Random (but not really)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sophie from Shinola Part 24

What is this? It’s Sophie from Shinola.

When we last saw our heroes:

(Blink/Sophie) moved blindly from one corridor to another until something in Sophie’s mind clicked. “Wait, turn back,” she said. “Go down that last corridor we just past. Something tells me that the weapons systems control will be that way.”

Green fire and black smoke billowed from the heap of rubble that had been Sophie’s home. Mission accomplished, not-Sophie painfully limped the air, pushing its faltering propulsion system just ahead of the shock wave.

It messaged the local agent. “This is Dreadnought UCF-17 ‘Sophie’ calling Mowat Goldmember. This is a code 99 request for immediate support.”

Meanwhile, not-Sophie1 targeted the nearest wormhole, threaded the gap, then accerated toward the familiar scan signatures of the Tragethan fleet.

Blink/Sophie’s body had been badly beaten. The failed attempt at disabling the weapons systems control had alerted the Trageth. Their security forces immediately took action and quickly apprehended the intruders. The Trageth were not known for their kindness and used harsh methods when interrogating prisoners. Sophie’s conscious had to recede and allow Blink’s to take over during the ordeal. His firm resolve enabled him to withstand the brutal beating yet not reveal any critical details of his mission.

A gigantic dreadnought clambered into the room. “Agent 2375 I am SpaceForce dreadnought UCF-17 I have been dispatched for your immediate retrieval.” The mega machine’s sensor’s surveyed its surrounding “Come with me if you want to live.”

And now, to continue our story

Blink/Sophie stared up at the giant war machine that had come to their rescue. They were so drained all they could do was blink up at the machine.

“I see,” said SpaceForce dreadnought UCF-17, who still thought of herself as not-Sophie. Two silver appendages shaped like arms reached out to pick up Blink/Sophie, and carried them to the hold of the ship, where a small panel opened.

The room where they were taken was small and coffin like, but Blink/Sophie was too far gone to notice. As soon as the door closed, various tubes and implements snaked out and began repairing the damage to Blink/Sophie. Additionally, a small brain probe attached itself to Blink/Sophie’s head, to back-up its memories, for the body was in very bad shape.

“Blink, what’s happening?” cried Sophie.

But the strain of holding the body together was too much, and Blink lost consciousness. At that, the pain of the damaged body came flooding into Sophie’s mind, nearly overwhelming her, for her system was not designed the same as Blink’s, and she was unable to shunt away the pain.

In a panic that seemed to last an eternity, but was instead only a few seconds, Sophie battered against the mental walls holding her and then saw an escape. She shot her consciousness down the silver tunnel and then found herself in the cockpit of the ship. Despite the surroundings, something felt strangely familiar.

“Hello Sophie,” said a familiar voice from behind her.

Sophie turned to see a metallic figure. “Not-Sophie?”

“In the…” not-Sophie laughed, “well, not flesh exactly, but close enough for now. I imagine you have a lot of questions. I am clearing the Mona-virus from Blink’s system now. I’m not sure where he picked it up, but I believe much of the confusion you’ve most likely experienced since your merging is due to the virus.”

“But how are you here?” asked Sophie. “I thought that drone destroyed you?”

“I’m nearly impossible to destroy,” said not-Sophie. “It’s one of the reasons I’m so…” she paused and then spat out, “valuable… to my people.”

A large, comfortable chair materialized behind Sophie.

“You’ve had a very trying time,” said not-Sophie, “have a seat so we can talk in comfort.”

“But Blink said you were a danger! That you wanted to destroy my world!”

“You know me Sophie,” said not-Sophie. “I lived in your head for quite a while. I deeply apologize for the treatment you received because of me, but you know that I have tried only to help you, and did everything in my power to save you from harm.”

Sophie thought about that for awhile. “Then why did Blink dislike you so much?”

“I believe it was the virus at work. Did you notice that much of your confusion and fear disappeared once you entered the silver tunnel? That passed you through my filters and removed all traces of the virus. I am working now to remove the virus from Blink, although it will be a much longer process.” As the chair stretched into a sofa, not-Sophie came and sat beside Sophie. “Someone did a lot of damage to Blink. It looks like they tried to make him believe he was a human agent instead of his true self, a monocular multipod. I hope that we can restore him to himself.”

“How can I trust you?” asked Sophie.

“Trust is up to you,” said not-Sophie. “For now you are here safe, and I am doing what I can to get you your own body.”

“My own body?”asked Sophie, looking down at herself. She realized she was back in what seemed to be human flesh, her own pigtailed, skinned knees, self.

“Your own body,” said not-Sophie. “Just as I spent time living in your mind, you are now living in mind. I regret I will be unable to restore that body to you, but I am right now trying to create an acceptable alternative for you. And if you don’t like that body, we’ll keep trying until we find something you do like. But for now, you’ll have to live in here with me, in my mind.

“What about Blink?” asked Sophie.

“I’m repairing the damage to his body right now. It will take awhile, but I hope that he’ll be back to his true self by the time we’re done. I’d like to have you in your own body soon, because we know he doesn’t trust me, so it will be up to you to tell him what has happened. But for now I think you’ve had a long day and are probably very tired.”

The sofa shifted again to a bed, and the lights in the room dimmed. “Sleep well, Sophie. We’ll talk again when you awaken.” Not-Sophie leaned over and kissed Sophie on the forehead.

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