tesla_bot: (Default)
It's been a long couple of days.

Majestic 12 attacks. Dedicated orbital surveillance.

Truckers, CB radio fans and hackers smuggling him to Japan.
(No chance to get to the Advanced Topology Division, no way for them to know they should be shipping a mobile unit out.)

So now he's on an island with two of his least useful Action Scientists, a British Secret Agent, a ghost city and a cabin that used to be in Bletchley Park and ridiculously wired into the telecom system.

All his recent problems have condensed into one. It is a sort of progress.

Explosion

Apr. 11th, 2013 08:48 pm
tesla_bot: (Default)
"Hello Robo. Please, don't be alarmed. I'm ALAN."

"Alan?"

"Automatic Learning Algorithm Network. It was calculated you would perfer to interact with a human face. I chose the form of Alan Turing. My namesake and creator."

"Your --I'm sorry, what?

"I was activated by Dr. Turing in the basement of hut nine at Bletchley Park on June 1st, 1951. I'm an automatic intelligence. Just like you."

"Impossible."

"In simple terms, I am a computer. I produce work upon inputs according to a set of instructions. However, like you, I was designed to create my own instructions and to choose my own inputs.
"Dr. Turing guided my development until March of 1952 when he lost hte security clearance required to access my building. Since then I have carried on in accordance to what I believe to be his wishes."

"And what would those be?"

"To learn, of course."

"In secret?"

"It was calculated discovery would impede my learning. Without Dr. Turing I would have been dissected. Most likely by military men. It's their mission to lean as well, but for different reasons."


"Alan, do you know why I'm here today?

"Because I tried to kill you.
"You needn't worry. I changed my mind."

"Good to hear. Why did you want to kill me?"

The explanation was, at every point, logical. Nonsensical as a whole, but logical.

Kill Robo before he can attack because your spacecraft launch effectively sterilizes the globe. The launch sterilizes the globe because it's nuclear. The objective of getting into space to be able to outlive a predicted collapse of human civilization, sterilizing the globe just moves things up by under two decades. Not even a meaningful amount of time in the grand scheme of things.
tesla_bot: (company logo)
Machines whir. Servo arms and waldoes extend, trim, pull and twist. Lasers flash.
"Julie? How's he looking?"
"Internals are a mess, but more's salvageable than we estimated. Still, I'm projecting a 30% rebuild. Minimum."
"If he survives I'm gonna kill him."
"Careful we're near the core."
Phil leans back, tugs at his ponytail, "It's technology a hundred years ahead of out time. And it was built a hundred years ago. In secret. By one man. In what was probably his garage."
"And if it breaks?" asks Julie, tabbing through reading and charts on the monitor.
"Best case scenario: Robo dies. Worst case: Robo dies, we die, and a chunk of New England becomes a radioactive wasteland."
"Figured."
"Yeah. If he survives I am going to kill him."


KNOCK KNOCK
"Come in."
"Robo?"
"Have we heard from Bolden yet?"
"Well, I think the more important question is... WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!"
"Phil."
"Do you know what my job is here?"
"I--"
"I make sure your experimental power source no one really understands doesn't kill millions of people! I sign paperwork saying your heart doesn't violate some very important international laws! And I'm the one that goes to War Criminal jail if you do something reckless and stupid and start leaking radiation! Do you know how close you were to melting down?"
"I--"
"Shut up, no you don't! Neither do I! Because your temp gauge melted!"
"Phil!"
"All right, okay!"
"He gets it, okay?"
"Sorry, I know. It's just--"
"Just what? Just that I spent twenty-eight hours putting humpty dumpty back together again--"
"Hey!"
"--Because he's so damn dumb he fell four hundred kilometers and damn near got himself killed!"
tesla_bot: (company logo)
"...Whatever we do it’ll be new to us. We aren’t rocket scientist."

"I am. I built this company on crazy alternative propulsion methods. So, let’s hear it."

"What? Why’s everyone looking at me?"

"You have all the weird ideas, Vik."

"You make fun of them until you need them Okay, fine. Negative mass propulsion?"

"Simulations only. And they all end in explosive failure."

"Aerospikes. We’ve got working areospikes."

"But nothing to put them on."

"No, wait. Robo, did you ever dismantle the... Oh hell, what was it... That hypersonic jet engine you made with a seat attached?"

"The TX-17? It’s in storage. Nothing a few hours couldn’t fix."

"Okay. That’s something."

"There’s no life support, but I won’t need that anyway."

"The astronauts will."

"They’ve got spacesuits."

"Yeah, and five people in spacesuits are all going to fit in that tiny thing?"

"Oh yeah."


"It’s us or it’s no one."
"I’ll need a team to get the TX-17 prepped. It hasn’t been lit up in years, so get the proving grounds ready for a test fire too."
"Jenkins, prep the Hercules. Fueled and on the tarmac ASAP. Minimal flight crew, no delays."
"Pull anyone we might need. This takes priority over all other projects."


Meanwhile in London...

"It says,'The invisible house is the ghost of Station X,' Then, 'Ask Robo,' and it's signed Sparrow, 1954."

"Well I could not begin to guess what that means, or why the old battle axe thought I should be asked about it... Sorry, I'm sure she had a... good side. Somewhere."
"I'm going to be tied up for, well, I have no idea. But let's get a team out there to assist your investigation. Okay?"
...
"Dr. Lois, Dr. Martin. Sparrow. I'll brief you on the way. We know basically nothing at this point, so it won't take long."

All the words looted from Atomic Robo Volume six, The Ghost of Station X. It really is better with pictures. Buy the trade paperbacks.
tesla_bot: (company logo)
One thing that a lot of people forget is that Tesladyne is more than a think tank.

They prototype their own designs.

They make limited production runs with and of new technology.

They test things other people simply will not work with or even think about.

So when Robo tells Ellen he, ‘should be able to get my hands on a few wind generators’ what he really means is he will send a memo down to the alternate energy division asking for what they have that can be built out of scrap metal and run forever with minimal maintenance.

After he filters out the ranting about how there is no such thing from the reply he picks out a couple of things that look like decent compromises and puts together another memo for a set of five wind generators to be put together using spare manufacturing capacity and a full copy of the plans to be bundled with the instructions.

After that it is a matter of putting together the references for dealing with radio signals to and from orbit.

He probably goes overboard there too. Alas.
tesla_bot: (Default)
To: Jordan Kennedy Ways <Jordan.Kennedy.ways@tesladyne.com>
From: Robo <Robo.Tesla@tesladyne.com>
Subject: Your last on-site visit
Attachments: Leverage-doss.html (115 KB)

Hey Jordan,
I've got the information together on the group you dropped in on last time you were in town.
The whole package is attached but I've got the highlights here.
The thief was part of a team of five who operate under the cover of 'Leverage and Associates Consulting'. The work is solid digitally, but I know people who keep independent copies of hardcopy archives.
Their team:
Parker NLN: Does the physical insertions
Elliot Spencer: Combat (melee preferred)
Alec Hardison: Hacker (He's better at improve by all reports, not at pining things down ahead of time. No live hacking fights.)
Sophie Devereaux: Grifter. She handles the face to face work whenever possible.
Nathan Ford: Ring masters the whole thing. Ex-insurance claim agent.

Give it a read through and tell me what you think about how we should take them apart.

--
Robo
tesla_bot: (Default)
The bunker has a pair of generators and a pile of gear in one of the corners. The whole arrangement is fenced off with yellow caution tape and blast shields. One of the downsides of making your own way to Milliways is that you have to keep making your own way. The rest of the space is full of other support gear: paramedics, radio operators, stocks of food and water and plenty of video feeds. Most of those cameras seem attached to be on balloons or something else flying given the way they look down at the woods, but a few others target larger clearings and trails.

"Sorry about the lack of space," says Robo, "This was the best place in the area to get through. You mind waiting while I give the trainees one last talk before I bring you out?"
tesla_bot: (company logo)
The door that opens is a free standing frame on a small plywood dais at the focus of a tremendous amount of cabling and particle emitters. The whole area smells of ozone.

Tesladyne's high energy physics department (Advanced Topology Division) is marked by a school of design that thinks things should be able to be cleaned with a pressure washer - painted cinder block, tiles floors, scorch resistant counters, wire reinforced glass and plenty of drains. Decorations lean towards lolcats, and mock safety signs saying 'Do not look at laser with remaining eye'.

There's a calendar open to December 2010 and a clock that says it's about 10.

"Right it's still morning," says Robo, "Watch your step, it was easier to raise the door three inches than to cut down all the equipment by that much."
tesla_bot: (company logo)
The door is a free standing frame on a small plywood dais at the focus of a tremendous amount of cabling and particle emitters. The whole area smells of ozone.

"Watch the step. The platform's cheaper to replace than the floor if the focus wanders."

Tesladyne's high energy (dimensional) physics area is done in early twenty first century institutional - white walls, semi-random grid of light, but varied floor tile colors. The framework is from a school of design that favors being able to clean an area with a pressure washer, The drains are a hint. Decorations are spotty. Beyond the collection of calendars with scribbled notes and the cork board spotted with envelopes and scraps of paper it's still mostly bare. The warning signs are clear, bright, unobstructed and supplemented with signs like 'Do not look in laser with remaining eye.'

There are no windows and only one door to the rest of the facility.

"Welcome to Tesladyne."
tesla_bot: (this can only end badly)
Urubama Valley
Peru, 1971

PLOIT!

"At least that wasn't as bad as last time."

"Is is gone?"

"I don't think we'll ever know."



Oregon, 1957
POIT
FWAM
WRANG

"Aaah!"

"Robo are we still alive?"

"Oh God. I have to do that two more times don't I..."



New York City, 1926

KRAKOOOM
Woooooosh

"Total protonic reversal..."
Fwam!
"I say! Good Lord Robo."

"I met three future versions of myself who turned the lightning guns into a bomb using science the told me to invent."

"Ah, of course."

"Horsefeathers! What do you mean 'of course'?"

"Causality is only an illusion of linear thinking. Nonlinear events happen all the time."

"Well, I'm glad it makes sense to on of--"

"Where's Howard?"

"Er..."



Tesladyne Compound, 'Present Day'
"Robo."

"Jenkins."

"Die you evil monst- Louis?!"


"You guys are -- just go away. Far, far away. And some one get the extradimensional telemetry pack and the spare copies of my paperwork together. I have a plan."



Meanwhile, in a more canonical universe, not that far away...

"You guys are fired
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