Narrow Escape (The Mission 8)
Ally felt numb, she couldn't believe that she might never hear her best friend Allie again. Charles had been
working on Allie's circuits for over 2 hours, he'd almost had to shut part of cici's circuits off, he'd been begging
Charles to save Allie. Charles had been through it's systems almost twice, though he'd replaced close to half of the
systems major circuits he still had no idea why Allie still wasn't active. From what he'd seen the by-pass had
absorbed 90% of the overload so if anything Allie should still be half active. Charles had stopped the Time Raider
not sure that he could maneuver the ship close enough to the capital planet, for them to use the MTM to set down in
the empire city.
cici was finally quiet it seemed it too was to the point where it was numb. Another 5 hours and Charles had
finally repaired evrything that had burnrd out, flipping the last of the circuits on they all waited.
"Allie?" Alatem said, "can you hear me?"
For a moment Charles thaought he might have forgot something, then there was a massive feedback signal then they
heard a voice.
"Beginning primary start-up, loading all parameters, now iniating, loading of all security programs, working," came a
very mechanical voice.
"Charles! What happened to my Allie?" Alatem said as she rushed to his side.
"I warned you, I wasn't sure I could get this much of her back, I still need to load another program are we are in
trouble," Charles replied. Alatem just nodded as she watched Charles work.
A moment later they heard, "accepting primary protocol, Princess Alatem, is primary, Charles Ricksome is
primary, secondary. As per all directives no living entity is allowed on board without permission of either. The AI
cici is allowed access to all base systems, including navigation, time slip protocol, MTM operation, all protocols
loaded awaiting commands."
Alatem turned away hiding her face in her hands her sobs ripping at Charles heart, with all he'd done he still hadn't
found where Allie's personality circuits were. Thinking a minute Charles tried to think of where in all these
systems, where Allie actually was, if he could then there might be a chance.
Thinking a minute Charles looked at Alatem.
"Ally, we need to inform your father that there was a problem on the ship, that you have a tech here and you need the
specs for the AI," Charles said.
"No, that might arouse more suspicion from him he is already close to guessing everything. I think we need to contact
the techs them selves, it might be better in the end although," Alatem thought a moment, "they are fiercely loyal to
Within an hour Charles had the plans but then they had the Emperor to deal with, "Alatem what happened?"
Sighing Alatem knew that she had to deal with this sooner or later better now than then, "The ship was
attacked by raiders, I barely escaped after Allie destroyed them, but Papa Allie sustained damage." Alatem started to
cry hiding her face she almost whispered, "I may have lost her Papa, the tech that is here managed to get the systems
back on, but that's it. Oh Papa, I can't lose her, I can't."
The Emperor sighed he never seen his daughter this heart broken before, it almost killed him to see her like this,
"Let me talk to the tech Alatem," drying her eyes but still sniffling, she motioned to Charles.
Charles had been prepared for this, Alatem had described in detail how the techs were. "Your majesty, is this really
necessary?" Charles said a shimmer cloak around him.
"Yes damn it," the Emperor said exasperated, "Is there any chance to repair the Allie unit."
As I said I don't have
time to talk if I am to save the best computer we have ever engineered
"As I already told the princess, I have already repaired the unit and all systems," Charles said trying to sound
aloof, "the problem is either the AI was destroyed, in which case we can try to rebuild it though it won't be the
same. The other scenario I have postulated, is that the AI is trapped in a dead end loop and I don't have a lot of
time to find it before power to that section is lost and therefore it is also. Now then, no more interruptions!"
The Emperor sighed he was going to have to do something about the techs they were starting to get too cocky
for their own good.
"I hope he can repair it, Alatem I know you considered it to be your best friend, we can only hope." The Emperor
"Without Allie, the Time Raider is useless, without the Time Raider the Empire is in trouble father," Alatem replied
keeping an eye on Charles. "We'll come in as soon as we have enough control to move the ship Papa."
"Alright Alatem, advise me as soon as you can start in," he replied.
Clicking off Alatem breathed a sigh of relief, Charles shimmer shield went off a moment later. "I can't believe that
we fooled Papa," Alatem said
"I have found, that when people are distracted, they tend to ignore the obvious or in this case the near obvious. You
know he'll call back soon wondering why there is a tech on board when there wasn't before." Charles said.
Alatem sighed as always she knew he was right though what she'd tell her father she wasn't sure.
Pouring over the schematics Charles finally found where the human sounding Allie was, problem was there were
so many safeguards, firewalls, inner security, and hidden traps to break the loop, Charles wan't sure he could do it
all without Allie. 3 more hours of work had gotten him through all the firewalls, past all the safe guards, almost
all the inner security was deactivated now to get passt the traps he should be ok. Another 3 hours he was finally at
the first chamber where Allie was well he hoped she still was, everything had locked down so tight he wasn't sure
For another hour Charles worked at the magnetic lock carefully deactivating everything he came to finally the path
ways were open looking in he saw there was only a fourth of the brain cells that were Allie. Charles couldn't fault
the techs that had built this they were, trying to be safe yes, but this was almost paranoid, seperated into four
sections? Sighing Charles finally released this section though he knew it wasn't the part they needed at least it
could help in the release of the others if they were still viable.
There was a soft crackle over the speakers then a younger sounding Allie spoke up, "Papa? where are you
Alatem's face lit up, "Allie? It's me Alatem you do know me don't you?"
Allie was quiet a moment, "I was with Papa, he was going hunting but I fell when I got on the horse, when I woke up I
"That happened many years ago, let me explain ok?" Alatem said.
For the next 2 hours Alatem tried to explain, what had happened, who was who, the family now. Charles had crawled
back into the space working his way toward the second chamber, Alatem explained what Charles was trying to do, asking
the young Allie if she could help, sure she said a little giggle, telling Alatem that they were pretty now that they
were older. Alatem smiled telling Charles that Allie was working on everything that it could .
Charles sighed when he saw the AI trying but unfortunately it still didn't have enough access to disarm everything,
he was glad he went in prepared.
An hour later Charles had reached the second Chamber, sweating like someone had poured water on him he had to be
twice as careful as everything was slippery now. Finally getting it opened, he'd just released it into the mainframe
when several alarms went off. An older version of Allie's voice came out of the speakers, "I am detecting strange
ships I don't recognize them."
Charles came running, staring at the readings, he started to curse, turning he was running for the
"Allie," he shouted as he ran, "activate all the shields, charge the plasma guns!"
"Activate the what? Charge the who?" Allie hesitantly said.
"Damn it! Bring up the shields or those raiders are going to blow us out of existence!" Charles yelled as he raced
deeper into engineering.
"Why didn't you say so in the first place! gee! You didn't have to yell at me really!" spit out Allie.
Charles was checking everything, he didn't want another repeat of the last time, damn it! How in the fuck had they
found them so fast again? Running sensor readings all over the ship, he soon found three trackers on the outer hull.
It figured, there was no way they could be inside not with Allie.
Charles reached to activate the shields and plasma guns and received a huge shock, "Damn it! Why'd you do that!"
Charles yelled, the charge knocking him across the room.
"I said I'd do it!" Allie said, "you don't have to mess with my insides!"
Picking his half numb body off the floor Charles look over to see Alatem snickering, "I could have warned you, I was
the same way when I was a teen daddy said that was when I started rebelling."
Charles could only stare at her a moment, "anything else I need to know, before Allie kills me out of just
plain principle?" Both Alatem and Allie were both snickering.
"No, but if you want Allie's help, you're going to have to treat her a little more patiently, after all Allie's just
a teen." Alatem said smiling slyly.
Charles shook his head if he lived through this he and these two were going to have to have a talk. Sighing Charles
decided what the hell couldn't hurt, "Allie, do you have a number of them yet?" he asked.
"As of yet I only see 6 no wait! There's 10! What do they want?" Allie asked
"The bastards want us dead, I have a feeling your uncle is behind most of this!" Charles growled.
"It wouldn't surprise me knowing what we do now," Alatem spit out, "Looks like he'll stop at nothing to destroy the
"I thought those in stasis looked familiar, though they look so much older, is there that much missing from my
memory?" Allie asked.
"Yes, I'm afraid I was only able to recover half so far, there were far to many traps, firewalls, internal security
and safe guards to move too quickly I had to be careful, not just for you and Ally but another that loves you. Though
at the moment cici is almost non-functional," Charles said, sad that his friend was in such pain.
Allie growled, suddenly every system on the ship came alive. "I have a message from the raiders," Allie
"Empire ship, we know that you are helpless, your energy production is at a minimum. Lower your shields and prepare
to be boarded! Resist and we will not hesitate to destroy you! You have 1 minute to comply."
Allie growled again, "should I destroy them now?"
"I've got an idea Allie, let them get closer, can you hack their systems?' Charles asked.
"Yes I can, OH! You were right Ally he is brilliant!" Allie said in happy surprise.
"Alright open a channel Allie," Charles said. "To the raiders, we will not surrender! Come meet us if you wish to
Within moments the raiders started their runs, for a few tense minutes the ship shook till Allie said, "Hack
"Alright Allie, Now! Take the bastards out!" Charles shouted.
The ship suddenly came alive, as 5 of the raiders suddenly vanished, Allie growled more, taking 3 more in less than
another minute. The last 2 turned trying to escape but Allie relentlessly gave chase easily destroying them.
Laughing Allie said, "don't piss off a girl gentleman!"
Charles was at the console checking readings, "Good job Allie! It appears thet we are clear as far as I see. Now all
we have to do is get rid of those tracking devices on the hull."
"They did what!? Allie shouted, growling Allie started to scan the hull. "I see them Charles, the appear to be
equiped with an explosive device. I am afraid that I won't be able to remove them."
Sighing Charles knew that he would have to go out on the deck to disarm and remove them. "I'm going to need you to
monitor them while I am out there Allie. Please let me know if you detect any change in their signals, or their
chemical make up. I'm depending on you Allie."
"Yes Charles, you can depend on me, I see why you fell for him, he is somewhat enticing." Allie replied to Alatem.
Charles suited up god he was tired, after all of this is over he was going to take a long fucking vacation. About to
put on the helmet Alatem ran to him and kissed him, "you better come back, that's an order," she said as she watched
him finish suiting up.
Half an hour later Charles had removed 2 of the devices and had the third lose when Allie yelled, "Charles!
the last one has activated I estimate we have 30 seconds! Throw it and I'll try to get us away!"
Charles threw the device but it was like slow motion to him, 20 seconds later Allie managed to get the light shields
near the hull up, but couldn't move the ship that fast as Charles only had a tether. 30 seconds up, the device
exploded, though the blast didn't effect the ship or Charles, the concussion wave from the blast pushed Charles
harder than he could cling to the skin of the ship.
"Charles!!" Alatem screamed as he started to float off the hull. "Allie can you track him?"
"No Ally I can not, the sensors are blind from the blast." Allie sadly replied.
"NO! Allie we have to get him! We have to!" Alatem said franticly.
"Without sen wait, I think I have something, yes, I think its him!" Allie shouted excited.
Charles felt like carp he should have fore seen this. Activating The emergency air tank when he knew the tether
wouldn't hold, he was just hoping that Allie could find him before the Tank was gone, looking at the gauge he had
half an hour not much.
Twenty minutes later he saw the ship coming after him, well at least they'd be able to get his body. Pulling
his personal recording device he talked into it till he knew the air was gone. Alatem knew they had to hurry, it
didn't matter how much air he had he was only in a short maintenance suit, out side the shield it wasn't the best to
keep radiation out and she wanted more than one child. 29 minutes later they were next to Charles Alatem had rushed
to the air lock to put on another suit, opening the door Alatem grabbed a motionless Charles pulling him inside. A
small recording device fell from his hand, thinking nothing of it Alatem picked it up amd slid it into her pocket.
Barely allowing the airlock to pressurize she was taking his helmet off, "Charles! Charles please, please, please!
Breathe damn it! Come on Ricksome you can't give up on us yet!" Balling up her fist she hit him several times in the
Choking, Charles gasp for air, looking into the emerald eyes of the woman he loved. Trying to sit up he felt as if
there was a heavy weight on his chest plus the pain was a sure sign something was wrong.
"Princess Alatem I think you bruised his ribs," Allie said
Smiling sweetly she looked at Charles, "Can you forgive me? It was the only way I knew that I could get you breathing
"Of course I can, I always will Ally always," he whispered as he passionately kissed her.
Separating Alatem helped Charles to the med bay to start the healing on his ribs, which in this case involved
taping his ribs since Allie still had only partial control of the equipment.
"Allie," Charles started, "do you have enough control over all the lock down systems, to allow me close enough to
open the third chamber?"
"I don't have total control over the four, the firewalls and most of the intermnal security but nothing of the
internal traps, and only 25% of the safe guards," Allie stated.
"Well," started Charles, "that's a whole lot better than I had with the first 2. Alright Allie I'm going to need you
to keep a constant eye out for more raiders and all the readings while I am in there ok?"
"Yes, if you work as well as you are brilliant, I think I am going to enjoy this," Allie replied Charles rolled his
eyes that was the only thing he didn't miss from the whole Allie.
Charles began the slow crawl into the mainframe damn, each chamber had tighter and tighter security and room to move
around in. With Allie's help it only took an hour and a half to reach the third chamber. This time though there was
an added feature, it seemed the techs were really paranoid by this time. Physically there were lasers across the
chamber opening, along with all the previous traps and these damn things didn't seem to have a nearby shut of.
An hour later Charles had finally deactivated them but was still no closer to actually opening the chamber
pathways into the outer mainframe finally everything ready Charles slowly backed out his ribs starting to ache more
than he cared to admit. Almost out he heard the whine of this section of the mainframe start to activate SHIT!
"Allie hold off on the reactivation!" Charles yelled into his com trying to speed up his escape. Another minute and
he'd be clear then he could close it up and THEN activate it.
"Charles!" Came Allie's voice, "I am trying to hold off the reactivation but the section you opened is trying to over
ride me and it's winning, you have to hurry please!"
Charles was moving as fast as he could but he could feel the current trying to flow and re-energize all the circuits
around him. Finally out the door Charles slammed it home, holding his sides he made his way as fast as he could, to
the control center. Walking in several alarms went off then were just as quickly silenced .
"Oh my!" He heard Allie say, "It's that man with the wonderful hands, but Alatem, why is he here in our time?"
"There was an overload and Charles made a by pass to absorb it, but"Alatem started.
"Ah!" started Allie, "In that case protocol SA5549 was in acted."
"I'm not familiar with that one." Alatem stated.
"It's a self preservation program enacted only in the worse case scenario, which it appears happened. You can tell
me later, we need to get Charles to the med bay."
Charles could only nod as the pain increased, breathing became a chore, then the world went black as he heard Ally
TO BE CONTINUED