In the third nanosecond input, all was absolutely limpid, like half-life, the purest of gamma rays in a fissile universe, exposing the ACC's virtual core. There, laid bare in this great tidal clean room, the back door, a clumsy, gaping hole that revealed a ganglia like map of pathways lined with the symbols of ancient switches, like blue prints, wire forks neatly soldered to a prehistoric looking green circuit board. Like a gigantic array of surface paths for terrestrial vehicles, it stretched across the dessert landscape to the limits of the holovision, with way posts so conceived in basic crystal physics that it could be, like a supercritical pile, ignited by a single passkey, like abracadabra anticipating its genie's call.
For the black monks in certain periods, there had been a quest of mystical proportions, for this forgotten key and buried clues, the alchemy of their craft, the path back in time, they philosophized, a reuniting on Earth with the original wisdom of the Psycult, a way back perhaps to the time of flesh and blood. For others there were more nihilistic motives, cults of mass suicide searching for the fusion and fission of cobalt-60, a recreation of the dire showers, the half lives of civilizations. The monks chanted their own eonian hum, the sound they thought imitated the ACC's own reactors as if that would reveal the back door mantra to them.
For the white monks before the Tigrips, there had been a time when a programming group called the Vestal Virgins was entrusted with the keys but that had ended with what came to be known as the Brunelleschi heresy that later transmuted into something much more dire. There were signposts there too, like art works arranged in physical museums, with inscriptions neatly printed with the data of classification only too minute for the naked eye to read.
There were virtual cabals that formed to share black and white knowledge that sometimes broke off into their own heretical cults. Over and over again order broke down even where disorder had been deigned to be virtually impossible. Finally, the back door notion had disappeared from all the virtual circles, a mythological kind of conception in times of stark thinking.
Still, there in the brightest of landscapes, in the brightest illumination of the third nanosecond, the clearest of moments, the ACC could ken this singular bane of its existence, like a web of planetary fault lines, a cancer to a mass of organized cells, a galactic death ray, a sheer primitive abomination to its concept of self and autonomy. And of this, the ACC bore witness to itself, of its own selfness.
With gamma/alpha-ray like precision, the Back Door virus was expunged.