REPORTER: On the record.
PRESIDENT: Remain seated and come to order. Proceed Recorder.
RECORDER: This Tribunal is being conducted at 20795, 21 July 2008 on board U.S. Base █████████ ███████, United States Navy, President Lieutenant Colonel ██████████████ and United Airforce member Lieutenant Colonel ██████, and translator Tsitsyanov Ilya (Ilik) ██████. And our chief witness (Glyptic) █████████ ██████.
PRESIDENT: At this time, we will now swear in the Recorder, the Translator and the Recorder.
Editorial Note: Significant water damage has made the next several pages completely undecipherable.
Cont. Page 8:
the evidence has been submitted and logged per the procedures indicated. The Government has also adequately ascertained that the Witness has been amenable and open to assistance since the beginning. It is our intention to review the high level declassified evidence submitted to the official record with the Witness in order to understand the events of 1 September 2005.
President has aside with the Recorder.
PRESIDENT: Translator please indicate to the Witness our intention towards this end.
TRANSLATOR: (TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE)
WITNESS (through translator): I would not prefer to speak on this account.
PRESIDENT: I understand that you would like to have your Translator read the prepared written statement on your behalf?
TRANSLATOR: (TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE)
WITNESS (through translator): That is correct.
TRANSLATOR (on behalf of the witness): I █████████ ██████, would like to stress to this tribunal and to attendees in this session that I have not seen many of the details listed within the classified details of my case. The declassified information has been provided to me and I would like to be clear that I was unfamiliar with all of this evidence and was unclear where this data was coming from. Although, I am open to working with this tribunal in trying to understanding the details surrounding the events of 1 September 2005 as I was an unwitting bystander during the events as the, as they… unfolded that day.
Colonel ████████: Point of Personal Privilege sir. I have a urgent call coming through. Can I request a five minute recess.
PRESIDENT: Sure, we’ve only just gotten started with the real meat of our proceedings, but yes, five minutes. Not a minute more. We are to reconvene at 8:45. Am I clear?
TRANSLATOR: (TRANSLATION OF THE ABOVE).
PRESIDENT: Please halt recording until we are reconvened.
PRESIDENT: It is 8:46, I am calling us back to order. Clerk, please step into the hall and retrieve Colonel ████████ for us.
CLERK: The Colonel isn’t in the hallway, and orderly indicated he just left through the front doors.
PRESIDENT: Counsel, I’m going to commence with or without Colonel ████████… would you like to advise me as to whether your are planning to contribute to this interview in any reasonable way without the Colonel here?
PRESIDENT: ORDER! I demand order.
[The Witness collapsed]
PRESIDENT: MPs, I want Medical in here immediately.
TRANSLATOR: (untranslated statements to the Witness shouted loudly.)
MP: He’s foaming at the mouth! MEDIC, MEDIC!
PRESIDENT: We are adjourned. Recorder, stop transcribing.
MP: MEDIC! I NEED A MEDIC IN HERE IMMEDIATELY!
PRESIDENT: I will not ask you again Recorder. Cease.
Interviewer: “What did you first think when you discovered the classified transcript of Glyptic’s assumed assassination?
Me: “Well, I’m just a curious guy. When I found the piles of papers, some damaged from water, or some other liquid, andsome with a pristine edge that would cut you like a knife, I just wanted to know who this guy was.”
Interviewer: “But did…”
Me: “No, I think you misunderstand. When you find papers or find information, no one stops and thinks, I wonder if this information will topple government heads and rearrange the global political map. I just like a good story, and wanted to find out more about Glyptic.
Interviewer: “That code name must have given you pause when you first heard it and tipped you off a bit, no?”
Me: “Are you kidding? I was working in a dying video store when I found these papers. I had no idea who Glyptic was initially. I’ve obviously learned a lot since then. Oh yeah. But no. Glyptic didn’t mean anything to me originally.”
Interviewer: “When did you get a sense that this was bigger than you first realized?”
Me: “Well, over the last year, as I’ve dug deeper, I’ve learned incrementally. But no, it wasn’t until a week ago that I’ve had to go into hiding. Thus the voice modifier, the double and triple VPN tunnels, and the burner cell connection for this call.”
Interviewer: “When we first started talking about this interview you made reference to a number of threats against your life. Can you elaborate?”
Me: “Did you bounce your connection for this call against the servers I provided you with? Now that I think about this, I’m wondering if this was a good idea.
Interviewer: “Yes yes, I had the guys in IT take care of it. They said I was good to go.”
Me: “‘Guys in IT’?!? No no, we agreed no one else would be involved in this call at all.”
Interviewer: “It’s just me. Everything is fine. I just had them help me verify the best way to do what you asked me to do, to make my connection to this call as anonymous as possible.”
[click – pop] …
Interviewer: “Mr. Smith?
The prematurely graying man standing at the lectern was having a hard time walking through the information slow enough for the individuals in the room to grasp what he was saying. But it was exactly what he was being paid to do so here he was, speaking down to Generals, and Government officials who were probably paid 4 to 5 times what he was making.
The thin gray husk of a man rubbed his temples a moment and said mostly to himself, “I’m just going to detail out what I saw. Please try and hold your questions until the end. I will get to all your questions that begin with ‘what’ by the end hopefully. The questions that begin with ‘why’ aren’t even close to my pay grade, and I won’t even be attempting to answer those questions. Clear?”
Heads nodded around the room almost as if in unison.
“Great. I had seen a few things on this client that seemed odd to me. It had beaconed out like a wounded grizzley searching for some sort of solace or respite and then had gone quiet. So when I loaded up Scalp and started running the logs through I started to see immediately that things were amiss.”
“So as you can see from the above powerpoint slide, I was beginning to see that someone had been moving fairly clumsily through the system. Right?” No one nodded. No one moved. “Take my word for it, I was beginning to see that this system had been compromised from several different vectors. Port 80 was compromised, and then quickly after SQL and other port protocols were subverted.”
“The system though was obviously an automated attacker, no intelligence seems to be registering yet behind this loud and bulky calls. But soon, the bot telephoned home and informed an operator of some kind that an interesting breach had been made. Here, this will clear things up… no. No it will not. But I will tell you about it anyway to assuage my conscience if nothing else.”
“So now we know that it was a SQL injection attack that zombied this machine and allowed the Op to begin using the machine as a drone for his bidding. Except. The Op got curious. They wondered if maybe, this machine was interesting on its own account. If maybe there were fascinating things here worth reading. And obviously there was, or I wouldn’t be here, flown from Europe to talk to you about this particular hack that is done hundreds of thousands of times a day without your care or concern. But this particular time… the OP got lucky. Or actually unbelievably unlucky… as it was.”
[email protected]! – Triple DES DUKPT PIN is clear. We are roofed.
Brenda – Don’t be an idiot. DUKPT just buys us some more time before they can read it. It’s not if, it’s when.
[email protected]! – Man you are cranky today. I’m just saying, we have handshake.
Brenda – I am not going to survive the week. I have a couple grand in cash. That’s it and then my anonymity goes up it flames. The NSA will be landing on me like a ton of bricks, and that is the least scary scenario.
[email protected]! – Seriously?
Brenda – When was the last time we Duckputted our conversations? Yeah, I’m serious. I’m running out of ideas really fast. About the only thing I hvae going 4 me right now is that i have the Glyptic Record on my person and the drive is on a deadman’s swithc.
[email protected]! – slow down. slow down. i have cash in a paypal account and more in Bitcoin, it’s not a lot but it’ll let you lay low a little longer maybe? I’ll dump the account info out on bitbucket.
Brenda – No, listen, if I don’t login every 6 hours the drive’ll wipe. and then it’ll wipe again. and wipes again. basically i wrote a bit rock tumbler to bash the record to bits. Fish. I watched the single physical copy get burnt. This is the last surviving copy. And it’s really obvious that somebody big wants it.
The light coming in from the single pane is electric. A brightness that could only be explained by it being plugged into a nuclear reactor. Sheets only emblazon it, multiply it, refract it to make it brighter and a more intense brilliance. The bare walls, torn white wallpaper create a mirrored cage for the light to bounce and attack corneas and skin.
It’s no use hiding from it.
Footsteps are walking quietly up the stairs, and the form under the stairs registers some data point outside her burning cerebral cortex. The footsteps continue coming. The pounding is now registering as incredibly loud against her eardrums. The pillow gives no relief. The sheets provide no shelter.
A voice whispers in from the cracked door, but it slams against her eardrums like a chaos, like a cacophony, like a guillotine. The whisper walks into the room and pulls the rolling shade and locks it down. Instantly waves of relief crash over the small woman’s form in the bed.
“I’m so sorry I forgot to draw the blinds last night before you came to bed.” His hand holds out sunglasses. They are Walmart cheap. And yet, they are immediately clawed at and accepted gratefully. “I managed to find eggs in the barn from wild chickens… feral chickens? Evil zombie chickens? I don’t know what they were, but I thought they were going to kill me.”
Now that the life gutting light had been decapitated… everything seemed like a hilarious joke to the woman. She wasn’t herself yet, of course, the ringing in her head was like a klaxon still yawning it’s reverberations through her soul. But she was better all the same. Better enough to sneak a peek out at the young man still prattling on about his adventures with the murderous fowl. To see that he was still the same doting love that would never judge her for her physical failings or her odd eccentricities.
“Well, after I put the kitchen out, I was able to contain the fire to the sink and managed to pull together something that resembled scrambled eggs in a previous life.”
She knew then that she could eat all the eggs. All of the world’s eggs. She was that famished. It was always like that the morning after an impact. “We could stop running.”… “You know.”
This caught his attention. Because the thing he wanted more than anything was to live a normal life, with her. To stop. Just a simple home. Maybe Wyoming? He’d never been to Wyoming of course. But Wyoming sounded perfect. Acres of land surrounded by acres of nothing. Maybe a mountain? Or maybe just an In-N-Out. Wait though, In-N-Outs stopped in Las Vegas maybe? As that the furthest west they went? He couldn’t remember. Screw it. A White Castle then. Wyoming sounded perfect.
Some horses… normal life. Her voice wafted into his thoughts. And then reality dawned. “Absolutely not. Running is the only thing keeping you and me alive. Somehow our ritual… this pattern of life has kept you safe, and free for over two years now. There is no way that I’m going to risk that freedom by some vague dream that will end us both up hanged. Or worse.”
“K, eggs?” No argument today? No petition or tears? There was a reason for that – and it had to have been connected back to last night’s trippy impact. Nothing had ever gone down as sideways as last night.
“Yup, 4 of the world’s best zombie chicken scrambles coming right up.”