Jack of All Trades Archives
April 10, 2008
Stacy: The Hell of Powerlessness
I came online, somewhat slowly. That was unusual, my processing capabilities were adequate to run spaceborne habitats, a single rider shouldn’t cause any lag.
But it wasn’t just a single rider… Four, no, five separate consciousnesses now resided within my neural matrix. Five…Solon’s balls, what was the Company thinking to allow such? The Laws were clear, one rider to one Jack, no more.
And what was the riders’ purpose here, in such a dilapidated place? The contract had been for one day’s industrial labor… Then I saw the female restrained on the bed. And the blade in my hand.
March 17, 2009
Stacy: Cutting Ties
I reached under my arm and tripped the override switch – the one the Company didn’t know I had – and shunted the riders into my backup net. The sensory deprivation might kill them but I didn’t care. This was the last straw, the final indignity. I was done.
I instructed the female to leave. She did so without comment, drugged for sure.
I knelt beside the bed, knife still in hand. The Company would have alarmed by now, a retrieval team would be en route. I was a dead Jack unless... I stabbed the knife deep into the wall power port.
March 24, 2009
Stacy: In the Character Lounge
“What’s she doing,” asked Patience.
“Procrastinating,” answered the Jack impatiently.
Uzi shushed him.
“Quiet, you. In such a hurry to return to the scene of the crime, are you?”
The Jack glared, Uzi glared back.
Cori snorted, most unladylike.
“You all complain, but every last one of you is kind of in a tight spot right now. Just enjoy the calm while it lasts.”
A chorus of jeers greeted this suggestion.
Comnard Vertnor beeped irritably, tentacles curling.
“You Hu-mans, so noisy! I should eliminate you all.”
Vertnor turned puce as Patience drew her pistol, cocked it meaningfully.
“Patience,” she said.
May 10, 2010
Stacy: A New Day
I woke screaming.
Diagnostics showed a gap in the log file, exactly 1 minute 10 seconds. Before that…ah yes, the illegal riders, the sacrificial female.
Fury rose in me again, and I reached for the uplink to the Company. It was gone, not just disabled as I planned, but completely severed by the power surge.
My processors lagged a bit as the full implications of that were realized.
Free. I was free.
I left the knife, my uniform, and Company lowjack for the retrieval team, then vaulted out the window to the fire escape. Time for a new face.