Part Two of Countdown to 9/11: A Cautionary Tale.


"Am I now free? Truly free?
I greet you then in my freedom: mark my words!
Since a curse gained it for me, my curse lies on this Ring!
Though its gold brought riches to me, let it bring but death,
Death to its lord!
Its wealth shall yield pleasure to none,
Let no fortunate owner enjoy its gleam.
Care shall consume the man who commands it,
And mortal envy consume those who don't.
Striving vainly to win that prize,
And he who obtains it shall find no joy!
It will bring no gain to its lord;
Only death is bought by its gleam!
To death he is fated, doomed by the curse on the Ring:
And while he lives, fears will fill all his days.
Who owns the Ring, to the Ring's a slave!
Till the gold returns to this hand from which you have torn it.
In anguish and sore distress, the Nibelung blesses the Ring:
You hold it now,
Guard it with care!
From my curse you can't escape!"

(Alberich's Curse from Scene Four of The Rhinegold.
Libretto and Music by Richard Wagner.
English translation by Andrew Porter).

"... a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-President), Donald Rumsfeld (Defence Secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's Chief of Staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences, was written in September 2000 by the neo- conservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

"The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document... which said the US must 'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role." It refers to key allies such as the UK as 'the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership.'"

(From an article by Michael Meacher: "This war on terrorism is bogus." Published by The Guardian on September 6th 2003)

"Rule Britannia!
Britannia rules the waves.
Britain never, never, never
Shall be slaves!"

(as sung by thousands at the Last Night of The Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London. Words by James Thomson. Music by Thomas Arne).

"...and quite early in time he had learned how to strike down his victims from a distance. The spear, the bow, the gun and finally the guided missile had given him weapons of infinite range and all but infinite power.

"Without those weapons, often though he had used them against himself, Man would never have conquered his world. Into them he had put his heart and soul, and for ages, they had served him well.

"But now, as long as they existed, he was living on borrowed time."

(from "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke. Published by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., 1968)

Countdown to 9/11: A Cautionary Tale.

Part Two - "And then, there were Fifty-one."

Present at a meeting held in The Franklin D. Roosevelt Conference Suite, Level 482, World Commerce Tower, Chicago on Tuesday September 11th 2001 at 1000 hrs:-

Ronald Theodore Huber
Chairman of Globecom, the world's largest computer and communications networks manufacturer. HQ in Boston, Massachusetts.

Paul Gordon Wells
Owner and Director of Wells Petrochemical Corporation, Houston, Texas. The USA's leading oil and natural gas extraction company with plans to exploit Afghanistan's and Kormistan's vast fossil fuel resources.

Lance Piers Hawker Snr
Chairman of Stormforce Defence Industries Conglomerate. HQ in Detroit, Michigan. Stormforce are planning a massive take-over of Britain's key weapons manufacturers.

Monica Halsey
Personal Assistant to Roy Frank ("Frankie") Minion, owner and director of Mercury Media Corporation, the USA's dominant current affairs reporting, publishing and broadcasting network.

Apollonius Grudi Kandymann
Founder and chairman of Kandymann Food Research Institute, leaders in agricultural bio-technology. Under their slogan "Grub for the Globe," they are gradually monopolising provision of GM livestock cell-tissue (for use in artificial insemination) and crop-seed banks. The Institute are currently finalising plans to take over the UK's food production, as part of "Project UK51." The preliminary stages, involving downsizing, then rationalising the livestock sector plus land acquisition for GM crop production, were launched in early October 2000.

The Revd. Karl K. Kurst
Leader of the fundamentalist Christian sect "Guardians of The Holy Closet." They claim not only to know the whereabouts of this mythical artefact but also are funding and organising an expedition to Kormistan for the purpose of excavating the aforementioned. HQ in Austin, Texas.

Quentin Rhodes
Special Advisor on USA foreign policy to Trevor Bland, Prime Minister of Great Britain. Holder of joint UK/USA citizenship. Co-author, with Ingrid Wheatley, of "Project UK51."

Ingrid Wheatley
Director of the ultra-conservative, Republican Party funded consultation group "America Awake!"

General Buford L. Foster
Retired Commander-in-Chief of Strategic Air Command Directorate, The Pentagon, Washington DC.

Meeting chaired by:-

Max Zemlinsky
Former Assistant Director of the Gulf States / South-West Asia Department and Centre for Islamic Studies.

Personnel not present, but referred to, during the meeting:-

Richard Cox
A.k.a. "Super-Dick." (Democratic) USA President until January 20th 2001.

Gordon W. Brady
(Republican) President of the United States of America and Commander-in- Chief, USA Armed Forces. Son of Gareth S. Brady, former USA President (1989 to 1993).

Denzil M. Rogust
Former White House defence staff liason officer, 1989 to 1992, with special responsibility for coordinating research into the Strategic Defence Initiative Project. Now US Defence Secretary.
Trevor Bland. A.k.a. "Clever Trevor." Prime Minister of Great Britain and leader of the New Labour Party.

Zoltan Mulok
Son of Perim Mulok. Leader of an Islamic fundamentalist movement, the Southern Asia Muslim Alliance (SAMA). It wants a federation of Islamic countries, from the Middle-East to the Western Chinese border. Vehemently anti-American, SAMA uses terrorism to achieve its goal.

Mustafa Fahlouk
Turkish born owner of the Miles and Styles department stores network. Became involved in a corruption scandal with the former Conservative MP Nicholas ("Nicky") Motherwell during the mid-1990s. He is adamant that the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) was responsible for the deaths of his son, Omar, and Alison, Princess of Mercia.

Omar Fahlouk
Son of Mustafa Fahlouk. Killed during a road traffic accident in Paris on August 31st 1997.

Alison, Princess of Mercia
Estranged Consort-in-Waiting to Prince Henry, Duke of Balmoral, successor to H.M.The Queen. Died alongside Omar Fahlouk on August 31st 1997.

Sir Damien Spaulding
Civil Service mandarin at The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a leading authority on Middle Eastern / Gulf States affairs. Head of MI6 from 1995 to 1998. Died from a heart attack in November 1999.

Clive Raymond Attwill
Prime Minister of Great Britain and Leader of the Labour Party from 1945 to 1951.

Harvey S.Truss
President of the USA from 1945 to 1953.

Transcript of conference proceedings, taken from recording made by person or persons unknown.

Max Zemlinsky:
"Well! Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'm glad to see you've all made it here. Miss Wheatley..."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"Please, call me Ingrid. Do you mind if I call you Max?"

Max Zemlinsky:
"Not at all. However, as this is your first opportunity to meet everyone, I feel that introductions are appropriate. You are, of course, known to us as the Director of 'America Awake!' and co-author, with Quentin Rhodes, of 'Project UK51.' Ron?"

Ronald Theodore Huber:
"I'm Ronald Huber, Chairman of Globecom. Call me Ron."

Paul Gordon Wells:
"I'm Paul Wells. People call me 'Mr. Oily' - and that's when they're being polite. I prefer Paul."

Lance Piers Hawker Snr:
"Good to meet you, Ingrid. I'm Lance Hawker Senior and I run Stormforce. Please call me Lance."

Monica Halsey:
"Hello, Ingrid. I'm Monica Halsey, Personal Assistant..."

General Buford Leonard Foster:
"And the rest!"

Monica Halsey:
"Thank you, Bu! As I was saying, I'm P.A. to Frankie Minion. You know, Ingrid, we ladies have to stick together and show these male chauvinist pigs a thing or two..."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Be my guest..."

Monica Halsey:
"Shove it, Bu! Don't worry about him, Ingrid - he's all wind and piss. Ain't that right, Bu! Lovely to have you on board, Ingrid."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"Hi, Monica."

Apollonius Grudi Kandymann:
"Why, howdy, Ingrid. Hey, your report - what's it called, again?"

Ingrid Wheatley:
"'Project UK51.'"

Apollonius G. Kandymann:
"Yeah! That's heavy stuff, lady! By the way, once I've got Britain's grub bucket, those goddamned limeys will be chomping and crapping..."

Max Zemlinsky:
"Apollo, I think Ingrid can be spared your finer culinary points, thank you!"

Apollonius G. Kandymann:
"Sorry, Max. Got a bit carried away..."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"... on the waves of your own diarrhoea. Come on, Apollo. Let's try to be less crude, eh! There ARE ladies present."

Monica Halsey:
"Bu! At last, you've noticed! Well, well. Pigs'll fly!"

Apollonius G. Kandymann:
"Hey, Ingrid, no offence meant. By the way, I'm Apollonius Kandymann. Call me Apollo."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"Good morning, Apollo. Max - you don't need to introduce me to Quentin. He and I go back a long, long way."

Max Zemlinsky:
"Yes, of course. For the benefit of those who've taken the trouble to read 'Project UK51,' Ingrid's and Quentin's plans, outlined in this document, will be the linchpin of our meeting."

Quentin Rhodes:
"I'll point out that Ingrid did most of the work. My part was mainly advisory."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"Well, not really, Quentin. Without your insights, I'd have been lost. After all, your section on Britain's intermediary role between the USA and Europe is brilliant! I could have never written that."

Max Zemlinsky:
"I trust we HAVE all read it?"

(General murmur of assent).

Max Zemlinsky:
"Good. However, there is a missing element - and the man who can provide it is right here with us."

Revd. Karl Killroy Kurst:
"He is, indeed! Ingrid, I'm the Reverend Karl Kurst, leader of the 'Guardians of the Holy Closet.' Don't be put off by the silly name. If people are daft enough to believe in such nonsense, that's fine by me. My coffers are overflowing. It all helps the glory of the American Republic and its best president for years, Gordon Brady. I say 'hallelujah' to that! Please - call me Karl,"

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"I'm General Buford Leonard Foster. I used to be in charge of the Strategic Air Command at The Pentagon. Yep - I'm retired, but still in the picture. I know where all the skeletons are hidden and, let me tell you, there are enough of 'em rattling around Washington DC to fill every goddamned cupboard in town. I'll let you into a little secret, Ingrid. Sure, I'm retired, but I still run the show. Call me Bu."

Max Zemlinsky:
"Well, Ingrid. Now you know who's who, let's get down to business. What is discussed and agreed here will determine the USA's future. It's radical, controversial and, above all, adventurous and exciting. Never has there been a better time to seize the opportunity. By acting now, we cannot fail. Over to you, Quentin."

Quentin Rhodes:
"As you are all aware, 'Project UK51' is a plan which will be achieved within five years. Hopefully, it won't take nearly so long. Much of the groundwork has already been accomplished. Ron?"

Ronald T. Huber:
"All British government departments and public service providers are running Globecom computer software products. A new version of 'Doorways' will be issued, free of charge, to all current users employed either directly or indirectly by Westminster/Whitehall, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, these being the main administration centres. The existing software will become obsolete on 1st February 2002. I have been informed that 'Doorways MMII' will be up and running after the New Year statutory holiday period. Allowing for the UK government's innate incompetence, we are, in reality, looking at mid-January for standardisation.

"Once that has been achieved, it will be possible to monitor every single item of electronically transmitted data and be able to decode anything, as required."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"So! We already have that ability."

Ronald T. Huber:
"Do you? Do you know how to access and decipher ALL transmissions to and from SIS? How about GCHQ? Can you be certain ALL the time?"

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Well - I've got to admit, they're bloody good!"

Ronald T. Huber:
"But, with 'Doorways MMII,' you'll be way ahead of the game. It will be linked to 'HESA' - that's 'Hear all, see all.' My brainchild. My pride and joy! Solely for the cause of our great enterprise. Forget 'Echelon.' That's history. In four months' time, everything Her Majesty's government does via E Mail and the Internet will be monitored. And, when I say 'everything,' I MEAN everything! The best is yet to come.

"As soon as 'Doorways MMII' is fully operational, specifically targeted viruses will be introduced, each timed to activate at twelve noon UK time on Friday 13th September 2002. What will not be affected is HESA, but everything else will be, from public transport to power supplies. The faults are designed to be easily identified and remedied, but it'll be a weekend of utter chaos for Britain. All that on top of Grovesnor Square and Lakenheath! "Planted evidence linking SAMA with the events of 13th September will, naturally, include details of these viruses and how they were infiltrated."

Max Zemlinsky:
"The Kormistani regime has been a sponsor of Islamic terrorism for far too long. Since we and Britain destroyed four SAMA training camps based near Taminkaz some two years ago, Perim Mulok has vowed revenge. Our retaliations in response to SAMA outrages have been stepped up since President Brady took over at The White House.

"Public opinion in Britain has been hostile to not only our policy in dealing with terrorists, but is also increasingly critical of the Bland administration's support for our stance. All that will change after Friday 13th September 2002. Quentin?"

Quentin Rhodes:
"The British public, in general, have been mistrustful of US foreign policy. They see Brady as a Texan cowboy figure with the intellect of a moron and the instincts of a shark. Yet, paradoxically, they respected Richard Cox..."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Superdick! The man who turned The White House into a brothel! Well - that speaks volumes for the great British public. Still, when they're fed a diet of Frankie Minion's MMC crap, whaddya expect. Now we've got a moral man in the Oval Office and there's less scandal kicking around, the void needs filling somehow."

Monica Halsey:
"Bu, I can assure you that after 13th September next year, there'll be plenty of scandal to entertain - and, certainly, amaze - the Brits. You won't be knocking MMC then. That, I promise you! By the way, Bu, I've heard your favourite programme is "The Terry Leaper Show."

(General laughter).

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Up yours, Monica!"

Max Zemlinsky:
"Bu, I think that's enough! Monica, we'll deal with your contribution to the project in due course. Now, if you don't mind, Paul has something to say."

Paul Gordon Wells:
"Yes, indeed. I'll try to be brief. You may know that my company has been, and still is, looking at alternatives to oil - a dwindling resource. To date, progress has been unsatisfactory. Why? Quantity required. The Chinese are light years ahead of us in liquid hydrogen production, technology and useage, but it's the same problem they face. Quantity! There's nuclear power, of course, but it's too goddamned risky. As for wind turbines, wave power generators and the rest, well - taken as a whole, it slightly eases oil consumption. I emphasise the word 'slightly.' To be crude and appropriate, all these alternatives are mere farts in the wind.

"We missed the bus during the sixties and seventies to exploit the vast oilfields in Kormistan and its neighbours. Now, with the Soviets having been consigned to history, we have a good chance to get back in on the act. As you all know, a few years ago, the Talaban authorities in Afghanistan approached my company with proposals for constructing a pipeline to our depot in Kuhrain. At the time, it was too risky. It would have looked bad to be doing business with such a regime. Once that rabble have been ousted, I can see no reason why this shouldn't be resurrected.

"Add to that the Kormistani oil - I admit to having blood on my hands after the fiasco with Khulov and his successor, Kamev - plus certain unfinished business in Iraq, and we will have bought plenty of time to develop alternative power sources. These won't be completed in our life-times but, perhaps, by the twenty-second century, black gold will be superseded. In the meantime, I do not think it is acceptable to have a dwindling, yet vital, power source being controlled by religious zealots who hate and despise us.

"Afghanistan, Kormistan and Iraq. An odious trio. Well - after Friday 13th September 2002, they will be dealt with in short order!"

Quentin Rhodes:
"And we will have the UK's full support. Her armed forces command utmost respect which extends throughout the world. Come what may, the British people will always back their boys to the hilt."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"We, the US of A, have a truly awesome military machine which is, technologically, second to none. But - and it's a big 'but' - for sheer determination, professionalism and esprit de corps, Britain's servicemen..."

Monica Halsey:
"...and women, Bu!"

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Thankyou, Monica! Yep, you're damned right there. Their servicemen AND women are incredible. We NEED them. It's as simple as that. Well - after 9/13, they'll be on side with a vengeance!"

Quentin Rhodes:
"Before Ingrid outlines the arrangements for 9/13, let's have a progress report on how the Americanisation of Britain is going. Lance?"

Lance P. Hawker Snr:
"Yes, of course. I'm pleased to inform you all that Stormforce has successfully negotiated mergers with British Aerotek, Westleigh and - I can see Bu drooling with glee - the Vickery Lucas Company."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Music to my ears!"

Lance P. Hawker Snr:
"One satisfied customer!"

(General laughter).

Lance P. Hawker Snr:
"And, to cap it all, Stormforce have now become the major shareholders of Devonport and Rosyth."

(Sounds of cheering and stamping of feet).

Max Zemlinsky:
"Lance, that's brilliant! When was this achieved?"

Lance P. Hawker Snr:
"Last Friday - the seventh. We now control the UK's defence industries. I haven't broken the news of Devonport and Rosyth to Denzil Rogust. He'll be told tomorrow."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"That means he'll be incapacitated for the next few days."

Monica Halsey:
"Bu! You mean he's a bigger piss-artist than 'Bourbon Foster, the Farter?' The Pentagon's secret weapon!"

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"That's rich, coming from Frankie Minion's main weapon testing site!"

Monica Halsey:
"Shove it, Bu!"

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Are you making me an offer I can't refuse?"


Max Zemlinsky:
"Alright! That is QUITE enough! Apollo - I know you've got some very interesting news."

Apollo G. Kandymann:
"Indeed, yes. You know, I believe in coincidences. Here am I, looking for opportunities to expand my food empire. On the other side of 'The Pond,' sits a government with a desire to go down in the history books as having the most radical reforming agenda of any administration since Clive Attwill. Their real opposition does not come from within Westminster, but from a group representing rural society - The Countryside Alliance. A nest of troublemakers. A thorn in New Labour's flesh. Well, thanks to my help, it's being neutered. Conspiracy theorists will be forever speculating on how it was done. There will be rumours, even accusations and assertions, but nobody'll ever be able to prove a thing!

"Thanks to a new recombinent strain of FMD Pan-Asiatic Type O Sequence 19 oblique 2, prepared in my Livestock Diseases Research Institute at Laramie, Wyoming..."

Max Zemlinsky:
"For the benefit of those amongst us who are scientifically impoverished - and I am one of them - that's Foot-and-Mouth Disease. Forgive me. Please carry on."

Apollo G. Kandymann:
"Yep! Well, when I take something over, I like to make certain that it's going to be economically viable beforehand. With the UK's food production, that's exactly what I'm doing. Thanks to a few corrupt employees of MAFF - as it was called until three months ago - FMD has now reduced Britain's livestock sector to more manageable proportions. Over the next two years, that will be very strictly regulated and become part of my meat processing operations. In fact, my Food Research Institute will be in charge of all UK food production by 2004.

"Goodbye, Sainsforths and Whitrose. Hello, Asdens and Trashco! Goodbye to all those small organic and delicatessen outlets who have been ripping off the public for far too long. Hello to good, basic grub that everyone can afford. I'll be honest: I'm laughing all the way to the bank!"

Lance P. Hawker Snr:
"Apollo. What's this rumour I've heard about a dinner party you threw whilst in London last month? I gather representatives from DEFRA were amongst your guests."

Apollo G. Kandymann:
"Oh, yes. Beef, lamb and pork featured on the very lavish menu, especially prepared by my team of chefs. Little did those buffoons realise that the meat they were given came from Wales and Yorkshire. Freshly slaughtered, too!"

(Loud laughter).

Apollo G. Kandymann:
"I don't need to tell you about its additives!"

(Raucous laughter with stamping of feet plus banging of hands and fists on tables).

Max Zemlinsky:
"We have a problem there. A particularly obnoxious conspiracy theorist and political satirist by the name of Mark Brook. Lives in Weymouth, Dorset. He, alongside a few other crackpots, is calling for a fully comprehensive, independent public enquiry into the Foot-and-Mouth epidemic. Apollo, I'd rather not have to neutralise him - at least, for the time being. I'll find out how much Mr. Brook knows via some associates of mine in MI5. He won't suspect anything amiss. However, I am concerned about these demands. What do you think?"

Apollonius G. Kandymann:
"That's not a problem. If Trevor Bland, Paul Meddleton, Madge Beckenham and their cronies know what's good for them, they'll produce the best cover-up money can buy. Don't worry about that. There'll be no public enquiry."

Max Zemlinsky:
"No. The thought of government ministers, civil servants and 'special advisors' being summoned to give evidence under oath is too terrible to contemplate. Yet this is a situation which exemplifies the mistrust felt by the British people towards Westminster and Whitehall. A democracy with either a bad dose of influenza, or a terminal illness. Quentin - what's your assessment?"

Quentin Rhodes:
"Every nation on this planet has its secrets which must not, and never will, be revealed. However, the situation in Britain is an absurdity. The New Labour administration, upon election in 1997, vaunted their doctrines of 'open government' and 'public accountability.' Barely four months later, the deaths of Alison, Princess of Mercia and Omar Fahlouk sent shockwaves throughout the world. We all know how and why this tragedy took place. Result - an own goal for the Royal Household and a courtroom drama worthy of all that's best in British comedy. The anti-monarchists were laughing their socks off at the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Alas, the puppet-master who orchestrated the events of 31st August 1997, Sir Damien Spaulding, won't be writing his memoirs!"


Quentin Rhodes:
"Mind you, Mustafa Fahlouk has filled that particular gap in recent British constitutional history rather admirably, I fancy!"

(Raucous laughter and applause).

Quentin Rhodes:
"The British public, in general, are fed up with the cult of secrecy and unaccountability which prevails in their not so green and pleasant land. A country where corporate greed is tolerated - indeed, encouraged - and incompetence is rewarded. Look at the shambolic public transport network. The state of the NHS. And the authorities have the nerve to complain about voter apathy! What hypocrisy! New Labour were re-elected three months ago with a so-called huge majority - when less than sixty per cent of those elegible to vote bothered to turn out. Ingrid - I know you are waiting patiently."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"Trevor Bland would like to be compared with Clive Attwill. I wonder whether he is aware of certain dark rumours concerning one of his party's icons. It has been alleged that Attwill turned a blind eye when information on nuclear bomb technology was passed to Stalin.

"I suppose there was a logic to what were, and still are, mere whispers. Britain developing her own bomb. Uncle Sam perceived to be throwing his weight around. An increasingly paranoid Red Tsar who might, at any time, take pre-emptive action and tear up Potsdam. Let us not forget that although Russia suffered horrors during the Great Patriotic War, her military machine recovered - but only just - and managed to turn the tide at Stalingrad. By 1945, the Red Army was a frightening juggernaut which was more than capable of engulfing Europe in its entirety. Brave Britain - and I'm not being sarcastic - was thoroughly depleted and exhausted. Attwill realised that. He did not want Britain to be 'piggy in the middle.'

"You see, although the US had the bomb, it was, then, not something that could be mass-produced. The combined conventional forces of America and Britain were no match for the Red Army. Stalin did well out of Potsdam and honoured the agreement. However, Russia was way, way behind in nuclear physics and that did not bode well for an increasingly fragile balance of power.

"That phrase 'balance of power' was the mantra of British foreign policy. Of all Western leaders, Attwill understood Stalin the best. He reasoned that if Russia also had the bomb, it would reduce any temptation for either Washington or the Kremlin to indulge in brinkmanship. Yes - there was the Berlin Blockade, but wiser counsels prevailed. It took a long time before we realised that Stalin's main concern was to prevent German re-unification.

"What Attwill could not have foreseen were events following Stalin's death in 1953. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office tipped Malenkov to become Comrade Chairman, but it was the little man with baggy trousers who emerged supreme. Nikita Khrushchev. Yes - Josef Stalin was a monster, but when it came to foreign affairs, he was pragmatic and shrewd. The same cannot be said for Khrushchev!"

"Yet, despite all the angst, particularly Cuba, Kormistan and Afghanistan, the prospect of mutually assured destruction prevented major conflagration and held the peace - if, at times, uneasy - for four and a half decades. Did Clive Attwill, by acquiescing in treason, actually do the world a big, big favour. I think he did and therefore, I'm reluctant to use what is, after all, mere speculation, to blackmail the British authorities into fully cooperating with us after 9/13."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"I can tell you that Harvey Truss took these rumours very seriously indeed. Okay, I wasn't in Washington then, but I heard all about it. Here's another bit of gossip. After the Berlin business, Truss held a secret meeting with his top brass. As far as I'm aware - and I know where to look and who to ask, believe me - no records were kept. However, plans were made.

"Attwill took one hell of a gamble by appeasing Stalin and yes, I suppose it worked. What if it failed? Well, for starters, Britain would have been occupied by our forces and placed under martial law. No messing! Following the immediate detention of Attwill's government, a replacement administration under General Ike Howard, aided by Britain's CIGS, Field Marshal Sir Bertram Montrose, would take control. Stalin would then have been presented with an ultimatum: withdraw to the demarcation agreed at Potsdam or face the consequences.

"Thank God it never happened!

"Now, we're facing the threat of this SAMA, whose leader remains in the shadows. Zoltan Mulok! He, who is too cowardly to show his face, to stand up and be counted. A man of principle? My arse! Yet what do I hear coming from Britain? We, the bastion of Western democracy, should seek a deeper understanding of SAMA's aims. We should not be bombing them with explosives, but with aid. Do these limeys have such short memories? Sure, at present, Bland's so-called government offer us token assistance - and that's about it! As for that f***ing rabble in Brussels, they need to take a refresher course in twentieth century history!

"I'm asking myself these questions. There are those in Clever Trevor's administation who are very hostile towards our policy in the Middle East, the Gulf and Southern Asia. Is history going to repeat itself? Is Bland going to emulate Attwill by negotiating with SAMA, supported by the EEC? Of course, there will be no public announcements until long afterwards. Well - 'Project UK51' will put a stop to that idea once and for all!"

Max Zemlinsky:
"After 9/13, it will be most unlikely that Bland's government would seek any kind of deal with SAMA. However, there are bound to be cynics who will say that the events were part of a plot to bind Britain closer to the USA, both economically and politically. Of course, they're correct! But they mustn't be allowed to say so in public - at least during the first six months following 9/13. After Spring 2003, there will be very few dissident voices left in the UK. Those that do survive will be too frightened to open their mouths!"

"On Saturday 14th September 2002, a special team, composed of personnel from the FBI and CIA, will fly into Gatwick. As you all realise, Heathrow will still be out of action.


Max Zemlinsky:
"This team's duties are to be twofold. Firstly, they will take charge of the situations at Grovesnor Square and Lakenheath. Of course, the British authorities will have to deal with Heathrow and, to aid them, supplies of the appropriate anti-venom will be made available. Secondly, everyone on the list will be arrested and held under the Prevention of Terrorism legislation.

"Those on this list comprise not only Muslim agent provocateurs but also people with pronounced anti-USA sentiments. Certain friends of mine in MI5 have added some resident British nationals who are considered to be troublemakers. Apollo - you will be pleased to know that Mark Brook is on the list! In total, around five thousand will be detained.

"These unfortunates will be detained in a purpose-built detention centre on Scalpay, a small island off Scotland's west coast. It can be accessed by boat from Broadford and Luib on the adjacent Isle of Skye. Of course, it will have a heliport. Construction of this establishment has already begun. Once up and running, it will be staffed by some of the most brutal warders from our Corrective Services Staff Corps. Especially chosen from the US Military Stockade and Federal Penitentiary, Fort Leavenworth.

"Monica - going back to what Ingrid and Bu were saying, how will Rudi handle it?"

Monica Halsey:
"I, together with Quentin, Ingrid and Bu, will prepare a statement for publication in all MMC-owned newspapers and periodicals. It will also be available on the Internet. Of course, we'll obtain your approval beforehand. The article will be released - or, should I say 'unleashed' - on Sunday 15th September 2002.

"Although there is no supporting documentary evidence, the story will be accompanied by endorsements from a number of leading historians on both sides of the Atlantic. Believe me, it will be very compelling! Of course, the New Labour government's apoplectic denials are bound to convince a few of their stalwarts. However, such is the mistrust felt by the Brits towards their politicians that any rebuttals will be taken with more than just a pinch of salt. This is not Nicky Motherwell and the Tory Party's sleaze scandal. It's not even Foot-and-Mouth disease. It's much, much worse. To many, it will finally reveal the skeleton in Labour's cupboard. Alas, poor Trevor: thou art not so clever. As for Bland's guru, Peter Meddleton, I'd give anything to see his face! It's ironic that one of his uncles served as a junior minister under Clive Attwill.

Max Zemlinsky:
"Quentin. Ingrid. Bu. Is there anything you feel uncomfortable with?"

Quentin Rhodes / Ingrid Wheatley / Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"No. That's fine / No problems with that / No, it's looking good." (Speech indistinct at times, but the aforementioned comments were audible above the murmuring).

Max Zemlinsky:
"Now we come to 9/13 itself. We've all heard Ron's and Monica's contributions which, as I'm sure everyone agrees, are mightily impressive. It's back to you, Quentin and Ingrid."

Quentin Rhodes:
"As two of the three planned events will take place in areas under US administration - and, therefore, under Federal jurisdiction - the British government will have no alternative but to comply fully with Washington. Any doubters in Bland's administration won't be so eager to rock the boat, thanks to Rudi, Monica and MMC, let alone the activities of our Special Action Team!

"The Southern Asia Muslim Alliance pride themselves on devising particularly imaginative methods of terrorism, reminiscent of certain strip-comic villians. 'The Joker,' 'The Penguin' and 'Catwoman' immediately spring to mind. Well, we can improve on all that! SAMA will issue emphatic denials, but very few will believe them.

"Ingrid, I don't intend to steal your thunder! Over to you."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"Thankyou, Quentin. First of all, I will outline plans for the immobilisation of Heathrow Airport. During the morning of 9/13, a trade delegation will be arriving from Brasilia. Amongst their luggage will be no less than ten illegal immigrants. Not humans, but arachnids. Ten female, egg-bearing Brazilian Huntsman spiders! Phoneutra Fera, to give their genus name. These are the most aggressive, poisonous eight-legged creatures on this planet. They will be set loose in Heathrow. I'll leave the rest to your imagination!

"Anti-venom, to deal specifically with their bites, will be made available, but it could take several days to obtain sufficient supplies. In the meantime, numbers of casualties and the disruption will be significant.

"On the same day, London will be hosting the Radio-controlled Model Aircraft Rally. It is estimated that well over two thousand planes are going to take part. Each one will have a computerised flight programme installed. The venue and air-base is to be Hyde Park. At approximately 1145 hrs, the aircraft will commence take-off and assemble into four fleets of five hundred. Each group will take a different flight path but the rendezvous will be the same: the US Embassy, Grovesnor Square. Every plane will be carrying a small quantity of plastic explosive. As this rally is a prestigious event - judging by the two previous occasions - the spectacle will be seen by millions!

"Lastly, Lakenheath. I have learned that the Officers' and Senior NCO's messes, plus the Junior Ranks' Club, have brewery deliveries on every other Thursday. As it happens, Thursday 12th September 2002 will be a stock-up day. I have double-checked this and will continue to monitor the situation. The plan is to infiltrate a significant number of gas canisters into each of the three premises. A timing device on each cylinder will ensure puncture at 1145 hrs on 9/13. The gas in question is to be highly concentrated nitrous oxide. I have been advised that the entire base at Lakenheath will be under the effects of this gas by 1230 hrs. Being colourless and odourless, it'll be virtually impossible to detect - and, of course, it won't be expected!

"With its personnel effectively incapable of doing anything but laugh, four large tractors towing muck-spreading equipment will force their way into the base and commence decorating operations. Accompanying the vehicles will be gangs of thugs wielding baseball bats and axes. Any resistance will be smashed - literally! A camera crew, on hand to film the proceedings, is to record a scene where the Station Commander is seen paraded, giggling, in front of a burning Stars and Stripes. A climactic moment! Then, after all staff have been removed from the Control Tower Complex, it will be doused with petrol and set ablaze. The civilian police won't be around. They'll be too busy dealing with a number of violent incidents in neighbouring Brandon and Thetford.

"Copies of the film will be sent to every media organisation in the USA, Britain and Europe, not least those owned by MMC. Stills and a graphic accompanying text will be available on the Internet. Uncle Sam's hour of humiliation! Taking place in the land of his best friend!

"Obviously, these components of 'Project UK51' need some fine tuning and equipment procurement - for example, gas masks and protective clothing for those participating in the assault on Lakenheath - but that's the general outline of what will be a most eventful day in Anglo-American history."

Max Zemlinsky:
"A day which will have world-wide repercussions. The US being publicly attacked and ridiculed, plus damage - albeit temporary - to Britain's infrastructure by SAMA's dastardly deeds. Intolerable! Result - Britain will be mere putty in our hands. No further concessions and kowtowing to Brussels. I am preparing some 'evidence,' for want of a better word..."


Max Zemlinsky:
"... some evidence linking certain EEC institutions with money laundering operations conducted on behalf of SAMA. Britain joining the Euro zone? Becoming part of a federal European super-state? Forget it! After 9/13, such ideas will be heresy!

"The 'special relationship' between the UK and America will be unassailable. Re-forged and re-invigorated, nothing can stand in our way for long. Our future colonies in the Gulf and Southern Asia will be the vanguard of a Brave New World Order. Yes, there will be temporary setbacks, but be in no doubt: we shall prevail.

"Denzil Rogust is backing us all the way. There'll be no problems in 2004. Brady will get his second term at The White House. A no-nonsense, plain-speaking champion of global democracy and staunch defender of US interests. The Brits think he's a clown. Well, after 9/13, they'd better show him some respect, or else!

"Ladies and Gentlemen. After a long and bitter conflict, America severed its links with Britain in 1789. Soon, we will be re-united. To all intents and purposes, the UK is to become our fifty-first state. Yes, she will retain some of her antiquated institutions, although I have doubts about the Monarchy, but think of China and Hongkong. One country, two systems, where the second is allowed a limited degree of autonomy. That will be analogous with the USA and Britain. No longer a superpower but THE global megapower! Future generations will revel in the glory, but how it was achieved must, and will, remain one of history's great mysteries!"

(Loud applause, cheering and feet stamping).

Max Zemlinsky:
"Karl! You've been waiting very patiently. Your planned expedition to Kormistan involves much more than seeking out The Holy Closet. As I understand it, the NASA Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, based in New Mexico, is sending a team to assist your people. I think we're all fascinated! Please, enlighten us."

Revd. Karl K. Kurst:
"Yes, indeed. Absolutely incredible! So far, all indications from satellite surveys of that troubled land indicate the presence of a radio-active metallic object in an uninhabited mountainous area..."

(Revd. Kurst's statement interrupted by a five second door-buzzer tone. This is followed by sounds of foot-steps).

Unidentified male voice:
"Sir. Are you Mr. Max Zemlinsky?"

Max Zemlinsky:
"Yes, that's correct. I understand you have an important letter for me."

Unidentified male voice - presumably a member of the building's security staff:
"Yes, sir. Please sign here. (Pause). Thankyou, sir."

(Sounds of footsteps, gradually receding. Then, rustling of paper, followed by a pause of nearly two minutes. During the hiatus, no murmuring or whispering can be heard).

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Hey, Max! You look as though you've seen a ghost. What's wrong?"

Max Zemlinsky:
"I was expecting a... a very important letter. But this... this is... No! Surely this has to be... I must be hallucinating. It... it cannot be."

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Max - does your letter concern us?"

Max Zemlinsky:
"Yes. I'm afraid it does. (Pause). Look, I'd better read it to you all. I don't know what to make of it. If it's not a hoax, we're all in very deep shit! This is how the letter reads.

"'Before I get to the substance of my letter, you must all be aware of the following. All means of communication into and out of The Franklin D. Roosevelt Conference Suite have been disabled. Your mobile phones are similarly affected. In addition, all entrances and exits from the Suite - other than jumping out of windows - have been blocked. The security guard who delivered this letter has ensured the latter. Thus, you are all trapped and, shortly, will be embarking on your final voyage.'"

Lance P. Hawker Snr:
"Max. Before you read us any more, I suggest we all try our mobile phones. (Pause). No, I'm afraid mine isn't working."

Monica Halsey:
"Nope. Mine's dead."

Ronald T. Huber:

Apollonius G. Kandymann:
"Same here. What the f***'s happening?"

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Useless! Hey - I'll check the doors and elevators."

Ingrid Wheatley:
"My mobile's down. Oh, my God!"

Paul G. Wells:
"Dead as the Dodo."

Revd. Karl K. Kurst:
"Not working at all. I have to tell you - I don't believe in miracles, but I've a funny feeling we're gonna need one right now!"

Quentin Rhodes:
"No joy."

(Pause of fifteen seconds).

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Bad news. We're all stuck here. This conference suite was designed for maximum privacy and security. It's why we chose it. That chappie who delivered Max's letter must have buggered up the system on his way out. Well, nothing less than an explosive device will get us out of this room. And even if we did, chances are that the lifts are out of order.

"I always carry my Smith and Wesson, but these doors have been made to withstand small-arms fire. There's no way we can batter our way out or try to dismantle the door by using a screwdriver or something similar. I'm gonna try to activate the fire-alarm. Cigar smoke should do the trick.

(Pause of twenty seconds).

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Nothing. Nothing at all. Sorry, folks. Our last hope is to open a window and see if our mobiles can operate or, failing that, shout for help.

(Pause of one minute).

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"These windows won't open. To hell with this!"

(Sound of a single gunshot, followed by several 'pings' in rapid succession and scuffling noises).

Gen. Buford L. Foster:
"Bullet-proof glass. Of course. I might have guessed! Sorry about the ricochet, folks! Well, Max. Whoever wrote that letter means business. What does the rest of it have to say?"

Max Zemlinsky:
"Enough to tell us that 'Project UK51' isn't going to happen unless we get out of here. However, it's plain that we're stuck here and can only hope others in the Tower realise there's a problem and summon help. Trouble is - time is running out! In the meanwhile, I'll continue reading. So - your attention, please.

"'I am Zoltan Mulok, leader of the Southern Asia Muslim Alliance, and son of Perim Mulok. Of course, my name is familiar to all of you, but, with the exception of Max Zemlinsky and Paul Gordon Wells, my father's identity may not strike any chords. To spare Mr. Wells any embarrassment - if, indeed, he is capable of feeling any emotions - I will state the following.

"'Perim Mulok was murdered on 2nd October 1977 at his home near Bukhara, Uzbek. With him, and sharing the same fate, were three employees of Redmonds Private Investigations Agency: Messrs Hennessey, Needham and Smithers. Having informed you of that particular incident, memories should begin the process of refreshment. Paul Gordon Wells was responsible for these deaths. Hennessey, Needham and Smithers were decent - indeed, noble - citizens of the USA who were acting to uphold their country's integrity. "Integrity" is a word which is conspicuously absent from Mr. Wells' character profile.

"'Not content with his enormous contribution towards destabilising Southern Asia for the sake of "black gold," Paul Gordon Wells, having failed so ignominously in his quest for oil thus far, hatched a plan with some of his CIA friends. He - and Washington - needed to know whether Afghanistan and Kormistan would remain pro-USA once the Soviet occupation was over. In other words, rich pickings!

"'The attempt to kidnap me on 30th May 1983, together with General Viktor Polnikova, at the CIA's behest went awry. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have been killed once my "interview" with Field Agents Levenson and Marvin had gone as planned. Fortunately, a series of blunders allowed me to escape the CIA's clutches. The Soviet General was not so fortunate. He was murdered by the Mujahideen rebels at Faizabad Airport.

"'General Viktor Polnikova was my uncle.

"'As well as vowing revenge for these deaths, I have been monitoring the activities of those involved in your so-called "Project UK51." Aware that the meeting you are currently attending was scheduled for Tuesday 11th September 2001, I have made certain arrangements.

"'Firstly, the proceedings are being tape-recorded. Please do not waste your time by trying to locate the equipment: you will never find it. I want the world community to know what lies behind the facade of Gordon W. Brady's great American dream.

"'Secondly, and finally, your final journey to oblivion will be commencing shortly. During renovations to The World Commerce Tower, four powerful rocket engines have been installed. At 1100hrs, lift-off begins. Bon Voyage!"'

Apollonius G. Kandymann:
"So. That's it, then. (Pause). The time's ten fifty-nine."

Max Zemlinsky:
"I recall Agent Lance Marvin's report concerning a curse. June 3rd 1983. Zoltan's curse. At the time, it was dismissed as the ravings of a sick young man. Never in my wildest dreams did I realise it would come to this. Well, Zoltan Mulok. You have outsmarted us. Congratulations!"

Ingrid Wheatley:
"I suppose it'll happen any time now. The world's largest, tallest rocket. And we're in the VIP..."

After "VIP," all speech was submerged by a rumbling sound akin to several percussionists playing triple-forte rolls on bass drums and timpani. After eleven seconds, the timbre of side drums - played in a similar manner - joined in. This already mighty roar then commenced a dramatic crescendo. Ten seconds later, the tape was silent.

Witnessed by millions and captured on amateur video recordings, the destruction of Chicago's World Commerce Tower was an apocalyptic spectacle. People looked up, aghast, as the monolith slowly ascended, leaving behind the first five hundred feet of what was one of Pierre LeCheminant's architectural masterpieces. Four descending columns of fire projected from the base of this monstrous rocket.

Tuesday 11th September 2001 was a gloriously sunny day, with not a cloud to be seen - until shortly after 1100 hrs. Two minutes after take-off, the already fractured structure was obscured by cumulus formations of water vapour and smoke. At 1107 hrs, a cascade of fragments, each piece no larger than a compact-disc case, started to fall over an area of approximately one hundred square miles.

Damage to the Tower's surroundings was, surprisingly, minimal. The structure's first five hundred feet - effectively, a launch pad - withstood the blast and heat. Remaining intact, it protected the neighbouring buildings from what could have been a cataclysmic fire-storm.

It was not known how many people were in the Tower at 1100 hrs on Tuesday 11th September 2001. Estimates varied from between two thousand, five hundred and three thousand. Names of people missing - believed killed - totalled two thousand, four hundred and ninety two. Yet very little human remains were discovered amongst the debris.

Casualties from fall-out numbered five hundred and ninety, most receiving light injuries. The twenty seven deaths were caused by road traffic accidents, these being due to drivers' inattention.

The death toll and amount of casualties would have been much higher had the World Commerce Tower either exploded or disintegrated within one minute after its unscheduled maiden voyage. However, the fragmentation process was impeded by the monolith's shape. Had it been dimensionally comparable to the Empire State Building, altitude gain - if any - would have been minimal. The Tower was a structure akin to an obelisk. In terms of shape and aerodynamic potential, it could not have been more ideal for conversion into a rocket. When, at 1105 hrs, thirty four seconds and at a height of around eleven miles, the pressures on the building were too great to withstand, final destruction was dramatic. Starting from the top pyramid and descending to its base, the World Commerce Tower crumbled in a mere eight seconds.

Author's Note.

Apart from actual people and organisations identified as such, names and events described are products of my imagination. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.

All parts of "Countdown to 9/11: A Cautionary Tale" are set in a parallel universe. There are loose ends which may encourage those of a conspiratorial nature to gather up. To everyone who may encounter this saga whilst "surfing the net:" - Happy Reading!

Mark Brook, Weymouth, Dorset.

Copyright: © 26th November 2003.

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