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BK Infometrics Inc. HQ
January 15, 1997.
“We have been very lucky. The Foremost software is rare and difficult to acquire, but thankfully, we were able to source and acquire it. I already have it installed and this will help greatly in tracking and retrieving all the other files you lost to the lightning and erasure of your files. The common mistake most people make, is to assume that when you erase files from the system or other storage devices, such data is lost forever.”
Wemimo, Biodun and Jude sat huddled around Jide Sanisu’s work station while he gave them his report of what he had done so far in the one week he had been commissioned by Wemimo to help out. It had been one week of fighting a crisis on two fronts. It had also been a week in which Biodun and Wemimo had talked and tried to fashion a way to tackle the minister and his cohorts. The crime he was planning to perpetrate was as evil as it was barbaric. They couldn’t hope to attack him publicly without proof, so they had to bide their time and be very careful. Part of that tact and discrete plan was to bring Jide in to help. He was a trained hacker and systems expert – software and hardware. He had worked for many of the telecoms firms, helping to troubleshoot systems’ failures and also hacking bogus websites and shutting them down. According to Wemimo, Jide knew his stuff and Biodun was impressed by his progress so far.
“The foremost is a software used by the U.S Air force office of special investigations for similar situations like yours. I must say it is a very reliable software and once I start-up the systems audit, it won’t be very long before it tracks and initiates recovery procedures for the lost files it can find.”
Biodun was relieved and reassured. She knew all the efforts that had been put in by her team led by Jude, her CDA, but she was also smart enough to know that this was bigger than her and her team. They needed help from outside on this one. The security breach internally was one reason for this line of action, the other being that she wanted her team concentrating on processing the raw data received from the National Population Commission and delivering the MoA’s data ahead of, or at worst with minimum delay to the date scheduled.
“I have also replaced the FAT systems you are using with the NTFS. Moving forward this migration will help in tracking actions and activities all over your network systems. This is because the NTFS allows you to track changes or activities throughout your Systems network. You would be able to have records of everything that goes on here at a moment’s notice. And only you, and provisionally I, has access to the Access Control List. Hence, just two of us can have access to all the files on your network and also delete any files from your data base for now. Once everything is sorted and this situation tides over, you can nominate a trusted staff as the other Overlord on your systems.
He turned his seat around and faced the three of them, “that is the situation right now and I am confident these measures will suffice in tracking and locating your mole and also helping to retrieve your lost files. The whole gig is set up and once you give me the go-ahead Biodun, I will begin the systems file audit.”
“Yes, I will let you know by noon. Right now, I want the guys done with the data already being processed. I have been told we had most of it and so, we could still deliver the MoA data by the end of the week,” she turned to Jude for a confirmation.
“Yes, Biodun. We can be done by or before the end of the week. I also strongly recommend that we finish with this first, considering the pressure we would be under if we do not deliver on time, and then once this is out of the way we can begin the flushing out of our mole.”
“Okay guys, that’s it for now. Thank you very much, Jide,” she favored him with a light pat on the back. She then turned to her CDA, “Jude, we need to deliver on time. If there is anything I don’t want, it is to have the Alhaji screaming at me over the phone that we didn’t deliver on this on agreed timelines. And, I don’t need to say it would be worse, if he takes it into his head to visit here to see “what is going on” by himself,” she closed her eyes as if imagining the horror of such an occurrence. “Please deal with it, Jude.”
She stood up and motioned for Wemimo to come with her as she made for the bank of elevators.
“Tell me things will be alright,” she was standing by the door, resting her back on the wall.
“Everything will be alright.”
“I cannot imagine how any human being can think up such a thing. It still makes my skin crawl.”
Wemimo went to her and sat on the rugged floor, he pulled her down to sit beside him and she rested her head on his shoulder. He knew how she felt, and he felt as much of the horror and fear as she did. Guys like this will do anything. And it was that anything that makes the bile of fear seep into his tongue every time he thought about the story Biodun had told him just over a week ago.
He however knew that whatever fear he harbored, it will all fade in the face of his desire and urge to protect her. She had grown to become the very center of his life. Over the course of almost fifteen months, they have become fiancées and the way he figured it, she is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He had not broached the matter with her, but they had grown so much a part of each other’s life now that it was only a natural transition to make. He however knew she was someone that could not be rushed into such a decision. So, he will bide his time.
For now though, they had to tackle an ultra-terrorist group which was made up of a powerful minister and God knows how many more powerful people. They had to be that powerful to be able to successfully carry out the plan they had in mind.
He knew it was going to be dangerous. But, he will go through anything for her.
“I still think Jude is our man though,” Wemimo felt her stiffen at this. She had vehemently protested and defended Jude’s honor when he first voiced his suspicions about him. His premise being that, he was the only one who could have breached the network firewalls with little effort among the members of staff. Also, he previously used to work in the government sector before being poached by Biodun.
“I understand why you would finger him. But, I have worked with him and I know him and I think I can vouch for him. However, I am playing along with your plan and I do hope it is not him. But, if it is I am sure we would catch him or whoever it is. They wouldn’t know we had started up the Foremost or even began running the audit and the NTFS,” Biodun turned to look at him and then bent forward to kiss him deeply on the mouth, “thank you, sugar.”
Wemimo felt her melt and relax against his touch.
This is the way it was supposed to be every day.
January 16, 1997.
“Gentlemen, I believe everything is ready now for roll out?”
It was a very dark night in Kano. The weather warm enough for the gentlemen seated on the two sofas to wear just their kaftan and sip at regular intervals from the cup in front of them.
The faces looked on placidly and unconcerned as the first report was delivered by a rotund man who was also known as the “butcher of Kano”. He owned the largest dairy and poultry farm in the of the country. He was also well-known for his earlier activities with dreaded terror groups in the north-east.
“Right now, we have administered the genetically engineered agents on thousands of cows, rams, goats and a variety of birds that are ready for movement to markets all over the East, West and South. These livestock are poison to whoever consumes them. We ran a test and in a few days, the dogs who ate meat from the administered live stocks ran mad and turned on each other. We can be guaranteed of the efficacy of the HvM2 agents to do the damage to anyone who escapes Alhaji’s grains and other crops.”
There was no laughter from any quarter. The gentlemen looked on grimly while they waited for the next report.
“Yes, the grains have been harvested and ready for shipment. Already, we have thirteen recorded deaths of people who ate from the crops, those ones stole it from the warehouse. However, no apparent cause of death was detectable from their autopsy and this is good for our purposes. They just slept and never woke up, the men and their families. So, I can confirm the crops from my end will do the job. We have shipments, trucks and the likes, waiting to load for markets in Onitsha, Awka, Aba, Ilorin, Owerri, Uyo, Calabar, Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Oshogbo, Akure, Ileshe, Ore, Asada, Benin, Otukpo, Ikot Ekpene…and about five hundred other towns. I can tell you, once this gets into these markets half our task is done. Our objectives mostly achieved.”
Alhaji Shelama sipped from his cup as the remaining gentlemen around the room submitted their progress reports. Everything was set and ready to go; but, the decision to go will need to be ratified by these men. He had received a rather urgent and disturbing mail from his contact inside BK Infometrics. Now, the decision was whether he was to move forward with this action, step it down or move his plans forward. Act now, strike while he still had the advantage of surprise or just wait and see how things progress and start the roll on the pre-agreed schedule?
He personally felt there was a lot at stake now to rush things; he is a man known for his painstaking methodical way of doing things. He plans and works according to his plan, so the news from his contact inside BK Infometrics had been worrisome, but not particularly alarming. His first thought was to continue as scheduled, but he had later decided to call the rest of the group. It was only fair that he informed them of this new development and allow them to take the ultimate decision on how to move forward. His contact had taken a great risk to send him the mail, he had called him to scold him for the lapse. It was an indiscretion that would be paid for, with his life. Although, Jude Omiro, the Chief Data Analyst had been very useful to him, he was one weak link that has to be taken care of.
“Gentlemen, there is another matter I needed to discuss with you all. Our contact got in touch with me yesterday, through very unusual channels I must say, just to highlight the urgency and importance of the matter; he has informed me that the group at BK Infometrics are getting very smart. There is some efforts going on to trace the origin of the command to erase their files. As it stands, this is a minor inconvenience, I however felt it was enough of an inconvenience to share with everyone so we can decide how to tackle this situation.”
It was Mallam Balau who spoke first, “how do you suggest we tackle it? I will expect that at this point, we would all defer to your direction when it comes to such strategic and tactical matters. You have brought us this far on this road and whatever you say needs be done, we will gladly do.”
The rest seemed to agree with him, none of them raising objections and so once again it fell to him to take the decision on doing the dirty work.
“Ok. This is what will happen; I am going to deal with the trouble from BK Infometrics. Our contact there is a liability that needs to be taken care of, I will deal with that situation. I am also going to create a situation to distract the people at BK Infometrics from further pursuing this line of action. Finally, I strongly believe we should continue as planned,” he looked at the faces and noted that they were all devoid of objections, “Next week shipment goes on as planned at 0400 hours. In the meantime, have a lovely evening gentlemen.”
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