Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1904530-The-Warning-Call
Rated: E · Other · Mystery · #1904530
The caller warns the professor about the algorithm he's about to finish tonight.
he clock on the wall striked 3'O Clock, and the professor was still awake. He had to figure it out. The algorithm had to be simple, fast, easy to process, yet secure enough that nobody could throw up millions of possible passwords and crack it up. He could be inspired from the DES, or the AES, or intuitive RSA. Over a hundred pages of handwritten notes submitted by his student Arnav lie scattered on the table. There were thirteen variations of the algorithm that Arnav had suggested. But which one was foolproof?

He'd stare at one page, and then another, and then come back to the first one. Write some comments on them and scribble over them so much that what was originally written would be barely visible. Just then his phone rang.

Professor knew that it was him again. The caller had never told his identity. Everytime his call would seem to be coming up from a new number.

Just as the professor presses Accept button, the voice came.
"Good morning Professor. Seems your researchers are doing the job pretty well. Should I assume that the black box you are about to build can't be broken?"
A pause followed. The professor wasn't sure of how to respond. He could hang the call up. He could shout at the caller. Or he could just give a reply. But he chose to stay silent.

"So, here's the update for you. All those algorithms you have on your papers right now are already out. Their teams of mathematicians are already set out to find out the backdoors. So, what do you say now?"

"How do you know that? Why should I believe?"
"It's entirely your wish. You may choose not to believe. If not now, maybe you'll believe me after a year or so when any of military's secret messages are leaked, or a political correspondence is traced. No one will come out to look for me then. You are the one."
"But how do know all that?"
"Don't think I'd answer this. Just know that I know everything."
"What do you want from me?"
"See professor, I just want to help you. Nothing more"
"What do you want me to do?"
"I know you won't do what I tell you to. Just give some time and don't accept any algorithm you've with you right now."
"But why?"
"I don't believe who gave you such an important project with so much worth. When will you understand? The day when your nation's enemies blow up a building or something?"
Pause again. Professor new knew that this caller was not just a pun-maker.
The caller continued, "Just give yourself some time. Freshen your mind up and then think. That's what I wan't you to do."
"See, I don't want these games anymore"
"Again! Okay, do as you wish. But I will have my god-eye on everything."

The call was over. All professor now heard were the long beeps on the phone. His weary and frightened eyes were staring at the clock. Every second seemed to be as long as a minute. This was the biggest project the professor ever had. However it came with a poor leverage.

A small mistake, and it would create havoc. There were five research assistants working under him, spending day and night to create an encryption algorithm that will be used to secure all the data and the transmission at the government offices. Everything from military movements to secret messages would be secured by it. The new protocol that was under development by the coordination of the Defense Research Organization and four premier technology research institutes would take one more year to be complete. A system of four satellites, hundreds of relay terminals and millions of copper and fiber optic cables would be redefined. A powerful cluster of computers would be set up that will store all kind of data that belong to the government, or could be in any manner, be called as classified. And when this data would be sent between any two points, it will be secured by the algorithm that professor was working on.

Arnav was about to sleep. He finished the chapter of "Ice and Fire" he was reading and tossed it over to the table. He had got four hours to sleep and then return back to the lab he worked in. He expected the professor to appreciate his work of past four months, point to a few small modifications and then he'd be free. His mind is wandering from the Seven Kingdoms to the mathematical algorithms, and within minutes, he was asleep.
© Copyright 2012 Aditya Joshi (adityajoshi5 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1904530-The-Warning-Call