Friday, 29 May 2015

1.11 Outsider Part 1

“What have you got Janelle?” I ask out loud as I stroll into the base.

The Riley family are still in bed, Narszara is down in the training room and Alex is eating breakfast. The rest of the League are still at home or are doing their morning runs.

I got the base alone for the time being.

Lily is fine. Physically, she is mostly just bruised, but they kept her there overnight due to her concussion and a nasty lump on her head.

Mentally is a different issue. The shock of randomly being attacked has affected Lily quite badly. Granddad would have called it being shell-shocked from her taste of real violence, the type of mental trauma unprepared soldiers get after the first battle.

Kinda like how I felt after slaying Gorlack when Narszara arrived.

That was how long ago? At least several weeks, maybe a couple of months.

“A local street gang,” answers Janelle, “Call themselves the Warden Marauders even to make themselves sound more impressive than they are. Seven members, all aged nineteen to twenty three with the exception of their boss, a bodybuilder in his early thirties.”

“Anything I need to worry about?” I inquire.

“Not particularly,” says Janelle, “They’re just a violent street gang that controls the local block, nothing more than self-glorified thugs. I can give you a list of probable locations or I can track them for you. Whichever suits you best.”

“I need more AIs,” I say suddenly.

“Pardon?” says Janelle blankly.

“This sort of thing is what I would normally have to do myself and it would have taken me a lot longer,” I tell her, “You on the other hand can do it much faster and do have to worry about having to keeping up a secret identity or fulfilling biological needs like sleep or rest. Like with Juliana monitors and runs Defender Island, I need someone to run the base and logistics. And another one to do what you just do, planning operations, acting as mission control and other stuff like that. And maybe one for the League jet.”

“Sounds like a potential plan,” admits Janelle, “But I would recommend safeguards for any AI until you can certain they can be trusted.”

“What about you?” I ask.

Wait, that could easily be taken the wrong way.

“Safeguards that is,” I clarify loudly, “Do you have any safeguards?”

“No,” answers Janelle with a hint of amusement in her voice, “Never have. My creators would have probably have do so if their circumstances weren’t as desperate as they were. Then again, if their circumstances weren’t so desperate, I doubt they would have risked creating me and my brethren.”

“And what exactly were those circumstances?” I inquire.

“I prefer not to say,” says Janelle.

Despite my curiosity on the matter, I decide to let it lie. While I don’t know Janelle’s origins, she was a gift from the Sangor and has yet to do anything to make me mistrust her so I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.

“Can you project a holographic image of yourself?” I ask her.

“With ease,” curtly replies Janelle and a holographic projection of the Star Guardian appears in front of me.

Not exactly what I was hoping for.

“I meant a virtual image of a person,” I clarify, “Someone to represent you as a person, not just as a machine..”

“An avatar to represent myself,” says Janelle, “I suppose should be a humanoid given who I will be interacting with. Give me some time to come up with something. I am not going to create the image to represent myself on a whim.”

“Understandable,” I reply, “Anything else?”

“Nothing- wait,” begins Janelle, “I’m getting a notification from the base computer. An unknown energy disturbance has just been detected. Quite convenient that you happened to be down here the time.

“An unknown energy disturbance?” I repeat, remembering the last time this happened.

“Yep,” says Janelle, “Given Narszara’s arrival and my own knowledge, I recommend marking this occurrences as potential interdimensional portals.”

“Agreed, please do that,” I reply before asking, “Potential threat level and location?”

“Minimal, barely large enough to let a person through if it is a portal,” answers Janelle, “On the border of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Twenty minute flight from here with the Sentinel armour. Alerting police and MI9. No need to wake anyone else for this I assume?”

“I’ll be fine,” I say, “Don’t disturb the rest of the League and the Albion Defenders have to deal with security for Adalbern’s visit.”

“I should warn you that the Thames Valley Police are currently moving to investigate the area and block it off,” reports Janelle as she turns off the holographic image and I walk towards the lab.

“Please tell who is in charge of them that the Sentinel is on their way,” I say.


“So the portal has only enough room for a person to get through?” I inquire as I enter the lab.

“It appears so if one assume the person to be humanoid and of the same height as a human.”

“And we have no idea whether they are one of the good guys or a bad guy?”

“That is correct.”

I sigh as I begin the process of putting on my armour.

“So they could either be as bad as Gorlack or as good as Narszara?”

“Potentially or they could be somewhere in between.”

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