Chapter 29

Dunnhain stared blankly at the devastation before him, wall plates were strewn about, strangely bent girders and cogs pulled from the space in between laid amidst an assortment of books and oddly arranged personal belongings. Three more skeletons had been discovered, one of which had the size and stature of a Knight, they had not found a teddy yet but they would. A sort of grim determination had gripped the order of the road, causing them to frantically dismantle the entirety of the engine room, deck and ceiling included all the while uncovering more traces of truly bizarre behavior. In one case they had found a disconnected board computer, one that should be located on the bridge, hidden beneath the engine mount, in another a fuel line laid across an as of yet unidentified girder, both of which were well hidden within the room’s wall without apparent reason.

The general channel came alive as grand mechanic Ingleston suddenly spoke. “I hope I found it, at least I think I might have.” His voice seemed tired, quickly Dunnhain carried the little corpse over. In the hands of his superior laid a small brown scraggly bear, it was missing one eye, and a ear, and looked like it was once a washcloth, or a towel. With excessive care he placed it in the arms of the tiny skeleton, it looked right somehow.

Elsewhere on the same vessel, separated by miles of winding corridors, vast training halls, and oratoria Dame Krim had stripped down to her bare essentials, just to verify how the system, that should not work, worked. “Explain something to me Dame, why should this not work? Is  it not similar to the interaction between say a prosthetic, and living tissue?” The question gave her pause, she almost wanted to chastise the man for not knowing the basic principles of biomechanica, then she caught herself, the Knight Commander was not of her order, he literally could not know, a side effect of the specialization between the orders, some knowledge becoming closely associated with some orders, while some others would specialize purely within their own areas of expertise, forgetting to keep up to date on developments in areas not their own. “One of the differences between that and this, is that the prosthetics are specifically made to interact and connect in the way they do, tuned carefully to a Knights neurological pathways so as not to overreact or suddenly spasm as an impulse is misread. You watched the original powered assistance frame demonstration? The one that spasmed and contorted with such violence it would have killed the wearer?” The example was often used to warn young engineers and mechanics to properly test all their inventions. It was also the first true step towards a powered assistance suit. “I have all though I do not see the connection.” Dame Krim chuckled. “I  guess it seems very different, however that is the state this technology should be in right now. Far from functional, but theoretically sound. And here we are looking at a true break through! A living person! Aware throughout stasis! On life support and such while maintaining the ship’s functions! Her brain replacing the massively complex computer systems and programming needed to keep her running, using admittedly the same technology as the prosthetics it seems, for the interface, but sir it works! It is like they used a bicycle tire to replace a tank tread, and they made it work!” Dame Krim’s rambling, all though annoying was at least informative. “So can you fee her? ” Too bad he lacked patience today. “Yes Sir I can, the system seems designed to allow just that!” Mordred waited, and waited. “Then DO SO! ” “I am sorry Sir, But I really can not do that!” “You just, you literally JUST said you could! So why not?!” “Well, Sir, I could, but without the computer she replaces, we would all die in an instant! So I need the parts for it first.” Mordred drew in a deep breath. “Then please, find those parts rapidly?” It made no sense to get angry after all.

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