Electrician’s Mate Mitch Haldane, Jr. watched as the silvery arachnid crawled across the engine room’s overhead. “Man, those bots are impressive, aren’t they?” he said.
Electrician’s Mate Cortez was on his knees, working on a switching box set low in the bulkhead. He shrugged. “Maybe,” he said. “Sure would be nice if the brass would let us in on the designs they’re fitting, though.”
Haldane had watched the networked repair bots swarming over the Obama since they’d left Newport two days ago. They had a body like a soda can and ten magnetic walking/gripping legs, wide as a pair of outstretched hands. They could build, fit and repair small pieces of equipment.
The one on the engine room overhead scuttled into a ventilation duct and out of sight. “What did you mean about those designs?” Haldane asked.
Cortez wiped his brow with the sleeve of his jumpsuit. “Well, like they upgraded all the ship’s smoke detectors, you notice that?”
Haldane shrugged. “Yeah, so?”
“So the new detectors aren’t in any of my schematic databases,” Cortez said.
“Yeah. Don’t mind them bots working from uploaded orders and schematics, but at least they could let us here on the boat know what they’re doing.”
Haldane searched the overhead until he found a smoke detector. He tapped his glasses to zoom in on the device.
In its centre, a tiny lens peered back at him.
“Hey, those detectors supposed to have cameras in ‘em?” Haldane said.
“No,” said Cortez. “Why?”