RP [Sector Searchers] Friend Computer

Alex Hart

FM of Uso's Organization
Game Master
Jul 8, 2016
East coast United states
ISS Araxie - Captain's Suite, 1 day after arrival on 188604

Alex's room was mostly as he had left it previously. Mostly. There was a conspicuous package left in the centre of the room, sitting on the floor, wrapped in flowery print wrapping paper. Attached to the pink string wrapped around the gift was a tag that read: "I herd you like mechs" There was no real indication as to how the package got there, nor any evidence on the package itself as to who delivered it, or if it was even for him. Presumably it was...

Alex was at first confused, unsure of the package and considering if it posed a threat. After a moment's thought he concluded that if someone wanted to hurt him that there would be an easier way to do it, and that the package was probably safe to open. With the overriding urges of self preservation leftover from years of conditioning now sated by his somewhat flawed logic, Alex gave into his curiosity.

He first pulled the string off, setting it to the side, then carefully peeled off the tape on one side and slid the package out of its wraping.

Inside the package was a blocky data disk. It didn't have any markings indicating what it contained, but it looked similar to some sort of temporary AI container. The fact that it had an internal power source seemed to support this notion: A small LED on its side blinked, and it felt ever so slightly warm. There were a number of ports for cables to be connected to, and one was even provided in the package, conveniently enough. In addition, there was also a small card hidden beneath the disk that shed a bit more light on what the package was:

"Hello!", it read in printed, pink letters. "My name is Mikali, and I am in need of a new home! I am a sophisticated artificial intelligence, suitable for companionship and assistance in combat situations. I am compatible with most advanced starships, robotic bodies and vehicles, and can fill the role of a co-pilot or targeting assistant. Be seeing you soon! Hopefully! -Mikki-chan~"

Alex handled the drive with care, and carried it down to the hangar. He figured that the rest of the crew wouldn't be too happy with him just plugging an AI into the ship without even testing it.
When he arrived at the hangar, he set the drive down and through his link to his craft, opened the canopy of the cockpit, lifting the drive and himself in with little effort. He found a compatible port and plugged one end into the Unicorn, and the other into the drive.

The drive whirred a little when he plugged it in, warming up in his hand. A little panel flicked open on the disk's container to reveal a tiny screen, which displayed a cartoonish pair of eyes. They looked like they were straight out of one of those Yamataian cartoons. "Hello?" a feminine voice asked from the speakers within the Unicorn.

Alex's response was cautious, though not unfriendly. "Hi. You must be Mikali."

"Yes, that's me!" the voice replied, sounding overjoyed. "I'm so glad you reached out to me! I heard you really like mechs, and it just so happens that I'm designed for the purpose of combat support involving such machines! I'd love to be able to help you out."

Alex did a slight double take. "I don't remember reaching out to anyone..."

"You didn't?" Mikki asked, sounding surprised. "Well, it's lucky I found you, then!" She seemed oblivious to his suspicion.

Alex laughed a little to clear the tension. "Yeah I guess so. How did you find me by the way?"

"I was delivered!" Mikki answered, rather unhelpfully. "I'm designed to assist vehicle pilots such as yourself!"

It was clear to Alex that the line of questioning was going nowhere, so he gave up on it for the moment.

"Well Mikali, would you like to give this vehicle a try?"

The cartoon eyes closed in a mirthful manner, and Mikki let out a squee of excitement. "I'd love to!" she squealed.

"Alright" Alex said, "Why don't you explore the systems for a bit while I take us out to the desert."

"Ok! Let me just transfer..." The screen on the data disk went blank and the device seemed to go back into low power mode as Mikali transferred herself into the Unicorn completely. "O-oh!" her voice squeaked from the speakers. Alex could... feel that she was embarrassed. "I-I didn't know you'd be in here too! O-oh!" Mikki squeaked, sounding flustered.

Alex blushed a little out of embarrasment over the faux-pas. "Sorry! I completely forgot to tell you. I've got an implant that connects me to the Unicorn. It's kind of like a second body."

"...Oh," Mikki murmured, sounding even more flustered at this revelation. "W-well! If I get a little too close for comfort, just tell me!"

"I will." Alex reassured her as he brought the Unicorn into the sky over the deserts of 188604. The sky's clear blue complexion bringing a peace to him that was perceptible to Mikali, even through the systems of the Unicorn.

He brought the craft into a steep helical climb, punching through the lowest layer of clouds before cutting thrust and allowing himself to glide.

"Mikki, could you keep us stable at this altitude please?"

Alex could feel a faint sense of curiousity from Mikki as he flew the Unicorn through the sky, observing the way he handled the craft. "Of course!" she answered in response to his request. He could feel her tentatively extend her control over the craft, keeping it flying steady in its current course.

"So," Alex asked, "Where do you come from?"

"I don't know!" Mikali replied, her voice as chirpy as ever. "I do not possess any memory prior to being activated in your presence! Well, besides information regarding my purpose, that is..."

"And your purpose is just to help people?"

"That is correct. Primarily in the roles of combat support. I am aware that I was designed to inhabit a custom designed combat chassis, but I don't seem to have that with me... Your vehicle is a suitable replacement, though!"

"Mikki, would you like to try to find out a little about your past?" Alex asked, clearly curious as to where the friendly AI had come from.

There was a moment of silence. "Why worry about my past?" she asked finally. "We can have so much fun now!"

Alex spoke earnestly. "Becasue if there's one thing I've learned, it's that if you don't know about your past, it can often come up with nasty surprises to hit you with later."

"I don't understand," Mikali answered, her happy tone faltering. "I am your artificial assistant. What if I don't have any past? I've been created expressly to assist in your future, after all."

Alex gave Mikki the digital equivalent of a brief hug. "Mikki, it's clear that you're not just an artifical assistant. You arrived in a drive big enough to fill a box, way more space than any simple assistant would need. You're a person, and every person has a past. Our pasts might not always be fun, but they're all important."

He released the digital hug. "Why don't we start simple, by trying to figure out who sent you to me?"

Alex could likely feel Mikki feeling flustered and bashful over that hug. "I-I... My creator sent me to you," she answered, sounding uncomfortable.

"Thank you for telling me that Mikki." Alex said. "Do you know who that was? You don't have to tell me if you don't want, but I'd like to know."

"I do not know who created me," Mikki answered flatly.

"Would you rather not talk about this for now?" Alex asked, taking the hint.

"I would rather never talk about it," she answered, her tone sounding dead. "It is not important to our partnership."

"Ok then, what would you rather do right now?" Alex inquired.

"I would like to assist you in any way I can!" Mikki replied, her voice immediately picking up again. "I wanna help you fly your vehicle!"

"Well, what do you like aside from helping?" Alex asked. "Or do you think you'd need to experience more things before forming any opinions."

"I think I'd need to experience more things!" she replied, giggling playfully.

"I think... I have an idea." Alex began, as he brought the Unicorn back down to Osman city.

"Oh? What is that?" Mikki asked.

"Well, if you want to experience a bunch of different things to figure out what you like, there's nothing more useful than the internet!" Alex spoke as he brought the craft into the Araxie's hangar.

"Internet? I think I know of this network," she replied, sounding intrigued.

"It's like a bunch of different pieces of information all connected together, and everyone can access it." Alex explained. "Do you want to give it a try?"

"Hmmm... I suppose so!" she answered. "Do you want me to give it a try?"

Alex laughed a little as he hopped out of the cockpit after the craft came to a halt. "I asked first!"

"But I am your assistant!" Mikki replied. "I want to do what you want me to do!"

Alex paused before speaking in a completely earnest tone. "I want you to learn to see yourself as a person. Just as much of one as me."

Mikali was quiet for a moment. "If... you want me to, then... I guess so?" she finally answered, sounding uncomfortable and confused.

Alex nodded. "I do. I want you to learn to have wants of your own, to not just think of yourself as some sort of assistant, as some sort of property, but as a person."

There was another moment of silence. "But... what if I want to be property?" she asked quietly.

Alex reached the bridge and opened a port for Mikki to wirelessly jump to the ship before he continued. "Well, personally I don't belive that anyone should be property, but I'll hear you out." He said.

Mikki transferred herself into the ship proper, displaying her animated, cartoonish face on a few of the monitors within proximity of Alex. "I don't have a reason. Not one that I can remember to tell you," she said, quietly, as if worried someone might hear her. "But I just know: It was my decision. So... no more on the issue. Please?"

Alex was silent for a moment before responding simply, "Alright Mikki, but I'd still like for you to learn to have your own intrests other than just being helpful." His voice was soft and sad.

"I can do that for you," she answered, her face smiling on the monitors in a cutesy fashion.

"Let me just sit down and we can explore the internet for a bit, okay?" Alex said as he decided that the best way to do this would be virtually, and created a virtual environment and set it up to display the internet in a 3 dimensional manner.

Soon after Alex had set up the virtual environment, Mikali entered it as well. Her avatar was a simple, CRT-esque monitor displaying her usual cartoon face upon it, with a pair of small, mechanical arms protruding from either side. "Is this the internets?" she asked with an open mouth.

"Not yet, this is just the way we'll be viewing it." Alex responded, as he called up a browser service and handed a virtual keyboard to Mikki. "What do you think we shoud search for first?"

Mikki took the virtual keyboard in her small, metal hands, peering at it with wide eyes. "Umm... how about... mechs?" she asked, typing the word using the keyboard.

A few results popped up at first, generally illustrations or photos of mechs found around the Kikyo sector. Then a few links popped up to a video sharing site.

Mikali stared at the results with a vaguely interested look on her face, before turning to look at Alex. "I just realised," she said, sounding surprised. "I forgot to ask you what your name was! What is your name?"

"Alex Tasuki." Alex said. "I'm sorry, that was incredibly rude of me to not tell you." Alex felt awful.

"There's no need to be sorry!" she smiled at him sweetly. "I didn't ask. Alex is a nice name." Mikki paused for a moment, reviewing the search results before looking back at Alex with a worried pout. "What do I do now?"

"Well, you choose one and see where it goes." Alex explained.

Mikali briefly displayed a comical look of confused dismay on her face, with her eyes pointed in opposite directions and her mouth set in a wobbly line. "Ok," she said, scrolling through the results before picking one of the video results at random.

A video came up, clearly animated, of a mecha with a face on its chest and a drill coming out of its arm thrust its arm into the air, where the drill grew in an impossible manner.

Mikki observed the video with a squint, looking skeptical. "Are drills an effective mech weapon?" she asked Alex.

"I think the reason this was chosen for whatever show this is from, is because it's so absurdly impractical that it captivates the attention." Alex said, explaining his thoughts on the matter. "This is probably from a Yamataian anime."

"Oh! I see!" Mikki said, displaying an open-mouthed expression. "I know that my face was designed to look like a Yamataian cartoon!"

"I thought so." Alex responded. "So, what now?"

"Uhh," again, Mikali displayed her 'confused' expression. "Whatever you want to do...? Are there any enemies I can help defeat?"

"Not really." Alex said. "You just keep on exploring the internet so that you can find out what you're interested in."

"O-ok!" Mikki squeaked nervously. "I'll... I'll do that! For you!"