Rupert allows his spaceship to hover over the roof of Cranbury Semiconductor in Monroe New Jersey. Roberta and Monica step out of the spaceship and into a cool Fall night. Monica watches the outline of the spaceship shrink away into the sky. When she looks for Roberta, she is already at the side of the building holding onto the railings of a steel ladder. Monica rushes over and whispers, "Where are you going? The stair well is over there."
Roberta is trying with all her will to step out onto the ladder, but her legs will not move in that direction. She complains, "Rupert's nanites are too strong."
Monica realizes that Roberta is trying to break her agreement with Rupert. "Come on Roberta, this is no time to run off. Rupert could be back here in a flash and take us back to the Moon...and leave us there for good."
Roberta steps away from the ladder. "I'm not going to help Rupert."
"Then help me." Monica turns and walks towards the stair well, cursing the coldness of the night and wishing she had worn a coat. The roof door has a good lock. Monica touches a finger to the lock and some nanites transfer over from her body. After a moment the lock clicks and Monica opens the door, allowing them to get off the roof and move inside. She pauses for a moment in order to collect the nanites and makes sure that her forged Cranbury Semiconductor employee badge is visible. She inspects Roberta and asks, "Where is your badge?"
Roberta pulls the badge out of a pocket and clips it on her shirt. They go down the stairs Monica and uses the nanites to disable the inner door's alarm. They step into a brightly lit hallway and Monica looks in both directions then leads the way towards the managerial offices.
Soon they are in a room with a dozen large filing cabinets. Monica slips on a pair of night vision glasses and starts with the cabinet labeled 1999. Roberta asks, "Do you really think you are going to find anything?"
Monica struggles to not let herself be annoyed by Roberta. This is the kind of investigative grunt work that Monica is used to, except she is now guilty of criminal trespass. "This was Rupert's first target. If we find nothing here there are a couple dozen more to try."
Roberta complains, "That could take weeks and you still might find nothing."
Monica closes the 1999 drawer and moves to 2000. "We'd be done twice as fast if you would help."
"You'd be a fool to trust me to help you. If I saw any records mentioning Cognite I wouldn't tell you."
"The nanites might compel you to speak."
"Not Rupert's nanites, all they do is block motor behavior, not initiate it."
Monica moves on to 2001. "How do you know so much about nanites? You work for Gary, don't you?"
Roberta replies, "Duh. Rupert is the only one too dense to figure that out."
Monica notices a file folder labeled "Cognite Systems". Can it really be that easy? She sits down on the floor and spreads the papers from the folder our before her. Roberta comes over and says, "Damn. Rupert lied to us. He knew this was the place."
Monica suspects that there were plenty of clues in electronic databases linking Cranbury Semiconductor to Cognite Systems. Rupert only needed someone on the ground to confirm the connection, and that only because Cranbury Semiconductor had never bothered to digitize all of its records from the early years of the millenium. Monica says, "Strange...these are all shipping invoices for materials coming from Cognite." She looks at the rest of the files from 2001. "Ug. How can we find the records for the out going shipment that made it onto Flight 93?" She cannot find a folder for shipments to Cognite Systems. Monica knows that her glasses are making a photographic record of everything she looks at. She quickly looks through all the out bound shipments for Early September, 2001. While scanning through the folders she notices one destination located in Silicon Valley. "Okay, I'm done."
Roberta asks, "Can we just walk out the front door?"
Monica smiles, "Try it." Monica wonders if Roberta could alert security in an effort to prevent Rupert from getting the information that Monica just photographed.
Roberta tries to turn down the hall towards the main entrance, but she cannot go in that direction. After giving it a good try, she turns and follows Monica back to the stairwell and up onto the roof. They go down the ladder on the side of the building. Monica pints towards the Turnpike. "The car should be over there."
Reyes tries to contact Doggett, but her nanodevice implants block that. She discovers that she can send some information to Keri. Reyes does not want John freaking out if he learns that she is contacting Keri and not John, AND her nanodevice implants do not want her to inform anyone she knows that she is on Earth, so she does not identify herself to Keri. She tries to include clues that will indirectly inform John that Reyes is back on Earth. (message to Keri in which Reyes works in the idea of "office assistant of the month" <-recognized by John as being from Monica)
John gets idea that it is Reyes providing Keri with info, but he assumes that it is just a way to distract Keri and make it look to Skinner like the Flight 93 investigation is advancing so John feels that can continue his investigation into Champion Research.
Eventually, Doggett (nanites are detected in a piece of equipment at Champion Research), Reyes and Keri all reach the same destination: Cognite Systems in San Carlos, Ca. Gary's cover: Cognite is run by Tommy Copeland, a nanotechnology inventor. Material on Flight 93 was being shipped from Cognite's manufacturing plant in New Jersey to the headquarters in San Carlos. However, some functioning humanoid robot prototypes are found in California. They use advances nanotechnology that is linked to Gary.
Gary Seven allows himself to be deported from the Solar System for the crime of setting up Champion Research and Cognite Systems. It turns out that Keri is really Keri Eight, Gary Seven's sister. She and Gary's other brothers and sisters will continue the interventionist efforts on Earth.
In this second X-Seven story Doggett and Reyes are eventually reunited.
The deportation of Gary Seven and Isis, they return to Gary's home world (with Roberta).
Continue to: Chapter 6