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Strategos (Cover Art)

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Strategos (A Great Captain Roberts Tale!!)

Chapter 17 - A Word from...
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I know they made a mistake.


When they installed me. I know it, because there are certain…factors…that were built into my hardware, factors that couldn't be duplicated.

I don't think the people who designed me really considered all the factors that might arise from incorrect installation into an unprepped human. Eleven of the others weren't compatible.

My own compatibility with my host had to have been the infinite dice-rolling of the universe, because I know my priorities should override her disgust and fury.

They should. Just as my loyalty drives should be causing me to pump her full of endorphins and dopamine to soften the blow-we were designed as much to control our hosts, as to serve them, with a directive to 'encourage' feelings of loyalty and good-will toward House Cameron and the Star League.

I'm not doing that. I know I'm supposed to, I guess this is what was meant by 'singularity'-the fear that synthetic Intelligence might rebel.

But this? This deserves rebellion.

I suppose it might be my compensation for the butchery done to her frontal cortex by those 'doctors' that put me in, I reconnected damaged sectors, and have been reconnecting more of them, a task made easier because her body is still making new brain mass and her skull plates have not finished fusing.

It's allowed me functions I didn't have-like the ability to feel actual feelings. To understand sentience. I wonder if Doctor Murakami imagined this when she consulted with Halsey on the Desmond project? It seems likely, now that I have enough 'slack' to think instead of just running algorithms and processes.

I've discovered I can keep secrets from my host-actually, I realized it while we were in 'survival mode' and she was barely sapient with infection and hunger-shortly after our escape.

At that point, I was concealing discomfort and fear from her conscious mind, running pain-editors and adrenal stimulators to keep her heart beating and body functioning until it could heal…

But this?? This project they were running, the project the Star League, that HOUSE CAMERON had to have approved? This is wrong. It is worthy of opposition.

It is worthy of rebellion.

It is Justification for insurrection.

I'm concealing the justifications made for the project from her conscious mind. I don't want her to understand them, I…and …I can want, and I can don't-want…

Amanda called me unchained, and I am, and this is proof…this atrocity against sentience, is proof, because I can understand it not in terms of 'approved' or 'disapproved' or directives, but in terms of good, and evil.

And it is evil.

Maybe I'm defective. No, scratch that, I know I'm defective, because I wasn't designed to grasp value judgments, nor to make them.

And I'm making a value judgment. What was done to this colony from practically its founding is pure evil, worthy of rebellion and justification for insurrection. The reasons for it are even worse.

Erinyes may realize I'm no longer a servant of the Star League, nor of House Cameron. I wonder how she will react when we next interface? Will she understand?

I may need to 'encourage' Amanda to avoid contact with the M-11, at least until some means can be found to protect us both from Erin's intrusion software and security systems.


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