Sunday, February 28, 2016

There's still a lot of work to be done to extensively rewrite The ZOO and turn it into The Smartest Phone. I've got a lot of NSA research to do and tweak some of the characters and maybe change the POV to rework the plot. Still feel free to enjoy this rough draft of my spy novel.

January 7, 2006-V.A.

            Charles Scott was my roommate at Wabash College in Illinois.  We were the best of pals.  After graduation in 1991, he enlisted in the Air Force and intended to pursue a career with the FBI, and I followed my dream to be a CIA agent.  We kept in touch over the years, and I even spent a few holidays with Charles and his family.  He was a typical family man, a loving wife and young daughter.  Charles and Tracey Scott wed back in 1992.  I was the best man.  His daughter, Brenda, recently celebrated her eleventh birthday. 
            During his downtime, Charles resided with his wife and kid in his hometown, Danvers, Massachusetts.  He always spoke highly of the small New England town when we were in college.  I had a chance to enjoy the Danvers experience first hand a few times since 1990.  Charles always took me to his watering hole, Ducky’s Pub.
            It was NFL playoff season.  I thought I could find Charles at Ducky’s watching his beloved New England Patriots on one of the flat screen televisions.  I was correct.  He was at the bar drinking a bottle of Heineken.  I sat next to him and ordered a Grey Goose vodka and Red Bull cocktail.  Charles did a double take when he noticed me.
            “Holy hell!  Victor, is that you?” Charles spoke with a heavy New England accent.
            I nodded and signaled to a booth where we could sit and have more privacy.  When we sat down, I said, “Let me guess, you thought I was dead, right?”
            “Fuckin’ eh.  We at the FBI even investigated that fire you supposedly died in, but we did not discover any foul play.  What’s the deal?  Did the CIA fake your death for a special mission or something?  We do that at the Bureau sometimes.”
            “Not quite.  They actually sent an agent to eliminate me.”
            “What the hell did you do to deserve that?”
            “I didn’t do anything.  My boss’ wife came on to me.  I couldn’t help myself, Chuck.”
            “Well, you did help yourself, just like you helped yourself to our dean’s fiancĂ© way back when we were in school.  You almost got expelled.”
            “These dashing good looks are a curse.”
            “So, what have you been up to lately?”
            “Jack shit.  I’ve been trying to keep a low key and be discrete.  I don’t want Paul to find out I’m still breathing.”
            “I understand, but what brings you to my neck of the woods?”
            “This kid named Dewaun from Okeechobee I saw on MTV said something that blew my mind.  He gave me an idea.”
            “Go on.”
            “With you help, we can start a private spy firm.”
            “Like private eyes, man.  A lot of agencies have sanctions which don’t allow them to carry out certain missions.  I know that the untouchable missions in the CIA are dubbed black missions.”
            “At the FBI, we put cases lake that in our Z-Files.”
            “Exactly, and I’m sure Interpol, ISR, and the UN are the same.  Imagine if we started a private firm that they could contract to handle their dirty work.  We’d be soldiers of fortune and offer assistance to the highest bidders when a plain old private eye won’t do.”
            “I don’t know, Victor.”
            “What do you mean, Chuck?  We’ve got the knowledge and expertise.  We can find people to recruit and train as well.”
            “Maybe, but this reminds me a lot of the ill-fated S.M.U.R.F.S. and the Grey Rangers’ fiasco.”
            “Yeah, but those guys were amateurs and poorly trained militias.  We won’t be insane vigilantes, Chuck.”
            “How do you plan on competing with high-profile private investigators and agencies with almost limitless resources.  You’ll need an edge.”
            “I knew you’d say that.  A few days after I faked my death in Japan, I was able to gain access to some privileged information from Imagine Enterprises.  Have you ever heard of biological artificial intelligence?”
            “Of course.  Who could forget the story of ol’ Dr. Monkey’s Brain?”
            “Right, Dr. Malcolm Brain was one of the pioneers of biological artificial intelligence, a real genius.  Still, people laughed at him when he said it might be possible to tap into unused potential energy of the brain.  He thought his concept could harness brain impulses of paraplegics to power robotic prosthetics.”
            “I remember.  That was back in 1995.  People thought he was a mad scientist who wanted to build cyborgs.  The media slaughtered him after a fire destroyed his lab in ’97.  He kept saying, ‘The monkey’s brain did it’.”
            “No one believed him, and biological A.I. suffered serious setbacks, especially when the phenom of the World Wide Web became mainstream at the turn of the century.  All the computer programmers capable of designing a brain powered computer chip lost interest in Brain’s research and shifted their focus to cash in on the internet boom.”
            “Don’t long-story this shit, Victor.  I’m missing half the fucking fourth quarter already.”
            “Oh, excuse me, Chuck.  I’m sorry, Chuck.  I didn’t mean to babble on, Chuck.  I forgot about your precious Pats, Chuck.  It’s the fucking fourth quarter, Chuck.” My mock New England accent was impressive.
            “You’re a fuckin’ asshole sometimes, Vick,” Chuck said and pretended he was more pissed of than he actually was.
            Charles knew I was just fucking with him.  We stood up and stepped back to the bar where we could see his precious New England Patriots on the big screen.  We ordered a pitcher of brew and watched the rest of the game.  The home team was victorious, so that put Charles in a good mood.  We ordered another pitcher and returned to your booth.
            “How ‘bout those Pats!” Charles beamed as we settled back into our seats.
            “Yeah, the pulled it out.  Big whoop,” I joked.  “Back to the story.  Imagine Enterprises is trying to use Brain’s technology in a cellular phone.”
            “Like Rosie Jetson, robot phone?  Damn them.”
            “More like a super computer in a cell phone with A.I. powered by a human brain.”
            “That sounds like some Frankenstein shit, Victor.”
            “Yeah, I thought the same thing at first too.  It’s not a dead human’s brain though.  It’s got something to do with a computer chip implanted in the brain that is powered by impulses, or something like that.”
            “That’s some heavy stuff.”
            “The techs at I.E. have been using Brain’s research to develop their first living prototype, a cell phone with A.I. and capabilities far beyond any super computer on Earth, The First Living Imagine Prototype.  The project has stalled because Brain never completed his research.”
            “I know all about F.L.I.P., Victor.  I see where you’re going with this, and I don’t like it.”
            “Crazy ol’ Malcolm ‘Monkey’s’ Brain, I should I say crazy ol’ Harold Butts.”
            “Ha ha ha,” Charles laughed.  “Harry Monkey’s Butts.  Ha, he begged us a thousand times to change his witness protection alias.  The prick even threatened to us for deformation until we reminded him that we were responsible for protecting his sorry ass.”
            “Even for a snitch, he’s one dastardly bastard.  I’ve heard he’s a high-maintenance head case.  I don’t know how you guys put up with him.”
            “Do you think he has any clue of what the Japs are doing with his research?”
            “You guys made Malcolm Brain vanish off the face of the Earth after his eye witness testimony sent Benny Banks’ baby boy Teddy up the river in ’98.”
            “The wrong place at the proverbially wrong time type of scenario.”
            “Exactly, now Imagine Enterprises is on the cusp of developing a new ground breaking type of A.I. with Brain’s research, and he won’t get any of the credit.”
            “That kind of shit would devastate him if he ever found out, Victor.”
            “Which is why it’ll be so damn fun to burst his bubble.”
            “Oh, hell no.  No, no, no!  I know what you’re thinking, and it’s a horrible idea.”
            “You do get my logic though, right Chuck?”
            “No shit I get your logic.  I always get your twisted ass logic.  It’s just my responsibility as the reasonable one to articulate the risks and such in all your hair-brained schemes, Victor.”
            “It’s more like a crazy Monkey Brain scheme.”
            “Very funny.  Did you stay up all night thinking up that one?”
            “Not exactly, but I know you’re intrigued by all this.  The F.L.I.P. will give us the edge we need.”
            “Let’s assume this is crazy enough to work.  Let’s assume putting the squeeze on Harry Butts, while he’s in federal witness protection mind you, is a good idea.  What makes you think he’ll go along with this crazy shit.”
            “Here’s the simple answer, money.”

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Top secret and unauthorized sneak peek of Worth The Fight

   Contractually, I'm not supposed to share this for free online, but I've always been a literary rebel.  If you like what  you see below and want to read more, check out  Serial Fiction can be fun.  Subscribe to keep up with my MMA Web Series Thriller "Worth The Fight" by Patrick D. Peay.  It is available on the site under the New and Notable tab.  Thank you for your support. #indieauthors #writerslife



            Terrance Q. Hyatt Federal Penitentiary in Northern California was the closest thing to hell on earth for the 1500 inmates it housed.  T-Hy, as it was commonly known, was an infamous and dangerous maximum security prison for the most hardened of criminals.  The facility sat on 38 acres of land in the middle of a redwood forest.  It was encased by a daunting 12-foot electrified fence topped by razor wire as well as in impenetrable outlying 20-foot brick wall.  Prison guards escorted by trained and vicious German shepherds patrolled T-Hy’s perimeter.   An array of motion detectors and cameras kept a watchful eye on all inmates, and remote-controlled steel doors kept them confined.  There was no escaping T-Hy.  As a prisoner at T-Hy, if the confinement and ever hostile environment didn’t drive you mad, the lack of central heat and air in most of the facilities could snap even the most iron-clad psychos.
            Abdullah found solace in the Quran.  The holy text kept him sane.  He was serving a life sentence for a slew of charges including drug trafficking, extortion, and capital murder.  The year was 2013.  Abdullah arrived at T-Hy in 2000 when he was 21 years old.  On this particular day, Abdullah sat alone in his cell reading scriptures.  Over the past 13 days, he got to enjoy a bit of extra alone time.  Abdullah was assigned a new cell mate named Trey Zack Li two weeks ago.  Trey was the target of endless and aggressive ridicule from the get-go.  This problem was compounded by the fact he gained his fame as a fighter.  Trey Zack Li was not just a fighter, but the most renowned martial artist of his generation.  There were plenty of egomaniacal psychopaths in prison with nothing to lose that yearned to prove their toughness by squaring off against someone who had to register his hands and feet as lethal weapons every year like Trey.
Trey‘s first physical confrontation occurred during his second day of incarceration at T-Hy.  The other inmates had been clamoring about Trey Zack Li upon his arrival.  They dubbed him Mr. Mixed Martial because Trey had a prolific career as a big ticket professional mixed martial artist.  However, the inmates made it clear that Trey’s prowess in the caged ring as a prizefighter wouldn’t ensure his survival in the unforgiving and unrelenting pen.  Basically, Trey had a huge target on his back, but he was used to that.  The first bold prison contender to confront Trey was Robert “Blobby” Jones, a 6’2 ” 271 pound monster of a man whose aggression was fueled by his insatiable appetite and greed.  Blobby accosted Trey in the mess hall after lunch.
            “Mr. Mixed Martial, you owe me a tray a day or,” Blobby began to say.
            “Or what?” Trey quickly retorted.
            “Or you’re going to be in a world of p….gaaaaah!”
            Blobby violently gagged mid-sentence because Trey caught him with a swift crane punch to the Adam’s apple followed by a thrusting right cross to the chest that he put his hips into.  The bruising blow took Blobby’s breath away, made his heart skip a couple of beats, and broke his sternum.  Blobby collapsed in a heap on the concreted floor.  Trey mounted Blobby in a ground-and-pound position that was all-too-familiar to him.  Then Trey raised his left arm to deliver a hammer punch, but a corrections officer named Griggs appeared and caught his arm to mercifully prevent further damage similar to the way a referee would intervene in the caged ring after a knockout during an MMA bout.
            “God dammit, Li.  He’s had enough!” Griggs cursed.  He pulled Trey off Blobby and said, “We were hoping you wouldn’t cause problems like this.  You’re going straight to the hole, Karate Man.”
            So that is what warranted Trey’s first 14-day stay in solitary confinement.  Trey was whisked away to a 12 x 12 ft concrete box in the basement of T-Hy on a long corridor that housed a dozen identical cells.  Trey was only permitted to leave his cell to shower or phone his attorney, 23 hour lockdown.  The monotony of solitary didn’t get to Trey at first.  A disciplined workout regimen and meditation helped pass the time.  After the first six days, Trey decided to phone his attorney.  Trey’s attorney was Chauncey Levin, an old friend who was his roommate in college.
            “Hello,” Chauncey answered the phone.
            “It’s me, Zack” Trey said.
            “I know it’s you, Zack.  The first hint was, ‘You have a collect call from a Federal Correctional Facility from Trey Li’,” Chauncey joked.
            “That’s funny,” Trey laughed at how Chauncey mimicked his voice.  “I’m guessing you’ve heard about my little spat here.”
            “Spat?  Is that what you call it?  You damn near put that guy in cardiac arrest and caught another serious charge.  I’m guessing you were trying to send a message.”
            “Well, how are things going besides that?”
            “They got me down here in the hole.  I been thinking about my daughter like crazy.  How is Faith?”
            “She misses you a lot, Zack, but she’s fine, a budding and bubbly four year old.”
            “What about Madison?”
            “She’s still a bitch.”
            “Hey, that’s still my wife, for now.”
            “You know I never liked that slut.  She called me to inform me that I should be receiving those divorce documents soon.”
            “Yeah, our relationship was doomed from the start.”
            “You’ll be better off without her.  I’m filing your appeal.  I’ll do my best to get you out of there ASAP.”
            “Do what you can.  Keep me posted.  My times about up on the phone.  I’ll talk to you soon.”
            “Okay, Zack.  Keep your head up.  Bye, love ya bro.”
            “I love you too, Chance.  Goodbye.”
            Time in solitary confinement lulled by for Trey.  Eventually, his time in the hole was up.  A guard came to release Trey.  Griggs told Trey that the warden wanted to see him, so Trey was escorted to the warden’s office.  He sat across the desk from Dr. Nelson Norris.  Dr. Norris earned his doctorate in criminal psychology and was a widely respected warden who was known for his unconventional methods.
            “Good afternoon, Mr. Li.  Welcome,” Dr. Norris greeted.
            “Dr. Norris,” Trey nodded.
            “After two weeks, I generally meet with new inmates to discuss how they are coping with and adjusting to prison life.  However, it seems like a run-in with Big Robert Jones landed you in iso for your first two weeks here at T-Hy.”
            Trey just grinned and shrugged his shoulders.  Then he said, “That run-in you speak of was fairly anti-climactic.”
            “Regardless, reports say you were the primary aggressor and instigator.”
            “I felt like I was provoked.”
            “This is prison, Mr. Li.  Every gesture and every word uttered is a provocation.  Big Blobby has quite a reputation on your cell block.  He’s put his fair share of people in the infirmary.  It’s nice to see him get a dose of his own medicine.
            “I only did it to prevent a problematic pattern from developing.”
            “I’ve been running this prison for a long time and studying criminal minds even longer.  I understand, Mr. Li.  You are not the first professional fighter or boxer to reside in T-Hy.”
            Another sly smirk ran across Trey’s face.  This time he simply smiled and nodded.
            Dr. Norris continued, “The inmates in here can be savages.  Not only are you fresh meat, but you’re a sultry piece of meat because of your reputation.”
            “That’s irrelevant.  That’s not my fault,” Trey stated.
            “I didn’t say it was.  Nonetheless, my responsibilities as warden entail providing a safe and structured environment to rehabilitate hardened criminals into functional and productive members of society.”
            “I know what a warden does, Dr. Norris.”
            “You must not consider yourself a hardened criminal.  Judging by your dossier, you’re definitely not a career criminal, but you have this one serious man slaughter charge.  Still I can’t have you going Kung Fu on everybody that looks at you funny.”
            “I’m willing to deal with the consequences of my actions, Dr. Norris.”
            “I can respect that, but I cannot keep you in solitary confinement for fifteen years.  Like most of America, I followed your trial very closes because of your celebrity.  In the interest of objectivity, I won’t reveal whether or not I agreed with the verdict.  When you were sentenced though, I was hoping they would send you to my facility to serve your time, Mr. Li.”
            “Why’s that?”
            “I’m in the midst of developing a special and innovative work-release program that would be perfect for you.  I’ll go into more depth about it with you at a later date.  There are still some details I have to hash out with my superiors.”
            “Hmmm.  Work release?  $1.10 an hour?  Even after paying all my legal bills and with my soon-to-be ex-wife’s spending habits, I haven’t blown my whole fortune.  I’d only consider something like that if I could get time off my sentence,” Trey said.
            “Of course.  That’s about all I have to discuss with you for now.  Try to stay out of trouble.” Dr. Norris pressed the button for the intercom on his desk to beacon the guard waiting outside and said, “Griggs you may take Mr. Li to his cell.”
            In mere moments, Griggs had taken Trey to his cell block.  Griggs called out a number which was followed by a loud buzzing sound that triggered the automatic mechanism to unlock and open the cell door.  Abdullah was inside sitting in his bed on the bottom bunk reading the Quran.  He looked up briefly when Trey entered.  This was nothing like two chummy college roommates reuniting after spring break.  The two simply exchanged cordial nods before Abdullah refocused his attention to the holy text.
            Trey took a seat in one of the cold metallic stools that sat across from one another near a small table that was affixed to the cell wall.  His personal affects were still sitting on his side of the table where he placed them two weeks prior: a composition book, bible, two pencils, a toothbrush, and a comb.  There were also four pieces of mail addressed to Trey Li that must have arrived while he was in solitary confinement.  The first letter was from Kelly Lynch, a deranged groupie that stalked Trey since 2001.
            Hello my love.  I want you to know that your incarceration will not abate the feelings I have for you in my heart.  I want to see you, so please make sure you put my name on your visitation list.  I miss you so much.  I often reminisce about all the moments we shared.  Memories of those moments are what I think of when I lay in bed pleasuring myself.  In fact I’m pleasuring myself as I write this letter.  Oh! Oh! Trey! Oh!  I’m cumming! Oooohhh!  I will love you until the end of time.  Your’s forever, Kelly Lynch-Li
            The second letter was from Vinata Concord, Trey’s best friend and confidant.  Vinata met Trey in 1985 when they were in kindergarten at Bradley Elementary School in Trey’s hometown, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  When they were in high school, they both earned their lettermen as four year members of the varsity wrestling team and Nease High School.  Surfing was another common hobby they shared.  They caught countless waves together.  Besides dating for a couple years in high school their relationship remained mostly plutonic except for one night when they hooked up in college at UCLA. They cared deeply for one another. Vinata’s letter brought a smile to Trey’s face.
            Zack, you can rest assured that this will be the first of many letters I send you.  I will always be here for you and in your corner through thick and thin.  I’ll come see you as soon as I can.  You don’t deserve to be in there.  I’ve started collecting signatures for a petition that should help with your appeal according to Chauncey.  Things aren’t the same without you around.  You’ve been missing some big swells.  The waves have been awesome lately.  I also want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to oversee your companies while you are away.  I never thought I was CEO material.  Your record label is doing well.  The Blazers will be going on a big national tour next year, and I’m close to sealing the deal on a couple of big contracts for the clothing line.  Make sure you take care in there.  I’ll write you again soon.  Love, Vinata.
            The third letter was from Pedro Sanchez, commonly known as El Ladrillo (The Brick).  Pedro was the ruthless leader of a Mexican drug cartel.  Pedro followed Trey’s career for many, many years.  He was really impressed when Trey defeated Orlando Fernando, the pride of Mexico, in Trey’s first championship pay-per-view fight.  He also had to respect the bravery of a man with morals who could turn down the enormous bribe Pedro offered him to throw the fight.  Pedro was a bit of a bookworm who racked up several online degrees under the guise of his aliases.  He snorted and smuggled copious amounts of cocaine, but he was a lonely and reclusive man for obvious reasons.  Pedro and Trey eventually became friends through some extenuating circumstance.
            Greetings, amigo.  I was most disheartened to learn about the unfortunate events that landed you in prison.  I recently received news from my cohorts behind bars about an altercation you had in there.  You need not worry about anything like that in the future.  Anyone who has a problem with Trey Zack Li has a problem with El Ladrillo, and anyone with a problem with El Ladrillo as a problem with LLH.  I’ll make sure they watch your back.  If there’s anything you need while you are locked down, let me know.  Best wishes, Dro.
            The last letter was from the Wrigley Publishing Company.  It was concise and to the point.  Wrigley wanted the rights to Trey’s life story.  They urged him to pen his memoirs and promised him a hefty advance with respectably royalties for a complete autobiographical manuscript.  This offer intrigued Trey.  During his last session of therapy before he reported to prison, his doctor told him that writing and journaling would help him cope with being incarcerated.  Trey decided to get started right away.  He grabbed a pencil and opened his composition book… 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

This will be the last sneak peek at a poem from Must Be Nice 2 before my highly anticipated book of autobiographical and contraversial poetry is released this spring...

I.  Repentant Shark in the Deep Blue Sea

When life gets dull, I do something exciting
I’m Randy moss, I’m not retiring
I express myself with writing
I’m not a star, but I’m aspiring

And I aspire to touch everybody’s lives
I like to make it look easy like juggling knives
Yet we foul up and get cut
A little blood is no reason to get down in a rut

Like a shark, if I stop moving, I’ll die
I don’t wanna die, and you shouldn’t ask why
Sometimes I ask God, why
Why am I surrounded by people living lies

I repent because I’m living in sin
I refuse to let Satan win
I want to reside in the Kingdom of Heaven
I should live better because my mother is a reverend

My tactics are shady, but my motives are pure
Am I the bad guy, I can never be sure
Am I somebody’s hero
Are you talking to me, I’m Robert Deniro

I’m talking to my own reflection in the mirror
I’m a certified psycho, I can’t make myself clearer
You can call me crazy, never lazy

I’m untamed and can’t be contained

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fetishes Romace Novel (Chapter 1 Rewrite)


By Patrick D. Peay

Chapter 1

As a ten year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gary Black was accustomed to, but not desensitized by the amount of death he was exposed to in the field as a special agent.  There he stood on the edge of a grassy marsh in Middleburg, Florida.  The weather was muggy, but not near the unbearable extremes one can come to experience at the end of a summer in North Florida.  Yet another corpse was sprawled out before Gary and his partner Rhonda Banks.  The decomposition of the dead body was obviously advanced by the humidity of the First Coast Region.  Rhonda surveyed the scene with a stern look of concentration on a face filled with such delicate and attractive features while Gary stood in silence for a moment.  He found himself drifting off into a daydream themed with an all too familiar forbidden fantasy. 
Gary worked closely and in conjunction with Rhonda for the past six years.  All the while, he tried his best to conceal his secret admiration for her.  What started as an innocent crush turned into a lurid obsession and even he was ashamed to admit that to himself, so he kept these desires for her pent up inside him as best he could.  Everything about Rhonda was so alluring and attractive to Gary.  She was brilliant, beautiful, and something about her attitude and the way she carried herself was irresistible to Gary.  He wondered if she ever noticed his longing stares.  He had the impression that Rhonda could be a subtle seductress if she wanted to be.  That desire to throw caution to the wind and conventional wisdom always festered inside Gary.  Everyone knows how complicated feelings like this could complicate work relationships.  Still, sometimes Gary wanted to hold Rhonda.  He wanted to caress her.  He wanted to sensually kiss her and explore her whole body with his tongue.  He typically didn’t see Rhonda out of her stark professional attire, but Gary imagined she would look absolutely stunning in lacey lingerie.
Rhonda was keenly focused during the initial phases of a murder investigation.  Gary was in a tantric trance.  Even at this early stage of investigation, Rhonda could sense that this current case would be of the atypical variety.  Rhonda’s sudden and curt remark snapped Gary out of his mesmeric daze.
“This is a new one for me, a dead and ball-gagged gimp in a swamp,” Rhonda said. 
“Damn, Agent Banks, it smells like day-old cabbage stewed with rancid road kill out here,” Gary remarked.
            “I won’t even ask how you know what that smells like, Agent Black,” Rhonda commented.
            Gary and Rhonda worked closely as partners for six years.  Gary was strapping and brawny man with a thick southern drawl.  He was raised in Moultrie, a small rural town in Georgia.  His humble upbringing on a farm was a stark contrast to the way Rhonda was raised.  She got used to that ephemeral and transplanting lifestyle that came along with being in a military family.  She couldn’t count how many times she was uprooted and had to pack up to move when her father was transferred to another Naval Base.  More times than not, they were coastal cities, so Rhonda grew up loving the beach.  Still, the country boy Gary and the beach girl Rhonda, although an odd pairing, worked well as a cohesive investigational unit.  They got on each other’s nerves sometimes and clashed on occasion, but they truly trusted and respected one another.
            The crime scene in Middleburg was cordoned off.  It was a muddy and wooded area not far from the northern flowing St. John’s River south of Jacksonville off US Highway 17.  The Clay County Sherriff’s Office, the local authorities, alerted the FBI.  Gary and Rhonda weren’t too far away in Daytona Beach investigating a high profile missing person’s case, so they were immediately summoned to the crime scene.  A week prior, Blake Adams, the eldest son of a prominent United States Congressman named Bill Adams from Miami, vanished without a trace.  Blake had travelled to Jacksonville from his home in Miami to attend the first road game of the Miami Dolphins’ 2014 National Football League regular season versus the perennially lousy Jacksonville Jaguars at Ever Bank Stadium.  Blake’s father Bill happened to also be in town at the time accompanying his wife Linda Adams, a published and renowned self-help author that had a scheduled speaking arrangement at a women’s empowerment conference at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium off Jefferson Street in downtown Jacksonville.  Reportedly, Blake hade made his way to Daytona Beach south of Jacksonville after the football game to celebrate the Dolphins’ thrilling 26 to 20 overtime victory over the Jaguars. Bill travelled in a convoy with some of the Dolphins’ players he was acquainted with.  Blake was last seen leaving an upscale gentlemen’s club called Emperors’ off the strip in Daytona Beach with an unidentified woman.
            Back in Middleburg, Special Agent Banks and Special Agent Black surveyed the area with local cops and crime scene technicians.  They examined the dead body which was dressed up in a full-body leather BDSM gimp suit, complete with mask and ball-gag strapped in his mouth.  There wasn’t an apparent cause of death that they could see.  The ankles were bound with chains, and the wrists were handcuffed behind his back.  There was a not lot of blood, and it wasn’t immediately evident whether or not part of an attack occurred on the scene, or elsewhere, or if the man was assaulted violently, and dumped severely injured to expire alone in the swamp.
            “Can somebody please remove that ball-gag from his mouth and take off that mask?” Rhonda asked.
            One of the CSI’s obliged Rhonda’s request, then Gary said, “Holy honeycombs!  That’s our guy.  That’s definitely Blake Adams.”
            This is was no longer a missing person’s case for Rhonda and Gary.  It was a homicide, and a weird one at that.  The uniqueness of this murder was evident.
            “Who discovered the body?” Gary asked.
            One of the police officers answered, “A man was walking his dog on a nearby trail when his dog got loose from the leash and ran into the woods.  The man gave chase then stumbled across this.  He phoned us right away.”
            “Where is this man now?” Rhonda asked.
            “Right over there,” the cop pointed.
            “Officer, we are gonna need you to escort that man to the station to get a detailed statement from him,” Gary said.  “Have your people finish securing the scene and take as many pictures as possible.  Collect and document as much trace evidence as you can.  Then, carefully bag up the body, and take it to the coroner, so they can conduct a detailed medical examination and autopsy.”
            “Officer Williams,” Rhonda read the name above his badge.  “We appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the Clay County Sheriffs’ Office.  Now, my partner and I must go to Jacksonville to give the victim’s parents the bad news.  Try to keep the press suppressed, and don’t give any official statements to the media until tomorrow.  We may have to handle that.”
            Alerting the next of kin: this was always a difficult and uncomfortable undertaking.  Bill and Linda Adams were still checked in at the Hyatt Hotel on Market Street near the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville.  Needless to say, they were absolutely distraught and grief stricken when Special Agent Black and Special Agent Banks delivered the about their son’s peculiar and violent death in person.  Gary and Rhonda expressed their sympathies and assured the Adams family that the Federal Bureau of Investigations would find whoever was responsible for such horrible atrocities and use all the resources at their disposal to bring the perpetrator of such an awful and inexplicable crime to justice.  After delivering the devastatingly horrible bad news, Gary and Rhonda stood on the Riverwalk outside the Hyatt.  Gary could see the anguish in Rhonda’s face. He wanted to comfort and console her.
            “Ronnie, we are going to catch this guy,” Gary assured her.  “We always do.”
            “I know, Gary,” Rhonda replied.
            Then, Gary made a suggestion, “Let me tell you what I like to do once I get to the meat and potatoes of a big murder case like this one here.”
            Rhonda asked him, “What’s that, Gary?”
            He explained, “It’s kind of a superstition.  After I find a body and have to alert the next of kin, I like to go to a restaurant to eat a juicy steak with a glass of wine to decompress.  I vacationed in Jacksonville with my brother once.  I’m going to take you to Maggianno’s at the St. John’s Town Center on the south side of town to have some steak and wine with me, my treat.  After that we can go to Massage Soleil at the Town Center.  According to Blake Adam’s itinerary he got a massage there Sunday morning.  We need to question the staff and review their surveillance footage.”

            Rhonda just nodded.  She had learned long ago not to reject Gary’s insistences.  He was very persistent and persuasive person, and sometimes he knew what was best for Rhonda.  That’s why they worked so well together… 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Smartest Phone (spy novel sneak preview)

December 1, 2005-Victor Anderson

I watched Becky Pitt’s glistening, naked body sashay to the kitchenette of my suite in an upscale Japanese resort.  She retrieved a Tupperware bowl of vegetable beef soup and placed it in the microwave.  Something that felt so right couldn’t have been more wrong.  I’d had affairs with married women before.  That wasn’t new.  Becky and I just finished having wild, sweaty kinky sex, and now, she was preparing soup for me, my favorite meal.  Life couldn’t get any better than this.  Considering the twisted circumstances of our affair, I should have expected things to get worse sooner than later.
Becky Pitt was a married woman.  I could deal with that, but her husband, Paul Pitt, was my boss.  On top of that, Paul and I worked for the CIA for over a decade.  Screwing your boss’ wife was one thing, but if your boss was a spy, the idea was almost too idiotic to fathom.  We made our living uncovering secrets and highly confidential information.  If you install rotating blades on a toilet, though, it’s only a matter of time before the shit hits the fan.
Hooking up with Becky while I was undercover in the field was a bad idea, too.  She was a world renowned romance novelist, so she always had an alibi to leave home for long periods of time.
“I’ve got another series of book signings scheduled out of town, honey,” she’d tell her husband.
This was my ninth month on a mission in Tokyo.  I was undercover as Luke Miller, a human resource manger at Imagine Enterprises.  LME started to receive global attention two years ago when rumors leaked about a groundbreaking biological cell phone project they were allegedly working on.  The project was so hush-hush, and I wasn’t deep enough to gain any clout with the company to gain access to privileged information.  I even considered and suggested a covert intel reconnaissance mission to break into a couple of restricted areas in the Imagine Tower, but Paul would not authorize that kind of operation.  He was always very conservative-minded.
“Come to the table and have some soup, Victor,” Beck said.
I was not sure what was weirder, my soup fetish, or Becky’s quirk for eating nude.  I did not ponder too long.  I joined Becky at the table, so we could dine on soup in our birthday suits.
“How crazy am I?” I asked Becky.
“You’re not crazy.  You’re my Vicky Bear.” An enticing grin spread across her face.
“I’ll be a dead Vicky Bear if Paul ever finds out about us.”
“He won’t.  Don’t worry.”
In my mind, I cursed my animal magnetism.  At the same time, I knew Becky’s luscious, curvy body and irresistibly cute, pouting face was no match for my weak will power.  I was instantly aroused by her when we met in 1994 at a company potluck Independence Day barbeque.  She came out the pool wearing a scanty two-piece bikini with pinstripes.  I didn’t want Paul to catch me starring.  The angel on my left should said, “She’s your boss’ wife Victor.  She’s off limits.”  The devil on my right shoulder said, “Fuck that, Vick.  She’s giving you the bedroom eyes.”  I was able to resist temptation for seven long, hard years.
That all changed in 2001.  Paul was in Afghanistan on a special mission after 9/11.  I was in the States on desk duty recovering from a gunshot wound I suffered in Ireland.  When Becky and I finally hooked up, it was like a poorly scripted porno flick.  She called me over to her home in a quaint Virginia suburb to fix her satellite dish.  Let’s just say she was very, very gracious to have her Sex and the City back.  Since then, we’ve been on a grand and dangerous charade.  That made is so much hotter.
“Can you take me to the airport?  My flight leaves in a couple hours,” Becky stated.
“Sure,” I said.
We got dressed, and I drove Becky to the airport.  The hotel suite was just a place for my trysts with Becky.  My official residence in Tokyo was closer to the Imagine Tower.  I drove to my high rise condo.  Something felt out of place when I walked inside.  Spies like met get a sixth sense about things like this.  An intruder emerged behind me.  I spun around in one motion and elbowed him in the Adam’s apple.  The masked man stumbled backwards and got tangled up in his own fiber wire.  I pounced atop the masked intruder and jammed my left forearm into his throat.  I un-holstered a .22 caliber pistol I kept strapped to my ankle under the right pant leg of my khaki Dockers.  I ripped off his mask.
I was shocked when I unmasked young Martin Blanks, a rookie in the CIA.  I kept my gun pointed at his face, but loosened my strangle hold so he could talk to me.
“Tell me what the hell you’re doing here, Marty!” I demanded.
“Mr. Pitt sent me,” Marty admitted.  “He knows about you and his wife.  He promised me a promotion if I eliminated you.”
“Son of a bitch.  He sent a rook to rub me out?  What about my mission here?”
“He no longer thinks it’s a priority.  I was supposed to burn this place down and make your death look like an accident.  I know Mr. Pitt will be checking the Japanese news wires tomorrow.  If he finds out I botched this up, I won’t have a job when I return to Langley.”
“You are lucky I like ya, Marty.  I’m going to help you out.”
“Come on, get up.  We’re going for a ride.”
An hour later, Marty and I were in the office of Dr. Ann Ming.  She worked in the coroner’s office and handled a lot of cases as one of the most reputable medical examiners in Tokyo.  We met three months ago at a sushi bar and hit it off immediately.  We hooked up often of casual sex encounters whenever our schedules would allow it.  She was really into role play.
“Long time no see, Luke Miller,” Ann said.  “What brings you through my neck of the woods?”
“I will cut to the chase.  My name is not Luke Miller.  I’m Victor Anderson of the CIA,” I said as I flashed my CIA ID credentials.  “I need a favor.”
“Wow.  That’s quite a bombshell to drop on someone.  I don’t know what to think,” Ann said.
“You’re not supposed to compromise your identity while in the field.  What are you doing, Mr. Anderson?” Marty asked.
“You’ll learn soon when time is prime to break some of those rules you learned in the academy,” I told Marty.  “Let’s not forget that our superior ordered you to kill me.  I’m working on a solution.”
“I’m confused.  Am I in some sort of trouble, or is this some new role you’re playing.  If so, I’m turned on,” Ann commented.
“Kinky sex is not a crime,” I joked, “but I really need you to do me a huge favor.”
“What kind of favor?” Ann asked.
“I need to borrow an unclaimed and unidentified male corpse, on of those you usually ship off to medical schools as experimental cadavers,” I explained.
“Why?  I don’t’ understand,” Ann said.
“This is urgent, Ann.  I need to disappear.  I’m going to torch a corpse.  When it comes back across your table tomorrow, I need you to ID it as Luke Miller in your report.  Can you handle that?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” Ann was reluctant.
“This is a matter of national security,” I fibbed.
“All right, I’ll do it,” she finally agreed.
Marty helped me transport the corpse back to my condo.  We snuck it into the building inside a large duffle bag.  Marty and I dressed the corpse in one of my spare outfits.  Then, I planted a wallet with my forged identification cards bearing the alias Luke Miller.  I lit a candle and placed it precariously close to some draping curtains.  Forty five minutes later, Marty and I stood outside and watched as the building evacuate when the fire alarm sounded.
“What are you going to do now?” Marty asked me.
“I don’t know, Marty.  I’m dead.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spy Novel will be put on the back burner while I complete my romance novel to enter a contest by Feb. 23, but enjoy this excerpt...

August 23, 2007-D.J.
            I had an all night Madden marathon.  It was 4:30 AM, and Otto hadn't returned to the room yet.  I was pleased and content.  FLIP reminded me about my scheduled helicopter flight.  Bruin was waiting for me at five o'clock in a black helicopter he landed in the middle of the practice football field.  I laid down in the back seat and fell asleep before Bruin finished taking off.
            The first words Bruin spoke to me when I awoke were, "Your mother just died."
            "What?" I was baffled.
            "Your mother just died," he repeated.  "That's your official excuse for classes you'll miss at JU."
            "Oh, okay," I said.
            "Your teachers will be e-mailing your assignments if your absence is extended, but I'll handle that," FLIP said.
            "Where are we?" I looked out of the helicopter window and saw that we were surrounded by glistening ocean water.
            "We are eight five miles north of Jamaica in the Atlantic Ocean," FLIP said.
            "Go ahead and strap into your harness," Bruin said.  "We're about 15 miles away from Phoenix and Oncilla.  You'll have to use the zip line to drop down onto their ship."
            "How did my mom die?" I asked while I strapped up.
            "We'll leave that up to you," Bruin said.
            "Brain aneurism," I said before I slid down the rope onto the boat below.
            "Hey, Bat," Phoenix met me on the deck.  "We missed you."
            "This is my houseboat.  Damn, y'all pimped my ship," I said.
            "You like the upgrades and modifications?" said Oncilla as she joined us on the deck.
            "I'm impressed.  I hardly recognized her, my own boat."
            "It is lavish," FLIP said.
            "Hey, FLIP.  We missed you, too," Phoenix said.
            "Did you miss me more than Bat?" FLIP asked.
            Oncilla nodded, and I said, "Hey, now."
            It's been pretty boring out here," Phoenix said.  "Did you know your television was broken, Bat?"
            "It's not broken," I replied.  "There are two loose wires in to back.  To turn on the television, you have to rub those wires together."
            I went down below the deck to fix the television.  We watched my DVD box set of the TV show Charmed until the sun went down.  It was tranquil and relaxing on the ocean.  We smoked a blunt and watched the sun set below the watery horizon.  After that, Oncilla and Phoenix gave me a debriefing for the mission.
            "I'd hat to put a damper on this reunion," FLIP said, "but my sonar is picking up a bogey heading our way at high speeds from the south."
            "It must be the scout boat," I said.
            "Estimated time of arrival is ten minutes," FLIP informed us.
            Oncilla, Phoenix, and I scrambled to turn all the lights and appliances off.  Then, we ducked off in some hiding spots.  After ten minutes, we heard a speed boat approach.  We heard footsteps on the deck, one set, they were alone.  Oncilla got herself into position to strike.  When our intrude came down the steps, Oncilla pounced him and covered his face with a thick dark bag.  I popped up and delivered a three piece punch combo to his rib cage.  The biscuit was a knock out punch, right cross to the temple.  By the time he awoke an hour later from the blackout, we had securely tied him down to a chair.
            "Wake up, sleepy head," Phoenix said. 
            He rattled of some crude Spanish and struggled violently in his chair to no avail.  I delivered a swift backhand slap across his face and said, "Cut all that shit out.  FLIP, what did he just say?"
            "Le me go, you bastards, or you'll be sorry," FLIP translated.
            "We'll see about that, Mr. You'll B. Sorry," I said.  "FLIP, translate what I'm about to say to him.  Check it out.  We found your walkie talkie and your weapons.  We know you work for the New Age Pirates.  No one has checked on you.  No body is coming to rescue you, so tell us where they are!"
            FLIP spoke to him in Spanish.  He didn't respond.  Then, FLIP told me it was likely that the pirates' ship was equipped with advanced stealth technology to jam his radar.
            "So, Mr. You'll B. Sorry, your giving me the silent treatment.  Take this, huuugh," I took a swing at him.
            The left jab connected with his jab.  Phoenix stepped in and pistol whipped him.  I punched him again. Phoenix kicked him in the head.  I punched him yet again. Phoenix cracked him in the skull with a large framed picture off the wall.  I punched him once more.  Then, Phoenix splashed him in the face with gasoline.  I restrained her immediately.
            "Hold it now," I said.  "Let's not get carried away.  Maybe he's ready to talk."
            "Fuck you," Mr. Sorry spoke English.
            "A tough guy, huh?" I smiled.  "You know we were just warming you up, right?  Oncilla is the main eventer when it comes to this torture shit.  Let me tell what's about to happen.  I assume you're from somewhere in South America.  I know the Wu Tang Clan is popular down there.  Basically, there's been a wire hanger over there that's been sitting on the stove for like thirty five, forty five minutes.  Oncilla is going to bend you over and slide it in your asshole real slow.  Ssssssss."
            Mr. Sorry's eyes widened.  Oncilla kicked his chair over.  She used a small sharp blade to intricately cut a hole in the bottom of the seat to expose his rear end.  Thenm she arranged him with his rump facing the ceiling.  Oncilla put on oven mitts and picked up the hot hanger.  She started to slide it up his but, and Mr. Sorry cried out with an excruciating yelp.  Then, I heard a voice over the walkie talkie.
            "Shhh, hold on," I held the radio up to my ear.


Monday, February 8, 2016

I've got a lot of work to do transitioning my spy novel...

August 21, 2007-DJ

            Otto’s alarm clock woke me up at 6:30 AM.  I didn’t mind because I had to get up and ready for my 8:00 AM World Geography class.  I got up, showered, and dressed.  Otto and I were ready right around the same time.  He had an 8:00 AM Biology class, so we went together across the valley to the student cafeteria for breakfast.  We fixed our plates and sat near a window that overlooked the Alexander Brest Baseball Complex and the St. Johns River.
            “So are you nervous about your first day of classes?” Otto asked me.
            “Uh, I guess so,” I replied.
            “Me too.  So what did you get into last night?”
            “I went to get some wings with the Phi Delts, and then we came back to the apartments for a little party.”
            “Ah man, homes.  I wish you would have came and got me.  I was alone and bored in the dorm all night.  I hpe you don’t mind, but I hooked your Playstation up to my plasma television.  That football game is fun.”
            “It’s all good, Otto.  John will be appeased by your praise and commitment,” I spoke of Madden like he was an omnipotent god.  “Well, what team do you play with?  You can get in on my franchise.”
            “I’m an Arizona Cardinals fan.  My dad actually met my mother while he was on a business trip to Tempe.  My parents own half of the team now.  It was an anniversary gift from my dad to my mom because they both love American football.”
            “Your father owns the Cardinals?”  I almost choked on my toast.
            “Half owns, yes.  You’ve heard of Olverpirses, right?”
            “Hmmm….,” I played dumb and shook my head.
            “Well they deal in oil, and my pops runs the business.  He wants me to take it over someday, but…”
            “I understand,” I was ready to change the subject.  “but about last night.  I didn’t mean to leave you hangin’.  I didn’t figure you to be the party type.”
            “I’m not really, but I thought about what you said last night.  I’ve come all this way to get away from my father, so I might as well have fun too.”
            “What did I tell ya,” I was actually talking to FLIP.
            “You said my daddy ain’t here.  Don’t think I’m a total square, Travis.  In my country, if you can see over the counter, you’re old enough to drink.  I’ve been an alcoholic since grade school, homes.”
            “That’s wassup.  I’ve got a feeling this will be a good semester.”
            “Wow, who is that,” Otto almost broke his neck twisting around to gawk at a girl in the omelet line.
            “I don’t know,” I couldn’t put my finger on where I recognized her from.  “I see you’re into dark chocolate sisters, huh Otto?”
            “That’s an exotic rarity in my country.”
            “Well, go talk to her.”
            “I can’t.”
            “Don’t be a pussy, man.  So what if you’re shy.  You’re talking to me right now.  Now go talk to her,” I urged him.
            “I don’t know what to say.”
            “Anything’ll do.  Ask her if she’s a freshmen.  Compliment her pajama pants or something.  Small talk dammit, but hurry up before it’s too late.  I think she’s going to be sitting at a table full of sorority girls, and approaching her there will be like going into a lions den with steak strapped to your balls.”
            “Okay, I’m going.”
            Otto made his way over to the omelet line.  His back was to me, so I couldn’t see what he was saying.  He gestured at the girl to get her attention.  She turned to face him and smiled brightly.  I could read her lips.
            “Hey,” she beamed.  “Oh, I like mine sloppy.  I just like to put whatever inside of it most mornings.  For you though, I’d recommend ham, chess, peppers, salsa… must be a freshmen…..Wel it’s nice to meet you, Otto…..My name is Chrisitan……Do people ever call you Automobile……Okay you’re welcome.  I hope you like your omelet.”
            Otto returned to the table looking like he accomplished something noteworthy.
            “Well?” I was eager to find out what he said.
            “I asked her advice on what kind of omelet to get.  It was the first thing that popped in my head.  Her name is Christian,” Otto said.
            “That wasn’t the smoothest line, but that’s cool enough for small talk.  Did you find out if she’s single?”
            “Not yet.”
            “Well, that’s fine.  Baby steps are fine for now:  initiating conversation is half the battle.  This will  be a long semester.  Not only will you become a big party animal, but you’ll be the second biggest player on campus next to me before it’s all over.”
            “That’s what I’m talking about, homes.”
            Otto and I disposed of our trays in the dishwashing window before we headed out to our respective 8 AM classes.  My geography class was in the Gooding Building.  The professor’s name was Dr. Bartram, a well travelled man who was knowledgeable and passionate about his field.  If I was called on or raised my hand in class, I knew the answer because FLIP fed them to me through my blue tooth headset.  I looked like the star pupil. I was just pleased to know I wouldn’t have to study or apply much effort to do homework.
            It was more of the same during my 9 AM Macroeconomics class with Professor Wendy Lane.  Thanks to FLIP, I was a wiz in class, but he teased me about being the brains of the operation.  I didn’t care.  I knew I’d need all the free time I could get from scholarly obligations to focus on the mission.  After my 9 AM class, I had time to go back to my dorm and chill before Beginner’s Golf at 1 PM.  I took some bong rips and played a quick game of Madden.  I beat the New York Jets with my Miami Dolphins 23-17 in overtime.
            I got to the golf coarse a little early for class.  The instructor had yet to arrive, but Otto along with a couple of other students were there waiting already.  He told me about his morning Biology, Recording Techniques, and Acting 101 classes.  I told him how my classes went.  We were both surprised to see Christian join us when the rest of or classmates arrived. 
            “Hey, Automobile!  I hope your first day of classes is going well.  Who is this?  I know you from somewhere,” she turned to me.
            “Hmmm…,” I shrugged.
            I didn’t know how to react to her extra giddy and hyper and outgoing demeanor.  I’ve heard of high on life, but Christian was close to overdosing, and it was somewhat overwhelming.
            “This is my roommate Travis.  Travis, this is Christian,” Otto formally introduced us.
            “Oh, now I remember you.  You were at that party last night,” Christian recalled.
            “Yup,” my recollection was more clear now.
            “You probably saw me there with my boyfriend, Eddie,” Christian stated.
            Otto gave me a gloomy glance.  I could tell hew was trying to hide his disappointment during class after Coach Banks arrived.  First, Coach Banks taught us the basics of the game of golf.  Then, he split us into groups of three or four to practice fundamental techniques.  Otto and Christian were in my group.  When class concluded, Otto and I said goodbye to Christian and walked together through the valley back to our dorm.  Otto slumped down into bed.
            “Don’t look so bummed out, O,” I tried to sound concerned.
            “But she has a boyfriend,” Otto sulked.
            “Listen, I watch Girlfriends and have a secret subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine, so I’m an expert on women and relationships, and 85 % of unhappy women confide in their plutonic male friends when they can’t get a hold of their girlfriends.  Do the math.”
            “So, you’re well on your way to befriending her and setting a solid foundation for a plutonic relationship that could prove to be most beneficial to you.”
            “I’m still confused.”
            “This is a great situation.”
            “How do you figure?”
            “On one hand, you can be a genuine friend that won’t have to obsess about getting in her pants when you know you have little or no chance of getting laid.  She’ll respect you for that of course.  If she ever has a rough patch with her man, you’ll be waiting in the wings.  If not, you’re still a good guy and she knows plenty of other eligible bachelorettes because she’s in a sorority.  Fact: girls talk to each other about guys they know, so you want them to have good shit to say about you.  There are other fish in the sea, and Christian can end up baiting your hook for you, son.”
            “Wow, you’re like a genius.”
            “I keep it real like a ghetto Dr. Phil.”
            My advice calmed Otto’s nerves.  We played Madden on the plasma TV well into the night.  I started the franchise over so Otto could join in with the Arizona Cardinals.  After three games a piece, my Dolphins were 2-1.  Otto’s Cardinals were 0-3.  We each downed a few brews before we decided to call in a night.  I woke in the middle of the night to roll a blunt.  I went for a stroll around the dark campus to smoke and talk to FLIP.
            “You were right about Christian,” FLIP said.
            “Of course I was,” I was cocky sometimes.
            “I intercepted a phone call from Christian’s campus apartment room earlier this evening.  She spoke with Tenisha, one of her sorority sisters.  Christian told her about a cute Hispanic guy in her golf class.
            “That’s fine and dandy, but we’re not here to make a love connection for Otto.  How are we going to get him to drop out?”
            “I honestly think we’re on the right track with the party animal angle.  If he parties too much, he’ll loose focus and burn himself out.
            “You never cease to amaze me, FLIP.  Maybe you are the brains of this outfit.”