A shadowy development company set up by Northumberland County Council to oversee the non-spending of the Berwick Town Team is in fact a criminal organisation striving for global domination, it is claimed.
Commander Edward Sutherland-Loveday, former MI6 agent, believes that the “arm’s-length” company A.R.C.H. (Alliance for Anarchy, Revenge, Counter-Intelligence & Haltwhistle) is operating from a disused volcano beneath the old William Cowe buildings on Bridge Street in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
In an explosive interview published in The Berwick Advertiser last week, he claims to have seen documents which show that A.R.C.H. has been extorting money from Northumberland County Council in order to provoke war between the United States of America and Russia. He goes on to allege that the company has amassed £11.75 million of taxpayer’s money to put down as a deposit on a new British Empire with Ashington as its centre of power.
While Commander Sutherland-Loveday’s comments have been dismissed by Northumberland County Council as: “The rambling conspiracy theories of someone who uses a hyphen to form a compound adjective irregardless of the presence of an adverb,” unease about the nature of A.R.C.H. and its relationship with the Council is growing.
An unnamed source from the local authority’s accounts department, Tilly Masterson, said: “I was running through the monthly expense claims, you know, as you do, when one struck me as a little bit odd. And I’m not talking fat prostitute odd, if you know what I mean. I went to my boss, Steve, to query it. He looked a bit sweaty but said it was fine, just pay it. So I did.”
When asked what the expense claim was for, Ms Masterson replied: “A plutonium implosion-type fission bomb.”
Further, the disappearance of Eyemouth student Felix Leiter back in March has been linked to a screen grab taken from the A.R.C.H. website and sent anonymously to Chris Hardie, Chairman of the Berwick Town Team.
In a disturbing series of bullet points, it seems to suggest that A.R.C.H. plans to remodel Berwick Bridge so that it retracts, introduce sharks to the Tweed, champion the mandarin collar and bring about a budget-conscious bid for world domination.
The page has since been removed and replaced with a picture of a kitten.
A.R.C.H. has also been caught several times on the radar of the Equality & Human Rights Commission and subsequently questioned over the high percentage of its female staff who are adept at crushing enemies between their thighs while remaining emotionally vulnerable. The all-male board insist that this is nothing more than a statistical blip and falls well within Government guidelines.
That the enigmatic business is suffering from an image problem is clear. When doting grandmother Rosa Klebb was asked what A.R.C.H. meant to her, she replied: “Is that short for arch-enemy?”
And Nick Nack, a dwarf thrower from Cornhill-on-Tweed, suggested: “Arch-criminal? Arch-foe? I can’t decide but definitely something not good, involving lasers and tears of blood. Yikes.”
When pressed to clarify his company’s role, A.R.C.H. Group Managing Director Peter McIntyre had this to say:
“Listen, all is very simple. We promote and nurture ideology of spending vast sums on inward investment, yes? In layman’s terms this is meaning supporting theoretical projects against background of indefinable parameters. Put another way, we are helping to create idea of prosperous, creative and intangible growth, yes, within an imaginary context, to be bearing in mind the economic and regenerative powers of air adjustment and the subsequent impact on unicorns.” He thought for a moment before admitting: “Is something of… how you say, balancing act.”
So A.R.C.H. has no criminal intentions, no nefarious plot to plunge the world into a nuclear winter from its secret headquarters in a basement volcano?
“Ridiculous! No, certainly not or my name is not Dr Zorin. I am meaning Peter McIntyre of course, yes.”
But does he understand how his company’s low visibility, behind-the-scenes activities and deep — some would say incestuous — relationship with the Council is prompting people to talk?
“Not really. I don’t expect people to talk, I expect them to die! Mwahahaha!”
He added: “This is a joke. Is why I’m laughing. You get that, yes? Now get off my cat.”