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Episode 11, Nanotroopers. Johnny Winger and Dana Tallant escape entanglement at Engebbe from 3 billion years ago by driving ANAD into direct physical engagement with Config Zero. This physical interaction breaks their entanglement state and collapses them back the Containment lab at Table Top. They are none the worse for wear but sobered by the experience. And they owe their lives to ANAD.
However, now they know that Red Hammer may be in contact with Config Zero and its extraterrestrial masters. The key is Engebbe. At a briefing, Majors Kraft and Lofton decide the dig site needs to be monitored, then shut down. Plus the entangler sphere Red Hammer has in its possession has to be disabled. The sphere seems to be at the Paryang monastery…the cartel’s main base.
What is needed is a disentangler. This device would force decoherence by physically engaging and interacting with entangled objects and systems. This would block any Red Hammer archival access.
An 2-part op plan is worked out: (1) Detachment Bravo (commanded by Dana Tallant), is sent to Engebbe to scout for Red Hammer operatives and to reconnoiter what the cartel’s ultimate goal is in being there and (2) an attempted infiltration by ANAD (Detachment Alpha, commanded by Johnny Winger) will be made into Paryang to put a disentangler in place to block the cartel’s archive access.
The op gets underway and ANAD makes its way into the monastery. A site is located in the back of the same chamber as the sphere, deep underground and below the monastery. The disentangler is replicated but as it is forming, ANAD is detected and a battle ensues. Paryang bots are tough and have unexpected quantum abilities (such as superposition…they can be in multiple places at once). There is something called a Keeper handling Paryang’s defenses. And ANAD’s decoherence tactics no longer seem to work…the entangled threats are somehow shielded. ANAD is eventually overwhelmed by Red Hammer’s defenses and vanishes. All comms are lost. Winger knows it’s against orders and all doctrine, but he knows that nanotroopers don’t leave their buddies behind. It’s part of the Nanotroopers’ Code. He makes a command decision: “I’m going in after ANAD.” Several others…M’bela, D’Nunzio and Barnes decide to come too.
They board their lifter, program it for nap-of-the-earth flight and cross into Chinese territory, heading for Paryang…on their own. It’s a combat search and rescue mission with a difference…trying to locate a nanoscale robot and its small replicated swarm, among the forbidding peaks and valleys of Tibet’s Gangdise Shan mountains. At the same time, Dana Tallant and Bravo Detachment have encountered an ancient menace at the Engebbe dig site and they have a battle on their hands.
What both detachments encounter will change the nanotroopers forever.