Not sure what this is about. Formerly, reviews of technology, now publishing the first few chapters of a thriller.

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Chapter One

Chapter One

Jamie turned from the main road to Fifth Street and walked past a group of office workers engaging in an intense conversation. Fifth street wasn’t as busy as Central Crescent, the circular main road of the Business District. Unlike the daunting high rises of Central Crescent, it mostly comprised of smaller five to eight floor buildings with offices of local businesses ranging from modern real estate companies to importers of a variety of good.

He walked into a building that had a fading sign overhead that read George Stockbrokers Ltd. in large text followed by the words Registered and regulated by the Securities Exchange Department of The Republic of Kategat. It never seemed to him that a stockbrokerage firm appeared out of place in Fifth Street compared to the high rise buildings in the financial hub in Central Crescent.

The ground floor housed the company’s reception which had four desks. These were to be manned by customer service representatives, when the company opened for business at 8 AM, in just about an hour. It didn’t bother him why there were only four desks and an old sofa laying in the corner of the rather expansive reception area. There could easily have been twenty with comfortable room to stretch. On the other end of the room was a security door with a Staff Only sign.

He pulled out his identification tag, swiped at a receiver, and the door opened to a flight of steps. The steps led him to the middle of a corridor with a sign pointing right reading Administration, and other saying Research pointing to the left. He placed his finger on a fingerprint reader and entered the research department.

Unlike the reception, the home of Unit Twenty Three was crammed with more desks and workstations than it seemed possible. All locked into a square room slightly smaller in area compared to the reception below. There were large screens displaying real-time graphs and data feeds, and two monolithic servers housed in a corner. This was certainly not a research department of a stockbrokerage company.

There were twelve workstations facing the wall but only six of them were occupied. Jamie took his place at one of the other four workstations at the centre. One of the officers turned towards Jamie and touched his forehead in a casual salute.

‘Monique had to leave early. I’ll be sending the nightly report shortly’, he said and looked at his screen. ‘Nothing significant today, just the usual activity on the grid. One new player entered the game, but I don’t think it’s much. All other activity in the normal operational range.’

‘Thanks Neville,’ Jamie replied. ‘Open a file for the new player before you leave. And good morning!’

Unit Twenty Three, or U23, was part of Kategat’s Secret Surveillance Ops, an outfit composed of many units operating discreetly with the intention of tracking and identifying any threat to the country from miscreants and malicious actors. U23 was specifically tasked with tracking social media users online using real-time surveillance systems and machine learning algorithms.

The players were people showing malevolent intent or siding with the primary opposition force in government. The Revolutionary Rebels, frequently referred to as the RR, has been the central focus of U23. They had been often warned that RR were to stage organised attacks on the Government to create chaos and disruption, which they need to seize power. Deep down, Jamie knew that the real reason was to eliminate any opposition for the current rulers to consolidate power.

Neville and another member of the team collected their belongings and prepared to depart. Jamie looked at the large digital clock at the top of the wall opposite him which read 07:20:02. The day shift officers would take another hour or two to get in and there will be quite some work he had to do that day.

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