Monday, 30 July 2007

The results of reading thrillers on a 4 1/2 hour train journey

The computer screen flickered into life, and a window opened, displaying a page of mysterious characters.
F was mystified. How ever would she decipher the code? She clicked on the browser icon and another window opened, the cursor flashing in the search engine tab. Quickly she typed (a skill she had picked up years ago on her Father's old computer), and hit 'return', holding her breath as the ancient Notebook re-paginated.

What appeared before her eyes caused her to gasp out loud. No! Surely not? Slow realisation dawned on her.

The entire text was written in French.

Of course: it all began to fall into place. She picked up the phone and dialled 'Paris, France'.
"Bonjour? Hello?" said the far-off voice on the other end of the line.
"J'ai vu le texte. I've seen the text. Vous avez le glossaire? You have the glossary?"
There was a long pause.
"Who wrote the text?"
The million-dollar question.
The other voice cleared its throat.
"The text was written by an ancient brotherhood, who have infiltrated industry throughout the world. They may not all know each other, but they are united by a common symbolology, incomprehensible to the rest of humanity. They may be recognised by their problemes de grammaire, grandmother problems, and their fautes d'ortographe, garden-drawing faults. Perhaps you have heard of them: they are known as Engineers".
Engineers! F had often heard stories of this mysterious sect, but she would never have imagined that they were active and thriving in the modern world.
The voice on the phone continued:
You have eight hours to decipher the text and solve the code. Only you can do it. Otherwise this ancient brotherhood will take over the world. You know Franklin D. Roosevelt? An engineer. Galileo? He was an engineer too. The sect is more pervasive than we ever imagined. We are relying on you.
F drew a deep breath, and began to type...

To be continued...

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