My current WIP, novel #2 is a thriller called The PURE (which stands for previously undetected recruiting error).
Here’s a 1st draft of an info-dump from it that I’m rather fond of. It may not make the cut but I’m going to save it here for posterity because me likey…
Finding the photocopy room posed a new navigational challenge. I had no idea where the big mucky mucks had their secretaries do their copying. After nearly completing my second circuit, I finally located the copy room next to the freight elevator. The close proximity of the two areas facilitated the endless cycle of paper in and paper out.
ABC wasn’t the least bit green or tree friendly. We created gluttonous mountains of discarded and then shredded paper each week. Our dirty little secret sat like troll droppings near the freight elevators on each floor, all destined for the city dump. I guess ABC had never heard of recycling.
I slipped the stack of pages into the feeder section of the copy machine and punched in the Aphrodite job number because we billed our clients for anything and everything possible. White collar crime clues were no exception.
And a second one, also a 1st draft and also most likely destined for cyberheaven:
Bob’s computer glowed in front of me. Company policy required that desktops on the network remain on 24/7 for software “pushes” or program updates that were downloaded automatically in the wee hours. Those of us with laptops didn’t have that luxury. We had to wait out the deferred downloads and updates each time we fired up our laptops and logged into ABC’s network.
Everyone’s login name was their first initial and their last name. Passwords were eight alphanumeric characters of our choice and had to be changed every 30 days. Most people picked something with six easy to remember letters like their names and then tacked on 01 then 02, etc to satisfy the numeric requirement. This methodology also allowed them to keep virtually the same password in rotation for the next 99 months before they had to start over again with six new alpha characters. Our profession taught the importance of having strong internal controls, such as unpredictable and unbreakable passwords, yet we ourselves didn’t hesitate to thumb our noses at such concepts.
I hunted around Bob’s desk for evidence that he too was guilty of the same hubris but at first blush found nothing so easy as a post it note on the monitor.
I accidentally moved the mouse and cleared the screen saver, which brought up the network login screen. It taunted me but not knowing his password or having any clue to it, I made myself ignore it for the time being and continued to flip through his paper files. Electronic files were no safer than paper ones and possibly even less so. The average partner was at least 40 and not IT savvy but physical control under lock and key they understood.