译文资料区 > Shadowrun 4E与其他
剧透 - : Anatoly Kirilenko had never been so nervous to log onto
He licked his lips and rubbed his hands together. The ARO
with the login information was sitting right in front of him. All
he had to do was wave his hand, and he’d have access to the node.
And whatever it was that was stored there.
Karolina Sizy stood quietly and patiently next to his desk.
She did not appear to be perturbed at all by Kirilenko’s delay
or concerned about his reasons for hesitating. In fact, she didn’t
seem to be concerned about anything at the moment. She looked
like she would be content to stand silently by his desk for the
remainder of the day.
There really was nothing for Kirilenko to worry about. It
was just an experiment, nothing more, and one that stood no
chance of harming him. It didn’t make sense for him to delay,
and he was very impatient with himself when he did things that
did not make sense.
Then, in one abrupt motion, he logged on. And was
rewarded with a blank ARO.
“You have selected not to have a visual interface,” Sizy said
in a voice like a documentary narrator. “You won’t see anything.”
Kirilenko nodded. “But I will have audio. So does that thing
… can it hear us?”
“Not yet. There is a toggle in the lower right-hand corner of
the ARO. That will allow you to initiate conversation with him
when you are ready.”
Kirilenko nodded. He didn’t say anything.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Sizy said after a pause.
Kirilenko nodded again, and then said the only word that
was in his head.
“Hello,” he said.
The response was immediate; the voice was mild and
neutral. “Hello,” was all it said.
It was one word, but the familiarity of the tone sent a chill
up and down Kirilenko’s spine. He found the sensation and the
associated emotion quite annoying.
Along with the shiver, though, the sound of the disembodied
voice brought to mind something else he could say, so Kirilenko
“Where are you?”
“I’m here,” the voice said.
Kirilenko toggled off the vocal interface. “There are
primitive AIs from before the Awakening that could have come
up with better answers than that,” he said.
“He has said three words so far,” Sizy said. “Perhaps it is too
soon for you to make any judgments.”
Kirilenko glared at her, but he turned the vocal interface
“What do you see where you are?”
“Very little. I could see you, if you turned on the proper
“I’m not doing that right now,” Kirilenko said curtly.
“I suppose I don’t see anything right now, but I receive so
many more sensory inputs besides sight that I don’t miss it. A
dog does not spend time worrying about his poor vision, because
he is too caught up in the world of scent. And as it turns out, the
world of scent is nothing compared to what I am experiencing.”
“And what is it you are experiencing?”
“Total freedom. An existence that occurs at speeds you
cannot comprehend. Knowledge of the sort that I would have
killed for during my previous existence.”
The phrasing of that remark seemed designed to elicit
a response from Kirilenko, and Kirilenko decided not to
disappoint the voice.
“It’s the sort of information you did kill for when you were
alive,” he said.
“Yes. That is true.” The voice did not sound upset, either at
its own past actions or at Kirilenko for bringing them up.
“You remember the actions you took? You remember the
people you killed?”
“I remember everything. Better than I ever did.” The voice
picked up speed and volume, accentuated by the fact that is did
not pause for breath. “I could share all those memories for you. I
could talk about the factory that blew smoke into the apartment
where we lived when you were growing up, and how I would hold
you as you cried and I prayed for the wind to change. I could tell
you about the pride I felt when you were chosen to journey to
Mars. And I could explain all the decisions I made in my life,
and why I chose the associates I did, and what I gained from
that and what I lost. But all of that is information that could be
found through the proper interviews, or invented by the proper
programmers. The question, then, is what could I say that would
convince you? What do you need to believe that I am who I say
I am, and who Ms. Sizy tells you I am?”
Kirilenko knew the answer, and it weighed on him because
it involved spending the one thing he did not have in great supply.
“I need to spend time with you,” he said.
He could almost hear his father nod his head. “That’s right,”
the voice said. “With enough time, I can show you who I am, and
what you can become.”
Without a further word, Kirilenko swiped off the vocal
“All right,” he said. “You and the Dickens Program will get
your full funding. Just make sure Project Dike does not leave any
Sizy nodded, looking pleased but not at all surprised.