An extract from the book...
“The shop was crammed full of equipment. Technology always made me smile. God bless the British and Americans for dominating the world of IT. All of the crazily packaged laptops and mobile device still had their specifications described in the sort of English I understood well. My understanding of the Greek language was average at best but not surprising for a man on the run. Most of my vocabulary related to the world of bars, food, drink and tourism but ‘gigabytes’ and ‘gigahertz’ transcended language barriers as the friendly, familiar terms of an industry I knew well from the past.
I haggled with the shop’s sales assistant and then finally with the owner and left with my new laptop. I’d started my anonymous life again. I paid in anonymous euro notes and left quickly for the nearest café to begin installing the operating system software that would work the laptop plus using a ‘pay as you go’ phone that was unregistered to anyone. I needed the phone’s internet connectivity for my laptop to download some very special software.
After an hour of really slow downloading of software due to the poor signal or bandwidth of my disposable phone I was ready to head to the golden arches of the nearest McDonalds.McDonalds and a lot of US retailers in the Year 2000s led the way in enticing punters into their venues with free WIFI hotspots. You could save money by eating at places like McDonalds while enjoying the far better data streaming of their wifi hotspot. McDonald’s WIFI was fast and always delivered through fixed telephone lines with signals beamed across the whole restaurant. You could also create your own hotspot albeit slower, name it whatever you wanted and allow others to connect to the internet through your device. In my case I was about to use the hotspotting features of my laptop which I now named McDonalds WIFI to let those furthest from the McDonalds WIFI router to surf the internet courtesy of me. Very considerate and generous I know.
I sat with a burger meal whilst typing on my laptop. I looked like countless other office types doing a spot of work over lunch. My laptop would be different however. I was search the data going through my laptop to the internet from those customers accidentally connecting to me. I needed names, a 16 digit number and expiry date – the data needed to create my own credit cards in others’ names. Today a three digit number on the reverse of the card would be added to ‘prove’ that the card was physically in its owner’s hand but I could still collect these in the same way. The details of what people search for is eye opening and he turnover of the customers within a couple of hours was high. The two storey McDonalds was perfect. I’d stay for a couple of hours at the most and then simply pack up, deposit my lunch remains in the bin and walk out leaving innocent customers none the wiser about what had just happened to their valuable card data. I’d soon burn these to new phone top up cards to make clones credit cards…”
An extract from the book...
““We have local police on the scene now. I have a man on site listening but we could be too late to grab him.”
“Never too late Hanson, maybe too slow but never too late.”
“You know Will, to be respected you should give respect as well. It’s never a one sided affair. How you treat people show who you are. A lion doesn’t turn around and bark at a dog who barks. No matter how people are treat them as per your own nature not as a lesser because how you treat others shows your depth of character.”
““If yesterday is anything to go by he heads to his office each day. Police will follow him and make him uncollectable. We need a laptop from him, the MAC address is the same so that laptop must be his link to the past and my employer. Do whatever you need; burn the yacht if you can’t find his laptop – that will remove all magnetic data from his other laptops or any hidden storage devices. Or order some drugs to the yacht and have local police made aware. We need evidence erasing or him discrediting. “This is the last job Hanson and then I’m making you free to part our ways.”
Will looked at Hanson’s three colleagues; tough men from an army background looking for a new start. The men had headed into private security in Afghanistan once they realised governments were reluctant to put more ‘boots on the ground’ and private security wages were three or even four times their Royal Marine salaries. The only downside was as wages went up the distance between the backup of a first world military power and the reliance on other less professional guns for hire increased too. Hanson had spent years in the Royal Marines. He followed in his father’s footsteps, enlisting as soon as he could leave school. He passed the difficult and near impossible fitness and psychological tests and joined a military unit with centuries of history. He travelled in his prime around the world with the elite unit. Now scarred inside and out, Hanson felt a cold tinge of failure when he looked back on his ‘security work’ after life in the Marines with his ‘brothers’. His past now haunted his dark future and Will had the keys.
“Did you get Simon? Where there any issues?”
“No issues, as you planned. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or liquid ecstasy is ready. He’ll look drunk, the substance is hard to detect and takes just ten hours to vanish completely from his system. Within four weeks it won’t even be detectable in hair or skin samples.”
“Usual – privately chartered helicopter. Flight plans will be filed as inspecting oil pipes here and across the Mediterranean.”
“Ok, we’re set. Enjoy your afternoon gents, once you have your man we’ll never meet again.”
Hanson nodded his weary approval. One waved a strong hand sarcastically from the end of the table. The mood of the group was now sombre. Richter on the left of the group broke the silence first as he finished his pint, “Human beings have taken almost everything for granted, even the most fundamental process of living or even breathing is not in the awareness of most people. They are so enslaved by their own thoughts, status and emotions, they ignore where they are. He rocks up in an Aston Martin like that, in a quiet backwater like here, and we’ll all be front and centre of a new surveillance operation. Makes me very uneasy.””