Drones Over Seattle
“No interview?” said Sean Moran groggily. Wade’s assignment didn’t sound remarkable. On the other hand, neither had Wade’s other contracts that eventually revealed complex design issues he loved to escape into. But still, those all started with an interview.
“Sean,” said Wade Jarvis. “Wake up. I said they asked for you by name. This is your specialty in hardware design. Are you on board for this contract?”
“Yeah, sure.” Sean absently worked out a kink in his neck. “Of course.” Timing was good. Any short assignment coming from Wade, his job-shop guru, promised to keep him out of trouble. It offered Sean a safe path back from last night’s temptations in hacking.
“Good. They want you right away,” said Wade. “From my office, you walk your contract papers directly to their HR. Follow their lead from there on. You will also be getting the higher rate.”
“Thanks.” Sean thought Wade’s last touch was familiarly suspicious icing on the cake, but he decided he could be tempted.
“Great. See you here in, what? Half an hour?” said Wade.
“I’m on my way.”
Sean slipped his phone into his pocket and wondered what he was about to get into. The higher rate, he felt, probably indicated an assignment with a company on the ragged edge. Past assignments with those places left him unsettled with troubled people. Sean had been through this with Wade before, and that discussion found Sean backed into a corner.
“So, what is it you want?” would come Wade’s clincher. Wade had the knack of drilling down to find motivation. Wade generally did it with a soft hand until he met Sean’s resistance to going deeper.
Instead of facing his conflicts in Wade’s question, Sean chose to silently take on the assignments as they came. The troubles with the sometimes melodramatic client settings were offset by their extravagant pay. Wade was a master at mining the opportunities found in client cultural shifts that came in their turmoil with market threats or expansions.
What was it Sean wanted, indeed? He lived for the challenge of solving the client’s design problems. He wanted the money for doing it. What he didn’t want was witnessing the grief of the client twisting in torment.
There! He thought that should answer it—but he never said it out loud.
Some clients had painfully intimate, and ultimately unsolvable personal situations. It was the dark part of the challenging opportunity that came with the all or nothing deal.
Sean’s conflict was forged in his mid-teens when he had engaged in black hat activities. Hacking web sites with other black hats fed his need to solve problems he could prove to himself that he could master. These hackers hung together in chat groups and his participation there drew admirers of his work.
There used to be a pleasurable sense of the hacker community that filled the empty space left by his parents’ breakup. But that pleasure faded. To his credit during this time, even if he could crack into a web site, he never pushed the button to empty loosely secured accounts.
It would have been easy money.
The white hats who cleaned up his hacks couldn’t connect the dots to him without that last transaction that Sean refused to complete. Sean knew this because he would watch them secretly, in real time over the web, as they browsed along the trail of his recent visits back then. So far, this was a nasty secret he hoped he had kept buried deep from everyone. He rubbed the knot in his neck as he recalled how he felt like he was being stalked on the web last night. It was an unfortunately familiar feeling.
He shuddered over the close attention from too curious fellow black-hatters back before he shifted out of that field. It was better to stick with his first love of building electronics circuits. There was a new wave of modular components hitting the market. They were affordable and exquisitely sophisticated. He felt he could discover new challenges to dominate.
He soon found a more positive group of hardware hackers who preferred robotics. They had taken up spaces in an old, repurposed government building. They called their lab, a maker-space, Beyond the CyberDome. No one hid behind masks of anonymity there. He recalled how good he felt making a presentation to them recently.
* * *
Sean walked down a corridor that was brighter than the corridor at Pribylov’s. The door to his destination used to have another name on it, but that had been removed. Only a feint apparition of that logo remained. He hesitated in what to do next. Knock? It was clearly the right number even if no longer branded with its logo. He stepped through into an open bay office that was a conversion of the century-old floor plan. Windows wrapped two sides looking west and north. Right now, there was little general lighting except what came through the dapple sky. The various workstations had a variety of period table lamps and modern LED fixtures on goose-neck booms. They cast pools of light that varied from butter yellow to a violet tinged white.
He was interrupted from his musings by a voice calling from across the large room. “You here from Andrew?”
Well, that solved roughly half the introductions. “Yes. I’m– ”
“Sean Moran. Yes. Brandon’s the name here.” After setting aside a laptop, Brandon got up from a couch against the dark wall to Sean’s far right. “I told Andrew to get you here if you could be found. Andrew is good at making things happen.”
He took Brandon’s hand in a heartier handshake than Mr. Dearborn—Andrew—had offered. Brandon was as tall as Wade, and carried as much weight, but Brandon had softer edges and thinner joints. “Nice to meet you, Brandon. Now, before we get any further, how did my name come up in casual conversation between you and your investor Mr. Dearborn?”
Brandon paused a moment to choose his words. “Andrew Dearborn, my brother, is an account manager for investors. We Dearborns aren’t investors, ourselves. We help opportunity along with the lubrication of someone else’s money.” Brandon smiled at that particular phrase. “I told him that you were a solution. We saw you give a demo nearby at Beyond the CyberDome. You’ve done things that need to be done here.”
Sean was wondering which presentation Brandon was talking about when three more people, two of them women, came through the door behind him. Brandon perked up and began making introductions.
“This is Sean, our new platform man.”
Sean noticed that his introduction was not met with universal approval. Mr. Dearborn’s—Andrew’s—comment about culture problems was his first thought about their cool reaction.
“Sophia–Sean. Ashley–Sean. Teodor–Sean.”
Sean knew something about manners and so it seemed did Brandon. The introductions were a nice start from him. However, Sophia and Teodor offered only the hint of a grip and a suggestion of greeting. Ashley, small with active dark eyes scanning him, nodded at him from a distance. Sean wondered why they weren’t warming up to him yet.
Maybe it was because he was younger than them. But, except for Brandon, that wasn’t by much. Sophia and Ashley seemed as old as Aurora. Sophia was similar in size to Aurora—with the promise of a dimpled smile. Teodor, taller at six-five and heavier than himself, was somewhere in his late 20s. Brandon was the old man of the group at, probably, 35ish.
Sean was drawn by their movement toward a large table littered with take-out coffee cups. Uptown Espresso seemed to dominate, which surprised him. For some reason he thought they should have been Starbucks. Was he already culturally misaligned with the wrong coffee? These were cups from northern parts of the city where they lived, no doubt, carried in on the tide of their morning commute.
Again, it seemed unlikely that he would be invited to take a seat. But, here, there were at least more chairs than people. Sean grabbed one from an apparently unused workstation area and it drew attention. The way they consciously stared at the seat, there must’ve been a ghost already sitting in it thought Sean.
“How many of you are superstitious?” He thought the question might break the ice.
Brandon smiled while Ashley scowled. Ashley threw out a comment. “That was Jason’s chair.” That didn’t seem to satisfy her need to press a barb in. “What are you doing here?”
Sean wondered too. So far they exhibited nothing that seemed to match his abilities, much less his interest. He had been the new kid on the block too often these past few years. He got her assertion of pecking order. Knowing what was going on, and knowing what to do were separated by a vast gulf.
Ashley’s hair was cut short on one side, and she wore a long curl over her right eye. She twirled that curl nervously. Ashley was not going to be won soon. The others were holding off. It seemed they could wait on her decision. This was as soothing as watching a fuse burn down to this small bundle of dynamite.
Wade cautioned him about facing an unsympathetic crew. They have a need you might fill. Both sides have to know what that need is before the tension will fade. Sean recognized he had already rehearsed this earlier with Aurora in some small way.
“What are the odds?” he said in a low voice. He took a breath and let it out slowly. “People asked me to come here. Ashley, I don’t know why. It sounds like you four want to take care of yourselves. You’ve invited me to move on, and that is becoming increasingly more attractive.”
Sean thought he had to push more. “Or is there more to the story?”
Teodor smacked the table heavily and stood to full height. “We’re running on fumes right now. That’s the story! The investors are holding back on last month’s installment, and if we fold up, they will get our work for next to nothing.”
Sean was shaken by Teodor’s eruption. His reading of this tall fellow was that he was normally slow to explode, but clearly that time had arrived. Sean needed to keep close to Aurora’s short profile on the company which amply revealed they had exhausted their funds. The other fact of one of their crew being ushered out had to be churning beneath the surface. That could be the significant aspect of the freeze he was feeling.
Brandon stirred now that part of the first meeting’s steam had escaped from Teodor. “We missed a milestone. In fact we missed several, but investment money kept feeding the group until last month.”
The strap tightened across Sean’s chest with Brandon’s stake-in-the-heart end to what seemed like a fable. For investment money to return might pivot on Sean being accepted by Teodor. Brandon would follow. Sophia was a cypher. Ashley was another matter.
Right now it was time to draw out more detail. “Milestones,” said Sean.
Teodor jut his chin. “Milestones. Then Jason disappeared. Cut out. Left us hanging. Those were his milestones.”
Sean saw that Teodor needed a cohesive group. Sean felt the same need and warmed to him. They shared the wound of being abandoned. He wanted to help Teodor.
Brandon held up a hand like a referee. “Our milestones, Teodor. Jason was certainly our key man. It was his idea that attracted Pribylov, and Pribylov found the money.”
Teodor renewed his storm. “And Pribylov leaned, nudged, and pushed him out. That’s what happened! And Pribylov knew that we would fold without him.”
Sophia and Ashley were sympathetic towards Teodor. They leaned forward and held their attention on his turn in the conversation. Ashley moved as if to offer more of the story, but she slumped back into a personal shadow. Sophia moved with her, but not as completely back.
“Teodor has a point, Brandon,” said Sophia. “You always favor Andrew in these things.” She completely joined in Ashley’s mood as she sat defiantly back.
As much as Sean sympathized with their plight, it threatened in coming too close to his own problems with his folks. Without the narcotic of work to tamp that down, Sean couldn’t see what he could do. Their story glared with contradictions. Jason jumped or Jason was jettisoned.
He wanted to help Teodor find stability, but Sophia had unleveled things by joining Ashley in her dark corner. He was familiar with where they were in this painful shift, but they were stalled in self paralysis.
Stepping back from the drama, Sean could see the professional side was in shambles. He guessed a group this small was operating on Scrum principles. Brandon was the Product Owner—given the nature of his concerns. Teodor appeared to be the Scrum Master—running interference to make sure the ball got to the goal. But the ball wasn’t moving. Overall, they didn’t have the energy for a sprint.
It was time for him to step back into this. “I don’t know about missed installments. I don’t know Jason or his work. But right now I do know that I was wrong thinking you could take care of yourselves.”
As he stood, big Teodor stumbled back in defense. Sean tried to ignore his distress. “I’m going to take the elevator back to earth.”
* * *
Wade was unperturbed. Sean had never seen him upset, but shouldn’t he have been with Sean’s walking away from GyroNautica?
“I trust it isn’t the last word,” Wade said. “So, what was your problem with them?”
“They are paralyzed,” said Sean. “You’ve dropped me into some assignments like that.”
“So you describe, but it’s not that bad. They don’t have a focus, and that can change. That is their problem. What I asked is what is your problem with them?” Wade studied Sean as he reached deep for that answer.
“It scares me.” Sean could see the risk of no money, and, worse, nothing to buffer that anxiety through interesting work.
“Because you might have to step up front?” Wade asked mildly. He still watched Sean, but his attention was not the harsh dress-down Sean expected when they arrived.
“Is that were you think this is going?” said Sean.
“That is where this is going, but you’ve been there before. What you describe in Teodor and specifically Ashley, is them sitting under the volcano. Your reaction shows that you’ve caught their fear.”
“They, the investors, are waiting for me to step up?” Sean could feel his heart racing. Even Aurora appeared to be a sympathetic witness.
“You are being handed the opportunity, Sean, you will have to fight to keep it. It is very evident that no one else is stepping up, but that doesn’t mean they won’t give you push-back.”
Sean’s warmth drained out of him. “But Teodor, Brandon, and the girls have more at stake.” He tried to shake off the chill. “Besides, I walked. It’s over.”
“You aren’t the first to talk to me about this, Sean. Andrew and Brandon have already put in their two cents worth. Brandon isn’t a full-fledged coder. Right now he is merely minding the investment as they go through a culture shift—his words. The crew knows they either give it a go, or they are removed from life support. This isn’t a welcome situation, but they understand it. Brandon says you have the chops to fill the empty chair left behind by Jason.”
Aurora shifted forward and offered her own spin. “Sean, you’ve been doing this particular line of work since you began high school. This guy Jason was a wiz, their boy wonder as Andrew calls him, but his ego held back key design elements.”
Wade was interested in this. “Held back? Was he trying to hold onto IP?”
Aurora paused for a moment to find her answer. “IP meaning Intellectual Property? Megan’s notes say he was hiding what she describes as the secret sauce.”
Wade waved his muscular arm. “Same thing. Look, ego being what it is, Jason might have simply figured what he did was obvious to everyone and didn’t need explaining. We can agree that is innocent. On the other hand, he could have been using funds from investors to boot-strap himself into starting a spin-off. I won’t label that.”
Wade paused to let that sink in. “Let’s simply focus on what we are there for. Aurora, you, and Megan appear to mesh nicely. If the past has any capacity to forecast the future, she will be returning. Pribylov is growing, so the question to you is do you want to keep employed there? You like it there—is that a correct reading?”
Aurora nodded. “Yes, her notes are like reading about a world I never knew about. I want to be in that world.”
Wade, satisfied, continued “Sean, notice that Aurora knows what she wants. Now we come to you. They want you to do what you already enjoy. I haven’t offered you an assignment any closer to your enjoyment of CyberDome stuff than this. Simple question, simple answer. Yes?”
The chill filled Sean to the core. Wade’s question sounded like it was coming through layers of dense fabric covering his ears. His mother needed his income. However, he would have to face an angry, older crew and show initiative. There were no more questions he could use to stall here.
And suddenly, warmth began to flow back in. The sounds around him became more distinct. He recognized the patter of rain hitting the office window behind Wade and Aurora releasing her breath. That reminded him to breath again.
Wade smiled and patted him on the arm. “Then back at it. There’s no off-the-clock time in this brave new world of start ups.”
* * *
* * *
How did they find themselves in this dive? Sean sat there ready for confrontation, and Jason promised to be a willing target. A worn out, indifferent waitress finished serving them a couple of equally indifferent beers in the gloom of their booth buried at the back of this ancient tunnel of a bar. Grimy windows nearby looked out on walls of dirty white-washed brick. The open lid of a dumpster in the alley partially blocked that miserable picture.
When Sean was through taking in the local atmosphere, he hunkered down expecting to hear yet another con story from Jason. Instead, Jason led with a feint.
“You look like I felt when they showed me the door.”
This was beyond belief. Did Jason have an inside lead to both GyroNautica and Pribylov? With Jason sitting in his car, at that particular time, and Sean just happening past was so coincidental that it exceeded reasonable odds.
“I haven’t a clue as to how you feel, dude,” said Sean.
“Enough sparring, Sean. My message is the same, you’ve shown interest, you’re here. But it seems I haven’t sugared it enough.”
“Look, dude, I’m only here to drain your steam. If you think you haven’t sugared things enough, well that’s your look out. Saying so doesn’t sweeten the deal. Look, do you have something to offer? Even something to say? It’ll be hard enough to stomach this lousy beer if you don’t bring some life to your pitch.” A flush ran through Sean leaving behind a sweat in spite of the clammy surroundings. He was caught in the wrong role from a bad play.
Jason leaned over to his computer bag and drew out an envelope that looked like it held a curiously narrow paperback inside. He slapped it down on the table, splashing the small puddle of beer spilt by the waitress.
“Here’s $10,000 of sugar if you want sweetening,” said Jason in a voice too loud for this neighborhood. However, the barflies seemed undisturbed as they lazed over their drinks. Jason shoved it across the table trailing a oily sheen of beer behind it.
Sean looked at Jason with a blank face. What was Jason asking for? What did $10,000 have to do with it? These were questions that Jason promised to hedge with drama, bombast, and bravado.
The greater question was why was Sean there sitting through it? In Jason’s gloat was a leering hint of darkly intriguing assignments and extravagant rewards that had Sean hooked. The cloying, respectable version was that they were there to talk about challenges and opportunity.
Cloying talk had been unproductive for him an hour ago when Pribylov cut him loose from work. So the question echoed again, why was Sean here? He was hedging as deceptively as Jason. With his fresh wound of separation, maybe he wanted to punch someone without guilt or regret. And yet here they were sitting muffled in the stale dampness of this skid road coffin with two untouched beers and this envelope. They both exhibited the inertia of moss on a fallen tree trunk deep in a dark forest.
Sean pressed the envelope and felt its firmness. “So, what’s with this?”
“It’s yours if you can put things together for me. Look, here it is. I’ve seen your run of Hermes with my script. That network report to me lit up like a beacon. Nice touch. You must’ve copied my files before I could retrieve them. That was fast, man. Within hours of me being boosted out the door.”
Jason fiddled with his owl frame glasses and watched Sean for a moment. “I figured that flash drive would have sat there in my system untouched for days when I showed up that night. And to top it off, you left me a copy like a honeypot for my second visit.” Jason smiled ruefully. “I thought I had misplaced it there on the desk where I found it, but when that network run report came—whew! Busted.”
Sean didn’t know what to do with Jason’s appreciation. Sean was thinking fast at that time of Jason’s ghostly visit, and Sean had figured it correctly. And, apparently, he had played it out well, too.
Jason continued, “What I’ve seen of you, aside from your presentation at CyberDome, is that you are a quick study. You ran Hermes once and you must’ve realized it notified me. The others would have fumbled along running it several times before they gave up clueless. I bet you’ve examined a ton of logs to figure out what it was doing.”
Sean nodded at Jason and thought of the adage that the best defense is a quick offense. “Pretty crummy betting system.”
“Crummy pays very well,” came Jason’s dead pan response. “So, would you like to buy a BMW to tool around in?” He nodded towards the soaked envelope that was beginning to stain. “There’s the down payment.”
The stain bothered Sean, and he flipped the package over, feeling its heft of bills inside. “For what? You got tired of beating up Ashley? I’m not interested in taking any punches.”
“So sentimental,” came Jason’s cold dismissal. He slid his glass of beer to one side.
“Dude, cut the crap and fill in the blanks.” Sean felt he was already a willing victim of that game that was igniting his desire to throw a punch across the table. The anger inside wanted out. Certainly, in a place like this, it would be no strange scene. He ratcheted that urge down so hard his lungs clamped against his heart.
“Hmm, seems like we’re close to a deal.”
With a shock of recognition, Sean saw familiar contradictions returning. He wasn’t against Jason’s idea, even if he didn’t know it completely. He was through arguing terms of employment. He hadn’t objected to the compensation. What he wanted to hear was the design specification.
Right now, he thought, no other time, don’t wait for anything, he should walk out.
He sat there frozen to Jason’s grin.
It was like the smile of the cobra before it struck. Sean sat immobilized between fascination and anger. Safety was nothing more than a step away from the table, a step out the door, and a walk down the street. But there was the stained money envelope that would inflate his bankroll considerably. But not enough. What were the prospects for more if this much simply fell into his lap? And then there was the question that kept Sean there. What was Jason buying?
Was this the trap that Ashley described? Certainly her bargain with this devil wasn’t struck here on this escalator to the drunk tank. Sean could feel the dankness that Ashley felt. He felt that the pit in her soul was as dark as this hole. He shuddered at the degradation she must have submitted to. And this all went through his mind as he focused on that envelope that was beginning to dissolve. The ink within was becoming visible revealing the vague portrait of a solemn Andrew Jackson recognized everywhere.
Jason slid a flash drive across the table to him. “You probably recognize this.”
At first, Sean wasn’t sure what he meant. And then it dawned on him that Jason was recalling his late night visit at the office to gather up the files that he left behind. He looked at the flash drive next to the soggy envelope.
“What’s it to me?” he asked.
“Take everything here on the table if you think you can improve on my revision of Hermes.” Jason chuckled to himself and offered an explanation. “You will find an executable program in this called Tyche—more importantly, its source code.” He offered a sardonic grin. “You already had the most recent copy of the executable, but it appears you simply cruised right past it.”
Jason played it out. “Tyche was the love child of Hermes and Aphrodite.” When Sean still betrayed no interest, Jason shrugged it off. “Inside joke. OK, let’s cut to the chase.”
Sean smothered his mixed emotions. The muscles of his jaw were set so rigidly they hurt. He got Jason’s perverse joke about a love child and it cut close to home. Jason was probing Sean’s attachment to Ashley, and possibly his feelings for Megan.
It was a relief when Jason decided to move on, but Sean needed to propel him. “So cut to the chase, dude.”
Jason’s smile set like concrete. Sean still hadn’t gotten up and walked out on him. “Tyche extends the design of Hermes by integrating the primitive control loop into the higher levels of abstraction. You should recognize where this is going.”
Sean felt himself buy in. “It’s taken a long detour, but, yes, you’ve finally identified my connection to what’s on the table.”
Jason took this in without comment. “This higher level of abstraction is very necessary for improving my advantage in placing orders.”
“Mmhmm.” Sean could see things coming together with what Betty had characterized as a gambling scheme. But orders? Stock orders? Was this the familiar gambling Jason expected to interest Betty?
“These connections I’ve added feel organic to what could be done, but I don’t have the chops for keeping Tyche from trashing my edge and burning my profits. Tyche is borderline stable, but that won’t do when, out of the blue, it crashes hard.”
“And you trust me to take this and help you?” Sean was buying in further.
Jason sat back in silence for a while. “This is just the start—not a knock off assignment that you must be used to.” He glanced around the dive and weighed his next words. “I can see us doing enhancements once a month, same deal, in better surroundings.”
Strange excitement quivered through Sean. Indeed, the offer had sweetened with stability, work that begged for his skill, and a more than generous amount of money. Both their needs fit together in Jason’s puzzle—just as Jason must have figured.
Once he got Jason drawn out, the scheme was clear enough. It was barefaced gambling. Tyche was working out the odds in horse racing. Jason’s picnic visit was for him to make a pitch to Betty’s background in betting, not investing. Betty had said it was a gambling scheme doomed to failure, but he and others had simply read that as the standard jargon for risk with start-ups.
This project for Sean was Jason’s own form of a honeypot trap, he thought. “How do I know this is good for me?” he said. But he knew his question was inconsequential, a thin veneer of respectability.
Jason’s mood darkened. “You see the money in front of you before you do this, right? How do you know? I’m the one holding the bag. I’m betting $10,000 that your design tricks will make that up in spades.” Jason leaned forward and his long hair fell over his thin shoulders toward Sean. “What do you want?”
More challenge, more money, more … Sean was already being offered all that for the taking. He tried to hide in a corner by dumbing down.
“What if I need help from someone else? Hermes is in a higher language that I am only familiar with on casual basis.”
Jason flipped his hair back and peered through his owl frames. “You’ve got more savvy than that. You understand where this is going and how to get there.”
Jason cooled down to offer a compromise. “If you need someone to hold your hand, like that cute Megan, then you pay her out of your pocket. Just keep her out of the loop of what’s going on between us. And no one is to have a clue about the horse tracks.”
Sean realized that Jason had already anticipated his objections. This was dangerous, but there was the money. He tried to think of another way to put him off. “Can I think about this?”
Jason tightened his lips together. “Guy, you been thinkin’ of this for longer than us just sittin’ here.” He picked up his beer and pounded it down. “Take the money, or take a walk.”
* * *
The envelope sat nearby on his desk at home. It was dry now, but wrinkled and stained, offering the stale aroma of cheap beer. Sean couldn’t open it—yet—but he felt more interest in the baton passed his way from Jason.
RW Clark lives in West Seattle with a view of Boeing Field located in Georgetown on the valley floor below. He settled here, in the Pacific Northwest, after six years of service in the Navy. Previous to that, he had lived all over the world courtesy of his father’s Army service and frequent home moves.
This nomadic life colors his career of contracts and consultancies in electronics and software design. After many decades in technology, he is committed to telling stories that reflect his experiences, and trials. He approaches this with tools appropriate to imaginative creation: degrees in English and Cinema.
Projects or Proposals Offered:
Drones Over Seattle – Wade’s People is the first in a series that focuses on technology start-ups. The anchor to the series is Wade Jarvis, a temp employment agent who places his people, young techies, into edgy start-ups in Seattle. The focus is on the young techies who have to adapt to their client’s culture, come to terms with their design problems, develop a valuable solution, and cope with life.
I am open to a wide circulation publisher interested in more such examples of the start-up world. This is a five year project with my intention of delivering two titles a year. Manuscripts would probably be 70,000 words or more. Drones weighs in at 95,000 words.
My second novel, NanoVirus Attack In Georgetown – Wade’s People, finds the characters of the first novel playing side-men to a new character who explores Seattle’s Georgetown. This is a commercial part of the city where a century-old brewery now houses a new form of bootlegging. Hidden deep in the massive brick building is a modern laboratory producing Nanoviruses. This man-made virus has an unique ability. It can infect the unsuspecting with a custom DNA program that implants a new memory. This novel is in its first complete draft. I would expect at least four complete revisions before a clean-up for proofing and publishing to follow.
My third planned work, Repel Boarders – Wade’s People, has a new hero going to an assignment to aid an unnamed video content platform with its delivery problems. Issues seem simple. Network congestion, email phishing centers, netbots, and so on, would seem to be the problem. However, and to the client’s regret, the hero slips into the no-man’s-land of an impending full scale internet assault between governments.
With respect to my current project, Drones Over Seattle, an interviewer asked why drones? Did I have any experience with them? No, but the issues that surround sensing all principle factors of keeping an airplane aloft have been considerations of assignments I’ve had. I have designed Black Boxes, flight data recorders, for the 757 and 767. I have also helped design a Black Box tester for the 747. These designs have 600 sensor leads arriving from all points on the airframe for measurement and recording.
My deeper background is found in the field of Metrology, the science of measurement.
My blog: http://wadespeople.secondroot.com/