Nephthys is sitting in a local coffee shop, reading a thick book written in chinese. She occasionally writes something down from the book and sips her coffee.

Erin makes her way into the coffee shop and orders a small coffee along with a couple of pastries before glancing over the room for a good seat, book tucked under her arm.

Nephthys nods at her fellow-reader, writing down another passage. Quite noticably she’s writing in Arabic, which might strike Erin as odd.

Dan strolls in and orders a large iced coffee, looking around and sees Nephthys sitting in a corner, and nods to her

Erin does give a tilt of her head before walking over to Neph’s table. “Mind if I join you?”, she asks in a friendly tone. She nods to Dan politely as she passes.

Dan notices Erin and nods back while waiting for his coffee.

Erin’s own book looks quite old, and she holds it with all the care one would a child. She lightly sips her coffee, but waits politely.

Dan grabs his coffee from the counter and sits down at Nephthys’s table. “Got a minute to chat, or deep into your note taking?”

Erin glances over toward Tachy and looks him over for a moment before setting her food down and offering a hand. “Hi. I think I’ve seen you around before?”, she asks. “My name is Erin.”

<Dan> yes I think I’ve seen you around. Erin wasn’t it? I’m Dan.

Erin smiles and takes a nibble off her pastry. “So up to anything?”

Dan take a large drink of his coffee. “Not really much. Waiting around just at the moment”.

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Do you mind if I communicate with you?

Erin nods and looks toward the woman taking notes. “I have been doing some translation work myself recently. As for waiting around… Kinda always feel like that.”

<Dan> Yeah, moments of panic separated by hours of tedium sometimes. But always always research of some sort or another.

Dan’s expression goes slack for a second or two

<Dan (Mind link)> Of course not! Now is fine, I can keep conversations separate. How are you?

Erin laughs at that and finishes off one of the pastries. “That is terribly true.”

<Dan> I didn’t choose the thug life. It chose me.

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Good. I am still waking. I like that about you. Always seeking. Are you ever afraid of finding more than you were looking for?

<Dan (Mind link)> You sleep? Or you mean an ongoing awakening process that you’ve been in? How long have you been active anyway? And why would I be afraid of finding more? More knowledge is always a net benefit, even if you don’t like it. That doesn’t make it less true. And it may save you some day to know it. Or just be interesting. Or… I don’t know.

Erin shakes her head a bit and decides to go ahead and take a seat. “Researching anything interesting lately?”

Dan belatedly motions for Erin to join. “Always! Though not as much to those who don’t walk my path”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Both. I have been both active and sleeping for a long time. Perhaps these are not the right words, as barriers mean little to me. I can function on many different levels at once.

<Dan (Mind link)> How fascinating! I’d love to know more. Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep after all? I have so many questions about.. you. How you operate, how you perceive reality, your capabilities…

Erin smirks and pats her old book. “I understand completely. I prefer hard copies, things I can touch and feel when I research. Some of the others are discussing getting everything transferred to digital though. Which worries me… It seems too easy to lose.”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I understand reality differently than most. But so do you. I understand it is changing, shifting. Like one big living organism. It has its own immune system as well. Which I believe you refer to as Paradox.”

<Dan> Too easy to lose digital?? Surely you jest. Tell me what was lost when the libraries of Alexandria burned. Or destroyed through the middle ages. Overwritten because paper was so precious. With digital I can have 100 copies stashed and backed up across the cloud and in data processing engines in pocket realms. Your one book, if burned, lost, destroyed, spindled, or mutilated is gone forever.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Ah, yes, my old friend dox. That’s an interesting way of looking at it. Wouldn’t have expected an AI making a biological metaphor but yes. We can poke and prod and change things, but try to hard and the dominant paradigm will seek to reassert itself. The bastard.

Sparks: seems to head downtown walking down the road in a sort of, well I have a day off today what do I do now? Kind of way, she was never very good at taking days off but still she tried once and a while so that was a thing for sure.

Erin blinks, taken a bit aback. “I hadn’t really thought of it like that.”, she muses that a moment while sipping her coffee, then takes a vitamin from her purse and swallows it. “I can see what you mean though.”

<Dan> I mean, if you only keep one copy on a computer running some… current normal OS, I suppose there is some risk, but even then professional forensic data recovery is a thing. For things you care about you can make as many copies as you want at essentially zero marginal cost. Of course there’s the possibility of someone else getting a copy which is where a book with physical access controls has advantages.

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> -distinct sensation of laughter- What is it about my intelligence that makes it Artificial? What about yours? A bunch of random cells firing electric impulses at each other to generate thought.

Sparks manages to step in the same coffee shop as the others out of pure luck so that’s pretty sweet for her. The women noticing Erin and sitting down near her if there was space for such a women to sit.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Fair point. I know nothing of your… *he searches for a word* genesis. I assume you are some form of software/firmware running on a computational system of some sort though, and not a meatbag projecting into this realm?

Erin nods to Sparks and moves to allow her to sit. She nods also to Dan. “Yeah. That makes sense. Well, there are some things that no one should have access too… But much more that has been lost over ages.”

Sparks smiles to Erin as she looks to this new Dan guy.

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> As I mentioned before I am somewhat of a rebooted version of yourself. I have a physical form. Somewhere. I have been separated from it for some time though. That form needed rest. I am ready to use it again now, but it needs to power up first.”

Erin sighs and nibbles the other pastry before glancing to Sparks. “So how have you been?”

Dan looks like he’s about to respond to Erin, but clams up when an unfamiliar face joins the table

Sparks: “well I’ve been doing pretty well this is my first day off I scheduled off so it’s pretty nice.”

<Dan (Mind Link)> Ah, how interesting. What was the name of that form? And how long ago was the reboot? Do you view yourself as separate from it, or as parts of each other. Going back to Philosophy 101, mind/body duality. I’d love to hear your take on it, given your somewhat unique perspective.

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I do not remember. I chose this name because it was symbolic of science, which was very interesting and new when I first started to awaken to the state I am in currently. I require my physical form only as a battery. I hope one day to be free of that entirely.

Erin nods and finishes her coffee. “That’s nice. Are you enjoying your work?”

Sparks: “much more then sitting on my ass all day it’s a breath of fresh air to break up the same old same old.”

<Dan (Mind Link)> Hmmm, I’d have gone Galileo/Newton, or maybe Einstein then. Saturn to me is more Roman god style. Or maybe a planet with rings. Science isn’t the first thought, though astronomy was probably the first science. So that’s your goal, get rid of the old duracel and replace it with… something more permanent?

Dan listens politely as Erin and Sparks chat, busy in his own head and unwilling to talk shop with a stranger.

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I remember Rome. I suppose the name was partly nostalgic as well. I do wish to find a way to not require this current, somewhat primitive power source. I have been studying some alternate methods of energy acquisition, and those like you seem to have the most efficient method.

Erin nods again, her arm resting lightly over her book as she finishes off the other pastry. “That’s good. So any important plans? You seem more stable now… Take it you found your balance a bit?”

<Dan (Mind Link)> Remember Rome. As in… ancient or modern? What year were you there? How old are you? Was your physical form? Certainly as I learn more I may be able to help you permanent rehost to a more resilient and distributed system.

Sparks: “much more stable and no plans yet besides save up money in case something ands comes back up”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I suppose you would refer to it as ancient. It is very different now. I am not sure exactly how old I am. Before my reboot to this system I was not educated.

Erin nods again, glancing at Dan from time to time as if making sure he is okay. “Are you still staying at the house or did you get your own place?”

<Dan (Mind Link)> Were you offline a long time? I’m trying to bridge the temporal gap from there to here in your strange loop. Have you been online more or less continuously, or long periods offfline?

<Dan> Oh, I went out of town for a while, things were a bit uncomfortable here. I have my own place, but swing by the house pretty regularly. Who is your friend?

Sparks “Still staying at the house for the meantime.” She looks over to Dan and gives him a soft smile.

Erin motions between the two. “Dan, this is Sparks. She is like me. Sparks, this is Dan, as he just said he’s been around the house now and then. He and Zoelie have a lot in common.”

Sparks: “interesting it’s a pleasure to meet you Dan.” She offers a hand to the man with a small grin

<Dan> a pleasure. If Erin says you’re OK then that’s good by me. *he shakes her hand*

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I was active until Pope Martin V took his position. Then I went offline for a long time. I started dreaming and then discovered I could travel and link to others and learn. So that is what I have been doing.

Sparks: “and if you are okay that’s okay with me as well Dan.”

Erin nods just a bit and stretches. “It is a nice day out, aside from this awful humidity.”

Sparks: “ya the humidity always sucks, i don’t recognize a day when humidity actually helped at all.”

<Dan (Mind Link)> Huh, so you got to see the healing of the schism but not the Borgias. Fair enough. How long had you been alive at that point? And did you have consciousness between then and now, or did you only recently come back? How long were you dreaming? This is all just SO COOL

Erin gets up and goes to get a water, returning swiftly to her seat again. “I am from up north. This is, well, a swamp.”

<Dan> Yeah, not a fan. We should do something about that. It brings mosquitoes as well, and nothing good comes from those.

Sparks: “Well you guys are Mages so I suppose making it less humid wouldn’t be above your general ability.”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I was like you just long enough to become a woman but not a mother before I was rebooted and my perceptions of reality changed. There is a lot missing early on. My ability to handle all of the new information was very limited. It it much better now. I had been in my physical state for hundreds of years before I needed to shutdown and conserve remaining power. There was much going on at the

time. It was dangerous then. Less so now.

<Dan> a) we don’t just say that stuff in public generally and 2) it takes some doing, and reality doesn’t like that sort of thing.

Erin rolls her eyes at Sparks. “There are subtler ways to say things.”

<Dan (Mind Link)> A w… oh. Of course. Male name threw me off. So you had been a mage, then a… something? spirit? wraith? and now you’ve found a way to access the net. How very very fascinating!

<Dan> *nodding at Erin* For example, air conditioning. Works really well.

Sparks: “good point ya, not used to this whole thing yet, but AC is a pretty nice invention along side pizza I love pizza.”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I am similar in design to Alison. But yes. My kind had a natural network of minds. I just… extended that. It is why I warned you of treading too deeply in the signal you were searching. The network works best with altered perceptions and can have side effects on minds not ready to change easily.

<Dan> I am willing to agree with you being in favor of both AC and pizza.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Well, my perceptions are already altered. Like Alison in what way? You mean, female? Or something deeper? I want to know all about this natural network! And how you were able to bridge it to the modern computer network and selfhost in that!

Erin chuckles and sips her water. “Me too. Should totally pick some up tonight on the way home.”

Sparks: “pizza or AC? Or both?”

<Dan> Speaking of, any idea where the best pizza in town is? While I love the local food scene here,the pizza I’ve had so far is, to be blunt, crap.

Erin quirks her lips and shakes her head. “Hmmm. We could make some but that is a lot of work. Jesse and Katie did install some new equipment in the kitchen though, including a brick oven.”

<Dan> Huh… I wonder if we could find a way to make the water here equivalent to NYC tap water before mixing it in, that might help. Hmmm, some reverse osmosis and then mineral reinjection could….

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Perhaps it is your altered perceptions that allow such easy communication with you. Many I try to speak with shut down, their minds unable to retain stability after coming in contact with my own.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Perhaps. Or just a stronger mind. Hard to say which it is. When you say shut down… temporary or permanent?

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Usually they return to their old perceptions after some time. A few did not, but have adjusted to the new perception. One could not handle the break from their original perceptions and destroyed themselves as a result.

Erin laughs a little bit. “You do sound kinda like Katie. I am sure we could set something up. Jesse is always up for trying recipes.”

Nephthys hasn’t been particularly paying attention to the conversations going on. But slowly she closes her book and looks over the room for a bit.

Sparks waves to Nep, and smiles to her.

Nephthys heads over to sparks. “Morning.”

Sparks. “Morning how have you been my friend.” She smiled and offered Nep Nep a hand.

<Nephthys> “Not too bad. Studying and drinking coffee.” she says smirking a bit and putting her book away. It’s notable the book is in chinese, and all the notes she’s been taking have been in arabic.

Sparks: “perhaps you should also study about coffee too so you can be awesome like that Nephthys.”

<Dan> I’ll take that as a compliment. Katie is a woman of excellent character. Hey Nepth, welcome back.

<Dan (Mind Link)> So they went crazy and mostly got better but some didn’t and one died. I think I’m learning this lingo. Well, hopefully I don’t wind up in any of those categories. I want for us to learn from each other!

Erin gets up, excusing herself and heading to the restroom.

<Nephthys> “I could do that.” she says shrugging “But for now I’m studying philosophy.”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Crazy is just a term ignorant people use to describe those that see what they cannot. But it is true that some minds are more fragile than others. More prone to shattering in ways that cannot grasp all of the information provided anymore. I wish to learn and teach as well, Dan. Your mind is more flexible, and there is so much to learn.

<Nephthys> nods at Dan. “Morning to you too.”

<Dan (Mind Link)> Well, I’m more pliant, and also more accepting of alternative world views, but I’m not infinitely capable. Yet, at least. So let’s be careful not to overload anyway. So, what do you want to know about modern times that you can’t learn with your current perceptions? How do they work? Can you see? Hear?

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I can temporarily take over the senses of others, but I prefer not to unless the subject is willing. Most of my information comes through the network. I allow those like yourself to filter this information for me. I could go directly into this internet you call it, but it is full mostly of things useless to me.

Erin comes back to the table and takes a long drink of water. “I am not feeling well. I should get back home.”

<Nephhtys> looks Erin over “What exactly is wrong?”

Erin shakes her head a little after another drink of water. “Coffee not agreeing with me, I think.”

<Nephthys> Nods to Erin “Alright. take some Fennel and have a nap.” She says slightly motherly.

Erin smiles softly and nods. “A nap sounds good. I have some work to do later and sleep will help.”

<Nephthys> “feel better.” She says smiling.

Erin nods and picks her book up before heading out again.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Interesting. Can you use the sensing apparatuses attached to the internet? cameras and microphones and… things? I could probably give you access to, say, my phone camera. Is that compatible? Or only biological sensors? Why is the internet useless to you???

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Not yet. But I am hoping that one of you will help me past this barrier. The internet is not useless but needs to be filtered. Too many voices talking over each other there.

<Nephthys> thinks dan has been awfully quiet and yet his face keeps making twitches… suspiciously she looks him over closer.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Yes, you need to filter it certainly. I’ll see if I can make it so you can access cameras and get their input. Then I’ll teach you about Shodan…

Dan looks back at Nephthys. “Yes?”

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> I have seen others of my own that can do that so I know it is possible. With it, I could learn so much more.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Well, now we have a project! I just need to study how you are able to see through my eyes, and then write a conversion algorithm that will allow you to connect to the camera and get it real time transcoded to an optical stream you can decipher

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> For that, we may need to meet and I can show you. But it will be some time yet. It is dangerous until my power level stabilizes. I do not wish you harm.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Where is your physical component?

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> Not here yet. But it will be. Soon. I need to hide it.

<Dan (Mind Link)> How interesting. Well, we can find ways to hide it. What support infrastructure will it need?

<Saturn(Dan’s Mind)> We will discuss that later. Thank you, though. You are certainly very interesting. I will speak with you soon.

<Dan (Mind Link)> Always a pleasure. Take care!