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Code Name Igor The Fall of Alliance by Pam Uphoff

Read Online Code Name Igor The Fall of Alliance by Pam Uphoff Fantasy Book

Overview: Lord Axel Ivan Vinogradov Is a Mentalist with the Fast Reaction Teams that protect the small population of the Sanctioned Research World of Siberia Max from acquisitive Cross dimensional Worlds. As the Three Part Alliance crumbles, Axel--code name Igor--finds himself overstretched between his duty, and his family. Especially after he is accused of murdering his corrupt and very much not-loved uncle.

 

Read Online Code Name Igor The Fall of Alliance by Pam Uphoff Fantasy Book Chapter One Free. Find Hear Best Fantasy Books And Novel For Reading.
Code Name Igor The Fall of Alliance by Pam Uphoff

Read Online Code Name Igor The Fall of Alliance by Pam Uphoff Fantasy Book Chapter One 

 

Secret Agent Man
Sunday, August 12, 3738
 

Pity this poor World.

First they had a war among their nations, then while they were exhausted and bloodied, we waltzed in through a dimensional portal and took everything.

Or maybe I should congratulate them on getting rid of us.

In any case, they’ve won, we’ve lost and I hope to Hell it stays that way.

Yes, a treasonous thought. I don’t care.

He touched his pocket. And now I’d better take these valuable samples home.  

Lord Axel Ivan Vinogradov stowed the video recorder in his bag and walked away from the people he'd been spying on.

It was a grubby city, the tallest buildings maybe ten floors tall. Brick, old. The streets dirty, blowing trash.

He walked briskly away from the downtown area and turned on to a street of small shops, half of them closed.

A turn down a driveway between buildings. The key he pulled from his pocket opened the side door of the vacant shop he'd just passed.

He was almost late but still took a quick look around, before he looked down at the tile floor in the largest room. And reached mentally to flip a switch on the dimensional beacon he’d placed in a hollow two feet beneath the floor. It would turn off automatically in an hour, but hopefully he’d be gone long before that. He shook out the bundle of cloth from another corner, stiff white coveralls that he pulled on over his clothing.

Protective gear. Portal transits tended to be hard on the peripheral nervous system.

An odd wavering light over the bar, and he pulled the hood over his head, turned the collar up so he was looking through a small slit. The light effect solidified into a circular view of a large room, a shallow ramp leading down from the edge of the portal. The man on the far side whipped his flag down. Axel tossed his bag through, then jumped. Trotted down the ramp and to the side, out of the way.

Everything busy, modern, clean, and brightly lit.

He shed the overalls and walked over to his boss, for this assignment. The Head of the Alliance Joint Bureaus on Siberia Max was accompanied by the red robed Inquisitor. Not the usual solo report today. They both knew I was walking into a mess. And I am so glad that the Bureau head and the Head Inquisitor get along so well. On other worlds . . .

"This report needs to be private." He glanced at all the techs scurrying about.

Inquisitor Gorbachev eyed him narrowly, then nodded. "Come."

The room was small. Bare. The door swung shut with a heavy thud.

"Tell us."

Axel spotted a microscopic nod from his boss. "There is no Plague. There is deliberate poisoning."

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the triply bagged poisons.

"This capsule, diluted in water, contains enough agent to remove the ability to gather power from hundreds of Mentalists. The liquid in the jar, diluted in wine, will dissolve the zivvy in the brains of anyone who drinks it for three to seven days. Use it for a month, the chip is also dissolved."

"And Neu Frankfurt?"

"It is lost. The rebels doped the water of the officers in every major and most of the minor military bases with the Plague. At the same time they doped the food of the Cyborged soldiers with the zivvy dissolver. In three days . . . the armies we built were the rebels’ army."

Then he pulled the tiny AV recorder out of his pocket. "I did not have time to review what I recorded, but I may have caught the Enemy speaking to a high ranking official of their new government."

The Inquisitor's hands clenched. "Damn. Don’t talk about this. I’ll send your acquisitions to the class five lab. I hope they can find . . . I suppose, an antidote, a counter agent." He held out a device, aimed it at the AV recorder for a moment.

The door swung open and a tech in red entered, with tongs and a metal box.

The tongs plucked the bag from Axel’s hand and dropped it in the box. Sealed it and departed as quietly as he’d come.

"Good work. Now if only we could stop them." The Inquisitor waved them out.

Axel followed his boss out. They eyed each other.

Director Rasputin finally shrugged. "Go home. You've accrued a ridiculous amount of leave. Use it. I'll contact you if something comes up that requires your unique abilities."

Axel nodded, and turned for the stairs. Leave. Ugh. I’ll have to spend time around my family. Or I could go camping with the Rangers and maybe take some of the younger kids along.

A quick stop at his locker in the gym for a change into the local styles—the Russian/German that would have gotten him killed on Neu Frankfurt. Leave the AV—its memory would be completely drained—and put on the watch. Transfer the two matching pens to the new shirt pocket.

"So are those Secret Agent pens?"

Axel looked around. "Hey, Murph. Yep. I'm specially trained in making a style of scribbling called letters. I can make letters in patterns on paper, or walls, or anything, really. And other secret agents with the same training can do this thing called reading . . ."

He ducked a friendly swat. Murph was a large, strong, well trained Cyborg. A soldier of the Alliance. A "Leader" variety of the military Cyborgs. One didn't ask for specifics, but Murph had such strong Mentalist talent it was obvious.

"And you didn't bring us along to have some fun?"

"I regret to say there was nothing to bash, smash, shoot, or blow up. It was boring."

"Ah, poor old bored Igor. You’ll just have to sneak back into your Doomsday Cube and wait for the next time the world needs to be saved."

“I hate those movies. Why did they have to name their hero Igor?”

“Because of rumors about someone?” Murphy made a patting motion over his head, and walked on, grinning. He and his team of very efficient destroyers of anything or anyone they were pointed at, had the usual identification numbers of Cyborgs, but since those could be traced, they all used nicknames.

Just like me.

And they're probably half the reason I hate the civilian Cyborg mod that interferes with intelligence, creativity and mentalist talent. And the servant and wife chips. The pleasure girl and boy chips are horrors I prefer to not think about at all.

And it's all so unnecessary. Historically, it was all supposed to be like the executive plates. Added memory, calculator, a data bank . . . Helpful; boosting us superior Mentalists to greater heights. Not enslaving and controlling the other ninety percent of the population.

He shook his head and walked out.

It was dark, here in the Mediterranean Valley. The time zone adjustment when coming in from across was always a minor irritant, although returning from Neu Frankfurt's capital city in the center of the North American Continent wasn't quite the worst World to adjust back from.

He walked out to the start of the road down from the top of the Malta Massif—on most Worlds an isolated island in a broad sea—and from there summoned an automated cab. And had it take him to the grocery closest to his house. Partly to pick up a few things for breakfast . . . but mainly because he never used anything traceable—like a cab—to his little house. He carried the sack and walked the last few blocks.

It was an odd house, one of a long row built onto and partially into the cliffs of the Malta Massif centuries ago, when the Alliance’s ruling 300 was persuaded that this uninhabited Ice Age World was usefully remote for experimentation.

Nothing radical, mostly cross-breeding a lot of people sampled from worlds that they had rejected for conquest, in search of useful genes to add to the Families. Smarter, stronger, healthier, longer life span, higher Mentalist powers, but what they really wanted was Portalmakers. Something that was less random, more stable and reliable than the cloned Portalmakers they produced now.

The project had involved a lot of genetic testing, mentalist ability testing, physical tests . . . And lots of computer time, trying to find associations between genes and abilities.

Variations of the Portal machinery were also tested occasionally, but it was the genetics they’d concentrated on, here.

They'd been marginally successful at concentrating the multiple genes that added up to the ability to create and stabilize dimensional portals, and steer them where their masters wanted. The researchers could now produce one portal maker out of a thousand clones. Which only sounded good if you realized the expected success rate was one in five thousand. "Fragile, easily mutated genes" according to his old teachers.

In the course of testing and training those potential Portalmakers they also discovered quite a few previously unvisited worlds. Worlds with potential, so the support staff for the research was augmented by a business staff, to sell the portal keys, the computerized codes to steer the portals close enough to the right world that a Portalmaker could guide it to a useful place on that world. Conferring the ownership to groups that wanted to buy a world. Inevitably, a minor bureaucracy . . . that was now major . . . had sprung up. A bustling city had grown up and spread across the Mediterranean Valley.

A city of two million people, most of whom moved here from other Alliance Worlds within the last few generations. I've got, through both my father's and my mother's lines, longer residency rights than almost anyone out there.

Not that anyone is going to consider my weird mixture of ancestors worth counting. Certainly not my late mother's maternal line, and that carried over to me.

I still get the looks, the snide remarks. Mostly from family. "His mother's half Native! I can't believe my brother married her at all, let alone presented a boy who's a quarter Native! And that he passed! He should be a chipped servant! Not a True Man!"

Heh. And, Dear Uncle, you think you keep me on a tight leash, with the smallest stipend you could get away with. But I was already working, when Father died and you took over administering Father's Trust.

Sometimes for the Inquisitor, sometimes with the Fast Response Teams, or Intel, like this last trip. A lot of Exploration and Research trips. We're a small mixed group up there, and we all work together instead of competing like most larger establishments. Hell, on most Worlds we'd have four or more separate buildings and four times the staff and bureaucrats. And I'd be stuck in one unvarying job and bored to tears.

I even varied my routine by fixing up this house I bought completely outside the Trust. It was just under the amount a Young Mentalist was allowed to own personally. All of which I somehow failed altogether to inform you of, Dear Uncle Vladimir, when my father died. And you took control of my Trust, and became my official mentor. And unofficial tormentor.

Which is why this place feels like home, even though, on record, I'm living in the Historically Important Vinogradov House, a poorly designed overgrown mansion, under the control—he thinks—of Lord Vladimir Vinogradov.

And pretending to be a leech and a playboy.

Damn this culture, where everyone but the lords are property, brain chipped and controllable. And even the young Lords still under the thumb of their father or Head of Family until they’re fifty years old. Three months. Just three more months. November fifteen, year of our Lord thirty-seven thirty-eight and I will be free.

He carried his groceries up the steps beside the garage doors to the front door. The security system recognized the signal from his watch, then double-checked through the security cams and their facial recognition program. The locks clicked and he nudged the door open with his hip, stepped through, and shoved it closed with a kick.

"Home again. What fun." Also a coded message to the security system, telling it that there were no known problems.

This level held a moderate sized living room, a dining room, and kitchen. All open to each other.

He unloaded his groceries and nuked a breakfast wrap. Ate it as he popped down the stairs to the garage. The two little rooms to the side were probably meant for servants. He had an assortment of rarely used tools in one and climate controlled wine racks in the other. He selected a bottle and headed back upstairs.

The third level held four smallish bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room, and a door out to a small yard. House on one side, rock cliff on two and a fence blocking a drop off of twenty feet or so on the last side. Scruffy, unmown grass. Axel had always considered it the "Kids' Level" and never furnished it.

Up one more level and the open plan—bedroom, sitting area, and office—wrapped around a fancy bathroom. A glass door let out onto a small patio against the cliffs, the open side gave a sweeping view over the city and into the dusty distance.

He emptied his pockets at the desk and opened the wine. Let it breathe while he shed his generic business suit and stepped into the shower. Used the "special" shampoo that stripped the dye from his dark red hair. Then he wrapped up in a robe and took a glass of wine to the couch. Settled down to stare out at the city lights and unwind.

Tomorrow I go back to the Big House and play useless nephew. I wonder what misery those poor idiots will try to share with me? And what I should manipulate them into doing next?

How much vacation have I actually accrued?

And how long will it be until I get a new assignment?

Or even just standard guard duty with the teams?

What if they decided they didn’t need me anymore?

What job would keep me from finally snapping and just killing all those pathetic relatives of mine?

He snorted and walked back to his desk. Sat and pulled a pad of paper out of the desk.

"So what would an Axel do if he had to start acting like an honest man?" He stared at the blank paper. "Politics?"

He grabbed a pen and . . . failed to write.

As it should have, just in case the house is monitored. Yes, paranoid. Only sensible in this society. Between the Bureaus and the Office of the Inquisition? The two arms of Government that administer and maintain obedience to the Council of the 300. And keep me happily busy.

He unscrewed the tip of the pen and pulled out the “ink tube.” Opened desk drawers and found the box of replacements.

Got back to planning.

"Politics. Business. Layabout worthless nephew." He took a sip of wine, thinking that over.

"I wonder if Dear Uncle even realizes I'm going to be fifty in three months? Hmm, I did let him think I was a year younger than the Terrible Twins. I was a slow grower, and it seemed like he'd sneer at my scrawny self less if he thought I was almost a year younger than his own utterly marvelous sons."

Another sip.

"Not that it softened him toward me. And surely he knew when I passed my Challenge, three months before his sons passed theirs. We were living in Vinogradov House at least part time, then . . ." He shook his head and drew a line through the layabout. "I'll sign onto the Historical Trust, remove Dear Uncle Vladimir  from mine, and move out of there . . . most of the time. Damn my sense of obligation to all the servants’ kids."

"Politics?” He rolled a sip of wine around his mouth. Shook his head and swallowed.

“Really? I cannot picture myself starting out slow and working up. Neighborhood rep? Oh God, no. Especially since I've never met my neighbors and don't give a damn about them. Not interested in that kind of obligation." A line through politics.

He eyed his list and shuddered, poured himself another half glass of wine. He stood up, palming the “old ink tube” as he picked up the cork. Turned and dropped the tube into the bottle, corked it and set it on the credenza. Turned back to the desk and dropped back into the chair.

And ignore that I should not have snuck that sample of the zivvy dissolver past my bosses.

A von Neumann potion they called it. It’ll spread in wine, they said.

But of course I’ll never need it.

"That leaves business. Well, I'm not going to open a shop, that's for sure. And I suppose I could play the Stock Market, but the Trusts' mutual funds seem to have done very nicely for the last fifteen years."

Dad set it up so Dear Uncle Vladimir couldn't touch it. I hope. I'll know for sure in three months. But my "ten percent of annual gross increase in value" stipend has grown nearly every year, so it can't be in too bad of a shape.

I hate guessing, but I really didn’t want to hack the bank. And Dear Uncle didn’t keep copies of the Trust statements on his computer. Oh well. I’ll find out in a few months.

"Or I could become an eccentric artist. That might be amusing, if I had the faintest hint of artistic talent. My oil painting instructor said I had excellent technique and the soul of an engineer. I'm fairly sure he was insulting me.

"Or I could write the Next Great Novel, except that while my reports are quite good, they . . . how should I put this? They abound in passive voice, eschew dialogue, and have no plot. Not to mention a lack of Happily Ever After."

He finished the wine and set the glass down. "Well . . . I could always say I was writing a novel. Or better yet, the New, Definitive History of the Families! Darling! With my nose in the air.

"Dear god. I'm going to bed before I think of anything worse."

 

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