2020-07-19 - Operation Liberate Lima


Summoned to the 'Tech Nest' of Io Niven, Hank and Toni confer with her and formulate plans to liberate the captured femmebot Lima from her creator and former master the Cyberian's programing and other limitations. Also, they bully her into a meal and getting some rest.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jul 19 03:16:24 2020
Location: RESCUE Campus

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Theme Song



It has been a few days since the group had returned from the raid on the Cyberian's arena, and the ultimate takedown of that particular foe, as difficult and as drawn out as it was many needed rest, recooperation - or had their own issues to deal with.

Since that time, Io has been reclusive. More reclusive than normal. She had, ultimately, shut herself into her oversized workroom with their saved 'femmebot' that she'd brought back with them, and set Goliath to guard the door and keep nosey people out.

This, of course, got a few of the grunts and campus staff to talking, making quiet jokes about what, exactly, Io and the 'really pretty' femmebot were doing behind those closed doors. Goliath, afterall, was far more intimidating than a sock, or a door hangar.

But, at last, both Hank and Toni had gotten a text message from Io, asking them to come to her workspace, and to tell Goliath the password - which was 'I am the Keymaster, are you the Gatekeeper?'

The mystery is enough to lure Toni to grab a shower and leave her lab, her purple hair still damp as she makes her way over to Io's workspace, riding the elevator up to the upper floors from her own laboratory and heading over to the workspace set aside for her. She waits there for Hank to arrive, dressed casually in khaki shorts, ballet slippers and an oversized t-shirt.

Hank, when he wants to think, cooks. In this case he bakes, and what he baked is a classic Russian cake - Medovik. Though Boris's recipe and methods are amusing, he makes his much more traditionally, so when he gets that text, he smiles, boxes up the cake, and grabs some plates and plasticware. Because why not?

Dressed in khaki chinos and an absolutely awful Hawaiian shirt (Fun fact: -actual- Hawaiian shirts are actually quite lovely!), he makes the short walk, and offers the the password to the Emotional Support Robohound. "I am the Keymaster, are you the Gatekeeper?" He loves her style, Ghostbusters quote for the win!

Goliath tilts his head, looking at Hank and Toni, then opens his mouth, and a holographic '!' in bright yellow appears. He closes his mouth, turns, and with his paws and strength pushes the lever on the door, and the door open for them. What a well trained puppers!

Inside? Well. It's chaos. If's well organized, to Io's mind. But, strewn all over the workroom are piles of parts that just - well, wouldn't be in most peoples engineering facilities. Things like broken circuitboards. Old toasters. Bakerlite phones. Cracked laptops. And other discarded/broken electronic gear. Old motor parts.

There's a shitload of tools, things hung from ceiling from tools to more parts. The place smells like sodder, engine oil, and … hamburgers.

On the floor, laid out on a cot, is Lima's inert form. Io is currently straddling Lima, her eyes closed, and slightly bent over, her hands on Lima's head.

Toni wanders it, slowing a bit as she raises a brow at Io's positioning. Well. She's fairly sure it isn't that; as far as she can tell Io seems fairly ace in her romantic desires, or lack thereof. Though she could see the appeal considering how much attention Io gives machinery and technology. She waits for the moment, glancing over at Hank as he enters with her.

A smile as he sees the purple haired genius. "Hello Toni." And then as they enter, he lets her go precede him, and pats Goliath on the head as he would any other good dog on the way. He is brought up short by the positioning, Toni might smell a hint of cinnamon, but then he blinks, and mm, the girl is fully clothed, and pretty much ace - he agrees with Toni's unvoiced assessment in that regard.

Hank clears his throat, exchanging a glance and a shrug with Toni as he turns back to Io. "Miss Niven, we're here…I brought cake." Because who doesn't love cake?

Io's head moves up, and then it's a few more moments before she makes a sound, a heavy breath, and slides off of Lima. Io looks like - well, to be blunt, shit. Like she hasn't slept in days. And, barely eaten on top of that. It is, perhaps, something that both of the people with her can relate to when the obsession hits you.

She looks at both of them, offers a rare, but sincere smile, then looks down at Lima's prone and inactive form. "The Cyberian's programming is /all/ over her," she says, quietly. "She was created to both turn a profit by her aesthetics in the stands, but also - well, let's just say on her own she could more or less take out an entire police precinct without much effort. She was also created as a means of security, and enforcement."

Io exhales, "Her coding is -really- brilliant. Likely something the Cyberian spent months on. Maybe years. But, like I told him, he was too blinded."

Io looks back up to Hank and Toni. "There's a lot of code I need to remove. But this isn't my normal - well, this isn't just removing a virus from a computer. Or changing code. A program doesn't live. A program is -," she considers, "A program is like an idea. A behavior. So when I change a program, or add one, it's like I'm just giving them new skills, or teaching them that a certain behavior is wrong. Usually, it's easy."

She frowns, "Lima is - different, though. Cyberian didn't even realize it. But - Lima is," and she holds her index and forefinger a half milimeter apart, "Close to being VI. I can, I am going to make her VI. She needs to be. She /wants/ to be. But I have to be careful. Surgical. In removing, changing her programming. This? It's - like brain surgery. One wrong move. One wrong line of code, and she's fucked."

Toni folds her arms over her chest, raising a brow. "Sounds tricky, if you're going to remove code that's dangerous first." she agrees. "And you want us here to help?"

Hank moves over and sets the box on to of a sliding toolbox, one of the big red ones, careful not to step on any of the debris and detritus scattered about the floor. He does note the seeming chaos, but his brain is good at patterns, he'll try to figure out hers later, right now he has a colleague and possible friend asking him for help, how could he deny her?

Hunkering down in an easy crouch, he studies the supine femmebot. "She's lovely." He's not speaking just of the shape, though that too.

Yellow eyes look to Toni when she speaks up. "Very tricky, and probably deliberately so." Then he shifts his glance back to Io. "We'll have to see what we can do, I am certain we can manage it, but first…YOU, young lady, need to eat." Not that he's all that much older than she is, like two years, probably less depending on her birthday.

"So…layers of code, powerful defenses and weaponry, we'll likely need to defang her, you know?"

"Huh?" Io blinks, as if snappd out of some sort of reverie and just kind of blankly looks at Toni as if she only heard the sound of Toni speaking not the words. And, almost delayed, her brain seems to then reveal to her what Toni had asked. She shakes her head, "No. No. I don't need your help with that." She waves a hand dismissively.

And, several of the many computer monitors around the central workspace pivot, and turn - tiny little motors designed to turn at Io's command to wherever she might be in the room and a display comes up, one a scan of Lima, both front and back, top, bottom, and sides. Another monitor displays an immaculate and exact rendition - thanks to Io's abilities - of what Lima would like without the plasteel body covering from the same angles, and the last monitor is a focused shot of where her 'battery' is, it's design, and how it provides power to her.

"I need help with /this/. Her power source. She's limited in that. Probably so they couldn't run away. Or be stolen. A control factor. I can make her a recharge station just fine. But, … she needs to have something permenant."

Io eyes the cake, rolls her eyes. She moves over to the box, and looks at the cake, "Don't suppose you brought any Big Belly burgers?"

"Mmm. Are you talking a built in power course, or a rechargeable battery core?" Toni says after a moment of thought. "Also, you eat nothing but those from the smell of it, we need to get some veggies in you or Roni will have a conniption. Or you'll get scurvy. One of the two."

"You may not need help, but we'll be happy to error check your code all the same." Yes, Hank is rather insistent about that too, everyone can make mistakes, even cyberpathic hackers without peer. Well, few peers, anyway.

He studies the spec and cutaway views. "Broadcast power, short term we can probably rig something like that, but high density batteries or a microfusion reactor would probably be a better long term solution depending on the end goal."

Hank looks back to Io. "What /is/ the end goal?"

He nods firmly about Toni's dietary assessment, he smiles. "I'll whip you up some stir fry, it won't take but a few moments, and maybe you might just want a nap, you're clearly exhausted. Exhausted people make mistakes, and we're not wanting to put Lima at risk for having compromised our reason and senses, are we?"

"Well," Io asks of Toni, "Would you want to have to sit at a power station to regain all your energy, and be afraid to travel because if you shut down you'd not be able to get back up?" She doesn't say this snarkily, but only because she does respect Toni. She exhales, "She should have a power core like Iron Man. Or, something like that. Where it doesn't need to recharge. Reactor-thingy. Yes." Her engineering, afterall, is fundamentally different than inventors. She is a repurposer. A creator in her own right, but - on a very different, very unique level than Toni, Hank, or any of the others.

She then glowers at Hank, "Fine. But then, you can tell her that you made me make her wait. I promised her I'd bring her back awake as quickly as I could." Yes, Io is grousing. But, at least she's not fighting it, suggesting she probably knows Hank is right. That doesn't mean she has to like it.

Toni holds up her hands. "I would love to give you something like that for her Io, but even the Patriot armor doesn't have a system like that. I've never been able to create something like an arc reactor that's that small. It might as well be magic to me. My armor has a really robust battery system and other options like solar to make sure I have the means to recharge." she syas with a faint frown. "She'd need something small to replace what's there."

"Nobody would, Io. Still, we human machines have to eat, and will run down, and stop without our fuel. Her needs are just different in sort, not in purpose." Their different ways and means, their different technology styles, those are what makes them such a good team. "Toni, we can work on a battery, I have been working on a compact power source, but I'm nowhere near completion - it would tap zero point energy, the means to do it safely, that's holding me up." He grins toothily. "Since we can't simply go to Stark International and /buy/ an Arc reactor, we'll work with what can build ourselves, I have some high density battery designs, we can likely improve on them for her and for the Patriot and other armors and weapons systems here at RESCUE."

Hank nods solemnly. "I will be sure to let her know you had to rest to finish her upgrades without doing yourself harm, and that it was all my fault. You have my word, Io."

Io looks at Toni, nodding and pointing at Hank. "That's why I asked him to come too. I'll talk to Roni about it later, I'm sure she can contribute as well. I know it might take a little while. So, I'll build a temporary power station for her presently, so that once I get her code sorted, she'll be good to go until we get the other sorted. But, I figure if we all work together on this, we can save her from her enslavement." Which is, clearly, how Io sees it.

She exhales, looking at Hank again, grousing further, "Alright. I will eat your stir fry. And then rest. Happy?"

"Sure..if Hank has something that might be an improvement, I'm sure we can figure something out. Are you going to release her designs to RESCUE?" Toni wonders curiously. "Not necessarily a copy of her code, but the physical design. Might be useful."

"Even if your existing batteries are better, together I'm certain we can find a long term solution, ultra capable batteries for now, using yours as the base, or one of my designs — and the Zed PM later, that gets the job done." Hank seems excited at the prospect of a group project, he's simply not used to collaborating like this, there's so few people around he can work /with/ instead of over, if that make sense. "I'd like to send you my preliminary work on the Zed PM, Toni, seems that your armor and Roni's, and now Lima…all could benefit from a virtually inexhaustible power source."

Hank nods. "And of course the designs will be RESCUE's, though I might want to patent the Zed PM, and might suggest we not market it, that is something that could be deadly if abused. Extremely so."

He smiles then to Io. "Actually, yes, I'm very happy. Thank you, Io."

"It's not up to me to release her designs, Toni. It's up to her. I'm just saving her." Paging Dr. Io! But, Io's tone suggests she is steadfast in this deicision and there's no use in trying to persuade her otherwise. Still, with everyone talking about food, and rest, she does certainly begin to feel it.

She waves another dismissive hand at Hank, "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Anyways, her weapon systems are fine. When I'm done with her, she'll understand the value of human life, and the value of her own life as well, just like we do. But she'll be free to make her own decisions. To do otherwise would be criminal. It'd be mind controlling someone to beleive what you wanted, rather than giving them their freedom of choice. She'll have to choose what she wants to do. I'm hoping it'll be to stay with us."

Clearly, Io's devotion, her speech, suggest she's probably as passionate, if not more, about Lima that she ever has shown to be about GOliath.

Which might eventually beg the question, if Lima /does/ choose to leave Io, and RESCUE, what would that do to Io, emotionally?

"Okay." Toni says after a moment. "The other issue there is…there is a legal difference between a VI and a AI. I'm not sure what her legal status is if she will be a VI but not registered as belonging to you or RESCUE." She holds up a hand. "I completely get wanting to free her from slavery, but you may want to consider a guardianship or something as legal protection for her. Something. I don't know what's possible, I'm not a lawyer."

"I am unsure that a VI would have any protections under the law, more so that an AI would, but AI is something I'm wary of meddling with. I am not sure I am worthy and wise enough to create life." A pause. "Though I'd like to someday be a father." Hank admits. A shake of his head and he's back on task. "A VI would need to be registered, and we're the only ones I'm sure would not be abusive in the long run."

Hank has already memorized the designs on display, he can't help it, that's how his brain works. He doesn't forget things, in fact mind alteration is actually dangerous for him, it would render him unstable if there were gaps!

"Come on, I'll whip us all up something to eat." Because he can always eat, and neither Toni nor Io can be trusted to any more than he could, so…feed EVERYONE!

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