Vladimir had his Web surfing interrupted by a special WAV file playing on his ping server. One of the control programs he had loaded on the email user’s machines was designed to gather a fresh information packet about the machine and send it to him every time the machine booted. The machine serial number indicated the long-silent first trainee had found his new home.
Another program was busy sending copies of each email message he received to a special folder on the ping server. This guy wastes no time, thought Vladimir. A routine check of the IP address showed that an email hub was once again in Pakistan. Well, thought Vladimir, at least they won’t have to move too far. He prepared an email for the man in the suit and Hans containing the new location information and a link to the folder containing the inbound email. He was pretty certain they would put the Brit to work on the email messages once his holiday was over.
The day was shaping up to be both quiet and productive. Soon there would be some new ping hits from the outbound emails being opened. Things were going to be back to normal, it looked like.
Fate simply doesn’t like normal. No sooner had Vladimir thought this than he got another packet from a reboot. The machine ID matched the second trainee, but the IP address looked different. A quick search of the previous packets proved Vladimir’s suspicion. Still in Bangalore, but no longer with the trainer. Vladimir sent out a tiny ping request to the trainer’s machine just to be sure it was still up and running. He had noticed a distinct drop-off in the quantity of email messages being handled by the trainer. Now it was starting to make sense.
The second email from Vladimir was much more excited. He included the new location information and the following:
Second trainee has moved to new location in Bangalore. Not far from trainer, might even be in same housing complex.
Volume of email being handled by trainer almost non-existent now. Something big is getting ready to happen and the trainer will be one part of the operation.
As always, Vladimir was pretty certain his reports would be filed in the shredder by the man in the suit. Hans appeared to actually read them and respond once in a while, but Vladimir knew he changed little when it came to the major decisions. They did, however, take his advice about how to proceed with these email hubs; that was most unusual. Right now he was wondering if that was such good advice. Strategically it made sense if you wanted to expose as much of the network as possible, but that was before the trainer had gone nearly silent. Unless the team found out he had some terminal disease with only months to live, this was a scary thing. Al-Qaeda didn’t normally compromise assets this well placed.
Heidi was nearly dead on her feet. As expected, the couriers hadn’t spent very long at the interrogation camp. In less than a week they had all come to the second camp. They definitely needed a better method of harvesting because the small team they had wasn’t going to be able to handle the sixty-plus patients that had just landed this morning at the interrogation camp if they all came here at once.
She had a choice in front of her now. Drag her tired ass over to the dorm facility to take vitals, etc. Of the two women there now so she could sleep longer when she got home, or drag herself back here after only three hours of sleep. It wasn’t that difficult of a decision when you phrased it that way. She could have gotten four hours of sleep had she dared sleep in one of the dorm rooms not being used by patients. Two of the surgeons were on their way to do just that now.
Two of the courier women had opted to serve as brood sows for embryonic cell creation. It really struck Heidi as odd that two women who had been working for al-Qaeda would opt to do such a thing. Nikolaus explained to her that these were simply couriers. They weren’t part of a cause, just someone who collected a fee for carrying a dangerous package. They served terrorists and drug dealers equally. One of the women was really a girl. She was not quite sixteen yet. Besides being a courier she had been selling sex to old men. She had been tested for every kind of social disease when they found that out. She had also been two months pregnant when they nabbed her. Some time tomorrow she would have an abortion.
Perhaps it was because they were cooperating, or perhaps Nikolaus was getting soft in his old age. The women were allowed to choose the method of insemination they received. They were presented with three options:
- Extraction of egg, fertilization outside of the womb, and replacement.
- Artificial insemination once it was verified they were ovulating. This would have to be done multiple times during ovulation.
- Natural. Also would have to be done multiple times during ovulation.
Heidi couldn’t believe both women asked if they would be able to choose the men and when they were told they could only select from those at the camp they each chose natural. The women were allowed to roam around much of the dorm. They could go out only on the second story balcony. The dorm was well guarded, and even if it hadn’t been there was no way they could get through the camp’s perimeter. It was stronger than a maximum security prison.
Each one had a television and radio. The television had a satellite feed with some movie channels. There were also quite a few books in the library area, but most were technical reference books. Of course the library wasn’t much use to these women. They didn’t speak much English and the girl couldn’t read at all.
There were bedding, sheets, towels, etc. All provided for them. Each room had a little fridge which was kept stocked with beverages and some snacks. Meals were brought over three times per day. They had been provided some additional clothing and toiletries as well.
Perhaps Heidi was getting soft in her old age, but she asked Nikolaus to locate an audio course in Punjabi which taught English. Both spoke some broken English because it was the lingua franca of Pakistani elite and spoken by most government officials. Heidi thought things would go smoother if they were able to communicate with the staff.
The women did not have telephone or Internet access. They did have central air and the ability to control the temperature in their own dorm rooms. From time to time they would wander down to the recreation room, which had some tables, a pool table, ping pong, cards and various board games. The recreation room had been designed for when scientists had to remain on-site over the course of weeks while running experiments. Nobody had used it who wasn’t part of the team. Quite simply there weren’t many experiments going on here which couldn’t be done in a standard work day. Besides, only the guards really knew about this room. They kept a coffee maker here. Rumor had it one or more of the guards was servicing the woman already. Boys never seem to waste much time when they find out nookie is present and willing.
It would be quite a few years before the reality of their predicament was forced upon these women. Even though they had cooperated, nobody could risk them talking. No matter how many friends they made here, at the end of their usefulness, they would be harvested.
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