2020-06-22: When Nothing's Sacred



Summary: After returning to his base, Theo is conflicted about whether he should continue to aid the resistance.

Date: June 22, 2020.

Log Title: When Nothing's Sacred

Rating: G

Lyrics: Billy Sprague - When Nothing's Sacred

Upstate New York - Theo's Bunker

Built at the early stages of the Cold War, Theo's bunker was once designed to harbor VIPs in the case of a nuclear holocaust. Now it has been turned into a scientific laboratory. Organized into neat columns, Many computer terminals line the walls. A large workbench sits, usually with the disassembled parts of a robot upon it, and the tools neatly arranged. None of it looks well refined. The computers lack proper casings, wires are strewn about to network them. Old metal shelves line the walls with robotic spare parts, and an entire room is dedicated to the storage of non-perishable food, most of which has lost its labeling from time.

The heavy steel door starts to slide open, and as it reaches waist level, Theo ducks back into his bunker. The heavy slide begins to close again, and comes to rest with a heavy thud, and the locks re-engage. The technopath reaches the elevator, and pulls up the gate before stepping inside. With a simple gesture from his hand, as if fliping a switch down, he the elevator begins to descend down the long shaft to his base of operations below.

Thoughts pour through his mind. This fight had reach the resistance's doorstep. It wouldn't be wise to return. He's better off here where it's safe. The elevator reaches the bottom with a slightly rusted groan. With a twisted frown on his face, he punches the access to he next security point. The thick door opens and then close behind him. He doesn't bother to access the next security checkpoint manually, and instead just opens the doors through his powers. This door likewise grants him permissions.

He walks across the main room's floor, dusty because he had been gone so long. "It's not my fault they couldn't keep themselves hidden," he reasons aloud. "They brought it on themselves by pulling that foolish stunt at Times Square, all because they were attached to a hero." Theo reaches the pantry, and pulls out a can of peas. At least he thinks they are peas. The label is faded, and it's hard to read. He picks up the can opener and a spoon, checking to make sure they are clean. They are of course, but that doesn't prevent Theo from checking them, rubbing his thumb across their surfaces.

He trods back to his workbench, opening the can as he goes. He pulls the lid up, and pulls a spoonful out. String beans. They were green veggies anyway. He loudly slaps it down onto the tabletop, and looks over Proto. "Sorry I was gone for so long, buddy," he says, flipping on his sodering iron to let it heat up, and he remotely turns on the iPod, which comes through the speakers in the room. Classical music fills the air, it helps to clear the mind.

He opens the operations panel, and takes a look at Proto's damage. "That hunter did a number on you, didn't he?" he says, taking the sodering iron out of it's holster with his left hand. He carefully puts it inside the operation panel, and begins to fix the connections that were torn.

Suddenly the single slotted eye blazes to life on the head of the robot, and the system check begins to run. "Good afternoon, Theo," Proto says in his deep voice. "My databanks record that it has been 13 days since I was last in operation. I hope everything has been okay."

"No," Theo responds sourly. "Everything is not okay at all." He continues to soder, the gentle wafts of smoke rising from the panel. "I found some more mutants hiding in New York City. The stupid fools went and got themselves found. I imagine they will be all dead within the week." He closes the panel again. "Range of motion check," he dictates to his bodyguard.

Proto pulls himself up. "Unless you act. The Hunter operations planning time ranges from three to nine days under normal circumstances," he informs Theo. Will we help them?" The robot pulls himself up to a sitting position, and begins to articulate its right foreleg. Theo watches with a critical eye, and then switches his gaze to the left foreleg, which does the same, testing each joint.

"Your left wrist articulation is off by five degrees," he says, "Let me see it." As the robot extends its appendage to be operated upon, Theo answers the question. "So you are my conscience now, too? I don't remember programming that." He replaces the sodering iron and opens his toolbox, removing an alan wrench. He begins to unscrew the wrist until it disconnects from the robot. "If we help them, then we run the risk of dying alongside them. It wouldn't be wise. They dug their own grave."

Proto retracts the wrist and continues the range of motion test with the arms upon its back. "You have stated that you wish to destroy the sentinels so that Ahab will not be able to stop the mutants should they mass an attack against him." The head rotates, and neck swivels. "To aid them would be optimal. What purpose is there to destroying the sentinels if there is no one to save?"

Theo glares at his robot. "That is the last time I give you an AI upgrade," he says, disassembling the wrist. He finds the problem, a dented joint. He turns and begins to head to the parts shelf. He glances across the extra joints until he spots the one that he wants. After removing it from the shelf, he returns to the robot, and begins to replace the joint in the wrist. "If I help them, then I could die, and that's not optimal either."

Proto announces. "Blockage on left neck rotation." The head turns to watch the operation on its severed hand. "You have programmed me to look at scenarios and decide the best course of action. The best course of action is to save the mutants, before there is no one left to save."

Hardline frowns, and doesn't answer. All the same, his iPod changes playlists.

People need true love but chase infatuation
They need a hope, but live on short supply
People need wisdom, but get more education
People need forgiveness, but settle things eye for eye.

People need identity but are satisfied with titles
They need true courage, but would rather look sincere.
People need a living God, but seem content with idols.
People need destiny, but settle for careers.

People need faith, but place their bets on science
They need a refuge, but stay out in the rain
People need each other but rely on self-reliance
People need a Christmas, but settle for a holiday.

People need dignity, but survive on ego
People need the truth, but will take an alibi
People need a savior, but much prefer a hero,
Most long for heaven, but have settled for the sky.

And the soul remains unsettled
And the world a wilderness
In a time when nothing's sacred
Souls settle for less.

Theo finishes replacing the joint as he listens to the acoustic song. "You're going to be the death of me yet," he murmurs, and reattaches the appendage. "Fine, we'll go help them. But if I die, I'm blaming you." He takes an oil can and oils the joints in the collarbone area. "There, just work it out." He tosses the can back onto the worktable. "Get A-2 and the S units," he instructs Proto. "Find a trailer and load it up with all the food and supplies it can carry. Have S-4 find a semi and get it over here. I want to leave by tomorrow night."

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