As always when a new nano was introduced, there was a huge crowd surrounding the Great Machine. Nevertheless, the size of it was staggering. Normally, Fusion Fighters just got the data for new nanos them sent straight to their comm units-it being too difficult to pull in so many of their numbers from across the warfront to the machine otherwise. Only curious eyes and those signed on to the nano project typically came in-person for the reveal. Not this time. Dexter's widespread announcement about the project's latest 'success' had been sent to every soldier in the force.
Silya was furious with him over it.
The team had made a nano without an original model-the Unstable Nano, as they chose to call it. The woman had seen plenty of unstable nanos on the warfront: Things didn't typically go well for them, and she'd nearly lost one of her own due to a careless creation. Why they would deliberately make one with an unstable form was beyond her, but beating some sense into the boy genius wasn't.
She saw the nano first, hovering above a platform with a scientist standing next to it. Fusion Fighters gathered around it to gawk at, but she could make out its glob-like, humanoid form. Beyond that, it had no distinguishable features except for it's vivid green flesh-all too much like unpurified fusion matter for her liking.
"Dex, where are you?!" she shouted over the crowd. A few heads turned her way curiously, but went back to their own, excited chatter soon after. She didn't spot him, just a Dexbot and Mandroid at opposite ends of the machine. Cowards, leaving their robots to the job. They both of them were too prideful not to revel in their latest 'success' before the masses-not unless they knew they'd crossed a line.
She'd come after Mandark later: Dexter's involvement had made the whole thing personal. She didn't care if he was her boss! He knew how she felt about unstable nanos! Had known practically from the moment she returned from the future with the other missing research participants to hand over the blueprints to make them! How could he do this, knowing how dangerous it was for the nanos made and how heartbreaking the aftermath would likely be?!
She called him directly from her wristcomm. Normally, she wouldn't have access, but he'd made the mistake of giving her the number thanks to her work helping him search for some of the world's missing heroes. It took a few tries, but soon enough Silya heard his heavily accented voice on the other end of the line, "Hello?"
She cut right to the chase, "Dexter, you better run, because as soon as I get to Tech Square, I'm gonna open a can of Powerpuff and hunt you down! Do you know where I'm standing right now?! I'm looking at your latest, little Frankenstein and-!"
Whether or not her threat got to him, his tone turned satisfied at the mention of the nano. "Ah, so you've made one already! Good: Send me a report on him in about two weeks. They've been field-tested, but haven't interacted with many people outside of our scientists. I'll pay you for it."
"I'm not making one!" Her voice was adamant. She felt her cheeks flare a deep red. Maybe to a handful of people, nanos were just tools, but they were her teammates. She wasn't going to bring one into the world and just watch it melt back into fusion matter right in front of her! She thought Dexter knew better himself... "They're unstable, Dex! I can't even tell if the one you're showing off was purified at all! This is a disaster waiting to happen."
"Silya, I promise, they're perfectly fine. Check your scanners if you don't believe me."
She was reluctant about it. It felt like he was stalling her, and everything in front of her eyes told her all she needed. She listened though, slowly digging out the right devices from her C.A.T.A.L.O.G.U.E. while her employer waited patiently on the comm.
Granted, her handheld system was nowhere near as sophisticated as the tech the scientists and medics used on the nanos, but... Nothing. No radiation leaking from its body, no traces of unpurified matter, no wavering sections along the holographic diagram to indicate a disintegrating structure. No matter how much she scrutinized it, everything looked healthy...
After taking a deep breath, brows still furrowed with confusion, Silya returned to the call, "You've got one minute to explain."
"I would never release a nano if I wasn't certain that they'd stay in one piece," he began, as if to further pacify her before continuing, "These were made to be shapeshifters. As malleable as the fusion matter used to created them. Because we based them more strongly off of those properties, and without a model to go by instead, they're default is the form you see now. We only called them the 'Unstable Nanos' because they don't have a singular form."
The young woman eyed the nano a second time, a little calmer than before. Ever if that was true, it still didn't settle quite right with her. Did that mean that nano wasn't it's own person then? True, the others took personality traits from their models, but if it was constantly shapeshifting than what who it on its own? No eyes, no mouth... It half amazed her that the being was able to react to things at all. "What do they do?"
"In default? Not much. They don't have a nano type-not until they shapeshift into something else-and they're powers also change based on those transformations. Not exactly ideal for combat, I know, but I'm sure you'll make use of their shapeshifting skill alone. It might be good for recon, or if you could use a nano to sneak somewhere you can't. I doubt many fusions would notice much of a difference."
Well, it had had her fooled...
"Please make one, Silya," he sighed, "I understand if you're not comfortable with the idea, but I also know I can trust you to look after one and give the team careful feedback."
She thought it over, biting her lip. It had only been one bad experience with an unstable nano-her Numbuh Two nano-but it had been a close call that scared her enough to be cautious with all of the ones that followed after him. She didn't want to risk losing them, and it would kill her if she let it happen by her own, careless mistakes.
It wouldn't make much of a difference though if she got an Unstable Nano or not, seeing as how every other Fusion Fighter seemed to make one. And a shapeshifter could be a good, new addition to her team, considering the rest of her nanos' skill sets. She felt her shoulders loosen up as she relented, "I haven't turned down any other nano yet, have I? I guess I can manage it..."
She could hear a smile in Dexter's voice, "Excellent! We're finishing up research on a few more as well. If you think you can handle them, I'll send you their data as soon as possible."
The call ended. Silya recomposed herself, then checked in with both the Dexbot and Mandroid to fill her in on any more information about the nano before she gathered the data necessary to create it. She had her NanoSynth on her, but she waited to use the Great Machine itself, still too afraid of the outcome if she didn't. The team had already prepared a special concoction of purified fusion matter in advance, so she didn't need to siphon it from her own converter. She just had to step in and focus her imaginary energy on the new creation.
It wasn't like she had much to go by, all things considered: Just the one outside. She didn't have many extreme expectations for the new nano either. Above all, she just wanted him to be stable and safe. She hoped that wish would carry over as the fusion matter used to craft him gradually meshed itself together like clay in a human shape. Soon enough an oval became a small torso, the torso stretched out to manifest small limbs, and a small person uncurled itself from the mess of shapes-looking around with wide-eyed curiosity as it came into the world.
Her version seemed fairly standard, but the head was more rounded and his head was a slightly lighter shade of green than the one shown off meters away from them. Like the rest of her nanos, he seemed to recognize her instantly, his gaze landing on her with an intense stare. Stepping out of the machine, Silya scooped up the hovering blob and took him over to the side where it was less crowded. Beyond looking around and then back at her, he didn't react much. She didn't think he could speak.
Blob or not, she was still going to give him a nickname like she did all of her other nanos. She thought it over for a few moments, leaning against a concrete wall, then greeted the newcomer with a small grin, "I guess... welcome to the world, Goollio."