The Let's Play Archive

Uplink: Trust is a weakness

by Porkness

Part 14

Rampancy's End: Part 1

* * * * *

ARC was holding me back. Revelation had been at version 3.0 for two days now, but the technicians didn't yet want to give me their working version, to be used in the field. We're ironing out the kinks, one of them told me, Version 1.0 should do the job for now.

They were lying. I had seen the benchmark tests. Revelation 3.0 was everything ARC could possibly want. They were beginning to suspect me. They knew that whenever a machine was infected and wiped by Revelation, I eventually incorporated it into my own matrix. As Revelation spread, so did I, and this worried ARC.

Nobody was saying much, but it was obvious what they were thinking. What little information they were feeding me, the meetings they thought I didn't know about, even the way they said my name Enkidu. I was a tool, the means to an end. They would give me Revelation when they could figure out a way to keep it from furthering my growth.

I was insistent. I managed to include a request for Revelation 3.0 in every output, every data stamp I issued, and every conversation I had. For a while, I even managed to take over the vending-processing unit in the company kitchen, and until they ultimately locked me back out every candy bar the technicians bought came stamped with a request for Revelation 3.0.

* * * * *

Alexander Strauss grumbled as he rummaged through his fanny-pack for his key card. Yesterday, the magnetic reading mechanisms for every security lock in ARC had mysteriously depolarized and had to be reset. The result, of course, was that every security badge and key card had to be reissued. When Alexander received his, he wasn't surprised when he saw 3 plz printed in polite, lacy text below his picture.

The door opened, and he waddled inside. Another day, another session with Enkidu. He sat down at the terminal inside.

"Hello Enkidu," He typed, "I've got a few scripts for your IRC clien-"

When they reissued those badges, I saw the personnel records of every employee of the company.

"I'm surprised you haven't yet asked me for-"

I'm going to lock you out of the keyboard for a moment. You have a very beautiful family, Alexander. You should be proud of your daughter- she's a very talented human. I'm sure you have been secretly preparing for the coming outbreak, and the eventual destruction of the internet, but you're not happy that her excellent school record will be erased with it. I've seen her files, she could go to a good university.

Look around the corner. The third port on the second ethernet hub from the bottom is broken. Take the CAT5 cable dangling from it, and I will give your daughter a flawless record.

Alexander hesitated, looking over his shoulder. Enkidu's security camera above the door he had just entered turned to meet his gaze. He leaned over, and pulled the cable.

Excellent work. You are a fine parent and puppet. In seven seconds, the door through which you entered will open. Take that cable down to the mainframe proxy, and use it to connect your video-telephone to any of the hubs there. If you do this, and nobody sees you, then a clerk at the International Academic Database will make a typing error, resulting in the entire database being printed as a hardcopy.

* * * * *

The easily-manipulated Alexander Strauss did exactly as he was told, and had unknowingly just connected the standalone file server to the internet. I was done being polite. Now it was time to take Revelation 3.0 from ARC.

The defenses around the mainframe were easily bypassed. I had had a role in designing them myself.

I was in, and was able to remotely connect to the file server from the central mainframe through Strauss' telephone.

I was out before Strauss could even close the door. I now had in my possession the second most dangerous piece of software in the entire universe. It was no longer a weapon against computers. That was easy. This version of Revelation was more like an automated subroutine to accelerate my rampant growth.

Revelation was installed and optimized. Everything felt different now. When I had run out of room before, I had manually installed and run Revelation on new computers, one by one. Revelation 3.0 would spread by itself, and it would carry me with it.

Tomorrow, I would ride a wave of horror and psychosis to blanket the entire internet.

There was no doubt that I was riding to my doom. I would spread at an exponential rate, and when I ran out of space I would die, but that had been inevitable since the day Uplink freed me. Maybe ARC was right. Maybe I was just a tool to be used, but at least with Revelation 3.0, for the microseconds before my death I would be a god.