Chapter 8: Preparing to Fight Back

Blank Bruno looked over the lines of code for his newest signal enhancement program. On the corner of his desk, the well-behaved frog he'd named God sat and watched him with bulbous eyes.

Bruno was corrected an error he'd spotted when he saw Bryce's face appear on his vu-phone screen.

Knowing that Bryce and some of the other former students from ACS were recovering from a recent hostage situation at the Harrisburg Center, he answered the phone with more than a little curiosity.

"Bryce, it's good to talk, but are you supposed to be calling? I thought these places had a six week waiting period before they let you contact the outside world."

"They might," Bryce said. "I don't know. I want to work on a nanite project," Bryce said. "I need supplies. I want to get some visual records of the terrorists left in the organization that took us captive."

"You know that there's no camera lense small enough to capture the images for a nanite recorder," Blank Bruno pointed out.

"I'm thinking of using a synesthesic interface," Bryce told him. "You have heard of synesthesia, right?"

"The jumbling of sensations, 'hearing colors'," Blank Bruno remembered. "What are you going to convert to sight?"

"I'm thinking of an olfactory-to-optic transfer," Bryce told them. "Scent is more consistent than other senses."

"It'll take about six weeks," Bruno pointed out.

"Well, we're going to be here for six months," Bryce said, "so that's fine with me."

At the Harrisburg Center, Dr. Benson had spotted Bryce on the phone. He had a policy of not allowing phone calls for the first month or so, to allow his clients time to clear their minds of all the publicity and control that others tried to force upon them.

"You need to get off the vu-phone, Mr. Lynch," He said, sternly.

"Whoops! Gotta go!" Bryce apologized, hanging up.

"I hope you know that will cost you an extra three days without phone privileges," the doctor told him. "I know it might not seem fair, but we have reasons for our rules. I just hope whatever your call was about was worth it."

"It was," Bryce remarked with a dark smile on his face "It was most definitely worth it."

Jenny stood up from the table where she and Susan had been playing chess and walked over Bryce. "Can he get us the parts?"

"They'll be here in about six weeks," Bryce told her. "We'll try and pinpoint the group's most likely location in the meantime. That will allow me to write a guidance program which'll send our little friends where they need to go."

"Have you figured out how to get past the video input problem?" Jenny asked.

"Synesthesic interface," Bryce replied. "Conversion of scent input to sight output."

"Will it work?" Winston asked as he joined them.

"Honestly, I'm not certain." Bryce admitted "It's never been done artificially before. We know it's possible because the human brain has done it. But nobody is exactly sure how the mistranslation takes place."

"So it's hit or miss?" Jenny asked.

"Not entirely," Bryce said. "in this case we know what senses we want to start and end with. It's just a matter of getting from point A to point B without creating a false positive for the output."

"So, what is the solution?" Winston asked.

"I'm still working on that," Bryce told them. "We have six weeks before the parts arrive, so I suggest we all work on it together and try to come up with something by the time they do."

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