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New Horizons Pt. 2

Posted on Sun Aug 30th, 2020 @ 1:48pm by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Biynah

Mission: Mission 0: Everybody Has A Story
Location: USS Vindex - Gamma Quadrant
Timeline: 2385


=/\="Who are we dealing with Ensign?"=/\=

"It... has the appearance of a child, but it said it is a machine. Requesting a security team to retrieve it."

"I'm not a child," Biynah said with a hint of defiance.

A sigh came over the commlink. =/\="Bag and tag."

"Very well." Doqqu snarled with delight. He removed a microdot tracker from a pouch on his belt and flung it at Biynah. As soon as it attached, transporter energies surrounded her and whisked her away.

Now the conclusion...

When Biynah materialized, she appeared in a small, square room with walls on three sides. She made an attempt to run, but ran up against an invisible barrier.

"OWW!" she cried out. Was... was that what pain felt like?

"Mind the forcefield," said someone in the same gold uniform as the Klingon. He stood behind a computer console on the other side of the barrier. The forcefield.

"Where am I?" Biynah asked. "Are you going to bring me harm?"

The man arched his eyebrow - a gesture of surprise? Or perhaps disbelief. "No. You will not be harmed so long as you don't touch the forcefield. That's how it works in the Brig."

Biynah cocked her head as she processed. "Brig?"

"Detention center," the brig officer said. "If you really are a child, I imagine you will become quite familiar with them."

"I'm not a child," Biynah said, her voice beginning to bristle. Will she have to inform every lifeform she encounters?

The brig officer shrugged. "Fair enough," he said before resuming his work on the console.

"I didn't mean to cause any trouble. I'm sorry!" Biynah sat down and folded her hands together penitently. "Please don't tell Father!"

"The first officer already knows and is en route," the brig officer said without looking up. Clearly he had strong feelings on the matter that he was stifling through busywork.

In a moment, Akiva walked into the detention center and looked around. He zeroed in on the cell which held Biynah. "What in the world were you thinking?" he asked. "I told you to stay in my quarters. How did you end up in Main Engineering?"

Biynah processed an answer that resolved her directives. "I went looking for you," she said. "Yael said you were in Main Engineering, so I asked her to take me there."

"Yael?" Akiva furrowed his brow. "And just who is that?"

"She is the ship computer," Biynah said. "She said she didn't have a name, so I gave her one."

"Oh my..." Akiva put his hand against his head. Giving a computer a nominal designation was harmless enough, he knew that. But he wondered if everyone else did. He peeked a cautious glance at the brig officer whose jaw was set just a little too tightly for the data he was supposedly reviewing. "All right, so here's what's going to happen. I am going to assign you a chaperone for when I am on duty. They will... keep you out of trouble."

"Am I in trouble?" Biynah asked.

"Yes!" Akiva blurted out. "The brig is trouble!"

"And when I am in trouble you will raise your voice?" Biynah blinked as she continued to process.

The honesty of the inquiry gave Akiva pause. "Sometimes," he said, grasping the back of his neck. He really was not prepared for this. "But only because I care about you and want you to be safe."

Another Security officer walked into the detention center, but this one was a woman.

"This is Lieutenant Zuzan," Akiva said. "You are to obey her lawful orders until I retrieve you at the end of my shift. Do you understand?"

Biynah nodded at Akiva, Akiva nodded at the brig officer, and the forcefield dropped. Running to Akiva, Biynah hugged him around his waist. "Thank you, Father!"

After Akiva left, Biynah turned to her Security chaperone. "I wouldn't mind seeing more of the ship," Biynah said coyly. She desperately wanted to explore. "I possess schematic knowledge of the ship from my... preincarnation. The Vindex is a Sovereign class vessel with 29 decks and was constructed in the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards before its recent destruction. Without sensory perceptions and the neural network to process them," she said, holding her hands in front of her, then taking in the corridor around her, "I had no context for what any of that means outside of its relative value to other data." She scrunched her face. "You are aware of molecules, atoms, quarks? Yet they mean nothing to you other than their stated chemical value. If you were to go subatomic, the universe would suddenly become much bigger." She smiled at the lieutenant. "It would be wonderful to add experiential context to the data within my positronic net."

With a sigh, the two of them wandered off in search of less restricted environments for Biynah to observe.

By the time Akiva arrived back at his quarters, he was thoroughly vexed. It was embarrassing how people now looked at him. The rogue synth attack on Mars was fresh in everyone's ears, and more than one whisper of him being a mad scientist had found its way back to him. Still, no matter what the future would hold, Akiva did not blame his beautiful creation... his daughter, as he'd named her... for the actions of others.

After he dismissed the lieutenant, Akiva folded his arms and stared at Biynah.

"Am I still in trouble?" she asked.

"Did you learn your lesson?" he countered.

"I should do what you say," Biynah said with a measured voice. It was perhaps the safest thing to say.

Akiva laughed, wondering just how much subtext lied behind those silicon eyes. "I am not happy with what you did," Akiva said, "but I am very proud."

"I'm not sure I understand pride," Biynah said. "It seems very complex and subjective."

"I'm not sure I understand it either." Akiva let out another chuckle. "It makes us do irrational things, much as love does." He looked around his quarters. "How did you get through the locked door?"

Biynah glanced at Akiva sheepishly. "Authorization: Ben-Avram-Omega-1-0," she said in his voice.

"I ... I don't know what I expected," Akiva said, nearly flabbergasted. "You read through all the reading material I left for you and then some. And then... you went in search of more. You know, I'm not even angry. I should have prepared better. Although I will have to look into the potential gap in security..."

"Is this why synthetic lifeforms are feared now?" Biynah asked.

Akiva thought long and hard before answering. "We fear what we don't understand and what we can't control," he said at length. "That is why I gave you the directives to learn and understand and to love me as I love you. Love does not seek to control, but to prosper. It is why I will never let anyone treat you like a machine, and why I must teach you not to behave as one."

They shared another hug, perhaps the first real and prolonged embrace of their relationship.


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