Sunday 5 January 2014

S6.204 - Illogic Gate

The Story So Far: The inhabitants of Fractal City have been teaching personified math about the nature of their existence. Very soon, a decision will be made as to whether the high school functions are reunited - or recycled.

"Can-Tor! We need an update on that anomalous reading!"

The darker skinned fractal spun in her chair, looking away from the control panels and towards the new arrival. "Geez, Bert, you can't wait five minutes? I was just going to go look for you!"

"I've saved you the trouble then," the space covering fractal shot back.

Can-Tor sighed, rolling her eyes. "Fine. Confirmed. It's definitely a new Jump Gate on the network. As it's been powering up for a few days, I estimate it will be fully functional in about twelve hours."

Hill grimaced. He walked to the large viewing windows of the control room, staring out at their active wormhole, sitting within the rails of the giant circular disk. "Shut us down."

"Completely? Cuz that takes as long as activation."

Hill let out a breath of exasperation. "You know I mean use the iris! We shouldn't make ourselves an open target when they come online. Just in case. Weier stayed at the mansion this evening, yes?"

Can-Tor nodded. "Yeah, Julia took the math subject folk to see CF instead. Weierstrass is upstairs, preparing to be all diplomatic." She stood up to reach for the panel that would initiate the iris, effectively blocking off their end of the wormhole. Then she paused.

It's either a wormhole or a Time Tunnel.

"What?" Hill snapped.

"Something's bugging me. Can't put my finger on it. The power for the new gate, there was something. In the readings. Something weird... not something I saw. Something missing..." Can-Tor looked down at the iris panel. "The shutoff!" With a snap of her fingers, she sat back down and began typing at a keyboard.

"What? What about the shutoff?"

Can-Tor didn't respond immediately. Hill reached for her, only to have her push off with her feet, causing her chair to roll across the room. She began flicking some switches at a panel on the far wall. "Can-Tor!" Hill shouted. "What about the shutoff?"

The fractal pulled out her Pad and tapped at it briefly before looking up. "Ick. Okay. You know how the Jump Gate is self sustaining? It pulls in about 1.21 gigawatts of extra energy when the wormhole becomes fully active, but after that, the power drain is minimal."

"Yes," Hill snapped. "Get to the point."

"New gate point doesn't seem to have a regulator. Power isn't showing any signs of curving off as the wormhole approaches activation. Forget twelve hours, it'll be online in half that time, and the power spike may well cause it to implode, sending a shock wave back through the entire network."

Hill's eyebrows shot up. "Any danger to us?"

"Oh, heck yes."

Hill grimaced. "And six hours isn't enough time to power down. So what can we do?"

Can-Tor tossed her Pad aside. "Pray to TPTB."

<— TO 2014 ASIDE INDEX 6 NEXT —>

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