Friday, July 18, 2014

Rogue Intelligence - Part 1

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here. This is the Caldari Prime Pony Club that lets you paint all the hulls in Eve. Thats how I did some of the "art" (with a silent f) for this piece.

Rogue Intelligence - Part 1

The man tapped away at the keyboard quietly. The dim light of the screen illuminated his face in the gloom of the darkened room. He was almost there, three more firewalls to deactivate and he'd be rich. He leant back in the chair as the program slowly decrypted the next firewall which would allow him to delete it. He looked at the tiny chip mounted in a custom built interface which was in turn wired into his small computer. He couldn't believe he was going to be a millionaire soon. Two months ago he was a simple programmer earning minimum wage processing security code for the Professor. CreoDron was like any other heartless corporation, more interested in profit than their staff. Yes the Gallente professed to be nothing like the Caldari but in big business it was all the same. The company was going to get rich off his back and he'd get nothing but a pat on the back. Two months ago he'd have accepted that. Then he'd met her. He glanced behind him to the hotel bed, she was laying on top of the sheets asleep. He smiled at her, drinking in her semi naked body. A quiet beep brought his attention back to the computer, the next firewall was down. He reset the program for the penultimate firewall and ran it again.

At only 24 they had said he had a bright future ahead of him. A total geek, he'd graduated top of his class in applied software engineering. He had specialised in advanced security algorithms and had his pick of the mega-corps to chose from when he graduated. CreoDron had made the best offer. He'd soon proven his worth and been moved into the advanced AI program. Drones were seen as the future of warfare and CreoDron were making sure they were the leaders in the field. Officially the research they were undertaken broke the Dodixie Convention on Artificial Intelligence. The creation of the rogue drones that now inhabited deep space that have become known as the Drone Regions, had led to a cross-Empire agreement not to advance AI to a level where a kill decision was undertaken by an algorithm. There always had to be a human in the chain to make the decision to end a life. Whilst the new AI programs still technically had that, there was potential for the AI to decide on the right course of action and over-rule the human command if it considered it for the greater good. In the simulations they were confident that the AI made the right decision each time. They were very close to a proper "launch and forget" combat drones that would help capsuleer concentrate on more important matters. A true "thinking" drone was the first step, the potential for further use was unlimited. Trials on automated frigates and cruisers had begun.

The girl on the bed shifted position slightly. He glanced back at her, she was still asleep.

They'd met at an underground hacking party. She'd looked out of place amongst the other Gallente tech-heads. She was Caldari and dressed differently. She was more mainstream than the others. They'd hit it off together big time. Within a week they were lovers. It was during their pillow talk he'd complained about his pay given they were on the edge of a ground-breaking drone technology. She'd come up with a plan, a plan to make them rich so they could run away together and live happily ever after. It had been easy to steal the prototype chip. He'd simply swapped the real one with an earlier version. He then claimed he was running a security diagnostic and people would have to leave it two hours. Then he simply walked out the front gates saying he was going to lunch with the real prototype in his pocket. They had hired a shuttle by hacking into the hire companies computers and inserting a false pre-paid booking. They then had reprogrammed the transponder, swapping it with a passing industrial. They had arrived at this station using false papers and booked into a five-star hotel again by hacking into the systems and inserting a fake booking. They had been there three days.

It was the most dangerous part of the plan. They were wanted fugitives now. The CreoDron security services were after them as were all Federal Agencies. Their formidable hacking skills had helped them hide in this hotel, for now. All he needed was to remove the security from the prototype chip and they could sell it on. She had contacts who would pay top credit for the chip but only after the security had been removed. As he had been part of the team that devised the security, it wasn't a big problem, just time consuming. Several hundred firewalls and security routines needed to be removed in a specific order. A beep signified the next firewall had been disabled. He queued up the program for the final one. Less than a minute late he leant back in his chair and smiled.

"All done?" a female voice purred into his ear.

He jumped slightly having not heard her rise. A pair of soft lips kissed his neck.

"Yes, all firewalls are down and the program is deleting all the security subroutines. The chip will be security free in 30 seconds."

A black silk stocking brushed his face making him giggle.

"Hey you know I prefer you to leave them on." he joked. "Put it back on and we'll celebrate!"

A slender female hand grabbed the other end of the black silk. Suddenly she pulled the stocking tight across his neck and yanked hard. He struggled as the silk bit deep into his neck and cut off his air supply. He tried to shout but all that came out was a rasp. He flailed his arms but couldn't reach her. As spots started to appear in his vision and his lungs burnt like fire he realised, may be he had been set up. 20 seconds later he was dead.

The woman grabbed a hotel robe and threw it on before pushing the body out of the chair. It landed on the floor with a thud. She looked at the computer and confirmed that all the security had indeed been removed.

She opened up a secure communication line on the computer and tapped in a message.

"Chip secure. Security deactivated. Awaiting instructions."

She sat back and waited for the response. It took less than a minute.

"Hanger 34B. Berth 12. Go now."

The woman stood and dressed quickly. She removed the chip from the interface and placed it carefully in a box. She removed a small ball from her bag and placed it on the table. She looked around to make sure everything was in order and left the room. Two minutes later the small fusion grenade detonated, vaporising the computer, desk and body in an instant.


"Sir, we have confirmation. The package is en route. ETA six hours."

The Captain nodded as he stared out of the immense viewscreen. The stars were distorted by the cloaking device that hid the vast super-carrier. He looked around the bridge with its curved lines and green tint. It had been one of the Guristas most daring raids ever. A Federation Nyx class supercarrier stolen from a Navy shipyard. It had been Korako Kosakami aka The Rabbit, who had jumped the Nyx, only a capsuleer could manage to fly the vast ship with such a skeleton crew. Now they were cloaked deep in null-sec. Korako Kosakami had long departed and the ship was vulnerable. There wasn't enough crew to operate the ship at combat readiness so they were cloaked and hiding.

"Sir, the technicians are reporting the interface is ready. The software acquired from the Amarrians has been installed. We just need the Gallente package and testing can begin."

"Very good. I'm retiring to my quarters. You have the bridge. I want everything ready by 0800 hours."

The Captain strode off the bridge and through his ready room and into his quarters. Jotaro was honoured to have this command, perhaps the most important in the Guristas currently. Their stolen Nyx had been undergoing significant works. He could see the maintenance drones on one section of the hull from his window. They were busy slowly repainting the ship in the Guristas colours. Soon they would be ready. The capsule section had been stripped and re-wired ready for the new technology. Top secret software had been stolen from the Amarrians. The software was state of the art but they lacked the processing power to take full advantage of it. Someone at the Guristas Central Intelligence had seen separate intelligence reports on the two technologies and realised the two Empires had unknowingly created complimentary technology. If it worked and the Guristas could meld the two, there would be no more running from the capsuleers, they would be taking the fight to them.


The small shuttle docked with the super carrier some six hours later. The vast ship decloaking just long enough for the tiny vessel to enter the main hanger before it cloaked up again.

As the woman walked down the ramp a small delegation was stood there to meet her. One officer with three technicians.

"Welcome aboard Colonel. Do you have it?" the Officer asked excitedly.

The woman reached into her bag and retrieved the small case. She handed it to the officer who passed it to one of the technicians. The three techs left with the box.

"Is everything prepared?" she asked as she walked across the hanger, the officer falling in behind.

"Yes ma'am. The interface has been connect as per your specifications. Currently the ship is unable to accept any capsuleer as we have rerouted the command protocols to the interface."

The woman stopped.

"Does that make you nervous lieutenant?"

"Well yes ma'am. This ship is not combat capable with this level of crew and no capsuleer in command. If the chip doesn't work...."

"It will work!" she interrupted "And when this ship is fully operational and we have proved to command the viability of the Omicron chip we will have an armada of ships control by them. Finally the tide will turn. Finally the dominance of the capsuleers will be stopped and the time of the Guristas will begin."

To be continued...

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