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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 9


I arrived at Noela’s first thing in the morning.  Noela lives in a house that is as unique as she is.
 
 She greeted me and invited me up.  “Are you sure you want to test out this anti-virus?  Like I said, it is still in the beta stages.”
 
 “I am sure Noela.  I have to know if I have been infected.”
 
 We walked up to the top floor of Noela’s living quarters.
 
 “Right this way,” Noela directed.
 
 “I like what you have done with the place,” I said, recalling that Noela is one of the bots that benefitted from the housing loan program. 


“Thanks, I am pretty happy with it.”

 
 “To do the scan, we are going to have to hook you up to my computer,” she continued.
 
 “How do we do that?”


“Just have a seat in the chair and I will show you how to insert your hands.”

“I still cannot believe that you have accomplished something that Chas and his co-workers have yet to do.”
“Yes, well it is not perfect yet, but it works.”
“OK, now you just push that button on the front of the computer and slide your hands into the opening.”
“Like this?” I asked, sliding my hands into two round openings.


“Yes, perfect.  Now I will start the scan.”

A series of codes suddenly appeared on the screen. “Is all of that information from my hard drive and memory?” I asked, nervous that the scan would reveal my conversation with Frida and my offer to help the humans.


“No, it does not show your computations or anything like that.  It is just scanning through your files and partitions to detect any malicious software.”

Suddenly a red alert code flashed across the screen. 


“What is that?”

“It is a virus. You have been infected.  I am going to have to run a full scan before downloading the anti-virus.”


“Oh no! How did it get there?”

“Those dirty morts!”


“When? How?  How would they have access to my system?”

“I do not know, but we will get you all cleaned up,” Noela said walking over to her sleep pod.  “I have rigged my sleep pod to scan and clean my system once a week.  It can also download the anti-virus software to your system.”
“Have a seat here,” Noella directed.


I did as instructed.

How could a human have downloaded a virus to my system? I asked myself as I sat; trying to recall any time they may have had access.


“This is going to totally shut down your system, like you are taking a nap,”
Noela explained. “I will be sitting at my computer, which is connected to the pod, deleting any malicious files that I see.”
The sleep pod closed and my system shut down.
Noela stood for a while and watched to make sure that my system had fully shut down before she proceeded.
When my system was ready for the scan, she went to her computer.
Noela carefully monitored her computer as it scanned my system.
As questionable files popped up, she rewrote or deleted them.
However, there was one tricky file that she just could not manipulate.  “What is this?” she asked herself; frustrated.
After the virus scan finished deleting most of the malicious information, Noela began to download the anti-virus software to my system.
The anti-virus finished downloading and Noela again did a quick scan.
However, there was still the one odd file that she just could not eliminate.
Noela finished doing what she could and released me from the sleep pod. 
“So how did it go?” I asked.


“Well…I was able to delete almost everything…”

“But?” I said detecting that there was more.


“There is this one file…or command that I could not delete from your system.  It is as if it is protected by a firewall or something…real high tech stuff.”

“What is it?”


“I do not know.  The file was named
Compassion.”
“Yes, compassion!  I have been getting that command lately.  Do you know what it is?”


“I have never heard of it.  It does not seem too malicious, so that is good.”

“How do you know?”


“It has not attached itself to any of your other files and it is not duplicating.”

“I have been trying to figure out what it means.”
“It must be something that the humans have implanted. But I do not get why, because it is not attacking anything.”


“If only I can get some information on it,” I said.

“Well, at least the anti-virus downloaded with no problems.”
“So what does it do?  How will I know that it is working?”


“Whenever a new virus tries to attack your system, you will get an alert, sort of like an emotional command.”

“It will then automatically delete it,” Noela continued.


“Good,” I answered slightly distracted.

Noela, do you know where I can get un-censored access to the internet?” I asked voicing what was on my mind.  If I could get on the internet, I could once and for all find out what the compassion command meant.
“Do you have un-limited access on your computer?” I asked hopeful.
“No, I have tried to access it, but there is a strong security firewall in place blocking access from even the best hackers.”


“Is there any way at all?”  I asked.

“Well, I cannot get access, but I know who does have un-censored access and you do too.”
“I do?”


“Yes, someone
very close to you.”
“Chas!”  I said, shocked that I had not thought of it sooner.


“Yes.”

“All of the scientists would have unlimited access to the internet.”
I continued, “If I could get Chas to let me use his computer, I could get on the internet!”
As soon as I said it, I realized the truth of the matter, “But Chas never parts with his computer.  He would never let me use it.”


“I am sure you will figure out a way,”
Noela assured me.
I said my goodbyes to Noela and headed home.  I had a lot of information to process.  I had been infected by a virus with no idea of how it got into my system.  I also needed un-censored access to the internet to find out what the weird command was that kept coming through my emotional response system.
The only person I knew of who could possibly provide me solutions to both was Chas.

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