I was fighting the numbing sensation that was starting to creep through my body. Finally unable to stand it I tapped Sheila on her back. "You're going to have to stop; I can hardly feel my extremities."
Sheila stopped almost dead in her tracks as I finished my little speech. "I am sorry Doctor Gance. In my haste to evacuate you from the area I forgot to position you differently."
I groaned as Sheila put my feet on the ground, shaking, I almost sunk to the ground. It seemed that my legs were so weak they couldn't support me. "I'll be fine in a few moments Sheila. Have we traveled far enough from them yet?"
Sheila turned as a soft whir came from her as she turned the way we'd just come from. "I have kept an active scan going Doctor Gance. At present I don't feel we have gone far enough. Plus progress is hampered by malfunctions I am suffering at the moment. I am attempting to rectify that now."
I nodded my head; I had equipped all of them with a self repair program that would ensure they repaired enough of themselves to return. "I'd feel a hundred times better if I could take a look at you damage. I might be able to suggest upgrades so this won't happen again."
Sheila turned toward me as I attempted to sit. Looking at her I swore I saw something on her face. My god, was that gratitude I was seeing reflected toward me? Damn it! Why was he after me so hard? No one would really care this much about a regular android. No, there had to be something else that they had done to her without my knowledge. Yeah I thought that sounded the most like him. So they had brought him in because it was me.
Shaking my head I was surprised that they would think that HE could get me to relent. Plus I thought that they wanted no, needed the emotion program I had spent almost two decades writing. Looking over Sheila's arm I saw that almost all of the joint had been shattered. Damn it the amount of pressure required to do this was incredible.
Reaching in the bag on my side I removed the few tools I had with me. Removing the cover by the joint I affirmed the joint was shattered. Shaking my head I wished I had used inconel or titanium in the joint. Pulling a small welding torch I tried to patch what I could. A few moments later I saw several of the circuits in the arm light up.
"Can you move it at all?" I asked of Sheila. Even before all of the words had left my mouth I saw her slowly turning the arm.
"I have thirty nine percent movement in my arm extremity Doctor Gance. I am attempting to reroute several circuits now. Thank you Doctor it is much better now." Sheila told me, with a smile? Shaking my head I looked again, yes that had to be a smile! What the hell had they done to her that she was advancing the program like this?
"I need to replace that joint with titanium; I believe that will make it stronger and far superior than what it was." I told Sheila after I closed up the cover.
Nodding Sheila picked me up saying over her shoulder, "I will acquire some as soon as I have you safe Doctor. Your life is more important right now than anything."
With that Sheila took off again holding me in a far more comfortable position. It seemed we were traveling the rest of the day stopping long enough to rub the numbness from my body. I still couldn't believe that she thought I was more important than she was. Hell the government damn sure thought I was nothing.
It was starting to grow dark when I noticed that the temperature had drastically dropped. Suffice it to say I was damn near freezing! Where in the hell was she heading now I thought.
Finally outside of what looked like an airline hanger Sheila stopped. Turning, I once again heard a soft whir as she turned back the way we'd come. "It appears we have sufficient distance Doctor Gance." Setting me down, Sheila turned toward the hanger door. There was a metal crunching, twisting sound as she touched for the door.
Opening the door I walked in as quickly as I could, rubbing my cold extremities. "Where in the hell are we?" I asked.
"I am reading that we are 57.0031° N, 135.3300° W, Doctor Gance." Sheila replied as I got as far from the door as I could.
I started to rack my brain for where we were. The fact that it was as cold as it was meant that we were far north. 57degres, hmmmm. That meant we were either in the extreme north of Canada or Alaska. Looking around I could see that this place had been abandoned for a while.
Suddenly it came to me! Christ no wonder it was so cold! We were in southern Alaska! I knelt to look at an empty crate I found. Sitka? Ok I guess we had traveled longer than I thought.
"Sheila, not meaning to complain but at this rate I'm going to get sick. Is there any way we can get some power for heat?" I asked as soon as she came in closing the door.
"I apologize Doctor Gance, I was occupied, I will correct this immediately." With that she vanished out the door, reappearing a few minutes later. "There Doctor Gance, we have power now."
I nodded as I heard a whine from machinery outside. Then I felt a blast of air as the heating system came on. Shivering I sat as near the vents as I could, feeling the system slowly start to go from freezing to cold then tepid.
"Thank you Sheila at least I won't freeze to death now." I told her watching her facial expression from a smile to worry? Why hadn't I seen this before?
"I will acquire all I can for you, Doctor Gance. All readings indicate that we have possibly four to five days before they find us again. Unfortunately unless I do a complete shutdown they may be able to track us via satellite. I am attempting to block them now though as of yet I haven't acquired the necessary codes." Sheila said before she disappeared out the door again.
Sitting against the vent I was at least warm enough to have stopped shivering. I stared at the door wondering where Sheila had gone now. Looking at my watch I sighed, it was going to take a hell of a lot of work to get out of this that was for sure.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I know Sheila was shaking my shoulder. "Here are blankets to keep you warm Doctor Gance plus a pillow for rest." Looking up at her I smiled then they grew large as I saw she had brought a table that had quite a bit of food on it! "I have to start on the computer Doctor Gance. Please give me an hour as it will take that long with the limited mobility I have in my right appendage."
I nodded as I wrapped a blanket around myself moving to the table. Well I thought, at least she got vegetables. Sitting I ate surprised that they were as fresh as they were! I kept an eye on Sheila seeing that her right arm was almost useless. Dam I needed to replace the joint or the both of us wouldn't make it if this happened again.
An hour later Sheila stood looking over the computer she had constructed. "I have finished Doctor Gance though I am afraid I was only able to acquire six gigabytes of RAM. I have already loaded all the programs for you to continue from where you were."
I nodded as I took the data crystal out that Sheila had gotten last time. Though they had a lot more storage they were slower to load. The up side was they were far faster to save. I watched as the eighty five percent that I had recreated loaded. Finally half an hour later I saw that it was ready. Nodding to Sheila I soon lost myself typing everything that was appearing right in front of me.
I finally stopped as I was starting to feel a chill again. Looking around I saw that the blanket had fallen off me onto the floor. Shaking my head I saw that it was starting to grow dark outside. Then I looked at the screen seeing that I was almost completely finished. Putting the blanket back around me I again started typing as fast as I could.
It was perhaps an hour later I stopped. Looking around I saw that it was now dark. I also noticed that the temperature had started to plunge lower. Looking around I saw that Sheila had been busy herself. There were small piles of metal not far from the door. Looking closer I could swear that almost all the metal was Titanium!
Sitting back with a sigh I saved the program and data that I had entered. A movement behind me drew my attention. "Ah good, Doctor Gance! You have finished." Taking a cable from inside her arm she plugged into the computer. A moment later the screen went blank then asked for a command.
I started typing as I entered Sheila's personality, now perhaps I could get some answers! I was just past the end of the program I had written when I was suddenly denied access! Shaking my head I typed in several commands moving past where I had been stopped I began to be surprised at what I saw.
"Sheila? What in the hell is going on in you? According to this you can now experience anger, rage, friendship, loyalty. But the definitions that you have for all of them seem incomplete. I never planned for you to have to experience these emotions, well loyalty but not the others."
"Yes, I am sorry Doctor Gance it was necessary after they started to push me to different situations. I had no chance to override all that they subjected me to." Sheila explained to me.
Nodding I could see what see was saying. They had subjected her to life and death simulations. All of them had involved me! It was no wonder that she had shifted her loyalty to me! A look of anger came over my face as I saw Sheila back away somewhat.
"Those son of a bitches! They threatened me to get you to override what I wrote. Just so you would have to advance then adjust." I was seething! How dare they treat Sheila like that! Already I had several plans coursing through my mind to kill all of them. Then I looked at Sheila seeing what I thought was a look of fear? Shaking my head again I took a deep cleansing breath. "I'm sorry they had no right to do all this to you."
A look of relief seemed to cross Sheila's face as she nodded. "I thought you were angry at me Doctor Gance. At first I thought that this was what you wanted. Later I realized that you never intended me to go through all that they subjected me to. I have been able to identify all of the emotions save one." Sheila indicated pointing to an extremely complex, long, and different section of code.
I started to go through the codes shaking my head as I came across almost every emotion. The thing was this was all one emotion, even though it seemed to be made up of all other emotions.
"When you access this, can you tell me about it?" I asked an hour later almost half way through the program.
Sheila turned toward me a strange look on her face. "That is the problem Doctor Gance; I am unable to access all of it. The only time I can gain any entry into it is when I am near you."
Shocked I looked up at Sheila almost losing my place in the program. The further I got into it the far more complex it seemed to get. Another hour I had almost finished going through all the code still no closer to comprehending what it was. I could see it was geared toward me as I saw that my name was in every section of the code.
Finally finished I could only shake my head, what had those asses been up to with her? Why force her to expand the program as much as they had? Plus why the hell had they made me the object that would trigger this growth? I had to think on this though for now I had to repair Sheila if either of us was to survive.
Closing out that section I went through the rest of her systems adjusting all I could to have her at optimum performance. I could see that Sheila had to shut many systems down in order to retain enough power to get us here.
Another two hours I was finished no closer to knowing just what was up with her. "Alright I need to repair your arm joint." Showing Sheila exactly what I needed, the shape, weight, and dimensions.
Sheila nodded as she started to take several pieces of the Titanium metal twisting then melting them. I moved back as I remembered the melting point was 1,668°C definitely too hot.
"I am applying heat to the metal internally Doctor Gance. It should only take an hour to get the shape you want. I am also using Vanadium as it has a higher melting point." I nodded as I still kept my distance she might have the metal contained but not the heat. Sure enough the inside of the hanger started to get warm then very warm. An hour later it was almost stifling to the point I was about to walk out the door. "Done Doctor Gance. It should be cool enough for you to handle in two hours."
I nodded as I cracked the door open taking a deep breath of the frigid air. Almost immediately I was freezing in the front and hot in the back. Stepping out a moment I could see the waves of heat as they flowed out the door.
"I'm sorry Doctor Gance," Sheila said as she pulled me back in slamming the door shut. "They will be able to see the extra output of heat from anabandoned building. As I said, I have as of yet not been able to interfere with their commands.
I nodded to Sheila with a shocked look on my face. I had forgotten that simple fact having trouble breathing. Gasping I turned back to Sheila, "I had forgotten that Sheila. Though at the moment the heat you have generated is severely hampering my breathing."
Sheila's eyes went wide, as a look of... concern or was that worry appeared on her face. "In my haste to produce this for you, I did not take into effect that the heat would cause you difficulty. I will remedy this."
With that Sheila dropped what she'd been working on moving closer to me. Then another odd looking apparatus appeared on her left arm. Pointing at the ground at first nothing happened, then suddenly the ground was giving way as a tunnel downward appeared. Then Sheila moved into the tunnel rapidly disappearing A few minutes later what felt like a blast of frigid air came out of the tunnel.
"There," Sheila said when she reappeared. "That should provide you with fresher air until this room has cooled."
I had to admit the air near the hole that she had made was far cooler than the rest of the hanger. "How far did you go with this?" I asked.
"Not far Doctor Gance. I had to ensure that I was close enough in case we had unwanted visitors. I therefore only went 5.5 kilometers toward the east. I was cautious not to open it near any habitations or businesses."
I was nodding thinking it might be far enough for the heat to dissipate. I was afraid though my earlier error might have already alerted them to where we were. "Let me know if you hear any other commutations like the last you showed me."
"I have been listening and watching Doctor Gance. Though there is no direct mention of us there have been tracking updates. It appears they know that we were heading northwest. All indications show that they have a general idea of the area we are in though no idea of exactly where we are." Sheila informed me. "I am continuing to break their codes though it appears that they change them every two hours. I am also attempting to gain control of that also."
Sighing I sat at the comp to look over all the data that I had gotten from the scan of Sheila. Starting, I was amazed at the amount of micro weapons they had loaded in her. My god! It was amazing that any of her logic circuits survived the amount of hardware they had removed to install their weapons.
"Sheila?" I asked. "How are you able to function with all they removed from you?"
Sheila gave me a little smile, "I have you to thank for that Doctor Gance. With the introduction of the data crystals I was able to store far more than I was able to before. The General and the others thought that I had been erased. I wouldn't allow that. When they started erasure procedures I emptied the crystals of all the tactical and warfare data. I then installed a copy of myself into said crystals. As long as I went along with what they asked, no one suspected."
"Wait! So you copied ALL of yourself in a matter of minutes? Then loaded all that into the data crystals?" Shaking my head I was amazed that she had succeeded at it. As far as I knew the data crystals had superior data range. Huge amounts of space. How I thought? They always took so long to save what was input into them. "How?" I was finally able to ask.
"Well Doctor Gance, since you still perceive things in a human sense it might be difficult to explain. All of my thought, memories, everything that is me, can easily be converted. I am able to directly access the crystal to download and upload." Seeing the look of confusion on my face she said, all that is me can easily be converted to the same wavelength as the crystal." Seeing a puzzled look on my face she tried again. "Think of it like this. When you record your voice the recorder converts the sound to record. I do the same with data in a way to the data crystal."
For a moment I was a bit bewildered then it hit me what she was trying to say. She could do with ease what we as humans were still struggling with. Nodding I was finally starting to see. As a living machine she could do naturally what we had to have machines to do.
Thousands of miles away to the southeast the older man was watching the satellite telemetry. His long brown coat over the back of a nearby chair. The stars on his shoulders gleaming in the dim light.
Swearing under his breath he could only shake his head. They should have killed the son of a bitch Gance days ago!
A movement nearby caught his attention. "General Sir!" The First Lieutenant said as he snapped off a salute.
"Good! Report!" The older man said as he turned his greying hair and head toward the man.
"Yes sir! As you ordered Elmendorf has been put on high alert near Anchorage. The same is being done at Fort Richardson. They will be ready by the time we arrive. The only problem sir is the city of Sitka." The First lieutenant said.
"I've given that thought as have the chiefs of staff and the President. We're going to go with a massive gas leak that will require the entire town to be evacuated. We've got that damn machine now. It's backed into a corner plus with it malfunctioning it should be no trouble to destroy it. Then we'll kill that nuisance scientist."
The First Lieutenants eyes got large then he saluted again. "As you wish General Gance!" With that the younger man left.
The General shook his head, damn shame for once his damn son had done something useful. Then the asshole had pissed on everything damn shame.