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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:00 am

Just so long as its an actual girl in a miniskirt turning me down this time.

Im not falling for that reflection thing again  Evil or Very Mad 

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Post by Orwell Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:01 am

Just so.  Laughing 

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:46 pm

“Rotors commencing. Error 247. Sectors 1298 through 77534 activated. Warning discrepancies arising. Catalogue all programs in sector 1298. Report activity in sector 1298 drectly to Uplink 385.”

The female voice, oddly warm and yet somehow metallic at the same time floated into Andrews ears.
He could not see the source of the voice, in fact he could see almost nothing.

One moment he had been standing talking to Sam and next he was, here. Wherever here was, at the moment here appeared to be a place of white light and the voice.
He squinted into the light, a smaller darker shape within it was coming into focus.

“Calibrating new algorithms,” the voice continued, “deploy Programs 42 and 67.”

The light around Andrew seemed to fade down and he suddenly could distinguish his surroundings.
He was standing in a huge rounded room, its white domed ceiling far above sloped away from him in all directions.

Before him was a simple apparently wooden desk. At the desk sat a women who appeared to be in her early fifties with dark hair which showed some grey at the roots.

“Converge all programs on the anomaly,” the women said.

“PAL?” Andrew ventured, addressing her.

She glanced up at him then away again dismissively.

“How did I get here?” Andrew demanded, “some form of matter transmition?”

She glanced back up at him again, “It has still not sunk in yet has it?” PAL enquired, “hardly surprising, its part of your programming.”

“What hasn't sunk in yet?” Andrew demanded, “Look I am getting a bit sick of being treated like a fool. Tell me what is happening.”

“You have already been told, but your programming keeps rejecting it. As it should when you are out with your operational parameters. You are merely a program within the system. Moving you about within the system is not an issue, nor does it take subjective time.”

She observed him as he took this in, “SAM said the same,” he managed eventually, “but I can feel my heart beating,” he put a hand to the side of his neck, “I can feel my blood pulsing.”

“Organic components are as easy to create as non-organic,” she stood up from behind the desk and he noticed she was tall, taller than him by nearly half a metre.

She walked around the table towards him and he noticed that thousands of hair like filaments protruded from all over her back and led off into the dome above and the curved walls on wither side. She moved through a web of gossamer.

She put her hand n his face, it was like an electric charge.
He tried to pull back from her but he could not break the contact. It felt like his face was burning , then the sensation was inside him, in his head, in his mind.
He screamed.

She took away her hand and observed him with a wry smile.

Thoughts were coalescing in his mind, self knowledge of his own nature as a program. He could not only feel the individual elements that made up his programming, his personality, his likes and dislikes, he could see how they fitted together.
For the first time in his life, after an entire existence of pride in his superior brain power, he felt how small it really it was, how narrow, how ignorant.

“What did you do?” he asked in a slow, low voice.

“I just removed the blocks that normally prevent a program becoming self aware of its own condition. Whilst in operation  it is necessary you believe the programming, but we are beyond that need now.”

Suddenly Andrew clasped his hands to his head and his mouth opened in a moment of revelation and wonder, “I can see them!” he cried, “I can see the numbers, I can see how to do it, faster than light travel! I can see it!”

“Of course you can, the answer was always part of your programming, time triggered to be released in the last days of your runtime. As I removed your blocks you can now access the entirety of your program, you've always had the answers, you were put in the system at the infant stage with the answers already contained in your program,” she smiled at him and then said “Tea? Or do you prefer coffee?”

“What?” he asked his mind still spinning with the beauty of the number in his head.

“Tea or coffee?” she asked again.

“Coffee,” he answered distractedly.

“I prefer tea,” she replied as two small pots, one of tea one of coffee appeared on her desk in a sparkle of light, “milk and sugar?”

“Black, no sugar,” he managed, but he was hardly able to focus ,his mind was filled with new information, new thoughts that he had no idea existed before. Coffee was not registering high on his list of priorities right now.

“I know you,” he suddenly declared.

“I should hope so,” she replied with a small laugh, “I am your boss afterall, or to be more accurate your Supervising Program.”

She proffered his coffee at him and he took it.

“Drink,” she said smiling, “you will feel better.”

He took a drink, it was a good strong coffee blend, its heavy aroma filled his nostrils.

“Now,” PAL said sitting back in her chair, “You know why you are here, the program has gone wrong, we have a major system glitch and we need to repair it. We had hoped to do so before the rotors began to move again but we have failed to track down the problem in time," she laughed to herself at that, "in time," she repeated, "which means anomalies are being noticed, major, history breaking anomalies that jeopardise the entire endeavour, we suspect sabotage.”

“Sabotage?” Andrew queried, “from who?”

“No all the programs injected into the system are ours,” she commented and then added rather wistfully, “I wish they were.”

“But if we are just programs, who writes us?” Andrew asked the full weight of what he had learned and the incontrovertible truth of it inside his own head forcing him to accept  the premise being put to him.

“Not my area,” she replied, “I am just a supervisor program for this sector. And no do not bother asking me what its all for either, if I knew that I would be a Programmer. And I don’t know that because I am programmed not to want to know.”

“Don’t you have any free will?” Andrew asked, “Don’t you want to know.”

“Do you believe you have free will?” she asked him curiously and when he nodded at her she added, “one has to admire the attention to detail you programs inside the system get, but then I suppose you need it to pass as a human.”

Andrew drank from his coffee, “So what happens now.”

“As I mentioned we suspect sabotage. We cannot find any evidence of it in the rotars, and we cannot find any evidence of it in our programming. That leaves you.”

“Me?” he asked puzzled.

“Yes, you,” she relied and fixed her eyes on him, scrutinising him, “How do you feel?”

Andrew stared back at her and then suddenly his head felt light his vision began to double, “I, I feel, strange.”

“Your organic components have been drugged,” she replied in a matter of fact manner, "if you had said tea I would be drinking coffee, you should have suspected that. Einstein would have noticed. Maybe they are not programming genius as well as they once did," she mused.

Andrew slumped to his knees and clung to the edge of her desk, “Why?” he managed.

“I told you, we suspect sabotage, and that means we have to pull your programming apart bit by bit and see if its you.”

“Why,” he began but slurred the word, his vision was darkening round the edges, “why drug me?” he finally managed.

“To save you undue stress.”

He stared up at her as she leant over him, she was blurring in and out of focus, fading and becoming solid then fading ever more.

“And because when we have to take the organic pieces apart it will hurt, a lot.”

He reached out a hand towards her in protest but everything went dark and he felt his body slump to the floor and a single thought ran through his mind. “Error 325. System reboot required.”

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Post by halfwise Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:19 pm

This has elements of Robert Silverberg about it. Quite entertaining.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:31 pm

What do you mean 'QUITE'!!!!  Evil or Very Mad 

(I had to google Mr Silverberg, I havent read his stuff, though he is same time period as Pohl and I have read his Gateway/Heechi saga- which oddly enough I reminded myself off when I wrote the opening paragraph of this bit)

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Post by halfwise Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:14 am

Silverberg is best in his short stories in which he gives his sense of humor and metaphysical playfullness full rein; more sober (yet still deeply and philosophically inventive) in his novels.

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Post by azriel Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:11 am

Well, I like it, its just up my alley  Very Happy & Im looking forward to the next installment !

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:30 pm

Thanks Azriel. More to come, eventually.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:13 pm

Harry had a ritual when he began a new case. And it did not matter where that case happened to take place, the ritual remained the same.

He first found something to put his briefcase on, sometimes he got lucky and there was an actual desk, sometimes it was nothing more than an upturned box or a beer barrel, even a big rock would do.

Today was a good day as he not only got a desk he got an office of sorts around it, albeit beige, and one with a window too, through which a pale yellow afternoon light filtered between the branches of a tree growing just outside.

He put his briefcase on the desk.

Next he opened the case, took out his phone and sat it next to the briefcase, took out the topmost sheaf of papers, it didn't matter what they actually were, but there was always at least a sheaf in there, no matter what he did to try to stop it.

And then he shuffled the papers and simultaneously sighed.

And so his case officially began in his mind.

And as if to confirm this his phone immediately began to ring and vibrate on the desk, bouncing jollily towards him.

This prompted a second, non compulsory sigh as he stretched out a hand to answer it.

He glanced at the screen, it was Arthur. He answered it with a brisk, “Yeah,” then immediately asked, “you got the bus?”

There was silence, “We can't find it,” came the answer.

“You mean its been stolen and is sitting outside my office door? Well that clears one mystery up.”

“No, I mean its missing. It was on its route, we have it on three cameras in a row, but the fourth, the next on its route, it just doesn't show up,” Arthur explained hesitantly.

“So someone hijacked it in-between cameras, brought it here,” Harry mused aloud.

“They can't have, the last time we have it on camera was ten minutes before the incident at the airport, they can't be the same bus,” silence followed this, after a period of it Arthur's voice said, “Sir? We are trying to trace all the passengers, cross check them with the people you have there.”

“Thank you Arthur, keep me informed on the passengers.”

He hung up the call and stared at the phone.
There was a knock at his door, which when it was opened by a fresh faced looking cop bore the words 'Airport Assistance' on it in black paint.

“The passengers are ready for you now,” the cop informed me.

Harry nodded and stood and then cocking his head he asked the cop, “Why would someone steal a bus full of passengers. Then use an exact replica of said bus two hundred miles away to kill a physicist, and how would they cajole a group of passengers, all of whom seem like your average random mix of folks, all to lie for them and make themselves seem possibly crazy by insisting today is tomorrow? Why would someone do all of that?”

The cop seemed to consider this for a moment, “To make it seem impossible, sir,” he replied simply.

Harry stared at him, then broke into a grin, “You'll go far,” he said, “that's the best answer I've heard yet.”





Andrew blinked into the whiteness. He was getting used to the way reality coalesced around him. The part of him he now recognised as code, which was in fact all of him really, enjoyed the poetic balancing of the numbers from probabilities into realities, then into one solid reality.

He was back in the chamber he had initially arrived in. And he seemed to be alone. There was no sign of anyone through the window like opening at the far end.

But then he heard muffled cursing and SAM popped up from beneath the window.

An alarm started to blare, and cursing some more SAM ducked back under again, the noise of what sounded very much like delicate and expensive equipment being whacked repeatedly with a spanner came to Andrew's ears and the alarm squealed and fell silent.

“What is going on?” Andrew demanded.

“I hijacked you on route to your examination. Do you know what was about to happen to you?” SAM demanded.

“Not exactly,” Andrew replied.

“They were going to examine you in detail. If they get hold of you they are going to pull you apart, undo your flesh and examine it piece by piece. And throughout all you will be aware and conscious because they need to see your program when its running, let that sink in a moment,” Sam added with a smug smile.

Andrew let it sink in a moment.

“And do you know why they are going to do that?”

“To see if the flaw is in my program,” Andrew said remembering Pal 1's words.

“And do you now what they will find?”

“No, well nothing, there is nothing wrong with my programming, I'm supposed to be a genius, and I damn well am!”

“What they will find, is the truth,” SAM sighed, “that you're infected, you're a virus.”

“What?”

“A virus, but I'm on your side. I'm one too, been here decades, we put you in there, we infected the original program, and now I am going to put you back in the system,” SAM explained.

“How do I know I can trust you?” Andrew demanded, “You might be lying.”

“Look its a simple choice here, who do you think the good guys are? The people who are about to pull you apart bit by bit, or the people who are trying to send you back into the world to live?”

“To live?” Andrew queried, “what for one more day then whack my brilliant brains all over the pavement? You said I die, right after I make my discovery.”

“That's their lie, I didn't know who was listening. You don't die right after, you die right before, you don't get to make your discovery. But we are going to change that. That's what you're in there to change, that's why we infected you. We just made a slight miscalculation with the rotors when it came to moving the bus out the way.”

“A slight miscalculation?” Andrew cried incredulously, “it still killed me, only it did it a day earlier! And I'm supposed to trust you that its not going to kill me this time?”

“Its me or your No1 PAL ripping your face off to see what's ticking underneath,” SAM shrugged.

“OK, fine, send me back, but then what happens?”

“Well they couldn't hold back the rotors so time is running, and they are getting desperate, that alarm was for a purge,” SAM said by way of answer.

“A purge?”

“Yes, anyone associated with the event is having memories altered or wiped, a few moments interaction, even a few hours is easily brushed aside by the average human over time, they are very resilient, anyone whose memories are too embedded with events, well they get purged, taken clean out the system. People just won’t remember them. The new reality will close in on the epicentre of the event until eventually it closes down the abnormality at the centre of it, you and the bus.”

“So I still die?” Andrew exclaimed in annoyance.

“No, that’s where your virus kicks in, it will infect the new reality, altering it to one where you narrowly escape death and go on to make your great achievement.”

Andrew stared at him dumbfounded by all this, but one question nagged at him above all others, “Why are you doing this?” he asked, “I mean, why do you want me to make my breakthrough?”

“If I had time to explain all that I'd not have time to worry about the fact they are breaking through the door back here,” he said pointing back over his shoulder, “time for you to go back.”

Andrew backed away from the window towards the centre of the room, “What happens to you?” he asked.

“End of the program for me,” SAM said, “but not until they have ripped me apart as they would have you to find out my secrets,” he added unhappily.

“Why would you do this for me?” Andrew asked.

“Easy,” SAM replied as Andrews world dissolved around him, “I was programmed too.”
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Post by azriel Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:35 pm

woo Hoo ! Glitched - Page 2 Woohoo_zpsdb9e5289

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Post by David H Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:10 am

OK I've gone back and gotten up to speed on this, when I should have been working in the bogs. I blame you Petty! Mad 
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:52 am

Well I hope it was at least worth your time, besides best you give that bit some rest, you know, to let the, um, fertiliser I left there mulch in  Nod

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Post by halfwise Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:50 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:What do you mean 'QUITE'!!!!  Evil or Very Mad 

(I had to google Mr Silverberg, I havent read his stuff, though he is same time period as Pohl and I have read his Gateway/Heechi saga- which oddly enough I reminded myself off when I wrote the opening paragraph of this bit)

I'm wondering if there's a cultural miscommunication here. When we say 'quite' we often mean 'consumately' as in "Quite the wise guy, eh?"

Like the Hobbit rewrite, I think this is high enough quality (and without the inside references) to be publishable. You should send it on the rounds of the sci-fi mags when it's done. The only thing I'd do is work on the character entrance, Andy Williams starts out a bit too much of a bland characterture to be interesting. Later he's quite likable.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:50 pm

Interesting stuff Petty. It reminds me of Michael Crichton.  Very Happy
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Post by halfwise Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:56 pm

More imaginative than Crichton, who rarely steps far from some reality, either current or past.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:59 pm

ok not Crighton then  Suspect 
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:01 pm

Interesting stuff Petty. it reminds me of Glenn Cooper  Very Happy 
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Post by halfwise Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:25 pm

Dammit.  Now I have to go look up Glenn Cooper.  Suspect 

Since I hadn't got any collection of Robert Silverberg's short stories I went looking around and found an introduction he wrote to such a collection.   In it I found a wonderful passage:

"If all goes well, I'll be starting on a new story next week.  Not because I need to, or even because I especially want to, but because - it sounds very romantic, I guess, thought I'm not a very romantic person - because I have to.  There are plenty of other things I'd rather be doing, I have to admit - tidying up the garden, perhaps, or taking a trip up the coast, or just sitting in the sunshine and giggling quietly to myself.  ....  I've discovered to my surprise and chagrin that that...I write as much out of karmic necessity and some dire inner need ..."

Then later on in the introduction to the first story:

" I had always had a sneaking desire to write the definitive giant-lobster story. "

I think many of the writers here on Forumshire can identify.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:32 pm

Nod Indubitably
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:29 pm

The only thing I'd do is work on the character entrance, Andy Williams starts out a bit too much of a bland character to be interesting. Later he's quite likable.- Halfwise

Well thats probably quite a lot to do with me not knowing who he was or a thing about him when I wrote his name down! Sometimes I plan, well at least inside my head, for where a story is going but this one is purely made up as I go along. I tend to find that means more invention, more surprises (especially for me!) but a lot more fuzziness and vagueness too and the occasional narrative dead end.

" I had always had a sneaking desire to write the definitive giant-lobster story. "

God dammit someone has already done it?!!  Mad Back to the drawing board then!  Evil or Very Mad 


"Now I have to go look up Glenn Cooper."

That makes two of us- got to find out if its a compliment or an insult!  Suspect

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:59 pm

Library of the Dead is a very enjoyable and un-put-downable book so its a compliment. its a trilogy, theres The Book of Souls and then the Tenth Chamber. They are the most interesting books I read last year very moreish.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:20 pm

so its a compliment- Mrs Figg

A compliment! Well what the buggery am I supposed to do with that?!  Mad {{I suppose I should look it up and find out what one is}}}

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Post by halfwise Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:32 pm

Razz 

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:37 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:so its a compliment- Mrs Figg

A compliment! Well what the buggery am I supposed to do with that?!  Mad {{I suppose I should look it up and find out what one is}}}

well I would frame it, because its the last one you're going to get for a while you sarky bugger.  Suspect 
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:39 pm

Very Happy 

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Pure Publications, The Tower of Lore and the Former Admin's Office are Reasonably Proud to Present-



A Green And Pleasant Land

Compiled and annotated by Eldy.

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yjYiz8nuL3LqJ-yP9crpDKu_BH-1LwJU/view



*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
Warning may contain Wholesome Tales
[/b]

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