7 of 7 | Chapter 11

 

“You haven't been wasting any time, have you?” he noted, turning to Steersman.

“What I managed to understand very quickly in the past few years is that I have to take threats more seriously. It could take only one second to lose everything that we've worked for.”

“I know that there are good reasons for us to prepare for threats that are both real and predictable,” agreed Trenerry, “but an armada of this size might be a bit too much, don't you think?”

“That is quite possibly. I have always gone beyond what is real and predictable, however. With this fleet, we will be fully capable of defending ourselves, our families, homes, anything that might be used against anybody, and that is all that's important. If any one of us is threatened, then I consider it to be a threat against ASEC itself.”

“Okay, I don't see anything too confrontational in this approach,” said Trenerry. “And what is the size of the fleet we're talking about?”

“We have as much equipment as is necessary to protect everyone, in any part of the world even in the face of multiple threats.”

“Then it's a pretty serious number. How do they work? Controlling them must be quite something,” he judged.

“It's not at all that complicated. The communication language is quite advanced enough to allow them to perform complex operations with one statement. As I said, each of them is a targeting device. Each has the capability, at deployment, to carry out a command and achieve a fixed goal. Once that goal has been achieved, the device returns to its original position, here.”

“Do they have weapons?”

“Not in the traditional sense of the word. They cannot shoot or blow things up. However, they do have a tool with which they can take a rocket out of the sky or even a jet fighter.”

“An air-force fighter?”

“Yes. With the redesigned gravitational radius that lifted us here, they are also able to catch objects in flight, then hold them and take them wheresoever they need to. To disable a fighter is not too complicated. Just one of the wings has to be removed and it will be unable to fly.”

“True. What do you mean by ‘short-reaction’?”

“It's related to completing the task. As they're not constantly active, their directive applies for a short period of time, until it has been carried out.”

“Are they able to learn?”

“These machines don't have long term memory. They have no learning processes. When giving them instructions, there is a certain amount of information given to them about the conditions needed for them to best carry out their duties. When the mission has been completed and the perceptions and experiences gained during the performance of the mission are uploaded to the CCI system, the order statement is completed.”

“Isn't it frightening that they are here and ready … not even that. What is most frightening is the fact that we may just need them. I don't know when and where, but the signs have been right in front of our noses for quite some time, and that is pretty depressing,” Trenerry summarized, frowning.

Steersman didn't care, he was long over it and thought only in solutions. He was always ready and prepared to solve any problem that might endanger their work.

“So, now you know everything. Prepare for the Gravitor's installation,” he said to Trenerry, without compunction.

“All right.”

“The plant will be carried to the site by the largest transport ship we have. The whole energetics unit is going too. The shipment will accompanied by fifty robotic air shields, and at least as many personal bodyguards.” He pointed to the units underneath.

“It's going to cause quite a shit storm …” Trenerry responded briefly.

 

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CHAPTER 1 | EXCOLOPOLIS
CHAPTER 2 | MACHINES
CHAPTER 3 | A NEW TECHNOLOGY
CHAPTER 4 | ATTACK
CHAPTER 5 | THE SOURCE
CHAPTER 6 | THE SCIENCE CENTER
CHAPTER 7 | UNIVERSITY CITY
CHAPTER 8 | GLIDECRAFT
CHAPTER 9 | SECTOR TWO
CHAPTER 10 | THEY KNOW WE ARE HERE
CHAPTER 12 | INSTALLATION
CHAPTER 13 | ENERGY WAR
CHAPTER 14 | AFTERSHOCKS
CHAPTER 15 | INITIATION
CHAPTER 16 | PREPARATION
CHAPTER 17 | DEFENSE CORPS
CHAPTER 18 | TRUTH
CHAPTER 19 | BEYOND EARTH