There was only one possible solution. The signal was an instruction or a flag for an instruction. It was unlikely that it was intended for an organic, it was too short. The communication must instruct a computer system to do something. If Hooper was to guess the instruction would be an indication, some pre-arranged signal, so maybe this was the signal that someone wanted to talk. But, what was also apparent, was that it was clearly not by scrambled comms. So they were smart, they knew about tracing routes. They must know that any encrypted commercial communication could be intercepted, its route known and its contents eventually unencrypted.
Hooper wondered if they had been wrong to dismiss the idea of laser or radio communications. They pulled the data from all of the monitors and scans for the last three months from the security systems. There was no reports of any illicit communications streams. They decided to look for any unusual activity, making sure to include any data the systems had matched to known bad behaviour. All systems kept a file of their bad behaviour. Incidents they recorded that didn’t exist due to a failure in software or hardware, or known phenomena messing with the results. A clever person might use that against a system. Hooper found a few small incidents in a dump file, they were auto-detection of signals with no cohesive structure. Basically static on the monitor’s reception array.
However these incidents shared the same features. Random noise on the infrared spectrum in a localised area. Hooper looked at the reports. The noise was a tight scattering of photons in the infrared wavelength, unusual but not recorded as an issue for investigation so thrown to the dump file as a bad behaviour. Hooper took the record of incidents and compared them to the list of communications bursts from the Yee On Kline. Each of the incidents occurred within a few minutes of a scrambled comms message. Hooper’s instincts tweaked.
Hooper ran an analysis for how often the infrared noise occurred versus the comms signals being sent and the times of day. There were far more comms signals, so many in fact that there was little pattern to them. That was another piece of the puzzle. The association between signal and static was a little too random, false signals to stop anyone finding a pattern, especially a computer system that was cleaning out the trash from log files, and linking it to a person.
Hooper smiled. If one took this as a principle then every datum point had the chance to be a false reading. Someone was being very clever, someone who could alter low level computer readings. Someone who knew that footprints in the snow could be easily hidden if there were enough false prints. It appeared that the mole may be hiding behind others, Hooper wondered how well they could hide themselves. Hooper requested a greater number of data streams from the Judicial systems, everything from purchase requests to oxygen usage by section of the station.