Chapter 2 - six months after the key is found

Do you even know what this thing does?
I know that it unlocks every lock we've ever tried it in.
It unlocks padlocks, kryptonite locks, if you shove it in the edge it'll pop a combination lock, it lets you draw money out of any ATM, and it made a counterfeit passport scan at the Sydney airport.
Yeah, everything we tried.
That doesn't make any sense, Ez.
I hate it when he talks to me like this. For two weeks he'd been asking to use the key, ever since the Sydney airport, and finally last night I let him use it to go get some cash on Wangfujing. Now he's talking to me like this. He's got scorn for me, not knowing what the key does, or how it works, or how the things that it unlocks work. I can tell he thinks it's something unique, and that he's got scorn for me for letting him use it, for not being as distrustful and armored up as he is.
Think about it, is there anyway that Frank could have gotten into that bunker without the key?
Probably not, no.
And we know he went in....
The seventies
yeah in '78
Okay? It's not like they had RFID in the seventies.
That's the chips in my passport.
Yeah that's the chip in your passport. Now he thinks I'm stupid for repeating what I've heard. That's what I didn't have in mine that should have gotten me flagged and searched.
Okay so the key worked on the reader.
Ez that doesn't make any sense.
Why not? It worked fine, it's not like they'd let us leave again if it hadn't worked.
Yeah it worked but it shouldn't have worked. How can a key made before 1972 work on an RFID reader released in late 2006?
It's just radio, right? And it doesn't need a power supply, because there's no battery in my passport. I started to reach for the document pouch I'd had slung around my neck for the last week.
Anton waved his hand with his arm stretched straight in front of him. Okay so Nikolai Tesla had the original designs decades earlier but modern chips transmit a number back to the reader and that number back to a database or, or whatever and only then does it let you through. How could someone predict that? The ATM is the same way, it's not like we're popping open the cash cartridge, that key lets us draw out money as if the system thinks we're loaded, it even spits out receipts for huge remaining balances in five different countries. Ez this is not the key your father had in 1973. Either he traded it in for a newer model, or improved it, and even he'd done that I still don't see how anything could do what its doing.
Looking at it there, the chain slack in his palm with a little loop running down to just graze the cheap polyester bedspread, the key itself a matte black mark in his palm, I thought how much I'd like to take it back. It's not that I wanted it for myself, It's not that I wanted to be away from Anton, it was just that I wanted it away from him. I didn't want him thinking about it, bending every thought to the key's potential uses. Even more, I didn't like how he saw me while he had it in is hand: like I was just carrying it around, waiting to find someone who could unlock its full potential.
All I'd wanted was a few extra bucks and some answers.

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