Some hundreds of years in the future, a strange, spherical space station is discovered in the far reaches of space. The level of technology involved is beyond that of the human race, but there appears to be a dock of relative usability on its surface... and there are energy readings fluxuating inside. A military team is dispatched to investigate.

Given a choice, I never would have wanted her as my commanding officer. Callous, nigh-unemotional, and given to less-than-moral decisions, she grates against my own morals. Shoot first, ask questions later is usually how it is with her. She has no respect for life - that's what it is. Being a cyborg though, I don't have much room to argue. I owe my existence and my superhuman body to the military. Yes, my brain is still more-or-less the same - at least, the design of the circuitry is, even if the actual material isn't the same. I still feel, think, etc. the same as everyone else... I'm just a lot less fragile. Hell, I could probably survive in a vacuum, though I wouldn't trust my joints to not freeze up.

I take point, of course. The CO follows, then the collection of soldiers and scientists. No one's bothering to keep weapons out, and I even leave my firearm behind. We get our bearings and start looking around. It's surprisingly similar to an office - desks, overhead lights, carpet even. Small, sectioned off rooms, some with glass to the side of the doorways. It feels... almost comfortable. It's not long before we get a call that we should see something. The CO and I are there in moments. It's .. a five-foot, water-filled square depression taking up the center of a hallway, with some strange mechanical workings on the near and far side. At least, it looks like water. Can't get around it, and it looks like it's meant to prevent moving over it. I wouldn't want to try - no telling what sorts of safeguards are in place. And it might not be water. The scientist who called us over points out another oddity in a panel in the wall. Moving a clip to free access to some sort of folded metal device causes parts of the workings in the depression to ...unfold, as if just starting to extend a bridge to the other side. Seems the tech got nervous at that point, and decided to let the more durable member of the crew handle the rest.

It takes little ingenuity to unfold the device, setting each new unfolded section into a bracket in the panel. Each unfolding causes the bridgeworks to extend further, until the two sides meet and the panel holds a completely unfolded belt. With a shrug, I unfit the belt from its brackets - the bridge stays in place - and fit it around my waist. It fits. The CO and I confer a bit. I argue that it seems to be designed so that someone has the belt before crossing, insinuating that only someone with the belt should cross. The CO insists that she at least follow for a bit, probably out of sheer curiosity. I agree reluctantly, but insist that the moment something unexpected happens, I'm bringing her back over. We start over the bridge.

Once on the other side, her head begins lolling as we walk, and then she stumbles to one knee. I quickly pick her up and carry her back. Probably some form of energy field, affecting brain functions perhaps. I've heard about this sort of thing - a mild electromagnetic pulse, repeating at the same frequency as brainwave patterns of sleep, cause instant drowsiness and temporary narcolepsy. I'm not affected, but I don't know if it's because of my nature or because the belt is somehow protecting me. I'm not taking further chances, and go by myself after leaving the CO with the scientists. She seems to be recovering well enough and suffering no ill effects.

Further down the corridor, it's much the same - more empty offices. Following a few turns, I near the end of a hallway and come across something startling. Humans! Regular people! They're sitting on risers in a presentation room, watching a movie on the projector screen and chatting away in regular English. Or mostly English - there seem to be aspects of a dialect that I've never heard before. They seem unsurprised to see me. Of course, despite wearing a uniform I look like a regular human. There's enough eclectic variety in their own clothes to warrant their lack of surprise. I pass through without disturbing them, and try to get some fix on what this is all about, taking a few moments to relay via commlink implant what I just found.

Further in, things are a bit more busy. The hallways are wider, more people are milling about or striding purposefully towards some goal. Around a curved ramp with an imitation wood guardrail is a display of some sort. Again, the words seem to be English, but the letters are a bit off. It's still mostly readable, despite there being a few completely foreign symbols scattered amongst more usual fare. I'm in a transit station. A teleport transit station. And there's reference to not only people, but some sort of... ascended form, it seems to refer to. The picture is vague, but it appears to be an energy-being, all wispy trails and glowy points without any real shape. Maybe these are the creatures that wielded the technology to create this place.

I get the call, playing its tune across the aural centers of my brain. There's a situation, and I need to get back, now, no matter what stands in my way. Just exactly what I was afraid of. I hurry back, slinking by the movie-watchers, and after racing down the passageways, ricocheting off the walls as I round corners, I come back to the bridge. Standing there is a guard, dressed in black, warily eyeing the collection of people on the opposite side. No weapons visible, but there's no telling. He looks ready for violence. My duty is to protect the rest of the crew, though, and the hallway is tall enough. I vault over his head.

This doesn't go exactly how I had planned. The guard spots me, or maybe he heard me. He manages to reach up and snag my foot. I snap down with my other foot, catching the side of his head. He loses his grip on my foot, and I roll back up to my feet on the opposite side of the bridge to stand between him and my crew. I come back up just in time to see the guard crumple to the ground. I broke his neck.

The CO looks approvingly at my first kill of the day. There are going to be more, I know it. Here we are, standing in the most important discovery since the beginning of the human race. First contact. The potential knowledge this station represents is staggering. And it's going to be a war. All I can do is take the orders and say 'yes sir'. And I will hate myself for it.

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