Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 88.06

White frowned. “What kind of a name is Orias?”

“You could look it up.” Peters nodded to the keyboard. “You're sat in front of a computer.”

“I am, aren't I.” White looked at the screen then called across to the professor. “How do I launch a search engine?”

Shadwell appeared at the door of his office, a steaming mug in one hand. “You can't on that.” Shadwell held up his free hand at the look the two policeman gave him. “What? I didn't program it. Just ask the question directly. The lads designed it as an interactive machine but, as I said, it knows too much.”

“All right.” White turned back to the keyboard. “W-H-A-T-D-O-E-S-O-R-I-A-S-M-E-A-N-?”

The computer's voice changed to a soft feminine tone, reminiscent of an air stewardess. “In demonology, Orias is a Great Marquis of Hell and has thirty legions of demons under his command. He knows and teaches the virtues of the stars and the mansions of the planets. He also gives favour to both friends and foes and can metamorphose a man into any shape.”

“S-O-Y-O-U-1-R-E-A-D-E-N-O-M-?”

“No. I am Orias. Are all men named Jesus the son of God?”The voice had returned to a male one.

“It is clever, I'll give it that.” Peters folded his arms, stroking his chin with his free hand. “I'm still certain it's just a series of programmed responses, though.”

The speaker crackled again. “Here's the professor with your tea, Detective-inspector.”

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

Fabulous.

So much easier to conceive this (even if not to make it so) in the current age with web cams and the like than, say, 40 years ago.

I like Orias. I think. ;)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thank you, yes. Hal struggled with only a few cameras. Orias has thousands.