by Izzie Roughton '22
Ink is thrilled to announce the publication of our second serial novel, AI: Apocalyptic Intelligence, with its first chapter, by junior Izzie Roughton. Izzie's writing will be published as a chapter periodically, and readers can follow the book on this website!
Present day: Year 2101
My neck hurt from bending over the rim of my bathtub. The water that swirled across my line of vision was stained green by the dye I was washing from my once pitch black hair.
“Hopefully my neck won't get stuck at this angle,” I said, wincing as I adjusted my position slightly.
“That would be physically impossible. You could twist your bone in a way that could injure it, or you could simply become stiff. You are not yet old enough for common arthritis, so you should not worry. Although, it is quite possible you may become stiff,” a metallic female voice said from my left.
Groaning, but keeping my head tipped back, I sat up.
“I know that, I’m just saying. It could happen.”
A metal robot with a spherical head and feminine body was standing expectantly beside the tub, an instructional pamphlet in her chrome, four-fingered hands.
Devi was a droid, not a robot created by the AI, or really I should say, the Artificial Intelligence. After we lost control of the AI, I guess humans realized they couldn’t live without some sort of robotic help, so they created droids.
I pulled a worn gray towel off a hook on the wall, raising it to my damp hair. I finally straightened my back, sighing with relief as I did so.
“As you can see, you are not stuck.” Devi said, the screen of her mouth flashing into an upturned curve.
I sighed and got to my feet, nodding.
Still rubbing my hair dry with the towel, I stepped from the bathroom, the hiss of the metallic sliding door sounding behind me as it slid shut.
“Hey, Devi?” I asked, turning to face the bathroom door as it opened once more. Devi rolled out, still examining the instruction manual for the hair dye. She lifted her two turquoise dots for eyes to me, blinking. “I’m going out to the porch. My arms are tired. The dome fans are on for our district, so maybe my hair will dry out there.”
“A hair dryer would work as well,” she objected, but I shook my head.
“Nah, it’s fine. I like making things harder for myself,” I said, laughing as I slid open the door to my small balcony. My apartment was on the top floor, so I was treated to an unobstructed view of the streets below me. The pale spider web of streets lay in front of me. They were always emptiest forty-five minutes before rush hour.
A breeze caught my hair as I leaned up against the black rail separating me from the empty space in front of me.
Back in twenty-seventy-four, there was this guy named Lazureth Vereen, and according to the history chips, he claimed that he had discovered a foolproof program that allowed humans to fully control Artificial Intelligence. But, as with every super famous rich scientist from that time period, Lazureth was overconfident, so everything went really wrong, really fast. About twenty years later (so I guess not necessarily fast, but in the grand scheme of things, I consider it fast), the AI started having a mind of their own. From what I learned in school, it was like one giant sci-fi story after that. Without the knowledge of any of the scientists in charge, the AI began working their way through the internet, gaining control of every single aspect of it. Like the idiots we are, we humans didn’t realize until it was too late.
From life as I see it now, living conditions aren’t the worst that they could be. There’s enough clean air and food for everyone, even if all the food was created in some random factory somewhere out of who knows what, but I try not to think about that. Every house is given a water refurbishing pump too, so that it’s possible to reuse quite a bit of the water that is used in everyday life.
Turning over, I leaned my back up against the balcony, the smooth metal pushing into my spine gently. Tilting my head back, I squinted up towards the sky high above me. Through the dull orange haze, I could see the blade of a large fan spinning lazily above me. How screwed would I be if that thing picked right now to fall on my head? I wondered as a curt snort escaped me.
I lived in the central world bubble. It was the biggest dome in the world and had a population size similar to that of those North and South Americas back about one hundred years ago.
“It’s easy to forget I’m living in a big plastic bubble,” I muttered, leaning over the rail to squint down at the street below me.
I’ve never been outside the dome myself. We’re not allowed to leave them, but all the people that were alive during the fifties and earlier still talk about something called a Milky Way that was always in the sky. Truth be told, for a good bit of time I thought that this “Milky Way” was a giant cloud of milk that had somehow gotten into the sky, but I’ve since learned it was actually a bunch of stars. Who knew!? I’ve never seen a real star, only the fake holograph constellations that I used to project on my ceiling when I was younger.
I was still hanging over my balcony railing contemplating existence when Devi rolled onto the balcony behind me.
“Valria, you have about forty-five minutes before you need to go report for duty tonight. Remember, tonight you have-” she began, but I interrupted.
“I’m too busy having an existential crisis. I can’t go,” I whined as I pushed myself up to face Devi. “Also, why can’t you just call me Val? You only have one tone so when you call me Valria, I always think I’m in trouble,” I said. A rush of static escaped the tiny speaker where Devi’s mouth was.
“Why do you not call me Devini? I am a Devini bot. The name I am programmed to respond to would be Devini or Devini093-47,’’ she replied.
“Because I like Devi more! It suits you,” I answered as a gust of metallic-tasting wind from the fans blew through the air.
“I was not programmed to respond to this “Devi” name you keep using when you refer to me,” Devi said, her arms folding.
“I could call you Dev if you don't want to go by Devi,” I teased. Devi’s blue eyes flickered into an exasperated look and I laughed as more air pushed its way down my street.
“Valria, be sure to take in your laundry before you leave. The daily report says that the fans are going to be on high tonight. The street circuit may even be damaged.” Devi said. I groaned.
“Why?” I whined, frowning at Devi.
“Because your clothing could blow away, and that would not be good for either of us.” Devi responded.
“Fine,” I sighed, “you have a point. I guess.”
Pouting, I pulled in my laundry. Although I hated to admit it, if Devi wasn’t here with me, I’d probably be, as that old saying goes, dead in a ditch somewhere.
A soft beeping from a small box on my marble kitchen counter reminded me I had to get ready for work.
“Are you going to get ready?” Devi asked as I entered my bedroom and closed the door. I placed my hand against the scanner on the wall. With a soft chirp, the wall opened with another airy hiss, revealing my closet. “Why is your closet such a mess?” Devi asked from behind me. “Did I not ask you to organize it three days ago?”
“Ah!” I yelped, whirling around. “Who says I didn’t? I totally did!” I objected. “I have a system.”
“Those are piles. Not a system,” Devi argued.
“Okay, but it’s a pile system. Organized chaos,” I pointed out, wagging a finger at Devi.
“That is an oxymoron. Your chaos cannot be organized,” Devi said, surveying my closet and the clothing that lay strewn everywhere. “But now is not the time to worry about that, I suppose,” she sighed. “Get ready.” She wheeled away and I made a face towards her back. “I saw that,” she said as she left the room. This new update makes it so much harder to make faces at her now that she can see behind her!
I pushed back all of my dully identical school uniforms and pulled out a black jumpsuit, black leather jacket, ammo belt and black boots. Ah ha! Look at me now Devi! I’m speedy fast!
Two seconds later, I came hopping out of my room as I pulled on my last boot.
“Right. Okay. Did I forget anything?” I asked, securing my boot with the neon green bindings across the front of it.
“You would know best,” Devi replied from the other side of the room.
“I was talking to myself!” I cried as I began to pat myself down. “Wallet, key card, extra credunits, first aid kit... Oh crap,” I glanced up and scanned the room, “where did I put my guns!?”
“You irresponsibly left them on the coffee table. I was waiting to see how long it would take you to notice,” Devi replied, nodding to the short black table a few feet away from me. “Be safe,” she added as I clipped the handguns to my belt.
“Okay, thanks!” I nodded, wrenching open the door. “I think I should be getting home by the first hour.” Devi nodded.
“Alright then. I will see you when you return,” Devi said, her light up face switching into a smile as the door slammed behind me.
Quickly, I sped down the stairs of my apartment. Don’t fall down the stairs, don’t fall down the stairs, don’t fall down the stairs. Finally I made it to the parking block where my hover bike was waiting for me. It was black with a green circuit design covering the front. The magnolights on the wheels were black and green, something I had arranged to be custom designed for me.
I held up my arm and a holographic image of the dome weather, time, and news sprang from the thin screen on my watch.
“Right, I can still make it on time!” I said, “assuming I’m lucky and time stops for me. Ah! I knew I should have gotten ready sooner!” I cried, swinging my leg over the side of the bike. I reached into my pocket, pulling out a black mask with two small silver filters. There was one on each side, and they rested where my jaw was. I pulled it over my face and nodded. Look at me being responsible. I’m wearing my mask so I don’t die of smog inhalation!
In movies, I’ve definitely seen those motorcycle things, that when you start them, they roar like some crazed android. But not my bike. The only sound it makes is a gentle hum, and that’s when the glowing, neon blue electromagnets come to life.
Speeding out of the parking block and down the street, I took a moment to appreciate the “sky” above me. The orange haze of smog looked like fire in the light of the street lamps on the ground below.
As I continued on, I forced myself to stare straight ahead, ignoring the AI bots that traveled the sidewalks on either side of me. They looked like silver humans, sort of like that silver man with the funnel on his head from that weird old movie. I don’t remember what it’s called, but the guy in the movie had no heart. In the movie, you could tell it was makeup. The real life AI bots were clearly metal, and the backs of their heads were made of plexiglass with a sparking energy in a sphere that crackled and sparked within. I hate the AI, but sometimes I wish my brain was that cool, I sighed.
Unlike Devi or the other human-made droids, the AI cloned themselves. The only way you can tell the difference between a human and an AI bot is that an AI’s hair is metallic silver and their eyes are electric sea green.
I slowed to a stop, now joined by other vehicles with me on the road. Some were hover cars, their inhabitants reading the info screens that spanned the length of their windshield.
All cars were controlled by the AI; that was mainly the reason why I used my bike. For now, the AI hadn’t taken full control over the hoverbikes, at least not in the SuperDome.
I didn’t want to deal with the massive amounts of congested traffic, so like the intellectual I am, I took only side streets to my destination.
I leaned to the side and sped around a corner, coming to a stop in front of a twenty-level building. It was covered in a pale blue glass that illuminated the street below with a faint glow.
I rolled into a parking space and disembarked my bike. My leg got caught and I stumbled, falling flat on the sidewalk.
Cursing, I got to my feet. Nobody saw that! What was there to see? Nothing at all happened! I re-tied my boot laces before I straightened and took a look at the building above me.
Checking my watch, I saw I only had about ten minutes until my meeting was due to start, so without a second thought, I marched through the front door. Vehicles now only work through DNA or retina scans, so I knew my bike wouldn’t be stolen.
The entryway was a high-ceilinged room with a pale purple light that filled the room and washed over the smooth grey floors and walls. The rug that led to the circulation desk was turquoise and soft, although it had clearly been worn down by all the people who wandered around the building like cats.
I reached into my pocket and produced a new mask. Like my other mask, it was black, covered my face and mouth, and had silver filters on each side. However, unlike my other mask, a pale green mouth glowed faintly on the front of it.
Hunters and assassins are required to wear masks at all times when we come to work so our identities can remain as hidden as possible. It also helps when we’re on missions. The air is so polluted now that if one breathes in the air too fast for too long, they could pass out and even die. Androids and AI don’t need oxygen to breathe, so why the hell would they care about what happens to us humans with our weak need for oxygen, huh?
Opening my mouth in a long, wide yawn, I whipped my eyes and switched to my hunter mask. I walked forward to a woman that sat at a desk. She was dressed as a stereotypical secretary. Her graying dirty blonde hair was tied back in a tight bun with not a single hair sticking out from it. Agh... people that are too perfect scare me... Her glasses were covered in blue rhinestones that reflected the glow of her infoscreen as she clicked away at the keyboard in front of her. Computers were outlawed back in the late two-thousand-seventies because they’re connected to the internet, and the last thing we want is for the AI to see what we’re doing.
I stood for a moment, mentally preparing myself for the social interaction I was about to partake in.
“Valria Amera, reporting for the meeting with Jakobi Anvar,” I said after a second of hyping myself up. The secretary squinted at her screen, her long scarlet nails tapping on her desk.
“Ah, yep! I gotcha here. It also says that your shift is due to start after your meeting with Commander Anvar as well. That right?” I nodded.
“Yes...” I mumbled. Just tell me to go already! I don’t want to interact any mooooore!
“Nice to see you Mx. Amera,’’ the secretary said with a warm smile as the door to the right of us buzzed. I nodded to her, forgetting that she could not see my smile.
“Uh, thank you!” I said before rushing away. I pinned my badge to my chest and pushed through the door.
I walked down a hall made of clean white and grey plaster. The purple lights lit the hall here too, although they weren’t as strong.
“Wow, it doesn’t seem too busy here today,” I whispered to myself. My footsteps were soon greeted by more and more footsteps. Haaah... I stand corrected.
As I continued down the hall, I was soon consumed by a crowd of tall, black clad people. Some wore masks, others did not. We were all working here for the same cause though, all trying to take back control from the AI.
“NO! NO! LET GO OF ME!” A deep and faintly mechanical voice cried. I turned, along with everyone else in the vicinity, searching for the source. Seconds later, I found myself getting shoved back by the crowd as they pushed away from the center of the hall, creating a path for two guards and the prisoner that was held between them.
Being only four feet and eleven inches, I couldn’t see over the towering, non-vertically-challenged people around me. After a moment of struggling, I found an opening and pushed my way to the front. The guards were escorting a cyborg in the direction of the detention levels. Wow. That’s actually kinda interesting. This guy’s fighting the chip they put into his head. The AI chips are hard to fight, but he’s doing it. Huh.
There were only two reasons someone would be a cyborg. They were either captured and turned during the final months of the Third World War, or they were much younger, and had been subjected to the AI punishment of turning lawbreakers into Cyborgs.
A chip takes away a human’s ability to think for themself, so... how did he manage to break free of it? I wondered, frowning as I watched the guards pass.
Everyone watched the cyborg in silent disgust as he was dragged by, wailing and screaming at the guards, at us, and at the world, begging to be released. Everyone here hates the AI, Androids and Cyborgs. I can understand the Androids and AI, but why cyborgs? They never asked to be filled with metal. I don’t understand the mentality of ‘they’re not human enough.’ I glared around at the people around me. They’re human. Isn’t that enough?
As the yells of the restrained cyborg faded, everyone began to move about as they did before.
“What the f- agh! Jeez it’s no use, I can never see over anyone here. Is everyone just a frickin bean pole now? Is that it?” I grumbled. I wasn’t used to navigating through the halls. Usually I would enter one of the first rooms in the building for my job, then speed off.
Through the forest of wandering people, I saw a man in a green uniform, and I was relieved. It was one of the commanding officers. Maybe he knows where Anvar’s new office is.
“H-Hey! Excuse me sir!” I called out. The man turned, and I instantly regretted it. Adrian Vos was a balding middle aged man with sharp, icy gray eyes. His gaze was disapproving and wrinkled. He had a long face and a nose that had clearly been broken before. Jeez! Not this guy! I cringed at the sight of him, but also felt anger bubble inside me. This idiot- agh! How did he get to be a commanding officer!? It’s only been about two months and he’s already acting like the king of this place! One day, I swear I’m gonna beat his-
“Oh, Miss Valria,” he sneered. His voice was high and cool, and I flinched as he said my name. Uh, sir, do me a favor and leave. My IQ’s dropping just by co-existing with you.
“Uh... hello,” I responded, my voice had risen to an unnaturally high pitch.
“What is it that you want?” He asked in a bored voice, that edged on annoyed. Well, what I WANT, is for you to get a good kick in the shins, but nothing good’ll come of that. I nodded to him, hoping my eyebrows and eyes conveyed my artificial smile.
“I-I’m looking for Commander Anvar’s office. I know it got moved, but I forgot where,” I laughed harshly. “Actually, I can find it perfectly fine on my own now that I think about it-”
Vos sighed. “Of course. I could expect nothing less from you. Idiot girl.” There it is. THERE IT IS! AGH! It’s 2101, acknowledge I’m non-binary, it won’t kill you! I mouthed a few choice words that I wished I could say out loud to the scumbag in front of me, but rather than ruining my whole career, I kept my eyebrows from tilting down into a glare and said nothing. After a moment, I felt that I could respond without cursing him out on every other syllable, so I allowed myself to speak.
“Sir, if you could point me in the right direction...” I began, but Vos scoffed heavily and rolled his eyes.
“Down the hall, and about four doors to the right. Unless you’re as dumb as you look, you shouldn’t miss it. Even the cadets know where it is now, how come you don’t?”
I slowly inhaled, tightening my fists, fighting the urge to slap him. Sir, you are a grown man. Why are you acting like a petty child!? I thought to myself hotly. Ugh. Whatever. I’m too tired for this. I’ve already lost enough lost brain cells because of you and I don’t need to lose more.
“Thank you,” I replied curtly and turned to go, but Vos grabbed my arm and leaned down towards me and whispered in my ear.
“Why don’t you save yourself a world of pain and accept that you’re a girl, because that’s what you are,” he spat. I could smell his breath, a mixture of warm tuna and cheese. I gagged and fought back a cough. Vos’ breath was so putrid that I was momentarily distracted from the equally foul words escaping him. These masks filter out the smog and chemicals, why can’t they filter this guy’s breath? I took a deep breath through my mouth, turning to stare into Vos’ sneering face.
Red hot fury burned inside me, shooting through my veins like fire. I felt my breath catch in my throat and my eyes widened, my mouth contorting into a furious glare as Vos released me. I stared at him, the rushing sound of my pounding heart and rage filling my ears. I could do it. Right now. I could accidentally kick him and no one would know!
“Please do not say those things. I find it offensive,” I responded as calmly as possible, measuring my words carefully to prevent a curse slipping out.
“What’s this? Is that a threat I hear coming from your mouth?” He asked, his voice chilly with disgusted anger. Wha- huh? Where did you pull ‘threat’ from?
“No, you misunderstand me I think,” I said, chuckling and shaking my head. “I’m only saying you should watch your mouth and where you put it. It smells like you’ve just been kissing a fish. Perhaps one filled with cheese.” I’m so dead. Why did I say that? I was doing so well too! I lamented. Well, it’s just time to start writing a mental will then.
“You little-” as he began, his hands went to the guns holstered at his sides. Stepping back, I made no move to act hostile, but I did keep a hand near one of my guns, ready to use it if necessary, holding the other up in a gesture of peace.
“I don’t think you want to be doing that, Mr. Vos,” I stated, fighting to keep rage out of my own voice and keeping my eyes trained on his holstered guns as if I were a cat observing a mouse. “Forgive me sir, I was out of line. I meant no harm with what I said,” I breathed.
“Watch how you speak to me. Remember, I am your superior now. You should treat your superiors with more respect,” he snarled, before spinning on his heel and storming away, disappearing into the sea of people.
Still seething, I stomped down the hall and turned down a new passage.
Seriously. I don’t get that guy’s problem! Is he allergic to being nice to people or something? I get you don’t like me, but why can’t you just keep it to yourself, dude?
Now beginning to regain my composure, I counted the doors one by one, trying to find Jakobi’s office.
When I came to the correct door, I turned and recounted the doors I had passed, just to double check. I held up my watch and checked the time. I had about five minutes before my meeting. I exhaled and forced myself to calm down. I turned and continued down the hall, keeping a mental note of which door was Commander Jakobi’s. I’m gonna go walk it off for a second.
“It’s just not fair,” I said to myself. “It’s so stupid. I’m still human. We’re all fighting the same war here, aren’t we? That shouldn’t mean I get singlehandedly picked on because of who I am. I’m still one of the best hunters in the Last Defenders, why can’t that fish head see that?”
I continued down the hall, burning in my own thoughts. What makes it so hard for him to understand!? I’m still frickin’ human too, aren’t I!? By default that makes it so that we’re on the same side.
I stopped and turned to a window, my face reflected in it. My orange eyes were reflected back along with my pale green hair. That idiot. I let out a slow breath before I turned, my anger still simmering and bubbling in the pit of my stomach. I would have to allow time for my emotions later, I had more pressing matters that needed attending to. He’s got fish for brains.
When I came face to face with the door to Commander Jakobi’s office, I paused, allowing myself one final second to calm down. Slowly, hands shaking, I knocked on the door. It beeped and slid open with a soft hiss. A tall man with graying brown hair stood with his back to me. He was staring out a large window that took up one whole wall of his office. I watched his reflection carefully and saw his serious expression melt into a gentle grin.
“Valria!” He cried. He was an older man, I think in his mid-fifties. I’ve never asked him before, so I don’t know. He had grey eyes and a soft smile that was accompanied by the wisps of a beard and a few wrinkles around his eyes. He walked forward and smiled, but stopped, his smile faltering slightly, and changing to a look of concern. “Are you okay? You look upset.” I exhaled and nodded my head, once again forgetting that my smile would be hidden under my mask. I hoped that he could tell by my eyes what my expression was.
“I’m good, just tired,” I answered as cheerfully as possible. “I prefer being called Val if that’s not too much trouble...” Jakobi laughed.
“Oh yes of course! Sorry, my old forgetful brain forgets so many things!” He responded. “Have a seat, Val. I like what you’ve done with your hair, by the way.”
Even though I’m just a hunter, and Jakobi is my commander, we’ve always talked as if we were on the same level. I’ve actually known Jakobi for most of my life; he used to work with my parents before becoming their commanding officer.
Before they died in an accident, my parents had invited Jakobi to dinner many times. I laughed internally to myself. One of the reasons I became a hunter was because I was always fascinated by the stories of Jakobi and my parents told.
I entered the room and the door hissed shut behind me as I sat, now beginning to calm down with more speed.
Jakobi’s room was very plain, with grey walls. The single big window he had been looking out of when I arrived overlooked the city. His desk was small and neat, with orderly piles of paper and an old can holding pencils, pens and highlighters, all things rarely used anymore. On his desk, he also had a small thin tablet that was used so he could show attack plans and maps to people if necessary. On the wall to my left, a large TV-sized computer screen with the crest of the Last Defenders rebellion flashed on the screen. The symbol showed a grey fist so pale it was almost white, with a dark pattern of the earth on its forearm.
I stopped staring around the new room to focus my attention on Jakobi, who was now talking to me.
“How is that droid you have? A Devini model, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, she’s doing great,” I replied. “I have an op after this, so we can’t run over time like we normally do, sorry.”
“Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something rather important.” Jakobi said, rolling his chair up to his desk. That caught my attention. Oh?
“What is it?” I asked, an almost nervous energy shooting through my veins so fast that my fingers began to tingle and I began to bounce my left foot up and down. “Is it about my op you assigned me? You don’t need to worry sir; I’ve been planning for a month now, I’m doubtful that I’ll manage to screw it up. I even have a detailed layout of-”
“It’s information regarding your parents and a clue they may have left us.” My froze as Jakobi’s words sank in. A clue? From my parents?
“My parents... l-left a clue? On what? Was it something to do with the operation they were planning before they- we... were attacked?” I asked.
“Well, yes and no,” Jakobi said, his voice gentle. “We have reason to believe that your parents were creating a super virus that could potentially destroy the Lazarus program and free our race from the Artificial Intelligence.” Frowning, I tried to wrap my head around what he had just said. The Lazarus Program is the AI program that actually took over the world. You’d have to be pretty smart to come up with something like that!
“My parents were working on a virus? All I knew was that they were hunters that were able to execute operations like a piece of cake,” I said, finally remembering how to speak.
“Yes, they were some of the best hunters we had. Of course, that was almost twenty years ago. They retired when they had you,” Jakobi said.
“But, all those times they left the house, leaving me alone-” I began.
“They retired from hunting, but they never retired from the cause. They were part of a team of cybernears who were building a weapon that could destroy the AI. Back then, it never occurred to us that there was even the simplest possibility to create a virus that would make it through the firewalls of the Lazarus computer system. From the new information we’ve ascertained, it appears that your parents were able to create such a virus. Now do you remember anything they told you that could have related to this? Did they give you anything that could be the chip they put the virus on?” I was a little kid! I can’t remember what I had for lunch! How am I supposed to remember if anyone told me anything over seven years ago!?
“No sir. The only thing I ever got from them that I still have is a stuffed bear.” Jakobi sighed, but it seemed like he had expected my reply.
My mind was reeling. Had my parents really created some sort of super chip? They had never told me anything about it. Well of course they wouldn’t, I realized. Who in their right mind would trust a ten-year-old with information that could potentially bring the whole entire planet to its knees? I glanced out the window at the surrounding buildings that were lit with the pale LED lighting issued in every office building. What other secrets could my parents have hidden from me? I wondered, pressing my lips together.
“Are you sure that it couldn’t be inside the bear?” Jakobi asked. Reigning in my attention, I thought about it for a second before I responded.
“Yeah, I’m sure. The one thing I know about virus computer chips is that if it got into my washing machine without me realizing, or knowing; it would kill my washing machine, or make it sentient, and I’d have to find a new one.” Jakobi snorted. “But I’ve had the same washer for years and my house droid accidentally spilled some juice on the bear when she first began to care for me. We put it in the washing machine when it happened, and the washing machine didn’t die, or, you know, grow a mind of its own. Plus, if the chip was in there for some reason, it’s gonna be pretty useless now because, I know for a fact of my own, I’ve washed the bear a dozen times. I don’t even know how much Devini may have washed it.”
Jakobi nodded, smiling slightly at my snark. “Well, if you figure anything else out, or remember anything you think might help us, let me know. You know where to find me. I would like you to report here tomorrow. I have a new mission for you, assuming you can successfully execute this operation.” I stood from my chair and nodded. I curled my right hand into a fist and placed it against the front of my left shoulder. I bowed in solute.
“Valria, I’ve known you since you were this big.” He held up a hand, palm facing the ground. “Don’t you think it’s appropriate for you to call me Jakobi?”
I grinned and paused at the once again open door. “I’ll think about it... Jakobi,” I said. Then I turned, slipped through the door, and was gone.
Tonight I had a hunt. The questions flooding into my mind that had been triggered by the new information on my parents would have to wait. I couldn’t ponder this new information if I was captured by the Androids.