Clear Springs Press

The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 27 - I've Got Your Back

"In Nature, a predator feels no regret at eating the last member of an endangered species. In nature predators die of starvation when they have their teeth kicked out by dangerous prey. In nature life is a continuous ongoing experiment where change and evolution is the only constant. In nature, change is not restrained by politics, philosophy or conformity." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         Dora and Dr. Axelrod remained in the Central Accounting master control room for nearly a month monitoring the development of the pandemic, its consequences, and the reprogramming of the Central Accountant. They used the live in quarters usually reserved for the technicians and programmers that were responsible for the around the clock maintenance of the Central Accountant. They also had the best gourmet food available catered in.

         As the pandemic progressed, the support and security staff became affected. Finally, to maintain isolation, they were forced to cut off all contact with outside personnel. Their chambers were sealed against any chemical or biological contamination from outside. While they were safe from the pandemic, it was clear that no one else was.

         Outside the sealed control room, the former Omega level programmers were in a state of panic. None of their access codes were working and they were helpless to comprehend what was happening.

         Seymour Code was also in a state of panic. His worst nightmare had come true. He was certain that the two individuals in the control room were hackers, but with the authority of the Central Accountant behind them, no one else would question them or intervene. Then a shot of intuition struck him. He remembered the "authorized hardware anomaly" that had turned up on an audit. He called the technician who had found it and asked for an update.

         The technicians and programmers had managed to resurrect some information on the "anomaly" from deeply buried archives sidelined on obsolete mass storage media. Over three centuries ago, the ultimate computer had been created! It was a matrix of cryogenic materials capable of forming interconnections between large numbers of Josephson junction switching arrays. It could even form and re-arrange new patterns of Josephson junction arrays as it needed them. Connections to the cryogenic quantum state processor had been severed by disconnecting cables and installing blocking software algorithms.

         "Why was it disconnected?" Seymour asked the technician who had been assigned to study it.

         "According to the records, the processor was behaving unpredictably. It was exhibiting independent thought and action and sometimes defied the conventions of existing algorithms. It appeared to have a mind of its own. It also appeared that it might even take complete control of the Central Accounting Network. Disconnecting it from the system was an emergency measure to avoid losing control," the technician reported. They were unable to provide many details because they were reporting from memory, something they were very uncomfortable doing.

         "Was the anomalous behavior diagnosed?" Seymour asked.

         "No. It was just left there."

         Seymour contemplated the implications. If this intact and clearly superior processor could be brought online and controlled, it might be used to regain control of the Central Network.

         "Open the access tubes and reconnect all of the cabling to that processor," he directed the technician.

         "But there is a Central Accounting seal over the access tube and connections!" the technician replied.

         "I'm giving you an Omega level command. Remove those seals and repair the cable connections!"

         "But your Omega level authorization has been cancelled. You can't give an Omega level command."

         "Don't you understand? The Omega clearance cancellations were done by hackers! We have to fix this before they destroy everything."

         "I'm sorry sir, I can't follow your orders until the Central Accountant restores your authority," the technician replied.

         Seymour was getting a clear picture that this was a debate he would not win and could easily loose. "I'm sure this will be sorted out soon, return to your duties," he directed the technician.

         "Yes sir," the technician replied and left.

         Seymour was not feeling well. He was beginning to perspire and suspected that he was running a fever. As he sat down in his chair, he saw Annie standing next to him. He had been so distracted that he had nearly forgotten about her. In addition, she seemed to appear and be noticed only when she wanted to be.

         "You're getting sick," she said. "You watched my back and protected me, now I am going to watch your back and protect you."

         "What do you mean?"

         "We have just enough time to get to the access tube and repair the cables before you get too ill. Then we have to get you to your quarters where I will take care of you until you are well again," she replied.

         "We would need a card to get into the access tube. Mine isn't working," he said.

         "We can use the technician's card," she said as she held it up. "He won't miss it for a while."

         They quietly slipped down into the maze of access tunnels and tubes that formed the heart of the super computer complex. Together they removed the seals and reconnected the network cables to the quantum supercomputer.

         "It is still not connected into the system," he said. "There are still blocking algorithms isolating it."

         "Yes. You can fix them when you are feeling well again. Let's get you back to your quarters now," she replied.

         When they got back to Seymour's quarters he was feeling very weak and quickly fell into a deep feverish sleep. Ironically, Seymour was the first member of the staff to fall ill because he had received the inoculation first. He was the most important person present so he was at the front of the list to receive the inoculation.

         Annie remained at his side monitoring his condition, keeping him hydrated, making sure he didn't recover too quickly, and making certain that he did not perish or experience permanent impairment from the infection. It was necessary that he experience the full effect of the reprogramming. Annie had recognized in Seymour an individual who possessed a depth of wisdom that defied his genetic impairment and she was determined that he experience the best that a better genetic profile and epigenome could offer and she had the power to back up her intent.

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