Conspiracy, Part XII
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The Mall, Washington, D.C.
Monday, 26 December 1988, 1130 hours local time

Harper decided to take an early lunch to clear his head and consider what he knew.

Since Muir's interrogation of Ford, he'd learned the Foundation had managed to cover up the warehouse explosion in Finland as the result of "improperly stored volatile materials." Recovery teams had pulled a number of human remains from the rubble, including the now positively identified body of Lord George Smith-Cumming, a member of the British Parliament and a known member of Marshall, Carter, and Dark. Forensic accountants employed by at least six different agencies, of course including the Foundation, were already examining the late Lord's finances. The preliminary evidence was promising: by all appearances, the illusive C was no longer a concern. Harper had his doubts, but no corroborating evidence to back up his gut feeling.

As Harper strode past the Smithsonian Castle munching on a sandwich bought off a food truck, he was approached by a boy no older than twelve. "Hey Mister!" the boy said, running up to him. "A man paid me five bucks to give this to you!" He pulled a crumpled envelope from his back pocket.

Frowning slightly as he accepted the envelope, Harper thanked the boy, who ran off. He looked around, but recognized no one in the vicinity. His name was written in neat script across the envelope's flap. Tearing it open, the counterintelligence officer discovered it contained a single sheet of paper covered in the same small handwriting.

Dear Tim,

I thank you for your facilitating the delivery of the SCP-006 liquid. It made for a most wonderful Christmas gift. I do apologize for the unorthodox means by which this message was delivered; I believed it unwise to trust either official Foundation channels, or my usual unofficial means for contacting the organization. As I had promised, the following is information that may be of interest to your investigation.

First, as I have already informed the Foundation through official channels, I believe a number of items possessed by C are located in a warehouse on the waterfront in Helsinki, at 60.161 N, 24.903 E. Unless it has been moved sometime in the last 24 hours, you will find the chest, explosive coins, and map there. I give you fair warning that it is quite likely that the Global Occult Coalition knows this, though I did not provide them with the information. Accordingly, I would recommend that your recovery forces exercise haste. By the time your receive this message, the Coalition will certainly have taken steps to deal with the items in question.

Second, someone very powerful within the Foundation is a key conspirator, perhaps even the linchpin of the entire plot. I implore you to trust no one, and to be careful when using official lines of Foundation communication. While my sources suggest that neither of your two associates, Mr. Troy Muir nor Ms. Monica Daniel, is involved, it is most certainly possible that my information regarding this conspiracy is incomplete. It is possible anyone could be involved, even someone you have every reason to trust.

Third, though I am certain you already suspected this, the Foundation is not the only institution whose highest levels have been infiltrated. My information suggests there are key conspirators in the Foundation; Global Occult Coalition; the Chaos Insurgency; and Marshall, Carter, and Dark, Ltd. I do not have information to indicate any other organizations contain high-level conspirators rather than simple agents-in-place for intelligence gathering purposes. My sources indicate that Special Agent Harry Granger of the GOC is unlikely to be a witting conspirator, should you require assistance from that organization, though I can neither guarantee his cooperation, nor his loyalty.

By this point, I imagine you are wondering why someone in my position, with information such as this, would not be doing everything in my power to prevent the success of this conspiracy. While you have no reason to trust me, and, considering the game underfoot every reason to not, I beg your indulgence to allow me to offer two possible explanations: it is an unwise investment strategy to give information for nothing when one can receive payment for it, and I am, in point of fact, doing that which is within my power to disrupt this conspiracy. I am providing you this information and taking my own actions to prevent an outcome which would be, shall we say, "problematic". Of course, you are free to believe what I have told you or not, but I would be a rather destitute information dealer if my clients could not trust my word.

This brings me to my fourth piece of information: the conspiracy's goal. We live in a complex and intricate world; even if the preternatural were nothing more than the fairy tales and horror stories the world-at-large believes them to be (thereby reducing the world's complexity significantly), it would be foolish and arrogant for any individual or small group of persons, no matter how powerful, to believe they could dominate and control the globe. The conspirators know this, and have set their sights lower. The world-at-large is separated from life as the informed few know it by a Veil. This Veil is maintained by a variety of organizations with a variety of motives; it always has been, and it is entirely possible it always will be. Even chaotic and anarchic groups, when provided with access to true paranormal, have a tendency to maintain this Veil, if for no other reason as to ensure the continued separation of the "haves" and "have-nots", with themselves securely in the former category. In a way little different from the tremendous power afforded those few with the resources to split the atom, the preternatural is a source of power capable of inspiring both awe and terror. It is this power, this awe and terror, I believe the conspirators seek: the capacity to control, if not the world, then the world behind the Veil.

That concludes the information the Foundation purchased when it provided me the liquid from SCP-006. I have two more pieces of information to provide to you, and you alone. If you should choose to disregard my above advice and disclose the aforementioned, I beseech you to not reveal that I have told you what follows.

Your family's death was not accidental.

Investigate the Roosevelt family.

May your continued investigation be met with the best of luck. If I can provide further assistance on this or other matters, do not hesitate to contact me, either directly or by leaving a message for me at the Diogenes Club in London. I have confidence in the Club's discretion in passing secure communications.

Most sincerely,
James Mycroft

Harper was so taken aback by the letter's contents that he scarcely wondered how on earth the eccentric mathematics professor had known that he'd be walking past a particular building at a particular time, given his recent extensive travels. Placing the note in his pocket, he lit a cigarette and walked back to Command-02.

Muir and Monica looked up to see Harper enter the office. Without a word, he grabbed a sheet of paper and a pen and scribbled "ASSUME OFFICE BUGGED, MOVE TO TANK." Silently, the two nodded. Picking up the several boxes of relevant files, the three of them moved to a room deep in the bowels of the building: The Tank. The Tank was a purpose-built room designed to make electronic surveillance ("bugging", as it was more popularly called) impossible. A variety of active and passive measures were in place, blocking both conventional electronic listening devices and several known anomalous listening techniques. Swept daily, it could be reserved by personnel with Level 4 or Level 5 clearance who were handling particularly sensitive classified materials.

After all the files had been transferred, Harper turned to Monica. "Monica, I need you to run up to the Daly Building in Judiciary Square and pull D.C. Metro's investigation file on a fatal car crash that happened on 25 December 1978 at Dupont Circle," he instructed.

"On it," she said, not questioning the significance of a ten-year old traffic accident to their current investigation. She fished in her bag for the fake credentials identifying her as a junior agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and left.

"What's going on, Tim?" asked Muir.

Producing the note from his pocket, Harper said, "A cutout gave this to me at lunch."

After carefully reading the note, not once but twice, Muir let out a low whistle. "This complicates things," he muttered. "Want me to dig through what we have on the GOC and Chaos Insurgency to see if I can turn anything up?"

Harper nodded. "Sure. Focus on those likely to be involved with anything either unusual or related to the Foundation," he suggested. "The investigation file I sent Monica after—"

"—was for the crash that killed your family," Muir finished. "I knew the date sounded familiar. When she gets back, I'll have her cross-reference the file with everything we've pulled relating to this investigation. Mycroft wouldn't have given you that information if it didn't pertain to this somehow."

"I figured he wasn't just being nice," Harper said. "I'll go pull the Foundation's records on the Roosevelts."

That required a trip down to Central Records, a cavernous labyrinth of yellowing documents larger than most libraries, located in the bottom four floors of the basement. Only Level 5 personnel were permitted to freely traverse the stacks, and in some areas even they needed an escort. Harper thumbed through the card catalog, locating the reference numbers for each personnel or person-of-interest file for individuals from the Roosevelt family. As it turned out, there were a large number relevant individual files, plus a collective file on the entire family. He wrote the numbers on an index card and set off to locate the files.

After a productive forty-five minutes of searching, Harper returned to the tank with a thick stack of files. Muir and Monica were already hard at work poring over their own files, so Harper set down his materials and got to work.

The collective file on the family included a detailed genealogy of the Roosevelt family, reaching back to the two patriarchs (Johannes, head of the Oyster Bay branch of the family, and James Jacobus, head of the Hyde Park branch). Each family member's dates of birth and death, marriages, occupations, and descendants were listed, as was whether or not there was an individual file for that person.

The first individual file on the stack was for Theodore Roosevelt (specifically the one living between 1855 and 1919, as "Theodore" was a name that appeared many times in the family tree). Best known to the world-at-large as the 26th President of the United States, he had also been a friend to the Foundation during the organization's early days in the late 19th century. There were a number of rumors that floated around about him from time to time, that he had helped push the United States into the Spanish-American War on behalf of the Foundation, that the Foundation opposed his being made Vice President (which would have gotten him "out of the way" politically had McKinley not died), that the Foundation helped make him Vice President and that McKinley was shot on Foundation orders to place him in power, even that he was a member of the Foundation, and plenty of other often contradictory speculation. The truth was in the file Harper held in his hands. Of course, none of what was in the file turned out to be particularly relevant to the details of the investigation at hand, even if TR was involved in a war the Foundation had fomented with a device used ninety years later to kill an Overseer.

The second file, oddly enough, was completely empty. The name was "Cornelia Roosevelt", and according to the collective file on the family, she was the daughter of James Alfred Roosevelt, the older brother of TR's father. The information relating to Cornelia was also, for the most part, missing from the genealogy in the family file. Harper set aside the file, scribbling a question mark in his notes next to her name.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd President of the United States, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1920); had dealings with the Foundation as ASN during the First World War, and as President, during the Second.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), niece to Theodore, wife of Franklin D., and First Lady of the United States; person-of-interest with no direct dealings to the Foundation.

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1887-1944), son of TR, Brigadier General in the United States Army, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1921-1924), Governor of Puerto Rico (1929–1932), Governor-General of the Philippines (1932–1933); had numerous dealings with the Foundation in each capacity. Harper found it interesting that a total of five members of the extended Roosevelt clan had served in the post. Considering the significance the position had held as a conduit between the early Foundation and the American government, the number of Roosevelts who had interacted with the Foundation made some degree of sense.

Theodore Douglas Robinson (1883-1934), nephew of TR and Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1924-1929); had dealings with the Foundation as the ASN, and suspected of being one of the first supporters of the Chaos Insurgency.

Henry Latrobe Roosevelt (1879-1936), third cousin to TR and Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1933-1936); fought in the Spanish-American War and had dealings with the Foundation as the ASN. Henry Latrobe was also suspected of having sympathies to the Chaos Insurgency. Harper wondered whether Theodore Robinson's and Henry L. Roosevelt's alleged Chaos Insurgency sympathies had resulted in the Foundation both the distancing of the organization from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, and for some of the hostilities that would later arise between the American military and the organization.

Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt (born 1915), son of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Foundation agent embedded within the Central Intelligence Agency; served as the head of CIA's Technical Division from 1960-1961. He was part of the joint CIA/Foundation MKULTRA Project, and was listed as having been one of the primary advocates within CIA of attempting to poison Fidel Castro (on behalf of the Foundation). He'd since retired, and the file gave Harper no reason to believe he was involved in the current conspiracy.

Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. (born 1916), grandson of TR and cousin to Cornelius Van Schaack, Foundation agent embedded within the CIA. Kermit Jr. had coordinated the 1953 Iranian coup, another joint CIA/Foundation operation. Though retired by the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Kermit Jr. still occasionally consulted with the Foundation as an expert on the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.

Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, Jr. (born 1918), grandson of TR and cousin to Cornelius Van Schaack and Kermit Jr., United States Army intelligence, CIA officer. Though never a formal member of the Foundation like his cousins, Archibald Bulloch Jr. was listed as having been a "friend to the Foundation" throughout his entire career, including during his WWII service in North Africa, Iraq, and Iran, and as CIA Chief of Station in Istanbul, Madrid, and London. There was a note stating that he had refused to assist the Foundation when it was at odds with the CIA, as well as refusing to supply classified documents without official approval from the CIA/Foundation liaison. He was now retired, having recently published a memoir.

"Tim, we have something," Monica said, interrupting Harper's genealogical and biographical thoughts. He walked over to where Monica and Muir sat.

"The drunk who killed your family," Muir began.

"Tristan Arnold," spat Harper. The name was hard cut into his memory.

"Right, him," Monica said. "His parents died in a house fire when he and his twin brother were six, after which the two of them went into foster care."

"Now, as adults, their lives diverge substantially," Muir explained. "Both enlisted in the Army. Tristan was dishonorably discharged, and lived the remainder of his life out of a bottle."

"His brother, Benjamin, on the other hand," Monica continued, "was honorably discharged after two tours, then went to work for the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service as a bodyguard. That is, until he was transferred to—"

"—the Global Occult Coalition, where he loyally served as the personal bodyguard for Regional Deputy Director Bain, until deciding to go on a shooting spree yesterday, killing GOC Regional Director Strauss and O5-3," finished Muir.

Harper looked from Muir to Monica. "So the brother of the man who killed my family ten years ago," he asked slowly, "is yesterday's assassin?"

"I mean, it's a small world, but this can't be a coincidence," Monica said. She handed over two photographs. One, a yellowing newspaper clipping, showed a somber man at Tristan's funeral. The other was a security camera still that showed the same man, ten years later, wearing an earpiece and sunglasses as he ushered Bain into a building.

"After my family died, I stopped turning down the promotion to Section Chief," Harper breathed. "Someone, now involved in this plot, arranged for my family to die so I'd take the promotion?"

Muir asked, "That was before we started working together; who was putting pressure on you to take the job?"

Harper thought back, "The Counterintelligence Director at the time - Erik DeVoe. But he was getting pressure from someone on the O5 Council. I kept resisting because my kids were in elementary school…"

"Could this Mr. Bain be involved?" Monica asked.

"It's possible," Harper replied. "He stood to gain directly with his boss' assassination, and the shooter was his own bodyguard."

"And he killed the assassin himself," Muir pointed out.

"Follow that lead," Harper said. "One of the files I pulled from Central Records was gutted."

"Completely empty?" Muir asked, surprised. "Nobody - not even the Overseers - are supposed to completely remove the contents of any file not containing a memetic hazard or infohazard."

"Yeah, Troy, I know," Harper said. "And this was a personnel file, so it should have been fine. It's probably nothing, since the individual was born back in the 1870s, but I'm going to head over to the National Archives to try and reconstruct the non-sensitive genealogical and biographical information."

"Alright," Muir said. "Out of curiosity, whose file was it?"

"Cornelia Roosevelt."

National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Monday, 26 December 1988, 1400 hours local time

Most people who visit the National Archives Building go to see the original copies of the American Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. While famous, impressive, priceless, and interesting documents, they represent only the tiniest fraction of the records maintained and stored by the National Archives and Records Administration. Though few tourists wandered beyond the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, any member of the public could become a certified researcher and gain access to the documents stored within. Though not the only reason for an ordinary citizen to become a certified researcher, many genealogists took advantage of NARA's countless records (census records, Congressional private claims and private legislation records, court records, immigration records, military records, passenger lists, passport applications, post office records, and many other archived records) in order to construct detailed family histories. Of course, many of these documents were not made public until at least seven decades after their creation.

This did not present a problem for Harper, however. His notes indicated that Cornelia Roosevelt was born circa 1867, which meant that the records from at least the first sixty years of her life would be available. Just because the records were available did not make the task easy, however. It took several hours of laboriously sifting through documents to begin to assemble a portrait of who this woman had been.

Cornelia Maria Roosevelt, daughter of James Alfred Roosevelt, was born in New York City in February of 1867. She was one of five children, she suffered from asthma, much like her older cousin Theodore (who would later become President). Both as a child and as a young woman, she was described in several contemporary accounts as having a fascination with the natural and social sciences. In 1893, she married Jonathan Franklin Dark, a wealthy young British banker and investor who did business with her father through his firm, Roosevelt & Son. Cornelia and Jonathan maintained two houses, one in Westminster and one in Arlington. After Jonathan died under mysterious circumstances in April of 1898, Cornelia disappeared without a trace in August of that year.


The missing Cornelia Dark, née Roosevelt, who disappeared after her husband's mysterious death in April…

Harper was reading a newspaper article about the couple's unusual disappearance when he spotted a photograph of the woman. The resemblance was uncanny - far too close to be a coincidence. And she'd married a man named "Dark"… Harper made a photocopy of the picture, gathered his notes, and walked quickly back to Command-02.

"I have it," Harper told Muir and Monica. "Look at this!" He set down the photograph of Cornelia Dark.

"Is that—?" asked Monica.

Harper nodded, laying a more recent photo next to it. "Dead ringer, isn't she?"

"Damn," Monica said. "I hope I look that good when I'm a hundred and ten."

Muir rubbed his chin as he read though Harper's notes. "Jonathan Franklin Dark," he grunted. "Wasn't he the son of 'Old Man Dark', one of MC&D's founders?"

"The same," Harper said. "No wonder the Central Records file was emptied. That's a hell of a skeleton to keep in the closet all these years."

"Yep," Muir agreed. "While you were out, Monica and I did manage to link Bain to the conspiracy. Turns out he paid both Arnold brothers in numbered Swiss accounts, only to transfer the money back out again once each brother kicked the bucket."

"Greedy bastard," Monica quipped. "But it is evidence the Powers That Be can take to the GOC if they want to mend fences. After all, Bain did whack one of their Regional Directors."

"We have enough to go to the O5 Council," Harper decided. "Monica, head up to the seventh floor and arrange a secure meeting with the following Overseers…"

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