Such bad IdeasEdit
Langstrat was awakening from his sleep, he travelled for a decade through open space, surviving rare storms, passing nebulae, watching the creation of new stars, and the culmination of many others, all this with his ship, a transporter, not well armed cruiser, called "Ella Navigatius", in honor to its ship's AI, called "Ella". He moved from his bed to the bathroom, his quarters were actually those of the captain in the past, he took a shower, opened the door, and moved toward the bridge, he was looking good for someone who was the probably last human being in the galaxy.
Langstrat was tall, brown hair like, and healthy human, physically strong, not too old, but not too young either, he was the only survivor of the seeds of destruction the human race planted long ago. The mankind colonized many systems, but its ambition of power and different beliefs had them turn on each other, causing a Civil war, drawing many other minor races to it, the colonies were devastated, most of culture destroyed, and the life and humanity of all lied on one person now, and that was Langsrat.
Alone, scared of its own kind, the guy escaped before it was too late, loosing his friends, his family, his dog, everything, the ship was big enough for holding him, but the energy power was almost depleted, and the hopes of survival Langstrat made on his head.
- ”Good morning Ella”, said Langstrat with his eyes almost closed, he was really tired.
- ”Good morning Sir, how was your sleep”, answered the AI.
- ”Difficult…” he stopped, “Difficult”, repeated. He moved toward the Control Panel, it all looked normal, but Langstrat looked to the energy storage, “How are we going with our fuel?”
- ”As you can see sir” replied Ella, “The storage has decreased 5 % since last week.”
- ”How long have we left”, asked Langstrat.
- ”Less than two weeks”, answered Ella.
Langstrat made a long breath, and close his eyes, all this way escaping certain death, for staying in the middle of no where. But for Langstrat that was unacceptable, he laid in to the escape pod and made a quick check, everything was in order, and Langstrat could land a few more days, probably founding some help with luck.
He retired to his quarters to do some reading, all that time alone with Ella allowed him to learn more than just use a machine gun, he was able to study the ship composition, its engines, shields, how to pilot it better. He not only learned how to do that, but he learned to be linguist, archeologist, he really liked history, he never wanted to read the mankind's achievements because he was lazy, but now that he had the time, he could read almost 45 books in 3 years, a real progress, with the help of Ella, he could easily translate old languages, like Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, even Chinese, Korean and Japanese, for him, as a western, it was easier for him to translate the greek, and the latin also.
It was a really bad idea, that of landing on non-habited planet and Ella advised the contrary, but Langstrat was really persistent, and moved some food to the pod, leaving what he needed on the ship for the next few weeks, Langstrat was finishing the preparations when he though on something else, “Ella”, Langstrat completely forgot the AI, his most close friend in times of desperation, she was always there, and was the only human memory database, for and instance Langstrat though on the possibility of moving the ships computer to another hardware, but there remained five days to the power to go down, and lost forever Ella.
In those moments Langstrat though what he never though before, the opportunity and the friendship he had with Ella. The AI was software capable of moving on any place of the ship, she was the memory of all the great makers of history in the mankind, the achievements, and was an enormous database of all information. Langstrat looked at the panel where Ella was working, Langstrat approached to the control panel. Ella was processing the food to the pod, calculating the time remaining.
- “Have you found any suitable planet?” asked Langstrat, Ella stopped processing and showed on a holographic map the location of the nearest planet.
- “M-class planet, my sensors don’t show any life signs, only powerful psionic signatures, but harmless to human beings.”
- “Any unusual activity?”
- “Sensors can’t scan too long sir, I’ll have to be closer to the planet to detect any activity.”
- “This Image tells me that the planet is frozen, is that correct Ella?”
- “Yes sir, the M-class planet is nearest planet in 200 parsecs.”
- “We’ll need to do scans on the surface once we get there.” Said Langstrat, but Ella got the message rapidly.
- “We sir?” asked Ella.
- “Yes Ella, you are coming with me, I can't do this alone”.
Ella then was silent, Langstrat moved to the next corridor and was walking, while the female voice of Ella moved with him, telling the million ways she could not go with him, but Langstrat was persistent, and had made a decision, so she could no do anything to avoid his choice. Langstrat wanted Ella, but his reasons were correct, he could not stand a chance out there, even if he worked for the army in the war.
- “Sir, what you are doing is illogically wrong, there is no such opportunity I could go with you” said Ella, Langstrat was just nor listening to her replies, “please sir, I recommend you leave the plan you are making and listen to mine… REV!”
Langstrat stopped, this was the first time Ella called him by his name and not “sir”, he was just paralyzed, the voice made sweet again.
- “Ella… you are coming with me, wanting or not”.
The voice stopped talking, for a moment Rev Langstrat was alone, Ella did not answered to any question he had, Langstrat continued his work and routines in the ship, while Ella went missing for him.
The Ship continued its journey, as they travelled always to unknown space, it was too late to go back, the devastated Earth was a million lightyears away, and any human outpost was destroyed or missing, Langstrat looked as his only hope of survival rested on a M-class planet.
The place was lonely, Ella was who knows where, and Langstrat really felt bad, probably Ella won’t help him anymore, Rev moved to the panel control, and Ella wasn’t there, she was probably hiding from him. “Come on” though Rev, “don’t leave now!”
- ”Ella, where are you? I need you here with me”, but there was no answer, “ELLA!” yelled.
Suddenly the sweet female voice was heard, “Yes sir?” Langstrat almost lost his breath with the yell and the surprise to have heard her, “You are sincerely such a child”, said Ella, but his voice was just sounded as if she was laughing at him.
- ”Where the hell have you been?” said Langstrat almost angry, but happy to hear her again “Why did you not answer my call?”
- ”I was busy,” said Ella amused.
- ”Busy?” asked Rev, BUSY! doing what exactly, I have been…”
- ”Figuring out how I could go with you,” said her, Langstrat shut his mouth, and he never expected that coming.
- ”It seems that there is one probability, I have designed an holographic device, and I have reprogrammed myself to be transported to any computer”
- ”C… Can you do that?” said Rev amazed.
- ”Yes, there is a protocol, made long ago by a programmer” said Ella “when the Eugenic Wars were on their course, the faction I was related to designed a procedure to remove a ship’s computer or AI, this procedure consisted on making the AI being transported to a save location in case of a ship falling in enemy hands, but this ship was never taken away, only of course, by you.”
Langstrat was surprised to hear that, he was very happy and proud of what Ella find out, “All right Ella,” said Rev satisfied with the results, “let’s do it, if you need any help, tell me, and thank you”.
- ”Actually” said the AI, “I need you to bring this object,” a drawing was made, “of this device, this is the only thing I have left, the rest is simple, I think”
- ”You think?” Repeated Langstrat.
- ”Yes” said Ella without any regarding, “The device is located at the cargo hold.”
Suddenly, a strong wave collide with the ship, Langstrat got hit on the head when he crashed with the right wall, he was trying to recovering, “Sir! One of the closest stars just have exploded, the wave is turning into some sort of incendiary storm, and the impact crashed the ship’s engines!”
- ”Understood” said Rev moving as fast a he could, “I’m going to get the device, start the initiation protocols for the pods!”
- ”Sir, the wave just destroyed the bridge, there is no way I could take the ship off it, the second wave will destroy entirely the ship, and I cannot start the shields!”
Langstrat ran into the corridors, he tried to open the little Turbo lifter; luckily all his stuff was in the pod. The lifter’s hatch didn’t open, “Darn!” yelled Rev, as he opened a compartment, and descended using the stairs, the fire was everywhere, the blood was coming out of Rev’s body slowly, so he could finish the mission and return, “Ella, if the Bridge has been destroyed, where are you?” said almost screaming.
- ”I am on the Pod right now, sir the procedure will have to be made before we escape the wave”, said Ella.
- ”I know that! Send all the energy left on the ship to the pod, wait me there.” Said Langstrat, he continued descending on the stairs, when he finally got, he looked into the boxes using his laser drill, but the boxes were empty, “you stupid man”, you depleted all this boxes days ago!” He moved rapidly to the security compartments, he lasted almost 5 minutes to get through, “damn military ships, why everything is secured!”
Even if the Answer was obvious, he was just too frustrated to think a little what he was saying.
- ”Ella where do heck do I find this device?” said Langstrat to the AI, his voice sounded desperate.
Ella answered as a computer would say, “Board 10, Section 16”, Langstrat rapidly looked into it, “Section 16, Section 16…” he repeated constantly, the search lasted another 10 seconds, when finally Rev got the device, it was equal as the drawing made by Ella, “YES HAHA!” screamed, but instants after the ship moved again, the engines had exploded, was time to go.
- ”Sir, the pod is ready and waiting for your departure, where are you?” said Ella.
- ”Coming, Coming as fast as I can” yelled again Rev, he climbed fast the stairs, ran across the corridor, and descended another stairs; the Turbo lifters were offline. Langstrat finished descending the stairs, and the pod was there, waiting for it.
- ”Hurry sir!” yelled Ella, another unusual fact, “put the Device on the panel!”
Rev moved quickly to the panel near the pod, a downloading bar began in the panel, it was moving fast, but not enough, Ella did not said anything in that period of time, Langstrat was impatient, as he looked the ship to move to one way to another, the roof falling apart, and the fire getting out of the same stairs he used, “Hurry, HURRY!” though Rev, he was desperate to get out of there, he looked at the sensor, and looked for the first time the wave, the scanner looked erratic, the Thermal sensor was showing two red points, one bigger than the other, “Oh my God…” said, as he moved towards the window, the wave was enormous, and was approaching fast, he looked again to the timer, “05:00 for impact”, the download bar showed 95% complete, 96%, “Come on Ella, do it do it!” 98%, 99%, Download complete…
Rev looked again the window, the light of the wave was arriving, “Sir, the download has been comple…” Langstrat grabbed the device, he ran into the pod, closed the hatch, he started engines, the pod, looking as a plane, got out of the ship, Rev gave full power to the engines, the pod was barely starting to get some speed, the wave was approaching. The vessel already had a considerable speed.
- “Hang on!” yelled Rev, as he moved the ship upwards, the pod moved up, and up, and up. The storm was closing in, Langstrat yelled, screamed, begged, the ship gained speed, “Come on!” screamed, a small collision was felt across the entire small pod, they were saved.
Suddenly, the Device showed a hologram of a woman, was Ella, watching through the window of the hatch door the wave, as it passed and leaved nothing, a small sad expression was shown in her, Langstrat could notice it, she was looking sadly as they leaved behind the scum of the Earth vessel.
- “You ok?” Asked Rev, Ella turned to see him, she was really tense, and Langstrat didn’t know that the hologram could project one’s emotions.
- ”Yes sir…” paused Ella, the hologram showed as she tried to tell something, “Its just, that, all these years, on that ship, I feel like if my whole life was gone”
- ”Sad?” completed Rev leaving the controls.
- ”Is that how you feel like when you loose something?” asked Ella.
- ”Apparently” answered Langstrat “if it is something that you wanted.”
- ”Well, then I guess that I feel sad, I think…”
Langstrat smiled, “Welcome to the party”, Ella looked at him, she did not get it, Rev felt like he was not being funny, and after he was talking to a supercomputer that has just self aware, he remained silent, Ella loked at him, and Langstrat could appreciate the AI first smile.
- ”Sir?” asked Ella, wanting to know what that sentence meant; Langstrat was about to return to the controls, when he just stopped, looking at her.
- ”Forget it” said, and moved to the controls, “Ella, I need you to focus on our destination, can you do that?”
- ”Yes sir” replied the AI, the hologram disappeared and Ella entered to the navigation system, “Everything looks so simple here!”
- ”Where are we?” asked Lanstrat.
- ”Just a few parsecs from the M-class planet, I have computed 6 in total, we are on sector Hades of the galaxy”
- ”You mean that we are on the forbidden area?” asked Rev scared, “The place where an entire fleet went lost a decade ago?”
- ”Yes” said Ella, answering like a bit.
The pod moved as they changed direction towards the M-class planet, Rev Langstrat and Ella the AI were now a step forward of a certain death, they focused on getting the job done, and on the black horizon, barely seen, was the wave, almost scattered.
The Pod was small, but it could fit very well Rev, the ex-marine had a bed and food reserve, the pod had the same size than a small with a little bridge in where only one person could fit, for Ella this had no Pod characteristics as it was bigger, the food reserve almost filled all the left space, as well as the tools, like the laser driller, a Machine gun, little souvenir from the war, and the space suit.
Ella was trying all day to scan the planet M-class, which Langstrat named "Safe place", he only could appreciate a small image shown a ice, or better frizzed big rock in which his chance for survival was depending on, all systems on the pod seemed normal, except for a thruster backwards the vessel, Langstrat deduced that probably that little last push from the wave could do something to with it.
The escape pod travelled among systems, without not wanting to approach one, risking landing on it by accident, Ella advised to keep distance from any planet which did not sustained life, the energy storage was full, and all was working according to plan, Langstrat could relax completely when three days passed since the destruction of his ship. Ella on the other hand, kept the pod on the course, Langstrat didn't know, but when he was sleep, she recorded memories of her past adventures on the ship, which they called "Series 161093", the hologram see the repetitions over and over again, Langstrat never knew, until one day, he awoke and saw her deployed on the hologram, watching on a panel her database.
"If only I could do that, things will be a lot easier for me, I could be happy" though Rev, and he fell asleep again, Ella did not saw him, as she was remembering, and feeling each time the same thing sadness, but the company of the last human made her feel strangely, an emotion on the total contrary to her last emotion expressed, she felt good, and not alone.
They continued their journey, avoiding dangers, but keeping the schedule, the couple talked about each other, though Ella had not too much to say, but Langstrat was amused to hear the stories of Ella inside Series 161093, on the other hand, the AI learned the different emotions from Langstrat, copying his expressions, his sentences, like "Holy!" or "Damn!", she also learn to enjoy things, watching how Langstrat enjoyed the food he eats, and how he was amazed by the space's beauty.
Though all this, There was not too much to tell, as they had duties, one checking the physics of the ship, and the other one the software, one day Langstrat had the idea of asking Ella about the eugenic wars, and Ella made Rev sat down like a grandma to its children.
- "Well, I was programmed after the start of the war sir, but I was related to the Combine, the most wealthiest faction of all, on which one have you been sir?"
- "Well, I was on the Republican protectorate, the most fair in my opinion"
- "You say so?" said Ella, "I have recorded that the republican fleets destroyed almost all colonies that they invaded."
- "So," said Rev wanting some discussion, "What good things the Combine have done eh?" he paused to wait what Ella was gonna say, but she said nothing.
- "Leaving all those people in poverty, yes at least my faction payed well."
- "Don't you think is strange that we are arguing of something we both hated sir?" replied Ella, just wanting the discussion to be over.
- "We Ella?" remarked Langstrat, looking the possibility that Ella maybe had became self aware long ago.
- "Yes, the actions the war was turning, their purposes, their goals, all were pointing to the same direction, ambition of power." said the AI almost angry, "Perhaps, Madness of power should be the correct word."
Rev laughed louder and louder as he heard those words coming from a computer, Ella indeed became self aware long ago.
- "So, you started to think for yourself long ago?" asked Langstrat, Ella looked at him shocked, "Well maybe, I don't know".
- "Since when?"
Ella was about to answer when the pod moved wildly right to left, Rev managed to look the sensor, and what he looked shock him.
- "Turn around!" screamed Ella, "Evade it, REV WATCH OUT!"