Playback Before the Gendarmes Arrive

This rough sketch continues the story started in The “Great Engine of Atosa” and picks up after “Before the Gendarmes Arrive.” Atosa, being one of the things on Hlau’s list 800 years later, is the site of a gigantic engine mainframe complex, built during a period that is comparable to Earth’s 19th century.

Jing and Zo led the errant priest to the data terminal where they had witnessed the hack in progress. The data spool was still in place and hadn’t been re-wound yet. Even with the all the analytical engine mainframes down, electricity still fed into the complex from the windmills and the nearby river, stopped-up by a hydro-electric dam. The terminal couldn’t connect with the engines in its current state, but it could display the data that was recorded onto the spool. Zo pulled down one lever to re-wind the roll of punch paper and pushed it to stop, and then hit a button to play the data.

Ikaya grabbed the cable that connected the monitor to the the keyboard, the telegraph key, and the engine when the day’s data come on. He had Zo fast-forward the roll to the point when the mysterious access happened. He had clearly sensed something before, even if he didn’t say it. When the source with no origin appeared on the screen, it confirmed that there was something more to this than a masked identity. He knew something.

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Before the Gendarmes Arrive

This rough sketch takes place a close to 800 years before Hlau’s investigation of a string of hacks on some computer mainframes. Atosa, being one of the things on his list, is the site of a gigantic engine mainfame complex, built during a period that is comparable to Earth’s 19th century. Jing, the protagonist of this sketch, is witness to some of the early events of the Great Engine Heist. There is a discrepancy in the calendar system and the dates used here and some of Hlau’s stories. I’ll definitely correct it in future drafts. This part picks up from The Great Engine of Atosa, III.

Ikaya, the holy man, nervously looked at Jing and his young apprentice. It had been years since Jing last saw him, when he and his fiancee Mura had seen him to discuss officiating the wedding that never happened. Then the last time he heard the priest’s name was when Mura broke off the engagement, saying that she just could not stop the forces of nature. But she had to tell Jing this while he was working, coding away on an important file. His sojourn in Tiago, which he thought would become something permanent, had ended with a phone call. And this man ,who had stolen what could have been his life, arrived shortly after another one. One did not need to be a telepath to grasp that Jing was seething with anger.

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The Great Engine of Atosa, III

This rough sketch takes place a close to 800 years before Hlau’s investigation of a string of hacks on some computer mainframes. Atosa, being one of the things on his list, is the site of a gigantic engine mainfame complex, built during a period that is comparable to Earth’s 19th century. Jing, the protagonist of this sketch, is witness to some of the early events of the Great Engine Heist. There is a discrepancy in the calendar system and the dates used here and some of Hlau’s stories. I’ll definitely correct it in future drafts. This part picks up from the second part.

Jing took the phone and put it back into its holder on the wall. He had called the local temple – there were no high level telepaths there, but they told him they would call the School of Wisdom in Shusa. There may be an expert there or they could find someone to dispatch. They didn’t tell him something he already didn’t know. Supposedly, some of them could teleport. He hoped one of them could simply think themselves over and caught whoever broke into the system.

All he knew was that the fez-heads were coming and they’d be utterly useless. Police always were.

The local police never investigated computational crimes. Neither did the Tribal Affairs officers – they only came to the Engine Complex if there was a crime involving a Tanesh on the grounds. Some agents and uniformed policemen from the Agency would come soon. They weren’t equipped to handle psychic crimes, though.

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Tlon

This is a world-building sketch for my Project Mintaka work. Tlon is one of the most important places in this milieu, even if may not be the story’s central setting. The name itself is a nod to Jorge Luis Borges, who created one of the strangest realms ever in fiction. My Tlon, though, isn’t his. I do like that Borges’s Tlön threatens to take over our reality.

The oldest city on Ourin is Tlon. This is where all civilizations began. Tlon is where the year, the orbit around the yellow sun, and the millennial year around Mintaka was realized. At the center of the city was the Stone of Memory, a twenty odd foot megalith believed to sentient but also the source of human telepathy and gifts. And it was long held that the Stone of Memory drew humanity to it. First they built Tlon around the Stone and then branched out to build other cities and mark spots of power with stones and cairns. Of all the sacred places in the world, the Stone of Memory was the most powerful and pilgrims throughout history constantly came to Tlon to visit it.

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So Big It Has Two or More Hashtags

This year, I decided to do Comic-Con right. I was on it when tickets went on sale. I bought the four day pass, and I got to go to Preview Night, which is a perk that only came with tickets like mine, not the one day passes or the ones that were comped. My feeling like I had access to something exclusive was short-lived, as there were lots of holders of passes good from Wednesday to Sunday, like mine. I suddenly found myself a dime a dozen and even occasionally getting pushed and shoved like I would on any other day, especially Saturday, the most busiest day of Comic-Con. The lines for some things, such as experiencing the space travel pods in the Aliens franchise were ridiculously long and the queue management was just as bizarre and confusing. I got to experience the usual oooh’s and aah’s of all the displays and exhibits coupled with sprinklings of people who just did not know how to walk in a crowd. The benefit of this Preview Night was for me to get the exhibitor’s floor out of my system so I can go to the events and enjoy them the rest of the week.

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The Eleventh Doctor

I have been following the new Doctor Who series since Matt Smith took over the iconic Doctor role. He’s definitely brought a strangeness, a sense of the outsider back to the Doctor. These qualities were definitely present in David Tennant‘s incarnation, otherwise known as the 10th Doctor, and Tennant brought looks and charisma to a character that wasn’t known for either. Which meant that Matt Smith had some pretty big boots to fill coming in.

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Fiction: The Great Engine Heist

Nearly a Year (approximately one Earth millenium) before Kumo’s string of psychic computer hacks, there was a series of similar similar crimes. And then there’s the list.

Date: 19.4.150.8

In the early Winter of Year 19, the mainframes of Shusa, Atosa, Hitonen, and Hladdat were attacked. The gigantic warehouse-sized buildings filled with analytical engines, or ordinators, were the pride of the cities, especially of the governments, research institutions, and corporations. Information; processed with an infinite amount of rods, cogs, and wheels along with an army of coders and spools upon spools of data; was not cheap.

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