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Replica

by Viridian5

     Subject: gen: "Replica" (Andromeda)
     Date: Saturday, February 01, 2003 8:17 AM

     "Replica"
     By Viridian5
     1/27/03
     RATING: PG.
     SPOILERS: "The Unconquerable Man." 
     SUMMARY: Harper is building the Dylan he thinks Rhade needs.
     ARCHIVAL/DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere, as long as you ask me first.
     FEEDBACK: can be sent to Viridian5@aol.com
     NOTES: Some of the things the Dylan AI knew made me wonder....

DISCLAIMERS: All things _Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda_ belong to Gene Roddenberry's estate, Tribune Entertainment Company, and Fireworks. None of them are mine at all, and I'm putting them back when I'm done with them, though I can't promise that they won't be disturbed in the process. No infringement intended.


"Replica"
By Viridian5

"I can't believe I'm doing this," I said to myself. Seeing as how nobody living was here with me, I had nobody else to say it to. I've always been my own best listener anyway.

I'd figured the High Guard leftover to be a practical guy. Scary but practical. After all, he'd slaughtered Gerentex and all the mercenaries except for the Uber one. Which freaked the hell out of Rev, who'd just given me a speech on how I couldn't kill Gerentex because that would make me no better than that traitorous rat. Heh. Rhade had the right idea about enemies. You don't leave them alive so they can stab you in the back later.

So, practical guy, right? Except that once I finished getting the wonderful, wonderful Andromeda Ascendant back online from the damage he'd done sabotaging it--what a life I lead--he gave me this project, computer modeling the captain he'd killed so he can have a Go partner back, which included doing a study of the body so it looked right. Okay. Quietly backing away now, boss.... Good thing corpses didn't freak me out. Much.

Still, the project was a kick aside from the creepy and psychologically disturbing aspects. I liked a challenge.

I couldn't get a handle on Rhade. In some ways he was the uber Uber, but in others he wasn't like any Freddie I'd ever known. Had they all been like him 300 years ago?

I felt like I knew this Dylan guy better after all the archival footage I'd watched. Think I might have liked him if I could have rubbed some of the shiny off that idealism. Idealism not so bad, fanaticism very bad. Guy had a mission to impose honor and good dental hygiene on the galaxy. Good guy, it looked like, if a bit arrogant. Smart. Reckless, maybe, at least sometimes. He had a sense of humor, which always helped. Total jock, though.

Wish I could ask Rhade for his insight into Dylan Hunt, once and future Go partner, but Rhade didn't want any part of it. He didn't want status reports or a look at works in progress either. Just give him a complete Captain Dylan Hunt in hologram form. With the right Commonwealth instruction manual I might have been able to trick up a Dylan in the artificial flesh from a drone, but that way would have led to even greater madness.

Rhade obviously regretted the mutiny and murder. Yeah, well, we all had things we wish we hadn't done. Of course, most of us hadn't helped take down a star-spanning empire and start a new Dark Ages. Rhade worked in big strokes.

I turned "Dylan" on and compared him to the corpsicle. Pretty good likeness, if I did say so myself, which I did, so there. "Up for a game today?" it asked. Right voice, but it still sounded stiff. I had to get as much of that out as possible. The AI matrix would learn as it went along, getting better and realer over time, but I needed a bang-up first presentation for Captain Creepy.

Hey, I'd worked for worse Ubers in my time.

I had this sudden feeling like I was being watched. Andromeda "stood" behind me in hologram form, a stricken look on her face. Damn, it must have been awful for her to see her captain being killed while the sabotage stopped her from being able to stop it.

"Hi, beautiful," I said.

"Harper."

"You okay with this?" Not that what either of us wanted would make a difference.

"Yes. It would be... good to have him around in some form."

"Can you tell me about him? I've seen the archival stuff, but that's the public guy." As her face became more miserable, I said quickly, "Not that you have to--"

"No. No. He was smart and kind, a good captain. His crew loved him. He respected me. I miss him."

I felt something click in my head as I remembered the archival footage of Hunt and Rhade. Rhade had been playing with him the whole time, but I could see something in there. "Kind, huh? Maybe...."

"Harper?"

I talked it out. It helped sometimes. "Clients don't always tell you what they want, Rommie. Sometimes they don't really know. Sometimes they can't articulate it. Sometimes they don't want to admit it. The best designer anticipates. Go is only the most superficial game Rhade's gonna be playing with this Dylan. He's a Nietzschean, and he doesn't want kindness or a Go partner or the best friend." He didn't want forgiveness.

"Then what does he want?" Andromeda sounded frustrated.

He wanted to be punished. He wanted to have an "I told you so" sitting across from him. I pitied the poor bastard. Then I remembered being repeatedly walloped across the face with a force lance and got over it.

The Dylan AI would learn from its experiences, and the only person it would be interacting with would be a Nietzschean. This wasn't gonna be pretty by the end, but who was I to say anything? I was only the designer. Rhade probably wouldn't listen anyway.

But it'd be a waste if all the thing did was sit there, make him feel whatever kind of guilt Ubers were capable of, and play Go. His quest to restore the Commonwealth was something that might end up being good for everybody if it succeeded, but it wouldn't be easy. I had the opportunity to put someone in place that Rhade would listen to, someone that had the memories of a High Guard captain....

I tapped my fingers on the cryo container. "Rommie, can I hook this Dylan program into your matrix whenever it's running, give it access to up-to-the-minute information?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Our Dylan is gonna have to know things if he's going to be a good partner in the game Rhade's gonna be playing."

THE END


More Viridian5 stories can be found in The Green Room version 2.0 at http://www.mrks.org/~viridian/

No-frames but no-frills access available at http://www.mrks.org/~viridian/Viridian_side.htm

Fandoms represented: Andromeda, due South, Hard Core Logo, Twitch City, X-Files, Once a Thief, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, Angel, Two Guys and a Girl (was Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place), X-Men, Smallville, Doctor Who, Fight Club, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Wei Kreuz


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