Remote Control: Part 3

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.”

16 thoughts on “Remote Control: Part 3”

  1. And now, off to bed for me. Remember to vote for Legion (and any other web serial you like) on Top Web Fiction if you’re so inclined.

    In other matters, still eding Legion: book 2 for the Kickstarter. Closer to done now, but not as close as I’d like.

    That said, the cover looks great. I’ll share it at some point in the not too distant future.

  2. Couldn’t tthe jet translate? Maybe not the translations on the stuff they make public, but just for the ones reviewing the footage it should be fine.

  3. This doesn’t read quite right to me:

    “thinking about we’d fought them in the fall”

    maybe “how”?

  4. The League Jet AI would be a much safer bet than Amy, provided Nick can communicate with it from the compound. Depends on if they want to do it as soon as possible or wait until they get back home.

  5. Would be nice to know what the AI does all day. And what it wants.

    it would be smart to let it check for cyber attacks and put it in charge of the roachbots

  6. All those precautions against being heard sound great on the surface, but really it’s only insurance against someone casually eavesdropping. There are people around them with their own amazing powers. Not to mention that they are discussing deploying supertech listening devices in the middle of a lab utilized by many supertech geniuses and provided partially by the government. (Or if you want to get really paranoid, what are the odds the Nine have sneaked someone into the program?)

    However, one could say that they aren’t *that* concerned with being overheard. They don’t consider it a life or death matter.

  7. Daniel smiled at her. “I can’t believe you have still have time for school too. Or me.”

    Looks like you have an extra have in this sentence. Also, nice update, keep them coming ^_^

  8. Error:“So,” Izzy said, pulling out and pad of paper and pen

    Fixed:“So,” Izzy said, pulling out a pad of paper and pen

  9. “So,” Izzy said, pulling out and pad of paper and pen
    Correction? pulling out a pad of paper and a pen

  10. I hate doing this in comments, but the line right at the end is just, super awkward. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone use ‘aka’ in that manner- it would be more likely that Nick would either be [i]thinking[/i] ‘aka Bloodmaiden’ or just say “Amy. That is, Bloodmaiden” or something like that.

  11. I agree with Anvildude. The last sentence seems a little odd. Everyone there knows who Bloodmaiden is, except possibly Daniel. Daniel could easily understand who Nick was talking about simply by looking at surface thoughts of the other three to see who she is.

  12. As for having the jet to translator duty, that’s a pretty decent idea.

    One thing I am worried about with the jet though. Is it a true AI? If it is a true AI, it should have it’s own goals. It should want to improve itself.

    The jet is significantly older than Nick, if I remember right. It might be as much as seventy or so years old, perhaps older. The jet was not mentioned in the bits about World War II or the introduction of Man Machine and the original Rocket. It was mentioned in Larry’s Island Adventure.

    Even if the AI experiences life at the same pace as humans, it’s been around a long time. If it experiences life at an accelerated pace, well, it’s potentially ancient in mental terms.

    How stable is it? Does it have it’s own goals? Has Nick ever asked it what it wants? I could see this whole scenario leading to another arc where Nick has to deal with the jet and accept it as either a member of the league, or as an individual who has rights.

    1. Oops. I constantly misremember Snowden’s first name in real life. No surprise that it shows up here too.

      That said, it would be really funny if I never fact checked anything and whenever I got something wrong, I’d just say, “Alternate world. Just one of the weird differences.”

      The trouble is I’d actually have to note each time I did that and do it consistently thereafter–which would actually be more work than trying to be accurate.

  13. I know she’d be flying quickly, but if someone does recognize her. There could be problems.

    Shouldn’t that be a comma instead of a period?

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