I am Electric Eye. I am small. I am lightweight. I am unnoticeable.
I am the Espionage Department’s favorite gadget. And I am bored.
Tonight, I hid in a wall sconce and spied on a meeting of the Trade Department. The officials had gathered at the Hotel Marvelie for dinner. As they waited for their food to arrive, they turned to small talk. I was forced to listen.
Politicians always make the worst jokes when trying to seem personable.
The Finance Minister told her staff that if they invested time in reading about stocks they were sure to bond over it.
The Chief Banking Officer said the other officers wouldn’t believe how interesting interest was.
I clicked photos. I recorded audio. I considered ripping out my wiring so I would not have to hear another joke. (That is a joke of my own. I am not equipped with enough strength to tear through my casing).
Forty-five minutes passed, then an hour, and still the food did not come. So the officials had nothing to do but continue to talk. And joke.
As the waiter came to fill water glasses for a fifth time, the Finance Minister grabbed him and demanded to know what was going on.
“It’s not my fault!” the waiter cried, throwing up his hands (and spilling the water pitcher). The hotel was supposed to receive fresh vegetables this morning, the waiter said, but the shipment still had not arrived. They kept calling the grocers and hearing “the most bizarre accounts.”
The waiter wrung his hands. “First, the ship tells us they’re delayed arriving. They said they got broadcast storm warnings and advisories to stay clear of the coast. But look – it’s a balmy day!”
“Then the ship finally docks, and the grocers say they heard on the radio that traffic is backed up. They try to take an alternate route. Only the thing is they find that that route is the one actually backed up. Things like this have been happening all week!”
“It’s that damn radio station bot,” snapped the Junior North-American Sea Routes Officer. “The station was an idiot to put it in charge of so many channels. It’s overheating and glitching.”
The politicians nodded. They murmured.
“Virus in the system.”
The waiter offered to cobble together a dish, but warned it would not be what they had ordered. The politicians didn’t seem to care about the food anymore.
“External hackers? That group we pissed off in India?”
“Internal hacking? Sabotage?”
And so I found my next assignment: investigate the radio bot MT-∂ and determine if she can be salvaged. Or if she must be put down.
Now I was not so bored.