Pierre and Cherry spent the next few days roaming the countryside, looking for a small, deserted house on the edge of a village. They found their happiness about forty minutes from the Academy. It was an abandoned house on the edge of a small village. The proximity to the village would allow them to connect to all amenities, such as water, electricity or telephone. And there was even a small shed adjoining the house, perfect for doing electronics and hiding vehicles.

Part of the building was unusable because it had collapsed. But the rest looked solid.

Nightowl was going to stay in the squat for a few days while we set up the house, to keep in touch with # freedomnia. All the rest of the group would go to the new HQ to help Pierre set up.

From a logistical point of view, the rooms had to be rearranged so that it was livable quickly for a large number of people. About 15 members of # freedomnia were expected to arrive shortly. Coordinating actions would be easier with more people present.

But, to manage twenty people permanently in a house, everything had to be optimized.

The stay was to become a work center, connected 24 hours a day to the network. The kitchen had to be efficient and store a large amount of food. On the other hand, the house had to keep its dilapidated and uninhabited aspect. No way lights or activity could be seen from the outside.

Cherry hung large blackout curtains to hide the dim light coming from inside. They also set up some CCTV cameras, just to be able to detect the slightest suspicious movement.

They fitted out the kitchen and stored a large quantity of non-perishable foodstuffs, then set up bunks on the floor in part of the house. Finally, they brought electronic equipment to equip the adjoining barn.

The house, which hadn’t belonged to anyone for a long time, was no longer connected to water, electricity, let alone the telecommunications network.

They wildly plugged into the electricity grid. In the hinterland, it was not uncommon to see tangled wires at the utility poles, one more or less would not really be visible. And before the energy supplier comes to check anything …

As for running water, the house was already connected. They reconnected to the existing water network.

Finally, as far as the internet was concerned, it was a little more complicated. Even though they weren’t sure if it was their connection that had been traced, they didn’t want to be able to be found and have to do it again.

Alexis had suggested a satellite connection, because you couldn’t just subscribe to ADSL. Even though the latency of a satellite connection was high, ADSL was too easily spotted.

But even a satellite connection could be detectable. Receiving the data was not a problem. The satellite was broadcasting to all of Romania, so they could be anywhere.

However, even if they could stand anywhere to transmit, it was technically possible to track down the location of the transmitter. For example, by crisscrossing the sky with planes, they could locate the area where a signal was emitted … Not to mention the spy satellites owned by certain European governments … So no way to emit a signal, too risky…

Quentin, who had been hanging out in the underground for a long time, suggested phreaking; hack into a neighbor’s telephone connection, especially ADSL. By coupling the two, it would be possible to send data from a neighbor’s connection, and receive it via the satellite. By changing the source ip address, all packets going out over the wired connection would appear to be coming from the satellite connection, and therefore responses to queries would come back through the satellite connection. If the Academy understood the deception and still went up the ADSL connection and disembarked, then it would not go directly to them, but to neighbors. They would have time to realize this and leave the scene.

In theory, it was doable. Now, in practice, it was necessary to do beige boxing; connect with crocodile clips directly to a nearby telecom box; then recover the identifiers and passwords PPP of the neighbor’s ADSL router.

Plugging in wildly on the cables hadn’t been particularly problematic. The place was uncrowded, and the neighbors wouldn’t have any more questions than that when they saw one more cable.

But what was needed was to recover the PPP username and password. Nightowl had introduced Quentin to lockpicking. She had shown him how to pick simple locks. Quentin had kept since the lockpick kit. Hopefully the locks would be relatively simple and he could get by. Otherwise, Bra ilov’s Nightowl would have to be brought back.