Written in 365 Parts: 140: Communication Types

Hooper sucked on their teeth for a few minutes. The weights were bugging them. There was something there but it was hard to know what exactly. It would have to be left to stew inside the rusty synapses of a police officer’s tired mind. Their intuition though said that the figures didn’t quite feel right. Hopefully the computer would detect something. The first pass showing nothing unusual was a blow, but police work was a slog, a long hard crawl and not a leap. Hooper knew this, it’s what they preached.

Hooper ran with an assumption. It was unlikely that Susa would arrive and have a request. Would they arrive with a list of things they needed? Unlikely. Maybe they were told to go and collect. More likely they were just told to go frequently and the things happened around them. They would be a trained courier not an active agent. Hooper felt pretty sure of that. So, a courier, a go between. Someone worth protecting but also someone who would know little and could be cut loose. Hooper doubted they had even met the mole on the station. If it were Hooper they would want as little exposure as possible. So no formal contact had to be the assumption.

 So how would the mole be contacted. How would the mole know they were coming? How would the mole get items to them?

There must be someone running communications and since Hooper knew that the comms link had to be able to manage ad hoc connections, as was indicated by the recent activity, that route had to be available at almost any time. So it wasn’t via Susa Camile. Someone else made the communications. Someone else contacted the mole.

This left only one conclusion. Someone had access to the judicial inside operative, the mole, via a remote communications link, probably to the planet. That would have to be either a directed radio signal, tight beam laser or standard communications array. Hooper ruled out the laser, if you pointed a laser directly at Judicial it would be detected, even a short range laser. You could put a remote receiver somewhere on the satellite’s surface and run a short, tight beam, comms to it. But that ran the risk of being detected in a random sweep, of which there were many.

Radio had similar issues. There were random sweeps of the surface looking for any unusual signals. The satellite wasn’t just a government administrative centre for legal. There were the rapid response teams for civilian militia based here, along with the only prison in the system, aside from the rehabilitation facilities in the asteroid field. The prison here was a maximum security facility with secure wards for those who had severe psychologically divergent criminal tendencies.

So it had to be via a standard comms route into Judicial. Hooper assumed that they would use a civilian link into the system. Government links, even those that were private, were recorded as to who sent them and who received them. So it had to be commercial. However, it would still be recorded who received the calls.

Hooper pulled a list into a new query for all private communications that had come into Judicial in the previous decade and stored it in a table. Hooper then set up a new query of all personnel and who had received calls, and when they had received them. Then Hooper made a new table of all the registered calls, those that were private but marked as to their contents. Many of these were private medical or insurance companies. They were given their own query as it was unlikely they were using that as a cover. Hooper demonstrated the thinking by checking against the companies listed to return a verification, making sure that those calls had been made and were regulation. The query took a few minutes to confirm that they were legitimate.

This still left a large number of calls to a great number of organic officers. Hooper sucked a cheek. There was no officer who was contacted a significantly greater amount than another. Over a certain pay grade the number of calls increased. But that nagged at Hooper. If they were above a certain pay grade they would be more noticable. True they would be able to exert greater control and affect more systems with less impunity. But they would be more physically visible. Something told Hooper that the organic they were after would make themselves less noticeable.

Hooper decided to run the query for where the calls originated from. The calls were divided into private and scrambled. A scrambled call didn’t reveal its location, sender or contents. They were most used by Judicial and Government, but there were a legitimate number of private calls, lawyers for example, who also used them. However there was an interesting artefact about a scrambled call, many intellects might not know the whole process. If a scrambled call was transferred across standard commercial networks it left a trace in the system. In order to avoid data corruption of other commercial traffic, scrambled calls were always given their own routing, they didn’t share with other data streams. 

Hooper sent a request for all the routing information for the calls that had come into the satellite that had single routes. Then Hooper built a map of where those calls originated from to see if they could identify a hot spot of calls. It wasn’t long before the pattern emerged. A vast number of calls from the banking and government sections, but also an unusually large number of calls from a floating city. The sector indicated had hundreds of buildings, but thankfully only one organisation owned them. Yee on Kline.

Hooper did a query with his received calls table and list of names. It was less instructive than they had hoped. There was no single organic who had received calls from Yee On Kline.Hooper scanned through the list and suddenly paused, that was interesting and bizarre. The calls came into Judiciary and then they went to no person. The communication lengths for the majority of the scrambled signals that came in from Yee On Kline were short. Not just a second or two short, but a microsecond or two short. That was not enough time to send a communication. It was only enough time to send a signal. But a signal to do what?

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