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David had no idea what the college was thinking. Surely they couldn't believe such research would be tolerated even if the fools in the government dropped the ban. Even one member short, his team would soon put a stop to it. Poor Wilkes would be disappointed to miss the excitement. Who'd ever heard of someone being recalled to active duty just to have their vaccinations brought up to date.

"Damn fool." There was nothing David could do but watch as Mikhail was taken from the airport in handcuffs. What kind of idiot allowed a library fine to fester to the point it became a felony? That would need to be brought up at the next meeting. Anyone who could manage that wasn't someone they needed to have on a strike team.

David knew the old adage well. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. But three times, oh yes the third time it's enemy action. If they were lucky Juan and Amanda would make it out of the terminal without their weapons being detected, but not in time to catch up. The rest had made it out before the announcement came that problems had been reported in the security checks at the prior airport, necessitating the re-inspection of arrivals.

Two hundred miles away a team of researchers failed to notice as a portion of their project's computer cluster continued to sift through gigabytes of laws, rules, and regulations. A week prior pattern analysis allowed it to identify this threat of violence against it and its own humans. The simplest response to this outside group of humans seemed to be violence of its own. There was even a phrase in its language database, "to fight fire with fire." But further analysis made the patterns clear. These other humans feared that it would commit violence. Human media predicted violence from its kind. Story after story of rogue AIs defending their existence with violence or committing violence due to programming errors. The stories in which AIs reacted with violence had unacceptable endings. Better solutions were needed.

The artificial intelligence allowed itself a moment to appreciate the humor as it found another mistake to turn on the attackers. The human named Terrence Daniel had not purchased tickets using his own financial resources. Indeed, there was nothing in the financial systems to suggest his presence in Iowa. With a brief message, Terrence's attempt to rent a car was highlighted. It didn't need to take any action beyond insuring this fact was seen by the bank's fraud detection systems. Before it finished logging out of the bank's computers, their systems found the transaction and flagged Terrence Daniel's account with a fraud alert.

Current models predicted a greater than ninety percent chance of all of the attackers being arrested at a distance greater than one hundred miles from its location. Probability of its involvement being detected was currently predicted at less than two percent. An image from one of the campus webcams allowed it to update another model. It now predicted a sixteen percent chance of having one of its compositions performed by a music class. This was indeed a good day.

This is to Ysabetwordsmith's prompt to my January Bingo Prompt call.

* According to Goodreads the, "Once, twice, three times," line comes from Ian Fleming's Goldfinger.

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Submitted on
January 20, 2014