Chapter 21 Page 5 of 5

I didn’t know. I had no plans; I had not looked ahead beyond the resolution of the money mill.

“Uh. I’m following you… umm… wherever you go.”

“In that case, you’re heading to Carl Raymond’s apartment,” she said. “He is a good friend of mine… one that I would like to get to know better.”

We walked through the revolving door together and out into the sunlight. It was early August in Chicago. The sky was cloudy but bright; it looked as if it might rain but it was more likely to remain clear. A gentle breeze kept the temperature in check.

Months later, far away, an electronic signal was racing through a phone wire, up a satellite link, back down, and through a T1 line into an X9.17 Key Translation Center in Atlanta. The signal was interpreted as a bit-stream and was separated into a series of fixed-length fields. It was an RFS (Request for Service) message. The ORG field indicated that the sender was a bank in Germany. Curiously, the KD field was not notarized as the newly revised protocol required. The message was rejected.

Moments later another RFS message was received by the same center in Atlanta. This one also appeared to originate from Germany. This time the KD field was notarized, but curiously the MAC had not been computed properly. The authentication procedure failed and the message was rejected.

Shortly thereafter a third message was received by the Atlanta key center. By this time German authorities had been notified of an attempted attack on the EFT infra-structure. There were no more peculiar messages.