Doctor Marshall followed Commander Kennedy into the moon pool node at the center of Deep Blue. The doctor observed the Commander as her eyes scanned the surrounding area meticulously, taking everything in. She paid particular attention to the array of mechanical arms directly above the moon pool.
"What is the maximum lift capacity of your crane?", she asked.
"The large one can easily handle 8,000 pounds.", replied the doctor. "Syndi, what is the max capacity of the smaller robotic arms above the moon pool?"
Across the room, on one of the larger monitors above the control console Syndi's holographic blue image appeared and her voice sounded throughout the moon pool, "According to official specifications, the maximum load capacity is 3,250 pounds. But after working with them, I estimate they could handle approximately 4,000 pounds."
Commander Jordan turned her attention to the monitor. "An A.I.?", the commander asked.
The doctor nodded, "Yes. Commander Jordan, meet the other member of our team. This is Syndi. She's a little side project I'm working on down here."
Syndi turned her head to face the Commander and gave a friendly smile, "Hello Commander Jordan. Welcome to Deep Blue."
The commander returned her smile, "Thank you Syndi. It's nice to meet you."
Jordan stared at the holographic bust a moment longer, analyzing it. "So you're programming her yourself?", she asked.
The doctor nodded, "Yes, with a focus on self learning through deductive reasoning. It's getting to the point now that she's picking up things on her own. Sometimes I just have to nudge her in the right direction."
Returning to the commander's previous question Doctor Marshall inquired, "Are the cranes going to be sufficient for what you need."
The commander had been so distracted with meeting Syndi that she almost forgot the question.
"Yes sir. Yes, they'll do just fine."
She continued scanning the room until her eyes fell across the remote control vehicle station with all four drones tucked away in their respective nooks charging their batteries. Suddenly her eyes rolled toward the doctor with a slight smirk.
"The Three Stooges, Doctor Marshall?", she asked as a smile grew across her face. "They seem a little out of place down here don't they?"
The doctor returned the smile, appreciating the fact that the Commander caught the reference, but before he could give a proper response, a hydraulic hiss sounded as the door to the bathysphere wing rolled open. Nick entered the Moon Pool carrying a large case in each arm.
"Commander, I appreciate that you're one of the senior engineers on the M.A.N.T.A. project.", Nick began. There was a clear amount of tension in his voice, but was unclear whether it was due to the weight of the cases he was carrying, or if he was just still irritated.
"And she's a beautiful ship.", he added with a forced smile. "Really."
As he spoke, Commander Kennedy casually made her way down the steps to the walkway surrounding the M.A.N.T.A. and began examining the exterior of the ship.
Nick continued, "But I've spent a considerable amount of time with the M.A.N.T.A."
"Lieutenant Commander.", the Doctor attempted to jump in. "You might want to hold that..."
"Hang on Doc. Just one second.", Nick shot back, not letting him finish his statement.
The doctor recoiled at the interruption with raised brow. "Whatever you say slick. By all means, continue."
YOU ARE READING
Deep Blue - The DescentScience Fiction
More people have visited the moon, than have found their way to the bottom of the ocean. Test piloting the military's latest top secret assault submarine, in the most inhospitable environment on the planet, a reckless test pilot teams up with a recl...