The SUB Spy Game

It was the autumn of 2003. The student organization of the English Department at the University of Helsinki, named SUB, had convened for the first time in the autumn term. The meeting was called because SUB was on the verge of disaster: funding had been cut short, the student union of the University, HYY, had made an effort to root out all illegal activities surrounding her various factions and this time it was SUB’s turn to be under the eye of scrutiny. Quick decisions were called for, and it was with a heavy heart that Chairman Violand opened the meeting. The agenda held no surprises. On the list of things to talk about were the usual: recapping the past year, reviewing the financial situation and planning the future. However, the agenda contained one item that was hidden to all but those with appropriate credentials to be in the know. Violand and his trusted right arm, Vice-chairman Guardian, were determined to give SUB a political make-over. To achieve this mission called for extreme means, and the decisions that were made in that meeting would change the lives of many individuals forever and would also reshape the internal structure of SUB for years to come.

Around the table at Lingva, the room which housed the meeting, were several characters well-known throughout the English Department: John Hutman, the cultural attaché; Christina Summer, secretary; and William Meet, treasurer. Two new faces were at the table too. These two were freshmen of 2003, eager to enter the game of politics that SUB, in co-operation with HYY, offered to those with a desire to contribute to and change the landscape of student life. The two freshmen were Simon Windbit and George O’Pope.

The meeting itself was nothing out of the ordinary. It was an hour later, when Violand had struck his hammer to signal the end of the meeting, that the real business was conducted. Windbit and O’Pope were pulled aside, and in a hushed conversation with a handful of SUB’s most trustworthy officials their fates were sealed. They were admitted into the board under the false positions of Freshmen Representatives. In truth, they would become the body and muscle of SUB’s most daring endeavour: the Intelligence Section.

Windbit and O’Pope received orders from the top officials of SUB’s board, and they would carry out operations ranging from infiltration to political assassinations. Their first major achievement was during a Domus Academia party in spring 2004, which was organised in co-operation between SUB, Bouffe (from the French Department) and Saga (from the Nordic Languages Department). During that party, Windbit and O’Pope used their highly tuned social skills to their advantage and managed to infiltrate the top levels of SUB’s two rival organisations. From that party began a relationship that would feed SUB with critical intelligence of Bouffe’s and Saga’s operations, their internal structures and all strategic and financial data that flowed through their networks.

Windbit and O’Pope were unstoppable. Their charm and wit ensured that they would never be caught. They made friends with the highest powers around the campus, giving them an exclusive opportunity to alter the course of power within the ongoing feud between the rival organisations.

No one ever suspected Windbit and O’Pope. They received their orders from the SUB board in secret locations and safe houses, and at the same time they managed to maintain credibility as outstanding students of English.

But then disaster struck. Violand resigned as Chairman due to dissatisfaction with SUB’s state of affairs, and Hutman was appointed chairman. Hutman was as proud of SUB as Violand had been, and he surely wanted it to continue on its road to success, but he had a drastically different opinion on how these ends should be achieved. Even though he was an outstanding Chairman, he had one great flaw: at that time he was romantically involved with the Chairwoman of Bouffe. During one passionate evening with her, he inadvertently told her about Windbit and O’Pope, and how they had been pulling the wool over Bouffe’s eyes for over a year now. Bouffe’s board was enraged and they declared open war against SUB. Windbit and O’Pope were unceremoniously pulled from their homes in the middle of the night and taken in for questioning.

Windbit and O’Pope were subjected to terrible torture, but they would not betray SUB. They claimed that the whole Intelligence Section was their own idea, and they did it all as a joke. Naturally, they weren’t believed. Bouffe, now furiously enraged, gave a statement that if SUB would not come clean they would cut all connections to SUB and make an official complaint to HYY.

SUB was forced to play by the rules this time. The board gave a statement that all the accusations were true, but for one: Windbit and O’Pope were not to be blamed. After all, they were just following orders. Even though Bouffe and Saga were enraged by their act of deception, they did have sympathy for the two spies; after all, they had made many friends during their missions.

This all happened two years ago, and the time has come for me to come clean. Windbit and O’Pope are heroes, because their actions made SUB what it is today: the greatest language organisation in the University of Helsinki. Without their daring self-sacrifice, SUB would be just another puppet of HYY’s bureaucracy.

So what now? Does SUB still have an Intelligence Section? It would be hard to believe that it doesn’t, because the results that Windbit and O’Pope achieved were more than satisfactory. Let’s just say that HYY is not as unbreachable as one might think...

All the names in this article have been changed to ensure the safety of the individuals concerned. [tags]intelligence, spy, organisation, infiltration[/tags]

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