Monthly Archives: June 2014

Head Canon – Blueprints

ooo, fiction. Flee while you can! Head Canon – An explanation I’ve come up with, with no backing from the original material.

“Damn it.”

Steve unlocked the catches holding the blueprint cartridge into the console, before removing it, and using a can of compressed air to clean it and the slot. “I could have blown into it to dislodge any dust, but corrosion and electrical contacts are a bad mix. And this one isn’t cheap.”

Seating it back in place, then re-engaging the catches, he turned to his visitors. “And now we’d have to wait for the nanite control matrix to replicate in the blanks. Time consuming, but the access controls are weaker, which gives me a far better chance to splice in some upgrades. However, I have a few I prepared earlier. Always have a few ticking over, when I’m hooked up in the capsule.”

Steve grinned, the expression somewhat out of place. Like he was unused to controlling those muscles. “My staff normally takes care of shifting the blueprints around. Just plugging the right cartridge, in the right socket, so I can take it from there, at some range. Unfortunately I’ve heard that the CRC are going to be banning the channels needed for actual control, which is a pain, but that’s life. Guess they’re running into some intra-system bandwidth problems.”

Waving his guests on towards a different terminal he continued, “These cartridges contain a second generation control matrix. It’s stable enough, unlike the third gen. Stable enough to spawn copies from it, and not to degrade as it gets used. The third gens, well, they’re more limited. Can’t cause another matrix to organise, and each time you have them run a cycle, they get a little less stable. The longer you leave them hooked up to a second gen, the better they get. To a point.” He paused. “Nanite based construction isn’t as simple as a set of instructions, saying ‘put this here, and that there’. They’re closer to a neural pattern. Very complicated, and somewhat difficult to make. The original makers have the first generation copy, which can spawn the stable second gen copies. The ones generally known as Originals. It’s not a good name for them, but it’s good enough.”

He sighed. “If I had one of the first gen, I’d be set for life. Any length of life. But no. What I’m currently left with is what I do here.” He waves his hand round the lab. “Taking badly protected matrices, and trying to splice upgrade patterns into them. Those are stable, but they don’t always take well. Or connect to the wrong place. I’ve had a few blueprints for ships, which had a thruster where the Capsule should have gone. Had to junk those. You get a feel for it though. When to cut your losses, and move onto the next, or when you can fix it. They’re even less stable than the third generation, but the performance benefits are worth it, and I’m following guidelines laid down by better, well, more specialized minds than mine.”

“Oh, research? There’s some research you can do with the second gens. They’re stable enough to massage. Where you can find places to strip out wasted materials. Lighter support beams, for example. Or a power core that’s closer to the margin. Again, it’s more of an art than a science. And one that really needs a direct neural interface. Art, rather than science. And a great deal of simulation. Thankfully something I don’t need to do much these days. I have associates for that. It’s not a full-time job, with the required simulations, and stabilization time, but it takes more time that I want to put in. And I just don’t enjoy it.”

Steve turned back to his guests. “So.. This is where you’d be working, if you took me up on my offer. For your down time, I’d be providing plenty of entertainment. Holoreels a plenty,” He coughs, “Entertainers. good food. And all for the fairly short time you’d be working for me. And a wage you just can’t get planet side. What do you say?”