Only you can help Major Jack Strong in his fight against the deadliest of enemies. All you need is this dossier, access to an Internet-linked computer, and a talent for deciphering hidden codes. If your mission is successful, you will get the chance to destroy the enemyâ€™s website once and for all. But, don't underestimate Stealth's ability to reorganise and retaliate. The future of the world is in your hands â€Ś Keep a look out for other GIO missions.
For further information go to:
Published by Quest. Quest is an imprint of Top That! Publishing plc, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.quest-books.co.uk Copyright ÂŠ 2008 Top That! Publishing plc. All rights reserved
This edition published in Great Britain in 2008 by Quest, an imprint of Top That! Publishing plc, Marine House, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.quest-books.co.uk 0246897531 Written by Gary Murray ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gary Murray is a former Armed Forces Special Investigator and counter-intelligence operative. He has also worked undercover for MI5 and US Customs, operating out of the American Embassy, London. Gary would like to thank Alison Murray for her help with this project. Creative Director – Simon Couchman Editorial Director – Daniel Graham Art Editor – Matt Denny Commissioning Editor – Michelle Hogg Film Footage – Ben Ward All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Neither this book nor any part or any of the illustrations, photographs or reproductions contained in it shall be sold or disposed of otherwise than as a complete book, and any unauthorised sale of such part illustration, photograph or reproduction shall be deemed to be a breach of the publisher’s copyright. ISBN 978-1-84666-660-5 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Printed and bound in China This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, incidents and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
US INTELLIGENCE SERVICE REFERENCE:
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET RISK CATEGORY:
HUMANKIND TO AGENT: HAWK EYE On the authority of the president of the United States, you are hereby appointed to carry out the courses of action detailed in GIO special agent Major Jack Strong’s report (attached). Major Strong has infiltrated the evil organisation known as Stealth. He has discovered a way to disrupt their quest for global domination, and this is where you, agent Hawk Eye, must take over. Please be aware that your mission is classifed as TOP SECRET and must be commenced without delay. The future of the world is in your hands. You must access the enemy’s mission control through the website discovered by Major Strong: www.thevipersnest.org. Then carefully read Strong’s report, focusing your attention on the various codes he has uncovered. They all have to be cracked, starting with the four-digit access code to the website. Later on, you’ll need to identify which two codes, when linked together, will completely destroy Stealth’s mission control. Unless the enemy’s mission control is sabotaged, any damage Major Strong inflicts on Stealth will be futile. A regulation GIO code book can be found at the back of this dossier. The codes it contains are known to be used by active Stealth agents. Good luck with your mision.
Assignment Code Na me: VIPERS’ NEST Classification: ABOVE TOP SECRET US PRESIDENT’S EYES ONLY Reporting Agent: MAJOR JACK STRONG
CAPTURE What I’m about to write is a true account of my mission so far. I am confident that it is an accurate record of events as they happened, and I have given dates and times when I have been in a position to know them. I’ve included every code I’ve encountered while working undercover within Stealth – my photographic memory never lets me down. It all began when I dumped the Venom Rising dossier as planned and made a run for it. Stealth operatives were spread out all over the airfield like a swarm of locusts, so it was just a matter of time before they had me in their clutches. The weakness engulfing me signalled the end was rapidly approaching. The future of the world lay in my plan to infiltrate Stealth by being 2
taken prisoner and working inside the enemy organisation. This I have achieved, as you will find out from the following report. It all began as I headed for the western edge of the old airfield. The derelict officers’ mess was an ideal spot to let the enemy discover just what was left of me. I prayed that some trigger-happy goon wouldn’t be tempted to execute me on the spot … it was my greatest fear. I collapsed in a heap just inside the entrance to the officers’ mess. Suffering from dehydration and with blood seeping from the bullet wound in my arm, I waited for the inevitable. It was about 15.45 when the first enemy operative burst in. Through a fog of pain, I heard someone shout: ‘Over here, it’s him. He looks unconscious.’ Someone else, obviously in charge, replied: ‘Remember, orders are to take him alive.’ The next thing I recall was being propped up and given some much-needed water, then a voice speaking in my ear: ‘At last we meet, Major Strong. You’ve led us quite a merry dance. Let’s see what you’ve got to say for yourself.’ A few moments later, I was carried outside and placed on the ground, while someone spoke into a handportable radio. 3
Blue Leader – ‘Stealth Control, this is Blue Leader. We have Major Strong. Where do you want him delivered? He’s in a bad way.’ It took a few minutes for a reply to come through, but what I overheard gave me tremendous satisfaction.
Experience tells me that Stealth’s Access Code Encryption System should allow progression into their new mission control website.
Stealth Control – ‘Blue Leader from Stealth Control. We have a serious problem with our mission control system. Someone has attempted sabotage through the website. We are partially disabled at present. A new mission control website is being established as a matter of urgency under www.thevipersnest.org. The access code is S/N/A/T. Meanwhile, take Strong by helicopter to Camp X-ray. Patch him up, and then transfer him to the Snake Pit for interrogation. We need to know everything he knows about us. Keep him alive for the time being.’ At least someone had found the Venom Rising dossier and taken immediate action. Stealth’s mission control had clearly been disrupted, but it appeared a new website would soon be up and running. A reply must have been sent by Blue Leader, but I didn’t hear it … probably because I’d passed out. When consciousness returned, I found myself inside a noisy Chinook helicopter. Someone had put me on a life-saving drip, and I got the feeling I was being ‘fattened up for the kill’.
After an hour or so, we landed at a location surrounded by hills. It’s hard to say where, but it looked to be South Wales, a place with many secluded, but now deserted and neglected, military installations – all ideal hiding places for the enemy. I was dragged from the Chinook and hauled into a room where a medicated smell hung in the air. This encouraged me to think it must be some kind of medical facility. A wild-looking man in a white coat tended to my injuries and saw that I was fed and watered – he was silent throughout. Three uniformed Stealth officers, armed with AK47 automatic rifles and side arms, entered the room and ordered me to move outside to reboard the waiting Chinook. For the first time since being captured, I spoke: ‘What next, gentlemen?’ The senior of the three-man escort replied: ‘You, Major Strong, are going to spend some time in the Snake Pit.’ By now I had recovered enough to kick-start my brain into operation. As the helicopter lifted off, I mentally improvised a course of action to see me through. My plan was simple – survive interrogation and convince the enemy I could be more valuable to them alive than dead. All I had to do was: 1. Convince them I had a lot to tell; 2. Give the impression I was more seriously injured and sick than I actually was; 5
3. Somehow persuade them to supply me with a steady stream of food and water; 4. Allow them to believe I could be ‘turned’ – no chance! We flew on and on; the journey seemed never ending. I wondered where the Snake Pit was located … Then it came to me – part and parcel of interrogation methods is to move prisoners around, sometimes for hours at a time. This is designed to confuse them, and makes the job of extracting information a lot easier.
This code must be cracked and input on Stealth’s new mission control website. The location of Stealth’s backup HQ must be revealed. It looks like it’s written in Reverse Code. 6
Eventually, we landed. It was impossible to assess how much time had passed. To make matters worse, a hood had been placed over my head and my wrists had been manacled behind my back. I was dragged along a cold corridor, then strip-searched and thrown into a cell. As the door slammed shut, a Stealth radio message echoed around the building: Stealth Control – ‘Blue Leader from Stealth Control. We are abandoning the sea fort. We have discovered underwater charges on the primary legs of the structure. We are transferring to backup location code reference AERA 74 ADAVEN.’ This was frustrating news for me. Even if my men activated the charges, there would be nothing left to destroy.
DESTINATION UNKNOWN Exhaustion overtook me and I fell asleep, for how long it is impossible to say. But what I do recall is the abrupt awakening! I transferred from a deep sleep to being fully awake in a millionth of a second – not surprising really, after hearing amplified church bells roaring away inside the cell. This was it – time for pain, disorientation and the numerous other discomforts that are associated with interrogation. The door burst open and two large men dressed in black stomped into the cell and snarled at me: ‘On your feet. Let’s go.’ With that, they placed the hood on my head again, then manacled my wrists in front of me. They strode swiftly ahead, dragging me along like a rag doll. I stumbled behind them as my manacled wrists, linked to a chain, were pulled by one of the interrogators. One of them sounded English. ‘Let’s see what you’ve got to say for yourself, Major Strong,’ he said. I remember going into ‘meditation mode’ in the hope my martial arts training would protect me. The art of chi-do had never let me down in the past. I felt as if I was being dragged along endlessly, until cold air eventually brushed my face and I could smell 7
aviation jet fuel. This led me to believe I would be going on another journey. Sure enough, I was hauled and pushed up some steps to the entrance of what I believed to be a twin-engined jet, perhaps a Gulfstream. I was strapped into a seat, with my ankles chained to a holding bar on the floor of the aircraft. Seconds later, a whooshing sound signalled the closing of a pressurised door (presumably the entrance to the aircraft) followed by the roar of jet engines and a bump as we taxied out to the holding point. We remained at the hold until a voice came over a cabin loud speaker requesting the crew to take positions for take-off: ‘Pilot to crew. Confirm prisoner secure and adopt take-off positions. I require the destination code.’
Will Stealth’s mission control website reveal my fate? Try the Destination Cipher to find out.
I felt a movement quite close to me, as though someone was turning the pages of a book. Then a voice replied to the pilot’s transmission: ‘Prisoner is secure. The destination code is SENPAIKT. We are ready for take-off.’ With that, the aircraft surged forwards and was quickly airborne, but I had no idea where we were headed. My senses told me I was being guarded by at least two Stealth operatives and that, in addition to the pilot and navigator, there were a couple of other crew present in the aircraft. It was a steep climb out, and
we levelled off after several minutes. This, along with the pressure changes in my ears, led me to believe we were at about 30,000 feet, which indicated a long flight. In an attempt to collect useful information, I pretended to be asleep. This ruse worked, as Stealth personnel in the cabin started talking to one another: Voice 1 – ‘I’ll be glad to get back to base. This prisoner escorting is not for me: I prefer interrogation.’ Voice 2 – ‘I know what you mean. But let’s be serious, it’s better than external guard duty.’ Voice 3 – ‘Cool it, you two. No talking in the presence of a prisoner.’ Voice 1 – ‘Yes, sir.’ That little outburst revealed I was in the presence of an officer, plus two enlisted men or junior ranks. While there was very little to be done to improve my situation, it was useful to know who and what I was up against. At this point I guessed they were taking me abroad to a Stealth interrogation centre … previous mention of the Snake Pit sprang immediately to mind. 9
After several hours of flight time, the smell of food filled the cabin. From the general activity, it was obvious that my escorts were enjoying a meal and refreshments. This whole procedure, of course, was intended to destroy my resistance prior to interrogation. I was really hungry, so thought I’d ask nicely: ‘Come on, a little water and food is not unreasonable. After all, you want information.’ I then remained silent, and hoped. I was certainly in need of water; food would have been a welcome extra. The result of my pleadings was a slap around the face followed by someone throwing water over my head. The verbal response was rather ominous: ‘Don’t worry, Major Strong. Where you’re going, you’ll need more than food and water to survive.’ That was it for the rest of the journey – no food, no water, no toilet – a situation I had experienced many times before and was able to deal with in my own special way … through chi breathing.
JOURNEY’S END The pilot’s voice over the intercom was the first indication that the journey was coming to an end: ‘Pilot to crew. Check prisoner is secure. We are now entering US airspace. Prepare for landing in fifteen minutes.’ The officer in the cabin acknowledged, while Stealth hands checked my chains and handcuffs. An increased pressure within my inner ear indicated that we were descending, at which point I was surprised to hear the pilot’s call to the flight information centre of the Federal Aviation Administration. It seemed he had accidentally left the cabin intercom switched on: ‘Utah flight information region, this is special flight GS Nevada 909 requesting clearance to destination in accordance with flight plan. We are descending from 30,000 feet to level 2,500 feet. Request a heading of 270 degrees. Over …’ Reply – ‘Special flight GS Nevada 909, you are cleared to level 2,500 feet. Your altimeter setting is 1010. The cloud base to your destination is 950 feet. There is also heavy rain and an electric storm with lightning en route to your destination. Over …’ The pilot acknowledged the information and then switched channels to Stealth Control. ‘This is special flight GS Nevada 909. Request details of your weather. ETA eleven minutes. One prisoner on board. Over …’ 11
Reply – ‘Roger that, special flight GS Nevada 909. Your identity is confirmed on radar 45 miles east of the field; cloud base 850 feet decreasing. You are advised a radar control approach will be required. Take up a heading of 260 degrees and maintain a minimum of 2,000 feet until clear of the high ground from north to south. Over …’ At that point the pilot closed the intercom switch, blanking out further transmissions to the cabin. I didn’t need to hear any more flying jargon. As a pilot myself, with thousands of hours experience, I knew we were about to embark on a very dangerous landing approach. I just hoped the pilot was experienced enough to deal with an instrument landing in such weather conditions. My personal choice would have been to climb to avoid high ground and then divert. The engines reduced power and there was a change of pressure, which meant we were descending further – I prayed not below the ordered 2,000 feet. Accidents often occur in such situations, when pilots fly blind into high ground. The minutes ticked by and we continued to descend. Then, to my horror, I heard the undercarriage being lowered for landing. This added to my worries. An aircraft with wheels lowered had more chance of hitting high ground than if the undercarriage was retracted. Even the guards were voicing concern. 12
For a few moments there was total silence in the cabin, until the officer in charge suddenly decided to act: ‘Right, release the prisoner and take his hood off. This is not a normal approach to landing. I don’t like it at all.’ There were hands all over me, and then I was free and able to move … not that it helped in any way. I blurted out to the officer, who was junior to myself: ‘Tell the pilot to retract the undercarriage NOW and then climb immediately.’ Whether he sensed the urgency in my voice or was used to responding to orders from superior officers, he immediately went to the intercom and repeated my instructions. I held my breath as increased power was applied to the jet engines, followed by the clunking of the wheels going up … all too late. There was an almighty BANG as the aircraft touched the peak of a mountain, the nose dropped and down we went. A strained but controlled voice came over the cabin speaker: ‘Take crash positions NOW! We are performing an out-of-airfield emergency landing.’ The instructions were followed by a Mayday call, which gave our lastknown position. This meant that Stealth teams could be dispatched to rescue us or recover what was left of our remains. The descent was bumpy and very much nose down – not a good sign. 13
I was unable to accept the situation any longer, so dashed into the cockpit, where I found the captain unconscious and a panic-stricken co-pilot struggling with the controls. The flight instruments were still functioning, but showed the aircraft in a near-vertical dive, with speed building to over 300 knots. I dragged the captain out of his seat and took over. The first thing was to get the nose up and reduce speed, then fly what was left of the Gulfstream straight and level. Luck was with us, as suddenly we broke cloud and it was possible to recover from the dive and fly visually – and this is what saved us. According to the altimeter, we were at about 1,200 feet. Ahead was wasteland, with high ground to our left and right. I chose a large expanse of open ground as our final place of rest. Switching off the engines, the nose dipped and the aircraft became a giant glider. As we passed through 800 feet, I lowered the flaps, maintained a constant approach speed of about 110 knots and finally switched off all electrics and the fuel supply – after all, the last thing we needed was to explode on landing! No time for prayers. I shouted over the intercom: ‘Crash landing, crash landing.’ Flying procedures meant everyone would adopt safety positions in their seats. The ground seemed acceptable, and as we passed through 300 feet, up came the nose, thus reducing 14
ACCESS CODE ENCRYPTION SYSTEM Use the same alphabet for encoding and decoding. A stands for N and N stands for A, B stands for O and O stands for B, etc.
Example: FRPERG = SECRET
REVERSE CODE To understand a sentence written in this code, read each word or number backwards. Example: 81 SEIPS ERA GNOMA SU WON = 18 SPIES ARE AMONG US NOW
DESTINATION CIPHER Write down the first letter of the message you want to decode, followed by every other letter. When you reach the end, start again with the letters you missed the first time. Example: SMPOINEGSUASRNEOAW = SPIES ARE AMONG US NOW 90
ROMAN NUMERAL CODE The Romans used letters of the alphabet as numbers: c = 100; l = 50; x = 10; v = 5; and i = 1. Use this chart to convert Roman numerals into modern-day numbers, and vice versa. i
STEALTH LOCATION CODE Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a different symbol.
Gary Murray is a former Armed Forces Special Investigator and Counter-intelligence Operative. He has also worked undercover for MI5 and US Customs, operating out of the American Embassy, London. Gary currently works on a consultancy basis for several UK Government departments and the Defence Industry. This work includes surveillance, tracking down missing persons, and other covert operations. In addition to his professional work, Gary teaches martial arts to children from 8 years old. In fact, he holds black belts in judo, karate and ju-jitsu himself. He is a qualified civilian fixed-wing and helicopter pilot, and enjoys playing the piano and harmonica.
OPERATION VIPERS’ NEST . . . Major Jack Strong, the Global Intelligence Organisation’s top secret agent, is working deep undercover. Only you, the reader, can help him in his fight against the evil Stealth organisation who are preparing to take over the world! Read Major Jack Strong’s account of the mission. Notes in the margin will prompt you to decipher the codes within the text.There is a secret code book at the back of this book. Use it to translate the codes into passwords. Use the passwords to:
1. Enter the top secret website: www.thevipersnest.org 2. Hack into the enemy’s operations. 3. Breach online security and disrupt their evil plans.
‘Gary Murray knows better than anyone the relationship between MI5 secret agents and their handlers! He is an insider!’ The Right Honourable, Sir Tam Dalyell
‘A brilliantly conceived version of action spy thrillers, ideal for younger readers.’ Write Away
‘It’ll make you feel like a real spy!’ Beano
For more spy missions and to join the ranks of the G.I.O. go to:
www.global-intelligence.org RRP £5.99
Quest is an imprint of Top That! Publishing plc, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.quest-books.co.uk Copyright © 2008 Top That! Publishing plc. All rights reserved Printed and bound in China 0246897531