Marie's Mind – V-Tech
by HoD Ro' Matlh & Lieutenant JG Linx Moonshadow & Sogh Germite Ephilom & Soghla' HIchop Matlh & Soghla' Terri (Tell) Hope & Soghla' Jared & Soghla' Marie St. Helene

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Title   V-Tech
Mission   Marie's Mind
Author(s)   HoD Ro' Matlh & Lieutenant JG Linx Moonshadow & Sogh Germite Ephilom & Soghla' HIchop Matlh & Soghla' Terri (Tell) Hope & Soghla' Jared & Soghla' Marie St. Helene
Posted   Thu Jan 23, 2014 @ 12:37am
Location   FHew Conference Room
The crew was gathered in the conference room. It was cramped but they could all sit or stand around the oddly shaped table in the middle to discuss strategy. No one was entirely sure why Ro' had called them all here instead of just telling them things on the Bridge or the Mess Hall.

Ro' stood to address the assembly, "Well, for those of you who have not yet caught up on current events, here is the brief. We have obviously made it out of Maego Territory, though barely and are now docked at Iapetus Station again. We have offloaded some of our wounded, though at least one of the Marines from house HI' has transferred to us permanently. The Federation have taken our reports, as well as the flight recorder from the Maego vessel we destroyed and are assessing them as we speak. Their engineers are helping with the repairs. Until they are completed, we still have a slurry of muck in the Hold that is about knee deep, so I would avoid that if at all possible."

"Also we are still struggling to arrange for all of the repairs. While we should be airtight, it looks like it will be a while before we have the resources to restock on torpedoes."

HIchop ground his teeth in frustration. He had still been hoping to get his weapons but hearing the Captain say no sealed the deal.

"So... for now it seems we are intact and have completed our mission for the Federation. However, there have been complications, such as our new involvement with the Corporation. While they have upheld their side of the bargain and provided the information for the Maego Flight Recorder, it seems we have not seen the last of them. Jared?"

The little man seemed more nervous than usual. He almost flinched when Ro' gestured to him, but stood to address the room.

"Right... yes... well... Hi... Good news and... less than good." Jared glanced to Ro' and then seemed to pull himself together.

"Firstly, the ship's computers have undergone a considerable upgrade. I say upgrade, but it is really more of an overhaul. I might even go so far as to say a complete retrofit."

"How much of a retrofit?" Ro' asked.

Jared nodded trying to decide how best to breach this, "Well, we have an improved AI for one. It is significantly more advanced than the previous version. You are aware that our technology may seem, to a more primitive culture to be almost god-like? Well to some cultures, it may seem that the upgrades have a similar deistic quality. Deux Ex Machina you might suggest."

"Exactly which cultures are likely to be impressed," Ro' pressed, aware that Jared was hedging around something.

"Well, anybody really. You see the technology is..."

Jared sighed heavily as if struggling against a great weight to say what he was saying.

"... it is a Vetus computer fragment; an AI designed by my people."

When that seemed to have little impact on the room he went on, "It hacked into the raw programing of the Borg Nanites and has re purposed them to build additional hardware to support its function, and the functionality of the ship. You have already seen its abilities with the creation of the Point Defence Matrix that helped us on re-entry over the Maego world, or the reprogramming of Marie's speech centers so she is now a walking Universal Translator."

Marie turned to Par. "A walking Universal Translator. I like the sound of that. Say something to me in Vulcan, let's try this out."

Par leaned back in his chair, observing the proceedings, "I have no intention of indulging you in your fantasies, Ms St Helene. I do find this fascinating to observe however."

"That was a... bit of an oversite actually. At the time of the upgrade it didn't realise Marie was sentient. You see they're not supposed to tamper with living... well... needless to say it won't be upgrading living people without permission anymore. Just... the computer..."

"Well... That's good isn't it?" Ro' said, "You have given us a great tool. I only wonder why you did not provide it earlier."

Jared wrung his tail in his hands, "Well... that's just it. I didn't provide it. We picked it up when we accessed the Corporate Data stream. My people are so scattered now that you can't really even call us a race, so it is hard to say that there are any common characteristics, but there are some similar behaviours. For example, we don't supply weapons and technology to primitive races; no offense meant."

"By primitive, you mean us," HIchop realized, "You mean there are weapons and technologies you know about that we could use and you have been keeping them from us."

"Naturally," Jared allowed, "Just like you do not give Fusion Bombs to Stone age primitives. While it would allow them to destroy their enemies, they would most likely destroy themselves and you in the process. Indeed every culture seems to go through phases where they teeter on the brink with a new discovery and decide if they will advance or destroy themselves. Many cultures wipe themselves out when they discover the secrets of forging tools, or Fission reaction. Give a culture a tool too early and you guarantee their demise."

"It's like... leaving an armed disruptor where children can get to it is dangerous. Giving them one is just irresponsible."

"The point is the Corporation has access to Vetus Technology, or V-Tech. This means they not only have a Vetus among them, but one who is supplying them with potentially devastating tools. Technology way above their weight class. If there's a way... we really need to stop him."

Tell looked on, things had a way of breaking down, not lasting very long or blowing up on this rust bucket. The engineer could see problems with in problems resulting in death, annihilation and the total destruction of life as she knew it. What next? she thought There would be no need for a crew as two space mice and a Klingon rat could fly her.

Tem leaned forward slightly, speaking in a hushed tone to Marie, "Jared is fascinating. He's quite obviously the manifestation of your intellect, representing the sage and the wisdom; alien in a very real world from the violence around her, yet an insolvable member of the 'Crew'."

“Insolvable....” Marie considered the word. “No. Jared’s a cutie. I like the way he swishes his tail around. Some animals have prehensile tails. Jared’s is more.... I’d call it an emotive tail. It’s a bit like humanoids gesticulating: Jared uses his tail to help express his emotions.”

Tem continued, "I can see that your own mind is at odds with the violent fantasy it has created and, at times, it calls you to consider a different path, disconnected with your experiences. But the most interesting aspect is this development of a new intellect. Your subconscious is trying to incorporate me into the story. It has identified me, and perhaps this mind meld, as a hostile intellect equal to itself, possibly superior, and your whole psyche is being rallied to fight against it; to protect itself from the intrusion."

Marie’s brow creased. “ No, Jared’s been around for years.” She smiled. “You could say he’s been around for millenia.” She chuckled at her private joke.

Tem shook his head, "Jared is not the new intellect. I am. You have recognized my mind at work to undo this delusion and your 'Crew' is looking for ways to combat the perceived threat. Think about this, I am an intelligence, alien to you, somehow inserted into the very heart of this reality. Your intellect has recognized I am a threat, trying in a very real way to dismantle this reality completely. Furthermore you fear that I might be a bigger danger than this system can overcome."

HIchop frowned, finding it difficult to let anything but the prospect of new and more powerful weapons go by the wayside, "Are we sure this Vetus is as bad as Jared seems to think? And if he is, shouldn't we be equipping this ship with far better weapons and shields; at least replenishing our torpedoes?"

"Uhh... No." Jared responded uncomfortably. "That's not going to... I mean, if this guy goes all out... well... torpedoes won't help."

He looked round at the questioning faces around him.

"You remember that weapon we destroyed on the dead world Miletus a while back? That nearly took us with it? That race was small in number, but they were ahead of the game in certain areas. The device we destroyed was basically the same as a kind of technology my people developed long ago. It was capable of obliterating all life down to the cellular level to a range of about one million kilometres, which was why Miletus was like it was when we found it."

Jared swallowed uncomfortably, "My own culture advanced that technology several centuries further, and then... effectively wiped ourselves out with it. We were on the verge of taking the technology to a whole new level. There was a project that was supposed to change the very idea of what "life" meant. We called it the Rahasia Obsidora - roughly translated as the 'Philosopher's Stone'. But before it was properly completed, it got... weaponised."

"And if I've understood correctly... the Vetus we're dealing with was one of the key people in charge of the project. He was also the first one who used it on his own people."

"My kind make a point of NOT giving out technology that's too far in advance of what the culture is already using - even if it's life or death. We've seen what happens. We also almost NEVER use our own technology. It's just not worth the risk of anyone learning how it works and going down that road again. Most of us have made a point of trying to FORGET how it all worked."

"If this Vetus is not just USING V-Tech, but actually equipping the corporates with it... you have no idea the sort of special issue technology they might have access to. Iconian gateways. Irken hyperfold technology. T'Kon sunguns... he might even be working on another Deplorable Word system - like the one on Miletus."

"Can you imagine what would happen if the corporates gained the ability to carry out assasinations on ENTIRE planetary populations? Leaving all resources and technology untouched?"

Ro' rumbled, "There is no question that this Vetus must be stopped. The question is how? What are our next steps?"

Dr Par turned his attention to Marie, "Yes, Marie, what will your next steps be?"

“Get that muck out of the cargo bay so HIchop has somewhere to store his torpedoes,” Marie replied. “That should keep him happy for a while and allow Tell some space to get the engines working properly again.”

Tem Par nodded, "I see. Of course. Don't worry about the outside, maintain the Ship, keep balance between the crew. Why don't you show me around?"

Marie informed Hichop there would be space in the cargo bay for whatever weapons he was able to procure. Hichop barely heard her. He wanted to get to a terminal. Out the door and to the cargo, his feet couldn't move him fast enough. Hichop braced the console like it was to never be let go.

Pausing for just a moment, "Computer, what can you build me to take out the Vetus and the corporation"