Ghenn sat in her MDCU looking over the medical records for the targets the Agency had sent her. Her console beeped, a message from Daddy Dearest informing her that at her current pace, the quota would not be met. Ghenn closed her BiOS window and stared at the light for a moment. She opened up a new one, navigated through Daddy Dearest’s systems, and set the program to pilot the MDCU for her. It was funny to think that in less than a day, Daddy Dearest had gone from omnipresent arbiter, the warden in their panopticon, to just another program. A very smart program. A very advanced program. But a simple program, subject to all the limitations that entailed. At least she wouldn’t have been able to go into a human overseer’s head and tell them, “Actually, you do my work for me, and forget we ever spoke.”
The medical records popped up again in her BiOS. Jando Sinar, a woman she’d never met, only a year and a half into her service, was asthmatic; that was useful, although Ghenn didn’t know what she’d do with it yet. Kyle Krant had a weak heart, some kind of congenital defect. She knew Kyle more than she liked to admit; he was cold and standoffish, with a physique that spoke of obsession (and now compensation and fear.) Shinnara Smythe was healthy. Bingwen Hsu was old, old enough that his “problem” might very well take care of itself, but otherwise fine.
Panna was the picture of perky health, naturally.
Ghenn frowned. She didn’t want to think about Panna. She didn’t want to think about any of this, really, but her mind was wired for problem solving, for finding opportunities, and she saw problems and opportunities in the data arrayed before her. If the Agency kept the word, she could be free within a month. Less. All she had to do was sabotage Jando’s air filter, scare Kyle, and blow the rest of them out of an airlock.
Ghenn frowned. This would be so much simpler if she could just arrange to get them all on the same station and scuttle the thing. Or deactivate its oxygen generators. Was that an option? It certainly wouldn’t “destroy any valuable hardware.” Although the discovery of a bunch of rotting corpses six months later would be pretty unpleasant.
Ghenn stared off into space for a moment, thinking about nothing in particular. She closed the BiOS window, shook her head. These were people, and she was thinking about them like they were just inconveniences. Was this how Agents thought? In statistics and numbers and inconveniences? She couldn’t do this. She wouldn’t. She’d just have to get in contact with the Agency and let them know.
Or do nothing. That was probably safer. Better that they think she was incompetent than uncooperative. Although they didn’t have any agents in the MDCU. They couldn’t have. If they did, why would they need her?
Ghenn took control of her craft back from Daddy Dearest and went back to work. The shift passed more slowly than usual, but that was alright. For the first time in over a week, Ghenn was content to simply think about nothing and watch the stars, the earth. She laughed and joked at dinner. She checked the terminal briefly and moved on to other things. She slept easily that night.
The next morning, Panna shook her awake. “Ghenn. Ghenn, you’ve got to see this. You’ve got to hear what happened to Kyle.”