Repairman to the Stars!
Maintaining the Faster-Than-Light network kept Jair hopping from star to star. Designing security, repairing hardware, and reviewing logs. He brought along his collection of movies from the dawn of film to fill his downtime. But while repairing a damaged relay around a distant gas giant he found something unusual.
A Bug in the Network?
Traces of a network hack remained in the relay’s logs. Unable to determine where they originated, he traced them to a wide variety of systems: Military, entertainment, traffic control, scientific research, star surveys, and more. But with so many systems attacked, what was the hacker’s real goal?
On a More Personal Note…
Jair’s problems didn’t end there. His girlfriend, Merab, loves her job piloting starships. She also climbs mountains, studies martial arts, and loves Jair. But his refusal to settle down and start a family, with children, is something she wanted to talk about this trip. And that conversation didn’t go well.
A Cast of Thousands!
Jair’s computerized expert systems used personalities copied from ancient movie actors and characters. All five of the Marx Brothers work with him to unravel difficult network problems. It’s not Artificial Intelligence, but it’s as close as he can get.
When Jair’s systems are hacked and all his data from the relay station erased, he’s frightened. But when he’s accused of committing a variety of crimes he flees to avoid arrest. Now he can’t prove his innocence or send a warning.
A Desperate Gamble
Where in the galaxy can they go to prevent humanity from becoming pawns in a high-stakes interstellar conflict? Who can help them fight a hacker holding the network hostage? What could change their views about having children and forming families?