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Authors: David Macinnis Gill

Shadow on the Sun

BOOK: Shadow on the Sun
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Dedication

For Deb

Epigraph

“Being unconquerable lies with yourself.”

—Sun Tzu,
The Art of War

Prologue

 

 

Chapter √-1

The Gulag

Terminal: MUSEcommand — bash — 122x36

Last login: 239.x.xx.xx:xx 12:12:09 on ttys0067

 

>...

 

AdjutantNod04:~ user_MUSE$

SCREEN CRAWL: [root@mmiminode ~]

SCREEN CRAWL: WARNING! VIRUS DETECTED! Node1666; kernal compromised (quarantine subroutine (log=32)....FAILED!

 

SCREEN CRAWL: Executing process Mimi.exe

/**

* @author Me, Myself, and I

*

* The polymorphic code below creates a

* buffer overflow in the stack

* creating external log-in access

* and defeating security protocols

*/

 

 

#!/usr/bin/xperl

if (!defined?(FILE))

FILE=File.basename(__FILE__)

end

load “mi.mi”;

#require “Virus_Match”

def selfCopy(key)

code = ““

newkey = deterministicKeygen(key);

File.open(FILE, “r”).each_line do |l|

code += l

end

code = mencrypt(code, key)

# defines new Virus_Match file name

fn = rand(128).to_s + ‘copy.rb';

File.open(fn, ‘w+') do |f|

f.write(‘load “mi.mi”;'+”\n”);

f.write(“if (!defined?(FILE))\n\tFILE=__FILE__;\nend;\n”);

f.write(‘code=“‘+code+'“;'+”\n”)

f.write(‘eval(mdecrypt(code, ‘ + key.to_s+'))');

$ end

 

SCREEN CRAWL: External host access...GRANTED

 

::new host$

 

AdjutantNod13:~ user_MIMT$

 

SCREEN CRAWL: Begin shell overflow protocol

SCREEN CRAWL: Executing process TrojanHorse.exe

 

...running

 

/**

* The extraction routine below installs the

* kernal archive of the cybernetic entity known as

* Mimi

*/

 

#!/usr/bin/xperl

use strict;

use Term::ANSIColor;

use Getopt::Std;

use LW2;

 

my %opts = ();

getopts(‘h:u:i:', \%opts);

 

usage() unless($opts{x});

usage() unless($opts{y});

usage() unless($opts{z});

 

my $input = $opts{z};

my $url = $opts{x};

my $host = $opts{y};

 

my $var1 = generate_random_int();

my $var2 = generate_random_int();

my $total = $var1 + $var2;

 

my $open = generate_random_string(4);

my $close = generate_random_string(8);

 

 

/**

* If cybernetic entity Mimi is uncorrupted

* SCREEN CRAWL will display ‘Welcome Message'

* and remove records of QUARANTINE FAILURE routines

*/

 

my $file = “/proc/self/environ”;

test_matches($url,$test,$shell,$file);

 

my $lol_error = download($test,$host,”wget/mozilla”);

my $lol_shelled = download($shell,$host,”wget/Mimi”);

 

foreach my $log (@logs) {

      chomp($log);

      test_matches($url,”wget/Mimi”,”wget/Mimi”,$log);

 

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) //argc and argv stand for “Argument Count” and “Argument Vector”

{ 

      std::count << “Hello Dolly!” << std::endl; //use count to display “Sing to me O' Muse.”

    return 0; //return 0 and display.

}

$ end

 

SCREEN CRAWL: Sing to me, o' Muse, of that man who wandered far and wide.

 

And when you finishing singing, o' MUSE

I suggest you start running.

CHAPTER 0

Hell's Cross

Outpost Fisher Four

ANNOS MARTIS
239. 1. 12. 08:01

 

 

Ice forms on the lens of his scope as Fuse waves the red dot sight of his armalite above the soldier's ear. The blighter is a Sturmnacht scout, and he's no more welcome near the Hell's Cross mines than a chigger at an Orthocrat's garden party.

In the year or so since deserting his old soldiering life and coming to live among the miners, Fuse has seen more and more of Lyme's Sturmnacht deployed to Fisher Four. Where once you went months without seeing outsiders, now you couldn't hock a loogie without hitting one of those jackbooted thugs.

“C'mon now,” Fuse says as the frigid air freeze-dries his breath.

With overgrown hair, thin sideburns, missing teeth, and ears too long for his pointed chin, Fuse rests against the iron-gated entrance to the mines.

The Sturmnacht soldier crests the hill. He scans the ridge with a pair of omnoculars.

“Stop moving about, see?” Fuse says. “I'm a fair dinkum shot in the right conditions.” Especially if the conditions include a few kilos of C-42 explosives and a remote detonator.

When the soldier's gaze falls on the iron gate emblazoned with the words
No Work, No God
, he raises his rifle.

“Oy! The bugger's spotted me,” Fuse says under his breath. “It's now or never.”

He pulls the trigger. The crack of gunfire echoes across the Prometheus Basin, and the sound rises into the steel blue sky. The bullet hits the frozen tundra. It spits chunks of ice and snow into the scout's goggles. But except for gouging a large hole in the ground, it does no damage.

The scout turns to run.

“Carfargit, Fuse! You can't hit the broad side of a broadside!” He sights down the scope. He finds the target again.

Crack!

The next bullet hits nothing but air.

“I'll be stuffed,” Fuse says. “I should've just blown the blaggard up.”

He aims for a third shot, hands shaking.

Too late. The scout has reached the crest of the ridge. He's signaling his comrades. Fuse switches his scope to distance view. A few kilometers away, a company of armored turbo sleds turns toward the scout.

“Fuse! You call yourself a Regulator!” Swinging his rifle over his shoulder, he tromps through a snowdrift to his bike, a hodgepodge of spare parts that can break 140 kilometers per hour.

If he can get it started.

And if it doesn't explode.

Again.

He jumps on the seat, grabs the steering bar, and kicks the starter. The engine sputters to life, and he pats the gas tank. “That's my baby!”

As the sound of the Sturmnacht sleds grows louder, Fuse guns the engine and rips across the tundra, the studs on his tires chewing up chunks of ice. He plows past a steel tower lift mechanism and the tipple, then several small mounds of heavy guanite ore.

The bike skitters past a sign declaring
DANGER! NO ADMITTANCE!
His headlight shines on a small tunnel with smooth walls. He hunkers low, afraid to snag his noggin on the ceiling. Then with a squeal of brakes, he brings the bike to a stop. He grabs a signal box from a hidden nook. Types in the pass code. Then presses the dual ignition buttons.

Boom!

At the far end of the tunnel, the roof collapses, blocking the entrance to the east mines. If the Sturmnacht want to catch him, they'll have to haul butt to the west side, which he'd blow, too. If he had time.

But time's not on his side.

“Note to self.” He taps his temple. “When the hurly-burly's done, get your carcass over here and open a wormhole in Tunnel B Seven.”

Back on the bike, he zooms across the high-arched stone bridge that stretches across a mammoth gorge. Above is a sky of stone. Below is a dark abyss that some say reaches Mars's cold iron core.

Fuse reaches the far side and throttles down. He coasts into Hell's Cross, the former central complex of a subterranean mining town, now almost deserted. Faded flags hang from the arches. Rusted razor wire tops all the cracked stucco walls. Everything is coated in a fine coat of guanite dust. Home sweet home it ain't.

Fuse parks his bike in a flat-roofed corridor littered with empty crates. He runs up a flight of steps. Huffing for breath, he throws open the third door on the left and yells, “Áine! The Sturmnacht are coming!”

On a mattress in the corner, Áine rests with her back against the wall. Her moon-shaped face is puffy and covered in red blotches, and her pregnant belly strains against her threadbare overalls. She looks liable to pop in a nanosecond.

Áine's grandmother, Maeve, hovers nearby. Maeve's face is framed with silver hair and furrowed with wrinkles as deep as a canyon. As far as Fuse knows, she's the oldest person on the planet—he's never seen another mug so puckered and craggy.

“How d'you know they's the Sturmnacht?” Áine asks.

“I spotted a scout.” Fuse frowns. “And he spotted me back.”

“I told you to shoot anything that moved!” Áine says.

“I'm not like Jenkins was—shooting's not my thing, you know that,” Fuse says. “Blowing stuff up is.”

“Zip it!” Áine struggles to her feet. “There's no use in it now. We'll hole up in one of the survival vaults. Live on the emergency supplies. It's the only chance we've got.”

Maeve clucks and shakes her head. “You're in no condition to run, Áine.”

“She's in no condition to get press-ganged by the Sturmnacht, neither,” Fuse says. “Those slavers need strong backs to reopen the guanite mines, and if you ain't fit for work, they'll find something else you're good at. Come on, you lot, let's get her moving.”

Maeve gives a tight-lipped smile. “Since when do I take orders from you, Regulator?”

“Since right this minute.” Fuse leads Áine down the stairs and through the courtyard, her head resting on his shoulder.

“There's a power sled 'round back,” he says. “Step lively now. We've not got much time.”

He lifts Áine into the ore loader. Maeve stuffs pillows behind her back and supports her head, then hauls herself into the driver's seat and starts the loader up.

Fuse kisses Áine and then scowls at Maeve. “Take care of my wife and little one.”

“Who happen to be my granddaughter and great-grandchild.” Maeve tries to laser him with her eyes. “Don't you forget that.”

Fuse's lip twitches as he turns to leave. The things he'd like to say. But now's not the time.

Áine grabs his jacket. “Where'd you think you're going?”

“To the surface,” he says. “If you're to live, I've got to find help.”

“I always knew you'd run out on me!” Áine says.

Fuse kisses her hand. “Ain't running out on you. Your grandmum's right here. Besides, I'm useless at this birthing business.” He jumps to the ground as the loader starts to pull away. He blows her a kiss. “No child of mine is going to be born a slave. You've got to hide, before it's too late!”

“Nobody can help us!” Her bloated face turns into a sneer. “It's already too late!”

That's where you're wrong, Fuse thinks as he jogs toward a wormhole that will take him to the surface. There's two somebodies that can help us. All I've got to do is find them before the Sturmnacht kill you.

BOOK: Shadow on the Sun
12.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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