14: Commander Kennedy

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Nick awoke the next morning with a start.

"Beep! Beep! Beep!", the sound echoed through the tiny living quarters.

It took Nick a moment to realize that the sound wasn't electronic in nature.

It wasn't a single processed tone.

It was a voice, a female voice.

It was Syndi. She was repeatedly saying, "Beep. Beep. Beep.", over and over. Very loudly.

Reaching back with both hands, Nick quickly removed his pillow from behind his head and covered his face.

"Stop.", he yelled. But the request was muffled by the pillow and blaring voice.

He removed the pillow just long enough to deliver his message again, "Stop!" ~.

Instantly, the alarm stopped and was replaced by Syndi's voice at a more normal volume.

"Good morning Lieutenant Commander Sheppard.", she said. "It is now seven A.M. Doctor Marshall is working in Laboratory 1."

"Syndi.", Nick said, adjusting the pillow enough to expose his mouth but still leaving his face covered to block out the lights that had faded up. "What -- what was that?"

"That was your alarm Lieutenant Commander Sheppard. Specifically as you requested.", she responded. "Instead of music, you asked for a..."

"...a loud beeping sound.", Nick said, interrupting her, then removing the pillow from the rest of his face.

"I always try to be as accurate as possible on any request.", the computer A.I. said, very matter-of-factly, almost with a touch of pride.

"Well done.", Nick thought to himself, while at the same time regretting his previous instructions; But he wasn't about to let the computer know that. It just reminded him that the A.I. will do whatever she's told -- whatever it's told.

Instead, he offered the comment, "We'll have to work on that."

After letting his eyes adjust to the light, Nick sat up on the edge of the bed.

"Delete my previous instructions about alarms. In fact, delete the alarm. We'll work something out before tomorrow.", he said as he rose from the bed and grabbed a shirt for the day.

"Alright Lieutenant Commander."

A flash of green from the corner of Nick's computer caught his eye. It meant that a message was waiting for him.

"Well, this will be fun.", Nick thought to himself.

He partially destroyed a multibillion dollar vehicle on his first test run. He was pretty sure that if he was topside he'd be off the project. Lucky for him, at the moment, getting him topside was actually part of the problem.

He opened the message and scanned through the response.

Lieutenant Commander Sheppard we're pleased to hear the depth test was a success and that you were able to engage the Cavitation Drive without problem. We were hoping for more than a 10% capacity test...

Yeah me too.

...but understand your safety concerns and trust your judgment...

I appreciate that, since it's not your butt on the line.

There is some confusion on our end about the foreign object you mention and how it resulted in damage to the M.A.N.T.A...

What you really meant to say was, "Why are you doing things we didn't tell you do?"

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