Chemical Translation

June 29, 2015:

Honey Lemon has a crisis. She needs a master translator. She hires Cypher!

RP Room


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It was a relatively simple idea: DaCosta International sub-contracting its employees out for various tasks, as needed. An omnilinguist on staff who could also work with computer programs? Often enough in demand for translations, but even more useful when in need of having international computer systems interface with each other.

Waiting at a specified meeting location for prospective contract negotiations, Doug Ramsey checks idly through his tablet, wondering just -what- the person he was supposed to meet looked like. An… 'Aiko Miyazaki'? Probably Japanese. Short and demure, raven-black hair… no wait, he -was- stereotyping. Japanese, at the least. Right?

And then a roaring, flaring bright GOLD muscle car with glowing wheels and an engline block that seems better suited for a hyperspace rocket comes screeching to a halt at the corner of Market and Halstead. A gull-wing door hisses open, and a woman in a BRIGHT PURPLE and pink costume steps out and UUUUP, unfolding her storklike body with ineffable grace to tower several inches beyond six feet. Then her crystal clear faceplate hisses open, banishing the glowing lines of the HUD projection to reveal a face … that can't begin to decide on its ethnicity, a blend of Japanese and Hispanic that comes out looking … American. With BRIGHT GOLD hair, and eyes so wide they suck in the soul.

"Hi! You must be Mister Ramsey. Good to meet you. I'm Doctor Aiko Miayazaki. You can call me Honey Lemon. If you'll just put on this helmet and climb onboard, we don't have a lot of time. Please, remember your five-point harness."

And just that quickly, he is handed a helmet not unlike her own and shoved/escorted to the passenger side door, which hisses open in the same gull-wing configuration. The inside of the car looks more like a fighter jet crossed with a spaceship, especially as his HUD begins picking up the readouts and organizing them for him, even translating their readouts to his preferred language and measures. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

Beside Doug, Honey Lemon folds herself down into the driver's seat again and buckles in, her faceplate coming back now that she's done with greetings. Moment's later both gull wing doors hiss down and seal up, the interior of the car actually pressurized, and the harnesses whirr as they pull both people's bodies into the couches of their seats preparing for launch …

Startled at first when the muscle car comes out, Doug's blue eyes widen as he takes in the sight of a tall woman.

"Uh, Dr. Miyazaki…?" he repeats, standing up and starting to offer a hand, before pausing at the sight of the helmet.

Gathering in the helmet, Doug hesitantly regards the car, before putting it on. "All right, but er… Honey Lemon? That's an interesting name," he comments, as he slides into the side door. Five-point harness… er. Let's see. Attach, click, and… woof. That -was- snug.

"Man," Doug comments, almost as giddy as a teenager when he gets a chance to look at the inside. "This looks almost like a spaceship. What is… oof!" The harness yanks him back into the seat, and Doug turns his head towards Honey, a tentative look on his face. "Uh, where -are- we headed to?"

Aiko's accent isn't pure Japanese, either. There's a soft, almost sultry lilt of Hispanic edge to it as well, and she's so bright and peppy and full of energy it must seem like she's high on meth, or in a manic phase.

"Where?" Honey Lemon questions as she whips the car around almost like the laws of physics have been repealed for this vehicle, even at one point zooming the wrong way up a one way off-ramp to get to a highway. (Note: only because the onramp was blocked off due to an accident, but still!) "Oh, we're headed to southern Nevada, near the salt flats. Don't worry, it shouldn't take us more than two, two and a half hours to get there." Go ahead, whizkid, do the math on how fast that implies they'll be going.

The vehicle is almost silent inside, save for their breathing, a soft low-hertz hum from the air handling systems and the computers, and their conversation. External noise is pretty much nil, and given the number of horns that just have to be sounding at Honey Lemon's driving? That's as impressive as her driving is terrifying.

"The drive should give us time to brief on your assignment. I understand you are exceptionally gifted at languages, and polymorphic adaptive algorithms? How experienced are you with chemical symbologies?" Honey Lemon is already distracting Doug with talk of work, forcing his brain to engage and dull the hindbrain panic that threatens to swamp him otherwise.

Doug wasn't generally prone to panic attacks, just to being surprised. Still, when they told him to keep his schedule clear for the day, a trip to Nevada wasn't exactly what he had in mind, especially… "We're driving -all- the way to Nevada…? In a couple of hours…?" Wide-eyed, the young man has to admit, after a minute of calculating the speed… "Damn! What kind of car is this? It's definitely not out on the mass market, so… prototype? Limited productions? I haven't heard anything about something like this. Though I'm not really much into cars…"

Pausing as she sidetracks him into a briefing on assignments, Doug nods. "Well, any kind of language, anything that conveys information. I've never thought about chemical symbologies, but I guess if it communicates some kind of information, maybe…? I'm not a polymath, if that's what it means, though."

"Prototype. You can look up her papers later: Doctor Leiko Tamago. Also known as GoGo." says the woman named Honey Lemon. "This vehicle is a concept prototype, combining the latest in her magneto-suspension tech, high-end materials, thermal reclamation, and a micro-collider engine. Thankfully, she finished it last week and hasn't had a chance to test it, so we're doing that while she's trying to keep the systems in Nevada from melting down before you and I get there to help her."

Totally fine, right? Nothing to worry about? "Someone hacked the molecular modeling system's offsite server farm. Problem being, they didn't get what they were after. Instead, they left behind a mess, with a polymorphic algorithmn constantly rewriting the output of the data, so that every screen is a different paradigm. It took me over an hour to translate the first two screens. And we don't have that kind of time." Oh, look! Aodrable technobabble!

The car is veritably /flying/ across the highways, and Honey Lemon really does seem to have amazing control. Nevertheless, every time Doug lets himself look out the windows and see what she's doing, how fast the world is blurring by, and thusly how fast she is warping around other vehicles on the road, it's probably inducing heart palpitations and shortness of breath.

Isn't this exciting!

"… this is the field test?" Doug says, managing to translate that technojargon into something much more simpler. "Wait… there's a polymorphic -worm- that's outputting your data into different encryptions?" He -had- to admit, Honey had a way of making that adorable, but -still-, it didn't make terrible sense. "How would something like -that- get into your server farm in the first place…? Something that nasty should be able to also adapt into other software too, and…"

A look of uncomfortable horror grows on his face. "This car… it doesn't rely on software, does it…?"

"Well, the first official full-throttle field test, yes. It's not as if GoGo hasn't tested it. She'd never forgive me for stealing away her chance at the very first field test." Honey Lemon explains, in a tone of voice that implies only an IDIOT would think she'd do something THAT suicidal. Y'know. Beyond driving a car at hypersonic speeds across civilian highways towards what sounds like a chemical meltdown event without a backup plan. But she's not CRAZY or anything.

"We assume the worm was inserted into the server farm on-site." Aiko explains, while she herks and jerks the car around, performing vehicular acrobatics at speeds that beggar the mind. "Thus far, it has not adapted out of the system it has infected, either because it was programmed not to, or because it's too busy trying to prevent us from accessing the data."

Then Honey Lemon turns her head and glances at Doug. It's only for a second, at most, but it must seem like an eternity at these speeds. "Are you crazy? Of COURSE this vehicle runs on software. How else do you think all of these computers operate? There's no way I could drive something this fast in these conditions without computer assistance."

"I… see," Doug responds, furtively testing the harness -just- to see how secure it is. "If it was put there on site, then getting someone to investigate how it got there might help to prevent future incidents. Like X-Factor Investigations… But um…"

Looking at the car panels, just to see what the car could possibly be doing, Doug winces. "I hope this thing wasn't plugged into any sort of network."

His fingers lowered to sink into the seat, Doug glances about. "Just, uh… we've got another two hours in this thing…?"

Honey only gives Doug a few split seconds of attention at this particular question. "Of course it's plugged into networks. How do you think I'm getting traffic data, GPS tracking, real-time updating on the situation and communication with GoGo in Nevada?" As IF!

"Uhm. One hour, fifty-seven minutes, eighteen seconds … mark." Honey answers, and keeps driving like a madwoman. "So, the rest of the problem is that the system in question is supposed to be controlling a new chemical pile reactor, used to recycle waste and generate massive electricity while also rendering the waste safe, inert, and reduced to bio-degradeable mass." A wonderful idea, right?

"Problem is, with the data transformed like this, all of the controls have gone a little cock-eyed. None of the sensor readouts make sense, so none of the controlled reaction adjustments are occurring. Right now, GoGo is doing all she can to vent off excess energy and keep things contained, but our estimate is that unless we regain control in three hours the pile will reach a critical point and explode, polluting the air, water and Earth in a hundred-mile radius, minimum." Because these ladies never do anything small.

"… meaing we've only got an -hour- after we get there…?"

Abruptly, Doug starts checking the console, and looking about, looking for his tablet, and seeking to hook it up. There had to be at least an usb port, right? "We haven't got time to spare then, if this thing is partly hooked up to your network, then I'm going to need to get started now."

Fishing around in his bag, which he'd brought along just in case he had to do something, Doug fishes out a laptop. "Can you get me hooked up here right now?"

"They did tell me you were bright. That's good." Honey Lemon comments, while driving Hell bent for leather, as it were. "On the panel in front of you, find the green-lit button that looks like a hollow square with a vertical triangle in the center. Push that." Upon touching that button, a small section of the console in front of Doug drops down, revealing a plethora of ports. "There should be a small gold ethernet icon button now lit beneath it. That will deploy the ethernet cable. There should be four similar USB icon buttons. They will deploy USB cables, one for each type of connector, and auto-configurable to whatever speed your system can handle. There's Firewire, optical, whatever you need."

Plugged in, Doug's laptop will find it now has access to a high-speed encrypted pipe on a constantly rotating and adapting satellite broadband connection. "Hotel-tango-pappa-pappa-sierra colon backslash backslash …" Honey Lemon is driving, and giving instructions simultaneously, enabling Doug to connect to their original datastore at THINK HQ in New York City to start learning the molecular symbologies that would be germane to the normal storage of the data.

Another window can be used to bring up the data feed from the sensors on-site in Nevada. And yet another can actually bring up real-time feeds from the cameras mounted on GoGo's suit, and around the lab, as she strives to syphon off the heat and energy overloads to keep things contained as long as possible. Including getting to hear her play-by-play … which he has to guess is probably being relayed to Honey through her helmet at the same time. No wonder she's a tad tense for such a sweetheart of a person.

Encrypting was, in itself, another form of information hacking, and while Honey Lemon feeds him instruction, Doug starts jumping ahead a bit, following the patterns as it goes, letting the information stream translate itself in his mind's eye. His mutant power might not be flashy, but in a world where everything was information waiting to be translated, it meant -knowledge-.

And knowing what was going on was half the battle. A quick flash through the molecular symbologies didn't immediately clear things up, as Doug could translate it, but understanding the -math- was something else.

"What's your native language?" Doug asks casually, as he proceeds to process everything. "There's a lot of mathematics that I probably should relay to you… nevermind identifying your language, just talk to me in whatever way you want to and I'll feed you back the information."

"My native language? Pick any one of three, combined with chemistry, biology and mathematics. Spanish, Japanese and English. I'm also fluent in Korean, but it's not native for me." Honey Lemon answers. The Korean starts to make sense, though, given that about a third of what comes through of the real-time comm feed from Gogo seems to be Korean.

Honey keeps driving, and starts actually conversing back to GoGo, giving her updates on the car, and Doug, as they roar across country at ludicrous speeds. During breaks, she continues guiding Doug. "There are about nine-hundred symbols in the molecular modeling database. Learn them, read up enough to understand which symbol means what and how they combine. That should give you and your talent a basis for understanding how to translate the gobbleygook coming out of those sensors into what it actually should be. Then maybe I can figure out how to adjust the system properly.

As Doug works on that, Honey works on driving. Isn't this fun?!

"Done," Doug responds, starting to go with a blend of Japanese, English, and Spanish, picking the appropriate term in whatever was the most expedient way to explain a concept in a language, even switching to Korean at times when -that- had a better use. If there was a moment of hesitation in Honey's expression, Doug switched to another, eventually settling on an hodgepodge of 'Honey-ese' that would get her exactly the information she needed. Don't stop to -understand-, just let his talent take over and -convey- it to someone who would understand. He didn't need to understand immediately, just grasp and convey, and then develop understanding over usage.

For whatever reason, Doug seemed to be able to start anticipating the polymorphing algorithms. It -was- language, after all, just an ever-evolving one, and as long as he didn't stop to try and think about what it meant, he was able to keep up with 'translating'. Just leave it to Honey to figure out what needed to be fixed and…

"Just pass me what has to be fixed," Doug responds. "Leave it to me to translate it back to that thing. I don't think we have time to break the polymorphing aspect right now."

"OK. Fourth window." Honey adapts as quickly as she can to Doug's suggestions. She asked for an expert who could help, she got Doug. She's not about to argue with him when he's already doing this well. So she gets him to a screen where she can tell him what commands to be entering for the control console of the chemical pile admin system. Then, it's just a matter of rattling off the commands and quantities required to start adjusting the mixtures and getting things back under control.

Eventually, Doug's natural talent will enable him to start figuring out what response goes with what reading without worrying about anything as tedious as actual chemistry, and he'll be cutting ahead of Honey's instructions, if only fractionally.

By the time the car comes screaming across the Nevada salt flats towards the facility, they already have the system under control, and they're actually to a point where Doug can help diagnose the polymorphic algorithm itself, find its source, and start to quarantine it, so that the data can be restored to its original form and the automated controls can get back to doing their jobs. And GoGo can stop moving long enough to take a long drink and pant a little.

They -were- going to need a lot of drinks after this, themselves, Doug and Honey.

Still, with the screens moved along to a point where GoGo could handle the chemical piles, Doug was able to take the system to where it needed to be, at least until they could slow down the flow to a point where…

"Ok, where's the bathroom?!" Doug exclaims, as he unbuckles the belt, leaving the laptop behind. "And then I need a drink…!"

Once they arrive, Honey Lemon twists and unbends herself out of the car, and then guides Doug to the facilities, since she's going to want them herself shortly. But she went before she drove; Doug might not have thought of that. Whoops!

Drinks can be had, though they will start with water for rehydration, with a solution to replace and recharge electrolytes and other essential minerals. Then there will be food, sake, and sangria. And let it be said clearly: these women know how to drink, and they're not shy about it.

"So," Doug begins, after taking care of necessities, and after his laptop has been reclaimed, "we should be able to final lockdowns and then I can probably set up some sort of encryption system based on your voice recognition -and- on your preferred language. I'd stay away from Chinese or Japanese. Korean, maybe. But for finding out how your virus got in, I'd refer you to Jamie Madrox from X-Factor Investigations. I'm doing some work for him too, so I think he should be free. In the meantime, um… is it too much to get a look around here, or is this a top secret facility?"

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