Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Here's another preview from my spy novel "The Smartest Phone". This project is an old favorite of mine, but it's on the back burner for now. I'm eyeing an early 2017 release for it direct to Kindle.

August 22, 2007-D.J.

            Otto and I sat next to each other in Dr. Mead’s (aka Bruin) class.  He handed out syllabi and immediately started discussing the first book on the list, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.  The interested and open discussion lasted the entire class period.  Afterwards, Bruin gave quite a quantity of independent Quixote reading for our first homework assignment.
            ”There will be a quiz first thing Thursday morning,” Bruin warned.
            I stayed behind after all the other students left to discuss my mission with Bruin.
            “So how are things going?” he asked me.
            “Okay, I guess,” I replied.  “I plan to put Otto on the Animal House Party Regimen.  He’ll be so party pooped, he won’t be able to pass gas or class.”
            “Not a bad idea,” Bruin noted, “but what’s your backup plan?”
            “I…uh,” I trailed off.
            “The party plan was my idea,” FLIP chimed in.  “We are still keeping our options open in regards to formulating a backup plan.
            “Yeah, that’s right,” I said.
            “Well, you need to call Viper later today to talk to him about it,” Bruin said.  “I can’t tell you how to do you job.  You are the primary agent on this one.  You call the shots, and you need to take accountability for the success or failure of your mission.  I’ll do all I can to help by giving your class a rigorous course load.”
            “It will not be too rigorous for me,” FLIP gloated.
            “I know that, FLIP.  Just make sure you call Viper later,” Bruin repeated.
            Obviously, my next classes went as smooth as silk thanks to FLIP.  I met up with Otto again in the cafeteria for lunch.  We saw Christian standing with a friend by the desserts making a strawberry ice cream cone.
            “That young lady with Christian is Tenisha Hall,” FLIP spoke to me through my earpiece.
            “How do you know that?” I asked.
            “What was that, Trav?” Otto questioned.
            “Oh, I’m on the phone,” I pointed at my blue tooth headset.
            “I was able to hack into the hardrive on Christian’s phone and access her camera phone pictures,” FLIP revealed.
            “Okay, I’ll talk to you later.  Bye,” I pretended to end my pseudo phone conversation.  “Otto, let’s go see what Christian’s up to.”
            “Hey guys!” Christian always looked and spoke as if she was happy.
            “Hello,” Otto greeted.
            “What’s up?” I asked.
            “Not much,” Christian replied.  “I want you guys to meet my friend Tenisha.”
            “Hey, my name is Otto,” he introduced himself.
            “And I’m Travis,” I gently shook her hand.
            “Nice to meet you,” Tenisha smiled at Otto.
            “You guys got any plans for tonight?” Christian asked.
            “Nothing really,” I shrugged.  “Why?”
            “Tonight is college night at Rack Em Up,” Christian said.
            “What’s that?” Otto asked.
            “It’s a pool hall and hooka lounge up the street,” Christian answered.
            “It’s usually packed.  There will be drink specials and a beer pong tournament,” Tenisha added.
            “We’ll be there,” Otto said.
            “Yeah, it sounds like a plan,” I agreed.
            Otto and I sat and ate with Christian and Tenisha.  I finished my meal quickly and excused myself.  I phoned Viper on my way back to the dorms.
            “Hey, how are you, young Bat?” Viper asked me.
            “I’m fine,” I told him.  “I wish I was on a cruise like you.”
            “It is beautiful out here, but don’t get it twisted.  I’m on official ZOO business.”
            “Damn, when will I get to handle business like that?”
            “Sooner than you think, Bat.  You’ve heard about all those cruise ship high jackingers that have been seizing ships at sea this past year, right?”
            “Yeah, the media dubbed them the New Age Pirates.”
            “That’s correct, and they’re still at large.  We’ve been assigned the daunting task stopping them.  Right now, I’m undercover as Matt Valentine, a billionaire casino tycoon.”
            “Oncilla and Phoenix are stationed about eight miles away from this cruise ship.  I booked this cruise last week and let the word get out that I’d be packing loads of cash, gold, and diamonds.  Two suspicious passengers have been keeping a close eye on me since I boarded the ship.  I presume they’re scouts for the N. A. Pirates.  Now, I anticipate the rest of their crew is poised and ready to strike in larger numbers than I expected.  I need you to join Oncilla and Phoenix so we’ll have a bit of back.  If the New Age Pirates are as thorough and ruthless as it’s rumored, we’ll need all the extra guns we can get.  We need FLIP here to with his radars to watch for a scout ship they will likely send to scan the perimeter and assure the coast is clear for their ambush.  We know they have a few small boats, some jet skiees, and one large ship in their fleet and at their disposal, so they will likely coordinate their attack accordingly.”
            “What about my mission here?”
            “How are things coming with Otto by the way?”
            “My plan is to get too caught up with partying, so he’ll fall behind on his class work and flunk out.”
            “Bat and I are formulating some contingency plans as well.”
            “Alright.  You two won’t be out here at sea long.  I’ve got a hunch that these pirates will make their move soon.  The moon is new.  Bruin will meet you at 5 AM tomorrow morning to extradite you via helicopter at the practice football field.”
            “I’ll be ready.”
            “Okay.  Goodbye for now.”
            “Right, right., later Viper.”
We’ll see you soon.
            My classes were finished, so I got on the sticks to play a little bit of Madden 2007 until Otto got back to the room.  We played a handful of games on our franchise and got high to pass the time until college night started at Rack ‘Em Up.
            “So what do you think about Tenisha?” Otto asked me.
            “She’s fine, a dime piece in my book,” I was honest.  “See, what did I tell you about fish and bait, O?”
            “You were right, Travis.”
            “I know I was dammit.”
            “Do you think she likes me?”
            “Well, she was giving you the bedroom eyes in the caf.”
            “Really, you think so?”
            “I know so, bro.”
            “Whoa!  I might stand a chance with her, huh?”
            “No doubt.”
            Otto and I finished playing video games.  Then we got fresh and clean to go out.  We arrived at Rack ‘Em up fashionably late in style riding in Otto’s customized ’68 Impala with gold spoke rims.  I admired his taste in cars, and was a little envious that my dad, wherever the hell he was, didn’t have a bank roll like the Juan Olverado.
            The crowd inside the pool hall was thick.  We enjoyed ourselves.  Otto got a chance to talk to Tenisha and get to know her better.  From where I was watching, I swelled with pride because of the positive progress he was making.  Later, Oto and I formed a tag team to enter the beer pong tournament.  We faced off against a couple of goons in the final round.  The head goon in charge, Maury Drew, was a complete cheese ball.  I watched Maury hate on Otto from afar all night.  He even made a few futile cock-blocking moves as if no one would notice.  Other people at the pool hall informed me that it was common knowledge that Maury had a crush on Tenisha since their freshmen year at JU. 
            Otto and I played like a well-oiled beer pong machine.  We dismantled and defeated the dorky duo with ease.  It was a good thing I could read lips because Maury whispered a derogatory comment in his partner’s ear when they lost.
            “I can’t believe that silly nigger and his spec buddy beat us.  I want you to go and invite them back to our apartment later to drink and party.  I’ll call Bruce and tell him to brew up some Purple Punch.  I’ve got something devious in store for those punks!”
            We accepted their invitation, and I pretended to be unaware of their true motives.  I knew all about Purple Punch.  The secret ingredient in this bright-colored concoction    was a potent date rape drug.  I suspected that Maury and his crew of fools were going to dope us up and try to embarrass us with some kind of prank.  I had a fix for that.
            On our way back to campus, I told Otto to take me by CVS.  Thanks to my advanced pharmaceutical expertise, I knew that vitamin B-6 was a quick antic dote for most date rape drugs.  I also picked up a prescription of Oxycotin thanks to a phony script FLIP faxed to the pharmacy for me.  I went back to the care and passed off a vitamin to Otto as an Altoid.
            “Yuck, this is the nastiest mint I’ve ever tasted, Travis,” Otto said.
            “It ain’t that bad,” I said as I popped one in my mouth.
            We parked in front of Maury’s apartment building.  Otto went up to the second floor to join the party.  I stayed in the care to roll a couple of blunts.  The first one was standard spliff.  For the next one, I crushed up some Oxycotins and dusted it down thoroughly.  I emerged on the scene with a blunt behind each ear.  The atmosphere was lively.  Maury and his pals were already feeding Otto shots of Purple Punch.  An evil grin stretched across my face.
            “I brought you a little something to show my gratitude for your hospitality,” I offered Maury the dirty contaminated blunt.
            “You’re too kind,” he snatched it out of my hand.
            After an hour or so, Otto and I had single handedly downed the whole bowl of Purple Punch.  We were drunk, but unaltered by the added date rape narcotics.  Maury looked baffled.  He and his friend Black retreated to the rear room.  They locked themselves inside.  The feint smell of cannabis in the air told me they had fired up my gift of ganja.  Otto and I had already taken care of our blunt earlier on the balcony.  At that moment, we were lounging on a couch with Christian, her boyfriend Eddie, and Tenisha.
            “So, do you have a girlfriend, Otto?” Tenisha asked.
            “Uh, no,” Otto answered.
            “Why not?” she questioned.
            “Well,” Otto hesitated.
            Christian shot me a look that said, “They need a private moment.”
            Eddie, Christian, and I stepped out onto the stairwell.  Eddie offered me a Marlboro Red.  I accepted.
            “Those things are bad for you,” Christian cringed.
            “I know.  I need to quit,” I said. 
            “I’ve never been a quitter,” Eddie laughed.
            “Whatever, Eddie,” Christian said.  “So, Travis, I think Tenisha really likes your roommate.”
            “Otto’s in to here, too,” I admitted.
            “They’d make such a cute couple,” Christian said.
            “Yeah,” I agreed.
            I left Christian and Eddie alone in the stairwell.  Maury’s rear apartment window faced a small wooded area on campus.  I shimmied up a tree and made a daring leap from a sturdy branch onto the ledge of their balcony.  I braced myself on the rail and removed my belt.  I fastened the end to one of the loops on my pants and tied the other to the rail.  The belt was my support line while I leaned over to pry open Maury’s window.  After I unhooked the belt and pulled myself inside, I saw Blake and Maury passed out cold on the floor.
            “It worked like a charm,” I smiled.  “I’ll show these bitches not to fuck with me and Otto.”
            First, I stripped Maury and Black down to their underwear.  Next, I covered them from head to toe with baby powder.  Then, I set them on the bed in a funny, provocative, and sexually precarious 69 position.  Finally, I used FLIP’s camera to snap pictures of the perverted pair and instructed FLIP to send copies to every single student and staff member at JU through their school e-mail addresses.
            “You are one demented individual,” FLIP commented.
            “I know, but these goons deserve this,” I stated.

            I crept back out the window and lowered myself to the ground off the balcony.  I’d had enough partying and troublemaking for one night, so I went back to my dorm to play video games.

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