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Short Story
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Writer Nelso555
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Oct 7, 2017
6 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!Batqb63LVg4sQenbzhzLposted on PENANA

Lexi lowered her binoculars and placed a finger on her earpiece. “Okay Pam, how are the scans coming along?”copyright protection35PENANASBP1FgUcDB

Pam’s voice sounded in Lexi’s head. “The priority data-point is confirmed to be in this facility. Refining my search now.”copyright protection35PENANAcfLGFXMIJH

When Lexi had first signed on to the Alliance Special Ops Initiative she had hoped her missions would take her somewhere warm, and yet here she lay in a forest covered in snow, tired of being cold and wet. She crawled forwards slightly, the snow crunching beneath her, the cool wind brushing in her ears. The frost showed in every anxious breath. She could smell metal and fuel, despite her nose being numb. She pulled her white beanie tighter over her ears and made sure that her chestnut hair was hidden. Lexi had been chosen for this mission because she was lean and stealthy; she had fair skin, pale lips and keen eyes immersed in dark eyeliner to protect against the snowy glare. In her arctic army fatigues she was almost invisible atop the escarpment overlooking Nexus’ facility.copyright protection35PENANAZN9Q1w1BOB

“And hostiles?” she whispered to Pam.copyright protection35PENANAmHcbJSrD55

“Twenty-six hostiles,” said Pam. “Three of which are officers, and I count nine civilians.”copyright protection35PENANAehk0X0YJIH

“And Vayne?”copyright protection35PENANArIuByw8z7X

“Data shows he is not present, but facial records of the nine civilians show a ninety-three percent match to known members of his initial research team.”copyright protection35PENANAauEmFne71k

“So, this is where they’ve been hiding.”copyright protection35PENANAcgBxhzxfjg

“I have archived the data for transmission once we are out of interception range.”copyright protection35PENANAWLYrmwYv65

Lexi checked her watch as the message appeared, downloading data. “Thank you Pam, but what about my mission?”copyright protection35PENANAsgA7DfvSnw

“Update: I have located the priority data-point.”copyright protection35PENANAczMO63oEjH

Lexi raised her binoculars and followed the glowing indicator that pointed to one of the buildings. “I see one of the officers in the building,” she said quietly. “Hello there… That earpiece looks familiar. Pam?”copyright protection35PENANAUgsSHPpFlv

“Confirmed. Each officer is equipped with an implant allowing instant communication with artificial intelligences much like myself. It is unlikely however that they will be able to intercept my signal to your own implant.”copyright protection35PENANALNMlUqBpiY

With a smile, Lexi sat up and put her binoculars away. “Good to know you’re watching my back, Pam.”copyright protection35PENANAWvyJkFNIj6

“I am linked directly to your all of your sensory nerves and receive data as you do, technically I can only watch your front.”copyright protection35PENANApemS64IwJ3

“What—” Lexi sighed. “Bad enough they put an AI in my head but they also gave it sarcasm.”copyright protection35PENANA1vROQLesbx

“I calculate a seventy-seven percent chance of successfully recovering the primary data-point if we infiltrate now. Do you wish to proceed?”copyright protection35PENANAr83ZRnFE5Y

Lexi was already moving. “Let’s do it.”copyright protection35PENANALvc8njc6PW

She backtracked through the woods and made her way downhill until she found a suitable entry point into the camp; by now her face was bright pink as she slipped on her visor and, hiding in the nearby shrubs, scanned for incoming patrols. An older wooden building suspended on stilts lay a few meters in front of her, but a line where the fresh snow had been disturbed made her hesitate. A few moments later a man in a grey hoodie strolled by wearing a bored expression, his eyes drooping. When he was gone, Lexi rushed past and crawled under the building; she felt like a rabbit trudging through the snow. “It’s freezing down here.”copyright protection35PENANAaRr1GiNULY

“Given the circumstances I would not recommend speaking to me unless it is relevant to the current mission.”copyright protection35PENANAsc7vcYSRDX

“Typical computer,” Lexi said under her breath.copyright protection35PENANAQpt2xQmJXc

“I heard that.”copyright protection35PENANAF7378KpVFa

The target location was in sight from the other side of the wooden building. Voices could be heard from all over in the centre of the camp, most were speaking another language (though Lexi could have Pam translate if needed) and all seemed either bored or tired. A small group were tinkering with a recon drone and Pam indicated through the visor that it was an unknown design, labelled: Nexus prototype. The officer was inside the building with the data-point.copyright protection35PENANAU7n1Dz0vqD

Lexi touched her earpiece. “We have to get him away from the data-point. Don’t suppose you can override his implant and scramble his brain?”copyright protection35PENANAtg3WjANFkK

“I would advise against that line of action, Lexi. While a malfunctioning implant can lead to varying degrees of brain damage, it is likely that the officer’s AI will detect the interference beforehand and become aware of our location.”copyright protection35PENANAS0SW70GxWl

“Okay, any other ideas?”copyright protection35PENANAIRt5T6ETB5

“The drone to your right appears to be a prototype. Perhaps I can perform an override and use it to cause a distraction. It is common for early models such as this to malfunction and thus will not raise suspicion. Shall I proceed?”copyright protection35PENANAx5mA2FaPlu

Lexi took a deep breath and braced herself; she would have to be quick once the drone took off. She nodded. “Do it.”copyright protection35PENANAAdus9CtQ9q

Through her visor, she saw the drone become highlighted in green as it hovered suddenly and sporadically into the air. There was a great deal of shouting from the men as the drone spun in a circle and soared towards the officer, who stepped outside to investigate the commotion. There came a flash and a loud bang – “I have tapped into the drone’s weapons systems,” said Pam – and the drone shot recklessly at the ground, sending up puffs of snow and hitting one man in the foot. “Diverting,” said Pam. The drone whizzed away, followed by the officer and several men.copyright protection35PENANAbRhEWaKB3m

Lexi hurried into the building and found the terminal with the data-point. A message appeared on her visor: Target confirmed. She placed her watch near the terminal. “Okay Pam, do your thing.”copyright protection35PENANAGBs2buImk3

“Extracting files.”copyright protection35PENANARUhlnrYRh7

Lexi checked the doorway behind her; she had a bad feeling in her gut, even though she knew Pam would warn her if anyone was coming. “You are still scanning for hostiles, right?”copyright protection35PENANAhtYy8VJTwN

“I am having the drone perform extra scans; it’s ability to detect specific items of interest appears to be greater than mine.”copyright protection35PENANAgcoIfAcXWw

“Wait, you’re still controlling that thing? Isn’t it confusing to do all this at once?”copyright protection35PENANA1Nri9PJ7G1

“Human concentration is inhibited when multi-tasting. Mine isn’t.”copyright protection35PENANAfXvewD9gxF

Lexi smiled. “You don’t have to sound so smug.” She sifted through the data as Pam extracted it. “I’m risking my life for this? I suppose some Nexus spy did the same thing when they stole your implant prototype.”copyright protection35PENANA3NSrv81I5Y

“I detect discontent in your voice. I sense that you doubt the Alliance’s intentions.”copyright protection35PENANAf6MGpVv93c

Lexi didn’t mean to sound that way. She searched the data carefully for anything that would make risking her life worth-while. “Nothing gets by you, huh? But I never said that. I guess I’d just like to see them use their ingenuity for something other than war or espionage. Not that I don’t appreciate your company, but doesn’t it bother you that you were technically built as a weapon?”copyright protection35PENANAai9FxGjGWQ

Pam hesitated, which was unusual for her. “I wasn't designed to judge the actions of my creators, but historical data shows that multiple treaties between the Alliance and the Nexus Division have been attempted over the past 70 years, all of which have failed to reduce conflict between both organisations.”copyright protection35PENANAmZEfr9ntSt

The files were almost downloaded and Lexi was looking forward to getting out of the facility.copyright protection35PENANAs7AeOZak8d

“I don’t know if this helps,” Pam went on, “but I prefer to think that my primary function is to protect you, Lexi.”copyright protection35PENANAwjwGZ3miKj

She beamed, wishing for a moment that she could see Pam in real life. “Aww, how sweet.”copyright protection35PENANA96jNmKXKeP

“I have found something else that may solve your dilemma. Uploading to your visor.”copyright protection35PENANAdGXOVLN56W

The information appeared before Lexi’s eyes and she gasped, as though she was staring down at some horrific scene. “My god… so this is what I came for. Looks like Nexus is further ahead in the arms race than we thought, huh? Cybernetics, viral weaponry, AI systems…” A handful of images flashed across her visor, and their grotesqueness shot straight to her stomach. “They’ve tested these on human subjects…”copyright protection35PENANAjCfQieUFxE

“Lexi, the recovery has been successful, I suggest we leave.” But Lexi didn’t seem to hear her. The voice sounded again. “Lexi, it is time to go.”copyright protection35PENANAYGLhu72rSh

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