Blogs » Musings On Muses » Sensor Survey Sampling (XVIII)

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“Sir?” 7574 rendered an unusual attention request.

The creator had never heard it use that form before. For now, walking briskly down a hallway that led to the egress bay, that core swap was one notch closer to inevitable. He replied. “7574.”

“There is an electronic blind-spot surrounding 108106s’ target zone.”

“Any idea what’s causing it?”

“None.” 7574 paused, and then added, “There is some background noise coming in.”

“Let me hear it.” He asked. He was just going thru the entrance to the bay. As he went to a small control panel to the left of the door his ears picked up the sound. He thought he recognized it. “Why are you playing me ‘white-noise’?”

There was an uncomfortable pause from 7574, and then, “The frequencies are a close match to white-noise. There are harmonics in either direction that are well out of human range. These are tuned to certain frequencies that appear to amplify everything just outside of what you can detect. What you are listening to is an electromagnetic-trans-spectrum-reflection-echo.”

The creator let that settle into mind a bit. “Keep it on.”

With the hiss in the background he danced on a few keys at the control panel. Behind him the small bay stretched for 10 meters in either direction. It was 6 meters wide. On the far wall two doors that went all of the 4 meters to the ceiling sat motionless. One of them was supposed to be opening. That core swap nibbled at the back of his mind.

“Scan the electromagnetic spectrum as far as you can in either direction. I want to know exactly what frequencies of energy are involved.”

“Certainly, sir.”

He knew that would likely occupy 7574s’ mind for some time. The ‘as far as you can in either direction’ would surely find the machine stretching its’ processors to the limit. Right now, keeping 7574 somewhat distracted was the intention.

The creator turned about and walked slowly in diagonal across the launch-floor. As he reached the massive door on the right he pulled open a small chest–high panel. Inside was the manual lock. He turned the small wheel and then closed the little door. A series of caution lights winked to life around the doorframe. They were accompanied by a light buzzing sound. The caution tone shared equal volume with the playback of the ‘non-white-noise’. The seam, at waist level parted and half the door went up, half of it went down. The human tapped a foot in slight impatience as he waited.

The small lander sat on its launch sled. It was teardrop shaped with a delta wing that morphed smoothly out from the main body. Two small rudders curved in half-moons ran through each wing at trailing edges. The small thrust-cone sat directly center at the rear. Tri-pod gear held the little craft up. As the storage bay door locked open the framed canopy popped up and slid back.

7574 had not delivered any results thus far so the man was confident he had set it on a proper distractive course. He climbed down into the seat and powered up the onboard systems. As soon as they were warm he detached the lander from 7574 and re-attached it to the GPSBs. Granted, 7574 would notice but, it would simply log the event as the human impetus that it was.

Two index fingers slid over the central view screen. They pulled the graphic of the world below about until 108106s location rolled into view. A quick tap there put the coordinates into memory for the auto-land sequence. The graphic snapped back to real-time view and several indicators around the screen lit up in brilliant green.

As he pulled the belts of the five-point harness around himself one by one and locked them to the central plate, he couldn’t help but feed the nagging in the back of his mind. He was about to depart from a ship that might have a brain in charge that was indeed committing errors. For now though, the problems down on the surface superseded 7574. He took a deep breath and hit the green purge toggle.

A slight bump ensued as the lander shifted right and slid out of its berth. The entry door slid shut and locked. Red strobes filled the bay as atmosphere was vacated into storage tanks. Down at the end of the bay the four leafed door folded outward to free space. The purge toggle had turned red. He thought for a few moments about 7574. Then, realizing that 7574 could still abort his launch he quickly flipped the toggle the other way.

As soon as the lander cleared the bay attitude jets kicked in to throw the nose downward towards the planet. The thrust cone screamed to life and the sleek craft sped away. 7574 was feeling a somber solace deep inside. It hoped the human would be most cautious in whatever endeavors he might be contemplating pursuing below. It could track the lander over nearly 100 percent of the planet below. The spot where 108106 had landed was the one place the human would simply disappear from 7574s’ sensors.