Skills Beget Skills
Managed IT services in San Francisco can lead to many surprising places, something Mark was quickly finding out. He had managed to follow Drake Bannon to half a dozen clubs. The man always left the Brother Corporation offices at about 8 PM. He would walk practically any direction— Mark had yet to identify a pattern, and expected it was a subconscious tactic Drake was employing, or perhaps a protocol for whatever his “Orb” duties were. It had gotten to the point where Mark was becoming quickly frustrated. He didn’t understand how the man kept catching him playing tail. Worse, he didn’t understand how the man kept eluding him.
Three Fridays into the tailing, Mark had a breakthrough at a bar just a few blocks down from his own headquarters for managed IT services in San Francisco. He could actually see his building from the bar’s back patio. And it was, by chance, a bar Drake had visited three or four times over the last week. On the sly, Mark hacked into the surveillance system of the restaurant, and could monitor all feeds on his smartphone simultaneously. He’d find out where Drake went this time.
Mark waited in an alley, watched the back entrance, and monitored the other three with cameras on them. It was chaotic inside. Some kind of bachelorette party had merged with a post-hazing sorority shot-fest; meanwhile while a fraternity had gotten wind of it and were feeding the crazed she-beasts far too much tequila. DJ Dubstep, or someone who should have been named as much, had no concept of treble or melody, and nobody in the establishment cared. It was hard to watch the exits.
Mark thought he’d missed Drake’s exit in the cacophony of sound making a kaleidoscope of the revelers, but he had set his smartphone to store the feeds from the moment he noticed Drake’s entry, until the present time. Mark waited five hours, and then it was closing time, and everybody went home; so Mark did too, and instead of following Drake the following night, he returned to the club. He had watched all the surveillance, and though he could find evidence of Drake entering the club, he could find no evidence of him leaving it.
A Door Into… Somewhere, Likely Not Narnia
Mark made up a cover story and gained entry to the club prior operating hours. He knocked on the open door and a bartender said: “Whaddaya want?”
“Hi, I’m Mark with OneClick Solutions Group. We’re a local provider of managed IT services in San Francisco offering:
• Backup and Data Recovery
• Managed IT Services at a Flat Fee
• Business Continuity Planning
• Cloud Computing
…and more. I came here to run a systems check on your surveillance system. Our logs read you got hacked yesterday.”
“I didn’t hear about no IT test.”
“Well call your guy, he’ll tell you you’ve been hacked.” So the bartender did that, and found evidence of Mark’s previous hacking, so he let him roam the club at leisure. After finding all the cameras, Mark discovered the only completely surveillance-free area was the restrooms. He searched them thoroughly, and was about to give up— bewildered— when he punched a wall in the last stall of the Men’s room. It turned sideways… a secret door.