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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 55 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]


"Prisoner 823421, step forward and place your hands...

..in the circles." Standard drill in Blackgate Prison. The circles were retractable manacles used to secure a prisoner during contraband searches, medical examinations, and, occasionally, abuse.

Samantha Daimh was here because she stole a Jumpship for Free Skye. Her cell had contained an informant, Lohengrin were waiting at the other end of the jump, and she was given a life sentence.

In Blackgate penitentiary.

The cold metal hemispheres closed over her hands like clamshells. there was no physical access she could use to sabotage them-not on this side of her cell walls, and it was better than being beaten with stun-sticks and forced.

"Release her clamps, guard." a voice she didn't recognize stated.

"Ma'am, this prisoner is dangerous-" guard informed her

"I said, 'Release the ****** clamps you jackbooted pendejo." the measured tones contained a musical atonality. the clamps opened.

Samantha risked looking behind herself.

The guards were in riot armor, the woman with them, wasn't.

"Samantha Daimh, that's you, right?" the woman asked. In the sick-toned lighting of the cell, her interrogator looked faintly dead, with epicanthic folds to her eyes, and the faint markings of Belta tats showing through barely-grown back hair.

Nametape said Vu Dao and the ranks were for a Hauptmann.

"That's me, ayeh." Sam said.

"Shipjacker, but you're Nav trained. Your cell worked out of Gallery, correct?" Hauptmann Vu Dao inquired.

"Ayeh."

"How would you like to get your life back, Samantha Daimh?" the woman asked. "Completely back. Maybe even get some back on the pricks who sold you out?"

"That's not possible." Sam said.

"You'll find a great many things are possible, if you earn an Archon's Pardon-and you don't even have to sell your former comrades." Hauptmann Vu Dao explained, "It's dependent on you having certain skills."

"What skills?" She asked

"Skills appropriate for a special unit in the Lyran Commonwealth Navy." Hauptmann Vu Dao stated, "We'll start with an aptitude battery, followed by a test. If you pass the test, you'll be enrolled for no less than twenty years in the Lyran Commonwealth Navy, after which, your record will be cleared, you will be free, and you'll have a pension. Interested?"

"You're offering me a job?" she asked

"If you can do the job. If you can't? well, it's back here I expect, though we'll have lawyers try to get your sentence reduced for even trying to meet our standards."

"Where...do I sign?"

Hauptmann Vu Dao extended a single-use PADD. "Read the contract first, but if you're willing to accept the terms, we can walk out of here tonight."

"What will I be doing?" Samantha asked.

"Killing Clanners." Hauptmann Vu Dao stated, "Being sneaky, and vicious, and killing them where they don't and won't expect us."

Samantha read the contract, stumbling over some unfamiliar terms, but she'd already decided even a chance to escape this hell she'd been consigned to, was worth a shot.

"Welcome to the Submarine Service, Midshipman Daimh."


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