J. V. Kade The Meta-Rise

ISBN 13: 9780803738614

The Meta-Rise

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9780803738614: The Meta-Rise

The thrilling sequel to Bot Wars, perfect for fans of Skylanders!
 
Trout St. Kroix can't believe that his half-human/half-robot father is the leader of the Meta-Rise, the robot civil rights movement. Trout can’t even enjoy being a Bot Territory celebrity, because it also puts his whole family in danger. Ratch, a robot and former friend, has found a way to take control of robot Thinkchips, and under Ratch's control, all bots—including Trout's dad—would become Ratch's drones. CanTrout—and his friends Vee and Tellie Rix, along with brother Po—find a way to stop Ratch before Trout loses his father all over again?

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

J. V. Kade lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. She is the author of both Bot Wars and The Meta-Rise. Visit her online at www.jvkade.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

MY DAD IS half machine. My brother has a prosthetic leg. And one of my best friends here in Bot Territory is a robot.

I never thought I’d say this, but in just three months I’ve gone from thinking robots were the enemy to feeling like I need a robotic hand just to fit in.

When I tell my friend Vee this, she snorts and then starts gagging on the pizza pop she’s eating, which causes Merril, the giant, barrel-chested bot cook, to swoop in and give Vee the Heimlich. Overhead, our building’s new alarm system starts blaring through the speakers. “Human choking in dining room. Foreign object lodged in throat.”

Merril moves to wrap his arms around Vee, but she dodges him and says, “I’m fine, jam it!” before trailing off in another round of coughs.

“Human choking,” the alarm says again and I run to the control panel installed in the wall near the elevator. I punch in the code Scissor taught me and the system quiets.

When I come back into the dining room, Merril is still standing there staring at Vee like he’s prepared for her to spontaneously choke on her own spit. He’s worried, even though the chicken tenders he’s frying in the kitchen are burning.

Vee is more important. For most of the bots I’ve met, it’s the same thing. They care more about their human friends than they do anything else.

“I’m fine,” Vee says again, and Merril finally saunters off, his footsteps ting-ting-ing against the concrete floor. Scissor, our mechanic robot, has been bugging him to let her upgrade his feet, since a lot of bots are turning to silicone foot pads so their steps aren’t so loud. But Merril says he likes the sound.

“I hate that new alarm system,” Vee says.

Scissor installed the system a few weeks ago, after my dad requested it. It keeps constant watch over the entire building, and all of its inhabitants, robot and human, just in case something should go wrong.

It’s my dad’s way of being overprotective, which is nice and all, but also annoying.

Vee and I sit back down with our remaining pizza pops. We’re at the big dining room table in the middle of my dad’s building. Everyone calls the building the Fort. It has all these cool nooks and crevices. And there are rope bridges. It’s pretty much the best place ever. A lot better than the tiny house my older brother, Po, and I lived in, back before we moved to Bot Territory with Dad.

Even though I’ve only known Vee for a few months, I consider her my best human friend on this side of the border. Since moving to Bot Territory from the United Districts, my life has changed a space ton. LT, my bot friend, says my life is kinda like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar, because it starts out being ugly and lumpy and kinda hideous, and then it wraps itself in a cocoon and becomes a butterfly. He didn’t say it in those words, but I know that’s what he meant. And anyway, I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about. It’s Po who got the wings, if we’re continuing on with the whole metaphor business.

Which is even more obvious by the RIDER magazine sitting on the table in front of Vee. Po’s face is on the cover, and the animated image transitions from a smiling Po, to a smiling-bigger Po, to a serious-faced Po. The headline below him reads: “St. Kroix takes the world by storm, one freedom speech at a time.”

When RIDER magazine called to ask him for an interview, Po couldn’t stop talking about himself in the third person for weeks.

Like he’s so important.

Vee sets her elbows on the table and leans toward me. “Let’s go back to that thing you were saying. You know, that thing about how you wish you were part robot.”

“I was kidding!” But secretly I wasn’t. Fact is, lately it seems like everyone I pass in Line Zero, the town in Bot Territory where I live, has a robot part. It’s like the thing to do here. You go to the upgrade shop, you pick out what you want from the display, and a week later you’ve got a robot arm or a leg or an optical implant that can sync to your Link. I heard you can even make phone calls on the implant.

It’s pretty wrenched if you ask me.

But then you’re stuck with the upgrade for the rest of your life. It’s not like they can reattach the arm they took off. Which makes me wonder what they do with those arms.

“Think about it,” Vee says after taking a gulp of juice. “What if you were picking your nose and put too much force behind it and accidentally poked yourself in the brain?”

“Like that’s even possible.”

“It could be.”

“Theoretically, it is,” Merril says, and Vee gives me a smug grin, so I stick out my tongue at her.

“What’s the plan for today?” she asks a second later.

I chomp on my pizza pop. “I don’t know. We could harass Po and Marsi.”

Vee rolls her eyes. “I am so sick of those two slobbering all over each other.”

I grimace. “Using the words Po and slobbering in the same sentence gears me out.”

“It gears me out too.” Vee looks over her shoulder at Merril in the kitchen, then lowers her voice when she turns back to me. “Listen. I heard Po telling Marsi that he has a Meta-Rise meeting this afternoon in the old library downtown.”

At the mention of the Meta-Rise, I sit up straighter. “And you waited until now to tell me?”

Vee tilts her head, which makes her hair glow orange in the sunlight pouring through the window. She dyes her hair with special dye so that the color changes depending on the light that surrounds her. A few minutes ago, it almost looked green.

“The meeting isn’t until one o’clock,” she says. “I had plenty of time to tell you.”

My dad calls the Meta-Rise the bot/human alliance. It’s this group of people and bots who believe in living together peacefully, unlike the UD, which still believes robots are the enemy, that they’ve become too much like humans. Robots aren’t allowed in the UD. They’re terminated upon capture.

My dad, Robert St. Kroix, is the leader of the Meta-Rise. He’s the best man for the job, not only because he’s top gear, but also because he’s half man, half robot, and if anyone can understand both sides of the conflict, it’s him.

Vee and I want to be members of the Meta-Rise, but our dads think we’re too young.

It’s lame.

“So,” I whisper back to Vee, “are we going?”

“What do you think?”

“Yes.”

She nods, and her ponytail swings forward. “That’s the right answer, FishKid.”

I frown. “Why can’t you call me Trout like everyone else?”

“Because where’s the fun in being like everyone else?”

“I’ll tell you what’s not fun. Being called FishKid.”

“Oh, but it’s such a cracked name. Hey, what do you think they’d call you if you got a robot part? FishBot?” She bursts out laughing. “That’s even better. I fully support you upgrading.”

I grumble as we leave the kitchen.

 

THING ABOUT VEE is, she can get just about anywhere, but it doesn’t usually involve a door.

Thankfully, I’m good at climbing.

I find a foothold in the old pitted brick of the back of the library and push myself up. There’s a ladder—a rusted fire escape—but the bottom half rusted off probably a bazillion years ago, so I have to scale the wall halfway up to pull the rest of the fire escape down.

“Hurry,” Vee says. “It’s almost one o’clock.”

Sweat beads on my forehead as the sun blasts down. I’m drenched, and we’ve only been outside for less than twenty minutes. The temperatures have been in the high nineties the last week. I call it sweaty-armpit weather. Scissor calls it whir weather, because of the constant whirring noise the bots’ cooling systems make.

“I am hurrying,” I call down.

I navigate another three feet and reach for the ladder. I’m able to grab hold of the last ladder rung and throw myself onto it. Rust flakes off the metal, raining into my hair. My added weight dislodges the ladder and then I’m falling.

When the ladder reaches the end of its rail, it snaps back, and jerks me loose. I sail to the ground, hitting the pavement with a thud.

I only dropped about four feet, but that was four feet too many.

“Ouch,” I moan.

Vee peers over on top of me. “There you go, falling again.”

I roll onto all fours. “You’re welcome for the ladder.”

“Thanks for the ladder,” she mock-echoes.

Vee positions an empty crate beneath the ladder, to give her another foot of height, and latches on to the bottom rung. From there she pulls herself up without much trouble.

We make it to the roof in hardly any time at all. The air up here is even hotter, if that’s possible, so that it feels like I’m swimming in it. The humidity sticks to my skin. I’m from 5th District, what used to be Colorado. Line Zero is in what used to be Louisiana. I’m not used to the southern weather yet. Maybe I never will be.

“Now where?” I ask, wiping the sweat from beneath my nose with the back of my hand.

“Over here.” Vee leads me to a door on the far side of the roof and slowly, quietly, pops open the latch.

We enter into a stairwell and press our backs against the wall and listen. It’s silent for a long time, so we head down.

“Which floor are they on?” I whisper.

“Second floor, I think.”

When we reach it, we pull the door open and peek into another hallway. I see Po come off the elevator and head left.

I shrink back, but hold the door open a crack so it doesn’t click closed, alerting Po.

“That was close,” Vee says.

I nod, wait a beat. “So, I take it we go left?”

Vee snorts. “You would make a terrible spy.”

“What?”

“If we go left, we’ll walk right into their meeting, and if we do that, our dads will kick us out.”

“Then how are we going to listen to the meeting?”

The smile that spreads across Vee’s face makes her look like a maniacal clown. “Follow me, gearbox, and I’ll show you.”

· · ·

When the hallway is clear, we sprint to the right, keeping close to the wall, in case we need to duck inside another room for cover. We make it around the next corner and Vee points us to the right again.

“Third door on the left,” she says.

The door is unlocked. We go inside and find a surveillance room.

“Are you kidding me?” I say.

“What?” Vee looks confused.

“This is the worst place to hide out when listening in on super-secret meetings.”

Vee takes a seat in the old swivel chair in the center of the room. The gears inside shriek as she turns around. “You’re forgetting I’m Parker Dade’s daughter.”

Parker is Dad’s closest friend and is in charge of planning escape and rescue routes from the UD to Bot Territory.

“So?” I answer.

“So, I know how my dad operates. He would have checked here first thing, to make sure the system was down. The library has been empty for a while, so it’s not like there was going to be anyone coming in and out. Dad would have checked the security system, and once he was sure it was off, he would have given your dad the okay.

“Which means we’re free to hang out as long as we like and”—she presses a series of buttons on the control panel and the monitors embedded in the wall come to life—“listen in on the super-secret meeting.”

The audio system boots up and I immediately recognize Dad’s voice.

“Thanks for meeting us here,” he says, and I find him on the farthest monitor on the left. He’s in a room surrounded by empty bookcases, standing at the head of a rectangular table. Each seat at the table is occupied by someone from the Meta-Rise. There’s Parker and LT, and the rest of Dad’s security team, as well as Jules, Cole, and a few others I don’t know.

Po is sitting between Jules and Parker, picking at a gouge in the table, looking bored. I would give anything in the world to be in his spot right now. I want to be a member of the Meta-Rise so badly, I dream about it in my sleep. And here Po is, automatically granted access to the secret meetings, and he doesn’t even care. Sometimes I hate how easy everything is for Po.

I mean, yeah, okay, so he lost his leg in the war, but somehow, in the two months that we’ve been in Bot Territory, even the bum leg has made Po more wrenched. There’s even a “Po St. Kroix” upgrade at the upgrade shop. People pay a lot of creds to have a bum leg just like my brother.

Which is just dumb if you ask me. Out of all the upgrades you can get, why would you pay creds for a bum leg?

“I apologize for the secret location,” Dad says. When he turns his head, the half of his face that was replaced with a metal plate gleams in the overhead light. “I wanted to be sure we weren’t interrupted.”

I wonder if he suspects Vee and I are desperate to know what’s going on At All Times. And if he moved the Meta-Rise meeting to the library hoping to avoid us. He caught us eavesdropping a week ago, when the Meta-Rise met to discuss the UD’s recent movements, and President Callo’s latest speech.

Jules, Dad’s tech advisor, said Callo is trying to do damage control after the UD attacked Edge Flats, Texas, two months ago. Callo blamed it on Sandra “Beard” Hopper, who was the head of Congress at the time, but Vee and I secretly wonder if he knew about the attack all along. The UD doesn’t want to live peacefully with robots, and I think they’re willing to do anything to keep bots as nothing more than machine slaves.

Beard was going to pin the blame for the attack on Dad, and the Meta-Rise, hoping to turn the rest of the UD against robots for good.

Thankfully, we stopped the attack before it got really bad, and ever since then Callo has been trying to make it sound like he’s neutral on the whole thing.

“As you all know,” Dad goes on, folding his arms across his chest, “we’ve been hearing from some of our outlying sources that Old New York has been busier than normal. And”—he glances at Parker—“from what we’ve dug up, it seems to be true. We recently received a report that ten thousand ThinkChips were purchased on the black market and shipped into Old New York last week.”

Voices rise around the room, but Dad talks over them. “I don’t want anyone alarmed yet. That’s why we haven’t spoken about it publicly, but . . .” Dad trails off and LT stands.

He’s a few inches taller than Dad, with sharp shoulders, wide eyes, and a dented, scraped chest plate the color of mushed peas. The rest of him is plain robot-grade melorra steel. He doesn’t have a lot of the flashy upgrades most other robots do. I like that about him.

LT clears his throat. “One of our allies in ONY has confirmed Ratch is present in the city, though we have been unable to identify if he is connected to the ThinkChips.”

Hearing Ratch’s name makes all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Ratch was LT’s best friend, and part of Dad’s team. Until he turned on us in the middle of City Hall in the UD when we were trying to rescue Po. I still have nightmares about him, about his glowing band of orange eyes staring at me, like he’s using his robot powers to see through my skin, to my bones, to see my human weaknesses.

“We have been able to confirm, however,” LT goes on, “that Ratch is plotting some kind of attack on the Meta-Rise.”

Murmurs spread through the room.

Vee and I glance at each other, wide-eyed.

“We do not know what kind of attack it will be,” LT goes on, “o...

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Descripción Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The thrilling sequel to Bot Wars, perfect for fans of Skylanders! Trout St. Kroix can t believe that his half-human/half-robot father is the leader of the Meta-Rise, the robot civil rights movement. Trout can t even enjoy being a Bot Territory celebrity, because it also puts his whole family in danger. Ratch, a robot and former friend, has found a way to take control of robot Thinkchips, and under Ratch s control, all bots--including Trout s dad--would become Ratch s drones. CanTrout--and his friends Vee and Tellie Rix, along with brother Po--find a way to stop Ratch before Trout loses his father all over again?. Nº de ref. de la librería BZV9780803738614

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