Trope-a-Day: Virtual Danger Denial

Virtual Danger Denial: Very strongly averted just about everywhere advanced, because this attitude coupled with ubiquitous computing and mind-machine interfacing, as well as when Everything is Online, is not survival-oriented, shall we say. (Yes, you can catch a fatal STI from cybersex.) In the modern world, you can safely assume that you are completely surrounded by computers which control just about everything going on in your vicinity, and anything that affects them will most definitely affect you.

And don’t even think about what an EMP would mean.

Version Control

2016_V(Alternate words: None.)

“Okay, now spin the central kitchen island three-quarters. Good. Now back it up half the width of the range.”

Minil Cendriane looked around the floor of her house, checking gaps and eyelines revealed by the AR overlay.

“No, that still doesn’t clear enough space. Save this as a new revision -”

Saved as floorplan-1.1.233, murmured the house brain.

“- and put a bay window on the southern wall, then take out the wall between here and the supper conservatory, and straighten the worktops. No, that won’t work. Rollback.”

Reverting to floorplan-1.1.233.

“Let’s try this. Widen the kitchen wing on the southern side to where the veranda begins, and reflow the worktops to maximize use of the western wall. Then put a wide arch as far back into the kitchen as you can, merge styles on the new space with this room, and give me a columned entrance on the southern wall. Hmph. Better, but still won’t work. Save and branch it for later.”

Name of branch?

“Call it ‘summer-new’.”

Saved as summer-new-1.1.234.

“Stripped gears and leakage! Our guests will be here in seven hours, and I’ve got too many places to be. We’ll have to take out the new light-room. Summon a chartercar, and revert the house to 1.0-final.”

Confirm physical reversion of house to 1.0-final?

“Do it.”

Minil turned, and walked away. Behind her, utility spiders scurried to move furnishings out of the way, and heavy machinery groaned to life within the walls.

 

Trope-a-Day: Unreliable Expositor

Unreliable Expositor: My version of the Imperial Repository of All Knowledge is exactly, 100% correct, complete, and conclusive.  Despite their best efforts, however, the Repository of All Knowledge isn’t quite that good, and anything any individual person, publication, or professor in-universe may know comes with that same lack of guarantee.  Caveat reader!

Undertaker

2016_U(Alternate words: Undeath, universal, ugly, ultimate.)

“I’m not sure I understand why you’ve come to see me.”

“As I said, I’m the undertaker for Cantrel Steamweaver, of Socket City, Golden Groves.”

“I have had some dealings with him in the past, but -”

“Ah. I see. Perhaps the translation is misleading, and I should clarify. Mr. Janli, I am neither a euthanatrist, nor a funerist. Nor, for that matter, a biological waste recycling specialist. I undertake to handle the mélith-debts and other obligations of the deceased on the part of their survivors.”

“I don’t recall Cantrel owing me anything. Nor do I owe him anything. If you have business of that sort to transact, you’d best speak to my man of law.”

“It is not a financial matter, Mr. Janli. My client currently holds a writ of baculum outstanding against you from the Court of the Beyond. Naturally, he wished to carry it out himself, but under the circumstances was unable. Hence my involvement in this matter.”

“A writ of baculum?”

“It is more commonly known as a writ of assault, permitting a rather direct form of redress at the court’s discretion. A form of limited outlawry, I understand, that the court considered rather poetic, given the case in question. In any case, as you’ll see from the documentation here, we have local approval for its service, and there are certain specific limitations and requirements that must be fulfilled -”

“And you expect me to stand here and just let you beat me?”

“Oh, no, I merely expect you to be distracted by the documentation just long enough to let my assistant slip around behind you.”

Thud.

“Good day to you, Mr. Janli.” The undertaker scribbled ‘paid in full’ across the writ, initialed it, then tucked it into Janli’s nerveless fingers. “Do keep your copy of the receipt.”

Trope-a-Day: Tastes Like Purple

Tastes Like Purple: Comes along with switching bodies and having sensory modalities available to you that aren’t part of your natural heritage. Until your mind and brain both adapt to the new information they’re receiving, you tend to spend some time staggering around babbling about how everything tastes like purple, looks like F sharp, and smells like orthogonality.

The other common situation in which it occurs (leaving aside dreamer’s honey and other fun recreations) is when an adult is fitted with a neural lace, rather than having one grow naturally. In the latter case, you see, it learns how to speak brain right along with the brain; in the former, it has to figure it out after the fact, which bedding-in process has results much like the above until everything’s bedded in properly.

Theremin

2016_T(Alternate words: Tear, terms, thinking, tutorial. Actually, I have a pretty good idea for tutorial, but the darn thing just won’t gel. So you get this bit of silliness instead.)

The music was pounding again – not that it ever stopped – on the main floor of Polythalience, enough so that to be heard, it was safest to bellow directly into the ear of whoever you were attempting to speak with. On the hanging stage above, a dar-cúlnó musician balanced in his water column, flickering his skin color in antiphase with the stage lights and waving tentacles with casual speed above the theremins surrounding him.

“Is he –”

“Yes!”

“All four?”

“Yes!”

“Why can I only hear two?”

“That’s octorock, soph! The third one’s the altissimo track for the high-hearers. Our melody’s their bass line.”

“And the fourth?”

“You feeling your bones hum?”

“Yeah!”

“Then you’re hearing it! Fourth one powers the wubs!”

Administering Advice

(Still working on actual posts, but here, have a snippet…)

“One perpetual confusion among external Empire-watchers is the confusion between the Ministries of Throne and State and the Shadow Ministries – for example, between the Ministry of Harmonious Serenity, which is a duly empowered governance instrumentality and enforcer of rights and obligations both fundamental and civil, and the Ministry of Exquisition, which is a private Empire-wide circle of branches self-tasked with the promotion of fabulosity, and whose closest approach to governmental power is its chief executive’s entreé to the Court of Courts.

“It is this latter that gives rise to this designation: the leading figure of a Shadow Ministry is afforded the title of Minister as a praetorian courtesy rank along with their entreé; from this, the designation of such courtier-led associations individually as Ministries and collectively as the Shadow Ministries is a simple matter of back-formation and custom.

“Since everyone moving in such circles as are likely to bring them into contact with the Shadow Ministries or the Court of Courts are comfortably aware of this distinction, it is unlikely that any clarifying changes will be made; one should consult the latest edition of the Registry of the Imperial Service (available for reference at any Imperial Services office or directly from the Ministry of Civic Information1) to determine which type of Ministry you are dealing with.”

– Ten Thousand Parts in Approximate Formation: The Empire from Outside

1. A Ministry of State, underneath the Ministry of the Empire, a Ministry of the Throne.