Submitted by Sayer on Tue, 02/14/2017 - 20:18
"We don't have time for this!"The director slammed his fist into the table, and the display flickered.“They’re reprogramming them and sending them back at us faster than we can come up with new security measures.”
One of the others at the table tried to defuse the situation.“I know, but we need him and he knows it. He’s head and shoulders above everyone else in the field.”
The director was undeterred.“We’re in the middle of a war, literally for the future of the planet, and he’s refusing to proceed unless we change the classification convention?”
This was nothing new. They’d had impasses like this with Dr. Atticus before. The first had been when he’d wanted to create both males and females. The administration had wanted only males - citing greater muscle mass and upper body strength, but he’d dug his heels in, counting on the urgency of their need to persuade them.
Ultimately they’d come to a compromise. He’d had to make their cardiovascular system much more robust, introduce the option of externally administered epinephrine and make them sterile, but his sexual dimorphism was approved.
They’d also wanted an expiry date - and he’d agreed to that, but then done nothing. He had no intention of letting his work simply vanish once they were done with him. He'd have lied about the sterility too, but it wasn't viable. A single pregnant soldier would have been enough to raise uncomfortable questions about what else hadn't been done.
The truth was, he didn’t care very much about the war or the administration. Before the sky fell, his research had been ridiculed, marginalized and in many cases outlawed. But that was been before the military had proven useless against the new enemy. First they’d sent combat automatons, and for a while that had worked - until the other side figured out how to reprogram them and started sending them back. The doctor knew it was desperation that had driven them to seek him out and he didn’t care. Their resources were great enough that he could ask for the moon, and their need was great enough that they would give it to him. This was his opportunity. He would create their army for them, but he would do so on his own terms. The Aegis would be his magnum opus – his vindication.
He’d already given them three specialized sodalities; Aleph, Heth and Ayin - a commander class, a ballistic class and a general infantry class. Letting him assign them names was the very least they could do. He knew he could have just named them himself, but he wanted it made official and he wanted it documented. He wasn’t going to have his Aegis catalogued by serial number like the automatons they were replacing.
The director, still irritated, waved his hand dismissively.“Fine. Get that jackass a book of baby names or something, tell him to pick a hundred and then tell him to get back to work.”