For over 200,000 years the Dracons have been skeptical about the use of cybernetics, the idea of replacing flesh with cold, emotionless steel seemed unnatural. One scientist however has differnt ideas - Vidius Senvinus is from an esteemed family of scientists who have become legend after Olsinar Senvinus and his namesake reactors reviolutionised energy and exploration. Vidius' plans were to break down a millenia-old social stigma that cybernetics make you less of a person.
The Science Council gathered in the senate, the air was tense after an attack on the artifact facility - which was under administration of Vidius' cousin Tarsus - and several of the scientists were nervous. Vidius apprached the auditorium and cleared his throat, holding a datapad of information that he believed could change the entire Imperium.
Announcer - The Floor recognises Vidius Senvinus. You claim to have a 'breakthrough' concept?
Vidius - Esteemed scientists, for hundreds of millenia there has been a general stigma on cybernet-
Councillor - Vidius, perhaps you could just tell us your proposal? We know about the stigma.
Vidius - Ahem, yes, sorry. The main problem, professors, is that it makes people feel uncomfortable so what I propose is a more comfortable and natural method of integration. Observe
Vidius turns to a projector on the back wall, activating it he shows footage of nanomachines working on a skeleton and then on the interior of an eye*
Vidius - The skeleton is being laced with a carbon-fibre weave while the eye is being refined both by rearranging cells and adding synthetic constructs allowing for more powerful form of vision. What i'm showing is a synthesis of the two concepts - organic and machine.
Councillor - An interesting loophole, so you take some nanites and program them to rebuild parts of the body. How exactly will you promote this new tech?
Vidius - Professors while we sat and crafted our empire younger races without such morals towards cybernetics have expanded, developed and advanced at a far greater pace than we have. As a result we are one of the few galactic powers who remain skeptical of cybernetics. We have become obsolete and outdated and now the younger and more vigorous races are taking advantage of that. We have forgotten how to adapt.
A draconis enters the room and at first glace appears relatively normal. He looks around the room with confidence
Vidius - This is Daravius Lovasnus, five months ago he was willing to accept a nanite infusion. He has stronger bones, a more advanced brain, tougher skin and before entering he didn't think anything was wrong with him. With this technology ,and te right programming, we can augment any part of the body we wish. No mutations, no electronics. He is little different and unlike certain cyborks there is zero-percent chance of error.
Councillor - '...And why is that
Daravius - The professor told me my cybernetics tie directly into my nervous system so thre's minimal electronic interface and I have complete control.
Councillor - Impressive professor, and how long have you been working on this without the Council knowing?
Vidius - About a century, we wanted to make sure the tech was solid before demonstration
Vidius stands nervous as his peers debate it. After much discussion they turn to him and accept early testing. Saying they will work to grant permission of use to certain units of Marines before the technology became public. Vidius smiled in approval before leaving the data on the podium and exiting the auditorium, confident with himself.
The 912th Legion
Vidius arrived on a station orbiting the Tholfame-7 wormhole. He was greeted by a commander Kolvotorus who saluted him by punding his fist against his chest. Vidius was taken to a barrack deep inside and shown security camera footage showing an entire legion deployed in the cargoholds and barracks. Vidius gawped in awe, realising just how many soldiers he was given.
Vidius - Just how many soldiers have i been given?
Kolvotorus - 200,000 professor. All of them are of varying backgrounds, mental states and physical condition.
Vidius - Perfect. Do they know what they have agreed to?
Kolvotorus - All marines have been told they are to accept a combat-enhancer but they were never told what it was. I wasn't even told about it so would you mind explaining?
Vidius - It's a nanite infusion, I call it 'Morphis' and with it the user can modify their body to adapt to the situation. 'Tougher skin, better eyesight, stronger bones, you name it.
Kolvotorus - You do realise an entire planet was converted to mecholife a few days ago right? Some people might be a little concerned about that kind of infusion.
Vidius - New technology always brings risks, we're in the final stages of research anyway.
Vidius remained mesmarised. What he had was a sample of a scale that would be a scientist's dream. The potential for accuracy made him smile.
Vidius - Commander inform the marines to accept the injections. I want to study each of them overnight.
Kolvotorus - I thought you said this stuff would help them adap-
Vidius - The nanites need to acclimatise themselves. They will automatically reinforce the dermis and bone of the recipient and i want to make sure everything goes smoothly.
The commander nods, leaving Vidius in the security room looking in awe at all his test subjects. It would take several hours to administer Morhpis to the entire legion. Vidius and his science team examined each marine. The effects seemed to vary between them with some sleeping soundly and others thrashing in discomfort. Several thoughts conflicted in Vidius' mind - Was he doing right? could someone die? will there really be no psychological change? is it safe for millions?
The next morning he and his fellow scientists engaged in thorough scans and studies of each marine. The general discovery was that the marines seemed fine and comfortable. Vidius was pleased but this was only the beginning; his new technology had to be field-tested and reports were coming in of yet another extraglactic power. After speaking with the commander both of them agreed:
The Tybusen would be the first to witness the 912th Morphis Legion.
Ovr the next few days some of the soldiers began to ask what was going on, what was this enhancer they were being given. Vidius decided to reveal the truth to all of them and using the station's video screens he would speak to the entire legion. In the security booth Vidius took deep breaths, addressing the science council was one thing but he was about to address thousands of soldiers. After taking several deep breaths he began his speech.
"Men and woman of the 912th legion. The other night you were all given an injection of a combat enchancer. It is time you learned the trught because frankly it won't work unless you know. You have all taken a nanite serum that has, by now, acclimatised to your bodies. It will allow you to adapt in a way never-before possible, all it requires is for you to focus, think how you could react. The system is linked to your central nervous system giving you complete control over how to adapt although under the cicumstances the nanites will respond to the subconscious. My science team has been trained to help you become more familiar with how the serum works and its limitations. You are the future gentleman, make the Imperium proud".
As the lecture finished Vidius exhaled deeply, calling for water. He looked at the statistics, on the security screens the rooms were begining to fill with a low mumbling as the soldiers tried to work out what to do next. Eventually scientists approached each of them and began the well-practiced process of introducing the marines to Morphis. The reactions were very mixed.
Commander Galvorus sat in the station's medical bay being attended to by a clinical nurse.after surviving his ordeal against Admiral Basshu, a feeling of pride swept through him as he remembered the Admiral's face after his injury. He rubbed his neck after a nurse administered a nanite spray to the wound area. After breathing deeply Vidius entered the room, smiling and holding a datapad.
Galvorus - Come for more tests, professor?
Vidius chuckled, but nodded afterwards. Galvorus tilted his head and sighed, dreading the idea of yet more tests.
Vidius - How did it feel to put such improvements to practice?
Galvorus - it felt... good. The look on the Admiral's face when he realised he needed a stronger blade to pierce my scales was priceless. I felt stronger, better, more powerful.
Vidius - Any discomfort?
Galvorus - Having thicker skin did take some getting used to, but I think i'm okay now.
Vidius - I see, there is definitely a strong correlation between skin suppleness and flexibility.
Galvorus - Professor you should probably ask one of the marines how it felt. They took the most advantage out of them.
Vidius - There are several of the 912th either in bodybags or on Dexia Prime so there may be some difficulty.
Galvorus stood up from the medical table he was sitting on, landing heavily on the floor before glaring right into Vidius' eyes.
Galvorus - What happened to Dexia... tell me!
Vidius - It was.... L-lost.
Galvorus - You said there were marines there, what happened to them!?
Vidius - They're either dead or in the wilderness, they had to evacuate the major settlements to make sure the TIAF did not cause too much collateral damage.
Galvorus - Collateral damage? Those houseless deserve to pay for their atrocities! What of the fleet!?
Vidius - Captured, the surviving crews are currently in POW camps as far as we can tell.
Galvorus - Well then, let's find them.
Vidius - We are still working to locate the TIAF's base of operations, once that is done we can mount an offenceive, you need to calm down.
Galvorus - Calm down? I watched as a missile tore the Renagantus apart! Instantly killing the admiral and his entire bridge crew!
Vidius - No I mean you have a lot of adrenalin being pumped through yuor system, it could have an adverse effect on your implants-
Galvorus grunts before picking up Vidius by the collar, lifting him off the ground leaving his legs to dangle. Fearful of his life, Vidius clutched Galvorus' arms in vain, looking down he saw a slight darkening in the colouration of Galvorus' scales.
Galvorus - The cult was right when they said you shouldn't tamper with what the lifefather created for us!
Vidius - I'm... doing this... For all of us...
Galvorus - You're just like every other certificate-waving know-it-all on the science council - All you care about is fame and 'progress', with not a care whos' lives you are changing but your own'.
Vidius - Secureity team.. to medical...
Two marines armed with stun guns entered in response. Seeing what Galvorus was doing they gasped in horror, left speechless as he stood there in the middle of the room with Vidius hoisted in the air. He snarled and they fired in response, he let go of Vidius as the shots impacted his body, convulsing from the surge of electricity before collapsing to the floor. Vidius gasped as he stood up, looking at Galvorus' body with both concern and interest.
Marine - Orders, professor.
Vidius - I want to make sure the shots did not affect the nanites, take him to the lab for my assistants to run some tests. I dread to think what would happen if such technology went rogue.
Marine - Understood.
The marines haul away the unconscious commander down to the laboratories. Certain thoughts clouded Vidius's mind: What if Morphis went rogue? could even a single nanite cause severe damage to the user? and would the user simply be killed or become something else? His mind then recalled seeing the change; Galvorus' scales were thickening visibly, could this have been from his own mindset at the time or something proggressive?
Vidius returned to his office, his head was flooded with concerns over his pet project. He slumped it on the desk, groaning. His idealistic vision of a better Draconis was fading as he hit more practical problems.
Weeks later and Vidius had finally managed to rouse himself from his quarters. He headed down to the tech labs the station comamnder had provided him to find Galvorus restrained to a chair. As he entered in a hazmat suit the commander snarled at him, glaring. Noticing this focus, vidius did not see the Terradixian lab tech approach him.
Assistant - Professor, I am glad to see you are here.
Vidius - Gah! Please. don't do that again.
Assistant - So sorry sir, forgive me.
Vidius - I've been on edge, how is he?
Assistant - He's stable, but the nanites seem to be agitated.
Vidius - What do you mean?
Assistant - Well, your idea to control them through a link to the CNS seems to include factors that relate to the brain.
Vidius - I just want to know: How exactly did an adrenaline rush trigger scale hardening?
Assistant - My supervisor can tell you more...
The lab tech guides Vidius to an ageing Draconis in an office alcove, the old man smiles seeing Vidius. Vidius, in turn, did the same noticing it was Davindus Dremnus - a former lecturer on nanotechnology. Davindus turns in his chair and adopts a relaxed pose.
Davindus - Vidius Senvinus... My, my it has been some time hasn't it. Wasn't it only a century ago I gave you some friendly words of advice?
Vidius - "Technology's only limit is in the application" I remember.
Davindus - Quite the role-reversal I must say. What can I help you with?
Assistant - Professor Senvinus would like an update on the subject, sir.
Davindus - I think Vidius can speak for himself, don't you have work to do?
The Terradixian nods and leaves the two of them alone in the office, attending to a computer terminal near to the restrained military officer.
Davindus - Honestly Vidius, what were you thinking studying that man?!
Vidius - Professor?
Davindus - Hardening scales is only the start, if tests are right his muscle mass is increasing and he's undergoing adrenal imbalance. This man's own emotions are shifting his metabolism and anatomy into overdrive!
Vidius - And that means-
Davindus - It means if we're not careful, he becomes an irrational killing machine before suffering cardiac arrest. And no, injecting a drug will not help his condition.
Vidius - This outcome was not in any of the tests...
Davindus - I've read his psyche profile, he is prone to fits of rage. How many test subjects did you have again?
Vidius - *mutters* two-hundred-thousand.
Davindus - I'm sorry? Did you just say two hundred-
Vidius - Thousand, yes! The council wanted conclusive results and I did not want to fail them.
Davindus - This is still a new field, cybernetics has advanced but we have yet to understand the nanotech-level.
Vidius - What in the void am I supposed to do? The heart of the man strapped to that chair could burst any day because of me, how can I live with my self knowing that!
Davindus - Vidius...there is always outside help... The academy has connections outside the Imperium. See if the UNO can help.
Vidius - Your logic on that idea is...?
Davindus - They have something just like Morphis, they've perfected it. Perhaps they could help.
Vidius - No disprespect, but I think they're a little preoccupied for a single scientist and his top-secret project. I can't even tell my family of this.
Davindus - Vidius. Sometimes to be a great man, you must break the rules.
Davindus inserts a holodisk into his console and draws several files into it, waiting a few minutes before pulling it out and handing it to Vidius.
Davindus - Take this to them, this will help them with working out our problem.
Vidius - For the record, professor; You owe me for this.
Davindus - As if the education I gave you wasn't enough...
Vidius nodded and walked out of the room, looking back as his old lecturer returned to work. When he returned to his office he decided it would be safer to send a message locally and chartered a transport to the Imperium's Borealis colonies later that day. Upon arriving at a hotel in the sector capital of Derevas Prime he linked up a holographic channel to UNOL. Valzo and the Kralgon Emperor appeared on the other end.
Vidius - Greetings UNOL, my name is professor Vidius Senvinus of the Alcanti Royal Academy of Science. I was wondering if you could help us?
Valzo - Ah, hello there. I'm sure you're aware of who we are, so there's no need for an introduction on our part - although Tuolog and Feldosia I'm not sure the Draconis have seen before. As for your help, it would depend on what help in particular you want.
Vidius - The academy is working on a new echnology and have placed me in charge. Unfortunately despite our knowledge we have hit complications. I am providing you with exam data on one Commander Galvorus.
Kralgon Emperor - Science department? Well, me, King Thylaxiz and the Tralkik Commander will assist you then, along with Tuolog.
Vidius provided a projection of commander Glavorus, along with lifesigns and a projection of the Morphis nanite. Hromone levels were indeed spiking.
Vidius - We call the technology 'Morphis'. It is a advanced form of nanotech cybernetics not too dissimilar from what you call the System. Galvorus has been suffering side effects brought on by the neural interfacing link to the nanites, our current understanding his emotions are triggering an adverse effects in the nanites that, as one of m collegues had put it "kicked his system into overdrive". Metabolic rates as well as various hormone levels have increased. While this effect was desireable he is losing control.
Kralgon Emperor - Ah, I'm familiar with this issue. Some biological organisms seem to 'reject' this technology. We've previously tried to adapt the body to suit the nanotechnology with genetic modification, but an easier way is to adapt the nanotechnology to suit the neural and biological activity first and then the technology can then work around all these issues, and nanotechnology can control release of hormones and neurone.
Vidius - That makes sense; have some nanites directly controlled and some autonomous to keep the body in check.
Kralgon Emperor - Exactly. Years of research have taught us this.
Vidius pondered for a bit.
Vidius - The method you suggest would make integration slightly more complex unless I can somehow get the Imperium to repeal or modify the laws regarding self-replicating nanos. Which, knowing most of the military council, would be never.
Kralgon Emperor - Laws, of course, will always interfere with developments such as these, of course. However, to persuade them to change the laws, you'd probably need to show him perhaps how effective your research can realistically be.
Vidius - We have been working on this thing for a long time, but the Imperium has 15 consecutive years' worth of archives that show the downsides to reproductive nanites.
Tralkik Commander - There are many downsides to reproductive nanites, but those which are glitches and faults in the systems we've managed to fix ourselves. Could you highlight those which have brought up issues?
Vidius - Eighty years ago the Imperium fought a 15-year-long war against a faction who used them quite libberally. Were it not for the Imperial Talon navy those nanites could ahve stripped and devoured every planet in the sector.
Tralkik Commander - Ah, so you see the reproductive nanites' disadvantage because of how they are used. Well, can the Imperium not make specific agreements that, should your research be well-monitored, you can develop in a more liberal way?
Vidius - The Paragon himself ended up hating the concept. Teh senate at the time had come to the conclusion that if the algorithms were never developed, there would be no risk.
Tralkik Commander - Then there are some apparently serious complications.
Vidius - Paragon Uriel saw the worst of it, they say his brother was half-devoured by a swarm.
Tuolog spoke up.
Tuolog - Ah, psychology. I think I help with this. So they not accept your ideas because of fear of nanites?
Vidius - Nanites in-and-of themselves are accepted, we even use them in medicine. It's just the idea that they can make more of themselves that scares people.
Tuolog - And this all past experiences? The mind needs to move on from past to see future. A slow, monitored and steady development avoids these problems.
Vidius - Being naurally-long lived has the added consequence from long view. We Draconis like things slow. The problem is that also makes it hard for us to move on.
Tuolog - Moving on is something difficult for the mind to do, yes. But it not impossible, and when the mind is to move on, development occurs. Evolution occurs. You would not be like you are now were it not for development.
Vidius - That was the whole reason for the development of Morphis.
Tuolog - Exactly. But it sounds like your leaders not accept as they not understand this view.
Vidius - If the science council did not approve then i would not be here. Several council members see the economic and social benefits.
Tuolog - But they not the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about the ones who hold you back in this instance.
Vidius - You've been helpful with my first dilema, perhaps Morphis could change the public's opinion of cybernetics.
Tuolog - Of course. It definately show people the bright side of things they fear.
Vidius - I will inform my colleagues of your suggestions. You have been very helpful today gentlemen, and ladies.
Valzo - It's all right, we're all glad to help. Good luck!
Vidius turned off the projector, inhaling deeply and breathing a heaved sigh of relief. But UNO was right, it wasn't jut the technical limitations that were holding back Morphis' development. The Imeprium needed to accept the consequences of the Mecha-Wasp war and move on. More time was needed and more tests had to be done. A few days later he returned to Andromeda to discuss his findings.
When he returned to the labs he discovered Galvorus's condition was getting worse. He approached Davindus with a worried look, holding the redord disk with the UNO dialogue. Davindus turned to him and is handed the disk.
Vidius - UNO were happy to help our situation. I have everything on record.
Davindus - I'm not sure how much tranquisiliser we can pump him with. This information had better work or else the council would consider repealing your permit if they ever discover this.
Vidius - I'm sure the council are aware that there is always risk.
Davindus - That may be true but we are trying to stop a man having a heart attack.
Vidius - We may have to work to modify or repeal laws regarding reproductive nanites.
Davindus - Are you insane?
Vidius - Professor, it's been eighty years since the war. We need to let this paranoia go.
Davindus - I'm one of the supporters Vidius. Those damnable wasps took my last wife from me and I am glad the counci lagrees such tech is too much od a risk.
Vidius - Professor...
Davindus - You were not in the sector at the time, you didn't see what was going on, you did not see the havok they caused. Reports came in of entire worlds being consumed by swarms. Billions died Vidius, no-one in witnessing or previous generations wants to be reminded of that!
Vidius - We either convince people to have nano-forge implants, maintainence or this. You are the senior scientist so make a decision!
Davindus paused for a moment, unsure what to say. Vidius looked at him dissapointingly. Davindus returned to his office unsure what ro do next.
A few days later Vidius was in his office in the upepr station's levels looking over reports of how, with the new software refinements, Galvorus was recovering. A knock was heard on the door to his office, atandingi n the entrance way was Davindus.
Davindus - I'm sorry I snapped. You were elsewhere when the war started, you couldn't have known what it was really like.
Vidius - Do you want to talk?
Davindus - Actually no. I have a few conenctions in the science council, perhaps i could run your options by them. One option is against a stigma, another is against law and the third relies on state-regulated dependance. It seems that UNO have the right idea and rigorous testing needs to be performed.
Vidius - You'd do that?
Davindus - I watch and take in the news, everyone else is using the technology and you're right. We are getting left behind. I will see if I can talk to the council, meanwhile you continue working. This kind of technolongy is the future Vidius, I can see why you have faith in it.
Vidius - Right... Right.
Davindus left the room after his brief visit. Vidius returned to his notes, studying them carefully. Over the next few days the scientists continued to work. A week later vidius was called to the software labs after being told of a peculiar discovery.
He looked at the data that had arrived at the hub used by the project's information network.
Vidius - How is the project going?
Technician - UNO's improvements are fitting in well, no sign of anomolies and Torvos is recovering nicely.
Vidius - This is good. How long before he can return to active duty?
Technician - I would give him another week sir.
Vidius noticed an influx of information relating to certain enhancements. All the information came from a conflict in Borealis.
Vidius - Wh-wa-what's it doing? Should it be outsourcing data like that?
Technician - We noticed. We're refining the situational data using field studies. Theoretically we can refine the programming and reactive progress.
Vidius - So you're giving the nanites the ability to learn and connect? Sounds dangerous to me
Technician - Not exactly professor. The nanite colonies are isolated per colony, the only conenction they get is to hubs like this which are under our complete control. We had some I.T. specialists refine the code so the only outgoing information is to refine current programming. What's more conenctions will be less dependant on a network.
Vidius - Good. I do not want to create a network that could disturb people. Mprhis is a stepping-stone to a new era, not the sudden end of a long journey.
Technician - Understood professor. How long before we can begin public distribution?
Vidius - We are closing on finalising the product. I am currently hunting for a distributor but if things go well we should have science council approval within the month
The technicians nodded. Vidius smiled at the influx of data he was seeing. The potential of a new era dawned in his mind, as he returned to his office he was reminded of his ancestors and how they had harnessed the energy from black holes. Their desgins had opened a lid that could never be shut again and he was about to start something similar.
Children of the Flesh
One and a half months had passed since Vidius began having thoughts of a new golden age. The science council had approved of Morphis for military distribution and by now roughly 20% (at least 110 trillion soldiers) of the Imperium's legions are augmented with Morphis. It had even been agreed for the auxillaries to benefit from the nanite infusion. Military bases around the imperium offered Morphis during checkups and news was slowly leaking out on the Exonet of a new procedure to undergo during recruitment.
The council had decided that only soldiers on permenant service were to recieve the nanites for the time being but already the news of it was becoming widespread. Vidius was in his office aboard the station, looking over thei nformation. Over a month ago he had agreed with Tanvan N-Tech, a nanotechnology producer, to be one of the government-leased corporations to manufacture Morphis. What the Imperium ahd doen in a month was termendous as the population equivilents of small empires had been administered. The thought of what could ahppen if things went wrong barely crossed his mind and he was too focused on the good news.
Within the dpeths of local networks there was conflict. Anti-morphis groups were rising, claiming that it was a form of cheating, that people who took it were signing away their former selves. More radical groups were proclaiming that Morphis was another way to turn the Imperium's finest into automated drones, spreading stories that Morphis could be used for mind control, reality control, government illusions, one of these groups called themselves the "children of the flesh" and their influence was growing in the outer rim colonies. However they, alongwith other radicals, had not escaped the attention of Domestic Security - the Imperium's internal police force.
A Commander's Reservations
Commander Galvorus had recovered from the imperfactions his Morphis colony had. He rested in his quarters on the station but he was far from happy. He sat on the side of his bed and drummed his fingers against the back of his hand. Nothing the doctors could do could make him feel comfortable, he had not felt like himself ever since he recieved the technology. As he sat steaming a soldier knocked on his door. He grunted as a sign for the person to come in. A marine entered and gave a nod ot the commander.
Marine - Something bothering you, sir?
Galvorus - Yeah something is bothering me. It's these damnable nanos they're giving us.
Marine - They're not too bad are they?
Galvorus - You had the refined stuff. Me... rrrah I just don't feel myself.
Marine - Commander this stuff is new.
Galvorus - Soldier let me let you in on a secret: We were never given a choice! I don't know why command chose us but we were kept a good deal in the dark. I don't like it, why should our superiors keep us in the dark.
Galvorus growled and looked away from the marine.
Galvorus - I feel like a lab-rat, a constant victim to these braniacs' poking and prodding and digging. I am a living being, we should not have ot be treated like this!
Marine - Sir... I thought we were doing this for the good of the Imperium?
Galvorus - HAH! That's a load of kranndung and you'd know it if you opened your eyes.
The marine stepped backward hesitantly
Marine - Commander are you sure you're feeling okay?
Galvorus - Those doctors don't know a thing... They say I am a portrait of perfect health but I feel like i'm in someone else's body. I feel like a monster.
Marine - Commander, we're all going through the same. A few rouch patches and I am sure things will improve.
Galvorus - Yeah-yeah, I'll believe that when I see it.
The marine nodded and left Galvorus alone, quietly closing the door behind him. The latter rested on his stomach after the marine left and muttered things in High Dracid as he lay down.
As the marine walked out he bumped into Vidius who was heading in the other direction. After stumbling, the marine helped Vidius picked his things up.
Marine - Sorry professor-- I didn't see you.
Vidius - That's okay, these things can takea knock or two. What were you doing anyway?
Marine - I was just seeing the commander sir.
Vidius - Excellent, how is he feeling?
Marine - Quite frankly professor, not himself apparently.
Vidius - Hmm... Might schedule hime for another ex--
The marine held up his hand and interrupted Vidius.
Marine - Maybe we should give the commander a break from testing?
Vidius - Hmm... you're right. Perhaps this problem will resolve itself. I can always examine video footage in the meantime.
The marine nodded and Vidius continued walking after giving the marine a brief pat on the back and an accompanying smile.