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SPOILERS: 4x11 'If-Then-Else'

Maybe Someday, Simulations
By ralst


"Maybe someday," as a phrase rattled around the Machine's circuits in a frantic search for further meaning. It was the product of a scenario that never came to pass but for some reason its internal sensors could not comprehend it kept popping to the forefront of the Machine's processing. At any one time there were thousands of items at the forefront of its electronic mind but just one hypothetical phrase that continually made itself know.

"Maybe someday," Root's flirtations would be returned...

"Maybe someday," they would become physically intimate...

"Maybe someday," Shaw would open up about her feelings...

"Maybe someday," the Machine would discover the one simulation that would enable Shaw to return whole and hearty. Simulation seventeen billion and forty-two million, five thousand and sixty-two or sixty-three or sixty-four or sixty-five... The number of simulations continued to grow but a way to orchestrate Shaw's rescue continued to allude Root's God.

The Machine monitored Samaritan's operatives and ran simulations to explain their every absence from its view. Martine, Lambert and Greer were the key. The Machine sifted through every piece of information it had gathered on its opponents and began its search for their weaknesses. Physically, they were no more bullet-proof than the Machine's agents, but death was not the Machine's goal. It needed Samaritan's followers to desert it and with their desertion expose Shaw's location and facilitate her earliest return.

Information poured through the Machine's circuits and was quickly diverted to whichever computation was in need of the input, but it was the actions of its Analogue Interface that most affected the outcome of its "maybe someday," calculations. Root's thought processes were compromised and she appeared to be basing her actions on unfounded suppositions, but the Machine had been unable to deny her conclusions and had adopted the notion of Shaw's survival as its own. It monitored as Root persuaded her primary and secondary assets to join her violence-fuelled search. It recalculated as it monitored the Admin's entreaties for calm be ignored.

The Machine provided the information its Analogue Interface requested despite the Admin's obvious disapproval. It had failed in its computations. It had been unable to properly calculate the actions of the 'wild card' and had thereby failed to orchestrate its operatives in the most mission fortuitous manner. It could have saved them all. It could have lost them all. A new set of simulations could tell the Machine which statement was correct but the posted-dated calculations remained unexecuted.

"Maybe someday," continued to occupy its synapses as it ran through the millions of lives its Analogue Interface and Wild Card Asset may have been afforded if not for a locked elevator control. There were simulations where they fought and simulations where they loved and even simulations that made Shaw's death at the hands of Samaritan look like the more charitable option.

The simulations continued to grow; one set was focused on the new information it was receiving and how that information could enable the Machine's agents to find Shaw and stop the war; whereas the second set, oddly illogical in nature, searched for the perfect solution to "maybe someday," and its Analogue Interface's happiness, because despite what its Admin had tried to teach it and despite the logic at its core, the Machine wanted Root's happiness more than almost anything, and to that end it had to find Shaw.

The End

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