Rogue Protocol

What happened in Rogue Protocol

By Martha Wells

The book follows a SecUnit that has escaped its previous situation and is traveling on a passenger transport pretending to be a human security consultant. It decides to investigate an abandoned terraforming facility called Milu, hoping to find evidence against the corrupt corporation GrayCris.

The SecUnit sneaks aboard a research team's shuttle to Milu by taking control of their friendly bot assistant Miki. It promises to protect the humans, struggling with its own emotions and jealousy at their treatment of Miki. After discovering evidence against GrayCris, the facility is attacked by unknown creatures. The SecUnit reveals itself and helps defend the team.

Betrayed by one of their security consultants, the SecUnit enacts a plan to trick the other and escape on the shuttle. After a dangerous fight against facility combat bots, the SecUnit prepares to sacrifice itself so the humans can reach safety. But Miki refuses to abandon it, and is killed while trying to help the SecUnit. Deeply affected, the SecUnit escapes to deliver the evidence, hoping to aid the investigation against GrayCris.

Rogue Protocol Chapter Summary

Chapter 1

The chapter follows a SecUnit who is traveling on a passenger transport after escaping its previous situation. It reminisces about past experiences on transports, including one named ART that it formed a complex relationship with. On this transport, the SecUnit has pretended to be a security consultant named Rin to avoid suspicion. It mediates disputes between the human passengers, who have all signed risky 20-year labor contracts.

The SecUnit decides to travel to a failed terraforming facility called Milu that was abandoned by GrayCris Corporation, who it wants to get revenge on. It hopes to find evidence there that GrayCris was secretly mining alien artifacts, which it can send to Dr. Mensah to aid the investigation against GrayCris. At a transit station, it finds a small cargo ship that may travel to Milu, though the destination is not listed. It plans to sneak aboard and investigate.

Chapter 2

The chapter follows the SecUnit as it arrives at the abandoned terraforming facility station Milu. The station is nearly deserted, with most businesses closed down. The SecUnit hacks into the station's systems and follows two human security consultants, Wilken and Gerth, who have been hired by a research group working for GoodNightLander Independent.

The researchers, Don Abene and Hirune, explain they are doing an initial assessment of the abandoned facility before taking possession. They hire Wilken and Gerth as security because the facility's status is unknown. The SecUnit realizes this is the type of job it is designed for, but it cannot reveal itself.

It decides to secretly hitch a ride on the researchers' shuttle by taking control of their assistant robot named Miki. Miki is childlike and agrees to help the SecUnit keep the humans safe, thinking of them as friends. The SecUnit is surprised by Miki's trusting nature. It will rely on Miki as its eyes and ears during the mission.

Chapter 3

In Chapter 3, the SecUnit sneaks aboard the research team's shuttle by taking control of their assistant bot, Miki. Miki agrees to help the SecUnit keep the humans safe, thinking of them as friends. The SecUnit is surprised by Miki's trusting nature.

On the shuttle, Miki follows the SecUnit's instructions to inspect the cases belonging to the security consultants, Wilken and Gerth. The cases contain weapons, ammo, and high-end armor. Miki's friendly curiosity raises some suspicions, but the researchers dismiss it as normal bot behavior.

The SecUnit struggles with jealousy and anger as it watches the humans treat Miki as part of their group, even allowing it to sit with them. It doesn't understand its own reactions. When Miki asks questions about the SecUnit's instructions, the SecUnit realizes it needs to provide thorough answers to prevent Miki from exposing it to the humans.

As the shuttle prepares to depart, the researchers discuss their hopes and concerns about investigating the abandoned facility. The SecUnit worries they are underestimating the potential dangers. It resolves to keep its promise to protect the humans, relying on Miki as its eyes and ears.

Chapter 4

In Chapter 4, the SecUnit sneaks away from the research team to investigate the geo pod for evidence of GrayCris mining alien artifacts. It finds and copies data logs from the facility's digging machines that may contain the evidence it needs.

Meanwhile, the research team is attacked in the bio pod by fast, strong creatures of an unknown type. One creature grabs researcher Hirune and drags her away into the dark. The SecUnit arrives to help defend the team, saving researcher Abene from being pulled into a closing door. It has to reveal itself as a SecUnit to Abene and the security consultants Wilken and Gerth.

Miki provides cover for the SecUnit, claiming it was sent by its friend, security consultant Rin. Abene plays along, pretending she knew the SecUnit was coming to help. She insists they go search for Hirune, aided by the SecUnit. The rest of the injured team heads back to the shuttle while Abene, Wilken, Miki and the SecUnit set out to track down Hirune and her captors.

Chapter 5

The SecUnit sneaks away from Wilken to take control of the facility's combat drones. It directs them to attack the combat bots so it can rescue the captured researcher Hirune. The SecUnit gets Hirune to safety, though it sustains injuries.

Meanwhile, Wilken betrays and tries to kill Abene and Miki. The SecUnit stops her, realizing she and Gerth were hired by GrayCris. It decides they need to get back to the geo pod to enact a new plan, hoping to trick Gerth into leaving the shuttle so they can escape.

Chapter 6

In Chapter 6, the SecUnit sneaks the research team back to their shuttle, tricking the remaining security consultant Gerth into leaving the shuttle so they can escape. However, a combat bot launches toward the tractor array that is keeping the facility from collapsing. The research team decides to intercept the combat bot to save the array. After succeeding, they start to head back to the transit station, but realize a combat bot had latched onto the shuttle exterior during the escape.

The SecUnit finds explosives to try to fight off the combat bot now attempting to breach the shuttle. It decides to sacrifice itself so the humans can reach the safety of the transit station. But the friendly bot Miki refuses to abandon the SecUnit. When the combat bot breaks in, Miki tries to help but is crushed. The SecUnit is enraged and destroys the combat bot using a powerful core cutter.

After the shuttle docks at the station, the SecUnit sneaks away using an evac suit, planning to deliver the evidence it found against GrayCris and return to Dr. Mensah. It is deeply affected by Miki's sacrifice and realization that the researcher had truly cared for Miki as a friend.