Tom Eicher : VTV

A flash of light, distant thunder. Some tall storehouse collapsing. Panik - stricken shoppers run around like headless chicken. And indeed, some of the bodies don't have a head worth speaking of. Mechanic shrieking can be heard whenever the guns seize to fire. Whenever it has to reload. Right now, it is leaving another building in complete chaos and devastation. It, in this case, is a remote controlled device moving on chain tracks. Spectators would perhaps call it a robot, but there are no spectators alive to wonder about the nature of the intruder. Suddenly an amplifier voice breaks the white noise. The ground around the intruder explodes as shells and rockets are fired on it. The attempt to return the fire fails as it has to give in to the armor piercing bombardment. Colonel Wilbur Smith wipes his forehead with a gesture of relief, then talks to his men: "Okay, that's the last one. How many casualties?" The reply comes in crackling over the radio: "62 of us, several hundred civilians". |=-=| "Speed", the tiny man behind the terminal says, "the name's Jake Speed." But his visitor does not seem impressed. "Really? Last time I was around, you called yourself Joe Indian, right?" "That's the past, man. Godda keep up with the pace of modern time, right?" - "Anyway, Mr, erm, Speed, are you willing to help us?" - "Help? Why, if the money's right, I'm of course willing to help you." Smith looked really annoyed now. "You know, there once was a time when we used to arrest scum like you..." But Speed interrups him with a bright smile "Easy, Mr. Military Man, or you won't hear a single word from me!" That obviolously was too much, as Smiths suddenly bursts forward, lifting Speed off his feet: "Listen up, you sukker! 62 of my men died yesterday, along with 465 civilians. You're gonna tell me what I want to know right now, or I'll throw you out of that window!" That obviously shattered Speed's conficence. "Okay, okay, settle down. I'll tell ya." "You see, your computer specialists have been trying to uncover some secret computer or network. The reason they had no success in finding that hidden mainframe is that it is not hidden at all. It's even got an IP address." Disbelief echoes in Smith's face: "You are telling me I can access this thing from everywhere? Even from here?" - "Yeah, that's right, perhaps you want to write down the IP address? It's" Hastily, Smith writes it down on a slip of paper, carelessly torn out of some printout. "Any domain name?" - "Negative. At least, I can't make out one right now." - "Never mind, log on to it!" Speed types a few keys, then the screen blinks in red and yellow." ACCESS DENIED. Connection closed by foreign host. "No luck", Speed laments with a shrug, "we could try some ancient services..." - "Ancient services?", Smith echoes with a desoriented look, "What's that supposed to mean?" - "Yeah, really ancient ones. You've probably never heared of http, or telnet for that matter..." Impatient shrug: "Try it out!" - "You know, mosts sysops nowadays don't know these at all, so you sometimes can sneak in there..." $ telnet beavis (Genix Sys IX R 4) Connection closed by foreign host. A slap makes the monitor tremble: "Shit, that one's as tight as a nun's pussy." - "But we've got the hostname, right?" - "Yeah, but what good will it do us?" - "We'll see ... anyway, do you know when Genix Sys9R4 was popular?" Speed frowns, then scratches his nonexistent beard, finally coming to a conclusion. "Around the turn of the century, perhaps 2005. But I really can't remember what kind of operating system this Genix is ... I'll have a look around the 'Net." Speed's database queries leave Smith with some time to think. Why would someone commit random raids, without visible motive? From a 20 year old computer? Random acts of senseless violence... Over 500 people slaughtered... Why? Speed interrupted him: "First results coming in!" search word "genix" ->8- UNIX derived operating system developed for artificial intelligence research. Release 1 distributed in 2002 by the University of Bern. Latest release R12 still available at Bern University, since 2015. Development stopped in 2017. -8<- "Artificial intelligence, eh?", Smith mumbles... |=-=| The table had been covered by a big white cloth, hiding some strange object. "So, Dr. Lang, what is it you want to show me?", Smith asks impatiently. With a brisk smile, Dr. Land pulls the cloth away and uncovers a small metallic object, "This is a so-called MD, mobile detonator. We call it a 'turtle', though". Curiously, Smith pats the object that indeed resembles a turtle. "Detonator, huh?" - "Yes, a unit such as this one usually carries 1.5 pounds of explosives. Look here!" With this, he types commands on a keyboard. > move to exit Slowly, the turtle starts to crawl towards the door, but not in a direct line but trying to take cover under the table while underway. > move to person B ; detonate Smith's jaw drops as the turtle changes course and starts crawling towards him. By reaching the tip of his left shoe, a metallic click echoes through the room. "This one is disarmed, of course", Lang remarkes as Smith's face slowly returns to a normal colour. "You see, 15 of these beasts disappeared last night." |=-=| Determinded to annoy, shockinly contentless music pours down on the visitors of Eastside's mall. People moving in large groups, yet independant from each other, they look like sheep to the steady eye of the surveillance cameras. These cameras connect to a ring of fibre optic cable, which is in turn connected to the mall's main security computer. All data collected within the mall, wheter bills, check card numbers or digital pictures, are stored on a large disk. There, they can be accessed by any person in posession of the correct access codes. Not everyone of those is supposed to have them. And not even everyone of those is a person. Online pictures of the target site makes manuevering the units much easier. The last unit is supposed to reach its destination in 24 seconds. 12 units report arrival at destination. 13, 14, 15 units report arrival at destination. Commince countdown. Two, One, Zero. |=-=| Miss Agatha Robinson, aged 35, had lived an ordinary life. Working as a secretary for Fujin Electronics she never had dared to drop off the mainstream in her life, yet she always knew she'd do something really out of the oridinary - somewhen. When the shelf came blazing apart, all her life - everything she is ever was, she ever could have been - got extinguished in a single flash of pain. She was forgotten before all of her body parts reached the floor. Another sheep slaughtered. |=-=| Smith sadly shakes his head as the reports slowly pour in. Another 86 citizens murdered. Slamming the door of the car shut does not help much. "Do you now have the credit to pay me for my expences?", Speed asks with a grin as Smith enters the room. "Yeah, but only if you got new stuff for me!", Smith declares calm but determined, which makes Speed grin even more. "You're a big businessman, aren't you? Anyway, I've got the sukka isolated. I know the physical cable id it's connected to the 'net with. Go find the provider and disconnect the asshole. Come again when you need my assistance." Without saying a word, Smith grabs the printout from Speed's hands and drops the credit form on the table. "People say good-bye to each other, where I come from", Speed shouts as Smith slams the door shut. Smith grumbles. If only he'd people as good as this one, he wouldn't have to deal with such assholes. |=-=| 0459.40h. According to the schedule, beavis's connection will vanish in another 20 seconds. Two fully featured task teams have taken their positions and are waiting for the command to go raid the house. After storming in through all possible and impossible entrances, the forces find themselves alone in the house, alone with a humming computer tower and a blanked screen. The screen comes back to life. $ monitor -channel 97 & $ inetd: connection breakdown. intervention needed. "Now he knows he's off duty", Smith announces with a satisfied grin. "So what do we have here ?" Pausing several time to check the printout, he types ps -t console, then kill 3226. **killed[3] As the troops move back out of the house, Smith starts searching the desk for a clue about what channel 97 could be. And indeed, he discovers an old listing of TV channels that names channel 97 as a pay-channel for official press releases and objective news coverage. With a horrified suspicion, he tunes a television to channel 97. Suddenly it all makes sense. The operator of this machine had underestimated the abilities of this particular operating system. And he had left it running for years and years. Perhaps he died somewhere years ago, or got busted and sits in jail. Anyway, his machine stayed tuned to channel 97 even when the original program got discontinued. NEXT WEEKS FEATURE HERE ON VTV: SAVAGE STREETS PUNKS SLAUGHTER INNOCENT JOGGERS IN PUBLIC RECREATIONAL AREA. DONT FORGET: THIS IS WHERE THE ACTION IS, CHANNEL 97. THIS IS VIOLENCE TV, YOUR DAILY GUIDE TO THE RANDOM ACTS OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE. tom-25-06-95 written by Tom Eicher, all rights reserved.