Quip added, “ICABOD is taking the data tracks and mapping them with destination and direction flows to help Wolfgang capture all the intersections. We believe this activity, along with the results of Jacob’s newest program, will identify the funding source or sources. I’m not convinced this is a single culprit in motion.
“Petra has made some inroads in the database encryption and ransom issue, Otto, for your friend of a friend in Poland. Petra?”
Petra outlined, “I have had a couple of conversations with the candidate, known as Antoni Kaminski, regarding his time-intensive situation. I was not able to speak to his technician, who likely can explain some additional details. We cannot reach the machines at this point unless we are physically in front of them. Jacob and I are suggesting that we simply go there and see if we can more immediately fix his problem.”
Jacob offered, “It could easily be a wasted trip. However, the gentleman seems like the right sort of man to take charge and provide honest leadership.”
The group chuckled, and Jacob joined in and then continued.
“I know, we can all laugh at the thought of an honest political figure being a classic oxymoron. From the background checks we were able to run without arousing too much suspicion from anyone watching, he seems like the real thing, as is evidenced by the fact he used all his own money before asking for campaign donations. That, coupled with the recommendation from Otto’s contacts, I think we simply go and give it our best shot. Time is so critical for the upcoming election, and it seems like the only possible action. Petra can focus on the encryption, and I can focus on the program and data extraction. The double team effect with a short timeframe is our recommendation for success.”
Quip chuckled and added, “Let alone the fact that you two simply don’t want to be separated.”
Otto smiled broadly and endorsed, “I think, with the timing, it makes perfect sense. You two work well together and complement one another’s skills. I would like to see if this ransom attempt can be thwarted before the damage is permanent. I can help make certain that others understand the steps that could be taken to pull out a victory if the data can be salvaged. It is a big ‘if,’ but I appreciate you both thinking it through and coming up with a plan.
“Does Haddy need to make your travel arrangements, or is that already done?”
Petra grinned as she said, “It is done, and we leave here in thirty minutes to make our connection. Quip, since you and EZ leveraged that smaller private air service successfully, we decided we would as well. Keeps us out of the main terminals and minimizes the customs issues.”
Quip nodded and agreed, “Great plan. ICABOD has indicated this is the best course of action for your travel as well. His track record on these types of events is extremely reliable at present.” Quip cleared his throat and mumbled, “It is nothing short of impressive.”
Otto continued, “Okay, with that plan in place for this specific activity, how do you think we need to approach the other correlating events?”
Wolfgang suggested, “I would like to see the results from the action steps currently in progress. I suspect it will take Petra and Jacob a few days to solve the problem in Poland, but if it works well, then perhaps we could simply let them visit the others as a tour de force.
“You might recall, the on-site meetings and detailed discussions with the involved parties have been extremely effective. More data to actually touch as well as additional information sometimes overlooked. It is that human-to-human contact that works best for these situations.”
Quip grinned and asked, “Okay, would you two be willing to travel to the additional places as needed? I will be tempted to label you both THE BEST.”
Petra looked up, pleased and surprised, as she responded, “Why, thank you, Quip. I find that very high praise from you indeed. The best, huh!”
Quip smirked as he clarified, “Yep! Two Human Encyclopedias, Both Encryption and System Technicians.”
Petra looked crestfallen for a second, then the entire group cracked up. Petra and Jacob tried but failed to show restraint and joined in the laughter. Quip looked very pleased. The details of the upcoming trip were finalized, and plans for the follow up continued. The meeting adjourned, but before Quip exited the meeting room, ICABOD spoke.
“Dr. Quip, is this use of words, which take on new meaning in a specific context, also referred to as tongue-in-cheek?”
Quip somberly replied, “Yes, it is a very subtle, almost art form.”
ICABOD responded, “Without those human parts of a tongue or a cheek, then a computer might have a real challenge mastering this form of humor.”
Quip smiled and retorted, “You might at that, or you cou
ld be even funnier. Anything is possible.”
“Yes, Dr. Quip, it is apparent that several things framed with that specific scenario in tow might inject more humor.”
Quip looked horrified at that response and said, “Like what, ICABOD?”
“A response will be forthcoming to you, Dr. Quip. Wolfgang is requesting some additional processing power and interaction.”
“ICABOD, I would like us to discuss this in the near future.”
“Yes, Dr. Quip.”
As Quip exited the room, he thought he heard a faint snicker, but he looked and no one was around.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish