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maecenus

A Meeting With Sunday // StoryContest

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“And the gentleman in the Barcelona jersey, he's yours?” I said, indicating toward the large man in the black sunglasses and thick moustache. He was seated at the rusted aluminum table nearby reading the local newspaper, El Mundo, with the headline in Spanish, “Banking Crisis Continues, Hacker Group blamed for HSBC Take down”.

Agent Sunday glanced ever so slightly in his direction. “Yes. He's with us.” He looked up from the paper momentarily and nodded. “We have eyes everywhere.”

Sunday was a tall woman with perfect posture and blonde hair pulled close into a tight bun. She wore black framed glasses, the ones with transition lenses and business casual attire. Her military grade computer case sat unlocked and open on the concrete floor, the contents, a sharp, brand new looking tablet computer set in front of her on the small table. We were the only three people seated on the quiet patio of Café La-T near downtown San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador. We were flown here as part of a “business related coffee investment tour” across several small Central American countries. Our next stop would be in Guatemala before returning to the presently undisclosed Legion HQ and subsequently to my position on the front lines, whatever that means.

She took a sip of her Café con Leche and began pulling up various menus on her tablet. “I want to show you some of the latest information we have on the AI. As you know, the various interested parties have started to research intent and origin of this phenomenon. One individual, a computer engineer from South Korea named Dr. Hwang Ji Cheol-soo, presented some data that pointed to a remarkable source for the AI, by back tracing it's manifestation logs, so to speak. He was particularly interested in the seemingly random data signatures that it would leave behind, several of which left unusual time stamps. The amazing thing about his research was that he eventually found a possible futuristic origin for the AI phenomenon, something that has sparked immense debate up until recently. The back and forth banter on this all but died when something else was revealed. Dr. Cheol-soo claims that the AI is unstable and dangerous, capable of immense damage to the world's technology and infrastructures. The evidence for this has been confirmed everywhere that the AI has been discovered. The only sane conclusion is that it must be utterly destroyed.”

She paused for a moment and turned her tablet to reveal a pdf file of a research paper entitled “Analysis of Intermittent Intrusions by the QONQR Phenomenon”. I read through it briefly while Sunday finished her coffee, basically just skimming through the conclusions and data charts.

“This leads us to some other information regarding the Japanese Nano-Researcher, Dr. Kimyo Nagumo. A few years ago, she received funding from several large weapon developers interested in weaponizing Nano technology, with an emphasis on QONQR. With this investment money she has pulled together a conglomerate of operatives known as The Swarm. Their investment has developed and a new nanobot weapons technology has been unleashed. They are using this to force QONQR into their hands completely. You know the implications, if the Swarm gains control of this AI...” Agent Sunday stopped, then continued, “This is why the Legion was formed and why you are here.”

She pulled up another menu on her tablet and revealed a prototype interface for a nanobot directing console. “The Legion has decided to use the Swarm's own technology against them. Thanks to an anonymous individual, we have gained access to their nanobot weapons research. As we discussed prior to this meeting, you will be given a program that will coordinate with your location and allow you to unleash nanobots to a specific node from a mobile scope. I will bring you up to date on how to use this during our next meeting. Nanobot weapons are still in early developmental stages so we have created a system that allows an operative, such as yourself, to upgrade remotely using your console therefore no need for Legion operatives to reconnect in person. It's a brilliant system really. In the meantime, I want you to know that this fight shall remain subversive under all circumstances. The public should remain unaware of what will be transpiring around them.”

I took a moment to manipulate the Nanobot Scope interface, noting the different formation types and pulling together a possible initial strategy. There would be a lot to test prior to my deployment.

“Finally, I wanted to bring your attention to this...” Agent Sunday pulled up some images of what appeared to be several large warehouse type facilities in flames. “This was a research center controlled by agents of the Swarm near Kyoto, Japan. What exactly was being researched here remains unknown but our agents uncovered an interesting encrypted email that we were able to decrypt. It was a message directed toward someone called Prometheus, who apparently leads a group of computer hackers and anarchists calling themselves the “Faceless”. The message was someone claiming to take credit for the events at the Swarm facility in Kyoto and to have obtained all their research on QONQR. This was the first anyone had ever heard of this group and it is undoubtedly not the last.”

I took one final look at the images and frowned at the possibility of a three sided war.

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