You never realize how far something is until you reach for it. It’s in that moment that you realize that the things out of reach are much further then they appear. So it was when Bartley looked into the night sky, his hand outstretched toward the heavens.
“I’ll grasp it for you.” He said to Mary.
“You can’t. It’s too far.” Her voice was filled with laughter.
“Then, I’ll go up and bring it back.” He turned to face her, her smile spreading to her eyes as she looked back at him.
“Always the dreamer Bartley. Always the dreamer.”
The memory flickered on the vid screen, lines causing the image to scatter.
“That’s all there is sir.” A robot with the face of a pretty young woman said as she looked up from her console.
“Andromeda, can we retrieve anymore?” The man she was speaking to, Admiral John Hurtly, looked down at her from his position on the up-raised dais in the middle of the room.
“I’ve tried several times sir, but this is the only viable portion. The rest is too damaged for any kind of recovery.” Her tone was very matter of fact.
“Alright.” He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his prothetic hand, then continued, “Prepare him for re-integration.” He turned from the dais and walked to the back of the command center into his glass walled office and sat at his large metallic desk.
Two orb-like floating drones with hanging appendages hovered from the opposite side of the room and crossed over to where Andromeda sat, the slight hum of their anti-gravity engines keeping the room from being totally silent.
“Why must you two always hover so close?” Andromeda snapped at them both. As if talking to each other, the two orbs seemed to face each other and bounce a sort of shrug. Andromeda did her best to ignore the two interlopers as she worked at extracting the data onto a cube stick and then, taking it from the console, she handed it to one of the droid’s outstretched many arms.
“Off with you two. And be careful with this one. I don’t want to have to re-parse that entire data field like I did with the last one.” She watched as the two droids hovered away, approaching a blank wall that shushed open, peeling up into ceiling and just as quickly snapping back into place as they passed through.
With the two droids gone and the Admiral tucked away into his glass box, the room feel quiet. Andromeda sat motionless for a few seconds, unsure of what to do, as thoughts of breaking the silence ran through her processors. Drumming her fingers; tapping her toes; getting up and walking across the room; all viable options but none seemed appropriate for the moment so instead she found herself watching the monitor as the two droids entered into the room where Subject Foxtrot lay on a metal slab.
The reconstruction phase had gone well, with over seventy percent of his body restructured with robotic elements. The rest, including his face, were part of the regenerative program that the Admiral had been put in charge of, herself being one of the first successes. As she watched the droids move around the room, preparing the final steps for re-integration, she stared at Subject Foxtrot’s face. Even though it was lifeless, it was easily identifiable from the memory sequence that she had been working on reconstructing over the last month.
“Bartley.” She cooed. “Such a handsome young man.” Her metallic fingertips traced over the monitor as the image zoomed to his face. “I hope this works. I sorely would like to meet you.”
A green light lit on her console letting her know the droids work was complete and the process was now ready to start.
“Sir, Bob and Larry have finished the final sequence and we are ready to start.” She said over the intercom.
“Permission granted, Andromeda. Let’s hope this works.”
“Roger that.” She found herself crossing her fingers mentally as she typed in the go command.
She watched on the monitors as the room Bartley was in grew brighter; watched as Bob and Larry hovered around his body, poking and prodding in different areas; watched the monitor as life signs started to appear; hoped as she saw movement; began to cry as she watched the life signs falter and flatline.
“Well, that’s that. Lets get a start on Subject Golf.” Came the Admiral’s voice.