Precautions (Starflot/Mute)

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Precautions (Starflot/Mute)
Date of Cutscene: 22 March 2016
Location: Seft's Ship - Orbiting the Starbound Flotilla Colony
Synopsis: Mute discusses her apprehension at the idea of letting Hyun-ae speak with the elites from the Multiverse with Seft and Moonfin, and the latter helps her to devise a failsafe.
Cast of Characters: Starbound Flotilla, 958
Tinyplot: The Analogue: A Hate Story Thing

       Several hours prior to the present moment, Seft and Moonfin finished transporting Mute's software on to the former's SAIL module. Mute has since been working on compiling the local log files and readying them for presentation, requesting that one or both of those individuals remain with her in the event that the virtual console prompts them for external approval.
       Before this moment, Mute had been silent for some time, eyes closed and expression fixed in ways almost meditative. When she finally opens her eyes, then, it's immediately apparent for whatever party had been supervising her. Ever-conscious of the atmosphere, she gives them time to adjust to the idea of her being 'mentally present' before she breaks the silence of Seft's spacecraft, allowing the first noise out of her mouth to be a soft exhalation rather than anything so jarring as one might expect of her.
       "Hey," She calls. "I ran into some pretty heavily encrypted sections of the data. I can break most of them, but I think we're going to need to brute force at least one. You guys have someone who's able to do that sort of thing, right?" The question is practically rhetorical, and she knows it: a group of space-faring excavators like them would be crazy to travel /without/ some sort of hacker. That in mind, she doesn't wait for a response before letting her eyes wander, and for her expression to become more... conflicted. This alone might be enough to cue the others present to hold before a subsequent, more meaningful inquiry.
       "There's something I need to talk to you about," She asserts, "before next time. I mean, everyone wants to talk to Hyun-ae, even if it's dangerous -- I get that. In fact, I kind of /agree/ with that, but. Okay." She joins her hands under her sleeves, narrowing her expression. "But that doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with it. Like, at all. I'll go along with it, but there's no way I'm giving her sole control of my virtual console and architecture. Even if you lock her out from control of the ship, she'll still have control over -us-. She could wipe my memory or something if she figured out how, and while I don't think that's /likely/, she's surprised me before." She deepens her frown momentarily.
       "So I want one of you to set me up so that I can still hear and see what's going on out there. You could even set up some sort of word-command that would give me control again if there's a microphone somewhere. Just, something, okay? I need some precaution. I need some sort of agency here. I'm -really- not comfortable with giving absolute control of my core over to the girl who --." She winces. "To her. Okay?"
       Seft remained hard at work on cleaning and reinforcing Moonfin's swordsmithing tools, keeping her head down even while Mute spoke. They left the talk of decryption behind. For now, they could talk of Hyun-ae. Moonfin, sitting in stylish and elegant Hylotl seiza as he does his own work on his tools, is the one who speaks first of the maatter. "The Pale Bride is a displaced agent of change. Where she is awoken, we have seen eras end. Born from this is your fear, a concern of self-preservation. It is quite a wise one. With the tides of change comes the risk of drowning."
       "Sympathetic. That is understandable, Mute. Putting your life in the hands of someone who destroyed everything you care about, even if we disagree about them, is not something I could ask you to do." Seft spoke up. Her eye-screen took a soft expression, a pale blue u_u. "Assuring. One of us can find a way to sustain your input, even if we cannot sustain your output beyond..." She gestures vaguely with one free hand, in a robotic way. "Affirming. Beyond enough to keep yourself safe. I promise we will do what we can to let you preserve yourself, Mute. But..."
       Seft's eyes grow more focused, but not more confrontational. More somber, but not more harsh. "Firm. Mute, I want to make sure you only use it in the event of a serious danger to yourself. Hyun-ae has earned your hatred in spadesm but I want to hear all she has to say before any judgement is made. We will establish your failsafe, but please promise it will be treated fairly." For a moment, she suspends her work on Moonfin's tools, turning from the hammering and wrenching and welding involved to focus on Mute directly, and give her full attention and expectation.
       Mute smiles faintly at Moonfin for a brief few moments before allowing her expression to droop again. "Seriously," She says, "you would've fit right in on the Mugunghwa. Probably would've been a better noble than some of the nobles, even!" Curling a finger around her chin, she grins. "Actually, you almost /definitely/ would've -- the Smiths were pretty irresponsible, to be honest." She catches herself before she goes any further on that tangent, putting her balled fist back at her hip. "Seriously though, I'm really glad you get this. I mean, sure, I understand how some of you could be worried about her being a 'victim' like she tried so hard to sound like she was, but there's also a chance that she's, I don't know. Actually a psychotic bitch who would kill us at the first chance she gets? So yeah."
       Mute stares at Seft for a long several moments after the utterance of the phrase 'destroyed everything you care about' comes up. "Geez," She says, "I know that's the way I put it once, but even then I acknowledged that it sounded a little, I don't know. Melodramatic?" She stares at her a few moments before joining her hands at her waist again, then allowing her eyes to meander in conflict. A succinct, nonverbal way of saying 'let's not refer to it that way anymore' if ever there was one.
       It's subtle, but when Seft says that she should 'only use it as a last resort,' Mute becomes uncharacteristically silent for a brief few moments. She responds with a worryingly dismissive "Yeah, sure," some moments later, though she doesn't let the subject rest without some further quipping on her part. "But you'll forgive me if my trigger finger is a little itchy -- you know what happened the last time I just let her roam free. Now that I know what she's capable of, there's no /way/ I'm letting even the /slightest/ warning sign go unchecked. The second I start seeing signs of agitation from her, I'm going to be watching. And if it hits critical mass, I'm coming in before she goes Event Horizon. Okay?" She hardly waits an instant before answering herself with a hurried, "Okay, good."
       Mute inclines her head a moment once she finishes speaking, taking a series of deep, meditated breaths as she contemplates her circumstances. "But that's why I'm actually leaving this to you guys," She says. "That's why I said 'some external thing that would give me control.' Like, you guys would have to say a word or put in a command to give me any control over her, and otherwise I would be as good as asleep. Get it?" At that, a hand wanders to her chin again. "So, uh... any ideas for a good word? Something inconspicuous, preferably. Maybe 'stars' or 'sun' or 'planet' -- something you could naturally talk about on a spaceship without it coming up in that specific conversation. Something where you could be like, 'Oh wow, the stars are pretty tonight,' and it would cue me." Lowering her hand back to her thigh, she asks, "Any ideas?"
       "Worried. I suppose it would be a good idea to have a near-instant command. But my mind recoils from the idea of such absolute control over another living being. I am afraid I would not be able to devise a word of that sort." Seft says. Her synthetic monotone is broken by a soft, somber beeping tone that shows her anxiousness at the idea. Moonfin, however, has no such reservations.
       "Should she take action that is harmful to us, we need only say the one phrase -- or title -- that we would not say outside of the situation where she acts in defiance of us, despite our altruism, but is certainly one that would come up naturally in such an interaction." Moonfin says, closing two eyes and leaving the third resting, staring at Mute.
       "'Pale Bride'."