Friday, February 25, 2005

Destroying the Dollar

Meanwhile, workstream 11.6, to destroy the dollar by getting Asian nations to reduce their holdings is obviously working

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Even More on Invading America

I tend to forget that people reading this stuff haven't had centuries to think about the issues, so let's take it slowly.
Lyrans are smarter, stronger and a lot cleverer than earthlings, and have one overriding desire: to get home. Nothing else matters. But when we arrived here we had literally only what we were wearing and some emergency rations and equipment, which lasted a few years. No maser guns, no death rays, no planet busters, let alone the serious stuff the Lyran Navy likes flashing around.
So we've spent the last few centuries getting earthlings to develop the technologies we need. That applies to military technologies as well. There weren't many soldiers among us when we crashed, and anyway there aren't enough of us to make up a serious military force. (If we had Lyran weapons, that would be different.) So taking over America and looting its technology is going to require us to manipulate other nations into providing the troops and equipment. That's what I'm in charge of. Is that a bit clearer? More soon.

Monday, February 21, 2005

More on Invading America

Hardly had a minute to myself this week, but when I looked back at the last post, I realised I was being a bit cryptic. Give me a couple of days to sort some stuff out and I'll explain what I'm getting at.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My New Job

Anyway, I left 2284 happily reading himself into GM food, and tried to get stuck into invading and occupying America.
Originally - back in the early 1990s - the plan was simple. We always realised a war in Iraq was necessary, because there had to be a way of getting the bulk of US forces out of America and keeping them there. A lot of the 90s were spent preparing for that, getting the right people bribed and into the right places. We also started up the Missile Defence programme again, partly to develop some technology we could use, but mainly to be a huge financial drag on the country. As you will see, it's still eating up money at a fantastic rate without getting anywhere.
There was a whole workstream devoted to setting up a new government - probably with Jimmy Carter as figurehead President - and huge efforts devoted to setting up a new electoral system. But then somebody said: why bother? After all, we just want the technology. Now it's going to be more like a smash and grab raid. We'll need some government of course, but only for a few weeks while we take the technology away.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Tidying Up

Spent quite a lot of time sorting out my GM food files and handing over the job to 2284. He arrived very keen to take over, which surprised me until I remembered that he's spent the last 20 years working in Columbia, helping to manage drug deliveries to the US. He was getting a bit tired and fed up, he said ("you have no idea how stupid these people are") , although he did claim the record for the number of successive performance bonuses awarded - 14 since 1985. Part of that was for the sheer amount of money he generated, but part of it was for his systematic achievement in undermining the US justice system and corrupting an entire generation of policemen and lawyers. But you could understand why he was looking for something a bit more comfortable and less exciting.
"You've come to the right place for that" I said.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Remembrance of Things Past - 2

I was one of those who argued in the 1930s that our best hope lay with trying to get the Americans to develop advanced aerospace technology we could later use. The problem, of course, was to get America into the war - its armed forces in the 1930s, apart from the Navy, were pretty much Toytown standard. So of course we worked hard on the Japanese. But Yamamoto and the Naval Staff were always dubious about attacking the US, because they thought that there was no chance that torpedoes could work in the shallow waters of Pear Harbour. They were right in terms of the technology of the time, but of course Lyran technology was able to provide the answer in the nick of time. It's fascinating story - here's an example, although of course you won't find any mention of Lyrans.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Remembrance of Things Past

Paris ... I'd spent quite a lot of time there, one way and another. If you bear in mind that I basically hate this lousy planet, then maybe Paris comes towards the bottom of the list of cities I would happily burn down. Then, it was all about Workstream 09.3, which was supposed to develop German aerospace technology by ramping up the fear of France. I was supposed to be encouraging the French to be more aggressive, which in turn would make the Germans invest more in defence. Part of the job was getting rid of politicians who wanted peace with Germany - I was responsible for the assassination of Aristide Briand in March 1932, for example. Workstream 09 was wound up in 1940, for obvious reasons, but the official Lessons Learned report, published in 1947, did say that it was a success of a kind. It certainly encouraged the Germans to work on all sorts of technologies - rockets for example - which we could later use. I left Paris in 1936, when the statisticians said that war with Germany was inevitable, but I'd always thought I would go back if I had the chance.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Why Paris?

"Why Paris?" I asked.
It hadn't been a long meeting. 086 had the gift of saying cryptic things which sounded impressive but didn't really tell you anything at all.
"Because" he said "it's the nearest, safest place." This country is riddled with US spies and there's always a chance that something will come up. Workstream 66 is setting up shop in Paris. You'll be moving there in a couple of months, and you'll be doing induction for most of that time. I've agreed with 313 that you'll have about a fortnight to finish the things you're doing now."
And that, pretty much, was it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

A Lot to think about

It makes sense, of course. Earthlings are notoriously violent when they get confused, and tend to smash things up. I've seen what's jocularly called the Shopping List - it's a list of things we will have to take out of the US and ferry down to the site we're going to build in Sierra Leone. It's not just heavy hardware, there's computer software, test facilities, about a hundred thousand IPods, not to mention several hundred scientists and engineers. We'll need most of the US Air Force's transport fleet with skilled pilots as well.
I closed the files, a little stunned by it all.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A New Job

Too hyped-up to write anything yesterday.
Went to see 086 as ordered. Most Lyran front organisations, for cultural reasons, are accountancy firms, management consultants, banks and the like. We like to claim that we introduced all these ideas to earthlings (although in the case of accountancy this isn't really true). But anyway, 086, being 086, has his offices at the moment (they move every few years) in a glitzy advertising agency in Dean Street. All the personnel are Lyran of course (not true of many of our front organisations) and I was immediately whisked along plush carpeted corridors into the secure area, behind several locked doors.
086 was waiting for me in a large, uncluttered office with just a few files on his desk. He sat me down in a leather chair and gazed at me. He looks like an accountant - a distinction in Lyran of course - small, slight, with receding gray hair and spectacles. He looked about as harmless as a lamb.
"You were involved in the Blue Peter affair, weren't you? And the Sid Vicious assassination?"
"Yes" I said. He obviously knew.
"You've had a military background?"
That was one thing I wasn't expecting.
"Here and there. ... like most of us I suppose." He looked at me.
"Let's see, Franco-Prussian war as a Major... quite a long stint in the French military before and after the First World War... and of course I ran a lot of the Vietnam war, from both sides."
"you got a bonus for that, didn't you ... when Saigon fell?"
"Yes." Silence again.
"There is" he said " a totally new workstream just starting up. For obvious reasons, it's called Workstream 66, and only a handful of entities know about it. The idea is, that when the US collapses we shall need military forces to stop it collapsing into anarchy, like Iraq. If that happens, there's a good chance the advanced technology will be destroyed before we can get our hands on it. So we need to plan a proper operation. We have lots of Lyrans in senior military positions around the world, of course, and your job is to work with them and put a plan together. Yes or No?"
I swallowed. "If I say no?"
"I'd be disappointed. Very disappointed."
"Yes."
He nodded. "In your office there's a codeword-protected dossier. Come and read it and be back here on Friday."
Bloody hell.