Clues from Binaries

Senator Red woke up at the middle of night, disturbed from his sweet dreams, by a call of duty. He was the chair person for the International Anti-terrorism Committee. This position has kept him awake for most of the nights.

“I hate the time difference. Why can’t they (terrorists) be in the same time zone,” often Senator had commented.

“But Sir, that is why we are here. We do NOT want them in the same time zone,” had been the reply of Colonel Commando.

“Oh Well!! (cursing),” had been the retort from Senator Red.

At a classified destination, Senator Red arrived yawning multiple times before reaching the steps. Even an owl sitting on the near by oak tree, staring at Senator Red, had to blink – affected by the distant yawns of the Senator.

“What is the emergency, Gentlemen?” asked the Senator.

“We have found this laptop Sir!”


“It contains classified information about Bin Laden Sir!”

” Go on…”

“The information is all encrypted Sir! This laptop was recovered by DC police while performing a raid in a warehouse. This warehouse is rented by one Mr Adbul Rahim who runs an electronic parts store. “

“Hmm! Is Mr Rahim under custody?”

“No Sir!”

“Why not? What are you waiting for?”

“You Sir!”


“Mr Rahim had made a key donation in your election last year Sir!”

“Oh! Mr Aabdoul Raahaem…Yes..Yes I recall. He is clean. I oversaw his background inquiry.”

The conversation went on between the Senator and the Colonel. It was revealed that this laptop was reported stolen few days back by one Mr Robert Gatherer. Somehow it was sold and resold by various hands before reaching the electronics parts warehouse of Mr Rahim. It seems DC police was performing a raid based on a tip about a drug dealer, who happened to be the owner of the neighboring warehouse. During the raid, one thing lead to another and the search party ended up crashing the warehouse of Mr Rahim. Thus, leading to the stolen laptop.

“Take Mr Robert Gatherer into custody! Send the laptop to the Code Breakers!” said the Senator.

“Yes Sir! The laptop is already there Sir!”

“Keep it discreet, Gentlemen, keep it discreet!”

Mr Gatherer was still in bed when he heard the shriek of his dear wife Linda. It was unusual to hear this kind of voice of his true love. Mr Gatherer shuffled around to get hold of his glasses, then jumped out of the bed wearing his pajamas. Realizing he is half naked, he grabbed his robe, from the bathroom, on his way to the stairs. By this time, two men in armored uniform had reached at his bed room door. Mr Gatherer uttered a shriek similar to his wife – same tone, same note but in male vocals. If American Idol judges were analyzing the two shrieks they would come to conclusion, easily, that the two shrieks belong to a couple.

Mr Gatherer has had a long night. After his laptop had been stolen, his complex calculations had to be done manually, on paper, causing severe brain fatigue. Hence, when the two armored men brought Mr Gatherer to the classified location, Mr Gatherer was in yawning state. The owl on the near by oak tree, again staring at the humans going in and out, was affected so much that it could not stop from yawning either.

Inside the classified location, Mr Gatherer was given first degree interrogation treatment. He was splashed with cold water. He was yelled from loud speaker. He was glazed with sergeant’s temper. The questioning and denials continued for hours. Finally, Senator Red arrived to see his prey.

“Anything Colonel?” asked the Senator.

“Nothing Sir! We have grilled him to the point of breaking the rules. But no affect!”

“Let me try” and the Senator walked in to a dimly lit room.

“Listen Chap! These men are professionals. So far they have shown you the leniency. But you are not telling us the truth? I will not be able to stop them if they throw you at Guantanamo Bay!!!”

“Noooooo!!! Not Guantanamo Bay!! I am not terrorist! I have done nothing wrong! You have the wrong guy!”

“But that is your laptop!”

“I don’t know…”

The interrogation was interrupted by two messengers.

“Sir! We got him!”


“Sir! Bin Laden!”


“Sir he is dead!!!”

More men poured in the interrogation room. All celebrating, Hi-fiving each other, performing the chest bump, fist bump and all other bumps. While Mr Gatherer watched. He was not sure if he was still dreaming. Was this a science fiction movie? Maybe he is in a mental ward? Maybe he has been sent back in time to a Nazi Unit? Meanwhile, the celebration continued. Men brought in fine wine, toasting in front of Mr Gatherer’s face. Laughing and laughing, repeating again and again, “We Got Him!” “We Got Him!” “We Got Him!” as Mr Gatherer passed out.

Mr Gatherer woke up. This time he was in very brightly lit room. Senator Red and Colonel were sitting in front of him. Senator smoking cigar smiling.

“Lad! Welcome back! I don’t know what I should do with you…”

“Send me home!”

“…well Lad! That won’t be possible. See your laptop had the information which was decoded by the Code Breakers. What did they find? The location of Bin Laden. They passed the information to the Seals and the rest is history.”

“I don’t understand. My laptop did not contain any coordinates,” said Mr Gatherer.

Senator Red stood up from his chair. Walked proudly next to Mr Gatherer’s chair. And laid his, artificially replaced, hips on the table. Then his left arm on Mr Gatherer’s right shoulder.

“Son! It would be prudent if you would accept what you have done. Mistakenly or not you gave us the key to most wanted man of the nation…”

“How?” asked Mr Gatherer with a confused look in his blue yes behind the thick nerdy glasses.

This time Colonel stood up from his chair, walked next to the left side of Mr Gatherer, and laid his fit hips on the table. Then his right arm on Mr Gatherer’s left shoulder.

“Let me explain! You see when we captured your laptop, we found a folder called Osama. Curious as we were, you know Mr Gatherer, we explored this folder called Osama. What did we find in – another folder called Bin and inside it another folder called Laden! That is where all the files were. We gave these files to our Code Breakers – the best in the world. They decoded and decoded and decoded until they were able to match it with the latitude and longitude of a house in Pakistan. And the rest is history. Our seals took care of the beast.”

“(Curse!),” uttered Mr Gatherer.

“What did you say son?” asked the Senator, even though he had clearly heard the cursed language.

Mr Gatherer jerked off the two foreign hands on his shoulders.

“You guys are really dumb!”

“Excuse Me?”

“Listen carefully. I am an Astro-physicist, PhD from Princeton in Astronomy and PhD from Harvard in Mathematics. I have been working on my research. It is about the relation between the light waves and the magnetic field. All that data, which you gave to your CODE BREAKERS, was my readings from my observatory from a series of recordings in the long winter nights.”

The two interrogators were stunned on what they heard. Senator Red, who was more mature, was shaking his head and smiling.

“Then what about the folders on Osama Bin Laden?” asked Colonel.

“It’s not about, Bin Laden, the terrorist. Osama is O…S…A…M…A or Optical Sensor And Magnetic Array.”

“What about Bin Laden?”

“Bin stands for binaries. You can ask your smart code breakers what is a binary. And what you saw in it was not Laden but Loden. I was only able to record the data in green wavelength, and so I saved it under Loden as in Loden green – a shade of green…its German,” answered Mr Gatherer.

Colonel looked confused. Senator Red started laughing and shaking his head at the same time. He took Mr Gatherer by his arms, patted him on his back, all while laughing and shaking his head and waved him good bye. The owl on the oak tree was asleep on the bright Monday morning as Mr Gatherer tried to rush out.

“Mr Gatherer!”

Mr Gatherer looked back. It was Senator Red.

“I assume you will keep this to yourself. What happens here stays here Son!!”

Mr Gatherer, still trying to shake off the vanishing of the night, ran away from him; while the world ran into the victory and celebrations – a product of the clues from the binaries.

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