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Weapons of War

Chapter 13

HCS Victoria
Nadir Jump Point, Unnamed and uninhabited star system
12th October, 2767

Vicky's perspective

"There you go, Victoria. It is finally finished." Professor Casmin stepped back from my gestalt remote.

I connected to it and began bringing it online.

Vicky (AI of Weapons of War Saga)

Gestalt remote of Victoria "Vicky"

I was not prepared for the new stimuli of the remote.

"You used synthetic flesh with bioneural feedback. Most interesting." The sensation of my remote's mouth moving as I spoke through it would take some getting used to.

"Yes. I developed it for amputees and burn victims so they could at least have some semblance of the sensation of touch. Took almost my entire supply to get you finished and to be honest I wasn't sure it would work since you have no actual biological components. We can discuss skin tone alterations if you wish to alter your appearance." Professor Casmin was clearly admiring his own work.

I looked at my synthetic flesh. It was a little pale, but not so much so as to be outside human norms. Somehow I found it to suit me though.

"Thank you but I find it acceptable. How durable is the synthetic flesh?" I realized I could feel the chair my gestalt remote was in underneath it.

"In terms of resisting damage a little better than regular flesh but that is such a slim margin that we're talking barely measurable. As far as day to day wear and tear, well I have not had any field trials with it for longer than six months but I designed it to need as little replacement as possible. So in theory as long as you don't go into toxic atmospheres, radiation zones, or the vacuum of space it should hold up." Professor Casmin smiled.

"Thank you Professor. I owe you a debt of gratitude and now realize I have been too hard on you when it comes to Helena." I started touching various surfaces near me to study the new inputs.

"Turns out it doesn't matter. Probably was never going to work anyway. She is still far too traumatized by what happened to her family and I was nothing more than an easy escape for her so we broke up." Professor Casmin sighed.

I was experiencing something new. This must be guilt. Professor Casmin had obviously attempted to remedy any pre-existing guilt I had over how I had treated him but it seems if anything his words had magnified it.

"I understand."

It was all I could say. I could not break Helena's trust in me by confiding in Professor Casmin what I had concluded about Helena.

Helena wanted to run away from her trauma. So she is desperately seeking a definition of normalcy that has an extremely high probability of ending in a most undesirable outcome according to my protocols and databases.

With nothing more to say to Professor Casmin I go to the crew lounge. Somehow now that my remote was far less crude it was now obvious just how spartan and limited my onboard facilities for human passengers and crew were.

As I expected I found Helena there. She was consuming a pint of chocolate ice cream.

It seemed so obvious what I needed to do. So I walked over to her and gave her a hug.

When she shrieked and jumped I realized I had snuck up on her and startled her. Once she realized who I was and what I was doing I could feel her crying and the softness of her flesh moving against mine. Helena was not overweight, in fact with little else to do and to help combat the effects of microgravity she was actually quite fit but how soft human flesh could be was still quite noticable.

"Vicky, you scared the hell out of me. I'm being silly aren't I? What am I supposed to do?" Helena sobbed.

"For right now you keep crying. Then maybe finish that ice cream while we talk." Maybe it was the break up but I could sense Helena was nearly ready to face the truth.

I grabbed the ice cream and walked her back to her quarters for some privacy.

After an hour of silence Helena finally looked me in the eyes.

"I'm cursed aren't I, Vicky? I keep trying to deny it. But every time I do I make things worse for myself." Helena sighs.

"While I do not believe in supernatural forces as a sentient weapon of war your current circumstances do seem to qualify as yes you are cursed." Just a little more and she will finally be ready.

"Way to make me feel better." Helena sighed again.

I embrace her again.

"I still don't know what to do."

"We have plenty of time to figure that out." It would not be long now.

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