USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Eyes Wide Open

Posted on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 @ 9:24am by Biynah

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Communication Array (Deck 19)
Timeline: MD 100

There were certain perks of being a synthetic humanoid. Biynah had promised not to access classified information through her recently discovered "technopathy" -- a neural link she could establish with potentially any computer system with which she made tactile contact.

That meant when she was formally asked to leave Sickbay, she could no longer monitor Amber's condition. Biynah made to protest, as the medical personnel had indicated the start of an experimental treatment, but she withdrew at the medical staff's threat of reporting her obstinance to the first officer.

After the strain she had felt with her father regarding Amber, she did not wish to compound it by causing more trouble. Loving him was her prime directive. The second was to learn all she could.

Reconciling the first directive meant she would not access areas that were restricted to passengers--such as the Comm Array. Yet the potential to reach out beyond Yael, the Vindex computer, was so strong of a demand upon her curiosity that it could potentially violate her second directive not to pursue it.

Her conclusion: whereas she was technically deemed a sentient piece of Starfleet hardware, and as such technically bore no such restrictions until citizenship was conferred upon her, she could rightfully access areas restricted to passengers without violating either directive--so long as no classified data was accessed.

Father might not see it her way, so it would still be best not to get caught. When she finally made it the comms array, she smiled and returned greetings from passing personnel. She had performed several work-study assignments throughout the ship, so no one thought to question her presence.

As she passed by the comms array instrumentation cluster, she trailed her hand across the side of its panel. The molecular motors within her synthetic flesh created covalent bonds between the bioneural sensors within her hands and the console, allowing for an extension of her cybernetic processes outside her physical frame.

Biynah continued her nonchalant walk, appearing casual for all observers, until she neared the opposite door. Rather than exit, she ducked behind the nearest comm hub to settle in for a new experience.

Closing her eyes and shutting off external stimuli, Biynah accessed the Starfleet network. In some ways, it was like what she imagined dreaming to be for her human makers. Sensory perception was an amazing gift, but in this state of pure digital consciousness stretched across subspace, Biynah felt... normal.

Before incarnated in her present form, she had existed as a self-designing virtual construct. Father had spent years developing her from base algorithms in the same way that a biologist might grow a microbe in a petri dish, yet she did not understand attachments until he had given her, well, life. Or at least sensory perception.

Biynah left the restricted Starfleet channels and perused the open frequencies of the Federation Infobase: the Federation News Network, Merchant Service advertisements, even the Federation Credit Exchange. A vast, new world opened up to her that stretched the boundaries of her quantum subprocessor far more than any routine search query aboard the Vindex ever had.

Ensign Sam Fitzgerald looked like a man on a mission. He was looking intently at the screen of a standard issue tricorder, attempting to find the source of an unauthorized access to the Vindex communications array. The status board on the Bridge had told the handsome, fresh-faced Chicago native that the access had been initiated in the comm hub on deck nineteen; so far, according to the scanner, no restricted material had been accessed. Still, he approached the command center with heightened caution.

What he saw when the doors opened surprised him. He had heard stories and tall tales of the intelligent synthetic life form created by Commander Ben-Avram, but had never actually believed them until now. His tricorder was reading things that his training could barely help him comprehend. Still, there was the unauthorized access to deal with.

"Excuse me, Miss?" said Fitz, perhaps a bit louder than necessary. The woman appeared to be in almost catatonic state, so he had no real idea of exactly how aware she was in this state. "Excuse me. This is a restricted area."

Somewhere between the root systems of civilian databases broadcast through subspace, a lone data stream asserted itself through Biynah's subprocessor. Her attenuated sensory processes. Reluctantly, and with a touch of petulance, Biynah disconnected herself from the subspace channel she'd established through the comm array and re-engaged her eyes and ears.

When she looked up, she saw an Ensign in yellow, meaning either he was Operations or Engineering. Yael had indicated no scheduled repairs or maintenance in this section today, so that mean the ensign was Operations. The likelihood that he was there for her was very strong. Were Biynah inclined to lie, that would've discouraged her. But ethics were part of social development and personal growth. The truth would suffice.

"Hello. How may I help you, Ensign?" Biynah effected the facial gesture cataloged under search queries "cordial" and "winsome".

"This area is restricted to authorized personnel, Miss," said Fitz playfully, clapping his tricorder closed and placing it back into the holster pouch on his belt. "Unless you have credentials that Fitz doesn't know of."

Biynah figured she may as well test her argument. "I'm not personnel, whether authorized or unauthorized. I'm a bio-neural synthetic lifeform."

"Semantics," said Fitz tersely, irritation creeping into his voice. "You are a member of our crew, regardless of your origin. Therefore, you are personnel. May I ask what exactly you were doing in the comm system? Level four diagnostics revealed only that you were inside the system."

"I was browsing the subspace channels," Biynah said. "Unrestricted subspace channels."

While it did not appear Biynah had entirely convinced Fitz, he did seem momentarily confused.

"In which case, I must be going. Goodbye!"

Biynah darted around him and dashed back to the turbolift. Her swift feet dodged a senior NCO exiting the turbolift. She mashed the close button with her palm and cried out, "Deck 2!"

There had been enough adventure for one day.

 

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