Gabby tapped a finger on the holo-tab, scrolling through the checklist. She mumbled to herself to combat the interminable silence, “Done. Done. Done. Done.” Her shift was winding down, but she could squeeze in one more scan without a problem. Her team had been troubleshooting the anomalies for six shifts without a clue. Not one fritzed wire or crossed link, no cute little rodents sizzling in the circuits, or hideous viruses spewing garbled data.
“All systems operable,” the maintenance system announced. “Do you wish to proceed to level thirteen, mod seventy-four?”
“Not if I can help it,” she muttered, heading for the lift-port.
“Repeat,” the disembodied voice instructed.
“Yes. Mod seven four.”
“Proceed to the lift-port.”
“Obviously.” She pinched her fingers together in the air, minimizing the program. Trying to have a normal conversation with Opie, the ship’s original Operations AI, was like cooking with nutri-sims, the epitome of unsatisfying.
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