000. fridge magnets

Alphabetti Spaghetti. Fridge magnets. Post-it Notes. Whatever the fuck he could find. He didn’t really care as long as it looked semi-anonymous and could be used to either trigger someone or just get them into the paperchase.

He had spent time on the streets, in deep cover, homeless, learning war-chalking; hooking into networks no-one would even admit were there. When he’d brought evidence of the Homeplus Network, and the fact that the psy-ops program underpinning it had been infiltrated by Cuckoos that were siphoning off the technology for use by The Nest, he had made his name and could pick his mission.

His tradecraft was excellent because it was invisible except to those who had been trained, and even they, if they were not clued into his methods, might miss things that were glaringly obvious to students of his practice. They called it The Writing School; it had loose connections with The Acting School and The Fiction Department, and even members of The Fact Department had been known to call upon his expertise to help them bury something.

Merritt wielded metaphor and implication and propaganda as well as any agent provocateur in the field; most would say better. He had been asked to build a maze, and he had been asked to draw people into it. It was something of a honeypot for existing agents, and something of an audition for prospective ones. It worked on many levels – like sets of tumblers falling into place – one trap solved triggering another. How many traps could you Russian Doll into a puzzle? He was always trying to push the limit.

They brought him in two weeks back because they were having a problem; a possible infiltration that needed to be handled. They didn’t have enough to legitimately pull the suspected agents in, but they wanted to give them enough rope to hang themselves. However clever they thought themselves to be, the notion that they were capable of outwitting Merritt was more than likely fallacious. If that proved not to be the case then there was something else on the cards for them.

Merritt had at one point thought of just being a writer, but he was a man of action, and when he had discovered the power that his words could have he really fell in love with the work. He did have a nom de plume that he used, and he was churning out some great pot-boilers at a pulp writer pace. He knew they would have probably put a bullet in the back of his head is they ever found about this past-time, but he was super careful, and he gave all the money away that he made, so there were no irregular blips in his finance.

Everyone knew that he was very able,and in a world where trust was in short supply,he was a trusted person. This was good in some ways and bad in others;he had to be ready to break trust and burn the world to the ground at the drop of a hat.

Fear in a handful of dust on Burgold’s fridge in fridge magnets set another paperchase in motion.