Meanwhile, on board Chiron, Roed had done a little snooping into the com channels they could receive. The Captain had asked him to try to find out what experiments the Fbar were doing. The possibilities were exciting enough he’d actually been pleased to set aside the long-distance com theories to cooperate. He wasn’t quite sure Rich would agree to what would be called hacking if it were done on another human’s computer, so he didn’t bother to ask. Why should the Ambassador and security dudes have all the fun, anyway?
The com had visual access to some kind of reception desk for the science labs. Intended for visitors or the public to contact someone from, of course. What interested him was some secured wi-fi in that area. Using what Blake had for Fabarian language and his password cracker software, he set the only quantum computer on the ship to work and waited. Meanwhile, he went onto a regular photonic computer terminal to do other work. It was then he noticed a familiar pattern of activity taking place. Activity he hadn’t set in motion. He laughed. Someone was trying to hack his office computer. He let them through one door and sent a message.
What do you want to know? I’m very curious about what experiments you’re doing.
There was a long pause, then:
Wormhole Creator for long distance space flight. What tech do you use?
Roed was excited now.
Quantum Displacement Drive. Here’s a teaser. He sent off a file. How does yours work?
Bit by bit, the two traded tech. They were just getting into a fascinating physics discussion, when Roed was jolted back to reality.
“What in the universe are you doing?” Walsh’s alarmed voice said.
“I met this guy, Tatnas…” he scrolled back and showed the Captain what he’d learned.
“That’s great, but…Jesus!”
“Not quite. You can give me that moniker though as long as the you or the Ambassador don’t crucify me. Just a minute, he’s waiting.” He typed madly before Walsh could stop him.
“Roed, we can’t tell just anyone how our engine works!”
“This guy’s not anyone. He’s really cool.”
“Commander, get out of the chair and let me type. Now.” A bit sulkily Roed complied.
Walsh wrote a polite message ending with:
Sorry, any further discussions on this matter will have to go through proper channels.
He isolated the terminal and shut it down before standing up. “Come on, we’re going to my office to contact the Ambassador.”
O’Bien’s Pocod didn’t respond so Walsh called Wanva’s office. A lady there passed him on to the Councillor’s electribox.
When she came on, he could see they were having a lovely tea party. He wondered if Wanva had enough cream and sugar to satisfy his boss. Wanva handed O’Bien her ebox device and Walsh explained what had happened.
“Wow,” the Ambassador said seriously. “I’ll speak to Roed later about protocols.
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