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Espionage IV: The Second Coming


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:Yes, my son?!:

"Yaah!" Nox started back as a 3D image of the Pope filled the screen where Jared habitually resided. He gaped as the Pope started giggling.

:Hee hee! You should see your face!: He cackled, while pixels slowly rearranged themselves back into Jared. Nox glared.

"Could you be serious, for a moment?"

:Yes, give me a second, I'm getting a message from Sergei: Jared paused for a second, apparantly looking upwards, though one could only guess what he could see. :Hmph. He's bored, he wants something to do:

"Perhaps he shouldn't gave gone." Morganna said quietly.

:Probably not: Jared agreed, :It may sound harsh but I'm afraid I don't trust him:

"Sergei isn't Alexei." Morganna pointed out in a whisper.

:But you don't need me to point out the similarities: Jared replied. :Where's the other one?:

"Dalziel? He went to investigate one of the bomb sites."

Glasgow. Personally, Dalziel had always prefered Edinburgh, but he wasn't going to say anything about that right now. With a false identity he had quickly gained access to the bomb site, and was sifting through the wreckage. It occured to him that maybe a cream suit and blue shirt weren't quite the most suitable atire for this job. Still, he enjoyed getting dirty. He peered underneath a heap of rusted metal, before lifting it up with a grunt and toppling it over. There was nothing underneath, only more fragments of stone. Dalziel sighed, and brushed the dirt off onto his trousers.

He paced around the site several times, ignoring the gawping onlookers and police investigators. The bomb had been a nasty one, packed with nails and bits of glass. Everyone in the blast zone was dead. Dalziel reached a building with a crater where once there had been a ground floor. The upper floors were blocked by police tape, and they creaked. Dalziel peered at the ceiling of the room, noting the pattern of scorch marks and the surprisingly copious volumes of dried blood.

Following the various forensic courses he had taken, Dalziel worked his way around in a spiral just outside the be-cratered building. He noted the way the debris had fallen, the pattern of the soot and blood marks, the scattered remains of the furniture all giving clues...

Here. Here was where the bomb had been. Dalziel squatted on the ground and picked at the ash with his fingers. The remains of a charred table lay nearby, blasted and warped. There was a chair too, and the mark where a body had lain before the police cleaned them up. A small piece of card with the number 8 lay in the chalk outline. Dalziel had been counting the cards as he went around. The highest had read 29. He picked up a pinch of the dust-like substance on the ground and ran it through his fingers. Frowning, he sniffed it carefully. He thought for a moment, before reaching into a pocket and withdrawing a small phial, which he filled with the grey powder.

Standing up, Dalziel decided he was finished here. He arched his back to realign his bones after squatting, and began to walk back to his vehicle. He thought as he walked, going over the facts in his head. There had been nails, there had been glass. That was characteristic of a home-made bomb. But none of the marks pointed to sugar, fat, fertiliser, or any of the other common DIY bombs. Dalziel resolved to pay a visit to the nearest forensic laboratory.

Dalziel walked into the police station like he owned it. He swaggered past the desk and because he looked confident he was allowed through without a problem. He smirked slightly to himself. He could get away with things that the rest of his family never could. He had a false pass, just in case, but in this instance he had not needed it. How very pleasing.

Sauntering along the corridors, Dalziel just followed the signs. Every so often he was stopped, but a quick lie and a showing of the pass let him through. It really was ridiculously easy.

He reached the lab without incident. Peering at the door, he turned the handle and pushed. The door stayed shut. He cursed silently, looking around. A woman with a sheaf of papers in her hand was just disappearing around the corner. Dalziel glared at the lock. It was nothing special, just a tiny keyhole for one of those stupid keys shaped like telegraph poles. Reaching into another pocket, he withdrew a delicate wire and, glancing around, inserted it into the lock. A few seconds of hurried poking about were futile, as were the next few minutes of examining the lock, jiggling the handle, knocking on the door, trying to break the lock silently, and standing outside the door looking casual whenever someone walked past.

It was one of these people who took very little notice of Dalziel, stopping at the door and pulling it open. Dalziel did not stop to ponder the irony of this, but slipped in behind her. As she turned, framing her mouth into some protest or other, he swiftly grabbed her throat and squeezed in just the right place. She slumped to the floor, unconscious.

Looking around to makere sure nobody else was in the lab, Dalziel hurried to hide the woman in a corner, and donned a white laboratory coat. Taking the phial from his pocket, he located the correct equipment and began his work...

A few minutes passed. When the unconscious woman began to groan, Dalziel grabbed the chloroform from the bench and held a soaked cloth to her face for a few seconds, feeling slightly guilty as he did so. Returning to his work, he watched the lab computers continue their analysis. Then the results were displayed.

It was just as he thought. The bomb had not been home-made, it had been a sophisticated piece of work. The chemicals involvd had not been disguised or masked, and they were very exclusive. The nails, one had to assume, had been added as an afterthought. Making a note of the chemical configuration of the bomb, Dalziel wiped the computer and cleaned the equipment. He checked on the still sleeping woman as he left.

Next stop, the mortuary. Time to see what kind of effect this bomb had had. Dalziel pulled on the rubber gloves and walked through the door.

There were two men with clipboards here, but they paid him no attention. They were examining two of the corpses, laid out on the slab. Dalziel walked past them, taking in enough of the bodies to learn that they had been killed by the nails, not the bomb itself. They hadn't been close enough.

Wandering down the hall of frozen bodies, Dalziel counted off the numbers. He wasn't looking for anything in particular, but he stopped when he reached the drawer labelled '8.'

"So you were the one closest to the bomb..." He murmured to himself, "I wonder, did you know?" Grasping the handle, Dalziel heaved the drawer open. It slid back with barely a whisper, clanking as it reached the end, hanging out over the tiled floor. The body was wrapped in the usual plastic, but Dalziel pushed the coverings aside. He started slightly as he saw the face of the body, but he didn't know why. It was little more than a skull, with charred skin barely clinging onto the bone. The heat must have been tremendous. The eyes were shrivelled into the backs of the sockets, and the nose was gone completely. But... but there was something about the skull... Dalziel couldn't put his finger on it. He didn't recognise a single feature, had no idea who this could be. But something nagged him, something in his lawyer's eye for tiny and apparantly unimportant detail was sitting up in the back of his mind and screaming at him. He looked closer.

Nothing. Dalziel sighed, and made to push the drawer closed again. The little voice shouted louder. It screeched that he had missed something, that something vital was in the face of this corpse and he needed to find it. Dalziel stood still for several long moments, waging a war between his logic and his instincts.

Finally he gave up. It was clear that if he didn't investigate then he wouldn't get any sleep tonight. He reached underneath the drawer and pulled. Immeditely, four steel poles tipped with wheels telescoped out of the bottom. The drawer detatched from the row, and became a trolley. Dalziel thanked modern ingenuity. Reversing, he wheeled the corpse around and then started pushing towards the other end of the mortuary, where the various scanners lay dormant. It was the work of a few minutes to remove the plastic covering and shift the body into one of the metal monsters. Dalziel carefully turned it on, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself. He had spent a year learning how to utilise one of these things; he hoped his memory would serve him.

More long hours passed. People came and went, and Dalziel ran scans and checks with various post mortum bits and pieces. He was just beginning to digitally reconstruct the face of the person in question with the data he had gathered when something began to dawn on him.

Avoiding the idea, not examinging it in case it flittered away forever, Dalziel continued working. The face of the woman was building up, piece by piece as the muscles, tendons, and finally skin were laid on top of the bone structure. Dalziel finally recognised her. She had been a brief figure in Jared's explanations of the past family, her name... what was her name?

"Speak of the devil." Nox said as a little yellow light went off. He pressed the button next to it and spoke into the air, "Yes, Dalziel? What is it?"

"The name of the woman." Dalziel's voice panted from various speakers. Jared and Morganna both listened carefully. "The woman that Jared said was connected to the Pelican, what was her name?" Both Nox and Morganna looked at Jared's screen. Jared looked slightly taken aback at the urgency of Dalziel's tone.

:You mean Francis?: He said with a slight hesitation.

"Yes! Yes, that's it!" Dalziel's voice sounded elated, "That's the one. Listen, I've found a body here in Glawgow with a bone structure that's almost certainly her's. I'm patching the data through to you now..."

Morganna slipped along to another two consoles, typing on them both before pressing a blue button. A screen opposite Jared's began to fill with data. Jared himself went quiet, as he always did when interacting with new data personally.

:It's her alright: He said almost immediately, looking up. :I've already cross-checked with the images I have of her, that's definately Francis. Find out whatever you can Dalziel, this might be important:

"...Right." Dalziel sounded slightly put out, though he tried to mask it.

"Thanks bro." Morganna said gently, before disconnecting.

:So Francis is dead...: Jared mused, though he did not look at all pleased. :I wonder who... I'm going to talk to Midgar, excuse me: His face winked out.

Leaving the police station several hours after having arrived in it, Dalziel stepped out into the night. He had collected everything he could from Francis' body, including pocketing everything that had been found on or near her at the time. He would examine it later. For now, he justed wanted a rest.

Getting into the sleek, black car, so different from the massive thing that had driven him to Rilauven, Dalziel sighed in relief. Carefully making sure nobody was watching, though nobody could see through the blacked out windows anyway, he peeled off the latex that had masked his appearence from the many CCTVs. Time to find a hotel...

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Felix had bought a small,but semi-popular clothes-making company at the urging of Merlin.The AI's advice had not gone awry.Felix now had a steady trickle of cash coming in each day.

Good.Now I can start doing the big things.

20 keys of coke were coming in today,and Felix knew that if the drug deal wouldn't go sour,he would have quite a profit on his hands.Of course,he couldn't go himself,it was too risky,but he had sent 10 well-armed thugs to the checkpoint.He awaited their news any second now.


Felix jumped at the ring,and started towards his cell phone.



"We got it.Went without a hitch.20 keys of pure Columbian coke right here."

Felix smiled.


"Good.Bring it right over."

He put down the phone and sighed in content.He already had 2 dealers set up around the city.This was good...

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Leaning on the desk, Derreck looked at the screen, filled with unintelligable computer language he could not make heads or tails of. He took his hands of the desk and straightened his back, and swept his eyes across the room. Actually it was more of a hall, filled from wall to wall with desks and PC's, each manned by the greatest computer experts the state had to offer. This division of MI5 had been designated Epsylon 5. Using several state of the art super computers it kept track of everything that occured on the world wide web, and registered anything suspicious. Sadly, the vast amount of data meant that it could take days or weeks before encrypted logs could be turned into solid leads. Derreck had been called to see the leader of Epsylon 5. Probably they had found something big...

"Mr. Carter, good to see you." said a voice behind Derreck, who promptly turned to face the man. It was a man in his forties, black hair but going bald, and round spectacles placed on his big nose. A rather large belly betrayed that this man never got up from his desk and PC much, and ate to many donuts. Talking about stereotypes...

"Mr. Clark, I presume?" Derreck said as he shaked the man's sweaty hand. The man nodded.

"I believe we have something for you." he handed Derreck a bunch of papers. "This is the info we have on what was disguised as a national bank- however, it was only a cover, set up by what appears to be an international crime organisation with members in America, France and even Vietnam."

"Go on..."

"We haven't been able to decrypt everything yet, but this should prove interesting: in at least 4 files there is mention of an individual called "The Pelican"!"

"That's all?"

"We should be getting more out of it, but it will take some days. Other than that we've also determined that someone had been hacking into the bank's computer system from an inidentifyable laptop. We're working on that to." the man said, somewhat exited.

"I also asked you to find any leads regarding Mikhail Ivanovich's location."

The man's expression turned more serious.

"We don't have anything yet... but we will. If there's anything about him on the web at all, we'll find it!"

Derreck's cell phone rang.

"Carter here...yes, I know...Ivanovich!?...where?...I'm on my way." Derreck grinned at the man. "We've found him already- but thanks anyway."

It was 2:00 in the night, extensive clouds prevented the moon from providing any light to the scene. About 200 metres from a thick forest there was a building, officially a hotel, but used for tottally different purposes: in here they kept Ivanovich, hopefully alive and still asleep. If one would look from a hotel window to the forest, he would not be able to see the dozens of men sneaking silently to the hotel from the forest, where they had just paradropped. They were SAS troopers, and their mission was to get Ivanovich alive. And if one would look from a hotel window, he would not be able to see that every road leading to this hotel was guarded by Brittish soldiers and helicopters, ready to ambush anybody trying to escape...

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<It seems that we may have a problem.> Midgar stated bluntly. Jared waited for a second, before his own green lettering began to appear on one of the many screens.

:Problem? We have explosions, a dead Francis, an apparant resurgence of the ETA, my spoons are breeding, and policemen on our tail. Maybe. What exactly are you referring to?:

<...Spoon breeding?>

:There's always one more each time Nox or Morganna opens the drawer. I don't know where they're coming from:

<...Hm. Anyway, I've been searching the NI database, among other places, for any connections that Francis might have had before her death. Phone records show that she was still maintaining a tenuous link with the ETA, so she might have upset them in some way, but that still begs the question of how they were able to kill her without a fuss or anyone knowing before the bomb went off.>

:That magical tone of yours makes me think that this is not the end of the line:

<No, it isn't. It seems that during his lifetime the Pelican managed to keep one rather important fact secret from us. Even Francis didn't reveal it while she was at Redlak, though I can't fathom why.>

:Ooh, big news?:

<Sort of. They had a son.>

:A child? Spawn of the man almost directly responsible for my death?:

<...What are you, a vampire?:

:A god, effectively immortal and everything:

<And if I unplug you?>


<Nietzche would be pleased.>

:Nietzche is dead!:

<Anyway, her son seems to have gone under several names throughout his life, though the one that reappears the most is 'Yoshi.' He somehow managed to register as several different people as well, one of which went to university.>

:So we're dealing with spawn that happens to be clever?:

<And has the right contacts. I suspect, though I can't prove anything yet, that Yoshi may have been directly or indirectly responsible for Francis' death.>

:Wouldn't surprise me:

<And then there is this man 'Ivanovich.'>

:A connection? You know his hospital room was fired at...:

<But there was no body. I examined the CCTV records as well as various satellites that happened to be pointing in that direction at the time. I don't know who wants him dead, but someone most certainly wants him alive, at least for now. They've taken him elsewhere, probably to keep him safe from whoever tried to kill him in the first place.>

:I know a man who might be very interested in that sort of data. How far does it track?:

<Quite a long way. Ivanovich was taken to a hotel near some woodland, but moved out soon afterwards. I think he was only there for a few minutes, just long enough to collect supplies.>

:So he's not there anymore?:

<No, but that's the last known location I have of him. I'm working on the next bit.>

:Right. I'll take over the search for this Yoshi person, shall I?:

<If you would be so kind.>

(With thanks to whoever came up with the Nietzche joke, it wasn't me).

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(What exactly is the DPM?)

Derreck was raged to find out that he brought out the army and the SAS and sequently find out he had been tricked. His superiors were almost as angry, and had given him a stern warning- as if that meant anything. With Derrecks record, they'd never think of giving him the sack. Amusingly however, the media had praised the Brittish government for sending such a strong signal to the child pornography underground, even though they had not commented on the raid. Derreck figured they wouldn't tell the media the truth about what they were hoping to find there.

"There's only one explanation" Derreck said. He drank some of his coffee, then put his cup down. "they've got friends in high places."

"You think we have a mole in our department?" Charles asked.

"Possibly even in the government. Who else would have been in the position to provide us with false info undetected?" Derreck turned his head to look at Eric.

"You want me to look into this sir?" Eric asked reluctantly.

"Finding moles within the department isn't our job sir, we could get into trouble if we started an investigation about it without orders." Charles said.

"Why? Obviously either the Pelican or his accomplices have instructed the mole to throw us off track, so it's in the interest of the investigation. If those big chiefs got a problem with the way we operate, they take it to me." Derreck said with determined voice, and lifted his cup for some more coffee.

"Eric, you're working on this mole from now on. I doubt you'll find anything, but we have to make do with what we got. Charles, double your efforts to find this Ivanovich guy. He is still our most potential lead. I'll call those nerds at Epsylon 5 and tell them to start looking for suspicious traffic within the department. It's about time they come up with something we can use."

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DPM = EWS speak for Deputy Prime Minister, as far as I can gather.

Dalziel drove on, refreshed after his overnight nap in the hotel. He had decided against using Nox's numerous methods of paying with a credit card and not being traced, but had used cash instead. He always liked doing that, it was completely undetectable. Like the old days he had read so much about... Dalziel himself had no experience of them. He had been ten years old during the Cut, and remembered little of the years preceeding it.

He was heading South now, away from Glasgow. He was glad to be leaving, really. Francis' body had creeped him out. Still, he didn't exactly relish his new task either. Manchester; another big city. Dalziel generally liked cities, but there was something about some of them that he just couldn't enjoy. Cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, he tried to avoid; while he thrived in Edinburgh, London, or Paris. Maybe it was something about capital cities. He drove on.

* * *

"That was taking too long." Sergei complained as he started the engine. His elder sister, still hidden behind her sunglasses, nodded slightly in agreement.

"Mischa can take care of anything that might need to be debated." She said as the vehicle pulled away. "And if there's trouble then she can always contact us via Nox and Morganna."

"Trouble?" Sergei lifted an eyebrow, "You think those wackos will try anything?"

"If they do then Mischa is more than capable of defending herself." Vivian retorted, "Otherwise I wouldn't have left her there. She can take care of business while you and I get back to our own affairs."

"We're heading back to Rilauven House first, yeah?" Sergei checked.

"Yes, we are." Vivian answered. "We both have equipment that we need to collect."

* * *

"Jared..." Morganna started awkwardly, watching one of her many screens carefully, "Who is the Magus?"

:The Magus?: Jared's voice echoed from a nearby speaker, :He, er... he used to be our boss:

"Boss?" Nox looked up from his own data transfers.

:Well, sort of: Jared looked awkward. :The Magus was the man who first provided us with the funds to start our opperation. In return, we would carry out any covert deals or favours he asked of us. I had very little contact with him myself, he mostly relised on Vivian and Julia. ...Why do you ask, Morganna?:

"I just got a message from him."

:You what? I thought he'd be dead by now! Here, let me have a look...: Jared's face blurred for a moment as part of his consciousness transfered elsewhere. :He wants an explanation? I get the feeling that this isn't good, contact Vivian...:

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With money coming in daily from his clothes making factory,Felix carefully started to build his empire.First,he bought a popular nightclub.Then -- he killed a competitor,buying all his properties.He had his coke dealers spread all across town.He was making a tidy profit,and soon he would be able to buy the nice little villa be the ocean that he had his eyes on.But his trackers...they were an annoyance.He would have to deal with them somehow,but it would have to be very well-planned...

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OOC:Meh.You're right.I did rush and try to type everything up quickly. :-[(Which obviously didn't work! :P)Anyway,I'll try writing up a longer and more detailed response. :-X


Felix slowly extracted the fibre wire from his jeans pocket and sneaked up on the biker,careful to not make a sound.But he wasn't too worried.The road was quite close,and it was a busy road at all times of day.The roar of cars would drown out his footsteps as he approached the overweight biker.His bodyguards had fallen asleep,empty beer bottles all around them,snoring like babies.This one had gone out to have a smoke,and decided to not bring along his bodyguards.

His fatal mistake... Felix thought as he crept up to the man,the fibre wire stretched to the limit in his hand...

Only at the last minute did the biker leader notice the sudden movement,and by then,a metal cord was around his neck,squeezing,squeezing,until, *POP!* the windpipe collapsed upon itself and the biker's grappling hands went still.


Searching the man's jacket and pants,he found 200 dollars,a few grams of coke,and the key's to an old Harley.Pocketing the money and coke,he turned around and strode back to the waitng cab...


"Well,thats good old Jack gone!" Merlin said cheerfully as Felix told him of the success.

"He won't be bothering us anymore!By the way,why didn't you shoot him,just to be sure that he was dead?"

Felix's smile faded.

"I heard his windpipe snap,idiot.And it would be at least an hour or so before his thugs found him.They were totally drunk and in la-la land.Not to mention I put sleeping pills in their drinks," he finished,beaming.

"Well,at least you've learned something."

The tension broken,they both laughed.


Felix had gone out to a bar,and Merlin was doing some money-making of his own.

So many choices,so many banks...

He chose the Bank of Edinburgh.Rich,but small.Good enough for a job.

By-passing the bank's security systems was easy,but the bank DID have pretty good virus-scanners.Felix was ready for that.Throwing in a few viruses to throw the virus scanners off the track,he hacked into the main online safe.Then,quickly hacking through the protection program,he transferred 5 million dollars to an anonymous Swiss ban account.

Untraceable,of course.

If Merlin were able to,he would have smirked.Felix would be pleased when he came back.

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:I have a new project for you, Mischa: Jared's voice spoke from the mobile phone, hugged between Mischa's ear and her shoulder. :I need someone to visit Japan to restore some old contacts there in person. While you're there you'll need to procure some important hardware for Rilauven, more details at the time. You'll need help with this one, so Morganna will be going with you. I've got the plane tickets already, you'll need to stop by at the house to pick them up:

"Why Japan?" Mischa asked, feeling glad as a police car passed her that the windows were darkened, and nobody could see her breaking the law by using a mobile phone while driving.

:That's where the hardware is. Don't worry, after that I've got quite a little globe-trot lined up for you. Won't give the details just yet. For now, head back:

* * *

Dalziel wandered into the building, taking various turns and showing his false pass whenever it seemed to be necessary. It was amazing how people who were bored just glanced at the pass and decided it would do. It was a very good forgery, but a really close inspection, which it should have needed, would have revealed it.

"Epsylon 5..." He murmured to himself, walking smartly into the room that buzzed with the humming of many computer fans. Dalziel was just one person, yet another person in a busy system. If anyone noticed him, they said nothing. He was ignored. Sitting down at a free computer, he logged into the system.

* * *

:Ordinarily yes, but this is the Redlak lot we're talking about: Jared said, indecision written across his generated features. :I don't like working against them:

"We have our own interests." Nox persisted, "And our own interests will not always meet theirs. You worked with them in the first place in order to destroy a man who killed Dalziel's original. That man is dead now, you have no obligation to them." Jared paused, seemingly thinking things over, though his thought processes had probably dealt with the matter by now.

:Very well: He agreed, :We warn Felix:

* * *

Note for Felix:

No time for you to pack up, you personally must vacate location immediately. Don't take anyone with you. Forces on the way to capture you now. Should you escape, you owe us.

* * *

Vivian prowled the streets of Edinburgh, newly rebuilt after the bomb damage of the Cut. She began circling...

* * *

Sergei boarded his flight to California with a surely expression. It was the one he always wore. He was still angry at being beaten. So angry, he didn't even make dirty remarks to the stewardesses.

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Eric Fletcher examined the photographs in the map again as he walked through the corridors of MI5 department. He took a left turn, into the direction wich said "Epsylon 5", the notorious section of MI5 that kept track of anything and everything that happened on the internet.

On his search to the mole wich had helped the suspected kidnappers of Ivanovich, he had through a bizarre quirk of fate stumbled upon yet more data about the mysterious family organisation that was believed to have dealings the Pelicans network. They were now completely sure it was a criminal family organisation, with limited data on 4 of it's members:

Elisa- a redhaired female, one photograph, no additional info.

Julia- a blonde haired female, 3 photographs, posseses black belt in Ju-Jitsu and Tai Kwando. Believed to be extremely dangerous.

Alexei- dark haired male, 2 photographs, suspected of multiple homocide

The fourth was special: he was already known to the regular police for a long time. His name was Benjamin, and was on the wanted list of the French police for large scale fraud and falsification of government papers. There was an abundance of photographs and data on him, but he had dissapeared completely sometime around the cut.

When he almost reached the door to the actual Epsylon 5 section on the right, a man came out of the double doored entrance and headed right. Eric could thus only see his back, but he knew that something was wrong about him- he wore expensive Italian shoes, like the ones he used himself, and computer experts working at MI5 don't get paid much. Also he appeared nervous, and hasty to get out of the building- however, he was heading in the wrong direction, and turned around as soon as he realised that, exposing his face to Eric.

It was him, Benjamin.

He recognised him from the photographs belonging to his files. As he stared perplexed into his eyes, the blonde man knew Eric knew, and Eric realised he knew. He moved his left hand to his holster to take out his servive pistol but he was to slow. The blond man stormed right along side him and Eric felt a sudden cold in his belly. Then everything turned slow. He could hear the man's footsteps as he ran towards the exit, and looking down he saw a knife thrust into his body, just beneath the ribs. He barely managed to scream "help" before he totally collapsed. The last thing he saw was a woman kneeling over him and yelling something, but to him it was only a faint echo and he could not understand anything of it. Then everything went black. The last thing he thought before passing out was:

I'll make it. And now we've finally got something on those bastards. He didn't wear gloves. There will be fingerprints on that knife.

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(OOC: Anathema, I am very impressed; that was extremely good).

Dalziel hurried away from the MI5 building, trying his best to look both inconspicuous and casual, while walking as fast as he could. He had seen the recognition in the man's eyes... Dalziel had never seen the man before, but he realised that this didn't necessarily mean anything. His mask hadn't been good enough... damn! Still, he left the latex in place as he hurried through the city, hoping that it would be enough to fool the computers and CCTV cameras. Suddenly remembering, he took his sunglasses out from his pocket and hid his eyes behind them. Reaching behind his ear, Dalziel activated the tiny headphone placed on the right side of his head. The microphone slid down, and Jared hissed a code into it.

:Yes, Dalziel? What is it?: Jared's voice spoke from the earpiece.

"I was recognised!" Dalziel hissed into the microphone, making sure to keep his voice and head low. "The man in the building, he recognised me, sort of..."

:You mean he knew you, or he knew Ben?: Jared asked, his voice becoming suddenly serious.

"I don't know!" Dalziel cried, slightly louder than he meant to. Hurrying on from the strange looks, he continued to talk. "Somehow he saw through my mask. I wasn't wearing my sunglasses at the time, and he saw through the mask! And, oh no, I'll have left my fingerprints on the computer!"

<Calm down, Dalziel.> A third voice interrupted; sounding similar to Jared, but younger. <You've gotten us out of trouble before, we know how to do the same for you. I'd suggest you hide for now, don't worry about anything. Just hand over the infomation you've got and we'll deal with it.>

"Thanks Nox." Dalziel panted, immeditately heading into the closest hotel. "They believed you were working with the Pelican, Jared. They have details of your family that you should see. I've made a copy of the data and I'll send it to you in a few minutes."

:Thank you Dalziel: Jared said, :Now do as your brother says and go hide somewhere. Even if you're caught, we've had worse. I had to rescue Alexei from Death Row once. Wiped all traces of him, it really was a masterwork... See you soon, Dalziel:

The earpiece went dead. Dalziel, now leaning against a pillar in the hotel lobby, reached up to turn it off, when it began hissing again. He paused, and found that someone was talking to him...

<Not there. I know a place to hide. Go out, follow the burnette.> The earpiece went dead, as the connection was suddenly cut.

Dalziel looked around suspiciously. He couldn't see anyone with any obvious transistor equipment... Not that it mattered. He could have sworn he recognised the voice... Replacing his sunglasses, Dalziel strode out into the street.

Scanning the area, he could see no sign of any particularly special burnette. Dalziel's heart sunk. There were so many! Which could it be? What could it mean?

A shadow behind him detached from the building, and Dalziel, already more jittery than usual, jumped as a tall woman with brown hair walked slowly out from the hotel doorway, where she had been lurking. With the slightest of glances in Dalziel's direction, though her eyes were hidden behind sunglasses, she began to make her way down the street. Taking the hint, Dalziel followed.

* * *

[a few hours later]

"Dalziel says he's hiding out in some sort of guns storage room." Nox reported, holding his earpiece up to better recieve the signal. "Apparantly some woman guided him into the suburbs and opened some secret entrance or other, before disappearing."

:Strange guiding women don't just disappear...: Jared muttered suspiciously. :Are you sure he's safe?:

"There doesn't seem to be any pursuit..." Nox murmured as he spiralled around to the other side of the ring-shaped console, where Morganna had spent most of her time. "Well, there is, but not on the right track. This woman seems to know her stuff."

:You have to admit, it is difficult to swallow that some strange woman should just happen to appear from nowhere when Dalziel needs a place to hide to guide him to a... what was it, a gun storage facility?: Jared said, frowning. :A burnette...:

"You have an idea?" Nox lifted an eyebrow.

:Yes, but only an inkling: Jared replied slowly, :I don't want you looking into this woman, alright? I suspect Vivian will find what we need when she takes on the Magus...:

* * *

Vivian stood silently in the twilight, which was just moving over Edinburgh. She had spent the last few hours circling one particular building, and double-checking everything that was in her laptop. It seemed her predecessor had seen fit to record not only instructions, but also a detailed history of all contacts, as well as other infomation. At the head of the list, was the Magus.

This was his building. This was the entrance that the old Vivian had always used. It wasn't much to look at, a plain grey door set into a plain building that was mostly glass on the outside. Next to it was a keypad with no numbers, the buttons also plain and grey. Vivian keyed in the correct code, and there was a click as the door moved slightly to the left as it unlocked. Grasping the handle, she entered...

* * *

(Also OOC; you should have noticed now that three of my characters have now left the British Isles. They'll just disappear for a while now, since I think the British limitation will remain in place for a little longer, unless anyone would prefer it to be removed? If three or more participants contact me by IM to remove it then it shall go. And sorry if this post seems rushed, I'm tired...)

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Derreck had sat next to Erics hospital bed for almost an hour, not wanting to wake him. When Eric wake up, one of the first things he noticed was that there were 3 empty plastic coffee cups on a nearby table.

"Hello boss."

"Hey Eric. I understand that our man messed you up pretty badly."

"I'll be fine. The doctor said no permanent damage was done and I'll be out in a week if I'm lucky."

"Good. Some of the guys at our department wanted to come too, but they would only allow one person in. Now I need to talk to you. Who was this guy?"

Eric's face lost all expression of emotion.

"He's one of the family in our files. He wore a partial latex mask but I recognised him from the pictures- he's got pretty characteristic eyes. Could you follow him?"

"I'm afraid not. You mean he's this Benjamin guy?"

"Yeah...did you get any fingerprints?"

"We found some on the knife and then some on the computer he used- there's however, something that doesn't quite fit."


"We already had fingerprints of Benjamin. The French once trialed for falsification and declared him not guilty, but they did store his prints and DNA pattern. The French passed us the files and they don't match with what we found at HQ."

"That can't be...I'm totally sure it was him. Maybe he has a twin brother?"

"We've run a DNA check on some hair we found at the PC he used- the DNA is a perfect match, so that seems likely. There's however something weird with the hair. Based on the juvinity of the cells the researchers had determined that it must belong to a man of around 20, while Benjamin should be 31 at this time- and any twin brothers he had too."

"That doesn't make any sense...though now you mention it...the man I saw, whoever he was, was pretty young. Nowhere near 31."

"There might be one explanation..." Derreck paused for a moment. He looked at Eric, who appeared to absorb every minute detail of this conversation, even the tone of voice. Eric was young and unexperienced, but very devout. Derreck continued.

"I think the man is a clone, a genetic duplicate. I know it sounds absurd, but there's no other way there could be a younger man walking around with the same genetic traits. The lab is analysing the hairs for deviations in the cell membranes with wich they should be able to determin if the new sample is from a clone of the original Benjamin."

"How could he be a clone? 20 years ago cloning technology was very crude. They couldn't even clone a sheep without losing it 2 years later, and they never even tried to clone a human being."

Derreck shrugged his shoulders.

"Apparently, they did. We're dealing with a recourceful family here."

Derreck reached for one of the coffee cups and dranks a bit from it. He drank way to much coffee and was desperately trying to stop smoking, but Eric suspected he wouldn't hold out long. Derreck had been an MI5 agent for 22 years now and it was taking its toll of him.

That's what I'm going to be like one day Eric thought.

The room door opened and a nurse stepped halfway in.

"I'm afraid you'll have to go now Mr. Carter. Our patient needs some rest."

"Five more minutes and I'm gone." he said, turning his head back to Eric.

"I think this won't surprise you but this Benjamin or whoever he was succeeded in logging into the Epsylon 5 network with a forged account and is now in possesion of the information we have on his family."

"He knows everthing we know of him then?"

"I'm afraid so. That means we have to work fast on what we got before they erase all their tracks."

"Mr. Carter, I'm afraid you have to go now" the nurse spoke with a more stern tone this time. Derreck was obviously irritated by the nurses presence.

"Do you mind butting out of a classified conversation?

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[OOC: Yeah, it's night. Vivian's sneaking around Edinburgh, remember?]

:Nox,: Jared asked quietly, :You wouldn't happen to have a rough estimate of how many security cameras there are in Britain, would you?:

"There aren't any official government figures, not surprisingly." Nox answered, sounding distracted as he typed three different lines of code on four different consoles at two different angles. "A recent estimate suggests about two and a quarter million for the British Isles, that's about one for every fourteen people; though they are only really found in high numbers in the larger cities. Some sources believe that Britain possesses an entire fifth of the world's CCTVs."

:What a charming little data node you have become: Jared grinned, :And out of all those many many CCTVs in Britain, how many would you estimate have been carefully and exactly placed to peer into the offices or bedrooms of specific people?: Nox thought for a moment carefully, pausing in his typing.

"Twenty percent." He answered, resuming his work.

:Eighty four: Jared winked, calling up a few live CCTV images to flicker behind his facial projection. Percent, that is. Eighty four percent of CCTVs in Britain have been specifically and carefull placed to spy on people. Specific people. Most of them nameless young women:

"So the police force is more or less made up of perverts." Nox smirked, "Well, I can't say I'm surprised." He finished typing, and reviewed the codes before sending them away and moving to another line of switches and levers. "It's almost like they're some kind of voyeurism convention..."

:Not easy, since they are all voyeurs they'd spend all of their time watching each other and no time conventioning: Jared smiled.

"But it makes perfect sense." Nox grinned, though he didn't take his eyes off the new screen. "What better way for the

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OOC: What happens to EWS' characters and stuff now that he is away?

"All I can say is, screw them" Derreck Carter said as he examined the little paper. He then placed it in a plastic bag for evidence, careful not to smudge any prints or whatever may be on it.

"You're not taking these guys seriously?" Eric asked. " I mean, they like got into my room without detection and managed to bypass the computers to overwrite the security cams, doesn't that mean something?"

"They may be recourceful," Charles Browining said, who was standing in the corner of the room. "but if they think they can keep ahead of us forever they're overestimating themselves. They don't even know what we have on them- in the last 3 days we have written a 240 page thick file on their asses."

"I don't suppose that those 240 pages contain anything but vague clues and speculations, though?"

"Well yeah, but it's damn good speculation. Listen to this:" Carter said as he reached into his coat and took out a paper. It was a photograph of a rather large house.

"You recognise this picture?"

The picture seemed vaguely familiar to Eric. He had seen it before in his acadamy years, but that's all he could remember.

"Not really..."

Derreck put the photo gently back into his pocket.

"It's a mansion in a desolate location in Scotland, called "Redlack mansion". Does that ring a bell?"

"Kind off...go on please."

"This particular photo was taken by a British satelite shortly before the cut. The house was under suspicion for a while, and we think the inhabitants were somehow responsible for The cut. They either ordered it or had ties with the culprits." Carter turned his head to look at Charles. He appeared very tired of all the work he had to pull off.

"Charles, you obviously need some coffee. While you're at it, could you get some for me too?"

"Right..." Charles left the room obediently.

"He needs a day off I think...anyway, the Russians at the time knew all this too, but they undertook some action: they send a full strike force of 3,000 men and support verhicles to capture the mansion. You have got to have heard something about this in training."

"I do...weren't the French there as well?"

"Exactly. A French agent had infiltrated the Russian strike force and participated in the assault. The Russians were wiped out completely, and MI5 believed the French agent had undergone the same fate, until recently."

"What do you mean?"

"A few days ago we contacted the French intelligence agency with the proposal to combine our data and expertise. They were interested, as they're anxious to find out who caused The Cut and hang them. They told us what happened to the agent. He survived the massacre and actually managed to get inside briefly, get critical information on these guys and get out when he felt the heat in his back."

"Sounds like quite a guy..."

Derreck shrugged.

"For a Frenchman maybe. The men occupying the mansion are known as "The Guardians", lead by an mysterious figure known as Justin Redlak, an individual being both very rich, and very dead."


"The agent had seen his corpse. Here's a photo of him."

Derreck retrieved yet another photo from his pocket. The photo showed a brown haired man, quite handsome and neatly dressed.

"Does he have any relatives?"

"None that are registered. I'm afraid that's all the French have told us so far, though I expect they know quite a bit more." Derreck said.

"Maybe we should consider beating it out of them?" Eric smiled.

"Eric, you should neaver hit a woman or a Frenchman. It wouldn't be a fair match." Derreck grinned. "The mansion is still there by the way, but it's now property of a law firm. My guess is though that it's a sham, merely meant to make MI5 believe nothing is going on there anymore."

The nurse, who seriously annoyed Derreck during his last visit, appeared in the door opening.

"Mr. Carter, visiting hour is over."

"All right, we're pretty much done here. I'll see you again in a few days when you're out of the hospital Eric. I'll also have 2 guards stationed in front of your room permanently to scare off any nightly visitors."

"You can't do that!" the nurse protested.

"Watch me." Derreck said in a cold tone. "See you around Eric!"

"Good luck boss!"

Derreck left the room and bumped into Charles, spilling the coffee he had brought over his shirt.


"What took you so long Charles?"

"I went outside to make a call...they know where Ivanovich is!"

Derreck turned silent for a moment.


"An industrial compound in Manchester...quite close to where we arrested those IRA terrorists. We're positive it's him this time, I made sure of that."

"Let's get back to the bureau then and mobilise the SAS again. Time to bust somebody's ass.

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Yoshi was sitting at his desk when his email icon began to flash.  He got up quickly and ran down the corridor to his superiors office.  They had a small conversation before his superior pressed a button and all hell broke loose.  In a few hours time, the whole building was evacuated and everyone was either integrating themselves back into normal life, or leaving to go overseas.  The operation had been shut down....for now.

[occ.  My character will become inactive for now, however from time to time I will post some information if so desired.  We will just say that they have left the country to set up business elsewhere and conduct their things in other places.]

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Jared let his projection smile nastily as he descended into the Epsylon 5 system, casually deflecting the warding programs with the codes that Dalziel had procured for him. It seemed that the authorities had not been as astute as he would have expected, and they had not changed the codes after identifying Dalziel.

With Nox patrolling the exit, Jared spread his senses throughout the system. His tendrils of code reached out slyly and carefully, spreading through every computer he could find connected to the system. Now that he was in, the defences were surprisingly lax. They patrolled like sharks around the outside of the system, but once you were in it was really easy. Jared supposed that they never expected anyone to be working from the inside. He set about collecting infomation...

* * *

Sergei stepped down from the ramp onto the London runway, squinting in the early morning sunlight. He hadn't slept well on the flight, and was feeling generally foul-mooded towards the world in general. He glared at his fellow passengers, and imagined taking a chainsaw to them. The thought made him feel better, and he smirked as he made his way to the terminal, collected his luggage and headed out into the city. His expression soured again as he left the airport, and he hid his face behind a large pair of sunglasses. Time to go home...

* * *

Dalziel cautiously peered about. He had taken more precautions this time, and sported a realistic fake beard, as well as a change in hair colour. He had put coloured contact lenses in, and changed his clothes. He had not asked his mysterious feminine helper why she had had a disguise in his size readily available. She had not offered the infomation. In fact she had spoken very little, mostly indicating while keeping her face hidden behind a veil.

The streets were empty this early in the morning, and Dalziel hobbled unaccosted through them, pretending to lean heavily on a walking stick. He had decided to leave his car here for the time being, and signalled for a taxi. He would take one out of the city, then catch a bus to another city somewhere... wander about there for a bit and then get a train to... Glasgow, Glasgow would do. Then he would arrange to be picked up and brought home. He had done his part, but he had been recognised... time to lie low.

* * *

Jared gathered his collection of stolen infomation on his family in a little ball of data. He wrapped it carefully in protective programs, and transfered it to Nox, who waited patiently just out of range of the patrolling programs and users. He would seal it away in their own system, for examination later. In return Jared recieved a parcel that would have trembled if it had been real. In here were the little brothers of Jared's superviruses, the minor versions of some of the viruses that had brought the world to its knees during the Cut. Of course he hadn't used all of them, and even the best viruses could be beaten eventually, but these were special. They weren't designed to spread, as most viruses were, they were designed to stay in particular system, custom designed for this system, and destroy it. Jared had never been so particular before. He needed this 'Epsylon 5' obliterated, before it led to unwelcome conclusions. He just had to hope that there were few or no hard copies of the data. If so, he would have to send someone else in to destroy them, which would be a much more difficult job. Security would have been increased after Dalziel's mistake with the knife, and only two of the family were capable of true genius with disguises and forgery.

Jared paused, savouring the feeling of power. He held in his programs a little ball of digital death, a plague that would be disastrous if loosed onto, say, the internet. On the other hand, he reflected, that had been years ago. He didn't know how effective these little guys would be in the real world anymore. They would be fine for this system though, he consoled himself. A twinge made itself felt in one of his sensors, and he examined it carefully.

A tag. Someone was close to tracing him. Jared made a mental shrug, and dropped his bundle. As it exploded, and the system began to groan, he launched himself back up away from the system. As he left he felt Nox seal the exit behind him, cutting off the connection. Jared smiled, thanking Dalziel for the codes he had obtained. He knew that he wasn't finished, but this was a blow, no doubt there. The data would be deleted, lost. Hopefully.

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I've been gone for over a week because my account for the university computers got deleted (and restored just yesterday).

Sorry guys, I really didn't have the opportunity to post until now. I hope we can all keep this thread going.

Ivanovich' abductors had taken good care in hiding him and wiping out all tracks, but obviously they would need proffesional doctors and equipment to keep him alive, and that's how Charles found them. Ivanovich was being held in a remote plastic surgery clinic some 40 miles from London. Derreck's superiors were still angry about the embarassment the last time but nevertheless agreed to let him lead the operation. Like last time, the SAS would be employed because the Pelican had proven to be a dangerous man and normal SWAT teams would not be up to the job. British soldiers would be positioned around the building to prevent their escape.

When Derreck had arrived he surveyed the scene. The ground around the hospital was relatively flat and wouldn't offer much protection. Everybody was positioned about 50 metres from the hospital in a circle. Derreck ordered a helicopter to fly above the building and announce that they were under arrest. He watched anxiously. The helicopter repeated the same message twice: You're surrounded by the British army. You have no hopes of escape. Surrender yourselves and come out with your hands on the back of your head.

Then the helicopter was shot down by a shoulder fired rocket.

Derreck was baffled and stould still for a moment. When he had gathered his senses again he nodded to the SAS captain next to him, who promptly yelled some commands into his radio. From some bushes around the clinic emerged dozens of commandos and stormed towards the building. The suspects had put at least 8 snipers at the clinic's windows who took down 3 commando's before they themselves were gunned down by British snipers. At about 30 metres distance the SAS commando's were confronted with machine gun fire coming from 2 camoflauged bunkers near the entrance. The surprised commando's took refuge behind any obstacle within reach, carrying their wounded comrades with them. A few support gunners had deployed machine guns and sprayed the bunkers with bullets without harming those inside. They were to well protected.

"Send in the armoured support." Derreck said with an iron tone. Three light tanks raged towards the hospital. RPG's were fired from the hospital's roof but missed the tanks. The infidels were then gunned down by the support gunners holding up at the hospital gates. The tanks drove closely alongside eachother to form a moving wall behind wich the commando's followed and fired high caliber grenades at the two bunkers, destroying them completely. They had now reached the hospital entrance. The commando's poured into the building. Now came the tricky part. They would have to be very careful not to harm any innocents (if there were any in there at all). What ensuied was a short but very bloody fight to capture every corridor of the clinic building, as they were ordered to capture Ivanovich before they could pull the plug on him.

The total death toll for the operation was 17 SAS soldiers, 3 helicopter crew and 76 suspects who resisted arrest. The prize: 56 arrests and 1 captured witness.

"At least we got what we came for." Charles said as they watched medics moving Ivanovich's hospital bed into an ambulance. The ex KGB agent was still in coma. Derreck said nothing and looked at the helicopter wreckage, the bodies in the field, the burning bunkers at the entrance.

"It was messy, but it couldn't have been done any other way." Charles said in an attempt to break Derrecks silence.

"I know" he finally said. "But for what? A living corpse in a hospital bed? If that Russian bastard ever wakes up we're not even sure he can tell us anything, or will cooperate."

Both were silent for about 5 minutes. They left the scene when the medics began wrapping up the dead in body bags.

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