NaNoWriMo, Day 23: 2,140 /46,660.

Went well.

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We had told The Process that it didn’t have to wait for an invitation to talk for this meeting, so it smoothly chimed in. “There is some indication as to where the data packet did come from, Lt. Commander. Executive summary: our theory is that the packet was implanted in 4-9-43’s data storage during its last port of call, and designed to execute during routine docking operations. Evidence for this: the last transmissions from 4-9-43 show anomalous metadata rapidly spreading through the ship’s communications system, consistent with malware commonly used by anti-colonization terrorists. 4-9-43’s last port was the regional center Afa, which has had a perennial if low-grade problem with death cults for the last five years. Conclusion: perhaps one of those groups acquired access to 4-9-43, and successfully left a time-delayed malware in its systems.”

Burcu narrowed her eyes. “I remember Afa. From three years ago; the ship I was on had to assist in cleaning out a cell of the League of the Viridian Triangle. Absolute fanatics, they were. The kind who would, if they knew they were dying, cast themselves into a well in order to poison the water. And they did have a taste for malware.”

Greg stirred. “That’s one of the groups on the list. Along with the Order of Truth, the Bureau Désavoué, and the Galactic Pioneer Scouts.” An involuntary shudder went around the room at that last name. Even Burcu looked slightly alarmed. “Exactly. Sabotaging an innocent cargo freighter and the people trying to offload it is exactly the sort of thing any of these bastards would do.”

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