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“Exactly. That’s why the Caretakers were after you. The shadow generators they carry are perfect for getting into a space and grabbing the runaway tech and getting out. If they get any trouble from the people who have this tech, I’ve heard they are equipped to deal with that, too.”
“That is always the way,” Dot said. “I’ve lost track of exactly when humans unilaterally decided doing what ever is necessary to get what they want is the only way forward.”
“Good question, Dot,” I said. Julio shrugged. “Well, if any of this tech got into the mainstream, we’d have smartphones equipped with particle lasers. That’s what Department M is all about—controlling the speed that the tech sector develops at.”
“Weaponized appliances are scary,” Dr. Green said, added, “We have them in the Galak-Ga. When they were first around many violence happened. Many time cycles later violence with them lessened but many still say they make killing too easy.”
“Besides, if the Caretakers get to me, they can get to you.”
“You’ll flip that easy, Hu?” Jill asked.
“Not intentionally, but I’ve heard they have tech that can literally read your mind.”
“That sucks,” Kate said.
“So, where are we at?” I asked. Jill replied first. “Pressure is being put on M-M-Manchester to play it cool because she or the HNT is the only way in to intel about the Strife.”
“So, we can’t risk any of the HNT member’s lives by approaching them directly,” Jim said.
“An AI who cares about human life? I’m so glad to hear that!”
“Just following the 3 laws of robotics,” Jim said.
“Cool. Um, what are those?”
“Read a book, Kage!” I said.
“Read an Asimov book,” Jill said. “First, a robot can’t hurt a person or allow a person to be hurt by doing nothing. Second, a robot must always follow orders unless someone orders them to hurt a person.”
“Then the robot’d be breaking rule 1,” KJ said.
“Exactly. And third, a robot must protect itself as long as it’s not at the c-c-cost of a human life.”
“Cool. But, Jim isn’t a robot. He’s an AI.”
“Word, that’s true, but I think Artificial Intelligence falls under the category of robot, I would think,” Kate said.
“That’s certainly true from my perspective,” Jim said.
“It’s how I p-p-programmed him,” Jill said smiling.
“So, without access to the HNT and without having Julio able to help us in the field, we’re down to one option going forward,” I said.
“Time to invade the Fire Escape Dimension!” KJ said, entirely too enthusiastically.
“We’re going to surveil the Fire Escape Dimension,” Jill said, adding: “We need to find out what this ecological disaster is second, and first and foremost, we have to d-d-discover what the Double-Oes have planned for us.”