He looked from face to face, considering what had just been said. He had felt like something was odd about not being able to find any info on the Guillae; but the information had been altered? Even then, he had never thought about looking into the old judge.
He simply didn't know what to say.
After a moment of staring blankly at the other ambassadors, Illiquina decided to break the silence.
"Let me ask, Darrian: what do you know about the old judge?"
"Well..." he started softly, racking his memory. "I know he's supposed to be many hundreds of rotations old. He was created by the Merrenians at the conception of the Consortium to help deliberate, translate, and navigate the political situations that would arise from multiple species interacting."
He thought for a moment before adding:
"If I remember correctly, he was one of a dozen or something like that? There used to be a lot more but now he's the only only left over."
Illiquina nodded in agreement.
"Picture perfect to his archive entries."
"Are you saying that's not the case?"
"We don't actually know." A'alan't 32 stated.
"All we know is that the information was removed." Illiquina added before glancing at A'alan't32. "We're hoping that the Bivvie might have record of something additional but..."
"But it's not likely that the old judge was heavily documented. At his conception, he was little more than a worker drone for the Consortium and likely didn't garner attention." A'alant 32 finished.
"So, in short, we have no idea what dirty secrets that thing has." Ferris growled in annoyance.
Darrian considering asking about the Guillae when the question occurred to him that he should have asked right away.
"How do you know any of this?"
"Well. I mean it makes sense if you think about." A'alan't 32 said. "Why would the Bivvie care about a random robot drone? Particularly when-"
"No." Darrian said, cutting her off. "I mean how do you know there was some kind of alteration?"
Everything they were saying felt right. Felt correct in lieu of this nagging feeling that something was wrong. But he couldn't let himself fall prey to wild speculation.
The other ambassadors glanced back and forth between each other before Illiquina responded.
"It's in the code." she said simply with almost a confused tone.
"Code?" Darrian asked perplexed. "What code?"
Darrian stared at Illiquina, perplexed. She wore a similar look of confusion, as if she didn't understand the question.
"She means the code for the archives." Ferris offered.
"I...don't know what that means." Darrian stuttered.
"Come here." Illiquina said, motioning him closer to him.
Darrian stepped closer and only then realized that Illiquina was holding a small, strange-looking datapad in one hand. It was notably slimmer than his own work pad and it seemed to be rimmed with small tabs and nobs along the outside edge that could be manipulated.
Illiquina tapped the screen and brought up an image that she offered up to him.
The image didn't make any sense to him. It appeared to be nothing more than a random assortment of letters, numbers, and symbols. Here and there he saw things that might vaguely represent words, but all together it proved little more than gibberish.
"I don't know what this is, Illiquina." he stated with unabashed honesty.
"You and me both." Ferris offered.
"Aren't you Merrenians supposed to be experts in robotics?" Illiquina said with a huff. "How is it you don't know coding?"
"The smart Merrenians make it easy for us dumb ones." Ferris said with a smile.
"What he said." Darrian said, pointing at Ferris.
Illiquina let out a soft growl of annoyance before pointing to the a certainly clump of letters and numbers.
"Here." she said. "Do you know what that means?"
Darrian offered a little shrug of confusion.
"THAT!" she said with a sharp tap. "Is the file having to do with the Guillae."
Illiquina huffed again but decided to try a change in tactics.
"When did the old judge say the Consortium encountered the Guillae?" she asked.
"Couple hundred rotations ago?" he offered while looking to Ferris and A'alan't 32, who both nodded in agreement.
"Couple hundred." Illiquina confirmed before pointing to another blotch of numbers and letters. "Than why would all of the data have been removed and then edited twenty rotations ago?"
Darrian stared at the stream of logic on the screen blankly. He tried to make sense of what she'd said. What he was seeing.
"It says that?" he finally asked.
"Yea." she said with a nod. "The data for the Guillae was actually very bloated. Huge in size. All of the sudden, about twenty years ago, it was all deleted and reduced to a fraction of a percent of the original information."
Darrian considered that for a moment, not sure what to say.
"Something similar happened with the old judge." she continued, moving further down the stream of information and pointing to another batch of code. "Here."
"It was edited twenty rotations ago?"
"Not for the judge. His information changed about forty six rotations ago. Just like the Guillae, his file was outright deleted and then edited to a notably smaller portion of info."
"Maybe it's some kind of coincidence?" Darrian asked. "And maybe some kind of data loss or something forced them to rebuild the archives?"
"If that were the case," Illiquina said with an annoyed tone in her voice. "Than I wouldn't have record of it in code."
"Whatever happened or why," she continued. "Someone actively changed the information on the Guillae and the old judge. Removed information. And I wouldn't doubt that they changed it to meet some hidden agenda."
"But...why?" Darrian asked, his head swimming.
"That's what I hope we'll find out." Illiquina said softly before glancing at A'alan't 32.
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