Editor: Thor’s Stone
A day has passed since our negotiations with Major Serena. Krishna was successfully assigned to guard the civilian cargo transport ship『Pelican IV』and was now tagging along with it. We’re on guard duty, but it’s not like the job’s hard. We were just hopping from one trade and mining station to another all over the Sierra system and its neighbors. Sometimes, the Pelican IV docks inside a station for a prolonged period of time to unload its cargo, so we tag along with the Flying Tortoise instead.
We can’t predict exactly when pirates would attack, so we can’t let our guard down. There’s also a good chance of the underlings of Chris’s uncle attacking, so we’re watching out for that as well.
However, being on high alert all the time is mentally exhausting, so Elma and I take turns monitoring the situation, and stand by inside the cockpit as Krishna trailed after the Pelican IV. Right now, it was my turn on watch duty. The other three were relaxing in the dining room.
“I brought you something to drink, Master.”
Maidroid May entered the cockpit and brought with her a gravity sphere filled with some chilled beverage. This so-called gravity sphere is basically a high-tech tumbler that floats and has motion sensors installed so it can follow your head movements.
I received the drink and set the sphere in a spot that I could easily reach.
“Sorry, May. I would have liked to bring you to the shop for upgrades right away, but the situation doesn’t allow for it.”
“It’s alright. Don’t worry about it, Master. It is my duty to prioritize Master’s safety after all. And also, my current body is able to function with no trouble and can do most tasks except for high-intensity combat and complicated data calculations.”
“I see. Miro did say there would be a drop in performance, but I honestly can’t tell the difference from before we left Sierra III.”
“Yes. There will be no problem when it comes to day to day tasks and basic support.”
May declared as she faced me with her usual unchanging expression. I set her facial expression level to the lowest possible value without going overboard to suit my personal taste, but I wonder how she feels about it? I’m kinda afraid to ask.
“Well, if you want to change some of your default settings when we go for your upgrade, be sure to inform me. There’s still some leeway in the budget for buying additional functions as well, so don’t act reserved and just tell me, okay.”
“Yes. Thank you, Master. I am already satisfied with the settings you gave me, Master. But I truly appreciate your concern. However, if something does come to mind in the future, I will be sure to inform you.”
“Yeah. Okay then.”
We continued having a relaxed conversation while on guard duty. Well, even if we’re on guard duty, Krishna is just cruising in tandem with the cargo transport ship with the FTL drive active, so there’s actually not much to do. If we ever get hit with something like an interdictor, the combined sensors would immediately set off a warning.
These combined sensors are able to detect the gravity waves emitted by spacecraft and asteroids, subspace vibrations caused by FTL drives and Hyperdrives, as well as the energy trails left by ships while moving in subspace.
Mimi tried to give me a detailed explanation, but I couldn’t even understand the basic theories. Anyway, they’re impressive sensors that can act as high-performance radars even while we’re in the middle of FTL travel or plowing through the subspace tunnel caused by the Hyperdrive. Yep.
By the way, even when similarly equipped with an FTL drive, there’s still a difference in the relative speeds of various ship models. To put it simply, a large ship can only travel at two to three times the speed of light, and mid-sized or small craft can go up to ten, or even twenty times.
What about the Urashima effect, you ask? I don’t really get the theory behind it, but both the FTL drive and the Hyperdrive can circumvent spacetime relativity by setting one foot into subspace or plunging completely into it… or something like that. Sorry. Like I said, I don’t really get it myself, so forgive me if I can’t offer a clear explanation.
It seems my brain’s specs are severely lacking and I can’t understand jack about the FTL (Faster Than Light) technology of this dimension. Or maybe it’s also because I’m not really all that interested in the subject. If it works, it works. Right guys? I don’t really get how computers and smartphones back on Earth work either, but I can still use em without any problems.
“But it’s been strangely quiet. There wasn’t even a peep from pirates yesterday. It’s the same today.”
“Yes. It seems to be the case. Perhaps due to their numbers being reduced because of the attack on Sierra III, they are currently laying low and reorganizing.”
“They lost over a hundred ships in that battle after all.”
Since the anti-pirate fleet didn’t expect that a battle would occur as soon as they arrived in the sector, they weren’t able to fully close the net, and some pirate ships were able to get away as a result. Well, I guess it can’t be helped. They rushed to deploy after receiving the emergency transmission from Sierra III after all.
By the way, it seems the anti-pirate fleet has obtained enough experience to reliably finish off pirates baited into attacking the Pelican IV within a short span of 2 to 3 minutes after contact. It’s a devilish trap that lures unsuspecting pirates into their deaths by using a seemingly defenseless civilian cargo ship as bait. Just who could have come up with such an evil trap and taught Major Serena, I wonder. I’m sure it’s an underhanded guy with a nasty personality. Psyche. It was actually me, wahaha.
“So, Master has connections within the imperial military as well.”
“Yeah. Well, we met by complete coincidence though.”
“And there’s this ship, Krishna, as well. It seems this ship model is one-of-a-kind.”
“Well, there’s some complicated circumstances that led me to take possession of this ship.”
“I want to know more about Master.”
“Mm… Let’s see…”
How much should I tell her, I wonder. It’s not like I know where Krishna came from myself. The story of me suddenly being moored in this dimension along with Krishna does sound more than a bit far fetched. Besides, my situation is also quite complicated. There’s a lot I don’t know. And I’m also a bit apprehensive about talking about my circumstances to an independent AI that’s like a bundle of curiosity.
“Master, even though I can’t claim that my security features are perfect, it is very advanced, so there’s no need to worry much about privacy.”
“The information stored in my memory banks can only be accessed by myself. I can reveal some non-critical info to a third party for data collection purposes, but I will never give out any confidential information under any circumstance. So please rest assured, Master.”
I could feel a firm will radiating within May’s eyes as she gazed straight at me. Umu.
“Honestly speaking, my situation is, uh, quite peculiar. I also have a lot I don’t understand about my situation myself, so I’m worried that my circumstances will spread to the independent AI community if I talk to you about it, May.”
“I see. I understand. However, let me just reiterate that I am a maidroid completely dedicated to serving you, Master. It’s my reason for existence. All of me is dedicated to you, Master. So tell me what I should do to prove my loyalty and let you believe me.”
“Hmm…… Proving that May would absolutely not betray me is quite difficult, I’m afraid.”
It’s not like I can monitor May’s data transmissions 24/7. And even if I request for her communication logs, there’s no guarantee that she’ll give me the complete list. Since she can tamper freely with those logs before handing them over, they can’t serve as proof of her loyalty anyway.
“So we won’t get anywhere if I don’t start trusting you, huh May? Well, being paranoid all the time is quite tiresome anyway. Keep everything I tell you a secret, okay?”
“Yes. Thank you very much, Master. I will never betray your trust.”
“I hope so.”
May vowed to keep my matters a secret with an unchanging serious expression. Well, it’s not like she displays any other expression apart from this one anyway. And so, I started talking about my circumstances, beginning with me suddenly waking up and finding myself in this dimension. The moment I woke up, I was already inside Krishna’s cockpit. I then related my various misadventures in this dimension – my journey to Termaine Prime, meeting the then-lieutenant and now Major Serena, the fact that this world and a game called Stella Online in my home dimension were eerily similar, my encounter with Elma, registering as a mercenary, rescuing Mimi, and the battle in the Termaine star system.
“So, according to your perception Master, this world is similar to a video game called『Stella Online』that was released in what you claim to be the『real world』, correct?”
“From my perspective, that’s exactly the case. But there is also a lot of stuff that’s different from my in-game knowledge. For example, I have no memory of a space empire called Graccan or the Vereverem Federation existing in the game, and the star systems displayed on the Galaxy Map are also entirely unfamiliar to me. And yet the starship models, equipment, as well as other products on the market were all in the game.”
“I see…… What curious circumstances. By the way Master, are you familiar with something called the Simulation Theory?”
“Simulation Theory? Can’t say I am.”
“It’s a theory in which I, Master, and all other existing phenomena, are created by a hyper-complex computer simulation utilizing untold amounts of data and requiring transcendental technology.”
“That’s a pretty scary theory. So that means everything in this world is merely created by that so-called computer simulation, right? I kinda feel it devalues the preciousness of lives.”
“Yes, that is the case, isn’t it? But, considering your circumstances, it’s not like this theory is completely off the mark, correct? You were suddenly sent to a world that greatly resembles the game you were playing after all.”
“Well, it’s not like I haven’t considered it myself, but I just can’t bring myself to believe this is all just some virtual simulation, especially after meeting MImi and Elma. And in the first place, the technological level of my world is lightyears behind this one. Actually, it’s also possible that somewhere in this vast universe, the world I was from is actually being simulated for who-knows-what reason. In other words, it’s not like I was thrown into a world similar to the game I was playing, but I was just thrown out of that simulation and ended up in my present circumstances. Well, it’s not like there’s a way to find out right now.”
Actually, the theory I shared with Mimi and Elma about how my consciousness from a parallel universe was thrown inside the body of the ‘me’ existing in this universe can also be one possibility. In any case, I still feel a kind of disconnect from my previous and present circumstances sometimes.
The point is, I’m absolutely clueless. Yup.
“Honestly speaking, I feel it’s a waste of time to be hung up with these kinds of things. There may be a possibility of finding out what’s up if I go around declaring ‘I’m not a person from this universe, so please help me out!” or something. But I bet I’ll just be treated as someone crazy by most people, or maybe a subject of research. Instead of worrying about it, I’m more cool with living it up every day and enjoying my time with everyone.”
Yeah. That’s what I honestly feel right now. It’s great that I was able to register in the Mercenary Guild, which is such a convenient and helpful organization. It’s also great that I had Krishna with me. If I didn’t have Krishna, I’d probably be worse off than Mimi when I first encountered her.
“I see…… You have a point. I also agree that it’s fine if Master believes it to be so.”
“There probably would come a time when I’ll have to actively search for answers. But there’s no need to do that just yet. Probably.”
And it’s not like I absolutely want to return to my former world anyway. It’s true that I’m curious about whatever happened in my previous world when I disappeared, but since I can’t get back, then there’s no use thinking about it. It would be a different story if I left my family or a lover back there, but unfortunately, I have neither of those. For better or for worse anyway. In fact, I actually enjoy staying in this world more. There’s also Mimi and Elma to consider.
“I guess this should be enough for this particular topic. Anything else you wanna ask me, May?”
“Yes. How about–”
Afterward, I continued answering the curious May’s questions as we passed the time together.