When Arnold had overheard Mr. Harvey muttering, while half-asleep late that Friday, about the wonderful things the raptor would do; the cat had already asked Professor Lionheart to meet with him. The two were now standing outside of the office and after a greeting the feline got to the point.
“We have a problem,” Arnold thought about this for a moment…no one under the influence had started rioting like they might have under the Dark Aether. “We have an annoyance. Have you noticed people going around talking about the raptor recently?”
“Why does that not surprise me?” Heliotrope snorted. “He’s in their dreams, that’s for sure. He’s put some kind of device on top of the CocoaJava using that Jurassic glue of his.”
The cat growled, “There’s a device here too. All the workers in the asylum have started to rebel…sort of. Anyone on the crew who has seen it has started talking about the raptor, rapper, or something afterwards. Now they’re putting up pictures of him instead of fixing the roof.”
“Wonderful,” Helio replied with bitter sarcasm. “He must have discovered the proper wavelength to tap into autonomic overrides.” Arnold looked at the professor confused, and he explained, “They’re doing it without thinking, I imagine, or doing it while thinking they’re doing something else. Very clever. Almost impossible to consciously cure, such as with psychotherapy or even in dreams.”
“Oh.” Arnold said as he realized softly. “That’s not good.”
“Well, I’ve smashed his machines before, I can smash them again. Show me the device.” Arnold complied and lead him up the stairs until they reached the third floor balcony. He opened the door and the professor stepped outside to inspect it.
“Hmmm…it’s similar to the one at the CocoaJava, only this one is larger.” Arnold shrugged slightly at that, and then the professor turned and looked at him intrigued. “You’re not affected?”
“By what?” The cat asked wryly, though he was curious about what the professor might know, he would never be comfortable talking about this. “If it’s trying to affect my subconscious we have been disconnected.”
The professor gripped his pipe and puffed a few times, “Interesting. You have no capacity for hypnosis. Is Id affected?”
“I have no idea.” Arnold replied rigidly. “I haven’t reconciled with her.” He paused as he realized how short he was being. Even if Helio anticipated him to act this way he deserved better answers than the cat had been giving him. He softened his tone lightly, “Yet…that’s my next step in the therapy whenever I get back to it.”
Helio nodded to show he understood, and then moved on, “As long as these devices are affecting minds, I am blocked. It’s worse than the crabs. But I believe that a sudden or violent shock should revive the affected.”
That was at least some good news, “I don’t suppose you can rewrite these things?”
“If I can take it apart…” Helio grumbled. “Those doom clocks had their own defenses.”
Arnold thought about it for a few moments, and then muttered jokingly, “We could try smashing it and then find out how it worked.”
The professor puffed his pipe a few times, the loud machinery behind him and the clock above didn’t seem to affect his thought process as he proclaimed that he had an idea. “Clockworks cannot be hypnotized by a device like this, and they can smash very well. We can enlist the aide of some of them.”
Arnold agreed, “Now that you mention it, this place has been crawling with M Bots almost every day for a few months…”
“Excellent. I’ll see if I can rework the brain in one of them…surely they can’t be that complicated.” Lionheart turned around and inspected the device again. “I would cast the thing into the ocean, but we don’t need an army of merfolk set against us. Perhaps we could coat it in cavorite and send it into the ether.”
That reminded Arnold of Emerson‘s mad scheme and he wondered if it would be easy to smuggle onto his ship, “Mars could use it I suppose…” Arnold was amused by the idea for a few moments until he realized that they didn’t want an army of Martians under Dr. Dinosaurs control either.
They continued to talk for a short time, but in the end they came to the same conclusions, that they would need to gather supplies, round up robots, find some way to communicate with them, and make sure that these things didn’t have some kind of defenses before they made their move. Hopefully the city would not burn down before then.