EMAIL: Shadowlass2000@yahoo.com

FEEDBACK: Well, sure.

DISCLAIMER: If I owned BtVS there never would have been a "Doctor" plot in the first place. I mean, come on.

Editor:

I was disappointed by your publication of Lawrence Berghoff's article in last month's issue of Black Ops: Ultra Secret Agent Monthly. "Out of Bounds: The Department's Hollow Victory" was poorly researched and completely misrepresented the department's efforts. Let's look at the most important element of the operation: It was a success.

I know that little fact might have gotten lost somewhere in the article in question. The simple fact is, the operation went as planned from beginning to end. It accomplished the two primary goals laid out by my superiors: 1) To distract the Slayer (i.e., Buffy Summers) from the department's meeting with our mole, and 2) To provide a reasonable excuse to the Slayer for possible suspicious incidents in the region of Sunnydale on the night of Feb. 25. Since the plan went off without a hitch, I consider it an unqualified success.

It is further indicative of the operation's effectiveness that months have passed since without sign that the Slayer or any of her intimates is any the wiser to our larger plans for Sunnydale. The only one in the area other than our mole who knows the situation was not as it appeared is Hostile 17 (a.k.a. "Spike" or "William the Bloody"), whose veracity was effectively destroyed by the operation that Mr. Berghoff criticized in the last issue of this publication.

That our long-term goals for the area are now indefinitely on hold cannot be attributed to the incidents of Feb. 25. Our plans were proceeding on schedule until an unforeseeable situation—unconnected with our operation—resulted in one of the Slayer's companions behaving oddly following the death of an acquaintance. In the wake of that incident our mole's transmission device was apparently rendered inoperable.

And despite Mr. Berghoff's contention, the "Doctor" scenario was logically constructed. There are a number of reasons why Hostile 17 was the ideal candidate for framing with the possession of biological weaponry:

1. A well-established history of violence. It only stands to follow that an individual which enjoys wreaking havoc as much as Hostile 17 does would embrace a plan for mass destruction, especially one which would leave his hands clean and allow him to watch from a distance.

2. Isolation. Hostile 17 is shunned by both the local human and demon populations. An opportunity was created by the subject having no one with whom to provide him with an alibi.

3. Desperation. For whatever reason—most likely, simple greed—when our Dnarvus demon counteragents offered the contraband to Hostile 17 under the pretext that they were delicacies and required a safe holding area until their feast day arrived, the HST was more than ready to help for a price.

4. Assumption of guilt. When the so-called "egg scheme" was revealed to the Slayer, she never believed that Hostile 17 would not perform such an act. She merely expressed surprise at him having the intelligence necessary to plan it.

The unexpected turn of the Slayer being involved with Hostile 17 did not affect the overall success of the operation. The possibility that the Slayer could have found the "demon eggs" on her own (my compliments to Tom Haynes in Cybernetics for creating such realistic facsimiles) was not an oversight; rather, if she had found them the last reason listed above—assumption of guilt—would have led her inexorably to the conclusion that Hostile 17 was planning something illicit. That was the ultimate beauty of the plan. No matter how it played out, the Slayer was sure to be distracted.

Despite the failure and ultimate dismantling of the Initiative, the ideals behind the project should not be abandoned. Not the experimentation on HSTs; the composite being Adam demonstrated the unfeasibility of that. But it should not be forgotten that demons are lower life forms and we should make use of them. Demons may be more elusive than cows and chickens, but for all intents and purposes, that is how we should regard them. They are incapable of higher emotions, and exist in this world to serve us.

So on behalf of myself, our Dnarvus counteragents, and Agent Janet Iverson ("Sam Finn" for the purposes of this mission), it is with confidence that I reiterate that the framing of Hostile 17 was necessary for the greater good—and I would do so again without hesitation.

Riley Finn

Finn is the author of The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Secret Agents. 2001, Covert Publications.

The End