The sharp clicking of typewriters and shrill ringing of telephones filled the cryptography office as overworked men
and women labored endlessly to decipher the heavily coded Molsarian transmissions they intercepted. All in the
hopes of getting something, anything, that could be used against the Molsarian forces and save the lives of their
boys on the front.
A young cryptography officer tapped away carefully, looking back and forth from the newly intercepted transmission,
taking an occasional sip of coffee from his custom made mug, a crafty cup made in the shape of his favorite
science-fiction hero Rick Rogers, and putting it down next to his chess club championship plaque all while trying
to make sense what appeared to be a jumbled pile of nonsense. Nonsense that is, until he finally finished decoding
it. He held the paper in front him to read the demystified contents, and it was only then that it struck him what
he had uncovered. His eyes practically popped out with his pupils dilating to the extreme. "Oh ye gods," he
muttered underneath his stalled breath.
He sprang from his seat, knocking it behind him in his hurry to get up. The noise startled some people around him,
with everyone's attention drawn to him as he started running out of the office and into the hallway, bumping into a
secretary carrying a stack of papers, causing them to flutter all over the place in a chaotic mess.
Annoyed and flustered, she put her fists on his hips as she remarked, "Thank you," in a sarcastic tone. He gave no
apology and paid no heed as he ran through the corridors and hallways of the military compound, up two flights of
stairs in record time, past several guards who tried to stop him, fearing there might have been an emergency,
though his only response was an exhausted, frantic "I have to see General Vilner." Followed by "This is important."
No one stopped him then, not even as he stormed into General Vilner's office, who was in the middle of a telephone
conference and didn't even acknowledge the unusual breech of protocol. The General continued talking on the phone
even as the cryptographer tried to show him his discovery. Unable to wait any longer, he pressed down on phone's
cradle, abruptly hanging up the general's teleconference.
The General closed his eyes for a moment before putting the handset back on the cradle, and then turned his steel-
eyed gaze on the impudent cryptography officer. "For the sake of your career, Lieutenant..." He looked for a split
second at the name tag on his uniform, "Bradley, that you have something important to say."
The deciphered transmission found its way onto the general's desk as he picked it up and read it. Slowly and
deliberately, a small, barely noticeable smile appeared on the general's face, a man who hasn't smile in so long
that many feared that such a thing would break it like cheap porcelain. "Interesting," he said as he finished
reading half of it, followed by, "Most interesting," when he finished the whole thing.