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and i have my role in this
◾ watching you drown, i'll follow you down
◾ [READ] Mailbox [IC]
[READ] Mailbox [IC]
[he got it to beep
a tape-fed answering machine
Recently-deposed Grid management and complaints department.
You know what they say: if you can't say something nice,
lay it on me
. Do your thing at the tone!
Top-Level Comments Only
2016-07-17 05:45 (UTC)
On the morning of July 16th, Clu will receive a copy of Kevin Flynn’s book
The Digital Frontier: Mapping the Other Universe
). The book contains philosophical, technical, and speculative ramblings about computer systems and programs, ranging in content from brilliant to slightly deranged. An example page can be seen
2017-05-08 00:52 (UTC)
[It's been nearly half a cycle since his permissions list expanded. Since Rinzler asked for the most crucial part of what he wanted; since
gave in to the inevitability of change. Rinzler is never going back to factory settings, and he'll never forget what that promise cost or for how long.
is a tricky line to walk, and most days, Rinzler stays well on the safe side of it. He reports whenever ordered. Provides whatever data Clu might ask. Not everything he does, not always or anymore. But Clu has access to his disk, and acting past his function isn't half the violation that it used to be. Certainly, it hurts less.
All the same, some choices aren't precisely Rinzler's to make. Especially with the consequences so unclear.
The emergency broadcast
went out to all TABs. Certainly, Clu doesn't
the ping that flags the post to his awareness, lacking even the window dressing of a word. Rinzler doesn't think it needs them. The uncertainties are obvious; the questions implied. Is Clu reporting in? Should Rinzler? Does his admin have orders for him on the subject?
Or is this another decision category that necessitates an
2017-05-08 02:01 (UTC)
, he's been right all along. None of these organics know their priority queue from a hole in the ground and they're going to level what little civilization he's even managed to
here with the sheer force of their twice-glitched curiosity.
fix it? Oh, no. Oh, never.
...Still. That's hardly Rinzler's doing.
Sort by relevance. Get the things at the top of the queue out of the way first.]
[Pause. Can cursors even flicker in a grudging manner? Clu is certainly
for that impression.]
Inquiry: Status of Alan-1?
2017-05-08 02:27 (UTC)
Functioning. No damage.
[It's a succinct report, if not... entirely comprehensive. Still, if Clu wanted to ask about prior status (
), he would.
or not, the second inquiry draws much more attention. There's a full quarter-micro's lag before Rinzler sends back:]
2017-05-08 02:57 (UTC)
of it, for the entire exposure interval.
We don't know if that--if it's transferable, and unless you collected hard data to the contrary, I
[He is repulsed that this parasitic whatsis
and also experiencing an uncomfortable sensation related to Rinzler's well-being, and that is not
would rather have the specifics.
As in, currently? Concurrent with our--
...Good. If there is no response, I will accompany you.
2017-05-08 03:23 (UTC)
[So much for succinct. And hopefully Clu's mind-reading powers don't extend to catching Rinzler grumbling at the screen. He's
No effects observed on asteroid.
No substances retained
Subsequent rest cycle interrupted to minor system errors. Resolved shortly.
No lasting malfunctions or damage.
...if staring slightly blankly at the... offer? No,
that comes next. Rinzler knows his programmers have been on not-
-hostile terms of late, but...
Alan-one should respond soon. That would be good.]
2017-05-14 16:13 (UTC)
[Processed as though Clu
spent over a megacycle coupling fragments into lines to read between, signal to noise to parsable results.
Still. Absent motive to prevaricate, Rinzler doesn't.
Nothing observed, nothing retained. It's not the same as an all-clear, not in this stupid frontier backwater Shangri-La with nothing like a decent debug team, and certainly no compiler suite.
Risks must be assessed. But there's no reason to let on he's doing it, not until there's evidence available. Not least because it can be turned on him.]
There's a delay on it...What's the interval?
No? Good. If any of that changes--duration, frequency, content, anything--duplicate the dump file and pass it to me.
[He squints at that last one. You bet your bits,
Don't worry. I
let him scrub himself twice.
2017-05-14 16:44 (UTC)
[That last line is... marginally more comforting. (Marginally.) Rinzler cancels any effort to quantify
in favor of redirecting to the relevant queries.]
Singular incident, estimated +0.6 millicycles after system transfer.
[He knows when he shut down, but not when the error (
) began. He hadn't thought (until today) that it was anything worth reporting.]
7/25 or thereabouts
2017-08-04 22:41 (UTC)
[It takes Rinzler a while. Longer than it should? Maybe, but contact is so rarely
to initiate. The ISO was a special case, as was the virus before it. This time...
...he waits until he finds his copy. He waits until it's wiped for good. He waits a little longer. Rinzler spends no small amount of time hovering outside Clu's door, only to find it empty when he finally dares scan. But his contact on the TAB stays live. He's still
are gone. If Clu hasn't made contact, it has to be because of choice—and Clu's choices are paramount.
Two more days. Finally:]
2017-08-05 05:35 (UTC)
[He'd slunk out of the Ingress complex well and whole and alarmingly empty-handed, gone to find a garden with ferns enough to tolerate, and stared at them a while with his comm
But eventually his own ferns needed him.
The entire rest of the living room had fit just perfectly in the incinerator.
He turned the comm back on when the fact of
answering it began to weigh on the queue. Messages would only pile up if he didn't answer them, and some of them might be
...That. Was not happening.]
2017-08-05 05:51 (UTC)
of a reply answers most of Rinzler's questions. Clu is alive. Clu is functioning. The silence (and
) of the last few centicycles was by choice instead of hazard. Which means disturbing it was probably his error.
Too late to correct now.]
2017-08-05 15:08 (UTC)
[He's only doing what he's supposed to do. He was written that way.
that way: pushed, prodded, pulled apart and pared away, more and more, and more than once--
I never needed you.
And Clu is just fine.]
[There's an explicit timestamp and a neutral nondescript location shoved across with the next line.]
I have something for you.
[More preparation will not make him more ready, and they have more important things to discuss.]
2017-08-05 16:08 (UTC)
[The first line is nearly a dismissal. The rest... not. Clu
for him? As thoroughly as they've strayed from defaults, Rinzler has trouble imagining many conditions under which that could be good. What had he done? Or is it what he
done? Should he have made more effort to track Clu? Where
his admin been?
Maybe he'll find out. Probably, he won't. Probably, it's just a task. He's delayed longer than he should, regardless.]
[He'll be there. Of course.]
2017-08-05 18:27 (UTC)
[It's taken so much longer than it
, and it's such a small thing, and--
They'll never be as they were, but that was true already. They
not as they were.
That's his doing, too.]
[The cursor flickers at him, steady amber solenoid beats, and then:]
Status? Location? Specify range and duration of position.
[How've you been, and how
...Y'did the sitting on the doorjamb thing, didn't you.]
2017-08-06 02:50 (UTC)
[He has his answer. He has his
. Rinzler isn't expecting a response. When his TAB chimes, it takes a moment to recall the texts. A moment longer to stop lagging and answer.]
Kauto, R1. Scouting sector boundaries.
[Wow, Clu. He's not sitting on the doorjamb. That was yesterday! Besides, scouring the streets (or rooftops) allows for a much more comprehensive search.
Range receives a numeric estimate, along with a current vector and approximate path speed. It's the best he can offer for
Rinzler has always hated sitting still.]
2017-08-14 03:01 (UTC)
Sure. They both are.
Fine. Just fine. It's all fine.]
[And if his fingers are just slightly unsteady as he turns over the packets passed to his TAB--
Wait. Wait, those vectors are--
That's just fine.
[IT IS NOT FINE.]
2017-08-14 14:52 (UTC)
[Wow, Clu. Paranoid much? Rinzler is, in fact, approaching on a
. And aiming to pass on a tangent, too. Just because he hates waiting on standby doesn't mean he doesn't know how to wait.
. Those were Clu's orders, and Rinzler has a timestamp and location to match, too. Under normal circumstances, the current message would qualify as a dismissal, but he'd assumed that much before and been wrong too. Better to be sure.]
Further data required?
(wrap here? we're already logging the important bits~)
2017-08-27 02:02 (UTC)
[Clu should know better--does know better, rationally--but that's never slowed the racing of his processor before. He's always like this--just not always
, and that had proved a massive tactical error, had exposed a huge vulnerability that he's too eager by half to just patch already: paranoia restored.
He won't fail them again, not by that route.
The message is exact, formulaic, adhering perfectly to the oldest possible formalities.]
No. Your report is sufficient. Thank you for your time.
[Now all that remains--for both of them--is to wait.]
2017-08-27 23:49 (UTC)
[It's not Rinzler's formula. Not the one he's used to... not
that. Still, it can't be faulted for its clarity. Rinzler eyes the display for a long moment, fingers curling over the keys—before he nods (to no one) and closes the device.
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