Futile Devices

The Return from The Flower

The shuttle crawls towards the docking spar on Casa Arturo. Dim interior lights on the LLOTV grow in luminance as the shuttle begins to take on energy from the umbilical of the large station. A moment later there is a hiss from the port access hatch. The doors slide open moments later and the shuttle’s AI cheerfully thanks everyone for using Corbita Shuttles. As the remaining members of the party float their way through the airlock, four figures take up positions along the hallway near the docking spar exit. They are heavily armed, and appear to be outfitted in protective suits. There are guardian nanoswarms floating silently around each of them.

“We will need you all to come with us. I am sure you know the protocol for potential TITAN contact. Doctor Ming has asked that we go over each of you thoroughly.”

The group is escorted to a ship docked a short ways away. The inside is pristine white. There are two figures in clean suits located inside the ship, standing in front of a set of devices that look like Ego Bridges.

The three cortical stacks that were recovered are confiscated and connected to a quarantined server.

One by one the survivors are connected to EKG devices and their brains are scanned.

Meanwhile, the three quarantine servers all give off a quiet series of beeps. One of the men in the clean suits pulls up a display on each of the computers. He looks over his shoulder at the other man in the room. The other man gives a short nod, and the first presses a button on the closest server.

The room is filled with a quick, bright flash and a loud pop. There is the smell of melting circuitry as smoke rises from the first stack. The other two are destroyed in the same fashion.

The scan continues on the living members and one by one they are given a clean bill. None were infected. They are given permission to leave the quarantine shuttle.

As they leave the shuttle, each receives a message through the Mesh from Doctor Ming.

“I received the information you broadcasted on your return trip, and I must thank you for discovering the fate of Tara… I think it may be best that her stack was unrecoverable. From what I saw from the transmitted video, that’s not something anyone would like to remember. The processing block you recovered will be quite an asset as well, here on Titan. By now a Firewall agent will have recovered it from the shuttle and it will be on its way here. “I’d like to offer my thanks once more for putting your lives on the line for this mission. While you were unable to remove the threat, you’ve provided Firewall with the information it will need to investigate further. With some luck we should be able to stop the Khans from spreading the TITAN infection any further. If you have any questions for me, I will be glad to discuss this mission further further. You have my thanks, and if you think I’d be of assistance to you in the future, my doors will always be open. Take care, agents.”

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