Episode 5: The New Kid

Fade in to the Mother of Invention from the outside, floating through space. Then we cut inside it all of a sudden. I'm freaking out
Freelancer training facility / Many years ago
Washington:
I expected it to be... bigger.
York:
Why? You've seen mine, it's small too.
Washington:
Yeah, but he's green.
York:
How does that even make sense?
North:
Hey Wash, quit staring. You're making it nervous.
Washington:
Yeah, it's just- they're so small.
York:
Small, yeah. But you wouldn't believe what it can do.
North:
Besides, you'd better get used to it: you're gonna have one of your own soon enough.
South:
Ugh, give me a break.
North:
It's alright Theta, come on out. People just want to say hello to you.
Pan down to reveal the Theta AI hiding behind North's leg. I'm as relieved as you are
Theta:
I don't know, there's so many of them. And they're so... big.
Washington:
You see, i- I'm not the only one who thinks size is important.
York:
I'm just gonna let that one go.
North:
It's okay Theta, they're all friends of mine. For reasons beyond my comprehension.
Theta appears over North's shoulder
Theta:
They're looking at me.
North:
That's 'cause they wanna meet you. This is York and Wash.
Washington:
Hey there little... computer... dude.
York:
Give it a rest, Wash. Theta, I have a friend just like you. His name is Delta.
Theta:
Really?
York:
Yeah. You, you wa- you wanna say hello to him?
North:
Uhm... York?
York:
It's okay man, just for a second.
Delta appears
Delta:
Hello, Theta. I am Delta. It is nice to meet you.
Theta:
H-hello.
North:
See, everybody here is nice. Isn't that right Delta?
Delta:
Agent North, I do not feel qualified to make a judgment about humans with whom I've only limited experience. Also, 'nice' is a rather subjective term for-
York:
Delta...
Delta:
Oh yes. Everyone here is 'nice.' Within standard acceptable deviations.
York:
Delta!
North:
And that's my sister over there, South. We're twins.
Theta:
I have a sister.
Washington:
You do?
Theta:
We have many siblings.
Washington:
What do you mean by sib-
Director:
Hello everyone. I hope you're ready to begin our test. Delta, I believe you know the protocol about communicating directly with other A.I. units.
Delta:
I apologize Sir, I will log off.
Director:
Don't. I want you to help administer the test. Gentlemen, if you will take the floor.
North:
Okay, just like we practiced.
Theta:
Are they all going to watch?
North:
Of course. They wanna see if you're as good as I said you are.
Theta:
Really? Well I guess that's okay.
North:
That's the spirit. Come on, let's do this.
Director:
Delta, I expect you to follow protocol at all times.
Delta:
We were only attempting to make the new unit more comfortable.
York:
It's my fault Sir, I asked him to. The new kid seems kinda shy.
Counsellor:
Agent North was paired with Theta for a reason. His nurturing nature is best suited to care for Theta's ...unique personality.
York:
Yeah, he is used to lookin' out for people isn't he?
Counsellor:
Quite. Delta, your skills are more, analytical, in nature.
Delta:
If I may disagree, Theta has made double the number of declarative statements since my appearance. That indicates a hundred percent increase in confidence since we modified our interaction strategy. I think that speaks volumes to my caring algorithms.
Counsellor:
You make an excellent point, Delta. Let's begin the test.
North is now in the test chamber, with everyone else observing from above in the observation room
Director:
Begin the test.
Theta appears over North's shoulder. Several miniguns rise from the ground around him and begin firing, and a bubble shield goes up around them
Counsellor:
As you may recall, Agent North used his equipment in the field on a previous mission.
Delta:
He was able to successfully maintain a deflective shield for three point four seconds, in order to block an explosive projectile attack.
Director:
And somehow managed not to kill himself in the process.
Delta:
The manoeuver only had a point-one percent chance of success. Had he performed it nine hundred and ninety nine more times, I'm rather certain he would have been obliterated on each one.
York:
Hey, I'd rather be lucky than good any day.
Washington:
You usually are.
Director:
Luck will only take one so far. I am in the business of getting results. Let's see what Theta can do. Delta, reduce shield strength by fifty percent.
Delta:
Modifying.
The shield visibly and audibly loses power
North:
Power dropping! Theta, use the remaining power to compensate for critical tiles!
Theta:
Okay.
Just the tiles in front of the bullets stay up, everything else goes down
Director:
Add variables.
Delta:
Acknowledged.
The guns start rotating around them, and up and down, and the active parts of the shield move with them
North:
Great job, Theta
Theta:
Stop talking to me, you'll mess me up.
North:
Right. Sorry.
Director:
Reset.
Everything returns to starting conditions, with the shield still up
Director:
Agent North, your objective now is to eliminate all turrets. Begin.
Washington:
I thought the shield works both ways, there's no way for him to attack.
North:
Theta, analyze turret rate of fire, adjust shield to match.
Theta:
Okay. Done.
North:
Firing, on my mark.
Theta:
Ready!
North:
Mark!
North fires, and in bullet time (thanks, Matrix!) we see the bullet approach the shield, the relevant tiles of the shield go down, the bullet passes through, the shield goes back up, and the bullet takes out a turret. Several more gunshots later, all the turrets are eliminated
Delta:
All targets eliminated.
...thanks, Delta
Director:
Test complete. Excellent work.
Washington:
W-how. Wow! That was incredible!
York:
Heh heh! Yeah, what did I tell you!
Washington:
And we're sure they don't get any bigger.
York:
Huh. Dude, you are killing me with that.
Cut to present day
Grif:
Sarge, how come every time the Blues get involved in something stupid and dangerous, we get dragged along too?
Sarge:
You know what they say: keep your friends close, and your enemies within range of your primary firearm!
U.N.S.C. Wind Power Facility / Present Day
Simmons:
Sir, I reali-
Sarge:
So you can shoot 'em!
Simmons:
...I realize that we agreed to help Wash and Carolina, but how do we know that they're gonna help us?
Grif:
What do you mean?
Simmons:
I mean, if we run into trouble, do you really think they'll stick their neck out for us?
Sarge:
Well, for a backstabbing doublecrossing no-good dirty rotten blue, that Wash fellow i'n't too bad.
Grif:
What a ringing endorsement.
Simmons:
I'm more worried about Carolina. What if after all this is over she decides to get rid of us?
Grif:
Why would she do that?
Simmons:
I don't know, to tie up loose ends? To cover her trail? Don't you watch spy movies? They love that shit!
Sarge:
My God man, get a hold of yourself. You're making us look weak in front of the enemy.
Hey check it out, Caboose is there
Caboose:
Hello.
Sarge:
Listen. I don't wanna hear talk about secret double-crosses or mysterious subplots or Freelancer conspiracies any more! We've had enough of those going on around here as it is.
Sarge wanders off
Simmons:
But don't you think that-
Grif:
Sorry, sorry, I can't really talk right now Simmons, I've gotta go secure a perimeter over at the uh, shady spot over there.
Grif wanders off, leaving Simmons alone with Caboose
Simmons:
I liked it better when we only had to fight you.
Caboose:
Yeah, Blue Team is pretty awesome right now. Right Tucker, right Church?
Caboose turns around and doesn't see them, then sees Simmons again
Caboose:
Hello.
Simmons:
Uh, where's the rest of your team?
Cut to Tucker and Church watching Wash go through a door, and then- the episode ends!
 

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