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The Anger of a God-King
Topic Started: Dec 28 2016, 01:51 AM (337 Views)
Pharaoh
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The man known as Pharaoh looked at the report in front of him, reading it through again. Outwardly he appeared calm, but there was a palpable tension in his office. His staff stood in their usual places and tried their best not to draw his attention to them. The two employees who had brought him the report in the first place had dropped to their knees in fear. He left them there, quivering and near to wetting themselves, as he read the same words that had been there the first time. Pharaoh had been known to dispose of messengers before, but in this case it would serve no purpose. He wasn't a wasteful man, and killing even one of this pair would be a waste. There was no need to let them know that, however, and he simply didn't care enough to let them know that. Let them wallow in fear a little longer, and count themselves lucky they didn't meet the same fate as so many of their predecessors.

"Find out who was on watch this day. I want to see them in my office within the hour even if they have to be carried here like sacks of grain" he said. "And get me Herod." His voice was soft, but echoed loudly in the near silence of the office. Pharaoh had no need to add a 'now' to his command. Such was the edge in his voice that everyone scrambled to be the first through the door to carry out those orders. They all knew the price of failure, and none wanted to risk having to pay it... or watching someone they loved pay it, if the individual who failed was too valuable to pay that price themselves. When the brief scuffle had ended and he was alone in his office again, he leaned back in his chair to contemplate the information that had come to his attention.

Someone had been poking their nose in where it didn't belong, and stealing information that wasn't theirs. Pharaoh would find out how this had happened, and ensure it could never happen again. Then he would deal with the one... or ones... who had dared even think about doing what they had done. No one trespassed in his territory and went unpunished. No one.
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Herod
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Herod arrived as timely as he could, after all he was worlds away. Pharaoh's people scattered like bugs when he entered the "Tomb."

"I heard you had a situation and since you asked for me, I am assuming that your Sternguard security agents aren't quite up to the par," he said as he poured himself a drink. "So what are we looking at? Be specific because I need to know who needs to be on point in the field."

He turned and faced Pharaoh, who was throwing off enough tension to freak out most of the civilians in the area.

"That bad, huh?"

He downed his drink and stepped forward.

"Out with it. Who do I need to kill?"
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Pharaoh
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It had been days since The Incident had come to his attention. Pharaoh was still every bit as pissed off as he had been that first day. He had, however, managed to extract at least some of the information he was after. The process had been slow, but he had eventually gotten The Incident narrowed down to a particular timeframe, and was able to use that to narrow down the number of people he needed to interrogate about it. Even so, he was a thorough and meticulous man, and had gone ahead and questioned everyone about it. Those who clearly knew nothing were sent away. Little by little, he was able to pick out bits and pieces of useful information and assemble the pieces into a whole picture. Or near enough to whole, at least. By the time Herod arrived, Pharaoh had details to give his cohort.

"I do, and I did. And you assume correctly" he replied upon the man's entrance. Pharaoh had known exactly where Herod was, and exactly how long it ought to take him to arrive, with a certain margin for error to account for unexpected things such as vehicle malfunctions or the idiocy of underlings. He was a patient man, and knew how to wait... within reason. "What we're looking at is someone stealing information that isn't theirs to take" he half growled, glowering at the 'Verse in general as he walked over to his wall safe to retrieve the documents he needed. Pharaoh kept things of this nature in hardcopy rather than computerized form. He worked the locks on the safe and waited for the soft hiss as the seals released. Once it was open, he rifled through the contents a moment and pulled out what he needed.

Closing and relocking the safe, he returned to his desk and dropped the files on its polished surface. "Someone managed to hack into my computer system. They found a back door my programmers left for their own use, and worked out how to open it" he began. Programmers often did such things so they could get in and do maintenance should they get locked out in other ways. Pharaoh couldn't exactly punish them for that since the logic was sound. He could... and had... ordered them to delete that particular door. He allowed them to retain the others, on the condition they tighten security levels on them. It would have been foolish to insist they all be deleted, even if such a thing was possible to begin with. "Since I requested your presence, I have managed to put together this file regarding The Incident. The intruder found their way into information regarding... my pet project" he continued, knowing Herod would understand exactly which project he was talking about. "This is every scrap of information about the individual, the people they know, their medical and general life history, how they managed to stumble across their entry point, the information they copied down. Anything you could possibly want to know, down to their clothing and shoe sizes and what sort of underwear they prefer."

Pharaoh slid the file over to Herod to look over and went to get his own drink. He had heard the other man getting one for himself while he had been at the safe, and... frankly... was fine with it. It wasn't as though any of them would be foolish enough to try to poison or otherwise kill one of the others, so he wasn't worried about the alcohol or glasses being tampered with. Speaking for himself, he had safeguards in place so that if anything 'unexpected' or 'accidental' happened that ended his life or put him in a coma or any other such thing, information would be leaked to the public revealing everything. No doubt the others had similar safeguards in place for themselves, too. They would be stupid not to, given their... activities. Besides, none of them could do what they did without the others to aid and abet. For better or worse, they were stuck with each other for the long haul. Taking a seat and making himself comfortable, he looked over at his compatriot.

"I don't want the perpetrator themselves killed. Not yet, anyway. And when the time comes, not quickly or painlessly" he continued, smiling faintly. It wasn't a pleasant smile. "No, I have something else in mind. We're going to play a little game instead." He paused and reached over to flip to a certain page of the file. "I want this individual found and brought to me. And I want proof that this person has been brought into my... tender care... sent to my little intruder." Not being one to waste potential resources, Pharaoh first wanted to see if he could get his intruder to agree to work for him. He would have been stupid not to recognize the person's capabilities, and the benefit to him if they could be brought under his own control. The 'guest' he wanted would be leverage towards that end. And that was just the first portion of his plan. There were oh so many other parts to it, each one having contingencies and the contingencies having contingencies.
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Herod
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Herod listened intently as Pharaoh began relaying the information he gathered so far.

"I do, and I did. And you assume correctly" "What we're looking at is someone stealing information that isn't theirs to take"

So yes... Retribution was needed. Thievery of any sort, especially on their level was egregious and would not be tolerated.

"Someone managed to hack into my computer system. They found a back door my programmers left for their own use, and worked out how to open it"

So this person was very, very clever. A hacker of some skill.

"Since I requested your presence, I have managed to put together this file regarding The Incident. The intruder found their way into information regarding... my pet project"

Herod's eyebrows rose in surprise. He knew what Herod's pet project was and that meant that the hacker involved was extremely skilled.

"This is every scrap of information about the individual, the people they know, their medical and general life history, how they managed to stumble across their entry point, the information they copied down. Anything you could possibly want to know, down to their clothing and shoe sizes and what sort of underwear they prefer."

Herod took the file that Pharaoh gave him, but his brow furrowed. Something wasn't right. IF Pharaoh was able to run down everything about the person in just the short amount of time it took for him to arrive, the person would have to be as stupid as they were talented. Someone who could break through all the encryption that surrounded the Chamber would not likely be one who would leave a trail leading right back to them. That would be a death sentence.

"I don't want the perpetrator themselves killed. Not yet, anyway. And when the time comes, not quickly or painlessly" "No, I have something else in mind. We're going to play a little game instead."

A game? Herod liked games. They broke up the tedium that usually accompanied their work.

"I want this individual found and brought to me. And I want proof that this person has been brought into my... tender care... sent to my little intruder."

Ahhh... So Pharoah didn't think that the person he had information on wasn't exactly the brain behind the hack.

"So were to use this person to get to the next person in line? Make it look like they are receiving praise beyond their wildest expectations?" he asked with a smile. "Sooner or later, we will need a tracker. Someone to get to these people and then bring them in. I know just who to send. He is my best tracker. If there is someone to find, he will do it."

Herod whipped out his CorPad and waved the person he wanted. As their face came on screen, he spoke.

"Nim... I have a job for you and I see you are not far from here," he ordered. "Get to this location immediately. We need to expedite this quickly."

"Yes, Sir," Nim responded.

Herod cut the wave and turned back to Pharaoh.

"He'll be here shortly, then we can get this on the road and recover your data."
Edited by Herod, Jan 23 2017, 02:07 PM.
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Nim
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If you call me Nimrod, I will hurt you.
When he arrived, he was ushered into Pharaoh's domain quickly. He saw that Herod was still there and gave a nod to his boss as a greeting.

"Who do you need me to find?" he simply asked as he got a drink. "And how fast do you need them found?"

Herod crossed over and gave him the file he had started on the information that Pharaoh had given him. As soon as he read it, his eyes flashed up to Herod and then to Pharaoh.

"This is the information that was stolen?" he asked. This was big. Very big. "And you think this was the person who took it?"

Nim shrugged.

"Doesn't seem the smart type, especially if they got tagged in the process."

He knew he was stating the obvious.

"So maybe the buyer then?"

Herod smiled. Nim was one of his brightest. A true asset.

"So what is my directive if I find them?" he asked Herod. When it came to orders, he only took them from one person and it was not Pharaoh.

Herod's eyes locked with his.

"Contact me when you have found the target. We'll be bringing them in under the auspices of a fortunate event befalling them," Herod explained as his lips curled up in a grin. "It's a game, Nimrod. Perhaps a true challenge for you, my son."

Nim stiffened a bit at Herod calling him his full name, but he didn't get angry. Herod was the only one he allowed that indulgence. After a moment, Nim got his CorPad out and was running the statistics on the time probably needed to complete this part of the job given the information he had at the moment. Nim indeed liked a challenge and if he could beat the deadline estimated, it would be even more fun. After all, tracking had become quite boring the last couple of years. A challenge got his blood pumping.

So he was eager to start. After all, the clock was ticking.
Edited by Nim, Feb 11 2017, 05:20 PM.
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Nim
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If you call me Nimrod, I will hurt you.
A Week Later

It didn't take him long to find Desmond Lin, it was almost ludicrous the speed at which Nim succeeded. The part that took seemingly forever was trying to get the horrifically twitchy and paranoid guy to trust him.

It was tedious. But Nim got it done.

Now he was bringing the guy to see Pharaoh under the auspices that the man would be more than willing to help Desmond get the word out about the things Pharaoh had been up to.

Paying the man handsomely for such information too. It seemed as if Desmond was freaked out enough that he wanted a big payoff, then he was going to liquidate his extensive assets (the man was reasonably well off), convert it to physical coin and leave the smallest (or none) electronic footprint as possible.

He was scared and had every right to be. Especially since Nim knew that things would not end well for Desmond.

Not at all.

"Sir? This is the man I told you about? The one that had definite information that the government was into something very serious and what they are doing is not at all nice," Nim said to Pharaoh, turning on the believability factor. "As you will hear, something definitely needs done and I think you could be the one to help get this information on to the people who could do the most with it."

As in, getting the info out of the hands of those pesky conspiracy nuts and back under wraps so that Pharaoh can get back to work.
Edited by Nim, Apr 5 2017, 11:35 PM.
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Desmond Lin
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Desmond didn't know how he got talked into meeting someone about what he knew, but Nim was very supportive. He thought and believed in the same way that he did. And this was so big, that the story needed to be told and told to a lot of people. The most people possible.

So when Nim mentioned a man he knew, one that had contacts with the media and who was quite open to getting the word out about this atrocity, he was interested. When Nim said the guy would be willing to pay and he could get himself set up somewhere out of the way, he was more interested. This was big and disappearing was something he really, really wanted to do. He had already converted a good amount of his worth into platinum. It just sucked that it weighed so much, but when he got to where he wanted to go, he could hide it, even if he had to bury it.

"Sir? This is the man I told you about? The one that had definite information that the government was into something very serious and what they are doing is not at all nice," "As you will hear, something definitely needs done and I think you could be the one to help get this information on to the people who could do the most with it."

Desmond perked up a little, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He reached out to shake his benefactor's hand.

"I am Desmond Lin," he said somewhat smugly. "I have the most disturbing story to share."

He looked around a little.

"Do you have my coin?" he asked. "I want to get gone as soon as possible. Thank you for your generosity in helping me do so."
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Pharaoh
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Despite the ridiculousness of the man's name... and the fact that he had had to exert more effort than he liked in order to not laugh after hearing the full thing... Pharaoh had no doubts about the tracker Nim's abilities. If Herod said he was the best, then he was the best. Despite the precautions Pharaoh had taken to protect himself from his cohorts on a personal level, when it came to their mutual work, they could at least mostly trust each other implicitly. After all, what effected one would effect them all and even more importantly put their work in jeopardy which was something that could not be allowed.

He had ensured Nim had full access to the file he had put together so far, and had done what he could to smooth the way for the next phase of the game. Pharaoh wasn't stupid. He knew full well that the first confirmed identity that came up in his search wasn't likely to be working alone. As much as he had to... however grudgingly... admire the sheer balls and skill both it took to hack into his computer database, there were only two ways this could play out. The individual might have done it just to prove they could without taking anything and might be of the sort that could be convinced to work for him, or they had stolen information from him and thus would have to be dealt with in other ways. Unfortunately, the further he investigated, the more things had gone to the latter side of the scale. It would be a shame to waste such skill, but there was no help for it.

So he waited patiently, waiting eagerly for word of progress but not yet at a point where he needed to begin to apply pressure. That wouldn't come until much later. He was a man who understood that certain things simply took time if they were to be done properly and he could be as patient as was needful to ensure that things were done properly. Even his patience had its limits, but for certain things... especially things of this delicate nature... those limits took a long time to be reached. It was enough for him to know the problem was being worked on. Better to go slowly and get it done right than to hurry and end up botching it.

Sooner than he had dared hope, the plan he had worked out with Nim and Herod bore fruit. The waiting was done for now, and the fun could begin.

"Ah, yes. Of course" he replied smoothly, bringing the full force of his charisma to bear. He gave Nim a small nod of acknowledgement. Then he turned his gaze to the man Nim had brought in. "It is refreshing to meet another of like mind on... certain matters" he continued. "And it's a pleasure to meet you, Mr Lin" he said, reaching over and gripping the man's hand in a way that was firm but also conveyed warmth, friendliness, and a sort of familiarity, as if they were both members of the same brotherhood. "My associate here has told me as much."

With a solemnity appropriate to the gravity of the situation, Pharaoh pulled a nondescript case from under his desk. "Coin, as well as paper money of small enough denominations that it will not draw unwelcome attention" he answered, opening it to reveal it was half coin and half paper money. "It was necessary to divide it between the two types of currency, or this case wouldn't be able to be carried without a visible struggle, which would draw attention in and of itself." The money was entirely real. Not one single coin or paper note was counterfeit in any way. Pharaoh had found that deception went down easier when it was based on as much truth as possible. Besides, not only had it been no hardship to put together the funds as the amount was barely a drop in the ocean compared to what he had access to, he had no intention of parting with the contents of this case long term. He slid the case over so Desmond could get a look at the money, and handle it as much as he needed to ease his mind.

"You are most welcome. I understand your hurry, and if I were in your position I would want to be away as soon as possible too. I have the resources to help you. Therefore, it is my duty to do so" he said, smiling slightly. The expression was carefully calculated to show seriousness, but also sincerity and something that was almost the sort of affection one would have for a sibling or close friend. "Now, before we begin, would either of you like some refreshments? A drink? Something to eat?" he offered, gesturing to the small sideboard he had in his office that was stocked with a small selection of drinks both alcoholic and not, and some small finger foods.

Maybe that was laying things on a bit thick, but in his experience most people became more relaxed when offered something to eat, drink, or both. Even if it was something as simple as a bit of water and some crackers. It was a useful trick to lull people into a sense of security, an unconscious sense of belonging, of fraternity. He supposed they assumed that if someone was going to harm you they didn't go to the trouble of feeding you or giving you something to drink. In this case, that was only true of one of these men. Sometimes he truly loved being who he was.
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