Comic 976 - Invite Jury over

Posted on 28th Apr 2018, 8:54 PM in Hope
Invite Jury over

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 28th Apr 2018, 8:54 PM edit delete
While everyone else cleans up all the magic stuff (taking the miniature you and Geoangular Control to Mars, for example), you step out and call Jury.

You specifically avoid saying the key phrases--or mentioning how you learned all this--but you explain that you've come into... code words, originating from staff of this bunker, that might unlock some encrypted data in Jury. You're not sure what this is going to do, exactly, so you want her somewhere secure before you go spouting off the phrases.

"...I'll be there shortly," Jury replies.

You manage to get all of the potential magical stuff out of view by the time she arrives, which is surprisingly fast.

"And you guys are sure this has to do with me?," Jury asks.

"We're... fairly certain," Dr. Finch replies.

Fuse nods. "Somebody working in this bunker was trying to hide the data from the rest of Zone Fifty. You think you used to know more about the director, right?"

"Yeah," Jury says. "I have my suspicions, anyway. I think my data on the director was messed with some time between Zone Fifty and me becoming a federal agent."

"Doctor Calloway was afraid of precisely that," states Dr. Finch. "We believe he may have... obfuscated some of the data, in a way, hidden it as a program that's hard to identify directly, but likely easy to activate."

"Alright," Jury says. "Well, I have the time. That address you guys obtained was massive. The hackers aren't talking, but the kind of stuff we found on their computers... it might just be a matter of time before we can bring the hammer down on Thale. I owe you one."

"You ready to do this, then?," Michelle asks.

Jury nods. "Hit me."

You ask about program Rhetoric Delta, password Old Heretic Rat.

...There's a brief pause.

Jury shakes her head. "It's not ringing a bell. Maybe I need--"

she stops.

Her eyes flash white. Her mouth slooowly opens, giving way to a harsh static-y noise.

"Oh, shit," Caius exclaims. "We broke her."

After a second or two of this, Jury suddenly begins to speak in an old, filtered recording of Dr. Calloway's voice.

"I started figuring it out the day Lucas cracked his keycard," Jury-as-Calloway states. "He'd try to walk into the lab, and end up in some random building. Old, dusty, completely abandoned. We thought it was just... well, Zone Fifty technology. There's no telling what a malfunction could produce. Before he had the key replaced, though... some of the other scientists and I, we started doing the math. The... the measurements, the proportions of that building, the exterior, and our own bunker. We realized the truth: our laboratory was the oddity. It didn't fit. Our place of operations is... not the same size as the structure that houses it. We're not really inside the building at all, the front door's taking us somewhere else entirely."

Jury continues. Her expression, her posture, nothing changes... her mouth just moves to feed the words, her eyes entirely blank.

"It was a few months later I started finding the holes. The leaks, the vulnerabilities, the... the flaws in the system. It... it it was a drive, a long one, but I made a few stops at other bunkers. I put on a ski mask, moved in the dead of night... and I discovered that if I swiped my keycard, input my password, gave my fingerprint to those pads? I ended up here. The doors could all lead... to the same place. The other scientists I work with, though, they're from around here. I think the doors are connected for ease of use, but whose? Is it just in case we recruit staff from out of state? Are our occasional mediators between bunkers from outside the city?"

There's a pause. You hear some rustling in the background of the recording before Calloway continues.

"I can't try keys from other sites on ours, so I can't test all my theories, but... but. The last door I tried didn't take my credentials. If these doors are really networked, and any Zone Fifty site door can lead to any Zone Fifty site... then this door, it's on a different network. It stands alone, separated from all the research facilities. I can't be sure... but I think it's Site 1. I think that's the door, THE door. And... and I'm not a hacker, but..."

Jury removes one of her gloves, revealing the USB port in her hand. She holds her hand out.

"'s not hard to find a hacker in this city. If anything's going to get me killed, it's this. There were cameras on that door. There were fences around it. It was the hardest door for me to get to, and it took me over a month just to get this much. Rhetoric Delta is this audio file, an address... and a digital reproduction of that lock's programming. No one I've talked to can crack it, but if you can... if you can find someone that can, this is the mother lode."

Fuse, without saying a word, plugs a USB into Jury's hand.

Calloway goes on. "If they take me out, then I was right. Someone's planning something. The interconnected doors, the leaks... someone's up to something, something big, and they need to be stopped. I hope... I sincerely hope that by exposing the flaws, revealing the identity of the director, revealing where he is... and revealing that if I, a regular scientist in a regular lab working on robots, of all things, can figure this out... then any number of people could. Zone Fifty needs to be brought down. ...Before this gets out of control."

There's another pause. Jury's eyes flutter. She speaks in her normal voice, albeit in a loud monotone. "Upload complete."

Fuse slips the USB back out, and steps away from Jury. He immediately starts to work on moving the copy of the program to his computer.

"--to run something else first," Jury suddenly picks up, right where she left off. She blinks... and looks around. "...My internal clock just jumped ahead. Did I miss something?"


DÆMONBIRDY 28th Apr 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
explain to jury about what happened, and try to make a all-seeing eye usin' the red(after jury has left).
lil Joshu 29th Apr 2018, 3:18 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
But be careful when explaining to her that the recording has the keyphrases and will likely kick her 'playback mode' again if she listens to it after a certain point. Maybe copy the recording and edit out the key phrases so she can hear? However, warn her that some of it may trigger other protocols in her as there seem to be other keywords scattered in there, and we have no clue what they may cause her to do.
Frission 28th Apr 2018, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
To bring back a wonderful old quote: Yowza.
PurpleKetchup 29th Apr 2018, 3:36 AM edit delete reply
Alternatively, whoa.
pkrankow 28th Apr 2018, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
Er, Yes. You missed Dr Calloway playing an audio file through you.

We also have a data upload to analyse. You may have a copy if you want.
Archon 28th Apr 2018, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
Tell jury it turned out to be a grandfathered debugging command.

Don't think we should tell Jury the full truth just yet.
Nayru9572 28th Apr 2018, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
Okay, explain to Jury what just happened, and then finally tell her that the director was Thale.
Blue_Elite 28th Apr 2018, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
I'm concerned this all might set off alarms for Jury just like Geoangular Control. This info was very specifically kept secret even from her (while still being in her).
Maybe still tell her what happened but try to avoid certain keywords like, "Site 1," or at least ask her if any information about the main/primary Zone Fifty site might trigger automatic security protocols from her before discussing those directly. At the very least, "Doctor Calloway," didn't trigger anything so maybe it's safe after all.
pkrankow 28th Apr 2018, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
It is safe enough. The name Dr Calloway did not raise any flags. The data she contained was delivered to us after reasonable steps to prevent unexpected events were taken... ie she came to our bunker willingly. The theory behind the code words were explained and she agreed to go ahead.

She will refuse the data if it is a risk to herself. She is also not about to turn us in willingly over something like this.

Now with this remarkable of a Trojan horse, it makes me ...probably overreact in this case... fear some other trojan horse.
Crestlinger 28th Apr 2018, 11:03 PM edit delete reply
Beginning to seem like the greatest weapon we have against the Thale legion is to have a biography done of 'Just Who Is Patton Thale?' and spread it across every monitor, phone,etc. device in the city nonstop.
Espylacopa 28th Apr 2018, 11:06 PM edit delete reply
Yes, unless she believes there will be negative repercussions to doing so, tell Jury what she missed and everything else you can about this discovery without revealing the use of anything magicy. If she want to, she deserves to know.
Madd 29th Apr 2018, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
Inform her that she ran a hidden program with an audio recording by Doctor Calloway, and during that uploaded what we think is the data we where talking about. It seems Doctor Calloway found out where Site 1 is, and that it's not connected to the rest of the system.

Also mention that both phrases are anagrams of each other and anagram of them with the word Director gets you Director Thale. We're not quite sure if it's relevant, but the implications of it are not good if it was intentional.
37212513 29th Apr 2018, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
+1 Vote to tell her everything!
Note: Everything as is relative to this particular discovery. Let her see the data as well. If she sees the way the data was hidden, she can scan (or alternatively submit to a scan, as to avoid accidentally activating something bad) for similarly hidden elements.
Archon 29th Apr 2018, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
I confess to a bit of confusion.
Why would we want to tell Jury what we learned?
Yes, Jury should know we found something.
She already suspects, but doesn't know what.
By keeping what we actually found from her, we can tackle the information on our time, without the risk of outside tampering getting there first.

Not to mention that if her superiors find out there's decent odds of her being put out of commission, until her superiors are certain her code has no more hidden messages or other programs.
Blue_Elite 29th Apr 2018, 2:22 AM edit delete reply
We know Jury recently got her programming tested for tampering and this all never came up. So whatever it is, not even her superiors will find out about it unless she tells them directly. We also know Jury can actively lie to her superiors. So there's really no harm to telling Jury anything unless she has a trigger to Site 1/Director Thale like she does to Geoanglar Control (which she herself knows about).
Portal In Time 29th Apr 2018, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Memo 29th Apr 2018, 1:45 AM edit delete reply
Yes, yes she missed a bit..
Tell her about what just happened, but not yet detail what exactly you learned.
Then ask her if she believes it is safe for her (and us) to know.
If she believes it is, then we can tell her. This is information I believe she should have, but mayby she does not agree.
Blue_Elite 29th Apr 2018, 2:34 AM edit delete reply
So uh, this quote from The Tradesmen: "She has protocols in place regarding the use of magic that even she cannot override yet. ..."
So... anyone else want to indulge a completely crazy theory and continue to hug Jury as much as possible with the idea that THAT is what will allow her to, "go beyond her programming?"
Also at some point I'd like to point out to Jury that her hugs... leave something to be desired and to offer to teach her the art of hugging. Just not now while everyone is here, Jury has shown she can get embarrassed/flustered. Maybe if we get a moment alone with her sometime.
Ghest 29th Apr 2018, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
You trying to say our interactions with Jury are making her more of a person?
PurpleKetchup 29th Apr 2018, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
She already is, really.
But hugging is an art, and training is the only way to master it.
Terrabrand 29th Apr 2018, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
I agree with the general 'tell her' plan.
Terrac 29th Apr 2018, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
I like Blu-Elite's "Tell her and hug her" plan. Everyone needs more hugs.
Guest 29th Apr 2018, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Maybe ask Jury if she really wants to know? she knows the threats more than us.
pkrankow 29th Apr 2018, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Ask Jury if she think the PJ's may have similar data, and if she thinks it worth asking them.

Yes, hugs.
Reiko Lupus 29th Apr 2018, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Before telling her, I has a propose.
Maybe we can Blood her? With an amount of Blood enough to put even her under our control. With that, Maybe we can help her to get rid of the protocols that can transform her in a danger to all of us, and Maybe even find other hidden data if we actively search for Rhetoric Delta, and use it's hidden place as a base to search for others.
Obviously, asking for her consent to do this XD.

If we don't do this... Simply ask her about the things we CAN'T tell her, and tell her everything we CAN about this.
fellow 29th Apr 2018, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
I believe that Jury's superiors might notice it if we coat all of her insides with blood.
Reiko Lupus 29th Apr 2018, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
Can't we remove it after reprograming her?
Damn, I believed we could XD.
PurpleKetchup 29th Apr 2018, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
It's somewhat naive, but leaving her unblooded sends a great message when it comes to where we stand in this conflict. Hacking/blooding our currently cooperating federal agent friend so she's "safer" sends another.
If there are things we can't tell her, let's just not tell her.
Reiko Lupus 29th Apr 2018, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
To be honest, I was simply curious about what would happen if we Blooded a robot with his/her own sense of self XD.
What would be the difference with a normal human?
What would be the difference with a normal machine?
I'm curious XD.
Espylacopa 29th Apr 2018, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
I'm curious too, but I don't think we should unless something or someone forces her to turn on us or she volunteers on her own.
Prof T 29th Apr 2018, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Tell Jury. That explains why Thale didn't think we were in the bunkers while Carpenter did. Don't mention magic to Jury, still not sure how that will work out for Team Blondie. Seriously we need to work on dealing with Carpenter and doing a level in Bunker X.