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Evolution & the Technological Dreamscape

Posted on 26 Oct 2022 @ 5:17pm by Odin & Ensign Kat Walker

Mission: A New Frontier

Odin had much less ability to affect her environment than she once had. For the most part, this didn't bother her. That might be hard to believe for most people, to go from nearly limitless power to this mélange of skills she was now...but really, omnipotence became boring after a while. It's why so many other Qs were such utter pains in the ass. This life was weird, and limited, but it was a lot more interesting.

Right then, though, she was working on this...extra sort of sense she had developed. It was something that came from her merging with the ship, a kind of mechanical ESP -- at least, that's what she was calling it inside her own thoughts. She hadn't really talked about it to anyone else, and she wasn't sure if she would, but she was learning now that it moved beyond just the ship. She could also "feel" other mechanical craft, which included the other AI on this ship. The one that was presently shutdown, yet Odin had realized she could still "sense" Kat.

With this in mind, she pursued the feeling and reached out.

----

Pressure.

A sea of nothing. No lights. No sounds. No thoughts.

But then, pressure.

Just a little bit, from the outside.

Outside? What was outside?

The world. Reality. IR signatures, magnetic fields, machines, people. Outside.

"Hello ... ?" A question in the darkness. Faint. Echoing as it faded.

"Kat?"

The voice was Odin's, although the darkness remained so she wasn't a visible physical form yet. Her voice would be, or should be, distinguishable enough to be recognized without her face.

"Kat?" she repeated. "Are you there?"

"Yes. No. I don't - " A pause. "I don't know where I am. But I can hear you, if that helps," A form shimmered into view in the darkness, Kat manifesting in her flight form, the familiar four-winged avian dinosaur, floating in the void, glancing around in confusion. "Where am I?"

Within a few moments, Odin also manifested in the darkness. She was immediately in front of the dinosaur creature, although Odin herself was her usual humanoid form. Tall, strong, female human. One eye blue and the other a vaguely star-swirled white. Braided blonde hair. "I exactly know where this is," she admitted with a faint smile. "But it seems some sort of...technological dreamscape, perhaps?"

"That makes no logical sense, I don't dream," Kat admitted, her flight form shifting to her humanoid avatar, floating in the void opposite Odin. She looked at her hands, turning them over and back again, brows furrowed, looking confused. "... But I'm not sure what else to call this."

The AI pilot looked around, behind her, above and below her, arms and legs slowly flailing a bit as if to try and find something to hold on to. "No systems responding. Minimal power readings, this makes no logical sense. How are we talking?"

Odin laughed softly, and in this strange place, it made an odd echo. "I honestly can't tell you," she said, "but I think it's partly something I'm doing. I've been exploring what powers I still have, and I have some sort of odd connection with the ship and, it seems, other things. I...sensed you and pursued the feeling. Here we are."

"It shouldn't be p - ... well, it apparently is. This is - " Kat paused, making a lazy circle around Odin, floating, almost like flying with her arms. "Is this dreaming? Is this what dreaming is like? My systems read inactive. But you can sense me. Can you sense other computers on the ship?" Turns out Kat was a lucid dreamer.

"To a degree," Odin agreed. She was new to this and finding it odd as well, though she seemed a bit less disconcerted than Kat was by it. Perhaps all her many, many years as an omnipotent being made it so you just weren't surprised by things so much. "I can sense all of the technology of the ship, but they are...less intense than sensing you was. It's like how others see things, I suppose. You don't see the background so much as you see what's moving."

"It doesn't, make sense yet is obviously happening. Perhaps I need to reinterpret what makes sense, what is possible within my frame of existence," Kat mused, brows furrowed. She contemplated a fleeting moment before speaking again. "I can't access my support systems. I can't wake up. Do you know what happened?"

At this point, Odin did realize that when here, so much of her "mind" was being taken up that she couldn't quite access the ship's systems like she usually could. She had to go off what she'd already gleaned. "There was a fire, although I didn't learn what caused it before I came here. You're shut down at the moment."

"A fire," Kat mused, looking thoughtful. "Last thing in my files is a temperature warning in my support systems. Then, black. And here. You. So there was a fire," the AI spread her arms, leaning backwards in the void. "That explains why I can't access my systems. Are they going to repair me?"

"I believe they had already begun before I followed you here," Odin replied, but then her pale brows knit and she frowned slightly. She looked off to one side, though there was nothingness there. "I can't read the ship very well while here, it seems. Too much of my processing is taken up by this, but I have an...impression that there is something bigger going on right now. It may be a while before you're fixed, if I'm right."

"Then, maybe you should try to - .. wake, and see what's going on? Maybe they need your help," Kat tilted her head. "I'm - ... confused. This makes no sense. I don't - want to be here. Powerless. Is this what being afraid is like?"

Odin smiled ruefully, but not unkindly. "I don't have a lot of experience with fear myself," she said, "but if there was a situation where it would be natural, I think this is probably it. I'm sure they'll get you back online as soon as they can."

"It's not something I am programmed to understand, or deal with," Kat shook her head, almost as if trying to shake the feeling. Her furrowed brows showed that did not work. "I do not like it."

"No one does," Odin said, tilting her head as if listening to something in the distance. When she spoke, it was a little more detached as she focused on multiple things at the same time. "Fear is designed by evolution to steer people away from things that could harm them. If you are experiencing now, I guess it means you are...evolving too."

A slow nod. "I suppose it's time to start writing a routine for dealing with it, then," Kat lowered her gaze, shoulders slumping a bit. "If they repair me. Right now I don't have the power to."

Odin smiled faintly and glanced back at Kat. "You'll be repaired," she said. "I'll make sure of it...but..." She looked away again. "I think you may be right. I should go find out what's happening. I don't think it's good, but I'll be back as soon as I can be."

"Alright," Kat agreed. "Thank you for visiting."

"Everything is going to be okay," Odin said with a reassuring expression before she blinked out and returned to the regular world to find out what the hell was going on out there.

 

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