It’s Kendra again!
Adam’s taking the day off. He was busy yesterday and he said he needed time to recover. Frankly, I think he’s just slacking, but hey, it gives me a chance to drop in without having to elbow him out of the way.
This was not a fun time. It’s never fun walking into a situation blind, and I’ve never been blinder. Cass is a sweetheart, but she didn’t have a clue what to do. That meant I had to be her eyes and ears. If I could have grown eyes in the back of my head, I would have.
Still, Vegas is one of my favorite places, and I knew we could get ourselves lost quickly.
Don’t forget about the Rafflecopter!
Hey! You asked for the day off; don’t butt in!
You haven’t done one of these before from start to finish; I just figured I would help.
Good. You helped. Go away.
Right, so there’s a giveaway of paperbacks, which he’s going to sign for the winner. You enter by clicking the button below.
You can also buy this book in any format by clicking on the button way, way, way at the bottom, or one of the pictures.
Chapter 9: Off to See the Wizard
Their arrival in Vegas was anticlimactic.
No goons with gun awaited them, no special attention singling them out. At least no more than two attractive women would garner, anyway. A quick stop in the ladies’ room and the extra padd was disposed of – an older woman with a distinct deep south drawl would now be their mule.
The ever present slot machines still lined the walls, welcoming visitors to the city and beginning the process of separating tourists from their money. Brilliant signs advertised casinos, hotels, and shows. Deftly Kendra steered them through the throng.
‘Now where?’ asked Cass as they cleared the last of them.
‘Now, we go visit an old friend of mine,’ answered Ken.
Ken’s friend lived well off the famous Strip, far back into the areas only the locals traveled. The interrogation at his door, under other circumstances, would have been amusing in its paranoia; now, they were grateful he took the time.
The room they entered was, under the best circumstances and most generous description, cluttered. Papers, computers, cameras, printers, drives, monitors, all competed for space on the desks and shelves that lines all four walls. Music, in several contrasting styles, played from speakers arranged around the room, and Cass could see a fine golden mesh on every exposed surface, including the ceiling and floor.
‘Why do you need a Faraday cage?’ she asked.
‘Because I don’t need no snoopy bitches prying into my business!’ he barked. He was old, though hard to say just how old, anywhere from sixty to ninety. A fringe of white hair circled his head. His face was like deeply carved mahogany. Skinny almost to emaciation, his fingers were what drew Cass’s eyes next – they were fine, slim, obviously pampered.
‘You’re a forger.’
‘That’s like calling Michelangelo a painter,’ he sniffed. ‘I am an artist, and you will remember that, or I’ll forget that my old friend Ken brought you here and thump your skinny white ass!’
Cass stammered an apology.
‘Don’t worry,’ assured Kendra. ‘He’s really a sweetheart. Dick’s bark is worse than his bite.’
‘You’ve never seen me bite,’ he mumbled, but still obviously pleased.
‘He is a magician with documents, though,’ she continued.
‘How do you know him?’ asked Cass.
‘Well -’ Kendra was reluctant to continue, but Dick picked up the slack.
‘You know what she does for a living?’
‘She makes movies, sensies,’ said Cass.
‘Sensies,’ he scoffed. ‘Porn, it what it is. Porn-o-graph-y.’ He stretched out each syllable. ‘It means, literally, ‘the writing of harlots’. Did you know that?’
‘Uh, no,’ answered Cass, confused by the turn in the conversation.
‘Yep. And Kendra there did some of the very best writings, though I don’t know that she’s anyone’s harlot,’ he admitted. ‘Made some real good money, she did, always gave her customers what they wanted. Got lots of people work, too, work they could do and were good at. Problem was, some of them had pasts they needed to get away from – jail time, or maybe an ex, or some kids wanting a slice of mommy’s pie. So they needed a new identity.’
‘And you gave it to them,’ finished Cass.
‘Hell no, I sold it to them!’ laughed Dick. ‘Made myself a pretty penny, didn’t I Kenny?’
‘It was always worth it,’ said Kendra. ‘Never had a problem.’
‘Finest manufactured IDs and backgrounds you could ask for!’ amplified Dick. ‘So what’s the problem today, Ken? Got another you need a little date adjustment on?’
Kendra actually blushed. ‘Nothing like that, you know I don’t do those sort of pix.’
‘Tell me another one.’
‘No, this is personal. We need a whole set-up,’ she said, gesturing. ‘ID, passports, bank accounts, backgrounds, the works.’
He whistled. ‘What did you do, child?’
‘I didn’t do anything.’ Seeing the skepticism on his face, she continued. ‘Really! This time, it wasn’t me, it was all her!’
‘That red hair, I’ll bet you’re a hellion, but you don’t look the type to get into that much hot water.’
‘I don’t know what I did, all I know is Ken says we’ve got to run away.’
‘Cass is being modest. She’s solved the problem of teleportation -’
‘I have not!’
‘- And so I think someone’s willing to kill to keep it quiet. I want to get her away, somewhere safe, until we can figure it all out.’
‘Why?’ asked Dick.
‘’Cause I love her.’
He nodded. ‘Good enough for me. How fast?’
‘How fast can you get it done?’
‘I think so.’
He thought. ‘Tomorrow, noon.’ He named a figure. ‘That’s the usual fee, plus fifty percent for the rush job.’
‘Double it. I’ll forward you the money, plus more for the accounts you’re setting up. Still the same dummies?’
‘Still the same. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, my daddy taught me.’
‘Okay. Noon. Here?’
‘Hell no! I’ll meet you at the old Luxor.’
‘That wreck? I thought it closed down.’
‘Some fool bought it and opened it back up,’ he said. ‘Thinks there’s money in reviving the last Twentieth century casino. Dumped a gigabuck into it so far, not much to show. Looks better, though.’
‘Okay. We’ll see you then.’ She turned to leave.
‘Doesn’t he need photos or anything?’ said Cass.
‘What do you think all this does?’ He gestured to the jumbled electronics. ‘I’ve got you both measured and recorded seven ways to Sunday!’
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