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Spice World
Continued from here...

...feed terminated
...initiate reboot

...feed not found
...operator not found
...analyze last feed
...analyzation complete: termination event possible
...execute Spice Girl Protocol

Spice Girl Protocol.  The drone called Dave awoke from sleep at the command and detached himself from his perch on the hall’s ceiling.  Battery 100%  His flight path arced downward and into the safe house’s main sitting area, kitchen, dining room, office...scanning.  One bunkroom, another bedroom and another.  Occupant, 1; Jacinda Cross.  He increased altitude and activated his projector.  A blue, six-armed, dog-like cartoon alien appeared.  Dave’s speaker emitted a knocking sound since he’d break himself smashing into the door physically.  “Hello?”  The voice that called out belonged to the woman Cross knew as Amy Pond.
Jacinda lay on the top of her bed and stared up at the ceiling, seeing nothing. No. Not nothing. Not really. An ache wrung at her heart, one that felt like it would never go away. She knew- at least intellectually she did- that it would fade with time. It had with Jill, after all. Normally, she never let herself think of it, of those final moments, that conversation, the desperation in her voice as she begged Jill- begged! she, Jacinda!- begged her to stay with her. There on Rez or moving from place to place or anything in between.

Jacinda had never been half-hearted about anything in her life. She was all or nothing. That was probably why most of her life, she kept things minimal- attachments to things and places, and even relationships, whether they be friendships, teammates, or just fuck buddies. It was the safest, really. Jill had only made that clear. She remembered driving away from her home, the road rutted and bumpy, the red sand and rocks a blur through the tears, the feel of her heart tearing in two as this woman, this funny sweet tender woman who had somehow crept through the cracks, gotten around her defenses, entering and taking up residence in her heart, this woman said she just couldn't be with her. That it was too big a step.

This woman who, months later, began to date that bitch from the Blue Coffee Pot, the pictures of their wedding- Hosteen Benally standing by her proudly as she married another woman- yeah, Jacinda had made the mistake of looking her up on social media one night when she'd had a few- this woman destroyed her again.

Only made it clear that it was her, the problem was Jacinda. Something was fundamentally wrong with her. She was unlovable. At the time, she had ached for Regan, the only one to ever truly have loved her. Of course now, now she knew. She was broken from the beginning. Regan hadn't loved her. No one had.

Stupid. She had been stupid to open herself to Tenzin. She had been foolish to think that the affection and ease and comfort she had felt from the other woman was anything more than sisterly, than friendship. She supposed it was something. Tenzin had proven to be friend. Had proven to be a sister. Except Jacinda had wanted more.

And now, stupidly, she had lost that. Tenzin had run off somewhere. The only reason she knew she'd be back was her stuff was here, precious things from where she was from. That and the book she pored over. But Jacinda wasn't stupid. She knew Tenzin would keep her distance, emotionally. Even if it was out of love and concern, she'd do it, to spare Jacinda.

And Jacinda didn't know if she hated her for that or not. Probably a little of both.

You fucking ruined it. The thought was ashes and her heart hurt at that simple fact. Again, the tears wanted to come but there was nothing left. Just sore eyes and a tired jaw and throat from weeping. She wanted to die.

At that moment she heard knocking. She hoped they'd go away. Not many strangers did door to door stuff, not these days. And if someone knew her, she had no interest in seeing them. Still, she thumbed her wallet and looked at the display from the door. It was a drone. Funny. She hadn't ordered anything. Then she heard a voice and she sat up. Amelia. She didn't immediately move off the bed, despite the reaction.

No, she paused, thinking. Did she want to deal with her? There was no danger of romance. Jacinda was done in that department, even IF the woman hadn't been easily old enough to be her daughter. She remembered holding the girl as she recovered from the fight with the harpies. Protective, that was what she had felt.

And Amelia had sent this drone to her now. The girl was a loner, despite her playful personality. She wouldn't have sent this to her if it wasn't important. Jacinda slipped on her shoes and left her room- it was filled with pain and old ghosts anyway- and went to the door to see what was going on.
The cartoon projection of Stitch smiled at Jacinda’s appearance and shamelessly stole a scene from the first movie.  “Hi.”  

Pond appeared then, the space around her morphed into a library.  She sat casually in a wing-backed chair, dressed in a ridiculous dinner theater outfit. The image continued.  "If you're seeing this message, it means I'm in trouble.  I've programmed the drones to come to you under certain circumstances like...prolonged loss of contact or death.  As this is clearly a recording, I have no idea what happened but…" she waggled her brows and chomped on a pipe.  "I bet there's film."

Dave obligingly switched the projection to multiple views of a heavily wooded area. 

A small figure clad in a lithe combat-variety suit knelt, keyed in a code and then opened a drop crate. A backpack was secured and the figure reached for something else, PIPs zoomed in on what appeared to be magazines. The explosion came from underneath the crate lid.  It was expertly focused and aimed.  The shockwave kicked like a mule.  The figure caught herself with the barrel of her sidearm, now drawn.  The weapon was held close and ready as she backed away. 

The pack grew.  

Articulated panels flipped outward and around. The encasement sat momentarily, panels clearly visible.  A tree seemed to shoot white-hot light. The screens all flared before coming back online. The light was gone; a smooth and solid obsidian egg was all that remained. 

Pond reappeared, standing this time and in normal-for-her attire. "There you have it.  If you have questions, my AI, Gillian will help you.  If you're in, thank you and if not…that's okay too.  No hard feelings."
Jacinda watched, all of her previous emotion- well, call it what is was: wallowing- gone. Amelia was in trouble. Looked like something bad too. "Wait here," she said to the drone. It was a machine. And while people programmed their AI's with rudimentary personalities (however they did that), Jacinda was not one to treat it as if it was alive. Certainly not a companion.

She left the toaster at the door and went to her room. She wasn't running. If Amelia was dead, rushing to her side wouldn't save her. And the indicator on the toaster's display had said that quite some time had passed. A few minutes wouldn't make a difference. But not forgetting anything would.

Her duffle full of everything she could think of, she returned to the door. One last thing. She keyed to door entry and left a voice message for Ten when she returned. "Amelia Pond's in trouble. I went to help her...I'll let you know what I find." That last was forced. Whether she would, she didn't know. She couldn't help the disconnect she had begun feeling. Which was just as well.

Things had changed.

"Ok, you floating microwave. Take me to her."

[[go ahead and mod jacinda as necessary to get her where she needs to be.]]
Once the warrior princess indicated she was in, Dave buzzed to the delivery chute with her in tow.  From there it was a first class trip inside BB where accommodations were tight at 3.5’ x 5’ but climate controlled.  And who didn’t enjoy curling up on the composite floor with their go-bag?  It was almost as if the bigger drone had taken offense to past comments and reveled in being the emergency transport.  Travel amenities included eau de Papa John’s, windowless non-views and no bothersome safety harnesses.  The in flight movie was Trolls, 2016.  

Dave adhered himself to an upper corner like a nervous spider and tried for all he was worth to anticipate the strange woman’s mood.  His IR cameras monitored Jacinda’s body temperature which was correctly or incorrectly equated with how angry she was.  Having been in combat  Dave, or really Dave 4.0, knew how vulnerable he was and did not want to get he periodically triggered BB’s snack dispenser to birth a Twix.  There were a lot of Twix on the floor by the time King Grizzle Jr. and Bridget finally got together.  

Jacinda wouldn’t know she was 20 minutes from the drop zone when BB turned around. He took a different route back to Moscow.  The return show was RED 2.

The drone finally docked on a rooftop delivery chute assigned to a non-existent tenant of Nika’s building.  Jacinda would note the descent and lateral routing of her pizza box but nothing jarring.  Pizza was precious cargo.  Once at rest, the top and side folded away into a loading elevator of sorts and the room was once again sized for standing.  Part of the nondescript wall slid to reveal a darkened nerve center akin to the war room of a submarine or possibly the Batcave.  There were no windows.  Innumerable screens scrolled through data, news from around the world, an old episode of The Animanics played in the corner near a keyboard and a half-solved Rubik's Cube.  Shadowed cases of exo and tactical suits, body armor, gear and weapons occupied one long wall.  Action figures from G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Star Trek and other ancient shows or cartoons dotted the room upon closer inspection.  A woman stood waiting, stern in manner and expression.  Blond hair framed a face as commanding as the black outfit she wore the hell out of.  Cool blue eyes surveyed her guest.  She was a dead ringer for a character in the movie BB had just played.  “You may call me Gillian,” she said in a British accent.  “Follow me, there are things you will need.”

A section of the wall lined with guns pushed back and disappeared into the wall, revealing a stairwell that appeared as you stepped and disappeared behind you almost as quickly.  The stairs emptied into a large area lit cooly with hidden lighting.  The ambiance was futuristic-spacey as if the old American Apple company had built an underground lair on a distant planet.  Everything was white, spotless and crisp with alcoves and niches nestled into the smooth glassy walls.  It could have been the perfect set on a 26th century space station; open and curvy, there were no obvious corners anywhere.  The common area’s flawless milk-white, gloss floor flowed into rooms as they passed.  Tatami mats in what was a dojo, a curious black void with dim lighting and a ‘mud room’ that was dark and not telling.

The main armory was through a vault whose seamless circular door parted from the farthest end of the corridor when Gillian neared.  The walls were easily twelve feet thick of an unknown material and once inside, the space was nearly as big as what they’d traveled through to get there.  It was completely empty which gave the illusion of an infinite white void.

Gillian moved a few paces inside and a pristine rectangle rose from the floor.

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