Posted by: alexwinger | February 10, 2008

Imperial Communications Center – Imperial Headquarters, Ariana

The following information was supplied by Magir Paca, formerly the Minister of Commerce of Garos IV, and Lieutenant Dair Haslip,ai d to General Zakar. Paca, one of the leaders of the resistance movement, has been in hiding since his traitorous activities were discovered nearly five years ago, and Haslip works undercover supplying information to the underground. Both of these men have risked their lives to work toward a Garos free from the tyranny of the Empire. — A.W.

The third floor of Imperial Headquarters houses the communications nerve center for the Empire on Garos IV. Access to all but the central corridors of this level is restricted to cleared personnel. Stormtroopers are posted by the doorways that lead into these secured areas and routinely check for proper identification. Additionally, a valid security code must be entered on the doorways’ keypads to gain entrance. An incorrect code will immediately sound an alarm, and a half dozen heavy blaster rifles will be trained on any intruders.

The name “communications center” is something of a misnomer. A wide range of activities occur behind these closed doors. The men and women who are assigned to this duty handle incoming and outgoing Imperial message traffic at ten computer workstations (including its decryption and encryption when necessary). Another group of 30 operators are involved in intelligence gathering. Known as the Signal Analysis Group, they are split into three sections: Intercept, Decrypt, and Analysis.

The Intercept team’s mission is to monitor, record and transcribe both voice and non-voice transmissions. Their target: communications originated by the Garosian resistance. Decrypt handles all intercepted transmissions that require “translation” into Basic. Many of the underground’s communications are characterized by alpha-numeric strings. Decrypt replaces numbers with letters before handing them over to the Analysis group who examine seemingly insignificant messages for covert meanings. Garos’ Rebel groups have been known to send hundreds of fake messages daily in an attempt to undermine and overwork the decrypt unit. Much of the signal traffic is routine, but on occasion little tidbits of information are unearthed. And as anyone in Intelligence will tell you, little tidbits sometimes add up to big treasures.

    “I’ve had the opportunity to routinely scan traffic that our comm center intercepts from the Underground. It’s hard to believe that so much of it is simply reporting the status quo as all quiet …” — D. Haslip.

Example of routine message traffic:

 

==OPEN LOG, B2
CS> CS CS respond
MB> MB all quiet
SW> SW all quiet
RH> This is RH. I have 1 S B south 2 – 1 – 0
CS> say again RH
RH> 1, repeat, 1 S B moving south from 2 – 1 – 0
CS> 1 S B at 2 – 1 – 0, I copy
JP> JP
CS> go ahead JP
JP> all quiet
CS> BW
CS> BW?
CS> all ops, go to D16
SW> D16, I copy
MB> copy
RH> I copy
JP> D16
CS> BW?
CS> BW?
==END TRANSMISSION

This message traffic, from the underground’s main comm unit (control op CS), is typical of a fairly quiet night. Intercepted in real time, these communications were easily transcribed then forwarded to Analysis for further examination. For one week, this network was monitored at a quarter past every hour on a frequency identified as B2. This network has 5 operatives in the field who report Imperial activity in and around their own locations. Op BW, whose location tentatively has been identified in central Garan, did not report in.

Analysts determined that RH’s message “1 S B moving south from 210” indicated the movement of scout troopers (‘B’ meaning scout troopers, ‘S’ signifying squad, in this case, one) patrolling sector 210 and headed south. Sector 210 has been identified in northeast Garan’s manufacturing district. D16 refers to a new channel where CS asked his group to check in. Imperial intercept operators were unable to locate the new frequency until several hours after this particular transmission.

The analysts in the Imperial comm center are good . . . sometimes. Occasionally they’ve been known to extract information valuable to them, harmful to us. We lost an entire small weapons cache when they managed to decode a set of shipping orders from Electrocomp in Garan a few months back. Nearly cost us the lives of half a dozen operatives. But they’ve also made some major blunders, including a few humorous ones. I remember one time they mistaked a discussion of varying recipes for treistas (that’s a pie made with boetay meat) for directions to build a thermal detonator.–M.Paca

 A few moments in the life of an Imperial intercept operator (coming soon)

 

 

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