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  1. ChaosReigns

    ChaosReigns Archnemesis of the Damned Contributor

    Mar 20, 2013
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    Between Aberystwyth, Wales and Medway, Kent, UK

    Colours Of New Technology [4180 Words]

    Discussion in '10th Anniversary Contest' started by ChaosReigns, Jun 23, 2016.

    "Jackal, you need to get out here, something's happening," Lou shouted from the Command Centre of her research ship, the Chimera. Getting her Droid and walking out onto the mezzanine from her office, she looked down.

    "What is it Lou?" she asked.

    "It's the computer, it's throwing out the number 10 repeatedly in an eight-bit binary representation," Jackal smiled and bounced down the slope to the computer in question, watching as the number repeatedly appeared on the screen.





    "I've tried to stop it but I don't seem able to," Lou said. She then lowered her tone. "I really don't think Ed's cut out for working on this kind of project. He knows nothing."

    "I have full faith in Ed learning what he needs to, besides, he has already shown proficiency by fixing many of the Hawk-290's." Jackal hissed quietly at Lou who had backed off slightly. Jackal looked at her droid and connected it wirelessly to the PC, controlling it from there.

    "One, Zero, One, Zero, who is it am dealing with, please state your name and authorisation code," her droid chattered away.

    "Jackal Sunbeam, C-A-P-9-5-0-1-0-2-5-3" She spoke clearly to the droid.

    "Affirmative, hello Captain, my name is Ten, how may I be of service?"

    "Could you please tell me your status and role?" Jackal replied.

    "One, Zero, One, Zero, Affirmative, I am ready to begin streamlining the main system, and I am a system created by Jackal Sunbeam to maintain an efficient running status of the Chimera Starlight Research Ship, and all of its nodes, as well as system management and protection," the droid replied.

    "Good, are you able to start working right away?" she asked.

    "Affirmative Captain. One, Zero, One, Zero, what would you like me to start with?" Lou looked at the droid sceptically. Ed looked at it with a mix of confusion and surprise.

    "I don't trust that thing, there's no telling what it can do," Lou said.

    "That means you don't trust me then?" Jackal replied, "I am the one who wrote it, and besides, why don't you trust it?"

    "I have tried to access source code but it won't let me, I need to know how it works to be able to fully trust it."

    "Unfortunately, you aren't high ranking enough to have access to that, no one aside myself, the Federation and the Captains of the Hawk-290's and Exelcis-380's can access that," Jackal replied.

    "Why, because you don't want people to be able to fix it if it goes wrong?" she replied.

    "That is what my job is with it, and as also captain of the largest exploration ship, I am required by the federation to have this as well." Jackal's irritation began to show at this point. "Besides, isn't there something you should be going to fix?” Jackal asked “I know there was one of the cyber-scientists shouting about something being broke." she replied matter-of-factly. Lou huffed and walked off to find out what the problem was.

    “I’m sorry you had to see that Ed,” Jackal said. “As you have probably gathered, Lou is quite a difficult one to handle”

    "Don't worry Ma'am," he replied, "I have had to deal with worse people." He paused for a second. "I hope you don't mind me asking but what exactly is this eight-bit representation thing?"

    "No problem, I'll try to make this as quick as possible. Eight-bit representation is a method of showing a decimal number using binary. Binary is what these computers understand and use to function as normal, and thus when we input the data, it will get converted into any one of a representation from four right up to thirty-two numbers. But we use eight bits to show what we want as a standard, so any of our men can read it and quickly understand what is being outputted."

    "Right, I get it, so each eight bits means eight one's or zero's in a varying pattern depending on the input?" He asked

    "That's it, in this case, the number ten, is being shown as, Zero, Zero, Zero, Zero, One, Zero, One, Zero," Jackal replied.

    "And how do you convert from that to decimal numbers."

    "That takes a little while to get, but I'll show you quickly," Jackal replied, pulling out her notepad and explaining using a diagram, and showing the workings.

    "Oh, so it gets worked from right to left," Ed replied. "With the farthest right number being one, and as it goes left, two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four then one hundred and twenty-eight. Once that's done each of the numbers with one in binary get added together. In this case, it is eight and two that are added to make ten. It now makes a whole world of sense," he replied. "Thank you, that helps me a lot to understand what I am seeing.

    "No problem." Jackal paused a second. "you know, out of all the people I've trained, you are the most receptive of the people to be working with me on this, many of the others were only here to get this as part of wider training."

    "Well, Ma'am, I liked working on the mechanical aspects of the Hawks, but I wanted to make a move to this aspect of it as I always found it fascinating," he replied.

    "I always forget you are from Mathurn. Technology wasn't a big thing there was it?" Ed shook his head at this point. Jackal got on with working on Ten's work, directing it to work on the improvements needed with Chimera's systems, which took a while as, although they were as up to date as they could be, they weren't the most efficient systems to be running anything on. Ten was making quick work of the systems, with careful reminders from Jackal and some of the other staff of the limitations that were put into place by the Federation. Even though they were the largest exploration ship in the whole of the Super Galaxy, they couldn't run the risk of the fines and sanctions that had the potential to be put in place.

    "It's fantastic to see how this kind of thing works," Ed commented to Jackal as they were waiting for Ten to finish the final improvements on the transmission software that brought it up to an exceptional level. Jackal nodded and read the data that appeared on the main system screen from Ten's update, the typical 00001010 scattering through parts of it that Jackal was still wondering how to stop happening.

    "To be honest here Ed, I was not expecting this to work as well as it should. I only trialled this new version out on the Ifrigis, and unfortunately, she didn't make it. We lost the entire ship and her crew because it caused a huge engine malfunction” She paused to think about what happened during the trial on board that ship, and all the data that she had been given before the untimely accident.

    "I know why that is, though," Ed replied. “Before I joined you here, I was one of the maintenance team for the federation, working on their fleet of Hawk-290’s and Excelcis-380’s” he paused at Jackal’s enquiring glance “But we also worked on research ships if there were no upgrades needed on the fleet. I asked my co-workers if they had worked on the Ifrigis, and no one had" Jackal raised her eyebrow and shook her head, it explained a lot as to why the Ifrigis sunk like it did, losing them so many people.

    "Did you tell the Federation about this?" she asked.

    "Didn't need to, we had to log all upgrades on the system so that the Federation knew what condition the ship was in should anything like that happen" he replied. She nodded understanding that at least there was a record that no upgrades had happened, that was probably why she wasn't asked to stand in front of the federation over it.

    Jackal sighed and looked at the overall data for the Chimera's updates that Ten had implemented, and approved them so that they remained in place. Happy with Ten's quick work she beckoned Ed to follow her to her office and showed him Ten's code, explaining what she had done and what Ten was doing with the ship.

    "Please don't tell Lou you have seen this because otherwise, she may cause more problems than we need." She replied. Ed nodded understanding. On this mission, Lou had seemed to be getting worse, and although they were done with the physical work, the processing was what took the longest. It was then they noticed Lou's temper getting noticeably worse. Jackal had wondered if Lou was up to something, and had already notified the Federation of her suspicions, which, apparently, weren't the first ones. Many of her crew had also done the same, feeling that something wasn't right with her, and wanted to make sure that their ruling body knew of it.

    At this point in time. with her suspicions, she was grateful for being the Lieutenant General of the Space Marines and always having a small group on board. But then, that was customary of any large exploratory vessel, firstly for the safety of the ship and secondly for making sure that law and order were followed throughout the planets of the Super Galaxy. Although she remembered reading about the Marines that existed before Space Travel became the normality it was, she was glad that it's format had changed, so that the Light Battalion's that were the norm on the ships were better trained and equipped than their early counterparts.

    But things were different then Jackal, we only ruled one planet, not several galaxies. She had to remind herself. It was true, two thousand years had made all the difference to life as people knew it. She remembered some of the photos she'd seen; it surprised her how much things had actually changed, the progress was definitely apparent, even if it was only small steps at a time. They truly were pioneers back then, now it's a struggle to even make the most minimal of a break, I mean it's taken me at least ten years to get Ten to run properly. She shook her head.

    "What's the matter Ma'am something bothering you?" Ed asked, bringing her back to reality again.

    "Nothing really, just thinking how much technology has changed since the first marines two thousand years ago," she replied. The surprise of that fact was apparent on Ed's face. "Yeah, the marines have been around in some form or another for two thousand years, always at the forefront of the best technology at whatever time we were in," she said.

    "That's right, that makes sense that you are thinking about that, you are Lieutenant General of the Marines in the Research and Exploration aren't you?" Ed replied.

    "Wait, you're Lieutenant General of the Research and Exploration arm of the Marines?" Lou said, stunned. She’s stopped in the doorway, her eyes wide.

    "One, Zero, One, Zero, Obliteration virus spotted and quarantined, would you like the data?" Ten spoke.

    "Yes and the origins of said viruses.” A couple of the Marines that had overheard the conversation were right behind Lou at this point.

    "No Problem Captain, here is the information," Ten babbled. The information popped up on her computer screen. "The Source of the virus comes from a file in the permissions of Alloun Xenth's account, what would you like me to do?" Ten asked.

    "Put as strong as a barrier around it as possible, then empty one of the low use hard drives and put on there. Marines, take her to the holding cell." The marines cuffed Lou and took her away.

    "Action Completed Captain, it is drive 1905 that has the virus on it," Ten replied. Jackal picked up a pad and put her message on it.

    "Thank you, Ten. Ed, take this to my second he'll know what to do, and meet me by the server door," she said. Ed nodded and disappeared off quickly to find Jackal's second. She took her droid and sauntered to the door for the servers, she heard the familiar shouts of the men preparing for the cross-galaxy warp. A message appeared on her droid from her second, asking her to authorise it. She quickly inputs her permissions and gave the code, giving Ed time to appear by her side. They accessed the server room, finding drive 1905 and pulling it safely, knowing that the virus was on there. "Ed from now on I need you by my side at all times because this is here." She lifted up the drive.

    As they exited the server room, a couple of new marines appeared. "Ma'am, you have the virus safely quarantined then?" She nodded. “Then we will remain with you and Edward Hior to maintain your safety.” She nodded once more and handed the drive to Ed.

    "It is better if Ed has it, he is one of the low ranks. If anything should happen, I'm most likely the target where Ed won't be," she said. Ed placed the drive into his leather messenger bag he carried on him at all times. "Plus, he is not as suspicious with that bag, especially as, at most, he looks like an errand boy.” The marines nodded again as they all held onto the rail above their head for the warp. Jackal, Ed, and the two marines made their way down to the where Lou was being held.

    Lou's cell was small, but because this was mainly a marine controlled part of the ship, they had to be small in case of the need to be able to house a couple of dozen criminals at the same time. She was sitting on a solid steel bench, hands bound in front of her with two marines guarding the door. She looked up at Jackal and Ed when they got there but said nothing.

    "You wanna defend yourself or not?" Jackal asked calmly. The question was met with a shake of the head; Lou was refusing to speak. "So I'm getting the silent treatment now huh? I'm legally not required to tell anyone that I am a Lieutenant General you know?" Lou glared at her, "I know that you would have wanted to know, given your family was arrested and killed by my men, but for safety's sake, I was instructed by the General otherwise. Now, do you want to say something or not?" The authority was clear in her voice at this point.

    "Scum! I wish the virus had destroyed the ship and sent you to your death!" She hissed, getting up and spitting at Jackal, who stood outside the cell, a smirk on her face at Lou’s attempts to rattle her cage. The fact that Jackal was smirking while Lou had her fit, unnerved Ed slightly. But thanks to Jackal's elite training, she was able to handle most situations with ease.

    "Marines, make sure that when she gets to the federation main cell block, she is put in an extremely secure cell." Jackal recognised the voice and turned to find its source. Wolf, one of the other Lieutenant Generals, strolled up to her. "I heard about the problem, so I thought I would personally come and see for myself. Why am I not surprised it was you Alloun?" Lou cringed at the use of her full name, and hissed at him. "Get her out of there and into the secure transport cell here." He motioned at the pod that she would have to sit in to be transferred by the rail on the ceiling to the cell. As they watched her go off, Ed was twitching with nerves having to be around two Lieutenant Generals.

    "Don't worry Ed, Wolf won't bite you." Jackal smiled reassuringly at him which put him at ease a bit. "Could I have the drive please?" she asked. He undid his bag and took out the drive and handed it to her. "Wolf, Ten was able to quarantine the virus onto this drive for us so it can be taken elsewhere to view its capabilities, before being destroyed, I will need a new drive for the ship, though," she said. He smiled and pulled a new drive out and handed it to Ed, who put it in his bag and then took the drive with the virus on.

    "Let's get the new drive in first, then we will sort this out." He waved the drive around. "Some of the Federation Higher Ups want a verbal report and demonstration of Ten on board, while the rest deal with this issue, however, I want to get this to my second, so he can transport it safely. He will meet us at the servers." Jackal nodded and Wolf made a motion for them to lead. The distance between the cells and the server room wasn't far, but it felt like an age due to the complicated nature of the corridors below the central control room. They went in and Ed pulled out the new drive and carefully fitted it into position.

    "Ten, Sync the new drive in slot 1905 for me please." Jackal said to her droid and it began babbling, showing the synching process on screen. When it was complete, they left and Wolf's second was there with four marines. He took the drive along with Wolf's instructions and went off in a different direction to where they were headed. Jackal lead them up the nearest ramp and out into the control room. The higher ups in the federation were waiting patiently for them. "I apologise for the delay. We wanted to make sure that the virus got delivered to your fellow members, and that we were running at full capacity once more," Jackal said politely.

    "Not a problem Captain. It is your ship we intrude upon here, she is very well maintained and we expect nothing less of you" the General replied. Jackal nodded. "I know you have your system completely improved by the Ten Project already, but could you show us some of what Ten does?" he asked.

    "Of Course Sir, Ten, would you be able to run the data analyses, and show what you do on the main control screens please?"

    "One, Zero, One, Zero, Yes Captain. Starting Data Protocol 10, and showing system run through," her droid babbled before the main control screens flicked up all the needed data. Their vantage point right in front of the screens meant that they could read the data and look at what was happening. Ten then began to talk through what it did as a program, starting from the beginning, and working its way round each of the parts of the ship, explaining how it improved everything. Ten then got onto explaining how it uses the drives on the server that are the emptiest, to quarantine the viruses onto, after moving the data off.

    "Impressive Jackal, Impressive. I am sure glad we decided to run the test on this ship. I particularly didn't fancy a repeat of the Ifrigis. Nasty business that was," the General said.

    "The Ifrigis?" Wolf said. "Wait... it was a prototype version of this that sent it to its doom?" The general nodded.

    "The Ifrigis had not been properly upgraded to handle Ten's capabilities and we lost an entire ship and its crew, to it," the General replied. "Having to tell the families of those who worked on it was hard, we lost many good people that day." Jackal nodded.

    "You knew of this Jackal? How come myself and Lynx weren't informed?" Wolf asked, surprised.

    "There was no need to. I'm the lead on Research and Exploration and was charged with this task, which I had to work with the General and federation on. Where you both are tactical and warfare, it did not require your input, especially as the Ifrigis was a mid-class research ship." Wolf nodded his head slowly and turned their attention back to the screens that were showing the data from the now removed virus.

    "One, Zero, One, Zero, Captain would you like this sent to someone's droid to help with their analytics?" Ten asked.

    "Yes, please send it to G-E-N-2-9-9-0-1-0-3-4-5-2-1-0" Jackal replied. The General pulled his droid out when it pinged and nodded once at Jackal as thanks. "May I ask your thoughts Gentlemen and Ladies?" There was a mutual agreement that seeing Ten successfully implemented was a sight to behold, and that they would be interested in rolling it out across both the Hawk-290's and their larger Exelcis-380 Marine ships. This surprised Jackal. "Good people of the Federation, the current specifications of the Exelcis-380 ships do not match what I have here, they will only sink like the Ifrigis did," she said.

    "Indeed, we have neglected the Exelcis-380's for far too long, we must upgrade them to the best there is. I assume you will be doing the same with the Chimera, Captain?"

    Jackal nodded. "I shall, and I will be using Ten to make the upgrades as efficient as possible. I would also like to suggest a gradual rollout as I will need to train each of the captains of both the Hawks and Exelcis's on the way that Ten works. However, we need to focus on the upgrades first. I can do the upgrades while you are sorting those on the fleet out. One more thing before we round this out, what will be happening to Alloun? Just out of personal interest"

    "Most likely put to death with her actions, especially with the evidence that was backed up against her with this data plan." Jackal disliked the idea, but she knew that she had to go with it.

    ********Ten Months Later********

    Jackal got up from her seat within her office at the federation. Because of the success of Ten, she was asked to help roll Ten out across the Marine ships, they got the upgrades done on both her ship and the marine ships as quickly as possible. In the meantime, her crew from the Chimera were assigned other duties to also help with the project. Ed still tailed her around, learning as much as possible from her. He became Jackal's second as she didn't have one before. This was unheard of that a trainee was made second, but with his quick progress and experience, he was the most fit for the role.

    She yawned and stretched her arms, she was reading through the datagrams for each ship on her all in one PC, glad of the bigger screen to contrast that of her droid. Everything was going according to plan. Ten only made a couple of systems fall over during the install process, but they soon found the issues and brought them back online again. She heard a knock at the door, and looked over, the General standing there.

    "Hello, Sir. Come in, how may I help you?" she asked,

    "I don't need anything right now, but I saw your light on, and wondered why you were still here."

    "Just making sure that the datagrams for each of the ships in the Marine fleet are suitable for flight with Ten on board" she replied. "We have a lot of ships, so it's taken me over a day and a half to process them all, but I'm happy as the creator of Ten on all bar six ships. I've singled those out. Would you like to take a look before I head off?" The General nodded and Jackal pulled up a second seat in front of the screen. The General sat down, Jackal following suit, she then went into why she hadn't approved the six ships, four Exelcis-380's and two Hawk-290's.

    "Well, I understand why you haven’t approved those. They were the prototype ships, we should have them replaced in the next couple of days, and will transfer all upgrades over, and decommission these six," the General stated. He logged the notes and confirmed the decommission before sending orders for the upgrades and Ten were to be moved to the new ships when they arrived. "I'm impressed how quickly the upgrades happened you know, of course, your ship was a priority to make sure everything runs properly, but it's nice to have a solid fleet with the best we have on board." He said.

    Jackal nodded thinking about the upgrades to Ten that needed to happen. In the ten months that had passed between the first tests on the Chimera, and the most recent ones, she had found a couple of small bugs that weren't too difficult to handle.

    "I should also say that Alloun's sentence will be carried out midday tomorrow," he said. "I will need you there as the other Lieutenant Generals are otherwise engaged."

    "Of course, I feel kinda bad this happened, especially with her situation, but she risked a couple of hundred people's lives for what? Retribution for her family?" she asked.

    The General looked at Jackal then confirmed her thoughts, “It was exactly that – Retribution.”
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