2010-12-04: Cookies Computers


Hilde_icon.jpg Kisha_icon.jpg

Summary: Kisha finds Hildegarde in the kitchen and they discuss technology as Hilde bakes.

Log Title: Cookies & Computers

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Kitchen

This kitchen was designed to feed large numbers of people, and looks it with its bright white walls and stainless steel appliances. The stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are all larger than normal. There is an island with stools around it for people to sit and eat around along with a table for twelve by the windows in back. Along the wall is a hole in the wall looking into the dining room so food can be passed back and fourth. Anything you want to cook or eat in the kitchen you will find the food and supplies to do so.

The Mansion is a little more active than usual considering that it is a Saturday. The reason behind this probably has to do with a combination of the chill in the air outside and the end of semester projects that many of the students put off until now. Many students are sitting in the library and community rooms watching movies or studying. Several rooms have plates of cookies in them, and a trip to the kitchen would reveal those responsible.

Hildegarde is standing in the kitchen wearing a brown skirt with a green apron. Her hair is pulled up in a braided bun to keep it out of her way as she bakes. The woman had promised her History class that she would have snacks ready for anyone who wanted to come down for a study session she held earlier in the day. After the session she had decided to continuously provide snacks for the other students preparing for the end of semester on the first floor, answering questions here and there if she is asked.

It would appear that the woman has gained a few helpers in the kitchen, as several students are now mixing bowls or batter, washing dishes, and frosting cookies. Hildegarde is happily giving out baking tips to those that have appeared for this impromptu baking class.

As one of the rare few students who has a knack for leaving assignments late and still breezing through them Kisha has decided to head to the kitchen in search of food. She would call it breakfast but that would imply she'd slept since yesterday. Clutched under one heavily burn scarred arm is her handmade touchpad computer with the screen set to display a screensaver that rolls through various technical schematics for everything from a toaster to a modern battle tank. Pausing in the doorway the petite teen frowns "Is there a supplementary cooking class I was unaware of? If so I can find food later."

Hildegarde glances over to look at one of the students and nods in approval as they hold up a frosted cookie. She then turns and opens up the oven, pulling out a tray of Christmas Tree shaped cookies and placing a tray of Snowman cookies in its place. When she hears the new voice, Hilde turns to the doorway to smile at Kisha. "Class? No this just sort of happened. I am not the Baking instructor, these students just wanted to help today is all. Please feel free to join us or to use the kitchen as you need to. I can…Make…Room…" As she looks around she realizes that most of the kitchen surfaces are in use. "Well I can make room. What do you need?"

"Is there any cold pizza left from the other day? And I'm out of good coffee so if there is anything worth the name I do with a fix," Kisha decides, glancing around the room. "My helping wouldn't be a great idea. I'm probably not hygenic." And indeed she isn't with all the splotches of engine oil and other random chemicals she's covered in. "I won't need any space apart from a corner to stand in. So don't worry on that count."

Hildegarde ponders for a moment "Cold pizza? Yes I believe there is some in the fridge still, though I seem to recall seeing a few students eating some earlier. There was quite a bit last I looked though. As for coffee…" She looks around and moves a few things away from the coffee pot. "There you go. I believe we have some store-bought coffee in the cupboard above. Or if you'd prefer I believe I have some German coffee down here somewhere." The woman's voice sounds British, but it is slightly off. As she moves around the kitchen her boots make loud metallic noises.

Kisha shrugs, then heads off to see which brand of coffee there is. "I won't need much of the pizza. I think I ate yesterday evening and that's well within the limits of my tolerance," she replies, muttering something in Russian at the jar of coffee she's found. "Who on earth buys this stuff? Ahh well it'll do if I add fives times as much as it recommends." She sets some water boiling and begins filling a large mug with enough coffee to give a fully grown elephant a heart attack. "Does anyone else want some making while I'm at it?"

Hildegarde frowns at Kisha when she mutters in Russian. She is fairly certain that what the girl had said was friendly, but at least the girl didn't swear in English. "The coffee? I am unsure who buys it. They probably buy whatever is least expensive. You know how they are." She does not define these "they". "I will have a bit, however. I find it is more tolerable if you add a dash of cinnamon." She looks around the room and puts her hands on her hips. "Where did I put the cinnamon? Oh! Cookies!" She moves over to the oven and looks inside. "A few more minutes."

"How strong do you take it?" Kisha wonders, initially getting her own idea of a moderate portion ready before it occurs that the teacher she's talking to might want to sleep before next Thursday. "And any milk or sugar?" While the water boils she sets to fetching a few slices of cold pizza and dropping them onto a paper plate. "Cinnamon in coffee? That's a little eccentric but each to their own I suppose."

Hildegarde seems a bit distracted by one of the students. "What's that Bradly?" She nods a few times as the student questions her about the thickness of the dough for cutout cookies. "Well it depends on how you like them. Thinner will cook faster and will be crispier. Thicker will be softer." She turns back and switches the cookies out of the oven again before finally turning back to Kesha. "Oh? Yes I take it light and sweet. Make the coffee as strong as you like, I can add things to it if it's too strong for me."

Kisha puts her computer down on the counter next to her plate of pizza slices. "If you insist…." she replies, beginning to spoon in enough coffee granules that it'll come out as the same kind of thick sludge she usually makes for herself. "It's a shame about the school rules really. Nothing perks up bland coffee like a little shot of whiskey or dark rum. My brother sometimes used to have vodka in his but that's just wrong on so many levels." With a mound of coffee in each mug she fetches milk and sugar, then waits for the kettle to finish. "Ugh this machine could be so much faster with a little ingenuity. If only they'd let me update the kitchen."

Hildegarde shakes her head. "Of course as a professor I have to tell you that I do not approve of underage drinking. I believe the drinking age in this country is 21? You look to be maybe 17. So…You will need to wait a while to drink such things." The woman thanks one of the students for washing the dishes and walks over to the cooling counter to sample a cookie, picking up an extra one before heading over to the coffee maker. "Ah, very good Caroline. Butterscotch was a good choice." She offers the other cookie to Kisha. "You should have one."

"A stupid law is a stupid law. Allowing driving, marriage and military enlistment before the legal purchase of alcohol makes no sense to any reasonable thinking person," Kisha states with a shrug, finishing making the coffee and offering Hilde her mug. "But as under school rules I could be prevented from my work I'm obliged to pay lip service to the rules. I don't really eat cookies or cakes, they're of limited value as sustenance." She glances at her plate of food and adds "I make exceptions for pizza. It's practically the only food a programmer should eat."

Hildegarde shrugs at Kisha's thoughts on alcohol. She says nothing but offers a small smirk. Of course Hilde agrees with the girl, but as a professor she cannot encourage the students to break the law. She frowns as Kisha turns down the cookie however. "Ah, well the point of the cookie isn't to nourish you, it is to bring joy. People bake to show others that they care for them." She shrugs, "But if you do not want one, then I understand."

Kisha sips at her coffee, an inky black substance that could probably fuel an engine, then scowls. "I'll have to think about buying myself some more proper coffee beans," she decides. "My work is the only thing which brings me joy. Although I suppose I should thank you for the offer at least. So, thank you. I'm sure they're very good and there are no doubt plenty of other students who will enjoy them." Idly she begins tapping away at her weird looking touchpad computer, setting it hunting for places that sell high quality coffee. "Perhaps I'll make my own coffee machine."

Hildegarde takes her mug of coffee and looks down at it before adding a few seemingly random spices and a bit of sugar and milk. The woman takes a sip and nods in approval. "Well we are just north of New York City. There are plenty of shops down there that sell imported coffee." She glances over idly at the touch pad. "Ah! That is one of those touch screen pads. I saw one in use at the juseum and was thinking of purchasing one." She glances around the kitchen to make sure none of the students need help. "What is it that you do for work?"

"It's not just /any/ computer. I built it myself," Kisha explains with obvious pride. "I'm an inventor, computer programmer and I've been forming a complete digital library of searchable interlinked reference books. So for example if a book mentions a trebuchet you could use the program I'm working on to bring up any other books which feature trebuchets. Filter the choices based on fiction and non-fiction, practical guides or accounts of thier use. That sort of thing.

Hildegarde blinks a few times. "That sounds…Like the most useful library tool ever invented." Also like a Google search bar, but she doesn't bring that up. "Have you patented this machine? You don't want one of the big computer companies making one right before you finish programming it completely." She takes another sip of her coffee. "I know they use things similar to that, the touch pad I thought yours was anyway, to do research and file documents and such at the museums around here.

Kisha shrugs. "No. But there isn't any danger that they'll steal my designs," she assures. "For a start the technology I'm using is far too awkward to mass produce. As for the software it won't run on anything except my own operating system. So it'll take some pretty major league industrial espionage for them to steal my idea. Eventually the aim is for the program to be able to rate the facts in every book in the library by checking the others for data which disputes it. But I'm saving that for the stage when it's an R.I. grade piece of software."

Hildegarde is nodding at Kesha, but the blank expression on her face indicates that she probably doesn't understand what exactly the girl is saying. "Yes…Of course. That makes sense." She glances back around the kitchen and "Mark! Don't throw flour at Jesse! Clean that up right away!" And then "Who'se watching the oven? Britney? Remember to check every couple of minutes."

"In simple terms I'm going to make the digital librarian smart enough to tell me if the books are accurate," Kisha explains with a sigh. "And to know which words I'm likely to want the linked information for loading up in advance. Perhaps even so I could input a word or phrase and have entire reports built from sections of text out of the source books. I type trebuchet, tag it as factual, it makes a composite article based upon every factual thing written about them from the archive. Essentially creating a new book specifically for that search result."

Hildegarde frowns at the idea of this new technology. "I can see it being useful for research purposes, but at the same time it may make students extremely lazy and unlikely to do their work the way they are meant to." Also it will make spotting plagiarism difficult. "But I suppose technology must advance, right?" She smiles and takes another drink of her coffee.

Kisha tilts her head. "I wasn't going to make it widely available," she notes, chomping on a slice of pizza. "It's for my own personal use. Widespread uptake of semi-sentient computer programs is probably a way off. People seem to have enough trouble accepting mutant rights, I don't even want to consider the problems it would cause of the software they used suddenly began demanding recognition and voting rights. Besides there are some legal implications for releasing a program like that as it would break almost every international copyright law I can think of."

Hildegarde smiles a bit more. "Ah, the copywright was another concern of mine, but I was not going to mention it right away." She drinks a bit more of her coffee and nods assuringly. "I am certain that we will see equal mutant rights within the next five to ten years. Sentient computers will be something you will probably have to deal with within your lifetime, but it is probably going to be beyond my time."

"I'll be exceptionally upset if I /don't/ have to deal with sentient computers in my lifetime," Kisha states firmly, scooping up her computer and then balancing her coffee on the plate with her pizza. "Because I intend to prolong my lifespan indefinately and I aim to be creating such computers. So either way I'll see them, although I would prefer to achieve both. And of course this isn't counting whatever such things already exist within the assorted hero and villian circles. But anyway I should get back to my project now, I have hundreds of books to scan and only one set of hands…. Which gives me an idea…" Awkwardly she pokes her computer and mutters 'perform study to see if additional cybernetic limbs are viable' in Russian.

Hildegarde gives the girl a puzzled look at the mention of her ambitions, but she then returns to smiling pleasantly. Whatever the girl says in Russian is above Hilde's vocabulary, so she'll ignore it. "Alright then. Well I wish you luck in your work, and feel free to help yourself to any cookies if you decide you want some." She nods at Kisha. "Oh, and don't forget to return the dishes when you've finished with them."

Kisha nods. "I'll be sure to bring them down when I next come for food," she assures. Leaving out the part where that could be in two or three days time. "Enjoy the rest of your baking." And with that she makes her way out of the kitchen, managing to open the door without her hands free thanks to a great deal of experience wandering around while overloaded with things.

Hildegarde offers the girl a wave goodbye and finishes up her coffee. She places the mug in the sink and wanders back through the kitchen to check up on everything. "Ah, great work!" The woman plates up a bunch of cookies and sends some students out to replace the plates around the first floor. She'll probably be in here for several more hours.

~ Fin ~

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