Expanded Scene 1

A Conundrum

The red haired woman, Doctor Fitsch, stole several more glances at the massive Indra making its way down the hallway. How absolutely bizarre, normally her sister would have gushed to her for several hours if another Indra had been discovered. Normally she’d at least be notified; there wasn’t even an expedition into the Salt Flats scheduled. She shook her head and made her way down the stupidly long hallway to the elevator. With a cheerful ding the door was open and she was off to her workroom.

Weaving her way around the innumerable beige corridors she savored the respect in the eyes of those she passed. She put a slight scowl on her face to deter any unwanted conversation. Passing by her sister’s workroom she heard a loud clattering noise and a small thud, peeking inside she saw her sister crouched under one of her many messy tables searching for something.

“Klutz,” Fitsch muttered under her breath as she kept walking.

Turning the final corner she stood in front of her workroom door, a small piece of paper was tacked to it. She pulled the paper from the door and rubbed away the adhesive residue with her thumb. It was an invite to the floorwide anniversary celebration for Doctor Brummel. She opened the door and threw the invitation in her overflowing trash bin. She didn’t have time for celebrations, Schultz wanted the impossible and she had to deliver.

She sat at her desk for several minutes with her head in her hands as she tested and failed plans in her head. Manufacture would be nightmare enough, but the software?

“UGH!” Fitsch threw her hands up in defeat. “Dammit Schultz…”

Forgetting the pressing matter for a moment she fired up her communications terminal. Clicking through the profiles of the various staff members she finally settled on her sister’s. Clicking the message icon she quickly typed, “They found a new Indra” and shot it off. She left the terminal on as a veritable barrage of messages rained in from her sister.

Fitsch chuckled to herself as she watched the messages pile up. She felt something in the back of her mind, a tiny idea, form and grow. The solution was on the tip of her tongue but she couldn’t quite word it. There was one final message from her sister.

“MArge!” was all it said.

Fitsch scowled slightly, her sister knew that she hated being called that, suddenly it hit. Extraneous capital aside, it was the final piece to the puzzle. Fitsch pushed herself backwards, letting her chair do the heavy lifting; she rolled backwards to a nondescript file cabinet. She launched a glob of spit at the lock and with a quiet hiss the door opened. After wiping the lock with some disinfectant she began pawing through the safe’s contents. She came away with a small circular object, she gently closed the door once more, leaving it slightly ajar.

Rolling back to the communications terminal she pressed a complicated sequence of buttons and a small window opened up in the bottom corner of the screen. After inputting a stream of gibberish disguised as a password the window enlarged filling the whole screen.

Flicking a small latch on the circular object a thin sheet of magnetic tape emerged, she loaded the tape cartridge into a small port on the terminal and the satisfying clunks of the device locking filled the room. The tech was ancient, but that was the point. Pressing a key, the machinery whirred into life; a high pitched buzzing noise could be heard as the tape was pulled from the cartridge into the machine. Ten seconds later the device whirred again as the tape was rewound.

“I love these things.” She muttered.

Icons filled the screen, programming notes, simulations, documents, and spreadsheets, gigabytes upon gigabytes worth of data. Grabbing a blank tape cartridge, she fed it into the machine, it locked into place. She proceeded to copy everything, a few seconds later she popped the cartridge out of the terminal and powered the machine down. Tossing the original tape back in the safe she closed it fully, she quickly walked out of her workroom.

Plastering her ‘don’t talk to me’ scowl on her face once more she made her way down to the parts storeroom.

Project Gamma was going to be a resounding success; the Sons wouldn’t stand a chance.

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