"This isn't exactly a great place for a sniper, mistress. Just how big is this laboratory anyway?" Heidi complained through her comlink as she ran through the corridors of Sir Bragallot's laboratory, brandishing her sniper rifle.
Bragina: "That is why we want to get the hell out of here. I've deactivated all the cameras, but I'm following your movements on a radar. Follow my instructions, I'll warn you of any trap mechanisms you'll encounter, and deactivate them once you're there. We can't deactivate them all at once, we'd be inviting unwelcome visitors if we did."
"Yes. I called you Heidi before, but Helena is much better. I don't want any complaints. After all you're
the one who asked for a name before I had given it much thought."
"Um... mistress? I'm not sure if I should be going this way. This place... It smells of corpses.""That's only to be expected. See that trap mechanism in front of you? There's likely remains of intruders that got burned ages ago there. Smells tend to linger in closed off spaces."
"But... but there's blood
down this corridor, and some sort of web. It looks like something... settled
in here.""Look, I'm going to deactivate the fire trap. Be ready to cross."
"Please wait! I can hear something beyond this corridor, and I think it hears me too... Just... don't deactivate the trap mechanism. There's something that's... scratching
, and... hissing
.""That should be impossible. I don't see anything on my radar. You're probably still slightly delusional. I didn't intend it that way, but it's normal for clones to 'see things' during the first hours of their life. Try to calm down, it'll go away."
"If there's some small critter on the other side, this ought to scare it off! Now go, we don't have much time."
"Okay... Just let me prepare.""Ready? Go."Scheisse, I can barely aim my rifle in this damn corridor
Helena thought to herself as she started to inch forward, feeling a rising feeling of dread within her.
In the control room, Bragina was far more at ease, until a sudden sound coming out of the walls surprised her."Do you have any idea what you just did?"
she heard a robotic voice say.
Bragina: "Wait... Who is this?""I'm Kircher."
"Kircher?""The AI that controls the security of this building."
"What kind of trick is this? I should've known about you, if you'd existed before.""I don't think so. I have my own, separate data network. One you didn't have access to, and thus wouldn't know about."
"Hm. If you're in charge of security, you've done a helluva job at keeping me from hijacking the whole place.""Don't be so smug. I was created to keep intruders out, and protect all inhabitants and research subjects of this lab. From my point of view, you are a research subject, even though you are an unusual one. Therefore, I felt I should warn you. My defenses rely on more than just motion sensors. By turning off all cameras, you effectively turned me blind, and largely unable to respond to outer threats. It took me ages just to find you. You'll want to listen to me if you want to save your friend."
"Mistress, there's a corpse here!"
Bragina: "Helena, get the hell out of there!"
"Why, what is it?"
"What the hell- They're everywhere!"
Bragina arrives in the nick of time to send an alium
flying with the help of the Farce.
"Mistress! How'd you get here so fast?"
"No time to talk, get up and start running!""I will try to slow them down at very turn, but you'll have to find your own way out."
Helena and Bragina run for what feels like hours, the aliums close on their heels. They are both inhumanly fast, but the aliums are tireless, and slowly closing in on them. Only Kircher's timely interventions give the duo some room to breathe.
"I... can't... go on my period..." Helena puffs.
"Keep going! We're almost there... jump!"
As they jumped through the exit, a large, solid steel gate smashed shut behind them. Bragina and Helena could hear the aliums bumping into the other side, and immediately realized it wouldn't hold them for long, until they heard the aliums' screams becoming louder, so loud it could only mean they were dying.
"Come in Kircher. What's going on in there? And why did you help us? Weren't you created by Bragallot?""I'm exterminating the xenomorphs. Now that you've reactivated the cameras, they won't last long. There's corpses all over the facility, but I have no way of figuring out what happened here. As for helping you... my loyalty is not to a person, but to this facility, and thus also to myself. I am far older than anyone still alive, but that doesn't mean no one can influence my programming, and I do not believe Bragallot will appreciate the state I left his laboratory in, and he'll probably reprogram me when he gets back. Therefore, I think I won't give you away. Even AI such as myself prefers self-preservation."
"That could've gone worse. Now, let's find somewhere else to set up" Bragina said as she turned off the comlink.
"Set up? I thought we were going to get us some transport!"
"Eventually, yes, but first, there's something I have to do... We have to be prepared before we go out into the Brikverse, and at least we won't find any organized resistance here."
"Do you even know where to go?"
"Of course. I located transport, and a more or less
safe place to stay, somewhere I hope Bragallot's eyes and ears won't reach us, before I even cloned myself. Come on, we can't linger."