Captain Taylor, turn 5.

With a confidant air, you hand the clerk your request to review (a private pun!) the notebooks found in Dr Glasser’s laboratory. He stamps it and you return to your office, safe in the knowledge that officialdom is in action. The following day brings an envelope. Your application with a rejection slip. Damn.

The reason for the rejection is “insufficient authority” so, after some thought, you append Ms Malcolm’s name to the application and send it back. You would have asked her first, but Agent Schwarzkopf reports that she, Dr Upthorpe and Dr Trevelyan left on a US Marine Corps helicopter early this morning to meet Lt Smythe in New York.

The clerk accepts the amended application with the same air of determined bureaucracy. The following day brings an envelope and rejection slip. You kick back and decide what to do next. While you are pondering the New York Times’ crossword, the phone rings. It’s the clerk, sounding more than a little flustered. He explains that you were sent the wrong slip, and that access has been granted under the usual conditions, to whit that you may only study them where they are being held, and, while you may take notes, no transcripts or photocopies will be allowed. Trying not to sound too eager, you agree and make an appointment to see the documents that afternoon.

At the secure storage facility, you show your ID, and are led into a locked room. A camera lens watches you from the far wall. On the table are two piles of documents. You glance at the first pile and see that they are Dr Glasser’s notes in German, a language you are not at all familiar with. The other pile is a full translation, which strikes you as a little odd for documents not directly involved in the upcoming extradition trial. Still, fortune favours…

The day passes quickly. The books are chronological notes of several years of investigation. They start with detailed anatomical work and the “response to electrical stimuli.” Some of the work seems to be very old and, even to your untrained eyes, more than a little dubious in the ethical sense. The notes then divert off onto historical research, with references to a number of cases in the early part of the century, and mentions “Herbert West” in a number of  places. Dr Glasser also expresses irritation that a “provincial university” should deny him access to certain historical journals and notes. Some assistance does seem forthcoming from an unnamed South American source. The work all seems aimed at some form of chemical stimulation of the body, post mortem, though your medical knowledge is sufficiently slim that it could just as easily be an aphrodisiac.

The journals then divert off onto the relatively new topic of microelectronics, and the 086 silicon chip. Various attempts, again designed to stimulate the nervous system in an ordered fashion,  are described, using more and more sophisticated electronics. Failure seems to be the result, Glasser concluding that even modern electronics are nor fast enough to process the feedback loops required to make a body stay upright.

Then Glasser comes into possession of a new set of electronics – the Connors Tyler chip – together with electronic documentation, sadly stored on the now deceased laboratory computer. This seems to be something of a revelation, both in terms of speed and capabilities, and seems to revitalise Dr Glasser who describes a great deal of success in the weeks before he was caught.

By the end of the day your head is spinning slightly as your brain tries to bring the vast swathe of information into focus. Still mulling events, you fail to notice the scratches around the lock on your front door, and so nearly jump out of your skin as you start to take your coat off and a voice from behind you says “Did you learn what you wanted?”

You spin round. Sitting in an arm chair is a small dapper man, in his late fifties. A neatly folded raincoat sits on his lap. “How did you….?”

“I let myself in, it seemed safest. I belong to an organisation that works for the government, tidying up things that the general public are not equipped to deal with. You can call me Matthew. Your new friends, Forthright, are involved in some very disturbing work, and we’d quite like to track them down. Got any ideas?”

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