The Last Babel
By Paul Stephanus
Author: Edward Jenner
Language: Flake 3.7
Directive: Civilisation Stabilisation
Location_Physical: d’Urville Administrative Centre, Antarctica
Location_Virtual: Southern Federation Encoded Network
[* Author_Notes: Find in ***(…)*** tags *]
Program Title: Babel
[* *** ( ]How unexpected that I must allude to a drunken dinner party conversation about a Biblical fairy tale in order to assure any remaining left alive in the chain of command that it is indeed I writing this final inevitable program. But it is the only in-joke we all four of us share – joking, after all, was not the mainstay of our conversations. Mitaka, Clara, Aðalbjörn…it is me. If you are, as I suspect, deceased, I’ll code the necessary overrides in, which will activate after the designated 20 hour no-response. If you are still alive, well – I’ve no time for eloquence – thanks for the comradery, and your dedication to the Antarctic Federation.[ ) *** *]
—ACTIVATE: AnarticCombinedPorotocol; OverrideNoResponseProtocol
—EXCLUDE: ConcordiaGeneralCodec / CaseyCodec
—OVERIDE: All (if (user computes RESTRICTION or SYNTAX error) then (RUN program DiVert) + ERASE (all (if (CLASSIFICATION = < 2)) allelse (SHOW)
*** (it embarrasses me to admit I have not been vigilant in labelling the CLASSIFICATION levels on all program action lists that have been written over the past five years. I’ve time and again neglected what I assumed to be day to day trivialities. That which seemed trite and commonplace is now such…useful information to those who would wish us harm. They may eventually have access to everything they need for an absolute administrative takeover because of my oversights, if they look in the right places.
Or is this paranoia only? I’ve run through the scenarios and find no direct evidence that they…
Forgive me. I am desperate, running out of time, attempting to save all we’ve worked to build since the Thaw, and in the same instant assessing my own mortality, my spent life and the significance of its impact on our cause. To reflect on our civilisation. And my humanity. Yes, a single mind investigating its own humanity. It is a heavy burden in this final hour or so.
I did, it seems, retrospectively at least, enjoy this strange life. And am distraught at its impending expiration. I must now work to reflect only on these small, legitimatised parcels of despair, and not become burdened under the illusions thrown up by my own deepening clash with this horrendous pathogen within me.)***
—HIERARCHY: d’Urville; if (user computes OTHER) then (run program Scramble);
—USER-INPUT: Southern Hemispherian Alpha_Numerical (ONLY);
—READ: “Attention: Southern Mobile Colony Social Administrators: Our Federation is in the midst of an existential threat. Stay calm and follow the orders of this program exactly. The pathogen Pestis Geist, the Ghost Plague, has spread to all personnel and civilian establishments with the d’Urville Administrative Capital, and the entire Wilkesland Central Plateau Sustenance Freehold Area. All are deceased. There is limited information on the other Antarctic colonies, but it assumed that all full time residents have been infected via the OxygenShare networks. Your enlisted crew and your civilian charges are all in peril of coming into contact with the pathogen. In order that our systems can best protect you against contraction, answer each following field to the best of your knowledge. After completion, a new course will be plotted for each vessel or sub-colony. Do you understand? Answer only Yes or No.”
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