RAM Memories

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rmartz

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Re: RAM Memories

Postby rmartz » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:38 pm

8

"Pirate drone, Dad."

Jacar started steaming. I was not sure if he was madder that another hidden field had been found or because we were there alone. Jacar had become as protective of me as he was to Jac. Maybe even a little more so since I showed little desire to defend myself as he thought I should.

As Jacarie stood and expressively explained more of what happened in a very animated manner, Jacar looked at me and a little smile flashed across his face. As Jac finished his story and sat down next to me, Jacar started laughing harder than I had ever heard him laugh. Jac poked me a little with his elbow and grinned a very smuggish smile. I was not sure why they were so happy. I was upset that another field was found by raiders.

"Seems we have an Amish warrior on our hands!" Jacar bellowed once he could contain his laughter. "Those pirates better think twice before coming up against our newest crack pilot. I would love to have a shot of you standing on that drone with your Amish clothes!" The laughter started all over again. Between laughing fits, Jacar got more words out. "When I tell the corporation members about this … They will not believe me … The new threat to the pirates is … A rAMISH sniper!" The laughing wail hit a crescendo.

I used to shoot grain grubs when I was growing up. They would get into the fields and cause a lot of havoc and destroy the crops. Levi taught me how to sit patiently and wait for their head to pop up out of ground to pick them off. Firing at that drone felt about the same. Once I knew no one was in the ship, I felt no issue with destroying it. I just timed it like I did with the grubs back on Ceres. It was afterward I thought about what I would do if there was a person on board. This is what was shaking me. I forced a smile because it felt good to see Jacar smiling. He and Jac both looked much better when they smiled.

The challenge is Jacar had little to really smile about of late. Pirates and taxes were pressing in hard. He would not really say much to me, but he would tell Jac and Jac tells me. The trading channels that had opened up between the miners and the Amish have been one of the few things that has been holding things together. Hemirodi Mining had taken over 90%+ of hauling and 90%+ of all mineral sales to the Amish in Ceres. While not a volume that would affect Apollo Sector economics, it has been enough to stem the attempts of Apollo Corporation from closing down Jacar's mining group so they can take their pilots. Early on, Jacar stepped in when several were trying to cheat the Amish by boycotting trade unless they sold at below market prices. Jacar got Jacarie to set up several ships that could not warp or hyperjump. He then recruited some who wanted to fly, that did not have the neural pathways to warp or jump, as pilots to take a loads of cargo to the market for them in exchange for a small cut of the profits. Most of these "pilots" were young adult Amish. He decided to call them his RAMISH haulers. Because Jacar was honest and the Amish pilots were honest, they created a simple system that worked with very little administration. Once all the Amish grain was hauled, Jacar let the pilots find others who needed things hauled. It was becoming a nice side business and really helping Hemirodi Mining with a positive cash flow.

All the sudden, Jacar stopped laughing. His face got serious and you could see a thought just flashed across his mind. He sat up and leaned forward.

"Did all this get announced over the COMM?"

"Yea, Dad. DG even called to see if we needed him to come back, " Jac responded.

"I do not like this. We need to get our own way of communicating. The open COMM is causing us to loose a lot of our fields and trades. Some sit back and just listen. Over time, they are able to figure out some of our patterns and places just from our chatter. We need something better," Jacar said more like thinking out loud then talking to us.

"Dad, I have to go see my hacker friend about the eject codes. They are too complicated and we need something better. He said he has an update. Let me talk to him about some way to fix the COMM issue. He might have some … ideas, " Jac smiled real big as he said the last word. Jacar and I both knew that meant something that the Apollo Corp would not allow. "Just let me talk to him and see what he says. I will even take RAM to make sure I stay out of trouble."

"Okay, but just talk … I mean it!" The last part, he looked at me when he said it. He knew I would be better at staying out of trouble, but only slightly. At that, Jac jumped up, grabbed my by the shirt and headed to the back room dragging me along. I was so used to this, that I was half out of my seat and following without much stretch to my shirt.

***
We stood outside of a building with the letters "FKS" above it. It was very plain and easy to overlook. One window faced the street and it had computer parts all piled up in it. Jac grinned even bigger than a grub in a grain bin, grabbed my shirt again and headed in the door. There was a strange smell. I had smelled it before. The odor took me back to my first flight with Johneaux. Alcohol. It permeated the storefront but originated from the desk in the back of the store that had a … unique … person sitting at it. He totally ignored our entering, so lost in his work that the only thing that interrupted him was when he reached for his glass half filled with a brownish liquid. It was then that he saw us.

"Hey Jam," Jac said calmly, seeming ready for some strange reaction.

The quiet person all the sudden leaped to his feet, ran to the door and looked up and down the street through the dirty window. Once he seemed sure whatever he was looking for was not there, he walked back to where we were standing. Jac poked me with his elbow, as he always did when cuing me into something, and stood waiting for something more. Instantly, the figure jerked his head to one side, stared, and seemed like he was listening for something. While the confused figure was waiting, Jac said quietly out of the side of his mouth to me, "Stim addict. He does this every time I come here."

"Stims are illegal, " the figure responded as he turned his attention to us again. "… Do you have some?" With this he head jerked to the side and he scanned the room intently.

"Jam, I am here to talk to you about my eject codes. We need that update. Is it ready?" Jac asked trying not to laugh, but also with a tone of annoyance.

"Hi. I am RAM. Nice to meet you … Jam," I said as I instinctively reached out my hand towards him. At this Jam, jumped back as if expecting an attack. His hand went to his side as if to grab something not there.

"RAM, put your hand down. He doesn't touch others. Only his cat. Jam, pay him no mine. He is ex Amish and they make hand contact as a greeting. I guess they like to trade germs too," Jac said as a way to break the tension a little. Jam seemed to relax and reached around and picked up his cat and started to pet it.

"This is Louie," Jam stated as he pet him and both seemed to calm. After a moment, he set the cat down in a makeshift bed and turned back to us.

"The new code is …" his head jerked to the side again. After a few seconds, he continued as like he never stopped, "done. I not only removed the need to enter the exact amount to eject, I also created aliases to call the commands much easier. You can even program 10 control keys to execute the eject commands now, "Jam said with a little smile and seemed to be quite pleased with his additions. As soon as he was done explaining, his head jerked to the side again and he went back to the window scanning the street again.

"Jam, you are being paranoid," Jac said.

"Just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they are not after you," Jam responded matter of factly as he walked back. "They have been watching me and I noticed several more UNCA teams around today. Watch yourselves." As he finished his sentence, his head jerked again. This time more a twitch then a turn, like some neuron firing randomly.

"Stims," Jac said more as a warning then anything to me. Jam just smiled a little and reached for his glass, sipping then drinking a large gulp.

"This update is great. This will really improve our speed mining. Now we can easily eject the junk and keep the high credit cargo much easier. Dad will be very pleased with this. Has Apollo Corp approved this yet?" Jac asked with irritation in his voice.

"It has been approved for beta release. You are the first to have it, but if all goes well, this will be a automatic system wide release in days," Jam responded as his head jerked again and he paused to listen.

"Great. With it being sector wide, we will not be harassed for having it when others do not. Happy to test it and will contact you if we find any issues. Now the price for us being your testers, I need to ask you something about the COMMs. Jacar wants me to ask you if there is some way we can get Private Channels?"

When Jac asked that, a whole new level of paranoia seemed to roll over Jam. After scanning the room with his eyes then picking up a device and scanning the room once again, he waved us towards the back of the store.

"COMM stands for Constant On Magnetic Modulation. It is pretty old technology. Each device creates a magnetic tunnel to a pocket universe. It broadcasts into this pocket universe. This is how we can communicate over great distances so easily. we all tunnel to that pocket universe and we can all listen to the magnetic pulses sent in. The magnetic pulses carry the modulation for voice. They can not be encrypted or filtered." Jam paused, scanned the room again, jerked his head a few times, then continued, "There is a new standard used in the rest of UN space called CHAT. Communication Hierarchy Attenuated Talk. It allows the magnetic modulations to be streamlined and channels can be created. No encryption, but if no one else knows your channel, they can not hear your conversation. The UNCA already are using this elsewhere." Jam leans in and whispers, "Quintan Apollo will not update the gates so he can force everyone here to keep using COMMs. This way he can hear everything that is being said. Because the Quadrant Gates use CHAT, only Apollo Corp can communicate since they, and the UNCA, are the only ones allowed to have CHAT. He will not approve the code needed to convert COMMs to CHA..." Jam's voice stopped as his head jerked towards the front again.

The door opened. Four armed UNCA soldiers walked in, two on each side as the last held the door open. More could be seen from outside. The uniforms were different from the UNCA uniforms we usually see around Apollo. There was a strange insignia on each of their arms with "Task Force 63" stitched over top of it. Within a few seconds, an officer stepped through the door, glanced at us and immediately realized we are nothing. Her eyes landing on Jam, she walked up and addressed him.

"Your presence is expected by Admiral Hall. My crew will load up everything you have and it will be transferred to the command ship." She turned to us with a dead stare. "I am sorry gentlemen. This shop is closed until further notice. It is time for you to leave."

"See! I told you they were after me," Jam said to Louie as he picked up the cat and held it close. "Who are you and why do I have to go with you?"

"I am Captain Connie. Connie as my last name. Do not think I can getting friendly. I have orders to bring you to Admiral Hall. This is a matter of UNCA security. There is a major issue that requires your presence. This is NOT a request. Admiral Hall is expecting you." The Captain turned at this time to address us. "This shop is closed. Please leave and take anything that belongs to you with you at this time. It will not be here if you come back. My men will escort you out." With that last statement, she snapped, two armed soldiers, each taking one arm of each of us, removed us from the store. As we reached the street, we could see 10 more armed soldiers in a defensive posture around the front of the store. This group was much different from the UNCA soldiers we usually saw around here. Most were more soldier by name only. These were the real thing. Jac and I instantly decided it was time to leave. As we walked quickly up the street, we looked back and saw a twitching Jam, with fear and justified paranoia flashing across his face being almost carried out and loaded into a closed military transport. The only thing that comforted me was that he was still holding Louie. I suspected they wanted him, and he was not just wanted for some infraction. Something big was happening. We needed to tell Jacar.
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LadyHawk

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Re: RAM Memories

Postby LadyHawk » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:05 pm

Awww, you can't leave it there!!! This better be a regularly appearing series or you may be lynched by your crowd of fans for leaving us with cliffhangers like that LOL.

Sure hope Jam has a good sense of humor :lol:
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rmartz

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Re: RAM Memories

Postby rmartz » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:29 pm

LadyHawk wrote:Sure hope Jam has a good sense of humor :lol:

We will find out soon enough. :lol:
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Re: RAM Memories

Postby davh62 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:25 pm

Moar needed. Next chapter ETA?
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Re: RAM Memories

Postby rmartz » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:49 pm

davh62 wrote:Moar needed. Next chapter ETA?

Most likely next week.
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