10:24:3013: It Didn't Explode
Summary: Brigham shows his brother and aunt his latest development in reverse engineering Hostile tech.
Date: 27 September 2013
Related: None.
Agnes Aidan Brigham 

Lower Caves — Khar-Mordune, The Spine
Deep in the dark zone of the caves of Khar-Mordune, tunnels twist and turn like a maze. Natural bioluminescent lights have been fashioned along the cave walls to help provide some illumination this far in the dark. Here, flora life is completely nonexistant, and fauna has developed sightlessness and adapted to the chill. Various antechambers dot the lower caves, and they are decorated in flowstone, columns of rock, and other cave formations. Toward the bottom of the caves is the grand Pool of the Fearless — a smooth, flat, mirrorlike body of water that is pure and clear. It is highly recommended that one transverse these caves with a guide, as it is not uncommon for the unsuspecting to become lost in its depths.
24 October 3013

Having sent Wrecks to fetch Agnes and Aidan (which mostly just means he sent a message on his Hub then berated his 'dog' for being slow) Brigham sets up his test and waits. The Lab is a bit out of the way for obvious reasons, and while the city has spread some, oddly enough, no one's been brave enough to spread in the direction of Brigham Peake's laboratory, and as such… it's a hike. Or a drive. Or a ride. Whatever, it takes a bit to get there. Once there, there is the ever pressent reinforced and copper veined iron doors that slide up into the ceiling revealing the warehouse size interior of the enormous cavern that Lord Peake gave his son as a means to keep constant repair bills down to a minimum. It's worked marvelously. The massive interior space is sectioned off into areas, astrophyscis and rocketry over there, botanty and a 'green house' of sorts that way, there's a medical bay with a surgical suite even this way, not to mention tables of chemistry sets over here, and a MASSIVE bank of networked computers against that wall, cooled by a large tower of something so cold that even now fog seems to be rolling off it in slow waves. Against the back wall is nearly 200 sq feet of black board, covered in math scrawl with an odd crane like aperatus in front of it, one imagines so that the short Brigham can reach the 30 foot high edge of the giant writing surface. There's even a functional and well stocked forge in the back corner. Today however… the place seems to be empty when the two arrive.

Agnes steps warily into Brigham's lab. The last time she was here, something blew up, something lit on fire, and something she swore was inanimate grabbed her backside. She is also wearing her armor, because she's smart like that. "Brigham? You asked us to come down?" She glances around uneasily.

Aidan follows Agnes in, keeping a wary eye open for anything that poses an active danger. As opposed to the 99% of the lab which poses a potential danger. If nothing else, it's good training for a scout: spot the immediate danger. "Not like that." he tells Agnes. "HEY BRIGHAM!" he shouts.

From the empty lab's largest open space (namely the entry hall where there's a huge section of flooring with nothing in it save cables and wires that run haphazardly to and from odd machines), comes the call, "CHAAAAAAAAAARGEEEEE!!" followed by nothing. Then a soft, "That means you stupid." and the sound of a foot hitting something metal. Nothing. A sigh. "Sic 'em Wrecks." the disembodied voice mutters, and then the lab itself seems to ripple as Wrecks simply pops into appearance and rolls quickly over to Aidan and Agnes and BONKS viciously into Agnes' shin… Wrecks will destroy the shins of intruders, being the excellent guard dog he is. The lab continues to blur and squiggle for a moment, then goes still, once more empty. Except, you know, the seemingly endless 'tee hee hee hee' that is apparently coming from about twenty feet in front of the two.

The whole sic em think may be why Agnes is wearing armor. She lets the "dog" bonk into the metal plate of her greave. "Brigham? If this is one of your practical jokes, I am strapping you to the wall of Argent's stall."

Aidan looks around at the sound of Brigham's voice but when Wrecks appears, he steps to the side to let Agnes have the robot all to herself. "Invisibility field, Brig? What are the limitations? Utter stillness I assume since Wrecks appeared as soon as it moved?" All the family knows how smart Brigham is but Aidan's recently gotten several reminders since he's asked his brother to do the impossible a few times since the war started. So the idea of another one isn't all that astonishing. "It'll be great for setting up ambushes. Is it proof against infrared as well?"

The snickering stops, "You will not! Cause you know the horse would end up on the worse end of that." he doesn't sound entirely certain however. Then a hand appears and something is brushed aside, sending the entire lab into another vertigo inducing wobble. "It's… a start." he says, jerking his thumb back over his shoulder, "It's a panel, not unlike a movie theatre projection screen, but with some kickin' micro circuitry and serious HD projectors. Wreck, leave Auntie alone." The dog stops bonking her shin. "Heel." the metal ball rolls back over to it's creator, "I /finally/ got my hands on a Hostile body, it wasn't what I /wanted/" he sounds exasperated, "but still, I managed to reverse engineer the basics of their stealth tech. This was the first big hurtle, making sure the system worked." he grins, "Now, given time and resources, I think I can minaturize it more and more until it's a wearable suit." he looks over his shoulder and realizes no one can see the 'panel', so he taps it with his toe, making it wobble and blur again so they can 'see' what he's done. "One corpse, you have no idea the secrets that sucker was hiding. The cybernetic technology alone is decades ahead of us, and I think they've actually mastered neural link technology." he eyes Aidan, "See?? This is why when I ask for corpses, I should get corpses." he pouts slightly. "Right now it's a big prototype, thought you might could use it to hide an ambush or something. Soon as someone moves behind it though there will be some blur, distortion, that sort of thing. But… it's a good start."

Agnes looks fairly impressed, especially once Wrecks stops banging into her shin. "Well done, nephew! Does it, bend light? Or project an image on the surface?" she asks curiously.

"It's a very good start." Aidan agrees. "Well done, Brig. That could save a lot of lives someday, especially as you continue to improve it. Did you uncover any other promising secrets in the body's tech?"

Brigham makes a face, "Projection. I'm still working on making our exsisting sheild techonolgy bend light, but there have been a few set backs in the form of um… inferior power supply manufacturing." aka, Brigham blew up a bunch of shield batteries with spectacular results that means even he doesn't think someone should wear one. "But, until I can make that break through by bending gravite and light with the power of my intellect alone, I thought a more mundane solution may work. So I'm stealing their tech." he nods over at the surgical squite which still seems to have a body on a table behind it's see through polycarbonate walls. "Yes and no. I've found really promising neural link technology, but the Scouts don't have the right kind of connections for me to do what I'd like to do for us, I still need a Soldier unit for that. But like with the stealth sheet, it's a good start. I'm going to put some work into seeing if Hostile advances can't be made to work with our organ replacement programs, cause they're cyber-tech is just super…" he sighs, "My biggest problem is that there is only one me. I need to clone myself five times, and then I can work on all this at once. Or I need a staff." he hrms at this then waves the ideas away, "All that said, you think Father will want to add this thing to my patents list for the House? I havn't created anything that made us any money in awhile, and I know that tends to make him nervous. Plus, I think I can improve this more, shrink it down, decrease it's frame rate degridation, maybe even add some IR projectors onto it, fiddle with making it IR proof. Dunno. Got a lot of ideas."

"I don't know that I want any of their tech INSIDE me Brigham. That's just turning us into them at the end of the day," Agnes points out. "As for my brother, if you stabilize it so he doesn't have to cover us with ten thousand kinds of insurance, I'm sure."

Aidan glances over at where the body is being studied and nods. "You should definitely patent it. Draw up the plans or whatever and I'll have our lawyer start the paperwork. You'll need to talk to him, of course. Only you can describe it accurately enough for it to go through properly." He considers a moment then says "Brig? I've got another project for you, one that goes hand in hand with what you're already doing. I'm thinking all that circuitry in their head doesn't just run their cybernetics. I'm thinking it's also their communication gear. Can you figure it out and make something so that we can listen in on their communications whenever we want to?"

Brigham shakes his head, "This thing is stable as all hell." he says, jerking his thumb back at the panel, "My plans to make light bending shield tech is … less so. But I'll keep working at it! Until then I'll perfect this so we can at least, hopefully, match their Scouts with our own." he then eyes Agnes, "If you think a kidney that processes toxins 50% better then anything we've made currently, or perhaps dermal armor of a sort, that will protect key vitals from lethal strikes, or heavy auto armor that can react to one's movements so quickly that wearing it won't feel like fighting in syrup is turning you into a Hostile then I have bad news. We're going to lose." he says flatly and he pokes Agnes's tummy armor again, "Bravery and all your couragous horsey charges have worked well as stemming the tide, but the Hostiles are years ahead of us and if we don't catch up, and quickly, then they'll be the ones that find the next Weapon. The one that changes the war forever, and at the rate we're escilating, it'll be a war ender if not a world ender. So if the next time you get stabbed in the liver I stick a new one in you that's based partially off of Hostile tech because it flat out works /better/? Then you're just going to have to deal with it. If you don't want it done, then stop getting stabbed and smashed and what not. See? I'm solving problems everywhere." he grumps at Agnes with all the fury his tiny form can muster, then swings around to Aidan and chin scritches, "Coms jamming would likely be easier honestly, listening in involves serious encryption cracking." he grins wildly, "Which as you know, is just math." And Brigham LOVES him some math. "You know the drill. Pick one. You want me making this stealth tech mobile or you want coms stuff?"

"Turning into Hostiles isn't winning the war, it's being assimilated by the enemy," Agnes notes sternly. "I'll leave you two to your patent discussions. I have work to do." She turns and departs, not wanting to argue tech vs reversion.

"Comm stuff." Aidan answers instantly. "Stealth tech would be awesome but knowing what they're going to do when they don't know we know? Even better. If you can figure out how to locate them based on their signals, it would be gravy on top of it." As Agnes, leaves, he turns to watch her go and shrugs lightly. "She has a point." he tells Brigham. "Anything we do should reflect who we are. It'll make it more difficult for them to counter."

Brigham stares after Agnes with a worried look, "If she doesn't like the tech, then I want all the stuff back we put in her." he says irritably, but he obviously doesn't mean it. He sighs again. Reversion… he's tried to think of a worse word, so far he's only found 2 in the entire language. "Maybe," he says in response to Aidan's words, "The only problem with that is that who I am is vastly differen then who you are. I make the world in my image and we'll build great monuments to science and intellect, forging into the future by seeking the answers to every mystery the universe holds. If you have your way we'd all live in log cabins in the woods and do whatever it is you do, make our own leather or something from deer hide. I dunno. But the solution to this is in the technology, the advancement of the species. If through science we have made a mistake, it is not through ignorance that we correct it." he says as his eyes finally tear away from where his Aunt left, "Seriously. Vehicles people. So much faster, simpler, and they don't shit in the road or bite me. How hard is that to understand? I don't get it." he shakes his head, "I'll start digging about in it's head looking for comm's gear. But I'll likely need more samples, the varying comms tech in each Hostile may hold more clues so…" he looks up to his brother, "Go fetch me more toys." he beams.

"You're right, you don't get it Brig." Aidan answers. "Just because we don't look to technology for every answer, you think we're anti-tech. We're not. We're low impact. Seriously, walk through the city and really look at it and at what you don't see. Geothermal power but you can't see a trace of it unless you know where to look. Fungus genetically engineered to be brighter, live longer and thrive on less. Bow with computerized readouts on wind speed. A wineskin made of one of the best insulating synthetic materials and temperature controlled. I love tech, Brig. I wouldn't want to live without it. But it's not the answer to everything."

Brigham sighs and points over at the botony lab where, sure enough, there are samples of 10 different kinds of bioluminesing plant life, "Right. And the horses are more low impact then a vehicle because?" he asks, "The amount of food they have to consume? The filth they leave about? I'm all for low impact, you know that better then most people who think I just blow stuff up down here, but there's a difference between low impact and cultural bias towards romantic ideals that never were. To many people lean towards the later." Brigham /HATES/ reversion. The idea of going /away/ from improvements and advancing tech makes him feel icky in his stomach. "Bah. We're just going to end up going around and around about this, like always. By the way, I'm working on a new alloy for arroheads, I left a quiver by the door for you to take and test out, trying to see if I can somehow lighten the tips weight but still provide armor piercing strength and power. Newton's stupid laws of force as fighting me on this."

"There's nothing wrong with romanticism, Brig." Aidan chides gently. "You need some poetry in your soul so you can appreciate it better. Then you'd be able to combine the two and develop technological advances that fit this House just as well as they'd fit the Ring. That way you could make sure there's no backsliding as you'd consider it." At the mention of the quiver, he nods. "I'll try them out and let you know." He's always willing to play with new toys.

Brigham eyes Aidan, "Romanticism: The quality or state of being impractical or unrealistic." he defines from memory. It's not easy being related to a Know It All. "I have an associates in literature you know," cause Mother made him take some fine arts classes when she thought it would round him out a bit. Turns out he edited the poetry books with red pen, fixing many of the grammatical mistakes. There were issues with his instructors. His first B's in school ever. "I understand that people want to believe in fairies and magic and things greater then blah blah blah. But what you call poetry I call lies. Worse, they are willful lies told to oneself which are the worst kind of lies. I'm all for style, for low footprint technologies, but I refuse to believe that a lifestyle abandoned centuries ago is somehow superior to the one we've not yet formed. I don't know what drove the Hostiles to the point of self mutilation their scientific advances allow, but there is technology in them we can use, tech that can save lives and protect people, and that's what's most important. So I'm going to figure it out, then I'm going to improve it." he then grips Aidan's arms and turns him around and starts to push him towards the door, "Now go play with your new arrows and lemme know how they work. I have to pack this thing up and prep the patent package for the solicitor and then I have to dig around in a brain following nanotechnology graphs to figure out advanced communication technologies. Busybusybusy."

Aidan allows himself to be turned and ushered out. "One day you'll understand, Brig. Probably the day you find someone you'd rather make love to than dissect a Hostile." But till then, it helps the war effort. "Have fun, brother. Let me know if you need anything."

Brigham snorts, "Make love to… I have that, I call her mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. She makes me very very happy. Now git." he tries to add a kick to Aidan's backside but the backside is to high and Brig's foot is to low. Wiff! "You'll know, I'll send out the patent package tonight, should make Father happy again for a time." and keep him

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