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The Good Shepherd

Tell us Mr. Wilson, brother to brother, something that you have never told anyone before. Your most guarded secret. Something you will need to trust us with.

Edward: It was the 4th of July 1925. I was six. I was playing tag with a friend of mine. And I tried to get away from him so I ran up the stairs into my parents' room. Then I hid in the closet. I looked at my father's clothes and hanging there was his admiral's jacket. Then I heard a sound, and I saw my father. And I must've made a noise because he turned and came into the closet and opened the door.

Father: Have you ever made up a story Edward, told your friends something that wasn't true? And you know if they found out, they wouldn't like you anymore? Why? Because you lied to them. Do you understand?

Little Edward: *nod*

Edward: And he asked me if I knew what trust was. And I said, "Trust is when you feel safe with someone."

Little Edward: Like, with my friends. Like with you, and mother.

Edward: And then he said, "Don't ever lie. If you lie to your friends, they won't trust you, and then you will have nothing, and you'll never be safe." He told me to go downstairs and watch the fireworks, because they had started. And then he shut the door. The sound of the gunshot was very different from the sound of the fireworks, and even at six years old I knew there was a big big difference. There was a lot of blood. And in his left hand he held a note that was sealed. I don't know why, but I took the note and I put it in my pocket. I always said it was an accident. It wasn't an accident, my father killed himself.

***

Congratulations Mr. Wilson. I'm Richard Hayes, Master of Secrets and Orders. What did the note say?

Edward: I told you, I never read the note.

You didn't read the note?

Edward: No.


***

Dr. Fredericks: Use your trade craft well. Particularly the use of black propaganda, and the ingredient known as playback - understanding how effectively your own disinformation is actually working on the enemy. It's vital to penetrate the enemy's intelligence services; push them into an unreal world, as it were. The very qualities that make a good intelligence officer - a suspicious mind, a love of complexity in detail - are the very qualities of someone you will be observing. A mental facility to detect conspiracies in betrayal are the same qualities most likely to corrode natural judgment. Everything that seems clear is bent. Everything that seems bent is clear. Trapped in reflections you must learn to recognize when a lie masquerades as a truth, and then deal with it efficiently, dispassionately. Never give anyone time to think. You set the tone of the discussion and quickly come to the point.

Edward: How do we know he won't be working for two masters?

Precisely. We don't.

Edward: How do I know I can even trust you?

You won't. May I hope you're lucky enough to meet someone who you can trust. I regret to say, I haven't.

***

Arch Cummings: I had an unfortunate discovery today. A man that works for me sat just outside my door. I found out he had given a rose to a woman with a small note. The rose was quite lovely, Abyssinian rose, its stem neatly wrapped in silk paper, all quite beautiful and touching save for the fact that the paper was filled with secret writings for our German friends detailing changes to the American order of battle here. How did the Irish poet say it, hmm? "They, your friend for today, is tomorrow's heartbreak." Do you know what my deepest fear is? That I will end up friendless, completely alone.

***

Dr. Fredericks: ...It's a dirty business Edward. I've been a part of it for far too long. You might want to think about getting yourself a new pair of shoes Edward. There's a wonderful shop in St. James'. Mr. Pettinbones. He's boot maker to the king. But then, I suppose we all are in our own way, boot makers to kings. Get out while you still can, while you still believe, while you still have a soul.

***

Gen. Sullivan: Well, while everybody's been feeling good about themselves, the Soviets without firing a shot have taken over half the world. They're breathing down our necks. They'll be in our backyard before you know it. So I've been telling the President about the need to create a new foreign intelligence service - one that would do in peace time as did during the war. Phillip Allen will be heading the agency, Richard Hayes will be his exec., and you'll be taking Division C - special operations that will only be reported to the director. It would be limited to overseas, obviously. Subversive operation, intelligence gathering and analysis, and I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this. Particularly in your area of expertise; counter-intelligence.

Edward: I'll be glad to help in any way I can.

I have to tell you, I have some real problems with this whole thing, despite how much we need it. I'm concerned that too much power will end up in the hands of too few. It's always in somebody's best interest to promote enemies real or imagined. I see this as America's eyes and ears. I don't want it to become its heart and soul. So I told the president for this to work there is going to have to be some kind of civilian oversight.

Edward: Oversight? How can you have a covert organization if you have people looking over your shoulder?

You know who gave Hitler his power? The clerks and the bookkeepers, the civil servants. I have this one weakness. I believe in a just God. I always seem to err on the side of democracy.

I love this country.

Edward: We all do, sir. We all do.

No matter what anyone tells you there'll be no one you can really trust. I'm afraid when all is said and done we're all just clerks too.

***

The note: They are right about what they say about me. I was weak, a coward. I compromised myself, my honor, my family, my country. I'm ashamed of myself. To my wife, I'm sorry I have done this to you. To my son, I hope you will grow to be a courageous man, a good husband, and good father. I hope whatever you decide to do will lead a good, full life. I hope whatever your dreams may be will come true.

Your loving husband and father.

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June 2012

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