For the AtoZ Challenge, I will post an episode of flash fiction featuring an herb for the letter of the day for the month of April. The episodes are glimpses of a larger story. To read from the beginning: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
The controllers had Sybil. Holly tried to concentrate on a solution, but the stress and anxiety of it all overwhelmed her. She needed something stronger than peppermint to level her head.
Shaking fingers opened drawer after drawer until she found Panax quinquefolius, American Ginseng. It might not have an immediate effect, but hopefully if she took it regularly for the next several days she would be able to remain calm and make decisions. At the same time, it would make sure her blood pressure and blood sugar remained level and help her immune system.
She pulled out a chunk of dried root to chew on while she looked for the extract to put in her tea. How was she going to find Sybil if she could not even find a labeled bottle of extract?
That sounded silly since Sybil was everywhere. She created most of the ship. She also managed to keep most of the ship hidden from everyone else. Secrets were her specialty. Holly just needed to find a way to use those secrets to her advantage.
Holly reached for her personal screen—the one Sybil connected to her private database. It may not have a trace on it, but it could see the trace from every other device. Maybe she could discover where the controllers went throughout the day and see if there was a common base or a location they never left unguarded. That would be where she needed to go.
Finding the right terminal would give her access to Sybil directly. She could be blocked behind a firewall and unable to function fully as a result. This would explain the glitches and her inability to communicate with Holly. She was still functioning, just not freely. Maybe the glitches were her attempt at communication. Holly had to find out.