To: Dr. Keitaro Chavez
From: Dr. Keitaro Chavez, a.k.a. “Mikhail Eng”
Re: Calling Card
As divergent as we have become these intervening years, I had hoped that you would recognize my handiwork in the basilisk hack I arranged to deliver to the Gulag Archipelago, as well as recognize the difficulty in not only creating such an instrument, but in arranging the delivery in the first place. As you may have guessed, it would have been impossible if I hadn’t had a member of the Lost generation available. Their async talents for pattern recognition as well as their uniquely malleable cognitive structures are the only method currently available for delivering the sort of training necessary to deliver a basilisk hack through a live performance. It would have been far easier to send it via multi-media recording, of course, but I had hoped you would appreciate the artistry, as well as the subtext I couldn’t permit my corporate overlords to notice, namely that I meant you and your companions no lasting harm.
When your associate Echo eschewed my current name and asked after “Dr. Chavez” at the front door to the Advanced Heuristics Laboratory for Red Five, I knew my message had hit its mark, and therefore I hope you’ll forgive the temerity of this direct communication.
By now, your associates will doubtless have informed you of my motives and reasons, but I’ve never been one to rely on secondary sources when a primary source is available.
I have been watching you and your friends for some time now. Ever since Fa Jing put Kshatra on their most-wanted list for acts of corporate espionage and sabotage stretching from Venus to Eris I’ve put together dossiers on all of your fellow fleet members. I’m sure they all have their reasons, but I couldn’t help but project some of my own thirst for vengeance against Cognite onto you, and presume that your subtle hand was behind at least some of their anti-corporate behavior of late. Don’t think it escaped my notice that while Pandora herself became more and more scarce, her network continued to grow. Don’t think it escaped my notice that in her few public speaking occasions she bore certain… hallmarks… of being artificially generated. I don’t know what you’ve done with the original Pandora, but you have my congratulations for successfully co-opting her terrorist organization.
Although Experia directed Red Five to use the Gulag Archipelago as a test-run for my technologies, I had a great deal of leeway in how this revenge was executed. I opted more for “subtle job interview” as opposed to something truly destructive. It made the point Experia wanted made so they were happy. It was a successful proof of concept so it made Red Five happy. It lured Kiril Tesler and others of your associates to my office which made me happy.
I offered him, and you, all my research on basilisk hacks as well as prophylactic conditioning to inoculate someone against being affected. I offered him, and you, the destruction of my facility, and my own death in order to satisfy your Firewall backers. All I ask is that you put your ongoing anti-corporatist efforts at my disposal, hitting a target of my choosing, namely Dr. Ilya Fero. I trust I needn’t elaborate on why.
All I need your friends to do is deliver a data package into the systems of Cognite’s Phobos facility and Cognite’s Thought station in orbit over Venus. Whatever else they get up to is up to them.
I do hope that they, and you, will accept my offer. They have put Red Five’s Advanced Heuristics Laboratory out of business with my compliments. I eagerly await proceeding to the next step.