The story revolves around an international decoding organization named NSA (National Security Agency). Their cryptophers prided the organization not only because the NSA was the most secretive and intelligent organization in the world, but also for the $2million TRANSLTR (the best decoding machine) that they possessed. In the final years of the World War II, when USA dropped the atom bomb in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a boy named Tankado mysteriously survives the war with three fingers in each hand and a layer of skin highly exposed to radiation. He later overcomes all his disabilities and proves his talent in mathematical reasoning and decoding. IN no time he joins the NSA and designed the model of the TRANSLTR along with commander Strathmore. After building the TRANSLTR, commander Strathmore lied to the world that the TRANSLTR was a complete failure that the NSA were devising plans to make it work, while in reality the TRANSLTR was intercepting coded E – mails from terrorists and drug lords, and warned detective agencies like the CIA. But Tankado was against hiding the existence of the TRANSLTR and so he was fired. IN the hope of taking revenge he warned the NSA that he would one day build a coding machine that will confuse even the TRANSLTR. No one paid any heed to him because they knew that according to the Bergofsky principle every code is breakable. What they didn’t know was that one day they would have to take it all back.
Coming to the present, Susan Fletcher wakes up one morning with a call from Strathmore asking her to come over to the NSA in the light of an emergency situation. Strathmore also tells her that he has sent David to Spain to get the belongings of the late Tankado. Later she finds out that Tankado succeeded in developing not an unbreakable code as they initially suspected but a super powerful worm that was supposed to infiltrate the databanks of the country that destroyed Japan in the final years of the deadliest war ever. As Susan Fletcher tries unsuccessfully to deactivate the worm by inserting possible combinations of the kill code, David obtains Tankado’s ring on which is engraved a puzzle that ultimately leads them to the kill code – 3 (the number of fingers on Tankado’s hand). It has a thrilling climax.
I really liked this science novel. The ideas expressed are profound and exciting. There are many twists and turns in the story which present humorous thoughts and ideas. It is quite ironical to know that such a secretive agency actually exists. Digital Fortress is closer to truth than any of us dare imagine.
Firoz Baker, IX A