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26: Adam 2/Selene's Vacation, Day 1. [Run by mca]:

[Decoyed in by an invitation to view a new invention of an old acquaintance of Selene's, Selene, Moonfur, Damien, Frank, Celeste, & Handy are imprisoned aboard a hollowed-out astroid equipped w/ warp engines (warp 1.5, big deal) by an insane pseudo-computer that claimed it was the product of some work Selene had done on Byte w/ a Sung-noonyen (attempts to build a silicon life form -- a brain, not an AI). It called her "Mother" a lot. Moonfur's first impression was "I know you don't talk about your family, Selene, but this is ridicilous." It wanted her notes on its creation, since it was unable to duplicate the silicon neurons & thus to reproduce, w/out them. It also insisted that we would be staying on the astroid. It had us escorted out w/ goons, & tried to seperate us, whereupon Selene (on vacation -- she'd wanted to go out & investigate the Calder system artifact, & had been tinkering w/ that device {hypnogogic projector} that Moonfur & co had brought back) decided "what the heck," instituted "Code Phoenix" {ominious!}, & had Bessie sweep the base w/ a beam of the stuff. This knocked out all biologicals (Fortunately Selene had grabbed a medkit out of Handy & Bessie was able to have her inject herself w/ a stimulate to break the trance), & wiped the last half-hour of everyone's memory, but hey, Selene was recording.... We managed to escape, infected the critter w/ a silicon virus similar to that used to incapacitate the Thral's Kintaran base in the other timeli--uh, universe, & then Selene thought about: "Well, it's a silicon life form, right? Like the silicon virus? Well, that other Frank & the other me figured out how to kill it -- so maybe this Adam Two critter will be vunerable." So we fried it & called in the New Garavaran Patrol (it was only about a parsec away) to come & claim this pirate-commandeered Adam Two corperation that was full of brainwashed slaves. Oh, & turn off the warp drive that has it on a collision course for Kylar. Don't want a diplomatic incident.]

[To: JadaO@aol.com, Gaming. [Larana's player, who wasn't able to make the game that night.]]: Well, it is probably a good thing that Larana wasn't there -- Marc found yet another way to plague Kylarans... (Actually one that might have worked for a little while -- but I think that Kylarans are smarter than he was giving some of them credit for, & it would have taken a few more than Kylar would probably have put up w/ disappearing.) Anyway, Larana would have had fits. As it was, Selene derailed the plot about a quarter of the way through. To back up:

Selene decided that she needed a vacation. So she left Mycroft & Diana in charge, orbiting in Diana's Bow around New Garavar, & commandeered the Bat. (Note that she took along the {now quite disassembled} gizmo that we got out of the NovaTechie's luggage. This is important.) Here is probably where Larana decided to take a vacation to Kylar herself. Anyway, Selene was figuring out the itenary {sp!}, which involved going & personally visiting that artifact we found in the astroid in the Calder Mining Colony system, but she got a message from a Sung-noon-yen -- a fellow w/ nutty ideas w/ whom she'd been stuck working w/ on Byte once. Nutcase -- trying to create an artificial brain, rather than an artificial intelligence. Anyway, the message read that Dr. Sung had created something neat, & would she like to drop in & see it, these other people are coming, etc. The area was an astroid 'round an M-class star a parsec away from New Garavar. Oh, well, that's a few hours in the Bat, sure, why not?

We got there. Nobody else... Scan the thing -- a honey-combed astroid! Hydroponics farm, etc... The hanger was beneath the surface, & several ships were there. The astroid is equipped w/ warp engines & umpteen powerplants... Which are missing from the ships in the hanger... PARANOIA TIME! Oh, well... Let's take Handy down. Bessie is left on "Full Security" mode by Selene. (Damien's spousoid, Anshat, & Embereyes & Moonfur's kids are left on the Bat.) Magenetic grapples hook onto Handy's "feet" & the landing pad goes down an L-shaped tube, past a pair of huge airlocks, & settles into a slot while another landing pad heads for the surface. The place is huge (built to Thral-scale heavy tech), & shining -- when the place repressurizes, a buncha humans come out & start polishing. There is no robotics stuff here save one remote-controled thingy, reports Handy as Selene scans everything to heck & gone. A welcoming committee comes & gathers around Handy, & Moonfur wanders out to test the air. These people... They smell... Crowded? Moonfur reports this...

Selene scans three levels of quarters -- suites, standard, & barracks. The life support is for about 1000, a tenth of which is maybe being used, a substatial portion of the life support comes from a hydroponics garden. (Oh, ick, natural air.) These ships are ... a strange assortment. & none of them have their ID beacons left in 'em. Check records -- several of them, in the last five years, were reported missing. Face & genetic scans of the humans in the hanger match the crew-listing of the missing ships, too. Ah-heh. [At least Silver's not among them.] Medical-style scans are instituted & shipped off to Byte to check for brainwashing stuff, who these people are, etc. This will take a few hours to download all the info.

Selene finally comes out. (Moonfur has been tapping one paw in "impatience" & muttering about "humans are so strange about being 'fashionably late.'") She's bringing Watson on wheels, & has snarfed the medkit from Handy on impulse.

Note that most of the communications throughout the base seems to be fiber-optics. Bessie, Diana, & Mycroft are set to decoding this. Handy is set to scan from the interior, as well. Handy is also set on "Full Security" mode as Selene leaves.

We are led into a lounge-type room by one of the welcoming committee. No-one else is here. Moonfur sniffs around. She smells...vermin? Something that smells like a scavenger -- not merfah-like, more like one of those terran -- what were they? Rats? Anyway, Moonfur announces this over the implant comms. Selene is less than plussed, of course.

Damien is scanning the food when from the door comes a voice that says, "There's nothing wrong w/ the food, you know."

We look around -- looks like there's a refridgerator w/ a face, wheels, & arms on it (the robotic thing that we scanned earlier). It says, to Selene, "Hello, Mother."

Moonfur: "I know you don't talk about your family, Selene, but really!"

At Selene's rather bemused disclaimer, the creature tells us that it's "Adam Two," the creation of Selene & Dr. Sung. "But you didn't work," Selene protests. It says that it did -- like a baby, it had to learn how to think & talk. It implies that it was less than thrilled at the "basic information for AIs" data dump that Selene did as a matter of course -- painful in some way. Adam Two has been running the company (also called Adam Two -- makers of control systems for robofacs & such) in Sung's name since Sung's demise a couple of years before. (Moonfur has been peering at the thing from all angles, sniffing it, & trying to find the screws on it...) Things have been sounding just a little fishy from time to time...

Adam says that he needs Selene's notes from his creation to make more of him. No, it can't scan itself & figure out how things should work -- it's tried, but doesn't have quite enough information.

Things go downhill rapidly -- the creature thinks that AIs are a dead-end like Neanderthals, biologicals are not much better than apes, & that it is the prototype of what will be the successful creation. It intends to be the progenitor of a new ruling race that will conquer the universe. (It first says it wants to rule the universe -- Selene tells it that that's a lot of work, & no fun, then it goes for the more of its own kind bit.) It says that it's not going to let us go, either. "I can't stay," quoth Selene, "I'm going on vacation." Adam replieth, "Think of this as your vacation." Selene: "I don't think so." Finally it resorts to a bunch of goons w/ heavy-weaponry (two for each human, four for Moonfur) coming in the other door to escort us to quarters. Moonfur leaps on top of the 'fridge on the grounds that she can use it for a shield if things go badly. But we go peacefully. Selene calls up Bessie & invokes "Code Phoenix."

During this, Bessie reports that the astroid is powering up & moving -- at about warp 1.4; Bessie is told to follow. Adam tells us to have the Bat land. Selene says, "That's impossible. She can't land." Adam: "Why not?" Selene: "She's in full security mode. She can't be taken out of it except if I personally go onto the ship & do so." Adam threatens to shoot Bessie & Bessie reports weapons warming up. Selene: "Fade out, Bessie." Adam is somewhat impressed -- either that was one advanced hyperjump or else Bessie is well-stealthed.

Some of the goons try to lead Celeste away from the rest of the group. Here is where things go very downhill. Selene insists that she needs her crew to help her. Adam (over speakers) tells her, "They don't work for you anymore, Mother. In fact, you don't work for you anymore." Selene: "I don't think so. This is very unwise, Adam." Moonfur: "Sheeeeee's not kiiiiiiiiiding!"

Selene is desperate enough now to tell Bessie: "Remember that thing that we got from the NovaTech people? Synthesize a beam of that & sweep this station w/ enough power behind it to insure that it's 'normal' strength."

[[Marc rolls dice -- it works as expected! Everyone is in a trance & will not recall the previous half-hour... This includes us.]] Fortunately, Bessie can direct Selene to get into the med-kit & inject a stimulant, which breaks the trance. Bessie gives a replay of what was going on (or at least a synopsis) while everyone else is woke up. Moonfur stuns the guards around us, & we make tracks for the hanger, Adam screaming at us over the speakers.

The airlock into the hanger won't open till Selene taps into the fiber-optic system. It opens then, we pile into Handy (stunning random people along the way, who are starting to wake up again). Handy plays games w/ the magenetic fields around his "feet" & we lift off. We're hovering & people are shooting at us w/ hand weapons. Adam is insisting that he's going to start shooting randomly at Bessie. Bessie is told to stay out of range. We download the program for a faked hyperjump & start it up for Handy. Bessie shoots out the landing pad that's in the way of the exit. Now all we have to do is deal w/ the airlocks. We only have antimatter missiles, & those would nuke us as well as the doors. Selene (who only travels w/ the best) grumbles about having some explosive missiles on board as well, next time.

Bessie is steered down into the tunnel & shoots out the first airlock, & we work on a Handy-sized hole on the second one as Bessie exits.

A couple of the ships are still in working order, & are shooting at us. We take some nasty damage before we get out. (Bessie does another hypnogogic sweep of the station -- our force screens shield us, Adam tries to make the gunnery programs take over, but Bessie can out-think him & blocks that one.) Handy is going to be down to TL12 stealthing, but still TL13 sensors. sigh We get out & dock w/ Bessie, who has shot out a substantial number of the weapons in the area. Adam calls up. Moonfur: "Yeeeeeeees?" Adam: "I want to talk to Mother." Moonfur: "I'm sorry, she's busy right now -- can I take a message?" Adam: "Tell her to get back in here right now!" Moonfur: "Really now, that's no way to talk to your mother. I don't talk to my mother that way!" [[About here is where we wish we'd thought of Selene saying, "I created you -- that's not 'Mother,' that's 'Goddess.' Do you really want to make a goddess angry?"]] Adam threatens to take out his ire on all of Artemis' clients, & put Selene out of business. Moonfur: "Ooooo, bad move, bad move. Wrong answer." We consider many things...

Moonfur begs some time from Adam for us to get those notes he wanted on his creation. Selene ships off, first some old designs that don't pass scrutiny, then some new things that look plausible. We shoot out the entry way so that no more ships can get out. We consider sending down one of those dumb probes that we have left over from the Bug-planet-hunting time travel, w/ the modified silicon virus, but then Selene considers -- didn't we find a way to kill that silicon virus once before? Lessee... We try a modified version of that ray. Adam is fried. Never tick off a goddess.

Moonfur calls up the New Garavaran Patrol, tells them that we found an Adam Two Corperation base that had been taken over by pirates & was full of brainwashed slaves. We came by & nuked their computer (A rogue that was based on some stuff Selene had worked on once, so she knew its weaknesses, says Selene. Oh, BTW, it's moving at warp towards Kylar for some reason -- you might want to come turn off the engines before it turns into a diplomatic incident.

On the first day, Selene saved the Universe. & on the second day, She continued on Her vacation.

[On to the next set of logs]