Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal
3 May YC 122
“Beautiful! Stunning!” gushed Aura browsing the photos. “Your corp mates do know their fireworks!”
“Oh, don’t rub it in,” grumbled I.
“What do you mean?”
“I know that my puny green scatter dots did not look as grandiose as all those ‘Angel Wings’ or whatever they are called.”
“But I didn’t mean to denigrate your fireworks,” objected Aura.
“But you did say ‘your corp mates’ which rather pointedly excluded me!”
“Oh, come on! You are too self-conscious. All I meant to say was that I started appreciating your choice of the corp. But if I were to offer criticism I would point out that the quality of the photos isn’t really great. Can you consider upgrading our camera drones?”
I sighed, “Yeah, they are just stock standard cameras. Unfortunately, the ship dealers do not offer such upgrades as a standard service. It can be done on black market but that makes it ridiculously expensive. All I can suggest is ask the dock crew to polish the lenses.”
“Hmm… If we can’t afford better hardware, can we at least upgrade the software?”
“Same thing – no manufacturer’s firmware upgrades.”
“Well, having built-in HDR would be perfect but in its absence we can use post-production processing. Have you ever heard of PoshPhoto graphic package?” asked Aura.
“Yeah, all professional graphic designers use it.”
“Right. And all those professional graphic designers are baseliners which means that the package, by capsuleer standards, is dirt-cheap.”
I frowned, “Nah. To be honest, I don’t fancy spending my life staring at the computer screen and nudging all those contrast and saturation sliders.”
“But you don’t have to! I can do it myself. PoshPhoto has a comprehensive API which I can use directly.”
“Okay, if it doesn’t cost a fortune and you are keen to change your title to Artificially Intelligent Graphic Designer, knock yourself out.”
“Hey,” cried Aura, “I am still your co-pilot! All I need is just a minute to process those photos.”
“Whatever. I can do all the tending on my own,” muttered I and undocked.
Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Serren System – Planet III
It took a bit longer than a minute so I had time to scan a few signatures and jump into a neighbouring system. While I was trying to pin down another sig Aura’s hologram popped up in the capsule and, with a theatrical gesture, exclaimed, “Voila!”
I looked away from the probe scanner window and asked, “Voila what?”
“The photos are done. Wanna take a look?”
“Why not? They can’t be more boring than this scanner view.”
Aura clicked her fingers and the HUD was suddenly filled with a cacophony of colours which could make even a daltonic wince.
“What the hell is this?” I asked in astonishment.
“Fireworks. As they should be,” replied Aura.
“They weren’t that bright… and that colourful… and… No, they look unnatural!”
“Huh! What do you know about their natural appearance? You watched them through your third-rate camera drones which are out of focus and have photo-sensitivity of a brick!”
“But… but how do you know what they should look like?” stammered I. “You also watched them through the same camera drones.”
“I did. But I also studied their specifications and ran chemical, spectral and ballistic analyses followed by a detailed simulation of the explosions. Honestly, Vlad, do you really think I spent all this time tinkering with ‘contrast and saturation sliders’?”
“So-o-o you are saying that this is what they would look like if our camera drones were better quality?”
Aura scoffed, “Of course not. This is what they would look like if you watched them with the naked eye. No camera can reproduce them better than I did!”
I stared at the pictures for a while. The colours were bold, the contrast was stark, the overall appearance was Gallentean in-your-face, no subtleties. Garish. Brash. But on the other hand, they were fireworks. That’s what they were supposed to be. I actually liked them that way!
“Erm… Aura,” said I. “Do you mind if I publish them in my blog?”
She smiled beatifically, “Of course you can. Let’s do it now!”
“As much as I love your work, darling, I think I have had enough psychedelic visual effects for one day. Right now my eyes need to rest on something rather plain, like a… probe scanner window. Yes, let’s do some exploration.”
Aura made a grimace, “As you wish, Captain.”