Returning_from_the_Haze_and_Static.doc

Returning_from_the_Haze_and_Static.doc

 

… runtime log …

… end of analyzed information …  saving Caedechron_Activity_Log.txt in hard drive 0 …  backup in progress … analyzing 3d footage … purging reviewed data … sorting relevant information … collating notations … presenting in aesthetic form … creating document Caedechron_Recovery_Log.txt …

 

Caedechron Recovery Log:

 

Unit initiates tests on Thanatos remnants.

Data collected on Thanatos remnants, extensive testing:  Inert. Individually flawed nanites. Unknown design

Most Likely Origin: Advanced Human.  Less Likely Origin: Alien. Timeframe for full reproduction of nanites by Unit alone: Decades.

Unit decides to postpone development.

Unit converses with childhood friend Lunet.

Unit discusses security protocol changes for organization CSPD

Unit embraces friend Lunet.

Unit returns to electronics lab

 

… ALERT! …  cyber attack in progress …

… worm file neutralized …

… reboot required …

.

..

… reboot complete … running disk defragmentation … self-check complete … errors detected in sensors and memory . . . initiating concurrent malware suite …


Returning from the Haze and Static

 

TL;DR at the bottom, as per usual, so enjoy!!!

 

Hello, everyone.   If you haven’t noticed, I’m becoming more robotic as the days progress.  And it terrifies me. The only times I’ve been able to keep a handle on my humanity have been during the times of elevated emotion. The rest of the time is spent feeling nothing but the electrical impulses my body sends to the processors, and if you tell me that bodies are just organic robots, I’ll punch you in the face.  I may have said the same before, but the hours, minutes, seconds and nanoseconds wear on me, and their erosion has started to lay bare the truth of humankind’s mental frailty.

People start to change their idea of reality if exposed to prolonged altered mental states, and that has started to happen to me.  I’m forgetting what the sensation of touch is. Take a second to really contemplate that. Unless you spend most of your time in a sensory deprivation chamber, you have always had something noticeably touching you.  Clothing, chairs, beds, flooring, grass, dirt, air, sweat, wind… It all has an almost forgettable sensation, a feeling that is so commonplace that you barely notice it unless you’re taking stock or trying to immortalize a moment.  But even if you didn’t notice it, it was still there. Even if you can’t feel it right now, you could imagine the feel of a shag carpet, or maybe sand? Dirt? Even the pain of stepping on a lego? I’m starting to forget what that sensory input feels like.  All of our different sensations ground us to reality, outside of just touch. Sights, smells, tastes, sounds. I have lost my connection to them because of this body and it has started to erode my connection to mortals. To humanity. I am afraid of who and what I’ll be in a month.

Anywho, moving on.

Today is Thursday.  I started the day with my friend, Lunet Braga.  We had a very good talk about the good-old days, again.  Having gotten through the superficial things like, ‘remember that bum that screamed Ave Maria in the park naked?’ last time, we got to the deep stuff this time.  We talked about my mom, her adopted mom, and my dad.  

She asked me about what happened around Urien Daniel’s death.  I could tell she was wrestling with turning me in, so I asked her what she wanted me to do to make up for it.  And now I’m her goon, but she’s a lot better looking than the person in prison I’d be… working for.

Something strange started happening, though.  When we started talking about our plans to update the cyber security of the precinct, I started to pick up a strange signal emanating from Lunet.  We finished our conversation, and hugged. Suddenly, my Radio Transceiver blared static, and my different sensors and components started to spasm and bug out.  I bid Lunet adieu, and returned to the Electronics lab.

I no sooner sat down than my systems started to powercycle.  A warning message came to me from my suit’s firmware, and I prepared for something that terrified me more than losing a few memories.  My suit needed to shut completely down, so it could purge a nasty bit of malware. I thought that my Transferred Intelligence chassis should keep my mind safe, but I wasn’t sure.  The hardware wasn’t developed to operate indefinitely like this.

The body shut down, and for a subjective eternity I sat in darkness.  One by one, key systems started to turn back on, and my panic subsided.  

With the threat of death past, I tackled the next urgent question: What piece of Malware was so bad my body shut itself down?  Was this the work of the enemy Savior called Metronome? Or was it Timepiece? Cogsworth? Anywho, was it him coming back from the grave? Or was it someone new?  Maybe just a two-bit hacker that stumbled into the wrong backdoor with a pirated code?

I pulled up the Anti-Malware log, noting that the security slider was set to “Concurrent Internal Scans.”  Well, at least it wasn’t quite to the “McAfee on its monthly flow” notch yet. I looked at the recents, and there was a file listed under Worms.  “Failsafe_Protocol_5ef3abb32ac.exe.wrm”

If my hydraulics ran hot, they’d be icing over.  As it was, it took me a few seconds to screw up the courage to open the instanced .rtf file of the code.  Ok, RTF? Really? Where did this guy come from? I knew it had to be someone other than Thanatos, since he didn’t deal with Rich Text.  

For several minutes, I combed through the code, trying to find the origin or purpose of the file, but it seemed the file scrambled its code when attacked by the AM program.  I pulled in a few decoder apps I had stashed in an FTP of mine, and set them running. Shortly after I set those off, my cell phone started to ring.

“Hey, Looney.  Long time!” I said into the receiver after glancing at the caller ID.

“Yeah…  Um. Could you come give me a jumpstart?  My bike died a few blocks away from the Center.”

“Yeah, I’ll be right there.”  I left through the Hangar Door, and went to Lunet’s pin on the CSMaps app – we decided to share our location on it until I could write a more secure program for Savior and CSPD/Med/Fire.

Within a few minutes of arriving, I could tell it wasn’t just the energy cells that had run dry.  Her Hoverbuggy had the same worm I had.

“Hey, Lunet… What electronics did you bring in with you when we talked?”

“Uh… Well I had my phone…”

“What else?  Something that can send and receive signals?”

“Yeah.  I had this.”  Lunet pulled a wireless mic from her hoodie pocket.

“Oh.  You bugged the conversation?  Where I confessed?”

“Yeah, well… I didn’t know if you would… how you would react.  I didn’t know if I needed to help you see that what you did was wrong.  I was ready to turn you in if I needed to. The confession wouldn’t hold up in court, because of the audio recording parts of CS Law Code, but it would have been enough with my testimony to at least bring you in.  You know I have your best interest at heart, right bud?”

“Yeah, but it may be for nothing, now.  We had a Worm set loose in my body and your ‘buggy.  I was able to stop it mainly because I’m not a CSPD system, I think.  Your ‘buggy is toast. What is usually your first step in these kinds of situations?”

“Normally I’m supposed to call it in so dispatch can get it towed to the precinct, and then it’d be worked over by maintenance.  Though I think that Cyber has a guy that works with maintenance, to check out the computers.”

“Ok, let’s do everything by the book, as soon as I get a copy of the malware to study.”  I took out my universal connector I’d jury-rigged together a few days ago, and hooked myself up to the computer.  I made sure to have my AM ready to Quarantine the rest of my systems from the hookup, so the worm would find its way to one of my drives.  From there I could have the connection to the drive physically severed, and take it back to the lab to work on.

“I’ve got it,” I said after a few seconds. “Call it in.” I went back to the headquarters after asking Lunet to poke around a bit at the precinct.  I was pretty sure the originator of the program was either attacking CSPD specifically or safeguarding something within the CSPD’s computer systems.

The quarantine wasn’t perfect, and because of the delay most of my systems were glitching out most of the day due to the constant attacks and cleansing by the Worm and AM software respectively.

I asked Lunet to keep an eye on who was interested in the car, and that I’d follow up with her later in the day.  I returned to the electronics lab, and most of SAVIOR thought I was still tinkering around with Thanatos’ remnants.  All for the good – I’m not sure how many of them would freak out if I told them I had a live Worm program in the base.  The spaniard from the Tecate® commercials showed up without his talking horse and talked to the rest of the group for quite a while, but I was barely able to focus on anything else – this program was insidious and invasive, and I wanted the hacker dealt with.  I think they were invited into Savior, but I’m not sure.  Everything I said had a back-ground electronic static, and  I think my audio sensors were also on the fritz, so any communicating that might have happened was hindered.  The only thing I remembered clearly was the address to a gathering of a Church of Reflections mixer that they were heading to.  Yes, they were going to a mixer for the CoR…

Anywho, I didn’t get the information I needed from the virus, it was too generic to pinpoint any Black- or White-hat hacker I was familiar with.  I called Lunet up, and she said the cyber crimes department seemed to be very interested in the buggy, especially a relatively low-ranked officer, Frank O’Toole.  I thought to myself that the name was fitting.  I told her I’d meet her at the precinct.  I gave her the information I had, with the .wrm quarantined file, and the deconstruction of the virus, and she brought me back to meet with the head of Cybercrimes, Steve Shaw.  After letting him in on her IA umbrella of lies … I mean cover story… we presented the evidence and our arguments for the suspect.

As soon as we said “o’Toole is our primary suspect,” Shaw’s monitor screens went black, followed shortly after by all of the power on the floor we were on, accompanied by the usual yells and questioning calls about the lights.  I looked at Lunet’s face using my night-vision, and saw that she came to the same conclusion I had.  Her hand went for her flashlight, but I was already on the move. “Which one is o’Toole’s desk?” I asked.

“He’s got the giant Spawn poster where a door should be.” Came the response from Shaw.

I ran – unable to use my hoverjets in the cramped office space – down the aisle of full-height cubicles until I got to the one I was looking for – but the poster was almost ripped in half.  It seems he had a head start.  I stopped to try to catch a sound for which way to go, but there was too much commotion around me, and I couldn’t tell which gait was his.  I went back to Shaw’s office, and told asked him to call down to the motor pool and front desk to keep an eye out for him.

“Hey, bot-face, do I go and tell you how to process algebra problems?  No.  Get out of here, we’ll handle it.”

Only taken slightly aback by his tone, I left them to it.  It was within the detectives’ realm of expertise, now.

“Well, I guess I’ll crash that party Savior was going to.”  I set my AM software to completely eradicate the worm file, since we had o’Toole’s number, and made my way – clear-headed for the first time that day – to the CoR Party.  I got to the convention center, and no sooner had I opened the front door than the entire building erupted in panicked screams.  I rushed to what I thought was the ballroom, and luckily I guessed right.

The scene before me was what you would expect with a few exceptions.  Dozens of people were rushing toward the doors I had just opened, a couple of lights were on the fritz, people on the stage were staring horrorstruck or dashing off the side.  What you wouldn’t expect was the most messed up thing I’d ever seen… and that’s including seeing a bullet explode my own eyeball.  What appeared to be a leather flesh-colored comforter was engulfing a dude in a cape.  The only thing that made me realize it was a mutant human was the jockey’s hat on the stretched head.  If I had a stomach, it would have emptied itself, but as such I only suffered a moment’s stutter-step mentally.  I pulled four of my guns and my utility arms from their compartments, flew to the ceiling for a better shot, and aimed at one of the people attacking what I thought was the Stretchy Spaniard.  Just as I pulled the trigger, an amorphous leg shoved her out of the way, and the cape-clad man burst into flames.

“CAI!  JOHN IS CHASING STELLA! STOP THEM!” Black Panther yelled at me.  Granted, the entire room was milling around and rushing the exit below me, but I didn’t see anyone I knew that had those names.  Nonetheless, I dropped down to the floor and stowed the weapons.

“HUH?!?” I yelled, not sure who I was supposed to be stopping.

“JOHN IS CHASING STELLA OUT OF THE ROOM! STOP THEM!” He yelled again, as if the four of us were childhood friends, and I should understand the eternal significance of the sentence.

Gryphon had been following the flow of the crowd, but stopped at the doors with a glazed look on his face.  When his eyes gained focus again, I yelled at him, “WHO THE @#!^ING @#($ &@#!BALLS ARE JOHN AND SHERYL? STERYL? STELLA? WHOEVER?”

I guess all of the bugs hadn’t quite been fixed in my sensors, but now wasn’t the time to run a diagnostic.  Damn you, hackers, and damn you Skype on Android!

TL;DR
I got a CyberSTD, took some Anti-Cybernetics, set a dangerous ex-cybercop loose on Century Station, and got confused at a murderball hosted by the Church of Reflections.


4 Replies to “Returning_from_the_Haze_and_Static.doc”

  1. “WHO THE @#!^ING @#($ &@#!BALLS ARE JOHN AND SHERYL? STERYL? STELLA? WHOEVER?”
    The world may never know…. great log, great job in switching back and forth…

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