Jacob was an accomplished programmer, security tester and infiltration specialist when it came to data center intrusions. His soulmate Petra had worked with him for years leveraging her encryption skills in both programming and breaking. Petra was still striking with her warm brown eyes and light brown hair with golden highlights usually pulled back into a long streaming ponytail, over half the length of her lithe 1.5-meter-high frame.
These adults made up the core leadership of the R-Group. They were quite serious about grooming the next generation skillsets for the future leaders of the R-Group. The goal was that their children had to be better technically and ethically than the cyber trash they fought.
JW had presented their update yesterday, indicating people seemed to have contradictory sides these days, laisse faire versus noticeably unsettled manic depression. There were increased arrests related to rallies in several locations across Europe and the United States. The charges were loosely grouped around disturbing the peace, ignoring traditional laws for gathering and protesting, and being suspicious. The follow up was to isolate the locations of the arrests, arrestees’ characteristics, and their detainment period.
Quip was reviewing the notes from the day before when Satya interrupted, “Dr. Quip, we are ready if you are.”
“Yes, of course, Satya, as soon as JW and Granger arrive. I want to make certain that both groups are always updated. You never know when an item will spark a thought or avenue we’ve overlooked to date. It’s one of the reasons we are so successful overall as a team.”
“Yes. That makes sense.”
JW and Granger arrived and took their seats, noticeably excited as they engaged in quiet conversation to themselves.
Quip intervened, “JW, Granger, did you have something you wanted to share with the class?”
Granger replied, “Apologies, Dr. Quip, for our rudeness, but we discovered an update this morning on the arrests. Several countries in Europe have invoked curfews on their populations and are now operating in lockdown mode. Several groups of young people seized approximately two dozen physically disabled drones at the same time in different locations as a protest. Then, in other locations, drones began firing high-powered lasers at the crowd. No one was killed, but several young people were hospitalized. The officials for France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain are investigating the use of force, suggesting it is a software glitch.”
“Dr. Quip,” ICABOD added, “This information is on several social media venues but being squelched from the usual news channels. Each is accusing the other of journalistic heresy in their reporting of events. Some data scrubbing is occurring, and we are trying to find the source. While the information from the regular news channels is fairly consistent, the social media sources seems to be converging on the regular media position. The divergence between the two only lasts a few hours before they are almost identical. The free form social media declarations appear to be scrubbed to look like the regular media, and it is happening at accelerated rates. Disconcerting is the fact that the supposedly monitoring-only drones were, in fact, weaponized.”
Satya interjected, “Auri and I wanted to highlight this as a part of our update. The communications seem to be routing from Europe to the satellite communications isolated above NORAD. JOAN seems to be the focal point of contact.
“Auri, share our real time streaming of the communications flow. See, the communications are including the main operations for the countries just called out. The financial markets over the recent few days correlate if you offset it by 48 hours, so profit-taking is occurring, but we have not identified by whom yet.”
Granger was studying the real time flow and added, “Extend that back 18 hours and add in the layer of arrests by region.” Auri complied.
JW gave a low whistle. “Wow, look at that. Something is definitely relating between all of these items. It normally would not make sense to correlate these issues. I bet we could layer on the social media feeds for the top ten regions and see an alignment as well.”
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