Part One: A Mere Whymper of Dissent

Chapter 1: Rule, Bretonia

Within the confines of a bright, virtual boardroom, numerous figures sat in well carved chairs, witness to a near infinite cityscape. From around this conflux of characters, one could observe many high ranking officials, including BDM Vizeregie Moleman, Kirche die Grunnen Alders Dunkelgrunalder Schumacher, renowned public television personality Albert Brock, Bundesministerium für Gesundheit Kohler and General Baden. Within the confines of this government owned and operated computer shell, these men began to talk, separated by billions of kilometres. However, the 1st to talk actually began to speak in text, due to his rather unusual manner of speech;

"So, Agent Alan managed to imprison the Corsair. Good. Our fraudulent doctor has been imprisoned. Good. We've managed to cover the details of both subjects involvement with our mysterious enemy and avoided a national panic that could have resulted in enough heresy to put you, Mr Schumacher, into a coma. Good. Mr Brock has failed to cover up our departments involvement in this matter. Not good. Not good at all. I demand an explanation for this now, or there will be more discord in your house, Mr Brock, than there is in the homes of 1000 Discordian heretics."

Albert Brock nervously spoke, straightening his virtual tie;

"Sir, all this has done is generate good publicity for your department. You can use this info to dispel the propaganda of many of your opponents and show the Bureau's service to the people, and at the very least, no information was leaked about the internal affairs investigation into the activities of Agent Alan in relation to our enemy.."

"Good publicity? Mr Brock, bringing our activities into the limelight in this time and age is tantamount to sending the LSF directors a box of chocolates entitled "Hello, may I please investigate your activities in great detail and possibly cripple a war effort, costing millions of civilian lives and billions of dollars?". You knew this was important, I had sent you the briefing a mere week ago. Why did you not see that this breaking bulleting, which your immediate underling reviews, had contained information on our workings, and why are you dodging the justice of the Chancellor in favour of saving your own skin?"

The senior Church official spoke up, Moleman listening reverentially to his words;

"My son, I feel that Mr Brock has merely commited the sin of ignorance, which is in a lesser class of the sin of lack of vigilance. I do not think he was indeed slothful at the time of this bulleting review, merely that he neglected to check a single paper among the many urgent papers which now flow in a time of near-war. This single mention, which may have seemed innocuous to the untrained eye, may have slipped past him while he was working on more urgent matters. I implore you to forgive him."

"Your Holiness, with all due respect, Mr Brock is a trained professional and a long time worker for both us and for journalism.."

"Therefore demonstrating that we need him for this difficult time and that he has earned his respect amongst these hallowed halls as a good servant of the Chancellor. And even experts make mistakes sometimes. None but the Chancellor are perfect."

Moleman's avatar lay still for a few seconds, contemplating. Breaking the silence, General Baden spoke up;

"This does not bode well. If your men are being watched by those LSF vermin, we couldn't move a single troopship into Bering without their President blaspheming against the Chancellor."

"As much as I would dearly love to order the assassination of Codename Sniper just to teach that harpy a lesson, I have been given a direct order not to by Grosseadmiral Krieg. He says it's about honour, but why should one cast pearls amongst swine?"

Kohler spoke;

"Gentlemen, Your Holiness, much as I love to learn of the elaborate trade of espionage, I feel the Chancellor would want us to discuss more pressing priorities. I have had my men look into the morgue records and it seems that one particular body went missing in the back room, where they keep criminals and vagrants. The cameras didn't show anything, so whoever our enemy is, he must be either a good hacker, or using technology so advanced it could completely baffle one of our most advanced camera systems. In this business, I'm guessing the latter."

"And our analysis vindicates a civilians analysis. The 9 Hells have frozen. Now, to close this meeting, here's what I would advise you people to do. General sir, I advise you to move your troops to Bering as planned, but our agents will instead be conducting operations in Bretonia, as our newly promoted Agent Alan was seen yesterday sending out a hard mail to a courier in a Whale. Unfortunately, we couldn't track him due to a provision in the Boorman Treaty, forbidding the deliberate tracking of foreign civilians without indisputable evidence that said civilians are a threat to House security. For all we know, this guy could be an innocent courier, and we could be looking at an earful from the civil liberties lobby in Bretonia. If Bretonia goes to war with us, Liberty will also follow, and we do not yet have the resources to wage such a war until we eliminate the Wild forces in Sigma 13. Minister, I implore you to run a through search of that morgue for any traces of biological warfare on its staff or any further evidence of van Schmidts corruption. Your Holiness, my prayers are with you, and I must humbly beg that you unite our citizens in opposition of Liberty's government, so that we may more peacefully bring them to the heel of the Chancellor's will. Mr Brock, have Wagner taken in and run a story on him being a traitor to our nation and a Hessian insurgent. That is all."

The boardroom darkened, and the avatars turned to mere coding, then all the screens of the men controlling them went out in white flashes, leaving nought but the black face of a monitor.

Arthur Whymper; Respected executive manager at Sunderland Research Station and owner of the Cambridge legal firm "Whymper Legal Consultancy and Representation". 3 time winner of Most Reliable Lawyer of the Year, Sector 14, Cambridge award and a Templeton Award For Ethical Practice, 2nd Class. Respected amongst the scientific community for his sound and efficient advice and among Bretonia' s government for his patriotism and secrecy.

Arthur Whymper lay back in the comfortable confines of his Cambridge penthouse, the classical tunes of the Palmerton St theme playing across the room like paint across a wall. It had been the end of a long day of litigation, red tape and diplomatic entanglements. He truly felt he had earned the rest at the end of this day. Unfortunately, rest was not to come.

Barely after the bony face of actor Ron Barkley had played across the screen, Mr Whymper heard a loud ringing from his kitchen telephone. He quickly paused the screen, waddling over and checking the caller ID. The phone was scrambled, so he reset it. The call came again, the phone scrambling.

"Oh boy, must be one of these MI6 chaps down at Downing Complex. Well, better answer it, old boy. Don't want to tee off the codgers."

He picked up the phone, a voice emanating out of it almost immediately;

"Hello, Arthur. This is a future friend. Check your mail tomorrow."

"What?"

The mysterious caller hung up. Mr Whymper attempted to trace the call and considered contacting M16, but reconsidered, thinking he should probably wait to see if the caller will contact with more details before he contacted M16. He paced back slowly to his viewing, unpausing and trying to relax about this strange encounter with the thought he was protected by the Bretonian government and the calming pallor of a well choreographed bar scene.

The next day, a doorbell rang unusually early in Mr Whympers penthouse. He could see from his security viewer that a mail droid was waiting outside, with no weapons or gaseous components. He walked up from enjoying a DVD of The Trafalgar Plot: Part II and a glass of raided Kusari sake and released the thick door, grabbing the package and just as rapidly slamming the bulkhead in the face of the machine. He gently layed it upon a coffee table patterned by neatly organized binders. He then pressed a release button at it's brim, the roof of the container swinging open to reveal a strange black device, which seemed to be almost spherical and pulsed with several orange, gelatine buttons. Along it's packaging lay a tiny note, which Mr Whymper was rapidly able to decipher with a magnifying glass he often used to aid his wearing eyes. The note read, in nondescript handwriting;

"You have undoubtedbly held back on your notions of proceeding to your intelligence authorities due to wishing to draw me out into the open. However, I have access to significant records already and I would most certainly know if you had proceeded to the M16 building, password XR141516151e3qr12414325t61352416515215252y23trqeteswtretrgwerertwergty24trq31q34141515135135456451559914912415001551535151223545trtg545tty55t5y56yttrhytr.

If you do such a thing, then you shall both find yourself stuck in this pathetic position of labour and amnesiac of our current engagement. However, if you take this chance, and simply slot the largest button on this sphere to a connector node in the building, I promise great rewards for you. The 1st can be viewed in your bank account.

Mr Whymper glanced briefly at his wrist mounted neural net monitor, checking his bank account. What he found nearly caused the old man to have a heart attack. He now had over 10 million credits in his 1st account alone. Still thinking this might be a case of stolen or inappropriately transferred funds, Mr Whymper attempted to run a transaction trace. The trace seemed to have come from the spherical device itself. He attempted to open it, but all that he found inside was a melted, plastic like substance, similar to the melting plastic used by packaging companies. It could also be a tool in a cover up, so Mr Whymper wandered over to the phone. He rang the emergency line, but merely found the same mysterious voice speaking again, as though it had hijacked the line.

"I see you have attempted to contact the authorities, Arthur. Not very grateful for a man who just got handed a nice retirement. And this coincides quite nicely with that private online Curacao casino tour you were planning, too. Ah well, I can always find another man. Even so, be aware that what I was planning was perfectly innocent. I simply wanted you to transfer some seized criminal smuggling funds to a despondent people. Nothing illegal about that, in fact, it's standard government procedure in these cases. But it appears charity is not a virtue among your profession. To each his own, I suppose."

The voice seemed to actually be on the verge of hanging up, but Arthur spoke;

"I see. Well, we have tried to extend an olive branch many times to you Nayehiya, but it keeps.."

"I believe you are putting words into my mouth, my friend. I never said anything about the Nayehiya. I speak of a suffering group, yes, but not the Nayehiya."

"Who do you wish to help?"

"I shall let you in on a little secret. I am but a representative of a far greater power, and I am a charitable, peaceloving man. I speak of a despondent people who are dying every day, being murdered ruthlessly by greedy businessmen and vile criminals, and I'm sure a man of your intelligence can figure that out."

"The Coalition" thought Arthur Whymper. The proletariat, the worker. The common man. It was common communist talk, and cleverly crafted. Little was known about Coalition technology, and this man could very well be a pawn of the Coalition..

"You are a clever man, sir. But I am a patriotic man, and I will not stand by while you scallywags twist and corrupt our culture!"

"Your culture has already been twisted and corrupted from what it was. Honour, respect, loyalty, courage, these are all mocked and spat upon by the bloated bouregeuiouse of your society. They are the traitors, not you. I offer you a chance to take a stand for what is right, and to not sit idly by and let, in the words of an ancient philosopher, evil triumph while good men do nothing. This is but a small step towards compassion, peace and order."

"You sound like a Molly of some kind. My brother nearly got offed by you chaps, so take your 2 bit rambling and drive it up the back lane. I'm not betraying my country for anything!"

"I shall call you tomorrow, and you shall see."

The line then went dead. Over the rest of the day, Arthur Whymper made several attempts to acquire assistance from the police, but a lack of evidence prevented them from acting on the matter. Late in the evening, 2 intelligence agents visited Mr Whymper to protect him and planted a bug on his phone for monitoring the strange caller.

The strange caller did not call for nearly a week, until Mr Whymper was in a 3 minute intermediate period between a meeting with a MI6 representative and a Bretonian venture capitalist. Having waited to confirm the capitalist had been granted security clearance, Mr Whymper blindly picked up the phone. The same voice rang out, even as he switched off his mobile neural net phone.

"Thank you for referring to the authorities via that phone. Not only did you give me access to the police database, but even speeded up the process decrypting part of your so called intelligence network by a direct visitation by Her Majesty's Secret Service. You did well, Arthur, and did as expected. I never intended you to slot that silly device into the door, oh no no.. it was an unarmed spike, with no possibility of as much hacking a museum computer.

I must apologize for the previous deception, but it was necessary in order to demonstrate to you the nature and veracity of my work and to test you. Had you previously slotted such a device into the area, I would have rapidly advised you to leave and later informed you of your decoyship, as I am sure a man like you employs. For only the true Arthur Whymper, the true patriot would refuse to betray his country to the words of a malicious, mendacious, methodical, marked mechanical murderous Molly!"

Arthur Whymper collapsed in a slump, feeling like a pawn on a chessboard, a key on a piano, blind to its master and confused to its tune.

"Be aware that I have access to your security network. If you try to alert the authorities, I will know. If you try to run away, I will know. If you move a muscle out of line, thanks to the thermal imagery camera, I will know. And what I do know now from the database records is that the man whom you just met is currently filling out a form in Room A3 with one Dr Jane Dean known as a 4124 form, registered as code 1241251545AEZETRTY in the New London Legal Database. I'm sure you are aware what this means."

Arthur Whymper swallowed nervously. It had all made sense. It explained why the man seemed to be somewhat disturbed before he walked out, why his client had been delayed in arriving, and why the door had been locked from even the nearby restroom with security codes. It was standard intelligence procedure for insanity patients. But Arthur Whymper also knew this was part of a cover up to explain his absence, to be spirited away to a especially secure area of Sunderland Research Station.

"You have failed, slime. This.."

"..is part of a cover up in order to ensure your absence from public society and records pending your transfer to a mysterious research facility. Yes, I am indeed capable of reading your English letters. However, I am unable to determine the facility at which you are due to be transported, the nature of your mission, nor am I able to interfere directly."

"Because?"

"Well, even I cannot be in two places at once." Chuckled the voice

"Don't play the innocent bobby with me, old boy. I know that a 6 and 7 chap like you has got to have some fellow scallywags aiding him."

"Once again, Mr Whymper, your powers of observation do not fail you, despite your apparent optical issues which led you to take optical surgery a mere week ago. Most foolish of your security networks, keeping civilian medical records without lead hard encryption. And near your private doctor, too. Keeping tabs allowed me to keep tabs on them. Ah, the irony."

"STAY AWAY FROM ME!"

"Ah, a predictable response. Denial is the first, anger the 2nd, cowardice the 3rd. You are proceeding to me like an algorithm only, as much as I hate to tell you this, this is no computer simulation. All I ask of you is to.. well.. you are undoubtedly now aware I am subtly psychologically handling you. However, even your realization of this is part of my plan. You can struggle against fate if you like, Mr Whymper, but like in the old tales, it is the struggling which brings about the fate. You are not in a position to make choices and either choice you make is irrelevant for it shall bring me, the Norn of your little fate, to the same inevitable conclusion. You are trapped, Arthur, you are trapped and I am the trap master."

The caller ended the call. Mr Whymper sat, reeling in his cell, trying to process what he had heard. The caller was clearly deranged, but Arthur could not shake the feeling of not being a free agent. It appeared his blackmailer had at least 2 plans. But he may not expect a third. As the representative stepped in to discuss further matters with Mr Whymper, he spoke;

"Roger old boy, I think we should discuss this in the Executive Office. Our old boy is monitoring us and may pickup our arrangements here. Make sure to break the sound bug in Hallway 42, as well."

"Mr Whymper, while I am sure of the veracity of your claims, we do not have direct evidence that your perpetrator has a link to our databases beyond circumstancial evidence which may have been acquired by hacking your computer. As such, we cannot act in such a fashion and grant you access to such a secure area.."

Arthur Whymper's brain was buzzing with contradictions. The irrational side of the lawyer's brain dared him to utter the very "letter of the law" speeches that he detested. However, the more dominant, rational sector of his cranium urged him to simply calm himself against the madman's threats. It was likely the only thing keeping him in bondage to his plans was fear, anyway. He breathed in deeply, reconcentrating his breath, and spoke;

"The strange caller has hacked your security networks with some unknown technology possibly based off electromagnetic contact. He apparently hacked into your database when I made a call and may even be using biological weaponry to facilitate his efforts. He also claims to be currently monitoring me and to be playing my every move like a chessmaster."

"I see. While I would love to take action, my superiors inform me this operation is primarily to be above board at least superficially, due to controversial public sentiment around our projects in that area. Thus, I cannot do this below board."

"If this goes public, Roger, people will think I'm some sort of nutter! And shining the media spotlight on this, and letting the papparazi and their thugs put the batteries in the spotlight in the first place is suicidal!"

"Sir, you have not spent a single day in the Director's business. He knows what he is doing, and he knows that this is the best course of action to take given what the Prime Minister is asking. It's election time, Arthur, and the people are getting skittish. You know how politics are, the war with Kusari, the Gaian uprising, the Windsor integration controversy, Liberty attacks, rumours of coalitions of both sorts.. it's a hairy time for all of us, and I'm afraid your little security idea just got caught in the mats of the leviathan called politics."

Arthur's brain continued to split like a boiled egg. Numerous angles played into his mind like the perpetual madness of George Orwell's 1984, spiralling into infinite layers of contemplation. He stopped his train of thought like a computer calculating pi, thinking yet again and calming himself. He spoke again to the agent;

"When I get to the station."

Mr Whymper wrote in an unrecognizable scrawl used for private communications between him and Agent Roger. The note read;

"I want a bug in my room."

Several days later, a high security shuttle pulled into a nondescript, darkened docking bay of the BAF Macduff. While mere months ago, controversy had marred the reputation of the vessel after an unfortunate incident of genocide facilitated by greedy traders and a mad captain, the captain in question had been taken care of and now the MacDuff continued to be respected in many eyes as the heart and soul of the Tau 31 front. Several docking managers stood nearby, directing traffic droids and carefully managing other incoming traffic from their datapads. As the shuttle's leg's hooked magnetically onto the face of the battleships docking bay, Mr Whymper was escorted under armed guard out into a pneumatic tube, which gently slid down to admit it's occupants onto the station. They walked swiftly, only briefly waving at the docking officials while walking up to an elevator. The elevator's doors automatically opened for them.

The doors then slammed quietly closed as soon as Mr Whymper and his escorts had entered the lift. One of them quietly punched a code into the elevator, allowing several lights to reveal the more sensitive areas of the battleships. He pressed Level 10, taking them up to the executive office. Within merely 10 seconds, they had arrived through hundreds of metres of steel, the door quietly admitting them to an obsidian war room, where computer equipment and heraldry lay asunder. A well dressed man in military garb stepped from the side to greet the visitors;

"Good show, old chaps. It's a pleasure to see you round this side of the old pond."

"Merry days to you, Rear Admiral. I trust you don't mind us dropping in for a wee bit of executive management?"

"Not at all old bean. You are accepted as guest staff of the BAF Macduff by the power vested in me by Admiral Cheshire, and I will shortly transfer the security codes to your neural net. Good show, men, and I hope to meet you in the next week for a pint of lager and a pint of international treaties."

"Very well, sir. I shall proceed to Level 8. Have a jolly good time."

"To you too, Arthur. Cheerio!"

Arthur Whymper and his escorts turned towards the elevator and headed towards Level 8 of the Macduff, the highly secured research and development area of the Macduff. Despite the jovial attitude of the 2 men, what they were embarking upon was in fact a very serious affair. The MacDuff was located in the middle of a warzone, above a controversial terraforming project, site of an atrocity, and in Arthur Whymper's interest, a secondary site for classified wreck examination.

Junkers who passed through Tau 31 often examined wrecks from the warzone and from the edges of the old asteroid fields. They often sold them to Zoners to ease the Zoners own expeditions in other systems, and sometimes even kept them in private museums within the hidden sections of Junker bases. Normally, these ships were just unlucky civilian cargo vessels or military patrols, but occasionally strange things had been recovered from the furthest edges of the fields, such as vessels of an almost alien design that seemed to echo that of some ships sighted in the far off planets of Primus and Gammu.

In this case, a larger load than usual of strange ships had been recovered from a large, anomalous asteroid in a far part of the Barrier ice field. The make of them had so far not been catalogued by the CRI research team present, but the highly ambigious looking initial scans prompted the summoning of Mr Whymper due to legal and international concerns. The elevator rapidly came to Level 8, opening to yet again admit Mr Whymper and his escorts. And yet another Bretonian was waiting, though amongst many men, women and droids. This man was Dr Seamus Monroe, leader of the Macduff research staff and Vice Regent on the Cambridge Board.

Dr Monroe spoke;
"Ah, greetings Arthur. I was wondering when you'd show up, you old busybody. Well, we just finished carving the 3rd ship out of the rock. Initial analysis has matched it to the first two, though once we get the scans underway my assistants will start cataloguing specific anomalies.."

img upload./wikipedia/en/8/85/RankinFitchfromRunawayJury.jpg/img

Arthur speaks to Dr Monroe while a technician works in the background

"Please, Seamus, save the technical talk for the military brass. I speak legalese, not technobabble"

The two men chuckled, Arthur Whymper passing something from his briefcase as he went;

"These are the 2555 forms for the unidentified entity subject to scientific study in a military environment. You will need to fill them out in English and Irish, due to the new bilingual policy on forms made using archival paper from a natural mint."

"Roger that, my lad. Let's spin the pen a bit and put a tip in the hat of old John Law."

The form was filled out within merely a minute. Mr Whymper rapidly creased it and folded it into his briefcase once more, walking off towards his tiny executive suite. He merely needed to walk through one hallway before reaching the small door, rapidly inputting the security code and taking a seat in the booth, which was barely the size of a row of toilet stalls. He sat down, and got to work, electronically mailing out forms to numerous officers and consulting legal databases for many hours.

Eventually, the day had come to an end, with little consequence but a thicker than normal hide and continued lack of identification of the ships markings. Arthur Whymper lay relaxing in his suite when a call came. Mr Whymper spoke;

"Hello, who is this? Arthur Whymper, executive manager and legal representative at your service."

The caller hung up. The call had scrambled the phone for a split second, but it seemed to revert as soon as Mr Whymper looked at it. He brushed it of as just his imagination. Then, the caller rang again. Mr Whymper attempted to check the ID, but found a scrambling effect. He hesitated, about to open his door for assistance when a new message arrived on his phone.

Mr Whymper pressed the receive message button, a strange voice ringing out of it;

"There is little point in attempting to escape this room. I am in control."

Mr Whymper attempted to open the door himself, finding it tightly sealed. He banged against it, then cursed himself for making his suite soundproofed. He then attempted to contact his guardians, finding the links dead.

The phone then rang again. Arthur Whymper picked it up;

"WHAT DO YOU WANT, YOU SICK CODGER?"

"I want to thank you, for one. You answered my first call, and that in itself was not only considerate but a great help in gaining control of your room. And your repeated calls to the authorities.. I feel like inviting you to join my organization already.."

"Your organization? Who are you pal, the Deep-Voiced-Molly-Hacker-Alliance? The Yorkish-Annoying-Nuisance-Frumples?"

"An organization is a term defined in Queen Carina's dictionary as A. The quality of being organised B. A group of people or other legal entities with an explicit purpose and written rules C. A group of people consciously co-operating. In this case, we are both B and C, my good man."

"Who is we?"

"Arthur, Arthur, Arthur. Surely as a patriot you should know how to speak your own tongue? Who is we is hardly proper grammar, and I don't even have to be a native speaker to tell you that."

"Don't play games with me, pal. You knew the context, and you are avoiding the question."

"You are clearly not the fastest wheel in the motorcade. Though I mean no offence, mental disorders and retardation are a serious, sensitive issue towards which I have the utmost respect.."

"You are undoubtedly a foreign inciter possibly employed by the Rheinland government in order to both organise more anti Bretonian elements of criminal groups here and to gather valuable information on research and salvaging projects."

"Why would I want the ordinary scrap that you so often find in your facilities."

"You don't. The scrap here is either remnants of Convoy 99-related experiments during the GMG war or secret Rheinland, Kusari or joint Kusari Rheinland projects deposited out by secret government forces near the end of the war in cooperation with agents of our own government."

"You have absolutely no idea where you are. Even if what you said was true, you would have barely have illuminated the base of the maze's gate, if I am indeed to employ a metaphor for your predicament."

"You are a nutcase with some hoodies and a stolen piece of technology, or a sociopathic black operations man. Either one works for me."

"This is why you are not in my position, Arthur. I shall say no more, for you evidently are uncomfortable with the truth as you can understand it."

"Fine, fine. I'll play along."

"As will I". The mysterious caller seemed to almost emit an image of a sinister smile.

"What do you want me to do?"

"Take an ethical stand and refuse to fill out a certain form that the Doctor and your handler will ask you to sign."

"That's it?"

"That's all I need you to do. Just for one day. It's not even illegal, and if anything, it's less illegal than what you would do otherwise. I know that your profession is hardly one for ethicists, but please, do this. Just once. Not for me, but for the innocents."

"What inn.. very well, very well.. the only reason I'm doing this is because I'm taking a stand. And you are still going on my report to the bobby's list."

"Alright then."

The caller said this farewell in a cheerful tone, then ceased the call. Arthur Whymper then left the phone on the hook, hoping to unlock the door. It stayed locked. He attempted to pound and find exits out of the room for several minutes, but the area had been designed to be impossible to access anyway other than the main door. It's ventilation was microscopic. Arthur Whymper laid the phone down and cursed himself. He found the door opened easily, and walked out to warn his superiors.

The next hour was full of furious shouts in the security booth. Guards and security technicians both swore they respectively heard and saw nothing unusual occurring in the room. Any attempts to trace hacking of any kind came up a blank, even with a cross reference to a massive, recently captured Hacker database. However, the fact the database only covered the northern Bretonian territory of the Hackers led Mr Whymper to speculate that it could have come from another area, like Southern Bretonia, the Taus or even Liberty itself. It seemed anything was possible now. He told them of the routine form he had been asked not to sign, and was reassured that they would look into his mysterious enemy.

However, in the middle of the night, Arthur Whymper was reawaken by an emergency visual call, which displayed gently above his wrist. The call seemed to depict a scientist and a businessman walking down the same hall Arthur Whymper's suite was located within. Voices rang out clearly from them;

"These findings only recently came up, sir. We decided to run one final scan using the XR21245 and found it possessed properties that.."

"I am well aware of what you found, Dr Monroe. And I cannot stress enough how vital it is this information remain secret to all except the direct representatives of Her Majesty. Even the executive staff here, including the highest ranking military personnel, are not to be informed of this.. it is to be classified Above Top Secret."

"I understand that documents related to the incident are given such classification, but that was nearly a decade ago.. keep a secret buried, and all it does is surface like an ugly gnome.."

"We are still in an active state of conflict with several parties, one of which even you do not know about. Suffice to say, this is a war for our land, our country and our minds, Dr Monroe. Any discussion of this document or its contents will be regarded, at the very least as an act of sedition if not a wilful act of treason."

"I understand that Arthur is not to be informed of this. What about Chief Regent Quintane?"

"His status is still under investigation as to whether he qualifies as a member of the executive branch. It is likely, however, that he shall be granted access to the Ingsoc documents, though the Primi documents may remain out of reach.."

Arthur Whymper sat in his bed, confused. Ingsoc? Primi documents? It sounded a load of babble, and whatsmore, the fantastic story told by the cameras might have been forged by his mysterious enemy, like the footage showing no incident undoubtedly was. He resolved to return to his slumber and discuss such matters with his handlers. If things went sour, he could always sign the Official Secrets act and continue his career. It's unlikely that a simple scan would be so high classed anyway..

Arthur Whymper awoke, the events of his scheduled rest time feeling like a mere nightmare. He arose, after several minutes walking up to the suite's door and calmly opening it, walking down the corridors to the executive suite. He entered the security code, the door opening to reveal the friendly faces of Dr Monroe and Agent Roger. He spoke;

"Top of the morning, gents. May I chance upon taking the spare seat here for a cuppa java?"

"By all means, my good chum. We have many things to discuss, but a discussion without tea, is a discussion not worth having."

Mr Whymper cheerfully sat down and spoke to Agent Roger;

"Roger old boy, I received a rather disturbing call showing you and Dr Monroe discussing something involving the scans from the unknown ships and their classification.."

An ill wind seemed to flow into the room, sucking out all mirth. Both men's faces immediately morphed into threatening grimaces;

"YOU HEARD WHAT?"

"I heard something about the classification of the scans, Agent Roger. I apologise for eavesdropping, but the call came in on an emergency frequency. I can sign the official secrets act for this if you wa.."

"Show me the scanner. Now. Or I will be forced to kill you."

"Well, well, there's no need for this hostility Roger.. but if you wish.."

Mr Whymper held out his scanner, searching through records and finding a record of an emergency call in the middle of the "night". It flashed up, the same events showing before the eyes of all 3 men. Agent Roger spoke;

"Unfortunately, Mr Whymper, you have become privy to information which no government act, no law can save you from the dangers of knowing. You have been judged a nonperson, and we shall eliminate you."

"I know my rights, Roger, and if I press this button, everything you just said will be sent to my firm and enough powerful people to bring you down to your knees."

"You are part of something far greater, Arthur. We will not allow you to stop us."

"Oh, so you are a conspiracy nut too. Goodness almighty, I thought this nonsense would be over. Well, even if you kill me, I'll be able to send the message."

"No, Arthur. You won't."

Agent Roger rapidly produced a gun in the blink of an eye and shot Arthur Whymper point blank in the heart. All went black, the last thing Mr Whymper heard being a faint explosion.