DESTROY UPON READING!
I close the door of my hotel room, lock it and, just for the sheer paranoia of it, rig a shotgun aimed squarely for the door. Odds are that if anyone was to open the door it would be a hotel porter barging in to inform me of a fire downstairs. Unfortunately, he would receive a shotgun blast to his chest for his troubles. I'd not like the death of an innocent weighing on my conscience but there was no way in hell that I was moving that shotgun. Though regrettable, I just don't like being interrupted while reading.
I turn on the tv (a badly dubbed version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in Mandarin. Or Cantonese, I can never really tell), spread myself over the bed and begin to peruse the document for Operation: TAR BABY. The first three pages are on an ominous black paper with red, threatening letters saying "DANGER! AUTHORISED PERSONS ONLY! TOP CLEARANCE A DEFINITE MUST! READ ONLY IF WEARING LEAD GLOVES AND PROTECTIVE GOGGLES!" in several different languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Sioux and braille). Then there is a dedication to someone's wife. Then, quote from a poem by Yeats . Then, the actual outline of the operation.
(Hey! Hang on a minute! Mine has been censored. Obviously they must have thought that some of the details need not concern me and they have thoughtfully removed them from the pages. Bastards!)
Apparently the operation is to take place in some town called Gehenna-on-the-Rhine (never heard of it), near Reichenau, Switzerland . If I recall correctly, there was a famous scriptorium in Reichenau run by Benedictine monks. Kind of makes sense if we're chasing a man who is chasing a lost Library. Leopold Grimshawe, a.k.a. the Alchemist, and an (unknown number of) mercenaries are currently at the town waiting to enter the Black Library. Strange. Why doesn't he just enter the Library now? Why are they waiting around for a week? Surely a band of hardened ex-Espionage agents (lead by a man who can kill people with just about anything) can break a lock for a simple library.
The document neglects to inform why this hasn't yet happened. Or rather, my version of the document has some vital information omitted. It specifically says that I am to carry the trap (TAR BABY) into a drop which will be then picked up by the Alchemist. Chills. Why me specifically? Why not some other stooge? There's more to this mission than meets the eye. I start reading the document from the start again in the feeble hope that I can find any clues that might reveal itself.
(The Internet) is not a truck. It's a series of tubes,
- "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned." W.B. Yeats. Huh?
- Question right there: Why ship all these agents to China when we're going to Graubünden?