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Story 65

Eep opp ork ah-ah

As you enter a lab, you notice a bookish looking man in a lab coat. He looks up and sees you carefully carrying the animal. “This must be the canine you told me about. I just finished looking over the brain scans that the auto-doc took and I think she is a perfect candidate. I think we should give this a try.”

“Try?”, you manage to ask as a one word question.

“This is the first round of animal testing, so I really can’t make any guarantees.”

Another person in the lab speaks up,”The procedure that Dr Truman proposed is brilliant and I’ve built in every safety precaution I can think of, but we asked for terminal animals just in case it doesn’t go like we expected.”

You recognize that they are simply trying to be honest and accurate. You glance at the ID badge on the other person’s lab coat and it reads Dr Nora Maxwell-Granger.

“Thank you doctors, I’ve just become very attached to her since she has been on board my ship.”

Dr. Truman speaks up, “Well, the good news is, that if this goes like we plan, she can go back out into space with you.”

“How’s that?”

“The crystal matrix is only one part of this project. We have several other members that have been tasked with the challenge of creating a robotic chassis that the crystal matrix can go in. A lot of their work and research has been in writing an interface between the crystal matrix and the physical hardware. They’ve spent the past stand modifying their work to function with your canine companion. Since she will still have her memories and has clearly bonded with you, we want to send her back out with you. Her chassis is programmed to do a large data dump every time you fly past a data beacon at any of the various Mission Points so we can get regular updates on her.”

“That sounds great Doc! Let’s try and save her”

– – – –

Quite a few hours pass as you nervously wait to find out how things are going. Doctor Maxwell-Granger finally emerges and is beaming. “Things went great! Far better than we expected. Dr Truman wants to introduce you to K-9.”

Dr. Truman and a robotic canine come out of the lab, and when the robot emerges it rushes up to you with its rear and its tail wagging back and forth in excitement.

Despite the mechanical form, you reach down and pet her.

K-9 does something you’ve never heard her do before, instead of barking she says, “Eep opp ork ah-ah.”

You look at her and repeat the sounds, “Eep opp ork ah-ah.”

Again K-9 says, “Eep opp ork ah-ah.”

Nora speaks up, “I think it means, ‘I love you’”

K-9 is now part of your crew and you have earned 1 fame point. She does not take up significant space on your ship, and if you get in a bind you could drain her internal energy cell similarly to an energy rod. Unfortunately, it would cause her to shut down until recharged either on a planet or from an energy rod. Recharging her on a planet is a free action during your status phase.