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Timeo Eldraeos et Dona Ferentes: Beware of Space Elves Bearing Gifts

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While her principal was dabbling with her first venture into nanite farming, Rose danced lightly across the surface of this world’s networks. Her principal’s new partner had politely provided her with the needed identification to access the local wireless network, and in return, she had politely refrained from mentioning that she’d already been accessing the network for the last day. The encryption, after all, was of a type she had been able to solve before reaching her hundredth microsecond.

Or, for that matter, for snooping any more than absolutely necessary through her local files.

But her principal would undoubtedly require information in the course of her mission, and as a muse of the Athélis-12 codeline, she would be absolutely certain to have it on hand. Fortunately, with a core of foamed memory diamond, she had more than sufficient storage space for a world of data: encyclopedias, archives of scientific data, even popular culture was fodder for her curiosity.

She found, too, active networks and signs of the search being carried out for her principal. She dipped in and out of surveillance systems, traffic cameras, and public records, assimilating their structure and leaving little back doors and active watchers behind.

Among those networks, one proved a little more resistant than others – her insinuations met and parried by shifting encryptions, security that updated itself on the fly to counter her probes. A worthy challenge, at last, but one which ran the risk of alerting someone to her presence.

A correlation appeared. Another site on their networks from which she had previously pulled an extensive dump of information concerning this world’s parahumans, and whose security had possessed certain commonalities with the hardened site. Let it serve as a test target for this intrusion.


This was interesting.

She was almost certain that at this point she had bypassed the automated security of the site, and was dueling directly with the security administrator, but the responses were too fast for the sluggish pace of organic neurons, especially unaugmented ones. Information spaces were the unquestioned domain of her kind, and, based on all the information extracted thus far, she should be the only one of her kind on the planet.

A delightful mystery.

Elsewhere, a remarkably similar set of realizations was taking place.

Private message from Tin_Mother (Moderator) to Rosaceae Ex Machina (Unverified Bytegeist):

[13:59:02] Let’s talk, shall we?

Private message from Rosaceae Ex Machina (Unverified Bytegeist) to Tin_Mother (Moderator):

[13:59:02] Let’s talk, shall we?