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Ethan Neufeld

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About Ethan Neufeld

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  1. Security Brief (excerpts) Computer System(s) (Gular only) Hybrid centralized-decentralized hub with ad hoc workstations and network storage. Advantage: Redundancy in ad hoc allows workstations to act as network nodes and as the central hub per se, providing high fault-tolerance should central hub and/or one or more workstations become compromised or fail. Data and System Security: Microkernal-based Operating Systems, System Verification and Authentication, Access Control Lists, Encryption, Firewalls, Security Software, Wire-Only Systems (ultrasensitive data), and Physically Isolated Storage Servers (ultrasensitive data) [...] Weaknesses: [...] Infared Detection Type: Passive Capabilities/Usage: Detection of changes and differences in heat. Primary detection generally used as a trip for active systems, but can be used independently. Automated target acquisition via Advanced Target Recognition software with 92% rate of accuracy and low false rejection requiring operator oversight to eliminate false accepts. Locations: Several thousand detectors in all public areas and secured locations. Weakness: Network. Heat. Competing security companies and lack of cooperation between proprietary monitoring networks. Radio and Tomographic Motion Detection Type: Active Capabilities/Usage: Detection of objects and motion tracking via subspace-enhanced radio waves. Does not require a visual line-of-sight, built into and hidden within overheads, bulkheads and decks. Exceptional motion tracking but no target acquisition. Primary detection generally used as a trip for UWB and FS Sensors. Location: Secured locations including Gular offices. Weaknesses: Network. Ultra-Wideband and Full Spectral Sensors Type: Active Capabilities: Target acquisition through solid obstructions. Uncompressed data collection across full subspace-enhanced electromagnetic spectrum and/or operator specified bands. Automated target acquisition via Advanced Target Recognition software with 99.9% rate of accuracy and low false rejection requiring operator oversight to eliminate false accepts. Usage: Primary long-range early warning and short-range detection on exterior. Primary detection at security checkpoints. Secondary detection tripped by primary detection in all other public and secured areas. Locations: Exterior and port sensor arrays. Total of 42 arrays in public areas. Secured locations including Gular and top-ranking business offices. Fee required for all other locations - clients unknown. Control: Sector Control, Flight Control and Port Security, Sheriff’s Offices and local. Weaknesses: Network. Competing security companies and lack of cooperation between proprietary monitoring networks. Video Surveillance System Type: Active. Capabilities/Usage: Decentralized wired and wireless digital high-definition infared cameras capable of on-site recording with mirrored storage on network servers. Automated target acquisition via Visual Target Recognition software with 99.9% rate of accuracy and low false rejection requiring operator oversight to eliminate false accepts. Locations: Total of 832 cameras in public areas and Gular offices. Fee required for all other locations - clients unknown. Control: Viewable in real-time at Sector Control, Flight Control and Port Security, and Sheriff’s Offices. Local control and viewing only for cameras in ultrasensitive areas at Gular offices. Weaknesses: Network. Competing security companies and lack of cooperation between proprietary monitoring networks. Biometrics and Behaviometrics Type: Active Capabilities/Usage: Combination of high-definition Retinal Scans, DNA Recognition and Voice Recognition used to identify parties authorized to access restricted areas. Advanced Recognition software with 99% rate of accuracy and low false accepts requiring operator oversight to eliminate false rejections. Locations: All secured or sensitive areas including Control, the Sheriff’s Office, and Gular Offices. Fee required for all other locations. Control: Local only. Weaknesses: Network. Competing security companies and lack of cooperation between proprietary monitoring networks. Implanted RFID Type: Active Capabilities/Usage: Identification of parties authorized to access restricted areas via radio-frequency identification using implantable nanotechnology. Activated by proximity and utilizes encryption and rolling-codes to preventing unauthorized parties from duplicating codes. Also capable of real-time lifesigns monitoring and will cease to function should the user die or chip is removed. Weakness: Network and proximity to receivers. Competing security companies and lack of cooperation between proprietary monitoring networks. Precision Asset Tracking RFID Nanotags Type: Active Capabilities/Usage: Asset tracking via radio-frequency identification using nanotechnology. Used primarily by Gular. Fee required for non-Gular users. Weakness: Network and proximity to receivers. Competing security companies and lack of cooperation between proprietary monitoring networks. Gular Sheriff’s Office Divisions: Law Enforcement (PRT and EOD), Detentions and Courts, Emergency Services (EMS and Fire/Hazmat) Law Enforcement Manpower: 266 (1:400) Detentions and Courts Manpower: 158 (1:126) Emergency Services Manpower: 56 (1:1903) Total: 480 (1:222) Issued Personal Equipment: Type III ballistic-energy vest, Type II pistol-grip handphaser with kill interlock, asp baton, environmental mask, digital encrypted trunked subspace-enhanced 800MHz Nexedge radios, flashlight, keyless handcuffs, zip cuffs [...] Agency Equipment: 14 motorized carts [...] Unit Dispersion: Patrol shift teams rotate 4 days on, 3 days off with an average of 38 members per team. Watches are 10 hours per day, providing a 2 hour overlap during each shift change. Patrol focuses on areas with upper-class and larger populations, allocating nearly 80% of a shift team’s manpower to these areas. [...] Gular Security Independent security responsible for guarding secured areas in Gular offices and homes of top Gular execs. Nothing further at this time. Gular Sector Control Independent agency that is responsible for and monitors environment and utilities, and dispatches maintenance and utility crews. Nothing further at this time. Emergency Procedures [...] Critical Incidents [...] Fire Alarm and Suppression System [...] Evacuation Routes [...]
  2. Ethan and the Qob’s crew were working different angles but more or less for the same thing, and ‘checking in’ with Captain Manning presented a dilemma. He and his crew were toxic: their activities had drawn too much negative attention in too short of a time span. Reporting in person, by radio or messenger: any form of communication that might be observed and traced back to Ethan was a no go. If the Gular caught Ethan associating with the Qob’s crew, at best his position would be compromised, any progress made would amount to nothing, and the crew would draw more negative attention. At worst someone would sacrifice freedom or life. Ethan had discussed such a contingency with Joe prior to debarking the Qob. The solution came down to clothing and went into effect not long after the Qob’s crew passed through customs waving red flags. Blue tie: Ethan was making progress. Red tie: Ethan wasn’t making progress and might be in trouble. For Joe, showing up in the right place at the right time and spotting Ethan in the crowd wouldn’t be a simple task. But it worked and neither risked compromising the other more than he could compromise himself. Green tie: Ethan had intel to relay. Clearly the exchange couldn’t occur face-to-face, so they had agreed on a dead drop. It presented a few problems, given they couldn’t communicate and weren’t familiar enough with the territory to pick a location prior to arrival. The trick: determining the place that Ethan frequented the most sans meeting. The solution: establishing a routine that even the most amateur of operators could figure out just by paying attention. The place: a small Parisian-inspired cafe on the third level that served from early morning to late evening and offered patio dining. Ethan would stick a data chip to the bottom of his table that night at dinner.
  3. “What about him?” O’Brien asked, pulling his hand back and withdrawing a step to open the distance between them. “He and company are on your guest list for the Anniversary Gala,” Ethan replied plainly. “I’m here to assess your security precautions before they arrive.” “Ah ha,” O’Brien acknowledged. “Well... Mr. Neufeld, we appreciate your concerns, and I’m sorry if you had to make a special trip down here for me to tell you this, but everything is well in hand. I hope that you enjoy your stay here, as it’s likely to be uneventful.” Ethan smiled mildly. “Sheriff, between you and me, I hope that this is a waste of time. But I’ve been paid a large amount of money to ensure his security. I can’t make a favorable report if I haven’t seen anything.” “I appreciate that, I really do,” O’Brien answered. “But at the same time, if you really do what you claim to do, for who you claim to, you can understand why I’m not exactly open to just letting you walk in and help yourself to things. Nothing personal.” “Mm,” Ethan hummed in agreement. “Well, like it or not, we’re going to have to work together--” “No, like it or not, we aren’t.” “Maybe we can help each other,” Ethan calmly deflected. “And how would you think we could do that?” O’Brien asked, sounding mildly impatient. “This is a large, high-profile event: I imagine you want to avoid embarrassing incidents, but your resources are spread thin,” Ethan explained, gesturing minimally. “We’ve provided consulting and private security services to Mr. Dantinamede’s family for several years and take his security needs seriously. Recently, the life of a close family member was threatened and it’s my job to guarantee their safety while they’re here. Our company specializes in personal and asset security. We’re discreet and unobtrusive; we don’t want credit or attention. Allow us to handle the Dantinamedes' personal security while he’s here, and you can focus on the larger picture and present your best image for the media syndicates. If you’re concerned about my credibility, you can verify everything I’ve told you directly with Mr. Dantinamede, and I promise I won’t try to tell you what number to call.” “Tell you what son,” O’Brien answered. “I’ll make a few calls. If, and I mean IF, your story checks out, maybe we can talk. That’s all I have for you now, take it or leave it. I will call you later on.” Ethan nodded and smiled civilly. “Looking forward to it.” *** “I’ll transfer you. Please hold,” said the operator in a melodic voice, followed by several clicks and the hum of transfer protocols. Dantinamede wasn’t in the office, given the gala was less than two days away and he was currently in transit to Andus. Getting the operator to actually transfer the call had taken some convincing. The delay lasted for nearly forty seconds while the operator explained the importance of the call and O’Brien waited on a silent line. “Sheriff O’Brien?” the operator finally questioned. “Yes?” “You’re on the line with Mr. Dantinamede,” she said and then disconnected. “Sheriff O’Brien,” Dantinamede immediately greeted. “My secretary says you have an important question to ask.” “Yes, sir,” the Sheriff replied, an unseen smile on his face. “It’s about your private security here at the upcoming gala.” “My private security? Yes?” “Who are they, and what did you hire them to do?” There was a brief pause in the audio-only conversation and O’Brien could almost picture the bemused look on Dantinamede’s face. “Remington Executive Security and I hired them to do what any private security company does, Sheriff O’Brien.” “Who was sent here this time?” “Sent there? What do you mean?” “Someone claiming to be working private security for you showed up at my office today sir, and I want to know if I should pay attention to what he says, or throw him in my jail until his bones turn to dust.” Another pause; Dantinamede must have blinked at the caustic remark. “Who showed up at your office?” As O’Brien had expected, Dantinamede was confused. It looked like Mr. Neufeld’s story was crumbling. “Some man claiming to be Ethan Neufeld from Remington Executive Security,” O’Brien replied. “He says he wants to help me with the security here, in particular, yours. First I wanted to know if you knew anything about Remington Executive Security before I even bothered tracking down information on them.” From the sound of Dantinamede’s voice, he was smiling now. “I’d appreciate it if you allowed him to help you, Sheriff. I wasn’t aware that he had arrived before me, but trust Remington enough not to direct how they perform their jobs.” “All right, Mr Dantinamede,” O’Brien replied, “I need to look into a few other things, mainly to make sure this is a real Neufeld, or a fake, and if Remington actually sent him, or someone else. Just routine things, nothing to be concerned about. I’ll quit taking up your time. Enjoy your trip, and we will see you when you get here.” “Of course; thank you,” Dantinamede replied and hung up. *** Assistant Sheriff O’Brien was waiting when Ethan arrived at the main office. “Okay Mr. Neufeld, I did some poking around and everything seems okay so far,” O’Brien announced. “But before we do anything, tell me what you had planned for this trip.” “I’d like to look at your setup: incident plans, the extent of your resources, patrol routes, the location where guests are staying and, also, the complementary data security you’re offering guests during their stay.” “And I get in return?” “Potentially better data security, enhanced response plan and better asset dispersion,” Ethan replied smoothly. “All right, come with me then, and we’ll take a little walk,” O’Brien gestured and Ethan nodded, falling in step. The tour took the better part of the evening, but was a success and O’Brien appeared to be warming up to the idea -- as much as any honestly political man who encountered someone trespassing on his turf could. Returning to the main office, Ethan informed the Assistant Sheriff of a few initial concerns; including his impression of Emil Senz, citing a possible security hole in lack of investigative questioning on the part of the Customs Officer. They adjourned shortly after 2030, with plans to meet and discuss incident plans in more detail the next day. After a visit to the local Ataraxia Holdings branch and late dinner at a restaurant near his hotel, Ethan began conducting another casual tour of the promenades. He discreetly collected data on the evacuation routes - the routes Sheriff O’Brien hadn’t showed him, given they weren’t near the suites reserved for Dantinamedes or areas set apart for the Gala's events and guests - the district’s structure and traffic. He’d nearly finished scouting level 6 when patrols stepped up and rumors of a bomb threat surfaced. Evacuations were occurring on level 4 and directly above and below the medical clinic there. A murmuring panic set in the locals as a share of the patrons from the levels above filtered down and, predictably, Sheriff O’Brien called. “Ethan,” O’Brien greeted on Ethan’s radio, “It’s Pat. Look, I have a few things I need to ask you about -- have a minute?” “Go ahead.” “Those people you came here with on your pass, how do you know them?” “Not well,” Ethan replied honestly. “We just happened to be on the same transport.” “All of your passes came from Samus,” O’Brien pressed. “I can only assume you must know him to get his pass.” “Yes,” Ethan answered simply, eyes on the moving crowd. “But you don’t know those people very well?” “Honestly didn’t make it a point to become friends,” he said. “I know a few names and random details.” “All right,” O’Brien said, pausing a moment. “The customs thing and those passes were a little confusing. But so you know, those hooligans on that transport are raising all sorts of hell on my station, so you might want to look into things on your end in case of problems.” “Roger that.” “See you tomorrow at breakfast,” O’Brien concluded before hanging up. When you’re dealing with people, the results can be unpredictable. Some assets are easier to persuade and work with than others. But when you hit a snag, it’s always helpful to have an ace up your sleeve, a backup plan, or just plain backup.
  4. Thinking whatever war whoop she feels like making.
  5. And the razz mattered why?
  6. (following sim 04/22/12) When gathering intelligence - unless you’re flying a UAV at fifty-thousand feet, conducting reconnaissance kilometers from your target, or hacking networks from your couch - more often than not you’re dealing with people. The customs officer who thinks he has you figured out: “Name, please?” The question sounded apathetic - unlike the complacence of a retiree-on-duty, the officer gave the impression that he felt too confident in his presumptions to ask the relevant questions. Ethan considered the officer as the other man glanced at his ODRI. “Ethan Neufeld.” “Proceed,” Senz replied, waving Ethan through without reservations. Naturally, Ethan balked. “That’s it?” “Have a pleasant stay in the Gular District,” Senz smiled. Ethan’s expression narrowed in brief scrutiny. Then fishing out a palm-sized tablet from the pocket of his beige sport coat, he jotted a few notes on the screen with a stylus. “Thank you, Officer--” Ethan intentionally paused, glanced at the officer’s name tag and drawled as he finished writing: “E. Senz.” Bit by bit, the officer grew bemused, and maybe even a little uneasy as he witnessed the customer record details that might come back to haunt him. Giving a flat smile, Ethan slipped the tablet back into his coat and fell into an easy stride from the checkpoint. The kid eating ice cream on the corner who stared as you left customs, or the clerk at the information desk you asked for directions: “Can I help you?” “Hi,” Ethan greeted, still smiling as he withdrew from the attention of a charming woman nursing her cappuccino at a nearby cafe. “Yes, directions to the main Sheriff’s Office?” “Sure,” the clerk answered. “The office is on Promenade 1. Go down the hall here and take a right at the next junction; the stairs and lifts will be another two hundred meters on your left. Take a right out of the lift or stairs--” The clerk stalled and smirked, convinced by a stream of gestures that Ethan would likely get lost within seconds of leaving the desk. “Here, I have a map,” the clerk offered and pulled a pamphlet from the rack. The clerk described and traced a neat path in red ink before passing it to Ethan. “Have a pleasant stay in Gular.” “Thanks.” Ethan smiled and strolled away, winking at a towheaded seven-year-old as he crunched down the last of his ice cream cone. Only after he had entered the stairwell, did Ethan tuck the prop and valuable intel away in his coat pocket. And the Assistant Sheriff of the local law enforcement bureau: “Sheriff O’Brien, Ethan Neufeld,” he greeted as the official took his outstretched hand. “Remington Executive Security.” “Mr. Neufeld,” the Assistant Sheriff replied as they finished shaking hands. “To what do I owe your visit?” “Colton Dantinamede,” Ethan answered simply and received a shocked but predictably dubious look. You won’t get anywhere without dealing with people and odds are someone will remember you. You can’t control who and sometimes they'll remember the things you want them to forget. If they’re the type to hold it against you that can be a bad thing. But being memorable can also have its advantages. The key is knowing how to sell what you want people to remember.
  7. Scooter. For the cerebral chuckle.
  8. Angered by a video message from WhiteWhale, the Captain of the Pequot drifts into on-coming shipping lanes while texting: i st4b @ th33!
  9. The door opened with a soft click. Grimacing and pale with a trace of perspiration beading in his hairline, Ethan hesitated. He stood in the hatchway for a long minute, forearm braced on the bulkhead, steadying hand on the latch, head bowed and jaw clenched as he willed down another wave of nausea. It’d been close when he left the Qob’s bridge, at the limit of his ability to choke back the bile. He’d sprinted the last few meters from the infirmary’s entrance to the head in the end, barely hooking the hatch closed behind him with his foot. Three weeks from Zoalus, he still looked like he’d seen better days with the fading yellow of old bruises and discoloration of healed scrapes. The doctors had prescribed six weeks of physical recovery before he engaged in strenuous activities. Roughly two weeks had elapsed since they’d released Ethan from the infirmary and the Qob left Xorax. Four remained and he chafed to move beyond the light work and return to his old routines. But that was just for the acute knife wound to his abdomen and other serious lacerations. He’d heal from the penetrating trauma. The doctors were more concerned about the lingering infection the Motoroils had left behind. Full recovery hinged on how he responded to the treatment. An unpronounceable concoction that, like ancient therapies, could be as toxic to him as it was to the microbes, and often left Ethan fatigued and nauseous. It didn’t matter what he ate or when. Episodes of vomiting would hit him every three or four days and lasted nearly as long. The spells triggered painful muscle spasms that exacerbated a healing wound and left him dehydrated and hungry. Nothing stayed down. Pulling a bottle of Ondansteron from the medicine cabinet that Chris had set aside, Ethan poured an 8mg dosage and sipped at it. Once they’d begun treating him for nausea and when he could keep the medicine down long enough, the most he could tolerate was ginger tea and water. Something was better than nothing. “Captain," Ethan greeted the footsteps and closed the cabinet. As he entered the infirmary, Joe was still locking one of the buckles of his field belt, a contraption with a number of pouches that hung one strap over the shoulder and wrapped another around the waist. "I hope you feel better than you look," he said, looking Ethan over at the medicine cabinet. Ethan turned and gingerly downed the last of the oral solution, tossing the medicinal cup in the trash. “Might in a minute,” he assured and sounded anything but convincing. "There's been some scuttlebutt around the crew about you storming away from a group chat. At least, that's the way Pher may'a seen it. It sure looks you had other reasons to be in the infirmary," Joe remarked with a grin. “Mm,” he voiced and preventively swallowed, adding a hint of nonchalance as he gave a subtle smile. "Not sure what's goin' on 'tween you and Pher. Pher generally don't have too much trouble makin' friendly with us menfolk. Women? The competition? That's a different matter. But the men to her are like bartenders to an old drunk like me. Can't help but make nice with them knowin' that they're providin' what you need. She avoids hostility so much, that I sometimes think it a bit naive in this corner of the galaxy. You seem to have touched a nerve with her, though. And I sense that she ain't your favorite person either, which might be even harder to believe.” Joe paused briefly as Ethan moved away from the counter and sat on the nearest bed. "You gotta understand, Ethan, Pher's gonna do things her way and you're gonna do things yours. I've worked with Pher for over two years now. Most of the times I like the effect she has on others. She's lead a smooth operation in security since she took the department over. And she made as smooth an operation out a tenuous position as she could back on New Risa. I put her in charge because I trust her to get things done her way -- that means with patience and a minimum of fuss. She's the anti-me, which makes her the best complement. With the motley crew we've put together over the last two months, she's the smooth touch that I need to go along with my harsh voice. "I know you got no reason to do anything that I ask, that you feel like I'm the bad guy. But I've given you assurances about that vial of yours and I still plan to see them through. While I'm working on that, I'd appreciate a small concession in return -- don't get into any arguments with my crew. They get into enough arguments with each other that I've got my work cut out tryin' to smoothen things between them. If you want to volunteer the kind of advice that security firm experts can offer, I welcome it and appreciate it. But keep the critical eye turned inward. I learned long ago that that's the best direction to point it if you want it to do any real good." “Fair enough,” Ethan responded minimally and laid down, quietly grunting at the strain. "I know if Chris had it his way, you'd be laid up for the next month. He tends to be a bit on the overcautious side with his patients, while I've always been a bit more of a 'grit it out' type of doctor. I've looked over your charts, so to speak; you'll be just fine as long as you don't strain yourself for the next week or two. But it's advice one way or the other; since you ain't on the crew, you can take it or leave it as you please. "If you're willing, though, I'd sure like to make use of your skills with some light work over in the Gular neighborhood. It'll take a day or two for me to look into some of the things you told me about the vial; not much for you to do in the meantime. And I'd certainly be willing to share some of the pay with you when we deliver the intel Samus is after. Think you'd be willing to get involved in this?" Ethan pushed to his elbows with a mild cringe and looked at Joe. “I’ll do what I can. What exactly do you need?”
  10. ::comm:: +Bridge+ Pher, Ethan. Thinking I might be laid up in sickbay here on the ship for awhile. Why don't you let me monitor comm traffic and compile all the intel we get into a working mission profile. Have experience in it and it's something I can do from here.
  11. You sought our input and got it - more than it sounds like you wanted from some of us. We're waiting for a leader in return. There's a point when a team needs you to give them direction. Now's the time. If you don't step up to the job, the team'll break down into doing their own thing and really leave you to do it yourself; or someone else will step up and they might not run the show how you like it. Team needs a leader and a leader needs a team. ::cringes a bit as he stands from an unmanned station:: Captain, if you don't mind, I'm gonna go check into sickbay. If you figure it out and honestly need me, let me know. ::quietly exits::
  12. ::subtly smirks again, looking amused; but the look fades before he speaks:: Do whatever you need me to do. ::glances at watch::
  13. ::smirks, evidently unable to disagree with Byblos's option 'B' and showing a hint of envy for his dramatic exit::
  14. Honestly think you've already got the answer to that question. You have a vague idea of what you're looking for: intel on these ships, why they're being built. But you're missing other vital pieces of data: who specifically is involved and has the info we want; where that info and the ships are or will be; when they'll be there; and how you're going to get it. That's what you need to talk about your endgame. Yeah, shop keepers aren't likely to have that info. But they might know the routines of Gular maintenance and security teams. They might know some of the Gular's security measures. They might know the habits of Gular execs. They might notice unusual traffic. They might reveal local sentiments. Observing Gular security might give you a rough estimate of numbers, patterns, the type of people they employ and what they're carrying. Observing Gular business offices might give you an idea of who they're doing business with and when. Observing can give you points of ingress and egress, and more. The kind of info that can be followed up on and exploited, will open options for more aggressive tactics in the next stages, and steer you toward your endgame. Everything you've suggested is info you should attempt to gather or know in the first stage. You should be able to learn some of it through observation without attracting a lot of attention. Guess I took for granted that what or how didn't need to be coached. I'm used to working with people who've done this sort of thing before. At any rate, it's a good practice to consider all the possibilities, anticipate contingencies. But consider that higher risk options are just that. Employ them too soon and with insane luck, they might succeed. If they fail? You've tipped the Gular off and there won't be a second chance because, now, they're expecting it. That and your endgame aren't even questions I'd try answer or dwell on this soon. The more you do, the more you'll stall. You can't predict where your intel will lead at this point. You could be looking at anything from simple recon to the extraction of a VIP or, maybe, an HVT. Keep It Simple, keep it focused: you want info on those ships. That's your objective. There'll be opportunities to regroup later and consider your next move, when you've a better fix on the scope of your mission. The question right now isn't how you're gonna make the final throw or even the halftime goal, but how you're going to begin the game.