Though both men had enough military experience to have learned to sleep anywhere, Summit had taken it to a whole new level of sleeping in the zone. His thick dark hair wasn’t mussed, no shadow on his cheeks, mustache perfect, and at 1.73 meters, he appeared to fit into the seat comfortably, totally relaxed. George found it annoying that the man was never ruffled.
During the First-Class leg of the trip, they had enough space and privacy to formulate a plan to locate the tankers and find various ways to view the travel logs to determine the ports of call the tankers had traveled through. There were a dozen different tankers they were assigned to locate to find additional information about their stops and cargo. A portion of these tankers had been tagged at one point by Juan and some locational information had been gathered from those tags, which was the reason for their trip to Singapore. Other tanker identification numbers and descriptions had been provided on a list to George and Summit, with no further detail outside of an estimated route the tanker was to follow, which included a stop in Hong Kong and this unscheduled stop in Singapore.
Summit had suggested he might infiltrate one or more of the Muslim groups in Singapore. The selling and buying of oil from those under trading embargoes was a big deal. Some of the countries under embargoes had Muslim populations. The world might be large but extended families were everywhere for any given population segment. There was a large Muslim population he cultivated and as a community were usually well informed. As Summit knew, not all communications go via the Internet or cell phone. To get this under the wire information flow you had to be under the wire as well, which meant face to face communications. His fluency in Arabic languages and Chinese would prove invaluable in being able to fluidly move within those groups and learn what was really going on. These groups might also be more willing to share with anyone presumed to be an insider than through normal law enforcement or diplomatic channels.
George was more inclined to work an angle of reduced security support for the various leadership groups they might have to win over to gain visibility to the Captain’s logs and outgoing shipping manifests. George wanted to focus on verifying the oil cargo origin and the buyers of the products. It was hoped that a pattern might be revealed which would give them their next step. In the off hours while Summit rested, George had been modifying some very sophisticated data gathering tools Julie had provided, which both of them could access from their cell phones and tablets, storing the information in the secured data cloud. He had created an analytical model that would take the data and extrapolate routes, volumes, and risks in real time. The insight he was looking for was a technique called skimming. If all the oil was in fact correctly recorded before it shipped, George wanted to know if all of it got delivered.
Julie and Juan had asked them to prove the shipments were within the global treaty guidelines for the various buyers and sellers located on the manifest. Tall order to prove, period. During their planning discussions they decided identifying the people involved and doing due diligence background checks would be the most useful part of the project.
Summit shifted with ease and grinned at George’s screen. He quietly asked, “Were you finally able to get the model to take all the inputs you wanted?” George nodded without looking over and replied, “Yes, and I was able to load it to our devices. Nice cover picture on your devices. I didn’t know you liked bikes.”
Summit looked a bit startled, just as George had hoped, when he questioned, “You took my devices while I was sleeping? Those are password protected. You could not have had enough time to break them.”
George grinned and replied, “I am a fairly happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Because of that, people assume I do not watch and pick up subtleties like how people move their hands when typing passwords. I actually know the passwords to all our team’s devices, save one. But, if you tell anyone on the team, I promise I will tell them what I found in the folder labeled personal.”
Now looking a bit more frazzled, Summit demanded, “You not only took my private property, but you had the audacity to look in a folder labeled personal? Have you no honor, George? Pictures of my lady friends taken during service to my country is so none of your business. I can’t believe you would be so rude and invasive. I am going to insist on a different partner for this project as soon as we land. Now get out of my way, you jerk.”
Summit motioned for George to rise and then stood up in the aisle, making certain George saw that his cell phone was going into his pocket, and stomped away. George had no idea that Summit could get so rattled. He wondered if he should tell him. He was musing to himself the various outcomes of saying something or not when he felt the blow to his shoulder and looked up to find a very angry Summit staring at him, willing him to move.
After Summit resumed his seat and attached his seatbelt, the Captain was on the intercom alerting the passengers to the landing in twenty minutes.
George rubbed his shoulder and looked seriously over at Summit. He calmly said, “First, we are not changing teams for this project. Second, I was totally putting you on to see if I could break through that stoic façade you present to all of us. And, third, now that you told me what was in the folder that I only guessed existed, can I see?”
Summit looked like he’d been sucker punched as he shook his head in disbelief.
“George, it amazes me how convincing you were. We will work well together using brute force or pulling really good dialogue out of thin air. I hate you, man.”
“Back at you, Summit. Your shirt isn’t even wrinkled.
“Go to our encrypted data storage and download the updated programs and the plans with a few modifications I worked on while you rested. Let me know of any changes you think we should make, otherwise I think we have it. Now I’m going to take a snooze.”
Summit signed on to the airplane Wi-Fi, added their customized security interface, and downloaded the material. He read through it, very impressed with the changes that were made and the way the plan came together. He then carefully went to settings and modified his password.
George chuckled at the reflection in the passenger window and memorized the modified password as he dozed off. This was going to be a fun assignment.
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