Daedalus - Chapter 30

Published at 5th of April 2019 12:02:55 AM

Chapter 30

Attendance at Fortescue Military Academy M1 Y:2142

House Thoth, Squad Leader, Squad Zero

M1 Rank: ?/1275, Tier 3 M-Rank: Null

Term: 1, Round: 1


"I Just got some…," Daedo paused, "news . " He sent the message to his squad .

"What!" Vannier stood after a few seconds of reading . Half his squaddies all circled him offering words of sympathy and encouragement .

Barran was angry, "this is bullshit . We need to find this scum and… yeah, ruin them . "

"Should we involve Master Nader?" Mace asked .

Daedo shook his head, "she would know by now . If she wants to get involved, she will . "

Vannier peered at Master Nader's door, "so are you going to help?" She called out .

A message came through to all the squad members .

Master Nader: go see your Father, take two with you . The rest secure the exos at your facility, I will accompany you .

After reading the message, Vannier asked, "so who do you want to come with you?"

Daedo thought about it momentarily . It was not an easy decision to make on the fly . And he really didn't care who came . But it would be good to have someone with him . He shrugged .

"Okay," Vannier said, "then…"

"Wait," Daedo interrupted her, she was about to delegate two squaddies, "Vannier and Axelzero with me . Mace lead the workshop team . "

Daedo picked the two who would provide him with the most support and left the smartest squad member to handle the workshop with the two best brawlers, Barran and Picard . Not that he expected anything to occur now . But he hadn't expected anything to occur before . Gaumont didn't come into his calculations, the cadet hadn't even agreed to come to the workshop yet, and Daedo wasn't privy to his discussions with Vannier . As far as Daedo was concerned until Gaumont came on board with the squad he did not exist .

Cisse came and picked up the three cadets to take them to the hospital . It would have been easier to book and ride a hovervan, but she insisted . To be exact, she didn't insist, she just informed Daedo she was on her way .

"Get in," she called from the sleek hovercar . Two large butterfly doors opened on either side . There was room inside for four, despite its small size, with the seats facing each other . This was a driverless car, there was no driver seat nor manual controls .

The trio piled in and as soon as the doors closed harnesses secured them in place .

"The news from the hospital is he is fine, I want you to stop worrying now," Cisse said .

"When did you get this?" Daedo asked . Cisse had no legs and usually travelled in special hovervan vehicles with lifting equipment . Her chair, she used to get around, was nestled in a place where a seat would normally be .

"Oh, I have had it awhile . I don't like to show it off in front of Ikaros," she finished and then added belatedly, "I have my reasons . " It probably had to do with earnings from her settlement or career . She seemed to indicate it had to do with Ikaros' feelings . Except that her mere presence without legs was probably a much greater reminder than a mere vehicle .

The hovercar zoomed off to the hospital, selecting the fastest route whilst merging and avoiding other vehicles . With Vannier and Axelzero trailing them, Cisse lead Daedo to his Father's ward .

She held up the info on wrist screen, he is already out of intensive care and in a holding ward .

"Why are they holding him if he is ok?" Daedo asked .

"Probably waiting on test results, or a precaution if he has a head injury . I'm not sure . We will find out," Cisse answered .

As Daedo entered the ward, his squadmates waited outside, not wanting to intrude on the family .

"Father," Daedo said approaching his bed tentatively .

"Oh, Etana, I am sorry," Ikaros said meekly . He was propped up by his gurney . Sensors were attached to his head, which was shaven, and his chest .

"Why are you sorry?" Daedo asked .

"Because I caused you worry, look; Cisse is here all concerned and I can see your friends outside . All because I got in the way," Ikaros said .

"It is not something to be sorry about Father," Daedo replied .

"If this ever happens again, just let them have whatever they want . It is just stuff . It is replaceable . You are not," Cisse said .

"This will never happen again, I will take care of that," Daedo insisted . "There will be blast doors, sentry guns and traps . It will be safe, I promise . "

"This isn't a game Daedo," Cisse said . She looked into his eyes as he turned at the statement . The look he gave her sent a shiver up her spine . The intensity of his gaze made her wonder if he was really twelve .

"I know it's not a game," he replied vehemently . Even with supposed games, he took them so seriously they weren't . He turned back to his Father, "you don't have to come back if you don't want to . "

His father coughed and spluttered, a little blood showed on his lip . His injuries were not as mild as he made out . Daedo could see the blue, discoloured skin at the back of his head . It was bruised significantly, no wonder they wanted to monitor him and keep him close . Usually, the hospital would apply regen or replacement, put the sensors on you and send you home . But when they wanted to be able to react extremely quickly to changes in status they kept you close .

"Nothing would keep me away," he said earnestly .

"There was something I was going to ask you this weekend, but now I am not so sure," Daedo said quietly .

"What? What were you going to ask? Just ask it, son," Ikaros said emotionally .

"Daedalus, our company, can easily afford to employ you . I was going to ask if you wanted to be at the workshop full time?" Daedo asked .

Ikaros laughed, and it hurt . He was forced to stop . He gathered himself, and a tear came to his eye, "nothing would make me happier . You wouldn't even have to pay me . "

"I can give you shares then," Daedo said .

His Father waved his hand and then shook his head once, very slowly . "No . Daedalus is your thing . Yours and your new friends . I will resign from Fortescue now," he said emphatically . And after some thought . "Wait…, you have good health insurance I hope . " More pain .

"Ikaros, stop making jokes, you are in no condition to laugh," Cisse lectured him . "What about me? Are you going to offer me a job?" Cisse asked .

Daedo had wanted to, but he was surprised she would ask just like that .

"Do you want to work for Daedalus?" Daedo asked .

"Aren't I already?" Cisse answered . "I am already making you reactors from scratch, which is not easy mind you . " She smiled to lessen the impact of her point .

She moved around in her seat while Daedo as quiet for a short period .

"Does Fortescue have all sorts of secrecy agreements around your work?" Daedo asked .

"I am out of contract," Cisse replied, "and even if I weren't my work is part of the international cooperative effort . We are sharing information within that group now . "

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"I have some ideas around the Zero Point radiation and gravitation equations," Daedo said .

"Both?" she asked .

"Yes, they are interrelated I believe," Daedo said, "I don't think it is possible to solve one without the other . "

"Hmm, the data certainly supports that view . We still know so little about gravity, we understand how it acts, we just don't fully understand its nature . " Cisse said . "How are you going to crack the gravitation equation if we don't fully understand its nature?"

"I expect I will have to cheat," Daedo answered seriously . He didn't know how he was going to crack the equation, he just had ideas at the moment and wanted to test them by analysing the observed data and see if it worked at all .

"Will you two stop talking Physics," Ikaros croaked . "My head hurts enough as it is . " Although a smile was threatening to escape his lips . Daedo nodded and popped out of the ward for a moment .

"I am going to stay here tonight, if they let me, I can work on my coding anywhere," he said in explanation to Vannier and Axelzero .

"I will stay as well," Axelzero said . "Nader wanted you to have an escort for a reason," she added to head off any protest .

Vannier looked at Daedo and then Axelzero, and then she nodded . "Ok . Axelzero can stay here, I will go to the workshop and give you a report on what has happened and what is happening there . I will come back and relieve Axelzero after a nap, at 0300 . "

Axelzero was going to protest, but she stopped herself mid-utterance . She did not like the idea of staying up all night, and if she fell asleep, she would be hardly a good lookout for Daedo .

The three nodded, and Vannier left . Axelzero followed Daedo back into his Father's ward .

"Axelzero," Ikaros greeted her, "thank you for visiting . "

She smiled and nodded, "I am sorry I didn't bring any flowers," she said .

"Oh," Ikaros said, "no please don't that would be a waste of pretty plants . " He dropped his gurney down to half its height .

"We should let him rest," Cisse said .

Daedo pulled up a chair and made himself comfortable near his Father's bed . Axelzero went for a quick walk to scan all the nearby hallways and rooms . She would use her advanced sensors to monitor the area . Cisse said goodbye to Ikaros and the cadets . She wanted to leave them alone, too many bodies would interfere with Ikaros' rest .

As his Father rested Daedo finished the coding he had planned for the upcoming research and development tasks at the workshop . Stopping every now and then to chat with his Father .

Axelzero had never been a bodyguard before, she took on the role seriously . Although there was only a small chance, anything would happen . The attacks had been centred around acquiring information on the exos, or the actual exos themselves . Nothing at this stage had targeted Daedo .


Vannier walked through the workshop . Barran and Picard were taking their roles seriously . They had acquired assault pistols from somewhere and had them holstered on their sides .

"Are you licensed for that?" Vannier asked .

Barran rolled his eyes . "I am licensed for everything that I am allowed to have in the EU . See I even have a company security license," he showed Vannier his Barran Corp security ID . She supposed they did not bother to check someone's age when issuing a security ID .

"Aren't you going to ask Picard if she is Licensed?" Barran asked .

Vannier shook her head . She trusted that Picard would never break the rules like that, especially when it came to firearms . Picard was straight up and down, given her background it made sense she would have a handgun license .

Picard took Vannier through the workshop, the intruders, which were robots, had broken in through the side doors from the yard . They had searched through the supplies and stores, which were strewn about, but they had not damaged the manufacturing equipment thankfully .

Mace met her in the weave room, "it looks like they took armour weaves only . Until I talk to Daedo or Ikaros, I am not sure what else had been made during the week . "

"Can't we check the machine?" Vannier said .

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"Yes, but the robots and Ikaros were assembling . The machine just tells me it made forty-four kilometres of carbon fibre tubing so far . What has been used on our exos and on Barran's I have no idea," Mace said .

"At least they didn't break anything," Vannier said .

"Other than the door and poor Ikaros," Mace replied . "It seems they were after our exo design . "

"Do you think another M1 squad capable of this?" Vannier asked when Master Nader entered the weave room .

"Yes and no," Master Nader answered . "Leave it to me . I want you to focus on securing this facility and your quarters . That includes any data you have as well . "

"How are you going to track down who did this? Isn't that something for the police, or Academy security at least?" Mace asked .

"The police have already been here," Master Nader answered and said nothing else .

Mace looked at their House Master expectantly, willing her to answer the rest of the question .

Master Nader merely surveyed the room and left .

"Do you think we should leave it to her?" Mace asked Vannier .

"Yes," Vannier answered . She was sure Master Nader was capable and was quite scared of her after the dressing downs she had received .

"The first thing we need to do is secure the premise structurally," Mace discussed .

"Heavy doors, what else?" Vannier asked .

"I'll do some research, but I think a moat is out of the question . A sensor array that gave us and any protective measures forwarning would be essential as well," Mace replied .

"I'll see about repairing the robots we have . I don't know how long Ikaros will be out of action and we don't want him rushing back too early before he is fully healed . I am sure Daedo will want to get production back online tomorrow," Vannier said .

Mace nodded . They had their self-delegated tasks, and both the rank two and three squad members got to work .

The following morning Daedo arrived at the workshop . The signs of the break-in and theft were almost erased as his squadmates had been hard at work repairing and purchasing the necessary items .

Before he got settled in Master Nader summoned him to the upstairs office area . He was shocked that she was still here as he climbed the concrete staircase to the upper level .

"Cadet," she welcomed him in her formal fashion . "I trust your Father is well . "

"Aye, Master . He will fully recover," Daedo answered . He did not expect Master Nader wanted all the details, just whether his Father was going to be ok .

"I apologise my warning did not come earlier," Master Nader said . "Let us learn from this incident . "

"Oh, I have learned something . That is certain," Daedo responded . He was ready to rage over whoever was responsible for this . It was one thing to steal their work, damage their base . But hurting his Father sent him over the edge in terms of anger management .

"Cadet," Master Nader said emphatically with her synthetic voice . "I came back here to talk to you in person for a reason . I did not want to let this wait until Monday, nor use a digital correspondence . You will allow me to deal with the outside threat in this instance . I want you to focus on upgrading your security," the Master stated .

Daedo looked angry . He clenched a fist .

"That is an order Cadet . Trust me, the perpetrators will suffer at my hands far worse than yours . And I am much more experienced and capable of finding the source than you are," Nader instructed .

Daedo did not doubt Master Nader . She appeared capable, formidable and she was quite scary in her way . But he still did not want to relinquish the task to her . He began to shake his head .

"Cadet!" Master Nader roared . He jumped . She grabbed him by his bodysuit and lifted him off the ground . She pulled him close and whispered, "this is important . You are too inexperienced, and you will suffer if you take revenge . I promise you will not be disappointed . "

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"Your Father will recover . You have work to do to ensure it does not happen again," she scolded to ensure her point got home . She put him back down on the ground .

He nodded slowly . She could be rather convincing when she wanted to be . "Will you tell me when you have found them?" He asked .

"No . But you will know the results after they happen," Master Nader answered .

Daedo had nothing else to say . He stood at attention and silence overtook the space which used to be the old companies boardroom .

"Dismissed Cadet," Master Nader said finally, "you have much work to do . "

Daedo gathered the five squaddies who were present at the main workshop floor .

"First of all I would like to say thanks for all your assistance last night," Daedo began . "We were about to have a squad meeting before the news came through, but we got derailed in a major way . "

He received nods, commiserations and sounds of support from all his squad . Vannier, Mace, Axelzero, Picard and even Barran .

"On Friday 1800 Master Nader officially made me squad leader and informed me of an attempted break-in at our quarters . A break-in which she stopped," Daedo said .

"What!" Barran exclaimed, and the entire squad was up in arms . They had not known about the break-in back at the Academy . Master Nader had stopped any physical signs being evident, and the news was sidelined with the injury to his Father .

Daedo pressed for calm so he could continue .

"Master Nader has made it clear that we are to focus on defending ourselves and property . That she would take care of finding the perpetrators and seeking justice," Daedo informed them .

"No!" Barran yelled again . "We should mess their shit up . We need to set an example . "

"I hate to agree with Barran," Picard said, "but we need to dissuade future attacks . "

"No one here was hurt more than me," Daedo said, "and Master Nader convinced me that she is better placed to do this . "

"I agree with Daedo," Vannier said . Mace and Axelzero agreed as well .

"Surely we can trust Master Nader," Axelzero said .

"And, we have enough on our plates . In the end, my Father is ok, and they only got some first generation armour components . Hell, you could easily buy better stuff if you were willing to spend the creds . "

Barran nodded begrudgingly . Picard looked noncommittal, but it was unlikely she would attempt anything alone .

"We need to reorganise and set roles," Daedo announced .

"Mace, you are in charge of drone research and development . This is an important task and alone will keep you busy for the term if not the year . You will get assistance from Cisse and Ikaros with design and construction . Cisse with power and Ikaros is certainly well versed in robot design and construct . "

"Vannier and Picard," he continued, "will continue with weapon development . Railgun being your first project . "

"Axelzero, your project is the grappler . It needs improvements across the board in terms of torque, speed, range and multi-use . We need more than three uses . "

"Barran," Daedo left Barran for last of all, "your new role will be security . You will take care of securing this facility and our quarters . This is such an important area I wanted someone dedicated to it, and I am sure with your resources you can handle it . "

"Are you sure you would trust me with that?" Barran asked knowing how sensitive it was right now .

"Yes . You are a lot more capable than you pretend to be . It suits your skillset without asking to do some groundbreaking R and D . And, I am sure Master Nader will review your work," Daedo answered .

Barran groaned .