The Bot

Scenario given by Magic & Fairy-Tale Dice: ring, tree, cave, book of spells, magic potion, frog, mouse, top hat


“Hey Frank!” I bellow from my office. “Frank!” I try again. Hearing nothing, I push my chair away from the console, and wrap my head around the door frame. “Frank!!”

“What!?” I finally get a response. He’s always busy. That’s what happens when you’re the chief security officer. He’s probably neck deep in an issue, trying to make sure hackers don’t screw with our system.

“What do you want?” Great, I have him for a brief moment.

“I was running an analysis, but there is an issue…”

“I’m not an analyst anymore. I told you only to bother me with security issues.”

“I know, I know. But this time, I think it is!” I drag my body into the hallway, leaving my cave, and place myself at his door. “I looked and there are thousands of queries being sent into the system. They’re all being issued by the same user. Lando-bot.”

There’s silence. I fiddle with the ring on my finger, as he starts typing away. He’s clearly looking up the same thing I just told him. He never believes me.

“Wow.” Hearing Frank have a similar reaction to mine gives me some pride, but it is short lived. I wasn’t sure how to handle the problem. He’ll know what to do, though. Waiting for him to delve into it, I take a look around. To his right, on the desk, sits a Frogger coffee mug. I can’t stand the stuff, but Frank downs several cups a day. His magic potion, I guess. I wish I could make myself like it more. Maybe I’d get some more work done.

“Wow,” he says again. He removes the tattered baseball cap he has on and runs his hand through the last remaining locks of hair. Flattening them straight, he puts his hat back on and turns to look at me. “You know, if he was just submitting normal queries, this would be no problem. We log common queries all the time to make things faster and efficient, but he’s submitting the weirdest combination of queries ever.”

“I know. It’s jamming up everything.”

“Yeah, he’s creating tons of work in the background, forcing the system to log new queries. Look at it,” he says, gesturing me forward. “Every query produces some totally ridiculous results and then those branch into all other kinds of crazy requests. He’s doing a breadth-first search through… Well, I don’t know where this is all going.” He stares at the screen, queries popping up and disappearing at lightning speed. “Who is this guy?” he asks the console.

Grabbing the mouse, he closes the window he was using. Swiveling around, he bellows “Shut him down!”

“Shut him down?”

He thrusts his left index finger upwards, and comically yells it again. “Nuke him!”

“Sounds good.” I hop a few steps back into my office, and after a few keystrokes, I’ve cut him out of the system.

“Got him!” I yell. No response. Frank is back at it again, leaving me behind. I re-open the programming cookbook next to me and dive into my next algorithm.

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