Freefall 3621 - 3630 (H)
Freefall 3621

Meeting the Station Manager

Mr. De Morel?
Yes. Who are you?
Sam Starfall. The police chief on Jean said you were having some problems with expenses.
You're the troubleshooter. Great! Maybe you can get those turbulent workers to listen to reason.
Listen to reason or convince them that you're right?
Is there a difference?

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3622

Meeting the Station Manager

First, we need to talk about my pay.
I thought that was taken care of. You help me, you get a reactor from the boneyard.
We looked at that reactor. It was left full of water. The water turned to ice.
It's junk.
Would you accept the reactor if I toss in free duct tape?
Yes. Six hundred cubic meters of duct tape would pay for a new reactor and after that it's all pure profit for me.
I was thinking more like a roll or two. Okay, new offer.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3623

Meeting the Station Manager

Giving you the boneyard reactor wasn't supposed to cost me anything. I don't have anything in the budget for you.
Then let me make you an offer.
You have a problem with expenses. I'll look into it. Give me half the money
I save you.
I'm not going
to pay you
that much!
You really should because I already see part of the problem.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3624

Meeting the Station Manager

I'll give you ten percent.
Ten percent! That's not even a prime number! It's divisible by two. Seventeen, that's a prime number.
Now three times seventeen is less than what I want to be paid, but since you like round numbers, how about we change it to twenty?
Fine. Seventeen.
Done. Helix, please archive your memory of this agreement and be sure to send Mr. De Morel a copy.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3625

Meeting the Station Manager

The problem is simple. I want to replace the workforce with robots. They work for less and they don't need extensive life support.
The workers want to keep the robots out. I understand their position. However, it is my job
to keep this station profitable.
Is the
station profitable now?
Yes, but with
robots, it can be
MORE profitable.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3626

Meeting the Station Manager

I don't want to fire anyone. When people leave or retire, that's when I want to replace them with automatation.
How are
the working conditions?
Pretty bad. That's how I'm encouraging people to leave or retire.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3627

Meeting the Station Manager

I'll need access to your accounting ledgers.
Done. Read only, of course. Anything else?
Not at the moment. I want to look around and talk to more people.
Glad to have you on board. If there's anything else you need, other than funding, let me know.
So what do you think?
To ensure prompt payment, I want a plan B. As we look around and talk to people, keep an eye open for anything portable and valuable in case we need to make a quick exit.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3628

Meeting the Station Manager

Let's head back to the ship. I want to look through the books. Then we'll walk around some more. I have got to get my strength back.
I had no idea I'd lose muscle so fast. Though considering how far humans are already ahead of my people, it may be a good thing.
If microgravity caused rapid fat loss instead of muscle loss, humans would have had a vastly overfunded space program and been an interplanetary species by the 1970's.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3629

A robot's interpretation of desires

Rover17. I have an observation. We are building a reactor. The superconductor section and some fabricators are productive. The majority of this factory is idle.
There is a path where we can all be of use. In the message from Florence Ambrose, she states that her ship has a damaged reactor. She would like to know if we can repair or replace it.
That can be interpreted to replace the reactor. It can also be interpreted to replace the ship.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3630

A robot's interpretation of desires

It could be interpreted to build a new ship. We shall ask for clarification.
I disagree. Ms. Ambrose has sufficient credit for a new ship.
If we proceed, we shall all have purpose. Ms. Ambrose receives extra. Everyone wins.
Look at it from a bomb making perspective.
If a client asks for a ten megatonne bomb and we do not tell them we shipped a hundred megatonne bomb, would they not be unhappy even through they received extra?
We shall ask for clarification.

Color by George Peterson

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