409 conflict [marquis & Earinor]

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    • 409 conflict [marquis & Earinor]

      Cybernetics; Science Department; Control Center

      Everyone in the Cybernetic Inc. lab has gathered around a big TV playing footage directly sent from Cybernetics newest addition to Soul, Soul-Zero. He was sent to his first mission, no simulation, no failsaves, no exerted control of one of the researchers, it was all that new thing, meant to prove its worth. Nova was there too, crossed arms and darkened face. "What's so great about that giant hunk of metal anyway?", he asked with a scuff, his eyes focused on what was happening on screen. He wanted this test to fail. He didn't understand why everyone paraded it around, why all the ressources were pulled off Soul-Xs and poured into this thing. Nova himself was perfectly strong, there was no need to abandon his type in his opinion. Right now Soul-Zero was landing at it's mission target, a rebel base that needed extermination. They were terrorists, building bombs and computer viruses meant to destroy Cybernetics. Nova would have handled that situation perfectly fine, why not send him?


      Zero logged its decisions, the rebels were already rattled by the earth shaking when the new model landed. They were getting to run away, Zeros sensors recognized the soft shakes that ran through the ground and he saw some of them that left the protective inner haul, keeping models like the Souls from sensing their body heat. Zero fired its weapons at the building which immedietly exploded into thousand pieces. The scientests howled in excitement, clapping and celebrating the first attack Zero landed. Nova stood there meanwhile, unimpresse by the display in front of him, scuffing again.


      Soul-Zero started moving through the debree with incredible speed and as if he knew exactly were to find any survivors. They were visibly shocked and surprised by the giant machine attacking them out of nowhere. No one had ever layed eyes on something like this before. Efficiently every last one was killed, without emotion, without needless violence and without judgement. The scientist kept clapping, the members of the security department nodded in agreement, everything was going according to plan. Nova clicked his tongue.


      Soul-Zero moved forward. When the scientists pulled up another sensory feed everyone in the room was able to see the heat signature of two people, hiding beneath a large chunk of debris. Zero grabbed it as if it didn't weigh anything and pulled it away, flinging it accross the scene. Without hesitation he fired one shot at a male hiding, then another one at the female. They slumped down immedietly. Then Zero stopped and the room went silent. One of the scientists turned up the volume. There were screams, but not the ones of dying humans, no, it were unfamiliar screams to most, it was a baby crying. Soul-Zero seemed confused, there was another heat signature, but it was small. The scientists turned back to the visual feed just as Zero lifted the blanket on the floor up to reveal a baby.


      The screen read those words and Nova raised an eyebrow. Soul-Zero was pulling back.


      With those words Soul-Zero ended its mission and was already on the way back to base. The room was quiet and Nova withheld a loud laugh. What an idiot piece of metal that thing was, they'd never release it! With a scuff he turned around and left the room, hearing chaos unfold behind him while he left content with himself. The scientists started arguing if this was a miscalculation, or an error on their part. The security department argued as well. Was a baby a threat? Of course it was, especially if it was unregistered with neither Cybernetics nor BioForge. And if it was BioForge property, there was even more reason to take it in for research. The door closed behind Nova and everything fell silent again.

      Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      Soul-Zero returned from its mission. It was neither happy, nor sad about the results, or the happenings there. As always it entered the room that was assigned to it, there was nothing home-y about it. It was a science lab full of screens, computers and cables. On the back end was a huge contraption with multiple cables and tubed hanging from it. Soul-Zero was entering it, the cables and tubes attached to its body and started restoring its energy. Shortly after people were fludding the room, attaching more cables to Soul-Zero and extracting more data than what was provided via feed.
      "What a desaster!", the head scientist yelled, while his minions were already starting to analyze the data. "We wanted an emotionless machine and now this thing goes soft?! This is your fault Dr. Fowler!"
      "It might have been the mission statement that was faulty!", a young woman, Dr. Fowlers assistant, argued on his behalf. "A child is hardly a threat! Of course it would ignore it."
      "If I wanted a machine only following orders without the capacity to think, I would have let you build one!", their boss yelled. BioForges research was a threat to them. They crossed human DNA with that of predators like Lions or Tigers. They killed without prejudice but were still able to think like humans. They were able to make decisions based on logic and forward thinking and were not simply following algorithms. Soul-Zero needed to do the same, without its brain being damaged by human guilt.
      "Maybe we set the protective layer too high.", antoher scientist suggested. "The AI might have done most of the thinking."
      "With reinforced learning we can teach the AI and the brain to do it better next time."
      "We should start a few simulations with todays mission parameters."
      "Good idea."
      One of the scientists typed something on one of the attached computers. The preferable outcome was a different one and he adjusted a few simulation parameters, then started it. Soul-Zero didn't move, but its brain functions, shown on another screen, changed. There were spikes of high voltage, indicators of punishment whenever the simlation result wasn't preferable.
      "Stop! His brain needs rest after this mission! Besides, we still think it is better for his brain if we just explain to him what happened and what is going to happen! You're making the same mistakes you did with Souls-IX and X!", Dr. Fowlers assistent tuned in again and looked at her superior for help.

    • What a mess that had been. Surely, Morris could explain what had happened - but he lacked the words. Taking care of Cybernetic's property had always been his utmost priority, ever since he had been assigned to work for them, regardless if they liked to play nice with him or not; Soul-Zero was different than the others, something they had told him from the very start, but given that his standing among most company officials was a high one, who else would help guide a project as delicate as this one, other than Dr. Fowler himself? That was such an open-ended question, and yet, all he could do in the end was look at a screen and the date that came from it; most scientist were fixated on what actually happened, and yet, Morris had never been one for needless violence - he avoided the bloody display for something more, something else, which in that case turned out to be some of the vital signs displayed. A machine had no heartbeat, it was made of differing metals, built to outlast even its creators, while looking awfully life-like, well, at least partially. The older models, in most of the scientists minds, probably sported more flaws than they needed; they bled blood up until some point, they had a human mind, they lacked skills that those working for BioForge had already surpassed, and while Morris would have wanted to help, that field simply wasn't his expertise - and in turn, he got thanked by a giant wall of metal that had not even been presented with all options of self-expression; an infantile, highly advanced mind, stuck in a shell capable of eradicating entire colonies of people in the bat of an eyelash, all the while he could not once talk or stop to think about what he felt. This was the new age of technology, was it not? Those were errors of previous generatios, of Souls-IX and X, but not Zero - Zero was supposed to be perfect, even when the guy with a bud of a cigarette in his mouth was pouring over some data sheets in a ridiculously large playroom and only looked up when his attention was brought to it. A ... what now?

      An uproar, caused by a simple decision, eventually brought everything to fall - it was as if Morris just watched a stack of cards collapse into itself as he viewed a child, no, an infant from the eyes of a highly coveted machine, and soon enough, it was placed back to where he found it. No threat detected, huh? Morris wanted to laugh his ass off more than ever; this was the funniest thing he'd hurt in all his years working for Cybernetic Inc., but of course it was his fault. The moment the crowd erupted into more than a few swears and they all were ushered back to what one would call Zeros containment, there was already stuff flung at him as if he had any influence over an AI he only had interacted with every soften. If anyone would claim he was at fault for Novas behavior, he'd accept it, but right now, the disgruntled look that he shot some of the researches was enough - thankfully, at least one other, somewhat intelligent soul resided in this building with him, and while she had been assigned to him by higher-ups, she definitely was the right fit for him in this mass of wrangling, idiotic worms that never knew what to say and when to say it. Regardless, still, he was simply watching on as she took the brunt of the conversation - that was him, just some sort of guy that relaxed a bit too much when others were in dire need of his assistance; what a joke, and yet, at the very same time, what an easy life he'd chosen. "For a first run, that was better than expected.", he suddenly commented, but the slight smile on his face told everything, much like he was an open book - there was little someone like him could do when it came down to his colleagues, but he'd not let both him and his assisstant drown in their insults. "Do you really think BioForges new hybrids were as much of a success the first time around? Awarding him with pain is only going to impact Soul-Zero negatively - I'll safe you the allegories, but let me do my job. You are paying me for a reason, right? You're ruining months, no, years of good and painstaking work right now.", he grumbled and shoved one of the researchers aside that was administering the paintest. Instead, he switched the input on the console so he could communicate with this thing, even if he would potentially be able to hear him, he'd be resting either way. >hello zero.<, was the first input into the console. >why is did you not classify the infant as a threat?<, was the second.
      Looking back, it maybe is like the toy carts you rode when you were a kid. But those toy carts could never go beyond the walls of the lawn. We want to follow the rugged concrete road beyond the wall. As we've grown, we've decided to leave behind the toy cart.
    • Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      Zero heard every word spoken in the room with it, it knew it made a mistake and soon after images were forced into its mind, asking it questions, rerunning the mission and while it tried its earnest to complete the objective, pain ran through it in turn. Zero didn't feel pain most of the time. The AI interface blocked out strong signals running through Zeros nervous system which was extended by cables into all of its mechanic limbs. It had feeling and was therefor able to grab things without breaking them, but if it was to lose its arm, Zero would not feel pain. The machine did feel pain however when the system was disabled. It happened sometimes, but Zero learned that Dr. Fowler was against it whenever it happened. Zero couldn't say it felt anger towards the other researchers, but it enjoyed engaging with Dr. Fowler or Dr. Frisk more than with others, who seldomly greeted Zero even. The images in its tired mind stopped and if Zero could have, it would have taken a breath of air right about now. Instead he felt Dr. Fowler accessing it directly, without any audible or visual sensors inbetween.

      >Hello Doctor<

      Zero politely answered as it always did. Dr. Fowler had been the one to teach it basic manners, especially ater some other researches started to get offended by something they called Zeros attitude. The next question posed was an obvious one and the answer was as obvious to Zero, yet it wasn't sure why the researchers seemed to think differently.

      >The human infant was unable to attack Cybernetic Inc. or its property. It could not hold a weapon and it could not speak. It's limited mental capacity and brain activity made it impossible for the human to even understand what a 'Terrorist Group' is. I determined that it did therefor not pose a threat now or later in time as the potential risk is minimal.<

      There was a short break which almost looked like Zero paused to think.

      >The conclusion is undesirable for Cybernetic Inc.<
      >Do you want me to provide a full calculation?<

      "This thing is completely useless!", the head scientist grumbled. "We didn't incooperate a brain to have to teach it every little detail and even it's calculations make no sense! If the threat is minimal, it is not zero, a machine should know better!"
      Zero knew better than to butt into a conversation, yet it answered to the scientist anyway.

      >When calculating risks, the risk will never be 0%. Using the data provided by Cybernetic Inc. every single person in this room poses a threat higher than 0% to the company.<

      Cybernetics; Science Department; Recreational Facilities

      Nova was happy with the results of todays experiments. The new model was completely useless and all that time spent with it was wasted. It was only a matter of time until everyone saw that and funding returned to Soul-X. Smiling Nova entered the recreational facilies, sporting pods that posed as beds for the Souls as well as some activities Dr. Fowler thought would help them in their development. There were old school books printed on paper, boardgames and other trinkets most of the Souls didn't understand. Why read from some paper when you could upload the data into your enanced brain storage? Whatever, Orion was always here, whyever and Nova felt like running his mouth over that stupid chunk of metal. He spotted Orion relaxing on some form of large bag and Nova kicked their leg to gain their attention.
      "You missed it.", he told them, but he already knew Orion was mostly uninterested in everything around them. "Soul-Garbage. It botched the mission. Let someone live, fucking idiot. I guess we're not running out of commission anytime soon." Nova smiled content. "But the scientists and higher ups flock around it as we speak, I'm sure. What a joke. That thing is so worthless, even Soul-I was a better project and much cheaper too. They should just let us fight the meatheads, don't you think?" Nova paused for a moment, tapping his foot on the floor somewhat annoyd "Orion, listen to me when I speak to you!"
    • Oh, he definitely wasn't stupid. The tech used in his creation was too expensive for him to turn out like an idiot, had been too highly sought after by their company and had cost too much to even fathom as useless in the end; Morris knew as much, hell, he understood as much and he could put two and two together, know the answer could or could not be four, and that he was most definitely not enjoying a round of pain. However, Zero would never voice those problems, knowing that be perhaps did not even understand what suffering could be - or that he was the one that was suffering right at that very moment. Instead, he was sweet, like a polite young boy who knew nothing about life and everything inbetween at the same time - a machine, built to last, built to kill, and yet, to him, something as simple as a greeting seemed to make a difference; Morris should have stopped forcing humanity upon their Souls ages ago, but he never did, seeing them all as humans regardless of how much flesh they truly carried. >Thank you, Zero.<, he answered his all-knowing pea in a pod. Was this guy capable of making such assessments himself? If so, not only was Morris surprised, he also found himself highly engaged. >A full calculation would be quite insightful - if it's no trouble for you in your current state. It suffices if it is finished by the time your rest ends.< No need to work a machine to the bone, that much was clear, but of course Morris was hardly the only one that felt like engaging with Zero for the blunder he had made; for others, it was a blunder, for Morris an achievement. "Completely? I'd say he is quite effective, actually, especially in what he was told to do. He eliminated all threats - there was no other order given. Perhaps you all should be more thorough.", he chastised his colleagues. Morris gaze, however, was still affixed to the screen that flickered with responses and he couldn't help but chuckle about what Zero had to say; he had quite the character. >Given the risk is never 0%, how likely would you think the chances are that the infant you left to live will grow to adulthood, and how likely will it be that it seeks revenge for what you've done to its family? Please include that in your report, thank you.< And with that, he looked up and concluded that his job was done, at least for a brief time, because Zero never skimped on a time limit.

      > Recreational Facilities

      Orion was much too occupied with the new bean bags they got; the old ones were rather squished, but not only did they not mind, they also figured that somebody had to give them a test and put their whole strength into getting them set. Frankly, not only did that come down to a whole lot of work, it also meant they had to miss a much anticipated event, and yet, all the Souls that went were few and far between, but Nova, the overzealous weasel, of course was among them. Judging by the thumping of those steps, somebody was coming back, and he was quite happy about whatever had happened - in this case, surely the youngin messed up and Nova had some grand idea in his thick, metallic skull - what a waste. Just as Orion leaned back and wanted to close their eyes for a nap that they didn't quite need, the incessant voice of Cybernetics most annoying Soul-X, no, most annoying overall Soul, his their ear drums and they wished to have them blasted out, or perhaps a mute option integrated.
      "What? Don't get cocky, I'm the older one.", the blue-haired beauty simply replied, not all that interested in what Nova was waffling on about. It was true, their serial numbers indicated as much, but there were a whole six failures between them, setting them apart from the rest of all that junk. What a lackluster realization that had to be. And just like that, Orion was looking at Nova with quite the indigation - sit down or piss off, which was truly a choice to make. "Happy that you have Dr. Morris all to yourself again?", they inquired, still - as if those feelings were the most obvious things they'd ever seen on a chart. "Or are you going to pretend you don't like him again? Where is he even? All fawning over the new guy? That ugly, giant metal guy?"
      Looking back, it maybe is like the toy carts you rode when you were a kid. But those toy carts could never go beyond the walls of the lawn. We want to follow the rugged concrete road beyond the wall. As we've grown, we've decided to leave behind the toy cart.
    • Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      >You're welcome Doctor.<

      Zero answered politely, but the metal construct wasn't unable to read the room. It could see and hear the scientists and not only that, it could gauge their temperature and heartrate. Dr. Fowlers heart rate rarely rose over the norm, but Dr. Frisk was especially aggitated right now and so was the head of science. Zero had an answer for his action and he'd have a full report too, if they asked for it and yet somewhere it was human and couldn't help but wonder what it did wrong. His calculations were correct and it completes the mission statement to his knowledge, but why was everyone so mad at him?
      "As I said, we want him to think, we can build a robot that does the same he does if we want to, but we are pouring our money into this thing, so make it work. All o you." The head of department had apparently better things to do and he stormed off with some of his lackeys following him.
      "Leave, you can access Zeros data from your own devices!", Dr. Frisk shooed the rest out. She was looking out for Zero, wanting him to rest and not be yelled at and she didn't want anyone else to start a needless simulation. Soon after she stepped closer to Dr. Fowler and looked at the screen as well. She chuckled. "You should have let the boss read that.", she joked, but in truth they had to fear he saw Zero as a threat after saying something like that.
      Sleep was optional for Zero right now. Sometimes it was hard for its brain to rest and right now it was hard at work in figuring out how to better itself. Zero decided to provide the report right away. Besides forwarding it to the scientists involved in Zeros developement, it showed it on screen. It showed a lit of values Zero took into consideration when deciding its Mission was complete and all the factors that made him assess the human as no threat.

      >Chances of the infant to survive < 0.0005%
      - Chances of the infant to survive on it's own < 0.00000000000001%
      - Chances of the infant to be found before its death < 2.5%
      - Chances of the infant to live to adulthood if found < 4%

      He listed a few more values.

      >Chances of the infant to seek revenge > 65%
      Chances of the infant of succeeding in taking revenge on me < 0.000000001%
      Chances of the infant to take revenge on Cybernetics Inv. < 0.00000000000000000000001%<

      There was a lot of data on Zeros part. It tried to convey anything it took into consideration and put it into one large document.

      >What is your estimation?<
      >And do you think I completed my mission?<

      Cybernetics; Science Department; Recreational Facilities

      "Older my ass, you have a lower number than me that's all. Maybe you fell out of your mom two seconds earlier, but that's about it.", Nova answered his very annoying colleague, or sibling, or whatever they were. "And I'd kick your ass in a fight and you know it." In fact Nova was confident that he'd kick everyones ass in here, he was their strongest fighter and he didn't need to take shit from anyone. Some of the scientists were even scared of him.
      "I'm sure he's considering throwing that thing into the trash right about now." Nova started chuckling to himself, not even Orions shitty personality could dampen his mood. "Pff... I just want him to get us more privileges. Before he came along we couldn't even leave the building and yes that guy is ugly, thank you for agreeing." Nova crossed his arms. Orion was always this annoying, but there weren't much other options for Nova at the moment. Many of the Souls were out on missions and Nova was annoyed to be stationed in the lab for a while, but as if his wishes were heard by the god called Cybernetic Inc., a message flashed before his left eye. A new mission.
      "Aha! Seems like I get to clean up the mess!", Nova excitedly announced, only to notice who his partner in crime was for this mission. He sighed. "Get up Orion, they want this done quickly." Nova was set on proving himself. Nobody needed this metal idiot. If they simply finished what he messed up, they'd get a big plus.
    • > Soul-Zero Research Lab

      Zero was a polite being, that much was for sure, however, that also only happened because he had people like him or Dr. Frisk to guide his current development. To Morris, their development mattered, no matter what unit it was, or far they'd fallen from grace before - all that seemed important to the likes of him was, without even as much as the hair splitting truth, for these beings to succeed in a life that wasn't theirs to begin with. Their invention wasn't something they could counteract and their purpose was, definitely, not something that they could pick for themselves. And yet, Morris was the person that kept coming back for more of them, that mourned every single death that transpired among them, even if it was but their brains that stopped working; and yet, Zero was different. He simply ... worked. Was this truly what the future entailed? "Make him work, huh ... something that can think for itself. That might actually be somewhat dangerous, don't you think?", he questioned Dr. Frisk as he disparaged their colleagues from wreaking more havoc - their boss was an uptight man, one that had no desire for domination of whatever sector they were in, but he'd always be hungry for nothing but results, ones which neither Frisk nor Fowler could offer him, and yet, as they willingly accepted life for what it was, they all had to agree that, in the end, were they not improbable figures devout to a faulty design? "If he did, he'd probably have had a heart attack on the spot, just for the dramatics. Though, I agree, it might have been rather funny.", he mumbled, already engaged with the console yet again. Talking to Zero would be easier if they gave him a voicebox, but they refused, and maybe, that just was for the best. Perhaps he'd be too powerful, and yet, Morris didn't see why he'd be.
      His eyes pondered the date he was shown with utmost care - Dr. Frisk was the more analytical mind of the two, and Morris himself the confidant of those who didn't dare speak to the ones that engineered them, unless they were prepared to meak their maker. Or perhaps they weren't scared and simply taken aback by the woman that had breathed new life into every chassis that this world sported - he couldn't quite say, even if he was intrigued by what was happening, and yet, he was peering deep into the forefront of text that he was supposed to analyze. Those were quite interesting, though, he had to agree, Zero was probably right. There was no chance the infant would live for long if it was alone out there. >Yes, Zero? Thank you for your analysis, these are quite insightful.< These made him chuckle, perhaps because they made his stomach ache, or maybe because he couldn't shake this uncanny feeling off quite yet. Just what was this? >My estimation? Good question.< Morris looked at Dr. Frisk, but he had to be earnest; he could be honest if it was just the two of them looking at the console, fiddling with it, and not one of their bosses pecking at their necks like hungry vultures. >50% it doesn't get found in time and dies, 50% it gets found and lives, for now. Who knows who will find it, if anyone, but I have to admit, your impressive show of strength might have alerted more than the average number of people to the location. Regardless, I dub your mission a success. Consider it completed. Would a regular reward suffice?<, he inquired with Zero. Another trinket, to be placed somewhere none would even see, huh? >What is your own estimation? Do you consider your mission successful? Or are you having second thoughts?<

      > Recreational Facilities

      Nova had always been a brat, had he not? Orion could hardly stand his incessant nagging or his disrespect for their personal space, and yet, they more often than not were stuck with him, almost as if the universe had declared them to be the most efficient fighters among Cybernetics' ranks. While Nova would be happy about such a boisterous title, Orion couldn't say they were; for all they cared, if they became one with the bean bag, their day wouldn't have been so bad either, and yet, there he was, acting all high and might. "Mom? Don't care. We're all Souls, what do I need parents for? We have creators for a reason, and to compare myself with an ordinary human if I'm not, why would I be? Besides, I am older, but believe what you want to." No dirt under their nails, and yet, they were colored the same way as their hair - all blue, almost melancholic, but they had wanted it all that way, and painting metal was far less time-consuming that just painting over some nails that would grow and ruin it all, would it not? Being squishy wasn't interesting to them either - Orion enjoyed being who they were, and in their case, that was insanely beautiful. "And so? At least I'm not mad about getting replaced like a little kid.", they replied with a shrug of their shoulders. Hit them where it hurts, kind of, but in Novas case there were a lot of spots that one could attack if they simply spent five minutes with him. Sure, he was a good soldier, but his social skills were laughable.
      "Who? Dr. Fowler? I doubt it. Remember what happened when one of the VIII models shut down? He was hung up over it for three weeks, and those things are about as useful as a mayfly.", they scoffed, and they were right. None of the VIII models were still of much use to anyone, but there were other, less advanced places those old heaps of chunk could be useful for; and yet, a human cried for them, over something that would never really die, and worse yet, Dr. Fowler hadn't even known them for long. "Alright, delude yourself. I can see how you look at him, and if they ever added a tail to your tailbone, they'd find out what a happy little puppy you are the moment Dr. Fowler even looks at you, or worse, tells you you've done a good job." And with that seething remark, Orion was ready to sit back again, relax, maybe download some music or games on an interface and fumble with it, but no, they were to move out the moment Nova announced it. "Ugh. For crying out loud. Just when I was getting comfortable.", they complained, definitely annoyed, stretched themselves once and got up; Orion was practical, though fashionable, but in the end, they slipped right back into the heels they'd taken off earlier and to brush by Nova. "Come on you fiend."
      Looking back, it maybe is like the toy carts you rode when you were a kid. But those toy carts could never go beyond the walls of the lawn. We want to follow the rugged concrete road beyond the wall. As we've grown, we've decided to leave behind the toy cart.
    • Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      "Hm, might be, but that is why your work is so important Doctor. I mean, if we were to not give those soldiers hope and support, they'd surely go insane, like..." She meant the old Soul Units, Zero knew as much. Zero probably knew more than people gave it credit for, but it stayed out of discussions like these usually. "Well, but I think BioForge have their own set of problems there. A predatory species crossed with a human? I mean they are instinct driven and illogical, where is that supposed to go? There are already too many of those mutants running around and now this. Where will all of this lead?"
      Zero hat its own ideas and enough data to back all of it up. If BioForge and Cybernetic Inc. continued their path, eventually they'd create something that will escalate their conflict way too far. Some might argue that already happened and civilians paid the price. Dr. Fowler would even go as far and say that units like the Souls were in the middle of it, without it being their fault. Zero again kept quiet but the monitor showing its brain activity at least showed that it was listening and probably thinking about all of it.
      Dr. Frisk looked at her superior when he looked at her almost questioning. She read some of the data Zero presented, but it was way too much. "I doubt your calculations are wrong Zero. They never are.", were her two cents, but Dr Fowler had a better connection to it, or him as she called Zero.

      >Doctor your calculations seem very optimistic.<, Zero answered him. >Since I have left, the humans chances of survival dropped. There was no one left in the vicinity and judging by the reaction of the other members of this facility, someone will be sent to do what I didn't.<
      >The regular reward suffices.<
      , it added, mostly because it knew that the doctor wanted to give Zero something and there was no arguing.It didn't know what to do with those things though.

      >In my estimation I completed the Mission.<
      >However, most seem unhappy with the results.<
      >I don't understand why.<

      "Because they are assholes...", Dr Frisk answered with a sigh, then looked at her superior. "Sorry..."

      >Would you have killed the human?<

      "No of course not!", Dr. Frisk answered promptly.

      >Might that be because you are a woman Dr. Frisk? Data from years ago show signs to support that theory. What about you Dr. Fowler?<

      Cybernetics; Science Department; Recreational Facilities

      "Yes, yes you are older and weaker and less advanced and probably rusty. Besides, you have more squishy, fleshy parts left than me, just so you can have those 'creators' fuck you like you were a little whore. You should have some more self respect, so don't talk down to me.", Nova remarked annoyed. All he wanted was to shitmouth that stupid hunk of metal, but Orion needed to make this aaaall about themselves as always. The reason they were never sent anywhere was simply because they sucked.
      "Shut up! I'm not being replaced. Are you even listening? That thing is utter garbage!" Maybe once they were out of here Orion would simply have a little accident. Things like these happened and Nova felt more and more like he wanted to hurt them.
      "Well he got over it eventually, right? They'll soon see that we are still the best on the market and if you'd pay attention for once that would interest you too. Do you think you get uniquely painted parts when you get disposable? Souls like you are the reason they even started a new type." Nova was believing that Orion painted them all in a bad light. They were nothing but a dirty whore, not fit to fight even.
      "Shut up!", he yelled. Puppy? "At least I'm not a glorified sex doll." Novas anger rose and he truly wanted to bash someones face in and if it had to be a tiny flesh sack then that had to suffice for now. Orion was already brushing past him and Nova sighed deeply, grumbled under his breath and followed them. "We'll take a bike and I'll drive!", he quickly called dips.
    • > Soul-Zero Research Lab

      Surely, Dr. Frisk had other opinions than him, and she'd definitely make those known, but in the end, both of them at least had the same core beliefs, and even if that was the case, none could say that either of them were, quite factually, going to fight over it. "... like the older units, no? Sure, Zero is different from them, but lets be honest here, no matter how advanced any Souls model may be, they still can use some love and nurturing. Doesn't matter how old and out of date they might be, either.", he agreed. While Zero was quick to catch on, he also was just ... he was young. Not only did he have plenty of room to grow, he had much opportunity to prove himself in the future, which also would give him an edge over any failures that he made in what one would claim to be his infancy. No matter what, Morris would argue, to appeal to self-worth and value of someone was an individual process, and even with thousands of cables running through him, to the human mind, this person was no less human than any other. "Let's view it like that; what we did is unethical, what BioForge did isn't any less ethical. But ... you see, Dr. Frisk, why rely on something one cannot control? Nobody has ever tamed a wild beast fully, lest they'd breed it for domestication, but that's not what BioForge wants. Why would they? They don't want to sacrifice the dangerous traits their enhanced beings possess, and trade it for something with a more docile nature. Sometimes, scientists are just that.", he argued, and he was right. Morris was never wrong, just sometimes misguided, and while he often enough could hate himself for that, he still smiled as Dr. Frisk talked to Zero, almost as if he were proud of her progress.
      >They kind of have to be, isn't that what I'm known for?<, he joked with Zero, but he almost figured that it wasn't appropriate. Irony was still lost on him, at least most often, and Morris had to admit that he didn't know if he should even teach it to him; wouldn't people complain about his attitude yet again? >How do you feel about that?< Morris was quite the studious pupil and everything that Zero might want to impart onto him was impervious for his research, but not only that - there were many possibilities, all of which felt wrong, or perhaps somewhat disingenious, but all in all, was it not him that pertained to an existence as easy as this one and was it not him that had wished for someone like Zero to be more human? >I'm glad.< Another trinket that he could teach Zero something about; Morris was, indeed, glad that the person behind layers of metal still existed, still did as told - he spoke, he thought freely, but he had judged wrongly, apparently, had he not? "My, Dr. Frisk, you are being quite unfriendly to your colleagues. But I agree.", he commented, fiddled with the console and looked at what was asked of them - Zero had quite the mind of his own, had he not? There was no harm in that, but the conversations suddenly proved to be more interesting than ever before. Oh, data, yes ... date. Morris couldn't help but laugh. >You mean the infant? No. As you have correctly stated, it poses no threat to us in its current state. However, perhaps I'd have been soft enough to take it with me and ensure survival, or a proper upbringing even. Your mission is completed, and just because others are unhappy with the result doesn't mean that it isn't - you can't always make everyone happy, yes?<

      > Recreational Facilities

      "Pff, look who's talking, Dr. Fowlers puppy. Wouldn't he have said you have a nice smile, you would have a hunk of metal for a face. And besides, I'd rather enjoy some things of human life than get castrated for nuts of steel. But, that's besides the point - just because I still look human doesn't mean I am, you don't even know what about me is still flesh.", Orion replied, still calm and unbothered as always. They were very much going to leave Nova behind and clean up without them if he didn't hurry up, and yet, they had a hunch that they should be nice to their comrade. Why wouldn't they be? Just because this guy behaved like he owned the world? Please, there was worse among their ranks. "If that helps you sleep at night, keep deluding yourself. We replaced the Soul-IX models, so what makes you think he won't replace Soul-X's? Your optimism is quite astounding, but you'll have to accept fact over fiction eventually." And Orion wasn't even out to hurt Nova in the first place - they simply were trying to make him understand the truth. Humans were two-faced and only cared for those that they could benefit from; in turn, people like Orion only cared for themselves and didn't even think of themselves as an individual - for all intends and purposes, they were a weapon, and so was their whole collective.
      "Why? Because I'm supposed to care what happens post my expiration date? Please. I'll get shut down eventually, doesn't matter if it's peaceful or violent, at least I had a purpose for a while. And he'll cry about it. Unique parts or not, I can get my hands on all I want - and you'd know that if you paid five minutes of attention in my vicinity." That had been true up until now, but Soul-Zero hadn't been launched yet and now, everything was going to change, huh? Well, they at least had some purpose, and that was going to be cleaning up after a beta version pup, something that Nova would also know if he just used his brain for more than five minutes. But why would he? Up until now, that freak had clearly been everyones favorite - times were going to change soon and with that tide of change would come a change in responsibility.
      "Did I strike a nerve? You do know I don't care for insults you throw my way, right? I'm neither insecure nor unaware of my incapabilities. I embrace them, and don't get mad just because a bunch of old men won't tell me about how good I did on todays mission and you'd best learn to do the same. I hope they leave me out of this next time, working together with you is annoying at best and you're a hindrance at worst.", they finally complained and rolled their eyes. "If you don't crash it into a lamp post again."
      Looking back, it maybe is like the toy carts you rode when you were a kid. But those toy carts could never go beyond the walls of the lawn. We want to follow the rugged concrete road beyond the wall. As we've grown, we've decided to leave behind the toy cart.
    • Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      "I'm just saying that BioForges so called enhancements run rampant on the streets, getting even more hostile if unlucky. Only yesterday my aunt told me a friend of hers ran into a guy who grew a third arm. They are so unpredictable and our Souls have to clear them off the streets...", Dr Frisk mumbled and added a sigh. At least in that regard Cybernetics had a better image, they had more data to prove their creations behaved too, even though some of those feeds were definitely tampered with, especially from the old Soul models. Some of them truly did unthinkable things.

      >According to my data you are mostly known for your work with Soul-IX, doctor.>, Zero answered, obviously not understanding what Dr. Fowler meant.

      >Are you asking how I feel about another Soul completing my mission?<
      >I rather would have completed it on my own.<
      >But if you and Dr. Frisk agree that I completed my mission, I am content with the result.<
      Zero was taking everything that was fed to it into consideration. Naturally Dr. Fowler had a huge impact on Soul-Zero and Zero likewise started to value his opinion higher than others.

      >So you also feels the need to protect your species?<

      "It's your species too Zero.", Dr Frisk told the huge hunk of metal which didn't answer as fast as usual.

      >What makes something human?< Zero asked. It had a human brain, but everything else about the machine wasn't even biological.

      >I couldn't have been a parent to the child.<
      >Taking the reactions of everyone today under account, it seems the human would not have survived if brought here either.<
      >If it had, it possibly would have been analyzed in a laboratory.<
      >And with no parents it is likely it would have been used for experiments or maybe turned into another Soul Model.<
      >Is that outcome preferable to death?<

      Dr. Frisk audible gulped when she read those lines and in this case didn't butt in. Dr. Fowler was more suitable to answer those questions. She looked at the Doctors hands, waiting for him to type an answer, but Zero had even more questions for them today.

      >I don't have to make everyone happy.<
      >I answer to Cybernetic Inc.<
      >But many people represent that entity.<
      >Not everyone is always right either.<
      >How do I choose whos wishes I should fulfill?<
      >And what perspective do I take? A short-term decison might not yield the results one person wishes for, but might further Cybernetic Inc. goals in the long-term.<
      >Is it okay to make them unhappy for the time being?<

      Cybernetics; Science Department; Parking Lot

      "Your attitude is annoying. Can you decide if you want to be a weapon or a huamn being with feelings and wishes and the need to get laid, to pay for parts that get you laid more? And it doesn't even matter if it's flesh or synthetic rubber. Who even has sex anymore, except the Bios?", Nova said the last bit in a very degrading way. Bios, or people that got DNA enhancements, weren't anything worth his while. They were their enemies and yes, they had sex, though most of them were unable to get pregnant like that. People who embraced technology were more into programs these days. There were enough brain stimulants that gave them the same feeling, without all the nasty other stuff surrounding sex.
      "Well we'll just have to show them that we are better than Soul-Zero, don't we?", Nova argued. Orion should just lie down and shut themselves off forever. Everyone would be happier then.
      "Mhm... sure... you get everything you want and when they come to shut you down, you'll be a good tool and just let them.", Nova commented less angry. Orion was full of shit and there was no point in arguing with them. By now they reached the parking lot and Nova went over to his machine he got some time ago. He got on it and waited for Orion to join him. "And when they all start to fuck the new Souls, you're totally fine with it too. Nothing matters to you, oh great Orion, such a good example for a tool, so much personality like a hammer, or a screwdriver."
      Nova started his machine once Orion sat down and held on to him. "Please. Whenever we have a mission together you do nothing but watch me get the job done." Again, Orion was full of shit. "And I didn't crash into a lamp post, I crashed into a target standing in front of a lamp post." And in actuallity Nova jumped off and hoped Orion would just crash together with the vehicle, but he knew better than to think that would kill a Soul-IX. All the while Nova started driving to their target location, squeezing through traffic like a maniac once they reached the city streets.

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 4 mal editiert, zuletzt von Earinor ()

    • >Soul-Zero Research Lab

      "BioForge has its own fair share of problems. Sure, I have to agree that what they are doing is hardly ethical, but knowing both sides of the coin, I'd have to also argue that neither of us are innocent. I mean, be it up to someone like Zero to choose if he wants to be who is now ... I doubt he'd be here, unlike some of our other models.", Morris explained to his assisstant, even though they had gone over things like these what felt like a million times already; consent was hard to come by in situations like these and if one had an opportunity, they could certainly not pick sheltered freedom like this one. From a free - well, surveiled but rather free human being - to a husk of metal, who would choose something like this? Morris was sure that, if he were to die at some point, he most certainly would prefer to have died as a human, to not be forced into a role like this one, but he couldn't pick and choose things like that anyway; Cybernetics was going to do with him what they wanted, were he to die, and he was fairly sure of that.
      >Am I? I wouldn't actually have thought that. Thank you for the assessment, Zero. However, If I may ... this wasn't about accomplishments. But you'll learn that eventually, trust me.< A young mind was a curious one, and while Morris had no children of his own, weren't the Soul projects something like that? At least the ones he actually worked on, if he was honest - to those beyond his age he didn't even have an attachment, knowing that he'd never met any of them, or would, for that matter. Things that didn't function or outlasted their expiration date were rarely kept; they were trashed soon enough. >Yes, but your personal feelings do matter, you know? You may be a Soul, but that doesn't mean that you aren't supposed to listen to what your gut tells you.<, Dr. Fowler replied, though, he laughed soon enough. Ah, Zero was a though nut to crack - and Morris put his hand on Allisons shoulder, smiling at her. "Don't take it to heart. He is inquisitive, much like a kid. Isn't that right, Zero? You want to learn, but to learn, you need input." He truly did, lest he'd start forming too much of a close-minded opinion on things that he kept telling himself. What would become of him if he were isolated? Morris had no idea, but it sounded like cruelty - something that he didn't want to do to anyone.
      >No, you are too young yourself. However, with the data freely available to you, you could perhaps figured out how to parent a child.<, he went on. Was he, truly? Zero was supposed to kill, not show compassion. >The outcome you've chose for the infant might have been the best one available to it. Today, I'd say, you proved yourself to be human. Compassion makes a human what they are. But you have never experienced sadness, have you? If you mourn those you kill, perhaps that is one way. The other thing that makes humans human is the ability to think for themselves, freely, without restraints. You are quite good at that already.< Was becoming a Soul preferable to death? Zero worded it with its own flavor, yet Morris knew that he was easy to sway and influence, perhaps even lost in his own, convoluted thoughts, for a multitude of reasons no less. >Not always. It depends on personal opinion.< It did. >Sometimes, Death might be preferable, depending on the person.< The child of a pair of rebels would definitely not want to become what its parents fought against, and while Morris had to argue that, maybe, he was on the wrong path himself, he kept that to himself, knowing that it would lead to needless complications.
      >Short-term decisions are good. Listen to your gut, to what you would do. Sometimes, even disappointing a majority of people is needed to succeed. Making others unhappy, for the time being, if you can live with that, is preferable to make them happy but only for so long. Perhaps, in due time, this will become more apparent to you. Making everyone happy, like I said, is impossible, but be assured, I'm on your side, no matter what.<

      >City Streets
      "Enjoyment. Sometimes, a weapon likes to feel special for five minutes - humans have needs to, and besides, just because nobody ever blew you doesn't mean that nobody has ever blown me. You sound like you're mad that Dr. Fowler won't touch you more inappropriately." Then again, Orion had to admit that they never went anywhere like that with Dr. Fowler either - to them, he was like a father, and they would rather not lie with whom they considered to be their parent, perhaps even their creator, in a way, but perhaps Nova thought about it differently, given that he was so obsessed with this guy, he'd most likely kill for him if only asked. What would happen if Dr. Fowler got injured? Nova would, perhaps, explode and demand to be let out to hunt down the criminal - hadn't that happened once before? Orion couldn't recall, but they didn't care enough either.
      "Ever the eager one ... I guess so, but your hunger for power and glory doesn't exactly instill me with a desire to fight. How about you try harder?" At this point, Orion was simply doing what they did to annoy the hell out of Nova, not because they genuinely thought like that. In fact, perhaps this could be fun if this idiot would just stay where he was and not bother them, but alas, they had been assigned to a mission together, and thus, they had to work like the unit they weren't. Any other Soul was quick to offer Orion a hand, but this guy was always hard to deal with, came with a mind of his own and some evil thoughts on top. Perhaps he needed a good beating, or a quick reprogramming? If only Dr. Lawrence was still around, he'd make quick work of someone like Nova. "Yeah, but I do have a request before that. If they'd kill me instead of shut me down, I'd like that. Shutdown implies I can be reactivated and I'd rather not be. If you want me to go take a rest, make it eternal." Their hair was probably a nuisance to anyone that Nova passed in the traffic, but Orion hardly cared - they never did, and others were but a nuisance to them. While one might argue that that was made them still very human, Orion would argue it didn't, and instead, it made them quite alien. Who hated humans after all?
      Almost as if Nova said something outrageous, they suddenly started to snicker in amusement. "They won't fuck those. Why would they? My god, have you seen them? There's nothing there. They are just a brain in another jar, there's nothing human about them left. Where would you even stick your dick? Oh, wait, I know! Nowhere, because you probably don't even have one since sex is gross." It wasn't, just a bit ... unprecedented, half the time. Orion had to admit Nova was funny when he was mad - so funny, they wanted to tease him more. "You know why? Because you do everything I want without me even having to ask. You're overzealous and easy to manipulate, and you don't even get it, you bonehead.", they finally insulted him, wrapping their arms around his body from behind and squeezing Nova, almost lovingly; this wasn't, anyone who knew Orion even just a bit knew that they were an asshole and this was just another nice gesture to get what they wanted. "You did, after you missed the target. By my estimations, you just want to look cool in front of Dr. Fowler, and that is based on a 99% estimation. God, you're obsessed with your daddy."
      Looking back, it maybe is like the toy carts you rode when you were a kid. But those toy carts could never go beyond the walls of the lawn. We want to follow the rugged concrete road beyond the wall. As we've grown, we've decided to leave behind the toy cart.
    • Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      Zero wasn't directly spoken to, yet he wanted to share his opinion on the matter with the Doctor.

      >I never had a human body, or a 'normal' life as you would call it, Doctor.<
      >There is no reason for me to choose to be anywhere else but here.<
      >My survival depends on this facility as well.<

      Where would Zero go, what would it do? Even if it was human, it was one of a kind, with nothing in common with any other human except a fleshy brain. Zero did strongly believe that it belonged right here, but opinions can change. Dr. Fowler and Dr. Frisk had a lot of influence on Zero and sometimes the metal construct found it complicated to cater to everyones needs at once.
      Again Zero didn't really understand what Dr. Fowler was trying to say, but it's questions were unending if it wasn't stopped, so Zero evaluated that thinking about all that on itself was the first step, before it would ask any more questions regarding what Dr. Fowler was 'known for'.

      >I don't have a gut.<, Zero answered though, but the analogy wasn't new to it.

      "I know he is...", Dr. Frisk answered with another sigh, "... but sometimes he seems so vulnerable."

      >Yes, Doctor, I want to learn.<
      >I didn't intend to make Dr. Frisk sad however.<

      "I-Im not Zero! Don't worry about me!", she quickly answered. Sometimes he was very good at reading her even though he was mostly metal. It showed that deep down, Zero was human too.

      >According to my data, a child that is not placed into care of either BioForge or Cybernetic Inc. needs a lot of tending to, as well as nourishment from a mother and warmth provided through hugs. Without synthetic skin I can't provide that.<, Zero concluded. Sometimes the Doctor had weird ideas and sometimes those ideas were called 'jokes'.
      >I disagree Doctor, I didn't feel compassion towards the child.<
      >I simply decided that it was not part of the mission.<
      >Do you mourn the people Souls kill?<
      , Zero asked. It didn't understand sadness, or mourning, or the purpose of it. Zero also didn't understand how much of a human it was supposed to resemble.
      >If I am supposed to think for myself, why was I punished after I decided the Mission was complete?<
      Zero didn't feel angry or disappointed because of it, but it struggled to understand the logic behind it.
      >Can you provide examples of cases where death it preferable?<, Zero furthermore asked to enrich its data on the topic.
      >Thank you, Doctor.<

      City Streets

      "Given the fact that you are the one constantly bringing up Dr. Fowler, maybe you want to get laid by him. What? Is he missing on your list?", Nova suggested grumbling. "And what I am saying is, that you make no sense." Nova rushed through the streets, making manouvers an ordinary human, even if enhanced, would probably not attempt, but his reflexes were honed and he saw the littlest of gaps in the traffic and simply avoided all obsticles.
      "Try harder? Even if they gush over the new guy now, I am still their number one and I'll stay on top!" Orios was simply jelous, jelous that after they pleasured whoever scientist, they threw them out like a toy, but Nova was talked about, awed about even and the scientists loved to parade their greatest creation yet around. Nova liked that too, to a degree, as long as he was allowed outside and could continue killing. He didn't even mind who that was, but he preferred Bios, they bled.
      Nova had a suggestion for Orion: "You know, I can kill you right now if you want. I'll do it for free too." If only they'd agree. Of all the Souls why was Orion the one Nova had to deal with today? They always pissed him off, everyone they didn't want something from actually.
      "That's a prototype you genious and all their new skin grafts and synthetic skin fibors go into that lab as well you dumbass.", Nova corrected them. "Besides, there are easier ways to pleasure a human, but such an antiquated model like you wouldn't know that." Most young humans didn't engage in sex anymore, at least not like they used to. There were chips available anywhere, they either pulled you into a full fledged experience, or simply triggered the right spots in your brain. No need to actually touch someone, but if you really wanted to, you could simply share a virtual environment with someone and a huge chunk of metal could do that too. Still they kept going to run their mouth, kept hugging Nova more than necessary to stay on his bike.
      "Only because our goals align, doesn't mean you're manipulating me...", he grumble, but eventually he had enough. He hit the breaks while in full speed, the wheels were screeching on the road as Nova turned the bike to get it to stop in the middle of a crossing.
      "Shut the fuck up!", he yelled, unbothered by the honking and even by a truck that failed to hit the breaks in time and was coming at them, only to be stopped by Novas foot, possibly injuring the driver. "Get off."
    • >Soul-Zero Research Lab

      >It saddens me for you to say that, and yet, you aren't wrong. I'm sorry about that, I truly am, Zero.<, he adressed the machines statement. If he thought about it, yes, Cybernetic really wasn't much better than BioForge; they took the brain of somebody that had a possibly bright future ahead of him and simply did whatever they wanted with it, not intending to ever give him any kind of chance at a normal life. Scientists would argue that he couldn't miss what he never had, but Morris hands were the ones trembling while he fiddled with the console and steeled himself; Zero probably already knew something was off, but Allison did not, which meant he kept his mouth shut and his problems to himself. Seriously, he didn't have to do anything else - after all, there was no chance he'd ever live a human life, now more than ever. Why did he feel compassion for a doomed being? Morris had to admit that this truly was what made one human, it seemed.
      >It's a feeling, not your actual gut. You will understand, don't worry.< If Morris had nothing else to do, he would ask Zero question after question and spend all day by his side, making sure he became who he intended for him to be. Silly him, he didn't have that sort of time. "He's young, Allison. It's fine ... and, Zero, perhaps she's just sad to see you growing up.", he joked, but he knew that humor was often lost on a machine of this magnitude. Was he even able to undertake the gargantuan task that he had agreed to when he was sure that he would be able to tame someone like Zero, and yet, make him a machine that could do all they needed? Morris couldn't say. He didn't know. Something was off, it had to be. >You will receive skin eventually, do you think that would be the only thing stopping you from adequately raising a human child from the ground up?<, was one of his questions. A mother, huh? One could also argue children needed a father, but he had neither, and given how a lot of people grew up, he didn't doubt that Dr. Frisk was just another product of her time - he couldn't judge her on that, they all were different, even if he had to agree that he sometimes felt lonely; almost as if he was the odd one out.
      >Which is a right step toward compassion. And yes, maybe not all of them, but most of them. It's only natural. Besides, who will mourn them if I won't?< Souls X mourned nobody, maybe because they simply didn't care and had grown numb with time, or perhaps because it was easier to distance themselves from something like human emotions than to actually feel them. Whatever the case, perhaps he could teach the brain within Zeros body to be more emphatetic, but honestly, only time could tell. >Because people sometimes act without thinking first. Some researchers are idiots, and those who unjustly inflict pain on you think that it'll solve everything. It does not. Telling you what you did wrong suffices, in my opinion, but then again, just like how you can't make everyone agree with you on something, some opinions also split on my method of handling things.<
      Not to think that others even thought that Dr. Frisk could be more useful elsewhere, not glued to his side. >I'm glad to be of help, Zero.< He smiled. >A scenario in which death would be preferable to what occurs? Immense, excrutiating pain. Sudden death would be more merciful than bleeding out for hours with no chance to survive. Perhaps there aren't as many anymore, but losing both hearing and eyesight would be something that one would consider death preferable to. For me, myself, I couldn't say. Maybe I've simply toughened out.<

      >City Streets

      "Dr. Fowler? No. Not attractive enough, and besides, I heard him and Dr. Frisk have something going on. I don't want to be between two people, I'm better than that.", they answered, knowingly of their own situation. Would Nova bash their head in? Their calculations to that were rising, but as long as their brain was uninjured, it would all be fine - otherwise, maybe they'd just become mincemeat for somebody that was lost in a world that was neither theirs nor anyone elses to harbor. "If that helps you sleep at night, why not tell yourself that? I'm all for it." Nova would never understand that, why, yes, his days in limelight were over and that somebody like Zero would only advance, adapt and grow beyond their greatest feats, even if he was only a few months old at this point. How long until Nova got it into his skull? Orion gave them five years, though, perhaps they wouldn't even make it for that long. Would they even receive any kind of support after this? It was doubtful. Soul-X was already at its limit, used up and quite old - maybe one kept the best one of them around, in some sick way to show off their former achievements.
      "No, sorry. I'd like to die with dignity, not because a brute wants to smash in my head. Besides, you'd ruin your perfect score if I went MIA.", Orion reminded them and it was true. One would see the fault in Nova, tell him that he was nothing if not a stupid bastard for abandoning someone like their mission partner in some ditch and that Orion would most likely be taken apart by Bios or rebels and studied for their uniqueness or whatever it was that those fucks were after. "Genius? Why, I am. And he doesn't need one, you donkey. Why would Zero need that? He's supposed to be a machine, like we are, so, how about you get it into your head? We are being replaced, Nova, and even if he's just a prototype, they'll probably finish it before long. And those who care are most likely just going to fuck whatever they can find anyway. Sometimes its not about the pleasure itself, it's about being lonely." And a hunk of metal like Orion wasn't going to complain about being taken advantage of either, most figured, so they just spent their time picking and choosing until something fit their taste; why else would he look the way he did? Sometimes, listening to others opinion of oneself was quite literally the only thing he could do. "You're just too dense to get it." That Nova was, but eventually, something had to happen. Orion rolled their eyes. "No and no. I can call Dr. Fowler and tell him that you made me get off of the bike you wanted me on and lost me in the city, though. So, what will it be? You're causing a pile up, rusty."
      Looking back, it maybe is like the toy carts you rode when you were a kid. But those toy carts could never go beyond the walls of the lawn. We want to follow the rugged concrete road beyond the wall. As we've grown, we've decided to leave behind the toy cart.
    • Cybernetics; Science Department; Soul-Zero Research Lab

      >What is the benefit of a human life?<
      >It is largely different than it was 500 years ago too.<
      >Studies show that people were happier in the past than now, maybe machines like me prove that humanity can abandon most of its traits?<

      Zero wasn't sure if that was true. It wasn't sure if it itself was something that could be considered good or even adequate. It's strength, dexterity, intelligence and most other traits were superior to humans and Souls, which were human too. Yet Zero also knew that it wasn't perfect and far from finished. According to Dr. Fowler it lacked its human component and Zero also realized that it lacked understanding of many things. All the databases it could access weren't enough to understand the world it was living in. It didn't even understand if it was alive at all.

      >Dr. Fowler, how old would you label my mental age right now?<, Zero suddenly asked. It read studied on behavioral science and on raising children in the past and now. If it was still a child in certain senses of the word, maybe Zero would benefit from certain tactics. Dr. Fowler used one of them by gifting Zero trinkets it didn't understand. They were supposed to motivate it to get another one, but their use eluded Zero.

      >I've read about parents not wanting their children to grow up and leave them.<
      >I suppose you are the closest to parents to me.<
      >I won't leave however. As I stated before, I have no reason to go anywhere else, Dr. Frisk. Don't worry.<

      Dr. Frisk stared at the screen and she quite obviously didn't know what to say to Zeros statements. First of all, parents? She and Dr. Fowler? No way! And second of all... Zero was so sweet and he didn't even realize it. "Thank you Zero. I'm very proud of you." Now she did sound like his mother! Her cheeks turned red as she looked at Dr. Fowlers back whos eyes were glued to the screen Zero communicated through.

      >No. Humans are complex and I don't understand them.<
      >If I am not certain of my own existence, how would I raise another?<
      , Zero answered and it also was sure that the synthetic skin wasn't exactly what a child needed. Zero had a face and a neck and hair under its metal chassis, but it would never have a human body, at least Zero didn't think it would.
      >I also lack data to correctly execute a hug.<

      >Are you saying not taking lives unnecessarily is compassionate?<, Zero wanted to have clarified. For it is was probably more energy efficient, but maybe it also actually felt something. it didn't know.

      >Dr. Fowler, is it okay if I lie?<, it suddenly asked upon realizing that it could have faked the simulation results. Zero knew how to stop the pain, if it simply killed the child, but it didn't, because it's calculation and maybe it's 'gut feeling' told Zero differently. However, it could have complied just to make it stop and still acted differently in the future. It did want to understand, but maybe in this case Zero had been right all along?

      >So no matter what happens to you Doctor, you want to survive?<

      City Streets

      Nova had enough of listening to Orion and their stupid antics. They acted to smug and all knowing but in truth they were as clueless as the rest of them. After all this time nagging at Nova they haven't even figured out that he'd never be caught doing something 'wrong'. If Nova were to try and attempt Orion right now, there would be no single trace of evidence, either because Nova himself got rid of the evidence, or Cybernetics didn't want to think about all of it too hard. Even now his feed was manipulated and Orions was too, nobody would ever know he stopped in the middle of the road and if he needed to, he'd kill all eye witnesses too. Not even Orion knew the extent of his psychopathy and skill.
      "Then be lonely on your own. Now. Get. Off.", Nova told them again, still sitting in the middle of the road. He didn't care about anyone else, he didn't care if he caused a scene or if someone got hurt, because he had to fling that idiot of a Soul off of him. "Sure, call Dr. Fowler and tell him that a Soul X can't even find their way home on their own.", Nova dared Orion. This was but an empty threat and Dr. Fowler had better things to do than keep a direct line to all the Souls. If Orion wanted to embarrass themselves and give the scientists a reason to shut them off or pick their brains for faulty parts, Nova wouldn't stop them. And if Orion got damaged beyond repair by an unsuspected Bio attack, well that wasn't really on Nova and he knew how to make it look like that was exactly what happened too. Mostly he didn't want to get into more trouble than necessary and if he got to kill a Bio or two each week, he was content, but oh boy was Orion tempting him right now.
      "If you don't get off in the next five seconds, I'll make you."