All posts for the month April, 2014

I went to check on my tool stash today, since while they’re out of the way they’re also out in the open. I found Dr. Li returning a pipe wrench and a crowbar to it, which surprised me, though I didn’t mind because a) I sort of requisitioned them for myself in the first place and b) he was putting them back.

He seemed more startled to see me, and maybe he was feeling guilty suggested that I take a day off tomorrow and make it a long weekend. I’m not sure about leaving the experiment at such a crucial juncture, but he promised that Dr. Cranor would raise no objections and he doubted anyone outside the department would make a fuss, “given my reputation”.

It’s nice to know that I’ve managed to get a positive reputation, though maybe not surprising when my team’s leaders both think well of me.

I probably would have argued more, but I really could use some time off to address my file corruption problem. Like, if I can be sitting in my own quarters with nowhere I need to go when I make the call, that takes away a lot of the iffier variables.

So tomorrow morning instead of getting on the train, I’ll be making a call to the PIP offices and asking them for my SSN or something, with my finger on the file killswitch. I want to do it bright and early, both so I can catch them before they get busy doing anything, and so I can do it before the maintenance guy makes his rounds and comes to reset my apartment.

Without knowing when or how those orders are generated, I can’t say that his presence tomorrow will prove the problem isn’t solved, but if he doesn’t show up for the first time since I moved, that will be a pretty clear sign that it did work.

Expect a status report immediately after I finish the call, and another update when/if the maintenance guy shows up, or in the late afternoon if he hasn’t come.

Either way, you’ll be hearing from me soon.

So, this week has been a repetition of the light show we made last Thursday, with some refinements each time: more stable n-squares (as I think of them), less arc-y arcs, fewer sparks. Today, after Dr. Cranor finished directing adjustments to the array, the whole formation began to rotate around a central axis. It was pretty hypnotic, like a kaleidoscope that shifts in directions you didn’t know exists.

I still don’t know exactly what’s going on, though I’m picking up a greater understanding of the relationship between what we do and the effects produced, as well as some slight grasp of the theoretical background behind it. Knowing that Dr. Cranor thinks I’m pretty on the ball, I think maybe I can chance picking her brain a little without her thinking I’m a complete ignoramus. After all, I still have the excuse of being the newbie. I won’t be able to milk that forever.

I tried to strike up a conversation with her, which was awkward because I’m not great at starting conversations and I don’t think she’s fond of having them. I didn’t get very far, though, because she just told me to watch myself around Dr. Li.

“My gut says you’re too good to fall in with him,” she said. “You have too much promise to let him corrupt you.”

That was another one of those what-do-you-even-say-to-that things, so I just sort of nodded and left.

They take April Fools’ Day very seriously here. The living quarters are plastered with these joke PSA posters about supposed past pranks involving things like dimensional rifts, time warps, zombie outbreaks, demonic incursions, and stuff, and the emergency address system kept announcing that pranksters would be shot on sight. It was pretty rich. It’s easy to see how the Automation Services crew gets away with the shit they pull. This whole place has a warped sense of humor and I love it.