Note: This story was written for this month’s Blog Battle challenge to use ‘intercept’ as the basis of a 1,000 word story.
If only he could find some way to intercept the letter from Homeland Security. He had written to them because he no longer trusted that his emails and phone calls weren’t being monitored by Them. As a child of the Sixties he knew that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.
He believed that the postal service remained secure, so far, but he cursed himself for not having rented a postbox instead of using his own address. His wife always collected their mail from the converted oil drum on the post at the entrance to their small acreage and she would be suspicious of any change to that routine.
Daily he had to suppress the awful thought that she too might be one of Them, so he hadn’t kept a copy of what he wrote in case she discovered it, like she did everything else. However, he knew what he’d written.
‘Dear Minister. I have to report a matter that should be of grave and urgent concern to you and your Department. I believe I have evidence to support my belief that forces unknown (hereinafter referred to as They or Them) have infiltrated the Lotto system as a way of funding Their various nefarious activities.
Having researched the matter thoroughly, I offer the following (admittedly circumstantial) evidence.
- While the winning numbers are supposedly televised ‘live’, they are in fact often pre-recorded to make it easier to slot them into a station’s schedule, providing the perfect opportunity to manipulate the results, especially if, as I suspect, ‘sleepers’ were planted in the gaming authorities many years ago.
- The winners of most major prizes are ‘anonymous’, purportedly in order to protect their privacy. What it does do is provide a perfect cover for diverting funds to Them. Through off-shore numbered accounts and shell companies the money can disappear without trace in an instant.
- I have tracked down those that have disclosed their winnings, only to find that in every case they were no longer at that address. I am willing to hand over my detailed case notes as proof of my diligence in this matter.
I referred earlier to Their nefarious activities. While it will take the specialised resources of your Officers to confirm the breadth of such activities and their detailed operations, I suspect some of the funds are being funneled into infiltrating the labs of vaccine producers. Through the addition of cleverly disguised viruses to commonly accepted vaccines, They are progressively gaining the ability to manipulate the life choices of our citizens. I need point no further than the plethora of reality TV shows and the screen obsession of teenagers as incontrovertible proof.
I await your further instructions. Your humble servant etc etc’
As the time for the postal van’s arrival drew ever nearer, his anxiety began to rise exponentially and his wife kept looking at him more oddly than usual, so he locked himself in the gardening shed he called his ‘study’.
Thirty minutes later his wife knocked on his shed door and said “Parcel for you. Marked ‘Private and Confidential’. What have you been up to?”
He quickly swung the door open, snatched the parcel from her hands, slammed the door shut again, and double locked it. His hands shook as he tore the medium sized box open. Inside was a letter, sitting on top of a smaller box. He opened the letter and read:
‘Dear Sir (I will not use your actual name for obvious security reasons)
We intercepted your letter before it could reach the Minister’s office because we have reason to believe it has been compromised.
Thank you for your alertness in detecting the indeed suspicious activities you referred to in your letter. We would like to take you up on your offer to co-investigate with our Officers.
On Monday, September 11, (the significance of that date will not escape a man of your perspicacity) you will call the number listed under my signature. Making sure your wife is listening, pretend you are calling Emergency and say you are having a heart attack. Shortly, a white van resembling an ambulance will arrive at your home and two of our Officers, disguised as paramedics, will put you in the vehicle. You will be taken to the secret location of our offices in the basement of a medical facility. You will receive further instructions when you arrive.
While waiting for the appointed date, please ensure your ongoing security by wearing the hat in the smaller box at all times when you are outside.
Be sure to memorise the phone number and then destroy this letter and the box it arrived in.
Yours sincerely, Chief of Security.”
Opening the smaller box, he found a checked peaked cap. He turned it over and noticed that it had a silver lining and he smiled to himself conspiratorially. Titanium, of course, with its unique abilities to block transmissions. Now he was absolutely certain they were taking him seriously.
Having memorised the letter, he tore up the boxes and the wrapping paper and fed them into the potbelly stove he kept going in his shed for warmth in winter. In his haste, he failed to notice there were no stamps or postmarks.
“Good evening, this is ABC News. In today’s lead stories, reports of students at a local school behaving very strangely after being vaccinated against whooping cough. And the anonymous winner of last night’s record-breaking Lotto jackpot has gone into hiding.”