Chief Scientist Karen S'jet held her head in her hands, contemplating her situation. She opened her eyes once again, returning to her work. She tapped out the commands into her computer. "Primary Power engaged, Secondary Processors coming on-line" On her screen flashed the schematics of the project her entire race had been working on for the past 65 years, the Mothership. An accompanying list of sub-systems flashed next to it. The list slowly began to glow faintly green, the flaming red off-line marking slowly being replaced by a pulsing 'on-line' symbol.
"Yes, good" Karen let a small smile grow on her lips, letting herself get sucked up in a little hope that she had finally cracked the equation that had hounded her for weeks now. Suddenly the console sparked and died. "Of course it would" She thought to herself. She hit the reboot key with a harsh slam of her hand, her console humming with life once again. Karen returned her face too her hands. "Add another to the list of failed experiments".
She felt a weight suddenly fall on her shoulder, she turned to face them. The face that met her was Sasha, her personal lab assistant and trusted friend of the past several years. Sasha's spare hand held two mugs, filled to the brim with coffee. Karen brushed a brown strand of hair clear from her face, accepting the offered beverage with a weak hand, her energy drained by the seemingly unending shift she had undertaken in the hope that, given enough time, she would finally be able to find a computer system powerful enough to support the massive processing power necessary to support the needs demanded by the Motherships systems.
"Still no luck then" Sasha indicated Karen's fried system.
"Yeah, so far every system I've tried has either crashed or in some cases blown up as soon as I activated it. Nothing we try seems to be powerful enough"
Karen tapped the controls on her keyboard, opening the updated schedule relayed to her from the other development teams. "Barring any major set backs the Motherships primary systems should be fully operational within five weeks. But that's all a moot point"
Sasha took a sip of her drink "Why's that?"
"Cause we can't seem to find a mainframe powerful enough to support the Mothership without doubling its size" She drew an imaginary circle in the air. "Essentially drawing an enormous bulls-eye on our hull saying 'Shoot Me'"
Sasha stifled a laugh, admiring Karen's ability to find shit within shit, and express it in such a humorously sarcastic way.
"Don't worry" Sasha laid an innocent peck of encouragement on the top of her head. "You just rack your brain until you come up with something" And with that she turned to leave, letting Karen to her work.
Karen visibly straightened, an idea suddenly sparking in her mind "That's it!" She cried out, causing Sasha to freeze and turn to face her.
"What do you mean 'That's it'?" Sasha inquired.
"The Brain" Karen began to buzz with life, frantically searching her desk, knocking a ragged pile of papers clear of her desk in the process.
"The brain is the key to this whole project" Karen typed commands frantically on her computer, running yet another test on the Mothership. Sasha retrieved the papers Karen had discarded, returning them ton her desk.
"What do you mean?" Sasha was totally lost.
"Why do you think all the systems we've tried so far to control the Mothership have failed" She tapped her temple. "Because we're thinking too simply.
Sasha was still perplexed "You always did like to think outside the box didn't you"
Karen smiled "You know I do" She returned to her screen. "Now the problem is the Motherships systems require a substantial amount of processing power, a capacity that our systems simply can't handle. So what we need instead is something with even more processing power. Such as the brain"
The two of them looked at the computer screen, watching as the simulation was completed. All of the Motherships systems read green, the processors easily coping with the loads of data being flooded into them from all other the ship. The project worked! "It works" Karen screeched, leaping from her seat to throw her arms around Sasha's shoulders.
The high suddenly came back down, the pain of reality suddenly crashing into her rather harshly. "How are we going to use a brain to control the Motherships systems?" Karen's gaze lowered, unable to meet Sasha's gaze. Sasha knew Karen well, she knew her 'any cost if it helps the cause attitude', and she knew what she was planning. She was going to attempt to merge her mind with the system, exposing herself to high levels of radiation, at the worst it would kill her. At best it would permanently fuse her to the system, never letting her become a true organic again. "I know what you are planning" Sasha laid her hands on Karen's cheeks, rubbing the delicate flesh. "At least let me say a proper goodbye"