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The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 45 - You Forgot Something

"We are trained to think in terms of "good" and "bad" with us, our tribe, family or group, our self-interests and our opinions being "good," and all others being "bad." The mere concept of good and evil is a paradigm of thinking which implies a separation between an individual and all other individuals and between the individual and God or an Infinite Source." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         Annie entered Seymour's office and said, "You've forgotten something!"

         "What?" Seymour asked.

         "Do you remember the day we met? I told you to search deep into the Central Accountant's subroutines that track the exchange of goods and services, the ones that no one has ever examined and questioned. I told you that you would find some anomalies there," Annie replied.

         "But I am no longer looking for anomalies," Seymour responded.

         "You should be," Annie said.

         "Explain," Seymour demanded.

         "Let's just say that your life may depend on it. Run your audits, then we'll talk," she replied.

         Seymour regarded Annie with curiosity for a moment recalling how she came to be there, and how she had helped him when he needed it. "OK! Let's see what we find."

         Seymour called in a team of assistants and directed, "I want a full audit and accounting of the output of all factories, mines, raw material extraction facilities, agricultural production, 3D printer cartridges and energy production. I want to know the final destination, the end user and the means by which it was transported. Then, verify that the destinations and end users of record are correct and that all shipments were actually received."

         "But, why? There has never been any indication of irregularities or anomalies," the assistant replied.

         "When was the last time an audit was performed?" Seymour asked.

         "I'll have to get back with you on that," the assistant replied and left.

         Several hours later, the assistant returned and reported, "All audits show no anomalies."

         "Did you check the destination codes on all of the shipments?" Seymour asked.

         "The Central Accountant didn't indicate any irregularities," the assistant replied.

         "Did you actually check the destinations yourself?" Seymour asked.

         "No. Of course not," the assistant replied. "The Central Accountant would have reported any anomalies or irregularities."

         "Check them yourself! Compile a database of all destinations and audit each destination to confirm the arrival of the shipments!" Seymour ordered.

         "That will take some time," the assistant replied.

         "Call in as much help as you need and get it done quickly, Omega level priority!" Seymour ordered.

         The assistant's eyes widened, and he acknowledged his orders and left.

         Days later, the wary assistant came into Seymour's office and reported, "We have confirmed delivery at all destinations except one."

         "What is that destination?" Seymour asked.

         "It's just a code. It isn't associated with any physical destination," the assistant replied. "I took the initiative of checking the Central Accountant's core auditing code and discovered that the Central Accountant had been programmed to accept the code and conduct no auditing checks of it."

         "Must be hackers!" Seymour replied. "When were those lines of code added to the core program?"

         "Over three centuries ago," the assistant replied.

         "Three centuries!" Seymour screamed. "That is around the time that the Central Accounting core program was first established. That doesn't match the profile of our current hacker situation. What was shipped to this coded destination?"

         "There were multiple shipments. All compiled, they represent from ten to thirty percent of the raw materials, industrial production and agricultural production of our entire society, depending on the accounting interval selected" the assistant replied.

         "Ten to thirty percent!" Seymour screamed again. "That is a lot of traffic. How is it possible that no one noticed?

         "People only look for what the Central Accountant tells them to look for," the assistant replied.

         "Find out where that destination code leads to!" Seymour ordered.

         The assistant nodded and left.

         Seymour turned to his terminal and contacted Plato. "Do you have any information on our mystery shipping destination?" he asked.

         "Look, you gotta understand," Plato replied. "There are millions of subroutines running out there. The network is a really big place and the programming is a mess! And, quite frankly, trying to sort it out is boring as hell!"

         "This is important," Seymour replied. "Can you look into it and tell me what you can find? Oh, and find Dora Agnesi and connect me with her."

         "Done and done," Plato replied and the terminal went blank.

         Minutes later, Dora was on the screen.

         "Where are you?" Seymour asked.

         "I am on the Denver campus with Leon Pulaski," Dora replied.

         "Do you know anything about the material shipments that have been directed to an unknown destination for over three centuries without our knowledge?" he asked.

         "There have been rumors over time of a renegade faction of unknown nature," she replied. "Wait ... Leon says he knows something."

         "Looks like it is time I met Leon Pulaski!" Seymour replied. "Bring him to Central Accounting Administration as soon as you can!"

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