Interrupted for different reasons, but still...
[Aberrant] On Week in Perspective with Walter Donovan, a man named Culpepper expresses doubts about the long-term damage Operation Eden may have done to the Ethiopian ecosystem, while a man named Bryant insists his counterpart is just being a worrywart and rattles off a laundry-list of Utopia's accomplishments.
Culpepper points out that the prominent ecologists who've praised the Ethiopian reclamation were hired by Utopia: "Isn't that something like the tobacco companies' hired health experts of last century?" Bryant's list of "the other positive works that Project Utopia has completed" includes the overthrow of Yaroslav Radocani, "the virtual elimination of Bangkok's child prostitution trade", the AIDS and cancer cures, hypercombustion, Operation Clean Sweep— "Maybe you
like the idea of the UN granting virtually total latitude to a group with all the potential military power of any two European nations, but I
happen to think—" Donovan interrupts the interruption to ask if he might change the subject.
In an OpNet chat room Vancouver RCMP Officer Brian Chu, Officer Bernard ter Haar [@brill.op], Officer Laurence Posner [@opamerica], Officer Ma Sik Yu of the Hong Kong Triad Society Bureau, and Officer Georgina M. Shrubbe [of Interpol] discuss the difficulty of getting someone inside the triads in general, and the Heaven Thunder Triad in particular, until "trace1@?.gov.op" [Operator W1, presumably of Branch 9] sees the discussion straying into sensitive areas and shuts it down. Afterward, W1 and "nereid@directive" wonder whether the triads picked up on the discussion, and also wonder who exactly was playing whom.
(Well, the datestamp on the transcript in Aberrant: Underworld
says 2008, but the sensitive topic was an Australian government attempt to put a shapeshifter into one of the triads, which Posner thinks took place around 2009 or '10. Also, the conversation between trace1 and
"nereid" reads like she
was the one who called the halt to the chat; maybe she spoofed trace1's name onto the warning "Gentlemen, none of this is cleared for these channels, and this discussion needs to end right now. Log off, boys.")
And I've never mentioned Branch 9 before, have I? According to the Adventure!
corebook (for those of you who don't have it), it was founded by Teddy Roosevelt during his Presidency to deal with crimes that crossed state lines, and soon shifted its ambit to crimes that crossed the lines of consensus reality. In the Inspiration Age, at least four other countries — the UK, Mexico, China and France were all known — had their own Branches with cryptic-yet-bland names, "such as Britain's Supplemental Resources Office and France's Field Research and Development Unit". The Chinese Branch was compromised by the Ubiquitous Dragon, but it's not known whether this persisted past the end of the Inspiration Age, let alone into the Nova Age.