Designation: disk unit 001
Function: to preserve and maintain the information stored in the iron mountain facility.
Time of activation: 6:25 P.M. July 15, 20XX
Time since unit activation: 99years, 7moths, 12days, 4hours, 51minuts.
System Status: all system reports green.
Minor damage to superstructure detected.
Input new command?
Input new quire?
Disc…. That was her name.
It hadn't always been, before that she had been called something else. She found it ironic that even with her memory units housing the massive amount of data that had stored in Iron Mountain she couldn't remember what it was.
Why hadn't she saved her own name?
Surely she could have devoted the infinitesimal amount of hard drive space it would have required. Her memory banks certainly had the room.
With a sigh Disc pulled her visor away from her eyes. It wasn't a pleasant thought, but it was one she had every time she looked at her own status reports. That came every time she saw herself referred too as disk unit 001.
The worst part though was that she knew the answer. She knew she hadn't saved her name because she hadn't expected to need to. It had never occurred to her that she might go long enough with out hearing it to actually forget. But the bombs had fallen, the people had died and she had been left all alone. And she had forgotten.
She had been human once too… or maybe she still was? That was one of the few things her onboard data base didn't have a firm answer for. At the very least she could say she hadn't always been a half. She had been a normal girl once, well as normal as a girl with an IQ well over 170 could be. That had been why she was selected for the D.I.S.K. Program, she had enough information on the selection process to know that for certain.
She had been one of a hundred or so children who had been spirited away from their families by the council of the 666 during the 30 year cold war the had proceeded the 3rd world war. Kidnapped and turned into "halves" she and the others had become part machine for "the good of Japan's future." Even though she knew the name of every one of those children who had been part of that first grand experiment she couldn't tell which she had been.
What she did know was that she had been the first, or at least the first to survive the procedure. That was when she had become disc 1. The first. The prototype. She had been lucky to be the first. It had been what had saved her. Because she was still experimental she had built with expensive ultra light, extremely durable materials. Materials that where cut from the budget of later units…
A chill ran down her spine at the realization that she had almost started thinking of the others as simple machines again… it had been a long time since she had thought like that.
It was how she had thought about everything for the first few decades after she had been remade. It was how they had wanted her to think. How they had programmed her to think, or rather not to think, to obey. To perform the tasks and data analysis required during the war. Those years where a blur to her, an unthinking un-feeling blur, but even then they had called her by her name.
Funny how she could remember that but not the name itself, nor the faces of the people saying it. It hadn't lasted all that long, as those that had been there when she was built, the ones who had known what her name had been before she was labeled disk 01, grew old and died. So she had become disc one. Then the bombs had fallen on Tokyo and Iron Mountain was cut off from the world.
And the black spot was born.
For a time Iron Mountain served as a shelter for the people of the black spot. Not the original scientists and support staff that had lived and worked at the facility, those had been long since evacuated. No these where those poor wretches who had to scrounge out a life in the wastes of the spot. Most of them had been born into this wasteland, they knew nothing about the technology around them. It was these people who had shortened her title to the name Disc.
Even the oddball spelling was their doing, a mistake that had stuck. As the years passed the mountain's systems broke down one by one. Eventually the people, unable to make the necessary repairs, had left.
Bound by her programming Disc had stayed.
Suddenly there was no one to give orders, no one but her and with that realization came shock, she had short circuited she was sure, it was the only way to explain the rush of emotions, the sudden return of free will that had accompanied the realization that she was now the one in charge of Iron Mountain.
At first it had been terrifying after so many years of having everything decided for her to suddenly be her own person again. In an attempt to distract herself from the scary world of possibilities now open to her she had decided to do all she follow her original programming and repair Iron mountain.
It hadn't occurred to her until afterward that her programming only held her responsible for the data storage systems and that by expanding that to include the rest of the facility she had made exactly the kind of self motivated decision she had tried to avoid.
It had taken a few years to get the mountain up and running again but that was fine, it had given her the time she needed to come to terms with who she was. All the while her old personality slowly started coming back to her. That was interesting in and of its self, she had set to work categorizing and recording each new emotion that cropped up. She had even used herself as a case study on the effects of suddenly introducing decades worth of experience and centuries worth of hard data into the mind of a 12 year old girl.
It was a fascinating subject to be sure, and one she could relate to. And so that or rather she had become her next project. She would learn anything and everything she could about herself. She had tracked down all the records of every Disk unit ever constructed. She had poured over how they where made until she knew she could make could make one herself if she found a child with the necessary brain capacity. She analyzed her own brain functions and circuit boards, traced down the short circuit that had given her- her new life, until she knew she could recreate it.
She had considered it for a time. It was lonely there, inside the mountain, she could have a friend, a colleague, a companion, some one who was immortal as she was, who wouldn't leave her. All she had to do was send out Iron Mountains complement Testaments to find a suitable specimen and…
But no, she couldn't do that; she couldn't take someone from their family like that. Not like she had been. So she had made a note in the file marked empathy and sympathetic responses and discarded the idea.
It had been during this time that she had had that horrible realization that she no longer knew her own name.
And so the search for herself had began.
It had taken years but she had sorted through all the data Iron mountain had on the Disk project. There was a lot of it. She had literally thousands of hits on children who had become disk units and no way to tell which had been her. Iron Mountain had failed her for the first time in her life. She continued on undaunted
If she didn't have the data she needed… well she'd just have to find it. She started out simple a quick hack here, a Trojan program here and suddenly she had access to the hospital birth records for the kansai region.
As she searched her network and sphere of influence in the digital realm grew. She gained a reputation for being the go to source for illegally acquired information. At first she hadn't been interested in taking the jobs, after all what use did she have for money?
Then someone had gotten smart and offered her information in trade for her skills, she had taken that job and soon similar offers had come poring in. and so Disc the information broker was born.
And still the search for who she was went on.
Oddly enough it was that information dealing that had brought her to the realization that she had also forgotten what it was like to have friends.
She had friends now… or at least she thought of them as friends, she wasn't sure how they felt about her but she could hope. They had come to her looking for information just like everyone else. What set them apart was that they had come in person rather then contact her over the net not even the resistance had done that.
At first she had thought them just another group of raiders, pleasant company could hardly be expected from to just drop in on you when you lived in the black spot. The mismatched band of adventurers that had fought their way through to the data room at the heart of Iron Mountain had most certainly not been what she was expecting.
For one thing they had an odd, almost surreal way of interacting that appealed to her. Even in the face of life threatening traps they stopped to make jokes behave in their own little eccentric ways. Perhaps it was the almost overwhelming power they displayed as a group that led to such erratic behavior.
She had decided to help them even before they had helped her push out the Simeon agents that had followed them. Their personalities where infectious and she found herself, much to her chagrin, acting her true biological age among them. (She had decided long ago that the most accurate way of measuring her age was to say that she was 12 and had been for the last hundred years.) And so curious about these new feelings and unique (too her) experience, she created a new file, labeled it bonds and interpersonal attachments and decided to travel with them when they left to retrieve the one they called Eve.
The unofficial leader of the group seemed to be the one called Adam Blade. the man dressed like a priest but Disc was hesitant to classify him as such, his behavior didn't match what her data banks told her was the standard parameters for a man of the cloth.
He was loud, brash, perverse, and ridiculously confident. Despite his perversity she decided she liked him. His boisterous personality was infectious and she felt herself swept up in it even as she first met him. Her affection for him most likely came from the fact that he doted on her, that doting she knew was almost certainly the result of her physical age. The man was blatantly open about his preference for younger girls. Still she couldn't help but wonder if this was what it was like to have an over eager older brother or doting father.
Odd how she found blade's overt perverse attraction to underage girls endearing while her data told her that such a thing should have been considered socially unacceptable. Perhaps Blades openness on the matter combined with his almost comical way of showing his interest worked to soften what would otherwise be a personality defect?
She made a note of that idea and moved on.
His reaction and facial expression when she told him her real age had been added to the files for amusement and entertainment, schodinforida, shock and surprise and unexpected humorous situations. He had cheered up fast enough when she had agreed to use her scanners to reveal the three sizes of any women they might meet.
From the little she had seen of Eve before her kidnapping she and blade seemed to be a matching set. Disc looked forward to seeing her again.
Momiji was a comical fellow who she had decided to use as a case study on delusions of grandeur. He obviously had one as he seemed to think he was on par with blade. He wasn't. not by a long shot. The scanner results where conclusive on that. She wasn't so sure she liked him… he was oddly annoying but for some reason she couldn't seem to hold that against him.
Next was Professor Gido. The professor was kindhearted and grandfatherly but he was also distant. It was like he didn't want to spend to much time with her, perhaps he was worried she had some knowledge of the past he so carefully guarded.
She probably did but she didn't consider it worth searching for, if it became an issue she would look but she didn't consider it worth possibly ruining the pleasurable group dynamic.
That brought her to Cruz. He was by far the most interesting of the people she was now traveling with as well as the one she had spent the most time in conversation with. Disc shifted her attention to the mess of moss green hair in front of her. Cruz was currently carrying her on his back, she wasn't entry sure why either her legs where perfectly functional after all. For some reason Blade had ordered Cruz to carry her out of the blue on their second day of travel. Both she and Cruz's opinions on the matter had been ignored.
As a result the two had spent a lot of time together just talking as they walked. Or rather Cruz did most of the talking. He had practically spilled his life story to her that first day he had been made into her steed. She was fascinated by him. Even though he had no real power, no fragment, he had managed against all odds to survive in the black spot. He was sharp too, and cunning when it came down to it, you could tell just by talking to him.
He told her of his time in the resistance and how his sister had died. Like her he had no one left to be his family. Maybe when this trip was over and they all got back to Iron Mountain she would offer to upgrade him.
He would make a brilliant half, he certainly had the mind for it. Not only that but his company was pleasant and she new she would find him an enjoyable companion no mater how long they worked together. She had almost mentioned it several times, but had always stopped short, for some reason she was worried it might scare him off and he wouldn't want to be her friend anymore… a copy of that thought went into the apprehension and unease folder.
If her body's ability to produce hormones hadn't long ago been removed to make way for a data port she might have concluded that she had a crush on the teen. She was a 12 year old girl after all, it would only be natural. Since that was impossible short of a sudden failure of her hormonal inhibitors she disregarded it.
Perhaps it was love? That was another of those words her data bank couldn't properly explain. But one definition seemed to involve wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone… so perhaps it counted. She would think on that more later. What she could say for certain was that there was just something about him she couldn't help but like.
It might have been the odd parallels she was able to draw between herself and him.
What got to her the most was how everyone else in the group called him Yamada. Even Momiji called him by his hated nickname even though Cruz called him buy his name rather then the man's own diminutive of Uchida.
Cruz hated being called Yamada, Disc could tell, but he had long ago given in and started responding to it. Perhaps it reminded her of her self. About her own real name, long forgotten, and the search for it that still drove her. Would he one day forget his true name, just as she had? The possibility was there, especially if he took her up on her eventual offer of cybernetic immortality…
For some reason the idea disturbed her more then she had words to explain. She flipped her visor back down.
Creating new file
File type: text document
File name: Yamada's real name
Text length: 2 words
File "Yamada's real name" saved
Input new command?
Input new quire?
That done Disc pushed her visor up once more. Noticing that Cruz had started to sweat under the noon time sun, she activated her internal cooling system and let her chin rest on the top of his head and rapped her arms close around his neck in an attempt to cool him down.
He stiffened at he motion but didn't say anything.
For the first time in a long time Disc added a moment to the file marked contentment, and she was too. Content that is. She may have never thought to save her own name but she could save his.
Even if Cruz forgot who he was Disc never would