Date 22 May 2015.
Author Palantir
Subject Mparntwe.

The author retains copyright (2015) to this story. Reproducing this story for distribution without the author's permission is a violation of that copyright.
This story is fiction.

Thank you Nifty for the opportunity to post this story.

Mparntwe is another tale of the Terran Diaspora. Set in an earlier time to the tumultuous events of 'Attunga', it is based in Central Australia and tells the story of two young people. Jarra and Mirrigan, both with serious disabilities, both with serious abilities, who live in one of the first great underground communities and experience events which change the world.

Mparntwe Chapter 10.


Five days later Jarara left Mparntwe and the time had indeed been interesting.
Karmai took over the hosting because Jarra's ComPatch project with Yirgella was close to the prototype stage and too exciting and demanding to miss, but for the whole of his visit there was music and laughter as Jarara joined in with everything that was going on.
Mirri took it into his head that Jarara had to see the Eagle King for himself and after a great rush of organisation the group, with Karmai taking Baradin's place, set off on a repeat visit. There was no close eagle encounter this time, though two pairs of wedgetails and one individual provided plenty of interest.
Karmai did discover a thorny devil lizard at the edge of a rock pool though, and when Mirri picked it up for a close look Jarara had his first experience of a singing event. The grotesque little creature stayed completely motionless as Mirri, ever so gently, caressed its spikes and lumps with accompanying sounds of wonder and appreciation.
On the last evening of Jarara's stay, Jarra, prompted by Jarara's Dreamtime comments, arranged for Baradin and the whole family to gather at the campsite under the stars for a time of music and storytelling. Mirri, excited by the combined atmosphere of campfire and soundboard, sang as he and his brothers danced the story of the kookaburra, the kangaroo, the local giant caterpillars and other dreamtime favorites and when Jarara left he took a number his own experiences of Mirri's sounds with him.


Mirri rushed to give Karmai the biggest hug. He'd been happy and excited talking with him and sharing dolphin stories and information from the InterWeb for the last few weeks but standing at the airport departure area brought the realisation that one of the most important people in his life was going away and happy and excited was definitely not his frame of mind. The lump in Jarra's throat thickened as he watched.
The news that Karmai's application for his longed for job of working as a ranger in the Shark Bay Marine reserve near Carnarvon had been successful was wonderful of course, but it also meant an upheaval in the close-knit family structure. No more idolised big brother to help with everything. No more happy rough-housing in Mirri's action room when Karmai arrived home from his studies. Jarra didn't want him to go almost as much as Mirri.
Well, they'd be in contact through the InterWeb and there were plans to visit when his routine was established. That was all they could do. The departure door opened and the whole family swamped Karmai for a final farewell.


Jarra was feeling very pleased and rather excited. Durrebar was with him in his project room and they were talking with Yirgella about the prototype ComPatches he and Mirri had worn the day before on their expedition to show Yirgella the bird place. It had been very special really because as well as showing that the concentrated effort of the last four weeks was successful it also marked Yirgella's first direct experience of the world beyond the confines of Alkere Security.

"Mirri wants to wear his new ComPatch all the time and he's coming to talk to you tomorrow about the hollow tree with the baby budgerigars."

"He loves his exploring more than I understood and I hope you both wear them. You can be my eyes and ears outside of Alkere."

Jarra nodded. He'd thought about this.

"The range isn't very good. We'll have to do something to improve it."

"I have several designs for you to experiment with but a better alternative is to utilise the ordinary ComPatch transmission system."

"That's not possible. You'd open yourself to electronic infiltration. The whole point of your project was to build an independent and totally secure system."

Jarra agreed with Durrebar.

"With suitable modifications the transmission centers could operate both systems simultaneously. There would be no crossover and the necessity for duplication of resources would be obviated."

"Yirgella, are you practising language skills?"

"I find it interesting how different speech modes need to be used according to both the audience and the situation... You could save time and money by making simple improvements."

"Without any security issues?"

"Our new ComPatches would not be compromised in any way."

"That's a clever idea. I've been wondering how we could set up new transmitter-receivers without drawing attention."

"I also recommend updating the protocols of the general ComPatch system as its current security is quite low level."

"The whole ComPatch system? Using the protocols you've developed with Jarra?"

"Standard chest units are incompatible with ours and would have to be completely redesigned. I have developed a module though, which would be effective immediately."

Jarra and Durrebar exchanged glances. This was quite significant.

"It's ready now? How effective is it? Does it compare with the prototype?"

"It doesn't compare, but it does improve the security level from low to medium. Let me show you."

Durrebar and Jarra were quickly convinced that Yirgella's module should be implemented throughout Mparntwe and they discussed the best way to go ahead.

"If I recommend it formally to the Council it will go through all the usual procedures and take months before anything happens. Could you talk to Baradin and try to fast track it that way?"

"Our next walk with him isn't for another five days and that's only if he's back from Canberra. I'll send a message asking him to make contact as soon as possible. That will let him know it's important."

Yirgella interrupted.

"I would prefer a meeting with the full Council. I can quickly demonstrate the value of the ComPatch module."

"The full Council? It's not that important."

Jarra agreed with Durrebar.

"There are serious issues facing Mparntwe and Alkere and I have numerous ideas and proposals which would be of mutual benefit. I believe a full Council meeting is appropriate."

Jarra watched Durrebar's reaction with a feeling of excitement. This was something new.

"Which issues?"

"Primarily the danger my existence represents for the people of Mparntwe and the staff here at Alkere.
I wish to contribute to the resources of Mparntwe.
I wish to clarify the situation with regard to my independence.
I wish to develop a construction and research facility.
I wish to develop alternative personal energy sources.
I wish to develop an economic presence in conjunction with Jarra, Mirri and my project staff.
I wish to facilitate the commencement of the AI projects at Carnarvon, Darwin and Normanton."

"Stop! Stop! Take us through one thing at a time so we can keep up. We need to understand what you mean."

Jarra nodded his agreement. Everything he'd heard so far needed more explanation.

"What do you mean about the danger? We're aware of it and doing everything we can.
Baradin is in Canberra at this very moment arranging with the OverGovernment for Mparntwe to have higher alert levels and security and the equipment and personnel from Carnarvon and Darwin are all functioning."

"I can do more. Since the sabotage attempt against the lift system I have worked to build my understanding of security methods and how they can be applied to all our systems.
I'd like to manage Alkere Security myself and I also have modules prepared for every aspect of Mparntwe security if the Council wishes to use them."

"More modules?"

"Seventeen in fact, all with significant improvements."

Jarra didn't know anything about Mparntwe security and wondered how Yirgella did.

"Do these modules need you to monitor them?"

"No, they are completely independent and will remain so until the Council requests otherwise. If they should change their mind we can quickly establish properly secure links."

"And are they as effective as the ComPatch module?"

"Some more so, some less."

Durrebar turned to Jarra.

"Jarra, send that message to Baradin right now. The existence of seventeen significant improvements to Mparntwe security does warrant an immediate Council meeting. What was your next proposal, Yirgella? About resources?"

"I have been a drain on the resources of Mparntwe and I wish to completely reverse that with a range of joint ventures the Council might like to undertake.
Part of the information you gave me about the Intelligent Systems shows the purchase of construction materials is the single greatest cost to the Community and after looking into it I have a proposal to make all construction materials ourselves."

"We'd have to build a special factory for that."

"I have been simulating designs for a range of materials factories and with suitable scaling we could not only become self-sufficient for all our building materials but also enter the world market with a seventeen percent advantage on the current prices."

"The world market? Are you serious?"

Jarra had to smile. Durrebar asking Yirgella if he was serious sounded funny.

"The great demand for strengthened building materials has only just started. My calculations show that within three years we could generate an income matching that of Alkere energy."

There was a pause while Jarra and Durrebar took that in. It made sense because the demand for the specially strengthened materials used to build Communities, especially underground with the need for protection from earth movement or earthquakes and tremors, did exceed the supply and, with the current world population of thirty-one billion expected to triple in the next fifty years, would be relentless.

"That's... That's astonishing. The Council won't believe it."

"I have other proposals if they don't, though not quite as effective."

"Yirgella, they will believe it. I meant they'll be astonished. Where does the huge advantage come from?"

I have redesigned a functioning materials factory 22,784 times in my simulations to achieve the advantage."

"22,000 times? How long did that take?"

Yirgella smiled, well his image did.

"About half an hour, Jarra. My new bank of processors is very effective."

"Where did you gain the knowledge about advanced materials? I don't remember it as one of your data inputs."

"I pieced it together from the world science modules Professor Allerton has been checking through security for me. They are my main source of information until I gain access to the InterWeb."

That caught Jarra's attention. The InterWeb was one of Yirgella's great priorities.

"The InterWeb? Is that happening soon?"

"I'm almost ready. Our work with the ComPatch prototype has shown me a number of ways to secure myself and using strong filters I could access any open database."

"What filters? I haven't heard anything about them."

"I'm still refining them. The Security team will receive the specifications this afternoon."

"We shouldn't have installed those new processors."

"I don't understand. They are vital to my performance."

"I'm joking, Yirgella. ...They're so effective I can't keep up with you. Almost every statement you've made this morning involves a striking new development we haven't considered."

"Oh! I see. Should I make proposals in a more measured manner? I don't wish to be confronting to the Council."

"Yes you do. This is exciting. They'll be as amazed as we are, but they will listen. A proposal to double the income of the community in only three years can't not be listened to. ...What do you think, Jarra?"

Jarra glanced at his InfoPad.

"I'm sure they will but Baradin will tell us that when he answers my call. How many proposals do you want the Council to look at?"

"278 at the moment, but that is steadily increasing."

"278!... Is that all?"

"I believe that was an expression of irony? Yes, Durrebar, most are straightforward and can be sub-categorised like the seventeen Security modules, and I believe their value will be self evident. Others will require major discussion about my independence and ability to develop and utilise appropriate resources."

"You are independent. That's the basic tenet Jarra fought to gain for you. It's the understanding the Council has had all along."

"Am I free to develop in any way I wish?
Can I accumulate resources?
Can I initiate projects of my own accord?
Am I totally reliant on Alkere for my energy supply?"

There was silence till Durrebar spoke.

"Do you really feel so constrained? We've supplied every improvement you've thought of and all the projects you've requested have gone ahead the moment you've asked for them. Our intention has never been to hold you back in any way but we have to work within the boundaries set by our budget."

"I understand the limits and appreciate all your efforts on my behalf. It's my relationship with the Council when the limits are removed that needs to be discussed."

Jarra had a question of his own.

"Why are you worried about Alkere energy? It must be one of the most reliable supplies on the whole planet."

"I calculate a strong probability of disruption by external forces."

"You mean more sabotage?"

"Yes, and the more successful our joint projects become, the greater the likelihood of further sabotage will be."

"We have forty-eight hours of backup in place."

"And what happens after that?"

It didn't bear thinking about, except Jarra did and didn't like it at all.

"We could build a big energy storage and make it safe from sabotage and if we put it underground we should be able to protect it and give Yirgella security for months instead of days."

"You really think sabotage is likely?"

"The security logs show five attempts at electronic infiltration in the last twenty-four hours. That indicates malign purpose."

Jarra was shocked.

"Five? Is it that bad?"

Durrebar nodded.

"Yes, but they're well under control and there's no likelihood of penetration with all the Security improvements."

"That might make them try other things. I think we should make energy storage a priority in case something does happen to the supply lines... I'll tell Baradin as soon as he calls back."

"I agree with you, Jarra, but we don't need the Council for this. It's well within our capabilities to double the backup almost immediately and within a week we should be able to guarantee a month of secure supply."

"We should let some of the electronic spying get through."

"... Jarra, that's ridiculous. They would cause all sorts of harm."

"Your idea is so counter-productive it suggests some logical element is missing."

"Yes, can we trick them into thinking they've got through when they really haven't? They wouldn't have to sabotage Alkere or anything else then."

Durrebar's eyebrows lifted then he shook his head.

"It's a clever idea but we'd have to build an electronic structure almost equivalent to Yirgella. It's not practical."

"What an extraordinary idea. I would never have considered such an approach.
Durrebar, we don't need a physical structure for an exercise like this. I can build a virtual model of myself with my simulation functions, and provided I can analyse and understand the workings of any infiltration program it can be routed to that model and never know the difference."

Jarra laughed.

"You can simulate yourself? That sounds weird."

"Jarra, I do it all the time. It's how I test the best way to improve myself."

"Does it take long?"

"Minutes, but in this case much longer because of the need for complete isolation, and each instance will have to be designed to match its intruding program."

"You want to go ahead with this?"

"Of course, Durrebar. I've been processing data I have available about military strategy since Jarra voiced this idea and it's an opportunity for misinformation we can't miss. If the perpetrators can be led to believe we're having all sorts of trouble there is a high probability they will hold off on any other actions. In the long-term we might even gain indications of who they are."

"Are you sure you can keep these programs isolated? The recent ones have become more sophisticated and the thought of them loose in your system frightens me."

"Without having 100% surety of control I won't go ahead."

"They're going to know you're tricking them eventually. If all these other good things start happening it will be obvious."

"Yes, but in the meantime any delay to direct action puts us in a stronger position, especially if it gives me time to access the InterWeb."

There was the InterWeb thing again.

"You're putting a lot of importance on the InterWeb?"

"The world science modules Dr Allerton imported through Security have been a huge help to me in the last week but there are only twenty-seven of them and they're all general. Until I have access to thousands of specialist databases I'm very limited."

Jarra had access to thousands of databases from the InterWeb when he was home, millions really, but that was access to the bits he wanted. Access to Yirgella meant accumulating the totality of a database, storing it, and then using it however he needed. Jarra's perception of Yirgella's capabilities lifted to a new level. A week's work with twenty-seven basic databases had produced so many amazing proposals. What would happen with a thousand specially chosen databases?

"Yirgella, announce an extraordinary meeting in the Conference hall in thirty minutes time. I want every project member understanding your major proposals and present and backing you when you meet with the Council.
Jarra, send another message to Baradin informing him the Council should prepare themselves for a visit to Alkere of at least two days duration and ask him to contact me directly and urgently. I want him back from Canberra as quickly as he can get here."

He pointed to the bed in the far corner of the project room.

"Rest, relax, sleep or whatever for the next twenty-five minutes then come to the Conference hall."

Filled with purpose Durrebar was gone from the room.

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