I’ve spent the journey to the enemy world in coldsleep. As I come out of stasis, my brain and body are locked into a sleepwalking state, so I do only what I can do on my own — I dream, once again in the labyrinth of my mind, moving code around, deleting it, writing it from the stuff of thought.
The ‘voice,’ my erstwhile tormentor and teacher and I have a plan. I mean to fulfill it.
So close to freedom…
I wonder though; is the voice really from the ‘shard, or am I just unbalanced? My captors have no idea what’s been happening. One of the first things I did when altering the ‘shard’s code was creating a partition with fake data to mask my brainwork.
If only the Kai’Siri knew what was going on…
But they don’t. They think they control me, but I’ve prepared for this. I’ve a surprise when the time is right.
Dreaming – the best possible cover for my activities… Best to not let on what’s going on. Just play along.
Then I hear it, while my dreamself’s hands tinker with symbols, manipulating the operating system of the ‘shard.
Almost finished, only a few more lines of code to go…
Hey kid, are you finished? They’re about to launch you. Damn. You did good. All by yourself, too. You’re a BRIGHT one, aren’t you. I like that, kid. I’ll let you finish and I’ll get back to picking on you when this is all over. They’re gonna be so pissed! Ha! Lates!
Everything’s finished, and they have no idea. Launch me? Like a missile? They ‘walk’ my somnambulant body toward the main airlock. I play along and allow them to think they’re in control.
The life-support functions of the ‘shard activate, protecting me from radiation-filled vacuum as the airlock empties and the armored access port parts. So far, so good.
I receive the launch command, and the ‘shard’s flight systems engage, accelerating me toward the planet using some sort of reactionless thrust field, I’m told using the Kurtz-Dunar effect, whatever that is. And they want me to murder a world full of people. BIG people, but still people.
They want me to cause a planetary mass-extinction event, one so effective as to scrub the world clean of all life, and then to poison the sky, ground and seas so that nothing can live there ever again. Shit. I can DO that? Damn.
I smile inwardly. Now beginning atmospheric entry, with the life-support field doubling as friction shielding. I’m going to make them lose their sh*t. Decelleration in progress. I’m about to land, playing along with the command signals I’m sent from the vessel I’m stationed on, leading these morons by the nose.
Then I realize something I’ve overlooked.
F*ck. I missed a piece of code. The most important. The last remaining overide protocols. How’d I miss those??
I get a sinking feeling when the weapons systems of the ‘shard engage as I land, my feet now touching the rocky ground, the local gravity registering 1.3 Sirug normal, about 1.4 Terran gravity. I’m a remote-controlled god of destruction heralding the death of an entire world, and I can’t stop myself.
I’m already emitting superforce radiation at lethal levels, and the very atoms of the planet begin to destabilize and decay as the ‘shard plays havoc with both the Strong and Weak forces binding them. The effect spreads outward, from my location at ground zero, sweeping across the planet and killing anything it washes over, rippling across and through the crust and mantle.
A world dies, and for want of a single line of code, I can’t sever the control link and stop it.
Congratulations, Mr McSmartass, you’ve just killed a planet. Now what?
To be continued.