The drawing for this page and the next page is an excuse for me to do a big two page spread of Richardson Bay, the Marin and Tiburon peninsulas, and the Golden Gate bridge. The ‘action’ is just Kay and Tam walking back to Schoonmaker marina to get his dingy, and that didn’t feel like action at all. My initial write-up of this book had Kay meeting up with Alex and Rachael, characters from the old comic, but I found that I didn’t have room to re-introduce them and get all the information that I felt I had to get into this intro. That left a little extra space right here, and I wanted to go ahead and draw a big scene.

We will almost certainly run into Alex and Rachael again.

Oh, and for those who may not know, an ‘Order of magnitude’ means to be ten times as large, or one-tenth as large, while ‘Two orders of magnitude”┬ámeans one hundred times as large, or one one-hundredth. So when Tam is tell Kay that she may be one or two orders of magnitude faster, she is really saying she could be about ten to a hundred times faster, and that is a pretty big range.

And yes, I can also hear that guy in the back saying, “Years for backup hardware and two weeks for a fusion reactor?”. Well, yeah. The fuser design is actually uncomplicated, while the quantum processors that Tam uses are much more complicated (an order of magnitude at least! maybe two! See you learned something!), and would take longer to create. A key point is that some people build fusers at home, but nobody builds modern day integrated circuits at home.

↓ Transcript
Scene shows an aerial view of Richardson bay with the Golden Gate bridge in the background.
Tam: I have managed to make elements of the processing hardware in small scale, but the process is slow. At current production rates I estimate I would be able to make backup hardware in the range of one to twelve years.
Kay: Years?!
Tam: However, I can make a working fusion reactor in as little as two weeks, which should accelerate my production by one or two orders of magnitude.
Kay: That is a... broad range of estimation.