ROBOT BILLIONAIRE BOYFRIEND
Eighteen-year-old Lucca Mach is the go-to genius of Scrapyard City. Inventing spray-on bodysuits and swarms of housekeeping nanobots is routine for a prodigy like her. So when her older sister, Eden, calls Lucca an anomaly for not dating like everyone else, the logic does not compute. Relationships are a waste of brainpower when there’s the impossible to invent into reality.
To shut Eden up, Lucca engineers the perfect solution: she builds Robb out of scavenged parts. A boyfriend who doesn’t talk back and exists only to please her? He’s flawless.
But dating a tin can isn't good for business. No one wants to hire a mastermind crazy enough to make out with scrap metal, so Robb decodes the financial market to provide for her. Becoming the newest billionaire on the block takes Robb from scourge to savior, the solution to a city starving for resources. Now everyone wants a piece of the perfect man.
Selling Robb off means handing over her greatest invention and losing the only companion she’s ever allowed herself to depend on. But refusing to sell means never getting hired again, defending Robb from the increasingly violent masses, and worst of all—admitting she’s fallen for a bunch of 0's and 1's.
Flying a quadcopter with your brain was no easy task. When it came to reading those ever-so-faint electrical signals blipping from neuron to neuron, seven millimeters of solid skull had an impressive damping effect. And then there were all those pesky invasive thoughts to deal with. Decoding one brainwave as “fly straight,” versus “do a loop-de-loop,” compared to “where’s that damn screwdriver? Oh, sorry, fire the missile” was a technological problem of the highest complexity.
I’d say that type of neutral interface was completely impossible to create—for anyone besides me, of course. Because I had just invented it.
A headset mounted my scalp like a parasite. It pressed electrodes to my temple, the base of my neck, and the peak of my eyebrow, begging for commands. All it needed was a gentle wave of electromagnetic signals to come to life.
I stilled my mind. The chorus of fans and motors whirring in my shop quieted.
The quadcopter woke. Batteries fed life to the gears, the juice warming its blades as they whirred faster and faster. The copter teetered back and forth on its landers like a drunk rediscovering his limbs.
I bid my baby to fly.
A tiny shudder rolled through the copter’s frame as it rose above the worktable and accelerated forward…
And tried to take my sister’s head off.
Eden screeched and dodged left, the whirling blades claiming a chunk of hair instead of her face. Impressive reaction time. Eight years of shacking up together in this shed-turned-home-turned-workshop had some benefit.
“Lucca! What the Scrap are you doing?”