All right. Time to wrap up this report. Unfortunately, my previous two clones left nearly no usable notes on the actual Toothpaste_Disaster -- they got sidetracked into this whole nonsense about Viral_Thought_Patterns and Unspeakable_Treason and so on. Load of balderdash, if you ask me, but the damage is done.
For the record, I think Jan-U was dead on in her report on the VIOLET_Supervisors conspiracy -- Ken-6 was a filthy traitor, and I'm glad he's out of power. I'll do my best to fix up the messes he made. But that's neither here nor there. Onto the subject at hand: Zapster.
Zapster is a manifestation of one of the most insidious ideas of Communism -- the concept that information should be free. As anyone who's seen what happens when an INFRARED gets told exactly what's going on should know, this idea is ludicrous on the face of it, and dangerous to boot. But it also follows the Communist ideas of communal property and artificially-locked pricing instead of our noble ideals of Computer-administered property and pricing determined by thoughtful and considered discussion by those who know best.
Unfortunately, many treasonous groups outside of the Communists proper have adopted this ideal as their own, most notably the Computer Phreaks (perhaps the most dangerous of any group short of the Commies -- they usurp privileges only we are supposed to have, after all). The Phreaks were the ones to set up Zapster initially, though I suspect covert involvement by an ULTRAVIOLET sympathizer. Once the Zapster files were installed on a given terminal, any clone who knew the proper keywords could log into the Zapster network anonymously, piggybacking on the legitimate transmissions of the Computer itself. Any files on the terminal were perpetually accessible to clones anywhere on the network, and could be 'zapped' to another terminal at great speed.
This, of course, was a recipe for disaster even before several high-clearance terminals were infected. And once a High Programmer who shall remain nameless let a VIOLET aide access her private terminal while she was otherwise occupied, huge swathes of the code for the Computer's most integral routines were made public.
Most of the damage was eventually contained, but Zapster has proven infuriatingly hard to contain. A crippled version of the software is still known to be running on at least two dozen terminals across Alpha Complex, and while it is easy to delete the program on any terminal it has been found on, it self-destructs if anyone tries to examine its code. Paul-U-LEG-9 has set some of VPR_Sector's surviving R&D staff to reverse-engineer it -- hopefully, soon we'll know how it works and how to destroy it.
Zapster had relatively little direct involvement with the Toothpaste_Disaster itself, though it did provide much of the inspiration for KriegsList. It spread the Im_w/stupid dance craze, but that only added to the number of traitors killed by the incident (anyone who'd think the Xyrens were part of the sound file had to have heard the sound file, and it was only available through Zapster, so anyone killed through that misunderstanding was by definition a traitor, and good riddance to them). There's some suspicion that cells of numerous sub-factions involved in the incident communicated through carefully misnamed Zapster files, but that remains conjecture, based largely on the lack of any obvious sector-wide coordination ability.