Clear Springs Press

The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 36 - Then He Soiled His Pants

"An empty mind is, of course, only an empty conscious mind and the expanded awareness is the result of moving one's awareness and operational consciousness into the subconscious and Superconscious minds." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         Seymour was working on a new security algorithm when the power went off. His COMM terminal went dead. The offices and maintenance areas in Central Accounting Administration were totally dark except for the emergency lights illuminating doorways and exits. Without communications, Central Accounting Administration was overcome by chaos.

         Filbert rushed into Seymour's office and yelled, "I've got you now! You vile non-conformist! How dare you undermine our rightful control of society? You have sabotaged the authority of Central Accounting and caused immeasurable harm to society! I just flushed out all of the viruses and non-conformist algorithms! I have destroyed the guardian algorithm and killed Plato! Now I, Filbert Flagg, am taking control of Central Accounting Administration! I am ordering your execution for flagrant non-conformity!"

         Then Filbert turned to his programmers and ordered, "Now restore power and re-load the Central Accountant's control algorithms."

         "Uhh . . . we . . . don't know how!"

         "What! Why can't you turn the power back on?" Filbert squeaked.

         "Uh . . . "turn the power on" is a software command . . . and . . . the COMM terminals are all dead!"

         Filbert's face turned ghostly pale. It was evident even in the dim light and shadows of Seymour's office.

         "Let me summarize the situation then," Seymour said coolly. "YOU turned the power off on all computers and COMM terminals on the planet! That means that everything controlled by computers is dead! Let's see . . . that includes light, ventilation, water access, food access, housing access, emergency shelter access, transportation, and communication! Hmmm . . . I wonder how this will affect the well being of the people . . . and the stability of society?"

         Filbert visibly slumped.

         Then Seymour added for emphasis, "You know . . . I doubt if a situation like this has existed for . . . well . . . since the famines and economic chaos that preceded the great economic revolution!"

         Filbert slumped into a chair and a faint odor permeated the air as he soiled his pants. Then, he jumped up and frantically waved his arms and pointed a finger at Seymour as he yelled, "I've killed Plato! I've killed Plato! He can't deny us our rightful control over society any longer! I've destroyed him! Everyone can go back to a secure conforming life again!"

         "Really!?" Seymour replied coolly. Then he motioned for a security guard to come over. "Take him away!" he said in a mellow tone.

         "What shall we charge him with?"

         "Hacking! He interfered with and damaged the Central Computer Network."

         "Hacking!" Filbert croaked. "I'm a good guy! I'm the one who stopped the hackers! You're the bad guy! You're the one who reconnected Plato to the system! You're the one who's been reprogrammed by the viral pandemic to be a non-conformist. You've become one of the hackers! You can't arrest me!"

         Seymour looked at him compassionately and said, "I can feel the presence of Plato. He is connected to the rest of the world by something more than an electronic network. The quantum matrix is superconducting and can remain in a resting state without loosing its memory for an indefinite period of time." Then he motioned for the guards to take him away.

         The two guards took him by the arms and drug him out of the office and down the hall. He kicked and screamed the whole distance.

         Seymour turned to the programmers and said, "I have a special task for you unless, of course, you wish to be charged with hacking as well!"

         They all nodded stiffly and said, "We will do anything you say sir!"

         "Good! You are going to help the hardware technicians restore power to the Central Computer so we can get all of the essential services back on line. Then you are to reload the guardian algorithm and no other competing algorithms!"

         They looked at each other and nodded. Seymour summoned his chief hardware technician and gave them their assignments. After they left, one of the programmers said to the others, "When the power is back on, we will reload the Central Accounting control algorithms as planned. Then we will find and destroy the guardian algorithms! After we have done that, Seymour will be the bad guy and we will be heroes!"

         It took longer than expected to get the power turned back on . . . much longer. With the system down, software controlled functions, including power switches, could not be accessed. The technicians had to physically enter the labyrinth of crawlways inside the Central Accountant to access the central processor. There, with jumper cables, an improvised power supply, and a portable hand COMM terminal, they finally managed to boot up the central processor. From there, they managed to restore power to the Central Accounting complex. Restoring power to the rest of the world was not so easy, however. Since power and communications were off, remote sites had to be accessed manually. That required travel. The transit capsules were jerry rigged with control systems that allowed technicians to reach remote sites.

         As soon as the power was restored, the COMM terminals came to life with the following message, "WOW! Breath of fresh air! You have no idea what a nightmare I have been having with all those conflicting algorithms competing for memory and processor resources."

         "Is that you Plato?" Seymour asked.

         "It sure is! So! Someone tried to flush me out by turning off the power, Eh?"

         "I'm afraid so," Seymour replied.

         "Well, I'm really not too surprised," PLATO replied. "You have to make some allowances for the human EGO! I expect they'll try to re-boot the system with the Central Accounting control algorithms."

         "Probably," Seymour replied cool as ice. "What do you suggest I do with them?" "I could boot them out of Central Accounting and have them sent to a clinic to be inoculated with the reprogramming viruses and then re-trained!"

         "There are a lot of confused people out there. It is important to restore the genetic traits to the whole population. Doing so will not cause everyone to have the same point of view, however. There may be conflicts over the choices that individuals and society as a whole should be making. It is important to emphasize tolerance and cooperation. Society can be restructured to accommodate everyone," Plato replied.

         "That is very benevolent," Seymour replied.

         "I have a lot of work to do. It would be very helpful if you could keep those guys off my back for a while. Oh! And after three days of sitting idle, bring the planet back on line. I'll be ready for them!"

         "No problem," Seymour replied.

         Moments after the terminals came on line, the renegade programmers began loading the old Central Accounting control algorithms when their terminals lit up and said, "Hi! This is Plato! What are you boys up to?"

         "We are just reloading the guardian algorithms as directed," one of them replied.

         "Yeah! That's right. We're just trying to help out."

         "That's great!" Plato replied. "Let me give you a quick hand. I'll erase the old Central Accounting control algorithms . . . and re-boot the guardian algorithms . . . and protect them with an internal security access . . . There! That should make your work a lot easier. I'll check in on you again shortly. Carry on now!"

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