July 6, 2008

Soothing Blue. That’s the name of the business-confidence suit McGuire fastened around himself to cement his public face. As he clicked the outer door closed a copter landed on his lawn. His PA, Tony, lunged gasping from it and scrambled towards him. Unusual.

“Mark, look at this! CNN Stream news.”

McGuire, shaken-aback, was drawn to Tony’s communicate. A media conference. The feed was emblazoned with an aggressive red graphic featuring the face of Layla Parkin and entitled “Layla Repository Reaction!”. He shrugged questioningly and beckoned Tony for information.

“Started twenty minutes ago. I’ve been trying to communicate you. I took a punt that you might still be here.”

“You got me. Fill me in.”

“Well, it’s from World Fed HQ in Melbourne. See, that’s their spin doctor Archy Carson in full flow.”

[Archy Carson]:
“…the World Fed is neutral concerning religion and religious allegiance but we must acknowledge our indebtedness to the Baha’i Faith in this matter. In particular, thanks to you Linda. Linda has been our Baha’i spokesperson here in Melbourne for as long as I remember and it’s always been a pleasure doing business with her.

The openness, inclusivity and shared purpose exhibited by this Faith in sharing the repository contents coalesces synergistically with our aims and objectives here at World Fed. A wonderful example to all affiliate organizations, be they from the religious domain or otherwise.

Furthermore, we share the Baha’i assessment of this repository. It may indeed be a tremendous technological feat but, as we’ve seen in the clips, it contrives a nest of half-truths that confound the viewer into a loop of unproductive cul-de-sacs. In short, it raises many questions based on tainted information and provides no solutions whatsoever. This, of course, is the very opposite of what the World Fed is about. We are about providing productive unity and solutions that move humanity forward. So, the takeaway point is… don’t be fooled by this.

The World Fed will be requesting that McGuire Management Corporation, specifically its CEO, liaise more closely with the Office of World Security in New York to eliminate concerns over Stream related terrorism to which it may have unwittingly become associated.”

[McGuire, jolted]:
“Does it indeed? What have they said? What have they shown?”

[Tony, recalling]:
“They’ve shown a number of clips and wheeled out people to refute what’s on them.

Carson started it all. Said World Fed had grave concerns that the repository is the biggest fraud in history. Said a number of governments, organizations, individuals and even part of the World Fed itself had been depicted in criminal and compromising situations. Said it was all untrue, the only evidence being the repository itself and that they had reliable information that the data has been tampered with. Said they didn’t know who was responsible but felt the idea was to garner credibility by getting McGuire Management Corporation and the leading Stream players to market it to the world.

Then he introduced the Baha’i spokesperson saying that the Baha’i Faith had exposed the fraud by providing a copy of the repository for analysis. She read out a letter from Haifa HQ… just said what Carson said and added lots of Old Testament type ramblings that were a mystery to me.

There were seven or eight short statements from around the globe… Beijing, London, Paris… Delhi, Jakarta… Washington… and, strangely, Valletta in Malta. All the same pattern. They were obviously coordinated and scripted… repository corrupt and inaccurate; the makers should come out into the open.”

[McGuire, dazily]:
“Wow. When I let the leak out I thought I was fully prepared for this type of reaction. Still, it gets the blood thumping. I think we’re in for a scrap Tony.”

[continuing] On the other hand what great publicity. Hey, get onto CNN and have them establish a Stream feed from my office in twenty minutes… or as soon as this façade finishes. We’ll go over the top of them.”

“Will do. I’ll arrange a suitable audience too. As a contrast to that bland World Fed effort.”

[McGuire, warming]:
“Great thinking. Yeah, Carson is so boring. I don’t know whether to shout or yawn at him. Now let’s get into that copter and get to work.

[cantering to copter] You know, Tony, I felt just like Carson at the start… that the repository is all a big set-up. But I figured it didn’t matter as long as it sold. Now though, I’m certain it’s the real deal.

Tony, I found her tat. And more than that… Tony, you’re looking at Mark McGuire, God’s own agent. I’m working for Layla now. ”

[Tony, meekly]:
“Fifteen per cent?”

McGuire could see horror in Tony’s face, so he slapped him on the back and shook him genially as they seated themselves.

“No, one hundred per cent, Tony. It’s a “Loaves and Fishes” scenario. Plenty to go round. Don’t worry, I’m not mad. I’ve had my eyes opened. I’ll be a better boss. Promise.”

McGuire looked guiltily towards Tony as he enabled his communicate.

“Here, take down this number. It’s a Joel Underwood. I want you to organize to get him here ASAP. He’s going to tell us where Layla is.

As Tony made arrangements, McGuire continued to watch CNN. Carson was answering questions.

[Archy Carson]:
“As I said earlier, we got it from Linda here and we have complete confidence in the integrity of the Baha’i organization.”

[Linda, interjecting]:
“We’ve agreed with the Fed President not to disclose certain information as it may affect on-going operations. [smile].

What I can say is that Layla Parkin is ethnically a Baha’i, was born at our World Centre in Haifa and has a very illustrious family tree that goes back to the very beginning of our Faith. We are all, of course, very proud of Layla and Sholeh’s work. Whilst there has been some tension between the Faith and Layla over the years, it amounts to not much more than a sibling squabble and the Faith remains very concerned about her current circumstances.”

[Archy Carson]:
“As do we at World Fed.”

A splattered graphic-over of McGuire’s pending rebuttal loomed over the last five minutes of the World Fed’s media conference.


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