Week 07: Cat and Mouse or Dog [Unedited]
It was interesting how the high level of coordination for the trap led to increased levels of frustration when the resultant failure to nab the intruder arose. Inner Corridor was thankfully secured, but the person did not turn up there. The doors to a halted transport in Level O opened up to a line of laser rifle-toting soldiers, but its only occupant was Janette's codekey - wedged into the slot underneath the button panel and five potted plants which looked exactly like the ones that adorned the lobbies of the entrances to every floor! The bad but expected news was delivered to Burdlit's contingent shortly after they left the outside of his quarters, charging down the corridors of Level Z for the start of their own entry into the hunt.
"The intruder was able to account for the weight sensors," the soldier with the slate computer alerted. Transports needed an actual weighted body in order to function. "Five potted plants at about twenty pounds a piece were more than enough to trigger the accepted variance for that unattended return trip."
"This just means that the intruder is now trapped within the Power Authority," Burdlit put a positive spin to a dreadful piece of information. The person could have been anywhere at this moment and probably was - everywhere that his contingent was not. Although, the importance of keeping up appearances of control during this situation happened to be of the utmost paramount concern to him because they were dealing with a professional who could lurk about without being seen and would most likely be capable of doing some serious damage to the workers, soldiers, and facility if tested. "Pinpoint the stops."
Additional information began to flood into the soldier's slate computer, so she elaborated on those findings, "No good. Every floor from A through Z was stopped on at least once. For the return trip, Z through O were each touched again. The intruder could be -"
Burdlit interrupted her, "Don't even say it as I've already thought about that. Let's focus on a level by level search." His next set of private thoughts were questioning why the security cameras did not appear to be catching up to a series of bold movements by this intruder....
Inside a darkened, unattended Level Z conference room, Boyd watched Burdlit's contingent march down the corridor from beneath the room's windows and their closed blinds - seated with his back against the wall. A totality of Galaxy Bloc troop movements played out beautifully across a split screen of panels on his minicomputer as the enhanced vision of the Power Authority cameras now belonged to him. But this appropriated aid of surveillance was not the only thing that he possessed.
Janette happened to be much more than some regular botanist who worked a normal shift and then went home to live a simple life. Her individual security clearance was among the highest that Boyd had ever seen on any of the unincorporated planets that he had worked to this point. She held actual rank within Galaxy Bloc, and for the moment, the perks of this status belonged to him - including authorization to view the cameras, a map of the entire layout which was just uploaded to his minicomputer, and continued physical access to any part of the Power Authority.
All of this was preventable. All of it! And the common sense measures were easy to implement. The Space Force did not tie authorization to a codekey, and even though plain, tamperproof identification cards were still used, the determining factor as to whether the supposedly authorized party happened to be accepted or not was the person's biometrics. Electronic identities could be much more easily assumed than biological attributes, and old radio-frequency identification skimming technology plus the physical exertion that came from dragging potted plants all over the place proved this. The privacy advocates were right to be concerned about governments putting chips in everything but for the wrong reason: A government might very well have had noble intentions, but rival factions did not, so rudimentary technology such as codekeys could be exploited like credit cards.
One single instance of DNA Recognition/Authorization could have stopped Boyd's entire incursion at the front door. Now, his minicomputer had already deciphered the basic encryption to the Power Authority's shielding which allowed him to become a ghost in the network and a veritable specter within the complex like he was on the outside. Galaxy Bloc was being stubborn, and the Enforcer felt justified in his previous, continued, and future actions to save the unincorporated planets from themselves by not allowing this stubbornness to bring down the greater war effort at large.
If anybody thought that the Space Force was being overzealous in their assertions, Boyd was there to tell the universe that its undermining had already begun. He noticed Burdlit and quickly began to pull any Power Authority files on the operational general. The Carriveaua were friends to no Human. With one commanding troops deep within Dio Qze, something was definitely up with the suggestive presence. Of course, Galaxy Bloc would have known this had it not vehemently disregarded one hundred percent of the warnings that the Enforcer's faction repeatedly issued.
As such, breaking into the Power Authority was turning out to be increasingly more informative than Boyd once believed that it could have ever been. This Carriveaua angle was one worth pursuing. The peculiarities of the agriculture on Dio Qze and Janette's weighty involvement were another.
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