Date: 4 Monday February 2041ce 1440z
Location: Last World Citadel, Louisville, Kentucky (-0500)
The second half of Shannon’s routine began with a shower.
Then, dressed in a lighter athletic uniform (same as Citadel Security wore without militia insignia), she performed a series of yoga stretches.
Once done, normally, she would change into the uniform designed by her (far more fashionably aware) classmate, Melissa.
Instead, she decided to remain in the athletic clothes as she departed her quarters and rode the elevator down to Citadel’s third lower level.
Originally designed as a bunker, it could still serve as one, even being stocked with provisions should Kentucky or Illinois fall to the star spawned. However, that original intent was now trimmed to nearly a quarter of the occupancy, much of the space taken up by the rows of hardware and cooling apparatus that made up a quantum server.
At the heart of the bunker, a room regarded as the Communications Center; Here, the privately-owned processor was able to siphon data from QuantumNet through a FaithNet gateway disguised as an old-style digital connection used to access an archive server.
For the secularists’ inevitable fall.
When that came, the outside network (including FaithNet) would likely fail, leaving Citadel and the Faithful with only this system.
She stood before one of the substations, contemplating the moment of irony.
I’m using this machine to find the person best able to use this machine.
It was a recurring thought that ritualized the start of this task, performed nearly every morning since Evan’s disappearance.
If her grandfather paid any real attention to security at Citadel, and she had little doubt that he did, then he was certainly aware by now of her use of their network to search for traces of Evan. In doing so, she learned that the supposedly hack-proofed quantum servers had proven to be as effective as advertised. When the federalists built their trans-national quantum network, everything was upgraded.
Now, her best sources of information were from pre-Invasion facial and voice recognition software running on data acquired from locations still running digital systems linked to the network. That made it near-useless within any state or territory fully converted to the quantum networks, though digital sources like Iridium and Old File were an open book.
A rapidly diminishing resource…
She knew there was no blaming her education for the shortcoming; At the time, what she learned about breaking through and exploiting network security stations had been based on decades of experience obtained by engineers and coders alike. Even with those systems now overseen by quantum processors, the methods were still good enough to manipulate the digital information to ‘lie’ about its nature and origin. It had been two years since construction of the core quantum network was completed, and every state had transitioned to the new hardware well before her graduation by Federal mandate and funded by tax-theft.
Now, all she could do was review footage from out-of-date locations, while simultaneously casting a net across the last meaningful digital networks for video feeds originating from a non-quantum location.
Shannon remained sitting upright while the server began producing the last twenty-four hours of gathered surveillance.
Evan is the only one of us who really understands how this machine worked…
Shannon felt comfortable with the basics of quantum computing, but her wayward classmate had a skill using them that she could only describe as eloquent. The engineering and technicians had often stated that quantum programming required a new way of thinking about data, and Evan seemed to manage it.
Certainly well enough to keep himself hidden from it.