The AEP Response To Failsafe

8

The AEP Response To Failsafe

The room was silent, all four individuals mulling over the news that just reached them. Authority Site-014 had just had its onsite Nuclear warhead triggered, and before the explosion even rocked the Nevada countryside, a transmission was sent out, declaring war on the Authority. It stated the AEP Association were gearing up to attack the Authority and through the actions of one double agent, they would destroy all other organisations and bring the anomalous world into a new age.

G5-1 was sitting back in his chair, one arm in his lap and the other tapping the arm rest, an air of authority still hanging around him despite his face and mind in deep thought.

An empty chair separated 1 from G5-3 who was also sitting back, elbow on his arm rest, fingers locking his hands together, looking at his compatriots smiling wryly.

G5-4 was leaning forward on his chair, elbows on his knees, hands covering his mouth, an expression of shock and fear seen in his wide eyes.

And G5-5 was expressionless as always. She had a screen handy, analysing every piece of information she could to shift blame, but also looking for a way to even the odds in the case a fight were to happen.

3 looked at his fellow leaders, he gave a small chuckle and said “Golly, what a miserable bunch WE are…”

1 shot him a piercing glare. “Your sense of humor is not appreciated, Three. This might be the one time in life you ought to be serious.”

3 tittered and shook his head, replying calmly “You know what they say, a joke a day keeps the Reaper away… 'wonder how you're going to get out of this one, eh Mr. Businessman?”

4 shot him a quick nervous glance and replied “I’ve been the one who’s represented us to the Authority and my face is EVERYWHERE. If they do decide to attack, they’ll go straight for me. Have you any idea how much preparing for attacks against a group like that will cut into my finances?”

3 pursed his lips and simply replied “Well I guess you're going to need a new face. I hope your new protege is ready to… fill your shoes."

4 continued to stare at the floor, while 5 kept tapping away at her screen. 1 finally spoke in a stern voice "Five, do you have any information on who it was?”

5 looked up from her screen and motioned toward a bigger screen fixed onto a wall. It sprung to life, showing a close up still of the assailant. “His name is Anders Sivertsen. His files tell he had a normal civilian life until he aspired to join the Norwegian army, and eventually joined in two-thousand and four, aged twenty. He had a campaign in Afghanistan but was dishonourably discharged after stabbing one of his fellow soldiers for stealing, from what sources indicate, a cigarette packet.”

3 replied “Ah yes, I remember that fellow… stank of cigarettes and had that awful leather cap, but a fine soldier nonetheless. If I remember correctly he joined us during that whole 2006 fiasco?

“Correct.” 5 replied, then continued "He was encountered in a joint AEP and Authority raid on a Malthus cell. His expertise and aggressiveness lead to the death of an estimated ten hostiles in total, and due to AEP personnel subduing him, we immediately gave him a chance to join.”

“He was rather zealous about his new position.” 3 began. "He still had that… aggressiveness… but it was channeled, focused. It, along with his loyalty to our organisation, made him a rather astute double agent.”

4 laid back in his seat letting out a long sigh. “He did this to try and impress us, right? Like a kid trying to impress his father.”

3 looked at him with a raised eyebrow “It seems Four’s judgement of character is correct, for once. He did this to try and impress us and… dare I say, show us how weak the Authority could be. His manifesto shows this zealousness… This “for the greater good” nonsense…it reeks of a misguided sense of morality. Rather charmless wouldn’t you say, One?”

There was no reply.

4 sighed and returned to a forwards-leaning position.“Damn guy just wanted to do right by us… but he did it in the worst way possible”

5 turned to 4 “Yes, he launched this attack at the least opportune time, most likely emotionally charged and not thinking his decisions out rationally. Statistics show that most personnel in this site were absent or closer to a shelter than they would be if he had attacked a few hours-"

“I didn’t mean ‘the worst way’ like that, Five.”

5 gave a short pause then said: “Explain.”

4 gave a long sigh then replied “Well… how are we going to look having operatives prancing around detonating nukes? It makes us look like terrorists, like those Malthusians. I’m all for the Authority being taken down a peg or two, but it's going to affect our finances and possibly turn the Authority on us."

1 interjected “Agreed. While it is nice to see the Authority lose assets, it doesn’t help when our name is tied to these situations, not yet. Five, you can forget about initiating Operation Takeover, it’s surely suicidal at this point in time.”

5 nodded and tapped on her screen briefly before stopping to look up at the rest of the group. “Then, if we want to remove blame from ourselves, I suggest we tell the Authority the truth.”

3 turned to her, a smile spreading across his face. “Five, you have it! We’ll give the Authority just what they need."

1 let out an impatient sigh.“And what is that?”

3 stood up and walked a few paces towards the screen, then quickly turned to face the others. “Well, it was our operative, certainly, but the order didn’t come from us. He knew about our long term plans for the UNAAC and the Authority, hence why he attempted to incite this little revolution, but there’s no way the Authority can trace the order back to us.”

1 asked “What are you suggesting?”

3 replied “Simple. I propose our operative went AWOL alongside his Site. We can tie his zealous behaviours to his Malthus background and say he used our name to try and start a war. Did I mention the site he worked under, five-one-five if I remember correctly, was making agreements with Malthus without our approval? Well in any case, I have now.” 3 looked around the room at the other Council members, visibly happy with himself.

5 followed up immediately “I’ve already declared site five-one-five rogue and have dispatched orders to relocate all transportable AEPs to site twenty-three.”

1 nodded “Ever diligent, Five. Now we simply tell the Authority that dear Anders along with his site have gone rogue and attempted to use our name to incite a war. Four, you are to relay this message.”

4 inhaled deeply, staring at the ground in thought. Without taking his eyes off of the ground he replied “And what if they don’t buy it?”

3 turned to 4, still practically dripping pride “Well, that’s why we’re giving them site five-one-five as well as the single little parasite that set the nuke off. If handing over an entire site for investigation and reprimandation isn’t enough to convince them of our innocence, quite frankly nothing else will be either. Five, how’s the progress on the relocation of the sites objects?”

5 immediately replied “It is estimated that we will lose approximately 13% of site five-one-five’s AEPs due to their inability to be transported at such short notice.”

3 outstretched his hands and simply replied “A small price to pay, besides, leaving behind a number of the objects will make the Authority feel more trusted. To ensure we don’t start a war, a few of our less useful oddities is a rather small price to pay, don’t you think, one?” Three grinned widely at his most evidently irritated partner.

1 begrudgingly nodded.

3 gave a small laugh in 1’s direction and said “That's twenty-seven times I’ve saved our Association from crumbling now, I’m catching up to you old guy.”

1 shook his head. “You would keep a tally, wouldn’t you…”

4 got up and said “I better go, I need to formulate my response to the Authority.”

“Please, ‘formulate’… as if it’s that complicated.” 3 sneered.

5 suddenly stood rigidly up and spoke “If I may interject, I think it's unwise that we cut all communication with this Anders. The complete anarchy he has created and the possible time the Authority will invest in rebuilding this site may help us recuperate our finances and get us closer to our goal.”

1 turned to 5 acknowledgingly “Ah, if only the rest of this council’s members were as attentive to important matters as yourself, Five. While this Agent of yours, Three, has done something immeasurably foolish, we can’t rule out the possibility that he’s still useful to us in his likely-hood to trouble the RPC Authority further. I say he should be fed small pieces of information from our intelligence networks to organise his own raids, whether he collaborates with Malthus or not matters little. Three, you are to personally assure that our agent is informed properly in order to evade capture and continue dealing harm to the Authority.”

3 thought for a second, while 4 started walking towards the door, muttering to himself. “Typical that he’s ‘our’ agent only after he’s become an asset rather than a liability” Three spat “Nonetheless, I, as always, am up to this trivial task you have handed off to me. Consider *my* agent informed and prepared."

4, now at the front door, turned to the others “I’m against this. This man should be put on trial for betrayal and acting against orders. It seems, though, that the majority of us are in agreeance. Just… keep in mind that I was not the one to create nor support this nonsense.”

5 quickly replied before the door closed “Noted.”


The Authority received this call from G5-4 2 hours after the Site-014 failsafe incident. In attendance were all Global Directors, and the AEP representative Lucidity:

GD-01: You are now speaking with the Global Directorate.

G5-4: Greetings, G5 Lucidity here. I’ve received news of what occurred at Site-014 and I want to reassure you: The AEP Association does not support and had no prior knowledge of this attack.

GD-05: Really? Your double agent thinks otherwise. If I may quote the manifesto directly: “The AEP Association will no longer answer to a master who thinks himself above the struggles of the average man” and “The AEP Association shall be the first to strike a blow to the RPC Monster”.

G5-4: We denounce his actions and will punish any who wish to follow them. We do not always see eye to eye but I know we both believe in the sanctity of justice and morality. I want this man caught as soon as possible, what he did was inexcusable and treason to the highest degree.

GD-02: What about the broadcast? We traced it down to an Association site.

G5-4: We were able to track that broadcast also, and while it does lead to Site-515, we recently found out they were conspiring with The Church of Malthus. We also believe the attacker held onto past ties he had with Malthus operatives prior to his employment with us.

GD-03: I’m rather concerned at the lack of background checks your organisation handles. Even if this was just an unlucky coincidence, it is still unacceptable as it lead to this.

G5-4: I understand that this situation is… awful to put it VERY mildly, but I believe we can help each other out.

GD-06: Let’s hear it.

G5-4: The Association would like to formally apologise and help remove any implications by allowing you to investigate Site-515. You are free to keep and archive all evidence or anomalies you find. Just allow us to see the evidence so we can record it also.

GD-01: Please hold Lucidity.

[G5-4 is put on hold]

GD-04: I don’t know about this. They’re just giving us an entire site, I feel it may be a trap.

GD-07: Better we send an MST and let them confirm their treachery. Or would you rather that we end up holding them accountable when it was indeed Malthus?

GD-02: While our relationship with The Association has been… mixed… I feel that they would give us anything they could to absolve us, your thoughts 01?

GD-01: While I agree with you, I feel we need to be careful. Check any evidence the Association has on this site being tied with The Church of Malthus, and if its substantial we raid the site.

GD-04: I still don’t like this… but I do agree it’s the best course of action. Well, get him off hold and see if we can get evidence to support his claims. If its good, we can raid this site. No matter the outcome, I’ll keep a careful watch on the Association as always.

[G5-04 is put off hold]

GD-01: Lucidity, we’ve considered your proposal, first give us any evidence you have on Site-515 and its dealings with The Church of Malthus, and if we find it fits with our own evidence, we will conduct a raid.

G5-4: Anything to maintain our relations, of course. I’ll get Vigil to organise all evidence we have. Expect it to arrive in a few hours.

GD-01: Thank you for your Cooperation, we hope dealings in the future will be as forward as this, if not less destructive.

[End call]


4 Sighed as he got off the phone, he turned, and then in front of him was… G5-2. “Two… I didn’t expect to be seeing you so soon.“

2 nodded her head in greeting. “I didn’t expect to either, the situation had a surprisingly fast fix. How has the situation developed in my absence? I assume a course of action has been decided upon?”

“Well we’re giving Site Five-One-Five over to the Authority for investigation in hopes that they will find said sites director to be the one who orchestrated this event, independent of AEP as a whole. Three found dirt on him, he’s connected to Malthus and so is the agent who set off this nuke.”

“Of course that was Three’s idea, I wonder if there’s a situation he can’t weasel his way out of…” 2 mused.

“He does get the job done, though…” 4 said, smiling amusedly.

2 walked towards 4, taking a seat next to him. “There’s more to it than what you’ve told me, isn’t there?”

4 placed a hand to his forehead, “Well… the others wish to support the bomber, seeing as he could be an asset in sabotaging and weakening the Authority further.”

2’s face took a look of disgust. “Typical. We can never just live and let live, can we?” The annoyance was rising in her voice as she talked on.

4 tried to console her “Now Two, I didn’t agree to the idea either, but what the council decides is-”

2 “They’re always striking out at other groups from the shadows every chance they get, it’s like diplomacy is a foreign concept to them unless it’s served with a fresh knife to the back!”

4 covered his face with his hands “Can we please not have this discussion now?”

“Then when, Four? How long shall we sit idly by and let the others further dictate our Association’s direction for the worst? Whilst we play along and nod our heads in agreement, their aspirations to seize power only grow. They might wish to sit on the dominating mantle but it simply can’t be done, the best we can do is maintain good connections and contribute our part as best we can from our position in the world!”

“You know I understand this Two, but going on and on about it isn’t going to stop them from trying, not these people.”

“We should prioritise the security of our relations above sabotage, what if this blows up in our faces?”

“I know. Two, I know… but the council has decided. Even with your vote, it’d still have been three to two. The best we can do now is make certain that Three doesn’t mess this up.”

2 rubbed her forehead and took a few deep breaths and carefully thought for a few seconds. She then said with a slight twinge of annoyance in her voice “You’re right. Whether we like it or not we’re dedicated to this now. At least tell me Five was able to get all our Anomalies out of 515”

“Yeah, we’ve currently got a bunch of AEPs going out to other sites. However we weren’t able to transport all of them.”

“We lost AEP-400?”

4 nodded. 2 looked down angrily.

“Dammit, he was my was favourite. We were so close to understanding his abilities."

4 gestures to the door and said “If you’ll excuse me Two, I need to go and address the other anomalous agencies to ensure we’re not put on terrorism charges.”

“Of course Four, sorry to keep you here with my inane ramblings."

Four waved farewell at Two and left, closing the door behind them. As he walked down the hall, he noticed 3 lingering in the hallway smirking at him. 4 brushed aside and walked to his office, he had to charter a plane to the UNAAC Homeland.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License