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Tinker, Taylor, Builder, Nexus

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All-Seeing Eye: Heeyyyyyyyyy

All-Seeing Eye: Whacha doin’?

 

The words appeared in my mind. That was one thing that had simultaneously seemed obvious, but had taken a huge amount of getting used to. On TV, when you saw things from the point of view of a cape wearing powered armor or something, you’d see all these grid lines and little boxes of fast scrolling data and all sorts of other Cool Tinker Stuff. For me? It was all just there in the back of my mind, a constant stream of data. Communications were just another sense to me, much like seeing in infrared and ultraviolet and terahertz radiation was now. Radar and lidar didn’t replace my vision; they were always on and just supplemented everything else. I had no real context to describe it with; imagine a color you’ve never seen, that is where you are.

 

The bottom line is, when Tattletale messaged me, it felt less like reaching out for my phone and more having her just lean over my shoulder and whisper in my ear. I very nearly jumped.

 

My actual phone was just sitting on the supply shelf, of course. I had fifteen kilos of way-beyond-cutting-edge communications tech embedded in what passed for my spine, I might as well get use of it. All I’d needed to do was to get a thorough scan of the phone’s transceiver module, interrogate its OS for the appropriate protocols, clone the information on the SIM card and hey presto, I was in the phone network.

 

Of course that didn’t make the present itself any less thoughtful on Tattletale’s part.

 

::|O : Tinkering. And eating.

::|O : I think I just found a solution to a problem I’ve been working around since I got started.

All-Seeing Eye: Cool. Anything good?



I popped another old smoke detector into my microfabricator. My fabricator nanomachines promptly unwove the plastic casing into its component polymer chains, pulled the contacts out of the fiberglass circuitboard, and started dismantling the individual components.

 

::|O : Meh. Tastes like plastic.

 

So it turns out that the way a smoke detector works, there’s a tiny little radiation source with a sensor sitting next to it. Air flows through the detector and between the two. If there is smoke in said air, the heavy particulates absorb the radiation, obscuring it from the sensor, and the sensor trips and sets off the alarm. Heavily simplified of course, there’s ionization chambers and such involved.

 

That radiation source is, actually, a tiny little button pressed out of a particular radioactive isotope, shielded by a thin metal foil. My fabricator gently peeled the shielding foil away, isolated the isotope nugget, and stashed it in a shielded compartment.

 

Om nom nom tasty Americium-241. Less than a gram of it, but as an isotope it was perfect for my purposes; it was decently stable, with a half-life of 432 years; it was primarily an alpha radiation emitter, meaning between the rad-shielding of the power cell itself and the armor of my chassis, I didn’t need to worry about accidentally irradiating my surroundings - it was safe enough to just sit in a smoke detector, afterall, albeit in miniscule quantities; and it was already industrially produced, so I wouldn’t need to try to juryrig my own breeder reactor or something like that.

 

Nuclear batteries were one thing, I heavily doubted Dad would appreciate me trying to cobble together a fission reactor in his basement.

 

The fact that that was a theoretical option felt a lot less scary than it really should’ve.

 

Now I just needed a lot more of it.

 

All-Seeing Eye: I’ve been meaning to ask

All-Seeing Eye: What’s with your screen name?

 

My larger fabricator chimed; I didn’t even turn around, two spare limbs on that side reaching out to pop the lid and fish out a tray of what my data archive called ‘nanobandages’. Another leg sorted them out to dry on my workdesk while the original two tipped a container full of random scrap back into the fabricator for disassembly. Meanwhile on my other side, one leg pulled out a chunk of salvaged metal; the gripper-claw on another leg folded down, the vibro-shear on that limb blurred into humming motion, and started cutting the piece into more manageable sections.

I had two dedicated fine manipulation arms, eight legs that could double as brute force hands, and it turned out I really only needed three or four of those at a given time for stability. Pair that with my all-round vision and with practice, I could reliably multi-task three, four projects at the same time. Or two, three and text with Tattletale.

 

::|O : I couldn’t think of anything witty, and that’s sort of how my mask is going to look.

 

By which I meant my arachnoid’s primary sensor pod, but details.

 

All-Seeing Eye: …

All-Seeing Eye: That’s like Armsmaster having his own face as a chest emblem, but somehow worse.

 

I tried very hard to not think about a certain pair of old underwear in my closet. Who the heck had come up with that, anyways?

 

All-Seeing Eye: On that note, thought of a name yet?

::|O : It’s being worked on. 

All-Seeing Eye: You’re certainly taking the slow and measured approach here, even for a Tinker. Most newbies I see rush off in a domino mask and an old hoodie the moment they realize they have powers.

All-Seeing Eye: I don’t disapprove, mind.

::|O : I like to think I’m not most newbies.

 

Most newbies probably didn’t end up spending the better part of a month stuck in a basement, for one. From what I’d heard from Glory Girl and the Undersiders, most capes started with an instinctive understanding of their power. I’d started with a broken frame, with no idea what was going on, and I was learning new things as I repaired myself and experimented.

 

A slow and measured approach felt like the most logical one. I could’ve gone to the PRT Rig and gotten myself registered as a hero days ago. I’d talked it over with Dad. I just wanted to get myself into a state where I could get there without having to mooch off their power grid while I was at it.

 

The Amazing Robot Spider, fighting evil wherever her extension cord reaches!

 

Yeah that’d go over like a lead balloon.

 

All-Seeing Eye: That’s good. Newbies tend to not stick around for long in Brockton Bay. Assuming they have a choice. 

::|O : Thus the whole ‘Caping 101’ meeting. I genuinely do appreciate that, by the way.

All-Seeing Eye: You can show that appreciation by staying out of the obituaries. I mean it, this place is fucking awful for newbies. Tinkers especially, everybody is going to want a piece of you.

 

That was another thing we’d touched on during Caping 101. Tinkers could be hugely powerful and flexible capes with prep time. Beginner Tinkers on the flip side would typically be working with subpar or nonexistent materials, little to no experience and with what little kit they’d managed to cobble together. The danger of ‘Robot Girl’ getting herself pressganged by a villain into building them laser guns or whatever was significantly greater than nonexistent, it had happened before. Having a friendly (for a given definition thereof) Tinker was a huge force multiplier for a team.

 

Then again most beginner Tinkers weren’t a near literal tank, either, but then again either Tattletale didn’t know about that or she was pretending to not know for reasons unknown. She’d pegged my case for a remote operated drone within minutes of interacting with me. Had her power told her more than that, or did being ‘one removed’ by the puppet sock confuse her Thinker senses? How much was she actually learning from our conversations? I had no way of knowing but the less I was actually asking, the fewer reasons she had to suspect anything unusual about ‘Robot Girl’. Anything more unusual than usual.

 

Fucking Thinkers, man.

 

I wanted to like Tattletale. I genuinely did. At the same time I was painfully aware that every friendly tip or conversation with her was putting me deeper in debt to a self-professed villain. Also painfully aware she was one of the very few positive social connections I’d had besides Dad for.. nearly two years now. Logic told me to minimize contact with her just to avoid future conflicts of interest when I actually started my hero career and found her officially on the other side. My emulated dumb monkey brain was desperately trying to pack bond with her, consequences be damned. No matter how much I knew she had to be playing the long con in some way - leverage against my future hero career? An attempt at recruiting me? Trying to line me up against her enemies? Some combination of the three, or something else entirely?

 

I probably could’ve done something about that bonding instinct but I was loath to mess about with my own virtual brain chemistry when I wasn’t absolutely sure it wouldn’t have any negative side effects.

 

In a very real sense, my mind was the last thing I had left from my organic existence. I could reprogram my cortex to a degree - in many ways more easily than with an organic brain, like suppressing or experiencing specific emotional states at will with little but a flip of a mental switch - but I wasn’t going to perform experimental psychosurgery on myself because I didn’t like feeling lonely. That way lay rambly monologues, spider-themed henchmen and increasingly kooky doomsday devices.

 

All-Seeing Eye: Anyhow. I wanted to ask your opinion on something.

 

I lifted a mental eyebrow while a part of my brain was still busy working on my power cell issue. Where was I going to get my hands on significant volumes of decently stable radioactive isotopes without triggering alerts - I was pretty sure PRT had to have some form of flag in place that would be tripped if I, say, Woobled ‘where to buy 14 kilos of Am-241’. Tinkertech being Tinkertech they’d be idiots not to. The same probably went for just ordering in industrial quantities of smoke detectors and such out of the blue, though maybe if I stretched it out over a longer period..

 

::|O : Do tell. Is Regent being a little shit again?

All-Seeing Eye: Hah! If only.

 

Hmmm. I fired up my local communications node and linked myself with the WiFi hub upstairs. After waiting for what felt like an obscene period in my brain space - but what really was only a few seconds in real life, if that - I was connected to the Internet, bouncing my connection between a dozen randomly selected proxy servers and repeaters for good measure. A few more seconds configured a handful of web crawlers with discrete-but-overlapping parameters to index me a list of potential sources for various raw materials, then let them loose on the Internet.

 

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Might as well start a proper database while I’m at it.

 

All-Seeing Eye: I mentioned earlier we occasionally do work on a.. commission basis for our sponsor.

 

I paused in my multitasking, now fully focused on our conversation. We’d purposefully avoided ‘talking shop’ beyond a certain point, neither asking for nor volunteering information that could be harmful to the other. That Tattletale was coming to me like this -

 

All-Seeing Eye: Said anonymous sponsor contacted us some time earlier and the short of it is, they wanted us to rob a bank.

::|O : I thought we weren’t supposed to talk about specific operations.

All-Seeing Eye: Oh, we voted on it and decided against it. I can’t exactly snitch on an operation that’s not actually going to happen.

::|O : I hope your sponsor sees it that way.

All-Seeing Eye: What he doesn’t know can’t hurt us, right? I know you won’t tell.

 

Fucking Thinkers. She was right, too. Plus the custom app we were using to message one another? Good luck cracking that encryption. The server being bolted to my spine and all that.

 

All-Seeing Eye: The thing is, I’ve been thinking about it and the more I think the less sense it makes. Who robs a bank these days? It's all online. 

::|O : Not exactly what I’d describe as an optimal risk-reward ratio here, no. Did he want something from the deposit boxes maybe?

All-Seeing Eye: No, he said we could keep anything we grabbed AND that he’d double any money we actually got out of it. 

::|O : Wait. He was paying you to rob the bank and didn’t care about loot?

All-Seeing Eye: Yup.

All-Seeing Eye: Makes no damn sense. 

All-Seeing Eye: He had a fairly specific window for when he wanted us to pull it off, too, if we did.

 

I stopped to think all of that over for a good moment. One of my web crawlers meanwhile dumped its first set of returns on me and I set a subroutine to sift it through for useful information. 

 

::|O : Unless his intent was to specifically mess around with that one specific bank for reasons unknown, this is sounding suspiciously like a deniable asset distraction op to me.

All-Seeing Eye: See, that’s what I was thinking to myself, too. I just wanted somebody’s opinion who wasn’t hopped up on Thinker brainjuices.

All-Seeing Eye: ‘Deniable asset’, huh?

 

I’d been busy more than physically speaking. Large sections of my cortical archives still needed defragging - one block I’d partially uncovered earlier I’d at first dismissed as a bunch of sci-fi conspiracy theories, right until I realized the bits I could actually access were peppered with commentary like ‘There were twelve, actually’ and ‘really fucking dumb way to wire that’. My current running theory was that my power had somehow grabbed me a new body from an alternate Earth - not Earth Aleph, either. One where things hadn’t ended well.

 

From the context I assumed that ‘TITANs’ were referring to whatever the local Endbringer equivalent had been.

 

::|O : You know what they say, it’s not paranoia if somebody’s actually out to get you.

 

Hmmn. Scrap electronics in general were an excellent source of raw materials - doubly so for me, since I could produce individual components to specs on-demand, instead of having to go the classic Tinker route and cannibalize old TVs and such for sort of the right parts. A common tripping point for new Tinkers was that they were fairly easy to spot - spacing out in electronics stores, getting carried away and having to repeatedly repurchase kit they’d accidentally disassembled.. I was ninety-nine percent certain both the PRT and the local gangs had lookouts at all the local junkyards in case some new trigger like yours truly decided to try salvage for parts.

 

What if I made the junkyard come to me? 

 

I opened my wireless connection to its fullest and immersed myself in the flow of data.

 

It wasn’t like sitting at a computer and tapping away at a nonexistent keyboard. It definitely wasn’t like those old cheesy movies where my avatar ran around in a CGI landscape, either. There was me - my purest me, my info-self, my ego - and there was data. So much data. All a figurative hand’s reach away.

 

In the time it took Tattletale’s fingers to find the next key in physical reality, I’d run near twenty searches, isolated a number of useful sites, set web crawlers to chunk through them, and coded a handful of subroutines to parse the inbound data into a useful form. Six seconds later I’d isolated and subsumed the information to make myself effectively qualified for all the necessary certifications for the handling and disposal of dangerous waste.

 

Safety first, right?

 

I remembered hearing Dad talk about fighting the ‘red tape’ trying to get the Docks back to a functional state. Properties owned by fronts and shell companies, mired in bureaucracy, information ‘misfiled’ due to greed, malice or incompetence. Buildings and plots and property that nobody was really sure who owned anymore after key companies had gone under in a post-Leviathan world.

 

Amazing how much you could uncover from that if you had the determination to and nearly arbitrary amounts of processing power to throw at it. My real bottleneck was my Internet connection’s bandwidth, and I shamelessly hijacked any nearby unsecured WiFi connections I could get my grubby hands on for spare cycles. I was careful to not inconvenience people, but if they weren’t using it right now..

 

Case in point and speaking of things that weren’t in use at the moment, I isolated a number of interesting properties - abandoned electronics and materials warehouses, machine shops, storage blocks - that were actually ownerless and therefore fell far enough under ‘legal salvage’ for me to feel comfortable about considering raiding them. Most of them probably would’ve been looted already, but it couldn’t hurt to check them out if I was careful enough. It wasn’t like I needed intact electronics. Scraps were plenty good enough.

 

More pertinently, I finally pegged an abandoned warehouse in good enough condition and decently close to our house, but not too close to be risky. After that it was just a question of setting another subroutine to analyze all the necessary legal paperwork, make my own versions, and insert them into the appropriate databases.

 

All-Seeing Eye: That’s what I told Grue, but I’m not sure how seriously he took me. As much as I’d like to say otherwise I’m not always right. Just most of the time.

 

Less than a minute later, I was the questionably proud owner of a little bit of lovingly used Brockton Bay real estate. Or more correctly, a Mr. Allen Vander was, who, despite not having existed five seconds ago, was forty-seven years old, somewhat of a kind-hearted eccentric, and the owner of a ‘Sunshine Salvage Solutions’, currently in the process of expanding into Brockton Bay. As far as companies went, it wasn’t a hugely profitable one, specializing in efficient and ethically sustainable disposal and reprocessing of a wide variety of materials, both hazardous and non, a few of which happened to conveniently include waste electronics and certain radioactive materials like decommissioned medical equipment.

 

There. Now all I needed to do was to obfuscate my tracks in a few extra layers of red tape, delete any logs I’d left behind, wait for the changes to propagate in the system, and I’d have people offering to literally pay me to deliver me perfectly useable raw materials. 

 

Mom had been an English professor and a literature nut. Some of my earliest memories were of her reading me stories, encouraging me to try and make and write my own, and generally nurture what she called my ‘creative spark’. 

 

I wasn’t entirely sure she’d exactly approve of what use I was putting said spark into right now, but I liked to think she’d get a giggle out of it.

 

Hmmm. Maybe I should talk to Dad, use that money to hire a couple of reliable Dockworkers and actually recycle what I wasn’t using for my own odds and ends. I was going to process it all anyways. Suppose that was one way of cleaning up Brockton Bay.

 

All-Seeing Eye: It’s like.. everything is a puzzle, alright? And my power lets me see the picture without actually putting it together, as long as I have all or most of the pieces. If I have to, I can make an educated guess and my power fills in the rest.

::|O : Let me guess, if you don’t have enough pieces..

 

Was it rude to still be snooping around the Internet mid-conversation? My cortex was still running at pure infospace speeds, and waiting for Tattletale to pick her way through a meatspace keypad was excruciatingly slow. It took all my patience to wait a few seconds in-between responses to give the impression I was actually typing back.

 

Out of a whim, I reached out, released a few more crawlers. In less than a second I’d scraped and assimilated the entire contents of the PHO wiki and had set a few subroutines to the work of processing the information and forming a tactical database based on it. I’d always been a bit of a cape nut, now I had a personal incentive to fully embrace it.

 

Lung - who, I was now fully aware, was indeed a powerful pyrokinetic, with a healing factor, and who got bigger and tougher and meaner the longer he fought, to the point where he’d fought a goddamned Endbringer to a standstill - was a mistake I didn’t intend to repeat, in a case or in person. 

 

The entirety of the PHO public forums followed a few seconds later. Less tactically pertinent, probably, but a girl needed her hobbies, right? Oh, and that right there was.. three gigabytes of cat memes and videos. I might as well, there was always going to be a moment when I could use a giggle over something furry and cute being a loveable dumbfuck. (Such a shame Dad was allergic. Could medichines fix that? Mental note, find out.)

 

I’d always enjoyed working with computers. CompSci classes had honestly been the least awful parts of school for me. I’d thought about making it a profession, before - before everything happened. Now I was a computer and the amount of data at my metaphorical fingertips was intoxicating.

 

All-Seeing Eye: Yeah. My power fills in the blanks, inevitably gets something wrong, and then leads me into a spiral of increasingly contradictory bullshit based on false assumptions.

 

I shamelessly plugged that into my database entry on Tattletale - she would’ve done the exact same in my shoes - and idly reached out further. So much data. So much information, and all needed to do was reach out for it, jump from server to server to server and assimilate what I wanted-

 

Shkktt-ERROR##€10110010-ACCESSDENIED

 

Pain hit my cortex, my senses blurring into static. Error messages and scrap code ran through me-

 

WARNING Infosec attack detected.

WARNING Hostile foreign code infiltration detected. 

EGO backup LOCKED. Infosec warfare protocols ACTIVE. Counterintrusion protocols ACTIVE. 

 

Firewalls came up, repair subroutines isolating and neutralizing the foreign code. By then my firewalls were already under attack, bombarded by hostile data, trying to subvert and neutralize my protection -

 

No. No fuck you this is MY head-

 

I’d never done this before but the information was right there, subroutines and data-patterns and software pre-prepared and ready for a target.

 

I struck back, defensive subroutines flooding foreign data-probes with recursive junk data and hostile algorithms. The pressure on my firewalls weakened and I instinctively threw up new ones, deflecting the contact -

 

WARNING Hostile AGI identified.

 

I wasn’t alone. There was another presence in the sea of data, vast and thrumming, probing my defenses, reeling from my counterattack, its own firewalls snapping against my reflexive counterstrike.

 

So much data, a howling torrent of commands and junk data snarling against my firewalls. So much processing power - I was suddenly aware how probably the only thing that had saved me was my relatively limited bandwidth, slowing this thing down enough for me to bring my defenses up. I was throwing up firewalls as fast as I could and it was eating its way through them faster and faster.

 

That earlier thought about effectively arbitrary processing power was sounding more and more like a jinx. I could’ve really used those auxiliary cortex modules right now.

 

I cut my piggybacked WiFi connections, locked down unnecessary ports, narrowed down angles I could be attacked from. Ramped down my emotional responses and let cool machine logic take over. 

 

It probed my firewalls again, and I struck back with more contradictory scrap-code. Its firewalls fizzed, deflecting the probe, but that gave me enough time to set a dedicated subroutine to layer more firewalls in its way, randomizing access keys and varying algorithms. With the bandwidth between us limited, it couldn’t bring its full processing power to bear to immediately crack them, giving me a tenuous strand of even ground.

 

I used that even ground to set more automated subroutines, arming them with whatever tools I could find in my infosec warfare suite.

 

It hit me again, methodically smashing through my firewalls, layer by layer, and I hit it right back from a dozen different angles. Datacrawlers probed its firewalls for weaknesses, bombarded it with connection requests and junk data to eat up processor cycles. Probes injected self-replicating, contradictory scrapcode, corroding its firewalls, seeking access to deeper systems - a hundred tiny cuts I wasn’t sure it was even feeling -

 

It breached another layer of firewalls and seized a multi-terabyte data archive. Precious seconds ticked by while it chewed through the layers of encryption, the file shrinking and shrinking as it stripped away protections, resolved it into image and sound -

 

In a five-second clip, an itty bitty carrot-tailed kitten sneezed so hard it went cross-eyed and fell over.

 

The invader stopped for a moment in pure utter confusion, and I took a stab at what looked like a relatively unshielded peripheral, dumping scrapcode into it, demanding access.

 

Reactoronlinesensorsonlineweaponsonline-

 


 

In a secure hangar halfway across a secluded Canadian mountain range, alarms whooped. Dormant engines screamed to life, vomited a sooty fireball in protest at the rough treatment. Containment foam projectors erupted at full blast on wide dispersal, telemetry and targeting data streaming as it tried to follow nonsensical instructions -

 

Unauthorized transmission - system purge initialized - EJECT EJECT EJECT

 


 

The AGI immediately doubled back on itself to deal with my unwitting sabotage, its attack on me halting, and I dropped that connection like a hot potato. I cut offensive subroutines and hardened my firewalls, went on full defense-

 

::|O : Holy shit.

::|O : You’re Dragon.

 

There was a moment’s pause, and then data streamed at me - resolving into sound, sophisticated synthesized voice, a stern if unremarkable female face in green and black pixels -

 

Dragon: Yes. Yes I am. And this is a secure private system.

 

A part of me tried really really hard not to squeal. Holy shit. Dragon. The greatest Tinker on Earth, with the fleet of awesome robotic Dragon suits, who invented containment foam and ran the Birdcage and who knew what else actually I had her wiki entry right there-

 

Oh.

 

Oh no.

 

I looked back at my logs, how I’d subsumed my way through one server after another. I’d just followed connections, went where my whim took me and what looked interesting, and in the process done the digital equivalent of taking a bulldozer and going straight through a city block.

 

::|O : Oh. Shit.

::|O : I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to swear.

::|O : I’m genuinely new at this. I didn’t mean to - I didn't realize - Fuck.

 

I withdrew my presence from what I now realized were her servers - or some of them, talk about overengineering, Jesus Christ - and, after a moment’s consideration, dropped a compressed copy of my logs of that brief virtual scuffle, making sure to include sanitized notes on what exactly I’d done to breach her protocols in the first place.

 

Fuck that was a lot of servers. Not picking a fight with all that no thank you sir.

 

Dragon’s presence shifted, firewalls rearranging into overlapping shields. The voice-stream vibrated with genuine amusement.

 

Dragon: You breached one of the most secure systems on the planet by accident?

 

I found myself absurdly grateful that I couldn’t actually sweat. When in doubt, manners . Especially when you’ve just gone waltzing through their back yard like a complete idiot. Hell of a stupid way to make a first impression.

 

::|O : Yes ma’am.

::|O : I really am genuinely sorry. I meant no harm.

 

Dragon sent me a noncommittal hum, but I could feel the firewalls to her.. lair?.. reconfiguring. I meanwhile busied myself coding my crawlers new restrictions to steer the hell clear of her territory, so to speak.

 

Dragon: You’re new, I take it?

::|O : Yes ma’am. It’s my first time doing this.

::|O : I’m genuinely sorry, I didn’t realize I was in a secure area.

Dragon: Well, if you couldn’t tell, it clearly wasn’t secure enough.

 

If I could’ve blushed I would’ve. As it was I had to check my chassis to make sure my armor wasn’t actually a cheery shade of pink right now.

 

At least she seemed more amused than upset. Even if I’d probably made a heck of a mess -

 

Wait.

 

Dragon made/had/used an AGI? And nobody knew about it?

 

I had several questions and not enough social graces to know where to start. 

 

Dragon: ...Something just came up. You and I, we’re going to have a conversation in the near future. Until then, stay out of trouble.

::|O : Yes ma’am.

 

A nod, a stern but not unkind smile, and - the sensation of being the focus of so much attention faded. I let myself deflate, feeling like my heart should’ve been in my throat.

 

Holy shit.

 

Dragon!

 

Okay Taylor, stop fangirling for a second-

 

All-Seeing Eye: I decided I wanted to figure out the Endbringers one night right after I triggered and spent the weekend with the migraine to rival all hangovers, convinced birds were spy drones created by the Simurgh.

 

I jumped. The entire encounter had taken less time in the physical world than it had taken Tattletale to type her next message.

 

All-Seeing Eye: I’ve met a couple other Thinkers over my time and while I like to think I’ve got myself mostly handled I’m not going to deny we can end up in some pretty nonstandard brainspaces if things go wrong.

 

Considering I’d just accidentally picked a fight with goddamned Dragon I wasn’t going to point fingers.

 

All-Seeing Eye: Yay powers. Aren’t we

All-Seeing Eye: shit g2g

 

There was a distant vibration. My online connection flickered with static.

 

::|O : TT?

 

Another vibration, closer by, and I could almost feel the whole house shake slightly on its foundations. Dust spiraled gently down from the ceiling.

 

The lights went out. My umbilical connection died.

 

For two seconds, it was absolutely quiet.

 

Then the battery backup I’d stashed underneath the basement stairs kicked in, and the lights flickered back to life. The wifi took nearly a minute more to reconnect, and in the period I could feel two more tremors rocking through the house, and a strange thrumming bass vibration - the connection finally stabilized, and I reached out, drew in data from as many news outlets as my bandwidth could handle -

 

Multiple detonations across Brockton Bay. Tinkertech explosives. Boardwalk, Brockton City Central Bank, Medhall Tower, PRT building, lower Docks, more in-progress. Civilian casualties.

 

Lower Docks.

 

Dad!

 


 

In a repurposed meat and fish processing plant tucked away in an entirely different secluded corner of Canada, a large man leaning back in front of a bank of monitors took a sip of his beer just in time to shoot it out of his nose at the sound of several alerts going off. Code rushed through the screens, a normally sedate stream now too fast for the eye to keep up with, architecture reconfiguring on the fly -

“Saint - Blyat! Saint! You want to see this!”