Friday, October 23, 2015

Conjunction : Hettington - Episode 6


Life for Liam had become a rollercoaster. From the time he had the long conversation with Tessa, to the time he was moving to the Norwood University, it had been a whirlwind of activity. Tessa was untiring and unstoppable. Once she had something in her mind, she was like a force of nature; pushing for deadlines, asking for inputs, providing any amount of inputs, and generally hovering around to make sure everyone was doing what she had outlined. Liam realized that at some point, he would have to ask her to make an overall design, or he would never really have a clear picture.
                                                                       
Tessa left the lab and flopped down on her bed, she was exhausted. Jane was lolling in her chair "Hey supergirl, you seem to be going all guns blazing. Make sure you don't burn out. I'm serious!" Tessa grunted grumpily in reply, her mind still on a design problem which she had outlined just today. After a month or so of the modeling, she had hoped to get moving, but data visualization was as much an art as a science. She grumbled to herself in her head. She hadn't spoken so much since she had been a toddler, and it annoyed her. The sheer waste of time!

Liam was still at it when Professor Hector walked into his lab. Liam started "I'm almost done with the outline!" The Professor grinned "Your tormentor has retired. I've just come here to get my laptop." He pitied the way Liam was thrust into working on the simulation. He had started the first day he landed at Norwood, and the Professor did not know when and if he ever got to sleep. Tessa was a real taskmaster, but he understood that it stemmed from her not understanding people at all.

The next day, Jane woke up and made some coffee. Tessa was already awake and getting ready to work. She still had to attend classes, but Jane suspected that she already knew a lot of what they were covering, and Tessa was working on her own problem in class.

Hettington was a big city, unlike Norwood. It's University was a sprawling campus, unlike Norwood, and their physics department had some heavy hitters, including some Nobel Prize winners. They had heard of this child prodigy who was hell-bent on a simulation of a multiverse, and they were intrigued. Ben and Chris were working on a hypothesis which they knew was incorrect. But since no one had been able to prove it wrong, they wrote a paper to challenge the way spacetime curvature could be looked at if gravitons were part of the story. It was an open challenge, and they started the paper saying they were probably wrong. These were the mind games played by scientists to test their mettle. Their Residential Assistant had given up on them, but many serious Physicists took up the challenge. Chris walked over to where Ben was and grinned "We need to look at this Norwood work. We just have to see if we can get what exactly they are working on." Ben nodded "It sounds like the basis has some merit, one has to see where they are going with the whole simulation thing. Maybe try and poach their visualization expert?" Chris grinned back "Let me see if I can figure it out."

Tessa marched into the lab and found Liam working, which made her smile. He was an excellent resource. Now to find if there was some way to get some funding to get someone who could work on one more part of her problem. She headed towards Professor Hector's lab, with a silly grin still on her face. The Professor was also looking for her, before she could say anything, he said "I got a call from the Hettington University researchers, they have a problem which they could use a computer visualization expert for. They have asked for Liam, and I don't think I'm currently in a position to refuse them." Tessa stood stock still for a few moments and then she said "No. We are close to getting this work done. They can find someone else. I'm sure there are other experts." The Professor shook his head "We do have to manage politics Tessa. They often help us with our funding." Tessa heard that and had an evil gleam in her eye "Okay, let me speak to them."


Picture courtesy: Wikimedia commons, Wikipedia.