This post has the following content warnings:
Aug 19, 2019 1:29 AM
Upload and Daisy
Permalink

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.

Total: 302
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"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."

Permalink

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.

Permalink

"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."

Permalink

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

Permalink

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

Permalink

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

Permalink

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.

Permalink

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.

Permalink

"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.

Permalink

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.

Permalink

Here is how the arm's hardware works, down to the last motor and screw! Here is how the combat arms she plans to make will work, it's basically the same but bigger and stronger! Here is how she plans to mount them on Deskyl's back so they'll have plenty of reach but not get in the way! Talking shop is pretty great.

Permalink

It is! Deskyl keeps up with her pretty well, considering the difference in background, and points out a few places where she needs different features or priorities than Upload is assuming - she doesn't actually need a full hand's worth of dexterity for fighting, but she does need it hardened against lightning insofar as that's possible - she's available to help test - and it'd be nice to be able to straightforwardly mount a shield.

Permalink

Upload has been working on lightning-hardening for her own next chassis, as it happens, so the ability to do tests is several kinds of useful! Shields are pretty great; she can put one on like this or like that or, if she wants it to last longer without devoting more mass to the power pack, like so. She's happy to iterate as much as necessary to get Deskyl the best offense and defense she possibly can. The ability to borrow parts and tools from Bar and then give them back without being charged for them comes in very handy.

Permalink

And soon enough they have a finished model. Deskyl has already been practicing for hours a day, katas and precog and strength and reflex training, and now she redoubles her efforts, figuring out how to best incorporate her new abilities into her existing fighting forms and working to make them second nature. It goes quickly, and after a month and a half she reports that she's ready for her first foray back to her world. I'm going after Grauzatis - the torture guy - first, not my master. I only get the element of surprise once, and he's the harder fight.

Permalink

"Good luck!" Presumably DZ is on door-holding duty; Upload will be hovering nervously nearby.

Permalink

Not going just yet, wanted to give you time for anything last-minute. And I want to talk to you about something first, too.

Permalink

"Okay. What do you want to talk about?"

Permalink

I might not come back. If I don't, can you look after DZ?

Permalink

Upload nods solemnly. "Of course. We can go back out the door to my world, she'll be safe there. I'll make sure she's okay, I promise."

Permalink

She nods. Thank you.

She gets a good night's sleep, and has a good meal, and makes sure she's properly warmed up, and -

Permalink

-goes.

Permalink

Margaret sits in the bar and frets. If she had her next body and a few more combat courses she would have offered to help, but as she is she would be a liability. She's warned the infirmary staffperson that she might get a patient soon, and beyond that she's out of ideas.

Permalink

A dozen droids, recognizable from the manual as Grauzatis' assistants, show up after about twenty minutes, with what must have been his test subjects: A blue-scaled woman with a bad limp and heavy scarring where the scales have been removed is helped along by a subdued human woman, followed by a man with prosthetic legs, who looks a little shocked but seems otherwise fine. Two of the droids are half-carrying another man, wild-eyed and gagged, who struggles in their grasp without seeming to be quite aware of what he's doing, and two push a wheeled machine big enough to suggest it might contain another person, while another carries a woman who seems entirely unaware of her surroundings. The lead droid speaks briefly to DZ, and half of them bring their charges and the machine to the infirmary while the others wait with her.

Permalink

This seems like a good sign! She can explain Milliways to anyone who seems confused; otherwise, more waiting.

Permalink

The new droids are even harder to read than DZ, with her subtle body language, and the others are still in the infirmary when Deskyl returns, coming through the door at a quick jog with her right sleeve hanging half off below a nasty burn on her shoulder and her 'saber still lit. The patrons near the door cringe away from her, too, for unclear reasons.

Total: 302
Posts Per Page: