(2017-05-29) Runaway Nanobots!
Runaway Nanobots!
Summary: One of Button's experiments to improve her nanobots' utility goes a bit. Awry.
Date: 2017-05-29
Related: None
NPCs: Happy Meal Prius; Rogue Nanobots; Support Drones; Fleeing Civilians
Scene Runner: Button

Tabitha is so very glad that like most smaller cities, Shady Cove holds its Memorial Day parade in the early morning hours. So not only is it still cool enough to enjoy the weather, but afterwards there's plenty of time to enjoy a huge breakfast at the IHOP. So now she's stuffed full of pancakes, sausage, and hash browns and casually strolling down the street heading back to her property. She's nearly there, just coming up on the old city park but in no real hurry. Since Sierra is cramming for finals there's no one back there waiting for her except for Jasmine, and she's not more than a thought away at this short a distance.

A loud buzzing fills the afternoon air and a roiling shadow flies flashes over Tabitha's head. Hot in pursuit of the cloud of… something is a small robot-like figure that could have been pulled straight out of a variety of Japanese anime shows. As the silver-grey cloud descends on a late model Prius, enveloping it in its entirely the robot yells out, "Heads up! Runaway nanobots! Everyone move away from the electronics!" As if to make the robot's point a group of teenagers let out a yell and start running, leaving behind their cellphone, which have now been swarmed by a small portion of the cloud covering the Prius.

Well that's not what she wanted to see and/or hear today. This is particularly worrying to Tabitha because of the fact that her entire sense of sight is dependent on an electronic implant fused to her face meat. So when the Prius is swarmed and the warning is given, she's backing away and keeping a wary distance. She reaches into her pocket to turn off her cellphone and sends a command to her eye-band to reduce emissions to minimum. The world's color and most of its detail goes away, replaced by a low resolution gray-scale version of itself. Hopefully the nanocloud doesn't notice her.

Button lands next to the Prius and puts her fingers up to her temples in the classic 'I'm focusing my mental powers' pose. It's so cliche it's almost possible to see her squinting her eyes at the cloud behind the golden mirror over her suit's visor. "Come on, damn it! You're supposed to follow my mental commands. Not just randomly fly off to ravenously eat anything electronic in your path!" After a few moments of holding the pose, ignoring the people running away from the area and basically watching the Prius slowly disappear under the attentions of the 'cloud', she lets out a loud, "Damn it!" and starts swiping at the nanobots. Which has about as much practical results as her 'psychic' attacks since the 'bots just flow around her fists, resulting in the Prius just gathering some dents and holes created by mini-fists rather than by nanobots. "ARGH!"

And that's even less encouraging as the armored figure fails to bring things under control. Although Tabitha is almost certain she's heard the voice before, but with the distortion from the helmet it's hard to be certain. She stalks forward, still keeping a very wary eye on the Prius and the 'smudge' around it. "Minerva, is that you?" She says this a bit quietly, irrationally worried that the nanites might swarm at the sound of her voice.

Button was so focused on her wayward experiment that when Tabitha calls out her name she spins around so fast that she trips over her own feet and ends up on her butt, right in the middle of the street. From her place flat on her back on the ground she lets out a big sigh and says, "Its Button. My. Name. Is. Button." Then she pops back up onto her feet and takes a few quick steps towards Tabitha as the nanobots continue to devour the Prius. "But its good you're here. You're still strong, right?" Behind her the 'cloud' is noticeably growing as more and more of the Prius just continues to disappears as it was being bathed in strong acid.

Tabitha would roll her eyes if she had any. "That's not what you told me when we met. But sure… Button, as you prefer." Tabitha's depth perception isn't so great with her eye-band in low rez mode, so Button's approach takes her a bit by surprise, causing her to take a half-step backwards. The question about her strength gets a questioning look. "Depends on what you're comparing me to. Compared to what I was a couple months ago, I'm weak as a two hour old kitten. Compared to a human though I'm still quite strong. Why?" She shifts her gaze to the melting Prius. "Pretty sure those are too small to smash."

Button waves her hand dismissively in the air, "Yes, yes they are. And they have proximity sensors that make them move away when anything they don't recognize comes too close, so you'd have to be, like, speedster fast to even touch them. But…" she spins around and spots exactly what she's looking for. "That hydrant won't move out of your way and it won't take much to break it open. Can you get the water focused on them?" Apparently Button has a plan.

Tabitha follows Button's look and nods at the idea of using the water. "Okay, let's see what I can do. Does the swarm operate on electromagnetic frequencies or some alternate spectrum?" She's walking towards the hydrant as she talks, thinking and plotting force and angles. "Because if I can broadcast in the clear, this can be made a lot less difficult." She won't say 'easy', because fate is not her friend lately and she'd hate to tempt it. Once at the hydrant she wraps her hands around the cover for the hose attachment point and gives it a hard twist. It loosens and she starts to unscrew it.

Button looks back over at the almost fully dissolved/consumed/disappeared Prius. "If you're asking whether they'll go after you, no, they won't. They go for quantity over quality and there's plenty enough cars and other things with a lot more electronic components nearby for them to go after. But the cloud is getting big enough that we don't have a lot of time. Unless we feel like chasing after multiple groups of them." As she speaks she starts to float over towards the building closest to the nanobot covered car. "If you can make the water mist up instead of hitting in one big stream this'll work a lot better. We don't want to risk breaking the cloud apart…" Even as she speaks one of the Prius' tired, just the tire, no rim, rolls forlornly away from the cloud of nanobots.

Tabitha nods in relief and powers her eye-band back up to full, then immediately sends a gravpulse message to Jasmine at home. "Okay. I've got some things on their way from home. It's just a couple blocks away." In the meantime she just boggles at the nanobot's rate of replication as she continues prepping the hydrant. "How are they able to replicate so quickly, or keep powered?" True to her word, it doesn't take long at all for her 'things from home' to arrive. After steering well clear of the nanocloud, a pair of hovering maintenance drones come out of stealth next to Tabitha.

They have a heavy pipe wrench, work gloves, and a large piece of sturdy wire mesh in their manipulators. Tabitha takes the gloves and wrench and the drones wrap the wire mesh around the hydrant. She works with the two drones to force the hydrant to rotate so that it's better aimed at the Prius, then she makes a couple adjustments to the angle of it all before nodding. "That's got it. Here goes hoping." Then she leans into the pipe wrench to open up the hydrant. If all goes to plan, the water will push through the mesh at an upward angle so that it arcs up and rains down on the nanocloud.

Well that takes care of that. Tabitha leaves the water flowing for a moment even after the nanocloud drops, just for good measure. Then she turns off the hydrant, instructs the drones to handle cleaning it up and taking the parts she used back home. She shakes her head at the sparking power main sticking out of the hole in the ground then goes over to check on Button. She kneels next to the armored girl and raps her knuckles on the mirrored face-plate. "You alive in there?"

A groan escapes from behind the golden face-plate. Slowly Button uses her hands to push herself into a sitting position, making red brick powder shower over her from the wall above. Almost inaudibly she mutters, I need to find a way to get more shielding against energy discharges…" Once she gets her bearings back she turns to face Tabitha, "Good job. And, yes, I'm alive in here. But maybe we should get going before we're blamed for all this?" She motions to what's left of the Prius, which is mostly the glass and rubber parts of the vehicle. She starts to push her way up the wall, dislodging more dust and turning her suit reddish brown in the process.

Tabitha snorts at the idea of getting blamed. "Like the city comes out here more than twice a year. And on a holiday, no less. There's a reason I've been able to buy up so much of the neighborhood property on the cheap, y'know." She offers a helping hand up to Button, then once she's on her feet again whichever way Tabitha will nod her head towards the black dust of the former nanocloud. "Those safe to leave there?"

Button accepts the helping hand then turns to look at the dead nanobots. "Yep. A jolt that large will have fried all their internal circuitry. They're nothing but junk now… Junk that took months to develop and but together, but junk." The small girl in the armor sounds regretful, not for the damage the nanobots caused, but for the lost time and effort at the failed experiment. "Do you want a flight back?"

Tabitha nods about the nanobots, then sends a signal to Jasmine at home to send a drone over with a lab vacuum. Junk they may be, but concentrated and refined components like this aren't easy to find and will go a long way towards boosting their raw material reserves. She shakes her head about the flight, though. "No thanks. My place is just a couple blocks away, next to the old park. I'm not at Coral Springs anymore, but you fly safely and please keep your next experiment on a better leash." She says this last in a teasing manner with a grin then holds her hand up with the fingers held a minuscule distance apart. "Or lots of tiny leashes."

Button laughs and starts floating up into the air. "Will do, thanks for the help." Then dashes away in the direction of the school, quickly fading from view.

Tabitha waves after Button as the armored girl flies away, then sighs and waits for the drones Jasmine is sending to arrive. She coordinates their cleanup and collection efforts, then considers putting in the effort and parts to repair the power main. After a bit she shakes her head, deciding to instead document the damage once evidence of the ruckus is cleared away. Who knows, maybe she can use it somehow to get the price down on the old city park.

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