Challenge #01533-D072: Sufficiently Confusing CircuitrysteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction7 years ago

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The Magic/More Magic switch. Details here. -- RecklessPrudence

Rael, fresh into independant JOATing, stared at the switch on the homebrew cabinet. A human had to have made this. The pencilled annotation on the toggle switch had two options. Magic and More Magic. Experimentally, he flipped the switch to More Magic and rebooted the kludge of a machine.

It worked perfectly.

Rael was not content to receive a handful of Seconds for this much work, and took the outer casing off to investigate its innards. His JOAT tutor and sponsor, Dodecahedron Smith[1], had told him of birds' nests and why disorganised wiring was a curse on any future repair artist. Calling this mess a 'birds nest' was an insult to birds. Similarly for rats' nests. Both animals were far more organised. This tangle had to be the result of a fibre-crafter with a talent for hoarding and a near-complete lack of organisational skills in regards to their stash[2].

Rael settled himself by the cabinet and set himself to re-organising all the inexplicably intertwined wires. One by one. It certainly didn't help that whoever had put this lot together hadn't bothered with any of that, using any coloured wire that happened to fit and, when that didn't work, soldering two disparate wires together and insulating them with whatever they had to hand.

Which meant that he was working with splices made of ductape, chewing gum, packing tape, and the occasional piece of heat-activated shrink tubing, crying because it was alone.

It took him an hour and a half to finally discover that only one wire from the "Magic" switch was connected to the ground. Irritated, he turned the switch off... and the machine crashed. Which was peculiar, because the other side of the toggle switch wasn't connected to a single electrical element.

Rael disconnected the wire, and the machine worked anew. But if he removed the "magic" switch... it didn't.

This had to be human technology. Only they could make a switch that worked without being connected to anything. But he did change the label to read, Magic and No magic. He also logged that humans must have made this kludgy machine, and recommended that someone upgrade it to something more modern whenever it was convenient.

This station needed serious help.

[1]: "Dode" for short.

[2]: Hi, Mum.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / ekostsov]

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