Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 156.04

“Not really. I know a bit. Enough to accomplish what I need to accomplish. I'm a programmer, really. I designed and wrote the software that powers Orias but it's him who does the actual hacking. He uses the software equivalent of a sledgehammer and tries every code until it gets the right one.”

“Like forgetting the combination to your bicycle lock and trying every number in turn?”

“Yes, except a bicycle lock is generally only four numbers and you can hear the tumblers fall. This one is between eight and twenty characters long and can be anything on the keyboard. Letters, numbers. Symbols.”

“And you can't hear the clicks.”

“No. Not a one.”Dill drummed his fingers on the table. It was a less satisfying exercise with plasticine fingers because instead of the rapid tap-tap-tap the sound was more of a thup-thup-thup as his fingertips deformed under the pressure.”

“So you play these fancy games too?”

“Armageddon Online? No. I can't be bothered with all the political shenanigans involved to make pacts with all the other players. I'm more of a wargamer.”

“Oh? You should see my collection. They're all tucked away somewhere in the east wing. Molly would know. I have Wellington's whole army and both sides of the Battle of Agincourt. All lead originals, too.”

“Table top?” Dill had seen such things at the comic shop but all those buckets of dice filled him with vector graphs of probability and he could never thee the fun in foregone conclusions. “You should sell them. They'd be worth a mint.”

“Sell them? Oh, I couldn't. I'm saving them for Harold's kids. Not that I've ever told Harold I've still got them. He'd get them all out and play with them till they were ruined. Or else he'd want to stage the battles but he always cheats.”

“Cheats? How?”

“Sometimes he'll claim Napoleon won at Waterloo, or Henry V lost at Agincourt.”

“You have to follow history, surely?”

“That's just it. Harold says history is mutable. He says there's every possible result somewhere. You just have to find it.”

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