Living off the Grid

Long ago and far away, well, that’s what they would have you believe, lived and man and his son, alone in a small stone cottage.
One day, the father asked the boy to go and collect some kindling for this evening’s meal.
The father, as best he could, made a modest living hacking into secret government files, then selling the information to competing countries.
His work was hampered by not having NBN, and so had to rely on a satellite connection for all his data transmissions. Totally off grid, the two lived a quiet and peaceful existence, their Swiss bank account now generously proportioned, still, the money itself was not the driving force.
The boy had revised the Turing laws at five, and together they had built a computer system with some twenty nineteen inch racks of processing power. One side benefit of the scale of the computer was they were never cold in winter, in fact, the snow never came within ten feet of the house, the heat load was so great.
The lake up on the mountain feeding their Hydro power system, was able to supply the hundred kilowatts they consumed daily.
With seven monitors flickering, the father became anxious, as his son was late returning, so with the last NATO files decrypted, he decided to call it a day, and went looking for the boy.
They didn’t need the kindling to start the fire, it was for smoking the roast pork they had planned to have for dinner.
As he wandered through the peaceful woods, he heard voices coming from near the lake. Now, if you know anything about code breaking, you will know that ‘Loose lips sink ships’. He had taught the boy from an early age not to talk to strangers, of course, living where they did, the potential for that to happen was highly unlikely.
Entering the clearing near the water, the father smiled, there was no security breach, it was Horace the duck, discussing high altitude disturbances with his son.
Some time before they had discovered an interesting side effect of their main work, a translator for animal speech.
Trouble was, now you just couldn’t shut Horace up once he could learned to communicate with the boy, still, he did bring in useful weather information.
“Afternoon Horace,” the man called out cheerfully.
“Afternoon George, some high cloud coming in from the west, but with little chance of precipitation.”
“Thanks Horace, maybe we can get some fishing in tomorrow.” He suggested to his son.
“Dad, Horace and I think we have found a way to bounce signals off ice crystals in Cirrus clouds to block satellite data transmissions. Could be a new revenue stream for us, much like Malawear, only bigger!” the boy smiled.
“Well done you two, but seriously, I’m more concerned with getting the roast on.”
“Oh gosh, sorry Dad. I did get the branches off the apple tree, but got side-tracked with Horace on the way back.”
“No harm done, let me have them so I can start the smoker, you two work out the finer points for the high altitude cloud seeding we will need, if we are going to start this new venture.”
Turning, he walked back to the cottage, whistling in the afternoon sun.
Life was good.

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