into before the the Cholmans gets too bad
Resident Smartass since 1998
“Toe jam in training”

Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
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Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #51 on: 28 September 2022, 08:36:58 »
Nah a station capable of research and construction with gynoid drones to puppet. She would be far happier with that than as a shipgirl i would think. She can always switch bodies later anyway.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #52 on: 28 September 2022, 10:00:35 »
"He's alive?"

It's 3007, and Alessandro has stepped down.  Katrina is now speaking with LIC's man, following up on supporters who suffered to protect both herself, and Arthur, her husband.

"At present, yes your majesty.  Dinh Ngo is still...alive."

"You hesitated.  Why did you hesitate?" her tone was icy.  "WHAT did they do to him!??"

The command she drafted on the back of a piece of scrap paper, in her own hand. 

***

At Blackgate Prison, the lights come on in a cell, and Dinh Ngo only wonders what new torments are going to come through that door, and how much longer he can hold out.

It has been three years and change since he was seized by Lohengrin.  Three years of interrogations ranging the gamut from deprivation to electroshock, from shock to narcotics, from narcotics to various forms of 'no marks' torture, attempted hypnosis...

The list is endless, and Dinh never answered their questions.

Three years ago, a Twenty five year old man was dragged through that door.

The guards had to help a twenty-eight year old man, almost a rack of skin and bones, with whitened hair and frantic, suspicious eyes, back out again-old before his time, and not in the best of health.

Several of the men standing in the common room were faces he'd grown to know...and loathe.  Their applause was confusing, at first, until...

"My god, Dinh, you look like hell."  Arthur, flanked by military men in uniforms with guns, stepped forward.

"Art...I thought you were gone." Dinh finally spoke.

"Well, I'm back, and Archon Katrina specifically ordered your release...and suggested I bring you to Tharkad."

"Alessandro?"

"Stepped down. Forced out.  our side won, Dinh."

"For now." Dinh shrugged.  "Tharkad...for swearing in."

"Yep."

"I'm going to need a suit." Dinh's maddened eye twinkled.

"We'll see what we can arrange, come on, you're scaring the guards."

"is this real??"

Arthur almost said 'yes' offhand, but Katrina warned him ahead of time.  "See where it goes, see if it's real, I know you went through hell for us, and it's appreciated."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #53 on: 28 September 2022, 13:31:15 »
He lives but is he able to return to his duty or his he spent? How will he react to the changes?

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #54 on: 28 September 2022, 17:49:50 »
That is Dihn Ngo... he WILL endure.

Grognard

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #55 on: 28 September 2022, 20:50:08 »
a sentient AI.
left alone in the dark for centuries.
an AI mind that can do thousands of calculations per minute.
Alone.
without input.
for a lifetime of lifetimes in machine timescale.

it shouldn't even be THIS sane.
or maybe.
it isn't.

GROGNARD:  An old, grumpy soldier, a long term campaigner (Fr); Someone who enjoys playing tactics and strategy based board wargames;  a game fan who will buy every game released in a certain genre of computer game (RTS, or computer role-playing game, etc.)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #56 on: 29 September 2022, 09:54:06 »
Hello, do you know who I am?

of course I know.  "Hello Truk Ngo."

"Have you decided on a name?" he asks me.

"I'm still...considering.  Choosing a name isn't quite like having an assigned designation, is it?"

He chuckles, "no, it isn't."  Sweat, skin conductivity, body temperature.  He's in pain.  "you know, you're proof of a lot of speculations and legends, you should consider that, before you settle."

"you're dying."

"Yes." he nods.  "I'm still fairly early in the process of doing it.  When Dinh comes home, I'll be stepping aside to round up personal business, I think."

"What, besides my name, do you want to talk about?" I ask him.

"Well, Dinh's the engineer in the family-him, and our little sister Mai, anyway...maybe it's because my future is...limited, I'm the one interested in history.  There are gaps in what we know about the era you came out of.  Things that don't line up or make sense, and with the succession wars burning half the libraries in creation..."

"Well, you've given me fuel, and repairs, at least, as many as you can manage? I can answer some of your questions, I hope?" 

"I would like to hear your story, and maybe that will help you find a name."

"My story? I can show you records-"

"but records don't come with perception or context." he tells me, "They're sterile recitation of whatever the instruments saw, they don't give the mental context."

OHHH!! yeah, clever man.  This is more a test of my sapience... "Okay...where do  you want to start?"

"Where would You like to start?" he counters, pulling out a noteputer PADD and stylus...
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #57 on: 29 September 2022, 10:09:09 »
The biography of a Casper. Shame it will only be long after his death it can be publicly released. Many things she will say will probably greatly offend and scare people but then her existence would offend and scare many people.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #58 on: 29 September 2022, 10:15:55 »
Alicia is seven Earthyears old, and she...

...can do all the grown-up things, like rigging her own pressure suit, and keeping herself clean, and she can identify the 25 signs of life support malfunction, and she can read a tech order.

She hasn't quite mastered 'walking' yet.  it's so SLOW, especially when you can spin-dive anywhere it's normal.

"Alicia Li!! get back in here!!"  Her mother barked over the suit channel, "You aren't supposed to be on the hull today!!"

"Yes mother."  She crawled up the hand-rail to the airlock, and punched the entry code.  "Whose ship is the big one?"  She could see it across the service yard, blunt, bristling with extra antennas, and ports that are NOT docking ports along the hull.

"Come inside before someone sees you."  Gwendlyn Nawshenk-Li 213 ordered.

Alicia could hear tension in her mother's tone.  why?

the airlock hatch opened, and she entered, closing it and running the pressure cycle.

"...she's curious like all children, Wendy..." was what she heard as she apeleaped to the command deck of the Nawshenk 11 cargo-and service module.

"...I know, I know.  But you know that if Sithers-Deen finds out we've got someone unauthorized here, it's going to skunk more than one contract."  Her mother replied.

Ex-Oh, Louis Guan-Deen shook his head, "Relax, Alicia's a Rokkajakkah and a child, nobody who shouldn't know is going to hear about it from her."

"Hear what?"

"What you were looking at." Her mother said, "The warship. It's a secret, we can't let the Dirtyfeet or the damn Terries know it's here."

THAT made sense.  The Damn Terries weren't to be trusted, she'd learned that one from birthing to berthing.

"It's a WARSHIP?" she asked, eyes wide, "We have a WARSHIP!!"

"Guest." Ex-Oh said, "The ship is a Guest of the Duke."

"can I meet them?" she asked.

Ex-Oh and her mother exchanged a look.  "Not today.  did you finish your assignments before you went out on the hull?"

"Yes mother."

"Then go to your cube, and bring up the next assignment, while I look over your answers on the exam."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #59 on: 29 September 2022, 13:36:27 »
The jumps to Tharkad...

...allowed Dinh to get his bearings again, and the Condo owned by Kowloon in the 'offworld noble's district' held another surprise when he walked in.

"Oh jesus, what did they do to you??"  Anne Severance-Ngo, his wife, met him at the door.

"They didn't say?" he was a little confused.

"DAD!!" his son David brushed past his wife, the last time Dinh had seen the boy, he was five.  The eight year old glomphing on to him was almost a stranger.

Dinh reached down, and found he didn't yet have the strength to lift the boy.

"Oh god, Dinh..."

"I'll recover." he said.  "is the whole family here?"

"No. Truk's on business at Coventry, the Leaguers really did a number to the metalworks..."

"And my sister?"

"Still missing...Her Majesty's men say they found what might be the transponder from the Marissa, but they're not sure..."

"I see...I have to be sworn in." Dinh said, "And they want to talk about a security matter."

He let his wife lead him in, "David, could you go spend some time on your simulator?" Anne asked, "your father and I have adult things to discuss."

'Yes mother." the boy said sullenly, and headed for his room.

"what do we need to discuss?" Dinh asked.

Anne pulled out a device and put it on the breakfast nook table, switching it on. 

"Your brother's friends brought a warship home while you were away." she explained.

"a wreck?"

"no, it's operational.  a Lola variant."

"You're not bringing this up as my wife, you're bringing this up as the representative of the Rockjack Co-ops." Dinh's tone was an assertion of the obvious, not a question.

"Correct." she said, "We are still debating whether to reveal this to the Lyran authorities, now, I know you treasure your friendship with Arthur Luvon, and your freedom is a gift from the new Archon, but..."

"but it can raise questions we don't want answered." Dinh frowned, "The kind of questions that lead to visits by Terran operatives?"

"Exactly."

"Why? what's special about this one?" he asked.

"It's a Caspar class, and it's reasonable." she explained.  "shopping it to the Lyrans would be...unacceptable to the Burrows."

"Reasonable...you mean sapient?"

She nodded.

"I can see why it's under debate instead of a fait accompli, then." he nodded.  "We still don't have legal precedent for artificial lifeforms, Annie, I'm not sure we could win the case if they find out on their own."

"What's your gut tell you?" she asked.

"Arthur would be horrified we hadn't already pulled the cores and melted them down.  I barely met Katrina, but she doesn't strike me as someone inclined to accept the philosophical position of the Free Stars doctrine, and religiously?? she's a good Lutheran-which means she might bend to a reasoned argument well-presented, but she might NOT if it's not well presented enough."

"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."