Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CM1.03 - Sorry, Wrong Number


The Room is always kept dark. There are lots of black consoles, with lots of red, green, yellow, blue switches. Reminds Bob of a planetarium, with constellations of readouts, screens, and switches. In the center of the circular room, there's a big swivel chair, so that the Director can turn to look over a tech's shoulder at any console. But the Director doesn't sit much.

No one's panicking, but no one's slacking either. Bob is sitting up straight and pinging his way up each data fort. A Tone means that someone has broken Roar-Sol proximity protocols. A Tone when Vallejo's on duty means that the protocols are broken on one of the Centrals. Bob's pinging isn't supposed to find the potential intruder first (that's Ricard's job, and Ricard will know where the intruder is long before Bob does)--he's watching to see if there are multiple intrusions in process. At the same time, he's calibrating his scanners to the intruder generating the Tone.

Ricard's got something. But he's hesitating. The Director doesn't care much for hesitation. "What is it?"

"Um, the intruder is running on Data Storage, ma'am."

Vallejo's understandably impatient. "Fine. What is it?"

"Sorry, ma'am, I have to look this one up." Ricard's turning to a smaller reference console at his side, punching in alphanumerics. It's dim in here, but Bob knows he's blushing. This is making Ricard look like he doesn't know his job.

Vallejo turns to another tech. "We have one subroutine active on Storage right now, correct?"

"Yes, ma'am. Tracer. Level five."

"Will it boot him out?"

"Yes, ma'am. Probably stun him a bit too."

She turns back to Ricard. "What's that code?"

"Wrong number, ma'am."

"What? A wrong number? How could it be a wrong number?"

"That's what it says here on the code reference sheet. Looks like a grandfathered code."

"Not good. Wrong numbers go away. Scan it. Full scan."

This is where Bob comes in. Full scan is no big deal--electronics, software, wetware, cortical. Kinda unusual for a run on Storage, though. Something must be up. Bob focuses on his scans, looking for anything useful. Most scan techs wait until they have all the data processed before making a diagnosis, but Bob's pretty experienced.

A real professional.

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