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2016-06-16 There's No Such Thing as Junk Data

From Transformers: Lost and Found

There's No Such Thing as Junk Data
Date 2016/06/16
Location Lost Light - Docks and Storage
Participants Fulcrum, Ultra Magnus
Summary Fulcrum and Ultra Magnus are doing very important work.

Excited and even over-excited at the prospect of preparing Ultra Magnus for entry into logistics, Fulcrum has papered the walls of emptier decks with a host of chart errata. Chart 1 - a schematic of the ship with every room marked out in height, wall-widths, capacity. For rooms like the current one that serve some storage purpose, current capacity versus filled capacity is marked out. Chart 2 - A list of all folk on the ship, by height, weight, alt-mode, if known, and specialty (also primary colors). Chart 3 - A list of all (public / publicish) projects, a broad description of said project, current state of completion, projected date. A lot of these are super not completed. Some of them are clearly ridiculous. Fulcrum is bouncing between one and another, making sure the charts are readable and aligned and stuff, even though he already checked, like, twenty times.

Since his arrival in this division, which was admittedly not long ago and some of which was spent in the field, Ultra Magnus has not done much aside from an introductory pass through inventorying a storage room primarily because Krok had to come up with something to do to keep him occupied and not underfoot while Krok tried to figure out what to do with an Ultra Magnus running around his division.

Apparently his ultimate solution to the question of what to do with an Ultra Magnus running around his division was to punt, since now, Ultra Magnus is here to talk to Fulcrum about charts.

Ultra Magnus arrives in all his storied armor and stands in the doorway, obstructing the close of its slide, with a slightly awkward diffidence as he stands there. He says: "Hello."

Fulcrum ducks his head and clasps his hands together. He's not a small mech, but he's scant and weaselly in Ultra Magnus's shadow. "Hello!" he says, raising his head right back up. "I just want to start off with -- it's an honor to be working with you. I'm certainly not worthy."

Looking down and across at Fulcrum, Ultra Magnus frowns in consideration, or maybe he just frowns. Frowns are almost a rule with him. He says with a slow rumble of uncertainty that ripples into a shrug of one of his massive shoulder towers (but not the other), "Thank you for the courtesy, although I would say that worth is limited entirely to competence when it comes to data analytics."

Fulcrum smiles up at Ultra Magnus. It's neither broad or particularly winning - the smile is, in fact, a titch uncertain against Ultra Magnus's uncertainty. "We could use more data analytics. I'm great at keeping charts." He gestures appropriately. "But what they mean, well. I think it's just nice to have the data."

<FS3> Ultra_Magnus rolls Organization: Good Success. (3 7 5 6 1 7 8 2 4 6 3 3)

"Well ordered data is worth it for its own sake," Ultra Magnus says. He surveys Fulcrum's charts, and at first he brightens a little -- visibly -- as his eye scans them all, although there's definitely a moment a beat or so later when his face falls as he encounters clear holes in the data. The fact that Fulcrum makes charts about silly things sometimes does not discommode him as much as you might think, but then, this is a bot who once gave Drift a colored chart cataloguing musical patterns in a playlist for no reason other than the sheer joy of making order out of chaos. Not that he would use the word joy probably.

"I'm glad you think so." Fulcrum coasts along the edge of the room, hovering next to the crew chart. He only hovers a few seconds before he jabs at a corner excitedly. "This one's my favorite! It needs more, though. Pictures, for certain. Quotes? Maybe quotes."

"Criminal records," Ultra Magnus suggests. It is possible this is not going to be that exciting for Fulcrum.

"Hah-a," Fulcrum strains. "I know those can be very -- very important. But on this grand cruise of hope, isn't it more important to look to the future than to the past?" ???

"Very aspirational." Ultra Magnus sounds dry about this, but the glance he slips sidelong to the shorter mech is rather more thoughtful than his tone would imply. He says, "What kind of quote?"

"I am all about aspiration. Within reason." Fulcrum juts two thumbs against his chest. "You do you. The /now/ you, not the /then/ you." The right thumb impacts, once, twice, with a faint thunk. "The quote should sum up who you are, or who you want people to think you are, or -- I guess it can be funny. I don't want to restrict people's quotes."

Magnus watches Fulcrum and his thumbs. The weight of his helm's edge has pulled down as a crease over his bright blue gaze. "Are you going to go about asking people what to fill in?" After a beat he remarks, "I doubt I could do any of those things in a quote."

"Maaaybe. If I have time." Fulcrum's eyes stray from Magnus to chart. "I'm as busy as anyone, of course. I was just thinking there's so many of us. It might be a nice conversation piece. Like, 'I see you're three Tailgates high and you once said, "No one jumps as high as he who triggers a mine.'" Fulcrum squints between chart and mech, his expression vagueing. "Yeah. You should have whatever quote you like. Maybe something deadly serious. Or -- factual, just factual."

Ultra Magnus gives Fulcrum a look of consternation, but this is probably not the first time he's seen one like it. "Quick references to personnel records are appropriate for a number of reasons," he says. After a moment he adds, possibly just in case there was any doubt about this, "I like facts." Good, Magnus, good job.

"Quotes put the 'personal' in 'personnel'," Fulcrum exudes, focusing on Ultra Magnus again. "'I like facts'. Would you like that to be your quote?"

"Is yours the thing about the mine?" Ultra Magnus asks Fulcrum without answering him.

"Ha-a, I'm already a living bomb. I don't want my quote to be about explosives. Only an example." Fulcrum pauses. "Maybe we should sleep on the quote thing."

[Monitor] Astrotrain has disconnected at 11:37 PM on Thu Jun 16 2016.

"I see." Ultra Magnus gives Fulcrum a grave nod as though this is really profound. "Very well. Table that for now." He turns his attention to one of the much less finished of the project charts, and reaches up to prod it with one finger. "I see a few gaps," he observes.

Fulcrum scoots to the project charts. "Oh, that," he starts. "I'm a little reliant on hearsay for that one. Uh, I'm not even sure some of these are real. I think you could maintain a list like this," beat, "better than I could. People respect you!"

"Mmm," Ultra Magnus gives a particularly dubious version of a neutral noise. He eyes Fulcrum. "Do they. Well, I'm ... certain I can provide my assistance with the data but I'm skeptical that respect will have much to do with it, generally speaking."

"I imagine people opening up to you. They get close. Their voices get low. They say, 'I wouldn't trust anyone else with this, Ultra Magnus, but you should know. I'm working on something that will change the universe.'" Fulcrum forms his hands into a square, the "screen" pinpointing someone's nonsense project about brewing for turbofoxes. "Just like that."

"That," Ultra Magnus tells Fulcrum very gravely, "is ridiculous." He states in much the same tone in which he indicated he likes facts. It's very prosaic. He looks back at the ordering of all of the projects. "How many of these are ship's business and how many would you characterize as hobby work?"

"You never know," Fulcrum gently insists. And then he gets down to the business of counting. "I'm going to say that hobby work is more frequent than ship work by a factor of about 150 percent. Eyeballing it. I let the ship business get neglected, I admit, I figured other people knew better than I--" and with this, Fulcrum is making marks and making estimates, singling out the more meaningful/potentive hobby work versus the nonsense and eliciting ship business gaps from Ultra Magnus. It's the first time he's ventured toward efficiency.

It's amazing the great realms of patience that Ultra Magnus can reach when the efficiency they strive towards involves charts and numbers, though. Really, it is.

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