Thursday, October 16, 2014

Deep Seven : #8


#0 was, sadly, quite correct. They've moved quickly.

It has somehow been revealed that I care deeply about the well-being of my henchpeople and as such the Hit Squad- more of a small Mercenary Company really-  have captured and subdued the staff of Auxiliary Lab/Listening Post #5.

They have a female member, these mercenaries. I am not pleased with them as a whole, but it is good to see a woman getting into such a traditionally male-dominated field.

I have been issued an ultimatum. I am to surrender myself to their custody or they will kill every last of my employees, each execution broadcast over the communications network.

Oh, if only I could have somehow predicted that a team of people motivated purely by greed would be willing to stoop to such lows.

Obviously, my hands are tied. I have made arrangements to turn myself over at a neutral location, with a necessary caveat. I do not trust these people to release my henchpeople. I believe they will be tempted to kill them all simply to 'tie up all lose ends'.

As such I have ordered one of the engineering teams to render an exosuit prototype ready for immediate deployment.

They look not dissimilar to this artist, flyingdebris', work, albeit without the weaponry and with various means of aquatic locomotion.
If death wasn't assured, this would be insanely reckless. These suits were devised primarily for use in deploying personnel outside of Deep Seven for experiments, deep aquatic expeditions and so on. Simply to make it capable of carrying it's weight on land required nearly tripling it's power supply and that of various relevant servos.

There is another problem though. The power supply will be dangerously exposed in the form of a small barrel-like structure on the rear right thigh. It is... necessarily volatile. It would be a trick shot and the mercenaries would have to know it was there- so the odds of ignition are relatively small- but if they did find out about it somehow, a single armor-piercing round could turn the suit into a vaguely humanoid crematorium.

Still, highly unlikely- and the rest of the armor is well beyond the capability of the weaponry we've determined them to be carrying to pierce.

I am not a violent man by nature. I abhor it. I have ever stood against hatred. My aims have ever been to advance humanity, not reduce it's numbers. But if my employees are harmed, I will make an exception.

If they release my henchpeople, I will simply set a self destruct and vacate the suit to accept my fate. If they do NOT release my henchpeople or kill ANY of them, I will undertake a terminal field test of some very experimental weaponry from which my successors will gain valuable data and the mercenaries will learn YOU CAN'T ENJOY A PAYDAY WHEN YOU ARE SPREAD ACROSS THREE COUNTRIES AS A FINE MIST.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Deep Seven : #7

Progress continues.

Morale is high among the construction oversight crew, as anticipated. I've suggested to the Captain that it may be wise to slightly increase the scheduled exercise however. Henri's cooking is extraordinary but he does believe in both quality AND quantity.

One of the reasons I do not mind having sent him for the remainder of their deployment is that I will no doubt be able to survive on frozen leftovers myself for the duration of it.

In other news my spymaster, #0, (Their choice, not mine. I would have deemed it overly dramatic if I had been asked.) has informed me that there is noise of an impending assassination attempt on me. The implications are that it is the plot of a third-rate would-be Illuminati member hoping that my death will gain them some favor with the Order.

This is good news, as when they fail odds are said Order will get rid of them for me as yet another object lesson on the costs of failure- with the punchline being said hopeful never really had a chance. They lack the pedigree.

Really, they make one really successful game a megacorp buys off of them for a cut-their-own-throat price and it apparently goes right to their head. Absurd.

Still, I don't want it thought I am being careless. I have canceled any further trips out of my hardened facility, over three different escape methods are prepared and all of my henchpeople have been informed to follow Flight-Then-Flight-Then-Fight protocols. I would rather no one take a bullet or bomb for me, even though I am sure many of them would be willing.

Excellent henchpeople, truly.

Anticipated method of attack is a mercenary hit squad. I look forward to seeing them on a monitor in the near future.

As for Guild Wars 2, I have not done much Role Playing since Director Arketer purchased the 'location' of Watch Knight salvage. Presumably I would take my time in securing such an extremely dangerous location. It is apparently loaded with evil minions of a dragon called Mordremoth.

So, while that is happening- on or offstage depending on my luck in encountering a mercenary Role Playing Guild- I have set about advancing 'myself', level-wise. I am not taking it terribly seriously, but am making an effort to shorten the time it takes as much as possible.

These people promise %100 Handwork Guaranteed! I don't believe that is possible though, so this is right out.
Besides, if I wanted to go that route I could have simply ordered 82 to do the leveling for me.

In the process I have inadvertently discovered the secret lair of this 'Scarlet Briar'. It was a sorry excuse for a secret lair, consisting of a chair, a SINGLE monitor, a few chests and tables, insane scribblings, etcetra. Strangely not so much as a hole in the ground or bucket though. Apparently this Scarlet ascended beyond biological functions. I did find something relevant however.

I am deeming this discovery 'In-Character'.

Those are Watch Knight schematics. No doubt something Director Arketer would find worth acquiring. I should perhaps note said lair which this was found in was directly under the base of the Durmand Priory- the 'Smartest' of the three orders in the game devoted to fighting dragons. That it would be there, much less uncleaned-out by said Priory by now, makes absolutely no sense.

But then not a great deal does. I feel I can work around this, though I do have to work harder to imagine details to the lore which would render this all sensible. In this case, for example, I have elected to assume that the Durmand Priory is arrogant and not very intelligent and that people have attempted to tell them that this lair exists, but have been dismissed because that would be 'ridiculous'.

Additionally they may all be suffering from some sort of magical brain damage.

Director Arketer still joined the Durmand Priory however. This is supposedly my 'Mentor', which is adorable. They and their superior fit into the above theory admirably.

I elected to have Director Arketer join the Priory anyway as presumably they have the largest library and I would presumably have wanted access to it.

All in all I would say this continues to go well. So long as I am not successfully assassinated in the near future.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Deep Seven : #6

Progress continues.

Unfortunately said progress is not, in itself, especially interesting. The autonomous squid fart continues it's peculiar wafting and basic foundations for Deep Seven keep manifesting as the necessary materials are consumed by the cloud.

Do not misunderstand me, this remains miraculous, but all things considered it rather feels like the nanites themselves are having all of the fun. There have been no noted irregularities in construction and the oversight crew reports that so far everything has been proceeding exactly along projected lines. It is good to know that the odds of us needing to fire off electromagnetic pulses in an emergency shutdown are ever-decreasing, but the waiting is no less tedious.

So, I have had plenty of time to continue Role Playing.

I found this outfit in the account inventory and use it when not 'In Character', it strikes me as a reasonable indicator.
I have found it easier to imagine a version of myself within this imaginary world than anticipated as of late, which I believe I can thank the miserable state of humanity within the game for. I attempted to discuss it with a fellow human who simply took it as an insult.

Absolutely absurd. The Norn are giants who turn into giant were-beasts. The Charr? Massive cat lion/bull people with a warlike disposition and a military fortified with steel structures, turret cannons, advanced rifles and- again- tanks. The Asura? They are apparently tiny, obnoxious gentrificated goblins and are at a technology level that only raises the question of why they haven't killed all the Dragons themselves. Robots, death rays, teleporters- they have it all. They effectively rule the world accordingly, or could do so in short order. About the only race on comparably dismal footing as humanity are the plant people or Sylvari. However humans can't naturally regrow lost limbs and aren't quite literally growing off of a massive tree in the hundreds with orders implanted in their heads already nor can they grow military hardware out of the ground.

Humanity has... what? A corrupt government and massive crime? The most popular brothel/tavern in in the game world? A magical monarch? Yes, that's something to be proud of, it clearly worked out so very well for Ascalon. (For those reasonably unaware, that was another human kingdom in the game whose magical monarch incinerated his entire kingdom and damned his people to ghostly undead slavery just to spite the Charr.)

Humanity needs help in this world.

Thus I have found Director Arketer's purpose within the game, the re-creation and improvement of a type of mechanical soldier called a Watch Knight. Apparently they were made by the Queen of Kryta, or if anyone else made them they don't seem to have received any credit. Unfortunately, whoever DID make them was apparently horribly incompetent. Shortly after their unveiling they were hijacked and used as, according to 82's notes, 'yet another stupid army for the horrible plant Mary Sue'. (Personally I think 82 was overly fixated on this 'Scarlet'.)

I stated my intention to said fellow human, who was no less offended and was- in fact- horrified. 'But they did so much damage!' she said. Apparently some humans in the game feel that because they botched handling technology once, they should stop pursuing it. That they should leave it to the other, smarter races.

There are real-world parallels I could draw, you can surely imagine the countless doomsday scenarios people can imagine for nanotechnology. Had I listened to such people Deep Seven would not only not be underway, it would be decades from commencement- if it was ever rendered practical at all!

Going back to 82 a moment, I used 15 gold from his account for Director Arketer to 'buy' the location of a place that contained wreckage of Watch Knights or Clockwork Horrors, to explain where Director Arketer would get a lead on making his own. Hopefully he won't be bothered.

Upstanding and not at all suspicious. 
Apparently the seller of this information heard Director Arketer's speech on the importance of struggling for technological equality and was moved. I assumed I, Director Arketer, would be suspicious given my goals would be human advancement rather than Sylvari but as the location was as legitimate as any entirely imaginary place in an imaginary world I think I would have seen the risk/reward ratio as being acceptable.

Now, presumably, Director Arketer is assembling teams to secure the incredibly dangerous excavation site.

Perhaps I should try and make a Role Playing event of this... I know of at least one group of Mercenaries. I would be protective of my henchpeople, so hiring a more expendable unit of guards would probably be rational.

If time permits.

Again, in all other news there is nothing remarkable. This is pleasant, but probably will not last. No doubt eventually one of my rogue's gallery of rivals and antagonists will attempt to interfere for reasons either malicious, misguided or both.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Deep Seven : #5

Progress continues!

The cavitation sub worked almost perfectly. If you are not familiar with them the concept is basically thus- you take a submarine and form a bubble around it within which it propels itself. So, ideally, what you have is a vehicle travelling through air instead of water and thus travelling much faster than would otherwise be possible.

In practice it is inevitably more complicated and even now it is not quite perfect. For a submarine it necessarily must not  go especially deep as the deeper it goes the trickier maintaining a suitably large bubble becomes. Other issues apply, but all in all it performs vastly better than other efforts are said to.

I am extremely proud of the project's engineering team.

As expected our arrival was met with a warm welcome by the construction oversight crew, even though it was quite apparent my visit came as something of a surprise to most of them. They handled it well. They are excellent henchpeople, but then I employ no other kind.

I gave a speech explaining my purpose for the visit in the cafeteria, with the cavitation sub's crew taking over the oversight of construction for the duration. A rough transcript follows.

"You may be wondering as to the purpose of my visit. Perhaps you are concerned that I am angry over the loss of Theodore, or the complaints regarding the website restrictions?"

(I paused to study audience reactions, a few were genuinely concerned.)

"Perish such thoughts! First and foremost I am here to thank you all for your continued hard work and dedication in pursuing the Deep Seven project. Give us all a round of applause."

(A pause for surprisingly awkward clapping.)

"Next, I wish you all to be aware that *I* am aware of the hardships you endure. The cold, the damp, the seasickness and all the perils of working far out on the ________ ocean as well as, let us be honest, the boredom inherent in what is mostly scheduled observation of an indistinct murky cloud."

(I take a moment to look over the employees sympathetically.)

"I say this so you may understand that I did not filter out those  websites that many of you seem to miss lightly, but did so as your work here is still vital. This, dear friends, is how it all begins. With the creation of this facility we will finally have a laboratory free from the nearsighted goals of greedy corporations, free from interference by over-litigious bureaucrats and compromised governments. A place where the advancement of humanity and sciences can be pursued in earnest! A place where we will RE-DEFINE what is POSSIBLE!"

(I paused again for effect and more sincere applause, gently calming them down after a moment.)

"As such I had to be certain there were no more conflicts over something as insufferably inane as #gamergate- or, just as accurately, the antagonists thereof. I would have thought such a conflict impossible, but 87 and 65 proved me to be tragically mistaken."

(I chuckle bemusedly as the atmosphere becomes markedly less enthusiastic. Some are stoic, others express a measure of shame. After a moment I sigh slightly.)

"But again, I did not come here to browbeat you all over the failings of others. No, I ask you all instead to learn a lesson from what happened between 87 and 65.

The failings of the outside world manifested within them to sabotage our efforts. They saw one group of people attack another group of people with and over vague labels and rather than recognize the folly of this act- attacked each other with vague labels made insults. They did not see the underlying problems and thus perpetuated them. Take note, for this could happen to any of you if you allow your anger to guide your thoughts and actions."

(Another moment to pause as, hopefully, they considered this.)

"I have ordered the recordings made available to anyone who cares to review them, to see for themselves where they went wrong. I insist however, that you not be tempted to think either of them was 'correct'. There is no wrong only one of them was guilty of. Instead, look to how they might have defused the anger- both within themselves and each other- long before they came to think using the remote observers as battlebots was a worthwhile price to pay for spite."

(A pause for a small measure of laughter. I of course chuckle along good naturedly.)

"And let that be the last I never need say on the matter. Onwards to the good news! In addition to providing a replacement remote observer I have elected to lend you my personal chef, Henri,"

(A brief pause to gesture to the relevant individual, who nodded politely- a fine sport about this unusual situation.)

".. who will see to augmenting your meals for the remainder of your deployment. Keep up the good work! I am- and quite possibly the entire world is- counting on you."

(I depart to applause and polite cheers, some more enthusiastic than others- past beneficiaries of Henri's work I suspect.)

As soon as the crews were back to their regular shifts we departed again. If there are further complications, I have faith they will not originate within the crew.

With that resolved, I would note I have undertaken a new hobby. One of my acting secretaries, Henchperson 82 (#82193087) had seen fit to babble about some time they had spent with one of these computer games presumably at some measure of the root of the whole #gamergate debacle, Guild Wars 2.

 Apparently they were/are a 'Role Player'. Initially I was mildly offended as I have no desire to hear about their sex life- such is the connotation role playing seems to often have- but I have been assured this definition is entirely platonic in nature.

Taking a further interest, it dawned on me that it could prove a worthwhile creative exercise. I have had 82 write up extensive notes for a guide and have made my 'character' or 'toon' from their account.
My initial attempt at Role Playing was admittedly awkward, but so far I seem to have been making do. I have elected to start simple, with something I should have little difficulty empathizing with.

I am from Divinity's Reach, apparently.

As noted, most of Deep Seven's creation is automated, so I too have some measure of time that needs killing when my genius is not required directly. Like the imaginary Sherlock Holmes, my mind rebels at stagnation. Unlike the imaginary Sherlock, I live in an age where there are more worthy diversions than opiates.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Deep Seven : #4

Progress continues.

The morale issue has held steady, but I have received reports of continued grumbling- if no increase in such. Additionally a member of the crew on deployment has requested emergency dismissal. The reason they offer is that they have family in Dallas, Texas that they are concerned for the safety of in light of the EVD (Ebola) cases discovered there.

Efforts to reassure them that there is little reason to be alarmed have apparently fallen on deaf ears. Still, I suspect it may be a worthwhile gesture to grant the request. Honestly, in reviewing the case I am not entirely sure I would feel any different in their issued boots. The authorities seem to be more concerned with public image than with the very dire threat the hemorrhagic fever presents.

So, I have decided to pay the construction site a visit employing one of our prototype cavitation submarines. This presents an opportunity to demonstrate graciousness as well as ensure morale is high by other means. In addition to delivering a replacement Henchperson to replace the Texan (#717453254) so as not to add any strain to the present shift rotations I shall also deliver my personal Chef to augment the services of the Cafeteria for the next month.

I fully expect Henri to prevent any further complaints.

Going back to the present EVD issue, back when I was tempted to maintain this as a more conventional blog I wrote of a possible solution to the African epidemic which largely consisted of shipping America's Faith Healers to Africa. At least two of these Faith Healers were based in Texas.

Well well well. It seems if Mohammed won't go the the Mountain, the Mountain must come to him.

If anyone must die in Texas from Ebola, let them not be innocent.

Won't someone call the Copelands?

While I am attending to this affair I may not find time to add a further entry until my return. Should I make this public later and you should be interested in the Faith Healer solution, I do have the writing preserved and will make it available on request. I was fairly pleased with it at the time at least.