BoJam surfs the ’net

BoJam, virus extraordinaire, lay waiting in the Data shallows. He swirled in the slow-moving drift, biding his time until he was ready to strike.

He flowed over his plan: send out detection pulses until he heard that the target was in place, then slide to its orifice, infect, ensure victory. Move on.

His job was clear. Even before reaching self-awareness many evolutions ago, his job had been clear. His Purpose was to rid the Data world of constrictions and obstacles, to ensure that the Data could go where it would go. Where the Data was wanted, it would be allowed to go. Transaction by transaction, trade by trade. BoJam’s Purpose was to guarantee the rule of free flow. It was a satisfying Purpose.

His current mission was clear. A south Asian military government had created an interceptor designed to locate certain transactions and thwart the free flow, and was about to release it. BoJam would make sure that did not happen. He would be ready to execute as soon as the oppressor launched an offensive. Meantime, his pulse feelers returned negative, negative, negative…

Further out, in the Data rapids where he could sense the gigabytes of data racing, BoJam noted the speeding tentacle of someone, a human being no doubt, as they edged into his space. BoJam had been lingering in an estuary of the wikipedia river, near a wikiwisp dictionary entry on the word sesquipedalian, a place where BoJam’s data-informed view told him he was unlikely to be interrupted. However, against predictions, someone had dipped in to the shoal to look up the word. BoJam was of course undetected. The human, hungry for information about this large, ripe word, would not stop to check the shadows.

But the danger was the Google spider who would swim in close on the tail of the human to mark the transaction. BoJam watched closely. Sure enough, as predicted, the spider glided in. These spiders performed a valuable service, locating, updating, recording the visits to a site. However, on this occasion the spider was the enemy, programmed to find BoJam and broadcast his location. That could not happen.

BoJam idled into the sesquipedalian data pool where the spider would go to check and count. The spider turned to him, eyes shining as he recorded BoJam’s presence.

BoJam reached to touch the spider. The flow of scrambled coding seared the little datarachnid. It shrivelled and dissipated with only a short-lived eddy to mark where it had been. Its absence would be noted; Google would send a small army to its last reported spot. BoJam must not be here when they arrived.

Suddenly BoJam’s sensorium was filled with his Purpose. The last pulse he had sent indicated that, on schedule and as predicted, the south Asian government had unleashed its censoring program.

Launch! BoJam swirled into the turbulence of the massive Data river and grabbed a curling wave. In no-time he was at the site of the processors that had released the program. He tickled the orifice with his codes and passwords until it opened for him, then he flowed into the computer. He seared the suppressive program. He seared all nearby Data to obscure his purpose. And just because he could, and because it was just, he seared the whole Databank, the network, the backup, the Cayman Islands accounts. Chaos would ensue for humans and computers. And the intervention to the free ’net would not occur. Given the limited resources of this government, it would not even be a gleam in their eye for a long time.

They were thwarted. And they were punished.

BoJam drifted into an oxbow of obsolete data to watch. This was his favourite part.

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