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Or even 5,207! Not a bad little number. That was, of course, yesterday’s count – I was too wiped out yesterday to do a coherent little post.

So, what happened? Well, Dayna got briefed on her new assignment, the mystery hacker or hackers nicknamed “Hex” (for Hexadecimal, if you’re wondering). It’s been five months since First Contact, and the aliens were nice enough to give us a little probe to park somewhere in the Solar System and use to talk to them, rather than tying up spaceships in the next system over. So this has been happening at, simultaneously, a rate of knots and the glacially slow pace of diplomancy, which is an arcane art many people recommend avoiding as it can go horribly wrong and make people explode — oh no, wait, that’s geomancy, my bad.

Anyway, the point is that we have this little probe that simply relays whatever signals we plug into it off through interspace (though we aren’t quite calling it that yet) to our new alien acquaintances, and feeds their return signals back to us. All well and good. Now, while the Solar System does have a loosely unified authority (as proven, for example, by the existence of the Solar Police), it also still retains a great deal of independent latitude for the many members. Mars has a planetary government, the asteroids are split into three main zones (plus a few lawless stations that everyone likes to pretend don’t exist, because space is big), Venus’ orbital stations are united, but Earth is still split into several chunks, albeit rather larger ones than the present day, and thank goodness for that because seriously you idiots. So, all of these semi-national actors are naturally chipping around at the edges of the diplomatic cybersecurity in an effort to get an edge on what their sorry little faction knows or might request. So far, so normal, and as soon as the Solar Police get enough confirmed evidence on any one of them, they’ll haul their collective backsides to the interplanetary courts for an extremely severe talking-to.

And they pretty much expected that, and have a task force dedicated to it. It will all be fine. *waves hands in the air*

But, while they were tracking these hackers, they found a set of attempts that didn’t fit the pattern. They built up a profile of a young hacker, an individual or small group, one prone to taking risks for unknown reward and one with a slightly unusual range of interests including trying to actively interfere with the diplomatic communications — which no-one else has been dumb enough to attempt.

Naturally, this is a rather worrying problem. And this little problem is what Dayna’s been asked to deal with — so next up is her travelling off to Venus, where “Hex” was last localised to…

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