Archive for national strategic asset

Private Parts

Posted in Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by javedbabar

“Hello Sami, its Alfred from AMP Co. How are you doing over there?”

“What a nice surprise,” said Sami. He said it to be polite, but it wasn’t really. He hadn’t seen or heard from Alfred for three months, ever since the government had declared his 3D printing lab a National Strategic Asset, banned him from opening to the public, and made him a government employee. At the same time, they had repurposed his casual assistant, Sami, to the Transfer Station to run the 3D Unit there, deemed an acceptable public interface for the new technology.

Sami said, “I am doing some good work here. Maybe not pushing the boundaries of science like you are, but I am playing my part in helping humanity. It’s open…”

“Did you say part?”

“Yes, I said part. Why?”

“I need help with a project. Can you come over?”

Last time Sami tried to visit Alfred, he had refused to let him in, and an immediate text had come through, repurposing Sami. He said, “Isn’t your work secret now? I don’t want to get into trouble again.” The Authority knew everything, always adding information to your files. He didn’t want to become a repeat offender. He had heard what happened to them.

“It is secret, but I’ve checked with The Authority. They say you can help me.”

Sami was busy today at the 3D Unit. He had a range of appointments booked to prototype products, print components, and create unusual gifts. His rag picker assistant, Jamz, was still at school, so he couldn’t just leave.

“Look ear!” said Alfred. “You are allowed to be nosy, as long as you don’t mouth off about it. Just come and see, and then give me a hand.”

What is he talking about? Sami wondered. Some kind of private joke? Alfred really is a strange guy.

Sami went over later. Alfred opened the door immediately when Sami arrived. He must have seen him on CCTV. “Come in, come in, my friend.”

Sami saw a selection of artificial body parts scattered around the lab. He understood the puns now. They were pretty tasteless, considering.

Alfred watched his face. “Sorry about that, I was being subliminal.”

A shaven-headed oriental man stepped out of a doorway. Alfred said, “Meet Yojin. I am afraid he doesn’t speak English. He has come here from China after suffering a serious kung fu accident.”

Sami wondered about the “serious kung fu accident.” Guru Baba had once told him about kung fu’s relationship to the power called Tao. It bends like a reed, rather than being stiff like an oak, and has the fluidity of water, the most powerful element, wearing away even stone. Maybe Yojin needed to improve his alignment.

“He was more of a hustler than a fighter. One day he offended a real kung fu master, who removed half his face. He said that was appropriate punishment for half a man. But can you tell that? Take a look. You can’t!”

It was true. Yojin didn’t look at all disfigured. Sami asked, “Has he had plastic surgery?”

Alfred looked very pleased, and said, “Yojin!”

Yojin removed half his face, beneath which was a mass of horrific congealed tissue. His nose, left cheek, left eye, left ear and half his scalp came away with the mask. He stood erect, bravely, still lacking fluidity.

Alfred said, “I scanned him yesterday, did processing overnight, and printed off the replacement tissue using a dollar’s worth of materials this morning. This is the future of cosmetic surgery. What do you think?”

Sami wondered if Yojin was now more himself, or less himself. He looked different on the outside, but had his interior also changed?

Village Facility

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami was locked out of AMP Co. Maybe the lock was stuck, so he tried his key again, turning it both clockwise and counter-clockwise, but without success. He rang the bell twice and banged on the door. He opened the mailbox in case there was a new key in there, but there wasn’t. He called Alfred’s phone but didn’t get through, then walked around the back but that door also was closed.

“Thanks for all your help,” Alfred had said to him last week. “Next week, we’ll be ready to open the store. Advanced 3D printing will at last be available to everyone!”

Maybe Alfred had been so busy chasing technical progress that he had forgotten to pay his mortgage and business rates. Had the bank instructed repo men to remove his equipment and lock up the place?

Sami heard a sliding sound somewhere above him. It was Alfred at a second floor window of the old general store that was now his 3D fabrication lab.

Sami called up, “Hey Alfred! Let me in.”

“I’m sorry Sami, I can’t let you in. You won’t believe what’s happened. The Authority has declared my lab a National Strategic Asset; it’s been nationalized and is now closed to the public.”

“You’re kidding me!”

Alfred opened the window further and leaned out a little. “I am sorry, I’m not. I am now a government employee and must obey their protocols. I can’t let you in.”

Sami was a peaceful guy, but right now he wanted to climb and haul Alfred out, maybe throw him out. “But what about our work together? We’ve spent weeks preparing for the launch.”

“It was really good of you to help me, Sami, but I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do. The Authority heard about my technology.” Sami knew it had better capabilities than fused filament or deposition, laser sintering, powder bed, lamination, sterolithography, digital light processing, or anything else currently available.

Alfred continued, “They declared it a National Strategic Asset, and banned me from revealing it to the general public. That’s it.”

Sami wasn’t Alfred’s business partner; he wasn’t even an employee. He was simply a keen amateur helping out, who had become very involved in the testing phase of Alfred’s printer. Together they had produced another printer, a worm, a baby girl (now adopted by Alfred’s family), a 4D crab, holy objects and programmable matter. They were fully ready to open the facility, and now this!

“There is some good news though,” said Alfred, waving his arms in the window like a broken little windmill. “The Authority does want a public interface for the technology, to introduce it gradually. They want to extend their 3 R’s philosophy, following the Proximity Principle to reduce the waste stream, and achieve responsible self-sufficiency at a sub-regional level…”

Too much jargon already, thought Sami. You can tell he’s become a bureaucrat.

Alfred continued, “…by producing, transforming, consuming and recycling on site indefinitely. They asked me to run a facility at the Transfer Station but I am too busy, so I suggested you could do it instead.”

Just then a text came through on Sami’s phone. It was from The Authority. It said that he was starting work at the Transfer Station’s new 3D Unit next week.

“What about my job as Guru Baba’s assistant?”

“My friend, it looks like you have been repurposed.”