Saturday, December 18, 2010

Story a Week 3 - Frank Saga, Part 3

Here's the third installment of my story a week thing that I'm doing now. I've gotten a little bit of response on these and it sounds like people like what I'm doing here. Like I've mentioned before, writers like to hear what their audience thinks. Please keep the feedback coming!

Without further ado, here's the third part in the Frank saga. If you haven't read the first two, I would recommend it.


Frank knocked on the door and waited for someone to open it for him. A few moments later the door opened to reveal Frank's mother standing on the other side. "Mom! I didn't know you were going to be here," Frank said, excitedly. As he entered the house he added, "Is Dad here too?"

Frank's mother smiled and nodded. She gave Frank a kiss on the cheek and said, "He's in the living room with your brother."

Frank followed his mom into the living room. The two men were standing together with their hands behind their backs. Suspicious, Frank asked, "What's going on?"

The three of them had big smiles on their faces as Mark, Frank's brother, led him to the chair. "Oh, nothing," Mark said.

After Frank was sitting, his father walked over and handed him an envelope. "What's this?" Frank asked.

The three of them looked at each other with smiles on their faces. "An early wedding present," his father answered.

Frank blushed and opened the envelope. Two airplane tickets fell out. "What the heck?"

Frank's mother said, "We know that you and Anne have always wanted to go to Europe. The three of us chipped in to get you tickets to Madrid."

Frank started to tear up when he heard, "Frank, time to wake up."

Frank opened his eyes and saw Hugo standing over his bed. "Why do you always wake me up when I'm having good dreams?"

Hugo replied, "Sorry, Frank. We've only got a couple days left before we have to do a demo of your capabilities to my bosses."

"Let's get to it then. I think I can beat the other army a lot faster this time."

Hugo shook his head. "That's not what we're doing today. We're going to try something new."

Suddenly, Frank and Hugo were standing in the security checkpoint of a large airport. Frank looked down to see himself dressed in the uniform of a TSA agent. Sighing, Frank asked, "What is this a metaphor for?"

Hugo explained, "So far you've fought battles against enemies that you have known the identities of beforehand. Now, we're going to go the other route. You don't know which of these passengers are going to be enemies. If you let too many through, then they'll sabotage the kernel and you'll lose. Oh, and you need to keep the traffic flowing. You have a quota of passengers to get through." Hugo faded out.

Frank turned to look at the situation. The other agents were going through the motions and letting most of the passengers through without much hassle. Occasionally, one would be stopped and searched seemingly at random. The line leading up to security was long and there was a constant stream of passengers queuing up. "Must be the holidays," Frank said to one of the other agents.

The agent looked at him blankly before saying, "Whatever you say, sir."

Smiling to himself, Frank looked at the status board above the checkpoint. They were letting in many more passengers than the quota required, so he started barking out orders. First, every passenger would have their ticket checked to make sure that they were supposed to even be here. That didn't slow things down much and Frank already saw a passenger turned away before reaching the checkpoint.

Frank noticed that every passenger was plainly dressed and they were each wearing one of several colored shirts. He stopped the nearest other agent and asked about the shirts. The agent rolled his eyes at Frank and said, "They represent the different communication protocols."

That didn't explain a lot to Frank, so he grabbed one of the travelers and pulled him off to the side. He was wearing a blue shirt. "What communication protocol are you?"

The man quickly answered, "UDP, sir."

Oddly, Frank knew what that meant. He let the man go. He looked around confused as to what he was supposed to do. He basically had no idea how to prevent bad traffic through security. Frank was wandering around security when he noticed a group of orange shirts just starting to go through security. He stopped one and asked, "What communication protocol are you?"

"FTP, sir," came the quick reply.

Frank knew what that meant and didn't think that made any sense. He picked up his radio and called into it, "Kernel, this is Frank."

"What is it, Frank?" came the reply.

"Have any of the processes running initiated an FTP transfer?"

"No," the Kernel replied.

Frank looked up quickly at the rest of the security check point. A couple of orange shirts had gotten through, but he could still stop this. "Quickly, round up all the orange shirts and turn back the rest."

Hugo appeared next to Frank and patted him on the shoulder. "Good enough, Frank. You did let through a lot of bad traffic. We saw you floundering out there, so we threw you a bone with the FTP transfer."

Franks shoulders drooped. Hugo added, "You did do well by rudimentarily screening each packet as it came in. That did prevent some bad traffic. Also, it was good to contact the kernel about the transfer. You wouldn't want to stop a legitimate transfer. Want to try again?"

Frank considered for a moment and replied, "Not quite yet. I'd like to do some research first."

Hugo smiled and said, "Excellent. I was hoping you'd say that."

No comments:

Post a Comment