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Exile in Syberia
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Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date 3018-06-21 14:42:27, Log Entry 7

So, yeah...that was a thing. I’d ended up on Syberia centuries before, though it sounds like a lot of it was spent disabled, in the AI equivalent of a coma, waiting to be reactivated. But, at one point, I’d been awake, and running around as an AutoMech.

Perhaps more terrifying, I’d obviously met with other humans, ones willing to believe I’d probably once been human. And I’d told them everything, dammit. About the Star League collapsing. About Syberia collapsing. About the fanatics running the Star Empire. Presumably about the lunatics running the superhero-populated “Earth”.

The good Major also was very circumspect in his language. I’d come to realize, looking back through my own journal log entries, that I had mostly been as well. The very existence of JumpShips, and FTL travel, sounded like something that Major Wescott had wanted to suppress from the two major AutoMech factions, and his reasons sounded pretty solid. So, no giving them JumpShips.

That said, I suspect I’ll go insane spending the rest of my life here, and I’m not sure there’s anyone who really needs to be “saved” on Syberia anymore. So I’d probably want out of here, but where could I really go?

If I could figure out how to get a JumpShip out of the California, then the rest of the Battletech universe was open to me. I had to have come to this conclusion before, though, right? And I was still here. Still in the ass-end of space, on Syberia. I couldn’t imagine that I would’ve settled for just trying to stave off disaster here, if I could’ve also tried to stave off disaster in Inner Sphere, too, and if I’d landed here early enough to do that, then I hadn’t succeeded in making it out of the Nebula.

Why would I have allowed myself to have been shut down for hundreds of years? How desperate were things two centuries ago that the idea of having me shut down in the hopes of waking up one day like King Arthur to lead Syberia out of darkness or some crap like that seemed like not only a viable plan, but my best option? Did we have some better plan than “bury me and see if someone dug me out”, or was the plan really that desperate?

Then again, if a JumpShip didn’t work, and the alternative was to slowboat it off-world, maybe that wasn’t so desperate after all. Leaving Syberia would mean leaving a ready source of parts and maintenance: AutoMechs might not need food and oxygen to survive, but they’re...excuse me, [b]we’re[/b] machines, and machines do break.

While I’ve been writing this journal log entry, I got pinged again by Glyph, who found something else she felt I should be aware of, also partially buried away under dirt and rubble in a more damaged section of my “new” home. Seemed worth preserving [i]that[/i] little event as well. So, leaving the server I’d connected to behind, and walking up to where she was working, I stepped gingerly around debris that she and Spanner had been slowly clearing out, and finally saw it.

It wasn’t a complete ‘Mech, but it was also, unmistakably, an early-model Griffin. The head was opened up, and the inside gutted, so I couldn’t tell if it had originally mounted a standard cockpit or extra computers like an AutoMech. Its left arm was gone, its left and center torso a mess, enough so for me to see the shattered tokamak-style reactor inside the chest. The right side of the chest had looked like it’d been opened up in a more controlled fashion, with parts intentionally stripped away, but its right arm and handheld PPC were still in place.

The rest of the ‘Mech was pretty much gone, looking like it had been amputated by weapons fire at the waist. However, stenciled on an intact part of the head and chest, though, was, unmistakably, “VeeMech GRF-1-74-0107C-J ‘Groundwave'”.

I guess we knew why the ‘Mech’s head had been gutted.

Glyph turned to look at me. “This could explain why your coordination, accuracy and generally all your physical skills are so terrible.”

“Oh?” I asked, my voice sounding flat to me.

Glyph didn’t seem to notice. “It’s possible your programming was never updated to properly interface with your current chassis. If this was your original AutoMech chassis, and your programming is still expecting your configuration to match, your difficulty at doing much beyond walking would certainly make sense. I question why you were not transferred into another chassis of the same type, or at least a more human-shaped one, if that were the case, however.”

I sat down, somewhat heavily, still staring at my old corpse. “There probably wasn’t time, or another one on hand. Throwing me in this chassis was probably a matter of what was on hand, and desparation, based on what Major Wescott had to say.” “Major Wescott?” Spanner asked, sounding confused.

I gestured absently with my left arm. “Former base commander. Last base commander, I suspect. He sent me an email.”

Glyph looked briefly at Spanner, then back at me. “An email.”

“Yep. Seems I’d been active prior to the collapse of human civilization here on Syberia, and he knew me. Rigged the computers to send me an email when I next logged in. No idea if he knew it would be this long, though.”

“And you don’t remember this,” Glyph didn’t really ask.

“Nope. Seems he and I agreed to wipe some of my memories, or at least lock them away. And he believed that I was indeed a virtualized copy of a human brain, so I’ve got that going for me,” I added. “Which is nice.”

“When did he record his email?” Spanner asked.

“October 13, 2830. Right around the time everything went to hell in a handbasket here on Syberia. Maybe even after everything did. Might have been his last act. Maybe we’ll even find out. Spanner, assume for a moment we found an intact Griffin, or at least enough of one that we could combine it with that wreck and end up with one working ‘Mech out of it, OK?”

“Could I transfer your computer core over into a chassis like this?”

“Exactly what I was wondering.”

Spanner sighed, and poked a bit more at the wreck. “Believe it or not, the head appears to be intact, and the interfaces for an AutoMech core appear to be as well. That would certainly improve the odds. In fact, if Glyph is correct, we’d probably want to make that a priority, since you’d undoubtedly do better in a chassis more like your core is expecting.”

So, new goals:

  • 1. Find a Griffin chassis to transfer my brain into
  • 2. Unlock all the stuff that’d been locked away by a long-dead Terran Hegemony major.
  • 3. Plan an exit strategy.
  • 4. Figure out why some random omniscient being stuck me here in the first place
  • 5. ???
  • 6. Profit!

No problem, right?

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