Report of 4 Aug 2004

From the Story Arc: Reports to Moscow

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(posted Wednesday, August 04, 2004)

<encrypted message in Russian>
Message: 85818010
Encryption keyphrase: red brown black
Encryption key: cnn.com 4Aug04 15:15
Fourth word key: another then U.S.
To: Commissariat of Superhero Affairs, Moscow



Comrade Worker's-Champion:


Obviously things have escalated out of your control again.  I warned you this might happen.  It is no better than the experiment of 2001, and I need hardly remind you the disaster that Project Red Bear became.  The substance is not ready for use -- it needs years of testing to ensure not only does it not develop as a contagion rather than a poison.  I am surprised you continue to pursue Kursk given all the risks involved. 


However, now that you have started down that road, it is too late to be recalling every subject to Moscow when you feel a tremor of panic.  Indecisiveness is weakness, comrade; slow, deliberate progress is best.


As leader of the Flashback Project, I feel especially qualified to warn you that the device was only tested for its functional use.  We had only started work on the ramifications when I was pulled from the project.  The ends do not always justify the means, especially when the ends are ill-determined.  We do not know how far back the ripples will spread.


Plan Kursk still seems to be feasible, if we slow things down and ensure they do not become nonlinear.  At the rate you are pushing, though, things will surely spiral out of control.  From what I see of Paragon City, the entire societal structure is propped up by the presence of the superheroes.  The police force is woefully inadequeate.   Without the superheroes here, American society will surely collapse into anarchy.  This weekend I fly to New York to see if it is any different than Paragon City.  The interference of the Others is an unknown that threatens the entire project.  I still am unable to distinguish their agents and allies.


Project Bestla is progressing at a rapid rate, and her powers are increasing at a rate of approximately 20% per week rather than 100%.  I still do not think this is enough throttling to avoid flameout.  Without the collar, things will simply happen at the natural rate instead of the measured rate you desire.  It would be wise of you to start preparing a successor, if you haven't already.   So many young lives wasted.  Still, if it is the only way to win when the Rikti come again, sacrifices will have to be made. 


Now, on to the mundane matters I am assigned.  I am sending you the precious "samples" your agents have obtained.  They will arrive on Liberian carrier 'Angel of Venice' late this week.  I cannot guarantee their fidelity since they were out of my hands during most of the transit.  I have installed the device you sent last week in the helmet of unit ICBM.  I hope you do not need to use it.   The attempt to modify unit Gulag's programming has failed -- the interlock codes have been changed.  You will have to send new instructions.


The indoctrination class is going well.  I do not yet feel the need to use Special Method Cobalt.


Finally, a word of warning to you, Commissar.  My life is on the line here in this foreign land.  I believe in your causes even if I despise some of your methods.  But do not think you are safe from the consequences of your decisions because you are sitting far away in a bunker near Moscow!  If you think you can easily dispose of your tools when you are finished with them, I will tell you a secret.  There were additional tests of Flashback you did not observe.  Let us call one of them "insurance".  I leave you to sleep on that.


<encrypted transmission ends>