Read The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe) Online

Authors: Tobias Roote

Tags: #science fiction, #adventure, #space opera

The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe) (7 page)

BOOK: The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe)
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Extrapolating what would have occurred next, it surmised that the missile had detonated destroying the T-Ship and the Pod had escaped.

It deemed it was logical that it was, therefore, a reconstituted A.I. along with a new reconstituted T-Ship.

It had no feelings, otherwise it would have said it felt strange. In the absence of such emotion the A.I. instead simply noted it had been modified. Its processors had a slightly different resonance that seemed somehow more correct. A little faster, perhaps. It scheduled to run diagnostics and check its speed.

Checking through automated arrays, the A.I. discovered new features. Each of them self explanatory, but needing fine tuning to be fully effective. It noted these down for sub-routines to manage. It moved on to new items, checking, collating and setting routines aside to manage them.

Turning its attention outward, the A.I. observed the T-Ship was also physically larger. It accommodated a being, not the Maker, but an alien. The A.I. set aside a portion of its processors to monitor and understand the significance of this circumstance. Much appeared to have changed.

It continued to make assessments of the changes, adding power to processes monitoring every aspect of its internal workings. It noted atmospheric mixture for the Alien was almost identical to that of its Maker. Observing its physical characteristics it compared them with the Maker, noting similarities.

It considered this while allowing for the possibility that the Alien was in fact, a new Maker. The A.I. would await further input. The Alien seemed currently unaware of its surroundings. The A.I. set monitoring equipment running to keep informed of the Alien’s state of being. Currently, it appeared to be resting.

The A.I. then spent several hours completing non-destructive testing on all its components, checking relays, purging data blocks ready to receive new information. When its internal diagnostics were complete, it proceeded to do the same for all ancillary equipment wired into its neural network.

At the end of some considerable time all tests were completed. It was noted that its systems were functioning at one hundred percent efficiency. Ship, as it was referred to by the Maker, was ready.

Finally, it opened a hail to the Pod which it had sensed was waiting nearby. After a few seconds setting and linking the communication protocols there then followed a massive upload of information which took several minutes to receive at speeds unimaginably fast.

The A.I. immediately compiled, sorted and filed everything in its newly purged data blocks.

More hours went past as it ran through the filled blocks of data at high speed, analysing and reporting all received data so its systems would have access to everything they needed. Finally, it had absorbed everything it needed to know. The T-Ship A.I. was now up to date.

It opened a communication channel to the Maker. 'Zirkos, I am restored. You may proceed to board.'

***

The Pod A.I. relieved of its attendant Maker was left in the role of surveillance of the scientists. It was important to know how their research progressed with the modified Alacite. The possibilities of them having a breakthrough without the human, Zeke, were not high, but they did have access to blood containing the modified alloy.

With much of its system now inactive it took the opportunity of deep diagnostics, checking the integrity of its processor blocks, a routine that had been shelved due to the emergency functions it had been tasked with. Now the Maker had vacated those modules it was able to carry out essential repairs.

When it found that some of the processor arrays were damaged it materialised fresh Alacite from a small sample on the T-Ship and merged the non-faulty sections with the new metal rebuilding its capacity back up to one hundred percent.

Being only a ‘Three’ it made no connection to the sudden improvement in its capacity and processing speed, putting it down to the result of the return to optimum operating levels. The Pod A.I. resumed its surveillance operations.

***

The T-Ship was drifting sedately under water using the currents to move itself along.

It was not a new experience for the A.I., it had been submersed in liquids before, on occasion. This was different. The amount of activity from a variety of creatures kept its sensors continually active until it became accustomed to the different types and their movements. The attempts by some to swim into and through the ships’ shields kept setting off the alarms.

The organic collection process was nearly done, Ship had been collecting samples for several days ready to recreate the Maker. It would soon be able to return to space where it could reset its sensors and resume its monitoring of the Planet’s activity from a distance.

Suddenly it monitored a new sensor reading. The visual sensors zoomed in on the shadow until it could see it clearly. A large ship which it quickly recognised from its newly acquired human data banks; a nuclear submarine. The flag on its side showed it to be one from a small landmass not far south from its current location under the northern ice cap.

The submarine was travelling at low speed directly towards them, its sophisticated multi-frequency sonar system would have detected the T-Ship if Ship wasn’t absorbing the sound waves through its shield.

Cloaked the T-Ship was completely unseen by the submarine, but it paid to keep sensors tuned to its progress in case it needed to move itself out of the Sub’s path. Not being observed meant the submarine could potentially collide with the spaceship. Undesirable for the submarine as it would probably implode at this depth.

Eventually the submarine continued past them slipping into a deep trench and dropping away from Ship. As the ping of its sonar diminished to un-registerable levels, the A.I. dismissed it and continued collating all manner of patterns that surrounded the ship, collecting those that met its requirements.

The organic matter collection was now complete. It had spent a long time travelling around the planet selecting the right types of organic components to use in the materialisation of the Maker. There was considerable choice of raw materials to convert and the physiological changes demanded by Zirkos also required attention to detail. Research had been extensive. All was now ready to proceed.

The Spaceship rose above the surface releasing any water that had collected around its ports then added a turn of speed just short of the speed of sound to ensure its hull was perfectly dry then using the ‘Dematz thrust’ returned to its sentry post above the North Pole. It checked its sensors for any freezing as a result of trapped water from the planet, and once it was sure all was clear it released the redundant routine making space in its processor bank for its next task.

'Zirkos, are you ready for reconstruction?'

'Yes, proceed, Ship,’ the Sentient mentally replied to the A.I., eager to become a physical being again and enjoy the freedom of physical movement separate from all the computer processes. It was enjoyable having the three hundred and sixty degree vision and access to all the sensors simultaneously, but Zirkos now longed for some mental peace and solitude.

The A.I. proceeded to shut-down all processes allocated in its systems as those belonging to, or consisting of Zirkos, collecting all peripheral data in the ships data blocks that belonged to its Makers memories. When ready, the A.I. began the process of transmuting the organic material it had collected into the physical being of its Maker from the stored pattern retrieved from the Pod.

Finally, it transferred all Zirkos’ data memories since departing the Pod up to the moment of transmutation.

Deep in the T-Ship the deep red-beamed curtain flowed over the empty sleep plinth in the quarters that would become those of its Maker, Zirkos. As the beam proceeded, sparks flowed downward at an increasingly fast rate until the beam was saturated with the reflective light and nothing could be seen of that which occurred within.

After a time the light curtain disappeared. The physical being that was now Zirkos, lay deeply unconscious while the nanobots that had been transferred at the same time began to meld those physical attributes forced into the body to a level where it could survive contact with the planet below.

The resultant platinum blonde haired, silver skinned features were almost human, differences were minor. Some cosmetic modifications had been made to enable Zirkos to blend in, be accepted and interact with the humans.

Extra storage and processing power had been implemented into the trunk of the body. Zirkos had returned as a male, his natural form. A female would not prove acceptable to many of the humans. Being asexual would have meant further unnecessary modification, something Zirkos was keen to avoid. A male would also have advantages in negotiating.

Zirkos had decided he needed allies. These humans could become friends of his people. He was impressed with their variety and their tenacity in all things, especially the sciences.

They could be incredibly aggressive and warring, yet also compassionate and caring. He felt their race was worthy of development. He had also decided he would assist this process so that they in turn might offer assistance in the fight against the Nubl and the defence of his people.

***

Zeke awoke, but kept his eyes shut as he tried to place his location. Sensing movement nearby he sat up, then finally remembering where he was, or more accurately, where he didn’t know he was, he immediately went into a mild panic while he rationalised everything that had occurred.

He was in a grey room with no door. He was healed, whole and felt great. He began to relax again as his fight or flight reflex faded.

The restoring sleep had done as much for him as the realisation that he no longer suffered the pain and agony caused by the metal plate. He was unaware that the nanobots were still in his system helping to balance his metabolism to the absence of the Alacite poison.

The absence of the plate was the best gift he had received from his still unknown benefactor.

Now though, Zeke had a big problem. He was hungry.

Paying closer attention and looking around he noticed why he had sensed movement. There was now a grey table and chair in his room. It had been put there while he slept. On it was a pitcher of what looked like water and a glass. A plate of something was beside it.

Getting off the bed he walked without pain and still naked, to the chair which appeared fixed to the floor. He then sat looking carefully at the small platter of food. It was nothing he recognised.

He was thirsty. Taking hold of the pitcher he drank directly from it rather than the glass. He looked at the food trying to decide what it was. It looked like those fruit fingers, he remembered from his childhood where they compressed leftover fruit into chew bars as a way of getting it inside kids.

Picking up a green one, he bit off a piece. It tasted okay, but he couldn’t decide if it was meat, vegetable or other. Selecting a brown one he did the same. This one had a nutty flavour, a protein bar maybe? He wondered if he should eat them all, or at all. He had no idea what was in them.

His stomach decided for him. He ate all four bars voraciously as though he hadn’t eaten for a week. The pitcher of water was also drained and five minutes later he sat back in the new chair feeling comfortably full. The bars whatever they were, expanded to fill him.

As he felt his energy rise he realised that whatever it was in those bars, his body felt the benefits immediately. Better than KP rations, much better, he thought. Although a burger wouldn’t have gone amiss, or a coffee for that matter.

Zeke sat and thought about where he was and on top of that, he wondered,what had happened to him.

He was bright so it didn’t take him long to realise that he was currently the recipient of very advanced technology. There was much he didn’t yet know about what had happened and where he was. He knew though, not to feel fear or anxiety.

His prior training had prepared him with the instincts that anticipated danger or threat. He felt none of that here. Besides, why would he be healed only to be subsequently injured or killed. No, he felt his safety was not currently in question. His future though, that was definitely uncertain.

He was also vaguely aware of something not quite right about his situation. He felt different, his weight seemed out of kilter as if his density was somehow less than his muscle memory expected. Mentally he seemed much, much quicker. Perhaps the removal of the plate had something to do with that.

He had felt its depressing infiltration of his body over a long period of time to be having a debilitating effect on his ability to think. Now, clear of the plate and its crippling effects, he realised he could almost sense the damage it had done, which he felt had somehow been partially repaired.

As he assimilated all this he came to realise that he could feel more of his bodily reactions to things. His mind sensed what he didn’t yet understand. He would continue to trust his instincts.

He looked down at the table and noted that it was formed in one piece, the legs and top were moulded, like plastic, only it wasn’t any plastic he was familiar with. It seemed to be the same stuff the walls were made of, and the wash basin. It was all seamlessly joined to the floor, or wall.

Looking closely at the bed, it seemed to flow out of the wall identical in make-up to the rest of the room.

So, he was dealing with an unknown technology that either moulded everything to suit, or was prefabricated in one piece and dropped into place.

He looked over at the only flaw in that hypothesis, the table and chair.

They were as equally formed as any part of the room, but were not present before he slept.

He mentally chewed over that one while he dealt with the secondary, but in reality the deeper concern. The lack of a door.

He had to have been put in here, as did the furniture. While he slept.

Yet here he still was, in a rectangular room, and still no evidence of a door.

Standing up he walked to the open wall space where he would have put a door if he was building the room. He then proceeded to minutely examine the surface looking for a seam which just had to be there.

BOOK: The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe)
8.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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