Investigation (16) Three Keys

“Biometric authentication system?”

I asked. There, Guard Lloyd lifted up three of his fingers. “In order to go to the third floor, you have to clear three conditions.”

“Three, is it? That’s quite a bit.”

“Of course it is. The security camera footage clearly captures the private lives of our guests. We have to avoid that info from leaking by all means.”

The guard gave a dry laugh. Of course, because of his built-up fatigue, there was a hint of lament lingering in it.

“So what are these three keys, specifically?”

After thinking a moment, Guard Lloyd muttered, “Well, it’s nothing secret, so I guess it’s alright.”

“The three keys are fingerprint, eye and weight.”

I wrote them down. And I asked. “What do you mean by eye?”

“Who knows? I don’t know the specifics, but it seems every person has a different characteristic eye.”

… So it’s like DNA, I muttered in my heart.

“What they scan is the pattern of your iris, apparently. After around a year from their birth, the pattern of a human iris will barely change for the rest of their life. That’s why it’s used in biometrics, or so my boss told me before.”

“Hmm, so they have something like that these days.”

“Yes, when you think of biometrics, the orthodox is to look at DNA strands, but who’d be able to bear having to spit or have blood drawn every time they need to scan? In that regard, iris recognition can identify people at once as long as you have the right equipment, so it’s the easy way.”

Impressed at how far science had gotten in places I wasn’t looking, I posed a question.

“If biometrics is the issue at hand, then there’ll be a problem with twins, right? Are these systems fine with twins as well?”

“Yeah, I’m just handing down whatever my boss told me here, but,” Lloyd thought hard as he spoke. “a human’s iris changes by external influence. Since even people born the same will have differences in experience, it should be able to tell the differences between twins as well.”

… Though I can’t say for sure if that’s true or not, he added on.

Then we can’t use the twins trick, I thought to myself.

“Even with fingerprints, the probability twins will match is exceedingly low, and the iris pattern can change after birth. Even if they have the same faces, there are idiosyncrasies in their eyes. As they say, the eyes speak more than the mouth.”

It seems Guard Lloyd thought he had said something clever, but it wasn’t the slightest bit funny to me.

… My troublesome problems had increased. Like this, trickery would be impossible, would it not?

“Okay, I get the fingerprint and iris scans. As long as they’re in place, it doesn’t look like any outsider is going to the third floor.”

… But I added on.

“What about weight?”

“Ah, that means only one person can ride the elevator at once. It’s been calibrated beforehand, and if you exceed plus or minus three kilograms of your recorded body weight, the elevator won’t move.”

… So it’s one person per ride.

“Then once someone’s gone up to the third floor, a second can follow him up?”

It’s quite a pain, but it would allow more than two people to go to the third floor.

But the guard shook his head to the side. “That’s impossible.

“Once the elevator’s gone up once, unless someone is sensed inside of it and presses the button, it won’t go down. It doesn’t automatically descend to this floor. You can’t be too heavy, and you can’t be too light.”

“Um, meaning when the elevator is on the third floor, even if a person on the second floor pushes the button, until the person up there rides back down, the elevator won’t come to the second floor?”

Guard Lloyd nodded. “Exactly. Quite a pain, right?”

“And only security guards can ride it? Is that how it’s set?”

“That’s right. And every time the shift changes, the biometric data changes, so if you don’t finish work within your timeslot, it’s quite a pain when it locks you out.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Um, well look, if I’m on duty for day one…”

Lloyd pointed at the first day on the shift table. Pointing the day two, he went on.

“And day two’s someone else, let’s say Mr. A. On day one, since it’s my shift, my fingerprint, iris, and weight will allow me to go up. But once it gets to day two, the shift changes, so to ride the elevator, you’ll need Mr. A’s fingerprint and iris. Also his weight.”

… With each change in shift, the people who could ride the elevator changed.

Something similar had become a problem in the trial right? As I recall, it was the timing of the CD recordings. They were set to be preserved on a new CD every time the date changed.

… They were being real thorough here. How should I put it, it’s as if this security company doesn’t trust people at all.

I guess that goes without saying. They’re a guard company, so doubting people is their job.

I wrote memos until I was out of white space, and got the information together.

The security company’s biometric scanning didn’t come up at the trial. This was information more vital than I thought. I mean…

No, not just more than I thought, this was a problem related to the basis of this case.

I had asserted it in court. These security camera reels had been conceived by someone or another

There was a high chance the 10th’s footage had been swapped out with the 11th’s. That’s definitely what I claimed.

But what’s with this situation?

Isn’t that impossible? No one would have been able to swap them.

In order to actualize that trick with the disks, you’d have to obtain the 10th, 11th, and 12th’s CDs before they were filed away.

As the report came to the police on the 12th, first off, it would be impossible to swap them out after that.

No, in the first place, in order to swap out the 12th’s CD with another one, you’d have to wait until the 12th’s footage was completely recorded. That would be fully recorded on the 13th, at 0:00, so until that time, should I think the CD wasn’t swapped out until that point?

On the 13th, at 0:00. The only one who could use the guard room elevator at that time was… Hal Anderson?

… Only the victim would have been able to change out the disks.

“That can’t be.”

To think I’d be overturning my claims myself… this is the worst possible development.

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