|Updated on Monday and Thursday.|
|"I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past."
— Stanislaw Lem, Solaris
Monday, January 3rd, 2005
This is the second catch-up article (hit the 'old' button above to see the first part).
Toundier has come to Bune Station because there are much fewer people here who want to kill him. This does not mean that he can afford to let his guard down. Eio is often a hostile place, subject to invasion and strife. Assassins from his home world could theoretically discover where he went and track him down. The people who are the closest thing to what he could call 'friends' (Harsp and Leiske) are still to him a different class of less threatening, but still potentially harmful, enemies.
Complete camouflage is not achievable, and living completely alone has negative survival value, so simply burrowing into a cave in a distant wilderness is a sub-optimal solution. Toundier, somewhat like an electron, accepts the close presence of a few neighbors in order to keep as many people as possible far away from him.
Toundier's home is literally his castle, a castle being primarily a machine designed for defense against hostile forces and secondarily a dwelling. An oblique view below shows the central dwelling, outlying bunkers, and the 'sky moat,' about which I'll talk more at another time.
The diagram below shows some details below the surface...
The main area A is thickly walled and has no windows; entrance to this section can only be achieved through one fortified door which is designed to kill the curious. Section B is a fallback area concealed under thicker plating, with several concealed access points linking to A. C and D constitute a tunnel system that allow Toundier to access and directly control any of the radial bunkers such as E, which normally run in an automatic "destroy whatever moves" mode.
At the end of a wearying day of self defense and security enhancements, Toundier can relax a bit in his bed chamber (quite a long distance below the ground at F). Things are kept simple and spare here to limit oppportunities for security breaches, and the walls are covered with monitors to alert him of any possible threats above.
The design for Toundier's house started off simply with little embellishment; it only gained shape and character after several discussions with my friend Charles Hardin, who takes a professional interest in physical and computer security. Chuck's invaluable observations and suggestions have reshaped many 'fuzzy' areas of Bune, and in addition to my privately expressed thanks for his help, I add this: Thanks, Chuck. You're an uncommon man in the world; smart, learned and ethical, and I am pleased beyond measure to have you as my friend.
(I should add here that I don't always follow Chuck's advice; artistic concerns or my own prejudices may interfere. Any glaring flaws in the fictionalised security system I describe above are strictly my fault and responsibility.)
This should put me back on track with my updates... I had planned a retrospective of sorts for the first entry of the new year; this shall have to appear next time. Until!
contents of this site, unless otherwise attributed, are © joseph
j. anthony, 2005
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