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When Bonzo went back to his world, it was business as usual...which was becoming more pleasant as time went by. A few days after the traitorous guard's execution, Bonzo was given permission to wander the building at will (except for a few areas, where he was "advised" that he might want to avoid on account of there being many Battle Schoolers there, who probably wouldn't be fond of him). His relations with Achilles became...well, if not close, at least cordial-with-some-trust-involved.

He was also given permission, not too long after that, to "investigate" other possible cases of traitors, and deal with them...and, naturally, to keep Achilles advised on anything major that he came across. In a strange way, he began to enjoy this part of his job a bit more than he would normally have been comfortable with...there was something that was almost fun about tracking them down, especially if they actually tried hiding it from him...since then, it was Battle Schooler intellect against Normal Person intellect, and he was most certainly better than them at these things. This was, of course, not to the exclusion of Achilles main security staff doing much the same thing, nor to the exclusion of his main job, "predicting" natural disasters. But it was something that he found himself enjoying in his spare time more and more, and found himself working hard to out-pace the "main" staff on.

It took him over a month to find the next actual traitor in the mix; before that, he'd simply been finding an occasional loudmouth who apparently thought that speaking out against Achilles with any frequency was a good idea. Those all met with a very swift end, often after a brief interrogation, and almost always as quick and painless as Bonzo could make it. The one exception was a guard who tried pleading for his life, and who tried ducking Bonzo's lightsaber. The result was a painful cut to the man's chest that didn't quite kill him; in disgust, Bonzo shook his head. "Coward." Then, he slowly pushed the weapon into the center of the man's chest, letting him scream as he died slowly.

It was another guard, on a different detail than the first, who Bonzo first tracked down as an actual traitor. His personal email was letting lots of casual comments slip out about security arrangements, and all to the same source. When Bonzo came across this, he casually called the man into his office, ordered the guards out, and let into him.
"Who the kriff are you emailing this to?" Copies of the emails went flying across the desk, as Bonzo let his anger flood out. He'd been steaming on this one for the last twelve hours, as he waited for the guard to come into the office and get off duty. "Security details, notes on what guns we have, when people are on duty, patrol times..."
"I...I..."
"You what? Thought you could leak the whole mess to someone trying to get in here?"
The guard started squirming and looking around, but Bonzo didn't let up, and began walking around the desk. "You've compromised security here. You've endangered the project. My project. And in doing so, you've betrayed everyone here, me included!" The final words of that sentence were punctuated with a sharp slap on the guard's face. "And you're not getting out of here anytime soon, either. So, who'd you send it to?"
"I don't have to tell you a thing, Madrid. I want my..."
"You're going to tell me right now, or I'm going to force it out of you very shortly."
"Go ahead. I won't tell you a thing. I have rights."
Bonzo considered the man for a moment, and then laughed out loud. "No, you don't. I have rights. Achilles has rights. You lost yours when you started leaking like a sinking ship!" With that, his face turned angry, and he stepped behind the man. "Guards? Take this man downstairs. Now!" He glared at the man, looking him straight in the eyes. "We'll continue this discussion later." The guards outside the door came in and grabbed the guard in the chair. The guard in the chair started to protest, and Bonzo immediately held his hand up. "Shut him up before you take him downstairs. We don't need more of a scene than necessary." One of the guards hit him with the butt of his gun, and then they escorted him out.
As soon as the guards were out the door, Bonzo sat down and sent an email to Achilles. "Found one. A guard, night detail. Leaking through emails to unknown person. Any special orders?" A few minutes later came the reply. "Congratulations. Find out who they're going to. Extract any other information possible. Terminate ASAP." Bonzo's answer to this was brief and to the point. "With pleasure."

Three hours later, Bonzo was in the basement, giving the guard a rather blunt working over and getting nowhere. The guard wouldn't say a word, even under what one might call significant pressure. After a solid hour of venting anger on the man in an attempt to get anything out of him (and, much to his surprise, finding that the anger and fury weren't running low), Bonzo took a break, resumed for another two hours straight, and took another break. When he returned from the second break, Achilles was standing in the room, several medics working on the guard. Bonzo's mouth dropped wide open.
"What the kriff are you doing! That man is a traitor!"
Achilles smiled. "Calm down. He's innocent. Come with me." Achilles led him into the hall, and began. "I wanted to see how you'd react to a 'stubborn case'...a suspect who clearly had more information, but wasn't letting it out." A pause. "You handled it very well."
"You picked a very good actor for the role."
"He wasn't acting. He didn't know what was going on."
Bonzo stared. "He didn't volunteer? You...?"
"I needed a good performance, so I picked the most stubborn guard on my force, one who was generally disliked and who people would believe was a traitor if you...well, let's just say that I'm not always available to intercede in cases like this." Achilles put his hand on Bonzo's shoulder. "You're proving to be one of the best men here."
"Thank you."
"If you come across anyone like this, act just as you did."
"I will."
"I'm placing several more men under you to help you with this sort of business. I don't think you need to be looking through all of those emails when your talents are...clearly better served doing real work."
"What will happen to him?" Bonzo gestured back into the room.
"He'll be given a bonus, be thanked for volunteering for the mission...we have papers signed agreeing to confidentiality...and be told that if he talks about this, what he experienced was just the beginning." Pause. "He'll also be kept under guard for a few weeks to make sure that he doesn't do anything rash."
Bonzo nodded slowly, ignoring something in his gut that said he might have gone too far. If he was a traitor, he would have deserved everything he got. Besides, if I'm going to protect the project, I need to be willing to go this far...willing to go as far as I have to... "Do you have any real cases for me to work on?"
"As a matter of fact, there is one that is very similar to this. The information is already in your office; we can't figure out who sent it out, though."
"I'll get right on it." Bonzo spun on his heels and hurried back up to his office.

The next few days were spent with Bonzo and his new subordinates tearing through email data every moment Bonzo wasn't "needed" by the Weather Prediction Office. They tended to get along just fine without him being physically present, and he found himself much more comfortable in his office, subordinates doing most of the work...and most everyone trembling in just a bit of fear around him. Finally, four days in, they found the source of the leaks...which proved to be several different people. Bonzo immediately grabbed his phone, and put a call straight through to Achilles.
"We have a problem."
"You deal with problems."
"Yes, but you like to hear about how I deal with them, and you will want to hear about this one."
"I'm waiting."
"Either someone's been hacking accounts or you have a spy ring."
There was a long moment of silence. "A ring?"
"At least four people with frequent connections to these leaks; there are several others with occasional links. Could be as many as a dozen people. Do you want me to deal with them as we sort them out, or wait to take as many as possible?"
"Wait. If we hit a dead end, I'm sure you can be quite convincing at getting information out of those we do find."
Bonzo smiled behind the phone reciever. "I'm sure. Will take care of this."
With that, the phone call was terminated, and Bonzo took a deep breath and started looking over the data again.

It took more than two weeks for Bonzo, his men, and some men loaned to the project from the security detail to sift through what was turning out to be a mountain of material, but after those two weeks, the reality became clear: There was more than one person responsible, but one person had been doing most of the hacking. Also, a lot of the leaks were through extremely well-designed codes...the visible leaks didn't tell half the story, but through an 'unfortunate' accident of account selection, several of the invisible leaks had happened through an account involved in the visible leaks. This was passed on to Achilles, with a request for permission to keep looking. Permission was granted.

Finally, after over a month...and more than a few 'tense' interrogations in the days leading up to his final report on the matter (more than one of which had led to the object of the interrogation going into the infirmary for an extended stay, usually following pleas for him to calm down at an impasse), Bonzo privately met with Achilles.
"I've figured out who most of the responsible parties are."
"And?"
"Most of the visible leaks were plants. There's a pattern of hacking into accounts, and it comes from these computers." Bonzo gestured to a short list of computers identified as source computers. "Two general areas...one batch down with the Battle Schoolers, and one in the security department. Neither surprises me."
Achilles smiled just a bit at the final comment. "Neither?"
Bonzo shook his head. "No. The details required someone familiar with security; that left both as possibilities. I know we have some...less than willing guests among the Battle Schoolers, so there's automatic suspicion there. And security is always room for trouble. You seem to have a few dissidents there, too."
"I've noticed that you haven't dealt with too many of them lately."
"Hard to do when they all go silent when you enter a room. I also haven't had as much time to deal with loudmouths because of our little leak." The disgust at the leak was palpable in his voice. "I think I got the worst ones, though."
"You did a good job, then."
"Can I ask for some bugging equipment?"
"For what?"
"Well, these idiots are scared of me and think that being silent around me and stuttering is going to keep them safe. It's worked fairly well recently." A smile creased his face. "I'd like to prove them wrong."

The equipment was immediately given to Bonzo, and he installed it personally, in the late night hours, and then ordered the appropriate security videos edited to remove his presence from them by spare members of his task forces. No member got to see more than a few snips of the video, and none were told of the locations the videos were from; most were from non-descript offices and hallways, making that easier. The members of the team were then sequestered from the general office population for a few days, and Bonzo took some spare time to brush up on his lightsaber form.

Four days later, people started getting dragged into his office.
"I fail to see what's so funny about parts of my anatomy!"
"It..it...was just..."
Bonzo grabbed the man by the shoulders, picked him up from the chair he was sitting in, and slammed him against the wall. "A subversive comment intended to provide humor to other members of your team? A horrible judgement call? Or a sign that you plan to sell Achilles, myself, and our work here down the kriffing river?!?"
The man, after a few moments of mumbling, looked up at Bonzo. "You're going to kill me, aren't you?"
"Depends."
The man looked confused at the apparent ambivalence. "S...sir?"
"It depends on whether I have a use for you."
"Anything...please..."
"Shut up." Bonzo stepped back, letting the man fall into a heap on the floor. "I need to think."
The man promptly shut up, trembling and looking terrified at Bonzo while Bonzo appraised him, thinking. "Stand up."
Once again, the man complied readily. "Your joke was neither funny nor appropriate, and it undermined my authority among the men. You realize this, don't you?"
The man nodded.
"And you realize that up until now, the consequences of this have been...ambiguous, don't you?"
Another nod.
Bonzo slowly slipped his hand down his side, taking a deep breath. "Seems that I do have a use for you, after all."
"Sir?"
Bonzo drew his lightsaber, and ignited it. "An example."
That and the humming were the last things the man heard; he barely had time to realize what was happening when he was no longer in one piece, falling to the floor. Bonzo extinguished his lightsaber, punched a button on his phone, and held his breath. "Dealt with another one. Need a morgue detail...and a sanitary detail. Have it finished by the time I get back from lunch." With that, Bonzo simply walked out of his office, stepping over the heap on his floor and shaking his head. I hate it when they beg. Dishonorable cowards.

The next few days were somewhat more relaxed; after a pair of problems were dealt with concerning the jokes, he decided to relent for the moment, scaring several joke-passers within an inch of their lives and pointedly reminding him that his lightsaber was always available if they found anything else to comment on. Destroying everyone who passed on comments would decimate the ranks, as much as he'd like to smash them all; going after a handful of the worst ones (notably, the originators of the joke) and letting people take the hint proved to be far more effective. This was, naturally, helped by a very subtle leaking of what might or might not have happened to the men who came into his office; suddenly, jokes about his anatomy weren't funny anymore. Bonzo was still pursuing the leaks, but things even went quiet on that front for a bit as well; nobody wanted to be the next one to do anything wrong, since the walls had grown eyes and ears. However, this break was destined to come to an end.
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mandercommander

July 2010

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