"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds
Monday, June 17, 2019
“Sunflower. Sunflower. Sunflower. Network compromised. Consider all comms hostile. No further official traffic will follow. Activate Tsunami protocol."
There are few things as lonely as hearing your support network collapse.
I'd gone through it twice - each time leaving me physically and mentally adrift, hoping to survive another 24 hours, much less make it further. But those had been single-shot missions, losing the resources and plans to keep an op running in Istanbul the first time, and Stockholm the next. It had been rough, but at least I’d known out “there” somewhere was safety, if only I made it across the right border. When your control tells you that there *isn’t* a home to go back to, that made it worse.
Especially when you're a deniable asset, when you don't even exist. Tsunami was the code word implying *everything* was blown - that not only was our identity compromised, but that the whole system was now against us and we were on our own. That, no matter what happened, we would never be able to go back to who we used to be, and we had to find a way to quickly erase who we currently were. We'd used it a few times as a drill for "disappearing" from the grid and society, trying to evade to a friendly network and escape a hostile country at the same time. The fact it was announced out of the blue brought a new realism, an understanding that in a few seconds the rug was yanked out from under you. Imagine going into work and finding out not only had you been fired, but your boss was now actively seeking to arrest, if not kill you, just to keep things clean. That’s what Tsunami meant.
The next transmission made it more real, a rare glimpse at a human presence behind the omniscient machine-speech of the mastoid com-plant. A quiet female voice breaking protocol, a final note to those of us in the field. "Good luck and God speed."
What else could I do? I grabbed the backpack from my chair, and tucked my pistol under my shirt, walking out the door knowing I could never come back.
So you wonder why I was suspicious 8 years later when they showed up to recruit me again?