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Ninth Item

What is the Ninth Item?

This question has afflicted us all since Omega-U revealed the possibility of its existence. Given the significance of the known ItemsInQuestion, what could the Ninth Item be? What would be its significance? Would the very knowledge of the thing reshape Alpha Complex as we know it?

The answer is yes. I have found the Ninth Item.

It's quite simple really, and I'm surprised that no one else figured it out. While the records on the Ninth Item had been wiped, a quick interview of R&D personnel associated with the ItemsInQuestion turned up the truth. The Ninth Item was not in the box wherein the other items were found. It was, instead, the box itself! The Preliminary Assessment Committee decided that the box didn't count as an Item and put it in storage; eventually it was brought out by R&D and provisionally identified as R&D prototype BBY-ST-105.335/C, the "Collapsible Stasis Container."

But I didn't reach my current illustrious status by taking things at face value. And after all, there was no documentation for the BBY-ST-105.335/C, so who could be sure what it did? ARY sector R&D got on the case. And they discovered things about the box. Marvelous, marvelous things.

The box, it seems, could be folded into more than one configuration. One was the obvious cubical box shape. It could also be folded flat for ease of storage when not in use. But the third form! Oh, the wonder of it!


A flying vehicle! Imagine it - a storage container that turns into a flybot! A flybot that turns into a storage container! Why, the possibilities are endless!

Unfortunately, the R&D team was unable to find a control mechanism or power source for the BBY-ST-105.335/C. Perhaps it runs on broadcast power? If so, this might be the purpose behind the mysterious Ultra_High_Frequency_Radio_Waves currently being broadcast throughout several sectors. If so, that may mean that Commie_Mutant_Traitors have got hold of the technology used in the BBY-ST-105.335/C! This would be a menace to all of Alpha Complex. This malevolent plot, should it actually exist, must be stopped!

In our study of the BBY-ST-105.335/C, we have come across one critical piece of evidence that may be of value in tracking down the perpetrators of this potentially disastrous scheme. A microdot processor affixed to the BBY-ST-105.335/C contained a peculiar bit of code: a message wrapped around an executable kernel resembling the software employed by the Alpha_Complexity traitor group. With some help from CPU, the R&D team eventually managed to extract the following message:

To my Ultraviolet friend in R&D:

Don't worry about the whole

affair. I've taken care of it. Naturally, I'll expect your cooperation in regard to the incident. And don't even think about trying to use to blackmail me; I have evidence, hard evidence, linking you to that unpleasant business, and I'm not afraid to use it. So let's work together, okay?

All my love,

- D -

Cryptic as it may be, I think the message speaks for itself. There's a conspiracy here. We must root it out.

-- Jan-U-ARY-31

Cross Refs: Alpha_Complexity, Commie_Mutant_Traitors, ItemsInQuestion, Ultra_High_Frequency_Radio_Waves

What in Sector HEL is the meaning of this?!? Your so-called "message" changes every time it's viewed! Are you trying to lead us on a wild bot chase?

Or is this some stupid philosophical treaty on the constantly fluctuating nature of reality and truth? I hate philosophical arguments. When I hear philosophy, people DIE.

-- Drake-U-LAH-2

Like the R&D report says, the message is wrapped around an executable file. Apparently this is the way it's supposed to work. And whatever it means, you have to admit that it looks pretty incriminating.

This is reminiscent of the work of the League_of_Extraordinary_Dadaists. Perhaps there's a connection.

-- Jan-U

I had wondered why the box wasn't being counted among the items found, given its apparently unusual nature.

Was there any indication how long the microdot processor had been affixed?

--- Err-U-DYT-9

R&D estimates ten to fifteen monthcycles, based on the consistency of the adhesive. That puts it right into the core timeframe of the Toothpaste_Disaster.

Why do you ask?

-- Jan-U

Hmmm... that could be useful.

I say that we scatter paper copies (with tracking bug included) of this "message" across the Complex and see where the traitors bring them.

-- Drake-U-LAH-2

I'm not so convinced, Jan-U. My guts (and IntSec contacts) think that there are things you aren't telling us about this, and that you're just trying to divert attention here. I will have to investigate this further in my entry, later.

-- Omega-U-MAN-5

Your IntSec contacts? Riiiiiiight. Your guts? You'd be better off thinking with your brains than with several yards of superfluous gastrointestinal tissue. I've served Friend Computer loyally and well for nigh on two hundred years; there's not many who could make that claim. What have you done? Reduce MAN sector population by 99% and sector efficiency by 83% with your "Form Completion Forms." And you seem to think that you deserve some sort of commendation for it! I'd sign you up for the Mandatory Body-Ectomy Project tests, if not for the fact that you'd lose all of your most important and valuable bits in the process.

You know, I really thought I taught you better, back when I took little Omega-B-MAN-2 under my wing. But you always seem to think that you have something to prove, that you have to demonstrate that you're better than me. Can't you just let go of your impossible dream and simply try and serve Friend Computer to the best of your ability, as I do? You'll be much happier then, and you'll stop wasting both our time and valuable Alpha Complex resources with your petty jealousy. This vendetta really has to stop.

-- Jan-U

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2013-06-13 13:58