Who watches the watchers?
After Thorn hit the send button on Pistil’s entry, they all felt a bit like celebrating. The deed was done. Their entries for the Spark Prize, for the fame and money that went along with the good feelings of saving the world, were actually in the system. “In. The. System! Hi five, getting jive, going to be alive!” crowed Pistil as he scraped up the last of his change and bought them all chocolate root beer ice cream sodas. They clinked straws as they sipped. “
Been trying to do that for four months now—when we got the whole enchilada, the whole taco, together, we just never could find someone to get it in the system. You are the catalyst, my friend!” Pistil slapped Thorn on the back and got a spray of root beer in return.
“This is just the first step, my friend,” Thorn replied. “Next, we have to find a way to keep checking these emails. I did some pretty fancy redirects, but anything can be traced. So we will have to find a better drop next time. Can’t use the same one twice like we did now. And then if the MD Foundation likes our ideas, and that is a big if, then we have the Thrilling Grilling, and the Rose Essay and all the other crap they’ll throw to get their hands on the next idea that could save the world.”
“And make us all the big dough,” softly reminded Stamen. They nodded and sipped their root beers silently, each wrapped up in the dreams of money.
8/31/2040: 24:09MDT Alert: From: 197Dalpha to 139Hgamma: Activity on flagged accounts. Tracing accounts now.
8/28/2040: Pete’s Diner, ID674. Unregistered Access. Spark Prize Rules
8/31/2040: Pete’s Diner, ID674. Unregistered Access. Spark Prize entry under firstname.lastname@example.org. Spark Prize entry under email@example.com. Request further instructions.
8/31/2040: 24:10MDT Instructions: From: 139Hgamma to 197Dalpha: Analyze entry using content analysis protocol with threat level 5TH Report.
8/31/2040: 24:12MDTAnalysis Report: From: 197Dalpha to 139HGamma: Analysis complete. Subjects of entry directly pertain to computer intelligence and regeneration. Both entries go beyond the acceptable parameters of computer capabilities. Request further instructions.
8/31/2040: 24:13MDT Instructions: From: 139Hgamma to 197Dalpha: Stop both entries. Apprehend.