“Let’s be honest with ourselves, Jeff. They are allowing you the illusion of being ‘in charge’ because we made sure the world knew you discovered it. It would cause an uproar if you ceased to make the media progress reports. You are just the ‘official spokesman’. They think as long as you have those news conferences to fluff your ego, you’ll be satisfied with the one-sided partnership and not rock the boat.
We’ve got to work independently of them. You can’t really hope for a two-way relationship with Uncle Sam. ‘He’ sees us as being on a ‘need to know’ basis. I did some checking and it looks like they have a back door into our email server. The number of messages we receive to the server doesn’t match the number we are actually getting in our mailboxes. I can only assume they are scanning our mail and deleting any requests for more information. It’s about time we set up an independent, secure server and took back our privacy.”
Only a few days after Bill set up their independent server, the amount of messages they received more than doubled. Each message was also routed to their public account but a large portion of them failed to make it through. An analysis and comparison of the ‘missing’ emails pointed to a deliberate conspiracy to censor their worldwide correspondence. Instead of revealing their hand and confronting the N.S.A.; they pretended everything was normal.
An impressive list of language experts and code breakers were contacting them and offering their services. Obviously the N.S.A. didn’t trust any foreign nationals to be loyal to American interests. They were deleting ‘undesirable’ correspondence before it had a chance to reach them. From this backdoor list of retrieved messages, Jeff and Bill were able to assemble an impressive code breaking team.
Placed as the head of the covert cryptology unit was a brilliant young man named Chu Chun from Taiwan. Chu had a way of thinking outside the box that had proven invaluable in cracking sophisticated mathematical algorithms. Bill and Jeff felt he was the perfect choice to ‘think outside the enigma’. Meanwhile, the official government team assigned a single inscription to each agent. None of their operatives were to be ‘distracted’ by the details of other inscriptions. Dr. Baxter felt intellectual isolation was counterproductive to the benefits of collaboration but he left them to their methods.
One of the first things that Chu did was to look at all the inscriptions as a whole message. He felt that it was a giant puzzle to be unlocked and that all of the pieces were necessary to understand it. Almost immediately, he noticed a geometric pattern to the inscription clusters which had apparently went undetected by the government team. Bill suspected that they were shielding Jeff from their findings anyway because officially they had made little progress.
“I recognize isometric patterns in the inscription clusters but there is something missing. There has to be at least one more of them.”; Chu stated. “By my calculations, it should be near the end point of the marquis shape. Is it possible that the sand or digging equipment has eroded or worn it off?”
“I don’t think so, Chu.”; Bill reasoned. “Look how unaffected all the other inscriptions are. It seems unlikely that one would be worn off while all the others are in perfect condition. Maybe we should enlist UV light to look for the missing one.”
Dr. Baxter smiled. “That’s a very good idea! Maybe we can do some ‘recon’ tonight with a UV light from the lab.”