July 10th - 16:29pm.
Interview, Christine Hyatt-Khan, Deputy Head of Compliance Unit for the Guild of Magicians and Psychic Practitioners, GMPP Headquarters, Euston.
Containment Agent Lightfoot: Thank you for having us.
Christine Hyatt-Khan: Not at all, we always try to cooperate with the DoM. How may I be of assistance?
CAL: I, we are conducting an investigation into two robberies, bank robberies, rather unusual ones that...
CHK: I think I've heard about these, one was in Hackney and the other was in Ealing.
Detective Inspector Baptiste: In Shepherd's Bush, actually.
CHK: Yes, of course.
DIB: How did you come to know about these?
CHK: My word, is there a D-Notice out? I never...
CHK: I'm sorry, I... I'm sure you understand that you're not the only ones out there with ears to the ground. I help run the Order's Compliance Unit...
CAL: [Interrupting] Expel anyone recently?
CHK: Oh, we do it all the time. What would be the point of having a secret order if you didn't throw people out on a regular basis? [DIB laughs] Your assistant gets it.
CHK: I'm sorry?
CAL: Partner; we're working together on the case.
CHK: Wonderful [claps hands] anyway, I jest. There have been a few cases recently that I and my colleagues have had to deal with but nothing I think that could be related to this. All details are confidential of course.
CAL: You say 'of course' but confidential doesn't get us very far.
CHK: Maybe not...
CAL: [Continuing] But, of course, we have the power to make it not confidential, if you know what I mean.
CHK: I certainly do. [Sighs] Like I say, we always try to cooperate with the DoM...
CHK: For every quid there's a pro quo and vice versa.
DIB: You mean, what's in it for you?
CHK: For me? No. I am but a humble servant of the order.
CAL: I can't promise anything.
CHK: You can promise anything, whether you deliver is another matter. I might remind the Department of Metaphysics that the Guild of Magicians and Psychic Practitioners has delivered over four decades of industrial peace, [pause] well, relative peace.
CAL: I'm not a negotiator. What does the order want?
CHK: The Witch Factory.
CAL: I see. A bit ambitious that?
CHK: We have the members, we just don't have the recognition.
CAL: I can't make the Department intervene.
CHK: You can pass the message to your superiors.
CAL: And in return...?
CHK: Very well. I know the details of the robberies but I must ask, what is your theory? How do you think they did it?
CAL: Portal building, travel between universes. [CHK snorts with derision] That's one of the lesser theories, though it could be true.
CHK: Why rob a bank in a different universe?
CAL: Quite, it's that or extended temporary world building.
CHK: The artificial universe.
DIB: That was your specialty, wasn't it.
CHK: Well, I...
DIB: [Continuing] You're an expert in this field.
CHK: I was but I did lots of other things as well.
DIB: But you know the essentials, what would it take to build a replica of a bank branch in order to rob the original?
CHK: Well, apart from mundane things like a copy of the staff rota and a detailed schematic of the building you would absolutely have to have two things 1) a Fix, something to harness latent energy, solar radiation, orgones, that kind of thing and 2) a Reality Anchor, something to maintain the structural integrity of the replica for the duration, not to mention allow for a route back into the universe proper.
DIB: Like an escape vehicle?
CHK: Something like that, yes! However, how many people were there in the video, members of the public I mean?
CHK: All identified; have you spoken to them?
CAL: All of them.
CHK: [Shakes head] Either they were all in on it or the robbers would have to have known, somehow, who was going to be in each branch at the exact moment the robberies took place.
CAL: I see.
CHK: Do you have pictures of the robbers?
DIB: We do.
CHK: May I have a look?
DIB: [Looks to CAL] Sure [gives pictures to CHK].
CHK: [Looking at pictures] As I suspected. These aren't people, they're avatars, see...? War, pestilence, famine and...
CHK: Well, that's where that particular theory falls down but I suspect these are not people but programmes. I could probably confirm it for you if you showed me the footage.
CAL: [Abruptly] No, I think that's enough to be getting on with. Thank you for your time, you've been very helpful.
CHK: We always try to cooperate with the DoM.