Friday, May 30, 2014

The Forefathers - Part 2

Fiction Friday!

This is the concluding part of last weeks story. It certainly went in a different direction than I was expecting!

The Forefathers - Part 2

The Captain aimed the pistol as the shadow moved out of the doorway. It was humanoid, but it was certainly not human. It was some form of robot. It rose over 7 feet tall with an exposed metal exoskeleton. Its bulbous head turned to survey the room and its glowing green eyes focused on the Captain. To Gakoho it looked absolutely terrifying.

In New Eden most robots and drones were specifically created not to look human. They found that people had difficulty relating to something artificial that tried to look human. Therefore all drones where generally made to look anything but human. This thing that had entered the room was clearly engineered to look as human as possible. It spoke in some unknown language, addressing them all.

"Whats it saying Daichi?" the Captain asked the Science Officer, a slight tremble in his voice.

"How the hell should I know!" Daichi cried back.

The robot turned and started to walk towards the Captain. It continued to speak in the strange language as it slowly approached.

"Daichi I could really do with some intel here!"

"Its speaking a language thats probably thousand of years old and belongs to some long forgotten race. I don't know it its asking you if you want a cup of tea or its saying its going to rip off your head and spit down your neck!"

"Well if you have no idea if its friendly or hostile what they hell should I do? If its freindly and I fire this gun I might piss it off. If its hostile and I don't, it might come over here, rip my head off and save its spital for your neck!" The Captain was slowly backing up but he was running out of room. The rear wall loomed behind him. When he finally backed into it he jumped in surprise. The robot had less than 15 metres now. It continued its slow advance, still speaking the unknown language.

The Science Officer shouted a few words of a different language. The robot continued advancing.

"That sounded Matari!" the Captain shouted backing off from the advancing robot.

"It was! Now I'll try Gallente!"

The Science Officer repeated the phrase in Gallente followed then by Amarrian.

"Sorry Captain its not helping."

"Try Caldari!"

"We're speaking Caldari. If it spoke Caldari you don't think it would have understood us already?"


Daichi tried one more time. As he said the words the Captain realised he had no idea what language it was. Whilst the Captain could not speak any of the other languages of New Eden without a translation device, he knew what they sounded like. What ever Daichi was speaking it wasn't Matari, Amarrian or Galletne. The robot suddenly stopped its advance. Its head turned towards the Science Officer.

"That worked!" the Captain said rather pleased the hulking metallic monster was no longer advancing.

The robot started to advance on the Science Officer.

"Oh shit!"

"What did you say to it?" asked the Capitan.

"I think I said 'We come in peace'. I'm not sure, my Jovian is very rusty!" yelled the terrified Science Officer.

The hulking machine stopped directly in front of Daichi. It spoke in a language the Captain didn't know but it was clearly different to the first one it had been using.

"Captain, apparently this is '902DE' and he speaks Jovian!" sighed Daichi in relef.


The five crew members had spent the best part of an hour with the robot. It in fact didn't speak Jovian, however Jovian was very close to a language it did and it was able to adapt. Within ten minutes, and with the aid of Daichi's datapad, the robot was speaking classic Caldanese. They sat around listening in wonder to its story. Earth, Sol, the Milky Way, the Eve Gate. They were the first humans in millennia to know the truth of where the humans of New Eden came from. The robot explained they were on-board a colonisation and stargate building ship. It had been on a 20-year journey to a distant star where the workers would wake and start construction of a stargate whilst starting terraforming of any suitable planets in the destination system. However, halfway through the journey a massive energy wave had washed over them. It had burnt out all of their sensors and they had crashed a few weeks later on the deep-space asteroid. Given the ship was so badly damaged the robotic custodian had never woken the crew. He had waited for a rescue that never came.

"So, we are all descended from these Terrans?" Sansa the XO muttered, breaking the silence.

"Wow, I'm actually related to Amarrians!" Yomon replied in a sad tone.

"What about you 902? What have you been doing for these thousands of years?" the Captain asked changing the subject.

"I have been trying to better myself. I have spent a lot of time in the library studying. I have been particularly interested in philosophy and the meaning of life."

The others cast curious glances around each other. Nobody thinking it would be a good idea to point out the robot was artificial and therefore did not have life as a human did.

"Did you ever look at repairing the ship I meant?" the Captain clarified.

"Oh no, that isn't my job!" the robot replied almost hurt he suggested that.

"Didn't you wake the crew?"

"No. We have minimal food and space. The crew would not survive long if woken."

The Captain sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. The robot may have had an advanced AI but it was still an AI and thus limited.

"Daichi, Yomon. Get down to Engineering again and take the robot with you. See if anything can be done to fix this flying museum. Furolon, we need supplies, see what you can dig up. Give it a few hours and then find some place to get some shut eye. We saw plenty of bunks on each floor. Sansa you're with me, lets have a close look at this bridge now our datapad can read ancient Terran! We all meet back here in ten hours."


After an hour of searching the bridge the Captain and Sansa moved to the databanks a deck below. They had found little other than mundane orders and a crippled ship from their time on the bridge. The library was next to the databank centre and whilst the Captain looked into the servers Sansa browsed the repository.

"Nope. Nothing of use there." the Captain stated as he re-entered the library. "Anything?"

Sansa looked up from the glow of the screen.

"Sir, I'm just looking at the history on this terminal which appears to be the only thats been used in a long time. See what you make of it." and with that she passed him the datapad that had been programmed to translate ancient Terran.

The Captain looked through the list. 'The Repubic by Plato', 'Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant', 'Beyond Good and Evil by Fredrich Nietzsche', 'Advanced Cybernetic Surgery by Illian Kraps', 'AI in an Organic Brain by Yomatto Hysera'.

"Well they all sound a bit, erm, heavy!"

Sansa looked back at the screen with a look of concern on her face. The Captain noticed this. He looked at her carefully.

"What is it?"

"These logs show all these books have been accessed in the last week. Why would a robot be reading these all together?"

The Captain rubbed his forehead. He had a proper headache.

"Lets get some sleep! Things might be clearer in the morning!"


Furalen was heading to the Engineering section to see if Daichi and Yomon needed any help. Her search for supplies had been fruitless. Two hours of looking with nothing at all to show for it. The stores she had found were empty which had got her worried. There clearly had been food stored but it was all gone now. On a deserted ship with no humans, why would the food store have been cleared?

As she passed one of the secure doors it hissed open. She stopped and looked, it was dark inside and there was a smell she couldn't place. She looked up and down the corridor, there was nobody there. They had already searched this area when they arrived, she was sure this was one of the doors that had been locked. She peered inside, it was too dark to make anything out but the smell, it was like rotting meat. If this was the galley any food out will have spoiled, but there may be some in storage that might have survived. She slowly entered trying to feel her way through the dark room.

Suddenly the door behind her closed and the lights sprang on. She looked around in horror. Her brain unable to take everything in. She saw the food supplies in one corner but the other things in the room, she couldn't comprehend what she was looking it. She screamed a short scream and her eyes rolled up into her head and she passed out.

One floor down Yomon cocked his head to one side.

"Did you hear something Daichi?" Yomon asked.

The hiss of the cutting torch stopped. Daichi removed the visor and listened. They were trying to get into the cargo hold containing the stargate construction equipment. Although the sensors showed the cargo bay was pressurised the door systems were dead. They had decided to cut their way in. The engineering section was no use and the robot had left them after five minutes explaining it had urgent work to do. They hadn't complained and decided that the next best course of action was to see if any of the stargate construction equipment was useful.

"Hear what?"

"I don't know, like a scream and then a thud."

The two stayed silent for a few seconds before looking back at each other.

"Come on. I cannot hear anything but lets go and check."


The robot was sat at the library terminal when the Captain and Sansa entered the next morning.

"We cannot find our crew mates." the Captain stated "Its been eleven hours." His tone was calm and measured.

The robot looked up from the screen. "They are in room 129D4." it replied matter of factly.

"Take us to room 129D4 now." the Captain said in a commanding tone, his patience running out.

The robot stood and gestured for them to follow it. After five minutes they were all standing at a locked door. The Captain glanced down and saw a handheld plasma cutting torch and visor propped against the wall.

"They are in here." 902DE said as it opened the door and stepped inside.

The Captain felt for the gun in his pocket as he followed the drone inside the dimly lit room. Something was wrong. He held his arm behind him to shield Sansa. The smell hit them almost immediately. Spoilt meat. The Captains eyes slowly adjusted to the gloom as the door closed behind them. The lights then flickered into life. Sansa screamed. They had walked into a house of horrors. It was the medi-bay but no healing was going on. Corpses occupied every bed, each missing limbs. Chunks of flesh and organs lay rotting on the floor. The Captain then saw Furalen. She was strapped upright to a medical table. The top of her skull had been removed and electronics had been inserted into her exposed brain. Her arms and legs had been removed and replaced with robotic limbs similar to 902DE. Her chest had been ripped open and metal plates and electronics were clearly visible beneath the torn flesh. Her blank eyes stared straight ahead as she drooled from her parted lips.

"What did you do to her?" the Captain growled.

"It nearly worked Captain!" the robot said in glee. "I was so close on this attempted. You see the passengers on this ship are too weak for the procedure. I've had 86 straight failures. When they emerge from the cryo tubes they are too weak after such an extended time in stasis. I tried to feed them up but they all failed. But these specimens you brought me! This one was fit enough to go through the entire procedure. Its just the interface between my databanks and her neural pathways. The transfer didn't work but I think when I try next it will be a success, I will be human!"

The Captain glanced around. All around him were the robots failed experiments. It was trying to become a cyborg. Part human, part machine. It had been experimenting on the crew. He spotted Yomon, or what was left of him on one table. Next to him was his Science Officer his head was completely removed from his body.

"It was Mr Daichi who got me close." the robot continued. "Then Yomon help me understand the rejection of the pre-frontal lobe. Then finally Furalen, she almost took the transfer. I felt, I truly felt Captain for the first time. I think it was pain, I don't really know as I have nothing to compare it too, but it was a real feeling. She was able to force me out but in doing so she collapsed her neural link between the brain stem and frontal lobes. She has pure basic motor functions, the brain stem is the only active region. She's gone I'm afraid and she is no use to me now, but I now have the process perfected. I need the younger female Captain. Your body is too old and worn for my needs obviously."

The Captain drew the gun and fired at the robots head. The deafening report from the gun was followed by the tings of metal on metal as the bullets ricocheted off the robots head. It pushed it back and the Captain grabbed Sansa's hand and went for the door. He slammed his palm onto the panel and the door slid open to his surprise. He was thinking that the robot was in control of the doors. He was almost out, dragging Sansa with him when the door suddenly slammed shut at terrifying speed. Sansa just stood there, looking at the closed door that blocked her way. Slowly she cast her eyes down and saw she had the Captains severed hand held in her own. In shock, she slowly turned around to see the robot advancing towards her. She couldn't move, she couldn't speak. She was frozen in terror as the construct reached out for her.


Slowly she began to regain consciousness. The dim room start to come into focus. He arms ached and she felt woozy. She tried to move but she was tied down. Suddenly it all came rushing back to her. Her senses came alive as she realised the danger she was in. She was fixed to the same upright table as her unfortunate crew mate had been. She quickly glanced at her arms, they were still hers and not the hideous robotic things the robot had replaced Furalen's limbs with. The robot had its back to her. It turned as it sensed her movement.

"Ah you are awake!" it stated as it approached her. She looked in horror at the medical circular saw it held in one hand and a syringe in the other.

"What are you doing! Is that to put me under so you can hack me up?" she screamed.

The robot glanced down at the syringe as if confused.

"Oh no. This isn't to put you to sleep. This is to keep you awake. I now know how this must be done. I know I can convert your body to what I need but transferring my neural-net into an organic brain is the most difficult part. If you resist, as your XO did, I cannot implant my consciousness into you. I need your will to be broken, your mind in pieces. Following my last attempt and further reading on the subject indicates to me that by keeping you awake during the various operations to modify your body it will break your mind. When we come to the consciousness transfer, your mind will be so far gone I should have no problem implanting my own into your brain. Seeing, and above all feeling the pain as your body is dissected and augmented, it should be enough to break your mind and allow me to transfer into you."

Sansa screamed and the robot approached. It injected the syringe into her arm and stepped back.

"We need to give that a few minutes. The cocktail will not only keep you from losing conciousness but it also hightens the signals from the central nervous system. In effect it amplifies pain. When I start to cut you open it will be very interesting to watch your expression." the robot said as if it was a science teacher lecturing a group of students.

Sansa panted and she felt her heart-rate accelerating. Beads of sweat formed over her body. The drugs were taking hold. She heard a thumping noise. She assumed it was inside her head and a result of the drugs until she saw the robot turn to the door. She tried to focus but her senses were in overdrive. She was sure someone was banging on the door.

The door opened and the robot staggered backwards and fell. The Captain rolled clear of the toppling robot and into the room. Sansa looked at his left arm. The stump where his hand had been was blackened and burnt. He pulled out his gun with his good hand and aimed it at the robot that was rising to its feet.

"Really Captain. Haven't we already ascertained that the ammunition in your primitive weapon cannot penetrate my external plating?"

"Yes, we have." the Captain replied lowering the gun. At waist height he fired once.

The robot glanced down. There was something sticking from its midrift. Its optics quickly analysed the object. It was a Dyson Mk 8 Plasma Welding Torch. Currently inactive. It calculated that there was a 98.5% probability the Captain jammed it there when he burst into the room and knocked him over. The robot was still looking down at the protrusion when it saw the bullet enter its field of vision and enter the fuel canister. It looked up quickly at the Captain who was pulling the medical table which had Sansa secured, down onto its side, the bottom end facing the robot. The welding torch exploded engulfing the robot in a roar of blue flames. As the flames lapped over the top of the toppled table, Sansa stared into the eyes of the Captain who was laying on his side, shielding her the best he could. The flames died down quickly and the Captain released the ties that secured Sansa to the table.

"Can you walk?" he asked to which she nodded.

The Captain stood and pulled her to her feet. The smoke from the explosion made finding the exit difficult. They finally burst into the corridor choking.

"Well that was..."

The Captain's scream interrupting the sentence. Sansa glanced down to see a metallic arm extend out of the smoke field room. It had grabbed the Captains ankle and crushed it. Blood oozed between the metallic fingers whilst the Captain fell to the floor. The robot emerged from the smoke, dragging itself clear of the room. The explosion of the plasma torch had severed the robot in two. From its torso trailed a mass of wires and pipes, some leaking fluids onto the white floor. It started to climb up the Captains body, ripping pieces from him as it went. Finally it got face to face with him. It opened its mouth to speak. At that moment the Captain free'd his good arm and drove the barrel of the gun into its mouth.

"And how is your internal plating you asshat?" the Captain snarled as he pulled the trigger. His guess had been right, the internal surfaces of the robots head were not protected like the external ones. The muffled bang of the gun was followed by the robots glowing eyes extinguishing and it going limp.

Sansa rushed to pull the remains of the robot off the Captain. She let out a sob when she saw what it had done to him. It had ripped open his thighs, stomach and chest. There was no hope. She cradled the dying man and cried.


The escape pod launched from the derelict ship. Its course automatically aiming towards the nearest star system. A journey that would take many, many lifetimes. Inside the empty capsule was a simple note.

To whoever finds this pod.
The secrets to the origins of New Eden are with me.
I know the truth. I have the proof.
When technology allows, find me at the co-ordinates stored in the navi-com of this capsule.
I am in Cryo-Tube D6-478.
Wake me first.
Sansa, Executive Officer and lone survivor of the Stormcloud.


  1. I didnt expect that ending either!
    Another great story, thankyou.

  2. That was indeed not the outcome I would have expected.

    I have to niggle a bit, though: the turn of the story was unfortunately telegraphed early on in this chapter - the robot mentioning that he was trying to better himself, the titles of the books. Maybe having the robot only mention that he was doing "self-maintenance", and only name the authors of the books he was reading, could have kept me guessing longer.

    (Or it's simply the fact that I have read too many sentient robot stories :) )

  3. Really good! Couldn't read it fast enough.
    But, no cat? ]; )

  4. "Try Caldari!"

    "We're speaking Caldari. If it spoke Caldari you don't think it would have understood us already?"

    I liked this exchange. Subtleties like that add realism to the story.