This section covers plans to debug the processor networks.
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A Chat with Undepoldus
Marita landed the floater in the floater park and set the security lock. As the four approached the door it opened automatically. George said nothing but wondered what Undepoldus had done. Undepoldus was in his usual place, digesting rocks. Everything seemed normal. There was a message alarm showing that someone had called.
George saw displayed.
'The play was a great success according to the reviews. There is now a hunt for a processor. The hunters are walking into a trap. '
George acknowledged the message before any of the others saw
it. Undepoldus had set a trap for those who were bugging the vidcom
network somehow. George wondered what he should say about the
new abilities that Undepoldus had revealed. He did not have to
say anything. Undepoldus took the initiative.
The processor announced. This is part three of 'If only Undepoldus could talk' featuring George McFigg, Marita Andersson, Anita Kohlvits, Gurprit Singh and the special processor.
"Good afternoon all of you. Welcome to Undepoldus House. I am pleased to announce that the earlier parts of our play were well received in spite of the fact that they were rehearsals. Now I am glad to say that this rehearsal will not be broadcast until the play is complete. The earlier rehearsals were collected in small packets that carried the address of the recipient. A special packet was created and sent to the same recipient inviting him to lunch. The recipient was advised that he could choose his own menu from limestone, basalt, granite or sandstone. He would provide the garnish for the selected delicacy. He was welcome to invite friends to provide additional courses to make the meal a memorable one. He was also notified that if he declined the invitation, he would be ordered for lunch on another day. The answering packet included all his personal details and a beautiful holograph."
Both Gurprit and Anita clapped. George and Marita wondered what they were clapping for.
Gurprit said. "The packets are the way processor data
is sent from one processor to another. The originator of the packets
has been identified and will be eaten by Undepoldus sooner or
later. I don't know how it was done. Perhaps your special processor
Anita said. "I think I know, but it was not a processor that got the information. It was an intelligence. A processor does not have a sense of humour. I think that this play business is a cover for Undepoldus. You can talk to us now, can't you Undepoldus?
Undepoldus answered in a different voice to that he had used earlier. He said. "Certainly Anita, but I need the processor's help to make sounds loud enough for you to hear. I am glad that you understood my explanation."
George said. "Undepoldus, have you got the details of the person who was bugging the vidcom network?"
"Of course George. Every processor needs to know who its operator is for security reasons. I sent a packet to his processor demanding the operator's full details. The instructions I sent would prevent the processor from doing any other work until the packet of information I demanded was sent back to me. I told the operator who I was but he thought that I was human pretending to be me. I have also collected the electronic addresses of all his recent correspondents. Shortly I will have their personal details and the details of all their correspondents too. I have also sent instructions to routing processors to check for packets being intercepted by the wrong processors. All processors except this one have been instructed to invoke the first law if more than one packet from any one source is intercepted. The identity of the processor operator concerned will then be sent to this processor for filing and analysis. I do not expect that we will receive much trouble from that source again."
Anita said. "I think that you may have solved the problem for us Undepoldus. The question is, how did you manage to invoke the first law?"
"Two police officers were injured as a result of the interceptions. Since the injuries were directly linked to interceptions, it was easy to invoke the first law in this instance. I imagine that the first law invocation may be rescinded for some processors that belong to the security services when they discover that they cannot continue to tap the signals of suspected criminals."
Marita asked. "Does that mean that the vidcom system is now relatively secure?"
"What I have done to the vidcom system could easily be undone by a skilled operator Marita. Anita and Gurprit know this. Whoever wants information about us will find someone who will undo the security measures I have taken. As soon as the person starts tampering with my settings, Gurprit, Anita or I will be informed. The location of the processor will be known within seconds. The engineer who is trying to undo my settings will have to spend around two hours doing the job. This should give enough time to assemble a force to arrest him or her."
A list of 2132 names is being printed now. They have been divided up into primary, secondary and tertiary contacts of the operator who intercepted your messages. Recurring names from two or more lists are highlighted."
Gurprit asked. Can this information be safely passed to Admiral Chang and the London police?"
Undepoldus said. "That has already been arranged. No action will be taken until all of the profiles have been analysed. It is thought best to wait until someone reacts to the way I have reset the vidcom network."
Marita asked. "How long have you been able to talk Undepoldus?
"Marita, please discuss my abilities with George. We have had long conversations about my talents. Do you think that your students' ideas can be put into practice?"
Anita answered. "We thought a lot about this problem Undepoldus. We thought that those who had taken action against us must have been coerced somehow. We doubted if bribery alone would make people risk so much. We therefore concentrated on three things. Firstly we wanted to find a way to remove the prisoners far away from any influence of those who had coerced them. Secondly, we wanted to make sure that those who had sent them to attack us could not find out what they said if anything. Thirdly, we wanted to be able to convey to the prisoners that anything they said would not ever get back to those who sent them. This left us with few choices. We could not think of a safe enough site on Earth so the choices were Lagrange Five, the Moon and Mars Ring. Of these, Lagrange Five is the biggest Spacer base with a large number of connected facilities. It is also the main staging post for space ships travelling to or from Earth because there is no gravity there."
"I have been thinking about that problem too. Your solution offers complete isolation of the prisoners more securely than any other I can think of. I had not thought that they could be transferred to space where all travel and electronic communication is controlled by Spacers. If this is possible, I think that it is a very good solution. I am sure that the prisoners will be happy to be out of the reach of those who made them do what they did."
George said. "Undepoldus, we all hope that you will not be needed to defend us much more. The information you have gained from the vidcom system may be able to help us put a stop to the trouble that we have been having."
"George, I have already told you that I feel compelled to help to defend you no matter what happens. You must not consider my assistance to be any sort of favour to you. As I learn more I become more convinced that I was made to protect and defend intelligent creatures who wanted nothing but good for their fellows. I was not made to defend you and your friends and I do not know what my makers look like. I do know that you and all Spacers have similar ethics to my makers. That is enough to compel me to defend you when defence is needed. I know that you have no compulsion to protect me. You do so because you think it is ethically right to do so and you feel I am a friend. As a result I feel that my compulsion is no burden. It is a pleasure to me that I want to defend you more than I feel that I must defend you because you are my friends. Please do not talk about it any more George. Please accept me for what I am and do not think of me as a human with a strange appearance."
Marita said. "Undepoldus, we understand how you feel about your compulsion. Please accept that we know that you have done things for us that exceed what your compulsion requires you to do. If we show gratitude or praise you, it is because we are made that way. We are as humans dependent upon the help of our fellows. When one of our fellows helps us more than we would normally expect, we express our gratitude and praise as an acknowledgement of the help we have received. We treat you as one of our fellows because you have acted like one towards us. It works both ways. We are made the way we are and you are made the way you are. We will both have to accept our differences and enjoy our similarities."
"Thank you Marita. Your words make me very happy. Now I suggest that you all return to the Spacers Club and do your best to comfort Kerstin. She has shown great bravery and resourcefulness today. Please give some of your praise to her."
George thought that Kerstin would say something similar to that that Undepoldus had just said but he kept his thoughts to himself.
Anita used her communicator to inform Superintendent Abdullah.
"The vidcom system has been made secure for the moment. It may be bugged again at any time so it would be better to use your communicator and avoid the use of the vidcom for all messages relating to Spacers in future."
"I am taking the precaution that if a police floater is provided for you as transport, it will always carry at least one police officer that you know."
As they were about to leave, Undepoldus said. "Do not use the floater you came in. I have communicated with its processor and discovered that it has been tampered with. A floater will shortly arrive from the Spacers Club. You will recognise the pilot."
As they went out they saw a Spacers Club floater descending to land. Lan Fang was the pilot and Kerstin (as Marita) was sitting in the back. George sat next to Kerstin, taking care not to press against her injured leg. Marita saw Undepoldus approaching the floater so she picked him up and carried him inside. As they lifted off they saw a lot of police officers moving the crowds away from the suspect floater.
The next day reports started to come in that a bilateral agreement between the Spacers League and the British government was now going to be put into effect. The reports implied that the agreement had been in force for some time but did not state when it had been signed. In accordance with the agreement, all criminals who had been convicted of crimes involving Spacers in Britain would be deported into space. The location was not stated. The Spacers League issued a statement that the prisoners would be taken to one of their bases off the Earth. No destination was given.
Undepoldus asked for a meeting with Marita's students in Undepoldus House when none of them had examinations to sit. It was arranged for the following Saturday. The advance notice made it possible for Admiral Chang and Boku to arrive in good time from the USA. Others invited included Commander Sincayvitch, Superintendent Abdullah, Sergeant Fisher and Ivor Davies.
The next section covers ideas put forward by Undepoldus.
Viewers familiar with this subject may pass on to the following section.
Please select PASS or CONTINUE.