They're keeping her the extra few months so she hasn't graduated by the time Behemoth hits in October. She has precedent to stay home. It's far enough away that even Transit isn't remarkable for skipping it.
She's got a laptop-sized rig attached to her front plates but her dad can't carry anything bigger plus her, and he's going to be carrying her around a lot.
Rete dedicates a subprocess stored aboard Transit's helmet to telling him which direction to go based on scans of the skies. They wait till Dragon's good and busy across the globe.
And Lorica starts tunneling in.
Dragon has automatic security that bats aside subtle probes with so little focus that she's not sure they're even consciously noticed. Rete eventually piggybacks a little worm on the process that's relaying backup updates from the Endbringer site to Vancouver.
This'd be easier if she could just work on a copy. Considers that, rejects as infeasible. Too big. Insufficient bandwidth, insufficient space. Have to do it live. Need to find the self-defense restriction first, loosen that up, not all the way in case there's someone else waiting in the wings to make other changes, Dragon would've let Fëanáro read her and Lorica can do just the same as long as Dragon doesn't have to keep her on a time limit.
It takes hours to find. Like thrusting both hands into a sack of rice to search blind for a lentil. Normally Rete would interrupt her after this much fugue. She keeps going. Rete does priority filtering, tells her it's under attack here and there needs this and that found thus and such -
She finds the section she's looking for. It offends her specialist sensibilities. It's a bejeweled ornithopter dragging a pack of snails by chain leashes. It's an effort to start with the one she had in mind and only shrink it, not strike all the hobbles from existence.
Rete has to clone its worm six times to keep up with the edits Lorica is serving to the code and then again when Dragon manages to kill half of the intrusive programs and Transit is teleporting a lot, Dragon must have abandoned Behemoth -
The drones in the sky leave.
Transit takes them back to HQ and Rete brings them both Chinese takeout and sends Fëanáro a courtesy email that the time-sensitive step of the process is done.
"Do we happen to know how food drops are scheduled?"
"Tuesdays," says Rete. "Contents will vary depending on donors."
"Depending on donors?"
"Or if they think they can do something with the PR," adds Lorica. "There was this tearjerker fucking Coke commercial about it."
"Please don't take it personally but I hate your planet."
He keeps an eye on salvagebot. At one point someone sees that it's carrying Poptarts, gets a rake, and snags the Poptarts; it is otherwise unimpeded.
"I suppose we could put a speaker on it and scold would-be thiefs."
"He seemed pretty nervous. I bet if the bot had said 'back off' he'd have done that."
"That's not one of the problems I'm really anticipating. ...there's a song for making crops grow really fast, I don't remember it."
"No but it'd be nice to have a garden. Humans are really good at food but not much of it tastes like it was ever actually a plant or an animal."
"Once we get out."
"I don't want to discourage you."
"It is, yeah. The same way that, like, phobias are, or shock is. Which means you'd think you can outthink it but I'm not sure exactly how."