Wednesday found me attending classes and quietly wishing I had a lab on campus like I had when I’d been in the Castle Rock Compound for the summer. I’d spent Tuesday evening back in the lab in the Heroes’ League’s headquarters watching my bot factories build robots, and loading them into my “assist pods.”
Then I let the pods float into the air, dispersing bots to their assigned lamp posts and telephone poles.
All of it went without a hitch despite the fact that it was 99% automated.
The notion of bots making surveillance devices and distributing them with barely any human involvement probably would have worried anyone into privacy issues and maybe it should have bothered me.
It did, a little bit.
I’d taken a required social science class last spring though (Psychology 101), and in response to a question about how a study was done, the professor mentioned that filming what was going on in a public space was completely legal.
I imagined that people might be bothered by the broad scale of what I was recording, but I was in the clear legally. Anyway, I’d only set the spybots to record people whose speed appeared to match someone who was robbing people.
You could argue that “We didn’t invade your privacy nearly as much as we could have,” is not nearly as inspiring as not doing so at all, but I was okay with it.
Also, by way of getting down to business on tracking Kid Biohack, I followed Jeremy’s advice and subscribed to Kid Biohack’s feed.
An update would set off alarms that had a good chance of waking me up if I were asleep.
On Wednesday night then, I found myself in my room. I’d eaten dinner in the cafeteria with Haley and Camille. Haley had been going through Freshman orientation over the weekend and first couple days of the week. She and Camille were going to be attending a party with a group of other girls from their dorm that night.
When I asked if she wanted me to come along, Camille frowned, and Haley said, “I’d
like you to come along, but none of the other girls have boyfriends at Grand Lake. So it would feel a little weird. I’m mostly going because I don’t want them to get in trouble. I’ve never been able to get drunk, so, at least, one of us will be able to keep her head.”
Jeremy didn’t have classes on Wednesday night, so he disappeared with some other guys. He stopped at the door. “You sure you don’t want to come? A couple friends of mine are living in a house off campus. I think the plan is boardgames, but it may just be hanging out and talking. You should do more than just… Well, you know.”
“I’ll be fine. I’m actually kind of ready to be alone for a night.”
Jeremy cocked his head and walked out the door. “Okay. I’ll see you later.”
By 10:47pm, I was most of the way through The Martian. I’d been intending to read it during the summer, but circumstances had never been right. By “circumstances had never been right” I mean that I’d put too much work in on the pods plus extra-curricular activities like nearly getting killed by a dragon.
As the main character of the story stripped his ship of everything non-essential in preparation for his final launch, a knock came from my door.
I opened it to find Vaughn standing in the hall. “Mind if I come in?”
Vaughn grinned up at me. Maybe an inch or two shorter, Vaughn used to look a little heavier than I had, but this summer’s intense training program had done him some obvious good. He wore a black t-shirt and jeans. His chest muscles were fairly obvious under the shirt. His arms were well defined too.
I didn’t plan to mention it, but he did look a little more like his grandfather had in old Heroes’ League pictures.
“Sure,” I said. “You did more working out than I realized during the summer.”
Vaughn shook his head. “I don’t think so, but I may have gotten more of an effect.”
He shut the door. “Anyway, you should look at yourself in the mirror sometime. So, what are you doing?”
I shrugged and held up the book. “Reading. Haley’s out with some people from her dorm.”
Vaughn nodded. “I saw the movie. Is that much different?”
“I dunno. I missed that in the theater, and I don’t think it’s on Netflix.”
“Ok,” Vaughn looked toward the door, and then back to me. “I’ve been talking to Amy over the phone, and she and Samita have been doing some research on The Thing That Eats. She’d like to have a meeting on the next Stapledon weekend.”
“Fine with me. Pass it on to the group. We’ve got to do something with that even if we just pass it on to the adults.”
Vaughn shook his head. “I’m pretty sure Amy won’t want to pass it on. Ancestral enemy, you know?”
“Right,” I began, and then my phone started ringing along with my laptop and tablet.
“The hell?” Vaughn looked around the room, probably trying to figure out the source of the noise.
“Kid Biohack,” I said.