I tested the satellite bot for a while, and then I started to think about the next generation of roachbot. I’d started out creating armor with the nanotech I’d designed, but I ought to be using it to construct roachbots. If I did it right, I’d only have to perfect a design, and then I’d be able to create hundreds if not thousands of them trivially.
Better yet, it would probably make for a faster design process since I’d be able to do the work within a CAD program instead of physically constructing every version.
Ignoring the voices in my head that suspected that it wouldn’t be that easy in the end, I started listing what I’d need to do to start that project on my laptop.
By the time I heard another knock on the wall, I’d gone deeply into it, and felt like I had a general understanding of the process.
Turning toward the noise, I saw Daniel, Izzy, and Haley stepping into the lab. Daniel and Izzy were expected. Haley wasn’t so much, but I had told her about it.
I knew Izzy wanted to talk about the project over the weekend. It made sense if everyone who knew about the project was in on it.
That was my thought, Daniel told me.
“Is it safe to talk about this here?”
“I’ll be able to tell if anyone can hear us,” Daniel said.
Haley pulled up a chair and sat next to me. “Izzy and I will both be able to hear if anyone’s coming.”
She had a point. Haley could hear somebody’s heartbeat speed up from more than ten feet away. As good as Haley’s hearing was, Izzy could not only hear if our names were mentioned on different levels of the complex, but also reconstruct a map of the whole place in her head from the echoes.
Izzy pulled up a chair across from me as Daniel sat next to her.
“So,” Izzy said, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen, “we’ve got everyone, and we have a plan. The plan is, if I’ve got this right, to release roachbots and do an Edward Snowden to the Turkmenistan regime. We’re going to avoid violence, and we’re not going to give up. If this doesn’t work, we’ll try another approach. Anything else?”
“We’re not going to tell anybody that it’s us,” I said.
“We’re going to get my dad’s okay after we’ve got the information, and before releasing anything,” Daniel added. “If he’s not okay with it, we’ll stop.”
Izzy nodded. “But we’ll try something else.”
Daniel paused, but then said, “Yes, but I don’t know what. We might have to go public as heroes, and add our support to whatever Amnesty International’s doing.”
Haley tilted her head as she listened to Daniel. “We had an Amnesty International group in our parish. it seemed like all they did was ask us to sign letters.”
Izzy put down her pen as she began to answer, talking more quickly as she gathered steam. “It’s more than that. We try to make people aware of issues of globalization and–”
“I didn’t know you were in it,” Haley said.
Izzy nodded. “I’m in a lot of groups.”
Daniel smiled at her. “I can’t believe you still have time for school too. Or me.”
Izzy met his eyes. “It’s not as bad as it sounds.”
Haley bit her lip. “Do I have what you’re doing right? Izzy’s flying in the roachbots, and then Nick’s going to send them into the presidential palace. What’s after that?”
“Listening,” I said, “but beyond that it depends on what we find out.”
Haley looked up at me. “What language do they speak in Turkmenistan?”
I thought about it. “I think it might be Turkmen, but I’m not sure. I was hoping we might find someone in your class who could translate.”
Haley pursed her lips. “That’s a big thing to leave open. I don’t think anyone can do that.”
I sighed. “This all came up out of nowhere. Well, the good news is at least the tech part of this is taken care of. Kind of. I’ve got the roachbots nearly ready. I need to show the satellite bot to Dr. Nation, so that he sees I’m making progress on my project, but after that Izzy can take it.”
Daniel lifted his hand. “Hey, if Izzy’s flying over there, she’ll need a disguise. I know she’d be flying quickly, but if someone does recognize her, there could be problems.”
“Right,” I said. “The Nine might be involved with the regime. Good point. Maybe I could work up a black nanobot suit for her.”
Izzy looked up from writing notes. “The Nine are involved? Then we need to do this, but you’re right. Make the suit. I don’t want to attract their attention.”
Haley glanced over at me. I guessed she must be thinking about how we’d fought them in the fall, but she didn’t say anything.
When we’d fought Rook, the Nine’s agent, he’d used nerve gas and nuclear weapons to defend his base. Out of proportion barely described his actions.
Well, if Haley wasn’t going to say anything, I decided to respond. “I’ll start work on the suit next. I’ve been working on one for everybody on the team anyway. Does this mean we’re done? I think we’ve covered everything major.”
Izzy added something to her notepad, and said, “I think that’s everything. What about everyone else?”
Haley tapped the table, and we all looked at her. “Sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to do that, but I did think of something. What about everyone else? Vaughn, Cassie, Jaclyn, and everyone else in the League? If this works, great, but if it doesn’t, and if it gets out, they’ll look bad too, and they’ll feel bad because no one told them.”
I shrugged. “The less people who know, the less likely anyone will find out.”
Daniel shook his head. “She’s right. They deserve to know. There are people in the program and in the super community in general who would love to make the League look bad.”
I frowned. “Really? Who?”
It was Daniel’s turn to shrug. “Different people have different reasons. It’s something we should talk about if we have a team meeting about this.”
Sighing, I glanced at the satellite bot. Now there was one more obstacle before sending it out. At the same time, I had an idea.
“You know who might be able to figure out the language problem? Bloodmaiden.”