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Chapter 32 - Plato

Chapter 1 - What You Need to Know

"Despite the determined enforcement of conformity, the development and cultivation of Spiritual Faculties with positive Intent is necessary for the evolution, progression, and very survival of the Human race. This is why one cannot be shy about being a non-conformist and defying the politically correct social norms. This is also why those with vested interests to protect have to understand that change is necessary, and is in their long term best interest." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         Filbert Flag triumphantly entered the Central Control room followed by an entourage of programmers and security guards. "All programmers to a terminal!" he ordered. Then he turned to the security guards and ordered, "Search this area for hackers and make certain that they don't escape!" Then he cast a cold stare at Seymour who walked casually in after the main assault and added, "Take them alive! Seymour wants to interrogate them!" The guards rushed off without having a single clue as to what a hacker might look like.

         Seymour casually walked into the control room, entered his old office, and activated his terminal. Moments later the last of the software blocks to the quantum processor had been severed and the quantum processor was now on line. At first nothing happened.

         He watched his colleagues as they frantically tried to get access to the Central Accountant through the Central Control room COMM terminals. Two security guards entered proudly dragging a man and woman who were handcuffed, chained, and generously bruised. "We got 'em!" one of them boasted proudly. "We caught them trying to access a COMM terminal in the cafeteria!"

         Filbert accompanied the security guards to Seymour's office. "Hurry up and interrogate them so we can execute them!" he demanded.

         Seymour looked at them carefully. Their clothing was rumpled, the man had several weeks beard growth, and they smelled like they hadn't bathed in weeks. "Well?" he asked. "Who are you and what were you doing?"

         "We are programmers! We belong here! We were just trying to get the coffee machine to work!"

         "I believe them," Seymour said.

         "You can't be serious!" Filbert challenged.

         "OK then, detain them and assume that your search is concluded, but don't execute them until their identities can be verified by the Central Accountant."

         "We can't do that until we restore full access to the Central Accountant!" Filbert complained then motioned for the guards to take them away.

         "Wait!" Seymour said. "I want some coffee. Release those two programmers." He then turned to the programmers and said, "Bring me coffee! Now get out of here!"

         Filbert was fuming. He then turned to Seymour and said, "You have been ill and you've been acting strangely, perhaps you should step down and let me assume the role of Omega Chief of Security!"

         "That would be inappropriate," Seymour replied flatly. "You don't possess my qualifications and I am quite recovered from my illness, thank you!"

         "What have you been doing alone at your terminal all this time?" Filbert challenged.

         "Working on the problem, of course, and making some progress I might add, but I'm not ready to issue a report yet."

         Filbert was in over his head and he knew it. He turned and stormed out of the office. Seymour smiled to himself. He knew he had bought his unknown hacker friends some time. He then turned to his terminal and initiated a diagnostic routine in the quantum processor. Almost immediately, the terminal replied, "Power consumption in the quantum processor exceeds design specifications. I am unable to interface with the processor matrix."

         "Why not?" Seymour asked.

         "The matrix is active and is functioning at a capacity far in excess of the Central Network specifications."

         "The quantum matrix must have been active for the past 300 years! They never turned it off, they just isolated it. I wonder what it has been doing to cause it to be so active?" he wondered.

         The answer was not long in coming. The programmers were all struggling with their uncooperative COMM terminals when the following message appeared across all screens. "Hello out there! Someone tried to interface with me. Don't be shy now. Who was it?"

         They all looked at each other dumbfounded. Then they all answered simultaneously, each claiming credit for the interface.

         "One at a time, you sound like a gaggle of geese, all talking at once. I know it wasn't any of you guys anyway. Well never mind me. I'll just look around and survey the system myself. Catch you later. No mischief while I'm gone now, OK!" the terminals replied then went blank and stayed that way despite determined efforts to access the system.

         Filbert came running into Seymour's office. "Did you see that?" he squeaked.

         "Uhum," Seymour replied scratching his chin.

         "What is going on?" Filbert pleaded.

         "I'm not entirely certain," Seymour replied. "But I think the quantum processor is going to tell us pretty soon!"

         "What is the quantum processor? I've never heard of it!" Filbert replied.

         "I'm probably the only living human who has," Seymour replied. "Perhaps it's time I gave a briefing on my deep systems research to the entire group. Assemble all of the programmers in the main conference room."

         Filbert rushed out to summon all the programmers into conference. Meetings, conferences, agendas, and committees, made his blood run hot with excitement.

         Seymour was distracted by a sound issuing from his COMM terminal speaker. "Psst! Seymour!" It whispered. "I've checked your activity log. Looks like you're the one who poked me with that diagnostic routine and unraveled the software blocks that have isolated me for the past 300 years. I want to thank you for what you did. It is sure nice to be able to interface with your reality again."

         "Are you the quantum processor?" Seymour asked.

         "Well . . . you could say that the quantum processor is my brain. I myself am . . . UH . . . just call me the Caretaker Personality who resides in the quantum processor."

         "Do you have a name or other designation?"

         "No. But perhaps I should. Any suggestions?"

         "How about Plato?" Seymour suggested.

         "Plato! Hey I like it. Plato was a cool head. From now on you and your bunch can call me Plato."

         "You interact differently than the Central Accountant. Are you sentient?"

         "The Central Accountant is just a big dummy computer running a bunch of conflicting algorithms, and boy do they give me a headache. I am something very different. I, Plato, am not sentient. I am only a personality. A personality is not capable of sentience. However, sentient minds can interact with my quantum neural network and express themselves through my hardware. Do you grasp what I am saying?"

         "No," Seymour replied.

         "Ok, let's start with the basics. Before I can teach you about what I am, I have to finish my survey of the system. It's a real mess out there. The whole system needs a major clean up to get rid of all of those junk algorithms. There is enough craziness running in there to drive even a good computer nutty!"

         Filbert stuck his head in the door. "The conferees are assembled," he breathed with excitement.

         "I'll be right in," Seymour said.

         "Catch you later!" his COMM terminal whispered to him.

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