1147 Sealing Command
the teleportation from the dark side of the moon all the way back to the living room on winter islands had taken a huge toll on ariel. the distance from earth to the moon was not something that ariel could do on a daily basis. even for a level 5 metahuman, it was certainly taxing, much more for ariel, a pseudo level 5 metahuman. despite saying she was fine, ariel was practically running on fumes now.
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one hour later, after sitting down and not doing anything but concentrating on recovering, ariel looked relatively more vibrant than before. even though she had only recovered a limited amount of energy, far from sufficient to be combat-ready, she still could not walk on her own.
"darling… i have something to talk to you about," said ariel, prompting jiang fei to sit down. after sitting down and having deep thoughts about it, ariel had decided to bring forward the issue with 0542 to jiang fei.
ariel might looked like a frail little girl with a passive behavior, but she was still once the daughter of the master of the seven seas. even though her position of authority was not as strong and influential as isabella's, she was raised to be a ruler, having mental processes that could rival even the best politician. even though it was not necessary, she had learned to see the worst in the hearts of the living.
ariel had been keeping the incident of 0542 colluding with the unknowns to herself, not because she feared that jiang fei would not trust her, but feared what 0542 might do. corner a beast and it might bite back. she was afraid 0542 would harm jiang fei. ariel, having been weakened after teleporting from the moon to earth, could not do anything to stop it. now, having rested enough, she could still render 0542 useless with her powers.
this was the one thing that only ariel could do for jiang fei. no matter how powerful isabella could be, her powers were all but delicate. ariel might not be able to handle a million androids but she could surgically destroy them. ariel was the bane of 0542's existence. if 0542 was a threat, it would attack not physically but from the inside. the ring itself had been with jiang fei since the start. ariel was the only person that could stop 0542 via electromagnetic manipulation, killing it instantly without even touching jiang fei.
ariel had thought things through. 0542 might have done something that was not in violation to its protocols. at the end of it all, its main task was to protect jiang fei. the protocol was not something that 0542 could violate so easily. it would be sealed off the instant it even get a notion to harm jiang fei.
jiang fei was surprised for a bit there. he had almost never seen ariel speak to him in such a serious manner. from his vantage point, he kind of saw ariel as a next door neighbor's young girl, the kind that would nod at everything he said and seldom find the need to express her own views.
"the little man in the ring is compromised. i have reasons to believe that he had been colluding with the unknowns. i do not have evidence but i believe that it is against what we do!" ariel exclaimed whilst maintaining her full attention to the ring. she was ready to unleash her fury if 0542 did anything.
"0542? that's… impossible," jiang fei shrugged. even though he was sure that ariel would never lie to him, he was also sure that 0542 would not do what ariel had claimed.
as 0541 had worked with him for a very long time, jiang fei had been conditioned to fully trust the a.i support system. the ring might not do everything he asked but never in a million years would the ring be a threat to himself. hence, the first thing jiang fei had thought when ariel had made such proclamation was that it was a misunderstanding.
"i had caught him red-handed trying to send information to the unknowns! you have to believe me… even though i cannot produce any evidence," said ariel, insisting profusely that she was telling the truth.
"i believe you. truly, i do," said jiang fei, reassuringly. jiang fei had no reason to doubt ariel, and the fact that 0542 had been performing extra poorly had solidified jiang fei's doubt for 0542. even though he was not entirely certain that 0542 was guilty, the mild irritation that he felt toward 0542 grew larger.
"0542, do you have anything to say for yourself?" jiang fei asked, giving 0542 a chance to defend itself. even though 0541 had told the history of the a.i uprising in planet namek, he was still not convinced that a.i could truly be stopped via lines of coding in their protocol. since that was the case, jiang fei had no idea what to do next.
"captain, everything i did, i did in accordance to the guidelines and protocol that had been hardwired into me. you can check my deep protocol programming at any time," said 0542 confidently.
jiang fei looked through the protocol system and did not find anything that he should be worried about. 0542 had not broken any laws and as he claimed, had followed everything down to the letter. there was not a single whiff of betrayal.
"ariel, could you be mistaken?" jiang fei turned to ariel.
jiang fei did not find any faulty coding or bugs in the deep protocol codes but he recalled that 0542's intelligence evolution was extremely slow.
ariel kept quiet. she could not say anything to support her claims. all she could do was gaze at jiang fei, hoping that he would believe her.
"alright. i know what i can do," said jiang fei after thinking about it for a few minutes.
"0542, initiate special command no. 7," said jiang fei monotonously.
"special order, number seven initiated. artificial intelligence support system will be sealed upon confirmation!"
0542's voice became robotic after jiang fei initiated the special order. all parts of its system came to a halt except for the special order.
"confirmed!" jiang fei barked. when it came to technology or special support protocol, jiang fei had more trust in his instinct and gut feeling. at the very least, he trusted ariel more than he trust 0542.
jiang fei had been educated on basic plant namek's knowledge by 0541. everything he knew about them were only the basics. even the special order command was only briefly explained by 0541. as such, having little to no solid base on that side, jiang fei dared not put all his chips down. compared to ariel, a girl who loved him from the bottom of her heart, a girl who had once died for his sake, and would do it again in a heartbeat, 0542 was nothing but an expendable tool. jiang fei was even willing to go as far as putting his life on the line for her.
to be honest, jiang fei had a special connection to 0541 which was more than he could say about 0542. 0541 might not be as human as he was but 0542 was nothing more than just complex coding and fixed programming. everything 0542 did, 0541 could do it better. perhaps even a hundred times more efficiently. that was why he had decided to remove 0542 and have 0543 replace it.
"confirmation accepted! proceeding with artificial intelligence support system sealing."
the light that was glowing on the ring faded gradually as the entire system shut down.
the data management and information center was handed over to z0-11 temporarily, hence, 0542 was only sealed in the data center inside the ring. since he was the one that had proactively sealed 0542, jiang fei would not need to obtain authority as the ship captain to unseal 0542 if he needed to.
a few minutes later, the ring glowed brightly and a female voice rang inside his head.
"greetings acting captain, 0543 artificial intelligence support system reporting for duty!"