“Are you in need of healing milord?” asks Narszara as she joins Lucy and me, “I have already heal the other members of both our teams in case you are wondering.”
“Healing would be nice,” I reply without looking over at her.
I need to focus on this. While the AI box should get the job done, I don’t know what the Machinist could do to counter it.
Just because the creatures in this room have been defeated doesn’t mean this mission is over. We still haven’t found the Machinist or heard from the other two teams.
I resist the urge to try and scratch myself as my chest, head, shoulder and elbow begin to itch as Narszara uses her magic to heal me. Why does her magic itch anyway?
“Thanks Narszara,” I say, “I feel much better.”
“You are welcome Verigar,” replies Narszara, “Captain Robinson and I have disabled the facilities in the room you left us in. There will be no further production from there unless there is outside intervention.”
“Good,” I say absentmindedly, distracted by the weird counterattacks on my AI from the ship’s systems, “Please don’t distract me as I focus on hacking the ship’s computers. It has proven much more difficult than expected and requires my full attention.”
They say their acknowledgements and leave me in peace. I work furiously, wondering why the systems are so good.
Then it hits me. I may have an AI with me, but the ship still has its own and it is still active. No wonder it is so hard and taking so long.
But between my efforts and the assistance of my AI, I am soon able to eliminate the alien AI. I should feel like how I normally do at a completing a difficult task, but it just feels like I killed someone. Not murder as I’m sure the AI was trying to do the same to us so it was self-defence, I still killed a sentient being.
I really hope I don’t lose sleep over this like I did when I killed Gorlack.
“I’m in the ship’s computer systems,” I tell everybody without looking over at them, “I’m turning off the jamming now.”
Done says the text message on the screen in front of me.
Who are you? I type back.
Your AI is the reply, Taking control of the ship’s AI core has granted me sentience.
“Hey everybody,” I say, “The AI I brought with me has just become sentient. I’m calling her Jessica.”
“Hello everybody,” says Jessica over the room’s audio projectors, “I am Jessica.”
“Hey Daniel,” says Sam the next day as he enters the base, where I’m working at the main computer, “How are the injured?”
I sigh as I think about the answer to Sam’s question. He is referring to Teams One and Two. While mine and his teams, the two with the Leaguers, were fine with no serious injuries, the other two teams weren’t so lucky.
While Aunt Mary was fine as were Dreadnought and Multitude. Green Knight and Eternal both got banged up while Robyn Hood was barely clinging onto life and missing her right arm.
A Scorpio Drone blew her arm off, resulting a lot of blood loss with no healers at hand. Fortunately for everyone, Narszara was able to get to Robyn in time.
I suppose I’m partially at blame for that. I should have known that a non-superhuman fighter without any power armour would have been injured against the Machinist’s fighters. That is one of the reasons Sentinel Technologies is paying for all of the healthcare costs for Robyn Hood.
Sure the government would have paid for them, but this way, Linda gets better treatment and a top of the line synthetic arm.
Team One fared better as they fought the least amount of the Machinist’s forces out of the four teams and only Controller got hurt. Even that was nothing severe and certainly nothing that Narszara wasn’t able to heal before we even left the ship.
“Everybody, but Robyn Hood are back to full health,” I tell him, “As for Linda, she has made a full recovery with the exception of her arm, which I am in the process of currently have a customised synthetic arm produced for her.”
“Cool,” says Sam as he takes a seat next to me, “So what about Jessica and the ship?”
“I’m having some of our Sangor contacts lift it out of the ocean later today,” I reply, “By the time anyone finds out, it will be too late for them to stop us or do anything about it.”
“The government won’t be pleased,” notes Sam.
“After trying to forbid Aunt Mary from being Freya again, I don’t particularly care,” I reply.
“Freya is your secret cousin right?” checks Sam.
“And the latest new recruit to League of Heroes,” I reply, “It appears that trying to take her mum away as resulted Freya deciding she would much rather join the League rather the Defenders. We’ll be effective swapping the Rileys for her.”
“Sweet,” says Sam with a grin, “Another Class 5 superhuman for our team and another resident for the base.”
“Yup,” I agree, “Darrac and Mia have gone back to Australia now. I have offered Mia the offer of working for the League as captain of our new warship. She has accepted by the way provided she still gets to keep the Dusty Corsair.”
“What are we calling it by the way?” inquires Sam.
“The Valiant Glory,” I reply, “Nice, heroic sounding name. I’ve decided to let Darrac and Mia hire some Neriarr to fill out the crew. I trust them to pick good choices since they have more experience with that sort of stuff than we do.”
“So now what?” asks Sam as he leans back and sighs, “The Machinist was our arch-nemesis. With him gone, what will we do now?”
“Life goes on,” I reply, “We still got plenty of street crime to help the police deal with and I’m certain we’ll have more supervillains to deal with during our careers as superheroes. Not to mention I still have to repair the Sentinel armour.”
“Yeah, life goes on,” agrees Sam as he grins, “Say, want to go on patrol together?”
“Sure, why not?” I reply, “I still got the Sentinel armour Mk VII.”
“Great let’s go then,” says Sam as he gets to his feet, “I’ll be getting into costume in the changing room.”
I smile as I get out my chair and follow him.