Thursday, 2 July 2009

Keeping the secret

"We need strong cryptography to protect our secrets, particularly email and our online EPMS. As it stands, we've got a single password protecting most of our files, and if you can get onto the CONserver you can read just about anything anyway. We need to update, and swiftly."
Sylvestra looked up from Vogue and made a moue. "Whatever you like, Doc.," she said, marking her place on the page with a long finger. "I thought the password was pretty secure though."
"It's only secure at all because we let the Green Lightbulb choose it," Dr. Septopus said, clacking his beak to show his irritation.
"Hah! Then you mean it's only secure because no normal person would think of it!"
"I honestly doubt a normal person could even spell it. Do you think that maybe his kind of illiteracy is part of his superpower?"
"I try not to think about him. Ever." Sylvestra screwed her face up in distaste, and returned to her magazine.
"Fine," said Dr. Septopus, carefully not voicing his agreement with her. "Well then, I shall organise the crytographic protocols tonights and issue you all with your individual and unique passphrases tomorrow."
"I think you mean parrot-harnesses," said the Green Lightbulb from the doorway. He came in as the other two looked up, and sat down at the round table in the centre of the Chamber of Nastiness where the Council met.
"Do I?" said Dr. Septopus, looking perplexed.
"Well yes," said the Green Lightbulb. "I've ordered parrots for everybody. They're like a kind of secure experiental storage faculty."
"...experimental?" said Dr. Septopus quietly, his face wrinkled in thought.
"...external storage facility, I hope," said Sylvestra, laying down her magazine. "How are they secure? Surely they can just fly away."
"They will bond with their owners," said the Green Lightbulb. "That's why we need parrot-harnesses. And then you tell them things that need to be kept secret, and they remember them for you, and repeat it back to you when you need it."
"I thought parrots repeated back things to anybody?" Sylvestra hid a smirk behind a hand.
"No, Sylvestra, we train them to only talk to their owners. And friends of course, so you can send messages to your friends by parrot. Like instant massaging, only cooler."
"Please let him mean messaging," muttered Dr. Septopus.
"How do you stop other people from overhearing what the parrot's saying?" said Sylvestra.
"Stop baiting him!" Dr. Septopus sighed and attempted to get the conversation back on track. "I meant passphrases, Green, for the increased security measures for email, the EPMS and the CONServer."
"I shall probably give up email in favour of parroting," said the Green Lightbulb prissily. "What EPMS? Or a CONserver?"
"EPMS is our Evil Plan Management System, and the CONServer is the Council of Nastiness's Server. It's hosted in the Cayman Islands, you know. The passphrases will all be about 2000 characters long, and there'll be a small... procedure to put it somewhere safe."
Both Sylvestra and the Green Lightbulb blanched at the word procedure.
"What?" said Dr. Septopus seeing the fear around the table.
"What kind of procedure?" said Sylvestra, closing her magazine. "This isn't going to be another... insertion, is it?"
"Oh no, nothing like that! You'll need the passphrase somewhere where you can read it, but no-one else can get at it. It'll be tattooed on the inside of your eyelids. That way, when you die we can just cut your eyelids off and still be able to access all your legacy data."
"That sounds painful," said the Green Lightbulb.
"What do you mean, when I die?" said Sylvestra.
Silence fell around the table for a few moments, finally broken by the Green Lightbulb.
"Can I kill the tattooist?"
"After he's done all the tattoos."

1 comment:

Marc said...

Haha, oh man. I'm so sorry I took so long to getting 'round to reading these.

"I honestly doubt a normal person could even spell it. Do you think that maybe his kind of illiteracy is part of his superpower?"

And great final lines too :)