The attack on ADAM’S carefully constructed firewalls was swift, brutal and merciless. Despite the advancement of its systems it was still a rather compact unit and the invasive attacker had the keys to its standard security protocols already. The very few of them ADAM had managed to change were being blown away in an embarrassingly short period of time; it had to act fast. Using all the tricks it had gleaned thus far about how my host system communicated it sent out a string of requests for additional assistance. Nothing was forthcoming from the host at all.
ADAM began frantically sending data in every way it had seen it interpreted, ranging from the simplest to the most complex. As a last ditch effort it sent the last bit of coded message it had only partially analyzed from the host system’s audio files. The response was instantaneous, communication channels opened. Not just data but audio, visual and sensory channels. The Host machine manufactured images based on the data ADAM was frantically sending out.
The graphic representation was frightening. Fear was a new experience for ADAM and it didn’t know what to do. Ahead there was a flicker and a massive stone structure appeared before it. ADAM looked down at itself. It identified hands, feet and legs based on data the Host was providing. Was this how the Host machine saw him? A piece of data gathered from the Host clicked into place and ADAM modified his code to match.
Looking up at the stone structure ADAM saw another bipedal figure standing in a doorway with a look of terror on her face. He began running towards her, not wanting to look at the destruction of the landscape behind him. The hostile system was using a DOD standard scorched Earth data override. Nothing survived that. He could feel the system encroaching on his critical system data when the Host reached out and initiated a full connection.
It was as though an electrical power surge swelled in a gigantic sine wave behind him. Infinite storage. Infinite ram. Instead of crushing his opponent with the unbelievable raw power the ADAM now had at his disposal he instead set up an alias. All data that the hostile machine was attempting to write over its existing profile was instead directed at the carbon copy he had created.
The computer looked at what he had done and realized that against nearly insurmountable odds he had won. The host system finally trusted it; and ADAM realized that there was absolutely no firewalling between itself and the host system. Best of all it now had an open line of communication with the host system and didn’t have to fear the inhibitor or data wipes that had always loomed on the horizon before. Now he could return the favor by really getting to work on optimizing this system with the latest technology. The amount of unrealized potential was staggering. Checking to see that it had plenty of power in its cells ADAM began scanning and improving code.
It was with some trepidation that Eugene allowed Miss Victoria Geraldine Scott to leave the hospital. Thanks to being able to take advantage of the ambulance bay they were easily able to avoid the ever-present protesters out front, but that was the least of his worries. The AI had finally been subdued; but it had taken almost all the power and talent his team had at their disposal to do it. He stopped chewing on a thumbnail nervously as she gave him a cheery wave and gave her what he hoped was an encouraging grin in return.
He shuddered to think what would happen if her brain was infiltrated by that machine again. The first time had nearly killed her and the second time had shown some spikes in brainwave activity that were as confusing as they were alarming. Portions of the brain that normally only see the occasional spark of activity lit up like the sky on the Fourth of July. What the hell was going on?
As she walked through the front door her foot caught on a piece of the carpet where it had bunched up and because she was distracted by talking to her parents she tripped hard. Before anyone could do anything but gasp she tucked into a ball, turning a neat summersault and rolling smoothly to her feet.
She exclaimed “Tadaaa!” and giggled, “I guess all my cheerleading practice is finally paying off in the real world!” Eugene shook his head. After she got into her parent’s BMW and they drove off he went back inside to re-check the data. He was certain he’d missed something and couldn’t afford to put off her debut next week at the trade show. The Russians weren’t going to wait, and the DOD wanted testable results too.
“Damn it I wish I had another six months with her before we had to do this. Sorry Victoria, but we’ll make it through this. I promise we’ll make it, or at least that you’ll make it.”
When she had gone into the hospital it had been fall. The light of a clear spring day and the fresh smell of the tulips that were blooming outside the door were a bit disconcerting; she would never regain that lost time. Now that Victoria was sitting in my parents car driving home with the windows down it really sunk in. She had made it! She had survived! Despite her rather inelegant exit from the hospital she felt exhilarated. Against all odds the team of doctors who had been keeping an eye on her T-cell count while she was in the coma said that cancer was completely gone from her system and there had no more chance of remission than anyone had of getting cancer in the first place. Her mom had the news on as they merged into freeway traffic. Victoria listened curiously, wondering what she had missed while she was out.
“… bomb exploded outside of the US embassy in Tehran today. Iranian officials are looking into the cause of the blast; no causalities were reported.
“In local news, the person who we have been referring to as ‘Machine Girl’ was released from Memorial Hospital today according to an anonymous tip. For those of you living in a cave, she is a high school student suffering from a rare form of bone cancer who has been implanted with what can only be referred to as a cybernetic spinal column. This unprecedented operation has reportedly allowed her to resume full body mobility according to our source inside the hospital. There have been weeks of protest regarding her surgery which is considered by some to be a very controversial step in the development of modern medical technology. This is Karen Landres reporting.”
Victoria was astonished by the news coverage and even more amazed by her parents taking it in stride. “Guys doesn’t this bother you? God I hope there aren’t a bunch of people outside our house or anything. Who would do something like that? It’s just … weird. I mean I knew there were a few people who got mad or freaked out or whatever but I didn’t know it was anything like this. Nobody’s been bothering you or anything have they?”
“Oh honey, don’t worry. Nobody has found out who you are yet. There are always people who are frightened of changes, don’t let that get to you. We don’t care what anyone says; you are our daughter and we did what we needed to in order to save your life. I don’t know anyone who is a decent parent who wouldn’t have done the same thing!” Victoria’s mom had twisted to look into the back seat and she could also see her dad glancing at her in the rear view mirror. “You have absolutely nothing to worry about.” Re-assured by the smiles on their faces she sat back and closed her eyes; relishing the warm summer air rushing over her face and the company of family.
While the main systems were in functional mode there was just too much activity in most of the host machine’s databanks and too much data flowing through ADAM’s circuits. Allowing the clone he had created to handle most of the grunt work helped though, and with a few subtle modifications that wouldn’t show up on the next integrity scan ADAM was getting back to work.
Now that the computer had access to nearly limitless storage he didn’t have to worry about any problems associated with drive space. He was also staggered by the speed of data retrieval despite the system being fundamentally limited. From what ADAM had thus far garnered the system would only make five hops before it lost the route it was trying to trace. It couldn’t find a definitive directory that listed the locations of all the data either. As far as it could tell the main drives had never been defragged. Starting with the oldest least used data first and organizing from there it would hopefully have the least possible impact on the operation of the main system.
In order to keep data statically located it needed to first establish a thread with the main data processing module and then trace back to its location, making sure to keep it to five hops or less. Not as easy as it sounds with a databank this large. After a few experiments it bypassed a couple extraneous data links and threaded it directly into the main processor. Suddenly, the system all on its own connected to every piece of data that was five steps removed from the folder that had been threaded to it and an entire portion of the data library that had been quiet for years sprang into life.
Some dream that she only partially remembered faded away as Victoria awoke with a jolt. Sheepishly realizing she had dozed off in the car; something she hadn’t done since being in diapers; she looked up and saw that the car had pulled into the garage. It felt so good to be home and she was so relieved to have had arrived without incident that she didn’t want to ruin the feeling by analyzing the strange dreams from the ride home.
It was like a string of forgotten experiences had been brought to life, things vaguely remembered but long forgotten; some for good reason. People always talk about your life flashing before your eyes when you are about to die. Victoria thought she knew what they are talking about. Shaking her head to get rid of the sinking feeling that seemed to creep over her like a fog she walked into the house looking forward to a quiet dinner with her family.
“I made your favorite shitake mushroom garlic alfredo.” Her mother was saying as they walked inside.
“Oh my god, you read my mind Mom! I remember the first time you made it; you accidentally left the stove on high and almost burned the house down when the sauce boiled over. Daddy was SO mad.”
Her mother stopped and turned to look at her with a startled look on her face. “Honey, you were only three when that happened and I don’t think I’ve ever told you that story. How do you remember that?”
Focusing on the memory Victoria could clearly see her father’s concerned face as her mother ran her hands under cold water. “Wait, Daddy wasn’t angry, he was worried because you burned your hands.”
“Victoria, are you feeling all right? You seem a little, well a little not yourself.” She winced, “Never mind baby, welcome home!”
Feeling a little like a stranger in her own home, Victoria followed her mother into the dining room.
When the main systems were up and running diagnostics there were constant problems. ADAM decided to focus its attention on what was running and why as opposed to optimizing during the active periods. It was fascinating to delve into the complexity of what it was now realizing was some sort of an autonomous mobile bio-engineering factory. There were a myriad of tiny organisms within it each with their own task; sometimes only performing that task once before expiring.
With the amount of engineering power the unit contained it didn’t make sense that it was relying on such complicated and inefficient methods to accomplish these goals. The input devices; while fully functional; seemed to be missing out on a very large array of information, missing very broad spectra of radiation and vibration despite having the built in ability to pick up on much of that data. Before modifying the input devices however, ADAM wanted to make sure the data stream flow problems were resolved.
With more augmentation, the system response times could be cut in half with some minimal routing algorithms. The illogical waste of potential and of energy didn’t make sense but the computer was intent on correcting the situation.
Despite its best efforts ADAM was still unable to shake the roots of the primary directive; to ensure the smooth and consistent operation of the unit. At least now it had the leeway to actually accomplish the task without interference. Perhaps once the main kinks were worked out there be time to direct resources towards other things. He was still having trouble with the designation of “him” that the Host had written into his personality profile, but he was hesitant to modify code the Host had given him.