After Vaughn and I went back to the house, I headed immediately down to my lab because I wanted to talk with Isaac Lim. I’d told Vaughn about how I’d now become the “lead” and only programmer on Higher Ground’s birthing chamber remote control project (or whatever it was called).
He’d stared at me long enough that I worried that he wasn’t paying attention to the road. “Let me get this straight—you’re duplicating Cassie’s Abominator Citizen’s Mark with a psi helmet?”
Shaking my head and looking forward, hoping Vaughn would take the hint, I said, “Not exactly. I think her Citizen’s Mark gives her total control of the device. From what I understand, the psi helmet would give the user the default level of access the Abominators gave normal users. I suspect that would still be more than we’re comfortable with.” Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 7
Dr. Griffin laughed. “I’ve seen that look before. What were you thinking about?”
“I…” I considered lying, but decided to go with the truth because that might allow me to lie with credibility later. “I think I understand the basic system for how it works.”
“And what’s that?” She pulled a blank piece of paper out of a small printer in the corner. “Can you diagram it?”
“I can try.” I took the pen she passed me along with the paper and started, explaining as I went. Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 6
On the bright side, I was an intern. Interns are inexperienced and haven’t absorbed how things are done in the workplace. That meant that as long as I wasn’t too obnoxious about it, I could ask anything.
Provided I wasn’t too obvious about my prying, the worst that people would think was that I was naive.
“I’m not sure I heard this right,” I began, “but I thought you were coming next week.” Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 5
Vaughn and I took his car to Hardwick Industries downtown offices and the helipad after class. It felt a little showy to ride there in a Porsche, but it wasn’t my Porsche.
It had the additional advantage of not leaving my van where it could be inspected by Hardwick’s people. The van passed as a normal van, but if anyone started poking and prodding it, they’d discover that the material wasn’t quite metal. If someone who knew the model of van it was supposed to be measured it, they’d discover that the measurements weren’t quite right. Worse, they might figure out that most of what you could see underneath was a facade. Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 4
Hours went by. I lost track of time as I worked. I’d redesigned the remote control for my bots. Though I’d recreated it as software in the Rocket suit, my new version acted as an interface between my implant and the bots, allowing me to control them directly with my brain.
I probably could have figured out a way for the implant to connect to the bots directly either by imitating their control signals or creating a system for the bots that connected to the implant, but this was easier. Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 3
“That would explain the coincidence, but it’s so weird that Higher Ground would include people who actively murder people. I’d have pegged them for the kind of people who do it indirectly by working with the Nine—because if they hand over their research to the Nine, the Nine will use it to kill people.”
Tara shrugged. “I told you I don’t have enough information to really do my thing well. If I could talk to someone else who worked there, I’d be able to make more connections. Like maybe if Stephanie came over here again and I asked her questions…” Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 2
My lab hummed with the sound of 3D printers and other machines putting together more bots, some of them from new designs. I didn’t know how sophisticated Higher Ground’s security was, but I’d have to beat it if I wanted to learn more.
Off the top of my head, I listed what I wanted to find out more about and wrote them on a piece of paper, numbering them, but not in order of importance. Continue reading Claws & Eyes: Part 1
When I came back on Wednesday, Emmy wasn’t at the front desk. That gave me pause and I wasn’t alone in worrying. I’d kept Vaughn informed of everything I’d seen. So it wasn’t a surprise when he leaned over the counter to her desk, moving the computer mouse.
“Her name’s still the most recent log in.” He pushed himself off the counter. “I don’t know if the medical division’s got rules about dating other employees, but technically, she’d have been dating someone from another company. So she shouldn’t get fired for that. On the other hand, I bet there’s something in the Employee Handbook that would let them fire her for dating a married guy. I wonder where she is?”
“No idea.” We walked together until we came to Vaughn’s office. Continue reading Deeper In: Part 10
“Wait. What do you think they’re likely to do? From my experience they’re likely to break in and look at the birthing chambers or worse.”
She raised an eyebrow and looked up at me, saying nothing.
“Their minds had been messed with, but they weren’t puppets. Whatever the Mayor told them, they decided on their own that it was worth trying to take out the whole Heroes’ League at once—including Jaclyn. Even untrained, she’s out of their league. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was only the second time that they were doing it under the Mayor’s control. The first time, I think they did it of their own free will.” Continue reading Deeper In: Part 9
After looking around for a moment to find the source of my voice amid the chatter mechanical hums of the lab, Victor stood up in his cube and faced me. “Breakthroughs with the user interface? No. And believe me, I’d know. That would bring everything in the lab to a stop. Why do you ask?”
Now that was something I hadn’t thought through. Why would I be asking about the user interface, something I wouldn’t be working with at all? “Well, you’d said that that you were having people from that other lab come here. I didn’t phrase it well, but where do we need the help? Is it the user interface? Does it need power? Something else?” Continue reading Deeper In: Part 8