Posted by: musingsofthemund | March 11, 2009

The Eff Ay Eye Tee Ate-ch Compound

This story really didn’t come out very well, but I’m tired and don’t feel like rewriting it later so here it is. It’s an allegory. If you want more detail, ask, and I will prolly end up making a less cryptic entry. I just don’t feel like explaining right now. Suffice it to say it’s about a war of attrition…

The Eff Ay Eye Tee Ate-ch Compound

The compound wasn’t indefensible. It had been defended in the past. The question on his mind at the moment was not so much about why mounting a defense was proving so difficult, but rather why they were attacking so voraciously now.

He was able to monitor things from the central hub. Security was routed through here when some of the initial attacks began.

That was several months ago. The Hub was well stocked, complete with a small kitchen and supplies that would last for nearly a year, a bathroom, and a small cot. There had been a few opportunities in the midst of the attacks to venture outside of the Hub to gather some things from other areas of the compound, but by and large, this had been his home for the better part of the last three months.

The compound was a large facility built into a series of old bunkers and it was his job to simply keep an eye on the Cognitive Reason system and to keep it functioning and flourishing. Generally, this was simple. With his trust placed in the Defender and the Provider, his job usually consisted of simple monitoring tasks. When raids came, the Defender took care of most things before they breached the perimeter– and if they did get by, they were quickly dispatched.

The compound had been free of prolonged attacks for a while.

The first attack three months ago was on one of the primary computing units. He hadn’t even realized exactly what had happened until he’d started to receive bad data from of the Cognitive Reason Nodes. His first thought was to dismiss it and to reaquire the data, but again it turned out bad. Suddenly the data he was receiving wasn’t completely reflective of reality. It was skewed. After trying to troubleshoot it from the Central Node, he went to the source of the problem only to discover the attackers.

He quickly sounded an alarm, trusting that the Defender would come and take care of these pests. He went to the Hub, following standard lockdown procedures and after an inordinately long amount of time, the Defender arrived and the raiders were dealt with.

Several similar attacks followed in the weeks thereafter, and the same thing happened. The Defender seemed slow to respond.

He had attempted to contact the Defender, to ascertain what, if anything, the problem might be, but he never received a reply.

A week ago, another raid had happened. This time they’d attacked a different Node causing a new influx of bad data. Granted, it wasn’t flawed in the same way, but the programs observations were still just a little off.

The raiders were hacking the system, changing inputs and filtering data through their own algorithms, seeming to be attempting to take over all of the systems for themselves. As it was now, he was inside the only node that was unblemished.

Each of the prior attacks seemed to have damaged the system a little further each time. Standard defensive measures were failing frequently and the raiders seemed to be finding access to most areas whenever they desired it.

He didn’t like this, but the Defender didn’t seem to be anywhere. Attempts at communication failed. He knew he could not defeat the raiders on his own, though it did not stop him from trying to use some of the Compound’s defensive measures on the raiders himself.

Still, this seemed like a losing battle. The Provider had ensured that he would have everything he needed so far, but he wasn’t sure how long it would last. There was only so much abuse the system could handle before the anti-viral protocols that he was running would fail. He was sending several messages out to the Defender every day, but with nothing seeming to get through and no sign of rescue in sight, things looked bleak. At this rate it would probably be only a matter of time before the Compound would fall to the raiders. Even if the Defender were to arrive, he wasn’t even sure how much of the damage would be reparable. And even if some repairs were made, would the Defender be around long enough to defend the compound while those repairs were taking place? Or would he disappear for another indeterminate amount of time during the next attack?

He continued to work hard to keep the proper programing alive, but it seemed only a matter of time until that was impossible.

A message flashed on the computer screen in front of him.

“Hope begets naught but disappointment.”

That message had been coming through off and on since the attack began. More flawed data being used in several Cognitive Reason Node algorithms. This bad data was corrupting even more.

He sighed, clearing the screen and getting back to work, fearing his downfall was only a matter of time…

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