Mother of the Machine

"The role of the engineer is one of creation. One must convert the theoretical into the practical, and do it damn efficiently." -Mi-Sun Shin, Head of Joint Engineering Department

The New Kid

The new employee to the Joint Engineering Department was hardly impressed with the conditions he had seen so far. He stepped off at the run-down, seedy spaceport with his few possessions. Graffiti-spraying hoodlums, scarred gang-members, and heavily tattooed genie workers moved about in close groups, as rusty worker drones unloaded heavy cargo from the ship's belly.

In stark contrast to the valuable cargo measured in metric-tons, the new employee carried only a bag of items with him. He was dressed a simple outfit, a pair of blue jeans and a gray synth-cotton shirt. His hair was jet-black and in a neat crew cut. His figure was not thin, nor fat. It was average. The new employee walked forward slowly, marching to the beat of his own drummer. He walked into the complex of buildings near the edge of the spaceport.

He approached the one marked "JED" on it. A computerized voice asked, "Palm print, please." The new employee pressed his palm, and the metal door opened. "Welcome to the Joint Engineering Department, new employee. Proceed into the corridor directly ahead of you. The staff is in a private meeting, and will be out to greet you shortly."

The new employee sighed to himself. He came all this way, and some lousy board meeting was preventing him from meeting the semi-legendary JED?