Radically Inept
Saturday, October 23, 2004
  Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom (Part Five)

The final climatic end of "Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom". Alright, it ain't really the end, and you can decide for yourselves whether or not it's climatic. I've just always wanted to use that line - THE FINAL, CLIMATIC END TO OUR STORY - or somehtin' similar. Anyway, expect all five parts to get a serious re-edit in the comin' week. It needs it, but quit your bitchin', this is hot off the press...

I grabbed the briefcase and the sports bag, and headed to the front desk. I had a little time before I’d have to get out to the private airport for the flight back to NYC. I cashed my chips out and got on the cell phone to Jack – you remember Jack? The guy who was nice enough to let me use his laptop in the pub? Well, I called him on his cell and luckily, he wasn’t in a meeting or anything. I asked him if he could do me a big favor, and that I’d pay him well for his time. I told him I ‘d arrange a rental car in ‘my’ name, but that I needed it picked up and moved to an hourly lot, because I was going to be on a tight schedule when I was ready for the car.

He had no idea how tight a schedule. I told him I’d make it worth his while, that I figured it would take him a couple of hours to do it, and I was willing to pay $500 an hour for his time. Even an honest guy has a hard time questioning a $1000 windfall, so he agreed. We decided on a rental place and hourly lot close to where he worked; a supermarket where I’d wire him his money; where to hide the car keys, and I got his information to make him the second driver on the car. Like I said before, sometimes you have to enlist people in your war, and Jack was my first. It might suck for him, but at a $k he was cheap.

I headed to the front desk, and got them to wire the money to Jack, and wire enough money to the hotel in NYC to take care of all existin’ charges, and to hold the room open for another night. Then I went to the concierge and asked him to make arrangements for the rental car at the lot Jack and I had agreed on, and take care of the rental I’d used for the trip to LA. I also got him to set up a hotel limo ride to the private airfield, so I could catch the flight back to NY. Again, the advantage is money – presumed or real – money cuts down on questions if you know how to spread it and I tipped the concierge a couple a’ hundred for his effort.

Then I stepped into the lobby restroom, went to a stall, put the phone on the floor and crushed it under my heel; if you can say a flat-soled shoe like a tennis shoe even has a ‘heel’. Paranoia can save your life. I dropped it in the lobby fountain on the way out. Let ‘em try to get the fuckin’ info off it now. I got in the limo, and headed for the airfield. I raised the privacy panel ‘tween me and the driver, smoked a doob’, had stiff one, and did a line of crank for good measure. I know he could smell the weed, but limo drivers don’t. I tipped him a hundred, grabbed the briefcase and sports bag and got on the plane. I was the only one that got on in Vegas, so those that were already on the plane figured I was special since the plane had made an extra stop just for me. See, that’s the problem. The plane didn’t make an extra stop for me – it made the extra stop for the briefcase of money, I was just a high paid errand boy.

I grabbed a seat, grabbed some of Murdoch’s whiskey, and fired up one of Murdoch’s fine cigars from the re-supply the crew had put in somewhere along the way. Actually, I wasn’t even sure if this was the same plane. I had no clue how many planes Murdoch had at his disposal.

Now I had sometime to think. You might think I spent some time thinkin’ about the money in the briefcase; I didn’t. Tweren’t any of my business. Hell, I never counted it. The stuff was vacuum sealed, and had no idea how much I was carryin’. Okay, by weight and size and denomination of the bills, I had some idea, but that wasn’t a Rick Eddy problem and it wasn’t what I get paid to do. I’d already been paid, and any discrepancies, as long as the seal was intact, weren’t my problem.

No, what I was thinkin’ ‘bout was what was goin’ on. It’d dawned on me that we were seriously headin’ for a “Brave New World”. That had to be it. Some people who read it, found the idea of a genetic caste society abhorrent, but this crowd – the crowd I was currently dealin’ with – well, hell, they probably thought it was a great idea, and were just workin’ on implementin’ it. Why else would the American edu-ma-cation system have been in a steady decline since the sixties? Hell, we had a population that wasn’t smart enough to analyze a commercial. We had a society caught up in workin’, and spendin’ money on things they didn’t need under the the fuckin’ con that it was good for the economy, and they lived suckin’ up government prescribed drugs – soma-like – for the depression. Well, shit. What’d you expect if you thought your whole purpose in life was to buy stuff, and you couldn’t afford to buy it? Them moral values that the preachers always shout about seemed to have all been replaced with greed and materialism, haves and have nots, and nothing else.

Personally, I didn’t care as long as I could live outside the system, and that used to be easy before the ‘information revolution’. You could always stay below the radar before, if’n you were smart, but that’s pretty much changed, and continuin’ to stay below the system’s radar was getting’ pert near impossible. I figure now’s the last chance. If you let ‘em alone for ten more years, it’ll really fuckin’ morph into a Brave New World, and I’m sure Huxley’d be disappointed that we hadn’t paid no attention his warnin’. Well, if ‘tweren’t too late, I was gonna’ try and stop it. A fuckin’ stagnate, orderly world was no place I wanted to live. I don’t figure there’s anywhere to hide for long, so it must be time to fight – or accept, and acceptance ain’t an option. Stagnation was death; the world needs chaos or it dies – at least I’d die.

Funny thing, though – I didn’t know how far off the mark I was ‘til later that night.

When the plane landed, there were a couple of cars waitin’, and it turned out I was the only one headin’ to the Garden, so I got my own car. There was a new security badge and matchin’ ID waitin’ on me in the back seat. They’d even used one of my old aliases, Ed de Crepe, and they were top-drawer access. I whadn’t gonna have no problem movin’ around the convention with this stuff. Murdoch’s minions were as efficient as he paid ‘em to be.

As I had the car to myself, I told the driver to take me to the restaurant where I’d done the ‘pest control inspection’, and wait on me. I was hopin’ the guy that opened up wasn’t there, but if he was – so what? I whadn’t like I was plannin’ on eatin; I was way too cranked up for that. I took the bags with me when I went inside, and found the coat check room. I talked to the check girl on duty, and told her I was gonna’ be goin’ to the convention that night, and I was wonderin’ whether they were still gonna be open when the festivities ended. She assured me they would, so I went ahead an’checked the sports bag with her, took the stub she handed me, and pre-tipped her a fifty. When I came back through, I’d likely be in a hurry, and I was payin’ for prompt service. If anyone asked her later? Yeah, she’d remember me, and they’d know I came this way, but so what?

What I was countin’ on, was they didn’t know ‘bout the hotel room in Friday Dawg’s name, and nor’n ‘bout the rental car at the pay lot. Those were the two most important pieces of info at this stage of the game. Dependin’ on how it all went down would wind up dictatin’ how much effort they put inta lookin’ for me, and on that front, I was countin’ on them figurin’ I wasn’t worth the effort – yet.

So, I hit the restaurant bar and ordered a drink to kill a little time when I remembered you can’t smoke in these yankee restaurants no more! Just how pussy was that? That’s how you could tell things were goin’ wrong with this country. You could pollute the air like a mutha fucker as long as you were payin’ the big boys for gasoline, but you couldn’t smoke at a bar in a restaurant – like there was any clean air within fifty fuckin’ miles of the city – no, hell, like there was any clean air left anywhere on the entire East Coast.

So, I pounded the drink back, and headed back out to the limo, got in and headed for the convention proper. I did another line of crank, in the time it took to go ‘round the block to the VIP entrance. The last thing I did, was use the limo phone to call the Miami PD to let ‘em know that there was five kilos of pure crank comin’ in on a private jet from LA.

Yeah. I know. The call would eventually be traced back to the limo and me, but hell, I’d declared war, and I wasn’t gonna be able to hide for long, no how. I just had to hope I had the timin’ right. I had to hope the LAPD couldn’t get Hickey before he got on the plane; that he brought his tennis gear with him; that he hadn’t found the stuff already, and that he wouldn’t arrive in Miami until the festivities here at the convention were ‘bout done. All that, and hope the shit didn’t hit the fan ‘forin’ I got a chance to high tail my ass out of the Garden.

The driver must ‘a called ahead, there was someone waitin’ to personally escort me up when we got into the garage. Fuck. See, I almost made the same mistake I was bitchin’ about earlier; it wasn’t me that was bein’ escorted – it was the fuckin’ money.

Anyway, we rode the elevator up and got out on the same floor as last time, and headed to the same pressroom. When I walked in, Murdoch was getting’ a blow job from O’Reilly. Alright, it wasn’t actually a blow job, but it was damn close. O’Reilly was actin’ like one of my dogs at feedin’ time. You know. I love you I love you I love you it’s feedin’ time right? It’s feedin’ time right? I love you I love you It’s feedin’ time, right? Shit, I was waitin’ for O’Reilly to like Murdoch’s face, or somethin’. Yeah, he was a real dog of the people.

Murdoch saw me, and nodded to the back wall where there were a buch of briefcases and bags. I went over and set the briefcase with the money down, and no better’n O’Reilly, I wandered over ‘round a bit, waitin’ for the master to give me my treat. Difference was, I was plannin’ on bitin’.

One thing I noticed while I was waitin’, was these TV twits wore as much makeup as Georgia hunters where camo-grease. Difference was, the hunters wore the shit to hide, the guys wore it to look pretty. It didn’t work all that well either case. The game worked off smell, so the camo didn’t work. And these guys, hell, it just made ‘em look more pussy.

Finally, Murdoch was ready. He gave me a nod. Man, that’s how I got my dogs trained – with a fuckin’ nod. This was gonna end. Right quick. We left the same way we left the last time, and wound up in the same posh power room as the last time. This time when we entered, no one paid me no mind. [Brief aside here: I can talk yankee if I want to. I can talk Mid-Western if I want to. I can even talk Left Coast surfer when I feel like it. Hell, I can even speak academic when necessary, but there are real advantages to talkin’ Southern – most important is the fact that people think you’re slow, mentally. They ‘mis-underestimate’ you. ‘Sides, it’s a lot more comfortable, an’ people don’t figure you’re puttinj’ on airs. Okay, truth is, I the edge it gives you.]

Anyway, when we walked in, some guy I didn’t know, said to Murdoch, “It is time.”

Murdoch replied in a tone that might not be called deferential, but it certainly seemed to acknowledge that he was lower on some hierarchy I didn’t know. He said, “Ahh, yes.” Like I said; it was in the tone.

We all took seats ‘round the tables in the room, and the guy who had spoke to us when we came in, stayed the center of attention. Everyone faced his way, and he stayed standin’. He made some signal, and three waiters went ‘round the room poorin’ tumblers of somethin’ from an unmarked decanter. I figured I was in for some primo shit.

While we were waitin’ for the waiters to hit everyone, I looked around the room to see who I knew. I knew a fair bunch from readin’ the real ‘who’s who’, and they weren’t all American. There was at least one Rothchild, and someone I knew was a relation to the Krupp family and a sprinklin’ of European royalty. But there was also couple of Waltons there, a Ford, Scaiffe, of course, a Rockefeller, and some I didn’t know. One sign of power is not ever showin’ up in People Magazine or the tabloids. But an even bigger sign of power, to me at least, is if you were this powerful, and I’d never heard of you. There were some in the room like that. Real power doesn’t show itself. You had to really have power to not even show up in the lit that I kept up with. Anyway, there was ‘bout twenty-five of us in the room, and I knew I was THE token. Everyone else belonged.

Once we all had a full tumbler in front of us (hell, since I referenced A Brave New World earlier, might as well call the main man Alpha), Alpha raised his glass, and said, “Gentlemen…and Ladies (He smiled at that last part, and there were a couple of women, includin’ one of Walton’s daughters), tonight we progress one more step on the road to attaining the ultimate power. It will be entertaining, but more importantly for us, it will move us that much closer to our goal. So, raise the ambrosia that has been placed before you, and drink deeply to further consecrate our pact, and ‘May the best – win’.

Everyone, ‘cept me knew to respond with, “May the best win,” so I intoned a little late, but I intoned. Hell, I am the best. Fuck these fuckers.

I lifted my glass with the rest of ‘em, but I waited ‘til I saw Murdoch drink ‘fore I started. You ever read that phrase – drink greedily? Well, that’s ‘xactly what they did. The greed shined in their eyes while they drank this stuff.

And, it was good. Really. It was damn fine. Smooth. And it hit quick! I could feel it startin’ to work. I followed everyone in getting’ up, and goin’ through one of those doors ya’ don’t see ‘til someone opens it. It opened into a large elevator. Probably, it was normally used as a service elevator for other Garden functions, but now it was decked out posh. We all got in and road down.

I was standin’ in the elevator close to Murdoch, an’ I got this wild hair up my ass, and asked loud ‘nough for a lot ‘a people to hear me, “Hey, what was up with that anthrax attack on Stevens from the American Media Corp in Florida?”

Yeah, I know, it should have been the American Media Industries, but man, I got ‘that’ look from Murdoch – ‘What the fuck do you know’; ‘why are you askin’ me’, and ‘what the fuck makes you think I’d answer?’

It was a hell of a look, but I knew there was somethin’ there I’d have to look into later. That, and everyone standin’ around Murdoch gave me pretty much the same look.

When the doors opened on the opposite side, we all got out, and squeezed (yeah, squeezed, especially those that that were challenged by their height to weight ratio) down a thirty foot corridor, and walked into ‘room’ a mite smaller’n the stage that I knew was overhead. Yep, we were in the space below where the convention speakers were speakin’.

When we walked in, there were already people sittin’ in theater like seatin’, and they all had risen ( I was last in line, so for all I know, they were seated ‘til we showed up) as Alpha, who led the pack (pun intended) entered the room, like a five star general, or more like an emperor. Everyone in ‘my’ group ws directed to seats ‘down front’, ‘ceptin’ me. As soon as I walked in, Murdoch pointed to a back aisle seat. Yeah, I was the field slave at a Masters’ party. I was there, but Murdoch’s crap about usin’ Radically Inept to break a story to discredit it, no longer rang true. Somethin’ else was up, but man, whatever that ‘ambrosia’ was, just kept hittin’.

I sat down where directed, and started lookin’ ‘round at the crowd. The group that had already been in the ‘temple’ – ‘cause now that I looked at it, it did look like a temple of some sort – were, like, lesser flunkies. Hell, I saw Ashcroft close to the front. Poor SOB. You could see it in his ‘hang dog’ posture. Here was a guy, who’d lost to a dead man, and still wound up THE United States Attorney General, and no one allowed him to have any fun. I mean, what? His most news worthy work was bustin’ whorehouses in N’Or’lens (New Orleans, for those that don’t speak Southern/Cajun), and bustin’ Tommy Chong for sellin’ bongs. Poor guy. Ya’ could see itin his demeanor. Here was a guy that thought when he got the job, he was gonna have as much fun as Janet Reno. But no. No one in this administration wanted to hear about domestic terrorism. They didn’t want the things Ashcroft had dreamed of – his own Ruby Ridge; his own Waco. The chance to beat and torture Americans. No, the Baby Bush administration had tied his hands.. They didn’t ‘allow’ him to make the news. Hell, if the felon wasn’t muslim, or at least brown, no one wanted to hear ‘bout it. Here was a guy, just hopin’ for a chance to prove he was tougher than any fuckin’ dyke, and he was stuck sittin’ on the bench.

I didn’t feel sorry for the bastard. But man, I was havin’ a hard enough time just keepin’ my head together. Ambrosia my ass. This shit was hittin’ hard. Every muscle in my body was contractin’ at it own pace – an’ my spine! Shit, it wasn’t ambrosia like I figured ambrosia. It was more like someone had cut this shit with strychnine. If you ain’t ever been exposed to strychnine, well, hell…Just imagine every muscle in your body fightin’ the ‘xact same opposin’ muscle. It sucked.

‘Bout then, shit got weird. These ‘wide screens’ dropped down around the room, an’ no shit, they were showin’ Baby Bush ass fuckin’ some brown-skinned twelve year old kid. Man, he wadn’t even smilin’. He was smirkin’. And. He kept hittin’ this kid on the ass with a cowboy hat, and yippy-I-ayin’, an’ smirkin’ for the camera. Poor kid was bayin’ like a calf lost from its mother in a thunderstorm. The more the kid cried out, the faster Baby Bush thrusted. And in the background, were these two guys, all in black with hoods coverin’ their faces, holdin’ some screamion’ woman. The more she screamed, the more Bush beat the kid’s ass with the hat.

The crowd cheered. Really. The crowd in this room was laughin’ and cheerin’. Hell, I looked over at Ashcroft, and the son-of-a-bitch was playin’ fuckin’ pocket pool. It looked like he was havin’ the most fun he’s had, sinced getting’ the job of lockin’ up poor people.

But, somethin’ else was happenin’. I was startin’ to see shit. Specifically, I was startin’ to see the room – ‘glow’ is the wrong word – ooze this aura. I could feel it.

‘Bout then, curtains in front of the room, that I hadn’t seen before opened. And there was ol’ Zell (Zell Miller), standin’ there lookin’ doe eyed. Worse. His eyes looked like the eyes of fresh roadkill. Fuck, he looked like a fuckin’ Zombie. He walked like a fuckin’ zombie. Right to the center of a slightly raised platform I hadn’t noticed a’ fore.

Wow. My muscles were just doin’ their own dance, and it was hard for me to even stay in my seat. When I looked ‘round, no one else seemed to have the same ‘symptoms’. Hell, they all seemed to be into the whole scene, but I did notice Murdoch turn ‘round from his seat down front, and give me one of them quizzical looks.

While Zell did this zombie walk to ‘center stage’, the crowd started some sort ‘a chant. Tweren’t in no language I’d ever heard before, but it sure as hell was a chant.

And I watched this red, black, oily – I don’t really know how to describe it, ‘ceptin’ it was pure evil – rise up from below the platform. And, it seemed to engulf Zell. Like it was enterin’ him through every orifice of his body, an’ then some.

And he changed. His eyes went from ‘not there’ to a look of ‘I can eat babies’.

Alpha got up, and walked to the front, and faced the crowd, with ol’ Zell behind him, and he started talkin’ ‘bout the times a’ fore Christ, and the long wait, and how it was all comin’ together, but my mind was gettin’ blurry. And, the muscle spasms, well, I was just lucky I’d been poisoned before, and was used to doin’ serious drugs. ‘Cause I could handle it…Sort’a.

Then Alpha turned to ‘Zell monster’, an’ said, “Oh, (somethin’ garbled) delver our message to the masses. Tell them WE know what is best. Tell them to worship us. And through worshipping through us, they will worship you.”

The fuckin’ ooze was fillin’the room. The whole room was a haze of evil. And then, Zell seemed to just rise through the floor, at the same time the wide screens showed him walkin’ onto the stage.

Then the wide screens went blank.

I saw him walkin’ from nowhere, to the platform. Cheney. He didn’t have no blank stare. He came in lookin’ cold, hard, and confident. And when the ooze (new ooze), rose from the platform to enter him, it merged. Hell, it was a fuckin’ symbiotic relationship. Cheney’s eyes turned a little red, and he went from being cold, to bein’ the malevolent entity we all know an’ fear. Least wise, I’ve always feared him. But the point is, this wasn’t anythin’ new to him – he welcome the devil that took control of his soul(?).

And then, it was like he merged with, an’ matter fact, under this fuckin’ ambrosia shit, I can tell ya’ – he merged with the force of evil. Whatever. It wasn’t some corporatist plot. Hell no. Even with the drug, I knew, it wasn’t ‘bout greed and profit. It was ‘bout being able to disembowel people for fun. It was the joy of watching someone slide down the iron horse. It was the ecstasy of slowly dismembering a lifeform over an extended period of time. It was the joy of cookin’ hebes in the ovens. The thrill of rapin’ a serfs daughter while the parents watched – helpless.

I understood through the miasma of the ‘ambrosia’. This wasn’t about creating a soulless ‘Brave New World’. This was ‘bout settin’ up Hell on earth. It was the ‘Island of Melbourne’ from the Elric Saga.

And, I knew somethin’ ‘ad gone wrong. I waddn’t ‘aspposed ta’ see this with revulsion. I was ‘aspposed to embrace it. The ‘ambrosia’ wasn’t workin’ on me like they planned. In a moment of clarity I understood. They’d never figured on me being polluted on something as crass as crank. The ‘Ambrosia’ wasn’t chemically compatible with somethin’ as base as crystal meth. They’d fucked up.

Two things happened in quick succession right then. I realized that the drug wasn’t affedtin’ me like it was supposed to. And they realized it wasn’t effectin’ me like it was supposed to. I could tell by the look on Ascroft’s face – disappointment, coupled with a certain glee. Disappointment that the drug didn’t work. Glee, cause I’d probably wind up somewhere where he could play with me.

Between the muscle spasms and the overwhelmin’ sense of just pure evil, I was lucky to keep my last meal down. Hell, I was lucky my last meal was a breakfast in Vegas almost twenty-four hours past (who the fuck knew, with the time changes?). And it dawned on me…I was supposed to wind up like Zell. The ‘ambrosia’ was supposed to turn me fuckin’ doe-eyed and mindless, and only the crank was savin’ me.

I watched Cheney rise up from the platform through the ceiling. I watched Zell on the wide screens walk off stage, at the same time he sunk through the ceiling to the platform. Who the fuck knew at this point what was drugs and what was real? But, I watched evil incarnate, in the personage of Cheney start his speech on the stage above.

Then I saw some mother fucker walk down the aisle and whisper somethin’ to Murdoch. And I saw Murdoch give me a look; a look that I knew Hickey had been busted. Even then I knew it wouldn’t make the news, but I knew I had to get out.

Luckily, they’d sat me in the back. I got up, and pushed the bar on the metal door, and hit the narrow corridor knowing that those fuckers back in the ‘Templeof Doom’ weren’t gonna follow me. Naah. They didn’t do their own dirty work if there was any chance of resistance. They’d be there; they’d probably all be there, when I was tied down at their mercy. But for now, my problem would be getting’ past the minions.

Well, I remembered we’d come in from the left, from the elevator, so I turned right. I just made turns, and wandered based on some inner sense of dirction, and soon found my self walkin’ up a staircase to the main floor.

I was now amongst the crowd of cheering and delirious idiots that are voters. But I also saw the evil wasn’t all pervasive. Not everyone in the crowd was about evil. Under the influence of whatever was in the drug, I saw evil; I saw greed – lots ‘a greed – I saw neutrality, and I saw the auras of people who were basically good, but docile, hell, even cheering, under the spells of whatever demons had possessed Zell and Dick.

I knew I had to move, and move fast. I figured luck had got me out of the room I was supposed to have been sacrificed in, and got me here; I’d let luck guide me out of the Garden – and it did. Security was keeping’ Americans out, it wasn’t really set up to stop an asshole from leavin’. You weren’t supposed to be there if you weren’t an idol worshipper, so, security wasn’t lookin’ for someone tryin’ to leave. They especially weren’t lookin’ to stop someone who looked like he was gonna puke his guts out at any minute. Fuck no, they got out of my way.

The spasms hit a real fuckin’ crescendo when I hit the streets, but at the same time, the air with out that level of concentrated evil felt good. I found my way over to the parkin’ garage. I knew the cameras were on me, but I also knew, they wouldn’t be lookin’ at the tapes for a while.

I high jumped and pulled the security guard jacket off the parkin’ attendant’s booth, and dumped the sports coat I was wearin’ to put it on. There wasn’t no chance of hidin’ who I was – hell, my DNA was on file. So, fuck the cameras, and the high tech facial recognition systems. I had to use distance.

I headed up the stairs from the parkin’ lot to the floor with the bathroom where I’d hidden the electrician’s shirt. I made it that far, and dumped the white shirt. The slacks and shoes were a little to high dollar to complete the affect, but I had to keep movin’.

If it sounds like I was paniced, well hell, I was. I’ll blame it on the fuckin’ AMBROSIA. But I was able to get myself calmed down enough to wall down the hall to the elevator; take the elevator down to the ground floor, and walk out past the security guard and out the buildin’. I even had presence of mind to wave at him. He looked a little startled, but than, security guards, ‘specially $10 an hour guards, are trained to keep people out, and don’t have a fuckin’ clue ‘bout what to do ‘bout people leavin’.

When I walked out of the buildin’, I was half ass calm. The panic was gone, even if the muscle spasms persisted. I looked up and down the street ‘fore I headed to the delivery dock of the restaurant.

The city glowed. I’m not talkin’ ‘bout it glowin’ neon or with other lights; I’m talkin’ it glowed evil, good and neutral. It was like I had some sort’a DnD detect alignment spell. Hell, it wasn’t like that – it was that. I could spot evil, good and neutral. And the city glowed in evil, good and neutral. Mostly neutral, a lot of evil, and little good, as far as I can recollect.

On the way to the restaurant’s delivery dock, I spotted him. I didn’t see him as much as I saw the evil radiated by him. He was dressed the same way the guys holdin’ the woman downin the Baby Bush video. It didn’t take much actin’, but I put on a little show of bein’ fucked up. I quit fightin’ the muscle spasms as I was walkin’. I stumbled down the alley to the dock, keepin’ an eye on the evil aura. I also loosened the collar of the shirt, and when the spam was right, I pulled the paint stirrer stiletto out, and cupped up against my forearm.

He came up, smilin’. He knew he was gonna have fun fuckin’ with me.

He never saw it comin’. He raised his arm, in that halt kind of motion, and I drove the stirrer in deep, below his arm, and above the line of his body armor, and twisted. I wasn’t gonna be able to pull it out; not with out spendin’ too ;much time. But as my right hand drove the blade in, my left hand caught him on the jaw line and I broke his neck. [Don’t try this at home. Coordinating these strikes, even not under the influence, is hard enough, but makin’ sure the kill is quick and sure…well, ya’ need a certain amount of experience.] I dragged him into the shadows. Again, I know, the fuckin’ surveillance in this place caught it all, but all I needed was a little time, and I was hopin’ that security was arrayed to makeit hard for them to respond to someone ‘escapin’’, instead of intrudin’.

Now I’d lost my weapon. It was stuck in his body, and like I said, extractin’ it would take to much time. So I did what they don’t do in most movies – I took his. I took his assault weapon, 9 mil Uzzi, and tossed it into the shadows. It’d just be a huge hunk of metal for the detectors to find. I kept his ID, badge, and whatever was in his wallet. This kind of shit is worth an Uzzi anyday, ‘ceptin’ in a fire fight. I’d ‘a liked more of his stuff, but he was bleedin’ all over it. So, I moved to the dock, swapped the electrician’s shirt for the pest control shirt that was stashed there, and headed to the coat check girl.

I stopped in the bathroom in the back to make sure I wasn’t covered in blood, took a quick snort of crank and moved on. My head was startin’ to come together, even if I was still seein’ the alignments of the souls, and havin’ serious muscle spasms. I don’t know what effect the crank had, but it seemed to dull the spasms.

When I got to coat check girl, she recognized me, and sure was curious ‘bout the outfit I was in. I told her to pass me the bag, and gave her another $fifty. The questions stopped, and the smiles came back.

I moved quickly to the hotel, changed, and headed to the placed Jack had left the rental. Two cabs and a subway, and I was headed home…Via Albany, Buffalo, Canton, Louisville, Memphis, Birmingham, and Pensacola. I’ll go into details later…
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