When last we met, the EngiNerds were battling a horde of ravenous robots, but in this latest caper, they’re on the hunt for just one rogue robot. But who knows what kind of mayhem one mechanical creature can cause? And why is Ken the only EngiNerd who’s worried about the runaway robot?
The rest of the crew seems be missing in action and Ken fears it's because of Mikaela Harrington. She's the new girl in town who’s UFO and alien-obsessed and wants to join the EngiNerds. But as far as Ken is concerned, the EngiNerds are Y-chromosome only, no X’s allowed!
Will Ken allow a rogue robot and a know-it-all, genius girl to wreak havoc on the entire universe? He just might not have a choice!
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Revenge of the EngiNerds
That’s how long we’ve been looking for Edsley’s robot.
Maybe that doesn’t seem like that much time to you.
But each of those days contained twenty-four long hours.
That’s seventy-two hours—or 4,320 minutes—for that hungry, hungry robot to cause as much chaos, mayhem, and destruction as he pleased.
Over the course of those nearly forty-five hundred minutes, we’ve tried nearly everything to find the bot.
Some of our plans have been good. Some of them have been not-so-good. And a few, unfortunately, have been downright ridiculous.
And let me tell you—it hasn’t been easy to keep the morale up and the momentum going among the guys. They went from determined to discouraged in about a day and a half, and now the majority of them are something even worse: distracted.
All of which has left me feeling desperate.
That’s why I’m currently at the park with Edsley, twenty-six rotisserie chickens, and a pair of giant, industrial-strength fans. A part of me already knows this plan is one of our most not-so-good ones. But at least I’m doing something. At least I’m actively trying to find the robot before he blasts someone with a turd-missile or, I don’t know, finds his way onto a computer and breaks the Internet.
Dan had a dentist appointment right after school today, and Edsley was the only other one of the guys I could convince to come with me—and only because I’ve been hammering into him every chance I get that it’s all his fault the robot is on the loose and we’ve been spending so much time and energy looking for the thing in the first place.
Also, I promised to let him eat some of the chicken.
I turn to him.
“Mike!” I shout. “I said some, not all.”
He holds his hands up, professing his innocence. His fingers are slick with chicken grease.
I shake my head and sigh.
“Will you just plug the fans in, man?”
Edsley reaches for my portable power pack. I wince, thinking about how nasty he’s going to leave the handle. I make a mental note to wipe it down with some disinfectant when I get home, then get the fans into position.
Here’s the plan:
Step one—aim one fan one way, aim the other fan the other way.
Step two—set up half the rotisserie chickens in front of each fan and then turn those bad boys on full blast, sending the smell of the warm, oven-baked birds wafting across town.
Step three—wait for the missing robot’s scent sensors to pick up on the irresistible aroma and come find us.
When he does, Edsley and I will douse the guy in water.
Because if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that this robot has spent the past three days stuffing his stomach full of food and then squashing down all his meals and snacks into ultra-compact food-cubes. And when those puppies touch water, they expand, and rapidly enough to rip Mr. Dis-POS-al COM-pleeet apart.
“Ready?” I ask Edsley.
He places the last chicken on one of the overturned trash barrels we’ve got set up in front of the fans, then gives me a thumbs-up.
“Please work . . . ,” I mutter to myself.
I flip the switch on the power pack and the fans whir to life.