Serve the Servants ~ 7
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Chapter 7


Completely Safe


  KRQT/Io Channel 17

Civilian TV news broadcast

Recovered by CSI file restoration team #1771 on 3/28/24


  "Today is a very special day for all of us here at Io's Channel 17 News. Ever since the government established the Io colony as the Nexus 6 proving grounds, Io has been a center of controversy for some time. But today, members of the Tyrell Corporation, the FCA, and the Army have agreed to stop by and give us permission to interview them in order to shed a little light on the Nexus project. Sitting to my right, we have Stephen Wauldron, division head of the FCA on Io; Colonel Tannhauser, base commander of Ft. Orion; Daniel Frey and Joshua Foster, who are civilian instructors that work with the Replicants on the daily basis. And last, but most certainly not least, we have Richard Halford, department chief of Tyrell's Io division. Thank you all for coming here today."


  "Mr. Halford, can you give our audience a little background on the Replicants that are stationed on Io?"


  Halford gave a smile to the reporter. "The Replicants are a Nexus 6 model, built by the Tyrell Corporation. They are a very genetically advanced human clone, and thanks to our implant technology, can be pre-programmed for whatever job that's needed."


  "But why use a clone? Many would argue that robotics would be a much better pursuit, given some of the conditions that the Replicants are expected to be working in."


  Halford nodded and began a thoughtful answer. "There are many good arguments for robotics, but the main one I would point out is that the current state of technology for robots is just not that advanced yet. Some day it will be, but for right now, it's just not there. With Genetics, we're dealing with a proven science that has been around since Adam and Eve, and at the Tyrell Corporation, we've perfected a way to speed it up, and mass produce it to a higher degree of quality.


  “Another thing to consider is that, with robotics, you'd have to develop an entire line of machinery that would be usable by the robots. The tools they would need, whatever transportation they would require - all of these things would have to be specially manufactured towards the individual type of robot. When you stop and think of all the different companies out there that have tried to pursue robotics, you'd be running into a lot of logistics problems of making sure that the robots had what they needed to function properly.


  “With Replicants, it's a lot simpler. They can work with any type of machinery that any human can, which means that they'd be able to use what's already there, what we already use now. This saves an incredible amount of resources, time and expense."


  The reporter then turned to Wauldron. "Professor Wauldron, thanks for appearing on our show."


"Thanks for having me."


"Your job is to evaluate the Replicants, and determine if they are safe to use, am I correct?"




"So tell us, in your opinion, are they living up to expectations?"


"Well...we've still got more tests to run, but so far they really have done well. Right now we've got them doing a lot of mining duties that ordinarily would have been done by companies."


"But when will they begin taking on some of the military duties or some of the civilian jobs?  Most of our viewers are watching this while they're on the job, because of the manpower crisis.  Many people are complaining about working sixteen hour shifts just to keep up with their workloads, and expect the Replicants to start relieving some of the load."


  Wauldron nodded. "Right now we're understaffed as well. But to those people I would say please be patient, it's very important that we make sure the Replicants are completely safe for the civilian population on Io to co-exist with. They have done well, and I don't think it will be very long before they are able to start doing some of the jobs that are done by the civilians right now."


  "Colonel Tannhauser, do you feel they will be able to do any of the duties currently done by the military forces on Io?"


  "Actually right now, we are teaching them some things that most privates go through in boot camp, like marching, military protocol, and physical exercise...But until we get the final verdict from the FCA, I won't sign off on the orders to train them with weapons. And this is for their safety as well as ours." Tannhauser's reply was drenched in his southern accent.


  "You've certainly put in a lot of effort around the base, given the size of the base walls and the amount of firepower you've installed in them. If it's okay, I'd like to show the viewers a clip we made earlier, which shows the capabilities of some of the base's defenses."


  The TV screen behind them quickly flashed to a picture of the news crew, Colonel Tannhauser, and Daniel. Daniel held Jacob up by his falconry gauntlet. Jacob let out a little squawk, really just wanting to stretch his wings and chase mice.


  "Just so everyone knows, this is just a demonstration of the automated tracking systems here on the base, I wouldn't hurt a feather on Jacob here for anything..." Tannhauser nodded over to Daniel, who removed Jacob's helmet and released the bird.


  Jacob shot over to where Foster was standing, also wearing a gauntlet. Mounted in the walls surrounding them, huge wall-mounted automated multi-barreled chain guns followed and tracked Jacob as he swooped down alongside the gate. Jacob swooped down alongside the wall, practicing his dive attacks, but then quickly shot up towards Foster's arm. The wall mounted guns followed Jacob independently.  Tannhauser looked back towards the control tower and signaled for the crew to stop tracking. The guns retracted inside their orb mounts.


"Wow, very impressive, Colonel," the reporter exclaimed. "Is it true that the men stationed here have named this ‘Tannhauser Gate’?"


  "Yeah, suppose they did...Not my idea, but it's an honor given all the hard work they put into making all the systems work. These computers can track up to seventy-five different targets on their own, without any assistance from the controllers if need be.  It took a lot of work to get all that set up and running right, so I had to ride a lot of backs until it was done. But they did a great job, as you can tell," Tannhauser stated, with a little pride.


  Applause began in the audience. The reporter motioned for the clip to stop.


"What a gorgeous bird. Does the bird belong to you?" he asked, looking towards Daniel. "How long have you had him?"


  "Yeah. He's a few years old, they couldn't tell me for certain. His name is Jacob."


"Jacob...what a great display. What prompted you to take a bird all the way to Io?"


"The vets on earth told me he wouldn't live long on earth, with the way things are going, with the environment and all."


"What a great bird. So I understand you both are instructors to the Replicants here on Io?"


  "Well, sort of. We've basically been managing their work in the mines for now, but actually I was supposed to instruct them in basic infantry. But they haven't been signed-off for weapons training, so for right now I am helping out with the mining operation."


  "So what's your take on the Replicants? I understand you and Mr. Foster have been working very closely with them. Are they ready to be allowed to mix with the rest of the population on Io yet?"


  "Well.."  Daniel looked over at Tannhauser and Wauldron, knowing full well he really couldn't divulge too much. "I'm not at liberty to say very much, but can tell you that they have worked very hard, and have done a good job." Foster nodded as Daniel gave his answer.


  Then Halford broke the silence. "I would like to make this offer on camera." Wauldron and Tannhauser shot each other a quick glance, bracing themselves for what might come next.


  "I would like to use this opportunity, on camera, to ask both the FCA chief and Io's base commander to give this station the opportunity to interview a Replicant, so they can see for themselves that there is no danger, and also to show the viewers at home where their hard earned tax dollars are going."


  Wauldron's eyes went a little wide, and Tannhauser just covered his mouth. Neither one was ready for Halford's proposal, but at the same time neither one could justify not allowing it.


  "Well, how about guys? It would be a wonderful chance to show everyone back on earth what all the fuss is about."


  "Well...Yes, I can see that happening in the near future." Wauldron tried to hide his reluctance, doing his best acting job.


  The reporter looked back at the camera, and gave a phony smile. "That will have to suffice us for now. We're out of time, but again, thanks to FCA Chief Stephen Wauldron, Io's commanding officer Colonel Tannhauser, base instructors Joshua Foster and Daniel Frey."




  "What in the HELL was he thinking..." Tannhauser grumbled as he paced Wauldron's office.  Wauldron propped up his legs over his desk, looked inside a drawer and pulled out a bottle of bourbon, and a couple of shot glasses. He filled one and offered it to Tannhauser, and then began to fill one for himself.


  "Normally I don't drink." Tannhauser lamented as he quickly swallowed the shot. Wauldron savored his for a moment, then finished it.


  He offered another shot to Tannhauser, who reluctantly accepted. Wauldron could tell there was something else on his mind.


"It's the immigration deadlines. People really don't want to immigrate, but they're trying to sell the colonies like it's some golden ticket to living the life they had before Terminus." 


  Wauldron briefly thought about things as he poured himself another shot. He clicked on the TV set in his office, which started showing a news clip of politicians gearing up for the next set of elections. He took another drink, but this time a little more slowly.


  "I get the feeling that changes are coming our way, Tann. People are angry. And I mean fed up. They're fed up with living in areas that can barely support an environment, they're fed up because they've got to work seven days a week, they're fed up because they have to eat fish and rice instead of steak and potatoes, and they’re fed up being told to stay in because the rain every other day might be poison." He looked over at Tannhauser, who was listening and thinking intently.


  "They aren't ready, Tann. I can't prove that scientifically or psychologically, but we need more time to work with them. And when I say 'them', I mean the humans as well as the Replicants. If we can't properly evaluate them, we have also had no way of preparing ourselves to safely work around the Replicants, without saying or doing something that jars their psyche. And before you know it, the pentagon will have us sticking rifles in their hands." 


  He pointed a thumb back at the election coverage. An extremely angry, overtly religious neo-conservative representative spouted off his displeasure with the lack of progress on Io, and was demanding that funding be cut off.


"This will not make it any easier. When you get this many people fed up, there's going to be changes."

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