Excuse me, Inspector.
The lab report has arrived about the deaths at
Whats in it,
It analyses the
action log of the buildings master computer.
significance of that?
The master computer
was programmed to optimise the environment in the
building and ensure the most efficient
functioning of other systems. The action log
recorded the decisions it made.
Did the computer
Not exactly. However,
it did identify a major problem as soon as it was
What was that?
The log described
That appears to have
been the term the computer used to describe the
workers in the building.
It recorded the way
occupants disrupted airflows by moving around;
made the place dirty and untidy; unbalanced the
atmosphere by breathing; and caused an increase
in power usage, and hence carbon emissions, by
working at their computers, using the telephones,
making coffee and so on.
How did it react?
It seems to have
adopted a number of strategies: When any staff
member went home sick, it recycled air from
around that persons desk to every other
workstation, to maximise infection. The lifts
always took people to the main exit, regardless
of where they wanted to go. Sometimes it even
targeted specific individuals.
On one occasion, it
noticed that an employee was looking at websites
related to self-help for depression. It deleted
all trace of a vital project that hed been
working on, day and night, for six months, and
then it sent him an email with links to suicide
Was he the one that
jumped from the fifth floor?
Thats right. At
the time, nobody understood how that could have
happened as it was December and the computer
wasnt programmed to open the windows until
July. The action log shows that it opened one
window, specifically for him to jump.
No. The building had
won several prestigious design awards, so
thered been an expectation that everyone
would hate it, and that it would harm the
physical and mental health of all who used it.
disliked the building, too, didnt he?
instantly gained it huge prestige among the
architectural community. It became the front
runner for the most important international
building design award.
You mean the Golden
But how could every
occupant of the building have died?
The master computer
considered it had failed to eradicate the
infestation, as it put it, and was
considering its options. Then Jones from Finance
spilled his coffee on the white, deep-pile carpet
in the conference room.
What happened next?
concluded that a radical approach was needed. It
sealed all doors and windows, reset the gas
boilers and routed carbon monoxide from the
boiler flues to the air conditioning ducts. They
were all dead within the hour. It then maintained
a perfect environment for twelve hours until the
SAS blew up the building and shot the central
international architects hear of this, you know
what itll mean?
No doubt about it.
Theyll say the building did its duty
magnificently until its tragic and untimely end.
Ecology Towers is certain to win The Golden
Carbuncle posthumously, of course.