Posts Tagged ‘security’

Day Eighty: One More Door

August 18, 2011 1 comment

Killing Alfie Vandersen would be easy. Getting to him, on the other hand, was proving to be a pain in the ass.

Vanessa repositioned the mirrors against the lasers to redirect them to other sensors, a trick that wouldn’t have worked if Vanderson had bothered to upgrade his security in the last ten years. She managed to create a hole just big enough for her to slide through and, for a moment, regretted not joining the weight-loss group that her sister went to every week. She tightened the belt on the housekeeper’s uniform she had swiped and slid under the gap she had created.

The lasers were easier than the motion sensors, which were only slightly more challenging than the pressure-sensitive floors. During the day, Vanderson’s offices were the epitome of modern office deisgn – clean, sleek, yet welcoming. Nice wood floors that were made from renewable forests, walls that were covered in a recycled ceramic tiling, energy-efficient lights that illuminated the wide and welcoming halls with light that closely matched that of the sun. Hundreds of people worked in these offices every day, and to hear them talk about it, many liked the place More than their own homes.

At night, it was one of the most fiercely guarded buildings on the planet. Merely getting in had involved months of planning, several fake identities, and spending at least two nights hiding in cubicles and supply closets. Vanessa wouldn’t be able to make or receive any calls from her contacts, and if she was caught, she would most likely disappear. The fact that she had even gotten this far was why her clients paid her exorbitant fees. Although, getting this far was no guarantee that she would be able to get to her target, who kept apartments on the top three floors of his building. She had gotten up there without much trouble, but the closer she got, the harder it became to move forward.

According to the information she had, there was another crucial step to pass through – a biometric exam. And this one, unlike the lasers, was new. In the old days, she could have made a latex fingerprint or – if circumstances were dire – cut the finger off of someone with clearance. The new biometric systems, however, were able to distinguish between living flesh and non-living, so gaining entry that way required a little more finesse. In this case, her finesse was a teenage hacker she’d only ever known as Speyeder. Not an original name, but the kid knew what he – or she – was doing, and earned the hefty sum that she – or he – got for jobs like this. In this case, Vanessa needed her biometrics on file, and with the proper clearance. Speyeder said it would be easy, but then Speyeder also claimed to have put the President on the no-fly list and set up an untraceable monthly deposit from the bank account of the nation’s biggest Christian megachurch into the bank account of the nation’s biggest gay rights activist group. In short, Speyeder claimed to do a lot of things, and had not let Vanessa down yet.

“Yet” being the operative word.

She got to the second-most outer door and flipped the cover up on the security pad. A gently glowing panel lit up, asking her to please put her palm on the scanner. Vanessa took a deep breath and gave up her palm print. The scanner faded for a moment, and then a second panel asked her to please position her eye in front of the camera above. She stretched her neck a bit and submitted her iris for examination. A faint laser went up and down, back and forth, and then the door clicked open. Vanessa slid through and made a mental note to transfer a little extra to Speyeder’s account when she got home.

The inner offices were more like a home – a narrower hallway with a deep carpet runner, flowers on tales, and portraits of Vandersen’s family on the walls. It smelled like potpourri and some kind of cologne, a smell that made her think of an uncle she’d liked when she was young.

The main office would be through one more door, and for that door she needed a very special key. This lock required a blood sample, albeit a very small one. It was keyed to Vandersen’s blood, and try as he – or she – might, Speyeder was unable to put Vanessa’s blood signature into the database. That file was locked tightly, read-only, and not to be tampered with. Unless Vandersen let her in, there was no way she was getting through that door.

The trick, then, was to get Vandersen out.

She cracked her knuckles as she thought, only moments before the outer door slid open and a large security guard came in, hand on his gun. He looked at her, then around the office, and raised an eyebrow as he loosened the gun in its holster.

“Shit,” Vanessa muttered.