Plagiarism Sucks

Posted: 23/09/2014 in Rants and Raves

I sent this note out to students. About five across two classes have plagiarized. Not only were they unashamed when caught, they were unapologetic. They wouldn’t discuss it with me. One tried to ‘rewrite’ her work and resubmit it. They disgust me. I detest them. I’m ashamed to be in education right now because it is so fraught with bureaucracy and buzz words and ‘protecting’ the student. Fellow students, by the way, are just as angry–they are asking me, “I saw someone’s post, and clearly, they stole stuff off Wikipedia. Did you see that?” All I can say is, “Yes, and I followed the rules in my syllabus.” When I started teaching, it was about helping people grow and learn. It was about how could I best achieve that. Now, it’s all about ‘success rates’ and ‘documentation of critical thinking by giving students an assessment of how they ‘felt’ about the assessment.’ I technically can retire in 12 years. I am trying to figure out a way to shave that down a bit. I am starting to hate (yes, I know–strong word) and dread every day I work and every paper I have to read. I am a glorified tech support person who also gets some money to enable students, not teach them.

I made the religious notation because in their personal introductions, a huge percentage of my students commented how important their religion was to them; it’s not normally something I’d even mention. It sickens me that so many of them wear religious regalia and still cheat. One of my cheaters is a nurse. Does she cheat on other things, I wonder? I personally think plagiarism or cheating is despicable and wish anyone who did it would be summarily kicked out of college. However, there’s so much due process to protect students, they get a 0. That’s about all I can do that will actually stick unless they are repeat offenders. We couldn’t even get a file started to keep a record of repeat offenders in different classes. It’s insane.

Dear Students,

Being a student can be very challenging. It’s often made more difficult by life circumstances. I was in grad school and teaching when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died, at the same time I was going through a divorce. I stuck with school and finished, even though that semester wasn’t my best work. This past January, my father died after a long illness at the same time we were without power due to the ice storm. I was taking two programming classes–and withdrawing from them was the best option for me because I got too far behind to catch up. I kept my professors informed, but I took responsibility for my decisions–they were my choices.

However, one thing I HAVE NEVER, EVER done, in 10 years of school and through 3 degrees and 4 additional courses in math and computer science for personal enrichment and through a LOT OF “PERSONAL STUFF” is plagiarize. If you want examples and a definition, READ YOUR SYLLABUS. I was recently singled out and complimented by the dean of social sciences for my clear explanations on what plagiarism is and what consequences it incurs. Plagiarism is dishonest. It is lying. It is cheating. If you consider yourself religious in any way, think of it as immoral and wrong and the same as stealing. If you commit plagiarism, that’s the same as going into a store and stealing something another person has worked hard to make and produce. Let’s not mince words here.

I’ve taught 20 years. I’ve heard ALL the excuses (and they usually fall into one of these categories):

•    “I’m so busy, I just took a shortcut.”

•    “My personal life is hard right now–a lot is going on.”

•    “I didn’t know it was a problem. I thought it would be okay just this once.”

•    “I wasn’t clear on what you meant by how to cite sources in writing.”

I don’t care about your excuse. I don’t care about your reason. I do care about you not doing it–ever. Read the syllabus again. Ask your advisor. Ask tutors. I have had about five students commit some sort of plagiarism this semester. They have received the consequences. Possibly others have done it and not yet got caught–trust me, you will get caught at some point.

Make sure you do not copy and paste work from the internet. Make sure you cite your sources. Make sure you ASK if you are ever unsure if you are doing it right.

There is never an excuse. Never. I will make sure you are given the harshest consequences possible. I am aware and watching. Think about that before you are tempted to commit plagiarism.

Dr. Andromache

PS: Yes, I am quite furious. The thoughts of someone stealing another person’s writing and hard work is absolutely infuriating to me. I find it abominable behavior and have zero respect for anyone who would do this.

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Son Among Thy Sons

Posted: 12/10/2012 in Fiction
Tags: , ,

Author: Andromache

On first meeting, Colonel Sutton-Fiennes didn’t impress medic Ian McGowan, a ten year SAS veteran. Another officer with another title—he’d seen his sort before. But given the situation—Corporal Carruth had to be exaggerating, half a million dead, couldn’t be right—McGowan pushed his initial impression away. The man was willing to don a CBRN rig and walk right into poor, bombed out, radioactive London, and that meant the git had some courage, regardless of his fancy name. It was only after their Super Lynx took off heading south with its two patrols aboard that McGowan got a good look at the thirtyish-year old colonel (and how had he gotten that rank, exactly, was queer), and it was the man’s eyes that made him wince. He didn’t know how to say it; hell, his dad was the schoolteacher and his elder brother the university scholar with the big words, but those eyes…they appeared ancient in the face of a man so lithe and young, as if he’d not merely seen dead people…more like unnumbered deaths and suffering so dreadful, one knew he’d never speak of it, not to a wife, a lover, or even a comrade in arms. McGowan had seen images of men in the Great War, and that was the closest thing that came to describing how Sutton-Fiennes’ eyes seemed to him. That face had witnessed things beyond dying, pushing toward a brink of utter loss, the absence of youth, innocence, and sanity, a soundless void of misery. McGowan wondered where in the hell he’d been stationed before Benson, or even if that really was his base of operations.

By the time they’d disembarked the ‘copter and crossed the shaky Vauxhall Bridge, with engineer Ryan cursing softly at every step, and seen hundreds of charred bodies steaming in the August heat, McGowan had a newfound respect for Sutton-Fiennes. Nothing escaped his notice, and when he’d taken off his suit, for God’s sake, and stood down a large crowd of hungry civilians, egged on by some idiot American tourist who probably would be dead in a few days anyway, McGowan had to admit the colonel’s courage was both huge and genuine. He himself, only a few months back from Afghanistan, with the most grueling training the British Army offered, had been ready to say sod this mess and get the hell out of there. Westminster Abbey’s great rose window lay in pieces. They’d seen the southern side of Westminster Palace, home to the heart of the nation’s government, blasted into a rubble heap, but McGowan couldn’t bring himself to look towards the south bank, where Lambeth wasn’t so much a shell as a crater.

Even as they cautiously made their way inside Parliament’s halls, he had little hope of finding anyone alive, much less someone who had soaked up less than 200 rads and had a chance of living…assuming they weren’t buried under tons of granite. McGowan stayed near the rear, checking bodies, finding nothing to save, or only someone so close to death, they weren’t even conscious. But then Sutton-Fiennes heard a moaning sound, and lo and behold, the money grubbing secretary of state for Wales, Gillan, had been saved from imminent death by a trip to the well-protected loo. He and Hudson, the other medic, got her stabilised and ready to move out. Further down the hall, the chancellor of the exchequer, Osborne, and the deputy PM, Clegg, had been in one of the interior halls having a discussion–probably heated–and again, though the thick walls had damaged them both quite a bit, they’d prevented the worst of the radiation from seeping in as well.

And that was the first moment McGowan saw a glimpse of hope in the colonel’s ageless face. It hit him in the gut, even though the look was subdued and fleeting. He, a medic who’d steeled himself for a decade to feel nothing as he stuffed shreds of mortal flesh back into their proper cavities while shrieks and screams, human and otherwise, rose and fell around him, noticed an unfamiliar twinge of emotion. Was it empathy or pity, pride or patriotism? McGowan could never explain it, not then, not after. He didn’t even know what made him speak up, let alone what happened next. All he knew was that he couldn’t let the colonel’s face turn back into that façade of bitterness, well hidden.

“I’ll check the people on down these next few corridors, sir. Why don’t you stay here with Hudson and the deputy PM? I’ll have Lambert watch my back…not that I think anywhere in here is going to put up a fight.” Sutton-Fiennes nodded, seeming to know intuitively that McGowan recognised something perhaps better than he himself did, that maybe the deputy PM needed someone with a fancy rank to tell him the horrible reality of the city outside.

McGowan and Corporal Lambert checked corridor after corridor, finding a total of eight more civil servants who appeared to have a good chance of survival. After he’d given a dozen more something to ease their pain and inevitable passing, with Lambert studiously looking the other way, offering both protection and privacy, McGowan himself was numb. Maybe it was Unidentified Female #6 he logged into his mobile, who was probably about his age and pretty, or at least she had been, that crawled into his psyche and squatted there, stopping any remaining feelings. The dark stains on her lips accented her pale, smooth skin and reddish brown hair. She smiled briefly at him, knowing he was an angel of death, managing a slight squeeze of his hand before her tawny eyes closed. He wanted to ask her out, go to a pub, maybe play darts, possibly kissing that mouth which would look so lovely in a slick, wet shade of plum gloss. He did not want to watch as she took a last ragged breath, but he did. Better me than the colonel, McGowan thought, over and over and over that next hour as he moved from victim to victim. Those eyes of his can’t take any more death.

By the time they’d transported the survivors out to the abbey garden where the Westland Merlin waited (with Clegg stubbornly insisting on walking and talking the whole way), the entire team was emotionally withdrawn, but still supremely cautious, just ready to be done. The survivors were on their way to hospital in Birmingham, and the team was making its way back towards Vauxhall when McGowan heard the distant strains of a choir boy, his voice mature but not quite broken into the timbre of a man, echoing from within the abbey walls:

    I heard my country calling, away across the sea,

    Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.

    Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,

    And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.

    I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,

    I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.

Sutton-Fiennes’ stride did not break, not even for an instant, though the tones were clear and strong, worthy of warrior’s tears. And McGowan wondered if it was because he merely had not heard, or simply that he had heard it far too many times before.

Author: FB Marchinton

Near the village of Thundridge, Hertfordshire, a stately Carolean country house stood on a quiet family estate, much as it had for the past 300 years.   It was the residence of Baron Victor Sutton-Fiennes III, and had been for over a third of that time. Baron Thundridge’s advanced age was not a product of clean living – how could one so old look scarcely over thirty – but of his unusual parentage. Victor was never sure who his true father was. John Sutton-Fiennes, the third Baron Thundridge, was a parent both in the eyes of the law and of his son in every way that mattered, save genetically. No one was any the wiser until Victor met a woman at Cambridge who revealed the fact that the lad’s true father was in fact a deity – an honest to goodness god. The woman knew this because she was Athena and adopted him as one of her own. In doing so, she awakened the divine side of Victor’s nature, granting him some most unusual abilities. For instance, he had powers of perception and a keen intellect that would make Sherlock Holmes appear merely average by comparison. He could pick up languages almost as quickly as a teen could learn the lyrics of a favorite song. The new association also granted him a lifespan far beyond any mortal.

Not that he couldn’t be killed, of course. Two world wars and numerous engagements since nearly proved that. True to his benefactor’s patronage, Victor was a wise warrior, serving as an army officer before joining “Special Branch” as an intelligence officer. Years went by, and Special Branch evolved into a compartment of MI6. To keep up appearances, he added numbers to his name at appropriate intervals, with government and his own cunning ensuring that all the paperwork was in order. Thus, “Victor Sutton-Fiennes III” was into his third life as a retiring nobleman, having been the fourth, fifth and now sixth baron of Thundridge.

On this pleasant May morning, Victor was ensconced in his wood-paneled study, paging through one of the several books that surrounded his laptop as if laying siege to the modern technology. He was writing a letter to a colleague, taking him to task for what he regarded as a sloppy error in his comparison of glosses in Farsi and Classical Sanskrit.

His mobile buzzed. After glancing at the screen, he picked it up.

“Elizabeth?”

“Victor.”  The voice came over with little inflection. If any of his other colleagues had answered in such a monotone, he would have braced for trouble. Elizabeth was different. She was a super-genius who could collate impossibly disparate motes of intelligence and assemble them into a big picture… but found it difficult to connect a person’s facial expression with the proper emotion.

“How are you?” That was a close to small talk as Victor could manage over the phone, and only because it would lead directly into the reason for the call.

“I’m on leave for a few days.”

“Would you like to get out of the city?  You’re room’s always open.”

“Thank you.”  There was a pause.

“Would you like a lift?”

“No, I’ll take the coach. If it’s on time I’ll transfer in Ware and be at Thundridge at 1314.”  Chances were she had memorized the timetables some weeks ago.

“See you then.”  Victor hadn’t expected a response, but waited until the line went dead before switching off his phone.  Elizabeth’s birth name was Victoria Melton; her father, John Melton, was a child of Athena, and very young when they served together back in the forties. His daughter, while brilliant, was a social cripple, and didn’t enjoy the usual soirees and seasons that noble girls usually expected. In spite of this, the goddess adopted her as she had Melton and Sutton-Fiennes. Victor always thought of her as his niece.

The baron mentally reshuffled the next few days. Barring a call from Vauxhall, there was nothing pressing that couldn’t be handled from home.  He picked up the small radio from its charger on his desk, and tapped a number.

“Yes, your lordship?” a voice crackled from the handset.

“Yes,  Thomas. Miss Tracey will be arriving this afternoon. She may be staying a few days. Can you see that her room is ready and Mrs. Garrett is informed?”

“I’ll see to it, sir.”

“Thank you.”

***

While she was a capable driver, Elizabeth Tracey preferred to take public transit when there was a choice. It wasn’t because she liked the other travelers; they were confusing, loud, contradictory creatures who too often tried to strike up conversations or otherwise get in her way. No, she liked to be able to ponder with her whole mind – which was impossible while driving, as several near-wrecks had proved.  She liked to think without distractions. Even her Spartan apartment in Bloomsbury suffered from an infestation of noisy neighbors that were never completely quiet.

That was why she often went to stay with Baron Sutton-Fiennes  – Uncle Victor, as her father insisted she call him. After his death, the baron suggested she drop all titles and simply use his given name. His house had a superlative (and secure) internet connection, but with all the quiet one would expect from a country home.

Still, public transit had drawbacks. Today she had to wait an hour for the Roydon coach to leave.  The passengers were terribly inefficient; they could have debarked at each stop in half the time if properly motivated. Clearly, they had nothing better to do than amble. As a result, the bus pulled to the curb in Thundridge at 1329 – a full fifteen minutes late. Nonetheless, she often struggled with accepting the unacceptable, and was slowly getting better at it.

 ****

Elizabeth sat on the bench, her small suitcase behind her feet, and waited. Unconsciously, she noted the cars in the lot across the road, their tag numbers, and which ones were occupied. She estimated the temperature and wind speed, and plotted the vectors and speeds of the pedestrians in her vicinity.

Among the scents of petrol , yesterday’s rain, and the bed of flowers  upwind of the bench, one scent gradually passed through her mental filters and garnered her conscious attention. Her inhumanly sharp sense of smell detected a faint, slightly sweet, almost fruity odor. She inhaled deliberately; the smell was there, but underneath was sourness, faint but growing stronger by the moment. She glanced around.

Two men and women, all mid-20s, had just trundled up to the bus stop. Their overstuffed,  rolling suitcases were propped against the back of the bench. She deduced from their faint sheen of sweat and elevated breathing that they had trotted some distance to the stop. That they were Americans was evident as soon as they spoke.

“No, that wasn’t the Hereford bus,” said the blonde man, rubbing his stubbled chin and looking through a sheaf of papers.

“Hertford,” corrected the woman looking over her shoulder. She pronounced the word as it was spelled, not as the natives would say it.

“Whatever. It was going to someplace called Royston.  It’s the Hertford-Royston line.”

“Well, it’s coming back through, right?” the second woman,  a short bottle-blonde, asked.  The first woman began rooting around in her waist pack.

“I can call the B and B, see if they know,” she said as she pulled out a mobile phone and a ragged business card.

The fourth member of the group, a dark-haired man, looked…surly?  Withdrawn?  She couldn’t be certain, but there was no doubting his slight tremor and pale complexion. The others looked tired, irritable, or both, but all looked healthy. Elizabeth was certain that the dark-haired American was the source of the odor, and all indicators pointed to a diabetic with a dangerous drop in blood sugar.

Elizabeth was torn. Within moments of her diagnosis, she had determined the most efficient course of action. She should walk up to the group and inform them that their companion needed immediate assistance to stave off an acute and potentially life-threatening condition. But this was a social situation, and her father and mentors drilled two imperatives into her. First, don’t talk to strangers without good reason. Second, never tell a civilian something that another civilian couldn’t determine based on the equipment at hand. To her, this was a good reason. But she was confident that even a doctor couldn’t diagnose an imminent sugar crash based on odor, and from a distance. Her thoughts continued circling between what should be done and what she mustn’t do. When she saw the trembling get worse, and the man’s eyes begin to glaze, she realised that she was about to get another option.

 * * * *

Victor’s business at the country club took longer than anticipated. Old Mr. Colton’s request for a contribution to a scouting charity digressed into a ramble down memory lane. When he glimpsed the bus pulling off the A-10, he knew he had to cut it short. After a few more minutes, he politely extricated himself with a promise of a contribution and agreement that Hertfordshire wasn’t what it used to be.   He eased his slate blue Aston-Martin onto High Road and headed into the village.

As he pulled into the village hall parking lot, he saw Elizabeth. That she didn’t seem to notice him was his first clue that something wasn’t right. Rolling to a stop, he looked more closely. She was fidgeting, looking down, but sending quick, sharp glances at a group of tourists next to her. His keen eye and long experience with his “niece” told him she was clearly disturbed about something, but probably failed to reconcile what she wanted to do with what might be socially acceptable. Just before Victor shut off the auto, Elizabeth stood up and began walking very rapidly down the road. She had left her bag under the bench. No intelligence operative would do that – not in this day and age – without a very good reason. He whipped the DB9 around and pulled out into the road. Elizabeth turned as he pulled alongside. She yanked the door open and bundled herself inside.

“There’s a – he’s – I need juice!” she shouted.  Bewildered, he nevertheless gunned the engine. Luckily, the village shop was only 100 meters away. As he once more braked to a halt, he heard her terse “Turn around!” as she bolted across the road and into the store. By the time she ran back out, he was in the near lane, ready to roll. Panting with exertion and excitement, Elizabeth hit the seat hard and slammed the door with her free hand.

“American… hypoglycemic… no one noticed yet.” She held a Ribena box and a package of biscuits. The latter began to fracture in her nervous grip.

At the bus stop, Victor saw a figure sway and fall against another. When they pulled up, the dark-haired man was sprawled on the bench and thrashing weakly, with the other man and two women talking rapidly to him and each other. The baron stopped the car beside the bench.

“I’ll handle this,” he told his passenger, and got out and walked quickly around the car. Immediately he could smell, even stronger than the rising stink of fear, the sweet and sour scent that caught his friend’s attention.

“Well, you seem to be having some difficulty,” he said, affecting an air of the friendly, helpful official to both calm the panicking tourists and project some authority. Three voices answered back. He heard the words “collapsed,” “diabetic”, and “passed out” in the din.

“Low blood sugar, is it? I think maybe this will help.”  He turned back and took the juice and biscuits from Elizabeth’s outstretched hands. Inserting the straw, he held it up to sick man; with the encouragement of everyone, the man took a few halting sips. Victor stepped back, pulled out his mobile, and contacted the rescue service in Ware.

“That’s it, keep sipping it,” he encouraged after ringing off. To the group in general, he added, “He should feel a little better in a few minutes, but I’ve taken the liberty of calling for an ambulance. If he can hold the juice down, give a nibble of biscuit.”  Each one thanked him earnestly for his assistance, but he waved it off.  By the time a siren announced the ambulance’s arrival, the patient had regained some of his faculties, though his wife and friends would not let him rise off the bench. Victor, his duty done, dropped the luggage in the boot, slipped into the car, and drove into the parking lot across the way. There he turned around, and waited until the emergency vehicle pulled up before sedately passing it and easing up the street.

“How do you think you did?” he asked at last, still watching the scene through the wing mirror.

She hesitated, replaying the last few minutes in her mind. “Well enough, I suppose. I couldn’t tell him he was sick without the awkward questions. Still, I really should have acted sooner. ”

“You figured out a solution in time.”

“I didn’t think I should carry my bag, should I?  I mean, it would have slowed me down. And I needed my hands empty. And I was sure it wasn’t a diversion. You want me to check for tampering? ”

“No, Elizabeth. I think it was fine. Besides, I was there when you left. Really, it’s fine. He would have been in serious trouble had you not worked it out. You did well.”  He smiled to reassure her. “Tell you what, if you like we can ‘debrief’ over tea. Mrs. Garrett is just…” he paused, as he noticed two people standing in the middle of the road ahead. One was pointing at them. It took another second before he recognised them as the local shopkeepers.

“Elizabeth, did you pay for those biscuits?”

Project Arondight is a team of Scions–the earthly children of godly parents (either born or adopted). The team operates under the auspices of SIS (aka MI6) and the command of Brigadier General Arthur Craddock. The current team members are:

Rebecca Bernstein (Code Name: Arkangel, daughter of Bast):

Rebecca is about 26 and the youngest team member. She is a Scion of Bast. She is fluent in English, Arabic, and Hebrew and holds a degree in law from the University of London. She’s an excellent administrator, but lacks some dedicated field experience.

Elizabeth Tracey (Code Name: Aegis, daughter of Athena, alias Victoria Melton)

Elizabeth Tracey is an alias for Victoria Melton, a third generation Scion of Athena (adopted; her true godly parent is Zeus). She appears to be around 30, but is actually over 50 years old. Her grandfather was a WW II hero. She is cool, calculating, and ruthless, but very skilled in seeing the big picture and coming up with strategic plans. She is idealistic despite her seeming lack of humor. Her father was friends with Sutton-Fiennes. Aegis is sort of the team mastermind and to outsiders appears to have symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome. Sutton-Fiennes suspect this is some sort of curse by Hera, tired of her husband’s philandering ways….

Rupert Jones (Code Name: Dyrnwyn, son of Heimdall, alias Anthony Summers)

Rupert Jones is a former SAS assassin. He’s deadly with a lot of weapons, including his bare hands. He attended a polytechnic school and also is skilled in basic mechanical engineering. He is chafing a bit at his current ‘guard duty’ assignment and wants to be more in the heart of the action. Although he looks to be around 40, he’s over 70 years of age.

Helene Peacock, Baroness Stornoway (Code Name: Ascalaon, daughter of Aphrodite–adopted, alias Emma Burton Redford)

Helene Peacock has a public persona and writes best selling romantic historical mysteries. She is beautiful and quite witty for a woman born in the 1870s. In her spare time, she writes romantic mysteries. Her role on the team is social, but she can contribute to a fight when necessary. She’s good at getting the team into places where the others may be out of their comfort zone. Like Sutton-Fiennes, she has had to ‘disappear’ and then reappear later in a new identity.

Victor Sutton-Fiennes, Viscount Thundridge (Code Name: Glaukos, son of Athena–adopted)

Victor is from a minor English noble family that gained fame as soldiers; his first war was, in fact, the Great War. Except for some downtime between 1944-64, he’s followed in the family business. Victor, however, is much more of a strategist and likes to ‘think ahead’ of the enemy. He finds the current situation especially disturbing as the attackers did not target any classic ‘symbols’ of the British Empire, but rather seemed to plan a slow, lingering death for London and its immediate surroundings.

Bombing Locations and Known Damage,
Report, August 10, 0600 GMT

1. Lambeth

The following structures are destroyed or believed to be damaged beyond repair:

  • Lambeth Palace
  • The London Eye
  • St. Thomas Hospital

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • Parliament Buildings
  • Waterloo Station
  • Tate Gallery

The following structures are mildly-moderately damaged, but repairable:

  • Vauxhall Bridge (avoid pedestrian and motorized traffic use)
  • Big Ben

Notes:

This is believed to have been the first bomb to detonate, perhaps 30 seconds before the remaining bombs. The proximity of several large, reinforced buildings stopped the spread of the ground burst in some directions. Initial analysis has considered the Archbishop of Canterbury to have been a possible target, as well as the SIS Building.

2. Battersea

The following structures are destroyed or believed to be damaged beyond repair:

  • Nine Elms neighborhood
  • Chelsea Bridge
  • Lister Hospital
  • Battersea Park (all persons present were killed on detonation)
  • All railways in area

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • Royal Hospital Chelsea

Notes:

Damage in Battersea was more severe than in Lambeth for two key reasons—first, there was a minor synergy effect from the proximity of both bombs; second, the lack of large, heavy buildings allowed the ground burst more yield/spread.

3. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

The following structures are destroyed or believed to be damaged beyond repair:

  • Westminster Hospital

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • Brompton Hospital
  • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • New Brompton and National Heart Hospital
  • Most residential structures

Notes:

Initial analysis considers the major target of this bomb to be the group of hospitals which sustained extensive damage.

4. Kensington Palace/Russian Embassy Blocks

The following structures are destroyed or believed to be damaged beyond repair:

  • Western portion of Kensington Gardens—all persons in the area were killed upon detonation
  • Kensington Palace
  • The Russian Embassy
  • Notting Hill neighborhood

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • Albert Memorial
  • Hyde Park
  • College of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The following structures are mildly-moderately damaged, but repairable:

  • Most residential structures

Notes:

The entire park area is irradiated and considered extremely dangerous. The Kensington/Maida Vale/London Zoo bombs created a significant synergy effect, enhanced by the open areas of Kensington and Hyde Parks.

5. Maida Vale/Warwick

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • BBC Studios
  • All roadways and rails
  • St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Paddington Station
  • Most area churches

The following structures are mildly-moderately damaged, but repairable:

  • Most residential structures

Notes:

The entire park area is irradiated and considered extremely dangerous. The Kensington/Maida Vale/London Zoo bombs created a significant synergy effect, enhanced by the open areas of Kensington and Hyde Parks. Initial intelligence believes the major target in this area was the BBC Studio.

6. London Zoo

The following structures are destroyed or believed to be damaged beyond repair:

  • The London Zoo
  • The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • The Royal College of Physicians and Regents College

Notes:

The entire area is irradiated and considered extremely dangerous. The Kensington/Maida Vale/London Zoo bombs created a significant synergy effect, enhanced by the open areas of Kensington and Hyde Parks, and the Regents Park/London Zoo area.

7. Shoreditch Park

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • Most residential structures

The following structures are mildly-moderately damaged, but repairable:

  • A number of churches and community centres

Notes:

Initial intelligence indicates this bomb may have detonated before it reached its primary target.

8. Guy’s Hospital

The following structures are destroyed or believed to be damaged beyond repair:

  • Guy’s Hospital
  • The Shard

The following structures received major damage/require extensive repairs:

  • Tower Bridge (no foot or motorized traffic)
  • The Globe Theatre

Notes:

Initial intelligence reports suggest the hospital was the major target in the area, though the high number of local tourists may be considered a secondary target. The area seems to have a slightly higher level of radiation remaining than do the other target areas.

9. Areas 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d: All in proximity to the M25, these targets are believed to have been chosen to block/disrupt transit routes to/from London. All areas sustained heavy damage to residential structures and various levels of radiation.

  • 9a: Basingstoke
  • 9b: Enfield
  • 9c: Watford
  • 9d: Woking
  • 9e: Uxbridge

Transportation Infrastructure Preliminary Report

Due to the series of EMP emissions, no trains or cars in the central London area/areas 9a-e are functioning. Some train and automobile functionality is apparent in the ‘rim’ between the M25 and central London, outside the 9a-e cities. Military personnel have established roadblocks just outside the M25 on all roads of two lanes or greater heading into the London area. Within London, the following underground stations are known to have taken heavy damage, though the list is considered incomplete:

  • London Bridge
  • Borough
  • Elephant and Castle
  • Lambeth North
  • Waterloo
  • Vauxhall (SIS reports this is repairable)
  • Kensington
  • Battersea Park
  • Queenstown Road
  • West Brompton
  • High Street Kensington
  • Queensway (completely destroyed)
  • Bayswater
  • Paddington
  • Warwick Avenue (completely destroyed)
  • Maida Vale
  • St. John’s Wood
  • Regent’s Park
  • Baker Street
  • Marylebone
  • Camden Town
  • Notting Hill Gate (completely destroyed)

 

 


 

Tactical Recommendations

1. Primary mission is rescue of persons on cabinet list (see spreadsheet file).

2. Secondary mission is contact and collection of data at Vauxhall/SIS Building. This includes collection of radiation samples from explosion locations if considered within safe parameters.

3. Tertiary mission is rescue of Prince Harry.

Notes:

1. If any above personnel fall into Casualty Rank 1, recommend Anubis Protocol.

2. Casualty Rank 2 and 3 personnel to be evacuated to Birmingham central rendezvous point.

Location of Prince Harry of Wales–Unconfirmed

Last known to be at Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park

Stratford, London, Greater London E20 2ST, United Kingdom

0845 267 2012

London Falling Timetable

Posted: 07/10/2012 in Timeline

London Falling: Timetable

9 August, 2012 1400 GMT: Bombs detonate in central London. 1430 GMT: Baron Victor Sutton-Fiennes, code name Glaukos, loses contact with his CO, General Craddock and others at SIS in London; he leaves his estate, Thundridge, for London. He is blocked by local militia while driving south and after showing his ID, is re-routed to a nearby airport where he meets up with Corporal Johnson (later promoted to Flt. Lt.). Using his ‘emergency only’ phone, protected from EMP by hardened covering, he makes contact with fellow agent Elizabeth Tracey (code name Aegis) and tells her they’ll rendezvous at what is hopefully a clear landing zone on the east side of St. James Park. He commandeers both Johnson and his helicopter, and they grab a medic just in case. Aegis says that SIS took a hit, but is still standing; she and agent Arkangel’s last orders were to try and locate members of the royal family and move them to a safe location in Manchester. She and Arkangel are heading to Buckingham Palace. She says the Duke of Cambridge was at some sort of Boy Scout camp near the Kennington Oval Cricket Ground. Aegis says to call in when he has further lintel and not to waste the phone batteries; this may be their only means of communication at the moment. 1630 GMT: Sutton-Fiennes, along with pilot Corporal Greer Johnson, heads for London along with medic Mary Haroldson in a Eurocopter AS565 Panther. They arrive at approximately 1700. On the far eastern side of St. James Park, they meet up with agent Aegis, check their known intelligence (i.e. a number of small scale nuclear weapons, between 8-10, exploded around 1400 GMT); Glaukos and team head for the last known location of the Duke of Cambridge. They rescue the Duke and Duchess (who originally been scheduled to visit the main Olympic Stadium with Prince Harry), along with SO14 officer Alice Mason. SO14 officer Marshall Lewis, who was also on duty, remains in London with medic Mary Haroldson. They work on finding shelter for the Boy Scouts after Glaukos gives a moving speech citing words of Lord Baden-Powell. 2000 GMT: Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne are taken to Stornoway from the dressage events at the Olympics held in Greenwich, via a ‘decoy’ route in Manchester, set up by SO14 and SAS operatives. Glaukos recommends this action in case Manchester is also a target. Stornoway is chosen for its long distance from London and its relative obscurity. 2300 GMT: Sutton-Fiennes and his team arrive at Anglesey/RAF Valley with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, now under protection of Station Commander Dennis Wright and SO14 officer Alice Mason. Johnson is given a field commission to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. 10 August, 2012 0600 GMT: Agent Ascalon (Helene Peacock) arrives on Anglesey with a hovercraft she ‘convinced’ a captain from Dover to loan to her. She, the captain, and the co-captain tell Glaukos that the craft is at their disposal 0700 GMT: Sutton-Fiennes and Peacock depart Anglesey for Stornoway, arriving around 1000 GMT. 1100 GMT: A briefing is held at Hotel Stornoway with the Queen, her lady in waiting Baroness Elton, her private secretary the Rt. Hon. Sir Christopher Geidt, available cabinet members (Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP—Con; Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP—Con; and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers MP—Con) , Arondight members (Glaukos and Ascalon), the SO14 officer in charge (Eric Charles Rothesay, formerly of FTAC), and a couple of members of the privy council (James Norwich Arbuthnot,  a former Minister of State and now MP; and Colonel Toby Browne, Crown Equerry). The following intelligence points are discussed:

  • Twelve nuclear ‘suitcase’ devices of approximately .5KT were simultaneously exploded at 1400 GMT on 9 August 2012.
  • While the effect was less than if an airburst, the cumulative effect of the radiation from the total of 6 KT detonated is more severe than an airburst. There was less firestorm damage than might be expected; however, the radiation contamination of the Thames, thanks to the bursts on the south bank, is severe.
  • No group of any kind has taken credit for the act of terrorism.
  • The more time that passes in which no one has taken credit, the more nervous everyone is becoming.
  • Approximately 2 million people were in the greater London area at the time of the explosions. Another 2 million were affected by the blasts around the M25. In central London, approximately 400,000 people were killed by the blast or the falling buildings (either immediately or within the hour after the event). A lesser number, about 100,000 were killed in the M25 blasts, probably due to more open terrain and less falling debris.
  • Another 200,000 people are suffering from severe burns and radiation sickness. This number will probably result in another 100,000 casualties over the next 96 hours, even with rescue and medical assistance.
  • Overall death toll is expected to reach 600,000, with another 100,000 persons remaining alive but injured. Perhaps another 100,000 face severe illness due not to radiation or damage from the bombing, but from shortages of food, water, and essential medications. The population of central London is expected to fall to around 1.5 million over the next month.
  • Middlesex Hospital and St. Bart’s are in the best condition of any central London hospitals.
  • Current plans are to evacuate those who are wounded with positive prognosis for recovery to Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Cambridge.
  • Relief workers and supplies are en route from the US, Canada, and most countries in Europe.
  • Triage teams are being assembled.
  • Currently, both Heathrow and Gatwick are grounded. Manchester is open with limitations, as are Edinburgh and Cardiff.
  • From the SIS headquarters, the official Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat Bruce Mann, a senior British civil servant, has declared martial law within the M25 geographic area. No one is arguing.

Flight Lt. Greer Johnson arrives by 1300 that day at the request of Sutton-Fiennes. In a brief ceremony, Sutton-Fiennes is created Viscount Thundridge and Peacock is made Baroness Stornoway in appreciation for their many years of bravery and service to the Crown (this is the third major conflict/war in which they have served). 1400 GMT: Agent Dyrnwyn arrives for protection detail (re-routed from Manchester after laying considerable ‘appearances’ that this is the back-up location for the Crown) and coordination with Ascalon. 2000 GMT: Sutton-Fiennes departs for RAF Benson, with one brief re-fueling stop, in a Super Lynx 100, flown by Flt. Lt. Johnson. Ascalon and Dyrnwyn remain behind at Stornoway. 11 August, 2012 0000 GMT: Sutton-Fiennes and Johnson arrive at RAF Benson, where they rendezvous with an eight-man SAS team; debriefing, loading of gear, and strategic planning follow. The team includes:

  • Team One
    • Sergeant Vince McClain – Team leader. Former military police officer.
    • Corporal John Colburn – Signals/Communications
    • Trooper Ray Hudson – Medic
    • Trooper Chris Watt – Rifleman/ mechanical specialist
  • Team Two
    • Sergeant Steven Carruth – Team leader
    • Lance Corporal Walt Lambert – Rifleman
    • Trooper Ian McGowan – Medic
    • Trooper Malcolm Ryan – Engineer/demolitions

0600 GMT: Insertion at Vauxhall. A team of agents have established a strict perimeter around the SIS building. They are armed to the teeth and in protective gear; they rotate out every 3 hours to limit radiation exposure, though they are all starting to get to significant accumulated exposure levels. Careful observations reveal they have had to shoot some people around the building. About an hour is spent in discussion with General Craddock, Aegis, and Arkangel, along with other key operatives. Johnson takes off and lands several times over the next three hours to avoid crowds. The groups exchange information, and Craddock says that some mobile towers will be restored by late that evening, thanks to a Canadian army communication unit. They confirm previous intelligence from briefing from 10 August, 1100 GMT meeting at Stornoway. 0700 GMT: Sutton-Fiennes and SAS agents proceed across the shaky Vauxhall Bridge towards Westminster Abbey, skirting behind the partially collapsed Tate Gallery. Dead bodies, glass, and debris are everywhere. The team almost has an incident with a crowd of about 250 angry people in a wandering mob wanting cover in the church, but Sutton-Fiennes talks them down. A couple of London locals volunteer to lead people to the nearby St. James underground and to the Churchill War rooms to seek cover. Sutton-Fiennes meets Rev. Rhys Jones, a deacon at the Abbey, who has managed to triage and help about 1500 people, using an internal water supply, and moving the dead bodies to the street outside. Jones, the surviving docents, and acolytes take food from the team and try to make it go as far as it can. 0800 GMT: The team moves into Westminster Palace/Parliament, which had not been in session. The southeast portion of the building has collapsed, but the northwest section is mostly standing. They do as complete a sweep as possible and locate three living cabinet members: Deputy PM Nicholas Clegg (internal injuries), Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (fractured pelvis), and Secretary for Wales Cheryl Gillan (multiple injuries). They do not seem to have any radiation symptoms, but the irony of Gillan being found in the loo after she has been implicated in several monetary scandals is not lost on Glaukos and others. The team locates eight other survivors who may recover and a number of dead or dying. Glaukos leaves medical decisions to Hudson and McGowan. The three cabinet members and eight survivors, along with 12 children from the abbey, are loaded into a Westland 30 medivac helicopter that lands in the abbey gardens, flown by Flight Officer Devon Maxwell. Despite his injuries, Deputy PM Clegg speaks with the children and their parents before the helicopter departs for Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. 1000 GMT: Glaukos and his team return to SIS where they are stripped and very completely ‘cleaned.’ The SAS team takes a breather while Glaukos meets privately with Aegis, Arkangel, and Craddock. The general gives Glaukos a highly protected/sealed case containing a small sample of radioactive material from Lambeth; Aegis notes that the Lambeth explosion took place approximately 20 seconds before any of the others, which is intriguing. Craddock tells Glaukos to get the sample to an IAEA facility, perhaps in Delft, Warsaw, or Budapest for analysis. Aegis proposes her ‘chipping’ idea (a subdermal communication device). Reluctantly, not particularly wanting her in their heads all the time, but acknowledging that contact amongst the team without the unreliability factor of mobile phones is desirable, Arkangel, Glaukos, and Craddock all get implanted. 1100 GMT: With clearance from Craddock, the SAS team, Arkangel, Glaukos, and Aegis crowd into the Super Lynx with Johnson and fly to Birmingham for a status update on the rescued personnel at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Arkangel and Aegis set up a small sit-rep room, then get some down time (both of them still require sleep, water, and food). Glaukos speaks with the nurse helping George Osborne, who is in a large cast and has considerable pain, and gets a few minutes discussion with him. Osborne says if he can have a working mobile phone, he can call in help from an American colleague at the Office of Homeland Security, but asks for a short rest first. Gillan is in recovery, unconscious, and Clegg is just coming out of surgery. Glaukos speaks with the surgeon and finds that Clegg had considerable internal injuries, including a ruptured spleen, but is going to make a full recovery. It will be at least 3-4 days before any of them can be moved to Stornoway, but the doctor will call Glaukos when the deputy PM is able to talk. Glaukos calls Ascalon to rendezvous with them—her offer to ‘step up’ into a government office/position seems to be a good one, and with Craddock’s approval, she’ll be Clegg’s deputy secretary until the civilian government can be fully restored and martial law lifted. Glaukos loans Osborne his secure mobile, and he calls his American friend Michael Peele, who’ll ‘be on a jet in about an hour.’ Ascalon arrives and gets chipped; she tells Glaukos in private that the Queen’s health has suffered due to the extreme stress of the situation. Meanwhile, Clegg regains consciousness and asks to speak to Glaukos. He stresses his need and desire to be a devoted public servant in this crisis, and thus is given the “Project Arondight” overview by Ascalon and Glaukos. He jokingly blames the drugs for their spiel, but in the end, acknowledges the truth of the situation and accepts Helene Peacock as his deputy secretary and aide de camp. The team plans to move to Stornoway as soon as it is safe to move the cabinet members. Glaukos ponders how best to get to Delft with the nuclear sample from Lambeth, and the mysterious yet oddly stereotypical American Michael Peele arrives and verifies his identity based on private information from George Osborne.

By FB Marchinton

 

The stables and barns were built with “owl-holes” to encourage owls in the keeping down of rodents. Since at least the turn of the last century, local legends have sprung up about the owls on the estate.  It is said that an owl seen landing on the driveway or flying through the gatehouse meant that the lord, who was often away on business, was returning home.  When the first Victor Sutton-Fiennes served overseas in both World Wars, one or two owls were  seen perched on the estate’s folly tower at dawn and dusk, facing southward.  When the fifth baron passed away in 2005, no less than seven barn owls were seen on the estate grounds, perched on the gatehouse and the main house.  On the morning following the private burial, four owls were seen perched on the stones of the family cemetery.

Barn owls: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barn_Owl/sounds