May Contain Nuts

Cydon’s Cyborg Cuisine

A restaurant chain catering specifically to those with unusually energy-hungry augmentations without external power sources, Cydon’s Cyborg Cuisine (CCC) provides a dizzying selection of dishes across several Imperial cuisines designed specifically for their, or rather their fuel cells’, special requirements.

That is to say, CCC’s back-end chefs and nutritionists have found a way to pack close to the theoretical maximum quantity of fats and simple sugars into each mouthful, while still leaving the food tasty and suitable for semi-regular consumption, unlike more typical offerings to this market, such as Biogenesis’s Proven-Potency Power Paste, Steeleye Labs’ high-erg fuel bars, or even Peregrinate’s Minty Sugar Slab. Sorry, guys!

All of the food available at CCC is vat-grown or synthetic, of course, but such is to be expected when nature simply cannot pack that much energy into a bite.

Finally, while it is company policy not to question the details – or for that matter existence – of customers’ augmentations, those closer to baseline accompanying their cyborg friends to CCC are strongly urged to confine themselves to the Lily-Livered side menu.

Eating CCC’s regular offerings without both an augmented digestive system suitable to process them and the sort of augmentations they are intended to power has been observed to have side effects including but not limited to acute gastrointestinal distress, angina, atherosclerosis, cerebrovascular insult, cholelithiasis, diabetes, diarrhea, generalized steatosis, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, jaundice, myocardial infarction, pancreatitis, steatohepatitis, and death. A waiver is included with each meal.

– Restaurant Review, from the Mer Covales Advertiser


2016_O(Alternate words: Opinions. Also Odin, but I can’t do anything with that one because, sorry, wrong universe. I’ll let one of my many hypothetical panting fanfic writers do the crossover with The Mighty Thor…)

Local Grid Duty Expediter BAVK-41 was running another satisfactory self-check when the transformer exploded.

The first steps were simple, and automatic in response to the parameter exceptions flashing back from sensors on either side of the failed unit. Isolation breakers separated, isolating the failed device from the grid. Preempting the inevitable voltage spike, BAVK-41 brought resistor banks on-line, dumping excess power into them until Ironfang Mesa Fusion Plant Number Five (owned by Dawnisle Reliable Electrical, ICC; note to contracts department) could spin down its output to match the shedding of Baryvekar Power District 413. With another part of its mind, BAVK-41 issued orders to have a repair crew swap out the transformer, and bring the failed unit in for a detailed post-mortem.

The checklist response dealt with the immediate problem.

But the grid voltage was dropping precipitately all over Baryvekar Power District 413, now thrown back solely on its own cogeneration resources. That was a much more complex problem to solve.

Option trees bloomed within BAVK-41’s cognition space, a catalog of potential responses arranging themselves in patterns and combinations, weighted by effectiveness, sustainable duration, and other factors. Some could be vetoed by Central Grid Operations, if they affected the balance of the power distribution network entire. Some required dealing with outside contractors. And others were marked as contractual violations – while load shedding or voltage reductions were permitted to avoid damage to the grid infrastructure, either would invoke painful penalty clauses.

BAVK-41 ran through its options, computing probability-versus-efficacy logs for the precise decision time it could permit itself, and chose. Orders radiated out: demand-reduction requests were broadcast to all house brains and building managers in BPD-413. After quick negotiation with its counterparts in nearby power districts, cross-link switches closed, spreading the remaining demand across the region as a temporary measure. A recheck confirmed that total cogeneration and cross-link capacity now would support projected energy demand until the expected mid-afternoon peak.

And so BAVK-41 settled in for a leisurely contemplation of the best longer-term options to obtain more power: whether to call upon Ironfang #5 via a more complex – and thus more lossy – bypass routing, to purchase microwave power from the nearby Orbital Light and Power rectenna farm, or to place an urgent meteorological request – with its own penalties for invalidating the weather schedule – for more sunlight on its solar arrays…

*  *  *

Silver Oaks Arcology, Baryvekar
Power Control logs

7923-10-2/10+22:62.113: [EXT] UNDERVOLT TRANSIENT
7923-10-2/10+22:62.121: [EXT] UNDERVOLT TRANSIENT END: duration = 8 ms, magnitude  = 4.1V; no action taken, no alarm