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Ace Dreamer

Loss Management - 25/Jul/2012
September 2011, Dublin.
Dave Mathers.  Barking mad.  AI genius.  Occultist.  Sitting across the table from him.  Was Arthur mad?
*b-Beep* "Sorry, that's for me."  Mathers inspected his wrist, and a watch that looked more like a medical display, or maybe a colourful pie-chart.  He cocked his head to one side, apparently doing some sort of calculation, or maybe reciting a mantra.  Then, extracted a multi-layered pill box from his pocket, rotated it so the coloured bands matched the watch, and shook out a few pills.
"Cool!  Blue, I expected that, but, a brown as well?  Must have worked its way up."  He swallowed them, and Arthur held out a glass of water.  "Thanks!"
Mathers thought for a moment.  "It's all based on sound principles.  This" and he held-up the wrist display "measures my aura, and bio rhythms, and tells me what is needed to keep me in balance.  The pills, all natural herbal.  Some of them are placebos, but I've carefully forgotten which."
'No', thought Arthur, 'He wasn't mad.  Mathers was'.  "Thanks for making time for this consultancy.  I know you have a busy weekend."
Mathers winked and tapped the side of his nose.  "I know who arranged my lecture tour and workshops.  Yes, I appreciate the chance to visit Dublin, again, but I know how things work."
"Now.  What made you think you needed me?  Any problems with those discs I made-up for you?"  "No", replied Arthur, "but there are a couple of, maybe three, AI projects I wondered if you could help with..."
Arthur remembered his last visit to Kevin Wright.  He'd improved a great deal, but looked a little drawn.  Arthur had asked if he might be over-doing it.  Nurse Blake, in the background, as always, frowned at him.  As he was leaving she approached him, and snarled in his face, that Kevin's health was her concern, and no one else's.  He'd noticed, in an abstract way, that she was trembling - most of his attention was on the scalpel held, nearly out of sight, behind her back.
Arthur recounted the process by which Nurse Blake had come about.  "It's a bad idea designing an AI when you're angry", remarked Mathers.  "It's particularly bad when you're waving-up hardware for that AI to live in.  Sounds like you did both.  The only thing that's saved you so far is the anger originated in Love."
"Now, tell me about the other two..."
It'd been difficult, but they'd pinned Nurse Blake.  Kevin Wright had toured the production facility, and they'd managed to manoeuvre her into the grip of a power lifter.  She'd still bent metal.  Kevin remarked she'd been getting a little strange, just as loving and dutiful as ever to him, but increasingly touchy around others.
Mathers helped them install the simulation set-up on the company server, based on the "Metaverse" code Arthur'd been tinkering with.  They used the backups of Nurse Blake, and did several runs, projecting likely futures, with an early version of her watching.
Though not happy, as all the runs resulted in either Kevin getting hurt, her destruction, or both, she agreed to her current personality being adjusted.  It was agreed that they'd run the early version of her, at regular intervals, to monitor developments.  They hadn't really got anyone else who could be responsible.  Mather's said he'd forward a procedure to merge the early back into the current version, when she was happy with the situation.
Janet and Alice got a clean bill of health, though Mathers wasn't happy about Arthur's blood getting in Janet's handwavium; he mumbled about 'blood bond'.  Mathers spoke privately to Janet, and afterwards seemed satisfied.  For Alice he recommended several books on meditation, and that she take up Hatha Yoga, as she needed to work on her body consciousness, due to her 'Gaia link'.
The Lear Jet arrived, fully refurbished, and waved-up.  Apparently it ran on filk music, and needed "Caledonia Girls" (the 1983 advert version, not the modern one) at least every fifteen minutes, unless you just flew it as a normal jet.  Arthur and Rod went over every inch of it, and pronounced themselves satisfied.
Arthur took it out on a few test flights, spent two solid days in his workshop, then slept thirteen hours.  Only Alice knew what'd caused this, and she wasn't talking.  The day after, he filed a flight plan, and took-off.  The day after that Alice announced, tearfully, that he was "Gone", and, she didn't know where.
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind

Ace Dreamer

META "Loss Management"

Drama, even more drama, what could be going on? [grin]

This story comes after "Second Hand", and is the last 'Arthur' story in this Chapter (I've started writing the next Chapter).
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind