There are no yesterdays in the vileness that is the hasted war for tomorrow.
Ch 1, Security by Obscurity
A cargo ship battered by radiation, small for short transports and filled with patrons given cleansing inoculations several times, descends from dirtily sullen space into an atmosphere of dusty storm covering centuries of long forgotten stones and bones. The oceans, long dry, only remembered by abandoned archives of the also long dead humanoids, both buried deeply for a new population. Being half of purpose archeological, the other of mining tasks, as is much the way of the universes, the secrets wait beneath darks. A woman exits the transport ship and enters a maglev to travel halfway around the acrid planet, carrying child wrapped in the fabrics of her clothing, never talking and rarely monitoring it, merely carrying it across a crapsaccharine world.
Arriving at the mining installation the dust and winds rise, the matron exits the monorail shuttle and holds her child closely. Dusty faded green khakis with many functional pockets, her jacket also green and even more faded by wind and rays, the cuff hems dry and slightly worn, all so much ragged, hidden by a grey sheet turned into shawl, coveted and covering her head. An immense scarf bundles-up her child whose face hides from the winded soil of a tepid, torrid, and dusty globe, which breeze brings dust and smells of latent mineral rust. The buildings in the old and cheaper ways of first settlement metal frames and mortar crusts show signs of antiquation comprising a port city above a camouflaged and guarded federal catacomb hive.
Her face is bone white like straying dusts of desert moons without atmospheres, as she looks and swaddles her child closely into vestment, whilst her hands free to grasp, and there does she approach a small pole podium and computer console. Touchscreen and typing with the skill of three, quickly thru dialogues that swift thru applets, displays, visual panels, and confirmation notices swept aside, as the probability of passwords fall from her fingers, like an instrument the echo of the session quickly becomes root control.
Eponymous schematics and credentials begin optimizing and arranging displaying, local system operator files and operating system local files, while an algorithm script searches for a face on record similar. As one manual user script finds a match, other scripts begin, the mathematical commands advanced and brief begin automating superscript, three applets open and regular and equidistant ciphering speeds stop simultaneously, more importantly the access by her new impersonated credentials has found safely the scan of lesser catacomb maps exploratory download, and inventory manifests, to halt the terminal’s programmed scanning. An item’s discovery, a word, ‘Technosity’, text magnified, as the other applets close and the scripts hide themselves, the inventory window and the map location window, next to her facsimile-accosted identity, all windows close and the word “Granted” displays over the federal logo.
Subterranean network administrators with black lights and luminescent yellow visors watch technicians with blue visors and black screens use interactive wavelength projections to manipulate bandwidth across the campus of the entire mining settlement. The supervisors watching different terminals with financials and profit sharing information, as a small red light on a flat table screen begins to draw attention.
Says an underling, “Sir, someone has cut synchronization with terminal 1138.” With a brief pause followed by a lowering of chair the administrator replies, “Run a diagnostic,” and waves his hand to direct more technicians to focus on the alert. The techs interface and make the dot holographic as below the blinking red beacon command-line screens open and face each coder in diligent threat assessment. She notices her imminent detection, closing all processes save one, the dormant worm ready for launch, initiated as she leaves. They access visual surveillance with her gone before the dust weakens.
On the surface of the dusty world, the woman with child quickly walks without swagger to a humanoid point of entry and waits in line, the scanners check for buildups of energy common to weapons munitions, and passersby, one by one, become passerby as does eventually she. Without setback, playing the respected role of mother her child’s hand in hers to evince sympathy in the inclement climes, as she enters the tunnel she joins the admixture of worker and traveler. The rustic faces of several mines mingle with the archeologists and the hospitality workers in a substrate city of traders’ posts and venues second to that of surface remnants. She determinately heads to the medical zone and into the hospital thru the doors marked ‘Caution – Quarantine Door’ in the local language across the panes of both doors.
Once inside, the mother immediately begins acting with authority as she accesses a restricted terminal industriously. When someone asks who she is, she places her hand on the bio thermic identification panel and her confiscated lookalike identity displays. Already having granted herself access with the protocol stack by the digital worm she released, she accesses the cold-storage inventory system.
A seemingly harmless woman lab worker begins asking questions, “Well, can we help you with anything? I would really like to help someone from High Command…so far a trip, what is it like in the big Federal transports?” as the mother continues accessing and unlocking files and duly altering the quantity count of her acquisition list’s items. Each to lesser amounts, macro shell scripts stored from the outside terminal begin to execute control, opens insecurely falsified access, a mechanical system begins delivering her quarry, and the woman taps the input keypad to open the glass doors to the pharmaceuticals she desires.
The pharm tech girl confronts the mother, a young woman of her appearance seems to be her age, whom she walks passed her confronter to the cabinets and begins taking the things she wants. Putting what she needs into her bags, her confronter tries to stop the mother, and the mother grabs her throat. With her second hand uses a medical jet-injector to administer a demonstrably efficient sedative to continue her work still stowing goods and moving to another inventory shuttle cabinet. A second technician this time male, seeming of his appearance the same age as she, tries to stop her, pulling both of her arms back, determined and certain to lock her arm from the serum injector before she can grab it and use it on him.
Quick, still without words he wraps his arm around her to secure her postured shoulders, but she simply turns to her side and kisses him, peckishly, sharing a breath, and as if it were his final he becomes sick and rejects her completely, coughing, stammering, shaking, and of courage breaking, trying to desperately to make touchscreen contact. Straggling countertop, he strives to scream to the still-open door of the pharmacy without success, finally collapsing heavily on himself. The mother grabs a jet-injector and adds one of the items she is stealing and injects the child with what looks like mercury.
Meanwhile, back in the network activity center, “Sir, we have a security breech at the corridor medical bay, physical data systems,” said a technician, to which the administrator replies, “Send patrol to that terminal, and call a swat team to meet me at checkpoint four!”