The scientist stalked the long length of the hall, doors opening to either side. He passed a lab assistant in the hallway. He looked frantic, scared. He was right to, if anything in the report was true.
He turned, “Yes?”
“Kieth is in here, sir.” The man disappeared again into the room from whence he had come.
Barns followed him. With any luck, this was just another case of poor security procedures; Some new engineer not taking the right precautions.
“Barns, I’m glad you’re here.” Said Kieth in his deep commanding voice when he arrived.
Barns’ expression required no verbal question.
“Well, we’re not absolutely certain, but the test appeared successful.”
“So it would seem, judging by the state of this room,” noted Barns.
Kieth grimaced, apologized. “Sorry. We didn’t anticipate the Core to adapt that quickly. It was in the server when we tested it, for safety—not that it mattered much. It was incredible, really.”
Barns huffed. “Why am I here? I read all this in the report.”
Kieth bit his lip, anxious. “You’re to oversee the decommissioning of this branch of Core research.”
Barns stood quietly for a moment, eyes narrowed. “That good, huh?”
“That dangerous!” Snapped Kieth. “It came from the board, alright? All research into hostile AI Cores is to end effective immediately.”
The older scientist thought through it. “They know that there are SP cores in beta, don’t they? All it could take is a wrong word and suddenly it’s not contained to a lab.”
“They know. That’s why they’re doing a full product recall on all SP cores.”
“Good.” Barns surveyed the lab. Very little physical damage to the equipment, but it had put everyone working there in a horrible fright. According to the report, the AI had accessed control of life-support systems and nearly trapped and suffocated everyone in the lab. Only the safety protocol which kept the building isolated from the grid for events such as this had prevented the core’s escape. Yes, they were definitely making the smart move ending this research. But some of those cores were already out there…
I've been working on worldbuilding for a space novel, and sometims I write fun bits like this. Just one piece of a very large puzzle.