Saturday, July 26, 2008

You cannot hide from The Internet - part II

This is a continuation of the narration that started here.


Some time in the recent past, a mysterious woman's name started appeared in several semi-private documents. Her inclusion had been a subtle one, not more than a droplet in a raging torrent of information.

By a stroke of misfortune, her presence was noted by a very observant sentinel. The sentinel quickly alerted her colleagues, and a search immediately started.

She had relied on hiding among the many other data sets to veil her presence. With no encryption nor disguise, once an active search began she was quickly and easily found by following her vast network of paper trails and digital footprints...


“And how is your mother coping with this?” he asked her, squinting his eyes against the morning sun. They had just rounded a corner – a tight 2nd gear curve with a bit of camber – and when they received the full power of the 8am sun in the clear, cloudless sky.

“She's quite ok, I think. The change of environment will be good for her,” she replied, absently looking out of the window as the scenery sped past them.

He slowed the car for another curve, this time a left-hander. Easing off the brakes, he nudged the car's nose inwards. After the mid-point of the corner, he gradually unwinds the steering wheel and opened the throttle.

“Oh, did you see the latest updates this morning?” she asked after a bit of silence. “She went to Hong Kong.”

“Who?” he asked unthinkingly. He was concentrating on slipping the car through the curves as smoothly and quickly as possible.


On hearing her name, he instantly returned to reality. “Did our man go along?”

“No, don't think so.”

Soon, they stopped at a coffee shop for breakfast, an old establishment that came up in the post-war years. The kind that still retain the quaint original wood and marble tables and where retired gentlemen come for long breakfasts.

They shared a charcoal-toasted kaya and butter sandwich, two soft-boiled eggs with a dash of soy sauce, a light fluffy steamed red bean bun, and had a cup of strong thick coffee each.

Satisfied with their meal, he checked the vicinity for wireless connections. Finding a publicly accessible connection he reached into The Internet to plumb for information.

“Ah, I see what you mean by Hong Kong now,” he remarked.
“Yes, if you look through the records you can see who she went with.”
“I'm sifting through the details of her friend Charmaine on Facebook [link].”
He gasped abruptly, “Charmaine knows Jill's brother! Photograph here [link]”
“Good. You find out more from Jill.”
“She's not online now.”
“Do it later. But I just want to know three things. One – Tiff's character. Two – is she smart. Three – what business is her family in. After that you can ask anything you want; I just want three answers.”
“Very well.”

There was not much of else great importance, and they disassociated themselves from The Internet in preparation to leave.

“I still find it odd. Why Tiff? She's so young... Well she better be smart damn it!”
“Mm, we'll see.”

Labels: ,