Tuesday, February 27, 2029

Life in a poison world

Life – or something like it!

That was fast. The universe really must be teeming with life.

When we first started out Jack and a lot of the anthropology folks wanted to go the exogenesis route and just plop life willy nilly all over Alpha. I think their argument was basically “it would save time.” We went the organic compound route. Some Greystle guy thought that meant we were going the panspermic route and Janice practically bit off their face when she heard that.

This was about seeing life happen, not watching it evolve from microganisms or another primitve form of life. It was about seeing life itself occur. So yeah we had rocks dropping on alpha with stuff, but none of that stuff was alive.

The rocks, comets, and dust were as chockfull of organic compounds as those we’ve found way out in the Kuiper belt: amino acids and primative sugars, just like my mom’s cooking.

I’d say it is beautiful watching the shooting stars splash into the dead world, the splash of molten metals, the swirls of gas shooting away from the impacts at hurricane speed, and the instant electrical storms, but the truth is we have all been so busy pouring over all the unspooling data that we’ve never bothered rendering anything that’s been going on for the past week.

Our patent pending count from the gasses, isatopes, and other general crap is already over fifty and Greystle has brought in their own chemistry folks. The fourth floor now has more of their people than ours. Janice won’t go on the fourth floor anymore, she says they’re spies. Not sure how you can spy on your own product, but I understand; you can’t help but feel self-concious around those guys.

The fourth floor has the only vending machine with Janice’s favorite noodle bowl, so I have to go up there twice a day. Those guys do not fit in. We’re all running around excitedly spouting out words like “stromatolites” and “prokaryotes” they’re talking about “office action” and “patent flooding.”

Sunday, February 18, 2029

I can’t sleep

Well actually I haven’t tried, but I’m pretty sure I can’t sleep. It’s been two days now. Basically it’s a combo of starting Alpha, working to get all our requirements done for the proposal Greystle wants, and asking out Janice (well without the actual asking out part – I’ll get to it).

I got some Orexinal at the campus store and it works great, I was starting to fall apart and now I’m doing fine.

I won’t mention this to Janice. I mean she’ll be pissed enough about me taking a drug, but the fact that the pharma company that makes Orexinal is one of Greystle’s companies will push her over the edge. Ever since the Jack crap she’s gotten to be an almost activist about those guys. Ned and I now make sure she never goes to any meetings with them.

Friday, February 16, 2029

Our new printer has a collate button just for shits and giggles.

I had to share.

Thursday, February 15, 2029

Okay we aren’t actually basement dwellers. Most of us are on the 2nd floor, but we don’t have windows in the building so we might as well be on the basement.

Actually the basement is where the servers are, which was useful last winter the week we lost heat and Jack rerouted the fans to the duct work and our massive server farm became our heating source.

OM

Today was the day. A simple command line was entered by Adit, and I got to hit the red enter button.

“Om” Adit chanted as we looked at the code fill up the screen. I let out a laugh but Janice gave the “that” look. Adit was being serious. “Om” being the first sound of the universe or something.

When we projected the rendered images the gravity of the moment hit me. The gases, dust, and debris gathering together before us. Alpha was being born. EDIT: I just noticed the gravity pun – sorry.

We’ve started

We have it cranked up so Alpha should begin cooling by the end of the week.

Ned and I have a meeting at the Greystle Group tomorrow to get more funds. Kaitlin has quite a wish list for new hardware.

Because I need to get ready, I’m skipping the “launch” party, which is probably just as well. A bunch of basement dwellers getting together in a stunned state of disbelief (at having actually begun and still recovering from the whole Jack/DHS fiasco) is probably as fun as it sounds.

Tuesday, February 6, 2029

Moment of Honesty

It wasn’t just the hell DHS put us through the prompted the mind resetting beard shaving; I also needed to reset my personal life. I’m going to stop tell Janice I’m no longer babysitting Sally.

Its not Sally. I love Sally. And its not that I now know more about the Wilder and Ingalls families than I thought possible. Its just that I don’t want to be the one that let’s Janice go out. I want to be the one taking Janice out. I’ve too long been her support. I now want to be her partner.

When we were freshmen it was me she went to with that little plastic stick and asked me “is that pink?” It was me who went back with her to the store and bought more pregnancy kits. It was me who got the dirty looks from the checkout clerk (and yes it was me who then blurted out “I didn’t do it!”).

So often I’ve been there for her. But I don’t want that anymore. I want to be there with her.

I'll wait until after we launch before I tell her though. We're all too tightly wound right now.

Monday, February 5, 2029

Shaved off my beard today.

Really. I had to do something to change my state of mind if we were going to get back on track.

Today Homeland Security will be gone. We’ve got a new tech lead, Kaitlin, starting today and she’s great, and has been vetted by DHS (previously something I wouldn’t have thought was part of the interview process).

So no beard means fresh start. Yes I am that primitive.

Thursday, February 1, 2029

Bad habit I picked up during our week of hell – Advice columns.

I’m addict to the local one sheet’s advice column. I mean check out today’s:
Dear What do you do,

My friend had tiny camera mites placed in the girl’s shower at my high school. He and I watched the vid one night after studying. Later I asked my girlfriend how she got the scar, but I forgot the scar was in a place I couldn’t have seen. She had scanners check her house and school and found the mites. Now I’m in real big trouble. Should I turn my friend in?

Is there anyway I can make it up to my girlfriend? We were only on our second date.

Signed,
Saw too much


Dear Saw too much,

He’s isn’t much of a friend if he’d let you face this punishment alone. Chances are your school will only give demerits for this kind of thing. I don’t think you should be too worried. Were the mites of your friend’s own design? If so, he really should look into what local nanotech companies offer internships and stop looking in places he couldn’t walk to himself.

As for your girlfriend, I think it is for the best that this was only the second date, perhaps it will be less painful for you when you finally understand that you really blew it with her.
Nice.