“OK,” Chris said. “Let’s see what he’s got in the inventory. I don’t even know half of what’s here.”
He opened up another program, some kind of parts database, and we scrolled down the list. It felt weird at how ordinary it was. Like a whole lot of businesses out there, Man-machine’s database program appeared to be based on Microsoft Access.
Along with more typical parts categories like cables, and chassis, it included the category “weapons” with subcategories like “standard,” “lasers,” and “special.”
I didn’t recognize half the guns. The lasers included a few interesting things, but the “special” category was crazy.
Not only did it include powered hand to hand weapons that would make a Japanese animation proud (swords, battle axes, whips…), but also versions of the paralysis device, and some more interesting things.
“Goo guns?” I pointed at the top of the screen.
Chris clicked on it. “I never noticed that.”
The details included range, space needed for storing ammunition, and the antidote.
“That’s wild,” I said. “Did you ever hear of Future Knight? He’s a hero on the east side of the state. I think he’s around Detroit or something. Works with Red Bolt.”
“That jerk? Yeah. I got questioned by him last fall. Remember?”
“Right. Well, the League fought him because the mayor got into his head or something, and he had a goo gun too. He stopped a bunch of us because no one could get away without ripping away huge chunks of skin. His also had a separate chemical that dissolved the bonds.”
“Damn. That’s strange. Where do you think he got it?”
“The story is he’s some kind of future cop who came back to the past. I always figured it was standard issue in the future.”
“Nick, where do you think he gets refills?”
“I never thought about it. His goo gun matches all the other stuff, so I’m pretty sure it’s not from our time. Where did your grandfather get it? Did he invent it?”
“No. It says here he gets shipments from… Syndicate L.”
“Oh, great. I wonder if it means that your grandfather’s student came up with the stuff? You know, like he did the paralysis devices, and the Ball, and all those mechs.”
Chris shrugged. “No idea, but it’d make sense. Hey, you know what would be funny? What if Future Knight gave the goo to Syndicate L in the first place because they could make more and he needed refills?”
“That doesn’t seem like him. I never got to know him, but he didn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d hand over future tech to a criminal organization.”
Besides, the whole thing opened up some seriously headache inducing possibilities.
“The other reason I’m hoping he didn’t,” I continued, “is the question of who invented it in the first place. If it was Syndicate L, you’ve got an infinite loop.”
“Oh yeah,” Chris said. “Time travel screws up everything.”
As Chris pointed out other interesting possibilities in the special section, I zoned out a little, wondering about Future Knight’s supposed origin.
What did it say about the future if cops wore powered armor, and carried swords, laser rifles, and an adhesive capable of containing supers? More interesting, where did they get their stuff? I’d noticed that Future Knight’s armor looked like it might descend at least a little from grandpa’s designs, but it clearly used Man-machine’s general philosophy about power sources.
Not to mention the fact that Syndicate L appeared to be the source for the goo gun.
Of course, Future Knight’s armor might not actually be from the future, but then it might mean that Future Knight was in Syndicate L’s pocket now.
Interrupting Chris’ description of an EMP device, I said, “Goo gun. I think I’ll need one. Is there a lot of ammo? I’ve got a feeling we’ll have a hard time getting more from Syndicate L.”
“Well…” He gave me an annoyed look, but scrolled to the goo gun information. “Twenty cases of the stuff.”
“That’s good. Goo guns for sure, probably a laser, a paralysis gun and… I think it’s got to be able to move fast. I doubt you’ve got any armor they can’t rip apart, so if I can get away from them, that’d be best.”
“OK,” Chris said, “let’s start putting this into the design.”
“Also,” I said, “I think we’ll need two. We’re going to have someone coordinating us from HQ, and I think she might need some help to escape if someone manages to get in.”
“Two? I guess. It’s just going to take longer.”
Then Chris and I started adding elements into the CAD program, balancing the power needs of the devices versus how long I thought I’d need to have armor last before charging or replacing the batteries.
Eventually, we came to an agreement, and started to build. Even under the circumstances, it was fun.
Just as we started pulling cables, an alarm rang.
“Someone’s found the back door,” Chris said.