Written in 365 Parts: 32: Opening Communication

By | Monday, 30 September 2019

It was several hours before they could find a convenient moment to make a voice call. Sure their contact was going to be displeased but they would have to live with the disappointment. There was no choice, compromise was not an option. A lifetime of taking careful judgements had been rewarded with virtually zero suspicion.

They had to make the call from inside Judiciary Central. There was no real option other to this. Calls in and out of the judiciary were monitored, all calls. Including those from the inhabited quarters. They bunked at the judiciary and so their calls were subject to being randomly sampled by a computer system. That was not acceptable. This had driven them to find a route around this issue and it came in two parts.

They had discovered when they first started work at the judiciary that many of the large infrastructure systems, electrical, sewage, water, was controlled and maintained by outside organisations. Actually it was a single corporation that ran a series of separate sub-companies each specialising in a different technical support package that had the majority of the contracts, but that was just par for the course .

The infrastructure had its own reporting systems and tight communications relays to the host companies for repairs and scheduled replacements. This was also monitored by justice computers but in a much more casual manner than the other forms of communication on the base. This was a bonus to anyone who wished a greater degree of anonymity.

Then there was the communications overlay encryption module. A particularly lucrative bust on a major syndicate had resulted in a large haul of specialised equipment. The syndicate had gone unnoticed for so long by using paired encryption modules. Virtually unbreakable levels of security supplied by twin devices. Matched only to each other on each side of the communication must have one of the devices to allow comms. They had taken hundreds of these modules, highly illicit equipment, and placed them all in the evidence lockers. Of course they had been scrupulously counted and stored correctly. They had made sure all records matched what you would find in a storage locker.

Anyone listening into the relays would hear static. It took significant levels of computer power and finely adjusted sensors to realise that a communications signal was being transferred. They only worked over tight light-beam communications devices so had a severe limitation, but not one that surpassed their usage for covert interaction.

There was one placed on a specific, seldom used, wall communicator in the rear of one of the vast storerooms of the judiciary. The companion module was wherever their contact had placed it. They only knew the digit address of the communicator they dialled, it gave no location information and no discernible clue as to whom they spoke to. The modules masked everything, including speech patterns.

They dialled the long code and waited, expecting to be waiting there for a while. They had made sure that people thought they had clocked off shift. Many people knew they were tired and their feet hurt, especially the old leg injury that the judiciary insurance didn’t cover. Claims of heading to their room to take a med and get some rest had been well circulated. Alongside promises to finish their shift later after the pain subsided. All of this to ensure that if they were seen or not seen they had enough of an alibi.

The answer to their open communication came sooner than they expected. “I’m here,” the voice said in its usual clipped manner. The distortion from the masking worked well but their had been enough conversation between them that the officer had started to recognise the slight changes in attitude. They were hurried but the officer was sure they wanted something.

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