Thunderbird: Chapter Thirteen

Starting File Sequence…  Thunderbirds
Loading Digital Data…    Chapter Thirteen
Initializing Play Back…  AVI
Galaxy:   Milky Way Galaxy
Cluster: Far Rim
System:   Dholen
Location: Gotha
Date:     2186 CE

Tasi sat on the bridge in front of one of the computers. Her purple colored drone hovered beside her as she searched through the data they obtained. Sitting in the pilot seat was Kritt. Even though they sat in orbit around the dwarf planet Gotha, Kritt sat reclined back in the chair instead of sleeping down in the Crew Quarters. Tasi stared at the vorcha for a long period of time then glanced over at the screen beside her.

AVI stood in the AI Core room, at least her body was. Her body stood perfectly still but AVi’s in reality, AVI’s mind and body was the whole ship. The ships cameras were her eyes, the ships sensors were her senses, and the ships hull itself was her skin. It felt strange. Tasi knew that it was the same ship, but now she felt like she was intruding.

“Kritt,” Tasi said. She waited a moment, “Hey, Kritt.”

Kritt jolted awake, “Wha? I’m up! Where we goin’?”

“Nowhere. Vicia is still out with Yatka, Scylla and the geth on the planet’s surface. Apparently, there are some valuable resources on the planet according to the geth.”

Kritt groaned, “Den why the hell’d you wake me up?”

“I have a question,” Tasi started but Kritt interrupted her.

“You wanna know ‘bout me’n’AVI,” he stated. Then muttered under his breath, “Figures. Well, let’s just say that Cerberus has a way of pissin’ people off. We vorcha don’t live very long but we have a knack for adapting to our environments. Cerberus wanted to experiment on vorcha in order to make humans more adaptable. Apparently, they were usin’ an AI they created to help wid the testin’. Me being smarter than you’re average vorcha, I figured she was my ticket out of there, treated her nice, made friendly conversation.

“Long story short, I broke out ‘n’ she guided me around the agents and to ‘er blue box. She seized control of one of the mechs and hauled her blue box core to the stations hanger. We hijacked a ship and piloted the hell outta there. Plugged her into the old VI station in the back and went station hopping. That’s our history.”

“Do you trust her?” Tasi asked.

Kritt laughed, “A’course I trust ‘er. Heck o’a lot more than that geth anyway.” Kritt looked at Tasi and paused, “You don’t need to worry ‘bout her. She’s good people.”

The ships intercoms came to life, “I appreciate the complement, Kritt.”

“Shut up,” Kritt muttered.

The drone chimed and Tasi looked down at the computer. She typed on the keyboard and looked through the data.

“It looks like all the reports and data were being sent to a single location. They did a great job hiding it but they cant get passed Tasi’Vanya nar Nedas. Several reports and shipping records mentioned a facility in the Haskins System.”

Kritt rolled his eyes, “Another Cerberus Facility? Great…”

“This could be the one! The Illusive Man could be there,” Tasi smiled from underneath her helmet, “How long do you think it would take to get to the Haskins system?”

Kritt shrugged, “18 hours?”

Tasi stood and her drone disappeared as she turned aft toward the engineering room, “I’ll go inspect the drive core so we can go as soon as Vicia comes back.”

“Whatever,” Kritt reclined.

Tasi went down the lift and entered the engineering room. The gentle hum of the drive core resonated throughout the room. As Tasi stood at one of the consoles conducting a stress test, the door opened. AVI walked into the room.

“May I be of assistance?” AVI stood with her hands clasped behind her.

Tasi paused what she was doing momentarily. After a moment, she motioned to the console across from her, “Conducting a maintenance check. I’ll grab this side if you take the other.”

AVI went to stand in front of the cousle and started typing manually on the keys. As the two worked Tasi spoke up.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to do this since you are part of the ship? Why use your mobile body?” Tasi asked.

AVI paused before she answered, “I have experienced the confinement, freedom and restrictions of this platform. Although I primarily exist within the ship, I find that this mobile unit has its advantages. Kritt especially approaches this physical representation 89% of the time, even though he knew of my true status of being available at any point throughout the she ship. I think it makes him happy.”

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