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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!PkBo1aOkeHl4LvZkzggUposted on PENANA

Lexi lowered her binoculars and placed a finger on her earpiece. “Okay Pam, how are the scans coming along?”copyright protection41PENANAyM9s4zbIz8

Pam’s voice sounded in Lexi’s head. “The priority data-point is confirmed to be in this facility. Refining my search now.”copyright protection41PENANAMptnNuyBPM

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 protection41PENANAiaQ4FQpf7F

“And hostiles?” she whispered to Pam.copyright protection41PENANA9Gsi9wSkes

“Twenty-six hostiles,” said Pam. “Three of which are officers, and I count nine civilians.”copyright protection41PENANAs1RWoEqXgf

“And Vayne?”copyright protection41PENANAKzqAE6r3lz

“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 protection41PENANAJvfbOpHHJW

“So, this is where they’ve been hiding.”copyright protection41PENANA9cX08mFzjW

“I have archived the data for transmission once we are out of interception range.”copyright protection41PENANAO4wfEal6dH

Lexi checked her watch as the message appeared, downloading data. “Thank you Pam, but what about my mission?”copyright protection41PENANAGWcV71lPI5

“Update: I have located the priority data-point.”copyright protection41PENANAMRhJSq6y0q

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 protection41PENANAuPu049aqfo

“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 protection41PENANA7VlkRsldi3

With a smile, Lexi sat up and put her binoculars away. “Good to know you’re watching my back, Pam.”copyright protection41PENANAi4VAON1Ul1

“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 protection41PENANAkQQPQUY1ke

“What—” Lexi sighed. “Bad enough they put an AI in my head but they also gave it sarcasm.”copyright protection41PENANAqs9LM1e7ew

“I calculate a seventy-seven percent chance of successfully recovering the primary data-point if we infiltrate now. Do you wish to proceed?”copyright protection41PENANAbxB67pU8kg

Lexi was already moving. “Let’s do it.”copyright protection41PENANA9F6ZuXUsZf

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 protection41PENANAGpHQatSoB7

“Given the circumstances I would not recommend speaking to me unless it is relevant to the current mission.”copyright protection41PENANAVNExUMWOUh

“Typical computer,” Lexi said under her breath.copyright protection41PENANA54Wb4q9ZT8

“I heard that.”copyright protection41PENANAeAxVrIpk71

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 protection41PENANAr3P6AJTwyN

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 protection41PENANAODSKOXbYW4

“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 protection41PENANA6aFE66nwqu

“Okay, any other ideas?”copyright protection41PENANAySxnZ76SEF

“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 protection41PENANAGsiyd7wo5s

Lexi took a deep breath and braced herself; she would have to be quick once the drone took off. She nodded. “Do it.”copyright protection41PENANAtbD9QJgdfH

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 protection41PENANAHOzfbznir2

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 protection41PENANAX8vfGImd7r

“Extracting files.”copyright protection41PENANAFADiKu20Hi

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 protection41PENANAHp6gFhQ2zh

“I am having the drone perform extra scans; it’s ability to detect specific items of interest appears to be greater than mine.”copyright protection41PENANA5wpAM6i8jq

“Wait, you’re still controlling that thing? Isn’t it confusing to do all this at once?”copyright protection41PENANAAZ1ehLIkLq

“Human concentration is inhibited when multi-tasting. Mine isn’t.”copyright protection41PENANACsPIJv0zxA

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 protection41PENANARD6hdSnw1H

“I detect discontent in your voice. I sense that you doubt the Alliance’s intentions.”copyright protection41PENANAWCGXQYIziu

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 protection41PENANAZVWPEGkEfS

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 protection41PENANAe6vlnJeLff

The files were almost downloaded and Lexi was looking forward to getting out of the facility.copyright protection41PENANAtcS99J8Sir

“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 protection41PENANAmimj80ZtFf

She beamed, wishing for a moment that she could see Pam in real life. “Aww, how sweet.”copyright protection41PENANAlTmRfJAtvQ

“I have found something else that may solve your dilemma. Uploading to your visor.”copyright protection41PENANAJY2B8ckh4D

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 protection41PENANAIrV5L46LxM

“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 protection41PENANA0TFmKV6loC

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