Queen To Pawn
rating: +42+x

Conversation recorded on ██/██/████
Parties identified as █████ ██████ the third, ranking member of Marshall, Carter and Dark Ltd. and an unknown female voice, identified as "Black Queen".
Intercepted by Foundation Agents during routine surveillance.

“Whoever this is, it better be pretty goddamn important to be using the secured line in the middle-”

“It's the Black Queen.”

“…oh god.”

“Am I disturbing you?”

“Oh, uh, no, no, not at all, it's fine, just a little get together and-”

“I could come by in person, if that would be easier.”

“NO! Uh, I mean, no, that's not necessary, don't want to put you out or anything.”

“I assure you, it would be no trouble. For me.”

“I… am aware of that. One moment.”


“… Ok, I was able to speak quietly with a couple board members… Ing, Carter's head staffer keeps an open record of all known Agents. We pulled the few we know to be in the field and started tracking.”

“I don't care about the means. Where is he?”

“Ah… yes, indeed. Well, here's the thing, we may need a little… good faith payment first. Despite your… credentials, you're still new to the club, and this is no small service. The plans you say you have could be worth much… if indeed they exist, and-”

“No. No. You need to listen to me. I want the location of this man. I need it. Now. Was I unclear in the past? Did I somehow fucking mumble when I told you that you would work with me for what I offer, or get snips and slivers of your children in the mail for the next year? Was I FUCKING UNCLEAR? I want him, now, now, now, NOW, NOW! I'm not some ass-licking little overpuffed fop who you can try and bullshit around and use your 'rules' like a shield. Bitch and bicker with me, and I swear to the Styx you will suffocate on your own anus before you die. Now WHERE THE FUCK IS HE?!”

“Oh god… I… he… he's in a storage unit in Florida. Value Store, unit eighteen. I'll send you the address and the key.”

“Much better, thank you. You will have to forgive me, I become tense on certain topics. I'm sure you understand?”

“… of course.”

“I'll forward the security schedules and layout to the drop point. Enjoy your party. Maybe I'll see you there.”

“… Wait, what? You… y-you don't… hello? Hello?”

Recorded brief 1189=00H
Tentatively marked "Black Queen Incident"
Briefing between ██████ ██████ & ████ █████████, RE: 'Black Queen' recording

“Ok, there we are… if you'll sit there sir, we'll get started.”

“Why is this being put on the record? It's not a mission brief.”

“Well, a case has been opened, so everything-”

“A CASE has been opened over this?”

“Sir, it's simpler if I just show you.”

“Fine, proceed.”

“Ok, as you know, around six hours ago, we received a VHS tape. Well, to be more precise, one of our drivers found it sitting on his passenger seat when he came in from a drop. Due to the suspicious nature of this, and that he was in a secured area when it happened, we-”

“Bah, skip to the end, I have two more meetings before lunch.”

“… We reviewed the tape. It… actually, it's probably faster to show you. If you'll look at the screen…”

“… God, why is the image so degraded… oh, right, you said it was a tape, right? Who still… wait, who is that?”

“We believe that's Agent Penbry. We've done some checking, he was on dispatch in Louisiana. His partner was found dead in their hotel room, Penbry was missing and hadn't checked in since the night before.”

“How the hell did he just get grabbed? And end up… like that, no less. What is that he's tied to, anyway?”

“It's… ahh… called a wooden horse, or 'Spanish donkey'; it's a torture and fetish device…”

“Jesus, what the hell do you have me watching? I… who is that?”

“We're not sure yet, beyond assuming she's the one who took Penbry. We've done some prelim work, and-”

“What is she… oh god… oh fuck.”

“I… have the audio down. Penbry's screaming won't really add anything important to the brief. She didn't even ask him anything. Didn't threaten him, or talk… just… dived in, as it were.”

“How is he still conscious for this?”

“She may have drugged him, or he… might be in too much pain. The optic nerve isn't meant to be stretched like-”

“Jesus, turn it off… turn it OFF goddammit!”

“… As you can see… we feel a case may need to be opened at this point.”

“Can I smoke in here?”

“Only if you share… So, anyway, the tape goes on… and on and on, but eventually she starts asking him things. She probes and prods, mentally and physically… and… well, she got it.”

“… Got… what?”

“Everything. Everything Penbry knew, anyway. Even the heavy memetic shielded stuff… walked him through it a bit at a time, kept him just barely on the edge of a shutdown… and just drained him. Outside our own staff, I've never seen anything like it.”

“Jesus… what was she after? Just probing?”

“Sir, she didn't even know that we had a name.”

“What the living hell… so… a total outsider, an amateur no less… just walks in and uses one of our Agents like a sock puppet?”

“Ahh… there… may be something else. After we reviewed the tape, we started taking it apart, looking for… anything, really. It was sterile, just plastic and film, but there was something taped to the inside.”

“… Dammit, don't keep me in suspense, man.”

“It… was a black queen. Like the chess piece? The crown… the crown was a tooth. It was Penbry's.”


“What's more, some digging has turned up a letter we received months ago… it wasn't deemed credible at the time, but someone identified as the 'Black Queen' makes some very overt threats, among other things. It's being looked into now, but it seems very likely that this isn't a total amateur. It… may be someone with peripheral Foundation ties.”

“Explain peripheral.”

“It is implied that we removed her father from her home at a young age.”

“We don't do that any more, barely did it back then, the high intensity recruitment… no. No. It couldn't…”

“We have a team at Site 2, in the master archives. Nothing from that period has been updated to the digital media yet, so it's… slow going, to say the least. We can't say conclusively who she may be, yet.”

“It's probably his daughter, isn't it? Goddamn… I don't even see how it's possible…”

“Sir, with as long as we've been at this, I'm surprised something like this has taken as long as it has.”

“… Realistically, how bad is this for us?”

“The Foundation is not about to crumble over one pissed off girl. At the same time, initial reviewers are observing some real intelligence and possible severe mental imbalance. I'm sure she's getting help, but how and from where I have no idea. She's smart, cunning, and seems to lack anything even approaching empathy. If we were talking about anyone else, I'd be bringing up recruitment by now.”

“… Any projections on how this will play out?”

“She fed a man his own retina, sir. I can't imagine where she'll go from there.”

Problems advance…
Quiet Game

Or at times revert.
Opening Moves

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