If ENO ever was some kind of spy, then he has his own special method of keeping a secret...
"Tenser said the tensor. Tenser said the tensor..." the tactless saboteur was being hustled discreetly out through the back doors... "Tension, apprehension and dissension have begun..." And then the unexpected happened; like, whenever didn't it? I heard a slurred counting, As if from the theatre projection booth, 'rrra wun, doo, three four.., like the lead in to 'Tax Man' but then George Harrison's guitar intro to Sgt Pepper's was played into the hall a split second later at deafening volume!
As soon as the surprisingly youthful looking spectators had settled back to let the evening roll my ear worm was forgotten and I listened to the music along with everyone else. Most of them thought this was THE 'wind up' signal and not just A wind up. They were clapping to the beat and after a bit the clapping merged into continuous cataract of sound as the entire place erupted once more with wildly appreciative applause. Dr Markram was almost literally cheered to the rafters. I actually thought I saw tears coming to his eyes as he was carried past the front the bench between me and the studio audience, shoulder high, by Mentz, Trank and the Gleissner, which must have had its VR head set put back on.
Quaternity, still in the 'Trinity' style form fitting black cat suit, took me by the arm and tugged me gently over the where 'Good Dog' had just begun to pass in front of 'her' end of the bench. 'Good Dog' was too big to leave by the smaller ' stage right' door. It halted in the middle of the demonstration area, surrounded by an admiring cluster of Ph.Ds and techs who had left their seats. While the Beatles were starting to sing 'With A Little Help From My friends' it stood stolidly still as the red PCV sheathed optical fibre bundle unspooled in front it and allowed Markam and his triumphant troika to make their exit unencumbered.
People were already filtering out at the back to the right and left. No one used the door I'd come in by and Quaternity took my hand and tugged me up the stairs gently towards it. As I was looking back I noticed a tall elderly gentleman with grey hair taking Trank aside after he'd sneaked back in and leading him firmly out through the doors by which 'Good Dog' had entered; as if about to have a very firm word in his shell like ear about something very important.
Back in the canteen Quaternity sat me down at a table and brought me tea with milk and a lot of sugar, the way I actually liked it. She told me that the others would be joining us as soon as Prof. Markram had been 'chaired' outside and around to the rear of the building to receive the congratulations of all the ground staff, technicians and support personnel who hadn't able to attend his lecture inside the hall but had seen it outside on a large public display plasma screen on its end wall. She spoke quietly.
"Trank can't be fired because he's the T'Bawhd," I looked puzzled, "The Best At What He Does, like me..." she explained. "Time has passed, Eno, I mean Martin. This is what really happened; and she began to chant, like a witch, or the voice over intro to a fantasy film;
"In a world within the World; in a war within a war which should never have been fought; there was a secret organisation within a secret organisation that was itself embedded in several allied secret services at one and the same time. They were the USB, or unofficially established office of Unusual Special Business. Wags who had heard of it or were inside it called it the Usual Suspects Bureau or the Ultimate Secret Bureau. Unlawful Security Branch was another... No agency of any size went unpenetrated in the West, and it was rumoured you had Friends in the East, too.
You were their best agent. You were recruited by a 'one-time' independent. He really was the Trade Commissioner for NZ. SIX hired him for just the one job. At least, he thought it was SIX but it was Commander Appleby, within SIX, FOR the Unit, HIS department within USB. He was acting on his own and had contacted a narrow bore Aussie diplomat for help. His man had pointed out that the Trade Commissioner from neighbouring NZ would probably want to go duck shooting when he visited New Delhi in late '69; and the rest is history. At least, it is now most if it's in the common domain."
I knew much more time than I thought had really passed. When I thought back, the more I considered it the more I realised that Prof. Markram and the others HAD to be telling the truth... about ME and my 'memories'. Nothing else made sense. But I had conditioned myself for so long NOT to tell ANYONE... that I couldn't break the 'spell' I'd used; not even to save my life!