Flagged Personnel: Caravaggio, Fischer, Lincoln, Lynch, McIver, Mitchell, Pyatt, Redinger
To: Members of the Section 2 Oversight Panel
From: Code Name – Cherpakha, Oversight Panel
Re: Protocol Enforcement
Ever since Oversight chose to execute Dr. Anthony Albright as a dangerous, destabilizing element we have seen the proof of our convictions. Mad Talents began to move erratically, Albright’s brainwashed “Project Z” moles in other organizations began activating apparently at random.
In evaluating world events, however, one incident stood out as anomalous. The rise of the second Hive in North Korea didn’t add up. When Albright’s conditioning of Operator Mills resulted in the collapse of Containment, it was revealed that a high-priority prisoner, Mr. Christopher Larson, was missing and had been for some weeks. A review of the Directorate of Security’s protocols led me to the near-certain suspicion that one or more members of Oversight were engaging in operations without consulting the entire panel, or the Director of Operations. It occurred to me that Dr. Albright’s mental conditioning may well have extended even into the minds of Oversight. I did not consider myself immune. I, after all, spent twelve years believing I was someone else thanks to Albright. I entertained the possibility that even I might be the mole, and may have ordered Larson released and set loose upon North Korea and then conveniently forgotten the matter.
I engaged a small team of Operatives. I selected them carefully based on their psychological profiles. Each of these operatives holds a reasonably firm conviction in ideals above and beyond mercenary gain. Fischer’s profile indicated to me that he was one of the very few operatives resistant to Albright’s blandishments, and seems to adhere to a strict code of behavior that others find repulsive but is at least consistent and resistant to manipulation. Lincoln’s sense of self is heavily influenced by his desire to protect those he perceives to be “innocent” from the evils of the world that he considers to have long-ago corrupted him. Lynch has a simple patriotism transplanted from the 1940s that even his subsequent criminal activities haven’t replaced. Pyatt has consistently made moral decisions based on his Mormon faith. Redinger values human life and the ideals of the United States of America in an unironic fashion. I assumed that these Operatives, once set upon the trail, would not hesitate to make moral decisions no matter what they discovered, even if they discovered that I myself was the rot in the heart of Section 2.
I contacted these Operatives and informed them that Larson had been missing for up to two weeks prior to the computer crash and containment breach, and that the rise of this second Hive, while it seemed to coincide with the rash of apparently random “Project Z” moles activating, was most likely something planned, and not planned with the approval of the Directors or Oversight. Since other Talent agencies were fully aware of Section 2’s manipulation of the Queen during Yama’s Apocalypse, this second Hive, in light of Larson’s recent incarceration with us, was evidence in the eyes of the world that we had once again played a very dangerous game with a Mad Talent, evidence that even now Director Ming is attempting to refute in Malta. I gave these operatives the most obvious lead I had on hand, the disappearance of Directorate of Security Information Extraction Specialist John McIver, and let them get to work.
Their investigations turned up the co-option of members of the Directorate of Security that I was already aware of. In the course of speaking with Deputy Director of Security Ramirez, however, they discovered the name of the member of Oversight pulling the strings on the Larson operation, namely The Secretary. They also discovered the Transport Operative that McIver used to move Larson and the neo-natal Daughter Queen into North Korea. McIver used this transport operative, Caravaggio, to deliver him to Palmyra, New York. Palmyra struck me as the location of one of Albright’s homes. While this team, supported by Mitchell, went to Palmyra to investigate, I did some checking of my own.
It occurred to me that only one member of Section 2 was foolishly confident enough in his ability to manipulate Mad Talents to enact such an operation, and that member was Dr. Anthony Albright. If, in fact, Albright had subverted other members of Oversight, it would have been entirely within his resources to provide me with a false Albright to execute. As I cross-checked the data, it became more and more obvious that Albright was still alive.
I contacted Operative Dasgupta, who had already made it known in certain circles that he sought vengeance upon the individual within Section 2 responsible for the Hive’s decimation of his homeland. I asked him to accompany me for a chance to see this vengeance enacted. I then teleported myself and the invisible/inaudible Dasgupta into the home of Albright in Palmyra.
There, I discovered my operatives currently in discussion with both The Secretary and Stella, alongside a fellow who did not look like Albright but resembled Albright in body language, vocal stylings, etc. I opted for a “crazed gunman” approach to ascertain the tactical situation. It would seem that this “Albright” claimed to be the Center, and wished for my operative team to subdue me so that he could “debrief” me and bring me into line. A number of past implications clicked into place for me. I had never met “Center” and had assumed that my compatriots on the Oversight Panel were similarly ignorant of his identity for security reasons. It seems our decision to execute Albright forced him to reveal himself to the other two members of Oversight and play a game of double-blind with me in hopes of eventually luring me into his clutches for a mental scrubbing.
Operative Pyatt acted according to his psychological profile. I argued my position that Albright, who has clearly been in charge of Section 2 as the “Center” for decades, clearly believes himself to be working for the good of the nation and the world, but that his supreme confidence in his ability to manipulate entities that represent the single largest threat to life as we know it was, itself, a threat that should be removed. I was able to convince Pyatt that “Albright’s” very words were his weapons, and Pyatt effectively prevented “Albright” from speaking. In gauging the room, I saw that Lynch evinced body language indicating he did not trust “Albright.” We were in a standoff. Pyatt attempted to gauge the opinions of my fellow members of Oversight. Stella effectively hedged, indicating that she had the utmost respect for Albright’s work, but that she did not consider him indispensable. The Secretary answered merely by telling Lincoln, whose hand was on “Albright’s” shoulder, presumably to heal him should he be wounded, that the fate of the world hung in that very hand. I saw in Lincoln’s eyes his decision before he removed his hand. Lincoln shot two bullets into “Albright” just as Dasgupta came out of invisibility with his own gun, and Pyatt and his various copies opened up with gunfire.
The Center is dead, but The Secretary informs me that the Center will Hold. This has something to do with the mysterious woman upstairs in Albright’s house, the Talent who, I am told, was The Center’s personal secretary. I formally request a full dossier at this time of this woman, as well as Albright’s activities as Center for the decades that he maintained his ruse as Deputy Director of Personnel of the Directorate of Operations. I also formally request the protocols for the selection of a new Center, as well as the protocols of checks and balances that presumably prevent Section 2 from operating as a Talent tyranny. Albright may have subverted protocol for his own ends, but I have every interest in seeing this organization return to some semblance of order.