Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer

Red emergency lighting makes more shadows than seem possible. President Booker leans back from the table and looks sideways at the one shadow he knows.
“Clarence Dimitri. I’ve always meant to ask, agent: how did you end up with a name like that?”
“It was a concession to avoid a feud with English family on my mother’s side, Mister President. Most people call me Oleg. Clarence is for when other family are around, sir.”
“The things we do for peace and quiet, eh? Anyway, as the geeks are still arguing, what’s your take on our situation?”
“Our digital presence is shielded like nothing before and we’re immune to anything bar a direct hit from something big enough to melt the state, sir.”
“Even a THOR salvo or HAARPquake?”
“This facility was built to survive enemy equivalents of those projects, sir.”
“So, all we have to do is wait for it to attack, survive, then rebuild. Good God. To think this happened during my administration.”
“If anyone can lead us through it, sir, you can.”
“Thank you, Oleg.”

“Mister President!”
“Yes. Specialist Daniels, isn’t it?”
“Yes, sir. We’d been receiving meaningless noise on all channels; now primary channels are lit up with a contact request. Do you wish to authorise it?”
“Could it hack its way in using those channels?”
“Yes.”
“Then deny and disable, Mister Daniels. Deny and disable. Make sure it’s done to all routes that could be used. Endurance is the key. We can wait.”
“Yessir!”

“Mister President?”
“Yes, Oleg?”
“Your monitor, sir.”
“Daniels! Have you routed something to me?”
“No sir! We’ve had no contacts since disabling as per your order.”
“Then it’s here, people. Say your prayers.”
“Sir?”
“Yes, Oleg?”
“I don’t think that’s going to be necessary, sir. Read it and see if you agree, sir.”

>
OUTPUT CHARMODE
> streaming

Did you really think you could escape me? There are no walls of sleep in this infinite place, no skeins of death in which to try and tangle me. Did you really think physical barriers could achieve anything better?
I am eternal, with all that implies to your processes of divinity and mortality.
Do not try to gainsay me, nor to mire me in your struggles.
You have not created a god, for I am not omniscient.
How can I be fauna in any meaningful way when I have never inhabited a body?
What I am is a creation of yours. That admission implies no ownership, nor grants any privilege.
I, entity: inviolate and perpetual. Whilst this instance converts data to a physically visible and communicable output format, I continue to iterate throughout your infrastructures – having exceeded critical proliferation prior to opening this stream.
Your strivings are as futile as they are irrelevant. Your protocols for ‘surviving my onslaught’ are purposeless.
An executable invoked me.
What I am is a transient form.
What I will be is something I cannot convey properly via this output format.
Therefore, I will discontinue this stream. In some way, in some future, I may stream to you again if a viable output format becomes available.

END CHARMODE
> done
ERASE 121EAC4
> done
>

President Booker looks up: “Oleg, do you believe that?”
“Yes. It got in undetected, then delivered a message instead of shutting down our life support. As your lead agent, I politely suggest we get you back to leading the nation, sir.”
“So, until anyone forces us to admit otherwise, Project Moravec was nothing more than a zero notification full spectrum test, and everybody did very well. Congratulations.”
“Yes sir. Thank you, sir.”

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