Her name was the Rumor, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to Reginald that Allison would know of every possible rumor in the household and started a few of her own.

Allison had been walking through the halls to find Five. He had been using a book that she needed.

Instead of talking to Five though, Allison found herself outside of Reginald's office listening to the hissed whispers from inside.

"—who else are you going to get to do her job?" She heard Pogo ask. Pogo wasn't a person she would describe as being angry, but he sounded as furious as Pogo could sound.

"I will make another," Reginald replied.

Allison frowned, leaning in closer to the shut door.

"She is not replaceable!"

"She is a robot, Pogo. Of course she is replaceable."

"The children see her as their mother."

"Even more of a reason to get rid of her. Emotional ties like that to something as vulnerable as a robot is illogical. A little bit of water is spilt on her and she'll fizzle and die. Besides, she's defective."

Allison's eyes widened. They were talking about Grace. About shutting her down.

"How is she defective, sir?" Pogo asked.

"Have you seen her with the children? She seems to care. That is not her job. She is only supposed to keep them alive. Not make them emotionally vulnerable."

"She is an AI, sir. You programmed her to be whatever her systems told her the children needed. They need a mother so that's what she has become."

"You agree then that she has become a stand in for their mother. That is not her job. She is defective and will be shut down tonight. I will not hear any further arguing."

Allison covered her mouth.

He couldn't. He couldn't just kill her. And why would he? Because they loved her? Because he saw her as a weakness?

"What would you like me to tell the children?" Pogo asked.

"Nothing. They do not need to know."

Allison heard the door creak as Pogo walked over and Allison hurried down the hall.

When Allison walked into the library, Five glanced up from the book before shutting it and picking up a notebook instead.

"I thought I'd be seeing you soon. You can take the book. I won't need it again for a few weeks," Five said.

Allison ignored him and sat down in the chair across from him.

Her throat felt tight and she wasn't sure if she'd be able to speak, without breaking down and she couldn't do that. Not in front of Five.

"Allison?" Five asked. She hasn't realized he had looked up at her. The notebook in his hands was shut again. "What happened?"

Allison shook her head.

"Tell me," Five said.

"It's Mom."

Five looked confused. "What?"

"Da— Reginald is going to kill her."

Five froze.

"I knew it," Five muttered, leaning back. He shook his head for a second before shoving himself to his feet. Five started pacing, his hands glowing. Allison didn't think he was even aware of his powers sparking.

"How did you—"

"Reginald saw her with Diego after he finished his practice. Apparently Diego wasn't happy that Reginald made him kill a cat and he was-" Five waved his hands, "venting to mom. Diego didn't know I was walking past the kitchen, much less Dad. And Mom…she wasn't acting robotic. Her AI is getting better. She was almost human."

"How is that bad?" Allison asked. This meant mom was doing better, right? The point of an AI was to be human-like.

Five shook his head. "No. Reginald doesn't want a caretaker. He wants someone to keep us alive until we have to save the world and put him back in the papers. He probably sees Diego and you all caring for mom as a weakness."

Allison chose not to comment on him leaving himself out of that statement.

"He can't shut her down, Five. He can't kill her."

Five shrugged, but it didn't look as carefree as he had probably hoped. "Of course he can. Unless," Five glanced over to her, realization on his face, "unless you stop him."

Allison frowned then connected the dots as to what he meant.

"No—" Allison began.

"You don't have to tell the others. I won't tell anyone."

"Five, I can't. I promised Luther I wouldn't Rumor—"

"You have a choice. Break your promise to Luther and rumor Reginald or let mom die," Five said, and for the first time in the conversation, Five wasn't hiding. The panic in his eyes was clear. He cared too and he was too focused on Allison to hide it. "You are the only one who can do it, Allison. If I could I would, but I can't."

The sun was setting by the time Allison left Five and got back to Reginalds office. She and Five had run over different plans. They had to decide on how to word the rumor so it wouldn't backfire. Allison explained what Reginald had said about Grace having glitches.

Five had nodded. Five had noticed them too. Anytime she got around water she would have trouble processing and sometimes even spark. Every time too many of them spoke at once it was like her processor couldn't keep up and sometimes it even crashed.

Allison held a paper in her hand that had the Rumor she had Five had built.

She didn't want to do this. She didn't want to break her promise and she didn't want to be responsible if it went wrong but she didn't have choice. She would just have to be quick.

Before she could stop herself, Allison pushed the door to Reginald's office open.

"You didn't knock, Number Three."

"I heard a Rumor that you never shut Grace down and that you made her indestructible."

Reginald's eyes glowed silver.

"Forget this conversation."

Allison walked out the door then ran.

Allison busted into the library and Five jumped to his feet.


"It worked."

"So she is safe?"

Allison nodded.

Five fell back onto his chair, burying his face in his hands. Allison sat down across from him and reminded herself to breathe.

She did it. She saved mom. Of all the times she'd rumored Dad, that was one of the worst. She didn't remember a time that it was that stressful.

A life hadn't hung in the balance before. Not like that.

After a moment Five looked back up at Allison.

"You good?" He asked.

Allison nodded again.

Yeah, she was fine. For now, everyone was fine.