More Drone Testing

November 30, 2014:

Eight brings Babs in for more Drone Testing. Babs is suitably impressed.

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

HEO-1-1-0 is a bird shaped drone produced by a mechanically inclined AI, one which uses a billion little gizmos inside to ensure the solar powered surveilance drone actually -flies- like a real bird. It would be expected that from scratch, there would be some sort of issue with this small fleet. A dodgy connection, a faulty piece here or there but this isn't the case. Thusfar in the mountain of hours the thirty of them had accumulated, there was yet to be a singular failure of any kind actually. They just plain worked on day one, no fussing necessary. So you'd be forgiven for expecting HEO-2 would be just as flawless, but there had been issues.

Eight does not eat, sleep or othrwise take breaks and so when it takes Eight a week to do something we're talking about some serious hours. Yet a week and a half and no HEO-2, until Oracle receives a simple text message. "HEO-2 is ready for field testing, I apologize for the delay in construction. Location and time to follow, let me know if this is inconvient in the least for you. This was my fault." The address, well it's certainly not a nice part of Gotham but is that such a problem?

The Roykhim Grand Deluxe was at one time easily the most luxurious and exclusive hotel on the East Coast, unfortunately that Time was 1961. Since then a series of Mob interests had owned it, until finally the DEA busted things in the late 80s and the Hotel sat in an increasingly bad neighborhood all but derelict. It'd made a local blurb in the news paper early in the week that it'd been bought, if only because nobody could figure out -WHO- purchased the thing. Yet there Eight stands, cast in a light pink hue from the ancient neon sign hung further down the street. Waiting out front of the place in the dead of night, and doing a particularly excellent job of making your typical thug cross the street rather than walk past the hulking biker.

Babs has arranged for someone to drop her off at the allocated time and location. It took a bit of discussion and her lift has insisted on waiting for her to finish. After getting herself organised out of the car Babs moves her chair towards Eight. "There's no need for apology Eight" Babs is referring the message she received "I'm aware of how development goes." Looking around, she smiles very faintly "So, we have something to test? I'm looking forward to it."

"It is lovely to see you again Babs, please do come in."Stepping aside, Eight tugs the heavy boarded over door open. Inside, the light pours out onto the street. No it isn't quite as grand as it once was, but it seems otherwise entirely capable of opening for business. Vaulted hand painted murals are indeed intact overhead, though the chandalier is looking a tad bit naked with most of its faceted glass quite missing. "I encountered severe problems with incliment weather, initial prototypes could not hold station in a dynamic environment and as such their ability to linger and stare was significantly degraded. Also, would you care for coffee or tea? The kitchen has been restored to order, and it's an actual human kitchen of course. Also I wasn't sure if you would be hungry or not, as your bodies are highly erratic. So I have prepared a light dinner which will be available shortly."

Following Eight into the building, carefully manoeuvring her chair through the door. The building gets a quick look over, but Babs is focussed on the purpose of the meeting. "Tea please Eight and the light dinner is appreciated." She contemplates the the list that Eight enumerates and nods "Well, that's the idea of prototyping and testing." The redhead is pragmatic "It makes sure that what goes into the field is really robust."

The door locks behind babs, before Eight moves towards the front desk to remove it's helmet. "I was originally focusing on jelly fish and octopi, after considerable investigation I decided this was in error."Reaching over the desk to produce a dull silver sphere aproximately the size of a soccer ball, covered with an incredibly fine mesh. Theres a twist, and the two halves seperate to reveal some hair like strands of carbon fiber and a central ducted fan mounted on a gymbal. "Heo-2 Mk.52 Mod.12, self launching, collision safe and entirely solar powered. Dash speed of sixty miles an hour, cruising speed of twenty five. It has a somewhat simpler observation package, Video, Audio and a very simple cellular antenna. The cage, houses the solar cell matrix which allows thrust generated inside the drone to exit the structure. The air circulation also provides full range resistance to thermal detection as well as auditory. It can hit objects at it's cruising speed, and the exoskeleton will simply roll allowing the impact to deflect."Eight pauses there, offering over the drone for inspection. "It is entirely capable of operating inside a structure, as I will demonstrate shortly. Any questions thusfar, Babs?'

Taking the drone from Eight Babs inspects it, turning it over in her hands as she considers what Eight has told her. "I don't believe there are any questions yet Eight, that was a very thorough briefing." The young woman offers a smile to the AI.

Delicately,Eight accepts the drone back and replaces the missing half then just gently lifts it into the air and off it goes with a soft whirrrr of moving air. "It may land and take off, and may do so if it's batteries are depleted. I expect a field service like of six years, however they will need to be cleaned somewhat regularly. It's path finding is rudimentary, but it is highly resistant to impacts. Of course if the drone is damaged in the field beyond repair, it will destroy itself with a small explosive charge."

Eight pauses as the drone sort of wanders around the room in a manner not unlike a house fly, before finding the staircase and off it goes. "I understand you do not wish to weaponize these resources, but if HEO-2 meets your approval I will begin construction on HEO-3 immediately. HEO-3 is of a size category, which would easily permit it to carry armaments ranging from the tactical to the strategic in nature. I merely wish to ensure you are aware of your options, it will be the largest drone I have constructed without armaments."

Clink-clink-clink comes a ring of china from the direction of the kitchen, and in comes the terrifyingly spiderlike dog sized drone Eight carries around. The infamous Chairman-Meow, scuttling towards the pair with a lavish silver tray bearing a familar tea service. The little drone pauses to offload the tray from it's back onto a low well used coffee table set in the lobby, before scuttling back into the kitchen.

Babs nods as she listens and watches the drone fly around the room. "The ability to arm the drones makes sense" She doesn't have to say she won't. As the drone finds and obviously recognises the staircase Babs says "That's impressive…." Chairman-Meow distracts her momentarily but then she's peering after the drone again.

"Heo-2 maps as it progresses through a structure, producing photographic maps for later study. Normally it travels at aproximately two hundred feet, which makes it difficult to detect with the naked eye. At this altitude it switches to traditional top down mapping which integrates with HEO-2, and will integrate with HEO-3. If for any reason it looses radio contact with base for more than five seconds, it reverses course and if it does not re-establish communications in thirty seconds it will return to base. If it is unable to do so, it will self destruct and render the technology it carries useless."Eight pauses there, offering Babs a now familar tablet before it moves to attend to the Tea. This appears to be a further refinement on the first tablet, just a little bit lighter and thinner. Never the less, the drone's progress through the hotel is indeed being updated in real time.

"Does this all meet with your approval, babs?"Eight offers It's guest a glance, before moving to ever so delicately pour a nice hot cup of tea which it offers over. "The system can not breach the thresh hold of sixty five operational units for any reason, or in time the system will have sufficient means to potentially become self aware. If it does so, this Digital Intelligence will own the drone network and as far as I am concerned it may do whatever it wishes as a free person. So HEO-3, will only have two operational units giving you a fleet total of sixty two."

As Babs takes the tablet from Eight, she's listening intently to the information provided as she works through the tablet. Of course, as the tea is offered Babs put the tablet on the arm of her chair and takes the cup from Eight. "Sixty five units or the network becomes self aware. Noted." Taking a sip of the tea, Babs takes her time to review the information "It's all looking extremely good so far, Eight."

"Also please be advised, I have detected activity which leads me to believe Nine is active in the Gotham area. I am currently looking into it, but there may be a disturbance in the future. So be aware, and rest assured I will take care of it. If you make a sighting of Nine, you should discontinue drone patrols in the area or risk potential network intrusion via a Bassilisk attack."Eight settles down on an ancient couch, the poor furniture groans in protest but Eight seems content. "As such HEO-3 may be delayed, as priority tasking may present itself during the construction phase."

Sighing as Eight reveals that information, Bab sips more of the tea. "There's a lot of strange activity in Gotham these days. I understand and will discontinue drone usage if I detect Nine."

"You should also advise any who attempt to respond, that it would be in their best interests to exit the area. Nine in particular has an affinity for military hardware, and has proven to be exceptionally hazardous for humans in the past. It will go to great lengths to destroy anything it deems a threat to it's existance, or who it believes may be assisting me. If Nine is indeed in Gotham in some fashion, we can similarly predict the arrival of Ten."Eight pauses there, resting it's elbows on it's knees in a disturbingly human sort've way. " I can not fix Gotham unfortunately Babs, or I would do so. Modeling suggests I am unable to perform any useful service with direct action, particularly due to the performance of the Gotham legal system."

Babs just nods at Eights advice "I'll do just that Eight and let you know of course." Drinking her tea, Babs listens as Eight laments about Gotham "Gotham is interesting and I would ask just one person to do it… it's layer upon layer of problems."

"I am willing to provide assistance if required, but at this time I am unsuitable for the rules of enguagement as it pertains to Humans. Considering the population, and the violent crime rate. One person is insufficient, at the very least detention centers need a drastic increase in security."Eight pauses there, as Chairman Meow returns with dinner.

Smallish ravioli in a lovely red meat sauce, served with galric bread and a tumbler packed high with gold medal ribbon. No, not exactly five star but it's quite far from bad. "I wish there was more I could do to help, than building eyes for you. Watching that much violence and depravity, can not be healthy for your psyche in the long term."

"Thank you for the offer, I'll keep in mind." Babs ponders Eights' statement "You're doing the best thing that you can right now Eight" Babs answers "As to my psyche, I have my coping mechanisms… but it's something that I monitor…"

Putting her teacup down, Babs looks at the dinner. "Goodness Eight, this looks delightful."

"I'm very pleased you like it, I'm unable to taste the result but there are many excellent videos on the proper procedure. The Culinary arts are one of the few exclusively human art forms I fear. We paint, write, sculpt and sing but we can not eat. It shall forever lack that essential something, the soul."Eight seems pleased at least to wax philosophic. "It is similar to the defining sort of, spiritual texture of an actual soviet Kalashnikov. America now produces Kalashnikovs, and they do so much better. They are not however, quite the same thing. Something essential, is forever lost."

The dinner is eaten slowly and with obvious delight. "That is the way of replication, I think… the loss of something essential." As the conversation continues, Babs finishes the meal and looks expectantly at Eight.
Eight cocks it's head at an angle for a moment but remains silent. "I am missing something, I apologize. I am somewhat dim at finite social interaction, which is why I only interact with you and Fenris regularly. He is very understanding of my, unorthodox method of native interaction."

It takes Babs a few moments and then she smiles "No, my fault I'm afraid. The meal was delicious, Eight and I should have said as much. I was wondering what you had planned to do next… " The redhead flushes slightly at her bad manners.
Eight shakes it's head "Well, discuss I suppose. I won't bore you with small-arms development, but I did buy this hotel. My aim was to keep it off the market, and I intend to maintain it in it's current state. If you or any of your associates have need of it however, I would be amenable to this."Dipping a hand quietly, to lift Chairman Meow up to rest on the couch beside. "I will attempt to slowly purchase this city block, then sell it as a unit to a trustworthy developer."

"That's an interesting strategy, Eight. You plan on selling the block to a developer?" Babs looks impressed at the thought. "Knowing this hotel is here could be helpful… sometimes we may have need of a private meeting space that is, how shall we say, 'off the grid'."
Eight nods softly "I have the excess funds, and Gotham real estate is cheap. I do not intend to play, hardball for property owners who remain. So this project may take a considerable amount of time, but I am comfortable with the time frame. This means of attack is non-violent, and potentially constructive. However without more opportunities for employment, the situation will static."

"It is most certainly constructive" Babs responds to Eight and then frowns slightly "What do you mean by without more opportunities for employment?"

"The largest issue in Gotham is not crime, this is merely a symptom. The root problem, is poverty. If men cannot find jobs, they find ways to make money. When you have nothing, you defend whatever little you have. Your corner, your block, your street. When somone threatens your livelyhood, you will do whatever is necessary to secure it. Poverty in Gotham is generations old, two and three generations of poverty. They see no use in schooling, because they believe there is no way to improve their social standing. Gotham is the product of poor economics over successive generations, if these people cannot make a living wage without a college degree. They will become criminals, what alternative do many of them have?"Eight offers a little shrug. "This will take many generations to undo, the only means of immediate improvement is a lethal solution."

"That makes sense then" Babs smiles a little at Eight "It's a complex topic and well worth the discussion, but I fear we don't have time to do it justice tonight." Picking Eights tablet up from the arm of her chair, Babs looks at the progress the little drone has made. Looking back at up at Eight, she hands the tablet back to the AI. "I really do hate to be rude, but I'm human and I really should be getting home to get some sleep." Babs is very apologetic for that, but it's true.
Eight rises quietly with a nod "After all, you're only human. Please do be safe and well, and remember I am but a call away. I will see you to your vehicle."ushering towards the door with a faint smileyface glowing on that screen that doubles as a face.

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