8.15 - Diagnostic | Stuck Station

8.15 - Diagnostic

Jan 19 2012 Published by under Chapter Eight

Not sacred, Trak thought. Excellent.  I did not fire on a place of worship.

The thought unleashed a torrent of shameful memories. He didn’t try to block them. Long ago, Trak had installed the most powerful guilt module he could find to punish himself.

Horrific images scrolled across his vision. A temple in flames. A monastery crushed flat. A shrine falling past an event horizon.

Good times, his other voice said.

“You will be silent!” Trak said, aloud this time.

“I’m sorry?” the Tour Guide said.

“Not you,” Trak said. “I apologize.”

The outburst was rare.

Trak rarely lost control of his temper or his weaponry.

The one time he’d let loose — when he’d destroyed that moon’s surface — he’d planned for months.

But here, after less than 10 minutes, he’d fired his weapons.

Why did I lose control? he thought. Am I broken?

You must be broken, said the other voice. Might as well keep firing. And then maybe start murdering. That'd be good.

Ignoring his creator’s words, Trak activated a diagnostic subroutine to examine any possible problems.

He waited. Then the results slid across his vision.

Wasn't a virus.

Wasn't the result of the Kep Effect.

Wasn't because of his creator's programming.

Could be, his other voice said, taunting.

Shut up, Trak thought.

Wasn’t caused by ancient battle damage.

And then the diagnostic program uncovered the answer.

It was a simple one: “Long term proximity to impulsive creatures.”

Before he wound up here, he'd spent too much time with his friends.

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