The team in India had located both the trainer and the recent trainee. They lived in the same housing complex built by some American company or its offshore wing. They found a building which was suitable to use for headquarters, but not for interrogation purposes. Some members were looking around for an abandoned shed out in the country. The problem was housing in the city was so abysmal that people who didn’t have money were going out into the countryside and pretty much stealing the materials of any building that didn’t have someone there defending it.
Even though the team was told to observe from a distance, they tailed both men to find out where they worked. It turned out that the trainer worked at a newly built data center which seemed to be hiring a lot of people at very low wages. That was about to change, though, because the workers had voted to unionize.
The person running the new email hub worked at a call center a little farther away. How either of them was paying rent here given what their companies paid for wages should have been indication enough they were working a side job. You cannot make $200 per month and pay $300 per month in rent.
Since the man in the suit was still back at the old Pakistani headquarters, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Two members had fake backgrounds generated for them. One applied for a job at the call center and the other applied at the data center. The person at the data center was told the company was not going to be hiring until they had hammered out a deal with the union. Could be a day, might be a month, might not happen at all.
The rest of the team was beginning to worry about the member who was to apply at the call center. He had been gone fourteen hours without reporting in. Finally he showed up at headquarters and said he was headed back to his apartment for sleep. He had been hired and had started that day. He was working on the same floor as the suspect and only a few aisles away from him. The team had dipped into the operational fund to set several members up with their own apartments in the same complex as the two suspects.
Three members shared an apartment, the position of which allowed them to observe the entry to both suspects’ apartments. One of the apartments they had gotten for a member just happened to be directly above the apartment where the new email hub was running. They obtained some tools and equipment to install both video and audio surveillance in the apartment below. Because this person was also now a coworker of that man, they had to hide the wiring and recording equipment. This meant they actually had to put the carpet back down and the cable under it once they had drilled through the floor and tapped into the overhead lights of both the living room and the second bedroom where the computer was.
While the team was checking out the video equipment, they noticed the man actually had a land line phone in his apartment. This was quite unheard of in India. They cobbled together an extension cord, an AC regulator, and a gator clip; then accessed the main phone panel for the building. Only four phones had actually been hooked up. They didn’t want to risk a tap being discovered at the site, so they went to work with the AC regulator while one team member stayed inside on a cell phone watching the surveillance equipment. On their third try, they found the phone line.
Most phone systems had been based on the American standard of TIP and RING. A land line phone actually uses only two wires. The TIP is always positive and the RING is rather odd. When the ringer on the phone is idle, this line has -48 volts DC. To make the phone ring 90 volts of 20hz AC current is superimposed on the line. To find out which phone line went to this apartment, they simply put the correct current on the ring line for a second and waited for a report on the cell phone. When the person observing the surveillance equipment heard the phone ring, he reported it.
As the men returned to the apartment one of them asked the man who built the ring generator, “Why are the lines called TIP and RING?”
“They are names which stuck around long past their usefulness.” “You sure you’re not an MBA, because you gave me a response, not an answer and that is exactly what they do.” “Have you ever seen old black and white photos or newsreel footage, on the History Channel or any other place, of women wearing these big headsets sitting at a funky table with a lot of cables sticking up, and a big board to plug them into in front of them? The old telephone operator footage?” “Yes, so?”
“Each one of those retractable cables had a special pointed connector on it, much like the connectors you see for AC adapters to power 12-volt or lower DC equipment, only much larger. Inside of the cable was two wires. One wire went to the tip of the connector and another wire was connected to one of the rings on the larger part of the connector. You’ve noticed how some of those pointed adapters have those ridges going around them, haven’t you?”
“Yes, but I thought it was just to keep them in place.” “In part it is, but it also makes for a different connection point. That is why they have different colorings. At any rate, most telephones still use two wires and most people still call those wires TIP and RING.” With all of the prep work done, the team set in for a long, boring surveillance routine. At least now they were doing it from an apartment where they could keep food in the fridge and easily use the bathroom. They had heard what a team was going to have to do to observe the new email hub in Pakistan. None of them wanted any part of that duty. Oh, it wasn’t just the lying in the sun under desert temperatures, the bug bites, scorpions, and having to shit in your own den to keep from making any more footprints — it was the region itself. There was no telling when a drug caravan would come along and kill you simply because you were there.
At last they wrote up a summary of their work and all current information they had on the two suspects. The summary was attached to an email which was sent to both Hans and the man in the suit.
You are reading a special promotional version of “Infinite Exposure” containing only the first 18 chapters. This is the first book of the “Earth That Was” trilogy. You can obtain the entire trilogy in EPUB form from here: