I followed JJ off the bridge.
“Think we can use the conference room?” she asked.
I nodded and pushed the door open for her. She locked the door behind us.
“Well?” I asked.
“That last article hit you like a lightning bolt. Why?”
“Our AI capability is clearly illegal,” I said. “I’ve pushed that to the back of my mind, but seeing it in print forced it to the forefront. Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
“It’s illegal to use the AIs to run the New Jersey, but we have enough humans on board to satisfy the law. It’s not illegal to use the AIs as personal assistants or interfaces to our equipment and spacecraft.”
<Butch> She’s right, Trey.
I thought about it for a moment. “Okay, I’ll grant you that we aren’t out of compliance yet, but what happens when we finish the next two New Jersey class ships?…
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JJ and I were on the New Jersey bridge, waiting to be relieved by Cyrus, Tim, and Izzy. They arrived after about fifteen minutes.
“Hi, Captain,” Izzy said. “JJ.”
“Hello,” JJ said.
“Thanks so much for coming up,” I said. “We’ve been up too many hours. You’re our relief team. You’re all well enough rested to work, I hope?”
“I’m good,” Tim said.
“Me too,” Cyrus said.
Izzy smiled. “I was bored. This will be a welcome change.”
“Good. We should get to the natural worm hole in six hours. We’ve got battle pilots watching for Overlords ships, and the AIs as well, although the main focus of the AIs at present is to find any weak spots we might have in the New Jersey.”
“Ah, don’t want Simone to do unto us what we did unto her, huh?” Cyrus asked.
“You got it.”
Tim’s brow furrowed. “They wasted two…
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A huge crowd ringed the Swan Island Basin in Portland, Oregon, many with signs, most wearing all black with masks covering their faces below the eyes. Behind them were several hundred Portland PD officers, in riot gear, attempting to stay between them and a growing number of counter-protesters.
Nathan watched the water nervously as the big EU Navy ship cruised slowly towards the dock. He turned every few seconds to watch the counter-protesters, holding signs that said NO UN along with American flags. He was only twenty-five, medium build, tattoos covering his upper arms and neck, large round earrings stretching his lobes.
“Hey, Sean,” he said quietly. “This makes me nervous. There’s only one way out of here, and that’s more counter protesters than I’ve ever seen before. Why is the Portland PD letting them get so close?”
Sean’s eyes turned his direction, his cheeks rising under his black bandana…
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