"The Messenger God, Part 3" (Guest: ZombieSplitter53 as Aya Brea)
XSDF Scout Ship "Xemnas", Engineering Section
Two Hours Later
Aya watched as the engineers looked Hermes up and down, looking over computer readouts she was only half familiar with. "So... what's the word? Is he alright?"
The one directing the scans shrugged. "Define 'alright'. He's functioning completely, though he wasn't lying about the memory loss. None of the data outside of that black box of his is retrievable, and we'll probably have to repair the memory sections of his brain. Long, tiring work, that'll be."
"Armor is pretty much stuck to him," another added. "I see where it may detach, but we're bound to break something if we try to..." he lowered his voice. "You know, cut it off."
Aya raised an eyebrow. "I... think we should try and figure out how it comes off on its own before we whip out the saw, don't you?"
A third engineer named Leonardo Jainery stepped over, shaking his head. He was dressed in a gray work coat, brown pants, and a grimy white shirt like the others, though the brown-haired man had a badge denoting a slightly higher rank than your average grunt. "Think about it though. If we take apart this machine carefully we could learn so much about advanced alien A.I., perhaps even replicate the psionic abilities it displays!" Smiling pleasantly, the expression not reaching his callous green eyes, he added, "If it gets damaged but we can make more, it's no big deal."
Aya scowled, crossing her arms. "This android is showing clear signs of sentience. Until I'm convinced otherwise, he will remain in one piece. I will not take the risk of sacrificing an intelligent being, no matter what we might learn."
"To hell with the fact that it's perfectly legal, I suppose," Leonardo grumbled.
The door opened, Sarah stepping in with an equally irritated expression. "I swear, the less I have to answer to Streczky the better. How does she expect me to tell her the specifications when we're still running tests?"
"Just give her as many details as you can, and she'll be perfectly happy, Wong." Aya shook her head, privately adding, Just give her what details you have, because she's never happy. She turned to the engineers, and said, "You're right. This android has no legal rights. So you can leave and find a company that will dismantle any alien androids they have, because as long as you are here, you'll follow my orders. Is that clear?"
There was a chorus of "Yes, sir!" though Leonardo's was much less enthusiastic. The engineers finished running their diagnostics. "Remarkable internal systems. An elerium power core fore a heart, energy conduits for blood, cybernetics for muscles... whoever built him did a good job replicating the interior of the human body. There's a digestive system, simpler than the human one, but I can't imagine what it's for," the first engineer told Aya.
Aya thought of a certain android from years before, and said, "Maybe it is to replicate eating. Makes others more comfortable around him." She rubbed her chin. "I'd like to speak with him in private."
Sarah just gave the engineers a tired glare when they hesitated. "Come on, or I'll sick Konglinglong on you." Not wanting to deal with the woman's small but fearsome psionic dragon, the engineers undocked Hermes from the repair dock and left Aya alone with him as he booted up completely again.
Aya cleared her throat. "How, uh... how are you feeling?"
Hermes raised an eyebrow. "Not much different than before. I assume they could not... restore my memories."
"No... they couldn't. And... I don't know if you'll have the time to get them back." Aya glanced at Sarah, guarding the door, and gave Hermes a cautious smile. "You need to get a job."
Hermes considered her words for a moment. "Working with the XSDF... I could see that. It might give me a chance to find out more about myself from anyone that might have know me before, and I do... need a purpose."
Aya nodded. "And it'll keep people from trying to... what... what skills do you have? If you can remember, that is." Aya's eyes darted back to Sarah. I don't trust Jainery not to go to the Commander, she said privately. If Hermes has a position, it'll keep that engineer from dismantling him.
Hermes seemed pensive for a moment. "I have knowledge of how to operate several different weapon variants, including pistols, heavy pistols, SMGs, carbines, rifles, heavy rifles, and SAWs... which lends credence to the theory that I was created for a combat role. I have the psionic abilities I used earlier, as well. The psi lance... And I believe I named the ability to control heat energy Thermokinesis in the past."
"Sounds like soldier material to me." Aya stood up straight. "Mr. Arcwright, I, Aya Brea, officially request you to join the eXtra Stellar Defense Force as a soldier. In exchange, we will provide you with the means to try and recover your memories, or at least find out who you are and where you came from."
"I accept your offer. And..." Hermes looked down at his hands with a small smirk. "I do not require armor, so I'm lower cost, I surmise."
Aya extended her hand. "Welcome aboard. I look forward to working with
XSDF Scout Ship Xemnas (January 13th, 2044)
On approach of the XSDF Battleship Einherjar
Bridge, 2:35 A.M. (Terrestrial Time)
Hermes glanced out through the window of the scout ship as it approached the new capital ship built by the Extra-Stellar Defense Force, in a dock aboard the space station headquarters of the organization. The android was awed by the fine craftsmanship that had gone into the large battleship, perhaps five kilometers in length and built in a traditional streamlined fashion. The width was only a quarter of the length in most places.
It was armed with powerful shields, as well as a triple fusion cannon atop the back of the ship and in front of/below the bridge, like that of a naval warship. The Einherjar had other weapons as well. These included eight plasma turrets; two were positioned on the right side, two on the left, two on the bottom, and one for the back with one for the front. They were accompanied by perhaps two dozen small pulse batteries meant for defense against fighter-class starships rather than capital ship vs capital ship combat.
Even the Einherjar would have paled in comparison to the supra-battleship dubbed "The Arkbird", but the city-sized battlecruiser was currently in orbit on the other side of the planet. Hermes had only caught a glimpse of the back a few minutes earlier before it disappeared behind the blue planet below.
"It's impressive, isn't it?" Otto Brietbarth asked, standing beside the android in a dark gray XSDF uniform. He was a stout German trooper in his mid fifties even if he appeared in his mid forties, having a graying mustache and hair to signify his age.
Hermes turned to face the man who had trained him in preparation for his assignment to the new warship, offering a salute. "It is, sir."
The German smiled, chuckling quietly. "At ease. Even if I outrank you as a lieutenant, not like I'm seeing much action. I just want to make sure the newbies don't become mush or spare parts by not being prepared. I'd say you're up to snuff, metal man," he stated, tapping Hermes's German knight helmet with an approving look in his eyes.
Hermes offered a slight smile in return. "Thank you. So what is it like, working under Commander Streczyk?"
Otto leaned in to the recruit's ear, whispering, "Hell on Earth. Try to get on Lieutenant Commander Brea's good side, friend. You'll have a much easier time that way."
The android's eyes widened for a moment, and as the German pulled back he nodded. "Understood... I did meet her on Sihan Two, so with any luck she'll remember me."
"Right, right." Otto cleared his throat. "Alright, let's call in."
The helmsman gave a slight nod, hailing the Einharjar. "This is Scout Ship Xemnas, requesting to dock."
"Roger that, Xemnas," the communications officer aboard the battleship's bridge returned. "Restate your business, please, and the docking code."
"TX-251920, and we are delivering supplies along with PFC Arcwright, Hermes," the helmsman of the Xenmas replied curtly as the ship came near the docking bay. The two pulse batteries on either side of the docking bay ceased aiming in the scout ship's direction, and the solid steel door folded open, allowing the Xenmas to pass through the energy door and land within the battleship.
Upon docking, Otto gave Hermes a brief farewell and then sent Hermes on his way aboard the ship. The android was guided through the hallways to his currently empty and barebones room, where he sat down, pondering the massive ship and the assignment ahead of him. "To travel in this ship among the stars, for little more than rendering military service... I certainly am grateful, Lt. Cmdr Brea," Hermes said, mostly a musing to himself. Only time will tell if this journey will help me understand who I really am.