So the AI doesn't care if we live or die. Okay, then. Let's take matters into our own hands.

It's hard to stay quiet with all of us packed into Clovis's office. Didn't get here without a fight, though. Even the secret tunnel we snuck through was rampant with Vex. Lost more of us on the way.

They're everywhere here too, but fortunately, the walls and windows of Clovis's office are reinforced to handle this kind of thing. Spare no expense, he always said. Though it only ever seemed to apply to himself.

Clovis-1's been strapped in, running through the Exo Training Protocol. His stats are beyond what we've ever seen. Breaking records. Nearly breaking the programs themselves. Then again, of course he is. Clovis built him that way. The guy wanted to be the best, alive or dead.

"If I were Vex, I'd be turning tail and running for my life," Clovis-1 says, rising from the training module.

"Let's put you to the test then," Dr. Bray says and points to a locked weapons cabinet. Inside are two weapons. One's a glimmering Pulse Rifle, the other a brilliant Sword with a blade like a chain saw. Thing looks like it could cut through titanium. We tried to bypass the cabinet's security while Clovis-1 was training, but no luck.

The weapons cabinet scans Clovis-1 as he approaches.

"Welcome back, Clovis," it says as it unlocks. He takes the Sword in hand and smiles. "You should take that one," Clovis-1 tells Dr. Bray.

"Should I, now?"

"How else are we gonna look awesome taking the Vex down together?"

She nods. Grabs the rifle and slings it over her shoulder. Looks badass. Dr. Bray grabs something else from the cabinet and pockets it. Looked like a memory bank. Why does she need that?

"How's it feel?" Dr. Bray asks.

"Like it was made for me," Clovis-1 says, admiring the craftsmanship of the Sword.

"In fact, it was," a voice booms over the PA system. The AI again. Always watching. Always listening.

"You should know, strong as you are, this is likely suicide. The Vex truly have disrupted the Cloud Memory Collection system, so your memory banks are no longer transmitting data moment to moment. Anyone who dies out there will be rebuilt here from their previous imprint."

"Then we take imprints now and live with it. Some will stay here. To keep bringing the rest of us back," Dr. Bray says. She makes a good point.

"Rapid Memory Degradation aside, the Vex are many, and they are cunning. It won't be long before they catch on and come after you here. If you're to do this… you'd best fight with everything you've got."

Something lights up outside the office and down the hall. "I've unlocked the armory. Foolish as you may be, I'd be the bigger fool not to support you in trying."

"This doesn't forgive what you've done. People died. People we can't bring back," Dr. Bray says. She doesn't back down.

"I seek no forgiveness. Only a promise."

Always an angle.

"Do not destroy the portal."

"Who said anything about destroying it?"

The AI sighs. "You. The first time you tried."

"…First time?"

"The memory bank you just slipped in your pocket. That belonged to Elisabeth-1."

Dr. Bray just shakes her head. "Why?"

"Because I wanted you on my side."

Clovis-1 is mad. "It's too late for that."

Dr. Bray puts a hand on his shoulder. Calms him down. "We won't destroy it, Clovis," she says, winking at Clovis-1.

"Well, then. Stock up, everyone. You have quite the fight ahead of you."

Quicksilver Storm

Category: The Bray Family



Category: Book: Legacy's Lament