Immolation (final backstory segment)

April 18, 2012 in backstory by Ambassador

She slowly walked out into the open.  She stopped in the middle of the street.  She turned around even more slowly, and paused, lifting her head just enough to barely gaze at the door.  It was a condemned, tiny office building, a single-room area used by law enforcement back when the city was still a prison.  The walls were a lost cream tone, cracked and scraped away in random blotches.  The single window on one side was completely boarded up.  The tin roof was sagging and provoking gravity to do it’s worst.  The door was rotted and wagged slightly when pushed.

(Amazing… even the entrance to the place was an illusion.  There were tarp covers and a metal door here last night… just last night.)

Ambassador considered heavily the cruel lesson she received about this city during these four months of dwelling to and fro, as she walked further up a ramping road till she suddenly stopped half-way.  Her facial expression was that of a dazed, lost child.

She knew what was about to happen.  She hadn’t had an episode in many years.  But now, on it came — the relapse of trauma from the homicide attempt she suffered at age 7.  The slamming.  The crushing.  The tears.  The cold eyes.  The heedless screams.

She began to tremble hard again.  Her arms could not find the strength to lift and hold herself.  The attacker from this morning made it all come back.  In the past, the Corporation’s Programmers tried to create anything that might help quell her emotions should such an occurrence as this take place again.  Nothing worked but patience and time.  The care of her parents. Her parents…

These were the things that made her resentful that she was in any way biological, yet relieved that she was not completely artificial.  She was not two, but four worlds in one;  Binine… Human… Cyborg… Android.  Yet none of these things, no aspect, history or trait of them could rescue her now.

She turned her direction now and began to walk, her steps slowly becoming more lurching than upright, toward the first place she found herself.  Down the long roads… down the empty stair wells… down the alleys.. further down still… to the lowest level of the city, that hollow, wide space that still housed the vented entrance to that crypt-like hall beneath.
Rushes of voices swept through her mind.

“|Unable to contact Ferris Military Enforcements.  No response.|”

Her skin began to sweat.

“a lamb like you…”

Vision blurred more and more.

“<Hai, dozo,>…”

Every movement was as if it were underwater.

“Can you cry? …y’can, right?”

The darker patch of ground was coming up closer.  (Yes, this is it…)

“| Incorrect location.  Designated meeting location is _______.
Is ________.  Is ________.| ”

She stood in front of the still-open street vent entry way, exhausted, thoughts melting into a final single memory as she was on the edge of practically falling down into the hole…

“|Shutting Down.|”
“|Shutting Down.|”

|Shutting Down.|

**OVERRIDE.CANCEL SHUTDO

“Noooooo!!”  She screamed long and hard, the pitch rising to a high frequency, her voice like the wail of a tortured siren echoing down the long spans of the outside area.  The wailing suddenly stopped and Ambassador collapsed onto the ground.  The echo of the scream continued into the outer edges of the city.

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Slow, rumbling tremors moved.  Then, it moved again.  After a short while, the tremors moved once more.  Ambassador’s eyes began to open as the movements persisted to disturb her rest.  She sat up stiffly and slowly, inches away from the street vent hole, trying to clear the confusion as to why she was still there.  Her hair was matted and her outer decor was scratched from the pavement, marking that she may have been passed out for days.
Each time she concentrated on remembering,it seemed, the rumbling occurred.  A large storm system was somewhere in the distance below the gigantic hovering city.  Its bellows repeated at will, and a small strange beep noise could also be heard, as if to respond in turn each time.  Ambassador raised up to her knees and looked around, aching and still disoriented.  It was night, still not a soul nearby her.  The distant thunder, the beep.

Now, she remembered.  She was returning to the underground hall, ready to shut down her program and continue in her hidden stasis till all of her biological body rotted away, computer and cybernetic parts rust to nothing.  Thunder.  Beep.
She stood up, looking down the hole, recalculating all the reasons to continue her descend.  Ah yes…  too many reasons…  and not enough to do anything otherwise now.
She began to move toward hole once again.
Beep.

She looked up now, her attention finally wandering to this tiny sound.  By instinct, or maybe just muscle memory from times past that she’d forgotten she had, she suddenly gave a command in the androidian neocortical half of her brain:

**ACCEPT.PLAY

|Playing.|

A small video brightened somewhere in the cerebral circuits in her head, running in her mind like a vivid daydream.  An alien with pitch-black skin was seated at what seemed to be a table or desk. He wore clothes in what seemed like a deep sea blue velvet.  His eyes were a solid color of low-glowing lavender.  He had hair that layered in waves, halting just above his jawline, white as untouched snow.  He spoke in a seasoned but straining version of Earthen English, and the video seemed to be just ending:

“– the moment we find your location.  Do not worry.  Just patiently wait.”

After a suspended pause, he opened his mouth slightly and, from it, soft musical crystallized tones began to flow, with chime-like inflections.  The screen suddenly blacks out as soon as his lips closed again.

Ambassador’s eyes opened wide.  (…Father!  That was Father!!)

Before she was able to make the command to repeat the message, it began to replay automatically from the start:

“Twenty-fifth Ambassador of Ferris Providence, we have just been given word of the possibility that you were not present on Ferris at the time of the recent attacks.

In the case and hope that you were dispatched beforehand, please be aware that Ferris Providence was attacked on 0521312.006  at 513.51otu by unknown forces.  Jul-Tri Corporations’ Headquarters has been eradicated; no data could be recovered regarding your present mission or location.

It has become my heavy duty to inform you that over half of the orbiting colony’s population has been killed.  The entire colony is considered a disaster area.  No arrivals are accepted into the colony at this time.  Surviving colonists have been given clearance to leave Ferris until all damage control and disaster assessments and relief efforts are completed.

We have also learned that the means to contact you directly has been severed due to the destruction of Jul-Tri Corporate Headquarters.   Outside contact to this transmission’s location is not accepted due to the Planet-wide law of Bine.

Wherever you are presently stationed, remain there until you are contacted with further information or instruction.  Do not disclose any information of Ferris Providences’ current situation until further notice.  Currency has been provided to you in Interplanetary Credits; the transaction information has been sent to your internal program.

It is highly recommended that you remain where you are at present.  We will contact you again the moment we find your location.  Do not worry.  Just patiently wait.”

And again, the melodic mysterious voice gave its message before the image blacked out.

Ambassador could not help but begin to cry in disbelief, her lips slightly parted in a weary smile.  She shook her head slowly as her eyes continued to gaze into the air before her.  (That… that was my Father!  He sent me a message!  I am saved!  They are going to find me!)  The video began to repeat once more, which she let happen over and over for the rest of the night.

All of the information of the destruction of her home and its lockdown, the unknown enemy… all of the suffering she’d gone through until this point…  it was all unlocked.  She had found her place in living again —  through her Father.

And the message in the end… (…was Binine,) she thought.  She had the option of running the ending message through her programming to translate, but of course, there was no need.  She knew just what it said.  And it held a gift… the return of her real name.

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(Grateful You Live Girlchild ~ I Find You ~  Worry Not ~ Lalei Mine ~)

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