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CHAPTER TWENTY ONE – TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY TODAY
“But before we do go.” The Commander told them, as they went to get up. “I have a gift for both of you.”
Liam and Sully looked at each other as the Commander stood up and walked over to one of the sideboards, opened one of the drawers and then came back carrying two boxes. Sitting down he then placed the boxes on the table and slid one to Liam and one to Sully.
Liam and Sully looked at each other and then eagerly leaned forward and took the boxes before opening them to reveal that each contained a shiny new and very expensive looking mobile phone and an impressive looking watch.
“In giving these to you, I am mindful that you might wonder if the reason I am doing so is so that we can keep and eye on you and monitor your texts and calls.” The Commander told them. “But I promise you that that is not the reason at all. The fact is that, as you have seen and have probably surmised from that, we can already do that with your own phones.” He looked at them both as he made that statement. “No. The actual reason I am giving these to you is that these phones, whilst looking like every other top range android phone of their make, they come complete with additional features.”
“You may have noticed,” Kevin told them, “that no one here wears a name tags or carries an id badge around their neck or clipped on their belt or pockets.”
It was in fact something which both Liam and especially Sully had indeed noticed.
“Yes. I did notice that.” Liam confirmed.
“Aye, and the fact that no one is wearing any form of insignia.” Sully added.
“The reason is that, just like everyone else, everyone here carries a mobile phone. But here they carry phones which we have issued and those phones – including the phones you now have – all provide – any identification that we require.” The Commander explained. “Additionally, as well as other apps and features, each phone is programmed according to the security clearance afforded to that person with access to different areas within the complex partly being controlled according to that clearance.”
“But what happens if someone accidentally leaves their phone at their desk and goes off without it?” Sully asked.
“Not an issue. On entering this complex for the first time, every single person is scanned by Veles.” The Commander explained. “That scanning process – whilst undetectable to the person being scanned – records lots of data. Including body mass, facial features, height and body mass etc. The moment the person matching that data profile moves away from the phone assigned to them Veles issues a verbal alert and if they don’t respond a security is immediately dispatched. Once you have had them descend on you a couple of times you tend not to forget your phone.”
“So we have been scanned?” Liam asked.
“Yes of course.” The Commander confirmed. “And your data profile linked to your new phones. Whilst at the moment, any future visits here are improbable or at best likely to be very infrequent, we can’t be sure what will happen in the future and so have catered for that eventuality should it prove to be necessary. However, much like Agent Kevin’s the main use of your phones will be off complex.”
“I am almost tempted to leave my phone here and run out of the room just to test Veles.” Sully joked.
“That would indeed be amusing Sully.” Veles commented. “Especially the part where you crashed into a locked door in the process.”
Liam, Kevin and even Sully laughed at Veles’s response. Even the Commander cracked a smile at it.
“Point taken, Veles.” Sully told her.
“So your phone is the same?” Liam asked Kevin.
“Similar, yes.” Kevin told them. “Because the nature of my role is different to yours my phone has – well let’s say some additional features to your phones. Phones which,” Kevin advised them, “are already assigned to your current numbers, already contain your current contacts and the all the data, details and pictures etc. currently stored on your own phones, but which also contain apps which will only operate when activated by both the correct fingerprint sensor and iris scanner results.”
“And additionally,” the Commander added, “any calls from us will only be able to be answered when the correct fingerprint sensor result is achieved on trying to accept the call. Just in case we try to contact you when someone else is using your phone.”
As Kevin and the Commander were explaining about the phones, Liam couldn’t help thinking about the conversation – albeit a very brief one – that Sully had just had with Veles. What was noteworthy about it – for Liam, was just how quickly he, and especially Sully it seems, seem to have accepted this weird, covert and super technologically advanced world.
“And the watches?” Sully asked.
“Whilst looking like perfectly ordinary top range digital watches are in fact just as technologically advanced and are directly linked to your phones, fully functioning only when in range of your phones.” The Commander told him. “The base of the watch through it’s connection with your skin also reads and inputs essential data and additionally sends tiny electrical pulses which will silently notify you if and when we require you to contact us once you are alone.”
Liam and Sully looked at each other.
“Additionally the watch will vibrate on your wrist any time the sensors in your phones detect that there is any kind of suspicious connectivity or network activity – such as hacking or tracing – around you.” Kevin added. “But don’t worry, we will have plenty of time to discuss all the other features on your phones and watches during our flight home later.”
“I am surprised we aren’t being given little earpieces that connect directly into our brains.” Sully commented.
“Or glasses which do so.” Kevin smiled, as he gently tapped the side of the frames of his glasses. “You have no idea of the kind of technological advances that we have already achieved in many areas including mobile phone technology and nerve sensory connectivity.” He told them. “But as it is your roles do not require anything other than the items you are being given.”
Liam and Sully both found themselves carefully trying to discretely study Kevin’s glasses after that comment.
“And of course the idea is for any technology you are given not to draw too much attention.” The Commander reminded them. “And, whilst yes, you are both going home with some expensive phones and watches, I have absolutely no doubt that if challenged on how you got them, your explanation of “An old mate had these two left and gave me a really good deal on them.” will be both completely believable and instantly accepted.”
For the next few minutes Liam and Sully checked out their new phones and put their new watches on. On asking what they should do with their old phones the Commander simply suggested that they give them away. He then instructed Veles to unlock the phones thereby allowing them to accept new sim cards and thus new numbers.
He then suggested that they take the tour that he had suggested earlier so that he could show them what he wanted them to see and also answer Sully’s earlier questions concerning the game maps.
Taking their new phones with them and wearing their new watches the lads followed Kevin and the Commander out of the now unsealed room and through the Commander’s office.
“I still can’t get over the fact that you are involved in all this.” Sully told Kevin. “Never in a million years would I have guessed it.”
“It’s that we are involved in all this, now.” Kevin reminded him. “But I do know what you are saying and yes, I can understand that. But it really is of such importance. And who knows, maybe one day I will tell you just how I did get wrapped up in all this.
“Are you pleased with your new phone and watch?” The Commander – who was walking alongside Liam asked him. “I mean I know it is new to you and you still don’t know all that it can do.”
“Well, to be honest with you.” Liam answered the Commander. “I am not sure how Nicola is going to take my getting a really fancy new phone and watch and not getting her anything, but hey I will give her my old phone and buy Leon something, so sure it’ll be grand. And yes I really do like my new phone and watch. It’s like getting tomorrow’s technology today.”