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King's Gambit: Part Four

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Esperanza, July 20, 1992

Artemis and David have been at the small house on the beach for four days, trying to decide what to do. The library was acceptable as a base of operations when the focus of their activities was the palace, but that’s no longer the case, and David decides Artemis would be better off with access to a real bed and a refrigerator stocked full of healthy food. Artemis doesn’t object to the change in venue. He’s subdued for most of the short trip back, brooding silently over the discovery that the books he’d counted on retrieving—the purpose of their trip to the island to begin with—were gone. And that they were taken, apparently, by a copy of himself.

An evil copy of himself.

King's Gambit: Part Three

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
One Day Earlier

“Which is why we’re certain it isn’t a member of the board.”

Jason Kline stands in the Haruspex Analytics Situation Room, facing a large flat-screen monitor displaying the shadowy silhouette of the Chairman. Simon Yin is working on a laptop to his right. The rest of the team is in other parts of the building making discrete alterations to the network that will make things a little easier to manage in the future. The only other person in the room is Mara Ioannou, sitting off to the side, listening intently. She hasn’t involved herself in the discussion so far, but she’s been paying close attention.

King's Gambit: Part Two

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
New York City Morgue

Special Agent Alan Grant is dead. His body is placed on an autopsy table, his upper torso split open, the gaping crack in his chest held apart with an old, dented rib spreader. Plastic bags filled with his organs, each clearly labeled and marked with permanent black marker, sit in a pile on a small wheeled table to the left of his head. His lifeless eyes are still open, and wide dark stripes—something called tache noir—spread across the whites of both eyes.

“Jesus.”

King's Gambit: Part One

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Haruspex Analytics, Top Floor

“Thank you all for coming. I regret the necessity.”

Though he is, as always, covered in shadow, the tension in the Chairman’s posture is unmistakable. The board room is silent, all eyes on him. Jason Kline shifts uneasily in his seat, instantly regretting it as it squeaks in protest.

“As you know,” the Chairman continues, “we have been operating under the shadow of a very serious security breach. Someone has betrayed us, quite overtly, on at least two separate occasions. We still don’t know the extent to which they have betrayed us covertly. The damage may take years to undo. This is especially worrisome in light of our decision to suspend Project Recall until this matter is settled. We’ve made great strides there, and now that progress is in danger of unraveling completely.”

A low, worried murmur fills the room. The Chairman lifts one hand, motioning for silence, and it quickly fades away.

“To counter this danger, I have tasked Mr. Kline and his group with the task of discovering the identity of this mole… this traitor.” The Chairman’s voice hardens, then smoothes over once more. “Today he will report on the progress of his investigation.”

Showtime.

K.B. Spangler and Christopher B. Wright Discuss CleanReader on Twitter

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

I'm going to add a little context, but for the most part I think the tweets should speak to themselves.

Yesterday I heard about a service called CleanReader, but didn't pay too much attention to it. This morning K.B. Spangler, a fantastic web cartoonist AND author, had some very clear opinions on it:

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