Home > World-Building > Day Two Hundred and Eight: Raven of Industry

Day Two Hundred and Eight: Raven of Industry

For the month of December, I’ll be world-building. This means taking a look at the people, places, and institutions that I have created over the last six months and trying to figure out more about them. This will involve a look at the stories in which they’ve appeared, and then some speculation, stream-of-consciousness writing, and with any luck a few revelations. In addition, I may come back and add new material as the Elves in my unconscious ship out new ideas, so I’ll be sure to link them up.

Your feedback as readers is, of course, more than welcome. There are probably questions that I’m forgetting to ask and holes that I need to fill.

Wish me luck!

——————

Okay, why don’t we do another Evil Corporation today (yes, I know – it’s a tautology, but what can you do?). Munin Scientific is a company that specializes in computer components, with a focus on memory. They make storage media, hard drives, RAM, all kinds of things that make your computer work, and they’re constantly pushing the limits of materials and technique. Having said all that, let’s see what the stories say about them:

46: The Big Day

  • It has a very intense corporate culture. In the thoughts of Peter Wach, “Nobody got anywhere in Munin Scientific on forty hours a week. Nobody.”
  • Wach is doing work on carbon pico-crystal arrays.
  • The company issues employees with time-sensitive USB drives. “The drives had to be accessed at least once every twenty-four hours, to ensure security. If they weren’t, then the LED would turn red and the drive would erase itself the next time it was plugged into a computer.”
  • Pete works with Ewan Conwell
  • The Board Room is on the thirtieth floor of the headquarters.
  • The board room has a custom-designed table: “A long table, shiny and black, stretched down the middle of the brightness and made Pete a little dizzy. Embossed in the center of the table, shining under layers of lacquer, was the Munin Scientific logo.”
  • The chief technology officer is Terence Dorshimer.
  • The vice-president in charge of research is Harris Brummitt.
  • The CEO is Ulysses Grodin, “probably one of the most well-known and well-loved CEOs in the country.”
  • Brummit may be from the Southern United States.
  • The security guards carry tasers.
  • Wach is suspected of stealing data from Conwell.

65: Amanuensis

  • Cerbecorp once tried to buy out Munin Scientific. They failed.

98: Back in the Saddle

  • A man named Brant Laidler was murdered on his way to merger talks with Munin.

127: Last-Ditch

  • Wach’s life was destroyed after the events of The Big Day. He lost his job, his home, and his marriage.
  • Munin has Wach’s prototype. It’s locked in a secure locker at Munin Headquarters, in basement vaults designed by Cerbecorp.It’s said to be impenetrable to anything less than a commando team.

So yeah, all in all it looks like Munin isn’t a nice company, but then we know so very little about it. We know that one of their employees designed a fantastic new storage medium, and he got thrown out on his ass for it. Why would they do this? That, sir-and-or-madam, is a damn fine question.

The company is named, of course, after one of the ravens of Odin, father of the Norse gods. Odin was famous for many things, not the least of which was having two ravens that gathered information for him. They were Huginn and Muninn, AKA “Thought” and “Memory”. Why did I choose Munin? Well, after I had used Cerberus for one company, I thought it would be interesting to use another mythological animal. After some thinking and web-surfing, I came up with Munin, which pretty much defined what Munin Scientific focused on – memory.

You might also have noticed that the CEO’s surname is Grodin, which contains the name of the raven-god. Not a coincidence, I assure you. It would also not surprise you, I think, to learn that Ulysses Grodin thinks of himself in god-like terms, at least as a CEO. He is enamored with the life of the AllFather, and has managed to fit his own personal narrative into that mythology.

Granted, it only fits well from his point of view. Odin’s sacrifice of his eye for wisdom, for example, is Grodin’s favorite allegory. The mistakes that he made when he was young were, as he thinks of it, the same as the sacrifice of Odin. The god, I’m sure would disagree.

That said, Grodin has built up an excellent company, mainly by being astute enough to hire the best people. When he started Munin, the focus on memory and storage was no accident. He saw the digitization of media on the horizon and knew that there would have to be a way to keep it safe. The floppy disks of times gone by weren’t going to be enough, so Grodin turned the technical knowledge he had, teamed up with Brummitt and Borshimer, and built their company. Now you have to work to find a computer that doesn’t have Munin Scientific technology in it somewhere.

Of course, it must be remembered that there were two ravens on Odin’s shoulders. So what about Huginn? Well, that ties into the project that Wach was on and why he got axed from it. It speaks to Grodin’s need for godhood. If it works, it’ll change the world, and you’ll know about it as soon as I do.

Story Ideas:

  • The Huginn Project

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