Monday, December 8, 2008

V II Declassified -- Item 2: Kevin and His Band

Kevin Holgram, born near Hattiesburg, Mississippi on August 6th, 1920, was a late-blooming, up and coming Piano player in the New Orleans Jazz scene of the late 1930s. His first instrument, a glockenspiel bestowed upon him at age 8, was purchased by his Father, a local farmer, from a small pawn shop located between his hometown and New Orleans; years ago it had been pawned by a member of the US Marching Band immediately following The Great War.

<a href="">Kevin &amp; His Band / E.T.A. 0100 by Hosey</a>

As the United States perceived a rising need to involve itself with the conflict in Europe--what would come to be known as World War II--Kevin was drafted by the U.S. Navy for S.O.N.A.R. duties aboard American sea vessels and submarines. During his training, he was singled out for his sharp ear and ability to discern patterns from what would superficially be perceived as white-noise caused by solar radiation.

After being re-assigned to training for encryption and decryption duties, he makes his first big break designing a method by which messages can be encrypted in the pops and crackles inherent in a new audio storage medium: Vinyl Discs. Working with Alan Turing and Lawrence Waterhouse, they develop a process by which a "code key" can be derived from a completely random (and therefore unbreakable) process.

Kevin enjoys a small amount of privilege based on the success of his new encryption method. Secretly stationed at Camp Shelby, he quickly acquires local notoriety for his brash behavior and contrarian opinions. An obvious agitator and target from the beginning: Born Catholic yet openly a radical atheist, he voiced open criticism of the monopolistic inevitabilities of Capitalism, yet he likewise expressed cynical derision of the ideas of  "Brotherhood for the Greater Good", and obviously held great disdain for US involvement with the Soviets (he is quoted, "Between these 'Allies', the only question is, 'Who's going to execute me first?' ")

His lack of formal education, alcoholism, and attempted womanizing make him an easy fly to swat.

Because of the intervention of, and under the extended protection of Colonel Earl Holton, Kevin and several other "free-radicals" of the US Military were re-stationed at a discreet Allied intercept station in Brazil (Said Kevin of Brazil: "... it worked out perfect for me, as crazy as that seems. [Brazil and it's gov't] was much more a place that fell in line with my ideals regarding the big dogs having their world-spanning football game: 'Fuck 'em, let's take 'em for all they're worth!' "

After the extensive success of the use of his Vinyl Codes during Operation Torch, Kevin comes to his superiors with a new idea for encryption that he claims: "...runs so deep it could be publicly broadcast across all airwaves without apprehension."  Citing the success of Negro Spirituals in passing messages openly and undetected among the slave populations of white slave owners, along with the similar instances of the United States' use of the Navajo language to pass messages without prejudice in certain theatres of The War: Kevin suggests that subtle nuances of the music and language of the emerging, bountiful American music culture (being so alien and strange, in a traditional musical sense) could be harnessed for similar undetectable message propagation, even simultaneous public announcements to an enormous number of Allied-occupied territories. The Allies, intrigued by this idea, call him to Tunisia.

Boarding a craft in Belem, Brazil; Kevin rendezvous with a US Aircraft carrier north of Parnaiba that is heading towards Africa. South of the Sierra Leone ridge, he departs the carrier via aircraft: a new bomber model the US has been considering for its forces, the PV-2 Harpoon. While enroute, the crew aboard the bomber spot a German U-boat running off the shores of the Ivory Coast. Unable to make radio contact with base, the crew decide on their own to take action against the U-Boat ("After all, we've got all these depth charges, right? Might as well do something with em!") After a failed bombing run, the Harpoon was set upon by a small squadron of Axis Messerschmidt Bf-109s, which quickly brought the plane to the water's surface. (Ironically enough, the precise path of Kevin and his crew's flight plan had been transmitted from Brazil to Tunisia by use of his own Vinyl Code. The key for unlocking those codes is generated by entering a random name into a "key generator". This process is insured a certain randomness by having the names selected by a Tyrone Slothrop, a man who is shipped around Allied territories to barhop and socialize, and more importantly: to keep a list of every name he can gather. It turns out he has a predilection for girls of German descent, with attitude, in possession of particularly long names. Once this is discovered by Axis spies, it is only a short amount of time--6 days to be exact--before they have broken the Vinyl Codes. Liesolette was the downfall)

All survivors of the crash (particularly to us, Kevin Holgram) are fished out of the sea and taken aboard the German U-boat.

Originally Posted Monday, December 8th, 2008