SIRT 1 : Thoughts of a Dying AI (Part 11 of many)
SIRT 1 : Thoughts of a Dying AI (Part 11 of many) postapocalyptic stories
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ferp2 Old, well, old-ish.
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Victor and Bodil sitting inna tree...?

SIRT 1 : Thoughts of a Dying AI (Part 11 of many)

Bodil was propped up in bed enjoying yet another wonderful breakfast.

It had been served by the same young man from yesterday and, between mouthfuls of perfectly cooked bacon and sips of rich-people coffee,

she watched him as he pottered around the suite refreshing flowers and tying back the drapes and doing the half dozen or so other little jobs created just by the presence of

the professor occupying the room. Smalltalk had revealed that the boy's name was Arno, which apparently means eagle in the native tongue of the area.

Arno was fifteen years old and both parents worked on the estate.

Fifteen, Bodil thought, I can't even remember being fifteen. She snuggled down a bit in the body-seducing comfort of the bed, still watching Arno.

They really are just like little puppies, everything is always new and exciting. Bodil's meandering thoughts trickled onwards. Her own youngest child was...

she had to do some quick mental arithmetic... Sixty three? Something like that. She wondered where he was now.

He was a lawyer of some sort, or was it an accountant? Whatever he was, he was part of some conglomerate in the Africa industrial zone and was seemingly doing very well for himself.

Some of her other children, ones whose names she no longer remembered,

had been part of the great agricultural expansion that was turning Merica and even some of the once frozen northern lands into farmland and fisheries to feed the expanding world population.

The farming of the freshwater seas now not only produced eighty percent of the world's edible fish but the excess production formed the basis of almost all of the fertiliser for the whole

of Merica. Once Europe was fully cleaned up it was possible that its current rich green meadows, too, would become part of that same expansion.

Although there was so much hot debate in the senate on this subject,

that the professor was not the only one who thought that the Troys probably had their influential fingers deep inside that particular pie.

Bodil, though, preferred the culture and academia that was only properly served by the rich economic heartland of Amazonia and its glittering capitol, Brasilia.

To her, the rest of the world was really just a source for her unending fascination with ancient history.

After the indulgence of breakfast was over and the delightful Arno had departed with the tray, Bodil showered.

And, as the hot scented water prepared her for another dusty day in the archive, she considered having another baby and made a mental note to herself to see what was available, and affordable,

in the gene centre.

When she, at last, closed the door to her room behind her, she found that the man sitting outside her room had been changed. Clive had gone home to his wife and a good day's sleep.

The new grey-suited guard introduced himself as Victor.

Victor, unlike most of the blank faced security drones, was handsome and charming and came complete with a confident smile and a friendly twinkle in his eye.

He was so suave in fact that by the time she and Victor reached the museum Bodil was no longer sure if she was being escorted or just courted.

For a tingling second Bodil even considered making a baby the old fashioned way.

All in all, she thought, as she pushed down on the polished brass door handle of the big main door, the day was off to a very nice start.

Inside the museum, it was pleasantly cool but there was something different from yesterday.

A strange smell that grew stronger as Bodil and Victor wound their way through the exhibit stands to the doors that led to the conservation area beyond.

It took Bodil a few seconds to recognise the odour before memories of sun-soaked parties on the golden beaches above the submerged ancient city of Rio de Janeiro brought it back to her in

a wave of hedonistic nostalgia. Seaweed. Old, rotting seaweed.

Rounding the last glass case brought her and a gently smiling Victor up against a wall of packing cases and plastic trunks. All sealed and labelled.

"What on earth..?" Bodil began while sidestepping around the pile to try and reach the double doors they had passed through yesterday.

"There was a delivery early this morning." Victor supplied, easing his much larger frame after his charge.

The professor stopped and bent down to examine one of the labels on a sizeable packing case.

"What sort of a delivery? From a dig? Where? Who's dig?

" All these questions while trying to smooth down the plastic envelope of the packing note to see through the condensation to the paperwork held within.

Victor stopped, his amused smile turning to a frown of cautious curiosity as he heard approaching footsteps.

"I believe from the new site at London. I could check for you...

" His voice trailed off as the footsteps got closer and Victor absently scratched a non-existent itch between the open lapels of his jacket.

Bodil straightened up, not looking happy.

If they can't keep condensation out of a simple plastic envelope, she thought disparagingly, what chance the artefacts inside?

She kicked the box with her toe, frustrated partly by not learning what she wanted but mainly about missing out on a dig of such magnitude.

It was right about now that her attention, too, was drawn to the imminent arrival of the footsteps.

It was a second grey-suited member of the Troy estate security. The two men acknowledged each other with a nod, Victor's itch disappearing entirely as his hand relaxed back to his side.

As one, both men glanced at the professor.

"Professor Ramsbottom-Hill is here to work in The Archive," Victor explained. "We should be on today's list."

The grey suit turned to Bodil.

"Of course Professor, you are expected. Please follow me."

Bodil allowed herself to be led around the wall and then through a veritable maze of similar boxes until she recognised the doors which led through to the conservation room.

The site of the formerly great city of London had finally been cleaned of radiation several years ago and since then had become the focus of a lot of archaeological interest.

Digging there, however, was considered rather risky and at times downright dangerous.

The London basin, once one of the world's largest metropolises, was now a 'V' shaped swamp nestled between chalk hills.

What looked like dozens of small islands were actually the vegetation covered ruins of ancient buildings, and extremely treacherous to set foot upon for fear of collapse.

In some unfortunate cases the whole 'island' had suddenly disappeared beneath the stagnant water, along with the unwary explorers who dared alight there.

The conservation room was a hubbub of activity, and even smellier than the box maze she had just come from.

Even though the artefacts had been carefully cleaned before being packed,

a lot of the patinas and pungent concretions that covered them served to protect the actual item until any necessary preservation techniques could be put in place.

Bodil walked slowly past the many tables, her eyes hungrily devouring the new archaeology on display in front of her as she was escorted towards the door to The Archive.

She nodded and smiled at those faces she recognised from her chats yesterday,

hoping that they would remember her presence and perhaps approach her for an opinion on some unfamiliar piece of history.

Although her field was more post-apocalypse rather than pre-apocalypse,

the two periods tended to merge at the times the bombs were falling and the Shiva virus was running rampant across the globe.

Then they were at the door and, to Bodil's surprise, it was Victor who produced the key and opened the door for her.

Bodil stepped across the threshold and the old familiar thrill tingled through her body.

"It will be good to have some help, Victor. I hope you don't mind getting your nice suit dusty." She turned with a smile to see the reaction to the little dig at the security 'uniform'.

The reaction she got was not what she expected. Victor hung back, his feet firmly on the other side of the threshold.

"Sorry Professor. Much as I would love to, I'm afraid I don't have permission to actually enter The Archive."

"But I thought you were supposed to be keeping an eye on me. How can you do that if you can't come in?"

Victor grinned.

"Don't you worry Professor Hill. The windows are barred and alarmed and watched by more cameras than a movie studio. On top of that this door has been the only entrance for over a hundred years.

You're standing in what is probably the safest place on the estate."

Bodil couldn't help but show the disappointment she felt.

Not just because Victor was very handsome and incredibly charming, but because she could really,

really have used some help going through the mountain of information contained in the Troy archive. She sighed.

"Oh well. I guess it's a good job I'm used to my own company then."

Victor's grin turned to a regretful smile.

"I will be right outside until noon. I hope I will see you then, for lunch maybe?"

The suggestion brought a smile to her own face.

"That would be nice."

Victor nodded once and then closed the door.

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