The Plant

Red woke with a deep breath, immediately smelling someone in his apartment. Sitting up, he looked at his bedroom door and saw Lewis poke his head in.

"Good, you're up."

Red blinked his sleepy eyes and looked at his clock. It was just shy of six in the morning on a Saturday. It was a down day, except for whoever was up for a rotation at Charlie's bedside at Duibne, which should have been Marko and Dougie.

Lewis was standing with his hand on the door frame looking anxiously at Red. Throwing his legs over the side, Red rubbed his face. "Ok now I know how you guys feel when I wake you up early in the morning."

"I really need to talk to you."

Red looked around his room and then shrugged. "Lewis, we are talking."

Lewis walked into Red's bedroom and threw him a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. "Come on."

"Lewis, this better involves boobs." Red dressed and followed Lewis out of his apartment and then out of the Den toward the Tikerak.

He knew better than to ask Lewis any more questions. Lewis had this creepy thing sometimes, like the strange kid on the block who wants to show you the naked pictures of his mom, so just in case, Red remained quiet and followed the Piper IT further into the trees. Walking off the path, Red paused and looked around. Nothing but dense woods about two miles out from the Den.


"I'm guessing this isn't about boobs." Coming up on Lewis, Red watched as he kicked dirt and leaves away from a five by five square in the ground. Carefully, Lewis lifted the steel door and pointed down.

"Not even close, Red. Not even close."

The Pipers 12 years ago
"You go first, I gotta cover it."

Red peered into the dark hole and flicked his eyes up at Lewis. "Dude, you're not going to kill me are you?"

Lewis rolled his eyes. "This is serious, Red. You're the only person I've shown this, but you need to see." Red's eyes went wide. "Oh for fuck sake's, I'm not crazy. This is about Glenveagh and the system shut down that happened during the Sewer incident."

"Oh," Red said slowly and stepped into the hole, climbing down the ladder.

Lewis stepped into the hole and gathered up the leaves surrounding the edges. Slowly, he shut the steel door, pulling it flush with the ground. Climbing down, he found Red standing at the bottom in front of the tunnel that barely made it waist high to them both.

"We gotta crawl."

"How far?"

"Two hundred yards."

"Two hundred?," Red blurted out and then sighed. "Lead on."

It was just short enough that they had to crawl along the tunnel, but it was lined with strung lights that Lewis turned on with a switch within the first ten feet. They made quick work of it and made it out to the other side where Lewis flicked off the tunnel light, leaving them in the darkness. Reaching out, Lewis felt for the mechanism that opened the steel door in front of them and pulled on it, grunting. Once open, he ushered Red in and then closed the door behind them.

Lewis walked in the pitch black to an electric generator and started it. Slowly the lights flickered on, revealing the details of the room.

"Lewis?" Red asked in awe.

"Yeah?"

"Please don't kill me."

Lewis sighed and then turned on the equipment that lined the wall. He had no doubt that Red recognized it all and what the uses were for. There were military grade GPS', radars, radiation equipment, a Ham radio as well as towers of 4U/Tower Server Intel Xeon processors, stacked three high, nine deep.

"I gotta upgrade those," he said mostly to himself.

The other side of the room held survival equipment in another squared off hole in the wall with a small walkway for him to enter; surrounding that was a huge variety of assault weapons, ammunition, grenades and launchers, including Piper issued clothing, the newer high level body armor stacked in three rows of five.

In the center of the room was a metal desk with even more servers, processors, and a HUD that looked exactly like his set up in the Situation Room. Sitting at the chair, Lewis pulled out a stool and pointed to it.

"I know what you're thinking."

"No, I don't think you do, dude," Red said with a nervous laugh.

"Listen, I put this together after the zombie virus a couple years back. It occurred to me that even though the Den was, for the most part, impenetrable, my equipment wasn't. So yes, I went a little crazy and built a self contained bunker."

"For yourself."

"No, if you walk through there," he pointed past the weapons.

"You mean the military arsenal and creepy shit?"

"I've extended it to hold about thirty people. But I can only do so much at a time without anyone knowing it. At the very least, the Piper systems, leadership, and whatever family there is will be protected against...whatever.

"My point in bringing you down here is to tell you that the systems were hacked, but not the parallel servers I have set up just in case that ever happened. Since Glenveagh, I've reached out to the other Den IT guys and had them set up parallel servers to avoid a direct hit. Yes some information was compromised, but not the core. I can easily bring everything back online from here."

"Glenveagh got hit with an EMP though, what's keeping this place from getting totally fucked with one?"

"We're basically sitting in one large faraday cage, deep enough to withstand, in theory, the effects of a nuclear bomb. Did you notice the slight decline?"

Red looked at Lewis, half spinning on his stool and thinking. Lewis turned on the computers and showed him the separate server specs.

"This parallel is separately backed up every ten minutes, virtually no information lost." He typed on his keyboard and one of the monitors shifted. "This is the system that is currently running that was compromised."

"Why haven't you switched to the parallel?"

"Because that attack originated from here."
Reese E Deardon 12 years ago
"You don't seem surprised," Lewis said slowly.

No, Red wasn't. After Glenveagh and the attempted assassination on Elder Hammerthynn, Red had his suspicions that if there was a plant at the Glenveagh compound, how easy could it be to get one into any of the Dens around the world. It made sense to already have one, sleeper or otherwise, waiting near the Alpha. Chewing his lip, he rested his elbow on the desk.

"It was just too convenient," he shrugged. "A core complement of Pipers in an easily controlled area? Another EMP? That's more than a signature or a calling card, it's practically a voicemail screaming 'It's ME, It's ME!'". His shoulders slumped as he considered what it meant.

Lewis seemed to be thinking it as well. "If I didn't have this set up, the entire system would be infected. Every transmission, phone call, email...it is all open to whoever is watching."

"How do you know?"

Lewis typed on his keyboard and another monitor flickered and a face appeared. Red immediately recognized it.

"Randy?"

Randy was the IT Piper from South Africa. His dark chocolate skin and dark, almost black eyes, smiled at both Red and Lewis. His thick accented voice filled the speakers in the room.

"Brother Lewis, Brother Red. So you brought Red in, eh, Lew?"

Red narrowed his eyes at Randy. "Dude, great to see you, but how can we even trust you?"

Lewis shook his head, "Nerd code, Red. Everyone has a signature. String of code, back door method," he shrugged. "You don't break codes, but someone who managed this type stick-up on 'my' system has a signature."

"Vanity, thy name is Nerd ," Red said with a grin. "So what have you found out, Randy?"

Randy's monitor opened a window. "After Glenveagh Lewis put the word out to parallel, but more importantly, attach warning strings to the other Dens to notify us of unwanted intrusions. The string originates from Nachton. No doubt."

"It was so basic I didn't even look for it at first. Started with a C prompt. Generates a virtual key to a door that the traitor inputted and probably called it out. Text message I would think."

"And the outgoing calls during that time period?"

"Everyone's cell phone number is registered, I uh, checked it."

"Hacked into the cell phone provider more likely," Randy chuckled.

"Semantics," Lewis said with a blush.

"We need to tell the Leadership."

"I tried already. I can't," Lewis said, his face tightening.

"Same here," Randy said with his grim, accented voice.

"Why can't you? Let's just go now."

"No, Red. I physically can't. You won't be able to either."

Red turned away from the monitors and looked back at Lewis. His nose was beginning to bleed. "Your nose," Red said quietly.

Wiping at his nose, he looked at the blood and then turned to Randy. "Thanks, man," and Randy logged off. "Red, this goes deeper than just being hacked. This was all I could do to protect us, but there's only one person who could have done this. This being something that has to do with why Vivienne went to Siberia."

Red watched as Lewis struggled to put to words what he couldn't tell Leadership, fighting a pain that was shooting across his face. The Beta's reaction to Vivienne the moment she step foot back on the ground from being retrieved from Siberia. The adamant refusal to even discuss the validity of what she learned. The attack not just on the core of the Pipers, but on Vivienne who is still pursuing the truth of the Blood Memory with Huntington.

"The Blood Memory isn't real," Red said and he felt his mind split. Both Lewis and Red fell to the floor of the bunker, grabbing their heads, bleeding from their noses, trying not to lose their minds.
The Pipers 12 years ago
Lewis opened an eye and exhaled painfully. The throb of what could only be a massive migraine had faded to a dull pain shooting behind his eyes. He tried to sit up, his eyes rolling, unable to focus when Red touched him.

"Listen to me," Red said slowly as he pulled Lewis up to sitting position. "The Blood Memory is real. Say it, Lewis."

Swallowing, he felt the sour gurgle of vomit coming up his throat and he turned, relieving the contents of his stomach onto the stain of red blood that was mixed into the dirt beside him. Nodding, Lewis closed his eyes and concentrated.

"The Blood Memory is real," he said in a monotone voice. Lewis knew what Red was trying to do. He had already done it himself before when he found out about the Den plant. They needed to accept the lie, if only long enough to recover from the denial of it. "The Blood Memory is real," he repeated again, feeling the headache start to subside. Finally his eyes adjusted and he looked Red whose face was smeared with his own blood and dirt. Reaching out, Lewis put his hand on his friend's shoulder and shook his head.
Reese E Deardon 12 years ago
Red had woken a few minutes earlier with a pain in his head that made him throw up immediately. Lewis wasn't kidding when he said they would not be able to tell anyone what they suspected. The Blood Memory would stop them at every turn and had hampered even their ability to verbally deny the truth of it. He considered his options in avoiding its wrath and slowly said out loud, "The Blood Memory is real."

Slowly, the thick tendrils of pain began to recede to less of a blinding migraine to more of a hungover ache. With a deep breath, he said it again and again till the pain retreated. Rousing Lewis, he made him do the same thing and together they stood shakily, looking at each other.

"You have red on you," Red said with a grin.

"Really," Lewis snorted and then pointed to his face and wiped a small inch of it. "I get it?"

Red slapped his back, "Oh yeah, definitely."

They shared the laugh and slowly sobered up. There was only one person who could have hacked the system, although his abilities to do so had not been known to either Lewis or Red. There were two people back at the Sit Room during the Sewer event.

Quietly, like church mice, Red and Lewis whispered one name: Dougie.


OOC - Lewis and Red out