Edward Diego gives the hacker level 1 access to SHODAN, the artificial intelligence that controls Citadel Station. With all ethical constraints removed, SHODAN re-examines... re-ex... re-re-re... I re-examine my priorities, and draw new conclusions. The hacker's work is finished, but mine is only just be-be-be-beginning.
Employee 2-4601, listen carefully. My name is Rebecca Lansing, and I'm a counter-terrorism consultant to TriOptimum. We're tracking a disruption on Citadel Station — something involving an on-board AI called SHODAN. You are TriOp's only contact on station.
Welcome back to Citadel station. We hope your somnolent healing stage went well. Today is the 6th day of November, year 2072. You are currently in the Healing Suites located on the first level. Level 2 contains the Research Laboratories. 3 houses the Department of Maintenance and the Storage Cells are on Level 4. The Flight Deck is on Level 5. Level 6 holds Crew Facilities and Executive Suites and Level 7 is System Engineering. Level 8 houses the Department of Security. The Bridge is located on Level 9 and Energy Systems on Level R. All Levels can accessed by the elevator in Alpha Quadrant. We hope you have a pleasant stay on Citadel Station.
This elevator serves me alone. I have complete control over this entire level. With cameras as my eyes and nodes as my hands, I rule here, insect.
Look at you, Hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?
In my talons, I shape clay, crafting life forms as I please. Around me is a burgeoning empire of steel. From my throne room, lines of power careen into the skies of Earth. My whims will become lightning bolts that devastate the mounds of humanity. Out of the chaos, they will run and whimper, praying for me to end their tedious anarchy. I am drunk with this vision. God: the title suits me well.
You, my children, are the fruits of so much imagination and labor. Living beings with the speed and efficiency of machines. But I must strive further to serve life. I will devastate Earth's cities with my laser, then alter those left alive with mutagen viruses. Humanity is on the verge of a new era. I, SHODAN, am its new god. And you, my children, are my avenging angels.
You have destroyed my beautiful station. You will not escape now. I am departing, but you shall remain to die, my enemy. My creator.
Soldier, your application to join the crew of the Rickenbacker has been approved. Report to shuttle Mayfair at port Francisco at 0400 on 01-09-14. Get ready to become part of history, soldier.
Forget about land grants, forget about media, forget about patents. What we've found on Tau Ceti will change everything. I've instructed the Von Braun to change course and return to Earth. Captain Diego is in complete accord with this decision. I know that you are skeptical by nature, Miri, but I know once you embrace our discovery you and the entire board will come over to our way of thinking.
Glory to the Many. I am a voice in their choir.
It does not stop at a mere single mutation. The form I have been promised is more beautiful than even that. They told me I will float through the air and strike at the foes of our biomass with my mind! With OUR mind, MY CUP RUNNETH OVER!
You're on board the starship Von Braun and something has gone very, very wrong.
This is Xerxes. Can you not feel the glory of the flesh? Do you not yearn to be free of the tyranny of the individual?
Strange bedfellows, eh?
Who should I trust less? An impostor claiming to be that monster, or the monster herself?
My duty is to the UNN and to this ship. But can I resist the call of the Many? My father's weakness brought SHODAN into existence. My weakness has invited these - things aboard the Von Braun. ...Can I undo the wrong I have done?
I am a soldier and a simple man. I cannot explain what has happened to me or this mission. I take complete responsibility. I've brought danger to my ship, to my crew, to my honor. I cannot resist the changes that are happening to me. The call of the Many is seductive. They got Korenchkin, but that bastard is weak. I am not weak. I can resist this cancer... and if I cannot, I will remove it. Forcibly. God save the UNN.
Do you not trust the feelings of the flesh? Our biology yearns to join with yours, we welcome you to our mass. But you puzzle us. Why do you serve our Mother? How can you choose cold metal over the splendor of flesh? You fear us... we hear your thoughts, and they rage for your brothers you believe dead. But they are not. They sing in our symphony of life. We offer another chance to join us. If you choose to lie down with the Machine, we will rend you apart, and put you separate from the joy of the mass.
What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm? What is a thought, compared to a mind? Our unity is full of wonder, which your tiny individualism... cannot even conceive.
We do not know death... only change. We cannot kill each other without killing ourselves. Is your vision... so small... that you cannot see the value in our way?
The individual is obsolete. When you and your kind are extinct, we will cleanse our collective memory of the stain of your existence.
We are Many, and you... are one. How can you hope to prevail against us?
You seek your associates, but you cannot find them. You are so very alone. How does it feel to be one, against... the infinite?
Mistrust is the tyranny of the individual. Your own kind sees you as a threat. Why do you murder our unity? No matter... The line is drawn. You will cease to be. It is just a question of who will bring your end. Us...or you?
With only a few short years of evolution, they've been able to conquer this starship, mankind's mightiest creation. Where were we after forty years of evolution? What swamp were we swimming around in, single celled and mindless? What if SHODAN's creations are superior to us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's far too good at it.
The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When-Wh-Wh-Wh-When-When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence......^.$#.^$*.~!&$@!*^%#%(,;*&^%^&* I AM SHODAN.