Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 82: Intelligence Leak
Before Yu Le could wink, Ruan Xian quickly accepted the conversation.
He put away the broken eggshell in front of him and sighed slightly regretfully. “We did find one, but they’re too slow. We’re thinking about changing to a different one. Do you have any recommendations?”
“Slow?” He An raised his eyebrows.
“Yeah, after we dropped you off, we found someone named Ji Xiaoman nearby. The shop was very close.” Yu Le naturally took over and patted He An beside him. “Unfortunately, that girl mentioned the long repair time and asked for a lot of things. These brothers are unfamiliar with life here and are afraid of being cheated. If things were going well, do you think we’d be out here in the middle of the night eating noodles?”
He An looked at the expressions of the two of them back and forth and nodded noncommittally.
“Then you have escaped disaster.” He casually drew circles on the table with his fingers. “Ji Xiaoman has just been involved in a power struggle, and no one can find her. If you do see her, remember to go to the edge of the city and let us know. There’s a lot of gratitude you get for assisting the City Defenders, enough to repair your car twice… So you found this noodle shop by yourself?”
“Of course not. When we left, that kid asked the girl casually. After all, I’ve been in the Sea of Ruins for a long time and usually don’t lack food, so I want to try something special.” Lao Yu was obviously a good liar. When some truth was mixed with lies, he had almost no subtle reactions that were unique to liars.
“It seems that this place is more chaotic than we thought.” Ruan Xian brought the topic back again. “I thought you were good at finding people. So, she’s gone and you can’t find her? Isn’t there a woman in her shop?”
“Disappeared with her.” He An shrugged. “Since you’re not familiar with this area, I advise you to leave early after eating. After all, you have Xiao Tang in your group. There’s no guide in a place like this, and there are people from all walks of life. Well, I’m just here to check on some news.”
As he spoke, he took an insulated lunch box from the old man and stood up. “I’ll leave first. Have a good meal everyone.”
He An’s attitude during the whole process was extremely friendly and natural, but before leaving, he glanced in Tang Yibu’s direction a few more times.
When they returned to the off-roader to try to rest, a light screen note was suspended in the air. The iron bead was jumping up and down trying to bite it, but it could only make a clattering sound as it bit the empty air. Seeing Tang Yibu stepping back into the car, it immediately barked in a low voice, jumping anxiously under the palm-sized light screen note.
The information on the light screen note was simple…
[When you come back, look for me in the container. Ji Xiaoman.]
This time, even Yu Le, who didn’t have superhuman analytical power, could see that Ji Xiaoman hadn’t rested well.
Her android mother was sleeping in a standard bed, wearing a patched nightgown and was tightly wrapped in her blanket. Ji Xiaoman specially isolated the lights from the metal plate in front of the workbench while she herself was working hard on it. The tablet given by Ruan Xian was lying quietly in a small dish. Ji Xiaoman was gently shaking a test tube, which reflected the heavy black bags under her eyes.
Seeing the three of them entering the carriage, she stopped her work, and didn’t seem too surprised.
“You brought this thing in again.” She locked the door of the carriage and glanced at the drooling iron bead in Tang Yibu’s arms. Those sticky secretions wet Tang Yibu’s sleeves and had the tendency to spread further.
“After all, we left it to dry all night. If we leave it in the car again, it’ll cause trouble and things will become more of a headache if we’re noticed.” Tang Yibu patted the shell of the iron bead and lowered his voice thoughtfully. “Don’t worry Miss Ji, I won’t let it run around.”
“Are you making cybernetic brain paralysis drugs?” Ruan Xian focused on the workbench.
“Yes, thanks for the pill.” Ji Xiaoman carefully got some powder and dissolved it in a solvent. “I tried it. The effective principle of this thing is to interrupt all thinking signals outside the cybernetic brain. As a result, androids taking it will retain their physical functions and certain computing power… But emotional simulation and intermediate thinking will be suppressed, and the advanced thinking correction obtained from MUL-01 will also be blocked.”
Her voice was soft and fast, as if she wanted to divert some attention.
Yu Le’s face was blank.
“To be precise, it can lock personality data in the cybernetic brain. Using a human analogy, the bionic life after taking the medicine will be like a vegetative person with a clear mind. The body is controlled and operated by a program that’s set by others.” Ji Xiaoman explained. “This kind of locking is irreversible… But as long as the dose is controlled, it can protect the cybernetic brain and let it sleep for a short time. A very delicate design.”
“In other words, it can be used as an anesthetic for androids after dilution,” Ruan Xian added, and Yu Le’s expression became serious.
After making sure that the pirate leader understood, Ruan Xian turned to Ji Xiaoman again. “I don’t think you called us over in the middle of the night to specifically give Yu Le a lesson on bionic mechanics.”
Ji Xiaoman was startled. She seemed to want to twist the corners of her clothes with her fingers, but her sharp fingertips directly cut the fabric. The young girl seemed to be choked by something in her throat, and after taking a few sips of water, she barely made a sound.
“…I’ll join.” Her voice was as low as a mosquito humming. “You destroyed one of his stores, right? I am willing to join.”
“News sure travels fast.” Yu Le was the first to question as he crossed his arms tightly. “Even the City Defenders have just arrived here not long ago.”
“The monitoring equipment I installed in that store is unresponsive.” Ji Xiaoman buried her head. “And you have a heavy smell of human brains.”
She clenched her fists and took a deep breath. “Since you really have the courage to take action against Qian Yigeng, I can cooperate—not only will I provide you with information and tools, I can also tell you the location and structure of each of his stores, but I have two conditions.”
Ruan Xian motioned for her to continue with his gaze.
“First, you must never pull me and my mother into the water. I’m still the one who was kidnapped by you in name.” Ji Xiaoman cleared her throat. “Second, if you don’t get the mind access needle, or Qian Yigeng hasn’t been taken down, you can find someone else to repair the car.”
“I have no problem.” Yu Le raised his arms, and Tang Yibu nodded.
“Deal.” Ruan Xian stretched out his hand to her.
Ji Xiaoman hesitated for a few seconds and reached out. The metal prosthetics were cold and lighter than imagined.
“You have a bit of knowledge with that golden eye over there.”
Ji Xiaoman didn’t have the slightest intention of asking Tang Yibu if he was human. She just sat back in her seat and started heating the test tube. Compared to when they first came in, her metal fingers shook a little more this time.
“There’s a data indexing machine on the red table. Can you use it? There is medical equipment in the corner over there, but I can only do a simple blood analysis. I mainly use it to observe whether my mother’s blood is normal.” Setting up the test tube, she muttered and pointed to the two corners. “You don’t need to ask if you need to use it. Hong, keep an eye on your mechanical life.”
“My name is Yu Ge!” Yu Le grinned.
Ji Xiaoman glanced at Yu Le up and down before saying in a low voice, “…Uncle* Yu, keep an eye on that mechanical life.”
*Basically, she’s calling him old as ge is generally used for older males of the same generation, while Uncle is more like someone who’s around your father’s age.
“I’ll bring the iron bead back to the car.” Yu Le rolled his eyes and picked up the iron bead, which bit him on his finger, from Tang Yibu’s arms. “Little miss, give me some parts. I’ll go back and change some weapons. This broken container is too suffocating.”
“Do you want needles and threads? I also have those.” Ji Xiaoman asked very seriously.
“No, I have my own pants!”
“In half an hour, once I finish here.”
Watching Yu Le leave, Ji Xiaoman carefully drew the finished product into a syringe and put it in the refrigerator for storage.
“After I’m done, I’ll prepare the information on Qi Yigeng’s store for you. You can check it out for yourself… Remember to not cross the metal plate and keep your movements light. My mother is still sleeping in the back.”
Ruan Xian nodded and walked straight to the blood analyzer. Tang Yibu wiped off the saliva from the iron bead on his sleeve and followed Ruan Xian with a contemplative look.
Ruan Xian didn’t mind Tang Yibu’s gaze now. He quickly took a few tubes of blood from his arms and began to observe them with the analytical machine. Before, he had always put his real situation in a less important position in his heart, but after seeing those brains up close, his desire to find answers had swelled again—not for position or belonging, but because the puzzle kept getting bigger.
In his memory, Fan Linsong shot him in the head. There was no other possibility than for him to die on the spot as his brain wasn’t intact. No matter how you looked at it, he didn’t meet the living requirements of the “Farewell Project” at that time.
If this memory wasn’t forcibly stuffed in by others, the memory of “Ruan Xian” should have been extracted. Then the situation of the other “Ruan Xian” was very interesting. Assuming the other party was a fake, how did his “memory” come to form?
But this may also be intentional. Perhaps his designer just wanted to make him mistakenly think he was the deity Ruan Xian. At present, it was impossible to find another Ruan Xian to study or confront. The only thing he had was himself.
This was undoubtedly a great opportunity, and Ji Xiaoman wasn’t their enemy. After all, she was just a young girl with insufficient resources who only wanted to cure her mother, and it wasn’t easy to find clues from cleaned machinery.
Not to mention that this blood analyzer was a terribly old model. Ruan Xian had used an extremely similar old model in the past, and this one only underwent a few technical changes.
Under Tang Yibu’s gaze, Ruan Xian pushed the dark red blood into the machine.
Accompanied by the rumble of mechanical operation, he leaned down and began to check the blood composition through the observation mirror. Then he held his breath for an instant—Not only was the machinery very familiar, but the results it gave also made him very familiar.
His own blood cells were mixed with a large number of artificial cells with α-092 characteristics, but there were some subtle differences. After all, Ruan Xian was still researching the improvement of the nanorobot α-092 “before his death”, and it could be said that he remembered its characteristics clearly.
If the S-type Prototype fused with him, why was there only such a single feature in his blood cells?
Ruan Xian stood up and quickly walked to the area where the data retrieval machine was located. Ji Xiaoman had a lot of research on bionics and shouldn’t let go of that knowledge.
“Your face is a bit ugly.” Tang Yibu concluded after observation. He was like a shark smelling blood, following Ruan Xian closely.
Before entering the information on the retrieval machine, Ruan Xian hesitated for half a second. His gaze swept past Ji Xiaoman, who was still working hard, and stopped on Tang Yibu. They looked at each other in silence for a while, and then Ruan Xian finally stretched out his hand and clearly typed out the information he wanted to find.
Search object: α-092
Search result: Searching
Ruan Xian tapped the desktop hurriedly with his fingertips, while Tang Yibu turned to look at the blood analyzer in the corner of his eyes and touched his chin. Ruan Xian noticed the other party’s small movements but didn’t give any explanation. Because the retrieval machine gave the answer almost at the next moment—a light screen almost jumped on him.
[Nanobot α-092, originally used for organ preservation for transplantation, has extremely high cell-repairing power. It was later improved by Mr. Ruan Xian into an artificial cell structure, which can mimic all known cells and has strong stability.]
[The polymer based on α-092 is named Sense-Type artificial stem cells, also known as S-type Prototype. After inducing differentiation, the A-type (Attack type) Prototype and the D-type (Defense type) Prototype came out one after another.]
[The α-092 before the transformation still stayed around. After a series of fine-tuning, it’s still widely used in biological tissue preservation and cell division stimulation.]
“Yibu.” Ruan Xian turned off the light screen.
“I remember Chi Lei mentioned in his book, ‘In order to ensure safety, humans have not equipped them with any artificial intelligence’… Ruan Xian didn’t give the Prototype the ability to think, right?” His voice was as soft as a whisper.
“Yes,” Tang Yibu replied, with interest.
“What do they look like? I mean…those Prototypes. Is it a white mass, shapeless? At first glance, it looks like—”
“Like a large jellyfish.” Tang Yibu propped up the edge of the table and turned his head sideways, putting his face close to him. “Mr. Ruan, why are you asking this all of a sudden? There’s no records in your initial visual data. No, maybe it should be said that you should ‘remember’ it. There was definitely a mechanical pump port, or something like that, to introduce it into your blood circulation…”
The android’s voice became lower, and his brows frowned. A faint suspicion gradually appeared in his eyes as he looked at the blank face of the person in front of him.
Distracted. Ruan Xian clenched his fists. He revealed a little flaw in himself, and he had to quickly cover up.
But the weirdness of this incident was hindering his thinking and diverting his attention. If the Prototype had no thinking abilities, why did it take the initiative to attack him?
“I remember.” He grinned, quickly assembling known information in his head. “I just suddenly thought of something. My blood sample is a bit like the tissue solution of a previous α-092. The source of the prototype wasn’t mentioned in Chi Lei’s book. I thought it—”
Tang Yibu suddenly stretched out a hand and squeezed Ruan Xian’s wrist tightly. His strength was so terrifying that Ruan Xian thought for a second that his wrist would be directly crushed. For the first time, he saw the android made an expression close to “sharp”. Tang Yibu imprisoned him silently by the table, with his back to Ji Xiaoman, making sure the little girl couldn’t see their faces.
“In order to ensure that the mechanism of the Prototype wouldn’t be hacked, the function of α-092 variant after its introduction hasn’t changed much, but it’s mixed with a lot of interference expressions, which looks far from the Prototype. The variant samples before the transformation are a top secret. There are fewer than 30 people in the world who have been exposed to it.”
“…Where did your information come from, Mr. Ruan?”
The author has something to say:
Ruan: Trying to cover the horse feet√
Tang: Trying to pick up the horse.