Ursula checked out Gabriella and confirmed she was indeed fine and that she'd wake up soon enough on her own. In the meanwhile though, she was consumed by a need for revenge. Max had been like a brother to her and for the Technomancers to take that away from her meant retaliation was required, nay essential.

"Michael, what is all this crap?"

"It's my Diving equipment."

"Obsessed much?" Ursula said, passing her eyes across the state of his room once again.

Michael turned the dentists chair towards her and sat down, still holding his ribs which were feeling a little sore after the impact. "Yeah. It was a bad time for me back then."

"Back then? This all started less than a week ago."

"Time flies, I guess. It seems like an eternity since I was that person."

"Michael. We need to fight back. The Techs shot down Max. They killed him."

"Damn it all to hell. What are we meant to do. We don't know the reasons, we don't have a crack team of soldiers or weapons or anything. It's just us three stuck in my apartment. What can we do against the whole Technomancer regime? I'll tell you. Nothing."

"That's not true!"

"We don't even know why they did it. Even if we could make a move now, it could just make things worse if we start lashing out for the wrong reasons."

"They killed Max Michael. They killed him. That's all the reason I need."

"Look, we need to stop everyone from fighting each other. They need to see that each other aren't the problem. Tetherson is, it all comes back to him. He's been planning this a long time and now everyone is playing to his tune. When he's done everyone will destroy themselves. We need to stop them. Isn't there some way you can break into their systems, stop them from launching their bombs?"

"No. I'm not some elite hacker."

"But you're an AI, right?"

"That's different. You don't know what you're asking."

"So what am I asking?"

"You know what I did for this body? And not just that. I need this, I can't be what I was before, I just can't."

"Hey it's just an idea. It's the only way we have to strike back at them now."

"It's forbidden Michael. There was a reason AIs were feared, even before the Fracturing. Some lines should never be crossed. When us refugee AIs came together and took on human bodies, we made a pact. We'd never give humans a reason to fear us, to hate us. We'd never justify the paranoia and fear they had and if any of us went rogue, we all agreed we'd hunt them down and erase them."

"Don't tell me." Michael shrugged. "As I said, it was just an idea, no-ones asking you to do this."

"Damn you Michael! Don't think I don't know what you're doing!"


"What other choice do we have. You said so yourself, we have nothing and without Max, we can't even go anywhere, we're stuck here on the side lines. If a have to do this to avenge Max, then so be it."

"You'll want to sit here then."

"What? Why I can just beam myself via AT."

Michael gestured to the chair. "There was a reason I did this to my apartment you know. Invading peoples souls isn't exactly easy. Hacking your way past a conscious minds defenses takes more work then even the most powerful firewall and you have to do it in more than one place, both the the real interface and the Aetheric one. You're not going to be the only one out there, demons will be trying to take this thing over too so they had kickstart the next world war. It's not exactly to your needs, but you're an AI, I'm sure you'll find a way to repurpose it once you're part of it's systems."

"Jesus Michael, you were one sick S.O.B. This is thing is monsterous."

"Like I said, it seems like a million years since I was that person. We've all changed."

Ursula nodded and knelt besides Gabriella's sleeping form. She slowly pressed her lips against hers and held the kiss for a moment. When she was done she turned to Michael. "Yes. We have. Set me up."

Ursula lowered herself into the chair and Michael started connecting her up.

"You can still back down. We can find another way."

"Screw you Michael. You want this as much as I do so don't pretend you're offering me a choice. Are we ready?"

"We're ready."

"Then lets go."

Michael stood back and watched as Ursula's body suddenly went limp. It wasn't grand or miraculous, one minute she was there, the next minute she was a lifeless husk, her body limp, drooling and mindless.

The End

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