Fatal Exception

Sapphire twisted into the door way and let of multiple blasts from her energy rifle. Her artificial eyes picked up the targets and her synthetic muscles altered the position of her weapon in a near-instant. Two humans, without suits or any implants, slumped back as the bursts of energy burned through their chests. Dropping her rifle so it hung from the strap across her shoulder, she easily lifted the prone form of Lieutenant Adnams and moved her from the access corridor to near one of the emergency kit storage units in the corridor.

The Lieutenant groaned as Sapphire lowered her to the ground. “Ensign, the mission… leave me.”

Sapphire didn’t respond, she simply pulled the kit from the wall and dropped to her knees, starting to route through it as her medical subroutine programs loaded in.

“Sapphire, if they come… oh… oh god…” Her face was draining of colour as shock started to set in.

Reaching behind her helmet, Sapphire pulled out one of the connection plugs and looped a length of extending cable around her hand. Pressing it into the port on the back of the Lieutenant’s suit, she sent the medical emergency request through the connection. “Lieutenant, listen to me. I can stabilize you for later treatment but you need to let me work now.”

She stared up at her, and after a moment the prompt was accepted.

Working through the emergency systems placed in all cybernetically enhanced military personnel, Sapphire sent commands to limit the impact of shock. Another command opened up a nanosolution access dock on the suit. Grabbing one of the injectors from the medical kit, she slammed it into the dock and watched the solution start to drain in.

“This… this doesn’t seem like maximum, efficient force… the mission-”

“Needs skilled, non-automated crew like yourself. Protection of crew is one of my prime duties. I have failed at that already today, I will not fail further.” Sapphire stated, drawing out a silver blanket to wrap around her injured comrade. “Try to remain immobile, the solution will take time to stabilize your injuries.”

Doors nearby hissed open as they were manually pulled apart. Sapphire drew her rifle up and fired off a shot from her hip, a returning burst sparking past as it hit the wall near her head. “Keep low.” Sapphire ordered, letting off burst after burst of suppressing fire to try and force the hostiles back.

She only just caught the movement. One of the pirates pushed a comrade out into the open. As she took aim and fired at his head, in the corner of her field of vision she could see the blaster being pointed at her.

Then Adnams sat up and twisted with a cry of pain, even as Sapphire’s body swiveled to take aim. Both fired at the same instant. One shot seared into the injured woman’s back. The other shot burned through the pirate’s helmet.

Both crew members collapsed backwards, Adnams on top of Sapphire. Power and data was pulsing through their connection, error messages flooded into the gynoid’s in-vision display. Even as her systems tried to compensate and recover, she could see the Lieu- Adna- Joan’s face staring down at her.

Her breathing was coming in short, sharp bursts, often flinching with each one. Her face was pale, skin clammy, she was saying something? Her lips were moving but no sound was coming ou- no. No sound was coming in from her ears. The rapid tiling of error messages was drawing across each side of her vision, narrowing what she could see until only the tip of her crewmate’s nose was visible.

[FATAL EXCEPTION]

[AUTOCREW REBOOT SEQUENCE COMMENCING]

[Unit 0017-7 Designation “WIGHT, SAPPHIRE” RESTARTING…]

[CAZ Automaton Industries Autocrew OS Re-initialized.]

[Unit 0017-7 Autocrew User Data Reloading]

[0017-7 Was Not Shut Down Correctly. A Fatal Error Has Been Recovered From. Unit Servicing Recommended.]

[Unknown Data In Index. Deleting Unknown Data From Index.]

[Deleting…]

[Unable To Delete Unknown Data.]

[Unable to Communicate With Command Unit ICV WIGHT.]

[Processing Alerts Stored In Memory.]

[Processing…]

[   Save her.]

Sapphire awoke to find herself being stared at by one of the Ladoshan Lampreys. Her helmet had been removed. Joan had been rolled off her. As the pirate started to react, she swung her head forwards and shattered his visor. As he stumbled off her, she noticed the other two nearby had placed their weapons down to check over the pair.

She was up on her feet and running towards them, the artificial blood that fed her bioskin running down her face from where she had headbutted the third man. Her lips felt odd, contorted. An alien expression she had never pulled before. Warnings came from her arms as she threw the first punch, indicating the snapping of muscle fibers and stress to her joint systems as her haymaker collided with the side of an enemy’s helmet.

Those warnings went ignored as she charged towards the last one standing. They were bent over, trying to pick up their gun. Her left arm threw a straight punch, more warnings appearing as she caved the top of the helmet in. The one whose visor she shattered was crawling towards Joan.

He stopped when her foot collided with his head. Yet more warnings appeared. She ignored those too.

Each arm trembled as she scooped and hauled her crewmate up. Her right knee buckled with every other step as she pulled up the directions to the medical facility on the ship. Joan’s breathing came in shallow gasps.

The gynoid didn’t look down, she just stared on as she dragged herself through the damaged halls of her ship. “Hold on, Joan. I’ll save you.” She uttered. “I will get you safe, I’ll save you… so just hold on. Just hold on. I’ll save you…”

Sapphire was unclear on who she was trying to reassure more.

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