A Useful Politician

This is a follow-up to In Which The Kingdom of Scandinavia Plans To Troll The British Navy. I had originally planned to have a crate of guns be discovered on a beach somewhere, and have the police/soldiers who found it speculate on who put them there. However, when reading about Joseph McCarthy for some reason (I blame TV Tropes!), I noticed that both Truman and Eisenhower made snarky comments about how he might as well be an asset of the Soviets, given how irrational he made attempts to root out Soviet spies in the American government look.

Apparently, the KGB shared a very similar opinion to Truman and Eisenhower. Between that and the mess that is the last few years, it occurred to me that a similar politician might be a useful asset to the Scandinavians (or anyone else trying to stir up trouble for the British Empire, for that matter).

As usual, there’s a PDF version here. The formatting there is probably a bit better than here; WordPress’ block editor takes some getting used to.


Just one letter. That was all she had to do – post a letter. The gentleman with the genial smile, vaguely Continental accent and the icy blue eyes had paid her two pounds for a penny-rate letter, already stamped and addressed. He’d hinted that she might find it useful to write one herself.

Mrs Lynch smiled to herself as she approached the postbox just outside Heuston Station, revealing a haphazard array of tobacco-stained teeth. Hardly the best pay for her little favours, but quite good for such a trivial task and the extra two pounds would be very useful if Jimmy, Anna or Michael caught the flu again.

The name on the envelope was one she knew well. Jonathan Butler, County Councillor for Galway-Roscommon. Anyone in Connacht – the parts that hadn’t been overrun by the Fomorians – knew of him. A hollow-cheeked man with a very intense stare, frequently in the papers over London’s lack of support for Connacht. Sure, there was a heavy military presence, but not a lot else. Perhaps the man with the blue eyes wanted him to draw some more attention to this again.

         ψ

“Jonathan? A letter arrived from Dublin. You might find it worrying.”

“Oh?” Jonathan Butler looked up from the dry, verbose report on education standards in the province. Sarah handed him the letter, her normally sunny face set into a grim frown. He frowned in turn and scanned it. His eyebrows ran north along his face as he read, stopping about halfway towards his hairline.

Dear Sir,

I am a clerk at Dublin Castle and a proud servant of The Crown, born in Tuam. In the course of my duties and in my daily life, I have come across numerous people who, openly or otherwise, regard the Fomorian menace to Connacht and the rest of our island as somewhat overblown. Some are mere labourers from the less refined parts of Dublin, but others are from more refined backgrounds and should surely know better.

I am sure that this may horrify you. However, that is not what alarms me so. I have overheard numerous individuals seriously discussing a most horrifying proposition: to allow Fomorians to serve in the armed forces! I hardly need remind you that this is a slap in the face of the sacrifices performed by our brave boys garrisoned along the Wall of Connacht or our Firtollán allies.

An equally disturbing rumour that persists around the halls of the Castle is that small crates of firearms have been found on the shores of Connacht, right on the edge of the Quarantine Zone, but the news of this is being suppressed. An acquaintance of mine, whom I shall not identify here, was heard to comment that it would hardly surprise him if a submersible had been used to deliver them, and even how this might be useful for sparking an internal war among the Fomorian tribes!

I have tried to address my concerns among my colleagues, but to no avail. I beg of you, to please bring this to the press and your colleagues in the legislature before it is too late!

Kind Regards,
A Servant of The Crown

Jonathan read through it again, clenching his jaw shut as he strained to keep his rising temper in check. This…this was…it was something he’d occasionally wondered about himself, but immediately shut down every time it had occurred to him. What sort of nincompoop would actually consider this a good idea? Did those fools up in Dublin not know what a menace the Fomorians and the serpentoids and the banshees and the terror birds were? Sure, there hadn’t been any major raids from across Lough Corrib or Lough Mask for at least two decades, and there were numerous well-established forts and outposts on the Connemara side of the Wall, but-

“What are you going to do about this?” Sarah’s anxious voice broke into his whirling thoughts, focussing his attention.

“I think,” he began slowly, “that I will need to speak with Mr Jameson and Major Bloodnok.” Both were well aware of the menace posed by the long-term quarantine zone, a fact that had put them on the founding list for the Vigilance Committee he had formed two years ago to watch for signs of Fomorian sympathising in the wider population. Jameson also served on the Policing Committee for the district and was a close friend of County Inspector Betters. If anyone could ferret out a report on this, he could.

“What about the Inquisition?” she asked. He frowned again as he considered this, remembering the lukewarm response that the Committee had received from the Firtollán Inquisition when offering their assistance and cooperation. However, he was fairly certain that the dwarves would find this interesting and would almost certainly take the credit if they got involved here. Even their holy men and women weren’t immune to the need to show they were on top of things.

“I think we’ll make our own inquiries first,” he eventually replied, shaking his head. “Ask Jacob to prepare a telegraph to Jameson and Bloodnok for this Thursday evening, would you?”

         ψ

Ty Halsen lowered himself into the hard leather chair in his office, gingerly placing his coffee mug on his desk next to the newspapers and beginning to peruse the memos in his in-tray. The usual bumf about housekeeping (“kindly treat the office as if it were your home”), a request from Larsson for comments on a proposal to arrange for the Oslo Symphony Orchestra to visit Dublin and Belfast…and a note from Dahl in the communications office requesting his presence at his earliest convenience.

He glanced up at the clock on the wall. Eight thirty-three. Perhaps ten minutes would be acceptable. In the meantime, one of the headlines of the newspapers had caught his attention. He reached forward and drew today’s copy of the Irish Times towards him.

H.M. Government accused of suppressing news of attempts to supply Fomorians
Dublin Castle “a hotbed of Fomorian sympathisers” – Butler

He smirked and sat back to read it more carefully. When he’d first handed that letter to the cleaning lady three weeks ago, he honestly hadn’t expected it to have much effect, but the damn fool had swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

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