hey bubz. i just got popped by the feds again. this time for trespassing in a “highly-restricted area.” i don’t know why the damn area is still restricted anyway. i let my guard down because it’s disused and decomm’d mil infrastructure. all rusting steel and crumbing cement. not seen active use in literally decades.
still though, it’s getting harder to come up with reasons for continually going where i’m not supposed to. i can only feign ignorance so long, and my out-of-the-area id always means i get extra scrutiny when i trip a sensor or perturb enough pixels on a camera hidden somewhere up and out of view.
of course i couldn’t talk about what I was really doing. the life of a scripter is intensely private for a reason. most people don’t have any awareness that scripters even exist. only a handful know. if they identified me… located me… my freedom would be gone forever.
the last time i almost got tagged was at the end of last year, outside the red-zone lab in the eastern part of the pac nw. i was collecting data near the accelerator and triggered the attention of a patrolling guard. hey man, i got turned around and i’m trying to get bars on this stupid phone to check in with my manager. my arrogance, my suit and my obviously nice rental car seemed to satisfy him enough to allow me to beat it without running my id.
99% of selling this kind of shit is in your swagger. these aren’t the droids you are looking for, mate. move along.
remember, Bubz, that there’s no anonymity in fact, but there is anonymity in practice. if all your subversive data is air-gapped and inaccessible to external detection, then all they have on you is their collection profile. i’ve worked hard to build my current persona. they can crawl all the way up my data pipe and i’ll appear completely within the expected norms for my inconsequential-seeming character. all warfare is based on deception. suggest to them what they expect to see and they will see it clearly every time.
i’m now a lot younger than my last character, so i’ve been spending cycles in the right forums in order to blend as an introverted techie-type. i chose this mask as a cover and moved to the region with the most active reception points near a tech hub. my power plank gets me in and out, quick and silent. usually, nobody even knows i’ve been there.
i mentioned in the last datapac that i’d been living covertly for over a decade. hanging out in a hippie backwater where off-the-grid and farm-to-table was a mantra. people there had all kinds of reasons for minding-their-own-fucking-business and that was fine with me. i’d worked hard to make sure that there had been no paperwork with my name on it for any reason. cash transactions. zero banking activity. cyber cafes when i needed to go online. i fed myself by selling hacked sec gear and modding services in some of the seedier user groups in the city. once people know you are selling one-off security kit, there are always buyers who are happy to pay and don’t ask stupid questions.
i plugged back in partially about eight months ago, creating a pseudo to take some online coursework at tech-u, munich. they thought i was a canadian foreign national staying in country to assist with some high-energy physics analysis while working on my doctoral thesis on faster-than-light tachyon particles. i really just wanted access to the data. i’d been looking for a way in for years. ever since i received the invitation, in fact.
it’s not like i signed up for any of this shit in the first place. i never asked for this responsibility.
i was originally just helping with a crowd-sourced university dataset sweep project, looking for anomalies and other outliers in out-of-equilibrium quasi-particle distributions in a tachyon study from cern. even with supercomputers and massive parallel processing grids, there’s only so much data that can be parsed at any given time. there is still far more data being collected than can be crunched. that’s why they grant researchers like myself access to the raw datasets and let us apply our own methods to the filtering and analysis in the hopes that the fresh perspective might bring new insights into the raw.
i had a number of promising theories that had all hit practical dead ends and i was starting to get frustrated with my lack of significant results. it was getting late and i was getting tired so on a whim i started throwing all kinds of algorithms and decoding schemes at the measurements. i laid out the parsing for my next pass and looped it through libraw for cleanup to see if anything jumped out at me. fucking hell, did it ever! where i was hoping to maybe spot a vague repeating pattern or a simple color progression indicative of significant data relationships, i saw what appeared to be an actual graphic image. it was still somewhat distorted and my pre-staging wasn’t quite right, but there was no reasonable explanation as to how a graphic image could have been encoded into a raw data feed from a particle physics experiment. i didn’t have a clear enough image to tell what it was, but the fact that it was something significant was obvious.
i spent the next month running permutations on the parsing and tweaking arguments within libraw until i was finally able to pull the complete frame and get it clear enough to read. there was only the one image (at least i never found another), and it contained a message and a schematic of some kind of oscillating circuit.
the text indicated the circuit would achieve oscillation flux near high-power linear accelerators and massive steel structures. the text had nothing else to say about the actual purpose of the circuit, who had embedded the image or how they had accomplished that feat of physics. i kept all this information to myself, as i wanted to get a better handle on the mystery before i showed it to anyone else. it was all just too weird.
i used the schematic and built the circuit, of course. i’ll feed you more on that in the next datapac. for now, i need to find a hole to crawl into and stay off the radar for a while. i’ll ping you again when i come back up for air.
surfreQ : coastal western quadrant : earth