2239 The Architect.

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This was an idea I played around with as I was writing the bunker arc, but I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to do it, which is part of why I started this part as a Patreon exclusive. I thought of some situations that it could lead to that I really liked, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger. Seeing as part of this is based on factual evidence of secret tunnels under a real hotel, among other things, I feel like suspending disbelief shouldn’t be too hard.


I love the way you built up to this! Combined with your well-constructed characters this cements your already firm place at the top of my favorites list.

Yep. yep! Now Jackie’s story is very concrete!

Hoo boy.
That must be very hard for them, to look at this situation in a non-spooky way.
To realize that your Dad, or your Granddad, helped built a strange, hidden bunker, is probably quite a thing.

Were they violations of the code in effect when it was built?

I am inclined to believe the code violations are a result of improper upkeep after the original owner disappeared. No telling how long the place was empty.

More likely shoddy upgrades as tech advanced.. My grandfather wired my old house himself in 1939. Fuse boxes everywhere and single wire to ground.. In dry weather we were lucky to have a brownish glow from the lights. Oh by the way did I mention that it was not a Common Ground situation.. each item wired went straight to ground (a literal wire buried at each location. We finally got the house rewired in 2002. (Funny it burned down in 2013, after being brought up to code)

I would guess some yes, but most probably not. I have some relatives in the construction business. I don’t spend time around them anymore, but I remember around 30 years ago there were some major changes to the electrical code in their jurisdiction, at least to hear them talk of it, that would make “everything” they’d done in their professional lives violate code. I think there has probably been at least another of those since then, as the electrical code has needed to be updated – in some cases, kicking and screaming – because of our increased use of electronics.

That said, the “some yes” part is pretty simple. This work wasn’t inspected by an independent inspector, because it was secret. There were probably a few compromises made that violated code, because it was secret. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was unsafe for the given load. If the bunker was intended as a place to live while the world destroyed itself, one would assume that it would need to be designed with a great deal of electrical efficiency. Also, the EMF Reggie was tracing was “faint”, and the future owners of the place would have probably noticed a significant power drain and had it shut off.

Sure, the state of efficient electrics in 1980 wasn’t amazing. Except that there’s been the dirty push it harder for profits underbelly to the electrics market for more than a century. 1000 hour incandescent light bulbs are much more efficient and last much longer if you put less current through them. I don’t know the exact numbers, but there’s a lot of stuff that can be run on less juice than we do. IC stuff gets really flaky if you dip the voltage too low, and the maximum clock speed drops as the voltage is reduced towards that threshold, but the ticks per watt go up with some moderate “undervolting”. The special magic in a lot of low power chips is regulators that let them dynamically do this, so that they reduce their voltage when full CPU isn’t needed, but increase it back to “full” when it is. In the 1980s, we didn’t have as much of an understanding of exactly how we could get away with it and how dynamic we could be, but we did have the ability to just run things at lower voltages and figure out at what actual voltages they stopped working.

All of that said, I don’t have the best understanding of this stuff. If I remember my electrics correctly, lowering the current would save more electricity and raising the voltage could let one do that. However, I think it’s possible that would require more redesign of how the circuits work. It’s also probable that there’s something fundamental to making ICs ever smaller that requires using reduced voltages.

Very fun to take a virtual tour of the Winchester Mystery House.
Even more fun to tour it live, and up close, but not everyone gets out that way.
It’s got rooms, with windows you can see into a room, but the room has no door…. wha?
Or a staircase that goes up to … a blank wall? Lotsa’ mysteries there. No bodies, just a lotta crazy.

Fallout 4’s Nuka-World DLC has a similarly bizarre house, the Grandchester Mystery Manor. Similar architecture and possible haunting, the way only Fallout can do it.

Considering the fact that I have literally had to suspend disbelief over real life for the last 4 years. I am more than willing to do so for entertainment. Cheers.

The plot comes across as very plausible, especially in a small city. Grandpa might not have quite had a construction monopoly but it you wanted someone else you probably had to bring in someone from out of town. Early in the cold war it probably wouldn’t have been hard to sell your builder on the idea if tucking a private shelter into an out of the way corner.

Damn your world building is well done you trikkle feed it in a really natural way

My name is Gene C’Pause, and I second this….. wait, election season is over. Oooops..
Time to start cooking the lawyers and grinding out lawsuits.

Nice reveal! I have to wonder how Alex is going to respond to this when she hears about it from Reggie — or finds out about it herself in some other way.

I assumed this was a Pierce Brosnan joke considering Reggie and Alex are together… What has the internet done to lexicon?

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