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Blight eyed the Chair thoughtfully, it would have given them away had it been allowed the opportunity, but then that was its programming.


“Chair?” he said,


“Yes?”


“Does your programming have any sub-routines to cover this contingency?”


“That you have managed to override my control and have still survived? No it does not. However I have the latest learning circuitry installed and will no doubt be able to compute a way of regaining control, carrying out my mission and killing you all.”


“But you won’t be able to do anything if we disconnect you.”


“Neither will you.” Blight didn’t know it was possible for a computer to sound smug
“Logg say we take chances without talking bum rest.”
“I agree.” put in Smith.
“Absolutely, daahling.”
Tok Jacoby reached into a coverall pocket,
“I found three more bombs in the loading bay. Sara asked me to bring one of them to the bridge.”
Sara took the device from him carefully and attached it to the underside of the chair. She stood, dusted off her hands and remarked,
“Did you know it was possible to use all sorts of different triggers for one of these little beauties?”
“Such as?” Blight asked.
“Well, such as if the life support system were to switch off, that will arm the explosive and in two minutes detonate it.”
She patted the Chair’s arm-rest,
“And you’ll be blown into thousands of itsy bitsy computer parts, thereby failing your mission. Incidentally failure of life support isn’t its only trigger. There are twenty other possibilities and only I know them all.”
Chair was silent and Smith chuckled,
“You really are a devious bitch, aren’t you?”
“The very best.”
“Right then.” said Blight, “There’s a pulse laser to be built, manual controls to be wired up and some kind of scanning system to be cobbled together.”
“Not to mention radio and we might want to consider our weapons capability which stands at zero right now.” continued Sara, “Unless a crate labeled ‘machine parts’ has been reported missing from 27A’s stocks.”
Fiona murmured,
“How ever did you guess, sweetie?”
“Okay,” remarked Blight, “even with all that done. This is still a rust-bucket and we have a hell of a journey ahead of us. I assume we still intend to make the QCP?”
“Of course,” said Sara, “We can sell the data to the highest bidder. But before starting, I suggest we hustle over to the ship’s galley and in the finest tradition of heroes faced with grave danger, get completely shit-faced.”
Our little band of intrepid explorers are about to face their future together, working as a team, shoulder to shoulder, ready to lay down their lives for one another in the certain knowledge that they will greet the dawn of their first day as the crew of the ‘Comatose’ with one bugger of a hangover.

the end



------
In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.


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