dasouzzle: (Pfft)
*Since she's not needed in the House today and London is snowbound, Frances has decided to stay home and spend the afternoon reading Peter Mandelson's report on Parliamentary cybersecurity.*

*It seems their cybersecurity isn't very good.*

*Although the Parliamentary IT programme is not within Frances' remit, she has neither the capacity nor the responsibility to assess its strengths and limitations, and she cannot in any way be faulted for its failures, nevertheless by the time she finishes reading the report she is feeling personally offended by Peter's sneering tone. Perhaps their computer system was riddled with vulnerabilities, but they didn't have any problems with it until he decided to hack into it in an act of petty revenge. That she still hasn't managed to catch him at it is irritating; that he should turn around and mock her for it is intolerable. The ultimate act of chutzpah, a thief who makes off with the silver and then criticises you for leaving the window unlocked.*

*There's only one bright side to this wretched fiasco. Once they implement his recommendations he'll have to stop hacking into their monitors, or it will prove his precious supercomputer wasn't up to the job of shoring up their security system. Of course, there's no telling what vulnerabilities he's deliberately built into the recommendations, but since it's clear he can get into the current system and wreak merry havoc on a whim, it can't be any worse than what they've got now.*
dasouzzle: (Scarf)
*Frances had a morning meeting in the Foreign Office, so she doesn't get into her office until a little after 1:00. At which point she discovers that every single computer monitor in the Parliamentary Estate is displaying its picture upside down.*

*Davinder has already been through and switched all the monitors in her office back to normal- apparently it's a fairly simple fix on a PC- but no one can figure how to adjust the monitors on the wall that give the running order for the debates. IT have been no help whatsoever, in part because politicians keep pulling them aside to shout at them instead of letting them get on with their job. Some of the peers take advantage of her arrival to shout at her instead.*

*Frances finally extracts herself from a belligerent Lord DeMauley and escapes to the carpark, where she sits on the bonnet of someone's bright red Jaguar and irately scrolls through her contacts list until she finds Peter's number. At this rate she's going to have to put him on speed dial.*
dasouzzle: (Scarf)
*When Frances comes into her office in the morning she finds their press team itern lying supine on the sofa pressing a pillow to his face. Jenny McIntosh is standing over him with her wand out and a worried expression.*

"He's been hexed. Some sort of vision spell."

*Davinder moans and presses down harder on the pillow.* "Everything is upside down. Except my visual field is still the same, so it doesn't track right. I get sick to my stomach every time I try to look up or down. I nearly walked off the tube platform this morning."

*Frances sighs.* You could have called in sick. We don't need you so badly it's worth putting your life in danger.

"I can't use my phone! Well, I can, but I have to hold it upside down. And I thought, I need you to fix it anyway so I might as well come in."

*He removes the pillow and looks up at her plaintively. He really does look unwell; his face has gone an unpleasant ashy colour. Further inquiries reveal that he's been suffering from the hex since he woke up this morning, and he hasn't noticed anything unusual that might lead them to the source.*

Any ideas on how to break it?

*Jenny shrugs.* "I think it's neurological rather than a distortion of the light. It might be safer just to find the caster and force them to remove it."

You're probably right. Shall we set up a trace?

*They move the coffee table to give them a clear space to work in, and Jenny draws a pentagram on the carpet with her wand. Davinder fumbles his way into the centre with his eyes squeezed shut, and Frances casts the spell. They won't be able to get a directional indicator since they're not running the tracer in the same location where Davinder was hit by the hex, but it should give them some information about the caster- his or her personal style, favoured techniques, the strength of their wizardry. There aren't that many wizards in Westminster; it might even be possible to identify the culprit alone from the trace alone.*

*The hex, as revealed by their tracer, is an odd looking spell. Jenny was right, it is affecting Davinder's brain rather than the light coming into his eyes, and the structure seems vaguely familiar to Frances. She thinks she's seen that style before. This is a very strange implementation, though- incredibly regular and extremely fine grained.*

"Goodness. Look how perfect it is. It looks like it was done on one of those new 3-D printers, or those pictures you see of pollen grains or diatoms-"

*And then Frances knows. There's only one person with a machine that can print magic.*

I know who did it. It's Peter Mandelson.

*As Jenny helps Davinder back to the sofa, Frances closes her eyes and draws on the power of the Mace. She can see all her peers, a scattering of red sparks surrounding her in all directions, denser in London and thinning out across the country and beyond. She names Peter in her mind and one of the nearest sparks brightens- he's in the House? Oh, but of course, he's visiting John. She opens her eyes again.*

He's over in the Speaker's apartment. Could you fetch him for me?

*Jenny takes a look at Davinder, who has buried his face in the pillow again, and nods grimly.*

"It would be my pleasure."

*She ducks into the fireplace and vanishes in a rush of blue flame.*
dasouzzle: (Scarf)

From: lord_speaker@parliament.uk
To: wandlords@parliament.uk
CC: bercowjs@parliament.uk, ashdownjj@parliament.uk
Subject: Assistance with werewolf

Wizards of Westminster,

One of our number has become a werewolf. He is undertaking the cure, but for the next two months he is in the custody of the Speaker of the Commons and being housed here in Westminster Palace, in the parliamentary prison cell. The werewolf is restrained and the Speaker, the three Deputy Speakers and I are taking it in turns to guard him, but as the Commons are now sitting our resources are being badly stretched.

If any of you could spare the time to take a shift on guard duty, your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Frances D'Souza, Lord Speaker
dasouzzle: (Eyebrow)
*So far so good- they've got through Peter's half of the DEFRA interview without incident. Now for John's. His will require some careful navigation around the truth, but he's a career politician, surely he's up for it? She certainly hopes so.*
dasouzzle: (Default)
Voicemail from 079## ######

Hello, John. Frances.

I trust you realise that if Peter is found to be unguarded at the time of DEFRA's inspection, he will be removed from your custody and more than likely shot.

The same outcome will result if he refuses to accept some further means of restraint. Since I assume neither of you are keen to shackle him to the wall, he will have to wear a containment collar. I am sure if you provide a thorough explanation of DEFRA's requirements and the consequences of defiance, as you ought to have done several days ago, he will be more than happy to comply.

Get it done, John. If you allow him to be carted off to some laboratory out of sheer carelessness an angry werewolf will be the least of your problems.
dasouzzle: (Scarf)
*After receiving Alastair's panicked phone call Frances and Lindsay Apparate to the eastern edge of Primrose Hill Park.  In the gathering dusk it's hard to make out much inside the park beyond the glow of the lamps lighting the paths.*

Hmm.  I don't see it, do you?  I was hoping there would be screaming so we could locate it.


dasouzzle: (Default)
Frances d'Souza

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