Chapter 103 – Someone’s been reading my older posts…

27 02 2009


The other day, someone left a comment on Bradley’s blog using the name AJ Rich. That same person also wrote a great long blog post about how Research Team 7 are good people really and how they want to be given a chance.

That can’t be a coincidence. I used the name “AJ Rich” in my first ever blog as a nickname for Cardinal Richelieu, 1585 – 1642, chief minister to the French king Louis XIII. An odd choice, since he’s one of history’s classic “bad guys”.

In my post, I suggested that he was a real-life Machiavellian, who did bad things for the good of France. Is that what Research Team 7 does? Kidnaps people for the greater good? Are they actually trying to justify that??

Oddly, though – and I may just be being incredibly naive here – I can’t help but wonder, what if they really do have good intentions? It’s possible to read that post as expressing a desire to make amends for past misdeeds, and they do sound genuinely apologetic. And as phrased in their blog, the offer sounds undeniably good – providing it’s not a trick.

Bradley keeps saying we should find a way of investigating them without being seen, but if they’re dangerous, that might not be such a good plan. If they caught us sneaking around or spying on them, who knows what they’d do? And I find it hard to imagine they wouldn’t have some kind of surveillance system in place.

At the moment, I’m actually inclined to go and meet them and hear what they have to say. That could be the stupidest suggestion in the world. But all the same, we can’t just do nothing. And dam’t, I’m curious about what this clef actually does!

In other news, it’s cold and it won’t stop raining. Nobody is in a very good mood right now.


Chapter 102 – To Bradley Turner

25 02 2009

(AJ Rich)

Dear Miss Turner,

I am writing on behalf of Research Team Seven. I read your latest blog post, and I understand that you don’t trust us. Under the circumstances, I would be astonished if you did. What was done to you and your friends in Eiriendor City was unacceptable. We are aware of this, and we are very sorry. I realise that no apology can make up for the way in which you were treated.

I will not lie to you. Yes, we want the clef. It was originally the property of individuals associated with Research Team Seven. It was lost, and right now, we need it. I can’t say why here, but I will explain further if you choose to accept our offer. Know this: that we mean you no harm, that our intentions are both legal and benevolent, and that there is more at stake here than you can possibly have guessed. I do not deny that some of the actions which have, in the past, been committed in the name of our cause have been questionable or downright reprehensible, but they were done with the best of intentions. It is no exaggeration to say that human lives depend upon our success.

As it stands, you are in grave danger, not from Research Team Seven, but from a number of other organisations which are also interested in the clef, for various reasons of their own, many of them highly unethical. You have been grievously wronged. You have been threatened, falsely accused, and pursued by hellish abominations.

We at Research Team Seven can offer you protection from all of these things. All we ask in return is the clef, which is of no use to you, but of vital importance to our goals.

Our offer includes shelter, beds, and food. If you accept our offer, you will not be kept as prisoners. You will be free to leave at any time, should you so choose. The offer extends not only to you and your fellow fugitives, but also to the farmers who helped you, should they become threatened.

We are not “the bad guys”, however it may presently appear. Please allow us this chance to correct our mistakes, and make up for the suffering we have caused you. We do not ask for your trust, but we very much desire the opportunity to earn it.

We await your decision at the time and place previously specified.

Chapter 53 – Good news, bad news

12 11 2008


A lot of remarkable things have been happening lately in this area. Some very good things, some very bad things. You might have heard about them on the news.

Good news first. It turns out miracles do happen. Bradley Turner, a girl from my school, was kidnapped over half term. She isn’t someone I know very well, but I was really glad that she was back in school yesterday, and completely unhurt. Everyone in the sixth form has been celebrating. It’s so rare that any of these news stories has a happy ending, so something like this is really uplifting.

In decidedly less good news, there have been a number of murders in this city in the past couple of weeks. There has been a bit of a panic about these recent killings because they appear to have all been committed by one person, or possibly some kind of gang or cult. Three bodies have been found in the past couple of weeks, two of them left in canals, all of them under the age of 25, and all with the letter “m” drawn on their foreheads in marker pen. Furthermore, there was that taunting letter in the papers, which is definitely something a serial killer would do – just look at the historical cases: the Zodiac Killer, Jack the Ripper, David Berkowitz… they all wrote letters and sent them to police or press, or left them for police to find.

The latest killing of this kind was only just reported: the body of a young man was found in an underpass in Bridgeside. That’s a notoriously violent area, but it isn’t all that far from where I live, and I find the whole business deeply disturbing.