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Ray Brown

Ray Brown is the chief architect of the Atlas operating system. He's brilliant and fundamentally decent, but also a drunk and a misfit. Unfortunately, he's the only thing standing between Dianne Morgan and the devastation of an unprepared, unsuspecting nation.

Here's the e-mail Ray plans to release if he is captured or killed:

While working on the next release of the Atlas operating system, I discovered PeaceMaker, a lethal computer virus, and I have decided to do everything in my power to defeat it and expose the people who developed it. I’m scared, and I thought about walking away from it. I can’t do that. Since you received this message, I must have failed.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the story. Humiliated by the federal government in an anti-trust trial that tore apart her software company, CEO Dianne Morgan has become obsessed with a plan to unleash PeaceMaker and shut down computer systems across the world. She is determined to crush the global economy unless the nations of the world agree to share power with the Domain, the clandestine organization she leads. She recruited some of the best computer scientists in the world into the Domain and these people developed PeaceMaker.

Before we go any further, I have to admit Dianne and I were lovers several years ago, and she left me because I could not control my drinking problem. I have been clean for six years and I attend AA meetings most weeks, so I have it pretty much under control.

I’m working on a method of destroying the virus, but it’s going to take some time. Dianne has already murdered one of my associates because he discovered PeaceMaker, and now she has agents watching everything I do. In case she gets to me before I can attack PeaceMaker, I created this time-delayed message to alert you to the danger.

Unless I reschedule this message every day, it will be sent as a warning to you. Since you are reading this, I must have been captured or killed. In addition to my best friend Paul Martino and me, Dianne knows that you are also aware of PeaceMaker. So it's up to you and Paul.

One last thing – there is a mysterious third force that has discovered PeaceMaker and plans to attack the Domain. I don’t know who they are, but Dianne has made a lot of enemies over the years.

Paul is the one person you can trust, if he's still alive . God, I hope he's okay -- I dragged him into this mess. Please contact him immediately, but make sure your communications line isn't bugged.

And watch out for Dianne.

Ray Brown

Chief Software Architect, Atlas Operating System