pair of steel doors closed behind the departing No.14. No.2 opened the large
white envelope eager to know what it was in it. His hand pulled out four sheets
of blank paper. Whatever No.2 expected it wasn’t that! He turned the sheets of
paper over and over, but not a word could he find written on them. Leaning over
his desk he picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom
“Laboratory…….yes sir…..I understand sir……yes sir…..well we do actually have something important on the brew just at the moment……….very good sir I’ll be over right away sir.”
“No time for tea I’m afraid, Number 2 wants to see me urgently.”
The lab technician was forced to leave the laboratory and make his way through the village on foot, his white coat fluttering out behind him in the breeze as he hurried along. Eventually the steel doors opened and No.253 rushed down the ramp.
“Ah there you are at last!”
“I got here as fast as I could sir.”
“I don’t want to hear your excuses. I want these tested” No.2 ordered handing 253 the four sheets of blank paper.
The lab technician examined the sheets of paper “For what sir?”
“Words figures, whatever’s written on them.”
“But they’re just blank sheets of paper.”
No.2 glared at the lab technician at hearing those words “Don’t argue with me, I’m telling you, there is a message of some kind. Try everything x-ray, infra red. What are you looking at?”
“Well earlier you borrowed our electrostatic detection device, you could use it again.”
“Well I would wouldn’t I, except these sheets of paper are too large for it!”
“Oh I see sir. What about the graphite test” 253 suggested.
The lab technician laid the sheets of blank paper on the desk, then taking a pencil from the breast pocket of his white coat he began to rub the graphite tip of the pencil across the first sheet of paper.
“What are you doing scribbling all over the paper, you’ll ruin it!” No.2 protested. “It’s alright sir, as you’ll see” 253 said with confidence turning the paper over and continuing to rub the pencil over the reverse side “didn’t you do this as a boy, to discover secret writing?”
“Just get on with it.”
When the lab technician was finished he examined the graphite covered sheet of paper, it revealed no indented writing. No.2 examined the sheet of paper himself while 253 carried on with the next three sheets of paper……nothing, not one single word could they find.
“Well that’s one test” No.2 said, now go and conduct all the other tests and don’t come back until you’ve found something!”
Returning to the laboratory…..
“The tea’s cold, do you want me to make some fresh?” 243 asked.
“Yes, I need a cup!” 253 replied in frustration.
“What have you got there?”
“Four sheets of blank paper!”
“I see you’ve used the graphite test.”
“Yes, for what good it did! Number 2 has it in his mind that there’s something written on these sheets of a paper. He wants them tested.”
A matter of hours later!
“This ones blank as well!” 243 said.
“Of course, I didn’t expect anything else.”
“Shall I put them through the tests again?”
“What’s the point we’ve tried everything. He’s not going to like this!”
The pair of steel doors opened and the lab technician hurried down the ramp.
“Well?” said No.2 eager to learn what was written on the papers.
"I’m sorry sir but there’s nothing.”
No.2 couldn’t accept this “Nothing, nothing at all?”
No sir they’re just blank sheets of paper, except for the graphite.”
“They can’t be!” No.2 said snatching the papers from 253’s hands “and you tried everything, x-ray infra red…..”
“Along with the fumes test, and density and penetration everything.”
“Why should he hide blank sheets of paper in the stone boat?”
“Six Number Six!”
“Presumably for someone to find then sir.”
“Are you trying to be funny?....oh get out, get out!”
Be seeing you