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Expiration April

Army representatives investigate the murder of secret service agents by a malfunctioning clone.

Expiration: April

To: Zambia Army Headquarters – New Kasama Barracks

From: Lieutenant Gift Nsomo

Reporter: Anderson Mwila

Classification: Investigative Report

Date: 6 th April 2021

Purpose: To document the events leading to the malfunction of the BGP (Biogenetic Programmable Protocol) Codename – Protocol 36. BGP Protocol 36 was purchased from Yoshima Tokyo Machines on 1 st January 2021 and was expected to expire on 1 st April 2021. However due to a malfunction, BGP Protocol 36 rebelled against a mission and killed five Office of the President (OP) agents.



START OF INTERVIEW NO.1

Interviewer: Lieutenant Gift Nsomo

Witness: General Elias Chama

Interviewee No 1: Milford Musenge (Assistant BGP Programmer).

DIALOGUE

Interviewer: Are you ready Mr. Musenge?

Interviewee No 1: Ya whatever.

Interviewer: Alright then Mr. Musenge, we need to document your version of events. This report should be completely factual and must focus on the events leading or related to the rebellion of BGP Protocol 36.

Interviewee No 1:

Bio-Genetic Protocol is a clone operated by means of coded software functions sent as control signals via wireless links. The entire machine is meant to mimic the appearance and actions of an actual human being.

According to my contract, I was assigned to the Hibernation function. The Hibernation function is simply a function that allows the BGP to maintain environmental awareness whilst mimicking sleep. For example since the video cameras are located in the pupils, when the BGP mimics sleep ‘eyes closed obviously’ a number of hairs from chosen parts of the body have their video cameras turned on automatically to compensate.

I did however on occasion edit or update code on other functions. On this particular day I was assigned to Protocol 36 because he was the only BGP in the field. It was 18 th March 2021, and his mission was to intercept an Al Shabaab accountant on a train from Lunashya to Ndola.

Protocol 36 boarded the train at 15:00 hrs and headed straight to the Coach section. He stopped near the door pretending to be lost so he could allow the video cameras to transfer facial recognition data to the server.

The system was not able to recognise the accountant, but there was a person of interest in that section of the train. Her name was . . . or is . . . Angela Odemu. Odemu was the name taken up by the accountant’s sister after she married and Angela was her first daughter. According to our intel, the accountant was using a visit to his niece’s college as a front.

Dr. Nkama, who was in charge of the operation, ordered that she be approached in the most subtle manner. I enabled the Friendly-Approach function and the Befriend function.

He walked over to her booth, smiled and greeted her as sat across her. She wore plane blue jeans, slightly looser than what most girls wear today. She had a pair of black flat shoes, blue jeans and a white t-shirt with an American cartoon on it. It was probably The Regular Show or some other cartoon with an overexcited raccoon .

He wore a black leather boots and a cotton t-shirt with parallel lines of leather running across the front. Our fashion correspondent led us to believe it would allow him to look attractive but not get him too much attention. And to our relief he had no one’s attention other than hers.

“Your shirt sucks,” she said with a friendly smile.

That was the point at which the problem was actually noticed. The Friendly-Approach function once completed was supposed to trigger the Befriend function, but instead a strange new function was implemented.

Interviewer: The Adore function I presume?

Interviewee No1: Yes and don’t let the simplicity of its name fool you. The Adore function was bulkier than any other function any of us had ever seen. Most functions are dependent on other functions, but the Adore function was independent. It had its own functions for breathing, eye contact, language interpretation and so on. It was almost as if someone had a created a fully functional BGP Operating System on their own and left it lying in wait like a sleeper agent in Protocol 36.

Interviewer: The assumptions aren’t yours to make, it’s up to the gentlemen who receive this report to make the assumptions. Now could you, in layman’s terms give a description of what the difference is between the Adore and Befriend functions?

Interviewee No1: Seriously! In layman’s terms, so the guys who make the final decisions won’t even understand concepts of functions, procedures, and triggers?

(Deep Sigh) Anyway! It’s quite simple. The Befriend function changes the Protocol’s personality attributes so that the target views him as relatable. Its purpose is give away falsified personal information in order to trick the target into giving away personal information. With the BGP having both video and audio recorders, you can imagine storing the information is a walk in the park.

Interviewer: Please avoid using any figures of speech. We need each piece of information to be unambiguous.

Interviewee No1: C’mon Mr Bureaucracy, I’m sure the big dogs upstairs know what ‘walk in the park means’.

Interviewer: Just try and g. . .

Interviewee No1: Anywaythe Adore function caused him to act in the same manner but the data recorded was different. The information we received was personal quite true, but nothing close to what we were looking for. Protocol 36 was recording information that was more befitting of an admirer than a spy.

For example the Befriend function would analyse her appearance and use it to deduce where she’s from or where she’s going. But the adore function recorded information related to her preferences like what food she preferred. We received information like her affinity for bright colours, how she still enjoyed cartoons, her lack of interest in jewellery and her light use of makeup; all information irrelevant to the investigation.

So he leaned in her direction and looked deep into her eyes, an action that infuriated Dr. Nkama and Dr. Mwewa even more so. They noted that if Protocol 36 was looking deep into her eyes it meant his overall observational abilities were compromised.

“Hi my name is William,” Protocol 36 said. “What’s your name Ms Fashion critic?”

“Angela, Angela the CONSTRUCTIVE critic,” she replied.

They both laughed.

“So William, what business do you have in Ndola?”

“Boring business; work stuff. The conversation we’re about to have is probably the most interesting conversation I’ll have all week.”

“Really William, how can you tell?”

“I’m a master analyst, the way women can tell if they’re into a guy in five minutes is the same way I can tell if a woman is a great conversationalist.”

“My my how sophisticated,” she said. “So you dress like a man, talk like a man, charm women on trains like a man, but you think like a woman, masculine yet feminine?”

“Yes, I’m one big manly pussy.”

She laughed . . . loudly.

“I’m going to see my uncle in Ndola, after ignoring his family for years he decides I should travel to meet him.” She huffed and then continued. “At a place of his convenience, believe that?”

Dr. Mwewa pushed me out of my seat and tried to stop the Adore function. I took the liberty of monitoring the data received from Protocol 36 so I’d let her know if she was making any progress.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much to let her know. The Adore function had the characteristics of a powerful virus. It spread itself across the BGP’s brain replacing our minor functions with its own.

Even Protocol 36’s reactions were compromised. If he was under the control of the Befriend function, he would have encouraged her to go see her uncle or at least get her to talk more about it. Instead he kept on charming her. I made a comment to Dr. Mwewa suggesting that Protocol 36 was acting as if he were genuinely interested in Angela.

“Is that the kind of person you are?” Protocol 36 asked.

“What do you mean?” asked Angela.

“Are you the kind of girl who does things for people even when it’s tedious?”

“If I say yes, doesn’t that make me self righteous?”

“Yes it does, I’m still pissed about the swag comment so I’m fishing for a flaw.”

He smiled, and she smiled right back at him. You see, Protocol 36 was making use of more slang than we had ever added to his vocabulary. One of the criticisms of the BGPs from Yoshima was their mediocre perception of humour, slang, and vulgarity. But Protocol 36’s perception of her sense of humour was excellent, like he knew her before he met her.

Interviewer: Sir please!

Interviewee No1: Sorry, leave the assumptions to the big dogs (sarcastically). Anyway as I was saying or better yet as Angela was saying.

“I probably would have rejected his request, but he said the documents he left at home have a financial value. So the last thing I wanted was to look like a thief. So I’ve got his whatever documents, and I’m making sure he gets them.”

“Don’t take them anywhere,” Protocol 36 said.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Angela said.

“If you take those files to him, my organisation will make your life a living hell. My name isn’t William, it’s actually Protocol. . .” (Makes sound similar to failing car engine)

At that moment Protocol 36’s eye balls rolled backwards and turned into a plane white. Angela screamed and ran out of the Coach section. I rushed to the emergency phone and called the Office of the President so they could retrieve Protocol 36.

After that I turned to Dr. Mwewa only to find she was missing, and Dr. Nkama was passed out on the floor. I crouched next to Dr. Nkama and checked his pulse, he was still alive. That’s when I felt a little dizzy, and before I knew it I was face down on the ground next to Dr. Nkama.

Interviewer: Is that when you passed out?

Interviewee No1: Yes and before you ask, I don’t know anything about what happened to Dr. Mwewa. Like I said, one moment I was calling the secret service and the next moment she was gone.

Interviewer: Thank you sir that will be all. We will be contacting you should we need further information.

Interviewee No1: Ya, whatever.

END OF INTERVIEW NO.1

START OF INTERVIEW NO.2

Interviewer : Lieutenant Gift Nsomo

Witness : General Davis Kunda

Interviewee No2 : Jeremy Ndula (Office of the President).



Interviewer: Thank you very much for coming in agent. I’m sure you’ve been made aware of the fate your colleagues at the hands of the BGP. What we are interested in is your whereabouts after you and your partner parted ways with the rest of the agents.

Interviewee No.2: (Takes deep breath.) By the time we boarded the train Angela Odemu, and Protocol 36 had already escaped on foot. The platform at the Chifubu station had neither tar nor tiling so we had a clear set of footprints. One set was a woman’s flat shoes and the other a man’s boots. By the distance between the steps, it was clear both parties were sprinting, and both sets led to the train station’s offices.  

Once in the actual station offices, Agent Silwamba and I were sent back to the platform to make sure Protocol 36 hadn't snuck passed us. The two of us returned to the platform only to hear gunshots coming from the very offices we had just left.

Agent Silwamba and I rushed back into the station. We followed the sound of gunfire coming from the basement area. The sound was extremely familiar, probably from multiple 1911 Mili-Specs. We were confident that the shots were from 1911s because they are the standard issue in our department.

We could also hear what we assumed were Semiautomatic Pistol bullets, probably 9 millimetre or a 45. May I have permission to treat the bullet assumptions as facts for the sake of time?

Interviewer : Wonderful idea agent, especially since the assumption is already on record, permission granted.

Interviewee No.2 : The shots from the 1911 Mili-specs were rampant and sounded reckless. The Semiautomatic Pistol’s shots were consistent and had a sense of routine to them. We heard it exactly six times and every time we heard it the number of 1911s we could hear reduced.

We were held back by a locked glass door with aluminium frames, but we got past it eventually when Silwamba decided to use his gun to shoot the knob off. From there we found ourselves in a small hallway with three doors. We knew the door in the middle led to the room the shots came from because Protocol 36 came rushing out of it.

His legs were shaking, his teeth were chattering yet his arms were firm. He had a gun in each hand, a Pistol aimed at me and a 1911 aimed at Silwamba. Both Silwamba and I had a 1911 each, and we made sure we aimed them back at him. My next observation was rather subjective so please give me a little leeway.

Interviewer : Go ahead. Just make sure to hint at what was subjective.

Interviewee No.2 : So I took a look at Protocol 36, and I was quite sure that he had a perfect aim on each of us without actually looking at us. His eyeballs went from light brown to plain white and then back to light brown.

Is it just me?” Silwamba asked.

“No, I’m seeing it too,” I replied. “It’s like this particular one doesn’t need to look at us to have good aim. He’s having eye problems but his aim looks amazing, and his arms are firm.”

“For real exe,” Silwamba said, “let’s be cautious. This one is probably more dangerous than he looks.”

“I don’t have to be a danger, at least not to you,” Protocol 36 said.

He had finally regained the full use of eyes. He walked towards us slowly making adjustments to his aim as he walked. He looked me in the eyes and gradually lowered the gun he had aimed at me. He dropped it to the ground and kicked it at me and eventually he held his one gun at Silwamba with both hands.

“I’m begging you Agent Ndula, you’ll be able to save Angela if you leave now. She needs you NOW agent Ndula NOW, fucking NOW!”

Protocol 36’s curse word caught Silwamba and I off guard. We were told BGPs made little use of slang and vulgarities.

“Who’s putting her in danger, where is she?” I screamed. “I can’t help her if all you have for me is the words ‘fucking now’. If Angela really is in trouble I need her whereabouts.”

He aimed his gun at Silwamba, but his eyes were able to turn towards me. After looking directly at me for approximately 30 seconds he lowered the gun he had aimed at Silwamba, dropping it and kicking it towards me. At that point he had left himself unarmed. He lowered his shoulders, lowered his head and turned to face me as he spoke.

“She’s at the headquarters,” Protocol 36 said, “where the servers and programmers are. My creator switched off my eyes and took Angela away. My creator took Angela away from me to punish Angela for stealing my love. My creator took Angela back to the headquarters to show Angela why Angela needed to be punished. Is that enough?”

“Who’s your creator?” Silwamba asked.

“I don’t know, I’m not allowed to know.”

I nodded my head towards Silwamba, who proceeded to shoot Protocol 36 in both of his knee caps. I holstered my gun and ran out of the room in hopes to save Angela.

Approximately 30 minutes later I was inside the headquarters’ server room. Two men lay on the floor next to the servers. One was about forty but not more than sixty and the other was younger, maybe in his twenties. I assumed it was Dr. Nkama and his assistant. I checked both their pulses and they were still breathing.

I called for an ambulance.

Looking for Angela proved a more tedious task than I anticipated. I stole an identification card from the old man on the floor and opened as many doors as I could.

The room was approximately 10 square meters, and it had five doors, the entrance door I came through behind me, multiple large TV screens to my right and a wall with two sofas leaning on it to my left. Straight up ahead of me there were five doors that led to small closets filled with computer hardware supplies.

With each door I opened my frustrations grew, until I was so agitated I slammed one of the closet doors open and shouted out Angela’s full name. I shouted it out a second time and even louder the third time.

I headed towards the entrance door hoping to find her in some other room in the same building. As I rushed towards the door I heard a woman’s scream coming from the wall with the sofas leaning on it. I pushed the sofas aside and put my ears on the wall.

The screams had stopped, but I could still hear someone mumbling vigorously. I felt across the wall using the mumbling as my compass. Eventually I found a barely visible crack in the wall, and once I traced it with my fingers I discovered the crack had the shape of a door.

After I ran my index across the entirety of the crack, the door opened automatically and there they were. The room was about half the size of the previous server room. Angela was on the floor struggling with her hands tied and her mouth gagged.

Dr. Mwewa stood over Angela with a gun I couldn't see clearly. Dr. Mwewa was acting impatient, like she had something she wanted to show Angela before shooting her. Sorry! Was that too subjective for the report?

Reporter: I’ll have it taken down as your opinion. But please make a clear contrast between your observations and assumption.

Interviewee No.2: My apologies.

So Dr. Mwewa was struggling to hold Angela in place as Angela fought the constraints Dr. Mwewa placed on her. I aimed my gun at Dr. Mwewa as I stole a quick glance at the room. It had everything the server room had but smaller, even the equipment’s aesthetics were the same.

“What have you been doing in this room Dr. Mwewa, have you been creating your own server room?” I asked.

“I’ve been creating what I deserve, what I’ve always deserved. Not this bitch, she doesn't deserve shit, and I’m going to show her.”

“Show me.” I said.

“Why you?” she said finally facing me. Her eyes were red, almost watery.

“Coz I’m better than her. Look at her, she’s ignorant, she’s judgmental , when you show her she’ll just think you’re crazy. What would she know about the struggles of a hard working woman?”

“She doesn’t know shit. SHIIIIIIT! But what about you agent, what do you know?”

“I know,” I said. “My mother was. . .”

Interviewer: Hold on. How did you know Dr. Mwewa’s agitations were a result of her workaholic nature?

Interviewee No.2: It was an educated guess. She was middle aged, no wedding ring, I had heard BGP programmer work hours were hectic, and she created her own server room. The time it would take to do all of that alone must’ve have taken a toll on her social life and the need to do it must’ve have been a deep loneliness.

Interviewer: Go on.

Interviewee No.2: So like I was telling Dr. Mwewa.

“My mother was a workaholic. She went out of her way to provide for me and my brother, but people called her a bad mother because she always came home late from work. They didn't understand, they never understood, but I did. I know how this world can punish women for being hard working.”

From my own personal perspective I seemed to be getting to her. She calmed down, stopped struggling with Angela and took a deep breath.

“I designed Protocol 36’s software to ADORE, to ADORE me. I created an entire BGP operating system with multiple functions customised to my own personal preferences and gave him an affinity for my own personality attributes using the Abacus Man System.”

“Dr. Mwewa?” I said with a soft tone that expressed both disappointment and sympathy.

“What?” she asked.

“You forgot the core rule of the Abacus Man System.”

Interviewer : The Abacus System?

Interviewee No.2: The Abacus Man system is a simple individualism theory that states the human personality is the equivalent of the state of the abacus in the midst of measurement. We all have the same rods, and some of us have the same amount of beads on a particular rod, but no two people on earth have the same complete combination of beads on each rod.

For example you and I may have the same measure of 67/100 on our ‘Patience Rod’ but it is almost impossible for us to both to also have a measurement of 83/100 on our ‘Discipline Rod’ let alone on the other 20 rods. That’s why we live in a world where we’re always able to find friends similar to ourselves but never find anyone who is exactly like us.

Interviewer : I see, please continue.

Interviewee No.2 : So as I was saying to her:

“You forgot the core rule of the Abacus Man System.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“One can never measure the beads on their own rods, because when we measure ourselves there’s a high risk of being self righteous or too critical. And when did you take the personality abacus on yourself?” I asked her.

“Five years ago?” she answered.

“There you go; you took the abacus when you still had life in you. This organisation has drained the life out of you, so much that when Protocol 36 saw you he couldn't recognise all the wonderful attributes you had before. He probably just settled for this girl because he couldn't find you. He couldn't recognise you because you’re not you anymore.

But it’s not too late. You can leave this place and get your soul back. You can be you again. Don’t sink deeper into this grave society keeps trying to throw you into. BE YOU. You can be you again. There is a world out there were hard working women are adored.”

She fell to her knees in tears and handed the gun in her hand to Angela. Angela gave the gun to me and ran out of the room. I holstered my gun and knelt next to Dr. Mwewa holding her in my arms. And that’s how the backup agents found me.

Interviewer: Is that all?

Interviewee No.2: Yes it is.

Interviewer: Alright Thank You.

Interviewee No.2: If I may ask sir, what’s the latest on Agent Silwamba? I haven’t been able to talk to him.

Interviewer: We found him unconscious in the very room you left him in. According to your partner Protocol 36 has bullet proof legs and only pretended to have lost control of his knees to humour you.

Agent Silwamba is at the Michael Sata Hospital. He is recovering well and was only kept away from you to avoid corroboration during the investigation. Protocol 36 was seen later on in a vehicle at Jacaranda Shopping Mall with Odemu in the passenger seat.

Interviewee No.2: I shouldn't have let her go .

Interviewer: On the contrary, Silwamba believes there will be fewer casualties if Protocol 36 knows where Angela is. Unfortunately we will be leaving you out of Dr. Mwewa’s disciplinary review because you've admitted to being sympathetic towards her.

Interviewee No.2: Understood sir, thank you.

Interviewer: You’re welcome, good day agent.



END OF INTERVIEW NO.2

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