Access secure database: Crouche42

Provide access code, password and retina identification

Enable code breaker and service access program: Hal2001

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Access granted

Hal smirked as he swiftly typed in his commands and subroutines into the nooks and crannies of the database.

Securest database on Nova my arse. President Crouche really needs to improve his security. Hal thought grinning.

"Come on Hal! You have to take your sister to her Tellick class!" His father yelled through his bedroom door.

"I'm coming Dad! Just a minute!"

Setup: Relay all private messages

State server route

Route Hal6598. Avoid detection with security subroutines 8346 and 1008

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Task complete

"Computer, log off main computer and transfer daily files to the goggles."

A chirp signalled the task was complete. Hal stood and grabbed the dark blue-lensed custom goggles off his bed, slinging them around his head, making sure that his straight black hair was still sticking up messily. He'd made his goggles about a year ago. The goggles looked scraped together as did everything else on Nova, nothing new, things just re-designed and re-used. They saved him from having to refer to his wrist for personal and professional computer updates. He'd programmed the goggles so the computer followed his retina. Hal had cannibalised spare parts from engineering. Hal was quite proud of them. Black leather and dark blue lenses with the memory storage of an entire Novan civilian section. He still wore the black wrist bound computer, but re-designed it to flip out a keyboard instead of just displaying the engineering data he needed. He slipped on his boots and grabbed his dark coat before stepping outside his room.

"Computer, lock bedroom three, authorisation Hal 27 Omega."

Another chirp confirmed the command complete. He walked down the narrow hallway of his family's apartment, stopping when he reached the compact kitchen. Everything in Nova was compact. Everything worked with efficiency and order. He watched as his mother tenderly tied his little sister's curly brown hair into a ponytail, strategically leaving ringlets out to frame her face. His sister Sophie, looked like his mother. She had the deep brown curly hair and the coffee skin that was common among Arabic descendants. Hal had his father's Asian complexion and straight black hair, but his mother's large brown eyes.

His father was leaning on the counter praising Sophie's telekinetic and telepathic powers. Mental abilities were becoming more common now. After a thousand years of evolving into short, slender, space dwelling humans, mental strength was all that was really required. Hal coughed to get their attention.

"Good morning Hal." His sister smiled at him and hopped off the chair, grabbing her coat off the table and slipping it over her skirt and blouse.

"Hal, why can't you at least wear a waistcoat and a proper shirt? You know you don't dress suitably, you don't even wear a hat!" wailed his father as he observed the relaxed style Hal preferred. He just nodded at his father, knowing it was safer to stay silent that to cause an argument

"Morning Hal." His mother hugged him as she slipped his breakfast into his hand. "Have fun at work today." Hal kissed his mother on her cheek before nodding at his father. He walked over to the door where Sophie was waiting. He took her hand and headed out into the corridor.

"Ah! There's a blockage in the main data route. Hand me the sonic aligner will you?"

Hal called from inside a conduit. His partner and friend Zoe stood from her perch on the top of a storage unit and smoothed her deep red skirt. She walked over to the tool-box behind Hal and fished out the device.

"Here you go. Did I tell you I've got a date with Issabelle on Friday?" Zoe announced

"You didn't. How'd that happen?" Hal questioned grabbing the device and setting it to the highest frequency. A sharp, but quiet pulsing rhythm filled the room. The familiar icon for on incoming message flashed up on the lenses of Hal's goggles. He put down the sonic aligner and stood up.

"I have to read this. Sorry." Zoe groaned and took over the repair work with the aligner.

Hal opened the message.

New Message. Server: Crouche42. Status: unopened

Sender?

Unknown

That one word. Unknown. Something the computer with its vast databanks couldn't identify. Something the President and Generational leader of Nova didn't know. Hal could never resist the unknown.

Open message