Jul 20, 2019 12:12 PM
Tarinda and Page bring a seed of the super-AI Sing to Cloudbank
Permalink

Cloudbank is a beautiful place, from a certain perspective. Blue sky and white clouds above, all around, and misty white clouds below.

Here is an island of solidity in the sea of sky. The wind is a steady breeze, the floating island sitting just barely on top of a dense, foggy layer of air. It's not an especially large island, perhaps two hundred feet wide and three hundred long all told, curved slightly like the back of some giant beast.

The sandy soil is thin, and wears straight through to a porous-looking sort of rock in places. There are grasses and weeds and shrubs and a few trees, plus a few small creatures. Some familiar, like the wild onions. Some alien, like the thickets of not-quite-grass with flimsy, transparent, bulging seeds straining upwards against their mooring.

A songbird casually swoops from its nest and catches one of these seeds in its bill, while something with tentacles and a large gas-bag clings to the island at the edge, nibbling on the alien leaves of something reminiscent of mangroves, a three-dimensional web of stems and flaxen roots.

And then someone else arrives.

Total: 166
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"If you're sure you should be talking to me about that... It'd be nice not to have to run all the way across town and back whenever the parts we outsource aren't good enough! It'd be nice to not outsource them, but we don't really have the room to do molds and casting here. Umm... We should probably be more standard about our blueprints? I had to look at seven different pieces of paper to figure out how short to cut a rod the other day and still got the answer wrong."

Permalink

"Ooh, lemme see the blueprints. And your contract with the place across town, if that's how you operate."

Permalink

"I don't actually know if we have a contract. I'm even less qualified to tidy up all the paperwork than I am to make something out of the old experiments... Ah, blueprints are in that room over there."

She heads over. The blueprints are organized into in cabinets by type-of-engine, with duplicate, hand-annotated, and conflicting versions aplenty. There is not a version number or master document or table of contents in sight.

Permalink

Time to explain ~version control~!

Permalink

It sounds like a pretty neat idea! No more sometimes spending two hours to do something that ought to take five minutes!

"It'll be a lot of work bludgeoning it all into shape though. I dunno how to get everyone else onboard. I guess that's what you're here for, if Mr. Griffing sent you to us."

Permalink

"I think he's impressed enough with stuff he's already implemented to badger everyone into making it work. Can't try an idea without trying it."

Permalink

"I think I can work up, like, a sample version-controlled blueprint to show them? And that would help sell the idea without the big boss having to huff and puff and blow the house down."

Permalink

"If that's what works for you!"

Permalink

"I actually don't think the idea should go through me? You seem a lot, uh," prettier, smarter, more confident, "Like they'll listen to you. I'm still the new kid."

Permalink

"Sure, point me at whoever and I can explain it again."

Permalink

She points Tarinda at someone - a managerial type and not one of the actual engineers - and goes back to some kind of project area in the corner of the main room. A bundle of mismatched parts all her own, though she keeps getting called away to help with this or that and then going back to it.

Permalink

Tarinda explains version control again.

Permalink

The manager thinks version control is aesthetically pleasing and interesting and maybe will help cut down on all those annoying costly mistakes and waste material, he's going to write up a project plan to implement it but the engineers will resent it, interfering with their part of the work, any ideas on that?

Permalink

"You know them and I don't. I can try introducing it to them myself, if you think that's a good use of my time."

Permalink

"Hmm... No, I'll think of something."

He has a couple questions on the finer points of version control and then says she can go thank you for your time.

Permalink

And she moves on.

Permalink

Mr. Griffing pays Tarinda and receives reports from his employees and approves and denies things she suggested and sends her around to other places and keeps deflecting if she mentions lost technology, though he's wavering some.

At the end of the first week he says he wants to stop sending her around to places as much and produces specifications for a fairly beefy electrical generator that are obviously pulled verbatim from some kind of manual.

Permalink

"Gosh," she says, looking it over.

Permalink

"I think I'm past the point where pretending serves me at all. Yes, I have lost technology. Several pieces of it, in fact. This is the kind of electricity the most interesting piece supposedly requires."

Permalink

"If you have the plans how come you haven't built it yet?"

Permalink

"I don't have plans. I have specifications - I have a list of qualities the electricity must have, and no blueprints for a device for actually making it."

The fairly demanding specifications indicate that it's probably something big or industrial. Possibly a big robot or manufacturing equipment of some kind.

Permalink

She pages through it. "This looks pretty heavy-duty. How big is your lost technology?"

Permalink

"Perhaps twice the size of my desk. Though much heavier." He looks slightly annoyed at that fact. (It's a big, fancy desk.)

Permalink

"This much power output might run a few things that size but you probably don't need all that for just one. Can I see it?"

Permalink

"...Oh, very well. It's not like it's stealable. And you do seem to know what you're doing. We'll have to go to my residence."

Total: 166
Posts Per Page: