The quiet war is upon you. I am planting in those of you who have receptive minds that what is apparent is not, and what is not apparent, is. The price you pay for freedom is constant vigilance. So be discerning and question your assumptions. Some of you do that; most do not.
After Anthony Briscane had given Diana the thumb drive, she hurried back to her condo, eager to learn the truth about the enigmatic John Herald. Once home, she inserted the thumb drive into her laptop and began her investigation.
Aware that she was sleuthing through deep-background stuff on Herald, she hadn’t bothered to tell anyone what she was doing, not even her boss, Larry Reynolds. Whenever she dropped down a rabbit hole of research like this, she never knew where she’d end up. There was the possibility that Reynolds—Mr. Integrity himself—might be implicated in Herald’s schemes. What would that mean to Reynolds’ career and reputation?
Briscane’s thumb drive contained a secret dossier on Herald and his whereabouts since his time in the CIA and then with Great Global Media. On the surface, his activities were consistent with a high-level government plant within corporate media. He had attended the expected conferences and retreats, making connections with the appropriate corporate and government movers and shakers (foreign and domestic), no doubt ensuring that what moved would shake in the right direction. Although his motives were not obvious, since it wasn’t apparent on whose behalf he was acting at the time—the CIA or Great Global Media—she hadn’t stumbled into anything sinister.
Then, as she paged through files, she sat up, fully alert.
Nothing sinister until now.
When she clicked on the new file, it brought up an unusual screen that offered a portal to another network, one that resided with an entity called D-O. By checking the server links, Diana saw this network lived not only above Great Global Media, or its parent company Grand Mount Equity, or even at the highest corporate level with Comerat Holdings, but above that! They named this highest level, Davos-Outil.
Although she had never heard of Davos-Outil, Diana experienced a rush of adrenaline that gave her a stronger buzz than any jolt of caffeine. It was as if they had given her the secret password to Ali Baba’s cave of stolen treasures. She lived for opportunities like this, when hidden doors cracked open and let her tiptoe into a labyrinth of mysteries.
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