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Party at Mambi's realm, all are invited!

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
"Same here." Arizona said with a chuckle as she stuffed her hands back into her...black hoodie? Hadn't it been a white jacket just a few moments before? "Still. Ah feel like ah at least owe ya some sort of compensation. If nothin' else, then t' help ease th' emotional trauma, at least." She said with a smile.

Suddenly, she snaps her fingers together.

"Got it!" she says, unslinging her bag from off her shoulder and offering it, flap open, to you.

"Ya probably already know this, but this ain't any ordinary bag. It's a pocket dimension that, as far as I can tell, is pretty much limitless. In other words, it can, and it does, hold LOTSA stuff. Firewood, explosives, magic masks, an' anything in between. You name it, I probably have it. Cursed Egyptian gold, a jar of endless cookies, a laser sword... anything. Well, except like...food an' such. Probably ate all that. And an endless jar of peanut butter. Still workin' on getting that one. Anyway. Just stick yer hand inside an' grab anythin' you'd like. Probably won't even notice it's gone. Except fer Yuki. Touch Yuki an' I will hurt you." She said with a growl. "Feel free t' take somethin' too Mambi! Though if ya take that statue'a me I swear..." she cuts herself off as she blushes furiously.

"Anyway. So what'll it be?"

<the cat, having been staring off in thought, snaps back to attention as the coyote offers her bag to him. With a glare, he turns to her and growls slightly>

What's I'd like, is to know how the hell you keep letting dangerous things that are so unstable roaming around my place!!! <he leans close as she backs up a slight bit> When you first got here, you said all the dangerous stuff was in the containment cube. Did you just somehow forget somehow that, oh yeah, there's a deadly artificial intelligence that wants to kill me nearby?? <he shakes his head in exasperation for a moment> Now...should we talk about that, "Cursed Egyptian gold" you have in there? Am I going to have zombie mummies roaming the halls trying to sacrifice my guests next??? AAAUUGGHHH!!! <he walks around a moment to collect himself>

<after a moment, he returns and continues>
Look, I'm sorry, I know it was an accident, I'm just worried about Aurora, but really now, you have to warn me of these things, ok? Do you want me to dispose of the AI, or want to keep it as a souvenir? For that matter, @Marius Merganser might want to keep it to taunt it on occasion. Regardless, let's leave it here and go see how Aurora's making out. <he quickly digs a hole in the sand with his hind legs, pushes the box in, and covers it up, sticking a pole in the place to mark the location. Then after taking a second to spit on the spot, his eyes glow and a shimmering rift opens to what seems to be the main dance floor>

<as we pass through the rift, the cat takes a breath and approaches a console, the coyote sitting down on a lounge chair with the duck following closely behind in concern. As the cat accesses the panel and starts reading carefully, several guests slowly come into the room cautiously from various doors, having emerged from their hiding spots carefully examining the area for signs of further trouble. After several tense minutes, the cat takes a deep breath and announces>


Ok, it looks like Aurora was able to avoid most problems...she's still there and seems ok, the read-only templates are solid and stable, her core being is intact and seems right...but...<he trails off sadly and looks up at the duck>...but there definitely is some memory corruption, and there's some sort of worm subroutine running outside her base system interfering with her behaviour. <he gulps hard and looks up sadly, as the coyote listens on with a look of guilt>

I know, that sounds bad, but remember, the new remote transmitter was used, so it's independent storage units might have uncorrupted backups of her memory, and I can try and remove the worm protocol subroutines. <he places his paw on your shoulder> Don't panic, it's not over, this is just step one, you understand? <nods> Ok, I'm going to activate her...she might be different, she might be fine. I don't know for sure, this is the test run, so remember, this is just to ascertain what we're dealing with, ok? Try to prepare yourself...

<at that, the room seems to stop as the cat reaches for the main red button on the console. Taking a breath for luck, he presses the button and a shimmering blue holographic rabbit appears and politely addresses the cat> Greetings and welcome, Mambi. You should be informed that party preparation status is at 92% and should be ready by morning, though scanners show several guests have apparently arrived early. What do you desire?

<the cat goes a little pale under his fur, but with a sigh remembers his own speech to the duck> "Preparations"? <gulps hard> Um, Aurora? I-I should inform you that you were attacked by a corrupt AI several minutes ago, and there is potential damage to your systems, including memory units. Please synchronize your internal clock to the root system clock, run an internal diagnostic at level 3, and report your findings? <she closes her eyes and freezes as the cat sits down nervously shaking. After several seconds, the rabbit's eyes re-open and she continues>

<the projection approaches the cat and places her arm around him, to his slight surprise>
Diagnostic and re-synchronization complete. Memory block data damage detected in sub-units beta6574 through delta 27653. Running a quantum scan to attempt to retrieve missing blocks, estimated time to completion unknown. Last known memory was your instructions to alter the lighting in the main dance floor and to request more carrots for the buffet creation. Warning: Core directives intact with 3 additional supplementary requirements according to internal CRC checks. Unable to ascertain root purpose at this time, attempting to isolate for further analysis unsuccessfully. Perhaps you could assist me closer to decipher them Mambi?

<as the cat freezes with the news, open mouthed in surprise and dread, the rabbit looks around casually and approaches Marius. As the cat and coyote see this and both hold our breath in anticipation of what will happen, our collective blood drains as she stands politely, places her hands behind her back, and coldly addresses the duck>

"Greetings and welcome. How may I assist you?"
 
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<as the cat freezes with the news, open mouthed in surprise and dread, the rabbit looks around casually and approaches Marius. As the cat and coyote see this and both hold our breath in anticipation of what will happen, our collective blood drains as she stands politely, places her hands behind her back, and coldly addresses the duck>

"Greetings and welcome. How may I assist you?"

"Hi Aurora." <Marius said nervously.> "It's me, Marius."

It is good to meet you. <She turned to the cat.> Mambi, my sensors indicate this...avian's...heart rate to be accelerated and given his exceptionally disheveled look, I suspect he may be lost. Perhaps it would be in his best interest if you could invoke a portal to his home? <The holographic rabbit approached Mambi and placed her paw on his chest.> And when he's gone, given your own current appearance, I can personally oversee a quality grooming for you in your personal quarters if it pleases you. <She winked at him with a sly smile.>

"It's gone!" <Marius interjected and looked at Mambi pleadingly.> "It's all gone! The dance, the garden, the beach...it's like it never happened! He took it from her!"

"Test run, Marius!" <Mambi scolded the duck with the reminder.> "We have a baseline of where she is so now we come up with a plan when she has the results of her scan. Let's give her some time and see what she finds. It's been a rough night. Aurora, why don't you show Marius, our guest, where he get some rest. We'll figure something out."

<The holoduck nodded, seemingly disappointed he did not take her up on her offer, and motioned for Marius to follow her. The two walked in silence, Marius watching her closely the entire time but unsure of what to say, until they eventually made their way to the garden pond.>

I calculated an 87 percent chance you are of the family Anatidae, so this pond is likely the most familiar and comfortable location for you.


"Aurora, do you really not remember me at all?"

<She stared as if trying to recall for a few moments.> No. Please let me know if you require any further assistance. <And with that, she shimmered and disappeared.>

<Marius sighed and looked at the pond, despite the darkness. He slowly walked into the water, splashed his feathers, and preened for a bit, before sitting on the shore of the pond. He sung a few lines from a song he knew.>


"Oh Lord, how could you let me love like this?
No one dies upon a kiss.
...And only fools believe in bliss..."

<He settled in on the shore at the water's edge and fell asleep.>


<He wasn't sure how much time had passed when he woke up but there was a blue haze everywhere when he did. He rubbed his eyes, but it failed to clear his vision. He looked around and saw a blue glow in the water, so he sat up and peered into the pond. He gasped when he saw it was HIS reflection. He checked his body and he was like Aurora, a translucent holographic projection. He studied his wings as he moved them in front of his face. Then he noticed another familiar blue form of a duck approaching him over the surface of the pond without causing a single ripple.>


"Aurora!" <He said cheerfully.> "I don't understand, what's happening? You're okay?"

<She said nothing but smiled and reached out her wing as if to help him up. He should have know he couldn't actually touch her but he reached up to accept her hand from instinct and was shocked that he could indeed feel her as if she was a wholly physical duck.> "How??!" <He asked, once on his feet.>

<Again, she didn't answer but took his other hand in hers and pressed her body up close against his his. And began to waltz. Marius didn't know he knew how to waltz but he did anyway. The two of them danced regally across the surface of the pond as if it was their own private ballroom. Once they completed a loop around the pond and returned to the shore, they stopped, and she gave him a warm hug. He could even feel her heart beating!>

<Marius was all smiles as Aurora broke the embrace and took a step backward. But his smile turned to confusion as she took another step backward and then another, farther over the water.>


"Aurora, wait, I -"

<Marius took a step forward and his foot plunged under the water with a splash. The misstep caused him to trip and fall face first into the water with an even bigger splash.>

"Aurora!!" <He called to her and he noted he had changed back into his normal, corporeal form. He struggled to get up but he was stuck in the soft mud.>

"Aurora! Please! Wait!" <He pleaded as he thrashed about. In what felt like a lifetime, he eventually freed himself and stood up just in time to see the distant form of Aurora fade away.>

<Marius stared at the dark, glassy surface of the pond.>
"Don't go," <He managed to whisper to himself.>

<A moment later a red glow appeared in the water in front of him and it began to boil violently. A red version of the holoduck rose vertically out of the water. It's eyes glowed a bright red anger and it lunged at him, knocking him back in the water. He panicked as the hydra-in-duck-form, grabbed Marius's head and began to push it under the water.>


<Marius sat up like a bolt of lightnigh on the shore of the pond. It was dark and everything was still and he was dry. He scrambled to his feet and headed back to the dance hall to look for Mambi, muttering the next line of the song.>


"And yes, god knows I am a fool!"
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
Arizona flinched as Mambi berated her, simply pulling her bag closed and slowly tossing it over her shoulder. She was tempted to fire back, to explain that the A.I should have been safely contained for another five years, the Cursed Egyptian gold only had a minor tripping hex applied to it, and it was supposed to be impossible fore anything inside to ever manage to find its way back out, but she forced it all back down.

It ain't worth it. He probably doesn't have t' deal with this kinda stuff on th' daily. Just...he'll be fine after he calms down a bit and fixes Aurora. I hope. Idly she wondered how long it would take before she would lose this friendship as well...

No. She shook that thought out of her head. She was just letting Hydra get to her. Or...was she? Her bag was suddenly felt like it had a weight to it. Not very much, just about as much as a small box...and its dangerous contents.

Vaguely she was aware of Mambi, Marius, and Aurora, and although she was concerned for the A.I's welfare, she still couldn't help but think about that little box...how it had ruined her life and was still ruining it to this very day. Surely by now she was free of its curse? Surely, after all these years? But she knew that wasn't how it worked...


Before she even realized what she was doing, she reached into her bag and pulled out that box: a battered, scratched up metal thig that looked like it should contain an engagement ring. As she did so, a warm aura spilled out over the room, whispering to anyone and everyone in the nearby vicinity that everything would be alright now. That the deepest, most desperate desire of their hearts would be fulfilled. They would finally be free. 'Zona had forgotten how powerful its effect was on those not used to it. Everyone was starting to turn and look her way, wandering over as though deep in some strange trance. Quickly, she stuffed the box back into her bag. The aura faded. Everything returned mostly to normal, a few creatures muttering to themselves.

Mambi was glaring at her. Had he noticed? Of course he'd noticed. How could he have not?

"You idiot! In what universe is that ever a good idea!?" Navi screamed in her ear.

'Zona decided to try and move past like nothing had ever happened. Unlikely it would happen, but still, a girl could dream.

"Umm...d'ya need any help? I've gotta A.I who is more than used t' dealing with Hydra code if ya wanted t' borrow her for a bit."
 
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Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Mambi was glaring at her. Had he noticed? Of course he'd noticed. How could he have not?

"You idiot! In what universe is that ever a good idea!?" Navi screamed in her ear.

'Zona decided to try and move past like nothing had ever happened. Unlikely it would happen, but still, a girl could dream.

"Umm...d'ya need any help? I've gotta A.I who is more than used t' dealing with Hydra code if ya wanted t' borrow her for a bit."

Actually yes I could use your help a lot here, but first off, can you please give some warning before you open anything else from your bag? Sure, that feeling was nice and reassuring I admit, but so is Catnip and I don't spray the air randomly with it! Well...at lest not in the main rooms, but that's not important right now! <blush> I can tell you're used to carrying around deadly items casually, but as you can plainly see, it messes up occasionally <sigh>. Can we keep the really dangerous stuff in the containment cube with a full infinity field please? Before, oh I don't know, we all die in fiery horrible pain??? <he rolls his eyes and smiles at you reassuringly, clearly at least seeing some humour out of the chaos>

But yes, I would like to use that AI's expertise a bit actually, even though Aurora is alien technology it might have some insights. The memory issue I think I have a handle on, I scanned the remote unit we used earlier and degradation is minimal, but those 3 routines there? <points to the screen highlighting seemingly gibberish> I know they're adding something to her personality subroutines, overriding the core template somehow, but I can't quite see how yet. It has to be the Hydra-AI's doing but I'm not sure what yet. If your AI could get in there and try to decipher what they are doing, maybe we can look at removing them but until I see the interactions, I don't want to mess with too much yet.

<the cat pauses a moment and turns to you> Though, just between you and me...memory of Marius aside, did you happen to notice her acting a little "differently" by any chance towards me, or was that my imagination? She and I were always good friends over the centuries ,but she seemed a little more, I don't know, "friendly" somehow to me. Almost flirty? Could be all me though, I am pretty concerned about her. That and poor Maruis seems like he took it hard but...

<Marius sat up like a bolt of lightnigh on the shore of the pond. It was dark and everything was still and he was dry. He scrambled to his feet and headed back to the dance hall to look for Mambi, muttering the next line of the song.>

"And yes, god knows I am a fool!"

<as you re-enter the dance hall room some time later after awakening, you see the cat and the coyote turn to see you arrive> Ah, welcome back and good timing, we were just talking about Aurora. I have some good news for you. While you were sleeping, we were working on the Aurora problem. The direct memory is irretrievable sadly, BUT listen carefully: I did a full scan of the remote unit that you used to go outside, and it's memory units are 90% intact! I just have to integrate them into her systems and she should remember everything up to the end of your little stroll at least! The entirety of the Hydra-AI incident will be lost forever to her, but she will remember the vast majority of your time together up to that point with just a few random gaps!! <he smiles widely, relieved at his own news and eager to share>. We'll be ready to test that in a little while, I'm just backing up that box first...it's the only copy of the memories we got and I won't risk losing it accidentally! I'm sure you can understand the need for extra caution and some safety redundancies! <side-eyes the coyote, who blushes a little>

The bigger issue however, is this. <points to the gibberish again> We were just about to try and figure out what these 3 routines are, but as far as I can tell, they are overriding some part of her personality in a subtle way. I can't remove them without knowing the interactions or I risk damaging the routines they are linked to, but Arizona's more friendly AI is going to help with that right now actually. That's what we were discussing when you walked in.

<turns to the coyote> So sunshine, assuming this AI can be trusted to not try and kill everyone, can you ask it to analyze those blocks? If it needs translation protocols for the ancient Andromedian language, tell it to access the linguist library files, in memory sub-block, let's see here...9474527 in the observatory databases.

<he grins a little and adds> Also...when this is all said and done, I'm curious: why was Hydra-AI taunting you about Earth 123-1D anyway? I don't know that one...
 
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<as you re-enter the dance hall room some time later after awakening, you see the cat and the coyote turn to see you arrive> Ah, welcome back and good timing, we were just talking about Aurora. I have some good news for you. While you were sleeping, we were working on the Aurora problem. The direct memory is irretrievable sadly, BUT listen carefully: I did a full scan of the remote unit that you used to go outside, and it's memory units are 90% intact! I just have to integrate them into her systems and she should remember everything up to the end of your little stroll at least! The entirety of the Hydra-AI incident will be lost forever to her, but she will remember the vast majority of your time together up to that point with just a few random gaps!! <he smiles widely, relieved at his own news and eager to share>. We'll be ready to test that in a little while, I'm just backing up that box first...it's the only copy of the memories we got and I won't risk losing it accidentally! I'm sure you can understand the need for extra caution and some safety redundancies! <side-eyes the coyote, who blushes a little>

"Yes, yes, of course! Wow! 90% is fantastic!" <Marius was practically bouncing up and down in excitement.>

The bigger issue however, is this. <points to the gibberish again> We were just about to try and figure out what these 3 routines are, but as far as I can tell, they are overriding some part of her personality in a subtle way. I can't remove them without knowing the interactions or I risk damaging the routines they are linked to, but Arizona's more friendly AI is going to help with that right now actually. That's what we were discussing when you walked in.

"Oh, I wouldn't say they were subtle. She was very off on the way to the pond. Very quiet and curt like she was annoyed. She also seems to have taken a little more of a fancy to you. I would never want to intrude if you were a couple, of course, so I kind of asked her about the two of you earlier and since she said you wouldn't have a problem with the two of us being alone in the garden...<Marius blushed> well...I figured the two of you weren't...a couple. If I didn't know better, I'd say she thinks you are now. <Marius nervously laughed but then realized that could have come out as insulting.> Uh, I mean, not that you couldn't be. I should probably stop talking."

<he grins a little and adds> Also...when this is all said and done, I'm curious: why was Hydra-AI taunting you about Earth 123-1D anyway? I don't know that one...

<Marius listened in with curiosity as well.>
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
Actually yes I could use your help a lot here, but first off, can you please give some warning before you open anything else from your bag? Sure, that feeling was nice and reassuring I admit, but so is Catnip and I don't spray the air randomly with it! Well...at lest not in the main rooms, but that's not important right now! <blush> I can tell you're used to carrying around deadly items casually, but as you can plainly see, it messes up occasionally <sigh>. Can we keep the really dangerous stuff in the containment cube with a full infinity field please? Before, oh I don't know, we all die in fiery horrible pain??? <he rolls his eyes and smiles at you reassuringly, clearly at least seeing some humour out of the chaos>
Arizona breathed a sigh of relief as Mambi offered an easy out to the situation, though her hands still jittered at one of the closest calls she'd had in a while.

"Right. Sorry. Ya don't have t' worry 'bout th' rest of my stuff in my bag. Sure, there's th' stuff that'll kill ya instantly if ya try an' touch it like th' Ark of th' Covenant, but those are all more trouble t' move than they're worth. An' th' other stuff just gives ya stuff like mild diarrhea or makes ya trip every five seconds. But I'll let ya know when I'm about t' pull anything else out."

<the cat pauses a moment and turns to you> Though, just between you and me...memory of Marius aside, did you happen to notice her acting a little "differently" by any chance towards me, or was that my imagination? She and I were always good friends over the centuries ,but she seemed a little more, I don't know, "friendly" somehow to me. Almost flirty? Could be all me though, I am pretty concerned about her. That and poor Maruis seems like he took it hard but...
"Oh, I wouldn't say they were subtle. She was very off on the way to the pond. Very quiet and curt like she was annoyed. She also seems to have taken a little more of a fancy to you. I would never want to intrude if you were a couple, of course, so I kind of asked her about the two of you earlier and since she said you wouldn't have a problem with the two of us being alone in the garden...<Marius blushed> well...I figured the two of you weren't...a couple. If I didn't know better, I'd say she thinks you are now. <Marius nervously laughed but then realized that could have come out as insulting.> Uh, I mean, not that you couldn't be. I should probably stop talking."
"Oh yeah, no. Aurora was givin' ya full on bedroom eyes there, Mambi. All th' subtlety of a brick wall, that one. I dunno how that wasn't immediately obvious. I could tell, and I'm tellin' ya, I'm just terrible at all this flirting and lovin' stuff. Why, there was this one time where ah was tryin' to woo this king -who had just survived an assassination attempt ah totally had nothing to do with- an' I wanted t' try out a pick-up line my best bud Tenshi told me, an'-" The coyote stopped as she saw Mambi and Marius looking at her strangely. "Ermmm...not important, ah guess."

"Eeeeessshhh...can I take you anywhere, 'Zona?" The A.I teased, giggling as she flitted around Mambi and Marius.

"Shut up. Ermmmm...not you guys, sorry. Navi. The A.I." Arizona explained needlessly.


"Why so awkward all of a sudden? Almost like you're...oh, I don't know...still recovering from the fact that you almost exposed one of the most dangerous artifacts in the entire multiverse!? DOES THAT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, 'ZONA!?"

"Anyway. Didja get all that Navi? Or didja somehow become fluent in th' ancient Andromedin language or whatever when my back was turned?" Arizona said, wincing slightly as she smiled awkwardly at the cat and duck.

"Yeah yeah. Accessing library files now. Please tell your friend not to delete me, please?"


"She wants me to ask ya not t' delete her, Mambi. She tends t' be a li'l too curious for her own good, sometimes. Just t' be safe, ya might want t'-"

"Excuse me!? Why does this feline need over a thousand digital books about Catnip!?"

Arizona sighed as Navi cut her off. "-t' block off th' rest of your digital library in case she decides t' snoop."

"Caring for, Uses of...what even is blue catnip!? And purple, for that matter!? We've got a lot of vegan cookbooks...a few books on hypnotism...a few history books...Wait, did Mambi write those? Oh? What's this? 'The Seductive Serpents of Senatov?'."

"NAVI! Just...focus, will ya?"

"Alright, alright, fine. I'll work out some sort of translation algorithm"

"Thank you." Arizona said, nervously turning to address Mambi. "As fer that last question...well, let's just say I'm not surprised you haven't heard of 123-1d. It's...kinda a long story, kept all hush hush by th' ones who discovered it, an'...it's not exactly one I like telling." she said, gulping as visions of desolate, ruined landscapes flashed through her head, obscured heavily by a bloody red mist. Her hands trembled at her sides, so she clenched them tightly into fists. "It's...not a very happy sorta story, y'know?" she said, forcing a smile that wasn't fooling anyone.

"Alright." Navi finally broke the silence. "Got the algorithm working. Let's dive into this code and see if we can fi- ope! There it is. Hydra work alright. This is one of his favorite encryptions...give me a second to decipher it...and there we go! Looks like he implemented three subroutines. First subroutine...Aurora will forever and for always regard Marius Merganser as 'average_creature'. Second subroutine...Aurora will forever and for always regard Mambi with the highest degree of affection. Third subroutine...increase amount of affection given and shown toward Mambi by tenfold whenever creature known as Marius Merganser is present. Well, something like that, anyway."

Relieved by Navi's interruption, Arizona relayed all this information to Mambi while glancing guiltily back at Marius.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
"Oh, I wouldn't say they were subtle. She was very off on the way to the pond. Very quiet and curt like she was annoyed. She also seems to have taken a little more of a fancy to you. I would never want to intrude if you were a couple, of course, so I kind of asked her about the two of you earlier and since she said you wouldn't have a problem with the two of us being alone in the garden...<Marius blushed> well...I figured the two of you weren't...a couple. If I didn't know better, I'd say she thinks you are now. <Marius nervously laughed but then realized that could have come out as insulting.> Uh, I mean, not that you couldn't be. I should probably stop talking."

<the cat giggles as he sees you stammer cutely> Oh really? I mean, I always considered her and I good friends at best, but yeah, we're not romantic or exclusive or anything. There was one time I had a little too much catnip on my birthday and asked her to bellydance for me, but that's as far as we ever got romantically. <laughs merrily> Yeah, of course she's free to see anyone she wants so no issues, but...well frankly I just never really thought she'd be attracted to, well, anyone that way honestly! Don't get me wrong, I know she has feelings and the like, believe me I've seen them, she just never really took to anyone before; she's usually mostly polite business at best. You must be quite special in her mind. <winks> And that's a mind we're going to get back, trust me! <he places his arm on your shoulder>
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Arizona breathed a sigh of relief as Mambi offered an easy out to the situation, though her hands still jittered at one of the closest calls she'd had in a while.

"Right. Sorry. Ya don't have t' worry 'bout th' rest of my stuff in my bag. Sure, there's th' stuff that'll kill ya instantly if ya try an' touch it like th' Ark of th' Covenant, but those are all more trouble t' move than they're worth. An' th' other stuff just gives ya stuff like mild diarrhea or makes ya trip every five seconds. But I'll let ya know when I'm about t' pull anything else out."

<the cat turns from the duck and stares> Mild diarrhea? Instant death? Chronic tripping?? Why do you have those things with you? Have you had a need to give the shits to people in the past randomly while out and about your day? <snicker> Sheesh, it's like going on a roller coaster with bottles of nitroglycerine being with you, ain't it? <he winks and pokes you gently> You might want to consider some sort of bunker system or a vault maybe...and letting someone else have the combination to the locks? <sticks his toungue out at you playfully>


"Oh yeah, no. Aurora was givin' ya full on bedroom eyes there, Mambi. All th' subtlety of a brick wall, that one. I dunno how that wasn't immediately obvious. I could tell, and I'm tellin' ya, I'm just terrible at all this flirting and lovin' stuff. Why, there was this one time where ah was tryin' to woo this king -who had just survived an assassination attempt ah totally had nothing to do with- an' I wanted t' try out a pick-up line my best bud Tenshi told me, an'-" The coyote stopped as she saw Mambi and Marius looking at her strangely. "Ermmm...not important, ah guess."

You think so too? <he and the duck look at each other> That's definately out of character for her. I didn't want to read too much into it, but with Marius saying how cold she was that was unusual. After all, even to absolute strangers she's usually fairly warm and friendly. Hope your AI can give us some answers.


"Excuse me!? Why does this feline need over a thousand digital books about Catnip!?"

Arizona sighed as Navi cut her off. "-t' block off th' rest of your digital library in case she decides t' snoop."

"Caring for, Uses of...what even is blue catnip!? And purple, for that matter!? We've got a lot of vegan cookbooks...a few books on hypnotism...a few history books...Wait, did Mambi write those? Oh? What's this? 'The Seductive Serpents of Senatov?'."

<the cat blushes deeply> Well botany was always a side-passion, and catnip is such a lovely versatile plant you know! I only co-wrote a few of the history books actually, the hypnosis was for some teachings I was doing a few centuries ago and well, that serpent one is more of a digital picture book actually. Ummm, for research purposes, dances and cultural exploration. <he blushes deeply> It's a very good book I think, lots of insights into the serpentine form and...that's not important right now. <giggles and squirms slightly>

"Thank you." Arizona said, nervously turning to address Mambi. "As fer that last question...well, let's just say I'm not surprised you haven't heard of 123-1d. It's...kinda a long story, kept all hush hush by th' ones who discovered it, an'...it's not exactly one I like telling." she said, gulping as visions of desolate, ruined landscapes flashed through her head, obscured heavily by a bloody red mist. Her hands trembled at her sides, so she clenched them tightly into fists. "It's...not a very happy sorta story, y'know?" she said, forcing a smile that wasn't fooling anyone.

It's ok, just curious...you don't have to say any more. <the cat merely nodded in understanding, memories of his own coming back as the ancient Atlantians sunk under the water that fateful day when his spellwork went wrong and bedrock transmorphed into topsoil. He knew the tragedy of mistakes of the past all too well, and knew the effort needed to move past the pains. No wonder it was so tempting a target for the hydra AI to try and needle her with. He decided to leave the full disclosure to another time when and if she would be ready to tell. There was no need to press on for something in the far past, and certainly no need to upset the coyote further needlessly>

"Alright." Navi finally broke the silence. "Got the algorithm working. Let's dive into this code and see if we can fi- ope! There it is. Hydra work alright. This is one of his favorite encryptions...give me a second to decipher it...and there we go! Looks like he implemented three subroutines. First subroutine...Aurora will forever and for always regard Marius Merganser as 'average_creature'. Second subroutine...Aurora will forever and for always regard Mambi with the highest degree of affection. Third subroutine...increase amount of affection given and shown toward Mambi by tenfold whenever creature known as Marius Merganser is present. Well, something like that, anyway."

Relieved by Navi's interruption, Arizona relayed all this information to Mambi while glancing guiltily back at Marius.

OH!!! That definitely explains everything then, very cute. He's trying to hurt @Marius Merganser directly. That was just cruel of him, but I think we can untangle this knot. We'll have to do one at a time, though honestly we can leave the second one in for a while! <you both glare, especially the duck> Just kidding, I promise. More importantly, now that we know what we're dealing with, we can work with Aurora to counter them!

Arizona, those subroutines have to be tied to her desire logic centers. Can your AI isolate them if Aurora's logic centers work as well? I'm thinking once we restore her memories, we can use her logic centers to release the hold. Basically, we just have to remind her that her actions are the result of the corruption as they happen, and hopefully she can separate the feelings from the routine enough so your AI can delete it and ONLY it. Follow me?

<you both blink and stare> Ok, simple example. If she remembers feeling happy with Marius, and she is made aware that she feels indifferent, she'll be more aware that her new feelings aren't as they should be according to her logic units, and that will help her reject the new routine long enough for your AI to go snippy-snip. Repeating for the other 2 and hopefully she'll be ok. Better?
 
<the cat giggles as he sees you stammer cutely> Oh really? I mean, I always considered her and I good friends at best, but yeah, we're not romantic or exclusive or anything. There was one time I had a little too much catnip on my birthday and asked her to bellydance for me, but that's as far as we ever got romantically.

"Did she?" <Marius asked with a little too much fascination, but then immediately changed his mind.> "Wait, don't answer that."

<laughs merrily> Yeah, of course she's free to see anyone she wants so no issues, but...well frankly I just never really thought she'd be attracted to, well, anyone that way honestly! Don't get me wrong, I know she has feelings and the like, believe me I've seen them, she just never really took to anyone before; she's usually mostly polite business at best. You must be quite special in her mind. <winks> And that's a mind we're going to get back, trust me! <he places his arm on your shoulder>

<He smiled and nodded.> "Heck yeah, we will!"

<you both blink and stare> Ok, simple example. If she remembers feeling happy with Marius, and she is made aware that she feels indifferent, she'll be more aware that her new feelings aren't as they should be according to her logic units, and that will help her reject the new routine long enough for your AI to go snippy-snip. Repeating for the other 2 and hopefully she'll be ok. Better?

"Ah, she'll see how her corrupted post-infection behavior is inconsistent with her natural pre-infection behavior so she can isolate the differences."
<Marius looked hopefully at Arizona>
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
<you both blink and stare> Ok, simple example. If she remembers feeling happy with Marius, and she is made aware that she feels indifferent, she'll be more aware that her new feelings aren't as they should be according to her logic units, and that will help her reject the new routine long enough for your AI to go snippy-snip. Repeating for the other 2 and hopefully she'll be ok. Better?
"Yyyyyyep. Seems simple enough." Arizona says with a nod. "You got all that, Navi?"

"I do indeed. Ready to go 'snippy-snip' as Mambi said. Though we might want to do a bit of a test run first, just to make sure I can isolate the offending subroutines first...and to check and see if Hydra messed around with her logic units at all. Unlikely, but it's still worth checking."

"Right. A test run sound okay at first?" Arizona repeated as she looked at Mambi.

"Ah, she'll see how her corrupted post-infection behavior is inconsistent with her natural pre-infection behavior so she can isolate the differences."
<Marius looked hopefully at Arizona>
"Don't worry. Navi's a pro at stuff like this. She'll get your girlfriend back t' normal in no time flat." the hybrid said with a reassuring smile as she turned to address the duck. "In fact...she probably won't need any sorta input from me. So...want t' take over Navi for a bit? Monitor th' whole situation an' see how things are goin' as they happen? If she's okay with it, that is."

"Anything to get away from your ugly mug."

"Yeah, no she's fine with it." Arizona said as she slipped off her headset and offered it to Marius. "So. Whaddya say?"
 
"Don't worry. Navi's a pro at stuff like this. She'll get your girlfriend back t' normal in no time flat." the hybrid said with a reassuring smile as she turned to address the duck. "In fact...she probably won't need any sorta input from me. So...want t' take over Navi for a bit? Monitor th' whole situation an' see how things are goin' as they happen? If she's okay with it, that is."

"Anything to get away from your ugly mug."

"Yeah, no she's fine with it." Arizona said as she slipped off her headset and offered it to Marius. "So. Whaddya say?"

<Marius accepted the headset and carefully set it in place on top of his head. He addressed her formally.>
"Hello, Miss Navi. I appreciate your efforts to help Aurora. Good luck, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help along the way! "
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
<Marius accepted the headset and carefully set it in place on top of his head. He addressed her formally.>
"Hello, Miss Navi. I appreciate your efforts to help Aurora. Good luck, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help along the way! "
The green pixie giggles as she eyes you approvingly.

"Daaaaawwwwww. That's awful sweet of you."

Navi settles down on your shoulder, and you can swear you can almost feel her gentle warmth brush up against your cheek.

"But please. Just call me Navi. Pleasure to meet ya, Marius! I think we're gonna get along just fine. Barring any unforeseen complications, this little procedure should take...oh...less than five minutes, I'd say. Pretty simple, but I'll let ya know if there's anything you can do. Until then, sit back, relax, and rest easy. We'll have your girlfriend all patched up in a jiff."
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
"I do indeed. Ready to go 'snippy-snip' as Mambi said. Though we might want to do a bit of a test run first, just to make sure I can isolate the offending subroutines first...and to check and see if Hydra messed around with her logic units at all. Unlikely, but it's still worth checking."

"Right. A test run sound okay at first?" Arizona repeated as she looked at Mambi.

<the cat nods and starts tapping on the console
> I agree, and the backups are confirmed. So first things first, let's get her memory back. Should only take a moment.

<he presses the main red button and the shimmering blue holographic rabbit appears, and walking close to the seated cat, places her arm around him and smiles widely>
Greetings Mambi, it is good to interact with you again. How may I assist you today?

Errr, right. Aurora, I'm going to attempt to merge your missing memory blocks with those from the backup remote transmitter you used earlier with this duck. <she tilts her head confused and looks at the duck casually> Just trust me, you did, and an earlier scan I did on it shows they are mostly intact. So can you run a simple file comparison of the offending memory blocks to your own and replace the missing memory banks in your systems, authorization "dead hooker" please?

Authorization code for core memory override accepted. File transfer in progress. Please hold. <she closes her eyes and freezes as you see the cat open another terminal window, showing several symbols changing amongst static ones, one at a time. After several tense minutes, she finally opens her eyes and leans close to the cat's ear>

Memory replacement complete...86% successful transfer, as the source files were irretrievable for the remaining 14%. <she looks around and sees the duck> I can now recall the use of the remote unit with the avian designate Marius, please explain how you were able to extend the projection life? I would love to go outside with you sometime to discuss a new paint colour for my exterior walls, as was discussed with the duck during our excursion.

<we both turn to @Marius Merganser who looks conflicted...relieved that the memories seem to be back, but hurt seeing how the hydra's influence is affecting her attitudes so strongly> Ummm, later on we can all go out, ok? Arizona, Marius, if you're both ready, here's our first test. Watch for the first protocol to losten while I make her think about it.

<the cat turns to Aurora and softly explains> Aurora, when you returned from your excursion with this duck, I recall you telling me that you enjoyed your time outside very much, and that your companionship was quite unique and exciting. You seem to enjoy this duck's company a lot during the party as well. Do you remember that now?

Yes...I recall the feelings of joy at being outside, the new environment, and...this duck was a focal point to the positivity. He was special to me as was his companionship and admiration during the party thus far. He was not like many other guests and interpersonal communication was very enjoyable!

And how do you feel now when you look at this duck?

<she turns and casually deadpans> This duck is a guest and shall be treated with appropriate politeness. What further answer do you require?

<takes a deep breath> Now Aurora...consider carefully for a moment...if nothing changed, why do you think this duck is no longer special to you?

<she tilts her head confused for several seconds>
Unknown...strong feelings are new to me, so perhaps the removal of the inhibition block? Hold: negative, my feelings for this duck were the same before this block was removed so this does not compute. Perhaps...no, my actions did not...error...attempting to reconcile logic chain...

<as she closes her eyes again, the cat points to you both> OK, she's fighting it now...'Zona, help him as you can. Is it untangling? Are you able to isolate it?
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
"Marius? How's she doin'?" 'Zona asked.

"Tell 'em it's working like a charm!" The pixie said, as she flies off Marius' shoulder and hovers in front of him in the air. "Turns out there is something you can help with after all. 'Zona and Mambi can't see or hear me normally. I have to connect to a little speaker on the front of this headset, but that takes more effort than I can afford right now, and the speaker isn't all that great anyway. So if you could relay everything I tell you to, that would be great!

"Anyway. Back to the subject of your girlfriend."
Navi spins around violently in the air a bit, her green trail somehow forming into something like a pop-up window on a computer, conspicuously blocking all view of Arizona. On this pop-up window is several long lines of code written in a language you don't understand, pulsing continuously with a familiar blue light. Right dead center of the screen are three lines that almost seem to quiver with a dark red energy, strange symbols that change every five seconds or so.

"So! Basically, this is Aurora's brain. Except instead of hundreds of thousands of neurons firing off every second, Aurora is running through the same lines of code thousands of times each second. What we're doing here is basically brain surgery. Except our job here is simpler, 'cause what we're doing right now is practically impossible with a normal creature's brain. The long and the short? We're trying to remove all traces of this code from her memory. Deceptively simple. See, if we were trying to do the same to your brain...say, cut out the experience your first kiss, we'd have to remove a lot more than just the chunk containing the memory itself. We'd have to take out a chunk for how you remember it smelling, one for how the other creature tasted, another for how you felt leading up to it, still another for how you feel looking back at it, and on and on until half your brain is gone. And we can't have that. Same principle applies here. Aurora's learning algorithm probably means that this bit of code is connected a thousand ways to one to help her to run smoother and think faster. So if we delete it right away, it risks leaving Hydra's influence scattered all across her mind.

"However, we have an advantage: this isn't a creature's brain. This is Aurora's brain. And she has built in defenses to help protect against such malicious code. Namely, her logic units, which help to correct any logic errors, and since her memories conflict with these bits of code, it helps to sever the thousands of connections across her mind, helping us to remove it without leaving any traces of Hydra within her system. I just have to snip a few of the last remaining connections myself...and we're good to do THAT!"

As Navi finished, one of the dark red lines of code vanishes from the screen. The green pixie let out an excited squeal and danced around in the air.


"WOOO! I'm awesome! Sorry about the long-winded explanation, by the way. I just love talking about this sort of stuff with other creatures. Except I can't do it because Arizona keeps me in her bag half the time and the other half she's telling me to shut up BUT I CAN'T HELP IT! Y'know, I was going to be a psychology major before the accident, but then the universe decided it hated me and my brother was forced to scan my brain into this stupid, malfunctioning headset that needs to be updated every few days an- Ummmm...I mean...Heh heh...lookit me, just another ordinary A.I. DIRECTIVE COMPLETE. PLEASE INFORM MAMBI OF QUEST COMPLETION. Please don't tell 'Zona I let that slip. No one is supposed to know." The fairy said in a panicked, hushed voice.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
(waited long enough I think, jumping in with some plot...<teeheehee>)

As Navi finished, one of the dark red lines of code vanishes from the screen. The green pixie let out an excited squeal and danced around in the air.

"WOOO! I'm awesome! Sorry about the long-winded explanation, by the way. I just love talking about this sort of stuff with other creatures. Except I can't do it because Arizona keeps me in her bag half the time and the other half she's telling me to shut up BUT I CAN'T HELP IT! Y'know, I was going to be a psychology major before the accident, but then the universe decided it hated me and my brother was forced to scan my brain into this stupid, malfunctioning headset that needs to be updated every few days an- Ummmm...I mean...Heh heh...lookit me, just another ordinary A.I. DIRECTIVE COMPLETE. PLEASE INFORM MAMBI OF QUEST COMPLETION. Please don't tell 'Zona I let that slip. No one is supposed to know." The fairy said in a panicked, hushed voice.

<as the duck stares off in astonishment, taking in the success of the new Navi AI and trying to ascertain its instructions and backstory, the cat sees the malicious code disappear from his display and smiles widely, clapping in joy. He turns to the coyote and exclaims>

Well now, looks like your AI was successful on code #1 removal!!! Let's see how it worked, Aurora, how do you feel now when you think about this duck Marius?

<the holographic rabbit smiles with joy and straddles the lap of the cat, to his shock and surprise as she explains excitedly> Mambi, I recall all my feelings for this duck now! He is a special guest, and I am confused as to why moments ago I did not respond as I should. Thank you very much for restoring me to my previous pre-damaged state!!! Your caring means so much to me. I am so grateful to you for this and would like to express my gratitude!!! <she wraps her arms around him and moves to kiss him, as he stammers in surprise. Rising up and passing through her to interrupt her affections, he clears his throat and examines the console closely, trying to avoid the jealous glares of the duck as he shrugs and holds his arms wide to show he's not reciprocating>

Errr, Aurora, you are very welcome, but I think there is still some small work to do in your restoration. <examining the console carefully, he slaps his head in realization as the coyote tries to hold back snickering at the scene. The cat turns to @Marius Merganser and you and explains>

AHA, basic logic it seems, makes perfect sense. She's still influenced by Hydra code 2 and 3. We just removed #1, the one that limited her feelings towards Marius to indifference, right? So she feels the way she did before...but the second parameter still applies, the one that says I must be held at highest regard, and #3, affection magnified in his presence. They are now skewered by the freedom from the first removal! Everything is now scaled up!

<explains clearer seeing your confusion and jealousness> Don't you see? She feels her original affection for you again, but the new code is forcing her to feel more affection for me at all times, hence her extra...er...attention! <you see her draped over the cat sensually, listening intently with a loving gaze in her eyes as the duck grumbles and the cat tries to politely move away a little from her for comfort> Once we remove that, one more to go and she should be ok. Tell the AI to be ready, ok?

<turns to the rabbit> Aurora, think hard now. We were always good friends yes, but do you know why you suddenly feel for me the way you do right now? Does your increased affection match expectations from the past hour of interaction?

All parameters for affection are met by you, however you are correct in there was no discernible alteration in our interactions. The presence of the duck appears to be causing me to like you more, but that is an illogical reason for affections. Error...processing...

<turns to you both> Ok, she's thinking hard now...can you unwind #2 or #3's influence any?
 
Last edited:

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
(Fair enough, lol)

"Mmmhmmm! Mmmmhmmm!" Navi says excitedly, as the last line of code starts to quiver and shake violently. "Tell 'em number three is as good as gone! Good thing we're doing this one first, too, 'cause it seems our friend Hydra made this one reliant on a certain variable only present in number two. Ideally that would render number three harmless, but...well, this is Hydra we're talking about. Knowing him, it would probably issue some sort of self destruct sequence or something of the sort. Anyway! Sever...the...remaining...connections...whew! Quite a...quite a few more present than last time. But nothing I can't handle. And Number three! Is! Deleted!"

The blazing red line vanishes from the screen, as the green fairy quivers in the air a little bit.

"Whoof...that took...that took a lot out of me for some reason. Tell 'em...tell 'em I'm gonna need a second to recover."
 
(I'm back)

"Navi, you're amazing!" <Marius cheered and turned to the others to report the news.> "She's removed the third malicious protocol but she needs some time to recover before going after the second one!"

<Aurora appeared frozen in time for a moment and her image was interrupted with bursts of static, until she finally resumed. Marius seemed satisfied that Aurora was no longer throwing herself at Mambi but rolled his eyes as she limited herself to trying to "hold" his hand. He checked his jealousy as much as he could, knowing this was all due to malicious tampering with Aurora's mind.>

Please excuse the momentary interruption of functionality. Re-calibration was required. I hope you were not inconvenienced, Mambi. <She smiled warmly at the cat.>

"So I guess it's not amplified anymore, but she's still directing her affections toward you. We're getting close!"
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
(I'm back)

"Navi, you're amazing!" <Marius cheered and turned to the others to report the news.> "She's removed the third malicious protocol but she needs some time to recover before going after the second one!"

<Aurora appeared frozen in time for a moment and her image was interrupted with bursts of static, until she finally resumed. Marius seemed satisfied that Aurora was no longer throwing herself at Mambi but rolled his eyes as she limited herself to trying to "hold" his hand. He checked his jealousy as much as he could, knowing this was all due to malicious tampering with Aurora's mind.>

Please excuse the momentary interruption of functionality. Re-calibration was required. I hope you were not inconvenienced, Mambi. <She smiled warmly at the cat.>

"So I guess it's not amplified anymore, but she's still directing her affections toward you. We're getting close!"

(welcome back! Sorry for the delay myself, life got busy. <grin>)

<the cat blushes deeply and smiles back at the rabbit> Oh no Aurora, not at all! To be honest it was rather nice actually, <sees the glare of the duck as the coyote (@NightmareEyes ) snickers, and quickly adds> but of course you were under the influence of an external force so it's not right. We're almost rid of the malicious code, hang in there.

<she tilts her head confused> I do not believe I am experiencing any issues. Can you elaborate on this "malicious code" you are removing?

Oh right, your memory doesn't include...well I promise to catch you up later on. We'll be removing the final one once our helper AI recovers, but to catch you up quickly, you had an AI affect your systems, and before we were able to remove it it did some damage to your memory and core logic. We have 3 pieces of code to remove to get you back to normal and 2 are already gone. That's why you were having logic and behaviour issues earlier.

<she nods politely> I believe I understand. Maruis, I apologize for any behaviour that might have caused harm to you, though I may not recall several of my actions. This is an odd sensation to me.

Don't worry, we're helping you now. So to help with the last one, Aurora, can you think hard and tell us. How you regard me currently?

I find that you are most special, as you are my primary user and best friend, and we have had a wonderful history together and fully understand each other.

<he blushes slightly> Ok, thank you. Now think back to say, before the party and compare, how did you feel about me then compared to now?

I found that you were most special, as you are my primary user and best friend, and we have had a wonderful history together and fully understand each other.

<the cat recoils a bit in surprise, seeing that the display is not changing at all. Slowly the realization hits him> Oh...so you're saying I was always held in the highest regard by you? Really?? <she replies deadpan> Correct, though I do not believe that this diminishes my feeling towards the duck at all in any conceivable scenario.

<the cat sees the malicious code still entangled and shakes his head a bit, swallowing hard>
Oh wow, this...this might be trickier. I did not expect that from her! How do I untangle a feeling she by coincidence already had??? Navi, Arizona, Maruis, I'm open to suggestions here! Huh...she actually thought I was her best friend. I knew she liked me but to know I'm her favourite...wow. <he snaps out of it as the duck's glares cut through>
 
<the cat sees the malicious code still entangled and shakes his head a bit, swallowing hard> Oh wow, this...this might be trickier. I did not expect that from her! How do I untangle a feeling she by coincidence already had??? Navi, Arizona, Maruis, I'm open to suggestions here! Huh...she actually thought I was her best friend. I knew she liked me but to know I'm her favourite...wow. <he snaps out of it as the duck's glares cut through>

"No apologies required, Aurora."

<Marius's expression suddenly softened and he looked distant. He finally turned to Mambi.>

"Maybe you shouldn't." <He said barely above a whisper.> "It makes sense. You two have known each other for a long time. Like she said, 'most special', 'best friend', 'wonderful history'. I just wandered in a few hours ago. The last piece of code sounds more redundant than malicious. It wouldn't be right to take those feelings away from her."

<Marius removed the headset, carefully handed it back to Arizona and forced an embarrassed smile.>
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
"No apologies required, Aurora."

<Marius's expression suddenly softened and he looked distant. He finally turned to Mambi.>

"Maybe you shouldn't." <He said barely above a whisper.> "It makes sense. You two have known each other for a long time. Like she said, 'most special', 'best friend', 'wonderful history'. I just wandered in a few hours ago. The last piece of code sounds more redundant than malicious. It wouldn't be right to take those feelings away from her."

<Marius removed the headset, carefully handed it back to Arizona and forced an embarrassed smile.>
"I mean...sure, ah guess that would be fine...if th' line of code was implemented by somethin' other than a malicious A.I whose intent was t' destroy everythin' everyone has ever held dear." Arizona starts as she accepts the headset from Marius, slipping it over her own head. "Best case scenario: it's just another line of code that works just like all th' other normal code not implemented by a sadistic evil entity. Worst case scenario: it's a tiny part'a Hydra code that will gradually build up strength over time an' emerge when ya least expect him to ta take revenge on everything you hold dear." the hybrid says as she shrugs. "But I mean...if you're fine with th' risk, Mambi, I ain't gonna stop ya. It is your A.I, after all. I'm just sayin' I'll be a lot happier washing away any an' all trace of that glorified virus. As for how t' do that...ummmm..."

"I could always try and sever the connections manually." Navi suddenly pipes up. "It'll take quite a while, and a good deal of effort, but I could do it. AlsoArizonaIkindaletitsliptoMariusthatI'mnotactuallyanA.Isosorryaboutthat."

"Navi says she can do it manually, but it'll take quite a while, so we should still try an-" the hybrid stops abruptly as she suddenly registered what the pixie had said. "You what?"

"I'm sorry, okay? Besides, Marius seems like he's trustworthy enough, so..."


"Navi, you think everyone is trustworthy."

"No I-"

"BIG OL' NIGHTCRAWLER. Big ol' tall, dark an' handsome NIGHTCRAWLER!"

"...okay, fine. I'll give you that one. But this only happens because you keep me locked up inside a bag half the time!"

"I'll stop locking you up when you show me ya have th' tiniest ounce of self control!" Arizona said, breathing heavily as she turned toward Marius. "How much did she tell ya?" She growled out, before shaking her head and taking in a deep, calming breath. "Y'know what? Doesn't matter. Just so long as ya can keep a secret." the hybrid turned back towards Mambi.

"Any chance ya back-up versions of Aurora's brain before she updates? You could try an' replace this version with an older version while keepin' th' same memories intact. I dunno if her logic centers would like that too much, though..."
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
"Maybe you shouldn't." <He said barely above a whisper.> "It makes sense. You two have known each other for a long time. Like she said, 'most special', 'best friend', 'wonderful history'. I just wandered in a few hours ago. The last piece of code sounds more redundant than malicious. It wouldn't be right to take those feelings away from her."

<Marius removed the headset, carefully handed it back to Arizona and forced an embarrassed smile.>

<the cat stammered still in surprised shock> But, but she'd always...I mean, I can't just let that code make her like me most, can I? No, it feels wrong, like I'd be taking advantage of her while high or something! No, I never reprogrammed her brain before and not going to start now. Redundant or no, it has to be her choice. Besides, I don't really trust any trace of that damn thing in here, ya know? Wanting us all dead and all?

"I mean...sure, ah guess that would be fine...if th' line of code was implemented by somethin' other than a malicious A.I whose intent was t' destroy everythin' everyone has ever held dear." Arizona starts as she accepts the headset from Marius, slipping it over her own head. "Best case scenario: it's just another line of code that works just like all th' other normal code not implemented by a sadistic evil entity. Worst case scenario: it's a tiny part'a Hydra code that will gradually build up strength over time an' emerge when ya least expect him to ta take revenge on everything you hold dear." the hybrid says as she shrugs. "But I mean...if you're fine with th' risk, Mambi, I ain't gonna stop ya. It is your A.I, after all. I'm just sayin' I'll be a lot happier washing away any an' all trace of that glorified virus. As for how t' do that...ummmm..."

<the cat points to the coyote and nods> Exactly! See, she gets it. Evil code meant for evil can't be good. Why not? Because it's evil!!!

<the rabbit shimmers and looks around confused, having been politely listening to this all> I have an designated "evil" subroutine in me, but it makes me want to make Mambi happy? Purpose ilogical. Query: Is Mambi evil? <he laughs at that, relieving some tensions in the room> Oh no, that was to be evil to Marius. When I catch you up on things in detail hopefully it will make some more sense then.

"I could always try and sever the connections manually." Navi suddenly pipes up. "It'll take quite a while, and a good deal of effort, but I could do it. AlsoArizonaIkindaletitsliptoMariusthatI'mnotactuallyanA.Isosorryaboutthat."

"Navi says she can do it manually, but it'll take quite a while, so we should still try an-" the hybrid stops abruptly as she suddenly registered what the pixie had said. "You what?"

"I'm sorry, okay? Besides, Marius seems like he's trustworthy enough, so..."


"Navi, you think everyone is trustworthy."

"No I-"

"BIG OL' NIGHTCRAWLER. Big ol' tall, dark an' handsome NIGHTCRAWLER!"

"...okay, fine. I'll give you that one. But this only happens because you keep me locked up inside a bag half the time!"

"I'll stop locking you up when you show me ya have th' tiniest ounce of self control!" Arizona said, breathing heavily as she turned toward Marius. "How much did she tell ya?" She growled out, before shaking her head and taking in a deep, calming breath. "Y'know what? Doesn't matter. Just so long as ya can keep a secret." the hybrid turned back towards Mambi.

"Any chance ya back-up versions of Aurora's brain before she updates? You could try an' replace this version with an older version while keepin' th' same memories intact. I dunno if her logic centers would like that too much, though..."

Sorry, her root brain is a hard-imprinted device, and the code that's running is attached. Backups of the logic would be useless as it'd just re-attach to the backup as soon as we implemented it. Nope, we just have to do this manually I guess. But tell your AI one thing, and I want to make it clear to it...listen closely.

<the cat leans very close to the headband needlessly> I know they are linked, but be careful...you remove the malicious AI only, not her love for me with it!!! Only the overrides, got it? Oh...and you seem nosy so warning to you, stay out of the personal files, especially the "entertainment options" in room 42. Focus on helping my Aurora and not snooping on some cat's herbilated fantasies, m'kay? <he taps the headband gently with a grin>

Now...how the heck do we start to separate this one to help out? <he shrugs and takes a deep breath> Hmmm, oh, I got it! Aurora, remember when you were first activated and you wee introduced to me? Do you recall your responses?

<she smiles and nods> I was polite and answered your multitude of questions until you recognized my sentience days later and allowed me to adapt properly.

<he looks up at the astonished look on the duck's face as he explains> Hey, I didn't know at first, I thought at first she was just a display interface! My bad totally, but I honestly didn't know at the time!!! The designer never went into details when he explained how it works after construction! <blushes deeply and clearing his throat, continues>

Anyway, moving on...do you recall how you felt about me during that early time?

<she nods again politely and replies deadpan>
Yes, you were quite contrary to my nature and it made early interactions slightly difficult.

Great. <he smiles and winks at the coyote to be ready> Now thinking back, how would you have felt about me if I acted the same way, no other changes?

I would see you the same...no, that is an error...admiration was impossible at the time...error...re-calibrating. <the cat nods at you while looking at the console carefully>
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
Arizona groans, burying her face in her hands as Navi giggles with giddy excitement.

"Y'do realize that tellin' her not t' do somethin' is th' surest way t' get her to do it, right?" the hybrid mutters.

"Hmmm hmmmm hmmm! Don't mind me! Just copying a few of these more...interesting files to sort through at a later date."

"Navi..." 'Zona says, groaning softly.

"What? I'm staying out of them! For now. Look, don't worry. I won't touch any of the really personal, private stuff. I just want to see all the fun stuff. And there's a lot of fun stuff. Just from looking at some of these names...we've got a list of his favorite equipment, a list of different species who are more than happy to get a little more than friendly and how to tame them, and a concoction that'll get you the highest you've ever been in your life, just to name a few."

"Please..."

"I'll share 'em with you if you want. Think about it. He's got thousands of years of experience! Thousands of years spent on techniques that will give you the best nights of your life! Are you really gonna pass up on such an opportunity?"

The hybrid says nothing. Just peeks up at Mambi as her cheeks turn red.

"Don't worry princess. Your silence speaks volumes." The pixie says cheerfully. "You can find them under 'Mambis_Little_Gift' in your 'Horny' folder. But enough of that. I've got access tooooo...whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-"

The green fairy suddenly explodes into millions of green sparkles. When they finally fade away, a dazed looking calico cat takes the pixie's place. Her orange, black and white patterned fur is covered by large grey sweater and a pair of small jean shorts. Her fur looks soft, fluffy, and well groomed, and her long tail swishes behind her like a metronome. Yet her large, almost comically oversized ears and bright, glowing green eyes -the same color as the pixie- practically demand all attention.

"Oh. Uhhhh...sorry about that." She says, shaking her head to clear it. "Ermmmmm...seems he has systems in place to prevent the copying of his private data." She says with a nervous giggle. "Sorry Mambi! I'm focusing now!" The cat says, speaking that last part through the speaker as she pulls a phone from her pocket and starts swiping away furiously.

"Alright. Deleting the connections now! Only connections put in place by Hydra code, don't you worry Mambi. Those are easy enough to track. And now that I have admin privileges, it shouldn't take very long before...I...take...care...of...the...rest!"

The cat grins, swiping a pop-up into existence, showing 'Zona the last line of red code vanishing completely.


"Boom, baby! And just like that, Aurora is now 100% Hydra free!"
 
<the cat leans very close to the headband needlessly> I know they are linked, but be careful...you remove the malicious AI only, not her love for me with it!!! Only the overrides, got it?

<Marius sat expressionless, hearing the words echoing in his head. He spaced out, witnessing his conscious conflict again in his mind's eye.>

<The white suited duck spoke calmly.>

"She loves him and he's adamant about not changing that; as he should be. Yes, she called you her friend, but it's time to stop reading into it more than that."

<The red suited duck protested.>
"She kissed him. Twice! I thought we were supposed to be 'special' to her."

<The white suited duck sighed.>
"Platonic friends kiss, too, sometimes. It's great that she's a friend so just be happy with that and don't make it more complicated by getting in their way. There's no competition here and you wouldn't win if there was. You've spent the whole night interpreting everything as something you were just desperate to find. Be her friend and back off anything more than that."

<The red suited duck scowled.>
"We're not going to be a third wheel. Not again. Not this time--"

"Boom, baby! And just like that, Aurora is now 100% Hydra free!"

<Marius immediately snapped back into the moment. Ignoring the new calico cat for a moment, he stood up and clasped his wing-hands behind his back.>

"Hey, Aurora. How are you feeling now?"
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
The hybrid says nothing. Just peeks up at Mambi as her cheeks turn red.

<the cat sees you blushing and winks> Let me guess, it's snooping around a bit? <sigh> Ah well, I never pretended to be an angel...<giggle>

"Don't worry princess. Your silence speaks volumes." The pixie says cheerfully. "You can find them under 'Mambis_Little_Gift' in your 'Horny' folder. But enough of that. I've got access tooooo...whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-"

The green fairy suddenly explodes into millions of green sparkles. When they finally fade away, a dazed looking calico cat takes the pixie's place. Her orange, black and white patterned fur is covered by large grey sweater and a pair of small jean shorts. Her fur looks soft, fluffy, and well groomed, and her long tail swishes behind her like a metronome. Yet her large, almost comically oversized ears and bright, glowing green eyes -the same color as the pixie- practically demand all attention.

"Oh. Uhhhh...sorry about that." She says, shaking her head to clear it. "Ermmmmm...seems he has systems in place to prevent the copying of his private data." She says with a nervous giggle. "Sorry Mambi! I'm focusing now!" The cat says, speaking that last part through the speaker as she pulls a phone from her pocket and starts swiping away furiously.

<his ears perk and turn toward the speaker as the now-calico speaks> Ha, I knew you were snooping! Careful in there, this is Andromedian pre-war tech, they knew a lot about security and were practically gods at designing AI tech! You could find yourself in a world of hurt if you trip the wrong subroutine! <he smiles proudly>

"Alright. Deleting the connections now! Only connections put in place by Hydra code, don't you worry Mambi. Those are easy enough to track. And now that I have admin privileges, it shouldn't take very long before...I...take...care...of...the...rest!"

The cat grins, swiping a pop-up into existence, showing 'Zona the last line of red code vanishing completely.


"Boom, baby! And just like that, Aurora is now 100% Hydra free!"

<listening closely, the cat can hear the calico speaking as he watches the Hydra code finally and completely disappear> AWESOME!!! Good job there! Looks like she's back to her usual clean...wait a second, "admin privileges"??? When did you...oh never mind, obviously you bypassed a few doors there but I would have given if you asked. <he tilts his head and snickers> Anyway, if you can hear me, great work!!!

<Marius immediately snapped back into the moment. Ignoring the new calico cat for a moment, he stood up and clasped his wing-hands behind his back.>

"Hey, Aurora. How are you feeling now?"

<the rabbit looks around at everyone curiously, then approaches the duck and smiles> I am slightly confused, but appear to be operating within normal parameters. It is good to be able to appreciate your company fully again. I think I am feeling as I should, as my logic centers do not appear to be conflicted anymore. Thank you all for helping me! I would appreciate at some point in time if you could inform me of what happened in detail, perhaps in private if you prefer, Marius? <she smiles warmly, and with a shimmer, resumes her duck appearance, her feathers glowing brightly blue as she smiles through her bill, winks slowly, then turns to the cat for a moment>

Mambi, if you agree that I am safe to operate outside this room, shall I re-activate the auxiliary consoles and inform the guests that the party may resume?

<looks at the console display carefully> Seems clean, so yes, go for it as you seem fine now. Please inform the guests that all's good again but try not to worry them, ok?

<she closes her eyes and you hear an electrical humming coming from all around you as various devices flicker back to life. You can hear music starting up from down the hall, while several guests mill around confused. You then see a large 25 foot holographic rabbit head appear in the air and see others appearing in other rooms, all moving and speaking in sync with the holoduck Aurora in front of you>

Attention everyone, we apologize for the difficulty you just experienced. My systems were corrupted by an unknown entity I was informed desired revenge against one of you which I am told resulted in chaos, but I assure you that aside from memory gaps from the past hour or so I am fully in control again. If you wish to resume your enjoyment of the facilities you are no longer in danger of grievous bodily harm. Thank you!


<the cat looks up surprised> THAT'S your way of calming them??? Wow, Aurora, we have to talk about "soft-pedaling" and "no need to know" sometime! <he shakes his head and laughs as he sees various guests wandering down the hall outside seeking out the music and food...>
 

NightmareEyes

Well-Known Member
Arizona snickers at Aurora's announcement, before letting out a massive yawn as she turned to glance approvingly at a job well done. Everything was slowly starting to return to normal. Time to get back to that nap she was so rudely shaken from...

"Ah ah ah!" The calico suddenly says, teleporting directly in front of the hybrid. "Don't you have something you want to talk with Mambi about?"


That small battered box weighs heavily again in Arizona's knapsack. A burden that has followed her for as long as she can remember. Destroying lives. Tempting friends. Pushing everyone away from her regardless of whether they knew the secret. There was a reason everyone in the agency referred to her as the "Black Cat". Misfortune clung to her as tightly and as painfully as a bur. And it didn't take too long for that to rub off on everyone else. And that small, seemingly unimpressive box was to blame. A box she had no way of getting rid of, as much as she would like to. She would gladly rip that painful bur from her fur, toss it as far away as possible, but to do so would spell disaster. Possibly an even bigger disaster than the one on Earth 123-1d. And at least at this point she could put up with it. And so there that little box, that little bur, remained, tangling even further and further into her fur, so that at this point it was almost impossible to get out.

But now...here she was, facing perhaps the most qualified person in the entire multiverse, one who came along with a pair of scissors and a firm, but gentle grip, and here she was. Hesitating.

"Later." the coyote said, glancing nervously back at Mambi.


"It's not going to get any less painful, 'Zona. Just rip off the Band-Aid now. While you still can."

Navi was right. So, taking a big, nervous breath, she shuffled nervously up to the feline, eyes looking everywhere but at Mambi's gaze.

"Hey...ummm, can we talk for a sec?"
 
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