“So, what did they give you?” Lucy asked.
“Let me open the damn thing and see,” Kat said.
“Would they have offered anything of true value?” Bridget wondered.
“Pacificans are a proud species,” Yuri stated. “They would view it as a disgrace to offer an inferior wager.”
Kat opened the metal chest. Inside was an android’s head. It wasn’t a humanoid android like Yuri. It was much larger and almost reptilian. It reminded Farah of old gargoyles she’d seen.
“It doesn’t look equal to the Wyvern,” Farah said.
“Hard to tell, maybe Grace could get it running when she’s done resting,” Ophelia said. “In the meantime, let’s return to Turing.”
“I will assist her,” Yuri said. “I am curious.”
The return to Turing was simple enough. Bridget disembarked, thanking the crew for letting her join them.
Paul, Leon and Baron Wolfgang returned.
“Welcome back, Doctor.” Lucy said.
“Are your replacement parts doing okay?” Ophelia asked.
“I’m just glad to be ready to go back to work,” Paul said.
Wolfgang jumped From Paul’s arms into Lucy’s and started licking her face.
“I missed you too, little guy,” Lucy said.
“Where’s our next mission?” Leon asked.
“We haven’t decided yet,” Ophelia said. She reached over to pet the frantic little dog who was trying to squirm over to reach her. “Right now Grace and Yuri are analysing an interesting little piece we picked up.”
“Our people located Crozier’s old laboratory.”
“Anything of value?”
“The remains of a second android were found buried. Our team retrieved it and is working on reassembling.”
“Excellent. We can more intimately assess its abilities and how to defeat them if we have one of our own to work with.”
Ophelia went down to Engineering. “So, any luck activating the thing?”
“It doesn’t look like we can power it independently,” Grace answered. “But we can connect it to the Cerberus or a generator.”
“We are in agreement that it would be in error to connect it to the Cerberus directly without first creating a closed circuit,” Yuri added.
“It would be too risky to connect it directly to the system,” Grace said. “If it has a virus of some kind, we could be in for a messy time.”
“I get the logic behind it,” Ophelia said. “And what are the risks of using a generator?”
“Depending on the level of the AI, the android might be able to take full control of its own power source with a generator,” Grace answered. “With the ship’s power, we could readily cut it at any point.”
“And how long will the closed circuit take to set up?” Ophelia asked.
“We could have it prepared in forty three minutes, twenty three seconds,” Yuri answered.
“I’ll call everyone here in fifty minutes then,” Ophelia said. She glanced at the android’s head, wondering what kind of secrets it held.
Like Ophelia promised, the crew gathered fifty minutes later to watch the android’s activation.
“Honey, don’t play with your robotic eye,” Leon whispered.
“I’m just zooming in on the head,” Paul stated. “It’s got some interesting looking circuitry.”
“What kind is that?” Leon asked.
“No idea,” Paul answered. “I’m a doctor, not an engineer. All I can say is it looks interesting.”
“Grace, power up this thing,” Ophelia said.
Grace activated the android. Its eyes glowed blue.
“Zzzttt pssss hzzzzzt,” It let loose a cascade of static.
“Well isn’t it eloquent?” Farah joked.
“ssssschhh 9 degrees starboard, altitude up 4 degrees for fifteen seconds. Psssh.”
“Coordinates?” Kat asked. “But to what?”
The android’s head continued repeating the coordinates amid its static.
“Do we follow it?” Leon wondered.
“Love, It might not be the best idea to blindly follow an android’s directions without knowing where it’s trying to lead or why,” Paul pointed out.
“I will check,” Yuri stated. She connected a cable from the back of her neck into the other android. She recoiled back and quickly disconnected.
“Something wrong?” Grace asked.
“It attempted to overwrite my personality matrix,” Yuri stated. “Fortunately, my defences are beyond its capabilities.”
“Did you learn where it’s trying to take us?” Lucy asked.
“It is attempting to lead us to something called the Hero Mausoleum,” Yuri answered.
“The what?” Leon asked.
“I know I’ve heard that term somewhere,” Kat muttered.
“I have too, but I can remember where,” Lucy said. “It’s an old pacifican legend. It says their greatest legendary heroes are all entombed in a single place with their well earned treasure, guarded by metal giants. A place with jewel-encrusted walls and great tapestries. The Hero Mausoleum.”
“So, it’s just a treasure hunt,” Leon said.
“It sounds like fun,” Farah said.
“I would like to use my prize properly,” Kat said.
“Then let’s follow this thing’s directions,” Ophelia said. “Lucy, keep an eye on the space around us. If the pacificans knew where this thing was trying to lead them, there’s no way they won’t try to follow.”
“Agreed,” Lucy said.