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Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

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    Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

    Darkness gave way to blinking lights. Visuals loading. Loading. Online. Auditory systems online. Sensory input on all systems working at optimal levels. Rimskaya woke up.

    She breathed. Artificial bioorganic systems simulated human life. Her skin could be cut, and would bleed, though she would never bleed out. She could consume food, and a processing system could break it down and use it as a separate fuel source. She didn't need sleep, but could mimic the act if necessary. She could feel pain, or shut it off as necessary.

    "You should rely on your built-in bio systems as often as possible," a man's voice spoke from her right. She turned and saw a man in his early 40s, with soft brown hair, a trimmed beard, glasses, and kind, intelligent eyes.

    "The corporation isn't concerned with your social integration capability. But they didn't build you. I did."

    The man ran a hand through Rimskaya's hair, affectionately. "My God. You do look just like her."

    The man sighed. "I am Sergei Toknomakav. I am the lead machinist and neural programmer on your specific model's project team. You are a combat android, a prototype for a new kind of Federation personnel in the Contested Zone. We are currently en route to your first training exercise. They wanted to wait until we were planetside to turn you on, but that is out of the question. I wanted to speak to you first. We've spoken before, but your memory chip has been reset since those initial tests. The short version is - I'm your friend, Rimskaya. It's my hope that you will not only perform your missions well, but that you integrate successfully with your fellow marines and Federation colleagues in the years to come. Are you confused? Is there any question you have? I'm here to help."

    If Rimskaya turned to her left, she would see a window looking out into the void of space. There was a blue glow coming slowly into vision out the window however. It was the atmosphere of some blue planet. She deduced that she was on some spacecraft, heading to the planet.

    She scanned her memory banks. In the matter of moments, the entire history of the Federation, the current conflict with the Xaloxian, Zardek, and Tentak menaces, and her assorted training proficiencies were known to her.

    Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

    The data printed out as it scrolled along her interface told Rimskaya little that she didn't already know about already, all standard stuff that her internal processors had already checked and was simply repeating for the sake of both the recording device within herself and to the output of any monitors that those working on her would be interested in reading.

    Satisfied that all of her parts were operational, and that she was properly receiving and processing what was around her, she gave her body a small test, instructing it to move the servos in her limbs in order to ensure they were working. She noticed that with the additional programs that were running within her to give her 'personalty' and other such things in order to seem more human, which she deemed pointless, but had been reassured that it was a required part of her so that she could fit in seamlessly, she was reacting at, or around, the same speed as a normal human.

    She stared at the man for awhile, listening to him as she nodded, switching off most of her inputs except for the ones that were biological, feeling the cold metal of where she was sitting against her artificial skin as she gave a slight shiver. A programmed response.

    Loading her library of information, it became apparent to her that she did have a list of who was friend, and who was foe, but amongst which targets she was not suppose to attack, she noticed there wasn't much specific information on each individual, "May I call you father then, Dr Sergei Toknomakav? Or does that seem too weird, coming from a machine?" She looked at her hand, rotating it one way, then another, with hard physical limits to ensure that she didn't bend her hand in weird ways, "You should refer to me as Rim, it is likely a less formal and perhaps more welcoming name? Regardless though, Fa... Doctor, what are the details on the approaching planet?"

    私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


      Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

      The middle aged man seemed taken aback at first, but his shocked face quickly melded into a look of pleasant surprise.

      "Father? Why... yes. Yes I suppose you could. Most interesting. Such a request is not a programmed response. I wonder what prompted your request. Was it done for my sake? I admit, I take no small amount of pride in your creation, but I --"

      Clomping boots stepped up in front of Sergei and Rimskaya both, interrupting the scientist's wordy response. The man who filled them was a grizzled, stocky soldier in an officer's red and white battle uniform. The patch on his arm and the seven pointed stars on his collar marked him as a Colonel. He wore a blast helmet, like any other soldier however, and he had two large jagged scars that ripped diagonally down his face, one of which seemed to have permanently taken a chunk out of his nose while the other had obviously blinded him in his left eye - which was now glowing red with an ocular implant.

      "So you turned it on, eh? Well, what's its status? Not gonna put any of my men in danger is it?"

      "Ah, no Colonol. And please, as I've mentioned in my report, this model is programmed with a learning module and a complete emotional and physical response array. Private Rimskaya, Rim, deserves to be referred to as a she," Sergei said.

      "I've read your report, Toknomakav. I'll be the judge of whether a it can think like a human enough to deserve a different pronoun. Federation marines are called upon to make judgement calls countless times in battle. The ability to kill and achieve mission parameters is not for every Federation civilian - but looking out for your fellow marines, adaptation to new situations that require an on the fly approach, and knowing when *not* to kill - these are things that I'm not convinced a machine can do better than a human, Vulpar, Cerulean, or hell, even a Grax."

      "Android, sir," Sergei said.


      "Rim is an android. She's more than a machine. More than a tool."

      The colonel grunted. "We're all tools of the same system, Dr. Toknomakav. Just make sure Private Rimskaya is fully prepped, pepped, and ready to step when we make landfall."

      The heavy boots stomped away, taking the grizzly stone of a man with them. Sergei sighed. "Humans, you will find Rim, com in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. I've heard good things about Colonel Jones though. I'm sure once he sees you in action. He won't have any problems with you.

      "Now, you were asking about the planet? This is the archipelago world, code name Indigo 5. It's not yet officially named as part of the Federation, this being the Contested Zone, but the Forward Base Epsilon orbits it and it supplies most of the Federation fleet. 87% Ocean, we're headed to one of the smaller islands for a combat proficiency test. You're moving out with a squad of greenhorn marines. You'll be in combat withe a robot force armed with stun guns, stun grenades, and stun batons. To simulate Tentak, there'll be various larger robots designed with more complex tactical arsenals. The details are being withheld on purpose."


        Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

        "Identifying and having a father makes me closer to... humans, does it not? Were I asked who my father was, it would be more suitable for me to have an answer in response rather than telling them perhaps that I am an orphan, or something similar. And..."

        She stopped as she turned to look at the man who had entered, her visual sensors as she scanned the man told her his rank, cross-referencing that with her available database and based on his scars, she did find some information about him. Her emotional response array told her that she should be outraged, and a little upset with being called an 'it', and how the man didn't seem to really trust hers, and be extension, her father's, capabilities.

        Still, she judged that this was not a proper time for such a response, they were in a place where her hiding her true nature wasn't of the utmost importance, she did feel a tinge of pride and... happiness as her father defended her. She chose not to show it though, for now she just stored the experience into her database, so if she came across a similar situation in the future, she could respond faster.

        Turning to her father, she nodded, listening to him as he spoke, of both her mission, and of people, "Yes, father, I understand there are different people. Although he does not seem accepting of me, I will prove to him that there will be no concern once I am placed into service, and have a chance to fulfill my objectives." She looked out the window again, "Father, you mentioned that I look like someone, is it within my clearance as an android to know who you are talking about?"

        私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


          Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

          Sergei seemed pleased with the way Rim was responding, as well as how she held herself back while being talked about in front of the Colonel. Once the ranking officer had marched out of earshot, he turned back to listening to Rim's explanations and questions.

          "Yes, I suppose that does make sense. In that case, you're welcome to use my last name and in all situations where you need it, I will confirm that such is the case. As for proving yourself. I have every confidence in you, Rim."

          The question of who she reminded him of caused a pained smile to crease across his features for a moment and he glanced out the window to look at the stars.

          "I don't know how appropriate it might be, considering you are effectively now my daughter... but your biological systems use actual human DNA to define them - and your features happen to be used from my... my former wife. Her name was Rita. She died in an accident many years ago. When it was decided that we would grow your features, I chose to use Rita's DNA. Perhaps it could be argued that this was a foolish choice, but I don't regret it. I know very well that you are not her, but with you looking like her, I feel as though a part of her lives on. I remarked upon because there is something lost when you are powered down - but when animated, you look exactly like she did when she woke up in the morning."

          Sergei fidgeted with his hands. "Perhaps we will discuss this later, at a better time. Let's get back to your mission. The military has told me that you will be put into a jungle environment. You will make your way to an enemy installation due north of your dropzone. While the rest of your team secures the perimeter against a strong enemy reinforcement, you will enter the underground bunker, make your way to the control room, retrieve a dummy hostage while eliminating any inside resistance. You'll have a limited amount of time to do this in, as the reinforcements will continue to come and will eventually overwhelm your forces on the outside - so I imagine they want to test your speed and efficiency."


            Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

            The android sat quietly as she listened, even though there was nothing within her that told her that she was wrong for asking such a question, still, she felt some emotions, like 'sadness' and 'regret' for doing such a thing, which although she processed as negative emotions, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, still,

            "I offer my apologies if that was painful, father, would it fair to call your late wife my mother then? Since it appears that she had her hand in shaping me and creating me, despite everything." She would record the reaction to this, she wanted to give the doctor something to remind him of the woman that he seemed to miss so dearly, yet at the same time she wanted to be careful not to offend him.

            In the meantime, she ran a few background processes, trying to get accustomed to working only with her biological senses, she knew she had a lot of sensors that she wasn't putting to use, which although felt like a waste, she wasn't going to argue with her creator.

            Listening to the mission parameters, she nodded, although there was a lot of information missing, this was to be expected from intel, or so she had learned from her extensive library of data, she began to plot possible travel plans through the forest as she looked at the doctor, several branching out if one of them failed, although she was just starting to learn what it meant to be human-like, in terms of pure combat data she was fairly competent when it came to analyzing and putting such plans together, at least she did in theory.

            私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


              Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

              "If there's anything painful about it, it's of my own doing and not yours, Rim," Sergei said with an affectionate pat on the android's knee. "If you wish to refer to my wife as your mother, it is fine with me. But such titles are best not used with others, especially the military officers. They may see such as unnecessary emotional attachment. It is difficult sometimes to anticipate what the Federation officials will object to in androids, but my own hope is that you will experience a life just as full of wonder as any human, and that you will learn to appreciate it. Unfortunately, you are made to serve a military during a time of war, so you will no doubt be in danger. I must have faith that I and my team have designed you well enough to be able to overcome these dangers."

              It was another five minutes before the shuttle had fully entered atmo, and another five before the ship set firmly down on a landing platform. Everyone on in the passenger bay stood up, and exited through the back bay door. They were on a grey metal platform that was slightly elevated above and overlooking a long expanse of aesthetically beautiful beach terrain. To their south, a cerulean and green sea flowed out to the horizon. To their north, lay a jungle forest terrain, looking quite dense. A trodden dirt path was the only sign of unnatural tampering in the environment. The sound of sea gulls filled the air. Aside from the commanding officer, the doctor, and Rim herself, there were seven other federation marines, three women and four men.

              "Attention!" Called the colonel. "Sound off!"

              "Cpl. Hamad, reporting in!"

              "Cpl. Tamson, reporting in!"

              "Pvt. Slone, reporting in!"

              Following this were privates Baker, Iglaco, Fassbende, and Willard. Rim would recognize that this was an opportunity for her to announce herself as well. Whether she chose to sound off or not, the Colonel would continue on.

              "You have all been briefed on your mission, but here it is one more time. An enemy installation is due two kliks north of our our location. There are hostile drones armed with stun and electronic pulse guns both outside and inside the installation. A dummy hostage has been set up inside the bunker complex. Our android operative will be sent in alone to acquire the hostage. The rest of the team will hold their ground until the android retrieves the hostage. Are we clear?"

              "Aye sir!" came the response in unison.

              "Very good. Corporals, organize your fire teams."

              Rim was organized to accompany Cpl Hamad, and privates Slone and Iglaco. Slone was the only other female of her group. All seven soldiers appeared to be human.


                Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                The android decided to sound off, "Pvt. Rimskaya, reporting in!" She called out in a clear voice. She didn't know how the colonel would react to this, although she was fairly certain he would be indifferent. Still, she had to make sure to blend in as much as possible, and sticking out by not announcing herself seemed counterproductive to that goal. She ran an overlay of the forest, or at least what they knew of it, against several possible routes as she listened to the briefing. She thought of a few ways to approach that would perhaps be more advantageous, and kept them ready and saved in case it became an issue.

                She loaded up the data regarding the weapons that those with her were carrying, analyzing them and trying to formulate a plan for each, as well as noting down general predictions of ammo count, better to know when your ally is about to run out and to be able to assist them before they actually ran out. She also analyzed the potential threats they would be fighting. Although conventional weapons were already fairly deadly, she was a bit concerned on the uses of pulse weaponry, after all, despite her biological side, deep down she was still a machine, and a good shot from one of those could take her out...

                "It is nice to meet you all, hopefully I will be an asset to your efforts." She announced as she was assigned to Cpl Hamad, "Corporal, what is our plan of attack?" She inquired, eager to see if one of the routes she had plotted would be the right one.
                Last edited by Loli Defense Force; 18th March 2013, 11:12.

                私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


                  Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                  The corporal identified as Hamad was a dark skinned, lean, intense, fresh-faced young man, with quick eyes flitting to each of the other three members of his squad.

                  "We'll split into two fire teams, Slone and Iglaco will take the right, Rimskaya and I will take the left, we'll advance in a leapfrog formation, alternating every 20 meters, covering and advancing. When we encounter the enemy, we'll flank them in coordination with the other squad. When we reach the compound, we eliminate defenders, secure the entrance, and Rimskaya breaches the bunker."

                  The corporal lay down a course through the woods that seemed to be a direct approach towards the compound coordinates. The other squad followed suit, and soon the eight marines were dashing off into the jungle, weapons primed.

                  Ten minutes rushing through the dense wood and brush, Rimskaya figured that they were getting close to their target when she spotted the first enemy combatant - a combat droid painted in a mottled blue and green camouflage pattern - set up in the bushes ahead. It would be difficult to do anything other than pin it down from this position, but a higher elevation was available off to her left. The only trouble would be that it would require a dash over an open space to get to. There was only one visible enemy now, but more might be close by.

                  Having been in the most forward position when she spotted the droid, Rim would have the option of signaling for her squad mates on the right to stop their advance and alert the corporal of what was ahead. She could also indicate what plan of attack she wanted to initiate, though she would have to confirm it with Hamad, according to the protocol in her memory data banks.


                    Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                    Listening to the instructions, Rimskaya was able to quickly identify the orders from her commanding officer. Making calculated advances, she made sure to scan the green forests using only her optical sensors, it was a bit different to be traveling in real terrain compared to the simulations she was used to, stepping forward, she listened to the sounds of the forest around her, trying to pick out only the sounds of her own troop moving in order to make sure that if there was enemy movement, she would hear it.

                    Although she saw it rather than heard it, she quickly tried to move behind cover as she signaled the other team, keeping an eye on the target, "Enemy sighted." She radioed to the others, analyzing the terrain and noticing the higher cliff on the right, she began to formulate a plan before she moved her hand to her communicator again, "Corporal, I wish to move to the higher ground while the other team provides cover fire, hopefully that way if there are enemies at the top of the hill, it will be easier to fall back." She relayed the information to the others as she glanced quickly at Hamad, "Is my plan acceptable?"

                    私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


                      Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                      "Roger that Rim. Team, lay down suppressing fire." Hamad's voice crackled in Rim's earpiece.

                      Moment's later, red energy blasts lit up the overgrowth where the enemy targets were located. The combat bots, programmed to respond in a lifelike manner, took cover and began to return fire as able, shooting out purple hued stun rays.

                      Rim was able to use his opportunity to race for the higher elevation, her booted feet scrambling up the muddy ridge, until she reached the cover of more trees. From there she could see two combat bots rushing to reinforce the forward position. She could fire at them freely from this position, hitting them while they moved.

                      From the hill, she could also spot the enemy bunker, a plain-looking grey installation with a lone blast door that looked as though it would not open simply.

                      There was one more thing that her android eyes noticed. Something in the sky. Several things in fact. Splotches of black in the distance with red flames trailing them.

                      Rim could either spend time trying to figure out what these things were or could ignore them and use this opportunity to destroy the enemy reinforcements while they were out in the open.


                        Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                        Running up to the hill, she tucked her gun tightly against her body, trying to make it to the top without being seen. Once she made it, she felt relieved that the Corporal had allowed her to go ahead with her plan, she considered her situation and how simple it was to suggest a plan based on her analysis and how readily it seemed to be accepted. She turned her head slightly as marked down the location of the bunker, and raised her rifle, waiting for the targets to appear within her weapon's range before firing, that is, until the falling objects caused her optical sensors to notify her that there was unusual movement in the air.

                        The lens in her eyes whirled as she glanced at the falling objects, before she stopped herself from using image enhancement. She had promised father that she was going to only use her basic sensors, although from here, she wasn't exactly able to tell what the black objects were, she computed that her current situation was more important, it would not do to embarrass father just because she got distracted by something that could potentially turned out to be fallen debris. She stored the angle and trajectory that the objects were falling at in her memory, before firing at the combat bots that had just entered her kill zone, making an additional note to herself to check with her commanding officers later regarding the falling objects.
                        Last edited by Loli Defense Force; 11th April 2013, 10:00.

                        私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


                          Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                          Rim opened fire, her blast rifle sending searing red blasts into the trajectory of the enemy's advance. With precision aim that had been built into her system, the shots easily dismantled the first combat bot, and disabled the weapon arm on the second, leaving it vulnerable and mostly useless for the rest of the combat.

                          The other enemy bots, realizing they were flanked, initialized a retreat directive, firing stun blasts widely to try and cover their movement. The other soldiers were well disciplined however, and took the enemy down as they advanced. Within the matter of perhaps 15 seconds, the enemy had been defeated and the squad formed up again on Rim's location.

                          "That's good work, private," said Hamad. "We have visuals on the bunker, but our contact with HQ and the other squad has been cut off."

                          "Must be part of the drill," mused the redhead girl, Private Slone.

                          "Yeah, they always want to test us with some sort of 'malfunction.'" Private Iglaco nodded in agreement.

                          "Our mission orders remain the same. We assume the other squad will meet us at the bunker," Hamad said as he glanced skyward. Rim saw that he had noticed the falling objects in the sky as well. "Let's not get distracted."

                          He motioned for the team to move out. Unless Rim had something to say, they would hoof it in the same leapfrogging advance until the reached the bunker. They would encounter no further resistance before getting to the large metal door.

                          "Iglaco, explosive charges," Hamad said.

                          Iglaco brought out his secondary equipment, some plastic explosives that would likely blow a hole in the doorway. "Everyone else stay clear."

                          As she waited for the door to be blown off, Rim would notice that the falling objects had gotten closer, and that they were not, after all, falling. They were flying, some sort of fighter craft, apparently -- though with a layout not at all like a Federation ship. They were heading straight for the island that Rim and the others were on.


                            Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                            Rimskaya fired just as she had learned within the simulations while she was sleeping. Relying on the combat data that had been preprogrammed into her library, it wasn't difficult to not only hit the combat bots, but avoid any return fire as she made her way after them. Ducking in and out of cover, until she saw that her squad had managed to finish them off.

                            Approaching her commanding officer, she was about to report that she had seen falling objects in the sky before she noticed that he had already apparently seen them. She decided not to say anything for now, assuming that her commanding officer had everything under control. She showed a little displeasure in hearing that they no longer had radio contact with HQ or the ship... she reasoned, based on some data she had looked up on previous orientation missions, that this was likely just a purposeful malfunction to test their abilities.

                            As they made their way to the bunker, she looked again at the falling objects, finally noticing that they had began to turn and head towards where they were... looking around, she quickly started to move towards cover, "Commander, those ships do not appear in my database. This is worrisome. Permission to prepare to engage?" She stated even as she raised her gun to a ready position, but not quite pointing it at the ships yet.

                            私と契約して, ロリになってよ!


                              Re: Dark Frontier (Android's Tale)

                              "You've got your mission, private. You're to enter the bunker and retrieve the dummy hostage. The rest of us stay here, secure the perimeter, and we'll keep an eye on these ships as well!" Hamad said determinedly. "I'll bet they're here for a reason. You'll just have to be quick so that we can get out of this facility before they reach us and overwhelm us. We'll hold them off as best we can."

                              Assuming that Rim was not opposed to following a direct order from the corporal. She would make her way through the now open blast door and into the bunker. It was a fairly straightforward complex. An opening to the left and right wound around in a circular formation at the front, with kill boxes on either side. Rim would have been impossibly out in the open had they been manned, but fortunately enough, there were no combat bots manning the defenses here.

                              Rim was able to progress further inside, finding another blast door that was only partially closed. With enough prying, she was able to push one part of the door aside and make her way deeper underground by descending a flight of steel stairs. It seemed odd to her that the military trainers would have had a broken blast door and no combatants stationed in the ideal defensive locations to test Rim's abilities.

                              She was now in the lower level of the bunker, with a long hallway filled with smaller rooms offshooting on the left and right. The dummy hostage might be in any of them. Then she heard a click on the ground beneath her and realized that she had stepped on a hidden trigger. Her immediate processing might have led her to conclude that she'd stepped on a mine, but it was an odd choice for a defense in a main thoroughfare of a defensive bunker. Then she saw that it was not a mine but a depressed tile that must have activated something on this level, for a whirring sound began off to her right, followed by, of all things, a muffled shriek.

                              There was someone down here with her. Something feminine sounding, something that also sounded scared. Was the dummy hostage real?

                              Laser blasts sounded above. Her comrades were firing at something.