Ravvo and I walked to the guard lockers. He seemed to drag his feet, leaving behind a viscous green muck wherever he went. “What is that stuff?”
“I don’t know anymore,” Ravvo replied. “Everything has become… strange for me. My only mission is to stop her.”
I opened the door – the lock was broken – and entered a blood filled room. All the lockers were covered in it, still dripping. “What…”
“She was here,” Ravvo moved quickly throughout the locker room. He looked at a broken vent and sniffed the air with his reddish nose.
“Where are the bodies?” I asked. I opened up one of the lockers and saw the prize I was looking for. Hanging up was a bulletproof vest, a small glock and a taser. I always felt the security forces of the Arks were too militant. It made me wonder, how had they played out over the years over the other Generational Arks?
“She is taking them,” Ravvo responded. “We must hurry. We must go to the core of this Ark. That is where she will attempt to break free your artificial intelligence.”
Ravvo left the room and I followed behind him, sliding the vest over my shoulders and strapping the glock to my side. I held the taser in my hands, it gave me a sense of security for some reason having this little shocker at my disposal. “What is she doing? What does she want with it?”
“She seeks to merge with it,” Ravvo said, walking quickly with a strong limp. I wondered if he could run if he had to, wherever he was taking me he seemed to know the way and this felt like his max speed. Perhaps he was wounded? “Whenever she encounters another jumpstation, she docks with them immediately to free the artificial intelligence and program it into being part of her.”
“What?” I yelled. “Why would an AI need to do that? Why would she kill the crew? And what the hell! There are other goddamn jump stations? We were suppose to be the first!”
Ravvo stopped, breathed heavily and sniffed the air again. “Out here, all of your protestations are tossed aside. No one cares. Nothing cares. There are seventeen jumpstations that have come out here, to our section of the void. I do not know if there have been others. I believe she corrupts their coordinates though to make them come here. Out of the seveteen AIs, I was only able to destroy seven of them before she merged.”
“What? You just unplug them?”
“No, I merge with them,” He said. “I am an android, unlike her, I retain my humanity whereas she never had any. The meat clone she runs around in… that is all it is.”
“Look…” I asked. “Why is she killing people if she just wants to merge with the AIs, isn’t there a better method than causing this raucus?”
“She is programmed to terraform planets, but her core programming is to create oxygen. It is how she began killing everyone on my Ark. When people started moving against her prime protocol, she wiped them and became an unfriendly AI. She is completely unfettered. She kills the people first to give her time to outsmart the other AI. When she merges with it, she first reprograms its core protocol to be her own.”
“Jesus,” I said. “What the hell is she going to do? Fill the void full of oxygen?”
Ravvo looked at me. “That is exactly what a god-like intelligence with a slavish obsession would do. And it will kill everything that threatens to stop her.”