When they arrived at the operations center, it appeared to be an unused warehouse in the middle of the forest, long forgotten and ignored. If it weren’t for the motion-activated camera over the door, which Juan’s keen ears picked up the whirling sound of, he would have thought it totally deserted.
Quip grinned as Juan looked up and scoped out the camera, then commented, “If you had walked up without me, it never would have moved. I am impressed that you heard that pitch. It’s mostly masked by the general sounds of nature around the building, which of course, we encourage.
“We are going to go in the door, which would not open were it not for my handprint recognition on the panel to the right that looks like a simple occupancy sign for information purposes. You might see a few of the group, but it is early so we may simply be left alone. We subscribe to a three-factor authentication for security. This equates to something you have, something you are, and something you can do. As we go into the entry room you will need to create a profile with these three factors, which are unique to you and security for us. I have set the program to accept you as a member of this building but to allow you access only into specific areas. This is much the same as the network we established for your operations at CATS. Julie and you can see all files and data, whereas EZ or Mercedes, for example, can only see designated areas.”
Juan nodded. He appreciated the way Quip explained things without talking down to him. He watched Quip run through the authentication with unique but memorable elements to fulfill security. First, Quip used his handprint on the screen again. Then he recited a bawdy limerick, followed by singing two lines of a theatre show tune Juan recognized from the flight back from the islands.
Juan commented with a grin, “Ha! Does this mean you can sing at the twins’ next birthday party?”
If looks could kill, the glare from Quip in that moment would have done it. Quip snarled, “Okay, funny man, give it what you have. When you see the green light, do it again to confirm.”
Juan laughed and went through the have and are authentication factors. When it got to the something you can do element, Juan executed a karate kick Quip had never seen.
Quip asked, “Does that move have a name?”
Juan replied, “This is called the Scorpion Kick.”
“Wow, man, can you teach me that move?”
“Quip, as much as I respect your technical expertise and, heck, even the flexibility you must have to use that device with EZ that I saw at your flat, I would need years to help you perfect that move. It requires extreme flexibility, which I constantly work at, to bring your leg backwards until you can complete the strike with your foot over your shoulder while retaining your balance. It doesn’t do you any good to throw a Scorpion Kick only to be flat on the floor afterwards. To be honest, it looks cooler than it is effective. I can get some power behind it but it has to be placed perfectly to be effective. Happy to help you with it, but you would have to be patient and work at it.”
Quip thought for a few moments then asked, “Does Julie know how to do this?”
“No, we have not worked on this. There are other defensive moves we focus our training on. I do it to maintain my flexibility.”
Quip grinned, “Then I want to learn it. One upping Julie is a winner, if you promise not to tell her that’s why I learned it.”
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