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 Chapter Four: Zoning, computers, and bugs, oh my!

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Homeostasis
Goddess of BBQ
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Posts : 142
Join date : 2010-06-13
Location : Following something shiny

PostSubject: Chapter Four: Zoning, computers, and bugs, oh my!   Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:36 pm

She briefly debated between programming the yalm to circle endlessly, self-destruct, or place it on autopilot heading toward the nearest zone. She chose the later hoping the yalm would become stuck during the zoning process, as they’ve been know to do, and reprogrammed the coordinates.


Now the tricky part. When to eject? Before zoning, during zoning (was this even possible?), or after zoning provided the yalm didn‘t get stuck as hoped.


The only logical choice was before zoning. Therefore, she really should pick one of the other two. However, that wasn’t going to happen. The last thing she needed right now was added uncertainty.


That decided she began to calculate how close she could safely be to the zone and still eject. She wanted to be close enough to the zone so if possible she could recover the yalm’s roof, seat, and any other bits and pieces that flew off during the ejection process. She’d figure out what in the Two Suns to do with them once she found them. Right now, she had more important things to think about.


“Computer.” She commanded.


“My aren’t we a tad bossy.” The computer pleasantly chirped.


“Friendly response off and generic response on!” She snarled.


With a dramatic sigh the computer complied and an automated, no nonsense male voice answered “Yes?”


“Scan for tracing devices.”


“Unable to comply.” The computer replied.


“Explain yourself.”


“Program 4588924, scanning for tracing devices, has been disabled.”


“What!”


The computer repeated itself at a much slower speed intended for Trox pilots.


Rolling her eyes, she simply asked “When?”


5th of June, 28631.


That was two months ago! Her mind reeled at the implication.


“Computer enable program 4588924.”


“Unable to comply.”


She figured as much, but it was worth a try.


So, for two months he’d been monitoring her. She couldn’t fathom why, but she needed to figure out how, and fast. She didn’t have much time.


“Computer, how many types of tracking devices are there?”


“1,022,744,004 and counting.”


“Unbelievable.” She said shaking her head, then pondered, “What would he use?”


“Is that a question?” Asked the computer?


A glimmer of hope was sparked.


“Computer, what type of tracking device would the CEO of Alpha Prime use?” she asked excitedly.


“Unable to comply.” The computer promptly replied.


“Why!” She cried in frustration.


“I am working as intended.” The computer simply stated.


She let out a litany of curses that would have made a heckler proud.


“Take it easy.” The computer suggested.


If looks could kill, the computer would have disintegrated.


“Computer off!” She hissed between clinched teeth. Her command was greeted by an efficient “Snap!” as the computer complied.


Letting out a sigh, she said aloud “All righty now, let’s review the current situation. Short version - you’re royally fucked. It also appears you’ve turned into Captain Obvious. Delightful.” Her tone dripped with sarcasm


“Think!” She yelled.


Her mind was blank.


“Focus!” She yelled louder in an attempt to jump-start her thoughts.


“What is the most pressing issue?” She demanded of herself.


“Your survival.” Was the immediate reply.

“Oh goody, Captain Obvious has returned.” She began to giggle.


“Get a grip on yourself.” She said between giggles. Trying again, she asked aloud, “What is it that will hinder your survival? Being caught. Yippie! Captain Obvious scores!” She chirped and the giggles returned full force. “I’m. Losing. It.” She said seriously, immediately followed by the realization she has some really good drugs for the occasion. She burst into giggles again. “Okay, okay, get a grip.” She hiccupped between laughter. “You need to get away. You have a tracking device somewhere. You must find this device, or you are dead.” There was nothing remotely funny about that and her giggles abruptly stopped. The hiccups however chose to remain.

“If I were to place a tracking device on someone what would I do?”

“Come on Captain Obvious - don’t leave me now.” She pleaded.

Nothing.

Absently tapping her foot in aggravation, she wondered where she’d place such a device. It would have to be something the person would always have either on them or with them. And there was her answer. She looked toward her beloved medical bag. “That bastard.” She said, then thought if he placed the tracking device inside her medical bag, all was lost. Medical bags, like backpacks, had the ability to hold vast amounts of inventory without adding weight. Her bag was filled to capacity and there just wasn’t time to look through it. She usually kept her bag nearby, but was negligent in keeping it locked. She recalled with dread that he recently mentioned to her that she should be more careful about her medical bag. Out of desperation, she tried the computer one last time.


“Computer, inventory the contents of the medical bag, from June 5th to current date.”


The computer instantly complied and began naming out items in rapid succession. She listened intently as the yalm came ever closer to its destination.


The computer was into July, when she heard it reel off “Ancient Scrap of Spirit Medical Knowledge.” She punched the air and whooped with excitement. “That’s it! Computer, location of Ancient Scrap of Spirit Medical Knowledge.” She was astounded when the computer gave her five different locations. She made a solemn vow never again leave her medical bag unlocked. Quickly she removed all five. Knowing when she ejected, if they weren’t secured, they’d scatter and possibly give her intended location away, she placed them into the secure container usually meant for backpack storage.

Seeing the zone approaching quickly, she threw her medical bag into her backpack and then secured the backpack to her. She then pushed in the commands to eject and braced herself for what was to come.

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