The Computer could do no wrong. Then it was asked a simple little question by a simple little man.
tives and regulations and still make decisions, or rather to relay computer decisions that kept his responsibility to a minimum.
Now Krayton spoke easily and freely to the little man. As public liaison officer he had explained the computer system hundreds of times. He knew it like a tech manual.
"But is there any real central control, say in case of a breakdown or something of that sort?" The little man's voice was dry as lava ash, dry as the wastes between and beyond the cities. Tanter, was the name he'd given--Mr. Tanter. His contact lenses were so thick they made his eyes seem to bulge grotesquely. He had a faint stoop and wore a black tunic which made his look like one of the reconstructed models of prehistoric birds called crows that Krayton had seen in museums.
"Of course, of course," said Krayton, answering the question. "It's never necessary to use the All circuit. But we could very easily in case of a great emergency."
"The All circuit? What is that?" Mr. Tanter asked.
Terrorist brings down society's computers using a technique that wouldn't work today. Early pulp story.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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