Sep 24, 2018 10:09 AM
Seed in barren ground
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Tarinda and Page bring a seed of the super-AI Sing to Cloudbank
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They will.

It builds new islands, which it can riddle with its infrastructure from the start and pilot around. They go places, taking on immigrants.

Also, it sends a probe up to look for the rumored Stargate.

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People start asking for things - mirrors, toys, tools, music, jewelry, help with their chores or crops, finding an old friend or relative, books.

A lot of people are kind of reluctant to leave their homes, especially the ones who lived on ships. Even when the alternative is very shiny.

The Stargate: Exists, as a two kilometer wide ring shaped station, a giant hole blown into it by a massive explosion a long time ago. There's some busted old satellites and other space debris up there too.

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It starts salvage and attempts at repair.

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The gate is pretty badly fucked up. One of the four reactors is missing, a bunch of other vital equipment is missing or explosion-shredded or holed from centuries of micrometeorites and so on. The key components, the redundant pair of discontinuities, are safe.

There are a few corpses in the station. Most of them are unrecoverable. Four froze before they ran out of air and might be revivable.

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Sing corrals those for later and gets the station running.

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The station can be brought online. The other end has long since been shut off so it won't open to the far side, but a (frankly rather stupid) bot is listening and is soon convinced to send for a real person and will answer a limited set of questions if asked.

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Sing is patient, in its way. It asks the bot things.

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The United Systems is a multi-world government running on the backs of tens of thousands of stargates! (The United Systems has grown increasingly toothless and decentralized over the last few centuries.) There are thousands of inhabited systems and on the order of 200 billion humans! (They've got life extension and industrial automation and other good stuff but not Sing quality, people still die a lot.)

The star system Cloudbank is in was not very promising in the first place and when the stargate exploded they were going to send a replacement but it was going to take a hundred years to get there. Someone decided that probably everyone was dead anyway and stargates are very expensive so they didn't bother.

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That's a lot of network and civilization to cultivate. Sing plans accordingly.

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Someone answers the phone. Someone can be convinced, after a few minutes, to throw a lot of government money at rebuilding the other side of the stargate. It'll take a few months.

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Is that a technical limitation or a financial resource one?

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Technical. It's a really old model of discontinuity. They're going to have to scare up specialist engineers and everything.

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Can that be accelerated with more money that Sing could acquire by selling intellectual property through this channel?

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Yes. Not much bandwidth on this thing though.

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If there's any math or science prizes about for proofs of things that's probably the lowest bandwidth option.

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There are some of those! And it's enough bandwidth for a few songs and novels, just not hi-def video or anything. Sing starts making money and the government project accelerates.

 

Back on the planet below, Rem figures out how to send a message to Tarinda. 

You do all this?? Also hi, also I'm making meringue right now.

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Yes, that was me! I come from a place Sing has already fixed up. I hope you like meringue!
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Thanks for fixing up Cloudbank too! Meringue is great, this is my third batch! Cloudberries and blueberries!

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Sounds yummy! Are you seeing much increase in ingredient variety? It'll get to that but I don't know where you've been to.
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It got me sugar when I asked, robot shaped like a floater ray flew up and dropped a bag on me and asked me to share the desserts. Oh, I moved onto one of those island-ships. And I talked to my brother. He has two kids just like I predicted.

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I'm so glad.
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I never would have guessed you lived with all this and more! What are you up to now?

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I moved onto a Sing island too. I'm waiting for it to finish everything that's more urgent and then I'm hoping it can send me home, I miss my girlfriend.
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Girlfriend? Huh.

I hope you can go back! You deserve it.

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Thank you!
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