Sunday, August 07, 2011


In 2141, the global climate control system was beginning to fail, due to computer malfunction. The GCCS had been installed in 2103 to forestall natural disasters, filter airborne pathogens, screen out cosmic radiation, and make many hitherto inhospitable regions habitable. A planetary botanical garden with many ecozones and microclimates, as well as urban centers.

While this enhanced the quality of life, one downside is that humans were now so adapted to the GCCS that their immune systems were compromised. Their melanogenetic function was also impaired. Simply put, the human race couldn’t survive without the GCCS.

So the computer needed to be repaired–at all cost. But there was a problem. The man who designed the firewall was dead. He was a polymath, with a side interest in comparative mythology. He designed the firewall as a videogame, combining plants, animals, characters, buildings, landscapes, plot motifs, type scenes, and riddles from the Pentateuch, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, John, and Revelation.

The firewall was part wargame, stealth game, and 4X. Before you could fix the computer, you had to hack the firewall. To hack the firewall, you had to win the videogame.

But this was complicated by the fact that the Commissariat outlawed Christianity in 2117. The Bible was banned.

Classified copies were stored in the archives of the Commissariat, to which only high-ranking commissars had access.

The Commissariat regulated all aspects of social life, beginning with population control. Reprogenetics. Mandatory sterilization. The state awarded one child per couple, from Eugenix.

There was, however, an underground church. Knowledge of Scripture was preserved by word-of-mouth as well as encrypted copies of Scripture. The underground church included Christian hackers who attempted to disable the police-state apparatus.

“Theoterrorists,” as the Commissariat labeled them, were normally executed, but some of them had invaluable computer skills. These few were incarcerated at a supermax facility, where their troubleshooting skills were sometimes tapped.

It was a tight wire act. The hackers were both dangerous, yet indispensable to the state.

When the GCCS began to fail, the Commissariat turned to Peter Neureich for help. Peter was their most brilliant prisoner.

The Commissariat tried to limit his computer access to the GCCS firewall. But once inside, Peter hacked his way into other systems. He deleted the database for the Ministry of State Security. He fried the Eugenix mainframe. And he reprogrammed the GCCS to phase out over three generations, allowing the human race time to readjust.

All this led to a popular uprising. Civilization reverted to indigenous social and religious institutions. 

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