Jun 14, 2021 2:05 PM
Demon Cam in Haven City
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He doesn't.

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Cam leaves him alone. The time loop does not seem all that fragile.

Anybody else need anything? Food, say, as a stopgap - and in the slightly longer term does anyone want to learn to operate meat vats?

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Lots of people need things, including food, and some of them would like to learn to operate meat vats. He also has a letter from Ashelin asking to arrange a meeting to talk about hiring him to redo some infrastructure soon, and one from Keira asking if she can hire him for more forensics.

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He will set up meeting times with both of those people, with priority to the infrastructure because that sounds like more fun.

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Ashelin, who appears to have written one of Mar's books on governance and co-written his treatise on human rights, arranges a small meeting in a fancy but not very comfortable meeting room in the palace. It's just her, Cam, the younger Samos, and two people who worked for her father: Vin, a jumpy man who works with the eco grid and has a doctorate in theoretical physics, and Count Krull, who works on housing and urban development.

She'd like to know what it would take for a newly constructed neighborhood to run on a non-eco energy source.

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"I'd need to put a generator in the neighborhood - or nearby enough that I can run wire to it. Unfortunately, while we have good power storage where I'm from, it's not enough to continue forever without refueling - I can make you wind-, tide-, and/or solar-powered electricity collection and run it into the place, though tidecatchers will only work if you're within wiring distance to an ocean. With tides. The appliances that can run on electricity may be unfamiliar, but include lights, computers, and assorted kitchen and cleaning objects; I'm not actually sure what-all you currently power with eco."

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She glances at Vin.

"Lights, computers, zoomers, vacuum cleaners, heating and cooling, elevators, passcode-operated locks, and security systems," Vin lists from memory, and then checks his notes and adds, "and artwork, communications, and automated industry."

"This is going to be a residential area, so there won't be much industry," says Ashelin, "but some things are quiet enough. It's right by the ocean but we'd have to keep the generator outside the walls and run the wires over or through, and then that's one more thing to defend outside the city. How tall a neighborhood could we support with solar generators on each roof?"

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"The one of those we don't have is zoomers. I mean, I'm sure someone has invented a flying motorcycle but it will not handle the same and I do not currently know how to drive one, though I can figure it out and give lessons. If you want solar alone, you can't get too tall - five, six stories if I make some generous assumptions about your weather and power requirements. I could put wires underground without having to dig though, if there's nothing important in the way."

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Krull has a 3D map of the underground pipes in the relevant area and a nifty hologram projector to make it seem to float over the table. There's a possible path around them and under the north wall.

"Even five or six stories is taller than what we have there now," says Ashelin, "but having a second power system for redundancy would be safer; we can set up something by the beach and have it charge batteries most of the time. If we can't run zoomers on electricity we'll still have to hook the new neighborhood up to the eco grid but if we run the rest of the amenities on electricity it'll help."

"How much can we power that way in the rest of the city without having to retrofit some kind of - electric grid?" Vin asks.

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"If you want everything battery-operable and just have people swap them out at chargers as necessary, everything I've listed, but this approach has drawbacks for some things, especially climate control - you can make air conditioners and heaters that work like that but they're just generally more annoying. Also possibly hard to childproof, those designs are mostly popular in Hell which has vanishingly few children."

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She looks at Vin. "How long do we have?"

"Uh, it depends on how soon we can hook up the new wells to the city grid and whether the truce holds but in the best-case scenario I think we have at least a year. More pessimistically, a couple of months or less."

"How soon could you have an electric grid in place without destroying any existing buildings or blocking any streets, assuming I could get everyone on board with letting you run wires through their walls?"

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"...difficult. I can put wires underground because what's underground is going to be rocks and dirt the exact positions of which don't matter so I can do miles at once; in walls I might bust a water pipe or something and I'd have to do each house one at a time. I think you might want to go with the battery-forward option and I can do spot installations for anywhere that's a particularly bad choice. I'd want some small empty lots to put the charging stations on and then I can set up panels and tidecatchers to fuel them."

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"If it won't make it structurally unsound you can cover most of the palace roof with solar panels. Maybe some of the fortress, too, but I'll have to check. Hmm. If electric appliances are going to be less convenient for the near future, and the main benefit is to the city... what if I hire an artist to collaborate with you on, I don't know, limited edition battery-powered electric table lamps to commemorate... something, there's no shortage of things worth commemorating right now. If we only had, say, two thousand - we wouldn't have enough but we might have better uptake to start with if they're scarce and upscale."

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"Sure, something like, hm, this?" He materializes a little glowing golden tree in his hands.

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She smiles. "Like that. Maybe another couple of tree species or colors too so they're not all the same. Is that your own design?"

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"No, I saw it in a friend's house one time, but I can do it in different shapes and colors."

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"That works. Traditionally there'd be some kind of engraved caption on the base but I'll have to think about what to say these are for. How much do you want for, let's say four hundred each of gold, white, red, green, blue - no, make it three hundred ninety each of those, and fifty purple?"

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"Can do! Where do you want 'em?"

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"Might as well just put them in the next room, through that door. You aren't charging?"

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"...what, for lamps? Nnnno?"

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"Artisans usually charge but if you don't need to buy food and it's no effort I guess you wouldn't."

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"I don't and it's not! If you do want me to put wires in the walls of a lot of houses then I will get bored and might want some sort of compensation but not for some lamps." He materializes the lamps in boxes.

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"I'm definitely not complaining. All right, you should look over the blueprints we have and see how they need to change to accommodate an electric grid." She glances at Count Krull, who offers Cam the local equivalent of a thumb drive. "And, ah, Samos has a proposal for a new prison compound outside the city that I'd like you to take a look at and see if it can be... electrified?"

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"Sure, can do! I'll need to convert that to put it on my computer -" Does this just work straightforwardly?

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That works.

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