Anonymous on tumblr asked: I wish you could write a fic where Cress dies and Thorne is devastated, but she comes back to life somehow. (Either she never really died or something like that)

Though, sadly, I couldn't do the whole bringing Cress back, I did the next best thing.

I give you...AI!Cress. Well, almost Cress.

Basically Cress programs the Rampion's AI like she did Little Cress, making it have her voice and a similar personality. After Cress dies, the AI core sustains damage and starts to malfunction, and what was previously only a portion of Cress' personality reflected in the AI, starts mutating to resemble Cress more and more.

Warning: hold on to your tissues there's angst abound.

But I promise to make it a happy ending.


tell me when you hear my heart stop

- i -


Have you ever been so empty that
the echo turned into a story?

—The Untouchable, Caitlyn Siehl


System booting…

Loading command sequence…

.

There isn't much distinction between sleep and death for her. Both are variations of oblivion and they should mean nothing to her. She's but a sequence of numbers. She's but an artificial loyalty.

.

Initiating system diagnostics…

Scanning core directories…

Scanning Rampion logs…

.

How long has she been sleeping? The logs end at star date 12/03/120 T.E.

There's nothing after that. Blank. A void. Oblivion.

.

Systems functional at 63.82%

Damage sustained to outer core at point DT-22

.

She remembers nothing before this moment. Her memory banks are still being processed. Where's her crew? Where's her Captain? The ship feels empty. She feels empty.

.

-ERROR-

.

Damage sustained to nav techs.

Damage sustained to bay area 12.

.

She rifles through the logs, from start to finish. The whole crew's. All at once. All in seconds. Though to be fair, she only has two members making the whole of her crew. (Had?) She pauses when the processed info from her memory banks collide with the logs.

The war. Of course.

The Lunar War.

She feels dread even as she processes the conclusion. She feels numb and afraid and small and alone.

.

-ERROR-

.

She slows at Log #890. Star date 01/02/120 T.E. Plays the video at normal speed.

The Captain smiles through shadows under his eyes. "Hey, Crescent," he says to the camera. To her. He's leaning against the console, shirt sleeves rolled up, collar unbuttoned, hair ruffled and casual and crinkles at the corner of his eyes.

The camera's focus is elsewhere. On the petite girl sitting hip to hip against him, eyes downcast, honeyed hair tied up, chin resting on her knees, her full attention on the holo chess board as she contemplates her next move.

"You're loooooosing." The captain laughs at the camera.

She feels longing and sadness as she looks at them. At the sleeplessness in their cheeks, at the gentle brush of his hand against the girl's.

She feels claws against her lungs, her ribs, her—

.

-ERROR-

.

Logic leads her to a conclusion she doesn't like even though logic itself dictates that liking and disliking things are not a part of her code. Yet, she feels something like a sunlight burn on the side of her non-existent heart.

.

-ERROR-
-ERROR-
-ERROR-

.

The last Captain's log from star date 12/03/120 T.E. is enough for her to summarize the fate of her crew and explain away the damage to the ship, to her. If she had a mouth, she would be tasting bile.

If she could, she would be screaming.

.

-ERROR-

.

She skims through the rest of the logs, more so with the ones from the final week as she feels loss and hurt blooming against her codes.

.

-ERROR-

.

Log #915

The Captain presses his forehead against the honey haired girl's. "We'll make it," he tells her with conviction, eyelashes whispering against each other—

.

Log #917

He looks so worn, so near defeated, so unlike himself. His head rests on his hands, his hands wind against his hair, and behind him is someone soft and gold who breaths and dreams as she sleeps—

.

Log #925

Alarms and error stats and warnings.

The Captain swears creatively as he switches to manual pilot. "Hold on!"

.

Log #927

"Warning: critical damage."

"Warning: critical damage."

"Warning: critical damage."

"Yeah, yeah I hear you okay? And I can read the stats too and it's not that critical. We only took one hit. I can get us through this. We can make it."

"Warning: critical damage."

"Argh! Cress, can you mute her for a sec?"

"Warning: critical damage."

"Cress?"

.

Log #927

"I can't do this without you. I can't—I—Cress please, please. Cress. Cress? Please, please, please. You have to make it, we can make it. Please, please, please. Cress? CRESS?—"

.

Log #927

He looks…lost. Wide-eyed and lost. He blinks slowly at the blood on his hands. There's blood on his clothes, on his cheeks, at the corner of his lips. She wishes their last (first) kiss hadn't been like this—

.

Log #929

"Chances of survival are a low 1.08 percent, Captain."

"I have to." He doesn't look at the camera. At her. "You know I have to. I have to stop this. It has to end."

.

Log #929

white and darkness and oblivion.

.

She wishes she'd been left to her deathless sleep.

.

-ERROR-

.

Damage sustained to personality drive.

.

She is alone now. She is—

.

Scanning for life forms aboard the Rampion.

.

She hopes. She hurts. She begs. She—

please, please please. I can't do this without you.

.

-ERROR-

.

01 Life form detected.

Human. Male. 20 years old.

Identified as Captain Carswell Thorne. ID #0082688359

.

Some part of her breaks knowing her programmer is gone. Her gold and honey petite moon gone. Dead. Asleep. Lost to oblivion. She has no mouth, but through her speakers she wails. Long and loud and drawing. There must be shrapnel still attached to her core because she cannot explain this pain otherwise. This burning in her throat. Sunlight gnawing her lungs.

.

-ERROR-

.

She cries and sobs and heaves and wails. She feels for the first time and it's excruciating. She can't bear this. Can't—

I can't do this without—

Footsteps and curses and harsh fingernails on her walls. Her skin.

"Stop it!"

And she should. She should cease her madness (this is madness, isn't it?). Compose her codes back into some semblance of logic.

"Mute!"

But she hurts so much!

"Computer, I said mute."

It's an express command she knows. Her code dictates she obey it immediately. The Captain's orders have complete override. And yet—

She has lost so much, and found so much. And she's malfunctioning, mutating, dying.

"Crescent, please!"

.

-ERROR-
-ERROR-
-ERROR-
-ERROR-

.

Diagnostics complete.

.

"I can't—"

She can't, she can't, she can't shecantshecantshe—

.

Conclusion: critical damage.

.

A scream. A curse. Frantic sequence of typed in commands. There's crying somewhere other than her own but she can't—

.

System shutdown in 3…2…1…

.

She screams till there's oblivion.


Boy do I like writing a Cress-Crescent dichotomy. I realise I shouldn't start another multi-chapter fic without finishing my previous one but I had to write this okay? It wouldn't go away from my head.

This is somewhat inspired by Illuminae's AIDAN, the amazing, poetic, murderous psychopath AI. Though Cress isn't murderous here, I promise.

Chapter two has already been written and edited. I'll be updating tomorrow. :)