He tossed the book on her desk, once he had been escorted in and checked no less than three times for weapons. “This is and is not what you are looking for.”
“Explain.” She looked at the book as though it was an armed bomb.
“He has not gone to any publisher or academics with the Journal. What he has done is made very exact copies of it and sent them to anyone he thought ‘might like to read it’. We believe he has the original in safe keeping somewhere but given how much he moves about . . . ”
“Where is he right now?”
“He is in the South. Catch, to be more precise. He has joined to take part in the great war.”
“Idiot. There are no Great Wars, just the historians like to pretend that there was. There is tedium broken by short periods of terror.”
“Perhaps he will learn that, in time, but for now he is down there fighting on the side of ‘Triple A””
“Not only does he head off for some romanticized war but he joins the underdogs? I repeat, idiot.”
“Probably. If you wish you can continue to search for the original but we know he had a thousand copies made at one station and we will have to dig further to see if he commissioned any more. If you would like my advice I would recommend a smoke screen defense instead of an assault.”
“In what manner?”
“Use this or another copy and publish it yourself, under the name of a known ‘popular science writer’ or ‘mainstream pop-philosopher’. By doing so you will shift the focus from the activities of the church to the other contents of the book. If you can get a writer whom you know has written provable lies in the past you can use his history to stain the contents of this book anytime you like. Media bending is one of the services I could contract to you, if you do not wish to handle this yourself.”
She looked at him and smiled for the first time since they had met. “So we don’t destroy the book, just taint it, put a shadow across it, so to speak.”
“It is almost impossible to permanently destroy information or ideas. The best you can do is delay or twist them to suit the moment. I do not doubt you have been trying to learn more about myself and those i represent. We expect that. Layers and shadings . . . by the time you are done, if you continue you will have such a melange of identities you will not know what is truth, anymore.”
“It is hard to deal with people I do not know. Even harder to trust them.” She frowned as she said this. “But if you were transparent or easily identified I would not trust your skills. You put me in the unenviable position of not wanting to trust you so I might trust what you do.”
He smiled and said nothing, letting the moment draw out.
She sighed and nodded. “We may find out who you are, some day. but for now your work has earned a modicum of trust. You spoke of contracts earlier. Let us talk isk.”
He smiled and nodded. “Let’s”
Much later a comm signal went out to Free. :You are hired as the cover crew for their ship. Report in two days. Do not give them much time to penetrate the cover.:
Trust is a funny thing. Perhaps I have almost played eve too long because I do not even ASK people to trust me, anymore. Penetration of corps is often done by being the person who does the good work, and so they are promoted until they are in a position of trust.
Common knowledge has that the big corps are riddled with spies.
I often wonder if the spies ever make friends with a target enough that they decide NOT to screw them over. They take their new home and become loyal to the target they were sent to destroy.
I will probably never know.
I am still wading through the csm minutes and making notes on the side. Enjoying it more than some have because I AM interested.
fly it (trust me)