Author Note: The Light is a separate story line in the same universe as #Hollowmen, they do have a bit of cross over, but my attempt here is more to set up and describe the meta universe I am creating in my writings. I have placed it inside a collection of stories I am calling #Origins which is as it implies. One other side note, if you notice an easter egg in any of my stories, please make a comment about it and point it out, I will reply to who find them first and identify them correctly. -wolfe
Chapter #1: The Light (Origins Collection)
“Error Log: An Unknown error has occurred on NMR, Server Time stamp 890100900” - Bruker 700 , Oxford University. (Quantum Computer Lab)
“Chocolate”, Glory said out loud.
“What?”, Lilly replied, she was a little confused and hadn’t been paying attention. She was also a little annoyed at her boss, she always went off-topic when they talked. It wasn’t just work related either, during coffee breaks Glory would tend to talk about what ever crossed her mind, even mid-way through a conversation.
“Oh, sorry” answered Glory, “I was just thinking of the answer to everything. You know, why we are here, what is the meaning to life, everything.”
“Chocolate?”, her boss must be really loosing it this time she thought.
“Sure, why not? I never met a chocolate I didn't like.” , Glory said with a smile that unnerved Lilly a bit.
“What about love?”, Lily had done it now, she had fallen for it, they were suppose to talk about the PAX takeover, but now they were trapped in one of her boss’ insane delusions.
“Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate. ”, still with that smile.
Lilly was trying hard not to show her growing frustration, “That’s the same as pulling some random number out of a hat like 42, to explain the meaning of life, it makes no sense.”
“Maybe your right… “ Glory had that same smile, like she knew she was driving her assistant a little nuts. “What’s the final word on the PAX deal?”
“Honestly I have no idea. Our investigators have had a hard time coming up with the facts. It looks like PAX has been loosing money for some time now, but it’s hard to tell. They have been acquiring a lot of small start up companies in the VR gaming sector.”
“VR? Virtual Reality games? But PAX is a resource based company. Why are they suddenly investing into VR?” Glory now the one unnerved.
“That’s the big mystery here”, Lilly noticed the tone of voice change in her boss, “ … it doesn’t make sense. Most of their investments have been in electrical power generation in North America, but now there is a sudden shift to taking over a risky entertainment sector. It might have something to do with their new CEO Samuel Edom, he’s been cutting costs and down sizing almost the entire company, some are even calling him the angel of death.”
“So either he knows something, or he’s an idiot” mused Glory, “ I want you to find out everything you can about him. Hold off on anything related to DLC taking over PAX till we figure out what this guy is really up too.”
“Ok, I’m on it… “ and as an after thought, Lilly asked, “ Do you want me to tell Professor Falcon?”
“No, I’ll mention it to my husband at dinner, he has enough on his plate with the Plano Inc. deal right now.” , Glory closed the file folder that was sitting on her desk. It was time for lunch anyway. “Let’s go to lunch, I have a craving for a Chocolate Fudge Sunday all of a sudden.”
Luke Marigin was happy. He had is own south facing corner office, and was still young enough to really take pride in it. He still couldn’t get over the fact that essentially he was getting paid lots of money to program video games. Which also meant, of course, that he was getting paid to play video games, after all he had to pre-beta test any changes he made.
The new platform, and game engine he was now working on, was way beyond anything he had ever messed around with before. And it was open source, which meant in his point of view, less of the hard work, and more of the fun work.
It was amazing that rendering was done at lighting speed too, part of the way it worked within the new mesh cloud system. This added all up in his psyche to get the creative juices flowing. He had already set up new subroutines for non player characters that were adaptive way beyond anything he had ever programmed before, and had a feeling that this was only the beginning.
And it was also a bonus that the work he was doing was recognized. He was one of the top programmers in his field, and only one of less then a hundred that could envision VR in combination with AI. It was going to be big, how big was still a question tho. United was still a start up in the eyes of the gaming industry, but it was already take a huge market share. Either way, right now, life was good.
That is, until right now…
Error Log: An unknown error has occurred in the render engine: Server Time stamp 890100900
Luke stared at the screen. “What the hell?”, the time stamp was way off, almost twenty years off. Luke called up the render logs, and started scrolling for for the stamp. There was a note at the end of the log pointing one of the libraries, so he followed it to the source code.
The code was the interlink connection control for the mesh cloud. The error wasn’t local.
“Dammit” he thought. If the error wasn’t local there was no way for him to fix it, and it also meant that what ever was causing the error was almost a twenty year old bug. No one was ever going to fix it. He could start a trace, to find the source of the bug, and maybe some geek at the other end of the cloud had enough know how to fix it, but he knew that could take weeks, he didn’t have weeks. United might be bought up by PAX, and that meant his position was about to become more important, unless he screwed this all up right now.
He needed to by-pass the error somehow, and make it look like it was intentional, part of the over all look of the code so that investigation would not reveal that his code depended on a buggy system. He looked closer at the real time rendering files, it looked like the source of the error only happened once in a while, that sometimes the expected results came out.
There was suppose to be only two returns on the function, but it looked like there was an undocumented third or more returns in the function. He could use that. His NPCs (Non Player Characters) were a little predictable anyway, having a base third option in their decision making process might make the player believe these NPCs could actually learn on their own in a new way.
Luke started writing a new subroutine for the game, this was going to make him even more important in United. Luke was happy again.
“I don’t give a god dam rat’s ass!”, Sam was yelling into the phone. “You tell them to get the processing power up on those chips, or they can start looking for another job!”
Sam really wished he was on a regular land line phone, so he could slam the receiver down on the phone’s cradle. He just hit the end button on his cell to kill the line instead. Then he smiled, he wasn’t even a little angry, hadn’t been throughout the entire phone conversation, he just wanted the manager on the other end of the line to think he was.
Sam was in year one of his seven year plan, and it was going smooth. He had already taken over a major corporation, sure he didn’t have any real power as far as the share holders were concerned, but he was still the CEO. And he was selling his own agenda as their idea, the board of the company had hired him to take it in a new direction, he didn’t know why PAX wanted out of oil, but he did see an opportunity to use it to get his own plans completed.
This wasn’t right, something was wrong with the Ion Torrent machine. Raf looked over the print, and tried to see in his mind’s eye what it was that he was looking for.
The DNA pattern he was trying to find was a unique pathway to insects alone, but he was pretty sure he had spliced it into the sapient chromosomes in the last lab run, but the machine just couldn’t find it.
Ever since the sequencers had been connected to the mesh cloud, results had been faster, but harder to read. It was almost as if the system had become too efficient, it pumped out more data, more details then was needed to get the job done.
Raf, reset the test, changed some prams, and restarted the search. He’ll just have to take it slow, and step by step, if humans were ever to go into deep space, we needed to mimic diapause in insects, and he was going to figure out a way to do it.