Late One Night At UIUC...

* The year is 2070, the month is late october. And despite the many changes that have happened over the past three-quarters of a century: the predominance of digital currency and cash cards, the election of a female president of the united states, the increased efficency of automobiles, and the biggie of commuter space travel and extra-terrestrial settlement.... some things still stay reassuringly the same. Like how even with changes in building techniques, and new structures going up and old ones being torn down... UIUC is still a College Town.

* And with the fact that UIUC is a College Town comes other constants... like the fact that the night before a new week and due dates, there will be people burning the midnight lumens in the computer labs across campus.

* Tina mrfs and from her lab assistant desk watches the few other students in the lab with her, as she ponders a programming project due in a couple weeks in front of her while VR mudding at the same time. Easy enough stuff...

* The students are the usual mix for a Sunday night and this being a more specifically CompSci lab than the more 'general-use' labs elsewhere.... mostly male, slightly geeky, either too thin or too fat, the occasional female student.. they're competant enough that they -don't- need to come to Tina to ask how to log in or ask her to help with programming projects. The faces are familiar, but in that 'regular-lab-user' sense.

* And ooo, here comes a Grue!

* Tina splats the Grue, contently, her blue eyes (contact lenses) looking satisfied. She straightens some of the small braids of her also blue-dyed ponytail back, before straightening the rest of her fairly close-cropped hair.

* Some of the guys who frequent the lab (likely because of the cute labtechie) try to catch glances of her as she does so, then turn back to what they're doing trying not to get caught looking like they're looking. A few of the girls roll their eyes, before going back to working on their projects. And two little ogres come along in the VRMUDD -- easy digital meat.

* Tina splats them too, pretending not to officially notice the guys checking her out, trying not to get caught sneaking glances at them meantime to catch their eyes.

* With all the occasional sneaked glances back and forth, it's like some bizzare form of tennis match -- or perhaps flirting. Once or twice, the eyes -do- meet, and with it...

* {...need to finish this project or the prof'll have my hide...} {...need more runtime, man the server's slow tonight...} {...need to get a date, man the techie's cute...}

{Tina} . o O ( Typical, typical, typical *hee* glad to know I still got it....hmm....waiiiit, back up back up, slow? Hmmm...)

* Another student enters from the lab doors, signs in, and heads for one of the far computers in the lab. He's been in there a couple times before, working on projects.

* Indeed, soemebody's accidentally left a few processes running and they've been eating up runtime on one of the servers. Those darn newsgroups, they just keep getting filled with cruft and spam...

* Tina arches an eyebrow, keying in and looking into the processes, doing what she can to delete those processes to cut down on the runtime.

* newsreader, newsreader, newsreader, rendering job, rendering job, webchat, mudd, VRmudd, ftp job... man, they've been going on for a long time... fortuantely, being a Lab Assistant, and having the power of Root(tm), Tina can kill several of those without problems....

* Tina inspects the various newsreaders and rendering jobs and ftp jobs for times up, before starting kill processes on them. Meanwhile, she glances out of the corner of her eye at the new guy, idly.

* The new guy is over in the far corner, hunched over enough so that only his back can be seen from behind the partitions. He's dropped a backpack of books, and looks to be ready to do some programming. The newsreaders are all processes whose users are not currently online... they must have been detached sessions, accidentally left up while somebody had to book.. theyv'e been up for most of the evening.

* Tina hrms, nodding a bit, and starts killing off proceses to free up space.

* One of the rendering jobs is from one of the visualization labs, most of the load is from having to get numerical data from the server... this was just a process local to get the data across to the dedicated machines in the visual lab. It's also being run by a professor, so it's definitely legit. The other... is a local render to try and graphic up some naked chicks. -That- one can be hosed.

* The server load starts going down as various processes go down.

* Tina rolls her eyes at the latter, and hoses. . o O (Yeesh. What *is* it with them and breasts that are not Structurally Possible In Coporeal Life?)

* The mudds -- somebody's apparently set one up on a university public workstation -- clearely illegal according to the rules (techie machines in the offices is another matter -- such as Tina's VRMUDD -- the process that's here is somebody else running the local client to access it)...

* Server load goes down more as Tina proves the superiority of female lab techie over overhormoned male geek.

{Tina} . o O (Mweheheheheh. I am LT, hear me roar...) {kills some mud processes}

* The general emotional tenor of Tina's lab gets better as server time is freed, and compiles run faster, making it so they can get their projects done on time.

* The FTP job.... man, that's been up a -long- time now... at least midday... and... waitasecond...

{Tina} . o O (I feel like I've done some good today, I

* Tina suddenly pays much attention, as her interest is piqued.

* Why is the job heading -off- campus? The server is being used as a stepping stone, from the computers in the advanced computing technologies lab, to a pure-IP address. And... that's a lot of throughput, what are they trying to do, download machines wholesale?

{Tina} .... . o O (The *hell*?)

* Tina immediately begins a trace, the MUD paused, and tries to find out what's being DLed.

* *download download download download...* The process continues, ignoring Tina's thoughts.... packet sniffing reveals both ascii code and binaries being copied off-campus... the trace itself leads to that IP through the usual routing hops... one which has no accompanying DNS.

* Some of that code... may look familiar, if Tina's ever -been- in the ACT lab...

* Tina has been, yup, and tries to find out what perks her mind, while at the same time already opening her email application.

* Tina also finds out, if she can, the odd non DNSed address, or at least pertinent info.

* Tina's got Mail! Mostly help requests, some friendly email correspondance, spam, the usual.... the code looks like neural-network heuristic setups... which makes sense, since the ACT's work is primarily on new ways to have computers do even cooler things in psuedo-independant thought... both for "Expert Systems" for processing of non-numerical data, sytems management, and hypothesis-generation; and Faux-AI's for possible robotics applications (as well as killer Q5 bots). .. there's been rumors, the times she's visited there, that it could -maybe- be possible of more, but it's been mostly dismissed as techie pipe-dream fantasies.

* The non-DNS address is purely numeric, but comparing it among the ranges of DNS/IP matchups reveals it's at least within the range for corporate addresses... no -definite- matches, though.

* Tina nods, starting to type out a message with one hand, as she narrowly eyes the other, starting to fire off a message to the ACT lab that they're very likely being hacked.

* Tina also takes note of the DNS address.

* Message is sent, notes are taken, but aside from the FTP process on the server, there's no indications positive or negative that there's anybody -up- there this night. Tina can finger the machines there, but she doesn't have login/root access for them (she's a techie and grad student, but she hasn't had a -need- to get into the ACT after hours...)... and it's a keycarded/keypadded lab.

{Tina} . o O (Shit.)

* Tina takes...the next step.

* The FTP on the main server is still chugging along....

* Tina starts keying in some very special addresses indeed, and firing off some messages, hoping they get through and certain people are aware at the time...

{Tina} . o O (Come *on*, somebody, I can't let this progress much longer and I can't kill it without seeming too suspicious...)

* The messages head off into the Aether...

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 11 (1 5 5).

* A chat request comes up after a minute or two... it's from a -very- familiar IP address, based in Finland...

* Tina *grins*, suddenly, and acknowledges the chat request.

* ##hello, tipareth.... what appears to be the problem? -- orc##

{Tina} ^^Hey, Orc. Thank Almighty you're there... Some bozo from a possibly commercial IP is attempting to hack into the ACT labs here--nobody seems to be there at the time and my Role doesn't give me clearance in there after hours. I need to find out what's being hacked into, what info, and who's doing the hacking, if possible. I'd really appreciate it.^^

{Tina} ^^ And then I need this twit's process killed. ^^

{Orc} ##i'll look into it... got that IP? ... the ACT at UIUC does some good stuff... newsgroup talk in sci.comp.aci is cool... checking now....##

{Tina} ^^Yup yup. {number} What they up to currently? I don't know the whole skinny but it may have some bearing on this hack. Thanks. ^^

* Such is the power of Orc that even Tina's level of access cannot pickup the chat connection or his investigations... which obviously is a good sign...

* Tina grins to herself, a bit. It's good to have a high-level Worded Kyrio Co-Servitor on your side.

{Orc} ##'cording to the digest logs, they've been working on neural processing on both ends... brain emulation, and bug emulation... like what they've done at MIT, but a few different tangents that could pay off. Boss's looked at what code's been shown, and hasn't put a cease-and-desist on it, so guess he feels it's ready... there been any Techies or such 'round there? and cute... trace idicates that the FTP was started from -inside-, from the lab or at least triggered on-campus... the IP leads to a minor industrial corp, pretty new, single site... likely firewalled.##

{Orc} ##and hosing the connection....##

* Foom. Nothing like a shutdown FTP port and process to make a labtech feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

* The server load goes down to happily tolerable levels. Several people let out sighs of relief as their projects compile.

{Tina} ^^Loooovely...proto-AI engineering? And no Vaps around here, no. None that *I* know from the past. Heh. And....bwah? Which corp, and from in *where*? Run that by me again, Orc.^^

* Tina glances around furtively, at the interior of the lab.

{Orc} ##yup, proto-ACI, not 'AI' as the humans might put it. corp's listed as Sandalphon BioTech... just started up last year, copying a data packet to send to you... and the FTP process was triggered by somebody inside the ACT proper, or somebody who could log onto the machine from outside. i've killed it either way, though.##

* The people there are relaxing, generallly happy with the state of their machines... save for that one guy in the corner. He seems to be rather cross, and typing rapidly....

* Oh look.... here comes that FTP process again!

{Tina} ^^...eeecxuuuse me, orc, I think I may have a culprit much can you spare for possessing?^^

* Tina glances out of the corner of her eyes at the gentleman *cough* in question.

* Tina eyes the packet Ze Angel of ze Networks sends her way.

{Orc} ##hrrmmm... hrm hrm hrm.... you might indeed... looks like one of your ACT folks might be trying a sellout.... I can see his login as he tried to get in. want me to lock him out?##

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 9 (2 3 4).

{Tina} ^^Yeah...and I can see who he might be...any way to catch him in flagrante, though? It helps with evidence.^^

{Tina} ^^I want his butt nailed to the wall if possible.^^

* The packet on Sandalphon BioTech indicates its dates of founding, general products, location on the west coast... it's a startup biological vaceene company, with generally good reports...

* Tina tries to find out any notable officials of same.

* Nobody of note that she would recognize. They're a biological firm, -not- a computer one... though the fact that a BioTech site is being used as a dropoff for AI downloads...

{Orc} ##i've got enough to take a student, if he's not too determined, but it'd have to be breif##

{Orc} ##and man, he's dumb... he's tried starting the FTP from byte one... he'll be here until tomorrow at this rate...##

{Orc} ##i can have copies of the server logs dumped to the prof's, no probs, and attribute you to 'em....##

{Tina} ^^I don't like the smell of it, Sargeant. Then try for the person at {terminal #}, he seemed quite annoyed when you killed that process. At which point I'll try and copy the info he's involved with over there, and play Happy Smilin' Lab Tech so he can't worm out. And yep, he's an idiot. Any LT with half a *brain* could trace the origin, given *his* reactions.^^

{Tina} ^^Thanks, heaps, Orc. You rock my world.^^

{Orc} ##*chuckle* does that count as a come-on? never can tell in the chat rooms these days... and giving it a go...##

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 10 (4 4 2).

{Tina} ^^ Iiiif you want. *wink* Seriously, I'm grateful for the help. Ready when you are...^^

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 9 (3 1 5).

* The guy in the corner pauses, and blinks. He then stretches, sitting up straghter, arms above his head.

{Orc} ##I'm in. He's regular human, no more than four Forces...#

* Tina grins to herself. ^^Yeesh. And given his behavior, maybe only one of them's Etherial. I'm heading over now.^^ She gets up, heading over, efficiently, with none of her usual slight vamping to make at least the male students' lives easier.

* The students don't notice the cute labtechie getting up, save for the guy in the corner, who watches her approach, while also looking back at the screen...

* Tina smiles slightly, heading over. "Hey there."

{OrcMan} Hey there... *peers at Tina's nametag* ... Tina... could you help me with this? *he moves his hand with a 'come here' gesture, indicating the screen*

{Tina} Sure! What's the problem?

* OrcMan's gaze lingers on Tina's chest a bit longer, before he shakes his head, blushing a tad, and returning his attention towards the screen... ".. well, I'm trying to get this math package to work for ah project..." He gestures at the screen, indicating she should lean in closer... obviously, the screen -doesn't- have a math package up and running... instead, there's a mailer with some mail from various locations and to the same... a MUD... a newsreader... and a telnet session to one of the ACT machines, indicating an FTP in process from one of the directories, to the main server, then outside this time using more encryption and a few different router hops before reaching the Sandalphon machine. The kid's apparently got skill, but perhaps not enough precision to truly cover his tracks.

* Tina nods, doing so, grinning slightly. Her eyes then narrow slightly as she surveys the scene. "Seems something's off, certainly..."

* Tina's eyes zip across the scene, trying to see the bulk of the information being disseminated/ looked at/ contacted too.

* OrcMan nods, making idle conversation to cover what he's actually doing. "...perhaps they changed directories for some of the libraries?" He moves windows to check what's been used or being accessed... the FTP's an almost bulk data-grab from the ACT lab's local server, but grabbing all the research data, code, and custom binaries. It's still sizeable, and will take all night and most of the morning to complete, even with advanced telecomm rates (according to the FTP progress monitor). The student's login -is- legit for the lab. And among the sets of emails in his mailer, one just has a single IP as a source adress... and its contents is a single phone number.

* And yes, that IP -is- familiar....

* Tina makes note of that phone number... "Could be, I know they were upgrading some things earlier this week." {under her breath, in German} "Make sure this is all grabbed and sent? Frameshot of desktop is good too...."

{Tina} . o O (Joy, something stinks at Sandalphon...)

* OrcMan nods, typing and moving the mouse... he snaps a picture of the screen several times, copies the emails plus any other suspicious ones, the complete copies of the server logs from both ends, inside the ACT and from the campus general servers, and copies of the packets... "Right, let me look around a bit.... oh! here they are. Don't you hate it when they change dirs and don't update the env vars?" *under his breath, in german* "...want it to the professors, admin, or to the cops too? and do you want to be attributed?"

* Tina hehs, nodding. "Yeah, I get that problem a lot, but it's good to have root." {outrageous flirty wink} {w in German} "all, but not attributed to police, but to admin and heads of the department, as they'll need to know which LT got him. I don't want my alias yammered too much and Vaps getting suspicious."

* OrcMan coughs, blushing, but nods. "So just change this here, and this here...." He types some more. *w in German* "... easily done, and if need be we can cover... kill the download, try and slip past their firewall to wipe what they got, too?"

{Tina} Mmmhm! {sweet grin} {german} Yeah, and please. I don't want my Role here hosed.

{OrcMan} Oh, cool... *typetype* *german* ... and sent! Killing the download and teaching those hosers on the other end what for...

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 12 (5 4 3).

{Tina} All better now? {german} You are my god, in an entirely nonblasphemous way. Need a Servitor? {wink}

{OrcMan} And there it goes. Thanks! *he smiles up at him* *german* Now now, we don't need Judgement commenting... and I got enough that they won't be able to do stuff with what they got, but enough to tie them as evidence if they don't got for a straight wipe in the morning. And if you want, just leave an email...

{Tina} All right! {dazzling smile} {german} Yeah, yeah...And thanks... We'll see what Boss thinks... So, leave the yutz to think he's free, or should I be the Firm Hand of Lab Assistant here?

* OrcMan starts restoring windows to their prior positions. "And, I think that's it... um... you free on friday?" *german* " gut be to let him go and see what he smokes out... I can fake it so it looks like the process is still running.... Can't leave the host worse-off, you know, unless you want me to have him 'repent his evil ways', but he won't remember when I hop out.

* Tina winks at him. "I might be....I might indeed." {german} That'd be best...I think he's too clueless to figure it wouldn't be real.

* OrcMan blushes a bit, obviously not having expecting this. "Uh, great! That's cool... thanks, Tina..." He smiles, even as he sets up the last of the windows to where they were, and writes a quick script to fake out the FTP monitor and packet sniffer the guy might have. "... and..." *yawn* "...I think I'm gonna nap now, while this math package churns..." *german* "And done... you return to your station and look busy when I 'nap', and then I'll drop host."

* Tina winks. "Gotcha!" {ger} "Sure take care, Orc?"

* Tina pats him on the shoulder, and a point of Essence is transferred...

* OrcMan nods, faux-yawning again. "Thanks again.." *ger* "And no problems, Tip... and you didn't -have- to do that..." *sheepish smile as he accepts the Essence*

{Tina} "You're welcome!" {ger} "I wanted to, I have some to spare, and your help was invaluable, didn't have to drop in either." {quieter, less vampy smile}

* Tina rises and heads back to her station, showing a bit of hipsway as she does. Yes, he's a Kyriotate, but hey, play up the cute lil' techie and after all, Lilim are supposed to be Cute and Cuddly and Nothing If Not Fun...

* Somewhere in her head, she spares enough thoughts to roll her eyes wryly at *that* thought.

* OrcMan nods, watching with an interested blush, yawning once more, and drooping, resting his head on his arms in front of his keyboard.... Tina's workstation pings with another chat request...

* Tina heads back, taking the same position she did when Orc took possession, looking at the chat address.

* The chat is from Orc, once more.... ##you're welcome, tipaereth... *chuckle* and i was glad to help out... that was a good catch you made. i'll leave a good note in the Boss's inbox for you. *grin* cul8r -- Orc.##

{Tina} ^^Glad on both counts...and cool, very cool. And thanks, Orc. {small smile} I appreciate the good review..^^

{Orc} ##null persperation. dropping host, seeya topside sometime. EOF##

{Tina} ^^Same again, Orc, hope to. Emails nice too. Later. --Tiphareth^^

* The chat window shuts down, server port logs never having noticed its existance in the first place. Over in the corner, the guy starts a bit, clearly waking up after having accidentally dozed off. He blinks, sitting up into a slouch, rubbing his eyes and studying his terminal warily.

* Tina is in exactly the same situation and position she was before, creaming drow with great contentment.

* The man types a bit, then shrugs and hehs a bit to himself, quietly, a smile crossing his face. He futzes around with his MUD a bit more, killing time, before gathering up his books and moving to log out of his terminal, piling books in his backpack, casually looking around the room, aimlessly.

* Tina continues to be creaming orcs (not the angel, mind) during all this, seemingly cutely absorbed in her work, Hacker Chick on the rampage. Though her eyes flicker over to him once or twice while he's busy, hoping to grab a resonance, as well as observe...

* And during one glance, as he gets up, their eyes -do- meet, just for an instant....

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 13 (4 5 4).

* Tina hits him with her resonance in that once instant, her eyes carefully innocent as she does so and absorbed in spacking mutant rats.

* The student needs to make sure the FTP completes... he needs to collect on the fee for the successful FTP... he needs to pay off lots and lots of credit-card debt... he needs to exit grad school with good grades...

* Tina doesn't make any sign at what she saw. . o O (Okay...a dork, and a dork with utterly no financial sense, but not an entirely evil one...have to see what I or somebody can do about needs 3 and four...)

* Tina waits until he's gone, before sending off a few more emails...

* The student exits the lab, the rest of the students unaware of what's just transpired, and Tina's emails head out into the ether...

* Tina gnaws on her lower lip a bit more, and settles in for responses on her mail, and the rest of her shift in the lab.

* And, for this night, as Tina waits for her email replies while spacking womp rats, we fade....

In Nomine 2070