19th August 2001
A story set in three time zones
by M.T.L. EbellIn TOI's opinion sexual activity was unneces sary. It was chancy. True, all embryos were screened very early and all the diseased bodies and twisted minds were eliminated. There was no physical sickness in TOI's world, no crime. TOI frowned again. Mahon would have it that rearing young in a controlled environment for the first seven years of their life was criminal. Was it? Were they not introduced into the world thereafter, each guided into the task for which the greatest aptitude was indicated? TOI considered Mahon's attitude criminal, traitorous. Letting young minds idle while they had so much to offer and later try to mould them to high achievement when their inherent knowledge was swamped by the petty teachings of burnt-out adult brains? TOI recalled himself. He had no time now but the next and strongest link would come to mind. His mother.
Not until she was nine hundred and forty three and he, TOI five hundred and ninety had she admitted that his powers were finely honed as hers. Then, she had retired. He sometimes looked over his shoulder when problems arose. If there was change threatening the status quo, if he faltered, she would return. He turned his thoughts elsewhere. He had to think of the morning and how he would tackle Mahon. How he could destroy him.
Ben mused at his console. He had been given charge of the latest batch of young. For seven hours of every day he would through the console, monitor the thought wave patterns of every newborn. Once each pattern was identified and coded, he would carefully draw out the pulses of information and route it to its data base. All this merged into a vast collation of limitless knowledge open to all in controlled quantities but to which the Assembly had unlimited access.
This was Ben's first chance at this responsibility. Zachary, he knew, had already superintended fourteen, the others more than he would care to guess at but which he could easily recall to mind if he so chose. The data base thought procesor was at work. It was fine tuned and running at optimum efficiency. Ben knew errors or oversights were unlikely to occur. Three hundred and sixty carefully screened volunteers rotated in honeycomb formation, totally open and receptive to whatever information came forth from these magnificent young minds.
Woman shivered as she walked, alone. She was looking for Lizard, for comfort. HIS voice, always so warm and gentle had thundered
DO NOT, MY CHILD, SEARCH FOR THESE ANSWERS YET...STAY UNTIL I CHOOSE TO REVEAL LIFE AND KNOWLEDGE TO YOU AND TO MAN. I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE IT ALONE.
She had looked to Man for help but found none. He was upset, confused. She was for questioning farther than he was ready to venture. It unsettled him.
Woman! Why do you roam so far from your resting place, so late?
It was Man, and Father. So angry. So far from me. It is the time of the lesser light.
You should not walk at this time.
I am not afraid to walk at any time. I have nothing to fear from anything or anyone...have I?
Nothing to fear...no...but much to learn.
Who will teach me?
Yes, Now I believe I will. Come, little one, I will show you.
"Zachary," TOI stood before him "You are to leave now on a Mission of Counsel. At your destination you will find three beings outcast by their community. Bring them back. They will be more comfortable here."
"Can none else go?"
"I wish you to go."
TOI was pleased. "When you return, visit the Procreation Centre. I know you wish Lakshmi to accompany you." he faded out.
=Goodbye, Mahon. Believe me, I would stay to fight with you=
=Later, Zachary. Go now. You will know what you have to do when the time comes.=
"Man! Man! Wake up! I have found out," urgently shaking him, she woke him.
She could not wait to share her experience with him.
"I know now. It's wonderful. I feel so powerful. I can do anything! I will teach you."
"What do you mean? Woman, who showed you?"
"Lizard showed me. He taught me everything. Man, I think Father was trying to protect us. It is such a wonderful thing. I believe he thought that delight would destroy us."
"The father told us not to learn."
"But, Man, I have already dne it. I will show you. I am sure he will be pleased. Come. Let me show you."
"Oh, Woman, Woman!"
=Was your mission successful?=
=It was very simple=
=How are they whom you brought back?=
= Misguided =
=You are tense=
Zachary acknowledged the truth of that by willing himself to relax. He was tense. Tense from the effort of not thinking, not revealing his thoughts. When he had met the three outcasts waiting for transportation to the Nerve Centre where TOI presided, he had been tempted to leave them where he found them. Or, to try escaping with them to a far off galaxy. What was their rime? The difference in their make-up? They were free-thinkers, refusing to conform. They were what he hoped to become. They knew Zachary hoped for the same goals. Perhaps with them he would succeed in setting up a similar movement here. He brought them back. What was needed was a code, a counterthought pattern that could not be discerned by even the finely tuned minds of the Assembly, TOI, Han, Astrid, Ben.
They entered the Procreation Centre. He reached for her hand to place it, with his, over her womb.
"Is this how you want to do it?"
The question was like a slap? Shaken out of concentration, he stared at her.
"I have sometimes wondered what the old way would be like," she said, haltingly.
Zachary continued to stare. Was it possible? Was the answer so close at hand?
"I was glad it was to be with you," she ended.
"Do you realise what you say? We aim to do away with sex."
"I do realise it." Her eyes widened. Her glance became a caress. "Are you going to report me?"
He answered her with his gaze. She was lovely. Slim, graceful. Her movements were fluid, rippling. She touched him.
Ma and Woman stood, downcast before the Father. Woman shivered. This was such a change from what she and man had experienced, oh, so short a while ago. They had felt such ecstacy when she had given herself to Man. "Take me, touch me! Here and here and..." he had taken the words out of her mouth and his actions had needed no instruction from her. He was at times more savage and at others infinitely more tender than had been her mentor. She had screamed in delight, recognising in her tone the echo of the cries made by other female creatures in season. They had been happy.
Later when she awoke, Man had been down to the water. His flesh gleamed, fresh and clean, yet the marks of their loving were all about him. She looked down at herself. She was the same. Running down to the water, she tried to cleanse herself. The bruised skin remained unchanged. Hastily for Father would be here soon, she picked leaves and tried to string them together with vines. She draped her body with them, tying the vines around and around.
She saw Man doing the same. He kept tearing the leaves. His eyes were sombre as they looked into hers. "Why do we feel like this?" she cried out, anguished. "Why should something so wonderful make us feel so unclean?"
"It was because we did not wait. There are marks all about us. Come. We must hide."
Britney Spears is putting the finishing touches to her next album the follow up to 'Oops I Did It Again'. The teenage star meanwhile is set to release the debut single from the album called 'I Am A Slaver For U' on October 1.The album will also include a duet with her boyfriend Justin Timberlake. This could be a testing time for Britney Spears. Are teenagers still interested in her music or will they move on to newer artistes?
Taking over the No: 1 spot on the UK Singles chart this week is the song '21 Seconds' by So Solid Crew. The song is one of the UK's original rap tracks. In the song some 30 members get 21 seconds to say something and that's how the song got its title. For the record label the track has become a bit of a nightmare as royalties have to be paid to the 30 or so performers. '20 Seconds' has been building up its popularity for the past six weeks on the TV programme The Box. So Solid Crew are basically an underground pirate act originating from the garage scene. They own their own label and are now into the fashion scene too. '21 Seconds', is the first hit for the outfit.
Jennifer Lopez checks into the UK Top 20 this week at No: 3 with 'Ain't It Funny.' The track is yet another release from her very successful album 'J-Lo'. The song comes out strong with latino guitars and is coupled with a good video too. The hit is a credit to Lopez who turned 31 on 25th July.
One of the rudest tracks to chart this year is the single 'One Minute Man' by Missy Elliot at No: 10. The song features Ludacris and is a follow up to ' Get Ur Freak Up' which peaked at No: 4 in April . Of course about a month and a half back Missy Elliot was featured on 'Lady Marmalade' the No: 1 hit that appears on the soundtrack of the movie 'Moulin Rouge'.
Tall Paul gives the Aussie band INXS a new lease of life thanks to the mix of the 1988 classic tour track 'Precious Heart'. Paul was little heard on the club scene but his mix has now made him a recording star. 'Precious Heart' has been on the club chart for some weeks now and the official release has borne fruit.
After weeks of uncertainty Jermaine Jackson has confirmed that he will
perform with brother Michael at the star-studded 30th Anniversary Concert
celebrations on September 7 and 10. Jermaine originally criticized the
show's producer over ticket prices. He was concerned that the Jackson's
loyal fans were not able to afford the excessive prices.
By Harendra AlwisGSM is established as the global standard for mobile communications. As a technology, GSM continues to evolve, with high-bandwidth services becoming a reality for the current 2nd Generation technologies.
The development path into the 3rd Generation is clearly mapped out and brings with it possibilities for new age data and multi-media applications.
The GSM network will evolve, with wireless, satellite and cordless systems offering greatly expanded services, including high speed, multi-media data services, in-built support for parallel usage of such services and seamless connection with the Internet and wire-line networks. This will see the true convergence between various communications means and networks becoming a reality.
Third Generation (3G) is the mobile phone system that will be begin to be available commercially in the year 2001/2. The idea behind 3G is to unify the disparate standards that today's second-generation wireless networks use. Instead of different network types being adopted in The Americas, Europe and Japan, the plan is for a single network standard to be agreed and implemented. The introduction of 3GSM third generation wireless networks will herald a revolution in high-speed visual and verbal communications all over the world.
Imagine sending and receiving photos of family and friends, imagine an email with moving pictures attached - say the trailer of the latest big budget Hollywood movie. In a 3GSM world without wires, you will be able to experience all this and more - on the move.
3GSM will offer all the high-speed voice, data and video communications
power you will need, on a single device, with a single contact address
or number. It will receive all your calls, messages, photos, music, news
and video - with several applications or services running in parallel if
required. You will be able to reply, forward, subscribe and enjoy.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has laid down some
indicative minimum requirements for the data speeds that the IMT-2000 standards
must support. These requirements are defined according to the degree of
mobility involved when the 3G call is being made. As such, the data rate
that will available over 3G will depend upon the environment the call is
being made in:
144 kbps for rural outdoor mobile use- This data rate is available for
environments in which the 3G user is travelling more than 120 kilometres
per hour in outdoor environments. Let us hope that the 3G user is in a
train or bus and not driving along and trying to use their 3G terminal
at such speeds.
384 kbps for pedestrian users travelling less than 120 kilometres. And you will be able to carry that with you everywhere.
The telecommunications world is changing as the trends of media convergence,
industry consolidation, Internet and Internet Protocol (IP) technologies
and mobile communications collide into one. Significant change will be
bought about by this rapid evolution in technology, with radical changes
that the Third Generation mobile Internet technology is sure to cause.
Corporations know about the risks hackers present to their business. However, most home office and casual computer and Internet users are unaware of what hackers can do. Hackers can render your computer totally unusable. They can steal or delete data. Hackers that are able to steal your digital identity can make financial transactions on your behalf, such as buying or selling securities or using your credit cards. A resourceful hacker can cause tremendous financial damage to anyone who uses the Internet.
Of recent concern is cyber terrorism. What terrorists cannot accomplish with propaganda or cruise missiles, they sometimes can with computers. Many rogue states are or suspected to be engaged in terrorist activities designed specifically to disrupt or destroy the ability of a country and its corporations to function.
A 'BOMB' causes a program to trigger damage under certain conditions; it is usually set off to go at a later date - perhaps after the perpetrator has left the company.
The name salami, as given to this embezzlement technique, reflects the small 'slices' of money that may be squirreled away undetected from a large financial system.
This simple approach, even in this day of shredders, is still all too common. Scavengers simply search company trashcans and dumpers for printouts containing not-for-distribution information.
This is an illicit program left within a complicated legitimate program. A trapdoor allows subsequent unauthorized -and unknown-entry by the perpetrator, who then has the ability to make changes to the program. An effective programmer could make this a success.
A 'Trojan Horse' refers to illegal instructions covertly placed in the middle of a legitimate program. The program does do something useful but also, via the Trojan horse instructions, does something destructive in the background.
A virus is a set of illicit instructions that passes itself on to other programs with which it comes in contact. It can change, delete files, display words and messages.
Types of viruses
Causes a clicking noise in the computer's keyboard on the 18th day of the month. It may corrupt data on diskettes.
Corrupts data written on a hard disk approximately one time out of thousand.
Deletes any program executed on Friday the 13th.
Shows a screen message I WANT A COOKIE! And locks up the computer until you type FIG NEWTON.
- Rehan Perera
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