Scene 15. Belle of the Boom
After a five minutes of shape shifting later, Steve had to stop for refueling. The demonstrated power the tight-knitted group stood with a collective jaw drops. Alvin whispered to Lone Wolf that the other members resembled baby birds.
Walter “Lone Wolf” Whitbred laughed out loud. After given time to recover from the story and assurances that Steve was not there to blow anyone up , the team set to work.
The sounds of micron-level printers, a laser micro-polished the mating surfaces, and they pressed resin reinforced with amorphous-diamond thread mesh into a mold made by the printers. Bit by bit, the polymer skeleton of a human female assembled quickly. Each member of the group that called themselves “The Gate Watchers”.
In a day, they had the skeleton in position on the table. Running Man checked every step and made sure the structure of the half-constructed frame had enough strength to avoid breaks and would look like bone in x-rays.
“We can’t have it breaking a leg walking down the road.” He fussed in his OCD way.
Constant and regular meetings between the group regularly discussed shapes of internal organs, in case the new robot was subject to inspection.
The one they called Lady Sif, posed as a model with enhanced appeal, increasing the curve of the hip and size of her bust, appealing to the male of the religion as a woman of good child-bearing genes.
“What’s this solution that you’re growing skin in?“ Thor asked. A small man, who had the look of not quite passing puberty. Twenty-two, he was younger that Lone Wolf, but talented in chemistry, his major in school.
“Dextrose, ten-percent in half-normal saline.” Steve answered. “I’ve also added a buffered lactate to the solution to prevent acidosis.”
Thor went glassy-eyed while Steve continued while he looked through a microscope.
“The flesh will multiply at a rate of a cube of the original every two-hours. At this rate, the sample I’ve removed from my hip will continue to grow. It is only a gram at the moment, but in about five-hours, we’ll have a full skin cover. We can overlay the musculature that is growing on the frame now.” Steve sat back and locked eyes with Thor. “It grows three times its size every two hours.”
“I like chemistry, but this is just creepy.” Thor said. “That could cover the world in a week. I’ll go back to my bio-circuitry and use what see here. I think that’s the way to avoid being hacked by the government.” The blond-haired computer designer muttered as he turned away. “This system is weird. We’re building a bot that’s a bomb.”
“The government would give your system a virus, just to mess with you.” Alvin said. “Besides, we aren’t just making a bot, we’re building a pretty woman bot. Give her big boobs.”
“No big boobs.” Lady Sif said as she entered through the far door of the lab. “Seriously, we’re not making a sex toy for you boys.”
“Bite me, Al.” Thor laughed. “And yes, ma’am. She’ll be a Southern Belle of a bomb.”
“Don’t call me ma’am.” Sif said and slapped Thor across the back of the head. “You make me sound like my mother.”
“Just Wolf?” Steve the Android asked. “If we use the muscle sample and cut it in sections, it’ll grow faster over the frame.”
“The name’s just Wolf.” Walter the Lone Wolf corrected him.
“Yes, I’ll put that in permanent memory. Just Wolf.” Steve answered.
“Right. Just Wolf, you got it. “
Steve focused on the nuances as best he could and made the adjustments.
“Just Wolf, the Dextrose mix ratio is dropping, it is now four-point-nine. The tissue is growing, but it’ll slow down.”
“You still have it wrong. Call me just Wolf okay?” Wolf said. His face flushed from correcting Steve for the hundredth time.
“Acknowledged. Call you, Just Wolf.” The android answered.
“Right. Sheesh.” He shook his head. “That is harder that it needs to be. Now this system is set up with a mixer. The dextrose is in this bottle.”
He examined it carefully, tracing with his fingertip and found a kink in the line. He repaired the lines that fed to the pump that mixed the fluids to specifications that the android required.
Hours of checks and rechecks passed as they programmed the database with subroutines.With the main programming, they nearly filled the restrictive memory banks with all the needs that could be foreseen.
A binary system, less adaptable to a dynamic changing system that is the soul of humanity. This robot, less advanced, wouldn’t have the options to flex with change that Steve or Sleeper could do.
But she wouldn’t have to do much. No spy software, no eating, no interaction except for those that she needed to speak with. She carried inside her enough nutritional reservoir to last two months. More than enough to get to her mission.
“We should make her a companion. Another female, perhaps?” Alvin asked. “That part of the world, a lone woman is going to get beat with a stick.”
“Make it so.” The leader of the group said. “We’ll make a second and maybe a third. Send them all at the same time.”
“Where do you plan to get the money for this?” Sif asked.
“I have credit.” Steve nodded.”I’ll pay the fare to send them on the transporters.”
“We have passports printing now. They’ll be excellent quality.” Christopher “Burning Chip” Kraig spoke up.
The muscular teens shadow, Robert “Running Man” Akita was a brilliant mind with moderate Asperger’s. The two had been friends since Robert and Christopher were children.
“We can also put them in the system. The hack to input them into the government system is easy. They’re only protected against theft, not input.” He smiled, his perpetual smile. When Robert was around Christopher, Robert had a constant smile, his only wish, to be called by his hacker name Running Man when he was coding. He had stolen the name from an old novel that Robert had memorized.
Steve peered through the bars of the Faraday cage, through the clear glass mounted in the wall.
“Tin man, we need you back over here. Don’t think you can get away by breaking through that glass. It’s six-inches thick of some weird material that’s not glass. It can stop an RPG.
“ALON, aluminum oxynitride, also called transparent aluminum. Very tough. I’ve never seen anything that thick before.” Steve looked out. “It’s clear at the near-infrared through to near-ultraviolet. Interesting, this is expensive old technology.”
Robert filled Steve, the Android, in on the history of the material and how it was first mentioned in the previous century one time in a science fiction movie.
“Interesting.” Steve would say every five minutes as Robert kept talking. Steve would never stop typing on the “quaint” keyboard as he continued to program the database of the new gynoid.
“Are you listening to me?” Robert finally asked.
“Yes.” Steve did not look at Robert as he answered the question.
“What did I say?”
When Steve stopped typing for the briefest of moments. Robert thought he had the bigger male at the disadvantage.
Then Steve answered with perfect clarity of tone everything that Running Man said.
“I can code that more quickly. You’re using a code that works best with a balanced base-three system. You can’t use a base-three code in a base-two hardware and keep efficiency. May I try? You have to do this best in assembly language. I can do that quickly for you. How many lines of code to you want to use?” Running Man asked Steve. “It’s a talent that even machines haven’t been able to master.”
“I want it up by morning.” Steve said, making it his answer. “The total line count is irrelevant.”
“Get me some coffee then.” And Running Man was typing nearly as fast as Steve the Android could.
Thirty hours had passed when two women of Middle-eastern descent walked into the room. Coders and chemists, framework builders and an android stood and talked to them.
“Fully charged.” Lone Wolf introduced the pair of girls. “They’ll function for eleven days before their charge becomes critical. They’ll have a need to charge right away.”
“We need to put a weapon in one now.” Alvin said.
“Time to take it out of me and put it in one of these two robots.” Steve nodded.
Sitting on a chair, four rolls of paper towels around in his lap, Steve took off his shirt and asked for ice.
“You’re going to do it yourself?” Alvin gasped.
“Yes, you’re not qualified. I need someone to hold the mirror. I think you can do it. There will be little blood. The fluid isn’t blood, no matter what the color is.
“M-m-me?” Alvin stammered. “Steve, you don’t want me to do that. I faint at the sight of blood.”
“It’s not blood.” Steve repeated. “It’s a coolant fluid that also helps bring nutrients to the cells of the flesh. And the flesh is not needed to run the frame. The muscles and skin simply approximate the flexing and appearance of being a human. The coolant simply brings nutrients to the cells of the muscle and skin. It’s colored red to look like blood, but there are no red blood cells in it.”
“Looks close enough to blood for me.” Alvin made a whimpering noise when Steve took a box cutter out of a blister package and extended the blade. “Dude! Really! The red stuff needs to stay inside!”
“Wait!” Running Man yelled. “You’ll cause an infection.”
“I don’t get infected.” The android answered back quickly.
“You don’t know germs are adaptable. This is organic tissue, right?” The young man’s hands didn’t seem to know where to touch himself. He put them in his pockets, behind his neck, on top of his head, then he folded his arms in agitation.
“Agreed.” The android paused. “If we poured some high-proof liquor over the site, would it be acceptable?”
“Yes.” Running man said.
Steve poured a bottle of rum over the blade of the box cutter and his own stomach that satisfied the human boy. The android called Steve, cut his skin to the left of center, then reached in and made a move with his hand, pushing his hand up past his wrist in the hold he cut in his abdomen.
Slowly nodding, everyone stood around watching him, then something happened.
Steve went rigid, his eyes bulged out and stared without seeing. From his mouth issued an electronic squeal.
The newly built gynoids screamed with the same sounds. Lone Wolf joined in the chorus with his human voice, his eyes wide.
“Oh my god, he pulled a wrong wire!” Wolf screamed.
After a moment, the android went silent. Then, he turned his head and winked at Alvin. Steve stood up and nodded. The hole in his abdomen no longer bleeding, but gaped open in a grotesque approximation of a mouth.
“Humor, yes?” Steve tried to smile.
The group began laughing except for Lady Sif and Lone Wolf.
“That wasn’t funny!” Sif yelled at Steve.
“Actually, that was great.” Alvin said as Steve handed him the thimble sized warhead.
“Da-mn,” Alvin dragged the word out. “And you say this has the kaboom of a four-ton bomb?” Alvin asked.
“Yes, almost half the yield of the GBU-43/b MOAB parachute deployed bomb.” Steve answered. “As carried by a large bomber aircraft.”
“Would it be that hard to get twice as much in this package?” Lone Wolf asked as Thor hung over the shoulders of everyone.
“There’s so very little of the material in the world. Its cost is prohibitive.” Steve answered. “But no, it would be quite easy to put more than twice in there. There is the amount of one of your eyelashes in this.”
“How did your people get it.” Christopher Burning Chip asked as Running Man gave a low whistle.
“I was not powered up then, I don’t have that information.” Steve answered, then added. “Suffice it to say, I would wager it wasn’t an honest transaction.”
“Something so small and light.” Lir said as it was passed around. “How much power does it draw?”
“Five volts at six-hundred milliamps.” Steve answered as one of the nubile, young-looking robots climbed up on the table and laid on her back.
“Okay, a small cut. You’ll heal in fifteen-minutes.”
She grunted slightly, Steve fished out a single wire and attached the plug to the warhead.
He slipped the bomb back under the skin that was then smoothed over and held in place with the fat part of Steve’s thumb for two minutes.
Then. he wiped the blood-colored fluid away and the incision was fully healed.
“Holy crap on a cracker.” Thor said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
“It is a military design. I know nothing more than that. Flesh that heals a hundred times faster than normal.” Steve answered as the girl-droid got up off the table and stood quietly next to her twin. “The origin isn’t in my database.”
To demonstrate, he lifted up his shirt and the larger hole he had cut in his flesh was fully healed.
“It just can’t take much exposure to cold atmosphere. The coolant becomes too viscous.”
“They’re now fully functional. They need clothing,” Burning Chip said. “And cards that are being printed now, thanks to my bro here, Running Man.”
The one called Running Man bounced up and down, pleased to be so recognized. He stared at the sheet wrapped naked girls standing in the room.
“Now, we send them home.” Alvin said. “And as far as the package goes?”
“Return to sender.” Lady Sif answered.
Lone Wolf chuckled.
“Make it so.” Wolf said.