This is story no. 4 from the Se7en series.
Warning: Long Story
“Ladies and Gentlemen! After successfully launching the WLL services, Timenet presents to you the future of computing. Please put your hands together to the next generation of grid computing, THE TIME WRAP!” Said Kedar Marathe, the Chief Architect of Time Net, and Indian company in the business of making software products for the network connectivity solutions and data centres. They had launched a new self developed cloud computing platform, first of its kind in the world.
As the Emperor Arena in Abu Dhabi burst into a loud applause, Micheal Casey banged his coffee mug on his table. The small watch in his wrists was reading 5am. He and his team mates had come early to their Palo Alto office especially to watch the webinar of Timenet’s 1.0 launch of their new grid computing platform, ‘Timewrap’.
“This is asinine Wheeley… just not acceptable.” He said to his team mate and the CTO of GNC, Timothy Whelan who was still busy recording the webcast. “That tiny Indian company who surfaced like yesterday is walking away with the honours of developing the first cloud platform and we are bloody caught up with one of their Indian brothers still testing the bugs? Gosh… I dont believe this!”
“Calm down Mike, it is only the first version. It hardly has any functionality. Besides there is hardly any first mover advantage.” Said Tim while signalling Jane for a cup of coffee.
“Dont give that shit to me Wheeley… we have been trying to work on our platform for 2 years. I have already put quarter of a billion in it. What have we built, a social network?”
“It is not like that… we are trying to…”
Jane was back by now. “I know Tim and I have no doubts on your team’s capability. Hey thanks Jane… but understand the point. There is a difference between hard working men and a lazy genius. That is what this man Kedar is… a genius.”
“If I may interrupt boss…” Said Jane. Jane Green was the Executive Assistant of Michael. But she mostly doubled up as a marketing manager. A sharp thinker and even better speaker, Jane was an important member of Mike’s team. “… I had heard some where. If we cant our run the competition, we must out think it. We can make him think for us, cant we?”
“Good suggestion Jane. We have already tried that. But that guy is not ready to join us even at 4 times the salary.” Added Tim.
“Can we not bribe him into it?”
“Not a chance.”
The day did not go very well for Mark, neither did the week. Their platforms were still not ready for a beta. Add to that Timewrap’s popularity was beaming. Kedar became the cynosure of the industry’s eye. He was being invited to speak at different forums, to universities, to humanitarian initiatives and even to cookery shows. Time was certainly slipping out and Mark was falling short of ideas. One evening, Jane planted an idea in Mark’s brain.
“… may be we cannot hire him or bribe him. But if we can steal the plan and all technical details from him some how, we might have a deal.”
Steal. But how? There had to be a way. Michael went back to the drawing board and stayed all night in the office studying various facts about Kedar. Next day morning, he called Jane and Tim in his office.
“Alright guys,listen up.” Said Mike flipping between bunch of papers on his table. “This is all that I could get about Kedar. I have found out every thing about where is he from, what he does, who are his friends, who all are his colleagues… all I could lay my hand on.”
“Wow boss… that is great!”
“Yeah thanks to you Jane. Now buckle up. We are going attempt the heist of the century.”
“Oh wow… Mike! What are you trying to do?” Asked a cautious Tim.
“Don’t worry Tim, I’m just gonna steal Kediboy’s big plans.” Mike replied as he smirked. “… and now I want to figure out how. Look at these papers. Kedar’s overall personality seems to be reserved. He doesn’t have too friends, no women in life either. Neither has he taken too many holidays in last few years nor is he present on any of the social networks. But he has been making too many public appearances, inaugurating school functions, visiting cookery shows, wine tasting sessions social dinners… this contradicts to his personality. Which means that he is an egoistic guy.”
“Okay boss… but how does it help us?” Asked Jane.
“Well, it doesn’t. But it can. I have some more information for you. Kedar is not known to be very cordial with his team members. He has a large team but has only 6 people directly reporting to him. Some one amongst these must be holding a grudge. We have to find him and make him steal all the plans. And we have to find him quick.” said Mike while tightly pushing his fist downwards in the air. “Wheeley… this will be your job. Jane, your job will be to find out minute by minute details of Kedar’s schedule for the next one month. While I will prepare to meet Mr. Wolfgang Alfred.”
“Okay boss. I’ll get you the information. By the way who is Wolfgang?”
“Never mind. Keep me updated about the developments.”
For the next three weeks, Tim & Jane kept updating Mike with any new update they had. Tim managed to break one of the members of Kedar’s team. But he learnt that Kedar never shared any update about the platform with any of the members. He only told the team about the work in bits and pieces. He kept every thing in his laptop. It was futile to steal it as well because it operated under 2 levels of security whose access was only with Kedar. The only way to download the info was if Kedar himself handed the laptop. Mike asked Tim to record as much information he could find on the Timewarp platform as possible. Mean while Jane came back with Kedar’s schedule for the next week. Besides attending a cookery show, he was going to be present at the alumni meet of some engineering college.
Besides there was one more thing Tim found out. Kedar was a foodie.
“Jane, please fix me a meeting with the Director of IIT Kanpur. Tell them Dr. Wolfgang Alfred would like to meet him. He is a former secretary to the National Data Security Council in Austria. Now works as a consultant. You can use this letter head to do so.”
“But Mike, who is this…”
“Jane! How long will it take?”
3 days later, Mike was in India, shaking hands the with director of the college and other members of the staff during the alumni dinner. It had taken Mike two weeks and all his federal contacts to disguise himself as some one relatively unknown but extremely relevant to what Kedar was working on. But it still took him an hour to get introduced to the he was waiting for.
“Ah… Mr. Marathe, please meet Mr. Alfred from Austria. He is…” And the staff introduced Mike to Kedar.
“Thanks Mr. Sharma. So Kedar, can we have a little private conversation over there in the corner table? I’m very hungry and dying to taste some Biryani and Kebabs. I’d love if you join me. Oh and by the way, here is my card.”
Half and hour later, some students had to transport Kedar to the nearby hospital. He reported sick and unconscious. But was later discovered that it was just a food poisoning case. Dr. Alfred left immediately with a flash drive in his pocket. Anurag Pandey, one of Kedar’s trusted aide joined GNC’s HQ in Palo Alto as a chief architect. Three months later, GNC launched its cloud platform, much more advanced that Timewrap. One more thing happened during the time. The news paper in a small town of Baden near Vienna reported a death of certain Wolfgang Alfred in a car accident. But it went unnoticed.
On the day of GNC’s cloud launch, Mike’s facebook status read, “I love Indian cuisine, especially Biryani!”