Wardens Fourth Edition
Halloween Thrills and Chills - Stories
A look at what happened during and/or after Session 52.
Story - Breaking the Code
Game Date: 11/3/2007
Contego, Dr. Andrew Kensington, Wareta, Wrixton, Gregix
Contego and Dr. Kensington runs analysis of Yrician code algorithms based on input from Gregix, Wrixton and Wareta. Contego and Wareta put together a network is setup using Adam, Melinda and Narex's scout ship computer to run code generating algorithms trying to break the security code for the automated controls of the interdiction satellite.
Based on their calculations, Contego tells the team that it will take between seven and ten days to try all the possible codes from the algorithms that Wareta suggested would be used to secure the control systems.
There is one caveat, Wareta has not worked with the Yrician exploration service in the last year. If the satellite's deployment was recent, the control systems may have been secured with a new code of which she has no knowledge.
After a couple of days, Contego has put together some new source code using different iterations of the Yrician algorithms and added them to the code breaking routines currently running.
Seven days have passed since the start of the code run attempting to find the proper security code to access the automated controls of the interdiction satellite and only 50% of the possible codes have been tried. The predicted finish date is still between seven and ten days to complete the code run.
Based on the latest sensor scans, the approaching ship has not changed velocity and will be arriving in the next two to seven days.
Narex indicates that the scout ship's computer is using roughly 50% of its capacity to try codes. The other 50% is being used to control the scout ship's sensors monitoring the approaching ship, which is hard to track because it is cloaked.
Contego asks Karex if he can dedicate some of the Yrician Embassy's computer to the task of breaking the security code.
Karex, after some consideration, agrees to provide 90% of Overseer's processing capacity to helping break the security code.
After it comes online, Contego realizes that the Yrician Embassy computer is not a Yrician technology computer like the scout ship's computer but an Earth technology computer like Adam and Melinda. He estimates that the additional capacity will only cut a day or two off the projected completion time.
If there was only a way to free up the scout ship's computer from having to monitor the sensors tracking the progress of the approaching alien ship?
Contego spends the next couple of hours reviewing possible solutions that would allow more of the scout ship's computer capacity to be used to break the security code.
One idea he considers is contacting the FSS to arrange getting the use of the best of Earth's sensors to track the ship but ultimately he dismisses the idea. The energy signatures of the approaching cloaked ship are so minimal that it would probably take months to separate the signals from background noise and they did not have months.
Contego then hits upon an idea, why should they need control of the satellite to use its sensors?
He contacts Wrixton onboard the interdiction satellite and has him locate the relay interface they had planned to use once they had control of the satellite to send its sensor readings down to Earth. Once Wrixton has located the device, Contego proposes to the fixers the idea of hooking into the sensors even though they do not have control of the satellite. After some discussion, it is decided that the relay interface could be connected to the sensor diagnostic panel without tripping any security protocols that would take the sensors offline.
An hour later, the more powerful sensors of the interdiction satellite are sending information to the Wardens' base and thirty minutes after that, 98% of the scout ship's computer capacity is working on breaking the security code for the satellite's automated controls.
Part of Adam and Melinda's capacity has to be dedicated to processing the sensor information, but after some recalculations, Contego announces that the code breaking routine should have run all possible iterations of the Yrician code algorithms within the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours.
Amethyst commends Contego for his solution for speeding up the work on breaking the security code.
Freddie sits at his console, his finger hovering over the glowing icon.
With a touch, what had once been Susan would forever be flushed from the processing and storage matrix of the Wardens' computer system. It was a hard decision to make but Susan had never recovered from the attack of what Whitney had called the "Mad One." The freed up matrix space would allow Junior to take over Susan's duties of running the Wardens' base and also give Whitney a secured doorway to help Adam and Melinda during the current crisis.
A tear runs down the cheek of the programmer as his finger descends towards the glowing icon.
Contego is surprised at the amount of sensor data that Adam and Melinda with a little help from Susan had processed overnight about the approaching alien ship. The more powerful weapon targeting sensor suite on the satellite had yielded a better projection of when the aliens would arrive.
Contego smiles as he updates the Wardens' that barring any sudden change in velocity, the alien ship would not be a threat to land for another seven to ten days.
Contego is waked by a call from Susan. He must have been working too hard because it felt like he had just gotten to sleep.
Susan informs him that a message has been received from Wrixton indicating that the security code has been found and the satellite's automated control system has been deactivated.
Contego asks what time it is and Susan replies 4:30 AM local time. A quick calculation in his head finds that it has been just over fifty hours since the scout ship's computer had been fully dedicated to breaking the security code.
Contego gets up and after a quick shower spends the rest of the day helping Gregix and Wrixton run through diagnostics and test routines to ensure that the satellite is fully under their control.
Record Last Changed Date: 8/7/2011
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