Building a Case, Part 2

Slaiton watched the girl assemble Hellard’s equipment together in the dim light of the server room. He turned to Whent, who was looking on, bewildered.

“So how long has this girl -” Slaiton began

“Satasha,” Whent said.

Slaiton grunted. “How long has Satasha been in secops?”

“About a year,” Whent replied. He hadn’t turned to face Slaiton. Based on his puzzled expression, he was trying desperately to figure out what his precocious Secminion was doing.

“So how exactly is she doing something you didn’t even consider?” Slaiton asked. He thought he managed to keep threat out of his voice. Judging from Whent’s reaction, the attempt was unsuccessful.

“We all knew she was clever,” Whent replied. “When I gave up on figuring out this Persephone crap I handed it off to her. She’s not up on all the access procedures, so…”

“So? She outsmarted the entire CSO secops team?”

“It’s not like -” Whent started. A merciful interruption came in the form of a speaker crackling on from Satasha’s pile of cabling and arcane devices.

“I think it’s up and running, sir… um… sirs,” Satasha said. Her hands hovered over a touchpad.

“That’s good,” Whent said. “Um. Proceed?”

“It’s a voice interface, sir,” Satasha replied. “Standard translation protocol to text.”

“You think this thing will be able to understand us?” Slaiton asked. He crossed his arms over his chest. “It’s been programmed for natural language?”

Satasha hesitated, staring at the commissioner with wide eyes. “I think that -”

The speaker crackled to life. “Not programmed. But easily figured out,” said a synthetic voice.