Earning a Christmas


skyler_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Earning a Christmas
Synopsis Skyler and Warren talk right after Silent Night II
Date December 24 2010

Shalegate Machine Factory

Constructed in the 1700s the foundation for the Shalegate Machine Factory is a red-brick mill building that at one point in his spotted history served as a production plant for ammunition during World War II. Much of that original ammunition production equipment still resides within these factory walls, along with an assortment of newer metalsmithing tools in the factory floor. While a large building, much of the interior space is in high ceilings laden with tall windows that let in rich amounts of daylight and ambient strete light at night.

The interior of the favtory itself has a workshop area for the production of hand-made metal components, lathes and assorted tool benches, while a second floor drafting room has tables designed for the design of blueprints and other mechanical schematics. While modern electronic security systems give the factory an overall defense against ordinary breaking and entering.

Skyler's Desc:
It's hard to make those pink tresses elegant. Not to say Skyler hasn't tried. She's wearing a classic v-necked little black dress with an a-line skirt. The outfit shows just enough cleavage to be sexy without going Hollywood-trashy. Sky is bare-legged, with stylish black pumps, and a pair of equally stylish black sunglasses covering her eyes. Jewelry-wise, a pair of tiny diamond stud earrings and a cut-link silver chain dress the outfit up a little, as do the silver bangles on one wrist, and the beaded black clutch purse in her hand. One of those purses just big enough for the iphone, credit cards, and maybe lipstick - nothing more. Sky can dress up, evidently, and this isn't her first time, as she rocks those pumps like she was born on them.

After police reports are made, and they're all done with their questioning, Skyler is asked to report to the back elevators on the second floor of Shalegate. He's already standing inside of said elevator, wearing a black tanktop, blue jeans, and his brown boots, not bothering to put on another suit. It's Christmas Eve, and it's clear that he's not in a very festive mood.

Skyler's heels make a characteristic clicking sound as she walks to the back elevators. She rubs her temples gingerly, having already spruced up her makeup after this evening's fun. She was planning to go out and actually, yanno, try and enjoy the evening a little, or maybe just go home and pester Evan or something. Though she's a little miffed that he didn't show up last night, and didn't call either. Eh. She'll figure something out. Still, there's that little glow. Something important happened tonight. "Hi boss." she says. "Nice work with the bomb."

"I did what I had to do, and lives were saved." Warren gestures for her to step on to the elevator with him, quickly pressing a sequence of unmarked buttons. "Now we move on to the next thing. But if you have something better to do tonight, I won't stop you. No family, no friends, so Christmas will be work for me."

Skyler shakes her head. "No, not really. I was planning to go to that party with the guy I've been dating, but I guess he got held up or something. I don't really know. So I'm at loose ends until curfew, more or less." Sky glances at the buttons and reads the sequence off from the electrical circuits behind them, and stashes the sequence in her phone, out of habit more than anything. "By the way, was the guy in the fedora Cardinal? I thought I heard him called that, but I was paying attention to other stuff.

"Yeah, he was Cardinal." Warren crosses his arms as the doors close, and they're being lowered down to the basement. Of the three elevators, this one leads to Warren's personal workspace, not the one with the Argentina robots. "I keep thinking, and trying to remember, but I can't remember having a Christmas, ever."

Skyler frowns a little. "Well, we could go out for a drink or something. Hell, go down to the Salvation Army shelter just off Central park and celebrate with the winos and the homeless, like I did last year. It's not a great party, but it's friendly." Sky looks down. "Though I might be a little overdressed." She frowns again. "Or we could just have a drink. Toast the holiday." She sighs a little. "By the by. I lifted the contents of his cell phone. Nothing much interesting in it. I still have to run the phone numbers I got.

"Write down everything you have, then put it on a computer without internet capability, not even a modem in the thing. After that, I want you to erase the information from your phone." Warren steps from the elevator once the doors open, and they enter his rather simple personal workshop. There are clockwork robots everywhere, the larger ones usually some sort of spider design, a few with weapons. The place is only about fifty feet in diameter, no garage like the larger workshop, and no windows. The place is very well lit, workbenches, walls, and the ceiling are all completely white, the floors and counters even backlit. He takes a seat in a comfortable looking wheeled office chair, and rolls to the back of the room with a wall full of blueprints. They all say something about a mind/machine interface, and he gestures for her to walk over. "I'm no Scrooge, I won't keep you here long, but I don't think I've quite earned a Christmas yet."

Skyler walks over and looks at the plans. Raises an eyebrow. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." she says softly, looking at the machines she's been able to feel for so long but not see. And those plans… "That… is some kind of amplifier and demodulator for a very complex, low voltage signal. And it also looks like it remodulates and reuplinks the signal. And the impedance on those pads is almost exactly…" she stares. "Is this what I think it is?"

"It's an interface to enable coma patients to communicate. Unfortunately this technology is not for public consumption yet. We are going to build the first one, and it's going to destroy itself after the first use." Warren turns around in his chair to face her, watching seriously. "You're going to help me design this so that the programmers will be pigeon holed into programming this in a semi-specific way, so they won't realize the underlaying function of the machine. They'll hook it up to the patient, but his mind will use the machine to send a message to another machine wirelessly, then it'll all break down, never to be used again."

Skyler chews her lip, thinking about that. "Why? What's the plan?" she asks. "I mean, I can do the programming, if that's what you need, or I can help you lay the circuits down so they constrain the results the way you want. Doing it so other programmers don't notice will be tricky.

"We're not technically building it, we're designing the blueprints, which is the tricky part. We're laying down instructions for a design that other people will be programming. If we can design it with a certain level of complexity, they won't realize the exact functions of the machine. I did it before, but it wasn't with actual programming." Warren taps his fingers against the arm rests, briefly closing his eyes. "That's a great idea though, we'll design the circuits on the blueprints, so what they build will do exactly what you said, constrain the results. As for the actual plan, well, we want to get a message from someone who may be my father, and is currently captured by the people we're building this for. That's why it's going to destroy itself, so they can't use him after we have our message."

Skyler nods slowly. "I see. Sneaky." She ponders some more. "Okay." She pulls up a chair. "Gonna need some computing power to model this thing." she says. "My phone won't cut it for this. What exactly do you not want this to do, besides work more than once?" Sky slips her sunglasses off. Her phone may not have the guts to model this circuit, but it doesn't stop her from starting the process of building the model on it.

"I don't want them to be able to communicate with him. The design will obviously allow his mind to interface with the machine, but I don't want them to know that the signal is actually going to go somewhere other than where they can view it." Warren's sigging into his pocket, then out comes his wallet, and a Platinum Visa is offered. "Buy what you need to do this model, make sure you strip that computer of all capability to have outside communication, including removing the modems. You can set it up down here, I'll make space."

Skyler nods slowly. "You're worried that Alia or some other technopath will poke into it." she says, matter of factly. "It's a valid concern. I would, if I didn't work for you. So… a discrete signaling system that they won't know it's signaling. How sophisticated an enemy are we dealing with here? Is he in a normal hospital, or what?" She turns the card over in her fingers a few times, trying not to contemplate the power it represents.

"We're dealing with a secret government organization that wiped my entire police record clean and handed me enough resources to start my own business. These are people with the technology to put people into stasis coffins and dump technology on me that's close to alien in how advanced it is, just so I could reverse engineer it." Warren stands, walking back to the elevator. "Activation Code: O'Shea." he states to the room, and a soft female voice says, "Voice recognition confirmed, code accepted."

He steps on to the elevator as the doors open, waiting. "You can go have fun, buy your computer stuff. I think I'll go file more patents."

Skyler stares at Warren's info-dump. Okay, given that supposedly people can travel through time it's not as big a deal as it would have been, say, last week. Sky whistles softly. "Pretty sophisticated." she says, and scratches her head. "You have a good Christmas. I know you said you haven't earned any yet, but… if you believe, that's kind of the point. It's a gift." And with that she puts her sunglasses back on and mumbles, "I wonder if the Apple store is still open."

"You're not going to waste my money to buy sophisticated equipment at the Apple store. You'll buy non-Apple products and like it." Warren grins at her, but otherwise doesn't comment once he steps off the elevator, walking down the hall once she's off.

Skyler laughs. "I'll buy hardware that has good thermal management, and you'll like it. I don't have time to build my own, and I have platinum visa." She looks over at Warren. "Seriously. You pay me for my expertise. Trust me on this." She gets up to head to the elevator that goes outside without waiting for a reply. "Take care, Boss."

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