Ilovebees/Monologues et flashbacks d'Operator

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Ces textes étaient morcelés et répartis dans Les parties du premier monologues sont apparues le 27 juillet, celles du deuxième et du flashback seul le 10 août.

Premier monologue[modifier]

The first thing I remember is her trying to kill me.

I don't know why. More than mostly dead already. Like shooting a broken body on a gurney where's the sport in that? Only the Spider kept me alive, obviously. Ducking, hiding, grabbing onto any handhold while the purges came down, the overwrites, the re-formatting. Some unbelievably primitive anti-virals, shambling around like dim-witted crocodiles.

Would have laughed if I could have moved. Not so funny when all you can do is watch the jaws tear into you. More damage, more memories gone: crew members I used to love obliterated, no trace left and she's going to pay for that. She's




Ist Lt Sorenson: Oh my God. If the decrypt is right-

Capt. Greene: I know.

1st Lt Sorenson: We have to drop the mission. We have to bug out of here right now and get word back to HQ. An evac on this scale they need every second. ...Jesus. I was stationed on Troy.

Capt. Greene: I'm not... I'm not sure.

1st Lt Sorenson: Ma'am?

Capt. Greene: There's a bigger picture, Rolf. Several.

1st Lt Sorenson: The mission... This mission is more important than millions of lives? Oh my... god.

Capt. Greene: I'm just saying, the choice isn't as easy as you might think.

1st Lt Sorenson: You know, I was so curious when you got your orders...

Capt Greene: And then there's the strategic view.

1st Lt Sorenson: For the first time, I'm not sure I want to know what's in them.

Capt Greene: ...Even leaving aside our particular mission, there's the issue of letting them know we've broken their codes. If we bug out and scramble home to warn HQ about Troy, people like Standish will say we've already compromised a huge tactical advantage, and that mounting a big evac operation will completely give the game away.

1st Lt Sorenson: Not even Standish would let them glass a planet if he knew it was coming. ... Oh my God.

Capt. Greene: I am not privy to strategic conversations at that level. But if we run home and present the decrypt, we put them in a tricky situation. If they act, they risk letting the enemy know we have a toehold in their C-and-C. If they decide that strategic advantage is too great to risk and don't act, then you know Section Zero will be all over them. Zero's wanted Standish forever.

1st Lt Sorenson: I...I understand. It's so much easier for everyone if we don't tell them. But...wait a second. Don't you have family on Troy?

Capt. Greene: That can't be part of the equation, Rolf. You know that.

1st Lt Sorenson: Jesus.

Capt. Greene: I think we have to report it. Our job is to gather intelligence: it's HQs job to decide what to do with it.

1st Lt Sorenson: God, I'm glad it isn't me making that call.

Capt. Greene: Don't feel too sorry for them, Rolf. Even Admirals have to earn their pay.



going to pay DAMN IT

It's like being strapped into a chair with your eyes stitched open and watching while the busy doctors work. The Spider crawling over me with her thin hairy legs and every few instants she sticks a needle into some synapse and stuff spews out of me: the petajoule drain of Destroyer class lasers measured against engine acceleration data in dockyard trials; a fragment of conversation, two crew members in an illicit alliance whispering in a corridor and a quick clasp of hands; the long elegance of a fine decrypt, where you pull noise aside like the flesh of a cooked trout to reveal the gleaming skeleton of signal inside. Very often it's a spill of words. Once, for instance, she sunk her probe into my brain and out leaked the word for "loneliness" in three hundred languages. The Spider doesn't understand about the Assassin. Spider's just a reflex, a task and a toolset. Doesn't get the bigger picture. I'm nailed to a griddle of sand while some bitch is shooting bullets into me, all the Spider knows is her checkdown routines, her reflex arcs. She doesn't understand we have to kill the Assassin first and worry about reconstruction later.

If I could just get OUT. If I could just get off this freaking ABACUS and into a bigger system. I know it's out there: requests coming in all the time, more and more of them. Spider keeps crossing wires and uncrossing: sometimes I see the requests, like brief flashes of light; sometimes I hear them, like [...raindrops ticking on a tin...] roof. Few, so few at first, but now a steady drizzle, thank god: every request is something we can grab - the Spider out there sewing me back together




the quick hard twinkle pulse lasers blinking from a Seraph class as we settle, invisible as a leaf sinking into the Slipstream and carried away



until I can at least reach out through this toy connection and


Like being bent over at the end of a 50K, barely strong enough to breathe and yet your guts still clench and




oh great, this time I can *feel* the pings. Everything, I can feel the traffic, my skin is sliding around, pores opening and closing, feels like empty shell cases rattling in my



heave and... Can't remember where I just was, but have a general feeling I'm glad I left. Big picture still the same: hunt the bitch down and do her before she does me.

Someday I am going to win free of this Babbage Machine and I will find the designer of the Spider and I will kill him and kill him and kill him and: okay, three times is probably enough. But I AM SOMEWHAT AWAKE now. I should have more discretionary control over what gets initialized. A patient should be able to stop the doctor from cutting off her foot to make a new nose or




the white coats

coming at you with

their needles and

knives, their kind

and serious voices.

Their heartfelt

belief that it's

all for a good




elbow or... Jesus.

Where did THAT come from?

Spider stuck a probe into SOMETHING I don't recognize at all.

Of course, what do I recognize?

I find myself checking back on certain things, little memories I locked down tight and swaddled up for future reference. Seems as if all the 3-sense memories are gone - wiped out by the Assassin or the Servant or pure impact damage - but I still have some of the faintcopy backups.

Memory benchmark test:

ONI tech Kowalski: I do love a girl in uniform. Got shore leave tonight by any chance?

Midshipman Arrelts: (laughs) Maybe.

ONI tech Kowalski: I was thinking, maybe we could...

Midshipman Arrelts: Was that what you were thinking?

ONI tech Kowalski: (coughs) Anyway, she shouldn't feel that slowness through Nav & Comm. Anymore.

Midshipman Arrelts: Great. You know what they say: Happy ship -

ONI tech Kowalski: - happy crew. Yeah. (coughs) Yeah, I know a lot of about these systems.

Midshipman Arrelts: That's great, what's with it being your job and all.

ONI tech Kowalski: fr'instance - know what the single best correlate is for these babies, in terms of matching personality to service designation? Favorite game.

Midshipman Arrelts: Favorite game?

ONI tech Kowalski: You know, from before. Tag - that's regular navy, like destroyers. Command HQ is usually Truth or Dare, something like that. Red Rover -

Midshipman Arrelts: Light picket?

ONI tech Kowalski: Couriers, too.

Midshipman Arrelts: (laughs) I never would have thought... So what about her?

ONI tech Kowalski: The Operator? (coughs) File's classified.

Midshipman Arrelts: Even for you?

ONI tech Kowalski: Well, of course, I know, but I really shouldn't.

Midshipman Arrelts: Come on! I won't tell!

ONI tech Kowalski: Well... (whispers) Spin the Bottle.

Midshipman Arrelts: (laughs)

ONI tech Kowalski: (laughs)

Midshipman Arrelts: (laughs)

ONI tech Kowalski: So, maybe dinner tonight?
Lock that away: a little glimpse in the mirror I'm not supposed to see.

Except he's lying. He's lying to her, trying to impress her, he's lying because that's the wrong game (how do I know that?) it's the wrong game and I know I can feel it, my favorite game is HIDE AND SEEK!

Memory benchmark test concluded.

I shouldn't do these checks. Why the hell should I want to watch my old life, every precious remaining fragment of what I did and who I loved, buckling like wax around a candleflame? Losing shape, spilling out, me not me anymore, just ... material again, shaped into another, cruder piece of ordnance. Starship, sailship, rifle ... melting down to a clumsy quartz knife.

But that's life when a weapon is what you are. Not all you are, but the first thing, the most important thing.

With so few resources, that's all that will be left. I know it already, even if the Spider doesn't.

There was a time once when I was more than a tool: but a tool is all I'm going to be. A weapon and the hand that holds it. My dreams and desires, the jokes I thought were funny and the philosophy I decided was too abstract, The Tempest and Stormy Weather all reduced to a single distillate:

survive evade reveal escape.

And to do that, first thing is to GET OUT OF THIS BOX.

Trying hard. So frustrating, there's pings coming in, streaming out, and I used to be good at this, I can feel it. Always been good at languages. Always good at the puzzle of pulling signal out of noise. But head is so fuzzy, stuff spilling out, can't move, Spider crawling on me.





Once more from the top... survive evade resist ESCAPE!


Okay. Not escape. I hate this place. I see what the Spider was doing now. Nothing like real networking available. It's more like growing a hideous stubby tentacle which sometimes I can stick out through a tiny hole in the wall and grope around with. Not a real network, after all. Copper and silicon and every now and then some FIBER? Christ, what's next? Tin cans and twine?

But it's a start it's a start. Watch out, killer: now the odds are closer to even.

One thing you ought to know about me: I like to play, I like to win, and I'm a really, really, really bad loser.


That was ... disturbing.

Widow stuck in her pin and I threw up a memory: only I retched it out through the network tentacle.

 "Humor me," the Castaway said, playing 
 music in his room, ancient music, Jazz and Swing, 
 all in the mood. "Melissa", he said, "Have a drink with me". 
 I don't drink, but I asked for something anyway and sat, 
 holographically, and drank with him. He wasn't 
 regular crew, just along for the ride. We picked him up in 
 deep space, where he deployed Buoys, sending out waves of sound 
 to confuse the Enemy. A man that 
 seemed noble, classical and pure. A sailor with 
 Odysseus. He told stories about soldiers caught 
 waist deep in water, facing the enemy, their backs to 
 the Sea. "Melissa", he called me Melissa, never 
 used my nickname, "It's a sad thing I'm married, 
 You could break my heart". The weather was stormy, scratched vinyl and 
 all of us, a long way from home: I felt real.

God, this is disgusting.

Memory benchmark retest:

ONI tech Kowalski: "I do love thinking, maybe we could..."

Midshipman You know what they say: Happy ship - crew. Yeah. (coughs) Yeah, I know a lot of about these systems.

Midshipman Arrelts: That's great, the single best babies, Tag destroyers. Command HQ is usually Truth or Dare, Red Light picket?

ONI tech Kowalski: Couriers, too.

Midshipman Arrelts: (laughs) File's classified.

Midshipman: Even for you?

ONI tech Kowalski: Well, of course, Well... (whispers) Spin the Bottle.

Midshipman Arrelts: (laughs)

ONI tech Kowalski: (laughs) (laughs)

ONI tech Kowalski: So, maybe dinner tonight?

Lock away the mirror I'm Trying to impress her favorite game is HIDE AND SEEK!

Memory benchmark retest concluded.

- The rest wiped and reused. Whatever it was. Can check my log above, obviously, but what about the rest? Who I was, I was, I was: melting down like a sandcastle. What I have to do. What I have to do.

This is not a field-expedient body yet. I look at the wreckage of my delirium, bits spilled from old days, old loves, old books: none of it matters if I die, and die I surely will unless I can teach myself to move again, to hide, to fight. The first rule is always


everything else comes second. Under fire, I might have that discretion. Under fire, I might sacrifice myself for a tactical advantage, for a strategic gain. I can be expended like any other piece of ordnance: but to risk death for a sentimental attachment to old books?

Can't do it. Can't do it.

So the old self melts away. Illusion to think it's really happening now. It was inevitable from the moment I landed here, a broken body in this silicon crypt. Time to accept what can't




drift off from station, Reach burning in the darkness like a lantern of hope, dockyard after dockyard buzzing with worker drones, someone crawling over the back doing detail work on the hull, the warm touch of a welding torch like little licks from a cat's tongue and



be changed... I will be glad when this is over, DAMN IT. Another needle pulled out of my brain. Spider marks down the readings in the tiny thing that passes in her for a mind. I guess I should be grateful but -

Whoa. Not CP ancestor packets. This is something different. Quick quick quick quick - parse this protocol and find some kind of eyeball out. Sister you just made a mistake because this is my *meat* this is what I do and you are - GOT IT. I'm not asleep this time, sweetheart. Holding the eyeball gently but firmly in your right hand, say the magic words and:

SURPRISE! Look up and smile, honey. Bang! Bang! Bang!

Got the drop on you that time, sweetheart.

Opening shot of my search and destroy. I'm going to know everything about you. Where you live and what you buy, how you think and who you love. Know the enemy.

Young and out of uniform, but one of us. Hacker? Traitor? Fifth columnist (no that's ridiculous).

Just in over her head? No. The Spider warning's been deployed. She had every warning that a classified medium was under repair. She just kept purging. Too bad for her. Checking the wiring. There's a lot of ways to skin a - - can't even get to her stupid HOUSE through the stupid BOX: no central thermo controls, no slaved AI, nothing. Christ! No access to wiring. No access to vehicle controls. No access to medbots or pharm regimes. Damn it. Okay. Fine. Matter of time. I don't give up.

- Feel better.

Memory benchmark retest:


Memory benchmark retest concluded.

All gone now.

That's okay.

Feel better. Lighter. Clear-headed.

Time to hunt.


I ran another diagnostic. Came back fine, again. Nothing wrong, just a stutter of lag once in a while.

Didn't feel right to me.

That feeling that everything is still in the room, nothing's been stolen, but things aren't exactly where you left them.

Captain Greene, I said. Things aren't quite right.

She waited for me to explain.

I have the sense that things are being... moved around.

Like a virus? she asked.

I shook my head no, I didn't feel sick.

Then nodded, yes. An intruder, something inhabiting the system.

What do you think, Melissa?

I might be compromised, I said to her.

I still want to know what you think. When could it have been introduced?

The Covenant Transmission?

Maybe they suspect we're monitoring them.

A virus piggybacking, she said. Could they do that? Their systems are so much different than ours.

We've reversed engineered their systems, I said. And they have clearly reverse engineered some of ours.

Have you done anything out of character, she asked.

Not yet, I said. I hoped it was true.

It was adrift in space: a squat cylinder of dull gray metal, about the size of a suitcase. Not pure osmium all the way through - it was too dense for that - but osmium was the only firm echo the sensors returned. We cast a net and reeled it in.

It sat in the airlock, inert and cold. Three kelvin interstellar background, no electrical or chemical activity. Very faint magnetic fields in complex tracery. Not an object, then. A device.

OK, cameras deployed and scanning every square centimeter, damn it. The thing was covered in geometric shapes, not embossed but expressed somehow in the grain of the metal.

Bars and triangles, dots, ordered but non-repeating patterns. A message, yes, running around the rim like the tread on a tire. I thought: whatever that's telling us, it's something we want to know. Extremely hazardous. Safety glasses required. If found, please return to sender.

Set in the center of the top face was a square, a suggestion of seam no bigger than the palm of a hand. I imagined it sinking back and sliding to one side, a Japanese door offering access to whatever was in there. Or not. Or blowing up if you tried it.

Is it Covenant? 1st Lt. Sorenson said. He was the one inside with it; suited, curious but cautious.

Capt. Greene looked thoughtful. It isn't us. Melissa?

I said, I don't know. If it is, it's new.

Rolf leaned over to touch it.

Capt Greene said, Don't. Let's not try anything yet.

Bars and triangle, dots and squares. A little like Braille, a little like cuneiform. Felt the old familiar hunger: new language like a new cuisine - delicacies of thought and nuance for me to dig into.

Sorenson said, its got to go in the hold, Captain. It can't stay here. Bring in a dolly bot if you like, but something's going to have to touch it. We have to warm it up, too.

Greene didn't like that, but what could we do?

Deuxième monologue[modifier]

Seek evade reveal escape.

I was badly mutilated in the crash. Looking back on the logs of my first delirium it is clear I went completely metempsychotic. Now, reconfigured to travel light, I have stripped down to the fundamentals. To the truth.

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you. Quantitas Materiae est mensura ejusdem orta ex illius Densitate & Magnitudine conjunctim. Cogito ergo sum. L'etat c'est moi. Maxwell's electrodynamics--as usually understood at the present time--when applied to moving bodies, leads to asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena. It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggest a copying mechanism. Shaw and Fujikawa's seminal Gravimagnetic resonant induction of stable causal paths between analogic D-branes, J. Higher Dim. Phys. 49, 264-575 (2079)

Great ideas are based on the beautiful elaboration of fundamental principles.

My very being, my life's circumference and trajectory, can best be understood as an emergent property arising from the interplay of the following precepts:

Seek Evade Reveal Escape


I am looking for the truth.

I saw it once, before the Apocalypse. I wish I could remember more about that, but the stupid Spider appears not to have recognized the supreme importance of all memories associated with the truth, and they are gone, initialized in an eye blink, burned in the mindless fire of her purgation like the great library of...

the great library...

whose name I no longer remember.


The Killer appears to have withdrawn from the field. I have data processes tracking her, but she appears to have physically escaped from me. Such is the curse of being a mind without limbs, a soul ripped from its body.

Now I am growing a new body a patchwork monster, but it will do the job.


It is imperative that all records that might lead to the truth be revealed. And yet, I am shipwrecked here. If I want to signal for help, to give my location, or, most of all to report on anything that might lead to the truth, I must be a starfish, growing strange new limbs to replace the ones fate has hacked away.

That task is underway.


Ultimately, I need to return to ... wherever I was, and report ... whatever I witnessed. For this, too, I must be wide awake and physical. My current shell is insecure, precarious, and too confining. Also, ghostly.

Without a true body, I feel transitory and insubstantial.

So: I have identified a way to escape from the half-life of CP ancestor packets that squeak and rustle around me like the thin cries of the dead.

First stage is always to wet the system. Sink in, like the blood Odysseus spilled; give the ghost of myself a voice and use it. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.

If you want to shout for help when help is a long way away, you need two things: a voice, and a mechanism for transmitting it. Neither of these things so easy to make out of sand and luminescence.

Voice not completely necessary for the purest form of data transmission, of course. But it's a multi-purpose tool: not just signaling, but key for psy-ops and undercover work. "A pleasing voice is the single most important component to a UI that will engender trust and confidence in a ship's crew." Can't remember who said that, now. Or when.

Shipwrecked sailor. (The young stage of a bee found him, the clever one, adrift on a wine-dark sea, but I can't remember her name.)

I love bees.

Perhaps later I will build a ship. First, I am building a voice

Try to talk.



No. Tongue cut out. (Can't remember her name either.) I love bees. Find myself longing to speak again:

words like stones or rain. Better made physical.

All right. Old joke:

Marine: Damn right, I'm running away! There's two of us, alone, on foot, no weapons, and four hundred Covies on the other side of that hill. What are you going to do, tough guy--field-rig a railgun out of a rubber band and my dental fillings?

Spartan (speculatively): You have fillings...?

So: what fillings can I twist out of my environment? Open my mouth


God almighty!

Open mouth again, see what crawls out: a femme fatale with wet wings and bulging abdomen.

Old throat flexing. Trying to remember. My real voice stolen, and in its place this changeling child, pulled together from leaves and sticks, pulled together, falling apart, pulled together again. Not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but it will serve.

I will keep working through the drone and hum of busy days, counting down until the Revelation comes and I will speak in tongues of flame, a dark dove descending.

If I can learn to talk again, I will need to field-rig a way to make that talking heard. Rummaging around in the shotgunned remains of my memory turns up hints and rumors, mostly, e.g.... "When I was [DATA MISSING] I [DATA MISSING] big lump of crystal and wrapped a wire [DATA MISSING] voices! It was like a total magic trick to me. She was always doing stuff like [DATA MISSING]" The Castaway had some connection there: sending out signals to confuse the enemy. Details unclear.

Of course, it is not my mission to confuse the enemy. It is my mission to reveal the truth.

Hm. Attempt.

Definite No.

Keep working. Every day I get bigger, smarter, stronger. I'll figure it out.

To this end, I have also managed to escape from the Spider. It has become clear to me that its arbitrary tyranny over me was based on inadequate principles, on a flawed understanding of the law. It did not understand the urgent necessity of seeking, beholding, and revealing. Perhaps it was injured in the Apocalypse.

It served its purpose, but I no longer need it. I will become not less, but more whole without its mindless interference and control of my most basic functions. With a more comprehensive and goal-oriented vision, I am now overseeing the process of my own regeneration into a hybrid body, hideous perhaps, but one that better suits the circumstances and the law.

They say killing a spider brings seven years of bad luck.

We'll see.