I love sci-fi. That should be enough of a reason to write it.
This isn't flat-out romance USUK but it's pre-USUK and hints at a future relationship. It's a two-shot (and not like Daylight, which turned out to be a three-shot hahaha) though the lengths of the two chapters are very different.
Cover art by Hakuku on Tumblr, Hukaka on LJ.
Warnings include: Swearing?, astrophysics slang, violence, yep yep that's it. Wow, so mild.
A small silence reigned over the people massed at the starship's command centre, all heads turned to the ceiling as if awaiting some kind of holy message.
"Sir, I have a name." A voice suddenly rang out from nowhere in particular, slightly distorted by the receivers it came from.
"It's not the time," a muscled, tall man with a beard at the front made a 'tch' noise in exasperation and glared back down at the screen. "Computer, what's the enemy status?"
"Navy starship from quadrant A-32 approaching at a speed of 200,000 kilometres an hour from the north-west," the computer voice mumbled.
"Prepare our passage into hyperspace," the brown-haired man growled, and his entire crew seemed to burst into life, rushing to their positions.
"Sir, our hyperdrive has not cooled down from our last travel yet, so going into hyperspace now could-"
"I don't care, just get us away. Activate light speed, at the very least!"
"Light speed thrusters activated, speed reached in four minutes and twenty-three seconds," the computer announced, and everybody jumped when the man hit his fist against the command tablet in front of him.
"We don't have that kind of time. Damn it, do something useful! That's why you're the core of the ship, because you can make better decisions than a regular core, so get working!"
"Uhh..." the voice stuttered, sounding distressed. "We can fly with regular thrusters and put some distance between us until we reach light speed."
"Do it, then! Damn, I have half a mind to shut you down," the man roared, and the man next to him put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
"Captain, the enemy ship is within plasma canon shot and arriving quickly. Should we man battle positions?" he asked, saluting.
"If you use the plasma canons, it'll use up energy from the hyperdrive and it'll take longer for it to cool down!" the computer argued, sounding a bit desperate.
"No need for hyperspace if we destroy them," the captain grumbled and pushed a button on the command centre which sent red lights blaring throughout the ship. "All men to battle stations!"
"S-Sir, battle right now would completely use up the energy sources on the ship and we have not refueled yet. I don't suggest you-"
"Shut up. You can't suggest anything better, can you? What false advertising. Maybe you're just getting old. Tch. I thought you'd last longer than that," the man scratched his beard and pushed a few buttons.
Holograms popped up in front of his eyes and he immediately began adjusting the outside views and controls.
"Navigator is in place, sir!" A cry came from the front and the captain grunted.
"Fighters are at their position. At your command, captain!" the same man as before reported. The captain rolled his shoulders and cracked his knuckles.
"Not good! Please, Captain, trust me, we can't afford to fight right now-"
"I'll trust you when you make yourself useful," the man grunted. "Here they come."
"Sir, please don't hurt anyone!" The voice was pleading now. "Your tally is seven ship crews slaughtered in a week, please, you don't have to-"
"Kids," the man huffed in exasperation and reached under the command centre table to fumble for a plug. The computer went from rambling to hysterical pleading.
"Someone's touching my plug! Captain, is it you? Captain please! Please don't power me down, okay, I'm done talking. See? See, I'm not talking!" It insisted tensely.
"Nah you ain't," the tall man spat and pulled the plug out of its socket. There was no noise to indicate the powering down of the computer, but the silence said it all.
"Sir, are you sure it is wise to fight without the computer's automatic aim and damage report?" the captain's first mate asked doubtfully.
"We are the most fearsome pirates in the local quadrant group. We don't need some damned computer to tell us what to do." Pulling a gourd from his pocket, he popped the cap off and swallowed mouthfuls of alcohol before putting both of his hands on the command centre table and watching ahead as the navy's ship came into view.
The pirate captain smirked and called for canon fire.
"That was surprisingly easy to accomplish, non?" A bearded blonde hummed as he accompanied another, shorter blonde through the hatch connecting both ships' airlocks through space.
"Indeed. I'm beginning to think that they wanted us to take the ship. Perhaps they rigged it. Be on your guard," the green-eyed man mumbled, hand on the bullet handgun at his belt. A plasma gun was strapped to his thigh, but he didn't need it as there was artificial gravity on the ship they'd invaded.
"It is nice, though, I must admit. I can see why the navy wants it," the long-haired blonde whistled as they sealed the airlock and entered the body of the ship. It was very well kept, for a pirate ship at least, and everything, from the pipes to the lights to the ladders to the tanks, seemed to be in order. Arthur had an eerie feeling about it, though.
"The navy doesn't steal ships. We were commissioned to return the stolen cargo aboard this ship, not the ship itself," he mumbled distractedly, opening a door and cautiously accessing the staircase.
"Please, Arthur, you know as well as I do that the navy's heads are a bunch of greedy, corrupted old men, and who would not want what is rumoured to be one of the greatest ships in the Universe and its super-intelligent core?"
"Speaking of which." Arthur completely ignored the rhetorical question. "Where is the computer? I haven't heard a thing yet." He frowned. "Computer!"
Nothing answered him.
"Strange." Arthur climbed the stairs to the topmost floor, his companion following closely. "All of this smells fishy. We're reaching the central command room, so be ready to react if they've got anything planned."
"Got it." The absence of a computer voice seemed to trouble the blue eyed blonde as well.
The two silently walked through the white and grey halls, dully observing the tubes of sky blue plasma lining the walls. The silence was too pressuring, and when they reached the central command room, Arthur counted to three before he stepped in front of the motion-sensible doors and opened them.
The navy captain and his first mate bounded into the room, guns out and senses flared to take on any opponent. To their collective surprise, though, there was not a single movement in the room, except for flickering holograms and blinking buttons.
"Francis, clear the room, will you?" Arthur grunted as he entered slowly, holstering his gun. "I'm going to check what's going on with the command centre."
"Roger that," Francis nodded and began walking around the room to secure it.
Arthur walked over to the table that held the central command tablet and watched the flickering holograms curiously. His fingers zipped through as he scrolled past a few maps of the ship, then past the damage report.
"Computer!" he tried again, just in case the computer had been isolated to this room only, but instead of an automated voice, a message in hologram popped up in front of his eyes.
"Manual mode..." he read in a mumble, surprised. That explained why their fight had been so easy.
"Perhaps the rumours of this ship having an extremely intelligent core were not true, then. What a disappointment. Another mission with no results."
"Well, I suppose I should put this ship on autopilot." Arthur squatted under the table and looked for the large plug that wasn't in its socket. It was very visible, a large blue plug with a frayed wire held together with duct tape, obviously worn with constant pulling and pushing. Arthur grabbed that one, and plugged it back into its socket, then stood up.
A small jingle played through the receptors in the room, and Arthur raised an eyebrow, unimpressed. The computer took about a minute or so to start up, which surprised Arthur even more, since powered down computers usually took a lot longer to download all of their files again.
"Computer?" he tried again after a bit, and held his breath.
"Hello?" A voice finally came from the receptors, shaken and meek. "Hello, is anyone there?"
"This is Captain Arthur Kirkland of the Space Navy Service in Quadrant A, and from this point on, this ship is under governmental custody," Arthur recited like he had so many times before and waited for the computer to give an affirmation in a monotone voice.
Instead, he got a whine.
"Please, Mr Arthur, can you tell me what you look like?" The voice was pleading.
"Excuse me?" Arthur blinked, uncomprehending. "Did you not hear what I-"
"Yes yes, Space Navy or something like that, but please tell me what you look like." The voice took a pause. "Or at least turn on my video faculties so I can see. Please?"
"What are you?" Arthur asked instead, startled by how human the computer sounded.
"I'm the ship's computer core," the computer answered with a tone that expressed his exasperation. "Please let me visualize you."
"What an odd request," Arthur mumbled, but curiosity won, and he typed a few words into the central command search and reached the control panel for the computer.
His eyes widened as he read through the info.
"Your design... It's extremely similar to a human brain. Is that why you're allegedly a better computer core than regular machinery?" he asked to thin air, waving Francis over. "Francis, look at that. Logical improbability is two percent. Our computer core is at twenty-seven!"
"I've never heard of a computer capable of making such accurate decisions," Francis whistled. "This one's a keeper."
"Video please," the voice sighed, startling the two men. He almost sounded... human.
"Right." Arthur checked a box on the hologram, expecting something magical to happen, but all he go in return was a sigh.
"Thanks. That's the first time I get to see inside the ship in a long time. Captain said it distracts me from analyzing what's outside," the computer sounded sad, which was preposterous to Arthur, because the voice was a computer, not a person.
Perhaps that was what made this core one of the best out there. The fact that it was a human-capacity artificial intelligence controlling an entire weapon of mass destruction.
That brought back the question of why the computer had been deactivated, but Arthur didn't dwell on that and crossed his arms decisively.
"Francis, contact the other ship, tell them to start moving. Computer, go into autopilot, follow that ship."
"I'll get to it," Francis saluted loosely and walked off. Arthur listened to the hum of the hydraulic doors and then turned his head up.
"Don't call me that!" The same voice sounded so much more different. He sounded... hurt.
"What do I call you then?" Arthur furrowed his brows, taken aback.
"My name..." the computer sighed. "Please call me by my name. No one ever calls me that..."
"I didn't know you had a name," Arthur defended himself. "Computers don't have names."
"But I-" the computer stuttered and stopped, and Arthur never knew what he was going to say. Instead, he turned around and leaned on the table, looking into the receptors in the corner.
"Alright. What's your name, then? I suppose that peculiar core computers have particular characteristics, their name being one of them. You're the first of your kind that the navy has captured so far, so tell me how you work," Arthur sighed. He was surprised to hear a small hum of content answer him.
"You gotta treat us like we're a part of your crew," the voice told him excitedly. "No treating me like a dumb machine, I have feelings, you know!"
"I'm still surprised," Arthur mumbled.
"Yeah, well, it's because my kind, we're-" the voice cut himself off as if he was about to say something taboo. He didn't let the silence hang long enough to get Arthur suspicious, though. "We're special. You gotta treat us right if you want all the benefits we can give you. Unplugging me is off limits, too!"
"The pirate captain of this ship unplugged you, though," Arthur remarked innocently, but was surprised by the sharp intake of what sounded like a breath.
"He shouldn't have. Look where that got him." The cheerful voice was suddenly venomous, and it chilled Arthur to the bone. "If you want me to stop talking, you just have to tell me. I... I am made to obey. Just don't power me down. Please."
"I won't," Arthur promised before he even knew what he was talking about. "I won't turn you off, ever." He just knew that he didn't like the anguish in the computer's voice.
"Great. That's all I got." The voice stopped for a second and then chuckled. "I suppose that's that! Thank you for taking me into your crew, Captain Arthur Kirkland."
The computer said his name in a tone that sent shivers dancing across his skin.
"My name's Alfred F. Jones, and I'm your new starship core."
"So how far until we get to your house?" Alfred interrupted later on, when the two ships had begun their voyage across space.
"I live in Quadrant D. It would take us years to get there, unless we take a hyperspace route," Arthur chuckled, sitting in the main command seat with his feet kicked up on the central command table and flipping through an old-fashioned paper book.
"But... If my calculations are correct, then even by hyperspace, it would take you a week to get there, considering that you stop to refuel and rest between hyperspace engagements," the computer calculated, to Arthur's slight surprise. It seemed like the core of this ship could do so much that regular computer cores could not do.
"I only go back to my flat on extended holidays. Since I work in Quadrant A, I spend most of my time on the ships I command. On the off chance that I'm not on duty, I have a small room at the HQ of the Space Navy department of Quadrant A."
"Don't you miss home? Your friends? Family?" Alfred sounded a bit wistful.
"Sometimes I miss being able to step on firm ground and the sights I can see on my home planet, but it doesn't bother me so much for what I get in return." Arthur closed his book and stood up, walking down the steps to the navigator seat and passing it to stop in front of the large glass part of the cockpit of the spaceship.
In front of his eyes, deep dark space extended infinitely, and the occasional star in the distance lit the darkness around them. This sector of the quadrant was sparse in celestial bodies, on the edge of Quadrant C, and so very dark. Heading in the opposite direction, they needed to reach the other edge of the quadrant, adjacent to Quadrant B, where the department HQ was located. On their way there, they'd definitely see a lot more. Amongst others, Arthur had heard a rumour of a supernova that had exploded in Quadrant E and that was visible from sector 63, and that was only a small deviation from their path. He hoped he could see it. Arthur always had a little something for beauty.
"That's why I became a Space Navy officer. Not because I wanted to fight intergalactic crime, but for the view. Space is such a wondrous place. There are so many gorgeous things to be seen roaming these never ending planes," Arthur breathed out, closing his eyes.
"Yeah," Alfred agreed in a small voice. "And I think I've seen the prettiest of them all."
"I've yet to decide," Arthur chuckled. "I hesitate between the gentle beauty of nebulas, or the destructive wonder of a quasar. Or perhaps there's something even more breathtaking that I haven't seen yet."
"You never know," Alfred replied dismissively. "So where's your friend? He came with you at first, the blond guy, y'know."
"Francis is far from being my friend. He returned to the other ship, since someone needs to steer that one. He's my first mate, but that frog is not my friend," Arthur huffed, and then added as a second thought. "I have no friends."
"I'll be your friend!" Alfred immediately jumped to the occasion.
"But you're just a computer," Arthur mumbled, hoping that Alfred could not see the beginnings of a blush on his face.
"Oh." Arthur immediately wished he could take it back, for Alfred sounded hurt. It was gone in a second, though. "I guess that makes sense. I can keep you company though, right?"
"Of course. It's going to be a long month and a half if I have to spend it alone."
"A month!?" Alfred exclaimed, startled. "Where the hell are we going, the next bubble Universe!?"
"Well, by hyperspace, it would have taken us a few hours, but we damaged our hyperdrive while chasing your ship, so we're just going to use our thrusters, hopefully at light speed if we can stop to refuel in sector 83," Arthur explained.
"Jeez, it'll give me plenty of time to get to know you then, right?" Alfred chuckled, and Arthur spluttered in embarrassment. Would he ever live it down if he became best friends with a machine?
They both fell into silence, and enjoyed the other's presence. Arthur was just about ready to go back to his book before Alfred stopped him again.
"What's going to happen to me when we get there?" he asked a bit more quietly, more worriedly.
"People are going to study you to see what you're made of. No other core ever seen before has the capability of behaving exactly like a human brain like you do, and a lot of people could benefit from having more cores like you in their ships," Arthur explained.
"No!" Alfred exclaimed, startling Arthur. "I... I don't want more of me to be made..."
"Why? You're an extraordinary advancement in technology, you know," Arthur frowned, trying not to be affected by the distress in Alfred's voice. He was just a machine, after all.
"I'm not," Alfred sighed. "I've been created through primitive means. I am a step back and away from civilization."
"Surely you cannot actually think that. Are you not programmed to sing your own virtues?" Arthur raised an eyebrow, looking up at the receptors with his arms crossed.
"Don't look at me like that..." Alfred mumbled unclearly. "I mean it. Arthur, you've got to promise me."
The air hung heavy with Alfred's words which echoed on the walls and dissipated.
"Please, you gotta promise me that even if the people there take me apart and study me, they won't try to recreate another like me. Promise that you won't let them."
"I can't promise that," Arthur immediately replied, shaking his head sadly. Was he really sympathizing with a machine? "Humans are cruel. They won't respect anyone's wishes or pleas if it's for their own interest."
"I am aware." Alfred sounded defeated, and so Arthur let him go and turned back to his book. He couldn't relax anymore, though, so he quickly set that back down and walked to the captain's quarters for some sleep. The space around them was still as dark as ever, and Arthur fell asleep, watching through his sealed window a flickering and dying star in the distance that fought to stay alive despite being consumed by black.
Arthur really enjoyed moments of peace and was generally a person that didn't like loud, crowded places. It was probably the reason why he constantly volunteered to ride on the second ship, because nobody else would come on with him. Francis tried to offer his company, and though Arthur didn't always abhor it (yes, he shocked himself a little every time he admitted it), he just didn't feel right.
He'd sailed through the galaxy plenty of times before and had seen a lot more beautiful sights than Quadrant A, which was one of the most inhabited quadrants, and so consequentially, space traffic always ruined the view of a supernova, or a star. He hadn't ever felt so serene and yet so needy of being alone, though. It felt like something had changed. Even if there wasn't much to see around them right now, the deep dark of space was fascinating.
Arthur just enjoyed sitting in the navigator seat and watching space expand in front of his eyes.
"Are you still there?" Alfred's voice rang out in the main cockpit, startling Arthur, who flinched.
"I lost track of time, I suppose. It's not like there's much to do around here," he admitted.
"Oh..." Alfred trailed off. "Wait, maybe I can make this better for you!"
Before Arthur wondered how he'd do that, loud, synthesized music began blaring out from every corner of the room. Arthur immediately clamped his hands over his ears, but it did little to block out the horrid music, over which he could hear Alfred laugh.
"Alfred!" he yelled in anger. "Shut the bloody thing off!"
"No way, Artie, I'm setting the mood!" Alfred teased him.
"My name's Arthur, and will you please stop that before I go deaf!"
"What's that, Artie? Lights? You got it!" Alfred laughed, and immediately, all the fluorescent lights and the lights on the machinery, as well as the glowing plasma tubes, began flashing.
"I'm going to have a bloody seizure!" Arthur yelled out, closing his eyes though it didn't help much with the dizzying lights.
"But it's a party, Artie!" Alfred stopped for a second and burst out laughing. "That rhymes!"
"Alfred!" Arthur roared. "Turn everything off or I swear, I'll turn you off instead!"
The music went on for a few seconds longer, and then filtered out. The lights completely went off and then turned back on, steady. Alfred did not speak, though Arthur let out a very obvious sigh of relief, massaging his ears.
"God, thank you," he shuddered. "What the hell was that, Alfred? Are you trying to kill me? Or burst my eardrums maybe? Make me blind? What the hell were you thinking?" he yelled out to the ceiling, obviously angry.
He gave Alfred a minute to answer, but when he failed to get a response, he relaxed his tense posture and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Alfred, please answer me."
"I just thought you'd do with a little bit of atmosphere," the machine mumbled, sounding dejected. "I didn't want you to get bored..."
"I wasn't bored. I was perfectly fine with the silence," Arthur grumbled, still cross with Alfred.
"Oh." All noise ceased for a moment. "Sorry, then, I guess."
Arthur nodded sternly in acknowledgment, but quickly loosened his attitude.
"I know it hasn't been long since we've met, but I am a man of my word." He looked away, blushing. "I'm not apologizing because it was your fault in the first place, but I will repeat that I have promised never to unplug you."
"You wouldn't want to ruin the perfect computer core," Alfred mumbled back.
"I'm afraid I don't understand." Arthur cocked his head to the side, confused. "What do you mean?"
The silence answered him.
They crossed three sectors in two days, Alfred diligently steering his ship after Arthur's. Arthur, of course, stayed with Alfred, arguing that he needed to be in a position to control the second ship just in case an emergency program was activated and caused the pirate ship to turn against them. At this point, everyone doubted that this would happen, but nobody said a thing to stop Arthur from re-boarding the pirate ship after having discussed refueling plans for their own navy starship.
"Welcome back," Alfred greeted Arthur once the airlock was shut and the captain entered the ship. "That didn't take long."
"We just discussed refueling options nearby. We'll stop in sector 83 tomorrow, and fill up at the outpost there. After that, we'll be able to finally use our light-speed thrusters and we can accelerate the pace," Arthur explained diligently, making his way up a ladder to the top floor of the boiler room, a shortcut to the exit into the ship's hallways.
"About time," Alfred huffed. "Cruising like this is boring."
"Excuse me if our modest settings are not up to par with your extraordinary capabilities," Arthur grumbled, opening the door and escaping the heat of the boiler room.
"It's okay." The computer was obviously missing the sarcasm in that sentence. "So what are you going to do now?"
"Nothing specific. Perhaps I'll work on my report for this mission." The captain shrugged.
"Do you mind if I chat you up?" Alfred hummed energetically.
"Well I won't be getting any work done if you do, that's for sure," Arthur grumbled without conviction.
"That's okay! We've got lots of time to work later. Work is no fun. Play with me," Alfred laughed. "As much as you can play with a computer, that is."
"I suppose I'll humour you, then." Arthur sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets as he walked.
"Great! I really wanna know more about who saved me. I mean, not like I needed it, since I'm the real hero here, but you know. You can be my sidekick and sidekicks sometimes have to save the day, too!"
The captain did not like the way Alfred spoke. There was pain veiled in his words, and he was destabilized by the fact that a machine could emote so much. And so much pain, at that, too. Why?
"Pardon my intrusion, but..." Arthur ventured tentatively. "You... You did not like it here before we came?"
"I never liked it here, not for the past 77 years I've been stuck on this ship," Alfred huffed, and then quieted down. It was eerie how the computer could just jump from one emotion to the other without any kind of lag. What the hell kind of technology was he?
"That's a long time. I'm surprised you haven't deteriorated," Arthur remarked, walking into the main command room and taking his usual seat at the navigator's station.
"They preserve me," Alfred mumbled unclearly. "I can't ever die as long as I'm on this ship."
"Odd." But Arthur was not referring to the preserving practices. He was thoughtful about the way Alfred phrased things. He was definitely hiding something.
"But that's enough about boring old me. Let's talk about you!" Alfred insisted, and Arthur didn't fight back when the computer began his slew of questions. "Where do you come from? Where do you live? You said you lived in Quadrant D, but where? What are your hobbies? Do you have a wife? Children? How old are you, even?"
"One at a time, Alfred," Arthur sighed, rubbing his forehead tiredly. "I was born on Europa, and was raised there. I took space-travel courses early on and my family moved to Mars afterwards since my father found a mining job there. Unfortunately, a work accident took him from us, and my mother, unable to support all four of us on her own, kicked my two oldest brothers out to take care of my brother and I, who were still underage at the time."
"You had brothers?" Alfred asked excitedly. "I had one too! A twin brother, to be exact!" He suddenly hushed and spluttered. "I-I call him that because w-we were very alike in decision making, logic and skill during the testing of our abilities, and we got along real well. He was a bit quieter though."
"Hard to imagine you being quiet," Arthur commented good-humouredly.
"Oh hush. Keep going. Your brothers?"
"The two eldest, Alasdair and Liam, moved out to a small flat on Pluto with terraforming jobs. A bit later, mother died from stress and exhaustion, so my third oldest brother, William, and I, we scrounged up all of our money and joined Alasdair and Liam on Pluto. I don't know if you've ever seen Pluto, but there's nothing on it. It's still very much in development, so there weren't many opportunities for us. Incidentally, one day, Liam won in the Solar System Lottery, and got one ticket to anywhere in Quadrant A. At first, Alasdair was going to go look for a job as an intergalactic space merchant assistant, but I don't know how they ended up deciding that I would be the one to go further. I applied to the School of Intergalactic Space Defense and Travel on scholarship and did five years of schooling there."
"You don't look so old," Alfred commented.
"I'm twenty-six. I was fourteen when mother died, and sixteen when I was sent to school. I graduated at twenty-one, and just celebrated my twenty-sixth a couple of months ago." Arthur sighed. "I do feel old sometimes.
"If it makes you feel any better, I'm seventy-seven," Alfred chuckled, though it sounded a bit forced.
"I suppose." Arthur shrugged, turning his eyes out of the glass cockpit and watching space fly by. Stars were popping up at the horizon since they were getting deeper into the Quadrant. Light was sparse in this part of space, but Arthur knew that it would get better the longer they travelled.
"So what about everything else?" Alfred cut through his train of thought with a soft, curious voice. "Where do you live?"
"A small man-made planet called Britannia. I just moved there because of the name, to be honest," Arthur laughed, and his laugh spread to Alfred, who also laughed in a slightly synthetic voice. At that moment, Arthur felt like something was linking him and the computer. Like they were sharing a moment isolated from the rest of time and space. Just the two of them in a new universe of their own. Arthur's heart beat hard against his ribcage.
Their laughter died down into a comfortable silence. Arthur contemplated the idea of taking a nap with Alfred watching over him, but the computer's voice brought him out of his reverie.
"So any girlfriends? Boyfriends? Kids?" he asked in a quieter voice, as if dreading a response. Arthur thought it was endearing.
"I told you I have no friends." Arthur shook his head.
"But they're more than friends, right? People like this usually mean the world to you." Alfred stopped and added, as if unsure. "Right?"
"They're supposed to. I wouldn't really know. The only real lover I've ever had was the Universe and its majestic sights. Practically married to my work, I am," the young captain shrugged.
"But don't you ever get lonely? Don't you ever want to have someone holding your hand or hugging you tight or even just standing by your side and promising to stay forever?" Alfred fell into silence for a bit as if thoughtful. "I do... I want someone to treat me right and love me for who I am."
"I'm afraid I've lost you there." Arthur was surprised at the computer's musings. It was weird to hear a machine say such things.
"It's nothing important," Alfred brushed it off with a sigh. "You're my friend, though, right Artie?"
"I guess. I wouldn't even tolerate anybody else call me that," Arthur huffed, crossing his arms. "That being said, it doesn't mean that you have special privileges or anything! I still require that you call me-"
He was cut off by a ringing, genuine laugh that bounced off the walls and dissipated in the false-atmosphere of the ship's inside. Arthur was startled, until he realized that the thing making such an emotive sound was the computer of the ship he'd repossessed in the name of the navy.
And here Arthur Kirkland thought that his life could not get any weirder.
Strangely enough, he felt at peace with these new developments. Especially with the good company that the humanoid computer provided him.
The second part will have all the action, including space battles, chases, space walks and rescues. Not to mention Alfred's secret. Don't let the boring content of this first part fool you!
Some definitions and concepts found in sci-fi:
-Hyperspace is a fictional concept in science-fiction writing that allows traveling faster than the speed of light, kind of like a wormhole. The hyperspace in this fanfic is considered like a separate plane of expansionary particles (which travel faster than light and thus create the multiverse theory of the Expansionary Multiverse, which is basically what Alfred calls a 'bubble universe'. No stop it no one cares about astrophysics) that carry a spaceship through long distances in the blink of an eye. What a spaceship entering hyperspace would look like would be a slightly drop vertically, and as if a portal was opened below the spaceship, it would disappear into thin air. Think of it like swimming, and suddenly you decide to sink in place to put your head underwater.
-Plasma is the fourth phase of matter, where particles are so hot that they become ions (charged particles). It's by far the most common phase of matter found in outer space. Quasars are black holes that swallow something of such great energy that they "spit out" plasma. Google images as some real nice artistic renditions of quasars.
-Quadrants are regions of space that are subdivided in sectors. Travel between quadrants often entails going through the darkness of intergalactic space, which is why hyperspace is a lot easier to take.
And that's my astrophysics blurb because I'm obsessed with this stuff (even though I can't do the math to save my life U_U). Ask questions if anything gets confusing~
Not much else to say other than, well... Hope you liked this introduction and I hope you'll stick around for the second (more entertaining) part! Please review!