An Inheritance of Stars

Annd it all goes pear-shaped

Hulik fumed silently. All that clever work, ingenious really, to end up being shat upon by her fellow crew. Well, only one of them, but still…and the only one that would possibly be able to appreciate her brilliance. Six different destruct mechanisms of varying degrees of sophistication, layered together, all subverted to her command. Damn good thing too, otherwise certain unappreciative people would be rapidly cooling atoms spreading through space. The plasma generator override was a particularly tricky bit of business that bore further pondering, since actual removal of the awesomely kludged circuit could set the thing off, but with the rat in place, it was rendered as harmless as it was going to get. The destruct slaved to the heartbeat of the lead scientist hadn’t been triggered yet, meaning that either the lead scientist was still living, or the same thing that prevented the ship from blowing when the virus escaped also prevented that one from going off. What with the living encryption on the ship’s data, further investigation was…impaired.

So…from wheedling/stealing information from an unsuspecting laboratory vessel, to a potential rescue/salvage mission. There doesn’t look to be enough room on the Minnow to fit all the sane, uninfected survivors that have been found so far, she mused. There are also still Things on board…Things that may or may not want to eat us, may or may not be sane, and can survive lack of oxygen and pressure. We also have not yet found the information we were originally looking for.

And let us not forget the ship. The lovely, large, wonderfully functional and functionally abandoned ship, with a big ugly hole in its side. And a creeping infection in its brain. Theoretically, the ship could count as salvage, but… Murphy the dead man seemed to have written himself into the ship somehow, and lost a few bits in the doing so. Poor guy, really. It would be a shame to have to terminate him along with the ship, but dangerously crazy people/AIs who happen to have control of a functional warship should probably not be allowed to run about loose. She prudently refused to consider her own sanity, never mind the rest of her crewmates. Hulik luxuriated in a daydream of partnering with a truly intelligent starship for a few moments, then returned to more immediate issues. .How dangerously crazy was he, and could he be worked with? At least long enough to help get the survivors back to a place of relative safety? Could the ship even be cleaned out enough to be safe to bring back to anyplace resemblling civilization? If anything was still living in the depressurized areas, it COULD theoretically travel from ship to ship…and move onto a fully inhabited station…and wouldn’t that be potential fun and games. Of course, it could be a friendly, helpful being that is immune to oxygen deprivation and vacuum – but the universe is a malign place and besides, we just tried to kill it. With extreme prejudice.

All of which was up for discussion after some food and rest.



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