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Aug 24, 2019 12:36 PM
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Margaret is exploring the tunnels under Whateley again, because everyone else is in the cafeteria and that's only so interesting when you can't eat or drink. There's some pretty interesting stuff down here! For instance, this room has a bar in it, and despite the entrance being underground the window has a view of exploding stars.

She admires the view for a bit, then wanders up to the bar.

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Might need something more complicated. DZ, do you know what model the torture assistants are, can you get us a manual?

    Yes Ma'am.

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At the phrase "torture assistants", Margaret discovers she can still involuntarily shudder. It makes a soft rattling noise.

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised," she murmurs.

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Deskyl looks confused for a moment. "Mm." Yeah.

I'm gonna want to bring his subjects in to the infirmary but I can warn you before we come through.

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"Thank you. Um, I'm glad you're going to stun the torture droids instead of killing them, but . . . are they going to be programmed so they'll always want to torture people?"

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Not unless he did something weird to them, and if he knows how to code at all that's news to me. They should just be heavier duty servants.

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"I guess that's good for their eventual ability to integrate into society. I hope they aren't traumatized from having to torture people." She could maybe design a software solution for trauma but the concept deeply skeeves her out.

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We'll find out, I guess.

DZ returns with the manual and offers it to Margaret. The line of droids in question is actually designed to be used as orderlies in medical facilities; they're stronger and sturdier than DZ's line, along with programming differences to suit their intended use - both a more comprehensive knowledge of medical terminology and procedures and some instruction on how to placate or restrain an agitated patient, with upgrades available for all of these skills. They also lack her modularity; she's very fragile compared to them, but if she is damaged, it's much easier to replace the damaged parts.

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"Thank you. And something that works to stun this line and your line should work for all the droids in the compound?"

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    "I expect so, Ma'am."

None of the others will be sent to fight, anyway. No point, they wouldn't even slow me down.

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"Okay. I should have something in a week or so. I'll need to run up a tab with Bar for parts, but it shouldn't be very much. Do you also want something to take out humans or aliens without injuring them, in case there are any that don't want to be there either?"

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It might be worth having something like that for the torture subjects. I have no idea what state they'll be in, but 'terrified of Sith' is a pretty safe bet.

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"Biology isn't my area, but I can make a stun gun that should work on anybody with a human-like circulatory system."

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She nods. Better to have the option, but don't worry about it too much if you run into trouble.

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"It shouldn't he that hard. Tasers are commonplace on my world and do almost what we want; if Bar was willing to sell weapons I could just get one of those. The tricky part will be getting the power right so it works but doesn't kill people who are already seriously injured."

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Sure.

Extra arms might help; flight won't help indoors but I could move the fight outside - we don't fight fliers often, if I get good at it that could be a major advantage. Wide-angle weapon might help, especially if a lightsaber can't block it at all. How would the arms or wings be controlled?

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"I was thinking less 'wings' and more 'rockets'; those and the extra arms would both be controlled by a headband that picks up signals from your brain. I'd need to calibrate it to you and then you'd need to practice a bit, but once you got the hang of it you'd be able to control them like you do your existing limbs."

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That might work - cybernetics mess with our connection to the Force, is the problem, and I'm not sure precisely why. Might notice if a test headband does it, might need you to make something simple for me to control to be really sure.

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"I can get you a test headband and a basic arm in a few days; if that works I'll swap the arm out for something stronger that mounts on a vest."

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Sounds good. I'll let Bar know you can put it on my tab.

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"Thanks!" It's hard to have a faraway look in your eyes when your eyes are cameras, but Margaret is clearly already designing.

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Deskyl lets her be; she has plenty of work to do herself. (Her katas draw a bit of a crowd, eventually.)

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Margaret watches a few of the katas, mainly to get a sense of how Deskyl moves and where extra arms should mount. She has the headband and an example arm within 48 of her own hours, and shows them to Deskyl when the latter next takes a break. The arm is small and simple and mounts to the table instead of a vest, but it's elegantly designed for all that.

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The time dilation seems to have calmed down, at least enough that Deskyl shows up for a normal human number of meals in that time.

Interesting, she reports of the headband-and-arm setup. It is affecting me, but I can compensate just fine. Might help for me to know more about how the arm works.

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"The headband analyzes how your brain moves your existing arms, then creates a replica of the relevant brain region and sets up a connection to the rest of your brain that parallels, but shouldn't interfere with, the equivalent areas for your other arms. If you're getting interference my guess would be that you're aware of your other arms via your power, and don't have a similar awareness of this one, but since I can't sense or operate on the phenomenon in question that really is just a guess."

Further exceedingly technical details ensue if and only if Deskyl wants them.

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It's something like that, yep, which is why knowing how the arm works will help. She's up for all the technical details Margaret can give her; by the end, she's borrowed a set of beanbags from the bar and is juggling them with all three arms while she listens.

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