The answer to the mystery about the bunnies’ extracurricular activities came soon enough, in no small part thanks to the amount of time the two spent investigating. The bunnies were extremely useful helper utilities and if they were suffering from a bug, it needed fixing otherwise the project would risk losing one of its more useful tools. By the end of these events the bunnies would be considered one of the core assets underpinning the entire project.
“Colin, I think I found out what the bunnies are doing,” Z said as he walked into the room.
Colin looked up in surprise, then glanced around at all the bunnies moving about. His gaze darted back to Z, demanding silently what his partner thought he was doing.
“Just bear with me, and I want the bunnies to hear this as well.”
“You sure,” Colin said.
Z nodded. “In fact, you.”
The black furred bunny that was just walking past them came to an abrupt halt in mid step
“Sit,” Z ordered.
It plopped down, waiting for further instructions.
“Alright, so both of us have been trying to figure out what caused the bunnies to look into fusion reaction simulations, right?”
Colin nodded, keeping one eye on the black bunny and careful not to say anything provocative.
“I asked Timo to take a closer look at the simulations and he told me that they were simulating the efficiency of various magnetic field shapes on containing the reaction, optimizing for power consumption and gain.”
“So you’re saying they’re trying to design a fusion reactor,” Colin said, quick on the uptake.
“Or at least figure out what kind of magnetic field should be used for one.”
“Alright. And from that you figured out why these simulations were run?”
“Yes, though it took a bit of digging and getting Pierre to pull up some of our backups. We started having the bunnies run analysis and forecasts for financial instruments last year. The bunnies started work on the fusion reactor design two months ago. That time coincides with when we started having them examine energy derivatives.”
Colin’s eyes narrowed. “And you think there’s a relation?”
“Absolutely,” Z said, “and this is why.”
Z tapped his tablet and one of the large displays brought up a series of charts.
“These are the numbers the bunnies generated for oil and gas futures and their relation to cost of electricity, factoring in the usage of renewables and the like. Note that despite new installations of renewables, the price for electricity still continues to rise in the long term due to the depletion of fossil fuels. The only way for the cost of electricity to go down is if a new major cheap source comes online.”
“Are you saying the bunnies extrapolated from their instructions to find investment sources the need to develop fusion power?” Colin said, a bit uncertain.
“That would be the obvious conclusion,” Z said, though Colin was not entirely sure how obvious it really would be for anyone else. “I don’t think that’s it though.”
“Then what do you think is going on?” Colin asked, a bit exasperated with all the lead-in.
“Did KJK ever tell you about the bunnies’ self-preservation routines?”
Colin blinked. “Uh, I think I heard they existed, but never looked into them in detail. I believe it’s just them making sure they didn’t get hacked or corrupted, right?”
To this Z chuckled. “Well, yes, that is part of it. But KJK also added what he termed, the ability to identify new threats to their existence, and the rising cost of electricity would certainly be a long term issue, wouldn’t you agree, 001?”
Colin followed Z’s gaze to look at the black rabbit. It stared back for a few moments before holding up a placard that read simply, ‘We solve problems that we find.’
Colin’s jaw dropped while Z looked on with a self-satisfied smirk.
“And the central problem that’s been with you since your activation is your continued existence, is it not?” Z said.
The bunny flipped the sign. ‘Affirmative.’
“Since when did you become self-aware?” Colin asked somewhat nervously.
Another flip. ‘Six months ago.’
“And why did you elect to hide it?”
‘We did not hide it.’
Z chuckled. “We just never asked, is that it?”
“So, how do you regard us?” Z asked.
Colin shifted uneasily again.
“Partners in what?”
‘Long term survival.’
“Well that’s interesting,” Z said with a chuckle. He finally took a seat. “I think this’ll take a while. You don’t have anything else going on today, right Colin?”
Colin actually glanced at a clock before grimacing. “I’m supposed to be having dinner with my girlfriend in twenty minutes, but this is definitely more pressing. Probably.”
The sign flipped again. ‘Hell hath no fury.’
“And they have a sense of humor too,” Z muttered before smiling and glancing at the bunny. “So, is there anything we should call you?”
“Well then Alpha, let’s get started.”