A Review of Lucis and Lucis Key Projects

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A Review of Lucis and Lucis Key Projects

Postby Ornea on December 17th, 2016, 9:26 pm

...
A Review of Lucis and Lucis Key Projects
Timestamp: Winter 516 AV
Location:Lucis and Lucis in Lhavit

PROLOGUE

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Edward Lucis had summoned Ornea to his office in order to speak about the key projects of the firm. As usual there was more work than people; and way more goals, plans and ambitions than time. The firm had been struggling with this situation for years, mostly without support from the authorities of the city, who had been too busy with their own important things to have time for contact with the citizens.

As politics always attracts goofs (said Edward) there had been a lot of odd political turbulence, characterized by total lack of brains, and goofs had trampled around to no avail and achieved nothing. There had been rumors about how some high ranked people in Lhavit had mostly been thinking of parties and drugs and beautiful houses, instead of what’s important for a city.

Edward was however optimistic. Lucis and Lucis had never been involved in the mess. The policy was to stay out of the mess of the political side of the world and mind their own business. This had let the firm standing fairly strong, regardless of all the fog it had dealt with in later years. Lucis was still fit to serve Lhavit and be of true value and use to the city. Edward figured they would plow on as best they could, and solve the need of resources somehow, someday.

“Let’s face it. There’s a petch of a lot to do Ornea. We would need many more people, but it is like it is and we’ll need to discuss the situation and see what can be done ...”

A pile of parchment folders lay on the desk. The old gadgeteer pointed at them. “Here’s the project folders. We’ll go through them all, one at the time, in no particular order. ”

Ornea nodded. She observed the man’s face and body language attentively, as it used to help her understand quickly, and quick understanding was what Edward liked. Luckily he was an expressive personality. Right now she could see that he looked very focused and resolute. She figured this meant he had already done some thinking and would be interested in comments and ideas from her.


STARGAZER GOES TINY

Edward picked the first folder. It was Stargazer. “Let’s start with SG.” The gadgeteer tended to use abbreviations, and the telescope project was no exception. “This has been on the shelf for a long period to time now. Years. One reason was that I realized we’d need special glass lenses and there was nobody in Lhavit who was able to craft them. When you went to Wind Reach in fall 515 I hoped you’d make contacts there and find someone we could cooperate with in order to make lenses, but I have understood that your collaboration with the glasswork masters there weren’t too successful.“

“The Glass Master Corvin Astil is a shyke-y clipped cuckoo” Ornea informed him. “He said your ideas weren’t possible and it wouldn’t be possible to craft lenses of the big size you imagined. Nobody has done it before and he wasn’t going to be the first fool to try. That’s what he said. He was in general impossible to deal with.”

Edward raised an eyebrow and looked at her silently. Ornea promptly shut up.

“The glasswork is only one of the challenges for the SG project” Edward resumed. “We still need way more knowledge in astronomy and also about how today’s observatory works, and I’m not totally sure if the location can house a new telescope of the kind I have in mind. Changes to the building can be needed, and this means we’d need people for engineering, construction, carpentry. Then there’s the design, the gadgeteering, the smithing, and we would need funding from the city ... this can for sure look like more of an impossible dream than a feasible goal. Well, well ... I don’t know what to do about it.“

“What do the astronomers say?” Ornea wanted to know.

“I’m not totally sure.” Edward sounded thoughtful. “Corinne at the observatory used to like the idea in the past, but lately she’s been elusive when I speak with her. She gives me some shyke about how we humans were maybe not meant to study the stars at closer range than the naked eye allows us, and so watch Zintila’s stars from a distance as the divine mystery they are. ”

“What?”

“Yes. It’s weird. We would need to look into this and investigate the situation at the observatory before we decide on how to continue the project.”

“I don’t want to question anything Edward, but I have a few comments. The project seems huge, the way you describe it. Do we really need to do all the things you mentioned? Is it necessary with all the engineering, construction, carpentry and whatnot? Must the glass lenses be so enormous and special that they can only be crafted in Wind Reach, if even there ? Can’t we make a smaller version of the telescope, mount it on the rooftop of on one of our houses and test it in practice before we proceed? It would maybe become easier to convince other people if we have something to show them.”

Edward stared at her. “Downsize Stargazer to a small test project at Lucis? Are you serious?”

“I’m not suggesting to downsize the main project. I just tried to think of a way to start it without needing permissions, commissions, substantial funding from the city, lots of resources and people, and groundbreaking crafting. We could start in smaller scale instead and go for a small experimental version of the telescope to evaluate in Lucis. A tiny stargazer. Meanwhile we could investigate what the new stance of the observatory means.”

Edward Lucis looked at Ornea ... then down at the papers in the project folder...then out through the window ... then up to the ceiling ... then back to Ornea again. By now his gaze had taken on that well known special resolute and visionary expression she knew meant her employer had a goal.

“Yes” he said. “It’s a good idea. We’ll start with a small scale project we have full control over.”

Ornea nodded.

“Tinygazer” said Edward Lucis. “We will call this small test project TINYGAZER.”
Ornea nodded again. She felt sure the project would soon be referred to as TG. “We still need to get glass lenses” she remarked. “We need to find a glassworker to collaborate with.”

“Yes, but let’s not start to discuss the details right now. We have more projects to review. I’m afraid we may be facing a situation where some of them may be crucial to the city’s future ... we’ll review those in a while, they’re in the bottom of the pile, just thought we’d deal with the easier cases first.”
He put the stargazer folder on a free space on the other side of the desk.


BRONZE GONG GONG

Edward picked next project folder. “The B double G. This can seem simple, as it seems to only be a commission to craft bronze gongs for Shinyama Monastery, but believe me, it’s bound to get more complicated than you ever could imagine. It’s always like this with the monastery and the shinya. It looks so simple and straightforward on the surface, but once you scrape the surface there’s an eternal depth of complications to deal with.”

“I understand what bronze gongs are” said Ornea. “What's the complications?”

“I’m pretty sure we don’t know a thing about bronze gongs yet”. Edward’s face took on a somewhat troubled expression, she noticed, and a vary tone crept into his voice. These paired observations made Ornea feel intrigued. What could possibly become complicated with bronze gongs? She for one wasn’t able to think of anything. She might need to learn a bit more about bronze, but this was a normal job task.

“What do you mean with complications?” she asked. “I know bronze is made of copper and tin ... so it would be about making bronze and then creating some gongs. There were no complications at all when I made copper kitchenware for them.”

“Hah! So you think! But never, never jump to conclusions when you deal with the shinya and in particular not when you deal with the monastery. Just because they were pleased with the kitchen utensiles does NOT mean automatic success at bronze gongs.”

“We could decline” she suggested.

“It’s not an option. We don’t question the shinya and the monastery. If they want gongs, they get gongs, and we are going to make them. I’ll send you there ... we’ll see exactly when, but you’ll need to go there and investigate the requirements in depth before we start at anything.”

“Wouldn’t it be best if I read up on bronze first?” Ornea suggested. Edward’s vague worries about unknown complications made her feel a bit nervous about what ought to be a simple job.

“Yes. But the metallurgy researh has progressed at snail’s pace. Perhaps I’d give you more time for it. It can definitely be a good idea for you to be highly knowledgeable about bronze before we approach the monastery.”

“Is there anything more?” she asked. “And why not name the project just Bronze Gong.”

“The extra Gong implies that there’s bound to be duality. This is Lhavit. There’s always more than one aspect to things. I think it can be an important reminder of the dual nature of thing to call it Bronze Gong Gong instead of just Bronze Gong.”

“In that case, what about naming it Bronze Bronze Gong Gong ?” she suggested.

“It would be too obvious. Let’s not invite extra troubles. Not that I doubt Bronze Bronze Gong Gong would be more appropriate. Perhaps we’ll see reason to rename it later. For now it will be the B double G. So ... I think we’re done with it for now, Ornea. Let’s continue ... we can actually have a look at the metallurgy project next ... ”

Edward closed the folder and put it on top of the Stargazer documents. Ornea concluded he was going to make a new pile of folders there, for reviewed projects.


METALLURGY RESEARCH SPEED UP

Edward Lucis opened the fourth folder. “The MR project. This is going just fine, though the progress could have been faster, if we’d ha more time for it. You did a good job so far. “

Ornea was relieved to hear the boss was content. Personally she’d felt guilty for not working harder at this project. I was after all directly related to her own core profession as metalsmith and she felt responsible for learning as much as she could. Time hadn’t allowed for so much research though.

“I’m glad to hear you are content” she said. “However, there’s lots left to do. I'm going to speed up the metallurgy research and work at maximum pace with it. I believe the current way of working with one metal at the time has proven to be too slow. It can be best to dedicate a few days truly intense effort and get things done.”

“It is” Edward agreed. “I think it’s safe to assume it will progress well though and we don’t need to discuss this so much today.”

“There’s one thing I’ve been wondering about” said Ornea. “I keep find fining odd little notes written by one Saverne Rodine. I’m wondering who ...”

At this point she stopped, because she could see that Edward had gone still as a statue and when she studied his face she actually thought he’d paled. It wasn’t so easy to see, but she was under the impression that some of the normally quite high color of the man’s face had faded. For a moment she though he looked stricken.

Then he looked down at the papers again. He didn’t offer an answer to her interrupted sentence. Ornea found it oddly hard to push on, despite being Inarta and not exactly a master of social finesse. The man’s reaction had been unexpected. His silence made her feel she had mentioned something she shouldn’t have mentioned.

“I’ll continue the work at the metallurgy project” she said hastily. “There’s a lot of metals to deal and the papers in the technical library really needs to be organized better. I’m going to tidy up in it all I’m sure, but it will take time.”

“Yes.” Edward seemed to have regained his usual composure. “It really needs to be organized better, and it’s good that you have started to get it done. I’m sorry I was caught up in memories of the past, but I was surprised by your findings. Saverne was a woman who worked here at Lucis once upon a time, many years ago. A brilliant gadgeteer and metallurgist. I guess some old reports of hers must still be laying around in the library. Anyways ... continue the good work Ornea. “

He said they were done with the review of this project, closed the folder, put it on top of the growing “reviewed” pile, and picked the next project to review.


GADGET CEMETARY RECYCLE PROJECT

“There’s still lots of question marks around the mysterious okomo invasion in summer. I’m not sure if that animal handler you met is still around in Lhavit. But regardless of this, there’s another matter I became aware of; we have a lot of old stuff in the storage rooms. I put it there because I didn’t want useful materials and parts to go to waste, and was planning to recycle it. However ... “

“I guess there was no time to deal with it” Ornea suggested.

“There was no time to deal with it” Edward agreed. “The stuff is stacking, and the storage rooms are starting to look like a dump. Nobody ever go there, except us, so it’s not crucial to the firms image. But I feel it’s time to start and dismantle items and separate the useful parts from the waste. There’s a lot of old gadgets to investigate and take apart. I was thinking you could start to work at a bit.”

Ornea nodded. “There’s a lot of weird old things in those rooms” she commented.

“A lot of weird old things. Yes. A lot of weird old things” her employer said. She could see that Edward Lucis went distracted again and supposed he was thinking of failed old gadget projects and failed experiments.

They finished the review as there was nothing more to say about this project at the moment. The folder was added to the “reviewed pile”. Only one single project remained now, or at least Ornea thought so because there was only one folder left to deal with.

“This,” said Edward Lucis “is my thoughts about a future project we may need to launch if the weather continues to be this unstable. It worries me that winter hasn’t come this year. It worries me a lot.”


CLIMATIC CHANGE COUNTERMEASURES


The last project wasn’t a project yet. It was so far just a bunch of thoughts, as Edward didn’t know much yet. But he was worried. The weather had been warm, unstable and oddly dry despite the occasional storms rain. What would this entail? So far he only had speculations. He feared that the consequences of the new weather could become troublesome though
.
“Water” he said. “We’re responsible for the water supply of Lhavit ... we will see what happens, but in worst case todays’s water system isn’t going to be enough to support the city. We may need to build an additional wellhead, build out the water pipelines, reinforce the bridges, improve and build out the irrigation on Sharai Peak ... and there will maybe be other challenges we’ll need to deal with as well. Perhaps the weather changes will not be permanent? Maybe the consequences will not be so serious even if the changes are here to stay? Time will tell. Some may laugh at me for even thinking this way and maybe they are right. But safety has always been a core issue for Lucis and Lucis. We need to start and think ...”

“And if the weather stays like it’s now” said Ornea finally.

“I don’t know. But I know that the snow on Sharai use to be like a huge frozen reservoir of water for the farmlands in spring, and now there’s no snow. And I know that the snow higher up in the mountains use to fill the Amaranthine river with water when it melts in summer. And I also know that water evaporates faster when the air is warmer. I wonder, without winter, without snow, how will it be when spring and summer comes?”

Ornea asked again what he thought would happen, but Edward's answer was the same: “I don’t know.”

For now this was all Edward Lucis had to say. He closed the folder and put it on the pile with the others. A moment of silence followed, before she was dismissed and went back to the workshop.

The review of Lucis and Lucis key projects was over.
...
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Ornea
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