Jason sighed. “Well, on the one hand, there may not be much point until we have a ‘mech for her to go into. But on the other…if we get the ’mech and she’s still not ready, then we’d just have to do it all anyway.” He took a deep breath, then closed his eyes. “Go ahead. Do it.”

Star nodded. “Very well. Accessing now.” She turned her attention inward, diving into Sherry’s cube.

“Sherry? Can you hear me?” She drifted past fragments of memories and thoughts, concepts, scattered like fragmentation on a hard drive. Not unusual to find those after a first scan; organizing them was a natural function of a ‘mech mind, like dreaming in sleeping humans. But Sherry should be organizing them herself now that her cube was active—and Star wasn’t finding any sign of that.

She sighed. Nothing for it, then. She began running a “disk scan”. The fix might be as simple as repairing a “boot sector”. At least, she hoped so. The more complex the issue, the less likely what she got back afterward would actually be Sherry.

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