Before submitting the manuscript for ‘Provider Prime’ to literary agents and publishers, I was undecided about whether to include a prologue. After some intensive research it became apparent that agents in particular dislike the notion of a prologue intensely and in the end I did not include it in the submitted manuscripts or in the finished work as published. When housekeeping some files on my PC the other day I read it through again and quite enjoyed it! I then thought maybe it would be a good idea to include it on the website and let readers decide for themselves whether it helps or hinders their understanding of the narrative. It does give a little more background into Delere Secos and the Latere Volgis in particular. The Prologue is written from a vantage point several decades past the events of the novel itself but there are no spoilers as far as I can judge.
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( Excerpt from ‘The Price of Peace’, author Rayland G Ash, volum released May 2234 )
“…this now infamous file fragment allegedly contains guidance notes governing the background education of FedStat staffer cadets in training. It was uploaded to the Global Network from an untraceable node shortly after the arrest of senior members of the Liberty for Sentients Task Force on June 30th, 2193. Its original source remains unknown to this day. FedStat intercepted the transmission and released a media statement claiming that the data was false and that the upload was a spontaneous act of reprisal by the LSTF. Despite the High Council’s considerable efforts, at least part of the data remained in the Populus domain for several years. Entire volums have since been written on file fragment FS-CO-767-TR-app12 and its implications. Regardless of its validity, my mother’s revelations regarding the Latere Volgis have been verified beyond doubt. When this data is added to the intel revealed by her after FedStat was replaced by UNEPOL in 2230, it is my contention that there are two significant and undeniable conclusions:-
Firstly, between 2146 and 2230, FedStat operated two covert global policing organisations:- The Latere Volgis ( aka the Latere ) and Delere Secos, sometimes abbreviated to DS. Still shrouded in secrecy even after FedStat’s demise, it is widely accepted that Delere Secos was the more militaristic of these, employing highly trained and equipped agents operating independently from FedStat’s staffer force. Delere Secos is rumoured to be responsible for the almost complete lack of organised crime on Earth and the ExTerra colonies since the mid-2100s. The full extent of the Latere Volgis, an immense network of undercover operatives, was disclosed to the Populus by my mother in May, 2227. Individuals were pre-selected and recruited at age eighteen and remained in service, if viable, until their late eighties. They were indistinguishable from ordinary members of the Populus and their activities remained covert even from their immediate families. We have only the High Council’s word that the Latere network has since been decommissioned.
Secondly, memory manipulation was actively carried out within both these covert organisations.
The truncated, final two words of the file fragment ( memory mani ), have been the subject of many works of fiction, documentary and controversial debate. FedStat denied that this data was even part of the original upload, claiming it was added later by reactionaries to foster yet another conspiracy theory. My own opinion is that memory manipulation, however it was achieved, is the only viable means for Delere Secos and the Latere to have remained secret for more than eight decades. Given the number of Latere concealed among the Populus, this practice must have been widespread and frequent.
These conclusions lead me to a further, equally disturbing notion:
Is it conceivable that memory manipulation might also be the only, logical explanation for a global peace that has lasted for more than a century?
Some will say that I am just another conspiracy theorist. Many have already said, following my first volum, that I am nothing more than the embittered son of a woman who committed treason. I will not deny that I am guilty of the latter to some degree. Very few of the Populus have seen their own mother executed for nothing more than revealing the truth, so to ask anyone to understand my loss is, perhaps, optimistic. Instead, let me put to rest some of the more outlandish accusations that have been levelled at me, then ask you to make up your own mind concerning my motives.
I will begin by stating that I am not anti-World Alliance. Without its formation, the human race would have effectively ended with the Great Famine of 2093-96. I understand that a global approach was necessary to control the remaining population and I applaud Earth’s leaders for their strength in imposing mass sterilisation. At the same time I concede that such an act was a moral abomination that no civilised culture should ever have to consider, unless in the most desperate of times.
Nor am I anti-FedStat. It, too, was a vital part of Earth’s rebuilding process. A concept created by the newly-emerging SenANNs, FedStat maintained world order with an efficiency that I would be foolish to condemn. I do not condemn the existence of Delere Secos or even the Latere for this very reason – but I do not condone the re-writing of history that appears to have been imposed on their personnel. As for the SenANNs themselves, their ascent has been nothing short of astounding, and their importance in our post-GF world cannot be underestimated. I look at the Orbtowns we live on today and wonder how such incredible feats of orbital engineering were ever considered, let alone constructed so soon after the Great Famine. Only with the most intelligent of machine minds at our disposal could this have been possible. You will conclude, correctly, that I am also not anti-SenANN.
I am, however, pro-truth.
I remain uneasy about a great many aspects of our modern lives, not least of which is my belief that something of great importance has been kept from the Populus for decades. I also believe that whatever that truth is, it is still being kept from us. On that point, I will conclude this section by highlighting one last fact:
Immediately following the file fragment’s appearance on the global network, Sat-1, the orbital headquarters of FedStat, was moved from its original geostation to one above Jarvis Island, America-1. The state of alert required to trigger such an action is, according to reliable sources, ‘off the scale’.