Vol. 1 No. 01 : Quorum

Vol. 1 No. 03 : US3R Of The Darknet

Vol. 1 No. 04 : The Whispers On Carrier X

Vol. 1 No. 05 : Weaving Spiders

Vol. 1 No. 06 : Heng

Vol. 1 No. 07 : Like Love Hate Hate

Vol. 1 No. 08 : Year Zero

Vol. 1 No. 09 : Rishek

Vol. 1 No. 10 : The Zura Contract

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Single Vision Management.

A panel of suits from Single Vision Management sat round the table in the briefing room, listening intently to the MI5 team. The multiple scenarios had been rehearsed and the details were being painted in by Cresswell's service instructors.

“As we now have multiple units within this theatre of operations, we need to ensure that crisis communications are understood, over and above the level of individual operational structures. For this reason, there will be a call sign over a carrier that will instruct all parties on their exit routes after or during the drills.

“That call sign will be Iona.”

A presentation on the giant back wall lightscreen was displaying the colour coded graphics of operatives in jumpsuits. They were connected in groups through the lines of a flowchart around a central hub.

“Single Vision are controlling civilian actors, the casualties, the incidental furniture of doormen, a delivery driver, that sort of thing, and our group will control the actors who will be caught on camera. Namely, the terrorists with backpacks, the assassination squad that will appear to commandeer the main elevators and then the Metropolitan security force that open fire in the target locations. The Metropolitan Security Agency will be standing down when it becomes clear that a proposed terrorist attack has been confirmed and their personnel will be ordered to do nothing that may endanger lives. Should there be any reason to abort the operation, call sign Iona will be given. It will be followed by code numbers that reference the final chapters of the script, indicating escape routes and disposal of operational materials. Should anyone be challenged by a member of the public, or detained by real police there are scenarios of plausible deniability next to the codes. These sections must be learned by rote in order to maintain the confidentiality of the operation under the standard requirements of national security. Any actor who contravenes the absolute secrecy required by this operation will immediately be disavowed and then removed from the official narrative that the media will be presenting.

“Properties will be allocated one hour before the commencement of each drill and will be recalled within one hour of the end of each drill. Team leaders will report all inventory to the quartermasters.

“All actors now have their full and final timetables. The authorities in Birmingham are aware of next week's operation and have already begun the process of re-routing city traffic, under the guise of bringing forward a raft of road improvements. This will seal off street traffic on two sides of the New World Hotel, allowing clear transit in and out with one route left open for any unforeseen circumstances.”

The screen switched from aerial views of the hotel, annotated with road routes to shots of the Metropolitan news crews.

“Remember, this is for the benefit of the media. We are producing a show, just as much as they are. We have to be absolutely convincing or, you can rest assured, there will be someone out there who will take this operation to pieces in a search for clues that it was a fabricated event. They will then seek to make of it what they will. These are not loose ends that we particularly want to have to clear up. So, if you bring up the final appendices, we will now begin to investigate the post-operative management of government, media and security service press information.”

The suits from Single Vision Management rustled in their chairs and wearily pulled pages of light documents from the central hub.

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Random Skies: Prine's Metropolitan is the second episode in a series of speculative fiction set in a parallel world where the surely unthinkable has already started to happen.