Ever and Always
Chapter 25: The Farm April 2024
Copyright© 2015 by Banadin
It took longer than he had thought, but Rick was ready to return to The Farm to establish its strengths and weaknesses, to find out what its real manning was and what its military capabilities were.
Ricks investigation led him to check out their web site. They made no bones about it; they were building a force to control the local area if the United States government fell. If it didn't fall, then they would take no action.
From the comments made by the site's visitors, and the blog run by the Major; Rick wanted no part of their plans. He spent a lot of time looking at topology maps of the region. He had identified a small pass through the mountain that backed up to the Farm. He was considering the logistics of getting there when he hit himself on the forehead.
If going through that pass was the back entrance to the Farm, then the Major would have it under surveillance. As soon as he thought that, it occurred to him that others like the FBI might be watching also.
From there he made the leap that the new technology he had been reading about might be in use. An aerostat balloon kept on station would keep track of a large area. It would hold all the infrared devices and light enhancers needed and would broadcast them to a ground crew.
It would be almost automatic with computers separating out false-positive alarms like deer crossing a trail. Only when there was real human movement would anyone have to review the data. A simple check on the FAA's website for the NOTAMS for the Tennessee Region showed a notice about a 'weather' balloon stationed at ten thousand feet above the Farm.
It didn't matter to Rick if the balloon was spying on the Farm or looking for intruders. It was an obstacle that had to be avoided. It also showed that whatever was going on was very high level.
Now how to go into an area that was under continuous automatic surveillance day and night? He would need to hide his heat signature, also be camouflaged from the air and ground. It would be a slow and arduous approach. His movement would have to be at night. It would help if it were during a period of heavy rain.
This would help hide heat and make his movement harder to detect. With branches and rain, blowing everywhere no pattern interpretation software would catch him if his movements were random enough.
Then a horrid thought occurred to him, what if besides the aerial surveillance, they had cameras on the ground? They were so small these days you would never see them. One man without professional support couldn't do it.
It was a shame he couldn't tap into the feed from the aerostat. Even if he could it would be encrypted. He wasn't even certain which agency was receiving the intelligence take.
The FAA website showed the aerostat belonged to Homeland Security. He reached a dead end after that. He had no way of knowing where the satellite uplink was feeding much less a way to get into the facility.
He expressed his frustration over this dead end to Marsha. It would really be easier if he could get someone else to do the work.
Marsha said, "Rick there may be a way to find out more about the satellite feed. I remember a story from a neighbor who did quality audits to the ISO 9001 standards. He had audited a place that bought satellite band width for the government. The government is required to put out everything to bid.
She continued, "But it is too much to bid on immediate needs, like communication bandwidth. The government let companies bid on the right to place all the bandwidth requests. An agency would contact this company, and they would then find the least-expensive commercial satellite time available for that uplink and downlink."
"So that means I have to find the company that won the right to provide communications. Then establish who they gave the order to; and also find out where the downlink went. Then penetrate the agency that was receiving the feed."
"That's right Rick," she replied.
"I have a headache all of a sudden," Rick said.
"And I have just the cure," Marsha replied, as she tugged him in the direction of their bedroom.
The next-day Rick was having his morning coffee when a light bulb went off. He checked the Homeland Security Web site. There they proudly told how they were keeping America safe by spying on Americans. One of their projects involved an Aerostat stationed in the Tennessee Valley for the FBI.
"It can't be this easy, can it?" thought Rick. His next stop was the FBI website to look at where their infrastructure was located. He found that the Washington field office is where all satellite communications were sent. This wasn't the headquarters but still the second largest FBI center.
However, he doubted that the take was evaluated there. He found out there was a resident field office in Chattanooga. This was the office he had talked to. He bet it would be going there, but how to access it?
He decided to check out the field office on Chestnut Street in Chattanooga. It turned out to be in an office building on the fifth floor. Since he wasn't a cat burglar, or for that matter, any sort of a burglar, there was no way he could get inside by breaking in. As far as a Mission Impossible scenario it wasn't on the books.
Brain storming with Marsha, they came up with trying to get at the backup disc for the satellite take. That idea went nowhere real quick. First of all, they wouldn't be backed up in Chattanooga, but at Washington, or some Homeland Security site. Even if they could get at them what software would be needed to run it?
In their session, Marsha asked, "Rick, remind me what is the objective?"
"The ultimate objective is to prevent the Major from taking over this area if things go bad."
"And you are going to do this how?"
"I would destroy his weapon stock pile."
"How are you going to destroy it?"
"With explosives of course, where are you going with this Marsha?"
So you want to scout the place to find out so later you can go back and blow his stuff up?"
"Yes," replied Rick.
"But you know where he keeps his weapons, he showed you the building that contains the armory and his technical trucks," she inquired.
"Yes I do but I have to be able to get in to plant the explosives."
Why not just bomb the place?"
"Uh, I don't have a bomber?"
"Rick, think for a minute, things have changed, how hard would it be to obtain a Drone that could deliver several hundred pounds?"
Rick got a stunned look on his face. He then grabbed Marsha and gave her hug and a kiss. The hug and kiss went on and on, and the outcome was predictable. For some reason, as time went on their love life was getting more frequent and passionate, not like the monthly get-together of most almost ninety year olds.