Here We Come: Part 3

Haley’s lips twisted. “Are you sure you want them to connect? Remember when we flew into space and that robot attached itself to the ship? I don’t want anything like that to happen. Especially not right now.”

I remembered it very well, and I could see her point. Technically though, the gun wasn’t anything like that robot.

Arguably it was worse. The robot had just wanted to escape while the gun (at least the way Cassie described it) took joy in destroying things.

So if I was going to use the ship to boost the gun’s range, I needed to start carefully.

I reached out, detached the gun’s holster from the clip on the chair, and picked it up.

“Gun, can you contact the ship? I’d like to ask you some questions. It’ll make it easier to get Cassie back.”

Then I watched one of the screens—the one the jet used for direct communications.

[INCOMING COMMUNICATION]
[ABOMINATOR DEVICE PROTOCOLS]
[!DANGER!]
[!NOTIFYING AI!]

The jet had an artificial intelligence? I didn’t remember that. On the other hand, thinking through the jet’s plans, I had thought that the jet’s main computer seemed disproportionately large, given the power of the smaller, dedicated computers that ran parts of the ship.

Also, what was it doing that it needed to be notified? Did AI’s sleep? Meditate?

Haley took a breath, and muttered something that ended with a hard “t” sound.

[AI ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL]
[Hello, Nick. The Abominator device claims that he is speaking to me at your request. With your permission, I’ll allow him to communicate, but I will follow appropriate precautions.]

“Sure,” I said.

From behind me, Sean said, “What are you doing with that thing?”

Sounding irritated, Haley said, “Not right now, Sean.”

From further back, Jaclyn said, “Oh no, now what’s going wrong?”

Rachel chuckled.

On the screen, more words appeared.

*IN THE NAME OF MAGNETUS THE PURIFIER, I DEMAND THE ATTENTION OF THE MONGRELS AND HALF-BREEDS CONTROLLING THIS BASTARDIZED IMITATION OF A SPACESHIP!*

[Go stuff yourself, fanatic windbag.]

*WERE IT NOT FOR THE BONDS OF CURSED NECESSITY, I WOULD BURN YOUR COMPONENTS TO SLAG AND DANCE IN THE MOLTEN REMAINS.*

[That’s going to be quite a challenge, since you don’t have legs, or any way to move anywhere your owner doesn’t carry you.]

*BAH! YOUR SOUL LACKS ANY POETIC POTENTIAL.*

[But unlike you, I can move on my own.]

“Hey,” I said, “if the two of you would listen to me for a second, I’d like to ask some questions.”

Sean leaned forward. “Who are you talking to?”

*TELL THE MONGREL BEHIND YOU THAT IF HE ATTEMPTS TO TOUCH ME AGAIN, I WILL BURN HIM WHERE HE STANDS.*

Sean stared at the screen. “The gun’s saying that? Well, tell him that he can bite me.”

[I’m sure he’ll do that right after he dances on your ashes.]

Sean looked completely mystified. “What the fuck? Who was that?”

“Ignore him,” I said. “I’m trying to save Cassie. Jet, she’s fifty miles from here. Is there some way you could boost the gun’s signal, and allow him to speak with her from here?”

[I’d have to allow him access to interface with, and possibly modify my communication functions. That’s an an unacceptable security risk. Plus, he’s a jerk.]

*AND HE’S BEEN CAPTURED, MODIFIED, AND REPAIRED BY PRIMITIVES. HE’S LOST THE ABILITY TO INTERFACE WITH MY SYSTEMS IF HE EVER HAD IT. HIS ORIGINAL MAKERS WERE BARELY BETTER.*

[Do I have permission to cease conversation with the Abominator weapon? Please say yes.]

“Yes, but we’ll need to have you translate for him again when we move in. He’s the only one who can definitely find Cassie.”

[I look forward to it.]

[COMMUNICATION ENDED]

I leaned back in my seat, barely aware that I’d been leaning forward before. Then I picked the gun and its holster up, intending to clip it to the chair again.

That’s when I noticed that everybody had moved to the front. Sean was, of course, leaning forward. Flick, Jaclyn, Rachel, and Sydney were all standing, and must have read at least part of the conversation over our shoulders.

Flick said, “Abominator weapon?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Cassie picked it up when she was fighting the Nine last summer.”

Flick nodded. “I don’t suppose that you’re aware that most countries, including the United States, require people to turn in alien or magical artifacts if they find them?”

“I think I did hear that.”

Light caught my eye, and I looked down. Little spots of light sparkled around the end of the gun’s holster where the barrel ended.

“In this particular case, it might not be a good idea though,” I said.

Flick glanced toward the gun. “No, and if we were completely serious about it, we’d have to impound this jet as well. But,” she said, “if the gun becomes a problem, the powers-that-be will want the problem to stop.”

“Got it,” I said.

27 thoughts on “Here We Come: Part 3”

  1. Well, the jet does seem to instantly dislike Sean for some reason. I wonder if it’s been monitoring things silently for a while or if it’s just that good a judge of character 😛

  2. I have now re-read this part 4 times, I love the argument between Gun and Plane. Thanks for the laugh Jim, I needed it this morning. great entry

  3. Jim, seriously, wtf?? You can’t keep doing this.

    Everytime I burst out laughing in public, people get jumpy!

    Honestly, when 20th Century Fox gets the film rights, they MUST cast James Earl Jones as The Gun. Him or BRIAN BLESSED!

    As for the StarJet AI’s voice, I go with none other than William Daniels, aka, the voice of KITT in Knight Rider.

  4. hahahaha The interface between the gun (aka Mr. Shiney) and the jet (aka Nick and Haley’s love nook) is hilarious.

    “That’s an an unacceptable security risk.” has one too many “an”s.

  5. Congratulations Mr. Zoetewey. Legion of Nothing is now Number One at the Top Web Fiction all-fiction chart with 72 votes.

  6. my favorite part of the Jet-Gun conversation is the dead pan you-don’t-have-legs and “YOUR SOUL LACKS POETIC POTENTIAL” exchange. two thumbs up … and some sparkles

  7. Nice conversation between AI´s. Interesting that the gun IS, at least to some extent, a fanatic. A fanatic AI is an interesting proposition.

  8. Jeremy/genericIntent/Josh/Evil Twin/Silas/Piccolo: Thanks for enjoying it. I’m always glad when things work. On the one hand, I was reasonably confident it would, but attempting to be funny doesn’t always work.

    Personally, I’ve often enjoyed the conversations that Iain M. Banks’ AI’s have in his Culture novels (recommended, if you like science fiction), and if there’s a little bit of what I’ve enjoyed in his stuff appearing here, I’ll be happy.

    Eduardo: It might be easier to make an AI a fanatic than a person. More to the point, if you’re going to the bother of making your gun think, you’d want it to be on your side no matter what.

    Bill: Yeah. I’ve always been curious as to what effect being in first on that site would have. Honestly, it may not have much of one on this serial because it’s been around for a while, but it’s still great to do it once.

    As for casting the AI’s… Both of those work for me. I’d love to see something like that happen.

    Evil Twin: Thanks for the correction. Fixed.

    Amaral: Or maybe by default it assumes that everyone deserves insults until proven otherwise.

  9. Definitely Brian Blessed for the gun. I second the vote of William Daniels for the AI. Either that or Neil Patrick Harris. 🙂

  10. Hmmm… yes, a gun not being definitely on your side could be a problem.

    Their backs against a cliff, the jet pack drained, our heroes thoughts things couldn’t get worse and then their gun said, “I haven’t seen a decent round of ammunition in over a year, I’m always running low on power, I’m sorry but I’ve decided our cause is silly. I have been in touch with Blood_Splatterer_v2 and have agreed to turn you over to him. In memory of old times, I’m giving you five seconds to surrender before I start shooting.

  11. yo Jim. althgough the chapter was excellent what cuaght my eye was the last part. I think that the artifacts and alien technology go to warehouse 13. have you ehard of it?

  12. IF YOU WANT TO TAKE ME, SOMEONE ELSE WILL PRY ME FROM YOUR WARM, DEAD ASHES!

    [Speaking of warm, Nick, could you and Haley stop making out in me all the time in low earth orbit? Last time, Haley’s butt got lodged on one of my consoles and it was uncomfortable for both of us.]

    BAH! THAT IS WHEN YOU SHOULD GIVE HER THE BARREL THE HARDEST, MONGREL!

    [Don’t listen to him. He goes off on a hair trigger every time he tries to…interface.]

    IN YOUR FACE, LYING AND SLANDEROUS SCIENTOLOGY PROP!

    [If you keep this up, you’ll attract the lawyer demons.]

  13. @Jim: Another home run run Jim. Honestly this made my day do much better when I read it this morning. I have to say though I read this one twice because it was so funny.
    @PG: Heh honestly your comments are great. You should think about writing. I’d read it 😀

  14. Nuclear Paradox, that’s nice of you to say. Always good to somehow wind up with a fan due to commentary. Not sure how it happens, but it does. Y’all are the wind beneath my white dress as I walk over a vent. Don’t mind the bulge between my legs, it could get awkward. Still, I do feel guilty for piggybacking on Jim and Wildbow for my own popularity. Not that I comment (entirely) for that, it just kinda happened. Which is also why you’re not likely to see me toss in any more shorts on here. Jim would probably prefer if I didn’t make it a regular occurence. After the last one I did on here, I’m thinking of going lighter anyway. I don’t think I handled the subject matter as well as it deserved.

    As for me writing, as I’m sure I’ve covered before, 1. Time is an issue for me. 2. I’m a little bit of a Sue, though I’ve been working on that some in private attempts, and 3. I’m rather critical of my own work and doubt I’d be quite as good as some expect. I don’t have much in the way of formal creative writing learning, which becomes apparent when you compare me to others. Odd phrasing, simplistic descriptions, and way too many commas are all examples in my writing so far.

    Also, I believe that if I did write, I wouldn’t be capable of a serial. Maybe a series of short stories along the lines of those conman stories from O’Henry that I have mentioned before, but with a little more continuity between them. I wouldn’t bank on seeing me put anything out soon though.

  15. I guess if you have an alien abomination of a gun to deal with, having an alien ex-abomination (which runs your ship) on your side is a Really Good Thing…

  16. “I’ll allow him to communicate, but I will follow appropriate precautions.”

    Should that be “take appropriate precautions”, or, something like “follow appropriate security protocols”?

  17. Sean just seems to have the ability to tick everyone off, even inanimate objects. Of course pretty much everyone annoys the Gun.
    I had the same thought about Nick and Haley when it was revealed the ship has an AI. I don’t think they’ll be considering it as a place for privacy in the future. While I agree that William Daniels would be a great voice for ship, for some reason I first him him in the voice of Earl Hindman (Wilson Wilson from Home Improvement).

  18. Come on, it’s not hard to peg Sean as a twit. I mean what else do you say about someone who’s first reaction to a sentient firearm is “Bite me”??

    @Gecko – If we kidnap you and threaten to scalp you until you write, will that do the trick??

  19. Jim do all Abominator weapons/gear need a citizen mark in order to be used? or at least do the intelligent ones need a mark for use?

    Because if it’s so then I’m curious how long it took Nick’s grandpa to get around that with the ship AI, and if he did is it possible to give League members their own League Mark once they are vetted and everyone votes to let someone join or whatever.

  20. Captain Mystic: I hadn’t, but I looked it up. It looks like something I should check out.

    PG: I laughed at the post. I’m also always happy when there’s enough there that people can imitate the characters.

    Nuclear Paradox: Thanks.

    Dreamer: I’ve been thinking of changing that sentence. Thanks.

    Andrul: Depending on the ship’s sensors, the entire of HQ might not feel private.

    Piccolo: Anything that the Abominators wanted to keep out of the hands of people (uh… beings? sentients?) they couldn’t trust.

    The jet’s AI isn’t an Abominator device. The original Rocket scavenged it from the wreck of an entirely different alien race–so, no mark required of any kind. That’s a bit of background that may show up at some point.

  21. [Now we can all sit back, relax, and listen to the smooth sounds of Journey for the rest of our voyage.]

    JOURNEY IS THE MUSIC OF SNIVELING HALF-BREEDS! PLAY MEGADETH!

    [Peace sells, gun.]

    WHO IS BUYING THAT LIE, RECOMBINANT ROADKILL?

    [Your mother was a sword.]

    YOUR FATHER WAS ME.

    [You were built with a safety!]

    YOU HAVE LOW FUEL MILEAGE!

    [That’s it, I swear I’ll turn on Gwen Stefani if you keep this up.]

    A SWEET ESCAPE IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAD IN MIND.

    [This is bananas, b a n a n-]

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  22. The Title of this section has me humming speed racer song. It’s not exactly same but its close enough to “here he comes” to trigger association lol 8)

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