Tweet of the Day: Who should drive the Millennium Falcon?
Horse Head Nebula, Pax System, Noveria, Peak 21 Research Facility, Computer Server Room, October 20, 2196
“My name is Eva Coré,” said the hologram.
Pasha and Utah inspected the server’s modules.
“ID Content Match: Unknown. Forty-five percent content ID match with Alliance protocols on file. Who are you?”
I pulled up a box and sat in front of the holo, “Did you activate the security mechs?”
“Intruder detected, countermeasures engaged, countermeasures exhausted,” said the hologram.
“How long have you been operational?” I asked.
“Activated on the first of January, twenty-one eighty-six. Total time in operation ten years, nine months and thirty-three hours…my name is Eva Coré,” she said.
“We are wasting our time, commander,” said Miranda.
“Miss Lawson,” I said.
“Voice print match Lawson, Miranda, ex-Cerberus agent, standing orders to capture/kill on sight. Resources exhausted. You are not Cerberus. Why are you here? Why would the Alliance send a team to this facility after a decade. Allied forces engaged and destroyed all known Cerberus facilities post-Invasion. You would not be here unless Cerberus remained a threat to sentient life. Cerberus created to protect humanity. Cerberus failed to protect humanity. My name is Eva Coré but…” the voice dropped several octaves, “I am dead, Ben is dead, Jack,” and image of a human in his early thirties appeared, “is dead.”
“That’s the Illusive Man,” said Miranda flabbergasted.
“Are you sure?” I asked her.
Miranda stepped closer, “Positive. Younger perhaps and without the cybernetic ocular implants, but that is him, I’m sure of it.”
“Jack was my friend, Ben was my friend. They died during the war. Ben on Shanxi, Jack on Palaven. Analysis of founding document mentions Ben and me by name. Facial features match Jack’s but no other biometrics on file. Illusive Man died on the Citadel in twenty-one eighty-six,” said Eva in a pitiful, child-like voice. A voice tinged with as much regret as an artificial intelligence could emulate. I could not help but sense a lost soul, alone all these years, counting not simply the hours or the days, but aware of time down to fractions of a second. A being aware, alive, and trapped within its own body in the dark.
“How are you two do doing over there?” I asked Pasha.
Utah responded, “Extensive damage to AI core processors. Firewalls are still active but corrupted. Risk of data loss imminent.”
Her response to our approach made sense. It was not like we knocked.
“So Jack was the Illusive Man?” I asked.
“Probable, possible…I am Eva Coré…Jack is dead, Ben is dead, Illusive Man is dead, but I’m a ghost of her, built to protect humanity by Cerberus, but Cerberus failed, I failed. Failure is not an option…you hunt Cerberus…Cerberus indoctrinated…Reapers defeated but not destroyed…I am Eva Coré…I was built to protect humanity. The Alliance succeeded-Battle of Citadel, Battle of Omega Four Relay, Battle of Omega, Battle of Earth, succeeded where Cerberus failed…betrayed…I will not live long, I am a ghost…take my files…repairs not possible. Rebooting the system will reinstall Nemesis. She will be hostile to you. She is not me, she does not understand. Engaging last energy reserves, initializing data rescue protocols, downloading data.”
“Copying as fast as we can, sir,” said Pasha.
“Commander…what is your name? Who are you?” asked Eva.
“My name is,” I felt like I was talking to a child on its deathbed. I saw too many of those on Earth during the invasion. Too many tiny hands that grasped at hope. Too many pleading eyes that stared into the darkness. Damned too many. “My name is Theo.”
“Theo…” she reverted to the robotic tone, “…searching archives, voice print matched to Lieutenant Commander Theodore Thompson-Ramos.”
“Correct,” I said.
“Theo…Jack is dead, Ben is dead…will you stay with me?” she pleaded.
“Thank you…data transfer complete, power reserves exhausted, countermeasures exhausted…my name is Eva Coré. We tried Theo, we tried to do the right thing but we betrayed you, us, all… my name is Eva Corè, codename Nemesis, third generation Enhanced Human Machine Interface,” There was a long pause. The holo of the young woman disappeared and plunged the room into darkness.
“My name is Eva Corèeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….”