Big Business

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In a darkly lit office exactly 22 stories off ground level were two men, one of whom was hunched over a computer screen while the other impatiently paced the room. “Well, have we done it, Davis?” the impatient man asked.

The man named Davis glanced over his shoulder, but didn’t say a word.

“There are only two possibilities: yes or no.”

Davis’ blank expression slowly changed to a grin, “Quantum encryption is a go, Mr. Keys. ‘Cyberthreats’ will soon be an obsolete expression.”

Keys took a step back, breathed deep, and released an inaudible yet almost tangible sigh. He ran his fingers through his dark hair and said, “I’ll alert the boss.” As he was walking away, he turned around and said, “Good work, kid.”

Davis smiled and gave a nod. “It’s for my country, Sir.”

* * *
Keys opened the door to the Oval Office to find himself in a room with four men who controlled the world: the President, the Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and Mike Spout, CEO of the biggest oil conglomeration ever formed. “ . . . and we need to do it now.” Mike said, finishing his conversation with the President before he turned to look at Keys, adding to the palpable anticipation that entered the room with the National Security Advisor.

“We’ve done it,” Keys said, addressing all of the men before him. “Information has never been made more secure.”

“Dan,” the President said, addressing his Secretary of Defense, “send the codes.”

With a nod of understanding, Dan Goodman took his exit.

The President then turned to address the men before him, “Gentlemen, as we all know, China has taken a passive stance with North Korea. However, what you may not know is that the leaders of Iran, Syria, and North Korea have all been in recent contact with President Zhao. And thanks to our National Security Advisor here,” the President said, putting a hand on Keys’ shoulder, “we obtained evidence of a conspiracy against The United States. These madmen have slowly been stealing quantum amounts of data from us for decades. Our computer systems were weak. We’ve been ignorantly vulnerable.”

“What does that mean, Sir?” Scott Foresman, the Chief of Staff asked. “What kind of information are we talking about?”

“The kind that would do us harm to be released,” President Walker said in a tone so thick a steak knife couldn’t cut through. “We possess technology beyond your wildest dreams. Cancer has a cure; we have it. Mars can support life; we’ve had a secret team there for almost a decade. We can regenerate every part of a human. And we found a way to maintain an endless supply of food.” The President paused to see how his words had affected the men before him. He saw shock and awe mixed with distaste. “There are reasons for our discretion. Reasons beyond what most men can comprehend. It’s about the big picture, the trump of all trumps. We’ve had that wildcard in our back pocket and we need to make damn well sure it stays there,” the President paused for breath, “And now Mike here has just given me some new intelligence that has been leaked through the pipeline. Go ahead, you tell ‘em, Mike.”

The CEO sighed deeply, obviously a bit troubled by the information he had not previously been made privy to, and cleared his throat, “The United States’ financial system is under attack. One of the technologies that has been hijacked has to do with manufacturing petroleum. And I’m not talking about the lengthy, costly process of drilling and refining; I’m talking about a synthetic process that takes half the time and costs half the dollar amount. It’s in the labs in China and Iran. And if it gets out . . . well, let’s just say we’re all going to be hurting over here.”

“Big money backs big government,” Scott said with a shake of his head.

“Right,” the President chimed in, “and thanks to Keys here, we can now be certain that covert operations to eliminate any potential threats to our economy will remain confidential.”

“Quantum encryption put us back in business,” Keys said, shaking his head.

“Back in business,” the President repeated, “I like that.”

About the Author: 
Jennifer Tanke lives to learn and to inspire. As a mom of two and an educator of many, she has the pleasure of living her dream everyday.