To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
D’arby finally finished recording his voice just before lunchtime on Thursday. He couldn’t wait to start his real work. He was pleased to discover that a desk had been prepared for him in the same room that Carol and Valentine worked and hoped that meant he’d get to know what they were working on.
In the past couple of days D’arby had decided that he’d be happy working for RenewBank even if he was just a decoy, as long as he knew that the business was doing good things. D’arby was going to meet with Leopold after lunch and learn what his work was going to be.
Valentine invited D’arby to the rooftop garden for lunch with him and Carol. D’arby had eaten his lunch alone in the recording room the last couple of days and had been feeling very lonely so he was happy to accept the invitation. D’arby also had lots of questions he wanted to ask.
“How long have you both been working here?” said D’arby as soon as he and Carol and Valentine had sat down at the table in the rooftop garden.
“Two weeks” said Valentine and Carol added “Me too. We started on the same day. We don’t get to do such exciting stuff as you though – sneaking in and out of the official office must be fun.”
“It isn’t that exciting after the first couple of times” said D’arby. “I reckon it will eventually become a bit of a bore, like having to change from a train to a bus on the way to work. And it will eat into the time I have for my real work”
“It isn’t a waste of time though. It is valuable to be making the people who are spying on RenewBank think that we don’t know about it. It protects our work from their interference” said Carol.
“Yeah, I know” said D’arby. “What are you two working on?”
“Nothing much” said Valentine, with a chuckle. “Just building a model of the economy, financial system and energy supply”.
D’arby’s eyes must have started sparkling with excitement.
“Eventually we will use this model to fine-tune the business plan” said Carol. “Leopold keeps talking about how important it is to prevent perverse outcomes in the transition from the current system to a new, better one.”
“It all sounds so ambitious!” said D’arby. “And so exciting! Are you allowed to talk to anyone outside work about it?”
“No way!” said Carol and Valentine at the same time.
“We can’t let anyone know what’s coming because if the banks and energy businesses knew what we wanted to do they would try their best to stop us. Leopold and Rudnika have identified lots of places where we are at risk.”
“What is the plan for RenewBank anyway? What’s this ‘better system’?” asked D’arby.
“The exact plan will depend on the modelling results but roughly the plan is to create a new, stable alternative currency and a bank that uses this currency and that only renewable energy customers can use. RenewBank will also build and run renewable energy projects and everything will be customer-owned. What makes this so dangerous is that all the modelling so far indicates that doing such a thing will destabilize the big banks and the non-renewable energy generators. So we need to find a way that doesn’t crash the economy before RenewBank can get big enough to support it” said Carol.
“I can see the reason for renewable energy, but what’s the point of the alternative currency?” asked D’arby. He thought he knew the answer because the plan was close to what he’d been thinking about, but he wanted to be sure.
“Not to make money, for sure” said Leopold. “Everything will be customer owned. The point is to force the move to renewable energy and to create form of money that isn’t based on debt. Leopold and Rudknika want to do more than that, but that’s the main aim. I guess they also want to pull the rug out from underneath the people who’ve made themselves rich at the expense of everyone else and especially those who’ve been corrupting our democracy.”
D’arby smiled. He was happy that Rudnika and Leopold could be so confident in such a wild plan, but at the same time he wondered how they could pay everyone’s salary without the business having any income so he asked Carol and Valentine whether they knew how they were being funded.
“Rudnika sold a couple of properties she inherited to pay to get everything started” said Valentine.
D’arby smiled again. It was scarier to be part of something that was self-funded because there wasn’t that reassurance you get when someone is so convinced in your plans that they give you their money. D’arby had many more questions he wanted to ask but Leopold came up onto the roof because he was ready to show D’arby what he’d be working on.
Leopold showed D’arby some databases and spreadsheets he’d started that he wanted D’arby to continue working on and he explained how they fitted in with what Carol and Valentine were working on. All three were adding details to different parts of the model and in a month or so they’d run scenarios using the complete model. After that it would be an iterative process – using the model to discover weaknesses and then improving the model and looking at the effects of different assumptions.
D’arby was so impatient to start working on the model that his fingers started drumming on the desk. Leopold suggested he start by reading a document that explained the work done so far and then there was a spreadsheet to finish and lots of pieces of research were needed to fill in gaps in the model.
“Any questions?” asked Leopold.
“What work is the official D’arby at the official office doing?” asked D’arby.
“Something similar, but all wrong. We are leaking a model that shows that RenewBank must stay small in order to work and the currency aspect will just be Loyalty Points. Hopefully that keeps people off our backs” said Leopold.
D’arby felt like the afternoon disappeared. He was so engrossed in his work that Rudnika had to remind him to go home by pointing out that Sonia couldn’t go home until D’arby had left the official office.
“What’s the earliest I can arrive at the official office tomorrow?” asked D’arby
As Rudnika told D’arby that Sonia would be ready for him to arrive by 7:30am she made a mental note that finding another person to share Sonia’s job should be given high priority. Sonia had said that she didn’t mind the long hours but Rudnika knew that it was not sustainable and if Sonia got sick Rudnika would have to close the official office and D’arby would have to stay home.
As D’arby walked home that evening he felt happy and excited but also frustrated because he hadn’t been able to take any work home with him and he realized that he wouldn’t even be able to make notes at home.
When D’arby got home Syafika and Fanta were deep in conversation about someone calle Celine. D’arby realized he was really hungry and had a look in the kitchen so see if anything was cooking. It looked like Fanta had been interrupted while preparing dinner so D’arby washed his hands and then continued chopping ingredients while reading the recipe that Fanta had left on the kitchen bench.