Author: Taiyo Fujii
Translator: Jim Hubbert
Publication: Lightspeed Magazine
Publication Date: July 2015 (Lightspeed #62)
Description, by Lois Tilton [Locus]: "It seems that about twenty years ago, a recovery program in Internet servers worldwide malfunctioned and took then entire system down. It was replaced by a more advanced net based on quantum programming, with stringent security measures in place to prevent a repeat of the previous failure. But especially in Japan, a legion of old, redundant servers remains up in place. It’s now Minami Takasawa’s job to staff the night shift and hunt the orphaned zombie programs still running on them, “shuffling around, firing off mails to non-existent addresses, pushing ads no one will see, maybe even sending money to non-existent accounts. The living dead.” Minami was once a program developer, but he never learned Q coding and now he’s too old to catch up, so he’s relegated to a role that could have been automated except for the requirements of the security law. One night he happens to find an old program of his own, still running, and he decides to take a look at his old code. But what he finds is that someone has been messing with it, for no purpose that he can figure."