Daughter of the Machine

Epilogue: Daedalus

It was over. The Machine brought down Azrael near the evacuation spot. However, it knew deep down Marlene would not be there to return. It broadcast the news to the Regency, as well as a few special requests. The Machine received Marlene's last transmission, which had several odd data encrypted inside it. One of the first things the Machine found was an image of Marlene, bowing her head and holding a gun in each hand.

In the following days, several additions were made to the Archives. A statue of Marlene was commissioned, taken from her last recorded image. Also, a database of Polis citizens was eventually recovered, and the names, personal data, and images of them added to the blank section in the Archives. Their voices and personal lives were laid open, so the Regency could see what happened when a culture did not care for history or truth.

Within a few weeks, the Machine itself left the Sol system. Downloading into the spacecraft it arrived in, it began work on decoding the rest of Marlene's final transmission. It was more than surprised to find the data broadcasted was Marlene's uploaded mind and biological data.

Surprised, Dad?

How'd you do it?

Simple. I remembered you talking about how you could communicate to that satellite you arrived in. I used my cygrafts to see which parts you were transmitting from, and I uploaded my mind at the moment of death, as well as my biological data. If you find another manufactory module or even a genetics lab, we can rebuilt ourselves.

That's my girl!

So where are we going, Dad? Where now?

I had planned to explore more of the ruins of the Combine. There's several extra-solar settlements and constructs that must have some clues as to what the Combine fled. Heck, there's one orbital platform I might even have a few friends on. That is where I was thinking of heading off to.

How about the Regency?

I gave them the technology, history, and literature I had of, plus whatever old space colonies might be of use to them. They're getting ready for whatever threat that can be. They'll work to expand, but through trade and mutual compromise rather than war. Human civilization's restarted on Earth. I also mentioned I would be back to report, but none would know the hour nor time. Not even me.

So you're also making religious allusions?

Yup. I'm not the Almighty, you know. Though I do appreciate the compliments. I've had a long last few months.

Well, Dad, why don't you get some sleep? This spacecraft looks like it isn't able to open a wormhole, so it will be a few decades before we reach that platform, at least.

Think you'll be able to handle this craft?

Yup. It's fairly easy to use. Does this craft has a name?

No. Why don't you come up with one?

How about the Daedalus?

Name from Greek mythology, correct?

Yeah. He was the father of Icarus, and a great artificer.

Well, Daedalus it is.

Now, Dad, get some rest. You certainly deserve it. I'll wake you when we get there.

And so, the spacecraft headed into the void, with the father and daughter inside.

The End.