SIM:Kevin Breeman - kill -9 tractor control

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Main Archive - Sim Timeline

Characters

Kevin Breeman, Cara Maria


Summary

Kevin shuts down the tractor beams that DS-17 was using to pull vessels into the defensive mine field


Sim

((Oudside Engineering - DS-17))

::The code flew past Kevin's eyes. He could hear the sounds of dragons and the buzzing of self-deprecating thoughts.::

::Soon the sensation of something repeating itself emerged deep inside the churning chaos. It ticked on, on, on, on, like a repeating quartz crystal. Thoughts of duty, confidence, clarity, security, and competence anded with the signal, producing a symphony of carefully timed oscillations. The code began to seep inside him, compiled by some unseen force and written into an assembly code he could execute with ease.::

Maria:: Breeman, can you hear me?

::He looked back from the computer to the commander. She seemed extremely calm and Kevin felt as though he'd been woken from a deep sleep. The past few moments, apparently, had never happened. He was on a station. He had to disable ops. Disable as many systems as he could.::

Maria:: We may need to move soon, so be ready. I wanted to ask you to stay calm and get those systems down. The rest of us can cover you, just get those systems down quickly so this battle can finish.

::Kevin nodded and looked back to the console. The screen was black. Had it ever had anything on it? He turned around and found an active terminal. He opened up the LCARS and capped up the process list. In another window he activated a virtual machine and set its interface into promiscuous mode, listening for any network traffic.::

Breeman:: ::Nodding:: I'm on it sir!

::He felt a great amount of levity and energy.::

::He could hear the explosions of gunfire around him, the buzzing of the small flies, even as they landed on him. His virtual computer was beginning to register some interesting patterns in the network traffic. He found a few signal pings from the USS Ronin, some from the Independence. People were trying to hack into the station. Finally he found the port and process ID of Maria's virus. It was propagating itself as tiny threads that bifurcated at random intervals. He found one such thread and sent an interrupt to it.::

::The thread acknowledged and opened a new console on the terminal. He began to write a new program. This program would kill all accessible processes not flagged critical with a shutdown signal.::

Maria:: Response?

Breeman:: I think so. I've got--

::Just then he felt water pouring down on him. Something had activated the sprinkler system. He found it. Process ID 2501. It was an ancient piece of software that looked suspiciously familiar.::

::Kevin typed,::

Breeman:: cat proc.desc.2501

Computer:: hararik_hand - ack 2501. Wet.

::He nodded and typed again,::

Breeman:: grep owner

Computer:: Patricia

::The hacker who had infiltrated the station and eventually been arrested still had software running on DS-17. She must have been extremely good. Kevin opened the virus shell again and entered the process ID 2501. A rotating cube appeared on the screen, small holes opening in it as parts of the program hararick_hand were exposed to Kevin's control by Cmdr Maria's virus. Kevin now had an in-roads into the station. He could utilize the two women's respective works of software engineering and use them to infiltrate key systems.::

::He held his hand over one of the holes on the cube and the cube stopped rotating. Kevin said,::

Breeman:: list inodes by link.

::Dutifully the computer spat out various links to systems to which this part of the virus shell had access.::

Breeman:: Interrupt signal .... ::He nodded to himself trying to think of the best signal code:: nine to inode ops control.

Computer:: Interrupt sent. It is in Hararick's hands now.

Maria:: Response?

Breeman:: Interrupt? It's a signal to a program running inside the computer core. I'm trying to get the computer core to shut down its link with ops so they won't have any more control over the rest of the station.

Anyone:: Response?

Breeman:: I'm not sure.

::He spun the cube around again and said to the computer,::

Breeman:: Super-impose most frequently accessed file links on access points.

::The holes on the cube were now illuminated with file handles. ops_bridge, sanitation, harari. By now Kevin was sopping wet as were the others. In the midst of the downpour, phaser fire and popping explosions echoed throughout the corridor. He thought he caught sight of an officer he recognized. She was charging at a marine 10 meters down from him. In the flashes of gunfire he could see a face that was a wet twisted, grimacing mass of hair and gritting teeth.::

::He turned back to the console and noticed something. tractor_control. He grabbed it with his hand and pulled the spinning cube off the screen so it floated in his hands, supported by micro holoprojectors around the computer terminal. He turned the cube about in his hands and tapped the tractor_control and security_override files.::

Breeman:: Transfer both handles to owner Breeman

Computer:: Done.

Breeman:: terminate all control processes and held resources attached to handle tractor control. De-associate entity secutiry_override from tractor_control.

::The corridor rocked violently as several tractor beams shut down.::

Computer:: Warning. Structural integrity compromise. Structural integrity compromise.

::He could hear the massive girders of the station begin to groan under the rapid shift in artificial gravity as the massive million-tonne bulks of several objects -- most likely vessels -- were released from the grip of the tractor beams.::

Anyone:: Response?

Breeman:: I don't know. I---

::Glowing cube of Patri-Jia Kom's sleeper program still in his hands, Kevin tried to make out whether the station was about to collapse. The groaning was beginning to subside. But he feared the damage might already have been done.::

Maria:: Response?

Breeman:: We've got to get into engineering!

Anyone:: Response?

TAGS TBC

Lt. Kevin Breeman Chief of Science and Computer Hacker USS Ronin


Commentary

Cara Maria's telepathic powers are able to give Breeman clarity so he can shut down the tractor control. I think a few words are in order regarding the nature of the flies in general as they appeared throughout Operation Bright Star and the events leading up to it. The flies as a vehicle of confusion and yet also of purpose are intended to carry both for their readers and for their writers a lot of the frustrations we have with the modern world. To paraphrase Eric S. Rabkin in a lecture of his regarding postmodernity and science fiction, the competition between businesses and advertisers vying for our attention creates for us realities we can no longer trust. Like flies buzzing around our heads, the advertisements and the messages in the modern world are a cacophony of confusion and half-truths. Indeed, one can argue this even of many books published today. For example, consider many self help books.

Another thing I think the flies do well is to express our latent anxieties and self doubts. One can never be certain of anything in our world (aside from death or taxes, of course). As a result, indoctrination by the flies creates for the victim a calm certainty. The victim knows all she need do is serve her Vaudwaar master and that master will provide for her a way out, salvation. At the same time, the flies act as an instigator of self doubt for the Federation forces trying to re-take DS-17.


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