bf_goodman_icon.gif bf_rich_icon.gif

Scene Title Pythagorean
Synopsis Roger Goodman visits the Pinehearst R&D Division.
Date January 14, 2012

Research & Development

Pinehearst Tower


Glass doors slide open with a hydraulic swish, revealing the dark silhouette of Roger Goodman on the other side. Tablet tucked under one arm, Roger strides into the research and development branch of Pinehearst with a steady pace. The black tiled floor reflects him in muted qualities, much as the glass walls partitioning off various research labs do. In these labs, technicians in white, blue, and green clean suits work over computer hardware. Articulated robotic arms solder circuitboards, controlled by remote. In another lab, scientists are strapping a mechanized harness on to a broad-shouldered man in military fatigues. The suit clamps on to his body like curling fingers.

Coming down the corridor, Goodman is met by a gray-haired man in a white lab coat bearing the Pinehearst seal on the pocket. "Doctor Schwenkman," Roger greets, arresting his approach and swiftly offering a handshake. Doctor Schwenkman dithers, sweeping a hand over his wavy hair and taking Roger's firm handshake in a slightly more timid one of his own.

"Please ah, Rich will do." Doctor Schwenkman opines with a hesitant smile, swiftly disengaging from the handshake. "I'm sorry I didn't have a proper welcoming comittee for you, I was only informed of your arrival this m— "

"That was intentional," Roger interjects. "I'd like you to show me the progress you're making on the next generation of Looking Glass." Rich leans away from Roger at that assertion, fingers steepling and one gray brow lifting in query.

Rich glances to an adjacent lab, motioning to it with a smooth gesture of one hand. "Well, the new HORIZON project is considerably further along. I think— "

"Doctor Schwenkman." Roger cuts through him with a look. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't disrespect Mr. Petrelli's direct orders." The words cut Rich just as sharply, and he visibly recoils and uses that momentum to slink into a retreat back in the direction he'd come from, making a follow gesture with a loop of one hand in the air. Roger subdues a smile at that reaction, and moves along behind the doctor.

As they walk, their paces synchronize and Rich slips in to his pitch for the project before they've even reached the end of the hall. "Looking Glass is… was— bleeding edge technology, you know. Generations ahead of its time, I mean, the schematics for it are still baffling to consider. The designer was a certifiable genius of the highest caliber."

"I've read the file," Roger says in an agreeing tone, "a tragedy. But, Looking Glass is something that transcends a single individual. You worked on the original project, back in the 1980s, correct?" Rich offers a brief nod at that, running his hand over his hair again and making sure not a single lock is out of place.

"Yes it— it was a group effort but my consultation on the physics aspects of it was critical. Unfortunately I'm the only surviving member of the team," Rich assumes, "so filling in the knowledge gaps has been challenging, but I think you'll appreciate the team we've put together for this."

Goodman looks ahead, to the approaching steel doors inscribed with the Pinehearst double helix. "Mason Chesterfield and Warren Ray are an inspired pairing. I take it that what was left of Doctor Kravid's work was… sufficient to continue to next generation of design?"

Rich nods in the affirmative. "Losing Kravid in the Natazhat disaster was… it was a huge setback. We had to completely redesign the power system. Kravid was thinking big, like— CERN-big with the particle accelerator. Which is why Pinehearst needed Ms. Price there to handle the entanglement states. But," Rich inclines his head toward the door. "We have a much more elegant solution."

As the two approach the doors, they slide open with a mechanical yawning. The chamber beyond is a split-level manufacturing bay with a wrap-around balcony. The ground floor is strewn with incomplete mechanical components, forklifts, machines under tarps, and computers on wheeled carts. At the back of the room rests a twenty foot wide set of stairs leading up five steps to a triangular metal frame surrounded by exposed wires and coolant pipes covered in frost and radiating steam. Technicians with welding masks on work on the frame, showers of sparks cascading down to the black tile floor.

Goodman's pace comes to a stop, squinting as he looks at the massive triangular metal frame, fifteen feet on a side. Rich comes up beside him, arms crossed. "It isn't much yet," he notes with a look to Roger, "but that's the third generation of Looking Glass." Barely waiting a beat, Rich steps forward and begins taking Roger on a tour of the facility.

"We've downsized the particle accelerator by utilizing Evolved talent to generate high-frequency electromagnetic waves, allowing us to build an accelerator one hundred times smaller than the original scale at Natazhat." Rich stops for a moment, gesturing to the machine. "The biological component is provided by one of your own specialists, Niklaus Zimmerman.

Continuing to walk again, Rich approaches the massive steel triangular frame. "The particle accelerator is in the round disc behind the frame. It's based off of the principle of a linear particle accelerator, which accelerates particles using large cylindrical modules that include special resonant chambers." Rich motions to the cylinders on each face of the triangle. "When radio signals are fed to these modules here, the resonant cavities coordinate radio waves in such a way that energy is transferred to the particles and they are accelerated. Now in a normal circumstance, the low frequency of radio waves limits the amount of energy that can be sent, so linear accelerators often need to extend over long distances to supply a useful amount of energy, much like the ouroboros design in Natazhat."

"This twin accelerator," Rich walks up the five steps and into the frame, motioning first to the cylinders around th eedge, then the concave disc behind it, "is model that makes use of terahertz waves rather than radio waves. This some… thousand-fold frequency improvement? It means we're getting the same performance as a multi-kilometer accelerator."

Turning to Goodman, Rich waves both hands around excitedly. "Michelle LeRoux built one of these when she was twenty," he says in exasperation. "It's taken us thirty years to catch up to her genius, and even now we aren't perfectly sure if we'll be able to replicate the results Mr. Petrelli wants. Because right now this device is going to work more like a traditional snap-shot camera than a window, or… or even a door."

Goodman slowly, anxiously, approaches the device with narrowed eyes and a tighter grip around his tablet. Rich steps aside, knocking his knuckles against the frame. "By our projections we can only open a window for one tenth of a second, the exact moment when the particles in each accelerator collide. And even then where we're looking isn't… we haven't figured out a way to calibrate that yet. My going theory is to look for some kind of quantum frequency in the bus debris. But even that's…" he sweeps a hand over his hair again. "The universe is really big."

"Doctor Schwenkman," Roger closes his eyes and takes a slow, steadying breath. "Mr. Petrelli has a specific intention for this device. We have been invaded by foreign material from another dimension. We need to be able to see what's happening over there and, undoubtedly, bridge the gap ourselves. A snapshot isn't going to cut it."

Rich claps his hands together, making a little prayer-hands gesture accompanied by a patient smile. "We're, easily years out from that. To be conservative." Rich looks down to the floor, then back up again. "Like I said, we have some of the best minds in the world working on this, but— there's only so much we can do at one time. The progress we've made in the last two months is outstanding, but this is just basic framework. We're going to need… I don't know, it's going to take a while."

Roger raises one brow. "Give me an estimate," sounds like a demand. Is.

"Five years?" Rich ballparks with all the lacking confidence that term implies. "Again, conservative. Unless we hit a major breakthrough, we're looking at five years. We'd need to be able to study much more closely a larger sampling of extra-dimensional material, and that isn't going to just fall out of the sky."

Roger furrows his brows, eyes squared on the nascent Looking Glass, then settles back on Rich. "No," he agrees. "I suppose it isn't." There's silence between the two men for a moment. "One last question, before we go over other specifics…" Roger looks to the frame and back to Rich again. "Why is it a triangle?"

Rich smiles, hands clasped together. "have you ever tried to project a sphere onto a plane?" Is his rhetorical question back, one that Goodman doesn't even attempt to answer. "You do so with triangles. Pythagorean theorum, standard duality of plane projective geometry…" he waves a hand at the frame, dithering. "There's some science behind it."

Satisfied in the answer, in as much of it as he can understand, Roger takes one step down and away from the in-progress machine. "Show me to your office," is his next demand, looking up to the glass-walled spaces on the second floor balcony overhead.

"I'd like to meet your scientists."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License