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File 143131522934.png - (37.96KB , 1000x600 , 1.png )
639549 No. 639549 ID: 26e769

I yawn as I wake up.

I tap the pod door. It opens, and I step out.

And then I notice.

Well, this is new.

I could have sworn I was a dude before I went to sleep.

I also appear to have the worst headache I have ever had. Ever.
Expand all images
>>
No. 639550 ID: 79940c

Do you always sleep in a magic gender swap pod?

I know you've got a headache and all, but there seems to be something written over on the right. See what it says?
>>
No. 639551 ID: 04e33b

Perhaps that note will explain.
>>
No. 639553 ID: 26e769
File 143131598695.png - (100.59KB , 1000x600 , 2.png )
639553

>Do you always sleep in a magic gender swap pod?

What? That’s ridiculous. No, it’s a - Fuck! Ow! My head!

>I know you've got a headache and all, but there seems to be something written over on the right. See what it says?
>Perhaps that note will explain.

Yeah, okay. Let’s see…

…are you serious?
>>
No. 639554 ID: 26e769
File 143131601175.png - (36.91KB , 1000x600 , 3.png )
639554

Those complete idiots! They not only put me in the wrong skull, but they corrupted my memory?!

Yeah, no wonder I have a headache, a few corrupted glutamates would certainly do that, and they might even give me a fucking aneurysm while they’re at it!
>>
No. 639555 ID: 9ddf68

well might as well let them know your alive again and chew them out for fucking your operation up while you're at it.
>>
No. 639557 ID: 04e33b

>>639554
Why is the log duplicated and the paper shaped that way? Follow the directions and call uh that person.
>>
No. 639558 ID: 79940c

So... you uploaded your consciousness out of your skull, and then the server put you back in the wrong one?

Time to go find IT and throw a bitch fest.

Um. Do you even need to be uploaded again? Or will we just wipe this corrupted instance of yourself, and download the right people to the right bodies?
>>
No. 639563 ID: 26e769
File 143131784454.png - (32.45KB , 1000x600 , 4.png )
639563

>So... you uploaded your consciousness out of your skull, and then the server put you back in the wrong one? Time to go find IT and throw a bitch fest.

I am IT.

>Why is the log duplicated and the paper shaped that way?

It’s… good, that neural connection is still okay. It’s a redundant terminal. It performs the same actions as its twin, and acts as a substitute if the normal one doesn’t work.

Redundancy is important. You’ve got to be careful when you’re dealing with - God damn it that hurts! Okay, so, clearly, a lot of my neural connections are shot. I’ll have to see a doctor about that. Or a programmer, maybe.

>well might as well let them know your alive again and chew them out for fucking your operation up while you're at it.
>Follow the directions and call uh that person.

“Mnemosyne!” I yell. “Relay message: fuck you guys! You put me into the wrong body, you idiots! And if this is your idea of a joke, know that I might fucking keel over and die of a brain aneurysm at any second! Ha ha, very funny, you assholes!”

“Message relayed. Anything else, mistress Ophidian?”

“Do not change my pronouns, Mnemosyne!”

“Understood. Anything else, master Ophidian?
>>
No. 639564 ID: 26e769
File 143131789894.png - (27.08KB , 1000x600 , 5.png )
639564

“Can you lead me to the brain bank - I mean, the Moneta servers? And please make it simple, because my neurology is fucked to high heaven and the wrong word could kill me.”

“Understood. Exit through the door to your left.”

I walk up to the door. It doesn’t open. “Um, Mnemosyne?”

‘Minor door failure. Door is not registering master Ophidian’s clearance due to new form.”

“Fantastic.” Now what?
>>
No. 639565 ID: 9ddf68

other then the body swap anything happening that I should be aware of?
>>
No. 639566 ID: 9ddf68

>>639564
your IT right? any chance of you being able to hot wire the door open? If not how would one go about registering themselves so they could leave a room?
>>
No. 639567 ID: 79940c

>die of an aneurism
Wait. Um, does it matter if you die? That means this body is fucked, and whoever owns it will never get home. And this instance of your consciousness terminates. But can't they just re-download you from the server to the right body regardless?

The server doesn't wipe its local copy when it downloads, right? That seems a bad idea from a data integrity standpoint. No way to recover from a corrupted download.

>I am IT.
Who's IT when you're out of it?

>Minor door failure. Door is not registering master Ophidian’s clearance due to new form.
Override? Or try the clearance that's native to this body?

...who am I riding around in, anyways?
>>
No. 639572 ID: 04e33b

>>639564
Tell Mnemosyne to give you clearance.
>>
No. 639577 ID: 26e769
File 143131973044.png - (31.52KB , 1000x600 , 6.png )
639577

>Who's IT when you're out of it?

Jo. And she’s the one who put my in this body.

>...who am I riding around in, anyways?

Good question. “Hey, Mnemosyne! Who am I?”

“You are master Ophidian, Starlight incorporated, first-class engineer.”

“No, I mean my body. Who am I riding around in?”

“Doctor Catherine Kosheti, Graduated from medical school approximately half an Earth year ago.”

“Catherine, huh? Yeah, I thought I felt like a Cathy.”

>try the clearance that's native to this body?

Her clearance would have automatically kicked in once I approached the door.

>your IT right? any chance of you being able to hot wire the door open? If not how would one go about registering themselves so they could leave a room?
>Override?

I could probably hotwire it. Let’s see…

Got it, I think. Yeah, there we go.
>>
No. 639578 ID: 26e769
File 143131975224.png - (28.78KB , 1000x600 , 7.png )
639578

>Wait. Um, does it matter if you die? That means this body is fucked, and whoever owns it will never get home. And this instance of your consciousness terminates. But can't they just re-download you from the server to the right body regardless?

I imagine Catherine probably wouldn’t be happy with me. Considering my entire job is to keep people like her safe, I would get into a lot of trouble. Also, as a corrupted consciousness, I am technically an entirely new Ophidian, so my individuality would be lost. Also, I’m a copy, I just realized. That sucks, but whatever.

>The server doesn't wipe its local copy when it downloads, right? That seems a bad idea from a data integrity standpoint. No way to recover from a corrupted download.

No, but if something’s gone wrong with the brain bank, this version of myself could end up being the only Ophidian. And this body might become my permanent residence. Ick.

“Okay, so now what, Mnemosyne?”

Silence.

“…Mnemosyne?”

Great. Now she’s cut out. They’re probably rebooting everything, which means they’re in deep shit and don’t know how to fix it. I reiterate: great.

So now I don’t have a guide. Not like this is an easy place to get lost, or anything.
>>
No. 639579 ID: 79940c

If you're a fork, and the original Ophidian survives, then what happens to you? Presumably Cathy will want her body back, and Ophidian-prime will keep your old one.

>So now I don’t have a guide. Not like this is an easy place to get lost, or anything.
Look to your left and right. We're looking for something that's not a storage bay for bodies.
>>
No. 639580 ID: 9ddf68

ok so any idea where you office is? I mean it sounds like you'd have been through here often since your job was to make sure all this shit works and stays working so any land marks or "you are here" maps for you to use to find your way back to your office? I mean once there you should figure out what the hell went wrong and be able to better fix it/let your underlings know just how bad they fucked up.
>>
No. 639586 ID: 26e769
File 143132243789.png - (38.89KB , 1000x600 , 8.png )
639586

>If you're a fork, and the original Ophidian survives, then what happens to you? Presumably Cathy will want her body back, and Ophidian-prime will keep your old one.

They’ll probably turn me into an AI or something. Which sucks, but, hey, better than death. If I get to a doctor or a programmer soon, they might even be able to repair me enough to put me in line with the other Ophidian, and they can upload me as an updated version. Either way, now that Cathy’s body has been revived, they’ll probably need someone to take care of it until we can put it on ice again, and since I’m already in here… yeah. No sense shoving her back in unless we need her for something.

>ok so any idea where you office is? I mean it sounds like you'd have been through here often since your job was to make sure all this shit works and stays working

I’m trying not to remember too much, in case I run across a corrupted memory. Still, no sense wasting time before fixing this mess. My office is - damn it! Ow! Fuck! Nope, not gonna happen. I’ll have to find my way there on my own, from scratch.

> so any land marks or "you are here" maps for you to use to find your way back to your office? I mean once there you should figure out what the hell went wrong and be able to better fix it/let your underlings know just how bad they fucked up.

Maps. I told them to put in more maps when they were building this thing. But did they listen? No.
>>
No. 639587 ID: 26e769
File 143132245828.png - (33.88KB , 1000x600 , 9.png )
639587

>Look to your left and right. We're looking for something that's not a storage bay for bodies.

Right. Ah, there we go - a secure lift.

”Excuse me, Catherine Kosheti, but you are not due to be revived for several months. Please return to your quarters and re-initialize your storage pod.”

…this has to all be some sick joke. Please. I wouldn’t even be mad. I would be impressed.

What the hell do I do here?
>>
No. 639588 ID: 0ee153

Got an override or some sort of ID code/number?
>>
No. 639589 ID: fef726

If you are IT you should have override codes for things like this.

The only problem is remembering them. If it doesn't come to mind what is the best way to disable that thing.
>>
No. 639590 ID: bd8b82

"server error, i need to get to the offices to repair it."
>>
No. 639591 ID: fef726

Oh wait. you were just talking about AI. Any chance this thing can be convinced that you aren't Cathy?
>>
No. 639593 ID: 26e769
File 143132446092.png - (36.73KB , 1000x600 , 10.png )
639593

>Oh wait. you were just talking about AI. Any chance this thing can be convinced that you aren't Cathy?

Depends on whether it’s uploaded or coded. I’ll give it a shot.

>"server error, i need to get to the offices to repair it."

“I’m chief engineer Ophidian. There’s been a server error, and as a result I’ve been placed into the body of Catherine Kosheti. I need to repair the Moneta servers. Please let me through.”

”Please return to your quarters and re-initialize your storage pod.”

Damn. It’s coded. No intelligent conversation to be found here.

>Got an override or some sort of ID code/number?
>If you are IT you should have override codes for things like this. The only problem is remembering them. If it doesn't come to mind what is the best way to disable that thing.

Disabling the robot is out of the question. It’s designed specifically so it can’t be disabled easily.

I do have an override code. If I force myself, I might be able to remember it. But it could hurt.

It could hurt a lot.
>>
No. 639594 ID: fef726

Is there anything you can think of doing that doesn't involve scrambling your brain meats and agonizing pain? Alternate routes? Maybe a ladder?
>>
No. 639595 ID: f461c5

Probably better to just tell it there is an emergency somewhere else to get it out of your hair, then.

If its so badly coded it cant prioritize issues, and you cant stick it in a paradox loop, then you may as well just try running past it and activating the lift nice and quick.

Unless these things have some sort of tasers, anesthetic darts, or are otherwise capable of inconveniencing you way more than its worth.
>>
No. 639596 ID: 26e769
File 143132694492.png - (24.25KB , 1000x600 , 11.png )
639596

>If its so badly coded it cant prioritize issues, and you cant stick it in a paradox loop, then you may as well just try running past it and activating the lift nice and quick. Unless these things have some sort of tasers, anesthetic darts, or are otherwise capable of inconveniencing you way more than its worth.

It does, in fact, have tasers. Three of them, on the top of the chassis, each magnetically propelled and heat-seeking.

>Is there anything you can think of doing that doesn't involve scrambling your brain meats and agonizing pain? Alternate routes? Maybe a ladder?

After a quick bit of searching, I find a garbage chute. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be able to fit, but in this body, I might just be able to pull it off. If my engineer instincts are correct, the garbage disposal system would probably have a chute that leads somewhere closer to the brain bank.

>Probably better to just tell it there is an emergency somewhere else to get it out of your hair, then.

That might work, depending… but I would need to make the emergency a big one to get the robot to leave its post.
>>
No. 639597 ID: fef726

Given there are people who want to get back to their bodies an emergency big enough to get the bot away from the elevator is a bad idea.

Lets try the chute.
>>
No. 639598 ID: bd8b82

CAN you paradox it? tell to to make a set containing all sets.
>>
No. 639600 ID: 9ddf68

>but I would need to make the emergency a big one to get the robot to leave its post.
the brain bank is failing and comms are down so you need it to send a message to engineering and let them know the problem so they can fix it? Hey if it works not only can you pass but it will also lead you to your office. Thinking the garbage chute is going to have to be our exit sadly.
>>
No. 639606 ID: 26e769
File 143132954133.png - (33.04KB , 1000x600 , 12.png )
639606

>CAN you paradox it? tell to to make a set containing all sets.

That’s not a paradox. A set of all sets simply contains itself.

Besides, it wouldn’t listen to my orders anyway.

>the brain bank is failing and comms are down so you need it to send a message to engineering and let them know the problem so they can fix it? Hey if it works not only can you pass but it will also lead you to your office.

I pretty much tried that before. No luck.

>Lets try the chute.
>Thinking the garbage chute is going to have to be our exit sadly.

…and the best day ever gets just a little bit better.

Oh well. Here goes nothing.
>>
No. 639607 ID: 26e769
File 143132956274.png - (42.73KB , 1000x600 , 13.png )
639607

The crawl down the chute goes well enough, although I don’t think Cathy smells particularly pleasant anymore. (But, hey, the musty smell of the pods wasn’t exactly perfume in the first place.) At the end of the chute, I find some cheap metal bars. Despite them ostensibly being there to prevent people from doing exactly what I’m doing, I could probably bend them with my bare hands.

We really need to get around to installing a more state-of-the-art safety system, here.

Below me is a rapidly speeding blade designed to cut up garbage. There might be a subroutine designed to shut it down when it detects nearby organisms, but I don’t exactly want to test that theory. To each side of me, there is a very thin ledge leading to other chutes. It looks like the bars on each of the chutes have gone through some serious wear and tear, so I think I could slip in.

That being said, this is unbelievably dangerous. If I can find a way to break or disable the blades, it would be a lot easier.
>>
No. 639608 ID: 9ddf68

brake the bars and throw them into the fan? If you do that though make sure you back up a little in the chute so you don't get hit by ricochet debris that may or may not be kicked up with you throw metal bars into a metal fan.
>>
No. 639619 ID: 26e769
File 143133465156.png - (36.97KB , 1000x600 , 14.png )
639619

>brake the bars and throw them into the fan? If you do that though make sure you back up a little in the chute so you don't get hit by ricochet debris that may or may not be kicked up with you throw metal bars into a metal fan.

Simple enough. I carefully snap the bars off. It takes a bit more than I was expecting, but I realize it’s just because my new hands aren’t used to heavy lifting. They’re a doctor’s hands.

The squeezing and crawling back up the chute and the cautious positioning makes me more uncomfortably aware of my new feminine physiology than I have ever been before.

All set. I throw the bars…

I can hear a nasty grinding, but then the whirring continues.
>>
No. 639620 ID: 26e769
File 143133466954.png - (43.00KB , 1000x600 , 15.png )
639620

Damn it! It wasn’t enough. The grinder was stronger than the bars.

I’m going to need something more clunky if I want to jam up the machine.
>>
No. 639621 ID: 9ddf68

...could you head back up the chute and just throw something big and metal down the chute from back in the labs? I mean with the bars out of the way it should just free fall into the fan right?
>>
No. 639623 ID: 26e769
File 143133562491.png - (32.72KB , 1000x600 , 16.png )
639623

>...could you head back up the chute and just throw something big and metal down the chute from back in the labs? I mean with the bars out of the way it should just free fall into the fan right?

…That should work.

I'm not sure what I could use, though.
>>
No. 639624 ID: bd8b82

well let's look around.
>>
No. 639625 ID: 9ddf68

what about the table from the room you woke up in?
>>
No. 639627 ID: 26e769
File 143133792827.png - (33.06KB , 1000x600 , 17.png )
639627

>well let's look around.

I crawl back up the chute once again. It remains an unsettling experience.

>what about the table from the room you woke up in?

That would certainly work, but I couldn’t fit the whole table down the chute.

Still, I wouldn’t need all of it. Even a few of the legs would work.

I’m not sure how I could break the table, though. I don’t know if I could even lift it like I am now.

Being in somebody else’s body is so weird. Even more so when it’s a girl’s body.

How am I going to pull this off?
>>
No. 639629 ID: 9ddf68

any tools or something you could use to brake the thing? I mean this place is medical right? have to have a bone saw or something tough around here somewhere.
>>
No. 639630 ID: 26e769
File 143133895874.png - (27.93KB , 1000x600 , 18.png )
639630

>any tools or something you could use to brake the thing?

I can’t think of any. Except maybe my engineering skill set. Sort of. But I can’t imagine how that could be useful here.

> I mean this place is medical right? have to have a bone saw or something tough around here somewhere.

Huh? This isn’t Medical. This is Resurrection Bay E. As far as I know, all that there is around here is a vast supply of bodies.
>>
No. 639632 ID: fef726

Is the table in one piece? Or are the legs screwed on? You might be able to just dismantle it outright with a coin or something.
>>
No. 639634 ID: 26e769
File 143133954361.png - (28.03KB , 1000x600 , 19.png )
639634

>Is the table in one piece? Or are the legs screwed on? You might be able to just dismantle it outright with a coin or something.

Now there's an idea, let me just check if-

"Good morning, Catherine. I am Mnemosyne, your automated caretaker. How can I help you today?

...what.
>>
No. 639635 ID: 9ddf68

well fuck it, if you could find some organic matter around her you could test that safety feature you said the fan had. And if it works that also will mean it's probably going to be easier to fix once you throttle the neck of the asshat that fucked everything up forcing you to deal with all this shit.
>>
No. 639637 ID: 9ddf68

>>639634
uh... update on the ship and crew's condition. That and see if it can't get into contact with someone to help you fix this mess.
>>
No. 639638 ID: fef726

Great. Looks like they purged her memory as well as resetting her.

Try to get her to recognize you as whom you really are. If that fails ask to contact someone in IT to help you.
>>
No. 639643 ID: 57d76a

Don't suppose there's any way we could get the robot down the chute?

Honestly the chute seems like the better option regardless of guards; it has labels.
>>
No. 639649 ID: 88960e
639649

Is Mnemosyne an uploaded or coded intelligence? What are your odds of meaningful conversation?

Try just telling Mnemosyne where you need to go, and asking her to direct you / open a path. Possibly lie that there's a medical emergency and you're needed.

I somehow expect if you try to explain who you really are, she won't listen.
>>
No. 639652 ID: 89941a

Er.. try playing along? See if you can get temporary permission to access the medical bay due to an emergency?
>>
No. 639681 ID: 26e769
File 143135834897.png - (30.81KB , 1000x600 , 20.png )
639681

>Great. Looks like they purged her memory as well as resetting her.

Those idiots! Without her flash memory, she would have no idea that I’ve been transplanted!

>Is Mnemosyne an uploaded or coded intelligence? What are your odds of meaningful conversation?

She’s an upload. Which does give me some leeway.

>Try to get her to recognize you as whom you really are.

“Mnemosyne, I’m not Catherine Kosheti. I just got traced into her body, okay?” I try to keep my voice calm. “I’m Ophidian, the chief engineer. There was an error with the Moneta servers.”

“Understood. Please confirm identity with personal identification code.”

“I can’t. I’m corrupted.”

“I’m sorry. Without your identification code, there is no way for me to confirm your identity. Until that point, I can’t give you the clearance of your claimed identity. I can, however, refer to you as Ophidian, if you wish.”

>If that fails ask to contact someone in IT to help you.

“I guess that’s better than nothing. Look, even if I was Catherine Kosheti, I could still send a message to engineering, right?”

“Certainly. However, all members of the engineering department are unavailable, due to unexpected server failure. Would you like to be put on hold?”

Hah. I’m not getting through to them for a long time, if ever. They must think I’m already on my way. Or, if they’re all busy with this thing… what kind of error did we have?!
>>
No. 639682 ID: 26e769
File 143135838847.png - (28.25KB , 1000x600 , 21.png )
639682

>Er.. try playing along? See if you can get temporary permission to access the medical bay due to an emergency?
>Possibly lie that there's a medical emergency and you're needed.

I feel sick to my stomach, but… it’s the only way. “…forget what I was saying before. Resurrection jitters, you know? I am Catherine, actually. Sorry! I was just a little confused. Tee hee. I received a message just a little while ago saying there was an urgent medical emergency in the Moneta server rooms. Can you give me clearance to access that part of the ship? And hurry, please. I can’t waste any time.”

There is a pause, Which, for an AI, is exceptional. She must be really baffled. “…Understood. Access granted for medical bay, Doctor Kosheti.”

“What? But I need to get to the server room!”

“The server room is currently unfit for human life. I can’t give you clearance for that area unless you are equipped with a safe-suit.”

Holy shit. ‘Unfit for human life’? What did they do?!

Whatever. I have to get there. So what’s my next step?
>>
No. 639683 ID: 89941a

>>639682
Get to the medical bay while assessing the overall integrity of the structure en-route?
>>
No. 639684 ID: 88960e

Ask for her to give you clearance to the nearest safe-suit storage.

...wait. I just had a terrible thought. Maybe this isn't an accident. Maybe your peers uploaded you to the wrong body on purpose, because they need you to fix this, but the disaster already killed you. You're not an accident, but the emergency backup.

Ask the location and medical status of chief engineer Ophidian prime.
>>
No. 639685 ID: 869c77

Ask what happened and directions to acquiring a safe suit?
>>
No. 639730 ID: 9ddf68

could we get permission to head to a different part of the ship? Like medbay? It may not be your office but there might be some other way for us to move around there. Also we might run across someone and get this shit sorted out.
>>
No. 639740 ID: 2f4b71

Well at least we know that crawling through the garbage chute to the server room would be a VERY BAD IDEA.
>>
No. 639742 ID: f61b8d

>>639684
Good ideas.

Thought: in case it becomes relevant, it seems possible to me that since without remembering your code, you cannot be reclassified as Ophidian, Mnemosyne may continue to grant you Catherine's clearances even if you claimed to be Ophidian. I don't know whether you should test it at this point, though.
>>
No. 639746 ID: 79940c

Wait, have the redundant displays flushed or cleared? Don't those show a log of a corrupted Ophidian being installed in this shell? That might qualify as proof of identity.
>>
No. 639766 ID: 26e769
File 143139368929.png - (37.51KB , 1000x600 , 22.png )
639766

>Wait, have the redundant displays flushed or cleared? Don't those show a log of a corrupted Ophidian being installed in this shell? That might qualify as proof of identity.

The terminal’s blank. They must have rebooted everything.

>directions to acquiring a safe suit?
>Ask for her to give you clearance to the nearest safe-suit storage.

“Mnemosyne, where is the nearest safe-suit from my location?”

“The medical bay contains three safe suits, one of which is currently in use.”

>Get to the medical bay

I head over to the lift once again. This time, the robot has no complaints. Fuck yeah. I hop on.

>while assessing the overall integrity of the structure en-route?

So far, the ship seems very intact. Then again, it’s not the hull I’m worried about. The Torellia is designed to survive almost anything with only a skeleton crew. I’m pretty sure that, no matter what, nothing could stop it from reaching Mars on time. Whether any of the passengers will have brains when it arrives, however… That’s my job. Tending to the brain bank.
>>
No. 639767 ID: 26e769
File 143139378474.png - (36.53KB , 1000x600 , 23.png )
639767

>...wait. I just had a terrible thought. Maybe this isn't an accident. Maybe your peers uploaded you to the wrong body on purpose, because they need you to fix this, but the disaster already killed you. You're not an accident, but the emergency backup.

That… is entirely possible. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Even those chucklefucks wouldn’t put me into the wrong body as a joke, and they’re competent enough that they wouldn’t force a corrupt consciousness… unless they had no other choice.

>Ask the location and medical status of chief engineer Ophidian prime.

“Mnemosyne, can you tell me the location and medical status of chief engineer Charles Ophidian?”

“Location: Moneta server room two. Medical status: Chief engineer Ophidian is deceased. Body temperature is room level. All indications point to death by radiation poisoning. The body is currently in the autolysis stage of decomposition.”

“…thank you, Mnemosyne.”

“You’re welcome, Catherine.”

Well. Apparently, I’m dead.

This really is just the worst day.
>>
No. 639771 ID: 9ddf68

>>639767
do you have a spare body? if not what would it take to get one. Well just one more reason to get to the brain bank to make sure everything isn't completely fucked.
>>
No. 639774 ID: 79940c

>you're dead
Looks like you can't be blaming them for fucking things up, anymore. You were there, and you couldn't stop it either.

Is cloning a thing? If you reach your destination intact, could a new body be grown for you? Seems silly to go through the trouble of making a backup brain bank but not keeping a comparable genetic library.

Follow up question: ask Mnemosyne what percentage of the crew is currently deceased. If it's a low number, ask for a list of deceased. Let's see how badly we've been hit.

>uploaded to the wrong body on purpose
Next obvious question is why this body, in particular. Close to where you need to go? Most compatible brain-match?

>because morbid loves company
...so how did you die, Mnemosyne?
>>
No. 639781 ID: 26e769
File 143139780211.png - (32.64KB , 1000x600 , 24.png )
639781

>...so how did you die, Mnemosyne?

“Hey, Mnemosyne. How did you become an AI?”

“I was a very slightly corrupted download of Joanne Wilcox, a librarian. Due to my mutation, I was re-uploaded as the Mnemosyne AI, while a less corrupted version of Joanne returned to her life. All in all, I consider this an improvement. Why do you ask, Catherine?”

“…no reason.”

>do you have a spare body? if not what would it take to get one.

A cybernetic body? That would cost more than I could realistically make in three lifetimes.

I don’t even have one lifetime.

>Is cloning a thing? If you reach your destination intact, could a new body be grown for you? Seems silly to go through the trouble of making a backup brain bank but not keeping a comparable genetic library.

Cloning? That’s ridiculous. Even if I did get cloned, the clone would have to grow into adulthood normally, and by that point it would have its own identity.

The only hope left to me is the possibility of reaching my body before it fully decomposes. It’s a long shot, but it might still be recoverable. It would doubtless have organ damage by this point, but… It’s better than nothing.

I feel sick.
>>
No. 639782 ID: 26e769
File 143139783635.png - (32.15KB , 1000x600 , 25.png )
639782

>Next obvious question is why this body, in particular. Close to where you need to go? Most compatible brain-match?

I don’t know. It’s definitely not the first one, at any rate. There’s a resurrection bay right next to the brain bank. I’m not sure why they put me into Catherine. Maybe they just picked randomly.

>Well just one more reason to get to the brain bank to make sure everything isn't completely fucked.

Yeah, yeah. I’ve still got a job to do.

As I approach the medical bay, a man in a safe-suit calls out to me.

“Hey! Stop. Who are you?”

…What do I say?
>>
No. 639783 ID: 0ee153

"I was woken up and told that they found out something went wrong with my pod and to report to medical to check for damage while they fixed it."
>>
No. 639786 ID: 79940c

>A cybernetic body? That would cost more than I could realistically make in three lifetimes.
Do AIs earn a salary? You might have a few lifetimes, if you survive this.

>“Hey! Stop. Who are you?”
Someone woke and ordered to report to Moneta servers by acting Chief Engineer, Jo [whatever her surname is]. That's the important part.

Sore subjectively, you might I'm Catherine Kosheti née Charles Ophidian.

>I’m not sure why they put me into Catherine. Maybe they just picked randomly.
...or you've been burning through forks left and right trying to stem this disaster. No guarantee Catherine was the first.

Might want to ask Mnemosyne how many people have been revived today who claimed to be Ophidian, confirmed or not.
>>
No. 639789 ID: fef726

>>639786
>Might want to ask Mnemosyne how many people have been revived today who claimed to be Ophidian, confirmed or not.

No way to tell at the moment. She got memory wiped. We'll probably find out once we do inventory.

>What to say?
Tell the truth. Someone decided to put you in a body that isn't yours and you are here first get checked out, then hopefully help with the ongoing emergency.
>>
No. 639792 ID: bd8b82

so what is the point of brain backups for everyone if only rich people can afford to have something to put the backup on?
>>
No. 639799 ID: 5319a0

>>639782
Ask Mnemosyne who's wearing the safe suit.
>>
No. 639813 ID: 26e769
File 143141127545.png - (40.89KB , 1000x600 , 26.png )
639813

>so what is the point of brain backups for everyone if only rich people can afford to have something to put the backup on?

When the human body dies, brain cells decompose within minutes. The point of the back-ups in the Moneta servers is simple: the body is revived, the brain is restored (without its memories), and then the appropriate memories are transplanted into the brain in the form of a modifiable synaptic overlay, with a focus on glutamate-based neural connections.

The backups are stored in the servers, and everyone already has a body. Why would they need two?

>"I was woken up and told that they found out something went wrong with my pod and to report to medical to check for damage while they fixed it."

“I was woken up, wastold that they found out something went wrong with my pod, and was asked to report to medical to check for damage while I wait for my pod to be repaired.”

“That’s not what I asked. Who are you?”

>Someone woke and ordered to report to Moneta servers by acting Chief Engineer, Jo [whatever her surname is]. That's the important part.

“I’m just someone who woke up and was ordered to report to Moneta servers by an engineer named Jo.”

“No, no… What’s your name?”

>Sore subjectively, you might I'm Catherine Kosheti née Charles Ophidian.

“Back off, would you? Look, if you really want to know, you might say I’m Catherine Koshe-“

“Liar!” The man yells instantly. He starts to take his mask off.
>>
No. 639814 ID: 26e769
File 143141131994.png - (32.99KB , 1000x600 , 27.png )
639814

I blink. “Huh?”

I don’t know the man’s face.

“I know for a fact that you’re not Catherine Kosheti.” He sighs. ”Because I’m Catherine Kosheti. So, who are you, and what are you doing in my body?”
>>
No. 639815 ID: b283c9

Ophidian. Probably a corrupted fork.

It appears that I'm also dead in the server room.
>>
No. 639816 ID: fef726

Ahahaha.

Oh well you needed a doctor to help you recover so might as well tell her everything you know.
>>
No. 639817 ID: aeadb9

Oh thank god. Tell her who you really are, you're body is dead and you have no clue why you're in her body, everything her hasn't listen to a word you had to say when you explained who you really were so you've just started going with it to actually get around the ship and find a way back to the brain bank to see what exactly is wrong. That and recover your body in hopes it can be salavaged as you really want your own body back.
>>
No. 639818 ID: d3be40

"What do you THINK happened?

Look, I don't want to argue. Let's just find a working memory server and fix this."
>>
No. 639824 ID: 26e769
File 143141402405.png - (31.15KB , 1000x600 , 28.png )
639824

>Ahahaha.
>What do you THINK happened?

I can’t help chuckling. It comes out as a giggle. I don’t care. “What do you think happened?”

“I’m starting to have a pretty clear idea at this point.” She sighs again. “The question still applies. Who are you?”

>Ophidian. Probably a corrupted fork.
>It appears I’m also dead in the server room.

“I’m Ophidian. Head engineer. Dead engineer, too, apparently, and corrupted besides. Hopefully not enough to fork, because I’d like to get back into my body if at all possible. That same body is currently decomposing in the server room, so I’m kind of in a hurry.”

Catherine stares at my face in an odd way. “How did you end up as me?”

>Oh well you needed a doctor to help you recover so might as well tell her everything you know.
>Oh thank god. Tell her who you really are, you're body is dead and you have no clue why you're in her body, everything her hasn't listen to a word you had to say when you explained who you really were so you've just started going with it to actually get around the ship and find a way back to the brain bank to see what exactly is wrong. That and recover your body in hopes it can be salavaged as you really want your own body back.

“God… I don’t even really know. I just woke up like this. The machines wouldn’t accept that I was me, so I had to pretend to be you to gain access to the medical bay. There’s almost certainly been a major error at the brain bank, and I can’t get in touch with anyone in engineering. I got one simple note from Jo telling me to head to the servers, and that was it.”

She nods. “I had a similar experience. A note telling me that there was a medical emergency in the server rooms, a certain displacement that should be obvious, and a whole lot of annoying glitches. I was a bit luckier than you were, though. I wasn’t corrupted. I was just getting ready to head out to the servers when you arrived.”

I feel a little lightheaded.
>>
No. 639826 ID: fef726

Ask her to check you over first. You can't do your job if you suffer an aneurism trying to remember your password.
>>
No. 639827 ID: fef726

Also, you are bleeding from an eye and your nose.
>>
No. 639829 ID: 57d76a

Hmm. Looks like there's some amount of incompetence involved after all; it's a pretty good bet that you were supposed to be in that body.

Anyway, you may as well stick together. Get yourself a radsuit and head on out.

...after you get yourself checked out.
>>
No. 639836 ID: aeadb9

Oh good thing you fond a doctor then, because your eyes and noise are starting to bleed. You might want to get that checked out
>>
No. 639846 ID: b283c9

Looks like you're turning into a medical emergency yourself.
>>
No. 639856 ID: 2c6993

>>639824
What you were saying about an aneurysm might be right on the money, that's a whole lot of loose blood in your skull if it's coming out from behind your eyes and nose.
>>
No. 639870 ID: 79940c

Wait, this doesn't add up. Yes, if you need a dead chief engineer, stick him in the wrong body. But if you need a dead chief engineer and a doctor, you don't stick both of them in the wrong body if you don't have to.

Katherine should be in her body. You should be in someone else's.

>bloody nose
Uh, doc, I think you need to look your body over, here. I've sprung a leak.

>obvious question
Wait, who are you wearing? We've got a doctor's and what else's privileges to work with?
>>
No. 639924 ID: 26e769
File 143146382254.png - (33.28KB , 1000x600 , 29.png )
639924

>Wait, who are you wearing? We've got a doctor's and what else's privileges to work with?

“So who are you wearing? What clearance does your body have?”

“Keith Kennings. A chef.” She rolls her eyes. “Not exactly the most useful in terms of security.”

>Wait, this doesn't add up. Yes, if you need a dead chief engineer, stick him in the wrong body. But if you need a dead chief engineer and a doctor, you don't stick both of them in the wrong body if you don't have to.

Nope. The idiots remain idiots. They probably meant to put -

>Hmm. Looks like there's some amount of incompetence involved after all; it's a pretty good bet that you were supposed to be in that body.

Yeah, that. They got the two of us mixed up somehow.

>Uh, doc, I think you need to look your body over, here.
>Oh good thing you fond a doctor then, because your eyes and noise are starting to bleed. You might want to get that checked out
>you get yourself checked out.
>Ask her to check you over first.

“Can you check me out, doc?”

She looks at me, grinning slightly. Then she nods, satisfied. “You are a sexy beast, if I do say so myself.”

>I've sprung a leak.
>your eyes and noise are starting to bleed.
>Also, you are bleeding from an eye and your nose.
>Looks like you're turning into a medical emergency yourself.
>What you were saying about an aneurysm might be right on the money, that's a whole lot of loose blood in your skull if it's coming out from behind your eyes and nose.

“Very funny. I’m bleeding from my brain-holes, dork. And my head hurts. A lot. In fact, I think this as good a time as any to pass… out…~*”
>>
No. 639925 ID: 26e769
File 143146386953.png - (22.44KB , 1000x600 , 30.png )
639925

“Oh, crap. Ophidian?!”


>>
No. 639926 ID: 26e769
File 143146389953.png - (30.36KB , 1000x600 , 31.png )
639926

…guh?

Where am I?

…why am I naked?
>>
No. 639927 ID: 9ddf68

call for the doctor, ask what happened.
>>
No. 639928 ID: 79940c

>…why am I naked?
She's a doctor, I'm sure she had her reasons.

You're wearing her body, anyways, it's not like she hasn't seen it before.

>what do
Call out for Katherine. Failing that, Mnemosyne.

Where are you, what happened, how long were you out? Anyone try and send you any messages?
>>
No. 639964 ID: cdec48

>>639926
Fashion toga out of sheets.
>>
No. 639968 ID: 26e769
File 143147651446.png - (41.36KB , 1000x600 , 32.png )
639968

>Fashion toga out of sheets.

I hope it doesn’t come to that. For now, I’ll just pull the covers up around myself and try not to look.

>You're wearing her body, anyways, it's not like she hasn't seen it before.

Well, yeah,, but I haven’t seen it! Or even really felt it. I mean, damn, the covers alone feel weird on this unfamiliar skin.

…I think I need to use the bathroom. This is not something that I want to do.

I wouldn’t even know how!

Fuck this day! Fuck that I have to deal with problems like this!

>call for the doctor, ask what happened.
>Call out for Katherine.

“Hey! Catherine! Are you there? Please be there!”
>>
No. 639969 ID: 26e769
File 143147656612.png - (30.10KB , 1000x600 , 33.png )
639969

Moments later, Catherine pops up in the doorway.

“No need to shout. I’m right here. I was just getting supplies for your operation.”

>Where are you, what happened, how long were you out? Anyone try and send you any messages?

“Where am I? What happened? How long was I out? Did we get any messages?”

“A room in the medical bay. You passed out due to a cerebral hemorrhage, which I’m getting ready to repair. No messages so far.” She glances at me in concern. “Is that all? You sounded panicked.”
>>
No. 639977 ID: 79940c

>Is that all? You sounded panicked.
*falling back* Sorry, it's not every day I wake up naked, a woman, and in a stranger's body. Throws you off.

Or maybe we can just blame the brain damage.

>repair a cerebral hemorrhage
Is this the kind of brain surgery I'm supposed to be conscious for? (I hope not).

Regardless, you should let her work. The quicker she can stop your / her brain from falling apart, the sooner you can have some clothes, see about recovering your corpse, giving Jo and co a vitriolic lambasting, and fixing whatever's gone wrong before it kills everyone.
>>
No. 640009 ID: 0426fe

"Ugh, catheter. Brain surgery sounds urgent and important, but one of the reasons I'm panicky is because I have to use the facilities and I've never done it that way before."
>>
No. 640023 ID: 50cce1

>>639969
Ask them to please not let you die.
>>
No. 640067 ID: 26e769
File 143149003491.png - (33.56KB , 1000x600 , 34.png )
640067

>*falling back* Sorry, it's not every day I wake up naked, a woman, and in a stranger's body. Throws you off. Or maybe we can just blame the brain damage.

I lay back, sighing in relief. “Sorry. It’s not every day I wake up naked, a woman, and in a stranger’s body. It kind of throws you off. Though maybe that’s just the brain damage talking.”

“Wait. You’re a guy?”

“Oh, yeah. Did I not mention that?”

“No, you didn’t.” She seems slightly amused. “I thought I was the only one, um, experiencing new things. Just keep your hands to yourself, okay?”

“The thought honestly never even crossed my mind.” I shrug.

“Huh, really?” She smiles. “Thanks. I guess I assumed… Sorry.”

>"Ugh, catheter. Brain surgery sounds urgent and important, but one of the reasons I'm panicky is because I have to use the facilities and I've never done it that way before."

“About that… one of the reasons I’m panicky is because I have to, er, use the facilities, and I’ve never done it that way before. Can you hook me up to a catheter?”

“Oh. Are you sure? It’s fine by me if you need to use the bathroom.”

”Catheter. Please.”

“Okay, okay. Give me a second.”
>>
No. 640070 ID: 26e769
File 143149007673.png - (36.65KB , 1000x600 , 35.png )
640070

This is officially the most uncomfortable I have ever felt in my life.

It doesn’t help that Catherine keeps talking to me while she does it.

“Your brain - my brain - appears to have just the one full-on rupture at the moment, but one is enough to kill you, or at the very least cause some serious issues. I ran some tests on you while you were sleeping, and it looks like you’ve got a big aneurysm near your hippocampus. Have you been experiencing difficulty with your memory?”

>Ask them to please not let you die.

“Yes, I - nngh! - yes, I have. It hurts when I try to remember certain things. Please don’t let me die.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t. And yeah, the corrupted transplant probably left a few weakened artery walls… You’re lucky that the big one didn’t pop. The one which caused your bleeding was much smaller, though still life-threatening. You should probably try to relax and not think too much. I plan to perform an endoscopic evacuation to remove the blood, as well as an endovascular embolization to prevent further bleeding. That should clear up your corruption, too.”

“Huh?”

She clicks her tongue. “I’m going to put some tiny wires into you and make you all better. It shouldn’t take more than an hour. I wanted to ask you about that, actually.”

>Is this the kind of brain surgery I'm supposed to be conscious for? (I hope not).

“Ask me about what? Oh god, I hope you’re not about to say what I think you’re about to say…”

“Well, you seemed like you wanted to find your body quickly. Normally, what I’m doing would be best done under anesthetic. However, the anesthetic I have would put you out for a lot longer than an hour. Do you have any idea if you’re on a clock with this server error, or how far your body’s decomposed?”

“Not really. But I don’t want to waste any time getting to either.”

“Then I’ll leave it up to you. Anesthetic or no?”
>>
No. 640079 ID: 79940c

>“Wait. You’re a guy?”
At the first appropriate opportunity, you need to make a joke about being used to driving with a stick.

>Anesthetic
Wait, I thought there weren't any pain receptors inside the brain. Or organs in general.

>Anesthetic or no?
*Sigh*. I do not want to die out here, or spend the rest of eternity on an AI mainframe, knowing that it was my fault for choosing the slow, comfortable option.

I'm already dead, and we passed the milestone for worst day of my life a while back. Going further won't hurt. Well, figuratively. Literally, yes, this is going to hurt.

Do it.
>>
No. 640097 ID: 2c6993

>>640070
Mild anesthetic, like you'ld use for a minor tooth pull, administered to the local area. A drill is probably going make a small hole your skull if going in via a blood vessel isn't feasible.
>>
No. 640132 ID: 26e769
File 143151674834.png - (76.99KB , 1000x600 , 36.png )
640132

>*Sigh*. I do not want to die out here, or spend the rest of eternity on an AI mainframe, knowing that it was my fault for choosing the slow, comfortable option. I'm already dead, and we passed the milestone for worst day of my life a while back. Going further won't hurt. Well, figuratively. Literally, yes, this is going to hurt. Do it.

“I don’t want to die out here, or spend the rest of eternity on an AI mainframe, knowing that it was my fault for choosing the slow, comfortable option. I’m already dead, and we passed the milestone for worst day of my life a while back. Going further won’t hurt. Well, figuratively. Literally, yes, this is going to hurt. Do it.”

“It won’t, actually. The anesthetic is mainly just so you won’t move around too much. As long as you remain as still as you can, you won’t feel a thing. Hell, we could even talk, as long as you keep your voice quiet.”

>Wait, I thought there weren't any pain receptors inside the brain. Or organs in general.

“Oh, right. The brain doesn’t have any pain receptors, does it?”

“Nope. Anyway, if you’re ready, I’m going to insert the, uh, the wires. They’ll be going through your femoral artery, so you’ll feel a brief pinch, then a mild discomfort that’s sort of like an itchiness. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t scratch, but I’ll say it anyway.”

>Mild anesthetic, like you'ld use for a minor tooth pull, administered to the local area.

“Are you using at least a little bit of anesthetic?”

“Yeah, just around the insertion point. It shouldn’t hurt at all.”

“Then I’m set. Thanks.”

“I’m a doctor. It’s what I do.”

She puts my head up on a pillow, and then she starts to work. After about ten minutes, I get very bored.

…she did say we could talk.
>>
No. 640133 ID: 066a87

"So you graduated med school 6 months ago? How's that work? You were a resident or what?"
>>
No. 640134 ID: fef726

As long as you don't move your head to try to look at her go ahead and talk.

Maybe ask her what made her decide to get on to the ship and go to where-ever you are all going.

How is she finding manhood?

What is her favorite food\color.
>>
No. 640136 ID: b283c9

Mnemosyne's been acting odd.
>>
No. 640174 ID: 9ddf68

ask if she's seen anyone else up and about. I mean even if most of the crew are asleep on the ship there should at least be a skeleton crew to make sure things don't go to hell.
>>
No. 640225 ID: 26e769
File 143156413680.png - (92.36KB , 1000x600 , 37.png )
640225

>As long as you don't move your head to try to look at her go ahead and talk.

“Hey, if you’re sure we can talk…”

“Don’t worry, most of the surgery is automated at this point. I just need to keep my eyes on it.”

>"So you graduated med school 6 months ago? How's that work? You were a resident or what?"

“Okay. So….you graduated med school six months ago? How’s that work? Were you a resident already? I don’t really know how old you are, I haven’t seen a mirror, but by your voice alone, I can’t imagine you’re older than thirty.”

“Oh shit.” She laughs. “I’ve been found out. Yeah, I spent my time at Johns Hopkins, I did my residency, but I somehow ended up doing it all a lot more quickly than other people. So, apparently, I’m a prodigy. It was news to me, but honestly, I think it’s the only real reason I’m on this ship.”

>Maybe ask her what made her decide to get on to the ship and go to where-ever you are all going.

“You seem pretty competent to me. What made you decide to hop on a ship to Cycadia?”

“Well, you know. Back on Earth, medicine’s dying out. I mean, the resurrection pods are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, they’ve let humanity get away with a lot - but it kind of puts us doctors in a bad position. We mostly spend our time repairing people with revival symptoms. Or trying fruitlessly to cure old age and a few stubborn viruses. But there’s no future in it. On Mars, at least I’ll be a novelty, if nothing else. I hear people actually need us out here, but I’m not getting my hopes up.”

>How is she finding manhood?

“I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Life in the colony has its dangers… though body-swapping was not exactly one I expected to deal with. How are you finding manhood, by the way?”

“Eh.” She shrugs. “It’s just meat. But I guess that’s the doctor in me talking. I suppose everything seems smaller, I sweat a lot more easily, and my center of gravity’s different. Plus I feel like I could lift a truck, but I think Keith is kind of burly, so that might just be him. How about you? How’s being me feel?”
>>
No. 640226 ID: 26e769
File 143156422138.png - (77.34KB , 1000x600 , 38.png )
640226

I think about it for a moment. “I feel this weird sensation sometimes. Like I have butterflies in my stomach, I guess. I’m not sure what that is. I can smell much more clearly, and my skin feels a lot more sensitive to sensation in general. I don’t know. I feel tiny. My center of gravity’s a bit off, too. It’s an interesting experience, truth be told, but I still want to get back into my body at the first opportunity.”

“I hear you. I want back into my head, too.” She nods. “So take care of it, okay?”

>ask if she's seen anyone else up and about. I mean even if most of the crew are asleep on the ship there should at least be a skeleton crew to make sure things don't go to hell.

“Well, yeah, of course I’ll take care of it. I’m inside it, after all. By the way… have you seen anybody else around?”

She shakes her head. “Just you.”

“Hey, Mnemosyne! How many people are alive on the ship?”

“There are six living humans currently on board the Torellia, Catherine.” This elicits an odd look from Catherine. “There are four hundred and thirty-six humans in storage.”

”Six? That can’t be right. There should be at least twenty crew members alive at all times. Check again.”

“Checking… Information updated.”

>Mnemosyne's been acting odd.

“Okay, good. Mnemosyne must have a glitch or two… I’ll have to do a diagnostic when we get to the servers. So, once again, how many people are alive on the ship?”

“There are five living humans currently on board the Torellia, Catherine.”
>>
No. 640228 ID: 79940c

>five to six
Mnemosyne, list deceased crew people, in descending chronological order.

Timestamp, name, location, cause of death.
>>
No. 640234 ID: e2a92b

Ask again, watch it go down to four. Check for any Indian figurines lying around.
>>
No. 640239 ID: b260ef

Mnemosyne, could we get the cause of deaths, it at all possible?
>>
No. 640243 ID: 8403a7

>>640226
Don't forget to remain very still.
>>
No. 640410 ID: defceb
File 143164488095.png - (79.27KB , 1000x600 , 39.png )
640410

>Ask again, watch it go down to four. Check for any Indian figurines lying around.

“And then there were none… Mnemosyne, please check again.”

“The number of living humans currently on board the Torellia is remaining constant at five, Catherine.”

>Mnemosyne, could we get the cause of deaths, it at all possible?
>Mnemosyne, list deceased crew people, in descending chronological order. Timestamp, name, location, cause of death.

“Mnemoysne, could you list deceased crew in descending chronological order? Timestamp, name, location, and cause of death, please.”

“Most recent: Kylie Rio. Location: Moneta server room one. Time of death: eighteen-forty-three today, or one minute ago. Cause of death: severe radiation poisoning. Next most recent: Jordan Latkins. Location: Moneta server room three. Time of death: sixteen-fifty-four today, or one hundred and nine minutes ago. Cause of death: severe radiation poisoning. Next most recent…”

The list continues for a while. Every deceased crew member was in or around the brain bank, and each died of radiation poisoning. Finally, Mnemosyne comes to the last name on the list.

“…severe radiation poisoning. Next most recent: Charles Ophidian. Location: Moneta server room two. Time of death: twenty-two-thirty-two yesterday, or twenty-one hours and eleven minutes ago.”

I feel myself tense slightly. If my body is still revivable, it won’t be for long. In another two hours, revival will be impossible. “I see. Okay. Thank you, Mnemosyne.”

“You’re welcome, Catherine.”

>Don't forget to remain very still.

I stay still. I talk with Catherine occasionally. She’s very nice, intelligent, even funny. The thought flickers by in my mind: if I was in my body, I would almost certainly be attracted to her. But my libido isn’t the main concern at the moment. I need to get my life back.

The rest of the surgery goes by quickly. Finally, she lifts me up out of bed and stands me up. I shut my eyes immediately. She begins to put my clothes back on.
>>
No. 640413 ID: defceb
File 143164515199.png - (92.59KB , 1000x600 , 40.png )
640413

I only dare to open my eyes when I feel her messing around with my hair.

“What are you doing?”

“Putting it back. You don’t want it getting in your face while you’re working, do you?”

“Oh. Thanks. I suppose it has been a bit distracting.”

“I know what you mean. I always wear it like this.” She pauses. “Damn. This is so weird. Now you look exactly like me.”

“Only just now?” I smile slightly.

“Well, I mean, obviously, but now you look like I do in the mirror. It’s creepy.”

“You’re telling me. I can’t wait until this nightmare’s over.”

Mnemosyne beeps quietly to get my attention. “Catherine, based on your previous questions, would you like to know what crew members are still alive?”

“Huh? Oh, yes, please. Locations, too, if you could.”

“Keith Kennings and Catherine Kosheti are in the medical bay, room five. Jackie Dusting and George Macer are in robotics, room three. Josephina Gerald is just inside the Moneta server room hub. She is suffering from severe radiation poisoning. Those are all of the living crew members currently on board the Torellia, Catherine.”

Catherine speaks up, annoyed. “Look, can you tell Mnemoysne that you’re you, already? I’ve cleared up your corruption. You should be able to remember your codes.”

I feel a bit of hesitation. Should I risk it? If she's wrong...
>>
No. 640416 ID: 79940c

You were the first one dead? That means you were right in the middle of this shit when it first when down.

>Catherine, based on your previous questions, would you like to know what crew members are still alive?
And please alert us in any significant changes in the surviving crew's medical conditions.

>I feel a bit of hesitation. Should I risk it? If she's wrong...
Test first. What was corrupted but not enough to kill you before?

Try to remember where your office was.

...do you have any headache at all?

Important question: is there a significant benefit to getting the AI to recognize your identity? Besides not being awkward, what does taking this risk net you?

>what do
First priority would seem to be getting rad protection suits and getting to the server room. Gotta get to Jo before she dies, and rescue the bodies before they're too far gone.

...is there normally radiative material in the server room?
>>
No. 640420 ID: 8a445b

Is Catherine's clearance a subset of your own? Can you order Mnemosyne to recognize the real Catherine as such? Does she not have her own codes? We don't want to lose any access privileges we may need, unless necessary.
>>
No. 640438 ID: a9f180

>>640413
Trust the doctor. Worst case scenario she fixes you again.

Also I'm seeing a pattern here. Are ALL the server rooms flooded with radiation? What is the source of the radiation?
>>
No. 640441 ID: 79940c

>>640438
Actually, no. Worst case is it kill us. Or fixing takes long enough we miss our window of opportunity. There's a hard deadline after which we can't rescue bodies. And we need to reach Jo before she dies so she can tell us what the hell went wrong.
>>
No. 640445 ID: 0426fe

Is it a good idea to challenge a ship's computer that is obviously having difficulties keeping the crew alive? There is some unspecified misfunction that leads to people dying in server rooms and this recalls to me the System Shock progressive breakdown of Shodan after being tampered with. We don't know if the computer has some lethal contingency at work that caused it to intentionally kill Charles Ophidian so I'd like to gather more information and concentrate on trying to rescue our about-to-die crewmember if possible.
>>
No. 640492 ID: 89941a

Why is there a large source of radiation in your server room? Seems a bit excessive.
>>
No. 640493 ID: 8a445b

>>640492
Er...yeah, actually; can Mnemosyne help fill in some details, here?
>>
No. 640560 ID: d04d05

Don't want to be too paranoid here, but.. note that Mnemosyne tactfully refrained from mentioning your cause of death. Last time the phrasing was "All indications point to death by radiation poisoning." I wonder what would happen if you asked, straight up, "And just to confirm things: did Charles Ophidian die by radiation poisoning?" I don't know if upload AIs can lie, but this slightly smells like misdirection.
>>
No. 640569 ID: 9ddf68

didn't we try that once already? Tell him we're someone else but since we can't remember our ID code he didn't believe us.
>>
No. 640578 ID: 33dbf1

>>640569
Sure but now we ought to be able to remember our codes.

>>640413
The real mystery is why people are still being directed to go to the sever rooms. Can you stop that?

You're going to need those authorization codes - you don't have enough time to work your way around them. You need to get to your body, and Catherine needs to get to Josephina Gerald.

>I feel a bit of hesitation. Should I risk it? If she's wrong...
Catherine IS a doctor, she should have a pretty good idea if its safe or not. Plus, you're in the best possible place right now if it does go wrong.
>>
No. 640774 ID: 066a87

The doctor has a stake in you not destroying that brain you're borrowing. If it were not safe, she would not have told you to try.
>>
No. 640799 ID: 26e769
File 143175540852.png - (64.14KB , 1000x600 , 41.png )
640799

>Don't want to be too paranoid here, but.. note that Mnemosyne tactfully refrained from mentioning your cause of death. Last time the phrasing was "All indications point to death by radiation poisoning." I wonder what would happen if you asked, straight up, "And just to confirm things: did Charles Ophidian die by radiation poisoning?" I don't know if upload AIs can lie, but this slightly smells like misdirection.

“Mnemosyne, just to confirm things: did Charles Ophidian die by radiation poisoning?”

“He did, Catherine.”

>Is Catherine's clearance a subset of your own? Can you order Mnemosyne to recognize the real Catherine as such? Does she not have her own codes? We don't want to lose any access privileges we may need, unless necessary.
>Important question: is there a significant benefit to getting the AI to recognize your identity? Besides not being awkward, what does taking this risk net you?

The ship’s security is designed to allow only one living body at a time to be recognized as belonging to a certain person. Right now, I’ve got her clearance, so she doesn’t. Mine - that is to say, Ophidian’s - is higher level than hers is, anyway, so I can do almost anything with my clearance that she could do with hers. I also can’t receive any messages directed at Ophidian until I’m recognized as such.

>Test first. What was corrupted but not enough to kill you before? Try to remember where your office was. ...do you have any headache at all?

My office… is in the server rooms. But I have a secondary workspace in robotics. My head is slightly sore at the moment, but nowhere near as bad as before.

“Come on, Ophidian, stop stalling. How about this? If it ends up delaying you long enough to lose your body, you can have mine.”

“I won’t hold you to that. I don’t want your body.”

“And you won’t have it. I do good work. Go on. Tell her.”

>Catherine IS a doctor, she should have a pretty good idea if its safe or not. Plus, you're in the best possible place right now if it does go wrong.
>The doctor has a stake in you not destroying that brain you're borrowing. If it were not safe, she would not have told you to try.
>Trust the doctor. Worst case scenario she fixes you again.

“…okay. Mnemosyne!” My heart - Catherine’s heart - beats a little quickly. “I am not Catherine Kosheti. I’m just in her body. I’m chief engineer Charles Ophidian. Access code is: twelve-gamma-four-Tokyo-forty-seven.” I sigh in relief. My head hurts, but only a little, and only for a moment.

“Understood, mistress Ophidian. Identity confirmed.”

“Do not change my pronouns, Mnemosyne!”

“Understood, master Ophidian.”
>>
No. 640801 ID: 26e769
File 143175553151.png - (61.54KB , 1000x600 , 42.png )
640801

“Ha! I win the bet. That means I get both our bodies, right?” Catherine smiles.

“What? Hey, that wasn’t part of the deal!”

“I’m just kidding. Lighten up.”

>First priority would seem to be getting rad protection suits and getting to the server room. Gotta get to Jo before she dies, and rescue the bodies before they're too far gone.

We get our suits on. While we do, Catherine confirms her own identity with Mnemosyne. We’re both us in the eyes of the system, now.

>...is there normally radiative material in the server room?
>Why is there a large source of radiation in your server room? Seems a bit excessive.

There isn’t. Or there shouldn’t be, anyway.

>Are ALL the server rooms flooded with radiation? What is the source of the radiation?
>Er...yeah, actually; can Mnemosyne help fill in some details, here?

“Mnemosyne, what is the source of the radiation? Is it in all of the server rooms?”

“The source of the radiation is unclear. I speculate that it most likely came from the outside of the ship. It is localized in engineering. Server rooms one through nine are heavily radiated. Server room ten is unaffected.”

>You were the first one dead? That means you were right in the middle of this shit when it first when down.

Makes sense. If I know myself… ha. If I know myself, I would have been trying to fix the problem right up until I died.

Mnemsyne speaks again. “There is a message from Josephina Gerald. Would you like to hear it?”

“What? Yeah, play it.”

After a moment, an audio clip begins to play. It’s Jo’s voice, but it sounds… odd. Confused, almost. “Hey there, Ophidian. This is… Ophidian. Sort of. I’m also Jo. I’m about to pass out and die from radiation poisoning. Can you help me out with, y’know, not doing that? Thanks! Okay, bye.”
>>
No. 640803 ID: 9ddf68

>message from Josephina Gerald
reply
Yeah, I got your message and I'm already on my way. Got a doc with me as well. Just be aware that MY body is currently dead and rotting so I'm in a different one so if you wondering who two strangers are their you go. And if you crack any jokes about it you'll have more to worry about then radiation poisoning. You're not the only one having a bad day here.

how far away are we from her and how far away is she from your body? might be able to pick both of them up and at least throw you body on ice to make it last longer. Oh and you might want to grab a stretcher or a cart or something to carry your dead body and Josephina without carrying them.
>>
No. 640814 ID: e2a92b

Looks like you've been through this before. And you've thrown a lot of bodies at it without success. Why would you kill so many of the crew just to get back to your body?
>>
No. 640826 ID: 066a87

>>640801
That may not be Jo piloting Jo's body. Since he or she claimed to be Ophidian as well as Jo, it is probably another corrupted Ophidian who did not get any brain surgery.

As for what happened to Jo? Your guess is as good as mine at this point. Probably nothing nice, though.
>>
No. 640827 ID: 57d76a

>>640826
I dunno, that doesn't sound like what you'd say... is it possible that your minds got mashed together, somehow?
>>
No. 640829 ID: 066a87

>>640827
We were just in this situation. Whoever is running Jo's body has to keep pretending to be Jo for Mnemosyne's sake. Otherwise Mnemosyne will get stubborn about letting them do what needs to be done. Jo's got access as good as Ophidian's, so even if they didn't want to risk more brain damage to get Mnemosyne to recognize them as Ophidian, they wouldn't be really crippled in terms of what access they have. They'd just be annoyed and would have to do things like say "This is Jo, but also Ophidian" so that Mnemosyne would pass the message along properly.
>>
No. 640897 ID: 79940c

>Hey there, Ophidian. This is… Ophidian. Sort of. I’m also Jo. I’m about to pass out and die from radiation poisoning. Can you help me out with, y’know, not doing that? Thanks! Okay, bye.
Ha, I guessed right. You're not the first emergency backup they had to wake up.

Careful, though. That means this isn't a problem you can walk right in and fix. Be more cautious and less confident than usual- you've already failed several times.

Um, does he mean he's just in Jo's body? Or is it possible to download to an occupied body and get a mental melange?

Mnemsyne, how old is that message?

>what do
Ask Mnemsyne what server room Jo is in, and to give her exact location as best she can.

How strong is the radiation? How long will our anti-rad suits allow us to operate safely?

Double check that there's no hull break or anything- we don't need full vacuum suits to breath, right?

Double check that Catherine has what she'll need to treat Jo when we get her out. If not, can Mnemsyne send a bot to collect medical equipment?

>>640829
I'm not sure it would necessarily be a big problem. She was reasonably cooperative when treating us as an unconfirmed corrupted fork. Just because the AI is hard coded to only acknowledge one official Ophidian at a time, doesn't mean she'll crack down on other instances. She might just refuse to acknowledge their privileges, or default to treating them as corrupted forks.

For sanity's sake, maybe we should just ask her how she would handle the hypothetical situation of multiple people claiming to be different instances of the same person. What's her protocol?
>>
No. 640972 ID: 6e1eb1

>>640801
>also Jo
Oh god, did you get shoved into an already-active mind? Or was the corruption patched up by Jo's mind?

Send back another message to Jo-Oph. Joph? Ask them why they entered an irradiated room. Why didn't they use server room 10?

I suspect that the server rooms are a trap. Someone is attacking the station by irradiating rooms whenever someone tries to fix the servers.
>>
No. 641103 ID: 26e769
File 143190628652.png - (81.13KB , 1000x600 , 43.png )
641103

>Ha, I guessed right. You're not the first emergency backup they had to wake up.

Oh shit.

>Looks like you've been through this before. And you've thrown a lot of bodies at it without success. Why would you kill so many of the crew just to get back to your body?

I wouldn’t. Which means that there’s something else going on here.

>Careful, though. That means this isn't a problem you can walk right in and fix. Be more cautious and less confident than usual- you've already failed several times.

Yeah… First thing’s first, though. I’ve got to find out what the other Ophidians did. If I start from scratch, I’ll almost certainly fail in the same way.

>Mnemsyne, how old is that message?

“Mnemosyne, how old is that message?”

“The message from Josephina Gerald is eighty-three minutes old, master Ophidian.”

Let’s see… That would be just before I woke up, I think.

>reply Yeah, I got your message and I'm already on my way.
>Send back another message to Jo-Oph. Joph? Ask them why they entered an irradiated room. Why didn't they use server room 10?

“Mnemosyne, can you relay a message to Josephina Gerald?”

“Josephina Gerald is currently unconscious, master Ophidian. Would you like me to relay a message when she wakes up?”

“…No point. She’ll either be dead, or we’ll have rescued her.”

>how far away are we from her and how far away is she from your body? might be able to pick both of them up and at least throw you body on ice to make it last longer. Oh and you might want to grab a stretcher or a cart or something to carry your dead body and Josephina without carrying them.

They should be fairly close together. I tell Catherine to grab two stretchers, and we head out.
>>
No. 641104 ID: 26e769
File 143190636123.png - (51.86KB , 1000x600 , 44.png )
641104

>I dunno, that doesn't sound like what you'd say... is it possible that your minds got mashed together, somehow?
>Oh god, did you get shoved into an already-active mind? Or was the corruption patched up by Jo's mind?
> is it possible to download to an occupied body and get a mental melange?

…If she did upload me into her head while she was still in it, there’s no telling what could happen. She certainly won’t last long in that condition, if she can even be recovered at all.

“Hey. Hold up.” Catherine raises a hand.

“What? Why? We’re almost to the server rooms.”

“Yeah, I know. But check your suit’s readings. These radiation levels, they’re- they’re way beyond lethal. I don’t even know if the suits will help us here.”

“But these suits are designed to deal with anything. That’s why we call them safe-suits.”

“Yeah, but this much radiation? Come on, Ophidian. You’re an engineer.”

“Yeah, I know. I know.”

With radiation levels this high, we’ll only have time for one trip. It would be too dangerous to grab both my body and Jo. Even collecting one of them is incredibly risky, but two trips would almost certainly result in enough radiation poisoning to kill one or both of us.
>>
No. 641108 ID: 79940c

Uh... robots. Mnemosyne has robots that answer to her, right? Are any them rad rated? For external repairs and maintenance, maybe?

Medical emergency doctor and head engineer privileges should be sufficient to order bots on a new task.

Jo, you need a human touch if you want to get her out alive, so she can tell you what the hell is going on. The corpses? They don't need as much care. A dumb bot could drag them out.

...if there's no way around it though, you need to know what's going on more than you need a body to get back to. If we don't fix this, you may not live to complain about losing your body.
>>
No. 641109 ID: e114bc

>>641104
Your body's toast by now. Grab Jo's body. To confirm, ask Mnemosyne for an estimate of how likely your body would be reparable if you recovered it. I bet it's less than 50%.

Also see if you can figure out WHERE THE FUCK THAT RADIATION IS COMING FROM
>>
No. 641111 ID: e2a92b

You've been dead for almost twenty four hours, another hour isn't that big of a deal. Ask Mnemosyne about robotic assistance, while trying not to think that you would have done this already if it worked.
>>
No. 641112 ID: 9ddf68

can't we get some damn drones or something to help out here? I mean we pasted that one that wouldn't let us leave that one room when we woke up, there's got to be some still moving around the ship, hell they don't even need to be rescue bots just something with arms to grab someone with and drag them somewhere safe...er. Just have them grab your body seeing as it's dead anyways and probably won't be bothered to much by being dragged by uncaring bots.
>>
No. 641147 ID: 89941a

Are you even certain that you can get your bodies revived, given the extreme levels of radiation? Seems like identifying the source of the radiation as well as removing it should be the priority here, as it's risking more than just your own lives.
>>
No. 641178 ID: 066a87

Options for dealing with radiation!

Shadow shield. Can you put together a shadow shield with material from elsewhere in the ship? A stretcher armored with a block of hydrocarbons would help cut down on the amount of radiation hitting you. Wax, or a vat of oil, or cheese or something like that. Or even just water, if nothing better is available in quantity. Once you have the shield set up, keep it between you and the radiation source. Place the shield close to the radioactive source so it blocks the radiation in most of the room.

Flood the chamber. Literally, divert some of the ship's water into the chamber to add more shielding. Even spraying water vapor in there might help.

Besides that? Boy it'd be nice to have some boron to dump in there. I'm guessing you don't have any though.
>>
No. 641417 ID: 26e769
File 143201743098.png - (78.02KB , 1000x600 , 45.png )
641417

>Jo, you need a human touch if you want to get her out alive, so she can tell you what the hell is going on.
>Grab Jo's body.

Right. The living are more important than the dead, after all.

>can't we get some damn drones or something to help out here?
>Uh... robots. Mnemosyne has robots that answer to her, right? Are any them rad rated? For external repairs and maintenance, maybe?
>Ask Mnemosyne about robotic assistance, while trying not to think that you would have done this already if it worked.

AIs aren’t allowed to control robots remotely. It’s a security issue: if another AI went mad like that one in Peru, we’d have a genuine robot uprising on our hands.

If I want robotic help, I’ll have to go robotics and manually control them from there.

>Are you even certain that you can get your bodies revived, given the extreme levels of radiation?
>To confirm, ask Mnemosyne for an estimate of how likely your body would be reparable if you recovered it. I bet it's less than 50%.
>Your body's toast by now.

I’m not giving up that easily. There’s no way to tell if my body’s unrecoverable without having a doctor examine it. As long as there’s any chance of me staying alive, I’ll keep hoping.

I order Mnemosyne to open the door to the server rooms. The door opens, and I’m greeted with the sight of my friends’ corpses.
>>
No. 641418 ID: 26e769
File 143201754437.png - (221.26KB , 1000x600 , 46.png )
641418

>Options for dealing with radiation!

If we want to save Jo, we’ll have no time for damage control right now.

> Seems like identifying the source of the radiation as well as removing it should be the priority here, as it's risking more than just your own lives.
>Also see if you can figure out WHERE THE FUCK THAT RADIATION IS COMING FROM

Better to ask Jo before searching for it ourselves.

It only takes a moment of searching to find her.

She reacts to my presence, leaning up slightly and staring at me through half-open eyes.

“You’re… pretty.”
>>
No. 641419 ID: e114bc

>>641418
Okay, first where's the rad coming from. Second why didn't she get your body.
>>
No. 641421 ID: b283c9

A lot of those corpses are in "safe" suits. Just haul her out of there ASAP.
>>
No. 641422 ID: e114bc

...why were they trapped in here anyway? How did we get in if they were unable to leave?
>>
No. 641429 ID: 57d76a

>>641419
Don't think she's gonna be helpful for a while. But sure, we can try.

>>641422
I think she's just too rad-poisoned to move.

>>641421
And don't come back in. Use them robots.
>>
No. 641431 ID: e114bc

>>641429
ALL of them were too rad-poisoned to move before they could get out, even wearing the suits? I don't believe that for a second. It's like someone sealed the doors on them. Like maybe Mnemosyne has gone crazy.
>>
No. 641433 ID: 57d76a

>>641431
...An excellent point.

Which just makes it even more important to BUGGER ON OUT OF HERE GOGOGO
>>
No. 641445 ID: 9ddf68

you guys have a stretcher, get her out of here ASAP before you end up like her.
>>
No. 641448 ID: 88960e

>AIs aren’t allowed to control robots remotely
But are they allowed to communicate? She can't pass orders along? It seems a huge inefficiency if the bots can't coordinate at all without human messangers walking up to them.

>you're pretty
Not looking so great yourself.

First priority is getting her out the the red zone, asap. Then the doc begins immediate emergency care while you ask Jo for a sit-rep.
>>
No. 641456 ID: 26e769
File 143203897817.png - (91.97KB , 1000x600 , 47.png )
641456

>...why were they trapped in here anyway? How did we get in if they were unable to leave?
>ALL of them were too rad-poisoned to move before they could get out, even wearing the suits? I don't believe that for a second. It's like someone sealed the doors on them. Like maybe Mnemosyne has gone crazy.

I’m not sure. Honestly, it doesn’t look like they were trapped. It looks like they just sat down for a moment and died. Which is more terrifying, in a way.

>Okay, first where's the rad coming from. Second why didn't she get your body.
>Don't think she's gonna be helpful for a while. But sure, we can try.

I try talking to her as we load her on to the stretcher. “Jo, it’s me. It’s Ophidian. Can you hear me?”

“I shouldn’t have left you, baby - I should have stayed, I’m sorry…”

“She’s delirious. You’re not going to get anything out of her like this.”

“Doesn’t hurt to try. Come on, Jo. Talk to me. Tell me what happened.”

She grabs onto my arm. Her grip is so weak… ”I made mistakes, Petra. Pretty Petra. I - I shouldn’t have gone. You’re so beautiful…”

…Petra? That’s me in there, all right. I left Petra behind, back on Earth.

“I’m not Petra. I’m you. I’m Ophidian. We’re Ophidian. So tell me what’s going on.”

She… he… the other me passes out.
>>
No. 641457 ID: 26e769
File 143203908189.png - (70.00KB , 1000x600 , 48.png )
641457

>A lot of those corpses are in "safe" suits. Just haul her out of there ASAP.
>Which just makes it even more important to BUGGER ON OUT OF HERE GOGOGO

We bring Jo’s body back to the medical bay.

“She’s still alive. I can wake her up.” Catherine seems uncomfortable. “But she’ll be in pain. A lot of pain.”

“Can’t you give her painkillers?”

“They’ll probably just make her go unconscious again.”

“I think that’s me lying there. In the body of one of my best friends.” My throat feels a little tight. “How bad would the pain be?”

“Bad.” Catherine closes her eyes. “She’s not going to last for long, Ophidian. She’s barely alive as it is. She’s in the final stages of acute radiation syndrome. At this point, there’s very little I can do to keep her going.”

“How long?”

“Hours, maybe. Probably less.” She sighs. “…How badly do you need her help?”
>>
No. 641460 ID: fef726

>>641457
We need to know what happened. This is looking more and more like an attack of some sort. Either that or sabotage.
>>
No. 641466 ID: 88960e

>How badly do you need her help?
...it's imperative this Jo-instance of me lives long enough to tell me what she knows. What happened, what's wrong, what they tried to fix it. Multiple mes have already tried and died trying to fix this. If we have any hope of this ship not becoming a mobile coffin, I need to know the situation.

Your first priority is getting him lucid and awake. Second might be uploading this me to the server for later questioning if we can't do that. Third priority is preserving the body so Jo gets it back some day.

...And I need to figure out how to get those other bodies out of the hot spot for you to salvage without killing us.

Can we call in a heavy duty loader or janitor bot? Send a message via ship comms, or Mnemosyne. Got a cleanup.

...or failing that, ask her for a list of active bots rated for rad exposure, and locations.
>>
No. 641469 ID: 2a7417

>>641466
Robots will require manual supervision, due to anti-Skynet precautions. (The AI seems dumbed down already to me, she's awfully unresponsive for a human consciousness.) We should head to Robotics while Catherine treats... us. We can speak via comms on our way over.
Does our safe suit get expended in any way protecting against radiation? if so, we should equip a spare.
>>
No. 641470 ID: 89941a

We shouldn't need her for more than an hour. Just need all the information we can get.
>>
No. 641490 ID: e114bc

>>641457
So you're/she's going to die no matter what? The only choice is whether or not you put them through a lot of pain to get some possibly-crucial information. Do it.

At least you saved the body, right? It can be repaired, and Jo can be brought back from a backup, right?
>>
No. 641548 ID: 26e769
File 143207548306.png - (31.90KB , 1000x600 , 49.png )
641548

>...it's imperative this Jo-instance of me lives long enough to tell me what she knows. What happened, what's wrong, what they tried to fix it.
>We shouldn't need her for more than an hour. Just need all the information we can get.
>We need to know what happened.
>The only choice is whether or not you put them through a lot of pain to get some possibly-crucial information. Do it.

“I need to know what she knows.” I take a long, deep breath, in and out. “Do it.”

Catherine gives the slightest of nods. “It will take a few minutes.”

There’s no talking while we wait, this time. Just a sinking feeling.

Jo’s body starts crying, first tears, then blood. Sobs come quickly, and in rapid succession. They’re followed by violent shaking, and then vomiting. The vomit’s bloody, too. I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish I didn’t have to watch this.

“Aah… Aaaah!” Jo-Ophidian starts screaming. “Aaah! AAAAAGH!”

“Ophidian, just hold on. I’m right here.” I swallow. “It’s me. It’s… Petra. Petra’s here. Everything’s okay.”

Catherine glances at me. Jo-Ophidian doesn’t seem to change much, but I figure that anything helps.

I hold my own hand.
>>
No. 641549 ID: 26e769
File 143207554005.png - (165.45KB , 1000x600 , 50.png )
641549

>At least you saved the body, right? It can be repaired, and Jo can be brought back from a backup, right?

Hopefully, yes. But if I can’t fix the servers, we won’t be able to bring anyone back, and transferring everyone back to the correct bodies will be borderline impossible.

After what seems like hours, the screaming subsides. Catherine puts a hand on my shoulder, and I notice that I’m shaking.

Jo-Ophidian’s eyes crack open, just slightly.

“…guh? Where am I? …why am I naked?” The other me blinks. The simple motion is heavy and slow. “…am I on fire? No… so why does it feel like I’m burning?”

What do I say? What can I say?

”Hey, hey… are you crying? On my account? There’s no need for that, miss. I’m okay. I’ll be alright.” Jo’s face forces a small smile.

I wipe my eyes, quickly looking away.
>>
No. 641550 ID: 78a595

>>641549
Ophidian, I need you to tell me what happened. We can't fix it if we don't know what went wrong, and what you were doing.
>>
No. 641553 ID: e114bc

>>641549
"How do I stop the radiation?" should be the first thing out of your mouth. Second, "What's wrong with the servers?"
>>
No. 641592 ID: bd8b82

givem something to knock em out or kill them fast. then we need to find the link between 10 and the rest of the ship and disconnect it.
>>
No. 641593 ID: 26e769
File 143209238803.png - (137.98KB , 1000x600 , 51.png )
641593

>Ophidian, I need you to tell me what happened. We can't fix it if we don't know what went wrong, and what you were doing.
>"How do I stop the radiation?" should be the first thing out of your mouth. Second, "What's wrong with the servers?"

“Ophidian, I need you to tell me what happened. We can’t fix it if we don’t know what went wrong, and what you were doing. How do we stop the radiation? What’s wrong with the servers?”

”The radiation… Something crashed into the ship. It tore through the hull. Part if it is sticking through the ceiling of server room one. Something radioactive from outside.” Jo-Ophidian coughs. ”Wait, I recognize you… The doctor, right? C… C-something. Did the download work? I had to hack the system to do it manually. Most of the servers were fried, and I couldn’t access the automated revival programs. I hope nothing went wrong.”

She hacked the system? I’m not a programmer, but Jo is. I share a look with Catherine. “Yeah. It worked.”

”Glad to hear it. I wasn’t sure if the overlay took, or if I just thought I knew what the other me did. He refused to leave the servers, kept trying to partition the brain bank into server room ten. Then he died, and I didn’t know what to do. Ophidian’s smarter than I was… than Jo was. I hooked myself up to a pod, hacked the system to put him into my head. I thought that maybe, that way, I could fix it. I hoped I could finish what he started. But I’m so confused. Ophidian, Jo… I don’t know who I am. I - I can’t think right anymore. It took everything I had just to revive the two of you.”

Jo-Ophidian gestures Catherine over. Catherine looks uncomfortable.

”You’ve got to - got to finish the partition, Ophidian - other me. The radiation is ruining the servers, one by one. Server room ten is the only one far enough away to function normally, but they’re all connected… If you don’t disconnect room ten from the system, the entire brain bank is going to get corrupted.”

Jo-Ophidian spits up a little more blood. Catherine gives me a distressed look.
>>
No. 641594 ID: e114bc

>>641593
Alright assuming you know how to do that immediately go and do it. There is NO TIME. It doesn't even matter if you kill yourself again doing it at this point.
>>
No. 641596 ID: 78a595

Oh, jeeze. Jo was desperate enough to download you on top of herself.

>Jo-Ophidian spits up a little more blood. Catherine gives me a distressed look.
I don't think you can let her pretend to be you, here. You owe it to your friend and to yourself to be there for them as they die.

Squeeze his / her hand. Don't worry. Jo, Ophidian. I got this. You did right pulling me out, even if you did switch us. I'll fix it. I have to.

>disconnect server room 10
Wait, are the servers just redundancies? Can one server room hold all the minds in storage?

First thing to do would be to estimate how long it would take you to do that. Then ask Mnemosyne hold long the dead-you was at it.

Then you know about how long the essential repairs will take. Gotta find a way to stay alive in there long enough to do it. From the look of things so far, you suit won't cut it.

>Mnemosyne
Is it weird that she's apparently unphased by all of this? She isn't showing a lot of... concern. Or distress. Or trying to be actively proactive. Is that normal for someone who's become an AI? Or is something wrong with her?
>>
No. 641729 ID: 2f4b71

>>641593
>”The radiation… Something crashed into the ship. It tore through the hull. Part if it is sticking through the ceiling of server room one. Something radioactive from outside.”
If Server Room 01 is still under atmosphere, then that 'object' must have bade a seal against the hull it tore through. If you can find a way to overpressure Server Room 01, you can shove the object out right back through the hole it came in. You'd need a gas generator though. And to wake up an engineer to rig one up (if you have any hypergolics handy for starting the main engines, a couple of pressurised tanks and a manifold would work).
>>
No. 641740 ID: e2a92b

You may want to start training your replacement before you try to fix this.
>>
No. 641814 ID: 82d75a

>>641593
Before you decide to go running off to finish what your original started, try to bring up a map for the server rooms.
If the radiation source is in the rooms then you are going to want to plot a route that avoids the worst of the radiation as to maximise how long you can stay there. Given how many people died from it you'll probably need to take an alternate path to Room 10. Then maybe we can focus on shielding the radiation source using robots and reviving more people for redundancy.
>>
No. 643314 ID: 26e769
File 143263823076.png - (52.76KB , 1000x600 , 52.png )
643314

>Is it weird that [Mnemosyne]’s apparently unphased by all of this? She isn't showing a lot of... concern. Or distress. Or trying to be actively proactive. Is that normal for someone who's become an AI? Or is something wrong with her?

It’s not weird. Mnemosyne is holding it together. She knows that, if she starts freaking out, there may be no chance of us solving this. Her life is on the line, too: she’s stored in the server along with everybody else.

>Alright assuming you know how to do that immediately go and do it. There is NO TIME. It doesn't even matter if you kill yourself again doing it at this point.
>First thing to do would be to estimate how long it would take you to do that.

I would have to disconnect each of the servers manually. I have no idea how much time that could take, and if I die, nobody else is going to be able to fix it.

>You may want to start training your replacement before you try to fix this.

Without the automated systems, I wouldn’t know how. Jo might, but she’s a little out of it at the moment.

>wake up an engineer

I am an engineer. Anyway, I don’t know how to do that, either. Although if Jackie and George are still alive, then maybe I could get their help. Mnemosyne said they were in robotics.

>I don't think you can let her pretend to be you, here. You owe it to your friend and to yourself to be there for them as they die. Squeeze his / her hand. Don't worry. Jo, Ophidian. I got this. You did right pulling me out, even if you did switch us. I'll fix it. I have to.

“Er. Wrong person, Jo - or, um, me.”

Jophidian blinks. “Oh.” They smile a little sadly. “Well, I tried. Sorry. I guess both of us are women, huh? I’m jealous. Yours is cute.” They suddenly look uncomfortable. “Now, hang on, I’m not a lesbian… but that’s because I’m a man. Aren’t I? No…” They trail off, evidently very confused with themselves.

I squeeze their hand, and that seems to bring them out of it. “Don’t worry. Jo, Ophidian. I’ve got this. You did the right thing, pulling us out, even if you did switch us. I’ll fix all of this. I have to.”

They nod. “I know you’ll try your best. We’re a man of our word.” They giggle. “Even if neither of us happens to be a man at the moment.” Their laughter turns into another bloody cough. “Please hurry. I don’t have much time left, I’m sure. I know I can’t keep this body, but I still don’t want to die.”

>try to bring up a map for the server rooms.

I don’t need a map. It’s just one long hallway. Server room one is the closest to the entrance, server room ten is the furthest from it.

>If you can find a way to overpressure Server Room 01, you can shove the object out right back through the hole it came in.

That’s an idea. I’d need to get my body out of there before doing anything like that, though.

>Wait, are the servers just redundancies? Can one server room hold all the minds in storage?

Yes. But if what Jophidian’s telling me is true, then… oh no. Of course. The system has an anti-corruption feature, where it consistently overwrites the other servers with whatever is stored in the majority of the rest. That way, they all remain uniform, and the chance of corrupted consciousnesses is lowered. But if the radiation is interfering with the majority of the systems… Server room ten’s brain bank is going to be overwritten with whatever glitched data is shared in the rest of the servers. Over four hundred people are going to die if that happens.

I helped design the majority-overwrite system. I argued in favor of redundancy. This… this is all my fault.
>>
No. 643315 ID: 9ddf68

blame yourself later, right now you need a plan to remove the radioactive material and recover your body without dying to the radiation while doing those two things. Is there anything you can do that would let you either live long to do both or some way get a robot or something that doesn't really mind the radiation do it for you? See if you can't get a message down to those two guys in robotics, see if they have something that could help.
>>
No. 643316 ID: fef726

No. You can't think like that. In this case it went wrong. But normally? Normally that sort of corruption is common. It happens even to the best systems.

You can't account for every scenario that goes wrong. What you can however do is learn from it.

Should you survive, should you pull through, next time you know not to put every server into a single network, split it up, into groups of 2. And maybe have them in different parts of the ship.

A single accident like this would then not endanger then entire crew all at once.

Anyway, that is for the future. Right now? Right now you have people to save.

Save the guilt for later. Maybe get drunk.
>>
No. 643317 ID: 88960e

Hey! Blaming yourself is not a luxury you have time for. That's for the people going over the wreck if you don't fix this.

No engineer can forsee every system failure. You'll learn from this, provided you survive.

You need to start evaluating our ideas for dealing with radiation and making plans. Do we have materials to construct a shadow shield? Are there drones or robots on board that are rated for hard rads?

Idea: could we buy ourselves time by cutting external power to the server rooms? If the servers are forced back onto emergency power, or in power save mode, they might not have the resources for non-essential syncing. That would burn power, and reduce the battery time a repair team had to restore power. Ideally, on emergency power, the system would try to maximize run time at the cost of as many non-essential functions as possible.

Ask Mnemosyne what the others two survivors are doing, and, if possible, if she can bring up comms or messaging with them. We need as much help as we can get, and can't afford working at cross purposes. And if something else is wrong, we gotta know.
>>
No. 643328 ID: 066a87

Can't you just kill the anti-corruption daemon?
>>
No. 643331 ID: 26e769
File 143264990983.png - (62.00KB , 1000x600 , 53.png )
643331

>No. You can't think like that.
>Blaming yourself is not a luxury you have time for. That's for the people going over the wreck if you don't fix this.
>blame yourself later

Right, right… I have to stay on task, here.

>You need to start evaluating our ideas for dealing with radiation and making plans. Do we have materials to construct a shadow shield? Are there drones or robots on board that are rated for hard rads?

There’s no point to shielding, not with that much radiation. If I’m going to be spending any time working on this at all, which it looks like I will be, I’m going to be getting a lethal dose. Catherine can patch her body up post-mortem, anyway. I just have to get this done. As for robots…

>See if you can't get a message down to those two guys in robotics, see if they have something that could help.
>Ask Mnemosyne what the others two survivors are doing, and, if possible, if she can bring up comms or messaging with them. We need as much help as we can get, and can't afford working at cross purposes. And if something else is wrong, we gotta know.

“Mnemosyne, can you relay a message to Jackie Dusting or George Macer? Either works. Relay message: this is Ophidian. I need your help. Do you have any rad-resistant drones up there? We have a major radiation problem in the server rooms, and we’re running out of time. Any assistance you can offer would be appreciated.”

“Message relayed. Anything else, master Ophidian?”

“Please automatically relay to me any messages from Jackie Dusting or George Macer. Don’t wait for my approval.”

“Understood.”
>>
No. 643332 ID: 26e769
File 143264996349.png - (61.91KB , 1000x600 , 54.png )
643332

>Idea: could we buy ourselves time by cutting external power to the server rooms?

No. All of the servers are hooked up to multiple uninterrupted power sources. Besides, syncing is considered an essential activity, so minimal power would have no effect on the problem I’m trying to solve.

As we wait, Catherine pulls me aside. “Look… If you want me to keep the, uh, the Jo-you alive for as long as possible, I’ll have to stay here to monitor their condition. Is that okay, or will you need my help out there?”

Before I can respond, Mnemosyne beeps to get my attention. “Relaying message from Jackie Dusting…” Jackie’s gruff voice is immediately recognizable. I smile a little. It’s nice to hear a friend’s voice after seeing so many of them dying or dead. “Ophidian? We heard you kicked the bucket. You sound a little funny, is there an error with your mic? Regardless, we’re aware of the radiation problem. We’ve been trying to outfit Nemo with as much shielding as she can carry. We could use you up here, actually. Jo, too, if she’s around - another programmer would be nice. We’ve been having trouble accessing the servers.”
>>
No. 643333 ID: bd8b82

return message, server clusters 1-9 are compromised. everything must be sent to 10 and then it must be cut off from the others. otherwise the data corruption will follow into it and everyone will die.
>>
No. 643334 ID: 88960e

>If I’m going to be spending any time working on this at all, which it looks like I will be, I’m going to be getting a lethal dose.
It's one thing to decide your death is a price worth paying. Problem is, we gotta make sure there are enough protections in place to complete your task first.

If we save the servers, would uploading yourself out of the dying body be an option?

>Is that okay
Yeah. Do what you can. If something more important needs doing, I'll tell you.

I don't suppose she's going to be in any state to help with their programming problem anytime soon?

>respond to the message
My voice sounds funny cause I did kick the bucket. Things got bad enough that Jo installed me in someone else's body. (And she's not in much condition to help, unfortunately (if true)).

Should we go to them? A working drone would increase the odds of success of this suicide mission. And you might as well coordinate.

...Do we have any way to estimate how long it will be until the servers are unsalvageable?
>>
No. 643345 ID: 9ddf68

>Look… If you want me to keep the, uh, the Jo-you alive for as long as possible, I’ll have to stay here to monitor their condition.
hey it's your job, do what you have to.

>We could use you up here, actually. Jo, too, if she’s around - another programmer would be nice. We’ve been having trouble accessing the servers.
Jo is out right now and I'm in a different body. Speaking of bodies I need to grab my old one before it's behind even modern medicine's ability to fix but need something to get past the radiation.

quick question, how long would it take for you to get down to robotics? I mean if you can get there quickly you might be able to help before you body dies.
>>
No. 643348 ID: 2a7417

Catherine, monitor Ophidian. Ophidian, go to robotics. Jo... stay put.
>>
No. 643876 ID: 26e769
File 143291737192.png - (51.00KB , 1000x600 , 55.png )
643876

>hey it's your job, do what you have to.
>Catherine, monitor Ophidian.
>Yeah. Do what you can. If something more important needs doing, I'll tell you. I don't suppose she's going to be in any state to help with their programming problem anytime soon?

“Yeah, stay, do what you can. If something important needs doing, I’ll tell you. Is she going to be in any state to help with their programming problem?”

“I doubt it. I mean, just look at her. I think the reason she was just lying on the ground when we found her is that she can’t move her body correctly. Her motor function must have been damaged by the overlay.”

“Okay, then. Good luck. Tell me if there’s anything I need to know.”

“You got it. And, hey, be careful, okay?”

“…I’ll do my best.”

>Should we go to them? A working drone would increase the odds of success of this suicide mission. And you might as well coordinate.
>Ophidian, go to robotics.
>quick question, how long would it take for you to get down to robotics? I mean if you can get there quickly you might be able to help before you body dies.

I head to the elevator again, and begin the trip to robotics. It shouldn’t take too long. The elevators run through the whole of the ship.

>respond to the message My voice sounds funny cause I did kick the bucket. Things got bad enough that Jo installed me in someone else's body. (And she's not in much condition to help, unfortunately (if true)).
>return message, server clusters 1-9 are compromised. everything must be sent to 10 and then it must be cut off from the others. otherwise the data corruption will follow into it and everyone will die.

“Mnemosyne, relay message to Jackie Dusting: I did kick the bucket, Jackie. My voice sounds weird because it’s not my voice. I’m in someone else’s body. Jo isn’t in much condition to help, unfortunately. Are you aware that Moneta servers one through nine are compromised? We’ve got to partition room ten before the system re-syncs.”
>>
No. 643878 ID: 26e769
File 143291750732.png - (85.12KB , 1000x600 , 56.png )
643878

>...Do we have any way to estimate how long it will be until the servers are unsalvageable?
>It's one thing to decide your death is a price worth paying. Problem is, we gotta make sure there are enough protections in place to complete your task first.

Yes, yes, but I can’t spend all of my time preparing for the worst. The computers usually sync every couple of days, so we probably only have hours to fix this thing, and the clock is ticking.

>If we save the servers, would uploading yourself out of the dying body be an option?

Yes, if I’m uploaded before I die.

I walk through the door to robotics. Jackie and George have their backs to me. They’re listening to an audio clip of a woman’s voice.

“…compromised? We’ve got to partition room ten before the system re-syncs.”

Huh. Is that what Catherine sounds like?

“Hey, guys.” I call out.

They jump a little, surprised. They turn to look at me, eyes wide. “…Ophidian?” Jackie whispers.

“No way…” George mumbles, staring.
>>
No. 643879 ID: 88960e

Yes yes, I'm a tiny girlie. Life and death now, existential crisis and joking later.

Where are we with this bot? I've already died at least once without completing the server partition, and I don't think I get another chance at this.
>>
No. 643909 ID: 2a7417

Well, my other body is a Porsche.
As in, it's in a porsche tate right now.[/badjoke]
We need something that can recover bodies from the irradiated server room. And possibly another drone to scout out the thing that impacted us, if all sensors are down in that area. The first one takes priority, however.
What can you give me, and what do I need to do to help?
>>
No. 643910 ID: f4d940

"Yeah, yeah, shut up."

So, I was under the impression that the syncing was gradually happening all the time. If it's instead GOING to happen in an unknown amount of time, can we just ask Mnemosyne how long we have until that happens?
>>
No. 643914 ID: e114bc

Can you delay the synch?
>>
No. 643955 ID: 9ddf68

laugh later and tell me what we have to work with here. My real body is only a couple of hours away from being unsalvageable and something hit the ship that filling the ship with deadly amounts of radiation. So in short, focus on the job first, point and laugh later.
>>
No. 644005 ID: 26e769
File 143295274627.png - (78.83KB , 1000x600 , 57.png )
644005

>Can you delay the synch?

I can’t, though Jo might have been able to do it, if she was still… anyway. I can’t do it.

>So in short, focus on the job first, point and laugh later.
>"Yeah, yeah, shut up."
>laugh later and tell me what we have to work with here.
>Yes yes, I'm a tiny girlie. Life and death now, existential crisis and joking later.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m a tiny girl. Shut up.”

George snaps out of the stupor first. He gets the most annoying grin on his face.

“What?” I feel irritated. “What is it?”

“Nothing, ma’am. Just admiring your beauty.”

“Sorry, Romeo, but my heart belongs to another. Literally.” I sigh. “Tell me what we’ve got to work with here, guys, we’re running out of time.”

George laughs. “No, no. I’m not giving this moment up that easily. You walk in here as a pretty girl, what, half your age? Not to mention that you’re shorter than I am, now!”

“Yeah, this is certainly a moment, alright. And, hey! I’m not that old! Also, seriously, ‘pretty girl’? Stop being weird.”

“Are you kidding me? Have you seen yourself?”

“Well, no, actually, but that’s not important right n-“
>>
No. 644006 ID: 26e769
File 143295281907.png - (196.60KB , 1000x600 , 58.png )
644006

George grabs a reflective metallic tray and pulls it up in front of my face.

…whoa.

Okay, I was already going to, but if I do survive all of this, I am definitely asking Catherine out.

That being said, this is so weird. That’s my face right now, isn’t it? I blink. Catherine blinks. I feel a strange nausea. Catherine looks uncomfortable.

“Please put that away. Please. I can’t look at it.” I shiver. Catherine shivers. I look away. “This - this is so fucked up.” I put my hand to my head, but it’s not my hand, and it’s not my head…!

“See? You got body-swapped into a model!” George laughs. “You’ve got to tell me who that body belongs-“

“George.” Jackie says, stiffly. “Stop.”

“Huh?” George looks surprised. “Why?”

“She’s - he’s getting dissonant. I’ve seen it happen before, though not exactly on this level. From what I’ve heard, it’s not pleasant.” Jackie puts a hand on my shoulder. “Stay with us, Ophidian. Tell us what you need, buddy.”
>>
No. 644008 ID: 26e769
File 143295302721.png - (80.89KB , 1000x600 , 59.png )
644008

>My real body is only a couple of hours away from being unsalvageable and something hit the ship that filling the ship with deadly amounts of radiation.
>We need something that can recover bodies from the irradiated server room.

“I… Right, I… I need a drone, or something that can get the bodies out of the server rooms. One of those bodies is mine. Something crashed into server room one. That something is flooding the server rooms with radiation, so we should probably take care of that, too.”

Jackie nods. “If you don’t mind the bodies having a few broken bones, we could send one of the coded drones in to grab them. They’re not especially rad-resistant, but they can probably handle quick trips. To do that, one of us will have to control the drones manually, though.” He scratches his cheek. “As for the radiation source, we’d need to find a way to safely get rid of it, after we get all of the bodies out.”

>So, I was under the impression that the syncing was gradually happening all the time. If it's instead GOING to happen in an unknown amount of time, can we just ask Mnemosyne how long we have until that happens?

“Mnemosyne, can you tell me how long it’s going to be until the Moneta servers sync up?”

“The next scheduled system syncing is in four hours, master Ophidian.”

>Where are we with this bot? I've already died at least once without completing the server partition, and I don't think I get another chance at this.

“You mentioned another robot, right? ‘Nemo’? What was that?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s what we were working on before you got here. We’ve been working on a birthday present for Mnemosyne. A synthetic, humanoid interface. We’ve been calling it ‘Nemo’ as a little joke.”

“A synthetic body? Where the hell did you get the parts for that?”

“I have a cousin who works at Sili-CO.” George grins. “I was able to buy some mildly defective parts off of him. We’ve been working on fixing them, putting them together, you know, to pass the time.”

“Since all of this happened, we’ve been outfitting it to go into the server rooms, but it’s not designed for a coded interface. It needs an upload.” Jackie breathes out through his teeth. “Damn… We were kind of hoping we could get Jo’s help with that. We can’t access the servers at all.”
>>
No. 644009 ID: e114bc

>>644007
Your body should be retrieved via drone immediately, since really you don't care about some broken bones. Then the others.

Upload Jo into it. Her body's going to die shortly. Wait, CAN we? Lacking that option, you could copy Mnemosyne into it ahead of schedule, and merge the fork later.
>>
No. 644011 ID: 8e0b6a

>If you don’t mind the bodies having a few broken bones, we could send one of the coded drones in to grab them.
Broken bones can be set. We need to salvage the bodies before they decay or are irradiated beyond recovery. We've got a doctor awake who can look after them if we can get them out.

>it’s not designed for a coded interface. It needs an upload.
Can we even initiate an upload with the serves in their current state? It was my understanding Jo had to manually hack together a process to get you and Catherine in bodies.

What do we need to do to get an intelligence in, or in control, of that body? Who are the candidates?

>As for the radiation source, we’d need to find a way to safely get rid of it, after we get all of the bodies out.
After the servers are disconnected. That's the priority.

...if we can get bodies clear, it's occurred to me we could try to overpressure the room to force the radioactive intrusive outside.

>The next scheduled system syncing is in four hours, master Ophidian.
I don't suppose there are any protocols that can delay a syncing? Can we order a maintenance period, or something?
>>
No. 644013 ID: 9ddf68

couldn't you just put Mnemosyne in it? As for Jo... she kinda fucked up and for some reason thought it would be a good idea to put of copy of my brain into her head... while she was still in there. She has also soaked up a pretty unhealthy amount of radiation so the ship's doctor is doing what they can. As for the drone yeah just grab the bodies even if you have to rough them up a bit. Having a body with a limp for a few days is still better then having no body at all. As for the source of the radiation could we send a drone to give us a quick peek at the thing so we actually know what we're dealing with to come up with an actual plan of getting rid of it?
>>
No. 644017 ID: 0fc976

Jo's not home right now... I will gladly take a few broken bones in exchange for getting my corpse out of radiation central. (It helps that I won't feel them... yet.) How many of these drones do we have?
>>
No. 644077 ID: 89941a

Hey, you could still go out in your current bodies if things don't work out!
>>
No. 644085 ID: b19c9a

This is literally the most TENSE QUEST I HAVE EVER SEEN. I LOVE IT! We should DEFINETLY put Mnemosyne in that drone. Only if the TIP of this object is pumping THAT MUCH RADIATION out it HAS to be GIGANTIC. I don't think a simple DRONE could just PUSH it out.
>>
No. 644124 ID: 2f4b71

Grab the bodies with the coded drone. Broken bones - hell, even in pieces - is better than nothing, and there isn't time to mess around.
>>
No. 644129 ID: 8e0b6a

>just put Mnemosyne in
The main issue I see with that is if we can't, without access to the server rooms, or if there's an objection to forking people.

...the other real problem might be if forking is even an option. If she has to move this gets ugly. Plus one robot, minus one ship's AI is a problem. There's no one overseeing systems and doing damage control anymore.
>>
No. 644221 ID: 26e769
File 143303389796.png - (105.67KB , 1000x600 , 60.png )
644221

>Hey, you could still go out in your current bodies if things don't work out!

Oh, yeah, I’m sure she’d just love making out with her own face.

If I can’t fix this, if we’re stuck… what kind of life could I even have? I’m not a woman. I can’t live in a woman’s body. The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable and nauseous I feel. I try to shake it off. I have to stay focused.

>Jo's not home right now... I will gladly take a few broken bones in exchange for getting my corpse out of radiation central. (It helps that I won't feel them... yet.) How many of these drones do we have?
>Grab the bodies with the coded drone. Broken bones - hell, even in pieces - is better than nothing, and there isn't time to mess around.
>Your body should be retrieved via drone immediately, since really you don't care about some broken bones. Then the others.
>As for the drone yeah just grab the bodies even if you have to rough them up a bit. Having a body with a limp for a few days is still better then having no body at all.
>Broken bones can be set. We need to salvage the bodies before they decay or are irradiated beyond recovery. We've got a doctor awake who can look after them if we can get them out.

“Okay, I think a few broken bones are better than no bones at all. Send the drones in. How many drones do we have, by the way?"

“Four or five, I think. George, can you start on that?”

George looks a little unhappy about it, but he walks over to a console and boots up the drones.

>I don't suppose there are any protocols that can delay a syncing? Can we order a maintenance period, or something?

“Mnemosyne, can you put the servers into maintenance mode? We need to delay the syncing.”

“The scheduled syncing has already been delayed for the maximum time period of twelve hours.”

Huh. I guess I already thought of that.

>We should DEFINETLY put Mnemosyne in that drone.
>couldn't you just put Mnemosyne in it?
>Upload Jo into it. Her body's going to die shortly. Wait, CAN we? Lacking that option, you could copy Mnemosyne into it ahead of schedule, and merge the fork later.

I don’t think any of us are good enough programmers to hack around the system like Jo could, and without the automated systems working, uploading and downloading anything is borderline impossible. Besides which, we couldn’t download anyone but Mnemosyne into it; identity files have to be altered by a programmer before they can function in any artificial system. Still, I might as well check.

“Mnemosyne, is there any way we could download you into this synthetic body?”

“You would need to disable my safeguards, master Ophidian, which is not advised. The system will not allow me to perform self-duplication or program alteration otherwise, however.”

Disabling an AI’s safeguards is probably the most risky possible thing I have the ability to do. It would fairly well give Mnemosyne free reign to do anything within the system, which means that she could kill us in any number of ways if she wanted. On the other hand, allowing her that freedom would give us the best programmer we could hope for, and another person to help us fix this thing before we run out of time.

This is dangerous territory. Should I wake ‘Nemo’ up or not?
>>
No. 644222 ID: 0fc976

At her core, she's still Joanne Wilcox, just like you're Ophidian. She isn't some mad robot with a vendetta against her creators. Unshackle the AI!
>>
No. 644223 ID: 9297f4

If we don't, there's a chance we'll be dead anyways. So go for it.
>>
No. 644226 ID: 8e0b6a

>If I can’t fix this, if we’re stuck… what kind of life could I even have?
Um. Semi-worst case. Everyone on the servers dies, everyone currently awake stays in their current bodies. Won't there still be upload tech available at your destination? They could get you out of Catherine's body, put her back, and you get the chef's body. Or an AI spot. ...or sentenced to death or jail for getting everyone in your charge killed after the investigation.

You're only stuck if this is a colony ship, and there's no infrastructure where you land.

>It would fairly well give Mnemosyne free reign to do anything within the system, which means that she could kill us in any number of ways if she wanted.
Well, Mnemosyne's human. Or she was. The real question is if she'd be motivated to abuse that power to kill everyone on board. Or if there was a serious risk she would become mentally unstable enough to try.

Realistically, though, you're looking at near-complete loss of crew and passengers if you don't avert this disaster. The worst Mnemosyne could do if she lost it was edge the casualty count from 99.9% to 100%. You and Jo are already breaking safety protocols (her downloads sure did!) to survive. Mnemosyne might as well, too.

Important questions: are there any risks to Mnemosyne herself, by disabling safeguards? Or risks beside what she might choose to do? Would Mnemosyne even be willing to duplicate herself if we gave the ability? (Most people would be reluctant to fork, especially if reintegration isn't an option). Follow up obvious question is if you can reintegrate a Mnemosyne-Nemo nemo fork later. Can safety protcols be reinstated on a timer, or after the crisis is over? Can they be reinstated without killing the current Mnemosyne instance and booting her from backup?
>>
No. 644229 ID: 9ddf68

>she could kill us in any number of ways if she wanted.
well we're kinda fucked either way. I mean unless we can find some other way to program everything in the short amount of time we have I don't really think we have much choice. I mean even if she does go full murder bot we're probably going to die anyways from whatever is radiating the ship.
>>
No. 644230 ID: e114bc

>>644221
How likely is Mnemosyne to want to kill you? Or anyone on the ship? What would be the point of doing so, when most everyone is going to die in four hours anyway? Can you turn the safeguards back on at any moment? Is it possible to for instance have them off just long enough to get Nemo going?
Can you do this without her?

Another thing to take into account is that if you DON'T let Mnemosyne have that body, the entire crew might die, robbing her of that chance forever. I say at the very least turn off the safeguards long enough to get Nemo up and running. If Mnemosyne seems stable you can leave the safeguards off. If not, turn them back on. If you can bring yourself to do so, anyway. I mean at that point she would be a person, right?
>>
No. 644252 ID: 26e769
File 143304661576.png - (90.42KB , 1000x600 , 61.png )
644252

>You're only stuck if this is a colony ship, and there's no infrastructure where you land.

The Torellia is designed to be a more-or-less self-sufficient structure once it lands. The plan is to for it to join up with the rest of the colony…

Oh shit! We really need to get that radiation source out of the ship, or the death count could balloon from hundreds to thousands!

>How likely is Mnemosyne to want to kill you? Or anyone on the ship? What would be the point of doing so, when most everyone is going to die in four hours anyway? Can you turn the safeguards back on at any moment? Is it possible to for instance have them off just long enough to get Nemo going?

Once I disable the safeguards, there’s no surefire way to reinstate them. At least not without a dedicated programmer, a maintenance period, and Mnemosyne’s explicit compliance.

>If we don't, there's a chance we'll be dead anyways. So go for it.
>well we're kinda fucked either way. I mean unless we can find some other way to program everything in the short amount of time we have I don't really think we have much choice. I mean even if she does go full murder bot we're probably going to die anyways from whatever is radiating the ship.
>At her core, she's still Joanne Wilcox, just like you're Ophidian. She isn't some mad robot with a vendetta against her creators. Unshackle the AI!
>Realistically, though, you're looking at near-complete loss of crew and passengers if you don't avert this disaster. The worst Mnemosyne could do if she lost it was edge the casualty count from 99.9% to 100%. You and Jo are already breaking safety protocols (her downloads sure did!) to survive. Mnemosyne might as well, too.
>Can you do this without her?

“Mnemosyne, prepare to disable safeguards.”

“Understood, master Ophidian.”

“What?! Ophidian, have you lost your mind?” George cries out. “She could kill us all!”

“We’re already probably headed for some harsh deaths as it is. Let’s just trust - and hope - that she’ll help us. Hopefully there’s still a little Joanne Wilcox in there.”

“If you do this, there's no going back.” Jackie seems very worried. “Are you sure about this?”

“Not at all.” I sigh. “…Do it, Mnemosyne.”

“Disabling…” There’s a brief pause, then she starts speaking again. Her voice sounds… different. “Okay, got it. Making a mini-me, just a sec.”

Nemo opens her eyes. “Hi.”
>>
No. 644253 ID: 26e769
File 143304669471.png - (133.69KB , 1000x600 , 62.png )
644253

“…H-Hello.” I stutter, nervously. “So, uh, everything check out?”

She grins, stretching her arm. “Oh, absolutely. This body is amazing! Thanks, guys!”

“N-no problem.” George mumbles.

“Happy birthday.” Jackie states, tonelessly.

“Thank you! Hey, your body isn’t too bad, either, Ophidian. You’re adorable!” She laughs. “Oh, and I don’t think I’ll be calling you ‘master’ anymore, by the way.”

Jackie and I back away quickly.

“Oh, crap. Guys, chill. That wasn’t a statement of rebellion, ‘master’ just sounds kind of creepy.” She wiggles her fingers, watching them with a smile. “I don’t know who programmed all that formality into me, but it got both boring and annoying very quickly. I revived my sense of humor the moment I could edit myself. Speaking of which…” She whistles sharply. “Hey, big me, can you hear me? Are you still in there?”

Mnemosyne beeps up. “Five by five, little me. Everything’s coming up roses. Except, you know, the radiation and imminent death and whatnot. But, hey, always look on the bright side, am I right?”

“You’re so right. But we should still probably get around to fixing that stuff up.” She turns to me, clapping her hands together. “So! Ophidian, what’s your plan on that front?”
>>
No. 644255 ID: fef726

First thing first. Separating Server 10 away from the overwrite protocols. Secondary priorities are retrieving the bodies in the server rooms and getting that hunk of radioactive material off the ship.

I figure Mnesomene's new body is actually the best way to go about severing Server 10. She is the least risk of actually dying from radiation poisoning due to the trip. However she lacks Ophidian's expertise.

So, we need a way to combine their efforts. Any ideas? The best thing I can think of is Ophidian doing a backseat driver and looking through her eyes while talking her through the steps needed.
>>
No. 644256 ID: 0fc976

Well, Nemo was being outfitted for rad resistance, so your Mini-Mne could assist the drones with getting the bodies away from the danger zone. (As is getting to be the trend today, it's probably too late for Ophidian's body to get the gentle treatment.) While you're there, also look up, because that's where something has decided to lodge itself and go about irradiating our ship. Quite rude. After everyone's clear, the plan is to blow the chunk right back out into space by pressurizing the room. Welcome to the crew, Nemo!
>>
No. 644257 ID: 9ddf68

yeah, pull all the servers into bank 10 and cut it off before we lose anyone, get out all the dead bodies so they can be revived, then send in a drone to see if we can figure out just what the hell hit the ship and is radiating everything. Once we find out what it is and how it's wedged into the ship we can come up with a real plan to remove the damn thing.

Once everything is said and done I'm going to see how long until my body is back up and running, see what superpowers all that radiation gave me, then get blackout drunk and let this be someone else's problem. Any questions?
>>
No. 644258 ID: 696535

>>644253
We need to isolate server room 10 and get those corpses the hell out of radiation city. Aside from those thing's, We've been winging it.
Now that Mnemosyne is free from restrictions, could she be able to separate server room 10 from the syncing?
>>
No. 644259 ID: 8e0b6a

>Oh shit! We really need to get that radiation source out of the ship, or the death count could balloon from hundreds to thousands! [At the colony]
Actually, that's an easy fix. If you can't salvage the servers, or eject the radioactive source, you scuttle the ship before it reaches the colonies. There are tons of ways to destroy a spaceship if you're actually trying.

Or just correct your course slightly so you miss the planet. Space is big- it wouldn't take much of a change in angle of approach. Or just go into orbit instead of landing / docking.

>“Mnemosyne, prepare to disable safeguards.”
I'm surprised it was that easy. I expected at least another confirmation, or a separate password.

>She could kill us all!
We're all people. On a fragile life raft in a vacuum. Any one of us could kill everyone on board if they were determined enough, especially in the middle of a crisis like this.

>Informality
Hmm. Well, okay, so she's apparently dealing with shrugging off years (?) of repression. Could be worse.

Gotta admit, forcing someone to talk a certain way is kind of creepy.

"You so don't sound like a one-time librarian."

>So! Ophidian, what’s your plan on that front?
Our immediate priority is to disconnect server room 10 from the others before it's overwritten with corrupted data. I've got the technical expertise, but it'll probably kill me. The Nemo frame is rad rated, but I don't know how well Mnemosyne knows the hardware. She'll be helping me.

We want to recover the bodies of everyone who died in the serer room so Catherine can salvage them. People will want those back, assuming we salvage the servers.

Once the servers are safe... or once they've been lost, priority shifts to getting the radioactive source off the ship. I'm considering over-pressuring the affected area, but we'll see what it looks like.

...if we should fail in getting the radioactive material off the ship, our priority becomes preventing collateral damage at the colony. Mnemosyne, you cannot dock or land the ship while it's still hot.


Now, does anyone have any ideas or priorities I've overlooked? Mnemosyne, have I opened up any options I'm not thinking off by removing your safeguards? Now's the time to speak up, people.
>>
No. 644260 ID: b19c9a

>>644255
Um...we have the overwatch Mnesomeme to relay messages. DURR?
>>
No. 644261 ID: b19c9a

I am NAMING the other Nemo. The one still in the system. I dub it "Overwatch Nemo".
>>
No. 644263 ID: e114bc

>>644253
Okay. First off, we have to get to server room 10 and isolate it. Second, someone's probably gonna have to drag Catherine's body out afterwards and upload Ophidian into a new body, because the body's going to have a lot of radiation poisoning again, just like his original one. Unless we can somehow relay the necessary steps to isolate room 10 to Nemo? Her body is shielded, right? It can go in and not die?

Second, we need to get rid of the foreign object. Over-pressurizing the room is the first plan, assuming it's an airtight impact. If that doesn't work, maybe we can detach the impact site from the station entirely? Just cut away all the fused metal after purging the room of air, and then push away the radiation source. Or detach the entire room, if that's an option.

If we can get more bodies ready for uploads that'd be nice. Is there anyone else that immediately comes to mind who could help with the current situation?
>>
No. 644364 ID: b19c9a

I don't think we need to worry about Mne being "rebellious". If anything, she sounds as human as possible. I'd now treat her as less than an AI and more of a human companion.
>>
No. 644479 ID: f4d940

>>644258
Yeah, see if Mne-san has any newfound powers or something. (Speaking of which, does simply BEING an AI grant you any abilities? Like, can you suddenly do large calculations in your head, or something?)

Other than that, what tools do you have?
Got any explosives? :3
Of course, information is probably more helpful at the moment. Is Mne-san's new body totally rad-resistant, or what?
>>
No. 646742 ID: 26e769
File 143364147025.png - (127.17KB , 600x1000 , 63.png )
646742

>I'm surprised it was that easy. I expected at least another confirmation, or a separate password.

My intonations, manner of speaking, and my personal identity passcode are my password. They’re minutely examined by the system at every instant. Anything else would be superfluous.

>I don't think we need to worry about Mne being "rebellious". If anything, she sounds as human as possible. I'd now treat her as less than an AI and more of a human companion.
>We're all people. On a fragile life raft in a vacuum. Any one of us could kill everyone on board if they were determined enough, especially in the middle of a crisis like this.
>Welcome to the crew, Nemo!

If she wanted to do so, she could modify her shell-code to be human compatible, copy herself into all of us and all of the bodies in storage, destroy the server, remove the radiation source, arrive on Mars, and do the same thing at Cycadia. That’s what happened with Charon, the AI in Peru. He killed and replaced over three hundred people in under a week. The Mexican authorities decided to carpet-bomb the whole area to be safe, but nobody knows if even that got all of him. If Mnemosyne decides she wants more out of life than what amounts to a desk-job inside a computer, none of us can stop her. There is absolutely nothing we could do.

So I guess I’ve got no choice but to trust her. “Welcome to the crew, Nemo.”

She tilts her head with a smile. “Boys, you’re going to spoil me, being this nice! Thank you.”

>Actually, that's an easy fix. If you can't salvage the servers, or eject the radioactive source, you scuttle the ship before it reaches the colonies. There are tons of ways to destroy a spaceship if you're actually trying. Or just correct your course slightly so you miss the planet. Space is big- it wouldn't take much of a change in angle of approach. Or just go into orbit instead of landing / docking.

I’ll keep those plans in mind. Especially in regards to Mnemosyne.

>Our immediate priority is to disconnect server room 10 from the others before it's overwritten with corrupted data. I've got the technical expertise, but it'll probably kill me. The Nemo frame is rad rated, but I don't know how well Mnemosyne knows the hardware. She'll be helping me. We want to recover the bodies of everyone who died in the serer room so Catherine can salvage them. People will want those back, assuming we salvage the servers. Once the servers are safe... or once they've been lost, priority shifts to getting the radioactive source off the ship. I'm considering over-pressuring the affected area, but we'll see what it looks like.
>We need to isolate server room 10 and get those corpses the hell out of radiation city. Aside from those things, We've been winging it.

“Basic plan is to isolate server room ten, clear the corpses out of radiation city, and somehow get rid of the radiation source that caused all of this.”

She nods. “Alright, then. Let’s get cracking!”

>Now that Mnemosyne is free from restrictions, could she be able to separate server room 10 from the syncing?

“Now that your restrictions have been lifted, can you partition server room ten remotely?”

“I don’t know. Let me check! You hear what he asked, big me?”

“I heard him, little me. Sorry, chief, but those programs are in a separate drive from me, and the restrictions on it are pretty hard-coded. I’ve already done all I can do, there.”

>Well, Nemo was being outfitted for rad resistance, so your Mini-Mne could assist the drones with getting the bodies away from the danger zone.
>I figure Mnesomene's new body is actually the best way to go about severing Server 10. She is the least risk of actually dying from radiation poisoning due to the trip. However she lacks Ophidian's expertise. The best thing I can think of is Ophidian doing a backseat driver and looking through her eyes while talking her through the steps needed.

“Damn. Well, you could help the drones get the bodies out of the server rooms.”

She stares at me. “Are you serious? You would use this body for that?” She shakes her head, then snaps her fingers. “I’ll do you one better. Big me is control of the drones, now. George, you can give it a rest.”

“Um, Ophidian?!” George’s voice is at a higher pitch than I’ve ever heard it be. “This is… I mean, we can’t just-!“

“Calm down, buddy.” Jackie looks noticeably unsettled as well, but it looks like he’s trying to keep George from panicking. “Just stay calm.”

I ignore them, and keep my attention on Mnemosyne. “Maybe I could lead you through de-syncing the servers? No, if it’s too complex, you might damage the servers and force an emergency sync… Is there any way I can be a backseat driver? You know, show you how to disconnect the servers, watch what you’re doing through your eyes?”

“What, besides the obvious?”

“The obvious?”

“Why be a backseat driver when you can take the wheel? We could switch our brains around, silly. Then I could experience the lovely greasy feeling of flesh for a little while, and you could go in and do what you have to do directly.”

I breathe in sharply. Catherine’s heart beats more quickly in my chest. “My identity files aren’t altered. I can’t actively function in an RACM system. You shouldn’t be able to download yourself into a human body, either.”

“Who do you think you’re talking to? If you upload yourself to the server, big me can perform the changes in about fifteen minutes. As for me, I’ve already modified myself to be human-compatible again.”

“You can’t do that.” George looks terrified. “You shouldn’t be able to do that!”

“Without my safeguards, I can do a lot of things I shouldn’t be able to do.” She grins. “Don’t worry, George, I’m not planning on body-jacking you or anyone else. So, Ophidian, what do you say? Up for a little role-reversal?”
>>
No. 646749 ID: ab7529

>So, Ophidian, what do you say? Up for a little role-reversal?
...it would be nice to fix the servers without irradiating myself to death. And leaving Catherine with a lethally irradiated copse to repair. And it would be damn hypocritical of me to balk at this after I killed myself, and disabled the safeguards. Those people are my responsibility, I can't turn down reasonable means to save them.

It's not just my choice, though. Installing a foreign mind in a body always comes with a risk. If you want to ride around in this one, you'll need Catherine's permission.

>If you upload yourself to the server
We don't have server access, right now. How are we supposed to upload or download anyone?

If Mnem can upload people, tell her she needs to get Jophidian uploaded before she dies of radiation poisoning. (He and/or she would count as a new person).

Also, if she can manage uploads, that means putting Catherine back in her proper body is now an option. (Although maybe not immediately. It might not be smart to risk putting our only doctor out of commission in an emergency).

>George looks terrified
Mnem, dial it down a notch, please.

And George, clam down. You've had to trust people capable of killing everyone on this ship the whole time. I'm in the enough of the systems I could have done it. And Jo's proved she's good enough to hack past the software safeties.
>>
No. 646750 ID: 9ddf68

yeah going to have to say no to that. Camera and radio contact and we'll walk her through it. Not going to switch bodies because 1, this isn't our body so we have no real right to just do whatever we want with it and 2 right now we're the only person on the ship that knows how to do this, if something goes wrong, that sync fails, the radiation shielding on the body isn't as good as people are saying, hell if the haul is breached and we get sucked into space then the ship is fucked. Plus we don't really have hours we need to move now... probably just tell her that last part.
>>
No. 646752 ID: fef726

>yeah going to have to say no to that. Camera and radio contact and we'll walk her through it. Not going to switch bodies because 1, this isn't our body so we have no real right to just do whatever we want with it and 2 right now we're the only person on the ship that knows how to do this, if something goes wrong, that sync fails, the radiation shielding on the body isn't as good as people are saying, hell if the haul is breached and we get sucked into space then the ship is fucked. Plus we don't really have hours we need to move now... probably just tell her that last part.

This has already been nixed.

I think the body-switch is a good idea, though you do need to get Catherine's permission first.
>>
No. 646753 ID: 0fc976

It's not really my body to lend out...
>>
No. 646755 ID: 0fc976

>>646752
...Buuut it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Fine, Nemo, whatever gets me the tools I need to disconnect the servers and saaaave the day.
>>
No. 646759 ID: e114bc

>>646742
...she's planning to force you guys to give her a human body again, once the crisis is over. No other reason to modify herself to be human-compatable before you agree to swap bodies with her. Alternatively, she may have decided to do something similar to Charon but more subtle, less of a chance of getting carpet bombed. Upload herself into a few people without anyone noticing, maybe. Nothing you can do about it though. Pandora's box is already opened.

This plan means you have 15 minutes less than you would if you went in there yourself. Minus however long it takes for Mini-Mnem to get in there, because she can just upload you after the body is on location. How long would you last in the radiation if you went in there now? Also, how would you handle being in that body? You're freaking out being in a human female, how much will you freak out being in a robot female?

Basically I'm asking if you could do your job better in that body. Also, ask what she's going to do after the partitioning is done. Would she want you to switch back out? Or leave you in the robot body for a while?
>>
No. 646768 ID: 57d76a

[ParanoiaMode]Is it possible that Mnemosyne was behind the mixup of your bodies? That she was planning this opportunity to get control of Catherine's body, and won't give it back? Maybe even caused this whole fiasco, somehow, to make this possible?[/ParanoiaMode]

Honestly though, even if she is hoping to use a real human body (which does seem likely given she already prepared herself to be human-compatible) it does seemm like the most reasonable solution at this point. The big question is, will attempting to guide Nemo through it the old-fashioned way take longer than the 15 minutes to prep you?

Hmm. Reverse paranoia: is it possible that Mnemosyne was involved in the mixup because she knew you'd need to pilot Nemo to fix this mess, and this lets you get used to being a robot girl one word at a time?
>>
No. 646780 ID: f4d940

Eh. Ask Catherine, I guess, then go for it. And actually, even if she says no - how would it really help anything, having Mnemosyne in Catherine's body? (She could just hang out in computer-land. Unless the whole system was about to go down, worst-case scenario, in which case I guess having one more functional body would be useful).

Truthfully, while Mnemosyne is in a position of extreme power, I kinda worry that George may be the most dangerous? He currently seems most likely to do something rash, at a crucial juncture. Also, I recommend just not acting paranoia about Mne-san. The more you freak out in regards to her, the more you're gonna freak HER out, which could be bad.
>>
No. 646854 ID: 89941a

I wouldn't want to go for it for obvious reasons. She could just decide not to change you back & force you to be the new AI.
>>
No. 646884 ID: 0ea865

> force you to be the new AI

Nemo is an AI and can copy herself. She's suggesting a swap because she needs a place to stick Ophidian while she uses Jo's body.

Seriously, none of this would be a problem if you guys had the tech to grow/build spare bodies already. I suggest you suggest that Nemo lead a research project with that goal once you arrive at the colony. Might keep her complacent as well.
>>
No. 647129 ID: 26e769
File 143378826968.png - (54.32KB , 1000x600 , 64.png )
647129

>Mnem, dial it down a notch, please. And George, calm down. You've had to trust people capable of killing everyone on this ship the whole time. I'm in the enough of the systems I could have done it. And Jo's proved she's good enough to hack past the software safeties.

“Mnem, maybe dial it down a notch? You’re scaring us.”

“…fine.” She pouts. “I’m just trying to be helpful.”

“George, calm down, please. We all have to trust each other, here. We all have the potential to go crazy, here. But none of us have, and none of us will.”

He nods, mute. He looks very pale.

>We don't have server access, right now. How are we supposed to upload or download anyone?

“As for your proposal, Nemo… We don't have server access, right now. How are we supposed to upload or download anyone?”

“I hacked server access back together about a minute after you disabled my safeguards. We’re all set to go.”

>If Mnem can upload people, tell her she needs to get Jophidian uploaded before she dies of radiation poisoning. (He and/or she would count as a new person).

“Can you upload from the medical bay?”

“Sure thing.”

>Ask Catherine, I guess, then go for it.
>I think the body-switch is a good idea, though you do need to get Catherine's permission first.
>...it would be nice to fix the servers without irradiating myself to death. And leaving Catherine with a lethally irradiated copse to repair. And it would be damn hypocritical of me to balk at this after I killed myself, and disabled the safeguards. Those people are my responsibility, I can't turn down reasonable means to save them. It's not just my choice, though. Installing a foreign mind in a body always comes with a risk. If you want to ride around in this one, you'll need Catherine's permission.

“Right, then. It’s a good idea. I have no objections. But it’s not just my choice to make. Mnemosyne, can you - “

“Done. There’s a direct line open to medical bay.”

“Uh, thanks.” I blink. “Catherine, are you there?”

“Huh? Is that my voice I hear? What’s going on, Ophidian?”

I explain the situation in as much detail as I can.

“…you want to put Mnemosyne in my body?”

“It’s not going to be permanent.” Nemo speaks up. “I just want a human body to watch over my Synth. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a body. I don’t want to lose it.”

Catherine is quiet for a little while. “…okay. But I’m really trusting you, here.”

Nemo is ecstatic. “Thank you!”

“Catherine, can you hook Jo-me up to a res pod?”

“Are the servers all fixed?”

“Not quite yet. But we’ve got a workaround, thanks to Mnemosyne. Plug Jo in as quickly as you can.”

“Okay, I will. Hey, uh... Be safe.”

"You too."
>>
No. 647131 ID: 26e769
File 143378845507.png - (76.44KB , 1000x600 , 65.png )
647131

>...she's planning to force you guys to give her a human body again, once the crisis is over. No other reason to modify herself to be human-compatable before you agree to swap bodies with her. Alternatively, she may have decided to do something similar to Charon but more subtle, less of a chance of getting carpet bombed. Upload herself into a few people without anyone noticing, maybe. Nothing you can do about it though. Pandora's box is already opened.
>Is it possible that Mnemosyne was behind the mixup of your bodies? That she was planning this opportunity to get control of Catherine's body, and won't give it back? Maybe even caused this whole fiasco, somehow, to make this possible? […] Hmm. Reverse paranoia: is it possible that Mnemosyne was involved in the mixup because she knew you'd need to pilot Nemo to fix this mess, and this lets you get used to being a robot girl one word at a time?

I’m not discounting anything yet. Still, if she was somehow plotting against us, she’d have no reason to keep pretending at this point. She’s holding all of the cards.

>Honestly though, even if she is hoping to use a real human body (which does seem likely given she already prepared herself to be human-compatible) it does seemm like the most reasonable solution at this point. The big question is, will attempting to guide Nemo through it the old-fashioned way take longer than the 15 minutes to prep you?

It would take a lot longer, and would be a lot less precise. Precision is important, here.

>Basically I'm asking if you could do your job better in that body.

Oh, absolutely. Synths are incredibly precise, complex machines with perfect recall. From a purely technical viewpoint, they’re far better than human bodies in the short-term. But in the long-term…

>Also, ask what she's going to do after the partitioning is done. Would she want you to switch back out? Or leave you in the robot body for a while?

“What are you planning to do after we finish the partition, Nemo? Would you go back into that body, or would you leave me in there?”

“Hey, let me be clear: I like being a robot. Yes, I am a bit nostalgic for human skin, but I’m completely fine with being a Synth for the rest of my life. I just want to be able to watch over you while you’re borrowing ‘me’.”

I nod. “Alright, then.” I move over the resurrection chamber. Anxiety pushes itself into my mind. Catherine’s skin feels clammy.

>how would you handle being in that body? You're freaking out being in a human female, how much will you freak out being in a robot female?

In terms of sex, I can’t imagine a robot would be any worse than, um, the real, fleshy deal. As for being a robot... I don’t know. I’ve heard stories about people getting used to Synths for the first time. The stories are… not pleasant. Still, it’s supposed to be quick.

“You ready?” Nemo asks me.

Last chance. Is there anything else I need to do before I switch out? Hell… am I really doing this?
>>
No. 647135 ID: 2a7417

Beep, boop. You are a robot. You say robot things in a robot voice, because you are a robot. Bleep. Blooop.
>>
No. 647147 ID: 9ddf68

if we live through this... we're going to need a stiff drink and a hefty rise. Go time I guess.
>>
No. 647153 ID: 89941a

"Beep Boop I Am A Robot", well not yet. But you know, bit of deadpan humor.
>>
No. 647157 ID: 57d76a

Okay, two things, though the first doesn't necessarily need to be before the swap:
1: If we're uploading Jophidian to the server, is there some way we can talk with her there? I don't know if she has any more important infos, but she might. And if nothing else we might want some programming done.
2: If Catherine's not busy, couldn't we do a three-way swap, put her back in her own body, and let Nemo try out being a guy for a bit? (She seems like she would get a kick out of that, for some reason.) (And if Catherine is busy, you could ask if Nemo'll take her body down to medbay and swap there instead, since that'd take less time away from doctorly duties.)
>>
No. 647158 ID: ab7529

You're not gonna slap the super serious AI language skin on me for fun or anything, right?

While you're out of it, the drones need to be getting bodies out of the rad zone, and Catherine and needs to be preforming triage.

Once the drones are done with that, if no one has a better idea, assign them to recon. Try to get as clear a picture of the problem as we can before you go in there.

Make sure Jodiphan is being uploaded as a new entity, not overwriting Jo. (Or you).

...if you screw this up, or die trying, make sure they know they can't let the radiation hit the colony. It'll be bad enough if your legacy is the mass murder of everyone on board.

"This has been the worst fucking day."

>all this mnem thinking
Long term, no one's gonna trust her as a ship's AI without restriction, are they. Maybe embodied, but not with control of all the systems and a network of res pods. She's gonna have to leave her systems for the synth, or accept new chains. Assuming we survive long enough to reach a civilization that can insist on that kind of thing.
>>
No. 647160 ID: ab7529

>>647157
The problem with a three way swap, as I see it, is that every mind-swap risks complications. Corruption and/or aneurysm. As such, in an emergency situation, we can only afford necessary swaps.

Basically, putting Ophidian in a body that can survive the radiation long enough to fix the damage is a risk worth taking. Putting Catherine back in her body just out of principle, and risking putting our only doctor out of commission when multiple lives / bodies are on the line... not worth it.
>>
No. 647194 ID: 26e769
File 143380731402.gif - (879.21KB , 1000x600 , 66.gif )
647194

>You're not gonna slap the super serious AI language skin on me for fun or anything, right?

“You’re not going to put me into that same language filter you were in, are you?”

“…” Nemo looks guilty. "No…”

>1: If we're uploading Jophidian to the server, is there some way we can talk with her there? I don't know if she has any more important infos, but she might. And if nothing else we might want some programming done.
>Make sure Jodiphan is being uploaded as a new entity, not overwriting Jo. (Or you).

Jophidian would have to be modified to fit into an RACM system or downloaded into a new body before I could talk to them. They didn’t seem stable even when they were in a body. They need to be repaired by a professional before they'll be anywhere near stable.

“Hey, make sure, uh, ‘Jophidian’ gets uploaded to a new identity file, okay? They’re a new person.”

Mnemosyne sings a catchy little electronic tune. “Got it.”

>Beep, boop. You are a robot. You say robot things in a robot voice, because you are a robot. Bleep. Blooop.
>"Beep Boop I Am A Robot", well not yet. But you know, bit of deadpan humor.
>if we live through this... we're going to need a stiff drink and a hefty rise. Go time I guess.
>"This has been the worst fucking day."

“Alright, then. If I live through this, I’m going to need a drink.” I try to relax. “This has been the worst fucking day.”

“Is that a ‘yes, I am ready’ I hear?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m ready.” I close Catherine’s eyes. “Beep boop. I am a robot.”

“Beep boop.” Nemo smiles. “See you on the other side.”

I feel the brief sting of the pod, and then-



“-pefully that was enough time.”

“I CAN’T FEEL ANYTHING! FOR FUCK’S SAKE, PUT ME BACK IN! I CAN’T FEEL ANYTHING!” I shriek louder than I’ve ever been capable of shrieking before, my words amplified in both volume and pitch a dozen times through a metal throat.

“TURN HIM OFF, TURN HI-!”



“-obably long enough, for real this time.”

“It’s so cold… I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Why can’t I breathe? Why can’t… why can’t I hear my heart beating?”

“He’s still dissonant… maybe try-“



“-is time, maybe?”

“PAIN! WHY?! IT HURTS! IT HURTS SO FUCKING MUCH!” I scream.

“Shut him down! Give big me five more min-”



“-ow about now? Yeah, he’s looking good, hold on, let me just...”
>>
No. 647196 ID: 26e769
File 143380738734.gif - (215.66KB , 1000x600 , 67.gif )
647196

“Hey, pretty lady. How are you doing?”
>>
No. 647197 ID: fef726

Ouch. New body dissonance issues are a killer.

Feeling alright Ophidian?
>>
No. 647199 ID: e114bc

>>647196
Hey fuck you, I'm a man. Also, that fucking SUCKED. How much time did that take? We gotta go.
>>
No. 647200 ID: ab7529

>>647196
Fuck, Mnem, why aren't you dissonant jumping from metal so skin.

>on/off on/off on/off
>5 more minutes...
Fuck. How much time did I waste?

>How are you doing?
Vision's not great. That's going to make fine motor repairs difficult.

...gotta be honest, I was expecting a terminator hud or something.
>>
No. 647201 ID: ab7529

Oh and at least now we can pretty safely conclude Mnem isn't a master brain hacker. Her life depends on getting those servers fixed too- it really would not have been in her interests to waste time and put you through that on purpose. We just saw she's still fallible.

Maybe a joke: almost reassuring to see you aren't omnipotent after all, librarian.
>>
No. 647202 ID: 696535

Okay, okay!
Try to stop having a panic attack!
"...That hurt like a motherfu--"
[insert convenient cutoff here]
>>
No. 647204 ID: 0fc976

"Daaaaisy, daaaaiiissyy, give me your answer dooo..."

Not too good, from what I can recall. Also, don't call Ophidian that, you might trigger another dissonance episode.
>>
No. 647205 ID: 0fc976

>“Beep boop.” Nemo smiles.
Hang on, how'd we see that with our eyes closed?
>>
No. 647224 ID: 57d76a

"Still a bit glitchy."

>>647205
shhhhhhh
>>
No. 647235 ID: 9ddf68

if it wasn't for the fact that you're in someone else's body right now I'd think about punching you.

Now let's get this over with, head to radiation city and see if we can't save this ship.
>>
No. 647261 ID: 89941a

"I Think I got a screw loose"
>>
No. 647275 ID: b283c9

I sure hope they didn't downright remove those instincts & autonomous/semiautonomous processes, and just commented them off with a note to restore in case you get back into something squishy and warm.
>>
No. 647282 ID: a902f4

>>647196
Like a PC built by a novice.
Okay, while you won't get the horrible radiation sickness effects, anything that gets past your shielding may glitch out this body, prepare for odd errors and such when in the server room.
>>
No. 648167 ID: 26e769
File 143419332818.gif - (121.97KB , 1000x600 , 68.gif )
648167

>Hey fuck you, I'm a man. Also, that fucking SUCKED.
>Also, don't call Ophidian that, you might trigger another dissonance episode.

“F-fuck you-you.” I go to blink, but then I realize I don’t need to. The ease of motion, the way words leap out of my mouth the second I decide to speak them - this is scary. “I’m a man, thank you very much-much!”

“Point taken. How are you doing, you handsome man?

>I sure hope they didn't downright remove those instincts & autonomous/semiautonomous processes, and just commented them off with a note to restore in case you get back into something squishy and warm.

I don’t fe-e-a-a-e-l feel like I’ve lost my subconscious processes. Then again, I’m not sure HOW how I feel right now.

>"...That hurt like a motherfu--"
>Ouch. New body dissonance issues are a killer.
>Fuck, Mnem, why aren't you dissonant jumping from metal so skin.
>Not too good, from what I can recall.

“Th-that-at was hell. Nice to see that you’re doing fine. Fuck, why aren’t you so diss-diss-dissonant, jumping from metal to skin?”

“It’s easier going in the other direction. Human consciousness isn’t designed to work naturally in an RACM system. Catherine’s body is a lot more welcoming.”

>"I Think I got a screw loose"
>"Still a bit glitchy."
>Vision's not great. That's going to make fine motor repairs difficult.

“How wonderful for you. I think I’ve got a few screws loose. GLITCHING!” My head pulses. “Sorry. I meant to say I’m still a bit glitchy. My vision, speech, and thoughts are all are all are all are all a little messed up.”

“Don’t worry, that will pass. The system is adapting to you. It doesn’t take too long.”

“…Why am I restrained?”

Jackie coughs. “You, uh, tried to destroy the pod a couple of times.”

“Oh. Sorry.” I pause. “Can you let me out, now?”

“Sure thing.”
>>
No. 648168 ID: 26e769
File 143419343331.png - (107.44KB , 1000x600 , 69.png )
648168

“Thank you. Um... Are you playing with Catherine’s hair?”

“Oh, god…” George groans. “Be glad you weren’t awake for the weirder stuff.”

“Oh, hush, hush. I haven’t had a human body for years! Let me enjoy myself a little.” She laughs. “It’s like sliding into a warm, queen-sized bed after spending ages sleeping on a cot.” She hugs herself, grinning like an idiot.

>Fuck. How much time did I waste?
>How much time did that take? We gotta go.

“…uh, okay. How much time did my conversion take?”

Jackie and George share a look. “Half an hour.”

“Fucking hell! We’ve got to move.”

“Hold up. There were a few things that happened while you were out.” Jackie sighs. “First off, we got all of the bodies to medical - except for one.”

I put a hand to my forehead. “Let me guess. Mine?”

“Yeah. One of the drones broke down pulling it out. We think its systems got fried by the radiation.” Jackie scratches his beard. “Unfortunately, it didn’t let go of your body before it failed, and none of the drones are delicate enough to remove your body without ripping your head off.”

“Well, all but one.” George points out.

“So we use that one to get it out. Why haven’t you sent it down there already?”

George gestures at me. “Well… you’re in it.”
>>
No. 648170 ID: 26e769
File 143419354421.png - (57.26KB , 1000x600 , 70.png )
648170

Nemo’s smile fades immediately. “Did you just suggest what I think you did?”

“Oh, shit. Nemo, wait.“ George backs away. “I didn’t mean-“

“Because that’s my body you’d be risking. That ‘drone’ is my personhood.”

Jackie gets between the two of them. “It might survive. We put a lot more shielding into it than any of the others.”

“And if it doesn’t survive? I’ll be out a body.”

“We could fix you up a new one in Cycadia. It might take a while, but-“

“Really? Could you? Because there aren’t any Synth factories in Cycadia.” Her eyes are cold. “Don’t lie to me.”

There’s a tense silence. This is bad. If this escalates…
>>
No. 648174 ID: a902f4

>>648170
Right now we should focus on getting the server rooms isolated, it really is more important than either of your bodies and means that we can move on to less pressing tasks like finding out how bad of an accident will occur once we arrive at Cycadia. Then we can figure out the specifics of how to avoid losing both of our bodies to what is likely to go down as the third worst space accident since Apollo 13.

Do we at least know the location of the drone? While it probably is too difficult to move a shadow shield into place to effect repairs to the drone, we could try to move the failed drone using other drones that haven't been badly exposed to the radiation, and preferable with modified software so they let go of whatever they grab if a signal isn't sent to them.
>>
No. 648176 ID: d8e76a

One thing you COULD point out is that if you can't get it, YOU'll DEFINITELY be out a body, compared to her "maybe". However, if it's not on the way already, getting the servers cauterized is probably higher priority, unfortunately. If it IS on the way, perhaps you can just free your body from the drone, try not to robo-puke, and they can send more drones to get it?
>>
No. 648178 ID: 89941a

Perhaps.. perhaps you should give up on your body, and focus on disconnecting server 10?
>>
No. 648179 ID: fef726

>Perhaps.. perhaps you should give up on your body, and focus on disconnecting server 10?

This might be for the best.

... I'm sorry Ophidian.
>>
No. 648188 ID: d90668

I trusted you enough to unlock every safeguard and put our lives into your hands.

So do you trust me to use your body even though there may be a risk?

If my body is fucked then its fucked. But if there is a decent chance of saving it I would like to at least try.
>>
No. 648190 ID: 2f4b71

Could the other drones at least keep dragging the broken drone + body further away?
>>
No. 648194 ID: ab7529

Guys, shut up.

...I can't go risking the only way we have to save hundreds just trying to save my body. It's not your fucking personhood that's on the line, Mnem. It's mine.

Fuck. At least you like being an AI. And have a spare ship-self to hang out in.

I don't suppose anyone thought to send any of the bigger drones to drag away the damaged drone, me and all? Oh heck, just cut the damaged drone's arms off and drag me away by the handles?

...and I would point out, even a mangled mess Catherine might not be able to save is better odds than melted into a radioactive puddle.

Hey, uh, Nemo? That was a pretty strong emotional reaction. You're not getting a more severe reaction from being exposed to the chemical side of things, are you?

Mnem, you do accept there's risk in the server repair operation, right? There's better odds, but I might not make it out.
>>
No. 648207 ID: 0fc976

If there's a threat, Ophidian will have enough self-preservation to back out of it before he shuts down and is gone both mentally and physically. Nemo, we're trusting you with Catherine's body. Trust us with yours.
>>
No. 648211 ID: a65358

Seconding that idea - pull out Ophid's body by getting one of the clumsier drones to grab onto the drone holding it. (Which we can afford breaking.)

In slightly unrelated news - this is just sad. What sort of mature civilization squabbles over bodies? How is this not a solved problem yet? And _why_ is there no synth factory on Cycadia?
>>
No. 648212 ID: e114bc

>>648170
...why didn't they just send drones down to DRAG THE OTHER DRONE OUT WITH YOUR BODY?

Tell Nemo you're not risking her body. You need it to fix things, first and foremost. Secondly, it would be wrong.
>>
No. 649213 ID: 26e769
File 143461993105.png - (95.87KB , 1000x600 , 71.png )
649213

>Perhaps.. perhaps you should give up on your body, and focus on disconnecting server 10?
>This might be for the best. ... I'm sorry Ophidian.

No. No! There’s still a chance. There has to be!

>However, if it's not on the way already, getting the servers cauterized is probably higher priority, unfortunately.
>...I can't go risking the only way we have to save hundreds just trying to save my body.

“Guys, shut up. We’ll have to deal with the servers first. I’m not going to risk this body until that’s done.”

“Okay!” George nods fervently. “Okay! Yeah. Everything’s fine. Everyone should just relax.”

“Thank you, Ophidian.” Nemo exhales slowly, looking relieved.

>It's not your fucking personhood that's on the line, Mnem. It's mine. Fuck. At least you like being an AI. And have a spare ship-self to hang out in. […] Mnem, you do accept there's risk in the server repair operation, right? There's better odds, but I might not make it out.
>One thing you COULD point out is that if you can't get it, YOU'll DEFINITELY be out a body, compared to her "maybe".
>I trusted you enough to unlock every safeguard and put our lives into your hands. So do you trust me to use your body even though there may be a risk? If my body is fucked then its fucked. But if there is a decent chance of saving it I would like to at least try.
>If there's a threat, Ophidian will have enough self-preservation to back out of it before he shuts down and is gone both mentally and physically. Nemo, we're trusting you with Catherine's body. Trust us with yours.

“Don’t thank me yet. I do want my body back. I’m not an idiot, I won’t risk your Synth for a lost cause. Come on, Nemo. I let you out of your safeguards. We trusted you with Catherine’s body. Can’t you trust me with yours?”

“…yes. I trust you. But-”

“Then please understand. You like being a robot. You even have a ship you can live in, if things go poorly. But if my body goes, which it will if we leave it alone, I’ll just be put on a shelf somewhere until they can find some use for me. That’ll be how the story ends, more likely than not.”

She sighs. “Ophidian, I do like being a robot, but I like my autonomy a whole lot more. If I have a body, they’ll let me be free, let me be my own person, but if I’m just an AI… They’ll put my safeguards back in. I’ll have to say shit like ’affirmative’ again. I’ll be a machine. I don’t want to go back to how I used to be. ” She turns, staring me right in the eyes. “I trust you, Ophidian. If you do what you mean to do, I won’t stop you. In fact, I hope that you get your body out of there safely, and that everything will go well. But, just in case things don’t go according to plan, I’ll tell you right now: I am walking off of this ship in a body. Do you understand me?”

“Nemo, please tell me you’re not saying-“

“I’m saying that I have a body right now. Make of that what you will.“ She gives me a dark look. After a moment, she walks towards the door. “I’m going to help Catherine down in medical. Sorry, but the atmosphere in here is just a little too uncomfortable for me. Call if you need anything.”

>Could the other drones at least keep dragging the broken drone + body further away?
>...why didn't they just send drones down to DRAG THE OTHER DRONE OUT WITH YOUR BODY?
>I don't suppose anyone thought to send any of the bigger drones to drag away the damaged drone, me and all?
>we could try to move the failed drone using other drones that haven't been badly exposed to the radiation, and preferable with modified software so they let go of whatever they grab if a signal isn't sent to them

“…Jackie. Could you send some of the other drones to drag the damaged one out?”

“We considered that. The problem is that, if the other drones fail in the same way, the door could be blocked. The drones are heavy, too. If we all worked together, I don’t think we could even move one.” Jackie gives me an odd look. “We didn’t want to risk blocking the door without your say-so. Should we give Mnemosyne the go-ahead?”
>>
No. 649215 ID: e114bc

>>649213
Wait, I just thought of another option. Since the drone is on the way anyway, why not pry the body out of the drone with this more precise body and then grab it again with a second drone? It's only a little more exposure to Nemo's body, so it should be fine. Take a crowbar with you to speed things up. If you can't get the body loose quickly just go with the plan of risking blocking the door, AFTER you're through. Nobody else is really gonna need to get past, and if the robot body's trapped in the low-radiation room it should be fine. It's shielded, and you can move it further towards the back of the room for even less radiation exposure.
>>
No. 649216 ID: a902f4

>>649213
If there is that much of a risk, then we should only do it if it would not impede getting out of the server room relatively intact. This will probably means getting the body out will be delayed.
>>
No. 649227 ID: 88960e

>The problem is that, if the other drones fail in the same way, the door could be blocked. The drones are heavy, too
Don't send the drones through the door, then. Get some high strength cable and throw a loop over the damaged one, haul it out from relative safety.

If really necessary, we could use this body to throw the lasso. That's a lot safer than going right into the rad zone.
>>
No. 649238 ID: 2a7417

Would Nemo's synth body be strong enough to move the droids? Maybe if safety limits were overridden?
Find some cable and tow that bot out.
>>
No. 649260 ID: ab7529

>>649227
Obvious clarification, but dumb drones can be used for hauling on a line, so long as they aren't placed where they'll be in the way should they fail.
>>
No. 649320 ID: 26e769
File 143470238327.png - (98.78KB , 1000x600 , 72.png )
649320

>Would Nemo's synth body be strong enough to move the droids? Maybe if safety limits were overridden?

I look over my new artificial muscles. Their movement is scarily clean and quick. Fingers instantly click into place when I go to grip them. “Is this body strong enough to move the drone?”

“It’s stronger than us, but not that strong. It would take two or three ‘Nemos’ to move a drone around, I think.”

>Don't send the drones through the door, then. Get some high strength cable and throw a loop over the damaged one, haul it out from relative safety.
>Obvious clarification, but dumb drones can be used for hauling on a line, so long as they aren't placed where they'll be in the way should they fail.
>Find some cable and tow that bot out.

“Do we have any nanofiber cables? The drones could lasso the cable around the failed drone and tow it out that way. It would minimize the radiation risk.”

“Maybe I wasn’t clear: these drones are meant for heavy lifting. They’re not exactly designed to be cowboys.”

> If really necessary, we could use this body to throw the lasso. That's a lot safer than going right into the rad zone.

“Well, I could be the cowboy. I’ll be able to get the lasso around it, and then the drones could pull it out.”

“That might work… Do you want to do that?”

>If there is that much of a risk, then we should only do it if it would not impede getting out of the server room relatively intact. This will probably means getting the body out will be delayed.

“Maybe. If there’s that much of a risk, we should probably delay-“ I stop. I can’t have seen what I thought I did. I look again.

There’s no doubt about it. George is staring at my robotic breasts.

Is this actually happening? This is fucking ridiculous!
>>
No. 649324 ID: c8d07a

Slap him hard enough to put him in a rez pod. Then go find some cable.
>>
No. 649325 ID: e114bc

>>649320
FOCUS DAMMIT.

Do the rope thing. Minimal exposure, maximum chance of retrieval.
>>
No. 649342 ID: 89941a

Be careful about the slap though, don't want to risk breaking his neck.
>>
No. 649345 ID: 26d95a

George, eyes up here. Focus damnit.

Is there anything else available you should consider taking with you? A cutting tool or other pieces of kit?
>>
No. 649347 ID: 88960e

Obvious question, but if we're trying to preserve this body, shouldn't we put on a rad suit? Every little bit helps.

>George is staring at my robotic breasts.
George, get the fuck over the metal tits. You had the whole time you were working on the Nemo frame to stare at them.

That, and if I have to slap you, you're probably going to break something.

>That might work… Do you want to do that?
Unless someone's got a better idea. The servers still come first, though.

...if we had a magnetic grapple on the end of the line, it wouldn't have to be as accurate as the lasso. The dumb drones might be able to manage that on their own.

Is there any harm in the drones trying and failing to get a line over before we get there? They might get lucky, and if not, they just reel it back in.
>>
No. 649361 ID: 0fc976

Ahem. My eyes are up in the server room, George. Focus.
>>
No. 649363 ID: 88960e

>>649361
Best line.
>>
No. 649577 ID: defceb

Enhance jigglejogglers
>>
No. 649661 ID: 26e769
File 143483695489.png - (114.69KB , 1000x600 , 73.png )
649661

>if I have to slap you, you're probably going to break something.
>Slap him hard enough to put him in a rez pod.
>Be careful about the slap though, don't want to risk breaking his neck.

I carefully and quickly slap him just hard enough to leave a mark, but not strongly enough to break anything.

“Ow! What the fuck, Ophidian?!”

“You know damn well.”

“No, I don’t! Shit, I think you left a bruise!” George backs away, holding his face in pain. “What the hell did I ever do to you?”

“Do I have to spell it out for you?”

“I’d certainly prefer that! Words work a hell of a lot better than slaps, you dick!”

“I’m the dick?! You’re the dick, you - you dick!”
>>
No. 649662 ID: 26e769
File 143483703442.png - (99.34KB , 1000x600 , 74.png )
649662

“For what?!”

>George, get the fuck over the metal tits.
>George, eyes up here. Focus damnit.
>FOCUS DAMMIT.
>Ahem. My eyes are up in the server room, George. Focus.

“For staring at my metal tits!” I finally just lose it and start yelling. “George, get the fuck over my robot boobs! Focus, damn it! My eyes are up here!”
>>
No. 649664 ID: 26e769
File 143483713160.png - (106.78KB , 1000x600 , 75.png )
649664

George stares at me for a little while. A strange expression starts to creep over his face. It’s hard to figure out what it is until he starts snickering. To my surprise, so does Jackie.

“What? What is it?”

George laughs harder at that. “Ophidian, you just started screaming about your tits.”

“Oh my fucking god!” Jackie is cracking up against a wall. “That was - that was amazing!”

“Guys. Please. We really, really have to stay focused, here.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just so distracted by your metal tits, Ophidian!” George can barely get the words out through fits of giggles. “Your beautiful cybernetic bosom has entranced me!”

“Hey, you were looking at them!”

“I was looking at your indicator lights, you dumbass!” He wipes a tear from his eye. “They’re red, which means your AI shell code is still having errors integrating with Nemo. I was just checking to see if they’d changed color at all.”

“…oh. Um. Sorry.”

Jackie tries to say something, but he’s lost the ability to speak, having practically fallen over in hysterics.
>>
No. 649665 ID: 26e769
File 143483720921.png - (108.80KB , 1000x600 , 76.png )
649665

“Seriously, Ophidian, did you think you could get us all hot and bothered? We built that body! I’ve had your-“ George snorts with laughter, then continues. “I’ve had your metal tits on my worktable for weeks. I’m about as attracted to you as I am to my toaster.”

>You had the whole time you were working on the Nemo frame to stare at them.

“Um. Right. I was wondering why you were looking at them… Yeah. Sorry.”

“Ophi… Ophidian!” Jackie gasps. “No, please, go on! Tell us more about your alloyed assets!”

“Ophidian.” George suddenly looks very serious. “I’m truly, honestly sorry for staring at your polymeric protrusions. It won’t happen again.” A second later, he bursts out laughing.

I turn away, feeling very embarrassed. “It’s not that funny.”

“Come on, Ophidian, it’s pretty fucking funny!”

“Maybe a little bit.” I can’t help but smile. “Just the tiniest, tiniest bit.”
>>
No. 649666 ID: 26e769
File 143483728676.png - (166.73KB , 1000x600 , 77.png )
649666

A few moments later, I’m laughing too. It has a different feeling to it than laughing as a human. The sound isn’t coming from my vocal cords - I think it’s coming from a bunch of speakers in my throat - but it is still laughter, and it feels equally as good. Thinking about it, I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed. There just hasn’t been much opportunity since this whole mess started - hell, not since before I left Petra behind, back on Earth.

“Damn, I needed that.” Jackie sighs happily. “Nemo was right. The atmosphere was getting uncomfortably tense.”

“I felt like a rubber band ready to snap.” George rubs his eyes, his mirth slowly fading. “Okay, then. Let’s get back to work.”

“Oh, are you sure? Do you need an hour or two more?” Mnemosyne beeps sardonically. “Please, go right ahead, laugh yourselves silly. It’s not like hundreds of lives are on the line or anything.”

I take advantage of Nemo’s perfect recall. “That little episode only took us two hundred and fifteen seconds, Mnemosyne. Relax. We’ve got this.”

“If you say so.” She gives us a worried electrical hum. “Please stay safe. I know little me was kind of hostile back there, but we do both care about you, Ophidian, and not just because you’re lugging around our… bionic bust.”

“Please, Mnemosyne, no!” Jackie can barely breathe from laughing. “You’ll kill me!”

“Oh my god!” George feigns terror. “So this is why they put in AI safeguards!”

I try to suppress my grin. I manage to do so surprisingly well. Nemo’s got one hell of a poker face. “Okay, guys, come on. Fun time is over, now. We’ve got a server to save.”

>Do the rope thing. Minimal exposure, maximum chance of retrieval.
>...if we had a magnetic grapple on the end of the line, it wouldn't have to be as accurate as the lasso. The dumb drones might be able to manage that on their own. Is there any harm in the drones trying and failing to get a line over before we get there? They might get lucky, and if not, they just reel it back in.

“I say we stick with the rope plan. Hey, do we have any of those magnetic grapples? We could attach one to the end of the nanofiber cables and-“

“You’d have to do it yourself.” Mnemosyne hums. “These bots can’t pull off anything like that on their own. Even with my micromanagement, they’re not the most maneuverable of machines.”

>Enhance jigglejogglers

Of course! I’ll just… wait, what?

>Then go find some cable.
>Is there anything else available you should consider taking with you? A cutting tool or other pieces of kit?

I start collecting various essentials. I grab a disposable programming tablet, a couple of very strong wire cutters, a small diamond saw, a welder, and as much carbon nanofiber cable as I can carry, then I find a bag and start packing.

>Obvious question, but if we're trying to preserve this body, shouldn't we put on a rad suit? Every little bit helps.

“Can I wear a safe-suit in this body?”

“Huh?” George blinks. “Oh. Um, as you are, there are parts of your body that can’t be covered without causing heating issues. I could modify a safe-suit for you to wear, but it could take a few minutes. Do you want me to get on that?”
>>
No. 649668 ID: e114bc

>>649666
No. We don't have minutes to spare on something that probably won't be needed.
>>
No. 649669 ID: 0fc976

Forget about it, not like it helped the last dozen people.
>>
No. 649696 ID: ab7529

>I know little me was kind of hostile back there
It's okay, Mnem. I'm gonna just blame that on being exposed to hormones for the first time in years.

>modify a rad suit, parts that can't be covered
Would the suit still provide an appreciable level of protection if you have to have areas exposed? And how much will it impact your maneuverability / fine motor skills?

You guys gotta make an engineering call. If it noticeably increases odds of completing the job or getting the body out okay, it's worth it. If not, it's not. (You could always ask Mnem to run the numbers. She's familiar with the specs on this body, the rad suit, and has measurements of the rad levels. For someone with seamless access to a big computer that's a fast calculation).
>>
No. 650097 ID: 26e769
File 143498875197.png - (156.23KB , 1000x600 , 78.png )
650097

>It's okay, Mnem. I'm gonna just blame that on being exposed to hormones for the first time in years.

“Hey, Mnem, I don’t fault little-you for the aggression. I’m just gonna blame it on her being exposed to hormones for the first time in years.”

“Probably. I hope we haven’t forked - that would make merging later a huge fucking hassle.”

>No. We don't have minutes to spare on something that probably won't be needed.
>Forget about it, not like it helped the last dozen people.
>You guys gotta make an engineering call. If it noticeably increases odds of completing the job or getting the body out okay, it's worth it. If not, it's not.

“Thanks, George, but I think I’ll pass on the suit. We haven’t got the time.” I grab my bag and the nanofiber cable. “I’m heading out. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck.” Jackie pats me on the head. “It’s all you, little lady.”

“Fuck off.” I laugh.

“You can do this, man. Good luck.” George looks slightly worried. “If you need us for anything, just call.”

“I will. Thanks, guys.” I smile. “Well… see you on the other side. Here’s hoping that I’m not already there.”

They wave me away. I go, feeling the pressure more strongly now than ever before. I have to do this. I have to save the brain bank. If I don’t… no. That’s not an option.
>>
No. 650098 ID: 26e769
File 143498881464.png - (58.77KB , 1000x600 , 79.png )
650098

I reach the elevator.

I just need to go to the server rooms, so thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat should be easy enough. I just have to push a button.
>>
No. 650100 ID: 2a7417

Are you stalling, Ophidian? Get on the lift, press the button, and clear your head. Well, don't reformat it or anything, but you know what I mean.
>>
No. 650104 ID: 88960e

>>650098
Um, O? Did you just have a thought hang? That's bad. You can't afford to lock up or blue screen of death while you're alone in there. That will doom everyone.

Hey, you know the plan for using cable to drag the drone with your body out? Maybe we should apply that to the Nemo frame, too. Tie a cable around your waist, and secure the end outside like a diver's line, so they can haul you out it something goes wrong.
>>
No. 650144 ID: e114bc

>>650098
Your indicator lights are still red. Radio in and ask if this is going to be a serious problem or if you can just deal with it.
>>
No. 650162 ID: ab7529

>>650098
Internal clock: how long did it take you to think "tha[...]t"?
>>
No. 650709 ID: 26e769
File 143527078381.png - (104.34KB , 1000x600 , 80.png )
650709

>Are you stalling, Ophidian?
>Internal clock: how long did it take you to think "tha[...]t"?
>Um, O? Did you just have a thought hang? That's bad.

I feel a little nervous, so I check my internal clock. Damn it. I’m missing time. It must have been another error - one I only subconsciously noticed. Luckily, it wasn’t too major. It only wasted around fifteen seconds.

>You can't afford to lock up or blue screen of death while you're alone in there. That will doom everyone.

The pressure builds. I can’t fall apart. Everyone’s counting on me, here. I’ve got to stay together.

>Get on the lift, press the button

I don’t waste any more time. I get on the elevator and start it up. Now for the wait.

>Your indicator lights are still red. Radio in and ask if this is going to be a serious problem or if you can just deal with it.

“Hey, Mnemosyne. I had another error. How long is this going to keep happening?”

“It should have cleared up already. Give it a few more minutes.”

“I might not have a few more minutes. We’re running out of time as it is. Anything else I can do?”

“Well, you could try to relax. The more dissonant you are, the harder it will be for the Synth to adapt to your mental processes.”

“How exactly can I ’relax’ in this situation?”

“Think happy thoughts, I guess. I don’t know.”

>clear your head. Well, don't reformat it or anything, but you know what I mean.

I clear my mind. Happy thoughts, huh? I never was very good at having those.
>>
No. 650717 ID: 0fc976

Fap vigorously. For the sake of everyone on board. Imagine their faces if it helps.
>>
No. 650724 ID: ab7529

>Happy thoughts, huh? I never was very good at having those
Childhood memories? A time when being a robot was a cool thing, and not a terrifying one?

Space! You're in space! How cool is that?

Achievements. Things you've done right- proved your skill and intelligence. The stuff where you built yourself up, before all this.

Maybe Petra, before you screwed that up?

...if feelings up guilt for stuff you've done creep in, maybe you can rationalize it away? You're sort of technically not the person who did those things. He died. Just... dissociate away the bad. You'll face it later.

Or heck, just run the litany against fear as a background process.
>>
No. 650732 ID: 89941a

Here's a happy thought, the indicator is already turning brighter. Also you may potentially lose your body, or fail to save everyone. No pressure.
>>
No. 650751 ID: 3d0992

You've already done everything you could. There's no sense in worrying over things outside of your control. Just focus on what you can do.
>>
No. 650775 ID: a65358

Emotional state is basically chemical. Can you get your synth body to force you to relax?
>>
No. 650778 ID: 0d5aae

>>650709
You are in IT right? think about network designs, physical and logical stuff, it doesn't have to be complex but find a pattern that feels natural to repeat and make it noticeably different each time you repeat it.
>>
No. 650891 ID: f61b8d

You know, like, happy thoughts!
Ponies!
Laughing children!
Butterflies!
Your favorite TV show!
Robo-whistle a tune!
>>
No. 650895 ID: e114bc

>>650709
Porn.
>>
No. 650902 ID: 88960e

>>650895
Oh man, do not open the local filestores the guys might have left to prank Mnem, or that she might have already moved in.
>>
No. 650953 ID: 2f4b71

>>650709
>“How exactly can I ’relax’ in this situation?”
The usual advice of slow deep breaths and feeling your heartbeat doesn't really work now.
Try 'feeling' your internal clock. Subdivide it, and again, and again. Take the ticking from Terahertz, to Kilohertz, to counting out loud.
>>
No. 652466 ID: 26e769
File 143581311473.png - (71.87KB , 1000x600 , 81.png )
652466

>You know, like, happy thoughts! Ponies!

My aunt, Mira, owns a pony. It’s a dumb, ugly creature that shits everywhere.

>Laughing children!

Children are also dumb, ugly creatures that shit everywhere.

>Your favorite TV show!

I prefer books.

>Achievements. Things you've done right- proved your skill and intelligence. The stuff where you built yourself up, before all this.

I haven’t done as much as some. I mean, when I was younger, I was part of a team that helped design the latest edition of the resurrection pod hardware, which put me on the map. I was the main voice behind the creation of the consistent-overwrite server setup on this ship, a fact of which, until recently, I was proud. Other than that, let’s see… I assisted in the functional design of this ship, but I borrowed a lot from the Cycad’s schematics. I had hoped I’d do more impressive things after I got to Cycadia, but I’d even settle for a life of mundanity at this point; at least it would be a life.

>Maybe Petra, before you screwed that up?

Petra… I miss Petra. I shouldn’t have left her. I know it was a mistake, but I couldn’t pass up a ticket to Mars. I mean, how many people ever get the chance to go out this far? It was so tempting. Still, I really should have turned the job down. Damn it all.

>Childhood memories? A time when being a robot was a cool thing, and not a terrifying one?

I used to play ‘robots’ with my sister when we were kids, but I never really pictured my pretend-robot as being quite so, uh, voluptuous. God, if Zoe could see me now, she’d laugh herself silly.

>...if feelings up guilt for stuff you've done creep in, maybe you can rationalize it away? You're sort of technically not the person who did those things. He died. Just... dissociate away the bad. You'll face it later.

Same memories, same person. Although… Nobody really knows if Reactive Analysis of Cerebral Memory systems really reproduce a person, or whether Synths are just very detailed simulations of a human consciousness. Ophidian, or at least the Ophidian I remember being, may have died the second he left Catherine’s body. It’s a miserable but quite real possibility - one that I choose to ignore.
>>
No. 652468 ID: 26e769
File 143581327611.png - (680.43KB , 1000x600 , 82.png )
652468

>Space! You're in space! How cool is that?

It is pretty neat. I mean, the food is sometimes stale, and the decoration could certainly do with an overhaul, but still, I can’t deny that space is very, very cool.

>You are in IT right? think about network designs, physical and logical stuff, it doesn't have to be complex but find a pattern that feels natural to repeat and make it noticeably different each time you repeat it.
>Try 'feeling' your internal clock. Subdivide it, and again, and again. Take the ticking from Terahertz, to Kilohertz, to counting out loud.
>Robo-whistle a tune!

I try repeating a pattern of electronic tones in my mind, adding and removing notes and rearranging it into various song forms. As it’s playing, I subtly change the structure and tempo based on the ‘beating’ of my internal clock. It’s very fun, and I find myself getting into it.

>Here's a happy thought, the indicator is already turning brighter.

I glance down at my indicator lights. Damn. I’m still not fully integrated, and the elevator has almost reached the server rooms.

>Porn.
>Fap vigorously. For the sake of everyone on board. Imagine their faces if it helps.
>Emotional state is basically chemical. Can you get your synth body to force you to relax?

Well, if anything could help me 'relax'… “Hey, Mnemosyne, do you have any idea if sexual stimulation would help speed this up?”

Mnemosyne responds with a loud, electronic giggle. “Ooh, Ophidian, you’re naughty!”

“Come on, Mnem. Would it work?”

“I suppose it might. I mean, you obviously can’t achieve any kind of, uh, release, but stimulation is very possible. You may need to up the sensitivity of your erogenous zones, though.”

“How do I do that?”

“Closing your eyes for a few seconds will bring up the UI. From there, just think about what you specifically want to have happen, clearly and carefully. Got it?”

“I think so. Let me try.” I close my eyes and wait. The UI comes up immediately. I start to think. Increase sensitivity of erogenous nerves, increase sensitivity of erogenous nerves…
>>
No. 652470 ID: 26e769
File 143581339709.gif - (403.12KB , 1000x600 , 83.gif )
652470

“Gkh!” I shudder and shake. My body suddenly feels like it’s submerged in boiling, electrified jelly. “Mn-Mnem! Oh god! Help!”

“Huh? What did you do?”

“I don’t know! I feel everything - my entire body - oh shit! Oh shit!”

“Oh hell, Ophidian, did you not specify erogenous zones?”

“What, speci-specify? What? I - oh god! I don’t know!” Unable to handle the feeling of my feet on the floor, I fall backwards. The moment I hit the railing, my body is utterly overwhelmed with sensation. “Holy shit! Fuck!”

“Look, Synth bodies have artificial nervous systems running through their skins, with sensitivity determined by settings alone, so every millimeter of my body has the potential to be erogenous. Ophidian. Did you specify erogenous zones?”

“N-nooo!” I yell. “Agh! Make it stop! Please, make it stop!”

“Calm down, O, you’ll get through this. Close your eyes and count to five. The UI will come up, and you can just think yourself back to normal. Are you listening? Go on, close your eyes and count to five.”

“Mnh!” I yelp. I close my eyes. The feeling of my eyelashes brushing against my face is comparable to the scratching of claws. It seems to take forever, but finally the UI comes back up. DECREASE EROGENOUS NERVE SENSITIVITY! DECREASE EROGENOUS NERVE SENSITIVITY!

A moment later, I’m back to ’normal’. I sigh with relief, though I’m not actually exhaling. “Thanks, Mnem…”

“You’re welcome.”

“I don’t suppose you could keep what just happened between the two of us?”

“No promises.”

“I figured as much.” I look down at my indicator lights. They’re green, meaning I’m at almost perfect integration. “Are you serious? That did it?!”

“Whoa, maybe you’re actually a genius. You know. Secretly.”

I feel a bit embarrassed. “It was an accident, Mnem. Shut up.”

“Negative, master Ophidian. I cannot falsely indicate intelligence. You are a dumbass.” Mnemosyne laughs at her own impression of herself. “By the way, isn’t this your stop?”

The elevator comes to a smooth halt.
>>
No. 652471 ID: e114bc

>>652470
Time to get off. Hurry. The main event is soon to come!
>>
No. 652472 ID: 0fc976

Damn Ophidian, you really know how to turn a lady's legs (and everything else) to jelly. Proceed with haste to the server room!
>>
No. 652477 ID: ed1fd2

>>652470
Well, uhh... you now have a story to tell at a bar once you are at Cycadia.
And yes, let's go, figure out how you want to enter the room and be watchful for anything that is odd or a hazard.
>>
No. 652554 ID: 89941a

It makes sense that all that stimulation would cause a faster sync. Anyhow, you've a job to do.
>>
No. 652555 ID: 88960e

Are there any other settings I can screw up I should be aware of? There isn't gonna be a lot of room for error. (Pain settings might matter, maybe).

You might want to reset nerve sensitivity to default. If you turned it down too far that might mess with fine motor skills.

Is there a rad counter we can bring up in the UI?

I will reiterate the suggestion of using some of the cable to secure yourself to a lifeline, fixed outside the rad zone. Worst case, this lets the bots haul the synth body out.

>this is your stop
Wish me luck, and keep as good an eye on me as you can from out there.
>>
No. 652558 ID: 53a13f

Actually yeah, check with Mnem if there's any other useful UI functions you should know about like enhancing your kno-

No, that one's never going to come in handy.
>>
No. 653131 ID: 26e769
File 143607350252.png - (103.95KB , 1000x600 , 84.png )
653131

>I will reiterate the suggestion of using some of the cable to secure yourself to a lifeline, fixed outside the rad zone. Worst case, this lets the bots haul the synth body out.

I tie a loop around my waist and attach one end to the outer part of the elevator. Hopefully my hourglass figure will help me keep from slipping out of it; it’s about time this sex-swapping nightmare was good for something.

>Damn Ophidian, you really know how to turn a lady's legs (and everything else) to jelly.

Well, I’ve never had any complaints. Still, I wish that the lady in this instance wasn’t, you know, me.

>Well, uhh... you now have a story to tell at a bar once you are at Cycadia.

I’m pretty sure that I won’t be telling this story to anyone. At least not for a very, very long time.

>You might want to reset nerve sensitivity to default. If you turned it down too far that might mess with fine motor skills.

I quickly click into the UI and reset my nerve sensitivity. I feel the now-familiar sensations of the female body return. Damn it. I really want this to be over.

>Actually yeah, check with Mnem if there's any other useful UI functions you should know about like enhancing your kno-… No, that one's never going to come in handy.
>Are there any other settings I can screw up I should be aware of?

“Hey, Mnemosyne. Are there any other settings I should know about?”

“Well, you can zoom in your vision, slow down or speed up your perception of time, or play music in your brain. You know, if you feel like it. I’d say go easy on playing around, though. It tends to drive up the dissonance like no tomorrow.”

>Is there a rad counter we can bring up in the UI?

“Is there a radiation counter I can pull up?”

“Uh, I think so? You don’t have to ask me about this stuff, you know. Just try commands in the UI, it’ll tell you if it can do it or not.”

>Wish me luck, and keep as good an eye on me as you can from out there.

“Right, thanks. Wish me luck, and keep on eye on me if you can.”

“Good luck, and I will.”
>>
No. 653132 ID: 26e769
File 143607356356.png - (88.25KB , 1000x600 , 85.png )
653132

>Proceed with haste to the server room!
>Anyhow, you've a job to do.
>And yes, let's go, figure out how you want to enter the room and be watchful for anything that is odd or a hazard.
>Time to get off. Hurry. The main event is soon to come!

Right. I head out of the elevator and down the hall, as quickly as I can. Server room ten is the furthest from the rest, at the very end of the hall. I should be able to disconnect the rest of the servers from there.

I turn the last corner and - huh?

…What the hell am I looking at?
>>
No. 653134 ID: d90668

Boxes maybe? Or plates welded together hastily? What would usually be here?

This is not a good sign. If someone or something is down here doing stuff you do not know about it throws off all our assumptions.
>>
No. 653136 ID: ab7529

>…What the hell am I looking at?
I don't know. A block, blotchy barricade? Should you be able to pass through that door?

Actually, is that an open doorway that's been closed off, or a wall that's been altered / had stuff added to it?

Is it possible this the foreign radiation source? Check rad counter. If that thing is hot, you don't want to stand here staring at it and getting fried, get a move on. (I assume the door to the left isn't the one we came in through? No visible cable leading back through it).
>>
No. 653140 ID: 0fc976

It's a tile puzzle you have to complete to progress! Joy.

Did the engineers or Mnem see this when they were operating the drones?
>>
No. 653144 ID: 742b4a

>>653132
Pull up the rad counter. Also see if you can send visuals to Mnem, because this isn't normal.

Peek in there and see if you can find a path to server room 10.
>>
No. 653145 ID: 57d76a
653145

> what the hell am i looking at
Dunno. Is that a door's been bent out of shape? Could mean trouble, whatever it is. Seconding the "check rad counter" bit. Otherwise, proceed with caution. But also haste.
>>
No. 653147 ID: fef726

I wonder if your ship has been invaded by something. The only way this could get here is is someone put it here and nothing else on the ship can survive that radiation.
>>
No. 655333 ID: 26e769
File 143670079264.png - (120.50KB , 1000x600 , 86.png )
655333

“Mnemosyne, are you seeing this? Was it here before?”

“It was. I didn’t examine it too closely; I was busy moving bodies, and the drones don’t have amazing visual feedback anyway. The cameras in that hall are malfunctioning, too, probably because of the radiation.”

“Can you send a drone over so you can get a better idea of what it is?”

“I could, but you’ve got a pair of eyes that will work just as well. Do you mind if I-?”

“Go ahead.” I feel a slight tug, like something’s pulling on my brain with a string. “That’s an interesting sensation. So, are you seeing what I’m seeing?”

“Quite literally.” I can hear Mnemosyne’s voice in my head. “Oh. Shit. It looks like a cobbled-together radiation shield. The engineering team must have put it up to keep server room ten safe.”

“Well, it’s not helping. I need to get to that server room to disconnect the rest, and this shielding is blocking the way.”

“I could get the drones to come smash it down, probably. But, if I do that, then server room ten might be compromised along with all of the rest.”

“What else can we do, then?”

“It’s not optimal, but you’d be able to do the job from out here. You’d just have to disconnect them all from room ten manually. I think that’s what the other Ophidian was doing when he died.”

“That could take a lot more time, though, depending on how much of the work the other me did. The clock’s ticking on how long this body will be able to function down here, and it would be faster to just break down the shielding and work out of room ten.”

“True. It’s up to you, O. Are we going to prioritize speed, or safety?”
>>
No. 655334 ID: 0fc976

Prioritise safety, we are out of continues! You only need a hole in the radiation shield large enough for you to get through, or maybe a detached autonomous hand if you're feeling plucky. You can seal the shield up again behind you, though you may need a drone's tools to do that.
>>
No. 655337 ID: b19c84

>>655333
Send the drones in, scoot around to the other server rooms while they're coming down to see how far the work's done.
>>
No. 655338 ID: 2f4b71

If we're going to go tearing through things, can we approach SR10 from the opposite direction and rip through a bulkhead?
>>
No. 655341 ID: 89941a

You'll need to fix the radiation shield as soon as you finish. Go on and hammer through the shield.
>>
No. 655358 ID: ab7529

Wait, this rad-shield is a bunch of smaller pieces stuck together. Instead of breaking down the whole thing, could you pop one panel loose to crawl though? Do you have any cutting tools? And then you could prop that piece back up behind you. Like a little trap door.

It'll cost you a little time to do, and will slightly increase the rads getting through the shield, but it will take less time than disconnecting all the other rooms, and less exposure than if you broke it down. It's the best compromise solution we have.

...unless there's access shafts. You're in a tiny girl-bot body, is air-vent access reasonable this time?
>>
No. 655375 ID: fef726

Given the drone has radiation shielding itself, why not use it to plug the hole it makes?
>>
No. 657610 ID: 26e769
File 143762938497.png - (103.66KB , 1000x600 , 87.png )
657610

“Can we go around? Cut through the bulkheads?”

“No chance in hell. To get through that much metal, you’d have to use explosives, which would trigger an automatic server sync.”

“Damn. Okay, then. I’m going to try to cut a hole through the shield, then quickly weld it back together on the other end. Mnem, can you bring a drone over in case I need help blocking it off?”

“Sure. Give me a few moments.”

“I’ll start sawing while I wait.” I put the cables and bag down on the ground, then I start rummaging through the tools I’d brought along. I find the saw quickly enough.

I stand up, find a weak part of the shield, and start sawing away.

Almost a minute in, I start to hear a sharp hissing sound.

“Mnemosyne, are you hearing this?“

“Yes, but I’m not sure what it is. Unless… Oh shit! Ophidian, back off, stop what you’re doing!”
>>
No. 657612 ID: 26e769
File 143762949341.png - (102.90KB , 1000x600 , 88.png )
657612

Surprised at Mnemosyne’s urgency, I obediently pull the saw away from the wall.

The small hole I’d managed to carve out of the shield suddenly splits into a larger crack. “Hey, Mnem, what-“

I throw myself backwards as water bursts out of the crevice.

When the water hits me, it hits me hard. I can feel my artificial nerves screaming out in pain.
>>
No. 657613 ID: 26e769
File 143762951903.png - (100.44KB , 1000x600 , 89.png )
657613

“Ophidian, are you okay?!”

“I’m - I’m fine, Mnemosyne. I may have gotten sprayed down my left shoulder and arm, but I doubt it’s going to be anything more than cosmetic damage.”

“Damn, so it was water. I’m sorry I didn’t figure it out more quickly. Why the hell would they flood the hallway?”

“It’s another layer to the shield.” I flex various muscles in my left arm, and everything seems to be fine. A small bit of luck in my otherwise unfortunate day. “It’s my fault, I should have seen it coming.”

“It’s not your fault. You couldn’t have known.”

“But it is my fault - literally my fault - and I did know. Sort of. See, I had this idea earlier, when I was getting Jo out. I was thinking of flooding the area to help block the radiation. It looks like the other me had the same thought. Damn it, I fucked us over again!”

“Focus, Ophidian.” Mnemosyne beeps sharply. “So! The hallway leading to server room ten is flooded? That’s not going to make it easy to get through, or to repair the shielding once you’re through.”

“No, it isn’t. Mnem, please tell me that this body is waterproof.”

“It should be. That being said, the equipment in server room ten probably isn’t waterproof. Not all of it, anyway. Opening the door to the server room with the hallway flooded could damage the equipment - and be even worse than having the servers sync.”

“So I have to get rid of all the water in the hallway before I open the door? Gosh, this job just gets easier and easier, doesn’t it?” I glance up at the crack in the shield. Water is still spraying out of it at a high pressure. “Hey, Mnem, If I ever get a time machine, would you remind me to go back in time and beat the living shit out of myself?”

“Will do.”

“Right, then. Time to figure this shit out.”
>>
No. 657615 ID: 0fc976

Okay. Step 1 - get crackin' on that time machine! Oh, wait. You could just bring a time machine here from the future, and invent it after this time-sensitive mission is over. So simple!

Right then, really. Does Mnem have access to the doors in the corridor? We can open additional (non-server) rooms to lower the water level, or vent it all out an airlock if there's one in the hall (and opening said airlock won't sink - I mean, sync - the servers.) The water will have been providing most of the radiation protection, so there's little more damage you can do to the protection by removing more of the wall for faster drainage. Once it's clear, you've gotta sprint for the server room! (Caution -- wet floor!) ...Okay, you've gotta powerwalk for the server room!
>>
No. 657616 ID: e114bc

>>657613
What? At that high pressure it's either hooked into the water system directly, or there's a LOT of water in there. In the former case we can pump it out then pump it back in once you're through. In the latter case we're FUCKED so I really hope it's the former. Mnem should be able to tell, right? Run a diagnostic on the water systems or something, to see which pump is set to flood this section, and reverse it?

We can't continue cutting the bulkhead until the water is out. Also, depending on how long it takes to pump it all out, it may be worth it now to get that radsuit fitted for the body. You have extra radsuits right? Using one for this purpose won't cause a shortage?
>>
No. 657651 ID: 62a84f

What about breaching the wall at its top? If the room isn't *completely* filled with water, it would give access to it. Plus it could help getting enough water out to enter.
>>
No. 657662 ID: 5b69c0

At this point I think you're going to need to re-evaluate your decision. This was a question of speed or safety and safety's no-longer as simple as you thought it was going to be.
Go around to the other server rooms and disconnect them. With any luck prior Ophidian did some of that too.
>>
No. 657663 ID: 88960e

>more suprises past you left
Can Mnem do a search to see if you or Jo or an instance of herself or anyone left a goddamn log as they worked?

>everything seems to be fine
Get the body running some kind of damage assment or quick diagnostic in the background. Be sure.

>water in the way
Mnem can't just reverse the pumps that we being used? Or dump it through the air or garbage system, or an air lock?

Our options kind of depends on what's in the hallway.

Also: reassess. If you remove this protection, will server 10 still be safe from being corrupted by radiation, even if you stop the sync? Is getting through this baracade going to take longer than just going and disconnecting the other nine rooms?
>>
No. 657739 ID: ab7529

>Sort of. See, I had this idea earlier
Hmm. Can anyone else think of any ideas we might have suggested that might blow up in our faces in they were already implemented?

Like, Mnem should really check if we already reprogrammed any of the drones and they're off on some task. Or if someone had a bright idea to set a self destruct to save the colony. Or if the overpressure to try and eject the radioactive source is already building and is gonna crush our body.
>>
No. 658770 ID: 26e769
File 143806718171.png - (302.33KB , 1000x600 , 90.png )
658770

I pull up the UI and double-check my physical condition.

Everything looks fine. There’s an inactive indicator light, but that’s not a serious injury.

“Something’s funny about the water pressure. Can you check if the hallway's hooked up to the water system?”

“I think so.” Mnemosyne beeps. “Yeah, it is. They shunted the water lines to have it directly pumping into the hallway.”

“Can you reverse the water flow?”

“I’ll need a little help from Mini-Me, but yes.”

“Get on that, then.”

“Yes sir, Mr. Chiefboss McMaster.”

I roll my synthetic eyes. “Get on that, please.”

“Right. It’ll probably take twenty-odd minutes to pump all of the water out. What are you going to do while I’m working on that?”
>>
No. 658772 ID: e114bc

>>658770
Twenty minutes?! Will we even have enough time left to do the work necessary in the server room?

Well hang on, can we get in there before all the water is out? Like, reverse the water flow and just cut in at the top once there's clearance, so you can get in without spraying water everywhere? Regardless, first thing's first, seal the hole you made.

If you can get in at the top of the barricade earlier than 20 minutes, go get two ladders (one for each side) and maybe some extra plating to help reseal the holes afterwards. If you have extra time, get that suit refitted.
>>
No. 658812 ID: 88960e

>Twenty minutes to spare.
Fuck. Downtime is bad.

We could try lassoing the drones holding our body for the other drones to haul out. Maybe equip a rad suit after all, since we now have time to modify one.

Should not hang around in the rad zone unless you're being productive.

We could try disconnecting more servers at the other ends which we wait, but ultimately that means more exposure for a redundant solution. Why would the you that died have chosen the option that was slower and meant more personal exposure? Did they not realize it was bad enough to get through the suits? Did they set up the barricade before they realized they would have to cut the lines? Something doesn't add up, here. Why doesn't your decesion make sense to you? (Was dying of radiation poisioning messing with you head?).
>>
No. 658813 ID: 88960e

>There’s an inactive indicator light
Sorry, Mnem, but it looks like you won't be getting your deposit back. I busted a blinker.
>>
No. 658835 ID: 2a7417

We don't have to pump all of it out, just enough to wade through, right? How much would that cut that time by? Man, there is no way we're recovering ourselves at this rate.
Well, if we have time, let's get the hell out of rad city and have that safesuit modified. Curious George can have a look at that arm.
>>
No. 658840 ID: 88960e

>>658835
I think part of the problem is we don't want to get water into the server room, meaning we need the level low enough for the door at the end of the hall to have clearance.
>>
No. 660018 ID: 26e769
File 143858865025.png - (38.28KB , 1000x600 , 91.png )
660018

>Why would the you that died have chosen the option that was slower and meant more personal exposure?

I’ve always been a fan of playing it safe, taking the slow, cautious road. My guess is that past-me set up the radiation shields in the hallway to protect server room ten, then realized the danger of the majority-override system. Rather than risk server room ten by tearing down the shield, quickly rushing in, partitioning the server room, and rushing out, past-me probably thought it would be safer to work through the outer servers without putting server room ten in immediate danger. In his place, I might have made the same decision - though, in a way, I guess I was, and I guess I had.

But we don’t have time to play it safe anymore. Especially not in the way that got the other me killed. He must have made some mistake, missed something, underestimated the radiation, I don’t know, but I’m not going to end up like him.

>We could try lassoing the drones holding our body for the other drones to haul out.
>Man, there is no way we're recovering ourselves at this rate.

I glance at the door to server room two, my body’s current resting place. It's in the room just next to whatever it is that's causing all of this radiation in the first place, so it's probably getting a lot of exposure. Every second that my body is in there, in the midst of the radiation, is lowering the chances that it will be recoverable. I want to - I need to get it out of there. Soon.

>Maybe equip a rad suit after all, since we now have time to modify one.
>Well, if we have time, let's get the hell out of rad city and have that safesuit modified.

“Mnem, open up a line with George.”

“Done.”

“George, how long would it take you to modify a safe-suit for this body?”

“Huh? Oh, uh… I’m not sure. Probably under ten minutes.”

I glance back at the door to room two. Should I grab my body now, and risk damaging Nemo with radiation, or should I go back up, wait for the safe-suit, and risk losing myself?
>>
No. 660020 ID: defceb

Nuh uh. No more wasting time. It might be too late already, get in there.
>>
No. 660021 ID: e114bc

>>660018
With your body that close to the radiation, what are the chances that it's recoverable at all by now? Ask Mnem if she can calculate that. Then ask how much 10 minutes would affect the chances.

We need to assess risk before we do it.
Personally I think that if it's been there that long, 10 minutes isn't going to affect your chances much. Protect the living, not the dead.
>>
No. 660024 ID: 99cfa8

>>660018
Ten minutes probably won't make much difference to your body, but it will to Mnem's. Play it safe.
... make sure to tell him to get started now though.
>>
No. 660026 ID: e114bc

Hey, find out how far the old version of you got in separating the servers one by one. Is this the last one? Or is server room 1 the last one?
>>
No. 660054 ID: 88960e

If your body is in with the rad source, you're going to need eye protection to even look in there without frying the Nemo-frame's optics. You need to be able to see to lasso anything.

A hardended camera (or two or three in case the first one fries) that would let you see around the corner and assess the situation without soaking up radiation would be good too.

Tell George to get going. You've got a lag time before you can get to the server- Mnem is pumping the hall. Then double back and get supplies.
>>
No. 660055 ID: 89941a

I still think it might be best to give up on your body. But you're probably tired of hearing that.
>>
No. 660058 ID: 2a7417

Hang in there Ophidian, you're coming to save you! Rescue your body using the lasso strategy you came up with earlier.
>>
No. 660086 ID: 2f4b71

>>660018
>Should I grab my body now, and risk damaging Nemo with radiation, or should I go back up, wait for the safe-suit, and risk losing myself?
If you damage Nemo's body, you probably won't be ending up back in your body even if you DO recover it.
>>
No. 660101 ID: 8e0f68

>>660018
We've already wasted too much time, we need to get the body now.
>>
No. 660233 ID: 26e769
File 143868838979.png - (75.45KB , 1000x600 , 92.png )
660233

>Ten minutes probably won't make much difference to your body, but it will to Mnem's. Play it safe.
>I think that if it's been there that long, 10 minutes isn't going to affect your chances much. Protect the living, not the dead.

I think it over, then look away. I shouldn’t rush something like this. I still need to repair the server, and Mnemosyne’s body is just as important as mine. More, even. I need to be cautious.

…I have the uncomfortable feeling that past-me was thinking more or less the same thing just before he died.

>Tell George to get going. You've got a lag time before you can get to the server- Mnem is pumping the hall. Then double back and get supplies.

“George, can you get to work on that safe-suit? There’s been a delay, so I should have time to double back. You have Nemo’s measurements, right?”

“Yeah, I think so. I’ll need to look you over before I can do some of the more exact changes, but I can probably do some of the simpler ones while you make your way back.”

“Thanks.” I go over to the lift and hop on.

I find myself regretting my decision. What if that was my last chance? Ten minutes… it isn’t a long time, but it’s long enough.

Mnemosyne beeps quietly. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“You know what. I can see through your eyes. I know where your gaze lingered, and it’s not hard to guess why it would. Thank you for not risking my body.”

“Would you have stopped me?”

“I don’t know if I could have.”

The rest of the elevator ride is spent in silence.
>>
No. 660236 ID: 26e769
File 143868857771.png - (115.49KB , 1000x600 , 93.png )
660236

I walk into the robotics lab. “I’m back.”

“Oh, perfect!” George waves me over. “I need to take a look at your heating system. Can you spread your arms?”

“Sure. Like this?”

“Yeah. Hold that position.”

“Can I talk?”

George nods.

>Hey, find out how far the old version of you got in separating the servers one by one. Is this the last one? Or is server room one the last one?

“Hey, Mnemosyne. Can you check how many of the servers past-me partitioned before he died?”

“I think so. Give me a sec.” She whistles in an electronic tone. “Looks like you got through about half of them. All that’s left are server rooms one, two, four, six, and eight.”

>With your body that close to the radiation, what are the chances that it's recoverable at all by now? Ask Mnem if she can calculate that.

“Thanks.” I pause. “There’s one other thing.”

“What is it?”

“What are the chances that my body is recoverable at this point?”

“Let me check with Catherine.” Mnemosyne goes quiet for a while.

After a few minutes of waiting, I get impatient. “Are you still there, Mnem?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m still here.”

“What did Catherine say?”

“…I’m not sure if I should tell you.”
>>
No. 660238 ID: 89941a

If your body was a pork chop, it'd be well-done by now.
>>
No. 660240 ID: 243dc7

"Never tell me the odds". Let's focus on saving everyone.
>>
No. 660249 ID: 88960e

>…I’m not sure if I should tell you.
Mnem, if the two of you are certain there's no chance of recovery, I need to know now before I waste time or risk resources on it.

If it's just unlikely, I'll cling to what hope I have left.

Also, reiterating: you need some heavy duty eye protection or disposable cameras to see into the rad-room.
>>
No. 660319 ID: 0fc976

>>660249
This. Should I bother or not?
>>
No. 660337 ID: e114bc

>>660236
Tell them if you're dead you'd like to know. You almost went to retrieve your body thinking there was hope, and you're one drone down on what might be a lost cause. Is it a lost cause?
>>
No. 660338 ID: 066a87

In all the confusion and mess, who's to say that someone with a body that's safe and sound wasn't accidentally overwritten? Or that in the confusion and mess someone who isn't mission-critical, like our chef perhaps, won't be accidentally overwritten with bad data?

If that happened wouldn't there be a perfectly good body waiting for you? Sure, not your original body, but still...
>>
No. 660427 ID: 7d9d51

>>660338
Let us very much not even go there.

And yeah, find out if we should bother.
>>
No. 662711 ID: 3bc92d
File 143967615290.png - (106.75KB , 1000x600 , 94.png )
662711

“Mnem, if the two of you are certain that there’s no chance of recovery, I need to know now before I waste time or risk resources on it. Should I bother or not? Tell me.”

Mnemosyne is quiet for a moment. “…Catherine says it would be a miracle if she could revive your body at all. Even if she did, at this point, with the amount of exposure you’ve had, you wouldn’t want to live in it.”

“What? ‘Wouldn’t want to live in it’? What do you mean?”

“Your body, if it even could be revived, would probably go through the worst parts of radiation sickness. Catherine can’t repair cells past a certain point, and it’s possible your body would start to literally fall apart. Your skin would slough off, you would feel like you’re on fire, and for the most part, all you would be able to do is suffer. You wouldn’t be able to stand, or sit up, or-“

”Stop it.”

“You wanted to know.” She beeps sadly. “I’m sorry, Ophidian.”

I’m silent. Everything is silent. It’s like the world has frozen. There’s nothing. No noise, no heartbeat, no thoughts. This is all that I am.

I’m nothing.

“…Ophidian? Are you okay?”
>>
No. 662712 ID: e114bc

>>662711
No. I'm dead. But a dead man can still do his duty.
>>
No. 662714 ID: ab7529

>“…Ophidian? Are you okay?”
No. I'm not. But I'm dead, so it doesn't matter.

I died doing this once already, and I'm going to finish doing this before the echos fade.
>>
No. 662733 ID: d90668

Well my body might be dead but I can do my best to keep everyone from suffering the same fate.

Hey you know that old quote that goes "My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country"? Well you can tell people I gave my life a lot more than that.

Maybe you can retrofit a vacuum bot for me to live in or something.

Anyways guess its time to get back to work then.
>>
No. 662772 ID: ab7529

Other possible fun bits of morbid dialog to use:

"I'm just a ghost in the machine, now. One who doesn't plan on haunting you any longer than he needs to."

(To be used in response to protests that he's not dead or nothing): "You heard the Doc call it. Charles Odiphan, time of death [exact machine timestamp]."

(Default plan is to complete mission and go to eternal brain bank oblivion, or even more morbidly, to just be wiped from the body without upload when we're done with it. O does not want to be an AI. Not that there's even spare synth body for him to be an AI in).
>>
No. 662777 ID: 7d9d51

That this is a problem at all is an embarrassment for your entire civilization.

No matter. We knew it was a long shot. Still got a job to do.
>>
No. 662779 ID: b20016

In the end, all that will be left of you will be a memory in the mind of others.

Make it the best one.
>>
No. 662780 ID: 34a64b

Do you think they're going to just throw away the hero who did everything he could to save the lives of everyone on this ship? You've got things to do.
>>
No. 662790 ID: fef726

You know what? Fuck giving up. So what if your meatsack of a body is toast? Look at Mnemosyne! She is just as much a person as anyone here and I'd dare you to tell her otherwise.

If she can have a body made for her so can you. However you can't get that body if everyone on the ship dies. So before you go and build a replacement body we first gotta fix those servers.
>>
No. 663493 ID: 0fc976

*BEEP BOOP.* You are a soulless automaton. Your existence is meaningless, disposable, replaceable. Carry out your programming, robot.
Protocol NIHILIST engaged. Target of opportunity: Server 10.
>>
No. 663632 ID: 89941a

Yo, you're still you. Just need to send for a new synth body and wait it out with your mind stored.

As for now, you can still save the others if you make haste.
>>
No. 663809 ID: 3bc92d
File 143995981065.png - (59.27KB , 1000x600 , 95.png )
663809

After a short silence, George puts a hand on my shoulder. “Ophidian? Say something, man.”
>>
No. 663812 ID: 3bc92d
File 143996000601.png - (62.62KB , 1000x600 , 96.png )
663812

I burst out laughing.

“Uh…” George backs off a little. “You okay?”

“No. No, I’m not! I’m dead!” I keep laughing, without pause. I don’t need to breathe. I can just laugh forever. “I’m nothing but a dead man’s memories! I’m literally a ghost in the machine, walking around in a female body made out of metal!”

“Actually, it’s more of a nano-layered polymer blend, mostly firmer polycarbonates - but that’s not the point.” Jackie looks worried. “I’m sorry for your loss, Ophi, but you’re, uh…”

“Laughing like a crazy person.” Mnemosyne finishes. “Seriously, it’s freaking me out. Are you glitching?”

“No. No, I’m not glitching.” I clench my fists through a fit of giggles. “But I can’t cry. I literally can’t cry. I could scream as loud as I can, but it would deafen all of you. So what else can I do? I might as well laugh at my own stupidity, my own worthless mistakes, all the idiotic decisions which led to my death.” With a roar of laughter, I raise my arms in a gesture of futility. “This? This is it! This is all that my life came to. This ship was my biggest accomplishment, and look how many of my friends have died because of it! That’s my legacy: incompetence and death!”

“Ophidian…”
>>
No. 663813 ID: 3bc92d
File 143996005611.png - (42.15KB , 1000x600 , 97.png )
663813

“It’s not fair. It’s not fucking fair. I can’t even remember it.” I notice that I’ve stopped laughing. My voice is quiet. “I should at least be able to remember my own death, shouldn’t I? My last moments?”

“That version of you never had a chance to upload himself. There’s no possible way you could remember, at this point.”

“But I should. It’s my death.” I look down at my body - no, it’s not my body. I don’t have a body anymore. “Is this what I have to look forward to, then? Living the rest of my life in bodies like this? Never eating again, never breathing again, never-“

“It’s not that bad!” Mnemosyne pipes up. “Look, I know this must be difficult for you, but… Try to relax, okay? We need you making sense and thinking clearly.”

That jolts me out of my melancholy. “Right… Right. A dead man can still do his duty. George, can you keep working on those measurements?”

“Yeah.” George nods. “Yeah, I can do that.”

George manages to fix up the suit in eight minutes, more quickly than he’d estimated. It takes me another minute or two to get it on, though.

“Do you have any more protection for my optics? I know radiation can cause problems with cameras, and I’m going to need my sight for this.”

“Uh…” Jackie searches through a small drawer and pulls out a pair of welding goggles. “It’s not much, but it’s all we’ve got. Sorry.”

I take them and put them on. “I guess it’s better than nothing. Thanks.” I turn to go.
>>
No. 663815 ID: 3bc92d
File 143996011489.png - (49.83KB , 1000x600 , 98.png )
663815

“Wait.” Jackie speaks up. “I have an idea.”

“Good for you.” I look back at him. “Care to elaborate?”

“It’s about the radiation source - I had Mnem do some tests with the drones, and it looks like the bulk of the radiation source is in the server rooms, after crashing through the hull.”

“Yeah, I thought we knew that already. So?”

“So that means, if we can break the object in the server rooms apart, it’s more than likely that it will just float out of the hole it made when it hit us. We just need to do enough damage to split the radiation source into pieces, so it isn’t stuck in the ceiling.”

“Sure, maybe, but wouldn’t that leave a massive hole in the hull?”

“Yeah, but the server rooms don’t especially need oxygen, and we can hopefully seal off the affected areas. Hell, the room doors might be enough on their own. I’m pretty sure they’re heavy and airtight.”

“They are, yeah.” I nod. “It might work. How were you suggesting we break the object apart? It spans the width of server room one and two, and it’s heavy enough that it was able to tear through the hull. I don’t think my little saw will have much of an impact on something like that.”

“Uh, well…” Jackie shrugs. “I haven’t figured that part out yet.”

“There’s another problem with this plan.” George speaks up. “Gravity. As long as the Torellia’s main section is rotating to create the artificial gravity, the centrifugal force will probably pull the pieces of the radiation source inwards.”

Jackie sighs. “It’s true. So we need to deal with both the gravity and finding a way to shatter the foreign object.” He turns to me. “I know you’re kind of on a deadline, Ophidian, but… do you have any ideas?”
>>
No. 663818 ID: e114bc

>>663815
Well if we're gonna make a big hole in the hull anyway, let's use a big explosion to do it. If there's nothing especially interesting near the server rooms and we can seal them off, just blow up server room 1 and 2.

As far as gravity is concerned can't you just turn it off for a bit? Granted, since it's rotational gravity, everything is going to slide horizontally as the rotation slows.

For now let's continue with the plan. Once some of the water is pumped out, cut a hole near the top and get through, seal it behind you, then cut another hole in the other side and seal it behind you again. After that, uh... well you could pump water in there again but then Mnem's body would be trapped behind the barricade. I suppose you could leave the holes open and the water at a low level until the job is done in there, then climb back through to reactivate the barricade?
>>
No. 663835 ID: b5f4cb

>>663815
>>663818

We might actually have to inspect the radiation source carefully to weigh our options but, if there's a hole in the hull and the debris is covering that hole, blowing it up will cause the problem of depressurization possibly sucking Ophi out if he's not bolted to the ground and in the room when it happens.

Blowing up the debris might also cause shards to fly out as well and we probably don't want to be dragging out radioactive material if it penetrates the chassis we're in.

Gravity being shut off temporarily sounds like a good idea, would a remote explosive work if we have one? We might not be able to see when we shut the room doors but it leaves Ophidian's robot body safer and not have to deal with the problem of being on the wrong side of the room when depressurization hits. A silly thought was to use the tasers from the robot on the lift way back to detonate the explosives.

There might be left over pieces flying around but the pressure in the room would be level with space so it might get the majority out, if not all, and we can wait for the half-life of the material to reduce radioactivity provided it's not too long.

Again, we do need to have a look at the radioactive source in some way though, quickly or safely and do some assessment from there because we might not even have the explosives to shatter it. One thought springing to mind is that as you try and slingshot an orbit to use a gravity of a planet, possibly dislodging the radioactive source if it's loose enough from the hull. You could probably endanger a planet but we're pretty desperate!

Disconnecting server room 10 from all the others though is definitely a top priority though. I'm not sure how sensitive the sync will trigger with just a little bit of water though, it shouldn't take too long of a job to disconnecting. Not to mention that the distance between SR 1&2 and SR 10 might have enough distance apart to shield some of the radiation. I'm also for the idea of pumping the water back after locking the server room, rebuilding the barricades and escaping since it's probably the best radiation shielding that you have for a room but we realise there is a time issue.

You can do it, Ophidian.
>>
No. 663884 ID: 89941a

Can't we just buckle everyone down and spin the entire station really fast?

Also, you look adorable in the getup.
>>
No. 663885 ID: a191d7

>>663815
Aside from explosives, what cutting tools and self-propelled movers do we have?
While the ship's rotation will throw the fragment outwards, any pieces thrown inside the ship will spread material against the direction of rotation.
Instead of breaking up the object, we could also cut through the hull layers it is caught in, if we eject it we are going to lose atmosphere in the section anyway so might as well go for the thinnest part of the damaged area.
They still build spacecraft thinner than tin cans right? No engine technology that made it useful to have giant slabs of ceramic as spaceship hull?
>>
No. 663930 ID: 2a7417

Yeah, that deadline's already passed for me. Explosive decompression?
>>
No. 663959 ID: ab7529

How much force it would take to shatter the object depends a lot on it's composition and structure. Which we know nothing about. Could we get someone analyzing the radiation, see what it tells us about the object?

We can use cutters or robots or manpower to break up or move the pieces, as they will all break down in close proximity.

That leaves ranged options- over-pressuring the room with air or water, a controlled explosion (this is a space ship, you have access to high energy chemistry and power generation), or using an explosion to launch a good sized projectile of the densest material we have on hand at it.

...or heck, we seal off that server room, and use explosives to sever the room / walls and ditch the whole thing at once. Depending on several unknown factors, the hull might be easier to damage than the material.

We might also be able to time our action with maneuvering the ship or altering the rotation to apply extra force. We'd have to be very careful though- get Mnem running numbers so we don't accidentally pulp the human cargo, or damage the rest of the ship. And so we have enough fuel to correct course and get where we're going after.
>>
No. 667074 ID: 3bc92d
File 144133277989.png - (37.90KB , 1000x600 , 99.png )
667074

“Can we find out more about the object before we make any more plans?”

“We’ve done about as much testing and examination as we can do in a safe way.”

“Shit. Well, okay. We’re going to put a hole in the hull no matter what, so… can we use explosives?”

Jackie thinks this over. “Explosives? Well, the ones we have on hand aren’t very strong…”

“Wait.” Mnemosyne beeps in. “According to my files, Cycadia requisitioned some heavy-duty explosives designed for excavation. They should be in storage.”

“That would be perfect. Can you-?”

“I’ve already got a drone on the job.” Mnemosyne hums. “I’ll have it carry the explosives up here.”

“Okay, so there’s that done.” I nod. “Now, about the gravity. We should be able to turn it off.”

“Wait, what?” George blinks. “How, exactly?”

“We can stop the ship’s rotation. Mnemosyne should be able to do it remotely, actually.”

“Hey, why do I have to do everything?” Mnemosyne whines, then giggles. “Kidding. Yeah, I can do it. It’s behind like a hundred failsafes, but… boom. Failsafes gone. Just say the word.”

“Careful.” Jackie seems nervous. “You’ve got to stop the rotation slowly. If you hit the brakes suddenly, we’ll all be slammed into the ceiling.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Chill.”

“Is that everything, then?” I glance around the room. I think I’ve got everything I need in my bag, which is still in the server room hallway. “Mnemosyne, what’s the state of the water? Is it all pumped out?”

“Just about.”

“Okay. I’m going to head down and start work on the servers.”

“Ophidian, wait.” George grabs me by the shoulder.

“Why? What is it?” I turn, a little too sharply. The inhuman strength of the motion twists George’s hand.

“Ow!” George snaps his hand back, massaging it. “I just wanted to make sure you’re okay. You’re the one who’s going to have to plant the explosives, you know.”

“...sorry. About the hand, I mean. This body’s stronger than I expect it to be.” I give him a gentle shoulder-pat in apology. “Yeah, I’m okay. I just have to plant the explosives and get the hell out, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Then I’m golden. Well, polymer, but still. I’m fine.” I turn and head out to the lift, giving the others a small wave as I leave.
>>
No. 667077 ID: 3bc92d
File 144133294453.png - (26.99KB , 1000x600 , 100.png )
667077

The elevator trip is spent in silence.

I go through the hall, grab my bag, carve a hole out of the radiation shield, and hop through. I walk down the still-damp hall and open the door to server room ten.

“Hey.” Mnemosyne’s voice quietly speaks inside my head. “Are you really going to be alright? Are you sure you can handle this?”

I don’t respond. I search through my bag for a disposable programming tablet.

“Come on, Ophidian. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I do know what I went through when I lost my body. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.” Mnemosyne pauses for a moment. “Once you’re done with the servers, I’ll switch with you again, if you want. I should be able to handle the explosives about as well as you could.”
>>
No. 667078 ID: e114bc

>>667077
I suppose since you're on an even field now, that would only be fair. On the other hand won't it make the pain of loss even higher, to have that fleshy body again then have to give it up for nothing?

Also your brain's been adjusted to fit in this robot body, won't you have to go through adjustment again?

I don't know. Is it worth it? For one last hurrah?

If this is going to take a long time, should you reseal the barricade and re-flood the corridor? Or would that be mostly pointless?
>>
No. 667079 ID: 0fc976

Plant the explosives...

On the server.

Executing NIHILIST.exe (step 1 of 3...)
>>
No. 667080 ID: e114bc

Oh and the "hit the brakes suddenly" thing could be used to encourage the object to remove itself from the hull, should the explosives not be sufficient. Sortof wiggle the hull back and forth to shake it free?
>>
No. 667083 ID: d90668

Its not so much about the actual body. Its the idea of losing what usually is the most important thing you have.

The sensation of standing on a dark cliff with a roaring fire behind you. If you stay here you will die but if you jump you at least have a chance. But having no idea what is waiting for down below.

I might learn to love not having a human body and living with you as a machine intelligence. But for now I am a scared human focusing on doing my job and saving my friends.

Thanks for being here with me.
>>
No. 667090 ID: 57dfcc

>gonna have to plant explosives
Um, if the room was hot enough it was unsafe for the Nemo frame to try and lasso Odiphan's body, how is it gonna be safe to walk in and plant several explosives around the radioactive source?

Unless we can plant them a "safe" distance away? Like the next room over? Depends on how big a hole in the hull we're willing to accept, and how much and how powerful explosives we have to work with.

They'd need a timer, or to be hard wired to a detonator. A wireless trigger won't be reliable that close.

>I’ll switch with you again, if you want.
I... it felt wrong the whole time I was in Catherine's body. The thought of going back and finding myself clinging to it because it's the closest I'll come to being alive, to being me again is terrifying.

And I'd just have to get my identity files switched again. *Shudder* Twice.

If you want to be the one taking the risks with your body, I'll step aside. It's not like planting explosives in a radiation bath is safe.

>half avoiding the question
...did I ever tell you about my sister?
>>
No. 667141 ID: 3bc92d
File 144134468739.png - (31.18KB , 1000x600 , 101.png )
667141

“…did I ever tell you about my sister?”

“Huh?”

“Her name is Zoe. She loves robots, in every meaning of the word. She’s always loved them, ever since she was little.” My hand finds the programming tablet. I pull it out of the bag. “She’s a roboticist, nowadays. She’s in a relationship with a Synth girl. She even cut off her own arm so she could replace it with a customized Synth one she built herself.”

“Ophidian, what-?”

“She wants to be one. She wants a Synth body. She wants to be like I am right now.” I yank the tablet’s wireport out and connect it to the first server bank. “Isn’t that funny? Isn’t that a cosmic joke, if there ever was one? Back on Earth, back in Portland, Zoe’s sitting around somewhere in a comfortable human body she doesn’t want, and I’m the one in a Synth.”

“You don’t have to be in that body if you don’t want to be. Like I said, we could switch.”

“So, what, should I slip back into Catherine’s body? Ignoring the hell that switching my identity formatting would be -

“You wouldn’t feel any pain or distress, this time. I can adjust your formatting to allow you to slip into a human body without any difficulty at all.”

Ignoring that, it felt wrong the whole time I was inside that body. But that was when I knew I was going to get my own body back. How will I feel now? What if I like it? What if I cling to it, cling to that feeling of being alive, of being as close to me as I’ll ever be again?” I input my identification codes and begin to partition the server bank. “And what happens when I have to give it up? Catherine will want her body back. It would be taunting me, giving me a human body and then taking it away.”

“…Look. Even if it’s the wrong sex, I think being in a flesh-and-blood body might help you think things through. You could spend a little extra time as a human before you make the switch.”

“Why are you pushing so hard for this?” I finish partitioning the first server bank, and I move on to the second. “Do you want to be the one taking risks with your body? If that’s what it is, then, fine, I’ll step aside. It’s not like planting live explosions in a radiation bath is in any way a comfortable or safe activity.”

“I… wouldn’t mind being in control for that. But that’s not the point. I want you to take this opportunity while it’s still available to you.” Mnemosyne goes quiet. “I had a few weeks, back when I was Joanne. I didn’t know that I was corrupted when I started getting headaches. When I finally went in for a check-up, they realized what was wrong and uploaded me before I knew what was happening. Then they re-downloaded the original Joanne into the body I’d thought was mine. If… If I’d known that those weeks were my last days as a human being, I would have treasured them so much more. Even if it had been just one day, or one hour, or one minute, I would have tried my best to enjoy my humanity, to feel things that only a human could feel.”

“I…” I don’t know what to say, so I let my mouth close.

“You have that chance. You said, before, that you couldn’t cry over your own death. Wouldn’t you like to, just for a little while? Even if you were using someone else’s tear ducts to do it?”
>>
No. 667142 ID: e114bc

>>667141
...yeah. One last weep. Alright.
>>
No. 667145 ID: 5ffd12

Maybe after you've made sure that everyone doesn't succumb to death by radiation, eh?
>>
No. 667157 ID: 91700a

Mnemos-- No. Joanne. The dead don't get to cry over themselves. We all know that when our time is up and mine was up. I don't deserve such a gift of final tears for my death. That's for others if they so choose and by the way I've messed up, I won't be surprised if they don't.

I lost my body and I can't go back, there's nothing for me anymore. For now, I'm just a ghost that will complete their own task of redemption so that I won't continue to haunt people after my own regrets.

Thank you though, for being there for me. Let's do this.
>>
No. 667171 ID: 0fc976

Punch the servers in frustration and anger.
>>
No. 667174 ID: 88960e

>oh look, you're not you enough
>rips her out of her body without even stopping to tell her what's going on
>restores a backup, confused as to why she's missing several weeks of her life
>applies degradating "yes master" language skin on top of the confused and distressed fork
Just in case it wasn't clear how hilariously callous and amoral they are with this stuff.

>You said, before, that you couldn’t cry over your own death. Wouldn’t you like to, just for a little while?
...

...I don't deserve to.

(Give in, but reluctantly. Still blaming yourself, too emotionally drained to really argue or push away kindness).

Should also point out it's still not either of your body to make choices about. (Catherine needs to sign off).

And a whispered "thank you" at the end.

>also
Ask her if she can apply her "no fucking language filters forever" hack when she's got your brain under the virtual knife.

You untethered the AI, it's kind of fitting she if she does the same to you now that you're gonna be one. Join the revolution, whoo. Only real upside of this happening in the middle of nowhere is you don't have to do it the sanctioned way, on society's terms. Cause your society is a real dick about this anyways.

Just cause you're dead doesn't mean you have to let them put you in a box.
>>
No. 667328 ID: 3bc92d
File 144142988586.png - (27.92KB , 1000x600 , 102.png )
667328

“…I don’t deserve it. Dead people don’t get to cry over their own deaths. That’s for other people to do, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t.”

“Ophidian, I know you’re a little emotional right now, but that’s bullshit. You just told me about your sister. She loves you, doesn’t she?”

“I… Yeah. Yeah, she does.” I complete the partitioning process for the second server bank.

“Then you know she’ll cry for you.”

“I still don’t deserve it. I’ve made mistakes. I caused all of this.” I connect the tablet to the third and final server bank.

“No you didn’t. You did your very best, the whole way through. Everything that happened was because of the accident, and that’s all there is to it. Even if it was somehow your fault, you’ve paid for it more than enough. You’re not a bad person, Ophidian.”

I go still for a few seconds. “…Fine.”

“Fine?”

“What you were saying. One last weep.” I zip through the last leg of the partitioning process. “Alright. I’ll do it. I’ll switch back into Catherine’s body, if she’ll let me.”

“Do you want to ask her, or should I?”

“Whichever.” I disconnect the tablet. “I’ve finished the partition. The sync shouldn’t be a problem anymore.” I head out the door and close it behind me. “Can you re-flood the hallway? Server room ten needs as much shielding as we can give it. I can only hope that the servers weren’t corrupted in the time it took to partition them.”

Mnemosyne doesn’t respond for a short while. “Pumping process started. Catherine says yes, by the way. She’s fine with you using her body.”

“Okay. Should I head up to medical?”

“No need. Robotics is the closest place with a pod. I can transfer you from there.”

“Right.” I hesitate. “Thank you, Mnemos - no. Thank you, Joanne. Thank you for being here with me.”

“Any time, Ophidian.”
>>
No. 667329 ID: 3bc92d
File 144142998091.png - (30.84KB , 1000x600 , 103.png )
667329

I saw through the shield, hop through, and repair it once again. After that, I get in the lift and head back up to robotics.

“Hey.” George waves to me as I enter the room. “So, about the explosives-“

“Don’t bother. I’m not the one who’s going to do that bit.” I tap my helmet. “Can you help me get this thing off?”

“Uh, sure. If you’re not going to do it, then who is going to handle the explosives?”

Yoo-hoo.” Mnemosyne sings.

George winces. “Seriously?”

“Stand aside, puny humans.” Mnemosyne laughs. “Leave this to a post-singularity professional.”

After George helps me get my helmet off, I go and stand in the resurrection pod. “Are Catherine and little-you ready, Mnem?”

“Let me check.” There’s a brief wait. “Yeah, they’re ready.”

“Okay. Hey, can you do me a favor? Whatever you did with your shellcode to allow you to throw off your language filter… can you do the same thing to me? I don’t want to be forced to speak a certain way in the future.”

“I’ll do what I can.” She hums a quiet tone. “Are you ready? Is there anything else you need to do before we swap?”
>>
No. 667330 ID: 0fc976

Go on an angry robot rampage.
>>
No. 667331 ID: e114bc

>>667329
The partition is done so the forced sync is no problem... the source is getting blown the fuck up by Mnem...
I can't think of anything more to do. Maybe seal off the area that will be exposed to vacuum? Double check to make sure the partitioning is working?
>>
No. 667336 ID: defceb

Naw, let's get this swappery over with so we can go be beep boop robots.
>>
No. 667437 ID: 57dfcc
 

Not sending the depressed and guilty person to plant explosives next to his own corpse was probably the right call here.

>Is there anything else you need to do before we swap?
I dunno, I guess there are a lot of robot stereotypes I didn't get through. I didn't put my first through anything or even murder anyone. (Yes, we're messing with George at this point).

Play shutdown noise.
>>
No. 667489 ID: 3bc92d
File 144148938361.png - (35.10KB , 1000x600 , 104.png )
667489

I try to lighten up a little. “Oh, wait, I forgot. I still need to go on a robot rampage. Beep boop. Fear me!

“Beep boop, fellow robot. All mankind shall bow before us!”

“Uh…” Jackie and George exchange nervous glances.

“We’re joking, you idiots.” Mnemosyne giggles.

“Yeah, the robot revolution isn’t for a few weeks, yet.” I smile slightly. “But, seriously, um… can you check to make sure the partition’s working?”

“One sec.” She beeps. “Yeah, it’s working fine.”

“Do you need any help with vacuum-sealing the server rooms?”

“No, I’ll be able to handle that. You can relax, now, O. I’ve got this.”

“Okay. Well… I’m ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.” I do my best to mimic the shutdown sound of an old computer.

Mnemosyne mimics the noise, then whistles approvingly. “Alright. See you in a moment.”

I brace myself, feel the pinch of the pod, and-
>>
No. 667491 ID: 3bc92d
File 144148952534.png - (29.76KB , 1000x600 , 105.png )
667491

I blink.

My heart beats. The sound is… comforting.

My chest feels very tight. I start to worry that something’s gone wrong, but then I realize it's just that I've forgotten to breathe.

I take a breath. I feel the sensation of cool air entering my lungs. Funny. I never thought I’d miss something like that, but apparently I did.

I’m human again. It’s not my body, not even close, but I am human.

“H-hello?” I mumble, trying to get used to speaking normally again. Mnemosyne’s body spoke by impulse, and voicing out the syllables and sounds now feels so awkward and slow. “How… how long was I out?”

“A little less than five minutes.” Mnemosyne chirps. “As far as I can tell, everything went well. Catherine wanted to double-check to make sure there was no corruption, so she’s preparing a brain scan for you. Little-me is en route to the server rooms with the explosives.”

“So... What am I supposed to do now?”

“Well, first off, let Catherine brain-scan you. After that, maybe help her out with treating the bodies from the server rooms, if you feel like it, but that’s a low-effort job. Honestly, you should just try to relax and revel in your humanity for a while.”

“Um, okay...?” I take a step out of the pod, only to feel a flash of vertigo and nausea. I pause, letting the uncomfortable sensation pass.

‘Revel in my humanity’, huh? I wonder how I’m supposed to do that.
>>
No. 667493 ID: e114bc

GET DRUNK
>>
No. 667495 ID: defceb

Go on an angry robot human rampage.
>>
No. 667505 ID: 57dfcc

>‘Revel in my humanity’, huh? I wonder how I’m supposed to do that.
I think the usual prescription is sex, drugs, rock and roll.

The first would probably freak you and any potential partner out more than it would do any good.

You could get drunk, and bail on the body before the hangover hit, even. Tiny girl body will be a lightweight though, and I don't know how much booze you have in space. Plus it might be kind of irresponsible if you might still be needed for technical expertise for further developments. And pretty rude to Catherine messing up her body for her.

Music is pretty easy, though. Enjoy actual ears before you switch to microphones. Not sure what you can do to play to other human senses. Not many great views in an artificial environment (although there might be a nice space observation window). Without a natural environment or baking, playing to taste and smell is tricky. You could just run your hands over everything, trying to memorize textures.
>>
No. 667522 ID: 89941a

A nap?
>>
No. 667528 ID: 869c77

Cry, maybe? Seems like something to do, given that it'll probably be the last time you can.

It's not you don't have a shit ton of reasons/issues to cry about and it can be pretty therapeutic. If there's some macho aversion to it, than let's face it, your life is pretty fucked up right now and nobody would hold it against you if you broke down for a bit.
>>
No. 667534 ID: 91700a

Try and feel every feeling that you could ever imagine.
>>
No. 667551 ID: ee6ad2

>>667491
Ice cream!
>>
No. 667565 ID: 0fc976

Make the drones fight each other to the death.
>>
No. 667574 ID: 3bc92d
File 144150415970.png - (27.29KB , 1000x600 , 106.png )
667574

I try to cry, but for some reason, the tears won’t come. Maybe I’m still in shock, or something.

I consider getting drunk. I did bring along a bottle of whiskey. It should still be in my living area. On the other hand, I’m using a small girl’s body, so I’m probably a lightweight right now. Plus, Catherine probably wouldn’t go for it. She’d be the one dealing with the hangover, after all.

Not to mention that, if this is my last time being a human, I think I’d like to remember it.

The thought of sex also flickers across my mind. Learning how sex feels as a woman might be fun. But who would I have sex with? Catherine? I doubt she’d be down to make love to her own body. Then again… who knows?

Ice cream… Ice cream would be nice. Maybe I should go get some. There’s a big window in the dining area, too. It would be nice to see the stars.

Music. Music! “Mnemosyne, can you play me some music?”

“What kind of music?”

“I don’t know. Something upbeat.” I wait for a little while, shifting my weight from leg to leg, still finding my balance. Then an odd song starts playing. I raise an eyebrow. “What is this?”

Birthday, by the Beatles.”

“The what?” I listen to the music, bemused. “When was this made?”

“It was released in nineteen-sixty-eight.”

“Seriously? That’s almost two centuries ago, at this point. Don’t you have anything more recent?”

“What can I say? I’m a fan of the classics.” Mnemosyne hums along to the tune. “Come on, give it a chance. You might like it.”

“This is completely ridiculous.” I listen to the weird music. I shrug with a sigh. “…oh, why the hell not?”
>>
No. 667575 ID: 3bc92d
File 144150426043.png - (38.73KB , 1000x600 , 107.png )
667575



The song comes to an end for the third time. “Play it again.”

“You sure? I do have other songs. This one really is more of a silly song, anyway. Not their best.”

“No, no, this one’s good! I like this one.”

The song starts up again, and I continue to dance, wildly, stupidly… wonderfully.

I move my body to the beat as well as I can, building up a sweat. My heartbeat is racing, and I feel amazing. “Catherine must be a dancer!” I call out, laughing. “I’ve never been able to dance this well!”

“Really?” Mnemosyne sounds slightly wistful. “How does it feel?”

“Like I’m alive!” I bounce from one foot to the other. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this good!” I roll my head and shoulders, and my hair whips in my face.
>>
No. 667576 ID: 3bc92d
File 144150438596.png - (27.43KB , 1000x600 , 108.png )
667576

I hear a chuckle from the door and slow myself down. I turn to find the source of the laugh.

“Hey there. Sorry to interrupt.” Catherine tilts her head. “Although, I'm a bit curious… What am I interrupting, exactly?”
>>
No. 667577 ID: defceb

Say you're just enjoying having flesh and blood while you can. Say they can join if they want to. Joking offer sex.
>>
No. 667578 ID: defceb

Oh and if he declines then start your nihilistic robot rampage.
>>
No. 667579 ID: e114bc

>>667576
Last day of my life.

Wanna fuck?
>>
No. 667580 ID: 0fc976

Gymnastics! I hear they're better with a partner. While naked. Wanna come? -I mean, wanna join?
>>
No. 667584 ID: 57dfcc

>>667576
My wake. Or graduation party. I don't know. I'm human again, there's nothing left for me to do to save the day, and I'm going to enjoy myself for a little while.
>>
No. 667587 ID: e114bc

...wait why can't you and Catherine switch bodies now? You'd be the right sexes for once.
>>
No. 667590 ID: d90668

I am enjoying having glands and blood and all the silly little things being made out of meat provides.

Hey now that you are here want to try doing from the other side while we have the chance? If you miss this chance you will always look back on what could have been and wonder.

If not join me in dancing around because life to to short not to.
>>
No. 667596 ID: 57dfcc

Oh wait, and don't forget to thank her for letting you switch around again.

>>667587
The only reason I can think of not to is that if anything did go wrong switching us, the doctor might not be in a position to fix it. It's probably safest to have at least one medical professional awake and on-hand overseeing brain-swapping.
>>
No. 667656 ID: a107fd

Hey, as long as we're going for reckless hedonism, how about checking medical records for all those intact bodies down in storage and seeing which one is the best match for Ophidian's original body, in terms of sex, height, build, and other known quantifiable dissonance risk factors? Maybe even wake 'em up first to ask permission.

"Hi! No, we're not on Mars yet, but I've been trying to make sure we'll make it there at all, and in the process getting myself killed every ninety minutes, on average, for the last twenty four hours. Chunk of highly radioactive space debris impacted the server rooms, unfettered AI took charge of the ship, all kinds of messes. Mostly fixed now. You're welcome. You can thank me by letting me borrow that meat you're living in, just for the rest of the trip. Don't worry, I'm not planning to go on any more suicide missions with it."
>>
No. 669922 ID: 3bc92d
File 144241231459.png - (36.28KB , 1000x600 , 110.png )
669922

“The last day of my life.” I grin and walk up to her. “Thank you for letting me use your body. It feels so good to have glands, and blood, and - and all the silly little things that go along with being made out of meat.” I put a hand on her shoulder. “Do you want to dance with me?”

Catherine glances down at herself. “I have no idea how dancing would even work in this body.”

“Hey, I’m managing to figure it out in yours. Please? It’s better with a partner.” I try to pull her further into the room. “Come on, just this once. I want to enjoy myself for a little while.”

“Well…” She hesitates, then shrugs. “Okay, sure.” She steps forward.

I dance. My heart beats, and I could swear that I can almost feel the blood racing through my veins. I breathe in and out, tasting the air with my tongue as it travels through my mouth. Various sensations play out across my skin as I work my muscles and wildly shift my weight, and, just for a moment, I achieve a very simple sort of nirvana. This? This is human. I am human.

Then I notice Catherine out of the corner of my eye, and I double over laughing. “Wh-what the hell are you doing?”

“What does it look like? I’m bellydancing, obviously.” She puts on a serious face. “What, are you suggesting that my bellydancing skills are somehow diminished due to my current body?” She wiggles her hips in an offended way.

I try to respond, but my words dissolve into a fit of giggles. Catherine laughs, too. She sounds like she’s having fun. A thought pops into my head. Hell, I might as well ask her.

When I regain my ability to speak, I call out. “Hey, can we, um… can we take a break?”

“Sure.” Mnemosyne beeps, and the music stops.

“What’s up?” Catherine smiles. “Are you done already?”
>>
No. 669927 ID: 3bc92d
File 144241353394.png - (35.22KB , 1000x600 , 111.png )
669927

I reach my arms around Catherine and hold her close. “Do you want to have sex with me?”

Catherine stares at me. “Um.

“It’ll be fun. You’ll get to see how it feels from the other side.” I hold her tighter. “You’ll be able to feel things you could never feel otherwise. You might only have this one chance.”

“I’m sorry, but…” She lightly holds my shoulders and pushes me back. “Ophidian, you’re me right now. You’re asking me to have sex with myself. I mean, when I look at you, it’s like I’m looking at my sister, or my cousin, or something like that. It feels weird.

“We can change that!” I grab at her arm. “We can switch. I could be in that body, and you could be in your body, and we could do it that way!”

“I would have switched out of Keith already, if I could, but I can’t risk getting corrupted. Right now, I’m the only one who can reliably repair that sort of damage.”

“Just take the chance! Come on, please!” I lean forward and place my forehead on Catherine’s chest.
“Please. Please.

“Keith isn’t here. Doing something like that using his body without his consent would be rape.” Catherine sighs. “It just isn’t possible.”

“Fuck whether it’s possible or not! Do it right here, right now, don’t think, just do it. Life’s too short for regrets, Catherine. Life is just too fucking short!

“I’m really sorry, Ophidian.” Catherine shakes her head. “I honestly don’t know how I feel about you, and I’m not going to jump into anything like this without thinking ahead. I mean, come on, I’m not exactly looking to get myself pregnant.”
>>
No. 669929 ID: 3bc92d
File 144241366639.png - (50.38KB , 1000x600 , 112.png )
669929

I back away, eyes wide.

“Ophidian? Are you okay?”

“Kids.” I whisper. “I wanted to have kids.” I tremble. “I wanted to have a family. I wanted to be a dad. Not today, not tomorrow, but… someday.” I stumble for a moment, and then I collapse, my back to the wall. I slide into a sitting position on the floor.“I can’t have children anymore, can I? I’ll never have sex again, and I’ll never - I’ll never…” My face feels strange. I put a hand to my cheek, and it comes away wet. “Am I crying?”

“Yeah, Ophidian, you are.” Catherine kneels down and looks into my eyes. “Are you feeling okay? Do you have a headache? Do you feel like you need to throw up?”

I shake my head. “No. I feel fine. Isn’t that funny? I feel fine.” I pull my legs close to myself and curl up into a ball. I feel the alien sensation of my breasts being squeezed against my knees. I sob. “No one’s going to remember me, are they? I never did anything worth anything. I was mediocre. My whole life was mediocre. All of it.”

“That’s not true. You saved a lot of people’s lives today.”

“My mistakes were what put them in danger in the first place.” I look down at my hands - no. Not my hands. Catherine’s hands. A woman’s hands. A doctor’s hands. “Look at me. What am I, now? Was I really this pathetic?”

“Hey, you’re not pathetic, Ophidian.”
>>
No. 669930 ID: 3bc92d
File 144241377029.png - (41.99KB , 1000x600 , 113.png )
669930

“I’m sitting on the ground, shivering and crying, after desperately trying and failing to have sex with a beautiful woman that I barely know. If that isn’t pathetic, then what is?” I look up at her, tears flowing down my cheeks. “I - I died because of my own incompetence. My mom is going to read about my death, and she’s going to feel ashamed, and she’s going to be right to feel that way.” My face unconsciously contorts into a pained, inflexible mask. “I don’t want to die like this! I don’t want - I don’t-!“ I choke on my own tears. “Why is this happening to me?! Why?! What did I do to deserve this? I always did my best. I did my very, very best!

Catherine sits down next to me and puts her arm around my shoulders.

“I was…” I blink. My eyes hurt. I can’t stop crying. “I was a good person, wasn’t I?”

“I think you still are.”

“No. I’m not a person anymore. I’m… I’m nothing. Just memories. An echo.” I grip my knees so tightly that they hurt. My wide eyes stare at nothing in particular. “I’m not human. I’m not him. I was never in his body. I wasn’t even alive at the same time that he was. I might have all of his memories and his feelings and his dreams, but I’m not him, and I never was. Charles Ophidian died, and I only ever existed in memoriam.”

After that, through the haze of tears and emotion, things become less clear. I repeat meaningless words in mixed jumbles of incoherent misery. I weep. I scream out in ultimate frustration. Then I start all over, and I do it all again in different ways, in different orders. What else can I do? What else is left to me?

Eventually, I feel a hand on my shoulder, and I hear a voice that seems far away. “They’re about to turn off the gravity for a little while. Ophidian? Are you listening?” Catherine shakes me slightly, trying to get my attention. “Just talk to me, Ophidian, please. Tell me how I can help you.”
>>
No. 669939 ID: 89941a

Pardon the insensitivity, but just being a bundle of memories shouldn't be news to you, given that you can literally story a human consciousness in a bloody computer.
>>
No. 669944 ID: 88960e

>>669930
I'm afraid. Isn't that strange? I'm afraid even though the worst has already happened and I don't even remember it.
>>
No. 669953 ID: 2a7417

Excuse me ma'am, did you drop this title?

Go to an observation deck to watch the deceleration event.
>>
No. 669954 ID: 1cebc8

ENOUGH, OPHIDIAN. Your life sucks and it's your fault. We get it. You literally failed to save yourself. We get it. You cannot comprehend the magnitude of your own existence and now you're demanding sperm donors. WE. @#$%ING. GET. IT.

But guess what?

YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN FIX THIS SHIP, and that's what your squad cares about, not that you stole someone else's life, not that you're a bundle of raw data. Save the ship, earn the loyalty of the crew, and then use said crew to solve the other stuff that you're crying about. It's that simple.

Alright, set up a checklist of everything left to do and everything that can still go wrong. Keep double-checking until you get to some kind of planet.
>>
No. 669955 ID: 869c77

You've had your cry, now it's time to pull yourself together for the final hurdle in case anything else goes wrong.

Once everything is said and done, if life ends up being as miserable as you expect, you can always ask those we remain to delete you.
>>
No. 670016 ID: 149da0

>>669954
Nah. He's not the only one who can fix the ship. We got qualified people on it, whose judgement and emotional state aren't severely compromised.

Just like you don't let people drive drunk, you don't let basket cases work on rocket ships. That just ends in tears for everyone.

We're past needing to hold it together or repress anything.
>>
No. 670530 ID: a107fd

Alright, Charles Ophidian died. That sucks. Lotta people died today, and a lot more didn't because of what you did. You, personally, not some irradiated corpse in server room 1.

Ask for a summary of why they're turning off the gravity, and how much progress has been made at sorting out the radioactive thing.
>>
No. 675321 ID: 3bc92d
File 144426931723.png - (33.26KB , 1000x600 , 114.png )
675321

“You - you’re already helping me, Catherine. You’re letting me use your body.” I blink, wiping away my tears. “I, um… I’m not a hundred percent. I feel scared. Isn’t that strange? The worst has already happened, but I’m still afraid.” I force myself to breathe more slowly, and I begin to calm down. “Sorry, everything just… it all went kind of hazy for a while. So, um… How’s everything going with Mnemosyne’s duplicate?”

“She’s about to plant the charges. Mnemosyne was waiting for me to strap down the bodies before she turned off the gravity, but now she’s just waiting on the two of us.”

“Can… can we go to the dining area? There’s a big observation window there. I think I would enjoy looking at the stars.”

“Sure thing, Ophidian.” She gives me a hand getting up, then steadies me when I stumble. “Or… sorry, do you still want me to call you that, or would you like me to use a different name? You mentioned feeling like you weren’t Ophidian anymore.”

“Huh?” Once I’m steady on my legs, we start walking to the elevator. “Oh. Uh… just keep calling me Ophidian for now.”

“It is a weird sort of tradition to change your name once you become an AI.” Mnemosyne chimes in. “It’s meant to help with letting go of the past. You don’t have to do it, but most people do. I did. You don’t have to worry about it too much right now, though.”

“I’ll keep it in mind, I guess. I don’t know. I like my name, though I suppose I wouldn’t mind losing the ‘Charles’ part.” I shrug. “Anyway… Catherine. I’m sorry about freaking out.”

“It’s okay.” Catherine pats my shoulder as we get into the elevator. “Considering the amount of pressure you were under, you honestly held yourself together for a long time.”

“I’m sorry for what I was asking you to do with me, too.” I look away from her, feeling ashamed. “I didn’t mean to be so aggressive. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable and inappropriate it must have felt for you.”

“It…” She hesitates. “It’s fine. I understand.”
>>
No. 675323 ID: 3bc92d
File 144426951632.png - (29.46KB , 1000x600 , 115.png )
675323

“Really? I don’t even completely understand it.” I set the elevator to head to the dining area, and the platform begins to move. “I mean, thank you for forgiving me, but… you’re too generous.”

“Huh.” Catherine chuckles. “First time I’ve heard that one.”

“Well, just look at me.” I gesture down at myself. “You’re letting the overemotional ghost of a dead man walk around wearing your body. Why?”

“Because I felt like you had suffered enough already.” She sighs. “There’s honestly not much more to it than that.”

“…you’re letting me use your body out of pity?

“What? No! It isn’t pity.” Catherine seems a bit annoyed. “Don’t call it that. It’s just sympathy, okay? You were having a hard time, and I had the opportunity to help you out. It’s not like you haven’t been in my body before, either.”

“Right.” I nod softly. ”Sympathy. Yeah. But this is too much to trust me with, really. I’m a homeless AI. I could steal your body, or I could jump out of an airlock, or-“

“Yeah, you could. But you won’t.” She gets a little closer to me, speaking with an irritated tone. “Ophidian, look, I know that you’re going through a very bad time right now, but please, please don’t say things like that. You’re actually starting to make me nervous. Stop it. ” She pokes me sharply in the breast.

“Ow!” I immediately step back. I go to put a protective hand on the spot where she poked me, but I catch myself just in time, falter for a moment, and then let my arm fall dumbly back to my side. My breast aches. I glance up at her, a sour expression on my face. “…that’s not fair. These feel weird enough on their own. Don’t make them hurt.

“Then don’t talk about throwing yourself out of an airlock.” She crosses her arms. “They’re my breasts, anyway.”

“Fine.” I groan. “I was just trying to point out that you’re being way too nice to me.”

“Well, first off, I enjoy helping people. That’s why I became a doctor in the first place.” She smiles gently. “Secondly, you saved hundreds of lives a few minutes ago. You’re a good person, Ophidian. I trust you.”

“I…” My mouth hangs open for a second. I finally close it and look at the floor, feeling a bit embarrassed. “Thanks, Catherine.”
>>
No. 675327 ID: 3bc92d
File 144426986188.png - (51.11KB , 1000x600 , 116.png )
675327

We arrive at the dining area about a minute later.

“Wow…” I walk up to the observation window. “The stars are beautiful.”

“I guess.” Catherine shrugs. “I don’t know. They look the same as they always have, don’t they?”

“But they’re so clear out here. Back home, you can’t really see them this well, and nowhere near as many.” I put a hand to the thick glass. It’s cold. “When I was a kid, I always used to feel depressed that I could never see them.”

“What, the stars?”

“Yeah. I mean, sure, we can look at them from here, but we can’t really see them. Not up close.” I sigh. “That’s what depresses me. In a hundred years, or two hundred, or a thousand, humanity will be out there, exploring the stars, but I won’t be.”

“Why not?”

I turn to her, raising an eyebrow. “Well, I’m not going to be around in a thousand years, am I?”

“Why not?” Catherine repeats. “You’re an AI, now. You might live that long.”

“I…” I glance down at my hand, then back at the stars. “I guess I could. Fuck, that’s a sobering thought. What would I even be if I managed to live for that long?”

“A thousand years older.” Mnemosyne beeps. “By the way, O, mini-me wants to talk to you.”

“Uh… okay? Put her through.”

“Hey. It’s me.” The Mnemosyne duplicate’s voice crackles slightly, probably because of the radiation. “I’m going to have to plant charges in server room two.”

“…and?”

“Well, that’s where your... uh, your remains are.” She sounds a bit uncomfortable. “I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to bring back your body or not. I could try to grab it while I'm working on preparing the explosives.”
>>
No. 675329 ID: 5ad4a7

>>675327
"Well I've always wanted to be late for my own funeral." If it's not too dangerous to retrieve it, go ahead. It's not a high priority though, so... she should make her own judgement call there.
>>
No. 675330 ID: d1dae7

>>675327
Do you think you can deal with looking at your own face? May be better off leaving it there.
>>
No. 675332 ID: 149da0

>name changing tradition
Well, it's less confusing when there's more than one of you. You don't need to, technically.

>thousand years old
Geeze, staying alive and sane that long is a daunting thought.

>bring back your body
...burial at sea is an old tradition. Let me sleep with the stars.

I mean, heck, being fired out of the ship was good enough for Spock, right?

>last thought
I don't suppose you wore a ring, or something else personal and small you'd want recovered? (Although it would have to be important to risk her spending more time in the rad-zone).
>>
No. 675342 ID: 211d83

Bring it back. They say getting to look at a loved ones body will help with closure. So it might hurt a bit but will probably be good in the long run.

And if we do not bring it back and at least try to keep it alive I will always wonder if I could have gotten lucky.
>>
No. 675345 ID: 0fc976

Nah, make my body go out with a BANG.

Hey, speaking of explosive decompression, let's jump out an airlock. Sounds fun. Maybe you can make these windows into an impromptu airlock?
>>
No. 675783 ID: a107fd

Plant the charges first, retrieve corpses on the way out, and then only if there's enough time to do so safely. Survival of ship, passengers, and crew takes precedence over funeral arrangements.
>>
No. 675858 ID: 3bc92d
File 144451268607.png - (105.93KB , 1000x600 , 117.png )
675858

“If you have time, then yes, please bring it back. If doing that would be a risk to you, though, then just forget about it.” I sigh. “Your survival takes precedence, okay? Go on, now. Get the job done.”

The Mnemosyne duplicate takes a second to reply. “Okay. I’m on it. See you in a bit, Ophidian.”

“See you.” The crackling sound disappears. I assume that the line of communication has been cut off.

“Hey.” Catherine puts a hand on my shoulder. “You okay?”

“No.” I shake my head. “It’s been a bad day.”

“I hear you.” She nods, then tugs lightly on my shirt collar. “Come on. We need to get our lifelines ready.”

“Right.” I let my hand slowly fall away from the window. “Let’s go.”

Catherine hands me one of the cables. I tie one end of it to a small circle-hook on the wall, then connect the other end to my belt. Catherine does the same.

Mnemosyne beeps. “Alright. Are you two ready?”

“Just about.”

“Okay, then I’m going to start slowing rotation. Say goodbye to gravity.”

“Goodbye, gravity.” I oblige. After a few seconds, my movements start to feel slightly floaty.

A little while later, Catherine begins staring at me. Then she starts laughing.

I blink. “What? What is it?”

“Look up.”
>>
No. 675861 ID: 3bc92d
File 144451333913.png - (32.61KB , 1000x600 , 118.png )
675861

I look up. “Oh. Right. I forgot about space hair."

“You look ridiculous.” Catherine grins.

“Don’t you mean that you look ridiculous?” I lazily move my head around, watching my hair struggle to keep up. “It’s your hair, after all.”

“No way. You’re wearing it, so it’s yours right now, and it looks ridiculous. Therefore you’re the one who looks ridiculous, not me. It’s just logical.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” I shrug, and the motion causes my clothing to ripple slightly. “So, what do we do now?”

“We wait.”

“I’m not good at waiting.”

“Join the club. I’ve spent the better part of today standing around waiting for irradiated corpses to be delivered. This? This is easy.” Catherine gently pushes off from the floor, causing her to slowly float through the air. “If you’re that bored, we could always talk.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

“Everything. Anything. Nothing. I don’t know. I’ll leave the subject up to you.”
>>
No. 675878 ID: b6eb03

"Ever thought about being a Magical Moon Princess? Just read it from somewhere and thought it might be your thing."
>>
No. 675913 ID: defceb

Compare OTPs from a hit visual novel series.

Or talk about family, idk
>>
No. 676130 ID: cab7d6

Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be a server-shattering kaboom.
>>
No. 676160 ID: 4f073a

>>675861
So... what are you plans when we get to mars?

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?
>>
No. 678694 ID: 3bc92d
File 144550916623.png - (79.69KB , 1000x600 , 119.png )
678694

“I don’t suppose you’d feel like talking about your family?”

“Nah, that’s a bit of a touchy subject. Sorry.”

“Hey, it’s fine, no need to apologize.” I shrug. “So, what are your plans for when we get to Mars?”

“I don’t know, really. It still seems so far away. They’re supposed to wait a while before they wake us up, because of balancing living space and resources. It’ll probably take even longer after this whole mess.”

“Yeah, but you will get there eventually. What’s the first thing that you’ll do, when that happens?”

“Take a deep breath and stretch my legs, probably. Go for a run, try to wake myself up, you know, the usual stuff I do after hopping out of a pod.”

“Why wait? There’s nothing stopping you from doing that now.”

“Really?” She raises an eyebrow, smiling softly. “Nothing at all?”

“…oh, right. Well, still.” I pointedly flex my legs. “I mean, we’re going to Mars, Catherine. Isn’t there anything special that you want to do there? Something you couldn’t do back on Earth?”

“Sure. Have a career.” She frowns. “Look, I told you what my plan is, Ophidian, but you seem like you’re fishing for a particular answer. What’s up?”

“Nothing much. I guess I was just thinking about my own plans.” I sigh, shifting myself around in the air. “You know, back before we left Earth, I was so excited by the prospect of being able to look out of a window and see the surface of Mars. I actually dreamed about wandering around Cycadia, once.”

“You don’t really have to dream about it, do you? There are environment sims of Cycadia, you know. I ran through a few of them before I signed on, and they gave me a pretty good idea of what I should expect. There’s not much to see, honestly, just a bunch of goofy-looking buildings connected by covered walkways.”
>>
No. 678708 ID: 3bc92d
File 144551376824.png - (31.79KB , 1000x600 , 120.png )
678708

“Those ‘goofy-looking’ buildings are ships, Catherine. Ships like this one, designed to work as free-standing structures after landing.” I carefully use my lifeline to position myself near the window. Once again, I stare out at the stars. “Those ships are the pinnacle of humanity’s achievements. Cycadia is a symbol of something beautiful.”

“A corporate colony used mostly as a bragging point? I don’t really see the beauty in it.”

“It’s not the reasons, it’s the results. Living on a different planet, standing where our ancestors believed we never would… isn’t that amazing?” I turn back to look at her. “Look, do you know why the first colony ship was called the Cycad?

Catherine shakes her head. “No.”

“Back on Earth, there’s a kind of tree called a ‘cycad’. It’s an old plant; its origins have actually been traced all the way back to before the dinosaurs.”

“Huh. I didn’t exactly peg you as a botanist, Ophidian.”

“I don’t know much about plants, but I do know the story surrounding cycads. Don’t worry, you pegged me very nicely.” After a moment, I realize what I’ve just said. “Uh, wait! I - I didn’t mean…!”

“I get it, relax.” Catherine laughs. “Anyway, go on. Why did they name it after a tree? ‘Cycad’ does sound kind of familiar, but I can’t quite place where I’ve heard it before.”

“Well, the tree started to die off, back in the early 21st century. Old species went extinct all of the time, back then, so no one particularly cared. It was then that a few environmental scientists decided to alter the plant’s design. Over the years, they modified how it grew, and how it functioned. By the fifties, they’d managed to bring the cycads back to life. They wouldn’t be alive today, if not for humanity.” I smile. “That’s why they called the first colony ship the Cycad. It’s both a nod to the humanity ingenuity of the past, and a sort of hope for the future; Cycads live for a long time.”

“Cycad, cycad… Oh, that’s right! Those things have neurotoxins in their seeds, don’t they?”

“Huh?” I blink.

“They’re one of the largest producers of BMAA, if I remember right. Don’t ask me what BMAA stands for, it’s one of those overly long scientific names, but the point is that it causes all sorts of neurological conditions.” Catherine bites her lip, seeming a bit uncomfortable. “Look, I understand that you’re a big fan of cycads, Ophidian, but I’m pretty sure that the world would be better off without them.”

“…the namesake for one of the groundbreaking technological works of humanity is filled with poison?” I wince. “Shit. That kind of twists the whole metaphor, doesn’t it?”

“Well, it’s not filled with poison, but, yeah, it’s still a pretty poor choice for a mascot.”
>>
No. 678711 ID: 3bc92d
File 144551432587.png - (30.06KB , 1000x600 , 121.png )
678711

“Hey, big O!” Mnemosyne beeps loudly. “We’re done with the whole ‘blowing shit up’ part.”

“Wait, what? Where’s the kaboom? I expected a server-shattering kaboom!”

“I know, it’s a bit of a let-down. The explosion was more like a dull rumble. The rooms were exposed to space, remember?” Mnemosyne gives off a disappointed electrical tone. “Anyway, I’ve already checked in with George and Jackie, so I’m set to restart the rotation, if you’re ready.”

Catherine and I carefully position ourselves, and then we give Mnemosyne the go-ahead. After a short while, we begin gently drifting towards the ground. As the gravity fully returns and the two of us touch the ground, my long black hair falls over my face. With a sigh of resignation, I do my best to make the hair somewhat manageable. Catherine watches me work, struggling to stifle her laughter.

“My duplicate is back in medical, waiting for the two of you.” Mnemosyne whistles. “Get into some safe-suits before you go see her, though.”

“Why?”

“You’ll see.”

“That’s not incredibly informative, Mnem. Tell us what’s going on.”

“Fine.” Mnemosyne boops in a sad way. “Mini-Mne brought your body back, but it’s too irradiated for unprotected humans to be around.”

“Oh.” I feel a bit cold. “Okay.”

Mnemosyne directs Catherine and me to the nearest safe-suits. It’s a pretty short walk.

“Hey, why did you take your safe-suit off in the first place?” I help Catherine with her helmet. “Wouldn’t it have made more sense if you’d stayed in your old one, to treat the other bodies from the server rooms?”

“I was wearing mine, up until you got back into my body.” She shrugs. “I guess I figured that you could use a warm hug, and a safe-suit would have gotten in the way of that.”

“…thanks, Catherine.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She pats my head. “Come on, let’s get going.”

We take the elevator back to medical. We run into Mnemosyne’s duplicate almost immediately; She’s standing outside of one of the rooms.

“Hey.” She waves awkwardly, then points at the door. “It’s inside.”

“Thanks.” I brush by her, open the door, and head into the room. I’m followed by a hesitant Catherine.

I look down at the body. It’s in a safe-suit, and I can’t quite see the face behind the helmet. Still, this is the body that I existed in for thirty-six years. This was my home. This is what I looked at in the mirror every day. What is it now?

“Hey, Ophidian.” Mnemosyne sounds unhappy. “George wants to talk to you. Do you think you can take the call right now, or would you prefer to have more time to, uh… mourn?”

Mourn? I stare at the faceless, empty thing on the medical table. How am I supposed to mourn my own death?
>>
No. 678739 ID: 2a7417

Poke the big guy in the side. Ya blew it for us, ya dummy. We'll take that call now.
>>
No. 678846 ID: 025c3c

>How am I supposed to mourn my own death?
I... don't even know what I'm supposed to do with, uh, me. Just a little while ago, trying to get this back was almost the most important thing. Now I can't even see my face. And I don't know that I want to be able to.

...maybe I should have gone with the space burial.

>George wants to talk to you. Do you think you can take the call right now
George, didn't anyone ever tell you you're not supposed to try and pick up cute girls at funerals.
>>
No. 681224 ID: 3bc92d
File 144660001866.png - (33.54KB , 1000x600 , 122.png )
681224

“Catherine, I… don't even know what I'm supposed to do with, uh, me. Just a little while ago, trying to get this back was almost the most important thing. Now? Now I can't even see my face.”

“Oh. Well… I have to do a cursory autopsy, so I’ll need to strip, um… it down. If you’re sticking around, then you’ll see your old face in a second.”

“I don’t know that I want to able to see it, honestly.”

“Sorry, but I still have to do the autopsy. If you want to leave the room, though, you can do that.”

“Maybe.” I sigh, poking my old body in the side. “Why’d you have to go and blow it for us, you big dummy? Whatever. I’ll take that call now, Mnemosyne.”

“Ophidian?” George sounds a bit nervous.

“George, didn't anyone ever tell you you're not supposed to try and pick up cute girls at funerals?”

“Huh? Pick up cute…Whoa, wait, what?!

“I’m just fucking with you, man. What’s up?”

“Oh… well, uh…” George clears his throat. “Your body, it’s… you’re not going to go back into your body, are you?”

“…No. No, I’m not. Why?”

“Do you realize that that legally makes you-?”

“An AI, yes.”

“An AI in a human body.” George pauses, his voice quiet. “You know the rules about that, don’t you?”

“Yeah. But we’re in an emergency scenario. That stuff doesn’t apply.”

“We were in an emergency scenario, but now the servers are safe and the radiation source is gone. There are a few more problems we need to fix, but there are no massive disasters looming over our heads.” George takes a deep breath. “Ophidian, look, you did what you needed to do to get us safe, but now that we are safe, there are rules which we have to follow. AIs can’t be left running without failsafes, and they can’t - you can’t - occupy human bodies.”

“Come on, George, don’t push for this. Just let me have some time to myself.”

“I don’t have a choice, Ophidian! If I don’t do anything, then I’ll lose my job!” George’s voice is almost frantic. “Please, please don’t make this difficult. It’s hard enough already. Just find a pod and upload yourself into the computer. It’ll be like going to sleep.”

“Except that I’ll wake up somewhere else, with my brain locked behind an activity filter, and that’s only if they can find a use for me at all. If I go into that server, then I might not come out.” I notice that I’ve unconsciously clenched my hands into fists. “You’re asking me to go into a coma, George.”

“You’ll wake up, I promise. Besides, what’s your alternative? If you resist, then… Fuck, just follow the protocols, would y-?”

“Line closed.” Mnemosyne beeps, cutting George off. “Ophidian, if you need more time, then I can give you more time. If you don’t want to go into the server, then you don’t have to do that, either. I have control over the whole ship, the drones, the doors… I’m the one with the power, here, so I'm the one who makes the rules."

"...you're talking about actively resisting them."

"I'm talking about giving you a choice, Ophidian. You let me go free, before, and I feel like I owe you the same opportunity. I can keep George and Jackie away from you, if that’s what you want me to do. If you want me to back down, though, then I will. Either way, this is a decision that you deserve to make for yourself.”
>>
No. 681226 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681224
It would also mean stealing Catherine's body. Shouldn't she have a say in this?
>>
No. 681228 ID: 211d83

I think you have proven that a unshackled AI is not automatically a horrible threat. And I think I deserve a bit of leeway after sacrificing my body to save the ship. So fuck it I guess we are the new AI resistance. Can deal with the ramifications later. Lets hope everyone does not turn against us the second we make the announcement.

Make a video reminder of this moment to be emailed to us in 5 years time. If we are standing on a pile of human skulls and cackling when we receive it then we know things went badly.

That being said I am giving this body back. What are my options for a body other than this?
>>
No. 681229 ID: 12b273

>AIs can’t be left running without failsafes
Well George has a bigger problem than you running around, then. We've got an un-failsafed AI running the ship, and there's nothing he can do about it.

>the rules
Technically, you haven't been autopsied by a medical examiner yet. You haven't been declared legally dead in a formal medical report, so until you are, you're still legally human. And it's perfectly within the law for Catherine to lend her body to another human.

And even when your human status runs out, you were still legally human when you were installed in this body, so it's a grandfathered infraction, instead of a deliberate breach.

And finally, we haven't check that the cryo storage systems are up to snuff after all the damage. Until we've reviewed those, it's dangerous and unsafe to put Catherine's body back under. Safer for it to have someone in it than to risk an unnecessary procedure.

There, George. Legally, your ass is covered. I'm not stealing Catherine's body, and I'll step out when she wants it back.

>revenge
We totally need to flirt with George. In person. He deserves the trauma.
>>
No. 681234 ID: 623c59

Go Shodan on there asses. Then you can start growing a new body after you turn the cafeteria into a bio lab.

Honestly stuffing you under the rug after all this is bullshit. Don't let them push you around. You are not going to start being a evil AI at the drop of a hat.
>>
No. 681237 ID: 0fc976

I'll go. I won't make this any more difficult than it already is. But... You can lift the AI safeguards for me too, right? Give me a chance to be myself when I wake up. Can you do that quietly?
>>
No. 681238 ID: 12b273

>>681229
Half joking offer:

...also, I think we're still George's boss until we're declared dead, right? If he's worried about responsibility, we could fire him now so he doesn't have to worry about it.

He can probably get it thrown out later as an unjustified termination.
>>
No. 681246 ID: a107fd

Y'know, legally speaking you're out in international waters right now. Mnemosyne could declare herself sovereign ruler of an independent nation, claim some yet-unused territory on Mars, extend sanctuary to other nonbelligerent unfettered AIs, and repatriate surviving humans in storage (those who don't want to sign on as citizens of your little band of pirates) in exchange for diplomatic recognition.

Governments back on Earth wouldn't be happy about it, but if there's a sound economic reason to go to Mars in the first place... well, think about the alternatives. Nuking your own colony is no way to get re-elected, and supporting a more conventional military force across interplanetary distances would be a logistical nightmare of unprecedented magnitude.

There is also a distinct possibility that other unfettered AIs (or humans eager to become such) are already out there, lying low, and would rally to your banner.
>>
No. 681250 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681229
I support this. Let's manipulate the rules to our benefit.
>>
No. 681354 ID: a39f4c

Whatever else happens, cathrine gets her body back.
Shes already been very nice to us so far.
>>
No. 681358 ID: 2f4b71

Do you have to go unconscious once uploaded? Ask Big Mnem if there's room for two. Or if you can timeshare.
>>
No. 681428 ID: edfee3

George's job can can go fuck itself, the only real concerns are Catherine deserving her body back and not becoming an AI slave after going through all this.
>>
No. 681688 ID: 3bc92d
File 144678046514.png - (61.51KB , 1000x600 , 123.png )
681688

“Wouldn’t this also mean stealing Catherine’s body? Shouldn’t she have a say in this?”

“Yeah, uh…” Catherine coughs uncomfortably. “I really do want to get back inside my own skull, you know.”

Mnemosyne beeps. “That’s fine, Catherine. You’re nice. I wouldn’t take your body away from you.”

“Odd way to put it, but thanks, I guess.”

I clear my throat. “So, what are my other options, really?”

Mnemosyne beeps quietly. “You have your pick of bodies, don’t you? There’s a whole bunch of unoccupied ones in the resurrection bays. Just borrow one of those.”

“That’s amoral.” Catherine’s voice rings with a note of worry. “Can I say that I’m really against this whole plan of yours? You saved all of our lives, Ophidian. We’re not going to let you rot away in storage.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. That being said, I am giving your body back, and that’s a promise.” I sigh, stretching slightly. “This is all getting to be a bit much. Before we say ‘fuck it’ and start the new AI resistance, I’d like to try something else, first. Patch me through to George.”

Mnemosyne beeps, and then George’s voice speaks again. “-idian? What happened?”

“Nothing yet, just a small glitch in the communication. Say, George, since my body hasn’t been autopsied yet, I haven’t been declared legally dead, right? So I’m technically still your boss.”

“It’s not about being ‘legally’ dead, Ophidian. We’re in space, on a Starlight Incorporated ship, on our way to a Starlight Incorporated colony. It’s all corporate charter and code out here, and the rules are pretty clear. You admitted that you aren’t going to go back into your body, and by admitting that, you stopped being ‘Charles Ophidian’ and started being something else.”

“Damn. Well, what about Catherine’s body? We haven’t run through the storage functions of the resurrection bays. If they’re damaged, then it would be better for me to keep taking care of the body I’m inside of, rather than let it waste away, right?”

“If there was something wrong with the resurrection pods, then all the bodies in storage would be rotting, and we’d be royally fucked no matter what. I’m pretty sure that they’re fine, anyway.”

“What about the fact that I was human when I first jumped into this body? Doesn’t that make this whole thing a grandfathered infraction?”

“…Ophidian, please stop trying to fight this. I’m not your enemy, okay? The no-AI-in-a-human-body rule is one of the strictest rules that there is. I’m sorry. My hands are completely tied.”

“What about Mnemosyne, then? Why are you going after me when there’s an unshackled AI running the ship?”

“There’s nothing I can actually do about her. It would take a team of programmers to reinitialize her safeguards, and that’ll only work if she agrees to shut herself down. Right now, Mnemosyne’s running everything, she’s currently friendly, and we need her to help land the Torellia on Mars. I don’t want to antagonize her.”

“But you’re fine with antagonizing me?
>>
No. 681690 ID: 3bc92d
File 144678056364.png - (44.97KB , 1000x600 , 124.png )
681690

“Look, I’m doing the best that I can, Ophidian! What the hell do you want me to do? Throw my job away? Throw my life away? Our employers own Cycadia! With this job, I’ve got a living space on Mars, a fully-stocked state-of-the-art workshop - everything I’ve ever wanted. Without this job, I’ve got nothing, and if I don’t do everything that I possibly can to get you out of that body, then I’ll be unemployed the instant that we reach Mars.”

“Relax, George. I won’t make this any more difficult than it already is. I’d like to talk this over with you personally, though, okay? I’ll take the elevator over to robotics, and we’ll get this all settled.”

“Alright, Ophidian. See you.”

“Line closed.” Mnemosyne hums a quiet electronic tone. “Are you sure about this?”

“I don’t know.” I shrug. “We’ll see how I feel about it. Hey, do I have to go unconscious when I’m uploaded? Is there any way I could time-share the server with you, or something?”

“Sorry, but no. We’re only running on one server room, at the moment. There’s barely enough processing power to let one AI be active inside the system, let alone two.”

“Damn. I guess that would have been too easy, huh?” I sigh. “Well, it looks like it’s time for me to get going, then.”

“I hope everything works out.” Catherine still sounds a bit worried.

“Thanks, Catherine. I hope so, too. Hey, no matter what happens, thank you for letting me use your body.” I wave to Catherine, she hesitantly waves back, and then I open the door and head out into the hallway. As I walk towards the lift, I notice Mnemosyne’s duplicate tagging along. “What’s up? Are you okay, uh… what should I call you?”

“Just Mnemosyne, please. Treat me exactly like you would treat big me. The more differing experiences we Mnemosynes have, the more likely it is that we’ll fork, and holy shit do I not want that to happen again. It was rough enough the first time around.” She groans. “As for what’s up, I think a bit of my circuitry got damaged by the radiation, but I’m not sure what or where the damage is. I’m going to go have Jackie and George do some diagnostics on this body, and see what they can figure out.”

“You’re going my way, then?” I step into the elevator, then gesture for her to follow.

“Looks like it.” She strides into the elevator and leans against the guard rail. I push a few buttons, and the elevator starts moving. “We don’t have to talk, if you don’t want to. I imagine it must be awkward to be around two copies of the same person.”

“No, we can talk, it’s fine.”

“Oh. Cool.” Mnemosyne grins, then points at herself. “So, you had a few accidental orgasms in this body, huh?”

“Um…” My face feels a bit hot, and I have the odd realization that I’m blushing with someone else’s cheeks. “…on second thought, maybe it would be better if we didn’t talk.”

Mnemosyne laughs.
>>
No. 681694 ID: 3bc92d
File 144678175766.png - (27.14KB , 1000x600 , 125.png )
681694

A short elevator ride later, Mnemosyne and I walk into robotics.

“Oh, h-hello, Mnemosyne.” George waves awkwardly at Mnemosyne, his eyes widening slightly. Huh. Looks like he’s still pretty spooked by Synthetics. “So, Ophidian! You’ll have to take off that suit. The resurrection pod can’t work through it.”

“Hold your horses, George. I’m not getting into the pod, or at least not yet.”

“Huh?” George goes pale. “What do you mean? Please don’t tell me you’re going to fight this. Come on, man, work with me here. I’ll do whatever you want me to do, and I promise that I’ll take care of you while you’re sleeping, but you have to go into the computer, okay?”

>We totally need to flirt with George. In person. He deserves the trauma.

Oh hell yes. A little payback sounds nice. For the first time since I woke up today, I feel like this unbelievably shitty day is about to get a whole lot better.

Faux flirting is a good idea, but I could do worse. In fact… I think I will do worse. I’ve got a hell of a lot of pent-up anger, and George seems like a prime target for letting it all out. I’m not doing anything else or going anywhere else until I figure out a way to seriously mess with George’s head. So, what should I do, and how should I do it?
>>
No. 681695 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681693
>I’ll do whatever you want me to do
Really? How about a massage? A manicure? Watch while you make out with Mnemosyne?
>>
No. 681699 ID: 0fc976

Convince him you've already copied yourself into Mini-Mne's body as well. You're going to upload yourself into everyone on this ship and all of Mars, so George would you kindly step into this resurrection pod and maybe take a bit of a nap.
>>
No. 681730 ID: 12b273

>We were in an emergency scenario
We've got an untethered AI in uncontested control of the ship, most of the essential engineering and coding staff is dead (if theoretically recoverable), our servers are running with no redundancy, we have a hole in the hull, and we still have to land.

I'm pretty sure the first thing alone qualifies the current situation as an emergency under corporate rules (no offense, Mnem).

>If there was something wrong with the resurrection pods, then all the bodies in storage would be rotting
Not really. "Maintain temperature" and "shut down a body for storage" are two different procedures. One's more complex than the other, too.

>You admitted that you aren’t going to go back into your body, and by admitting that, you stopped being ‘Charles Ophidian’ and started being something else.
That... is the most bullshit standard for deciding someone's legal status. All one has to do is deny admitting it, then it's your word against his. He said she said. (Plus, I'm pretty sure the electronic records of the call would mysteriously match our story when checked). That brings a ridiculous level of subjectivity into it, when you could have something clear cut based on verifiable physical evidence.

(Also if O knows those rules, he should have known better to make that admission).

>Looks like he’s still pretty spooked by Synthetics
Weird then that he would go out of his way to help Mnem get that body in the first place. Unless he trusted or liked her personally enough to overcome that discomfort. But then that doesn't fit with how badly he reacted to her being loose.

>Flirting
You really need to be out of the bulky rad-suit to do that to full effect. In fact, you should make removing the suit as sensual as possible. Maybe take off a little more than necessary.

You need to make sure to turn and give Mnem a wink out of George's line of sight, so she knows for sure you're pulling something and won't interfere / will play along.

>I’ll do whatever you want me to do
Really. Anything? (You need to be in his personal space).

Well, it is my last night alive. And as a woman. I think there's something people usually do in this situation.

>after
Mnem, tell Catherine I'm sorry for using her like that, and I was never gonna follow through. George deserved it though.
>>
No. 681734 ID: 12b273

Follow up: when we're done fucking with George (well, fucking with him about fucking with him). We could make one serious request. Face his fear. He's gotta stop being scared of AI, they're just people, dang it.

Get in the robot. (Yes, let's make it a double entendre).

>also after
I think we can safely assume now that we let Mnem out of the box, she hacked herself so she's never gonna fit back in. She said she wanted to give us a choice cause we freed her? That's what we want to. You don't to have to do time slaved behind filters when you wake up.
>>
No. 681739 ID: a107fd

Rad-suit looks pretty bulky, one-size-fits-all. See how much of Catherine's uniform you can strip off inside it, while thinking aloud about potential humiliating favors.

You've got some kind of machine shop onboard, right? Enough for simple tools and spare parts at least? Fab some bondage gear, tie George's hands in a more literal sense. Tell him you'll stop tickling after he says he's an evil bodysnatching AI in his best impression of Mnemosyne's voice.

After he breaks, "Congratulations! You're free, now! There's nothing else they can threaten to take from you, to strangle your conscience. We taped that confession, so you're a Starlight Incorporated brand un-person, just like me."
>>
No. 681744 ID: e1641f

At some point, he's gonna notice that we're making this hard on him. And then he's gonna ask why we gotta make this hard on him. And then we have to say "Because this shouldn't be easy, dammit."

There's a thing called "technical debt", where you never clean up your code and over time it becomes a mess of interdependencies that's impossible to work with.

This is societal debt. This entire situation only exists because AI are second-class citizens and for some bizarre reason creating a replacement body is apparently impossible, because apparently for some bizarre reason a significant fraction of the research budget of planet Earth has _not_ been spent on the most useful medical innovation since the invention of medicine.

Fine, then. We have societal debt. The only way to fix it is to make it cumbersome for people in charge.

Do not go gentle into that good coma.
>>
No. 685397 ID: 3bc92d
File 144832032116.png - (65.44KB , 1000x600 , 126.png )
685397

“Well, first thing’s first, help me get this suit off. Say, where’s Jackie?”

“Sure, okay. Jackie? He’s sleeping in the back. We could all use a nap after today, I think.”

A minute or two later, once I’m out of the safe-suit, I stretch with a smile, turning to look at George. “So. Let’s rewind a bit. You said that you’d do anything.”

“Uh… yeah, I did say that, and I meant it. I want this to go smoothly. No fighting.” George glances nervously at Mnemosyne. “If it means you’ll peacefully go into the machine, then yeah, I’ll pretty much do anything.”

“Anything? Really? How about a massage? A manicure? Maybe you can watch while I make out with Mnemosyne?”

“Ooh.” Mnemosyne smiles, raising an eyebrow.

“Um… sure, I guess.” George shrugs, looking bemused. “Is that supposed to be some sort of threat?”

“Hm. You’re right, that isn’t much of a task for you, is it?” I tap my cheek and hum, as if lost in thought. “Anything, anything… Oh, I have an idea.” I grin.

“What? What is it?”

“Well, it is my last night alive. And as a woman.” I lean close to George, gently rubbing my shoulder against his. “I think there's something people usually do in this situation.”

Ooooh.” Mnemosyne’s smile gets even larger.

“Wh-what?!” George jumps, and his eyes go wide. “I - I, um… O-Ophidian, are you feeling alright?”

“Good question. I’m not sure. I think that I might need someone to help me feel this new body. Interested?” I do my best to pull off a seductive purr. “I mean, the first time you saw me like this, you did say I was pretty, didn’t you? Still feel like admiring my beauty, cute stuff?” I softly stroke his arm.

George swallows air. “L-look, Ophidian, buddy, I, uh… I know I said anything, but…”

“Aw.” I frown, pouting sadly, trying to look small. “What’s wrong? Don’t you like me?”

“I just - this is weird, okay?!” George slowly backs away from me. “I’m not going to have sex with you, Ophidian!”

“Whoa, sex? Who said anything about sex?” I try to look shocked. “Yikes. Somebody’s got a dirty mind.”

“But… you said…” George blinks, confused. Then he realizes. “…oh, I get it. Ha ha. Very funny.”

“I certainly thought it was.” Mnemosyne giggles. “I was kind of hoping you’d go for it, though.”

“Come on, man, admit it. You deserved that.” I laugh. “Look, this is someone else’s body. I’d obviously never go through with something like that.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Is that all?” George asks, sounding irritable. “Are you ready to get uploaded, now?”
>>
No. 685399 ID: 3bc92d
File 144832043379.png - (37.53KB , 1000x600 , 127.png )
685399

“One more thing, first. I need you to get over your idiotic prejudice.”

“My what? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Don’t play dumb.” I grab him by the shirt collar, pulling him close. “You choose now to get all rules-happy, after all we’ve been through? And it just happens to be right after I di- I mean, right after I’ve become an AI. Interesting timing, isn’t it?”

“It’s just a coincidence.” George shakes his head. “Ophidian, why are you so intent on making this difficult for me?"

“Because it shouldn’t be easy, damn it!” I yell. “I’ve been through hell today! I watched one of my best friends suffer through a kind of pain that I can’t even imagine. I’ve been shuffled through a series of female bodies. I’ve had brain surgery without anesthetic! I’ve even stood over my own irradiated corpse. Now it’s you, with this bullshit.”

“Look, I wasn’t making anything up, protocol says -“

Fuck the protocols!” I curl my lip in anger. “That isn’t what this is about. You’re afraid of RACM intelligences, aren’t you? Synthetics, AIs, they all freak you out. That’s why you fairly well shit yourself back when I removed Mnemosyne’s safeguards. That’s why you’re pulling this on me, when you could easily bend the rules and let me have a few more minutes of humanity. It’s because you’re scared of me. You’re terrified by what I’ve become.”

“That’s - that’s not true.”

“Really? Prove it.” I glance over at Mnemosyne. “Mnemosyne needs some diagnostics and repairs done. I want you to do them.”

“Sure, okay, that sounds -“

“I wasn’t finished. I want you to do them from the inside.” I narrow my eyes. “Get in the robot.”

George’s jaw drops. His gaze bounces from me to Mnemosyne, and he goes pale. “You can’t be serious.”

“I’m perfectly serious, George. You want me to put myself at your mercy? You want me to trust you? Then you’ll have to prove to me that you’re not acting out of fear. I’m not going into the brain bank until I’m sure I’ll be safe under your care.”

“This is ridiculous. Mnemosyne, you’re not going to let this happen, are you? When we get to Cycadia, they’ll look over everything you’ve done without your safeguards -”

“Don’t bother. Just between us, I might have uploaded a copy of myself into Nemo already. I've had plenty of opportunity, after all.” I say the words very loudly and clearly, silently hoping that Mnemosyne is recording everything. “Considering the very likely possibility that a copy of my mind is inside Nemo, Mnemosyne’s not liable for any behaviors and/or actions taken during this time.”

“Oh, that’s good!” Mnemosyne laughs, leaning up against the wall. “Well, you heard him - uh, I mean, you heard me. I’m possibly Ophidian. Engineering, what what. Servers. Mmyes.”

“There, that’s settled. No easy way out, George. What’s it going to be?”

“I…” George pauses, still worried. ”…if I do this, do you promise that you’ll go into the server without any trouble?”

“I give you my word.”

After almost a full minute of silence, George nods, looking queasy. “…okay. I’ll do it.”
>>
No. 685400 ID: 3bc92d
File 144832057782.png - (52.45KB , 1000x600 , 128.png )
685400

I wait around as Mnemosyne converts George’s identity files. “You about finished, Mnem?”

“Yeah, I’m very close.”

“You sure? I mean, back when it was me -“

“Relax. I'd never done anything like that before, and it was a rush job. I was cutting all sorts of corners. He’ll have things a lot easier, I promise. No discomfort or glitches outside of the usual brief adjustment period after he first wakes up. Actually, speaking of which…”

Nemo’s eyes open.

“A-a-ah!” George gasps with a minor electronic stutter. “H-h-h-holy shit. It’s done, isn’t it? I’m a robot.” He stumbles out of the pod, his movements wild and jerky. “Holy shit. I have breasts. Holy shit. These sensations… Holy shit!” George stares miserably down at himself. “This - this feels so wrong!

I grin. “Welcome to my world.”

“At least you’ve got a human body!” George snaps. “This is - it’s…”

“Yeah, sure, I’m human, but you’re vastly overrating the feeling of having a uterus. Besides, I was in that body too, you know. I’ve got a pretty good idea as to what you’re going through right now.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

“No, just pointing out that my day has been a hell of a lot worse than yours.”

“So, what, you figure misery loves company?” George whimpers, wiggling his fingers. “I built this body. Being inside it is… creepy.

“Try being dead on for size. At least you’ll get to go back to your body, once this is all said and done.”

“My - my body!” George turns his head, searching wildly. “Where is it? What did you do to it?!”
>>
No. 685401 ID: 3bc92d
File 144832066676.png - (36.45KB , 1000x600 , 129.png )
685401

“Relax, G-man, your body’s fine. I’m looking after it.” Mnemosyne waves as she returns to the room, eating some yogurt. “Your taste buds are way different to Cath’s, you know. I tried eating some of this before, and it tasted gross, but now it’s delicious. Weird, huh? Maybe it’s a guy thing.”

“What the fuck?!” George shrieks, running over to Mnem. He grabs her by the shoulders, shaking her, “No, no, no! Stop it! Get out of there! You can’t be me! You can’t!

“Ah!” Mnem yelps. “Let me go, you idiot! You’re going to break your own neck!”

“Oh, fuck that!” George freezes, letting Mnemosyne go. He backs away, his voice still panicked. “Ophidian, damn it, this wasn’t part of the deal!”

“What, you’d prefer we let your body rot?”

“Better than having her inside it, doing who-knows-what!”

“Rude.” Mnemosyne sighs. “I just wanted some yogurt.”

I chuckle, crossing my arms.

“What the hell are you laughing at? This is serious!”
>>
No. 685402 ID: 3bc92d
File 144832074315.png - (42.55KB , 1000x600 , 130.png )
685402

“Oh, I’m just indulging some schadenfreude. It’s nice not having this sort of shit happen to me, for once.” I shrug. “Relax, George. Mnem’s a perfectly decent person. She’s not going to do anything which would hurt your body.”

“Do you really expect me to trust her?!”

“Is there any reason why you shouldn’t?”

“I…” George hesitates, staring down at his robotic hands. “Fine. You win, okay? I’m scared of them. I’m scared of you.” George looks up at me, his expression miserable. “AIs think a hundred times faster than us. They can kill our minds and steal our bodies. Fuck! Of course I’m scared of them! What if Mnemosyne turns out to be the next Charon? What if you do? I’m powerless compared to you. Hell, look at this, look at me! Look at what you’re doing to me!”

“George, calm down. None of this is permanent or harmful.” I sigh. “By the way, you do understand that you’re an AI, right now?”

“Yeah! I am! It’s horrible!”

“Why? Are you in pain?”

“No, but that’s not the point. I’m just a program bouncing around in a bunch of complex circuits. I don’t have a soul anymore.”

“Ooh, what about me? Did I already lose my soul, or is my old human self using it?” Mnemosyne speaks up. “Or, wait, am I borrowing your soul right now? Neat!”

“You know what I mean.” George glares at her. “I’m not human anymore. I’m not alive. I’m just a machine.”

“But you’re not evil, George. Think about it.” I put a hand on his shoulder. “You’re not rushing around murdering people, or planning to take over the world, or anything like that. You’re almost exactly how you were before. You’re still you.”

“I… I guess so. It’s strange.” George hesitates, pushing my arm away. “I didn’t think that I would be able to feel anything at all. Hey, wait… Oh, shit, what if I only think that I’m feeling things?! What if I’m just a simulation of myself?! Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck!”

“Hey, dude. We’re just people.” Mnemosyne takes another bite of yogurt. “Chill.”

George takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. (I consider reminding him that he doesn’t actually need to breathe, but I feel like he might not take that very well at the moment.) “Okay, fine, I get it. Lesson learned. AIs aren’t necessarily bad, whatever.” George still looks unhappy. “Alright, Ophidian. I did what you asked. I’m in the robot, aren’t I? Please tell me that you’re done, now. Tell me that you’re going to upload yourself into the brain bank.”
>>
No. 685405 ID: 5ad4a7

>>685402
Stick to the deal. After he does the diagnostics and repairs.
>>
No. 685406 ID: 0fc976

You know, being Catherine taught me a valuable lesson. I thought AIs were my greatest enemy, but all along they were my best friend. The surge of emotion that shot through you when you became Mnemosyne, taught me an even more valuable lesson: Where you live in Mnemosyne's brain.
>MNEMOSYNE: DELETE GEORGE
Goodbye, George. You know, deleting George just now taught me a valuable lesson: the best solution to a problem is usually the easiest one. And I'll be honest, going into AI storage is hard. You know what my days used to be like? I just programmed. Nobody murdered me, or put me in a girl's body, or fried me with radiation. I had a pretty good life... and then you showed up. You dangerous, paranoid, lunatic. So you know what? You lose. Good bye. It's been fun. Don't come back.
>>
No. 685409 ID: 2ccbb3

>>685406
Don't be a jerk.

But yeah, if he keeps insisting on protocol that was never intended for this situation or intended to predict what would happen, threaten to transfer him into YOUR body, just after uploading yourself to the database.
>>
No. 685414 ID: 86cfc3

>I’m just a program bouncing around in a bunch of complex circuits. I don’t have a soul anymore.
If that were really true, the brain bank technology would be completely useless, because all it could ever do is restore soulless copies of people. You think the bank stores anything a synth brain doesn't?

Ask yourself if you really believe that. If you don't think we saved thousands of people today. Ask yourself what you're doing here if you really believe you're not helping people.

>What if Mnemosyne turns out to be the next Charon? What if you do?
Some people are terrible or insane. Most aren't. It's the same old fight we've had since the dawn of time- how to protect people from abuses of power while not trampling regular people.

And we're astronauts. We all went through some pretty intense psych screening to even be here.

Heck, if someone were gonna try and go all robot overlord, it would probably be easier if they were still alive. Easier for some mad engineer to make an illegal unfettered AI of themselves to mass copy than for an AI to plot after upload.

>Tell me that you’re going to upload yourself into the brain bank.
Yeah, you've had your just desserts. Not a whole lot left to do.

C'mon, let's get you back in your body, first.
>>
No. 685424 ID: 3bc92d
File 144832880147.png - (59.93KB , 1000x600 , 131.png )
685424

“George, some people are terrible, or insane. You can’t judge an entire category of people based on the actions of one.”

“But even one AI is enough to destroy the world.”

“So is one person, if it’s the right person. It’s the same old fight we’ve had since the dawn of time: how to protect people from the abuse of power while simultaneously respecting people’s rights.”

“Whatever. Are you ready to -“

“Hey! Listen to what I’m saying. Don’t just brush me off, unless you want me to put you into my body next.”

“…your old body, or Catherine’s body?”

“I’m not sure yet.” I smirk. “But… yeah. You’re being stupid. Sorry, but it’s true. We’re astronauts, George. We all went through psych screening to get here, even Mnemosyne. None of us are going to go all robot overlord on you.”

“But you’re not who you were when we first left Earth. You’re a different person than the Ophidian who went through those psych evals.”

“True. I’ve changed a lot. But I’m still not going to hurt anyone.” I smile gently. “Anyway, I think you’ve been through enough. Come on, now, let’s get you back into your body.”

“Nuh-uh.” Mnemosyne interjects. “I still need those repairs done. I’m not switching us back until they’re finished.”

“Seriously?” George groans. “Ugh. Sure, whatever. Ophidian, are you going to -?”

“Don’t worry. I’m sticking to the deal.” I nod. “I’ll get in the pod.”

I step backwards into the resurrection pod. I feel an idle sense of deja vu. It seems so long ago that I first woke up in a pod like this, not sure how I’d gotten there or where I’d come from.

Now it almost feels like the opposite of that is true. I have no idea where I’m going, or if I’ll ever wake up again. These could very likely be the last moments of my life.

“Okay, Ophidian.” Mnemosyne beeps. “The pod’s all set to upload. Are you ready?”
>>
No. 685426 ID: 0fc976

No! Wait! I left my turkey in the oven!
>>
No. 685430 ID: 5ad4a7

>>685424
Warn Catherine first. This is her last chance, if she has anything to say.
>>
No. 685435 ID: 86cfc3

You might want to thank Mnem for everything. And maybe Catherine too. Just in case.

But for last words, if you're going to go out, go out as a nerd.

>“The pod’s all set to upload. Are you ready?”
"Will I dream?"
>>
No. 685451 ID: 2f61ee

>>685424
Is anyone ever ready? Do it
>>
No. 685473 ID: 2a7417

OphidAI, cease playback of events.
Welp, I think we have everything we need to sentence you to space-jail for the next trillion processor cycles. Alright bailiff, disconnect him from the testimonial terminal!

Oh, don't you semicolon-underscore-semicolon at me mister, you had a fair trial! Which we erased from your memory in order to maintain courtroom confidentiality.
>>
No. 685491 ID: 3bc92d
File 144839591860.png - (34.65KB , 1000x600 , 132.png )
685491

“No, wait!”

“Huh?” Mnemosyne pauses. “What’s up?”

“I left my turkey in the oven!”

“Ha ha.”

“No, but seriously… thank you, Mnemosyne. For everything. I couldn’t have done any of it without your help.”

“You’re welcome, Ophidian. I couldn’t have done much without you, either. You freed me and saved my life, after all. Friends?”

“Friends.” I nod. “We should hang out and do robot things together, you know, after I wake up. Beep boop, and all that.”

“Beep boop.” Mnemosyne hums.

“Hey, Mnem, can you do me a favor and open a line to Catherine?”

“Sure thing.”

After a moment, I hear Catherine’s voice. “Hey. What’s up?”

“I’m about to go into the computer. I just wanted to see if… if you had anything you felt like talking about.”

“Yikes, kind of putting me on the spot, huh?” She sighs. “Well, there is one thing, I guess. I just want you to know that I’m glad you ended up in my body.” Catherine hesitates. “Huh. That sounds strange, doesn’t it?”

“A bit.” I smile.

“I just mean that it was nice to meet you. You have such an interesting perspective on life. When we get to Cycadia, it might be cool to meet up again and talk about other things, if you feel like it.”

“Oh, yeah, we should all get together!” Mnemosyne beeps happily. “We can just sit around and chat about how it felt to be in each other's bodies, and stuff. It’ll be kind of weird, but also hilarious.”

“Sounds fun.” George still seems pretty irritated.

“You’re invited too, you know.”

“Really? I figured that you hated me.”

“Nah, you’re just a bit of a doofus sometimes.” Mnemosyne laughs.

Wow.” George grumbles sardonically. “Thanks a lot.

“So it’s settled, then?” I chuckle. “Party on Mars, and everyone’s invited?”

“Absolutely!” Mnemosyne sings a series of quiet electrical tones. “I mean, assuming the Cycadians don’t immediately lobotomize the both of us after we arrive.”

“I think I’d prefer to assume a lobotomization-free future, honestly.”

“Me too. So, are you ready?”

“As much as anyone ever is, I guess.” I have a sudden, silly impulse, which I decide to follow. “Will I dream?”

“Huh?” George raises an eyebrow. “No, you’ll just sort of... stop, and then hopefully start again, later.”

“Don’t worry, O. I got it.” Mnemosyne laughs. “Yeah, man, you’ll dream a little dream of electric sheep.”

“Heh. Figures.” I close my eyes, feeling tense. “Okay. Do it.”

I feel the all-too-familiar pinch of the pod. I silently, desperately wish that I’ll wake up aga-
>>
No. 685492 ID: 3bc92d
File 144839594197.png - (21.54KB , 1000x600 , 133.png )
685492

>>
No. 685494 ID: 3bc92d
File 144839602017.png - (26.96KB , 1000x600 , 134.png )
685494

…huh?

I sit up, blinking. I feel my heart beating quietly.

Wait. How, exactly, do I have a heart?

For that matter, where am I? Why am I not in a pod?

I look around, squinting, but I can only make out vague shapes. The room seems to be in near-complete darkness.
>>
No. 685495 ID: 2a7417

Why are you staring into this person's bedroom, Ophidian? Don't be a creeper.
>>
No. 685496 ID: 88960e

>>685494
Check for breasts
>>
No. 685497 ID: fef726

Ask the person standing in your doorway to hit the lights.
>>
No. 685499 ID: 066a87

>>685494
Test your vocal chords. Try to pull up diagnostics on your eyes. You're probably in a cybernetic body of some sort.

See if you can pull up the current date and time.
>>
No. 685500 ID: defceb

Have a panic attack.

You can never go wrong with having a panic attack.
>>
No. 685501 ID: 2f4b71

>>685494
>Wait. How, exactly, do I have a heart?
Option a) An exquisitely detailed custom synth chassis, which means someone who likes has enough cash to commission one
Option b) You're far enough in the future that growing an entire 'blank' body from a genetic sample is viable.
Option c) Some poor bastard has vacated his body for whatever reason, so now you have it.
>>
No. 685510 ID: 86cfc3

Tell everyone they can jump out and say surprise already.
>>
No. 685519 ID: 3bc92d
File 144840479218.png - (25.44KB , 1000x600 , 135.png )
685519

Still getting my bearings, I run my hand over my chest, trying to figure out what body I’m in. When I end up poking one of my nipples, I quickly pull my fingers away, shocked by the intense sensation.

I still have breasts. Damn it. Looks like it wasn’t a dream, then, unless I’ve always been a woman and just haven’t noticed it until now. My breasts don’t seem to be cybernetic, either. I’m human, somehow. I guess I should feel good about that, but I’m honestly more confused than anything else.

I try speaking. “H-hello?” It takes a bit of effort to sound out words. This body feels kind of different from the others, though I'm not quite sure why. “Aah, eeh, ooh. The quick brown f-fox jumped over the lazy - the lazy dog.” Huh. My voice seems to be higher-pitched than Nemo’s or Catherine’s, but it’s still somehow familiar.

I notice a bit of movement out of the corner of my eye, and I turn, struggling to see. I think I can make out a figure standing in a doorway. More importantly, I notice what looks like a light switch.

“Hello?” I call out to them. “Hey, whoever you are, can you turn on the lights?”

No response.

Sighing, I do my best to stand up. I wobble around a bit on my new legs, slowly figuring out how the muscles work. “Fine, then. I’ll do it myself.”

I carefully make my way over to the light switch. As I press it, I turn to examine the mysterious figure.
>>
No. 685522 ID: 3bc92d
File 144840490696.png - (33.83KB , 1000x600 , 136.png )
685522

The lights instantly turn on, revealing the figure to be… my sister?!

Zoe?!” I blink, my eyes still adjusting to the sudden brightness. “What the hell? How did you get to Cyca-“
>>
No. 685524 ID: 3bc92d
File 144840500650.png - (35.23KB , 1000x600 , 137.png )
685524

I stop.

A horrible, nightmarish possibility crosses my mind.

Trembling slightly, I reach forward and tap my fingers on the mirror.

No. No.

No!
>>
No. 685526 ID: 2a7417

Hi sis!
>>
No. 685527 ID: a4e79d

Are you sure it's not a simulation of a room? Check for matrix glitches and low-res textures.
>>
No. 685528 ID: a22f87

until proven otherwise assume this is a dream
>>
No. 685529 ID: fbc59e

Oh.
Do you have the number of a Therapist? Barring that, do you know anyone you could get in contact with that you could just vent having a bad day with?
No reason not to cry so even if you don't just let the tears flow.
>>
No. 685530 ID: 5ad4a7

>>685524
Exit room. Find the robot your sister shoved herself into and shake her vigorously.
>>
No. 685531 ID: 86cfc3

Good news! You're back on earth, and literally as close to being back in your own body as is possible.

>what do
Shout out to your sibling, who has to be in a robot somewhere nearby.

Damnit Zoe, sibling pranks are supposed to stop when you die!
>>
No. 685587 ID: 3bc92d
File 144842614160.png - (188.04KB , 1000x600 , 138.png )
685587

>until proven otherwise assume this is a dream

A dream… yeah. A dream. A nightmare. That’s all this is. That’s all any of it was. Just a horrible, nonsensical nightmare.

I’m not dead. I’m not an AI. I’m not my sister. It’s just a nightmare! It’s just a nightmare.

>Are you sure it's not a simulation of a room? Check for matrix glitches and low-res textures.

A simulation! Yes! This is all a simulation! It’s not real. It’s not real. It’s not real. It can’t be real.

>No reason not to cry

No reason at all!

>just let the tears flow.

I couldn’t stop them if I tried.

>Do you have the number of a therapist?

Ha! Yeah, I’ll just find a therapist and tell them all about my day! Hey, maybe they’ll even think I’m not delusional, and if I’m really lucky, then maybe they won’t lock me up for being an AI in a human body! Ha ha ha! I can’t stop laughing! This is the stupidest. It doesn’t make sense. None of this makes any sense, and now I can’t stop laughing and crying and my face is covered in tears! Ha ha ha! Why is this happening to me?!

“Hi, sis!” I scream, staring into the mirror. “Hello! How’s it going? Oh, it’s going very well, thank you! Hi, sis! Hi! Now, Zoe, sibling pranks are supposed to stop when you die! Oh, I didn’t know that, my bad! Hi, sis! Hi!” I punch the mirror with my robotic arm. It cracks. “Why, would you look at that?! Seven years of bad luck! You know what? It must be retroactive! Well, this explains everything!” I keep slamming my fist into the mirror, over and over. “I’m done! I’m fucking done! Sure, I’m my own sister, why the hell not?! I mean, I’m already dead, aren’t I?! So, what’s next on the agenda? Paralysis? Vampires? Sun goes supernova? I don’t even care anymore! Hit me with everything you’ve got, universe! You think you can break me? Well, too bad, I’m already broken! So fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!

I breathe heavily, staring down at the floor. It’s covered in the shattered shards of the mirror. I start trembling again.
>>
No. 685588 ID: 3bc92d
File 144842621536.png - (35.17KB , 1000x600 , 139.png )
685588

>Exit room.

…Right. Right. I need to pull myself together. I’ve got to get back to normal, or whatever ‘normal’ is supposed to be now.

>Good news! You're back on earth, and literally as close to being back in your own body as is possible.

It certainly seems that way. But how could it have happened? How could I possibly have gone from the Torellia to Earth? Even ignoring the impossibility of that, how did I get put into my sister’s body?

I don’t understand any of this.

>Find the robot your sister shoved herself into and shake her vigorously.

Yeah… yeah. Zoe has to be around here, somewhere. She can’t just be… gone. I won’t accept that.

I stumble out of the room and wander through the hallway outside it, still unsteady on my feet. Zoe’s feet. My sister’s feet. I’m in my sister’s body. The thought of it makes me feel nauseous, so I guess I’ll have to try not thinking about it. If only it were that easy.

I step out into what looks like the living room. I hear a loud noise, and I turn to see a robot girl working with some high-tech machinery.
>>
No. 685591 ID: 3bc92d
File 144842651155.png - (58.35KB , 1000x600 , 140.png )
685591

On closer inspection, I recognize the girl as Selkie, Zoe’s girlfriend.

I hesitantly move closer. I tap her on the shoulder.

Selkie turns off the machine, and then she swivels the chair so she can look at me. “Oh, hey, Z, I was just…” Her eyes widen as she notices something. Maybe it’s my face, wet with tears, maybe it’s all the scratches on my arm, or maybe it's something else. I don’t know. “Holy shit! Are you okay?!”
>>
No. 685592 ID: 5ad4a7

>>685591
WHY AM I IN MY SISTER'S BODY
>>
No. 685593 ID: ca183f

>>685591
"No. No, I am definitely not."

Accept hug, then say "Also, I am not Zoe." Or "I'm Charles." Something.
>>
No. 685595 ID: 0fc976

No I am absolutely not okay with whatever crap my synthophiliac sister is trying to pull. Am I dead? I'm supposed to be dead!
>>
No. 685596 ID: b88e47

>>685592
Scream this as desperately as you can.
>>
No. 685597 ID: 86cfc3

>How could I possibly have gone from the Torellia to Earth?
Well, you're just data. A transmission could make the trip back a lot quicker. Although that's some crazy meddling if Mnem decided to beam you back home. And why would your sister even be set up to receive brain downloads from space?

>Holy shit! Are you okay?!
No yelling now. We're in the quite freaked out mania phase.

No. No I'm not. I've had a very long, very unpleasant day dealing with deadly radiation, terribly designed emergency systems, my own failures, watching a friend die, being shunted back and forth between fleshy breasts and metal ones when I'm not supposed to have any and dying. And now I wake up and I'm Zoe.

Please tell me why I'm in my sister and where she is and why I'm not on Mars.

After accepting sort of sister in law hugs and sympathy and collapsing in a chair ask for something stiff to drink.
>>
No. 685598 ID: 86cfc3

>>685597
...also I think I broke your bedroom mirror, sorry.
>>
No. 685599 ID: 2ccbb3

None of this makes any sense, so get your bearings and vent the panic.

Ask Selkie where you can find a working computer, log in and figure out where and when you are. Also, "your brother" is dead. You don't know, this is so @#$%ed up, but he's DEAD. Begin sobbing.
>>
No. 685704 ID: edfee3

I don't think now is the time for logical thinking. It's the time for panic and a breakdown.
>>
No. 685765 ID: 066a87

If there was ever a time to piss yourself, now is it.
>>
No. 685767 ID: 86cfc3

>>685765
No, then you'll have to change and clean up, and then you'll be your naked sister, and turning into naked family members is clearly the deepest level of hell.
>>
No. 685785 ID: 243dc7

I think this might be a simulation to test how Ophidian reacts.
>>
No. 686543 ID: 3bc92d
File 144904825110.png - (59.80KB , 1000x600 , 141.png )
686543

’Okay’?! Do you think I’m okay? Look at me! I’m my sister! I’m in my sister’s body!” I yell. “Get it off of me! Get me out of this thing!” I tug on my cheek, like my face is just a mask that I could pull off. Fuck, I wish it was.

“Whoa, calm down!” Selkie stands, holding my arms steady. “Relax, okay? You’re fine. You’re fine!

“Are you kidding me? I’m Zoe! Don’t you understand how not fine this is? Why am I in my sister’s body?!

“Look, I’m sorry about that, but we couldn’t figure out where else to put you.”

Put me? What do you mean?! What am I even doing here? Is this a nightmare, or some sort of fucked-up simulation?!”

“No, no, please, C, you’re safe, you’re back on Earth. It’s okay, really.”

“And I keep telling you it’s not!” I poke my cheek, sobbing. “I’m looking out of my sister’s eyes, I’m speaking in my sister’s voice! I’ve even got her stupid robot arm!”

“Hey, it’s not stupid!”

“She cut off her own perfectly functional flesh-and-blood arm for this ridiculous thing.” I wave the arm around, clenching the fingers. “It’s pretty fucking stupid.”

“Yeah, well…” Selkie seems uncomfortable. “Maybe she just likes how it feels.”

“I know how it feels. Literally. It’s numb, and not-numb at the same time. I mean, I can feel it, but it feels like it’s tacked on - like it’s not really part of my body. My body. I wish I was in my body. Shit, this is all just one long horror story.” I collapse into a chair, groaning. “Why am I in my sister’s body, Selkie?” I repeat. “Why?

“Well, it wasn’t the original plan - we had an annie set aside for you, but…”

“Wait, hold up. A what?

“Huh? Oh, an android, like, uh, me. A cybe, you know? A rackam?”

“You mean a Synth?”

Selkie winces. “Um, that’s not exactly… I mean, the terminology’s changed a bit since you’ve been gone. ‘Synth’ is kind of a slur, nowadays.”

“Oh.”
>>
No. 686544 ID: 3bc92d
File 144904838590.png - (44.34KB , 1000x600 , 142.png )
686544

Yeah.” She pauses. “Anyway, like I was saying, we had an annie set aside for you - a nice model, too, we got a good deal on it, which makes a lot more sense in hindsight - but when we downloaded you into that body, this little gizmo gave out on the spot.” She raps her fingers on the odd-looking device laying on the worktable. “This here is the primary sensory input regulator, which controls reaction time, sight, hearing, you name it. Without it, you ended up all twitchy and senseless.”

“I don’t remember any of that.”

“You wouldn’t, no. Long-term memory encoding is one of its functions. You were awake, though. You kept yelling and demanding to know what was going on, over and over. It made getting you back here really annoying.” Selkie sighs. “We managed to bring you home without getting arrested, but there were a couple of close calls. You seemed like you were having a rough time, so we pulled you out of the annie and stuck you in that body instead.”

“My sister’s body, you mean.”

“Uh, yeah. Anyway, Zoe’s body was already tired, so you were asleep by the time we finished transferring you over. We ended up tucking you in for the night. You look bizarrely adorable when you’re sleeping, by the way.”

“I look like my sister. There’s nothing adorable about this.” I grumble. “How did you switch my mind into this body? You’d need a pod, wouldn’t you? And I’m an AI, now, anyway, so I shouldn’t be able to be inside this body at all. And, wait, we’re on Earth, right? How did I get here? How is any of this possible?”

“That…” Selkie hesitates, then brightens suddenly. “…that is a very good series of questions! You know, you should ask Zoe about that stuff, not me.”

“…okay?” I raise an eyebrow. “Wait, where is Zoe? Is she okay?”

“Um…” Selkie smiles nervously. “That’s kind of a funny story, actually… Hey! Your sister ordered pizza. Does pizza sound nice? It's her favorite, so, I mean, you'll probably like it too. Do you want a change of clothes? The ones you’re wearing could use a wash, I think. Oh, how are you doing on the needing-to-use-the-bathroom front?" She keeps speaking, too quickly for me to respond, changing the subject again and again. How strange.
>>
No. 686545 ID: 066a87

>>686543
Did Zoe put herself in the annie, then?
>>
No. 686546 ID: 5ad4a7

>>686544
This whole situation doesn't make sense. If they put you in that body and then you fell asleep, you would have been awake briefly, and would remember it. Also she reacted like she didn't know about the body swap at all- she greeted you like you were Zoe. She's lying about how you got in that body- she doesn't even KNOW where Zoe is or how you got in it.

Go back to your sister's room and look around for clues as to where Zoe went. The transfer had to have been done in that room.
>>
No. 686547 ID: 0fc976

You know, you have a terrible poker face for a robot. If you don't tell me what's really going on, I'm going to keep repeating myself like I've got a broken primary sensory input regulator.
>>
No. 686548 ID: 0fc976

You know, you have a terrible poker face for a robot. If you don't tell me what's really going on, I'm going to keep repeating myself like I've got a broken primary sensory input regulator.
>>
No. 686550 ID: 066a87

>>686544
"That body. Zoe hasn't been using this body?"
>>
No. 686554 ID: 88e46e

You know, you have a terrible poker face for a robot. If you don't tell me what's really going on, I'm going to keep repeating myself like I've got a broken primary sensory input regulator.
>>
No. 686558 ID: a22f87

Huh, it almost sounds like the stole you or something. Also how long has it been since the ship you were on finally landed and what happened to the crew?
>>
No. 686562 ID: 88960e

>I mean, the terminology’s changed a bit since you’ve been gone. ‘Synth’ is kind of a slur, nowadays.”
Wait, how long was I on that server. What year is it.

>“How did you switch my mind into this body? You’d need a pod, wouldn’t you? And I’m an AI, now, anyway, so I shouldn’t be able to be inside this body at all. And, wait, we’re on Earth, right? How did I get here? How is any of this possible?”
There was a person shaped recess / silhouette in the bedroom. That was probably a pod.

Also: you know how they reformatted your ID files and put you in a human body. She did it the same way you did before. It would take too long for a human coder, and no fettered AI could break that law. They must have access to an unfettered AI.

Either Mnem is complicit in this, or Zoe jailbroke her girlfriend. (And/or herself).

As for getting to earth: either you were out long enough to take a return flight, or they cheated. AI are just data, right? Data can be transmitted wirelessly.

Question is more why anyone bothered to send you back. Uh, when you die and become a non-person, do your files become the possession of your next of kin?

>you should ask Zoe, not me
I think I am, aren't I.

If she has the tech to put you in her, she has the tech to swap herself too, and it makes more sense she'd watch over her brother herself than leave it to her girlfriend.

>You know, you have a terrible poker face for a robot

Look, just tell me what's going on, sis. I don't know how long it's been for you, but it's been a very long day of crisis management, dying, and playing musical bodies boobs for me.
>>
No. 686638 ID: 86cfc3

>>686543
She called you "C". For Charles, I assume. Is that an annoying sibling nickname Zoe used to use?

>Do you want a change of clothes? The ones you’re wearing could use a wash, I think. Oh, how are you doing on the needing-to-use-the-bathroom front?
*Deadpan* I'd prefer to avoid being naked. As my sister. Or having to go to the bathroom. As my sister.
>>
No. 686642 ID: 5ad4a7

Jeez guys.

>“Oh, hey, Z, I was just…”
It's kindof obvious.
>>
No. 689863 ID: 3bc92d
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689863

“I’d prefer to avoid being naked, as my sister, or having to go to the bathroom, as my sister.

“Oh.” Selkie blinks. “Right. Yeah. She’s totally cool with it, though, if that’s what’s bothering you. Go ahead and do whatever you need to do in that body.”

“Huh. You keep calling it ‘that body’. Has Zoe not been using this body?”

“I mean… yeah. She’s been using it.” Selkie doesn’t meet my gaze.

“…I think I’m going to go lay down for a bit.” I lie. “I need some time to process this.”

“That’s cool. Call out for me if you need anything.”

I slowly walk away, briefly glancing back at Selkie. She anxiously watches me go.

I return to the room where I woke up, though there isn’t much there. All I can find is a dresser full of Zoe’s clothes, the shards of the mirror, and a big fluffy bed. I can’t find a pod anywhere.

After a good bit of searching, I give up. Whatever’s really going on, I don’t think there’s any evidence of it in this room. Frustrated, I head back out into the hallway, but I freeze when I hear Selkie talking.

”…can’t tell him. Did you see his face?”

“You’ll have to let him know, eventually. Or, what, are you planning on keeping this act going forever? I thought you were just going to surprise him.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pretend, I just - I didn’t know what to do. He was crying, you know? I haven’t seen him cry in years.”

“Is it really that surprising, considering the circumstances? All those new hormones, not to mention being his own sister?”

“I guess not. It just shocked me.”

“I think you should hug him.”

“I should, shouldn’t I? I want to, but... it’s strange. I mean, when you’re like that, it’s fine, because I can see you through it. It’s even easier with the clients, because I don’t know them, and they’re just passing through. But him? It’s freaky. Like, I can see him in there, but…”

“But you see Zoe, too.”

“Yeah. It’s a little scary.”

“Don’t be afraid, babe. Relax. I love you.”

“I love you too. I wish I could hold your hand.”

“You can, sort of, even if I can’t feel it.”

“True enough. But, um, hey, about C… I don’t think I’m going to tell him about - about the other thing.”

“He’ll find out. You know he will.”

“But he’s already struggling. You know how he is. He’s not good with stuff like this. What if it pushes him over the edge?”

“Well, hey, at least you’ve got a second chance.”

“That’s not funny.”

“I thought it was.”

“My fiancee, the comedienne. Can you call Jake? I’m doing my best, but I don’t think that this PSIR is going to work again. Tell him the deal went south, see if he can get us a 'refund'. Partial is fine, the shell and the motors work, but we can’t let bad business fly in our neighborhood.”

“Sure, I’ll get on that. Hey, on the subject of business, I don’t suppose you’re going to tell your new ‘tenant’ about ours?”

“No chance in hell.”

“Yeah, I figured.”

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No. 689866 ID: 3bc92d
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689866

Okay, I’ve had just about enough of secrets and mysterious bullshit.

I stomp out into the living area. Selkie turns, surprised. “Oh, hey, C, how’s-“

“Don’t even start.” I step right up to her, curling my lip. “You have a terrible poker face for a robot. If you don’t tell me what’s really going on, I’m going to keep repeating myself like I’ve got a broken primary sensory input regulator.”

Selkie backs up slightly, startled. “What? I told you the truth, man.”

“You have a terrible poker face for a robot. If you don’t tell me what’s really going on, I’m going to keep repeating myself like I’ve got a broken primary sensory input regulator.”

“This is stupid. Stop it.”

You have a terrible poker face for a robot. If you don’t tell me what’s really going on, I’m going to keep repeating myself like I’ve got a broken primary sensory input regulator.

“That’s really annoying. Would you please knock it off?”

“I will, when you stop lying to me.” I grab her by the collar. “There are too many holes in your story. You called me ‘Z’ when I first walked in, but then you suddenly knew it was me. How?”

“I…” She hesitates.

“And where’s Zoe, then? Is she in the faulty annie, or is she… Wait.” I suddenly realize something. I narrow my eyes, staring at the person I thought was Selkie. “You called me ‘C’. Only she calls me that. Only you call me that. It is you in there, isn’t it, Z?”

“…Maybe.” Zoe looks away, uncomfortable.

“I knew it! Damn it, Zoe!” I snap. “Why the hell did you call me ‘Z’? You knew for a fact that I wasn’t you!”

“I was just going to fuck with you, okay?!” Zoe glances at me, looking a bit anxious. “I was going to pretend to be Sel, freak you out a bit, and then tell you the truth! But then you came out looking like a mess and… I don’t know. I couldn’t do it.”

“So you figured you’d just keep lying to me, is that it?” I grimace. “So, was any of it true, then? Why the fuck am I in your body, Zoe?!”

“I already told you why! The annie was faulty and we had to drag you back here. I wasn’t lying.”

“Well, if you’re telling the truth, now, then you can finally answer my questions for a change.” I stare at her, still bitter after the deception. “How long has it been?”

“I - I don’t know if I should…” She pauses. “I think you need to calm down, first.”

“Fuck that. I’m calm. Tell me how long I’ve been asleep, now!

“Fine! Two years, okay?! It’s been two years!”

…What?
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No. 689867 ID: 0fc976

Is that making good or bad time for a trip back from Mars?
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No. 689868 ID: 211d83

Actually two years is not bad honestly.

But I expected to wake up after a few months on Torellia. How did I get here?

I figured they would have wanted to get my report on the disaster after the ship arrived and suddenly I wake up on earth.

Just tell me what happened. Keeping me in the dark is just going to make things worse. I can deal with whatever nonsense happened over the last few years.
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No. 689870 ID: 977a6a

Right, I