"010610, 1111 and December 19th"
"The network streams have been a little funny lately. I keep seeing 010610 and 1111 repeated in odd places, along with the date December 19th.”
Being constantly connected to the closed-circuit video network on The Institute’s campus had its advantages, such as being able to see that Mr. Oaken was entertaining a group near the fountains. Axis didn’t know what it was, but people sure liked that guy. He arrived just as the treeman laughed, a deep creaking sound whose mirth infected the audience.
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“Everyone, please excuse me,” Axis-12 interrupted, his voice amplified. “I need a moment of Maroc’s time. It’s business.”
The group wasn’t happy about it, but things pop up at The Institute and students learn to roll with them.
I liked them,” said Maroc, as the students went on their way. “They were enjoying the story of my adventures in the Great Seedling Migration.”
“I’m sorry, and I’m sure it’s great, but I very much need your assistance,” said Axis-12.
Maroc gave his full attention to the digital human. “Of course. Speak.”
“I know this isn’t your thing,” began Axis-12. “But understand that I am connected to the digital information network of The Institute at all times. My mind can process it at speeds far faster than most. You got it?”
“Yes, I understand the concept. I have a social networking profile,” replied Maroc.
“That’s good, because…” said Axis-12, as his query returned. “Wait, you do have a soc-net profile. I’m confused.”
“How else am I going to be involved with my diverse group of friends? I’m a plant, not a…,” said Maroc, pausing for a moment. “I believe your term is Luddite.”
A LOL emoji couldn’t help but pop up on Axis-12’s digital face. “Okay, I’m seeing it now,” he said.
“Seeing what?” asked Maroc.
“Never mind,” said Axis-12. “The network streams have been a little funny lately. I keep seeing 010610 and 1111 repeated in odd places, along with the date December 19th. I don’t expect that to mean anything to you.”
“You are an odd fellow,” said Maroc.
“But,” continued Axis-12. “Don’t plants have their own kind of network?”
Maroc rubbed his chin. “Perhaps you’re not such an odd fellow after all. Yes, in a way.”
Axis-12 was clearly excited by this answer. “Now could you plug into plant-net and see if there’s anything remotely resembling those things I mentioned?” he said.
“It would require I root down in several different places, but yes. You have piqued my curiosity,” said Maroc, as he stood.
Axis-12 threw his hands in the air. “Great!” he said. “Let’s go find you some dirt!”