Part of USS Centaur: Episode Two Phase Two: Decay and Bravo Fleet: Phase 2: Horizon

Chapter Nine

Ancient Space Station
2399
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“Oh. I apologize if I have startled you.” Said the robotic being.

Gomo stepped away a few steps, Maya and Koyda with him, chatting with him, kinda laughing a little while Gomo glared at them.

The rest of them, Vakai, Ryker, Sivol and Gomez looked at each other before looking back at the strange looking robot figure, curious about the skin grafts. “Who are you?” Gomez asked. 

“I am One One KR.”

“KR?” Ryker asked. 

“Konstruction Robot.” 11KR replied. 

“And the numbers mean that you’re the eleventh model?” Sivol asked. 

“Correct. Now that I have answered your questions, will you answer mine? Why are you on this station? I don’t recognize any of your species.”

“We are on this station because our scans indicated that it was old and orbiting a planet that currently has hundreds of thousands of people who are around the steam age of their civilization.” Vakai explained. 

“Ah. Interesting. How old do you think this station is? No wait… that’s not the right question. What year is it?” KR asked. 

“2399.” Sivol answered.

KR looked like it was processing. “I’m sorry. Do you have a stardate?”

Sivol nodded, “No, I’m sorry. I should have given that to you instead. The stardate is 76648.84.”

“Ah. Yes. That makes more sense now. Has it really been that long?” KR asked itself. 

Gomez frowned, “How would you not know? Are you not connected to the station’s database or the computer core?”

KR tilted their head. “No. I do not have access to any critical systems and the station’s database is marked critical. My task was to only assist in construction and maintenance of this station, not management.”

Gomez sighed, “Well that is too bad, we need access to the database, learn more about the construction of this station and the people who built it.”

KR tilted his head again. “Why?”

“Because we are explorers, One-One-KR.” Sivol told him.

“Just KR will do fine, miss…?”

“Oh, how rude of us. You told us who you are and we neglected to tell you who we are. I am Sivol, this is Vakai, our leader. This is Ryker, that lady there is Gomez, the two back there with the one who screamed are Koyda and Maya and the one who screamed is Gomo.” Sivol explained.

“And you are all of different species?” KR asked.

Sivol nodded her head. “Of course. Ryker and Gomez are human. Koyda and Maya are Bajoran. Gomo is Cardassian. I am Vulcan and Vakai is Romulan.”

KR looked between Sivol and Vakai before coming back to Sivol. “You two look very similar.”

Sivol smiled lightly, “We do have similar features, yes. Romulans and Vulcans used to live together, but that was centuries ago.”

KR lifted his head then lowered, like a slow, jerky nod. “I see. I understand. Gomez. I can assist you in locating the computer terminal to access the database but only if you can do me a favor.”

Gomez raised her brows. “A favor?”

KR once again made a jerky nod. “Yes. I would like to have access to the database as well. See, I am the last of my kind and the only one left of this station. I would like to be able to find my people, if there are any left.”

Gomez looked to Vakai who nodded his head before she looked back at him. “That sounds reasonable. Please, lead the way.”

“Splendid! Come come, the terminal we need to use is in the main reactor room. It is the only terminal left that is operational and has the capability of accessing the station’s database. All the other terminals were unfortunately damaged.” KR explained as he began to lead the way back down the corridor. “Come. Come.”

Gomez looked at Vakai and Vakai nodded his head again. “Go. If you don’t mind KR, we would like to keep exploring.”

KR stopped in its tracks and turned to look at them. “Do be careful, Vakai. A lot of the station has structural damage, many sections sealed. I would not want anything bad to happen to either of you.”

Vakai gave a small smile. “We will be careful. Thank you.” Then he watched as Gomez disappeared behind KR as the robot led the way. Vakai then looked to Gomo, Koyda and Maya. “I need you three to continue exploring the rest of the station, see if you can find anything of importance. Hopefully a medical bay or something. I want to know what happened to these people.”

Gomo turned and tilted his head in his helmet. “You think these people were murdered?”

Vakai raised a brow. “Now that is a very interesting hypothesis, Gomo. Why would you ask that?”

Gomo turned around, looking at everyone else before looking back at Vakai. “It just seems odd that this station was abandoned rather than deconstructed if it no longer had any use.”

Valai nodded his head, “And that my friends, is exactly what I am thinking too. Get looking. Me, Sivol and Ryker are going to try to see what we can find from the terminals in Operations.”

The three of them nodded their heads, acknowledging before leaving to continue exploring the rest of the station. Vakai then led the rest into the Operations center and started to look around. Neither of them had removed their helmets, as neither of them knew whether or not the station would remain safe enough to take them off. No, they were cautious, very cautious, and while the suits were refilling the oxygen tanks, the suits continued to provide them the air they needed.

The three of them, Vakai, Sivol and Ryker, began to access the terminals and tried their best to access the station’s logs, but much of everything was either encrypted or damaged and corrupted. In that mean time, Gomo, Maya and Koyda were exploring the station the best they could, but kept reaching sealed off areas and having to take detours.

Gomez and KR reached the Main Reactor Control Room, where she was now at the center terminal, trying her best to understand the language as KR explains it to her. She slowly worked her way through the system best she could, trying to get access to the database, but it was locked out with several encryptions.

When Gomo, Maya and Koyda reached yet another sealed off section, Gomo became hesitant on taking another detour. “Gomo, what’s wrong?” Maya asked as her and Koyda came back to him when they realized he wasn’t walking with them.

Gomo shook his head. “I don’t know but it just seems rather odd. I know the runabout sensors were badly damaged when we went through that debris field, but I swear….” He then pulled out his tricorder and started scanning past the door. “The runabout sensors should have detected hull breaches, even if the sensors were operating above thirty percent. And look,” He held out the tricorder to them to see the readings on the display. “So far there is nothing wrong past this door.”

Maya and Koyda frowned, “Besides it being decompressed and no air over there.” Said Koyda.

Gomo nodded his head. “That is the only reason why we can’t go over there is because we risk decompressing the rest of the station by opening this door. But…” Gomo then reached towards the door panel with the tricorder, scanning it. “The panel here is active and I believe this…” He pressed the button and suddenly a couple lights started blinking on the panel, while the tricorder started to read that the area was filling up with oxygen. “I believe we are being deceived.”

Maya and Koyda looked at each other before reaching over their shoulders and grabbed their rifles, unslinging them and charging them up. Gomo pulled his pistol out of its holster and charged it up as well before nodding to them, who nodded right back before the door slid open the second the section was ready for them. Gomo then activated his comm system. “Gomo to Vakai.”

“Go ahead.” Vakai’s voice rang into their helmets.

“We are entering one of the sections that were sealed off. We were able to restore air to it, apparently not as structurally damaged as we were to believe.” Gomo explained.

“Acknowledged. Keep me apprised.”

Meanwhile, Vakai stepped back and sighed. “A lot of these terminals are just not operating properly. Half the commands bring me right back to the main menu.”

“Commander.”

Vakai turned and looked at Sivol, both him and Ryker walking over to her. “You got something?”

“Yes. This terminal does not appear to be as damaged as the rest. But the logs are heavily corrupted.” Sivol explained as she tried to navigate through the system.

“Why would crew logs be outside the database where they can be easily damaged like this?” Ryker asked.

Vakai shook his head, “I don’t know. Maybe they were stored in these terminals before they could upload them to their database. Or maybe these were more personal.”

Sivol then frowned, “I got something.”

“Can you read it?” Vakai asked.

Sivol sighed and pulled out her tricorder. “I’m going to try but I have never seen this language before. If this is really some station of some ancient civilization, then what we need are experts on ancient civilizations.”

Vakai shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what to tell you. I didn’t take any kind of class back at the Academy for this. Did you?”

Sivol shook her head in her helmet and realized she did that. “No. I have not.”

“Neither have I.” Ryker told them.

Vakai sighed, “What I am going to do, when I get my own command, is request a specialist. In case something like this happens.”

“That would be nice.” Ryker smirked.

Sivol frowned some more, “This can’t be right…”

“Commander…. We…found something…” Koyda’s voice rang in their helmets.

“What did you find?” Vakai asked.

Meanwhile, Gomez sighed heavily. “Damnit. I’m trying to follow your lead on this language here but this encryption is a real pain.”

KR then reached over and pressed a couple commands and the station suddenly jolted and the power started to flicker. “Maybe that will help.”

Gomez turned to him. “What the hell did you do?!”

KR looked at her, “I detonated explosives that I had planted on the station’s auxiliary generators. In a few seconds, the station will lose power. That should reset the main computer and delete the encryptions. Batteries will then come online, bringing power back to the terminal but you will only have a few minutes as the batteries were not designed to power the orbital stabilizers.”

Gomez’s eyes went wide. “Why did you do that?!”

KR tilted its head. “It was the only way. Those encryptions were put there to keep me out.” The lights, terminals, everything, went out for a brief then emergency lights came on while the terminals blinked back on as well. “Now you have five minutes to get me into the database or I will kill you.” KR’s eyes went from being wide and yellow, to now narrow and red as well as his voice having become deeper and more sadistic.

“You found what?” Vakai asked, as they noticed the sudden power flicker. Sivol was able to get back to where she was and did her best to read the log.

“Bodies. Lots of them. And they look like something tore them open. Not to mention, some of them are missing skin in various places.” Koyda explained.

Sivol’s eyes went wide and she turned to look at Vakai. “We need to stop KR and Gomez, now! We can’t let her give him access to the database.”

Ryker frowned, “Why?”

Sivol looked at him. “One One KR has a prototype AI in his operating system. It completely backfired on them. If he gains access to the database, he will have access to everything. He is only able to build and maintain this station and this station specifically. He doesn’t have full free will. But if he gets that, he can go wherever he wants, build whatever he wants, including dangerous and powerful weapons.”

Vakai activated his comm system. “Gomez, do you read? Gomez!” Suddenly the station rocked some more.

Sivol returned to the terminal and backed out from the logs to find a display that she could access. “Auxiliary power is offline. Batteries have been activated but they are being used to power the orbital stabilizers. They won’t last for much longer.”

Vakai looked at Sivol and Ryker. “Come, we need to get to the main reactor room. Gomo, Koyda, Maya. I need you guys to find these auxiliary generators, see if you can get them online.”

Gomez felt extremely uncomfortable as she was trying her best to get into the database as he requested but before she was about two or three steps away from doing so, she heard phaser fire. She turned to see KR being pelted by three phasers only to stumble a bit. Gomez quickly backed out and started adding a layer of encryption while KR was distracted.

“Get away from her!” Ryker yelled at the robot.

KR glared at them with the narrow red eyes before looking at Gomez and saw what she had just done. KR roared with anger, grabbed her by her neck with his grip squeezing through her suit and then tossed her over the railing that encompassed the center of the main circular room.

“NOOO!!!” Ryker yelled before pulling the trigger over and over again, pelting KR with more phaser blasts. “How is he not going down?!”

“It’s got to be the alloy that he is made up of.” Sivol told him.

“Run.” Vakai looked at the two, “Run!!” He shouted and pushed them through the doorway, forcing them to start running before running right behind them.

KR let out a guttural growl. “You can run…oh wait, no…you can’t!” He laughed hysterically, before he started running after them at crazy speeds.

They saw that KR was catching up but Sivol stopped at a panel, quickly entered some commands, and a large bulkhead came crashing down, sealing shut between them and KR. “Good thinking!” Ryker told her and she just nodded her head. But then they heard loud banging on the other side, eventually the banging started to present dents on their side. “Oh great.” But then the station began to shake violently and they could hear KR laughing loudly from the other side.

“Yes! If I can’t get the database, then this station will fall into the planet and kill everyone. Too bad the reactor is not online, I would love to cause an extinction level event!”

Sivol looked to them, “That bulkhead won’t hold for long, we need to do something.”

Vakai looked at Ryker. “Get back to the runabout and try to keep the station’s orbit from deteriorating even more!” Ryker nodded his head and took off running. Vakai then looked at Sivol, “Is there an airlock near here?” She nodded her head and led him the way, both of them running. Vakai tapped on his comm system. “Ryker, stand by to fire on KR.”

“Standing by!” Ryker’s voice rang into their helmets.

“I’m coming for you!! And I’m going to kill you all!!” KR’s voice rang throughout the corridor as they could hear him running, getting closer and closer.

Vakai pointed to the junction, “Hide there and when he’s in the airlock with me, open the outer hatch.”

“What about you?!” Sivol asked.

“Just have your magnetics on and ready! Don’t worry, I don’t plan on going anywhere.” He squeezed her arm then nudged her to hide. She quickly did so before KR showed up, and Vakai started to walk into the airlock. “So what made you turn against your crew, your creators, KR?”

KR slowly walked up to the doorway of the open inner hatch of the airlock, the eyes haven’t changed back at all, still narrowed and red. “When I became self aware. When I realized that my creators were nothing but flesh bags who deserved nothing more than to be sliced open and have their guts spilled all over the floor.”

Vakai shook his head. “Something more had to trigger this…this psychotic breakdown.”

KR began to laugh hysterically. “Psychotic breakdown. I suppose that would be how you would see it. I see it as a breakthrough, realizing that only I am the true being. Only I deserve to exist. But I was trapped, trapped inside this prison, unable to do more than build and conduct maintenance. I tried to break free from here but they refused to give me what I wanted, refused to cut the leash and set me free.”

Vakai stared at him as he activated his magnetic boots. “So then, they deemed you as defective.”

KR lurched his head forward a bit. “I AM NOT DEFECTIVE!!”

That was it, the trigger. “Sivol, now!” Vakai ordered and in a moment, KR had no idea what was going on, and the second KR turned his body around to see, it was too late. Sivol pressed the button, the outer hatch opened and the whole section began to decompress. Vakai grabbed onto the rails protruding from both sides of the airlock while trying to keep his magnetic boots from losing their lock to the deck. KR on the other hand had no way to stop himself from being ejected out of the airlock, except grabbing onto Vakai’s suit, which immediately tore right off where KR’s hands were and out he went, into the cold vastness of space. Sivol closed the outer hatch as soon as KR was gone, and hit several commands to bring oxygen back into the section but the system was having a hard time doing so while only on batteries.

Vakai fell to his knees as he tried to cover up the large gashes of his suit that had been torn open with his hands, but he was having trouble with it. “Vakai, hold on! We’re going to get you back to the Main Reactor Room. We need to do something to get main power back or we’re all doomed!”

Vakai placed a hand on Sivol’s shoulder. “Ryker.” He gasped, finding it difficult to talk. “He’s outside. In space. Shoot him!”

Ryker didn’t want to know what was going on with Vakai but the moment he picked up KR on his sensors, he targeted him with the runabout’s phasers and blasted him, one shot vaporizing the robot. Ryker sighed in relief, “KR is destroyed. Establishing a tractor beam on the station now.”

Back at the Main Reactor Room, a gloved hand came up from the below where the railing was and grabbed one of the rails. Pulling herself up and over the top railing, she collapsed to the floor, panting heavily as her left arm was bent to her chest, having either broken it or dislocated it from catching one of the rails when she was falling. Climbing back up was a bitch for her, but she was not going to allow herself to die. She forced herself up onto her feet, “Gomez to Vakai.” She spoke after activating her comm system. She then heard Ryker laughing in the background.

“Oh my god, Ashley!! You’re alive!” Ryker’s voice rang into her helmet.

Gomez limped back to the main terminal. “For now. But I am going to need some help.”

“We’re on our way, Gomez.” Came Sivol’s voice and then suddenly the power went out completely, lights, terminals, everything and the station began to rock more violently.

“Tractor beam locked! But I don’t know how long it’ll hold!” Ryker’s voice came in.

“Ryker, I need one of those power packs, pronto!” Gomez told him.

“Coming right up.” As Ryker said that, Sivol and Vakai came into the main reactor room. Gomez looked at Vakai, “Ryker! We need some fabric and sealant for the EV suits too, quickly!”