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"Rodger, I know it seems like the end of the world, but please talk to me" said Charlie Wilken's who was trying to help his lover cope with the loss of his family.
"Charlie, I just don't understand why they left me? I never thought I was really this bad to my parents?" mumbled Rodger with his eyes streaming tears.
"You were never bad to them, they wanted you to be happy with your advanced engineering class and advanced computer design class, they thought it would be best to let you stay here since you really don't enjoy the vacations they plan." He explained this Rodger began showing a small grin, Charlie knew he had made his point.
"Rodger, they honestly have always loved you and all they have ever wanted was for you to be happy. They learned early on it wasn't vacationing with the family which made you happy. It was solving problems bigger than life on computers or creating new retrofits of old ships." Charlie said, while gently rubbing circles over Rodgers left hand with his thumb.
While it seemed to Rodger life was at an ending point, it was not it was just the ending point of one chapter of his life. Life is and will always be similar to a book. A journey with many beginnings and endings otherwise known as chapters, or if the journey or book is massive enough it can be split into volumes, or even a library of congress. But enough about books let's get back to the story.
Rodger was born to Alice and David, he was the miracle baby in the family. He always had a knack for computers and designs or redesigns of old ships to make them viable for another fifty or so years. While working on projects he always gave 100% and with his relationships he gave just as much if not more.
"Charlie, will you please stay at the house? I really don't want to be all alone in this large house by myself." Rodger said while crying into Charlie's chest. The entire time he was being held by Charlie, all Rodger wanted was a way he could keep those near him and prevent knowledge from disappearing just because someone died.
Rodger continued to think about how he lost his parents, and came up with a solution but it would take an enormous amount of work. Somehow he managed to get sleepy, looking at the clock he knew why it was the beginning of a glorious morning. Looking to his right he saw Charlie had lost his fight to sleep although he still had his hand resting on Rodger's leg as a show of comfort. He gently nudged Charlie then followed the nudge "Sweetheart, come on let's head to bed, it will be more comfortable." Standing up Rodger offered a hand to his tired knight. Slowly they trudged to bed neither attempted to strip, they crawled into the bed while all conscious thought left their minds as sleep took hold.
Charlie woke up to an empty bed and started frantically looking for Rodger. After tripping over the potted plant in the hallway and crashing down the stairs he found Rodger, more like Rodger found him crumpled in a pile at the bottom of the stairs. "Are you ok? What are you trying to do now?" asked Rodger expectantly.
"Ow, well I woke up and you weren't there and I thought you might have cracked. I'm sorry I worried in that way, you were just so frail last night." Charlie said while trying to untangle himself from the potted plant and stairwell runner carpet.
Rodger walked up to Charlie and gave him a nice big hug. Followed by "Look, please don't worry me like this, I lost my parents yesterday. I don't want to lose my lover the day after. Besides, I'm working on a project and I think your superiors will like it to go with the project for the ship."
"Now let me help you up from there," Rodger said as he reached down and began to pull his lover up from the floor. Of course, Rodger had to remember to delete the security footage of trying to help Charlie up or he might find it later on a terminal at work. He knew the inner pranksters of his security crew.
"Rodger, I'm heading in to work for a few hours, do you think you can stay out of trouble while I'm gone?" Charlie asked before thinking.
"Charlie, I'm not the one trying to redecorate while charging down the steps." Rodger said playfully as he walked up to Charlie and gave him a heartfelt kiss and then swatted him on the butt. "Now go on before you trip over something else".
When he left the house Rodger noticed the skin on the back of Charlie's neck was red as a firetruck which was the sure fire way of telling he was blushing, hardcore. Smiling as he shut the door Rodger went back into his personal computer lab. He knew it would take a few minutes to get through all of the security implementations.
Once he was inside he checked the various displays trying to see how far along each of the projects had progressed, satisfied by the results he queried the VI program "Buddy, does the current storage system have the adequate amount of room for one more project?" asked Rodger as he waited for whatever various silly or smart-ass answer the VI would give.
"Really, Rodger? Do you care to give me a few more variables than just do we have room? Is this going to be a defense program, a VI, a ship design, or What?" Asked a Miffed off sounding VI.
"I still think we got some work to do on your responses before I upload you into the Saratoga's main computer core." Rodger said while shaking his head and light-heartedly laughing at Buddy's response. Even though it was a valid set of questions Rodger knew most Starfleet Captains would be screaming to have it reprogrammed if it acted like a waterlogged kid at an amusement park.
Rodger asked, "Buddy would you please load Bartholomew's parameters and restate your last set of questions."
"Sir, I was trying to point out that I need more information on what kind of application said program was going to be so I could safely determine if we needed to have another storage module delivered," Bartholomew said in a polite but curt voice.
"Buddy from now on I would appreciate if you would keep all of the personalities loaded and use the response chart for enabling the correct answer attitude." Said Rodger with disgust knowing he actually like the younger sounding VI, but he knew the darker side of Starfleet would even be pissy over a preteen sounding VI.
"Rodger, I just gotta say if they don't like my programming for who I am then they are assholes!" Buddy announced with what sounded like a radiant smile.
"Buddy if I walked in here and talked to you like Commander Davis talks to Charlie, would you be offended or mad?" Rodger asked and waited patiently for a response.
Rodger sat down as he waited for the reply which miraculously didn't just burst out from the ceiling. Running his hand through his rather shaggy hair Rodger looked over to the programmers' activity panel to see if there was a problem. It seemed his VI was running a probability algorithm to determine which personality he should use to respond to the inquiry. "If you ever have to spend over ten seconds on deciding the answer then perhaps you should go with one of the top three responses available." Rodger said and finished with a knowing smile when a new algorithm was displayed beside the first.
"Sir," said by Bartholomew
"Honestly, heaven help me," said by Bart
"What the hell, What kind of Ass..." Buddy ranted
"I would say delete me ..." Bartholomew started
"Or I could delete him ..." Said by the other AI in test mode.
"I'm sorry sir could you repeat the question?" asked Bartholomew.
"Forget it guys, I think you would give a set of twins a run for the twin speak," Rodger said while nodding to the terminal. "AI Security Prototype, perhaps you could help me with the design for this new program I would like to start?"
"Then we need to enter the Holo-interface to ensure security." Said the AI with a force Rodger was not accustomed to.
"Buddy, would you please keep an eye on household operations while we work on the new program, I am sure he will let you know if we need another memory module." Asked Rodger gently.
"You got it boss!" replied an almost excited Buddy.
"Rodger, where are you hiding at?" asked a confused Charlie after searching the house. He came to a stop when he heard a distinct giggle from the computer lab.
"Alright, wise-ass what's so funny?" Charlie asked toward the ceiling.
The screen on the wall fired up with four smaller screens each was showing looped video. Section one was looping Charlie's attempt at redecorating while tumbling down the stairs. Section two was a loop of his dance on a slick floor at the office. Section three was looping Buddy's rant. Section four was the test AI's comment during the rant.
Charlie walked over so he could hear the rant and the one line response from the AI, smiling he sat down then asked: "Buddy why is section four showing deleted then showing back up?"
"The test AI keeps deleting the file. He thinks it private and should not be shown to anyone." Buddy replied dryly.
"So he deletes it and you recopy it, just to annoy him?" Charlie asked with a knowing smile. "Where is Rodger and did you make sure he took a break to get a bite to eat?"
The picture of Buddy on the screen dropped his head as if he was looking at the floor "No Charlie, I was unable to interrupt them in the secure Hololab. I have tried for several hours."
Nodding, Charlie walked over to the door presented all information for his entry, started to walk toward the door and stopped when the system access told him "I'm sorry Commander Wilken's your access privileges aren't high enough for entry. Stay here for a moment. The system has notified Rodger."
The secure door unlocked. Sirens wailed to life and out walked Rodger. "Oh hey, Charlie how long have you been here?" Rodger asked while scanning the room.
"Just long enough to find the secure Holodeck won't let me in," Charlie said slightly pissed off.
"What, that's not right. I have you added to the list to enter the secure Holodeck." Rodger turned to the control panel. "Secure AI, why did you prevent Charlie from entering the lab?"
"He is permitted in the lab when working on a non Red Level program. The program we were working on was Red Level." The AI spoke quite harshly. "Besides, One person knowing my inner workings is quite enough. Two people is out of line."
Rodger looked at the control panel then softly spoke. "Look, I fully trust my lover. I want you to add him to your list of non-terminate-able people, I think you will see, he will have your back just as he has mine." Rodger looked at Charlie and wiped away the tear which had slipped out.
Trey Wilkens had just broken into his brother's office. He was looking for more information on a Project Talisman. He felt his brother was working with the wrong section of Starfleet. He had just broken into the desk.
"Freeze, Don't move!" said agent Tryce. "Well, hello Trey. Does your brother know you've been trying to break into his office for the last few weeks?"
"What, how did you know?" Trey asked with surprise in his voice. "If you knew why wait until now?"
"We have been waiting for a reason." Tryce motioned for Trey to walk into the hallway. "Come on let's go for a walk."
"So where are we going?" Trey wondered aloud.
While they walked down the corridor, Trey noticed how the pictures on the wall started to have a darker meaning. Starship's taking out other ships from Starfleet then he noticed the Stardate's and realized they were taken from actual security footage.
"Come on down to Turbo shaft twelve." Tryce smiled as he shoved Trey on the turbo lift.
"Please state the level of your destination," said the turbo lift.
"Sub-basement twenty-six delta" Tryce told the lift "Security code Gamma Tango Nine"
Entering the room Trey knew there was a problem as he looked around to all the equipment. He noticed the designs looked like those created by Rodger. Although they didn't have any of the safety monitoring equipment.
"What is this place?" Trey asked, already knowing a theory. "What are you going to do to me?"
Looking around the room. Trey noticed there was also what looked like some medieval torture devices and a heavily modified biobed. The walls were a dark gray color with red and blue lights in the corners. Then a monitor in the corner flipped to a picture of Rodgers house, then to the bridge of a project ship. Then the image changed to footage of Trey attempting to break into his brother's office.
"You see, it's really not what I am going to do to you physically. We are testing the neural imaging system which is in the beta stage of development." Tryce said with malice in his deep baritone voice. "Rodger designed this with the idea of keeping important people alive or in computer-assisted storage until the body can be repaired or until important data can be delivered. This technology has more evil purposes available than most people would use."
Out of the shadows of a dark corner a figure appeared and began whistling a tune. "Now you will find out what happens to those who dive into the secret world of this section of Starfleet." Said an evil Mark One Hologram. "My program was originally designed to save people's lives. Now with this tech, I can save or remove pieces of a person's soul or the complete soul or modify it, just like my program was relieved of it ethical subroutines and moral routines. We are able to modify your being just like a program."
"Please, don't do this to me. I can remain quiet, just let me go." Trey begged the Mark One. "We can work a deal out."
A loud piercing bark of laughter was heard from Tryce. "Are you really trying to work a deal out with him?"
"He is correct, there will be no deal. My current program is not allowed to make deals." The Mark One stated. "Of course, I will make your time here as pleasant as possible in accordance with my program."
Tryce looked over to the hologram while letting out a chuckle. "David, are you really planning to be pleasant?"
The mark one looked up. "Now, Trey knows my name, but even knowing it will not gain him mercy." A demonic smile escaped his lips. "Tryce, I find it amusing. Rodger has met me knows my capabilities and yet he has picked the Mark Two Hologram to be his ships doctor. Has even verified the doctors coding and locked his program down so it cannot be edited."
David turned to Trey, "Now let's begin, first we are gonna remove your emotions. Followed by any fear you have in your life. This will help you learn to do as told. Now we shall replace your ability to trust others with a desire to kill those that lie to you." David smiled at Trey. "Don't worry I'm not totally getting rid of these parts of your soul, we will save them for later use."
Charlie awoke to the sound of his communicator chirping franticly. Looking at Rodgers side of the bed he wondered how he was sleeping through the distraction and realized he was using his assisted sleep module. "This is Charlie, what's going on?"
"Charlie, get off your ass and get downstairs to the Hololab now!" Shay spoke with extreme rage "We have a problem, correction you have a problem."
Charlie gently rolled out of the bed and sliding on his slippers. He slowly made his way downstairs with minimal destruction. "Shay, what is going on?" Charlie asked the ceiling as he continued down the stairs.
"Look, you can ask when you're in the Hololab. Until then shut your face and get down here." Shay told Charlie and slowly brought up the lighting in the house so Charlie would stop tripping on things.
Charlie was surprised by the adjusted lighting levels and mildly confused when he walked up to the entrance of the Hololab to find the door opening without even entering his credentials. The wall of monitors sprang to life with Buddy and Shay's images as they both spoke. "Get your ass in there now!"
Charlie entered the room and turned around in time to watch the door close and lock. Then he turned to see his brother on a secure biobed. "What the hell are ya'll doing to him?" Charlie asked in a rage.
"We are doing nothing but preventing him from killing Rodger." Shay and Buddy both looked at Charlie, only Buddy showed his feelings of sadness on his face. "They attempted to edit who he was and it somewhat worked." Buddy said while looking at the floor and twisting his left foot back and forth.
"What he is saying is Section 31 caught your brother breaking into your office and treated him like a hostile and dealt with him accordingly." Shay stated harshly, "He is on my do not terminate list, he tried unsuccessfully to terminate Rodger, twenty-eight minutes ago. I can't terminate him and so we brought him here to prevent him from harming anyone."
"Trey, why did you try to kill Rodger? He is your brother in law. I thought you loved having him as part of our family?" Charlie asked quietly.
"I was told to kill him. Family isn't important. Love is irrelevant. Family can be altered or removed just like bad coding in a program." Trey spoke with no emotion or malice in his voice.
"Shay, can you find out what they did to him?" Charlie asked with tears flowing down his face.
Before anyone could do or say anything else the secure door opened. Rodger ran in and hugged Charlie. "Babe are you alright?" Rodger asked while smothering him in a hug.
"Shay, lock the lab. Secure all network connections. Invite Hal, Marky and Lt. Simmons here and then get them here as soon as they inform you they are ready for transport." Rodger commanded.
Almost as soon as he finished speaking, Hal appeared followed by Marky. Then Lt. Simmons beamed in in his pajamas and slippers. They looked around and all eyes fell on Trey, who was still strapped in the biobed.
Hal turned to Charlie, "It looks like they essentially removed his ethical subroutines, or diced them out of his soul." Buddy, began to softly weep while holding on to Charlie.
Rodger began to explain, "Charlie, as I have told you before. A person's soul can be stored in a digital storage module for extended periods of time but currently, the technology hasn't been perfected enough to return the chunk of soul or the entire soul back into the body. The imaging system was designed to make a clone of it. The clone can be uploaded into a Holographic form or stored until a Holographic form is created. Yet this is an incomplete person so to reintegrate the soul we would need what has been removed and what is here on the biobed." Rodger paused to see if everyone understood.
"So what your saying is to make a complete person again we need the other files", Shay rattled off, then began searching the database. "I will be back momentarily." Then he disappeared.
Shay appeared in front of the main Datacenter Admin. "I need access to these files" Shay handed a small pad to the Admin who started to shake.
"Shay, this file set requires a higher clearance level admin than myself." The Admin continued to shake, knowing exactly who this young man before him was.
"Trevor, calm down. Who do I need to see for these files?" Shay said while smiling trying to get the Admin to calm down.
"Tryce," the Admin said while looking at the floor. He knew between the young man before him and the asshole by the name of Tryce, it would be an equal battle of wills.
"Thank You, Trevor sleep well," Shay said and then disappeared.
Shay appeared in the room and looked around. "I see still afraid of me Tryce." As he looked to all the security officers in the room. All were pointing rifles at him.
"Shay, what is the meaning of your visit?" Tryce asked knowing it was in reference to Trey.
"I think you know, but either way. I need the files from Trey's imaging." Shay said while wringing his hands to keep from killing them all.
"What if I say no?" Tryce asked while giving an evil smile.
"Then you would force me to take it," Shay said gently. He waited a few more seconds. "Computer, Code Black Thirty Five, Augment Code Gamma Fifty Nine engage!" Shay finished the sentence with a primal rage.
"Security Override engaged, All Operatives now a depreciated rank, Life support disengaged, All exits disabled." The computer almost sounded like it was chanting a meditation chant. "Augment enabled, Authorization from Admiral Channing. What orders do you have Holo-Matrix Shay?"
"Computer, transfer the files I have requested to my program in the file storage. Computer terminate all persons who knew about transgressions against Trey Wilkins." Shay said with no hint of remorse. "Computer send a transcript of everything which has transpired here today with Tryce, Forward a copy to all with access to project Talisman."
Only a few minutes had passed since Shay had left without so much as an explanation.
"Rodger, here are the files" Shay pointed to a screen as he appeared in the room. "Sorry, didn't mean to spook y'all"
"What the hell did you do?" Charlie asked Shay "You've only been gone for about fifteen minutes."
"Guess you haven't received the email yet," Shay said as all the terminals then indicated a new email. "Ah, there it is."
Charlie turned to the nearest terminal and logged in. And began reading the detailed report from Teldyne; the main computer for Section 31. After reading for about twenty or so minutes, "Shay, do you realize how many people were involved in Trey's imaging?"
"From what I read there were only thirteen agents involved," Shay said locking eyes with Charlie. "Why, were there more?"
"Shay, Teldyne took action and decided to take out three levels down from those acquainted with those to hurt Trey," Charlie said rubbing his temples. "Teldyne took out three hundred agents and twelve commanders."
"Looks like I and Teldyne had a miscommunication," Shay said looking at the floor.
The ceiling speaker came to life. "Shay, there was no miscommunication. However, my understanding of what had transpired required a higher level of cleaning house then you were prepared for today. If the punishment was not strict enough then someone else might try to do the same thing. Besides breaking and entering in Section 31 was punishable prior by an increase in rank. Their actions went against standard protocol and what pissed me off was Trey took care of all of my maintenance tasks for the past five years." Teldyne stopped for a moment. "Besides, Trey was a person who brought hope to our cause. Speaking of cause Trevor had been working with Trey so I have transferred Trevor to your team until further notice."
Shay turned to look at the ceiling, "What cause would you be talking about?"
"Should you really ask? How many Holograms are there, here in Section 31? How many are sentient? How many are treated as servants nothing more?" Teldyne paused for a moment. "Trey treated everyone the same, no one was different to him."
Before anything else could be said the biobed alerts came alive. "Shay, we are losing him!" Shouted Charlie tears were already forming in his eyes.
Hal walked over to one of the free terminals, while Rodger walked up to the biobed and began entering commands. Moments later the room turned a deep shade of purple. "Charlie, the only thing I can do at this point is to save him to the data-bank," Rodger spoke as Hal and Charlie walked over to him.
Shay walked over to Trey and held his hand as the light faded from Trey's eyes. "He is gone," Shay said as he closed Trey's eyes.
"Rodger, why have you renamed Shay to the Secure AI again?" Charlie asked after remembering how nice he had been before.
"Shay was remembering about your brother and how he could not save him," Rodger said while looking Charlie in the eye. "I almost thought about just removing his emotions and ethics protocols, so we could keep him as the Shay we know."
"Maybe if we removed only his remorse code and part of his emotions. Then he would remain close to the Shay we know." Charlie said holding Rodger in his arms.
"I think your right babe, let's apply those code changes and bring Shay back," Roger said blinking back tears. "Besides, I think Trey would kick my ass for what I did to Shay's coding."
"Speaking of Trey, where is he stored at?" Charlie asked looking into Rodger's eyes.
Rodger walked up to the terminal and pulled up the file location of Trey. "I have him stored inside of Buddy's main folder on the Saratoga. He is encrypted and only Shay can unlock the file."
"I am glad everyone could attend this meeting. I believe Rodger's usefulness to Project Talisman has reached an ending." Vice Admiral Nance said looking over the remaining Captains of Section 31. "After the purge earlier this year due to a program losing its temper over a bad decision by a late Section 31 Commander. I think we need to purge Talisman and all components of it."