2017-06-11 | Random | ORNG
The sign for Organization for Recovery and Normalization Generators was stenciled in orange paint on the concrete traffic barrier: O.R.N.G. Wade glanced at the cracked screen on his phone and compared it to the numbers above the abandoned drugstore across the street.
"This must be the place," Wade muttered as he stepped over the chain draped between the rebar on the barrier and rebar on the broken wall beside the stairs. The chain caught his foot behind him as he placed his foot on the first step. "Crazy entrance. I'll kill myself before I even interview." A row of solar panels of varying brands lined the lip of the roof, camouflaged with bits of concrete and plastic to prevent theft. They were tilted at a narrow enough angle that from a distance it appeared to be the roof.
As Wade progressed down the increasingly dark stairwell, the air smelled moist. The walls had green algae, which was uncharacteristic for this part of the country. Wade turned around three landings. As he approached the fourth the stairs ended, and there was a single metal door next to a hole in the wall with the wires leftover from a card-reader hanging out. The door was unlocked, and Wade entered a room, dimly lit with a yellowish-orange light.
"You must be Wade. I'm Krill, and this is Joan. We are glad you were able to make it. Sit down here for a moment, and we'll talk in a bit. Would you like some water?" Krill had short, black, curly hair and a baggy shirt that looked like it was made out of canvas. He gestured at some broken plastic cups sitting next to a carboy that was upright, half filled with water.
Wade was thirsty, but he shook his head no and smiled faintly, "Not right now. Thank you."
Joan and Krill left Wade alone in the room. There was a long table against the far wall with a dozen computers, tops off, motherboards and cables showing amid red, blue, and green lights. A tabletop fan blew back and forth over the top of them, and the alternating whoosh combined with the steady rush of the power supply and CPU fans.
Wade knocked. He heard a muffled "Come", and he opened the door. The room was brightly lit with harsh white light. Behind a desk in the corner furthest from the door, with his back to the far wall, a man sat with straight reddish-brown hair with slight bangs, but parted above his forehead. His hair fell about midway down his neck. He stood up from the desk as Wade entered. He had a long-sleeve blue shirt on and an undershirt showed through below his neck. He wore khakis that were creased well without wrinkles. He had thick, round, black plastic glasses with a slight ridge where the arms attached at the rim of the glasses in the center. He walked across the room with his hand outstretched.
"You're Wade, I'm guessing."
"Yes. Glad to meet you."
"Please have a seat," said Taylor, gesturing towards the chair next to his desk.
"You know we only pay minimum, and post unification at that, right?"
"Yes, I know that. I don't need much."
"OK, then. Do you know what we do?
"Yes. Well, I think so. This is messaging headquarters for recovery, right? You need somebody to install and run the remote machines?"
Taylor got up from his desk slightly and leaned towards Wade, "But what do we do?"
"You gather and consolidate the remaining data that is recovered?"
"Not exactly. We take data that exists from pre-unification and break it down in a way that can be reused and we transmit it. We combine it with other actively gathered data and send it to other organizations for recovery"
"I don't know much about breaking down data. I just know how to run systems and do some minor coding."
"Do you know BASH?"
"I can get around, yes."
“How about Perl? I have to warn you that we don’t have any access to the old Internet archives, nor CPAN. We do have some modules that we recovered.“
“Yeah. I know enough. I might have to fiddle a bit.”
“Oh, we do have the man pages.”
“I should be fine, then.”
Krill leaned back a bit more in his chair. ”Well, there isn't much more to it than that, really. The bigger problem is transmission. There are few direct routes to send the data over. I came up with a way to transmit that is simple, but it still takes quite a bit of tending. You might have to add a remote machine in between after you bring up the original, which means you have to set up an entirely new validation ID. Here is a sample script, can you read this?"history tkitty tkitty_story