Compute: Plan=2

Whitney had almost what she recognised as sorrow. No. She blinked, and reassessed the emotions. In her human chassis was a confidence that they were on their way to helping the Whitney leaned back against the wall and crossed her arms across her chest. The others had not so much calm in their actions.

For instance, as she watched her two friends debate their next move – Lorden with his hand gestures for most of his phrases, and Percy with her shy glances away – Percy appeared to colour. Maybe it was the dawn peeking through the curtains, but her cheeks were ruddier than when she’d been brought to the underground.  

Whitney blinked, relishing that her eyelids clicked like flesh and not computer terminals, searched herself for any traces of the emotion known as regret. But Whitney felt nothing. She was not cold – not in computer terms – but simply unable to access that emotion at the present.

She had done the necessary.

She sensed between them a chemical attraction. One that could throw into jeopardy Dagger's plans. The evidence came from his veering off course to save Percina in the first place, what had set the events into motion somewhat.

"Where is Dagger?" cried Lorden for the fourth time. "I'm sick of waiting for instructions."

Whitney said nothing. It was not in her nature to lie, but Dagger had programmed her behind her nature.

That did not mean that she was happy to ply falsities to her friends, however. So Whitney was silent, and interested herself in the decor of this particular room. Curious. It had nothing of the palace above.

"...on without him," Percy was saying.

"The original plan?"

"Whitney?"

They were gazing at her.

Whitney jolted. She was still not used to the human notion of daydreaming. Instead, she shook her head to clear it of its buzzing, and activated her memory circuits. She’d been lucky enough to have her master recount the plan.

“The plan. We disable the security system for the castle so that it responds to Dagger and Devil only—”

"No," Lorden interrupted. "I meant: are you in?"

In where? No, this was human slang and Lorden was asking for her assent.

"Of course," she purred.

To her master's will.

Lorden glanced over at Percy, his expression reading two distinct emotions: concern and determination. So, they had the security codes to the castle already – and Dagger in his Grimwald guise will have made sure they'd not changed – which left opening up the castle's vulnerable spots for the magic-users to enter. What the plan was after that, Whitney had not been informed. Perhaps Lorden and Elenia were the only ones to know.

Whitney stated this, and her friends nodded.

"If I remember, there's a tunnel people in the slums have been working on that leads to the dungeons." An involuntary shudder. "We might be able to open that." Percy parted one of her curtains. "If I hurry now, I can get to the dungeons whilst the castle is in its pre-morning quiet."

"Do that," said Lorden. "Once you have, report back here, then we'll work on taking out the guards, okay? I need to contact Ben, but that can wait."

Percy raised an eyebrow, but uttered no retort. Hell (a word she'd picked up from Devil), things really were bad, weren't they?

“Go. Go now. You have to.”

And the look as if Percy would reply remained, but she turned on her heels and hurried out of her room.

This left Whitney and Lorden alone, watching all the while as Percy scurried away. Whitney wondered what he was observing of the servant girl: her character or her shape. There was…something, but she didn’t understand it. Not like a true human, even when she had been given a fleshy body such.

He slipped his hands into his pockets. "You know, Whitney, I really hate that the other maggots aren't here."

The End

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