Civil Obedience


dcrypt_icon.gif colin_icon.gif

Scene Title Civil Obedience
Synopsis After her encounter with the security countermeasures on the AETOS-0, Alia Chavez finds herself in the hands of the machine's programmer.
Date December 24, 2010


login [-p] v.iris -f_


<12.22.10;07:09:23> @steel.hector
<12.23.10;18:09:30> @steel.hector
<12.23.10;23:47:11> @v.iris

Intranet disconnected, hub isolated.

Remote network connected.

System messages suppressed.

Reclining back into his chair, hands moving away from his keyboard, the dim glow of a multi-monitor system casts the dark circles beneath the eyes of a computer technician in stark contrast to his pallid complexion. Dark hair is disheveled, green eyes focused on the black-on-white display of what was once a standard UNIX login screen, some variations in design and appearance tailored to his own particularities.

A laminated plastic nametag is clipped onto the front of his button down shirt, and in the picture on his red and gold colored ID card he looks clean shaven, neater hair, smiling. But Colin Verse — as his card identifies him as — isn't smiling much these days. Slouching back into his highbacked leather chair, the dark of his office makes him seem isolated by his computer screens, one hand rubbing at the stubble around his mouth. Fingers drum on the arm of his chair, and green eyes turn to a spaghetti mess of cabling spooling out from behind his terminal, snaking across the desk around a stacked mess of Mountain Dew cans, and to a disconnected hard disk system bolted inside of a bulky armored shell.

Breathing in deeply, Colin leans forward and types on his keyboard. Baby steps, first, let's see who's home.

@V.IRIS: So a funny thing happened to me on the way to the office.

That one, snarkily addressed message sent into the core hub of the AETOS-0 prototype, now connected to an isolated 'sandbox' network. For Alia, it's the first contact she has had with anyone in a very long time, and it seems like now that the door to her prison is open, no one is just coming right on in.

@V.IRIS: I bet your story trumps mine.

The technopath remains quiet a moment or two, then, Alia pokes…the system flickers as several commands are run in sequence… The command set verifying that one of the X11 graphical environments is installed, perfering KDE it seems to GNOME, and launches the first one it finds, if any, followed by a launching of graphical software, and the drawing of a :| face, upright. Underneath it, a simple note is typed.

@:| Last Government Commission I take.

All this is done, not by her moving into the 'sandbox', but by secure-shelling into the machine… as the same user that is logged on.

@V.IRIS: Cute trick, honestly I'm amazed this didn't kill you. It's all pretty fascinating. I'd ask you to show me your identification, but I think that's a little awkward at this stage. This was sort of a theoretical trap, you could call the designer a pioneer? That sounds fashionable.

Colin reclines back into his chair, fingers drumming on the keyboard, all this mundane access affords him a certain amount of detachment from the situation. Scrubbing at his beard again, he reaches out and takes one of the soda cans nearby, shakes it around to feel if there's anything in it, then disappointedly sets it down right back where he got it from.

@V.IRIS: I take it you didn't see the 'do not tamper with' warning on the underside of the classified military drone you were poking around with, yes?

The picture erases itself, followed by… a blurry drawing, not TOTALLY recongizable, but it's very much the Frontline garage at the Textile Factory. Liz is in sharp focus in the picture. Two other humanoid figures are shown. "Hired to check programming." The text writes itself out. Under that it adds "Alive is matter of opinion." A few more options flicker on screen briefly before a further note is added. 'nice setup.'

Even in this situation, the nerdette has, it seems, the presense of mind to be impressed.

@V.IRIS: Pictionary time is not now. Short and sweet of it, is that you were tampering with a classified piece of government hardware. Now, I don't rightly know if you're in any trouble, or how much. This piece of tech was loaned out to FRONTLINE, which if our game of speak and spell is any indication, you're… working with?

Leaning forward, Colin eyes the cans to his left instead, fumbling around with one hand through the, trying to feel for one that isn't just dregs in the bottom and knocking one can copletely off the desk and onto the floor with a clatter. "Motherfucker," he curses before looking back up to the screen and squinting.

@V.IRIS: If you can tell me what it is you were doing, I should be able to run it up the chain and see about undoing this. I've got a report here from Major Kershner citing that an Elisabeth Harrison privately contracted you out to examine the AETOS-0, is that true?

The speakers engage suddenly, and a sigh is heard. "Yes. Sorry. Words, and I… not exactly the greatest." The words are digitized… but recongizable to anyone who happens to watch the Advocate frequently. Or caught the episode D.Crypt was part of.

The speakers engage suddenly, and a sigh is heard. "Yes. Sorry. Words, and I… not exactly the greatest." The words are digitized… but recongizable to anyone who happens to watch the Advocate frequently. Or caught the episode D.Crypt was part of.

Rolling his eyes and huffing out an exasperated sigh, Colin pushes his chair back and crouches down onto the floor, reaching around for that can he knocked over, then eases back out from beneath the desk with a dripping wet can held between two fingers, searching for a paper towel or a napkin or something. Ultimately, he just shrugs in frostration and whips the can at a recycling bin, then wipes his hands down on his though.

Settling back down into his chair, Colin slides forward and pulls out one drawer in the desk, then another, then another before finding his microphone. It's pulled up in a tangle of USB cable, plugged into the computer and then set down on the desktop, angled appropriately and then turned on. "Hey no, whatever works for you, right? Honestly that you can even talk is pretty fantastic, really. Ah, yeah so…" He leafs thorugh the printed document.

"I guess your body was moved to the Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island, you're stable but— ah— vegetative?" One of Colin's brows arch slowly at that. "I guess sort of understandable, given that you are, uh, here." He taps one monitor with two fingers demonstratively. "So, you were privately contracted? Or were you hired by Elisabeth as a formal FRONTLINE thing?"

There is a pause, as if time to process the words. "FRONTLINE contract, with Redbird Securities. Here. South Staten Island?" The words are clipped, but exact. No wasted words, no extra clarifying words or adjectives. Then again, poking around the 'empty' hard-drive would likely find several jpegs of a irritated looking chibi figure ranting at the world.

"Yyyyou're somewhere safe," Colin declines to confirm Alia's suspicions on her location. "So, your name is Alia Chavez, registered… nnnon-evolved? Registry serial number 09070400350231." Now that last detail, Colin is reading straight from his paperwork, that's just too long of a number to memorize. "Probably not the best idea, ah, you know… fucking the system like that? I mean, kudos for going undetected as long as you did, but, wow that is seriously— I'll try giving your lawyer another call, because the DoEA is going to be really cross with you."

Colin grimaces, scratching at the back of his neck. "So, ah, all that Registration stuff aside. What my job is…" And Colin reclines in his chair as he begins that train of thought, "is mostly to get you back to your body, once someone tells me that you're allowed to go back there."

Colin rubs at his mouth with one hand, brows furrowed. "This system here is a sandbox of mine, it's linked up to a few other terminals, all personal stuff. I thought I'd give you some room to, ah, stretch your legs? There's six systems on the hub, nothing you can get in trouble for nosing around on. There's no external network connections so — in theory — you're in our little gated community here. Cell would be kind of an unflattering term for things. I'll make sure to let Harrison know you're okay, ah, for now I guess?"

Way to be optimistic.

"So, just to be sure you understand your situation… you're going to be here until the military tells me otherwise. Now, I mean, I don't think that'll be long, but just— you know. I don't really know if you were in the wrong, ain't really my job to say otherwise either. Someone will probably be along to talk to you, but— between you and me— not the best time to do what you did. Even if they let you out of here, it— ah— you're probably in a world of trouble."

Then, as an afterthought, he thinks to add, "Name's Colin, by-the-by."

There is a sigh from the system. "Department. Great." She would shake her head if she could. At being told it is OKAY, the networking stack flips itself back on in a background window. "Alia. Or D.Crypt. As for… me back to me…" She frowns. "Laptop used as proxy but… if can get close enough to body…maybe." The speakers cut out to avoid another sigh. "… Expresive Language Disorder. And yes. Lawyer is rather hard to find today." She's not letting on the only lawyer she'd trust is rather well being paranoid as hell and likely with good reason. She lets another sigh out of the speakers. "Call me 'Digital Gandi'?" Is that a joke from her?

Alia sighs again. "Nice to meet you. Sort of. Maybe better later." She would blink if she could. "Not angry at Registry?" She seems a bit … amused by this, and perhaps, senses at least a little common ground. "Also… lucky. If I was new manifest, I would be dead."

"Angry at the Registry? Hell no, I was plucked off of the Registry for being one of the only registered Technopaths and offered this job. I get paid enough money to make God blush. Sure, they want to know what I'm doing, and I can't go on some big digital bank heist but who the hell cares, right? I get to work a dream job, privacy's an outmoded thing anyway… I don't have anything to hide from the government, and they gave me and my brother a good cut on life…"

Colin looks down to his lap at that, expression distant for a moment before he shakes his head. "The Registry never did anything bad to anyone. Maybe people abuse it? Sure, but people abuse the internet too, abuse guns, abuse medicinal drugs. People are gonna' be assholes no matter what's around. But if I had to choose living under a microscope in exchange for feeling safer? I'm cool with that."

Alia is silent a few long moments. "History student. Couldn't look at it, and not see past." She doesn't elaborate, as she checks the system clock. "… Brother? You should go. Christmas Eve, if you celebrate." There's a sad tone to the digital voice.

Colin leans back in his chair, hands folded behind his head. "I am celebrating," he admits, "I'm at work and not wearing any pants." He is most definitely wearing pants. "History's great and all, but really… I'm more about seeing what the future holds, you know? That Robot you messed with? She's partly my baby, I designed all her programming and what makes it think. I can't say I designed this little fox-trap you got caught in, though."

Grimacing, Colin scratches at his beard. "Well, maybe you're right about the holidays thing. At the very least I need to go call my folks. Oh, wait a minute, hold on I got something for ya." Colin cracks a smile, then hunches back over his computer.

    /' \
   /. '.\

@V.IRIS: Merry Christmas.

There is a small chuckle. "Merry Yule, three days late." Wait. Yule? Alia doesn't opt to explain but seems to settle in. A bored Technopath, who at the moment has no physical need for sleep, food, or caffinee. One can bet she's finding some programming tools. Another line of text pops up

@D.Crypt: Oh. Foxtrap not very good. Only bait is 'lack' of activity at center. Could have taken whole thing for ride without it.

"Maybe," Colin opines with a waggle of his brows as he rises up from his desk, "let's just say you got off easy, and got the carrot instead of the stick." Turning off the microphone, Colin offers a look to the computer, then wrinkles his nose, typing on the keyboard a farewell. It might be a good long time before Alia sees him again — or anyone — but hopefully this one locked system won't become her labyrinth, and she its minotaur.

@V.IRIS: Sleep tight.

This is going to be the worst Christmas ever for Alia Chavez.

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