A route to the Gateway



“You are up next. You would be number 47”. Robert kept the phone down. He had been expecting this call, but he never expected it to come so soon. He had been trained for this all his life, yet the news made him a little nervous. “It’s okay, calm down. We are in this together”, chimed in Vint, who had received the call just a second ago.

Both, Vint and Robert had a little chat before they rushed out of their rooms. They knew they had to get everything ready quickly before they set out on their voyage. However exciting and adventurous it sounded, they knew that they were risking their lives here. The phone rang again. It was the same voice, but a little bit grimmer this time. “Collect your bags from the 4th floor.”

“So, what do these suitcases contain?”, asked Rob to the person handing them the bags. He stopped as soon as he asked this question. “Don’t you dare to open this. We will know anyways if you do so.” “And what happens if we do?”, Vint interrogated. “You wouldn’t want to know!”. The wicked smile on his face said a million things. “I have heard the road to the destination is not very smooth. What if something gets broken? We ought to know what we are carrying”, Robert looked in no mood of carrying something he didn’t know about. “You should not worry about all that. There is a list inside the bags that tells what are the things present. The receiver will let us know if there is something missing.”  Scared, they picked up the bags and walked to the next room.

“Ah! Here you two are! Leonard?”, shouted Ron. He looked like a man in charge there. The only happy looking face they had seen in some time. Leonard marched in and hurriedly put some locks on the bags the two were holding. Surprisingly, he handed them the keys as well! “So, you two should now go downstairs and receive the instructions before you start your journey”, Ron bid adieu. Confused, both Robert and Vint went to the floor below them.

This floor looked like a call center. Lots of people were talking on the phone and the noise made it impossible to make out what even a single one of them was saying. Robert and Vint started to have doubts, if they were actually heading for a secret mission. “The path is clear. You two can leave”, whispered someone. “But where?”, Vint whispered back, not sure who he was whispering to. “The second floor guys would tell you that! Have they again hired newbies?” They remembered something of this sort from their training, but everything looked blurry now.

Donald escorted them to a room. There they received an itinerary, the destination they had to head to and the pit stops they could take on their way. They also received strict instructions, that if they took more time than it was written in their contract, the consequences would be horrendous. They had a few badges attached to their bags as well. Luckily, both Robert and Vint were headed to the same location. The addresses they received made no sense to them, yet none of them dared to ask. Nothing was falling into place. Moreover, it was a little difficult to understand what Donald was trying to say, though it sounded familiar. Perhaps, he spoke a different dialect.

First floor now. Each floor had just multiplied their confusion about what was happening around them. They were simply trained to carry baggage from one counter to another, but with so many people working and the secretiveness around what they were carrying was making them anxious. “We just talked with them. The train would wait for you two to get in and then move. Make sure you reach in time.” “But, the addresses we received upstairs makes no sense”, Robert dared to speak. “Oh don’t worry about that. You can follow this one”, he handed him a new address. This time it made sense. “Looks like we need to travel at speed of light to meet this timeline”, chuckled Vint. “Tell us when you reach”, shouted someone. “We will. It is in our nature.”

As they were about to leave the building on the ground floor, Robert asked, “Hey Vint! Do you know this could probably be the last time we two are travelling together?” “Someone once told me, that people tend to be more open when they travel. Perhaps, I will get to know most of the interesting stuff about you during this journey. Travelling first leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”, replied Vint. “You know I am happy we are not like the UDP guys. No one ever know what happens to them once they leave their organization premises.”

“True! But the network is pretty dangerous for TCP Packets like us as well! I hope the Router we meet is soft spoken. This place is creeping me out a little.” The two jumped into a binary converter of the Data Link Layer before they set out on their epic journey.


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