(30) Private Lessons
The Mora Campaign (105-1120 to 106-1120)
In Cormor Home, Jane Southcombe has been explaining
to Mich Saginaw about the changes she's made in the design of the matter
phase inverter. What she's done is made it inherently self-calibrating.
The basic system has to be constantly recalibrated because of possible
impurities in the hydrogen, and because of possible subatomic particle
According to Jane, where the matter and antimatter
atoms come together, it leaves in its wake a slight unspace hole, and Jane
is using that as a statistical averaging storage where the subatomic particles
that are not matched perfectly end up, and then by the uncertainty principle
when there's a need for one that matches, it'll pop right back out.
That makes it inherently self-balancing. If there's a need for a
particle that hasn't entered storage yet, one might just come out anyway
instead of putting the excess into storage, because you can draw on ones
that haven't been created yet. Because of the nature of the self-sustaining
matter-antimatter reaction, there no need even to know when those transfers
are taking place, it will just automatically come out by itself or merge
It only takes a very tiny change in the design to
move the unspace hole close enough to the reaction center to achieve this
effect. It doesn't change the efficiency, but it does improve reliability
dramatically, and also frees up the substantial computing power that had
been taken up by the real-time calibration process.
Mich considers that the problem with the Anastasia's
drive could have been an accumulation of too many impurities in the fuel.
That is certainly a feasible explanation for a power surge or brownout,
an uneven-ness that wasn't eliminated through the zuchai
crystal filter. He doesn't mention this to Jane.
Now, thanks to the local equipment, Mich has the
design and its changes, and also the procedures to build not only the power
unit but also the tools to build that unit. He loads it safely onto
the H.M.S. Third Eye's computers.
The power unit will be ready to run on the test
Back on the ship, Robert Morris also has an interesting
challenge to play with -- interpreting the high security high data rate
data stream that's running from Cormor Home to Center.
Out at the northern Cormor Forest wall, Marquis Marcus
Crestworthy and his team are relaxing at camp. The football sensors
have been deployed, and Marc relaxes in his hammock reading his psionicology
Ed "Shark" Teeth has left for Cormor Home, running
back to see what's going on there. The news that they were supposed
to be left here in the forest to keep them out of the way while Mich was
being... -- goodness knows what was happening to Mich -- is disturbing.
One of the "security" team needed to go, and of Shark and Misha Ravanos
the former is the better at navigation. Shark expects to take a couple
of days to get there.
While the others wander around the camp, doing their
own thing, Misha Ravanos sits down with Lap'da, their guide.
After a while, Helia Sarina goes over and joins them.
Private conversation with Misha
Ravanos, Lap'da, and Helia Sarina
(Referee and Misha's and Helia's players only)
Misha gets up to tell the Marquis what they've discovered.
He ponders that the Marquis himself might have a lesson to learn...