Book 2 Developments

Book 2 of the Emulation Trilogy is progressing well. There have been two interesting developments in recent days. The first is that I have ditched the working title of Faraday’s Mine. The new title is Fuller’s Mine.

The second is that I have finally completed the Prologue. In the same manner as the Prologue in Newton’s Ark, the Prologue in Fuller’s Mine is set after the events that take place in the book, but alludes to them indirectly. With Newton’s Ark I wrote the Prologue first, knowing where I wanted to end up, and then crafting the story to get there. This time, I had no idea where the book would end, largely because I was unsure where the break between books 2 and 3 should occur. With 250 pages completed, about 4 am one morning this week it occurred to me. Here is the draft.


January 2105

Approaching his fortieth birthday, Kevin Hargraves reflected proudly on the position he had achieved. Although his success was partly a function of the limited number of suitable candidates, the competition for every important position was still intense and ruthless, reflecting the stakes. If you wanted a wife, and every man did, you needed to be somebody. And he was; for the past two years he held the post of the Chief Engineer of the United States, responsible for the maintenance of, well everything.

Mostly it wasn’t quite as big a job as it sounded. There was plenty of pandering to politicians required, but from an engineering perspective it wasn’t particularly demanding. He couldn’t do much with really old infrastructure—stuff from the beginning of the previous century and before—but most of that had long ago fallen into disrepair and disuse. Nobody expected him to fix those relics. They just expected him to keep the current facilities running which was usually quite easy given that the modern systems and infrastructure were self-repairing—except when occasionally the maintenance bots encountered a problem outside the scope of their initial design. What he was missing then was software engineering skills. He was an excellent mechanical engineer—he inherited that from his father, and his drive and determination from his mother—and had no trouble designing physical modifications to the bots, but software was his personal nightmare. He had studied hard, he really had, but never developed the level of programming competence he needed. For him, software remained a foreign language in which he had failed to develop any fluency. He was stuck at the equivalent of schoolboy French, fine with familiar phrases, but unable to express original thoughts without enormous effort.

Kevin had succeeded despite his deficiencies because help appeared whenever he needed it. Kevin had no idea who the man was—Cyrus Jones was the name he used—where he came from, or why he helped him. He said it was because he had known Kevin’s parents. If only they could see him now. They would have been so proud. With them both gone, he had no way to know if the man’s claim was true—the things he knew about Kevin’s parents were all on the public record and the things that weren’t he could neither prove nor disprove—but Kevin trusted him completely for one simple reason; when it came to software the guy really, really knew his stuff; he was yet to encounter a software problem this Cyrus Jones couldn’t solve. Kevin Hargraves would be just another nobody, single and alone, without him. For that reason, he was very careful never to tell anyone about his holographic friend, not even the wife he had struggled so hard to win…

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