My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:
Lucca’s obsession is technology. She communes with mechanical systems, breathes computer code, and sleeps on a bed of spare parts. She’d drink motor oil if it was remotely digestible. Why is this fearsome? Because she prioritizes it over family, friends, sleep, and food. And for an eighteen-year-old left on her own for the first time in Scrapyard City, she’s about to get a hard lesson in adult responsibility.
Eighteen-year-old Lucca Mach is the go-to genius of Scrapyard City. Inventing spray-on bodysuits and swarms of housekeeping nanobots is routine for a prodigy like her. So when her older sister, Eden, calls Lucca an anomaly for not dating like everyone else, the logic does not compute. Relationships are a waste of brainpower when there’s the impossible to invent into reality.
To shut Eden up, Lucca engineers the perfect solution: she builds Robb out of scavenged parts. A boyfriend who doesn’t talk back and exists only to please her? He’s flawless.
But dating a tin can isn't good for business. After the cityfolk brand her as a deviant for kissing scrap metal, no one wants her perverted inventions anywhere near them. When Lucca’s money runs out, Robb decodes the financial market to provide for her and becomes the newest billionaire on the block. Prejudice falls away fast in the face of money, and now everyone wants a piece of the perfect man.
Selling Robb off means handing over her greatest invention and losing the only companion she’s ever allowed herself to depend on. But refusing to sell means the end of her inventing days, a lifetime of protecting Robb from the masses who still stop at nothing to get him, and worst of all—admitting she’s fallen for a bunch of 0s and 1s.
Flying a quadcopter with your brain was no easy task. When it came to reading those ever-so-faint electrical signals blipping from neuron to neuron, seven millimeters of solid skull had an impressive damping effect. And then there were all those pesky invasive thoughts to deal with. Decoding one brainwave as “fly straight,” versus “do a loop-de-loop,” compared to “where’s that damn screwdriver? Oh, sorry, fire the missile” was a technological problem of the highest complexity.
I’d say that type of neutral interface was completely impossible to create. Well, for anyone besides me. Because I had just invented it.
A headset mounted my scalp like a parasite. It pressed electrodes to my temple, the base of my neck, and the peak of my eyebrow, begging for commands. All it needed was a gentle wave of electromagnetic signals to come to life.
I stilled my mind. The chorus of fans and motors whirring in my shop faded into the background.
The quadcopter woke. Batteries fed life to the gears, the juice warming its blades as they whirred faster and faster. The copter teetered back and forth on its landers like a drunk.
I bid my baby to fly.
A tiny shudder rolled through the copter’s frame as it rose above the worktable and accelerated forward…
And tried to take my sister’s head off.
Eden screeched and dodged left, the whirling blades claiming a chunk of hair instead of her face. Impressive reaction time. Eight years of shacking up together in this shed-turned-home-turned-workshop had some benefit.