Z-anon-sensei Speaks #81
“I will build a history in the backyard from solid rocks…” Margaret Atwood
In addition to his many business ventures involving organized crime right here in the good ol’ US of A, Pretendident Thump also has long-standing strings attached to him by the Soviet and now-Russian oligarchs, who, like their American counterparts, maintain very close relations with governmental intelligence services. In Pooteen’s world, now that he is ruler for life, there is actually no difference at all. Thump dreams of setting himself up in the WhoreHouse as permanently as Pooteen has, but that’s only a fool’s dream. Thump will never be a real member of any of these organizations, foreign or domestic, and they won’t tolerate him if he poses any danger to them, which he will at the moment he is no longer protected by the cover of the Pretendidency. And that is one of the sources of the relentless fear that haunts him day and night.
Radio Kellogg caught up with Pale Gianinny at a little table on the sidewalk outside Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Pale was sipping a cappuccino and reading, of all things, a newspaper, NYT of course. Radio sat down without asking. Pale lifted the paper up between them, then slowly lowered it, grinning below an ugly, tightly trimmed mustache. “Radio, Radio, always a surprise. Never know when I’ll see you, my friend. Stay for a coffee?” Pale lifted a hand over his head and a server was at the table in a second. “Americano, French Roast, no room.” Radio ordered from long habit and waited until the server had walked a good social distance away before he said any more.
Radio wasn’t picking up anything much from Pale. They chatted a little about the riots, about the weather, about a shared acquaintance in Philly. Pale’s thoughts were pretty blissful, from what Radio could tell, not much chatter or static of fear. Radio mentioned he was looking for somebody, for a case, you know. Pale knew. It didn’t seem to bother him. He’d hired Radio a couple times to follow angry girlfriends for him. Pale, while not aspiring to Don-ship within his family, did consider himself a bit of a don Juan. Being not-good-looking and pretty much a jerk, his success in this field of endeavor came mainly from his willingness to flaunt his name and mob background, along with providing plenty of money and the powders of their choosing to any women who might be foolish or crazy enough to take up with him. Given those factors it was no surprise to Radio that Pale sometimes found himself facing the wrath of a scorned date who might take her grievances to the wrong people, meaning the cops or the feds or even worse one of the rival families. Radio had made some decent cash off of intercepting and paying off or discouraging those women, foolish or crazy as they might be. He’d done well at it, and he had a favor or two still coming to him from Pale.
He turned the conversation to his immediate target, without any mention of Xenon or the reason he wanted to find him. Just a case, he said when Pale asked him why. Showed him the printout and Pale turned a little paler than usual. Now Radio was picking up some clutter in his thoughts, some spikes of fear. “Don’t know him,” Pale said, obviously lying. Radio just raised an eyebrow, Mr. Spock style, and Pale caved without Radio even having to try. “Fuck it, man, don’t you even read the papers?” Pale sputtered. He paged through his Times and folded open a story on an inside page. Story was about a lawsuit ACLU was filing against DHS for their actions against protesters. Second paragraph was about a protester who had been abducted off the streets and then released. A certain Mick Pettifogger. No picture. “Don’t get me caught up in any Fed stuff, okay?”
“How do you know that’s this dude?” Radio asked. “Take my word, that’s him,” Pale answered. Radio could tell he wasn’t lying, and he took even more from the thoughts now exploding in Pale’s mind. Pale was terrified of the Feds, that was for sure, but even more of something… Ivans, is it… DHS, Russian mobsters… okay, then. What was the Director getting him into, here? It looked like Radio Kellogg was going to have to go to a protest.