“I, The Jury” – The Prologue [Part 0] [An Original Online Series]

Underworld Awakening Publicity Still

“Whoever we are … Wherever we reside … We exist on the whim of murderers …”— Miles Davis, “The Rock”

***

An original online series based on characters and situations from the Vampire trilogy “The Endless Night” by H. P. Lovelace; dedicated to Mickey Spillane, his Mike Hammer, and the original, his “I, The Jury”. So, if you’re looking for Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Nero Wolf, et al, you’d best look elsewhere. Mickey Spillane … dead … but not forgotten … never …

***

Series starts January 08, 2011

Print Friendly
Posted in I, The Jury, Vampire Noir | Comments Off

The Endless Night, The First 16 Pages – [an excerpt from IUP, Book 01]

Poisen Elves
Be careful what you wish for … sometimes you get it

Click on the image of Jenny Miller, Mondo’s BFF, to read the pages … Enjoy … :)

 

Print Friendly
Posted in Vampire Noir | 3 Comments

Quote of the Month, April 01, 2015

“It’s only when you’re flying above it that you realize how incredible the Earth really is.” — Philippe Perrin

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

20 safest cities in the world, 2015 [#11]

<Original Source>

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked these 50 cities for overall safety in four categories.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked these 50 cities for overall safety in four categories.

The world is increasingly urban, a trend that’s expected to continue for decades. In the United States, at least 80 percent of the population lives in a city or suburb.

Those concentrations of people create economies of scale but also risks, like violent crime, contagious diseases, even digital network vulnerabilities.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the 50 cities listed above for overall safety, using an index of indicators in four categories. (The 50 indexed cities were chosen partly for how representative they were of their region and partly for whether data points were accessible.) All five of the U.S. cities on the list showed up in the top 20, but only one — New York — appeared in the top 10.

The four categories:

Personal safety. The most obvious category, this one takes into account illegal activity, police engagement and the prevalence of violent crime. No U.S. city shows up in the top 10 worldwide, though Toronto does, at No. 7. Singapore is No. 1. Of the five U.S. cities in the index, Washington ranks highest at No. 17, followed by San Francisco at 21, Los Angeles at 23, Chicago at 25 and New York at 28.

Health security. Data that went into this measurement included the ratio of hospitals to population size and residents’ life expectancy. Surprisingly, New York comes in at No. 2 — the only North American city to show up in this category’s top 10, which is dominated by European cities. Zurich is No. 1.

Infrastructure safety. This category measures factors including road quality, car accidents and pedestrian deaths per year, deaths from natural disasters, and the percentage of the population living in urban slums. The only U.S. city in the top 10, San Francisco, just barely makes it there, tying with Abu Dhabi for No. 10.

Digital security. Here, the United States has its best showing, with four out of its five indexed cities appearing in the top 10. (Alarmingly, it’s the nation’s capital that does not have a strong enough score.) The presence of cyber security teams contributes to a higher score in this category, while a high frequency of identity theft and large amounts of money lost to online crime are a couple of the factors that drive a score down. New York (3) and L.A. (6) both beat out San Francisco in this category, possibly because the tech hub’s extensive reliance on digital technology also creates vulnerabilities.

Here is #11 of the 20 safest cities:

e4b43ab0-cc0f-11e4-85bb-51eb88240a26_4315145017_ea28fabda0_b(Photo: Spreng Ben, Flickr)

11. HONG KONG

Safest Cities Index score: 77.24 out of 100 (with 100 the best possible)
Personal safety ranking: 6 out of 50
cities
Health security ranking: 15 out of 50
cities
Infrastructure safety ranking: 40 out of 50 cities
Digital security ranking: 4 out of 50
cities
Life expectancy: 84

0d0ce750-cc10-11e4-85bb-51eb88240a26_4409763030_bda10313d8_b(Photo: Thomas Birke, Flickr)

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

World’s grandest abandoned hotels [10/20]

Abandoned hotels

Inside a hotel in Austria. (Thomas Windisch/Caters News)  

Grand banqueting halls, opulent lobbies and vast ballrooms; you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a collection of photographs was documenting some of Europe’s grandest hotels. However, a closer look will reveal the majestic rooms to be engulfed in swathes of dust and moss; hotels that once hosted royals and high society abandoned to the elements.

This is the latest result of urban exploration photography, going beyond “no entry” signs to capture images of dilapidated buildings across Europe. IT worker Thomas Windisch, from Graz in Austria, indulged his passion for photography by traveling across the continent, visiting over 100 abandoned hotels along the way. (Caters News)

Photography by Thomas Windisch

Find more news related pictures on our photo galleries page and follow us on Tumblr.

<Original Source>

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

The Real Reason for China’s Massive Military Buildup [Part 1]

by | The National Interest <Original Source>

1024px-Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_20_Years_of_Cooperation_with_the_Chinese_Navy_(5)History haunts China—and could be driving its A2/AD strategy.

Over several different articles, I have been exploring the dynamics of the budding U.S.-China security dilemma—a high-tech drama pitting anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) against what we used to refer to as Air-Sea Battle (ASB)—and have offered several different ways to lessen the possibility of such a dynamic from becoming cemented into the Asia-Pacific’s security architecture. However, China’s development and implementation of A2/AD clearly has various origins. One such origin that deserves to be explored is the “historical nightmare” of China’s subjugation at the hands of various colonial and Asian powers.

In many respects, China is trying to solve a centuries-old problem that never went away: how to defeat in battle military forces that are at least in a symmetrical sense superior to its own and will be for some time to come. If we alter our perspective and take a much longer view of Beijing’s own military obsolescence, a strategy that emphasizes anti-access makes tremendous sense. According to Admiral Wu Shengli, former commander of the PLA Navy, “in China’s modern history, imperialist and colonists initiated more than 470 invasions of China, including 84 large ones, from the sea.” If China’s military were to deter or halt the deployment of superior military forces into areas of Chinese territory or areas Beijing perceives as a core interest, another period of what leaders in China might see as a new form of subjugation could theoretically be avoided. A2/AD allows Beijing to compete with the United States asymmetrically—an important point when one thinks through how many years away China is from competing with America ship for ship or plane for plane.

The following serves as an account of what many Chinese consider their own historical nightmare at the hands of foreign forces and why A2/AD would protect China from being subjugated yet again.

A Lost Opportunity

There are several events in Chinese history that mainland scholars, politicians and academics point to that weakened the collective power of the Chinese nation and diminished its global standing for generations. Indeed, Chinese strategic planners are keenly aware they have missed multiple “revolutions” in military affairs looking back several centuries—a driving factor in China’s subjugation by the West and other Asian powers. Critical transitions from cold-weapon warfare (knives or blunt striking instruments) to hot-weapon warfare (such as guns and firepower) and from hot-weapon warfare to mechanized warfare (tanks, armored naval vessels, airplanes and so on) were lost opportunities to transform the military establishment into a modern fighting force.

(Recommended: Exposed: China’s Super Strategy to Crush America in a War)

The consequences were shocking. When well-armed Western powers forced their way into China two centuries ago, the Chinese were defenseless, thanks to obsolete technology. When Western powers developed mechanized weapons during and after World War II, China was in the midst of internal turmoil and suffered from foreign invasion (i.e., the Chinese Civil War and Japanese invasion); it did not have the capacity to keep up with the devel­opments of new military technology.

“Century of Humiliation” Begins: The First Opium War

Numerous current Chinese scholars speak of China’s “century of humiliation” or subjugation by various powers that led, according to their line of argument, to the loss of China’s great-power status, loss of territory, and in many respects, national sovereignty. Defeat on the battlefield marked the beginning of this century of loss and humiliation. The first major military loss at the hands of Western powers that had wide-ranging repercussions for China and large parts of the Asia-Pacific was its defeat at the hands of the British during the First Opium War (1839-1842). As scholar Richard Harris explained: “The Chinese have one very broad generalization about their own history: they think in terms of ‘up to the Opium war’ and ‘after the Opium war’; in other words, a century of humiliation and weakness to be expunged.”

(Recommended: Japan’s Master Plan to Defeat China in a War)

The consequences of the conflict—China’s crushing defeat—were felt far and wide. Beijing’s geostrategic position in Asia was weakened dramatically. China’s military was crushed in a series of defeats by a vastly smaller, but technologically superior, British force. Chinese military technology, tactics and strategy were not on par with the West’s. This defeat sparked the first of what has been referred to as the “unequal treaties.” Five ports were opened to foreign traders, and the British colony at Hong Kong was founded (which would not be returned until 1997).

Print Friendly
Posted in Stories of The Dragon: China, The world's first Superpower, Zotz! | Leave a comment

Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — 3 Critical Characteristics of a Real Leader’s Passion

LeadershipThe new family in the neighborhood overslept and the six-year old daughter missed her school bus.  The father, though late for work, agreed to drive her if she’d direct him.

They rode several blocks before she told him to turn the first time, several more before she indicated another turn.  This process continued for more than 20 minutes — yet when the the father and his daughter finally reached the school, it proved to be only a short distance from their home.

Asked why she’d led her father over such a circuitous route, the child explained, “That’s the way the school bus goes, and it’s the only way I know.

And isn’t that the way it is with so many people?  They only know one way, even though it may not be the best way.  That’s why organizations need leaders, and that’s why leaders and team members have to work together.  That’s why the old acronym has some truth … that the word TEAM means Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

So what do “good” leaders DO so everyone accomplishes more?  I gave you four of those behaviors in the last two Tuesday Tips.    Let’s continue our checklist.

1.  A leader is a passionate goal setter.

You can probably think of a thousand reasons why you don’t have the time to think about your goals, plan out your goals, or write out your goals.  But no matter what reason or reasons you come up with, you’ll always be on the losing side if you’re not a goal setter.  In fact, I dare say that you will find very few,  if any,  great leaders who were not or are not serious goal setters.

When I asked Maury Burgwin, the Chairman of the prestigious Institute for Management Studies in Pittsburgh, for his insights on leadership and success, Maury boldly proclaimed, “The best path to success is to script your desired outcome.”  And then, “To reach that desired outcome, script your tactical plan to get there.  In my affairs I have a polished practiced script for everything I hope to achieve.

Could the same thing be said about you?  That you are passionate goal setter?

2.  A leader has a passion for winning.

In other words, getting by is never good enough.  A leader wants to win.  He wants to be the best, produce the best, and bring out the best in others.

That’s why Daryl Flood, President and CEO of Daryl Flood, Inc., is recognized as running one of the best, most successful moving businesses in the country.  As he says,

 

Successful leaders follow best practices that garner the loyalty and respect of their employees, and one of those best practices is seeing their leader have a passion for winning.

 

If you’d like to develop your leadership abilities, you need to check out my new program, “4C Leadership:  Communication, Cooperation, Commitment, and Change.

The lack of this 6th quality is one of the key reasons Senator Fred Thompson did not go very far in his bid for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination.  Initially he led the polls as the one most likely to be nominated, but when the American people saw him debate, their almost-unanimous opinion was he “didn’t really seem to want the job as President.”  He didn’t have a noticeable passion for winning.  And he was soon out of the race.

A good leader has a PASSION for winning.  As someone said, “If you’re lit up with enthusiasm, people will line up to watch you burn.

3.  A leader has a passion for winning WITH others.

No one said it better than 20th century educator G. Arthur Keough.  He said, “Greatness is not standing above our fellows and ordering them around.  It is standing with them and helping them to be all they can be.

It’s all about building relationships that work.  That’s why I devote the entire second day of my “Journey to the Extraordinary” program to mastering the people skills that have proven to work with coworkers, teammates, colleagues, customers and even family members.  Ken March, a Director at Bain Capital, recommends you take the class saying, “Whether you are building self-esteem or improving your professional or personal relationships, Dr. Zimmerman provided a superb class that will take you from ordinary to extraordinary. The two days were lots of fun, very enlightening, and powerfully effective.

If you would like to join my “Journey to the Extraordinary” program coming to Minneapolis, MN on May 14-15, 2015, click here.  We have fewer than 10 seats still available.

One company that truly lives this 7th characteristic … of winning WITH others … is Tastefully Simple.  It’s one of the reasons they are listed among the most respected companies by the Inc. magazine.  The leadership at the top of the company, and their thousands of consultants around the country, have a passion for winning WITH others.  They call it, “Abundancy.”

In their dictionary, “Abundancy” means they practice the following behaviors: “Teamwork, Servant Hearts, Generosity, Love, Openness, Giving Back, and Win-Win.”  Just the opposite of too many leaders and too many organizations who are motivated by “Ego, Competitiveness, Dog-Eat-Dog, Self-Serving, Greed, Scarcity Mentality, Territoriality, and Win-Lose.”

As you contemplate this 7th characteristic of “good” leaders, don’t overlook the key word “WITH.”  Good leaders have a passion for winning WITH others.

How good are you at winning WITH others? On the job and at home?   After all, we are reminded by Dr. William W. Mayo, the founder of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, that “No one is big enough to be independent of others.

There you have it … characteristics 5, 6 and 7 of my 10-point checklist of what makes a great leader. To dig in deeper and master the skills that support these 10 characteristics, you need to get a copy of my new book and its accompanying workbook, “The Payoff Principle: Discover the Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work.” It may well be the best $39 you ever invested.

Print Friendly
Posted in Dr Zimmerman's Tuesday Tips, Zotz! | Leave a comment

World’s grandest abandoned hotels [9/20]

Abandoned hotels

Inside a hotel in Austria. (Thomas Windisch/Caters News)  

Grand banqueting halls, opulent lobbies and vast ballrooms; you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a collection of photographs was documenting some of Europe’s grandest hotels. However, a closer look will reveal the majestic rooms to be engulfed in swathes of dust and moss; hotels that once hosted royals and high society abandoned to the elements.

This is the latest result of urban exploration photography, going beyond “no entry” signs to capture images of dilapidated buildings across Europe. IT worker Thomas Windisch, from Graz in Austria, indulged his passion for photography by traveling across the continent, visiting over 100 abandoned hotels along the way. (Caters News)

Photography by Thomas Windisch

Find more news related pictures on our photo galleries page and follow us on Tumblr.

<Original Source>

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

20 safest cities in the world, 2015 [#12]

<Original Source>

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked these 50 cities for overall safety in four categories.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked these 50 cities for overall safety in four categories.

The world is increasingly urban, a trend that’s expected to continue for decades. In the United States, at least 80 percent of the population lives in a city or suburb.

Those concentrations of people create economies of scale but also risks, like violent crime, contagious diseases, even digital network vulnerabilities.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the 50 cities listed above for overall safety, using an index of indicators in four categories. (The 50 indexed cities were chosen partly for how representative they were of their region and partly for whether data points were accessible.) All five of the U.S. cities on the list showed up in the top 20, but only one — New York — appeared in the top 10.

The four categories:

Personal safety. The most obvious category, this one takes into account illegal activity, police engagement and the prevalence of violent crime. No U.S. city shows up in the top 10 worldwide, though Toronto does, at No. 7. Singapore is No. 1. Of the five U.S. cities in the index, Washington ranks highest at No. 17, followed by San Francisco at 21, Los Angeles at 23, Chicago at 25 and New York at 28.

Health security. Data that went into this measurement included the ratio of hospitals to population size and residents’ life expectancy. Surprisingly, New York comes in at No. 2 — the only North American city to show up in this category’s top 10, which is dominated by European cities. Zurich is No. 1.

Infrastructure safety. This category measures factors including road quality, car accidents and pedestrian deaths per year, deaths from natural disasters, and the percentage of the population living in urban slums. The only U.S. city in the top 10, San Francisco, just barely makes it there, tying with Abu Dhabi for No. 10.

Digital security. Here, the United States has its best showing, with four out of its five indexed cities appearing in the top 10. (Alarmingly, it’s the nation’s capital that does not have a strong enough score.) The presence of cyber security teams contributes to a higher score in this category, while a high frequency of identity theft and large amounts of money lost to online crime are a couple of the factors that drive a score down. New York (3) and L.A. (6) both beat out San Francisco in this category, possibly because the tech hub’s extensive reliance on digital technology also creates vulnerabilities.

Here is #12 of the 20 safest cities:

83efe3f0-cc0f-11e4-85bb-51eb88240a26_489862235_b869e72aeb_b(Photo: Trey Ratcliff, Flickr)

12. SAN FRANCISCO

Safest Cities Index score: 76.63 out of 100 (with 100 the best possible)
Personal safety ranking: 21 out of 50 cities
Health security ranking: 16 out of 50 cities
Infrastructure safety ranking: 10 out of 50 cities (tied with Abu Dhabi)
Digital security ranking: 8 out of 50 cities
Life expectancy: 80

aa596ac0-cc0f-11e4-85bb-51eb88240a26_15300651347_3226c19fc7_k(Photo: Thomas Hawk, Flickr)

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

20 safest cities in the world, 2015 [#13]

<Original Source>

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked these 50 cities for overall safety in four categories.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked these 50 cities for overall safety in four categories.

The world is increasingly urban, a trend that’s expected to continue for decades. In the United States, at least 80 percent of the population lives in a city or suburb.

Those concentrations of people create economies of scale but also risks, like violent crime, contagious diseases, even digital network vulnerabilities.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the 50 cities listed above for overall safety, using an index of indicators in four categories. (The 50 indexed cities were chosen partly for how representative they were of their region and partly for whether data points were accessible.) All five of the U.S. cities on the list showed up in the top 20, but only one — New York — appeared in the top 10.

The four categories:

Personal safety. The most obvious category, this one takes into account illegal activity, police engagement and the prevalence of violent crime. No U.S. city shows up in the top 10 worldwide, though Toronto does, at No. 7. Singapore is No. 1. Of the five U.S. cities in the index, Washington ranks highest at No. 17, followed by San Francisco at 21, Los Angeles at 23, Chicago at 25 and New York at 28.

Health security. Data that went into this measurement included the ratio of hospitals to population size and residents’ life expectancy. Surprisingly, New York comes in at No. 2 — the only North American city to show up in this category’s top 10, which is dominated by European cities. Zurich is No. 1.

Infrastructure safety. This category measures factors including road quality, car accidents and pedestrian deaths per year, deaths from natural disasters, and the percentage of the population living in urban slums. The only U.S. city in the top 10, San Francisco, just barely makes it there, tying with Abu Dhabi for No. 10.

Digital security. Here, the United States has its best showing, with four out of its five indexed cities appearing in the top 10. (Alarmingly, it’s the nation’s capital that does not have a strong enough score.) The presence of cyber security teams contributes to a higher score in this category, while a high frequency of identity theft and large amounts of money lost to online crime are a couple of the factors that drive a score down. New York (3) and L.A. (6) both beat out San Francisco in this category, possibly because the tech hub’s extensive reliance on digital technology also creates vulnerabilities.

Here is #13 of the 20 safest cities:

fd0047e0-cc0e-11e4-850b-97d014760e56_6045945512_fcf6a63847_o(Photo: Calvin, Flickr)

13. TAIPEI, TAIWAN

Safest Cities Index score: 76.51 out of 100 (with 100 the best possible)
Personal safety ranking: 5 out of 50
cities
Health security ranking: 9 out of 50 cities
Infrastructure safety ranking: 22 out of 50 cities
Digital security ranking: 21 out of 50 cities
Life expectancy: 83

3ca4b340-cc0f-11e4-85bb-51eb88240a26_5217227201_0551240070_b(Photo: Kah-Wai Lin, Flickr)

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

World’s grandest abandoned hotels [8/20]

Abandoned hotels

Inside a hotel in Austria. (Thomas Windisch/Caters News)  

Grand banqueting halls, opulent lobbies and vast ballrooms; you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a collection of photographs was documenting some of Europe’s grandest hotels. However, a closer look will reveal the majestic rooms to be engulfed in swathes of dust and moss; hotels that once hosted royals and high society abandoned to the elements.

This is the latest result of urban exploration photography, going beyond “no entry” signs to capture images of dilapidated buildings across Europe. IT worker Thomas Windisch, from Graz in Austria, indulged his passion for photography by traveling across the continent, visiting over 100 abandoned hotels along the way. (Caters News)

Photography by Thomas Windisch

Find more news related pictures on our photo galleries page and follow us on Tumblr.

<Original Source>

Print Friendly
Posted in To The Good Life, Zotz! | Leave a comment

I, The Jury – “Obie Jones, a Bachelor in Paradise” [Part 66]

Penelope—“This morning I went shopping, and then I went to the Museum of Modern Art. They have a marvelous new exhibit there. After which I had lunch at the Plaza: Palm Court—eggs Benedict. A few minutes before three o’clock I stuck up my husband’s bank.”

“And one more thing: This is America, not Europe. Our attitude toward women is different.”

“Sex hasn’t gone out, has it?”

“No, of course not.”

“I’d heard it had been replaced by television.”

 

Catherine was expecting a lot of things. What she wasn’t expecting in her wildest dreams was the sight of Obie [Jones] lying unconscious on the living room floor, submitted by the application of a most viscous armbar. Mr. Jones’ left arm is broken in several places. The sharp ends of the bone breaks jut through his flesh. His wrist and elbow have been destroyed. A pouting, angry Jenny Miller, Mondo’s Elven roommate and main BFF, is perched in a chair staring straight at Catherine saying nothing.

The formidable Elf, a former Marine Recon [USMC Force Recon i.e. United States Colonial Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance], currently a Sky Marshall with Pan Am, is wearing her favorite nightgown, bathrobe, and pink bunny slippers.

Startled, Catherine steps back out of the apartment and reaches into her purse. She never gets a chance to draw her gun. She feels the muzzle of someone else’s pistol in the small of her back.

“Leaving so soon. And the party was just getting started,” Mondo whispers in Catherine’s ear. “Going after my best friend. The dirtiest spiteful trick. What a predictably vengeful bitch you are.”

The sandman shoves Catherine back into the apartment, the front door closes and locks itself behind them.

Jenny gets out of her chair, walks over to the captive Catherine, and hugs the employer of her would-be murderer in a “glad to see you in a coon’s age” manner. In a break with kayfabe, she’s smiling.

“Not counting an out of it Obie, it’s just us girls,” Jenny announces playfully as she skips into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. “How many places should I set, Mondo?”

“Let’s be optimistic and set three. Have you called an ambulance for Obie?”

“Yep.”

“I see no need to involve the police and press charges against him. We’ll chalk it up to horseplay that went awry. Hence the mishap with his arm.”

“I totally agree.”

Mondo shoves Catherine over toward Obie. Catherine sits in the chair that Jenny was sitting in. The Vampire holsters her gun.

“Miles always knew that in the end, you’d murder him. And I do believe that you truly loved him.” Then in a very demeaning manner, Mondo adds: “But … No matter how hard it tries, a scorpion cannot change its nature.”

The addition does what it’s meant to do. It rattles Catherine’s cage, somewhat.

“Think you’ve got the better of me, huh?”

“Honey, you’d lost before the game ever started. And don’t delude yourself into thinking that this was ever a competition between the two of us. It was a game that I was always gonna win.”

“Bullshit.”

Catherine smiles, wily. Mondo reads her to a tee, and smiles wilier. That’s when Catherine realizes that she’s been had.

“Go ahead, call them.”

Catherine pulls a phone out of her purse and checks. Sure enough, every contingency that she had in place and had put in motion for the endgame has been skillfully thwarted. Game over, she’s lost!

“I’m at your mercy,” a dejected-looking Catherine finally concedes. A rhetorical admission on her part.

“And unfortunately for you, I have none. This you already know, which is why your concession is rhetorical at best.”

“Yes, as you say, I was being rhetorical.”

Postgame. Time to poke you again.

“Yawn,” Mondo feigns disinterest to get Catherine even more off her nut.

The murderess hates improvising, not being very good at it. She prefers doing everything according to her meticulous game plan. Losing was not part of the plan, though. Worse: she’s never lost before. Postgame is unchartered territory for her. Ergo, for her, postgame is a complete and utter improvisation.

“So now that you’ve won, you kill me in revenge for killing Miles.”

Maybe a random elder [e.g. some old thing] is remote viewing. Just passing the time. Channel surfing and they come upon this, our conversation. Grasping for straws, she’s hoping that this is about me avenging Mile’s murder and I get got by said eavesdropping old thing for admitting my transgression. If this is her [Catherine’s] “Hail Mary” pass. It too will fail.

“If this had just been about Food killing Food, I wouldn’t have intervened, even when it involved Food that I cared about so much. Miles was a big boy, an adult, and he knew exactly what he was getting into when he married you. So … when you finally did decide to do him in, as he knew you eventually would, he wanted me to make the murder investigation into a most fun adventure for me the investigator and for you the investigatee. To cut to the chase … There is no revenge motive on my part. Miles coopted my involvement by invoking a binding promissory.” The Lost pauses and smiles even wider. Then she continues. “Hopefully, up until your defeat, it was as much an A-list experience for you as it was for me.”

“Now what?”

“Look in the drawer of the nightstand by you. There’s a manila envelope.”

Catherine does as she’s instructed. Inside the envelope are copies of the circumstantial evidence against her. It’s copious to the point of being obese, but the evidence is nothing her lawyer can’t make mincemeat of.

“The originals are with the District Attorney. You will be arrested and charged with Miles’ murder, when you leave this apartment building. The police are waiting outside.”

“There’s a catch, isn’t there?”

“Of course. As you can see, based upon the evidence, you’ll easily beat the rap. But, after the case is tried, you will sign custody papers in the office of my attorney, Attorney Felicity ‘Perry’ Mason.”

“Custody?”

“You’re going to give custody of your children to the in-law that you loathe so much, Miles’ sister. You will have supervised visitation with the children, of course.”

“I will do nothing of the sort!”

“Then Jenny and I will devour you and Obie here. Neither of you will leave this apartment alive. Miles’ sister will get custody of your kids by default. If you verbally agree now to relinquish custody of your children and later renege on signing the custody agreement after you’ve been judged innocent at your trial—absconding with the kids and disappearing off the gird with them—the children’s godparents will hunt you down and do worse by you. Per the custody agreement, there is an order of succession for determining who will get custody of the kids if anything happens to Miles’ sister, and you’re not on that list, but the godparents are.”

“Godparents?! They have no godparents!”

“On the contrary. It’s something else that Miles arranged without your knowledge or consent. Their godparents are Wraiths. And you know how possessive Wraiths can be about their godchildren.”

Wraiths are inclined to be over-possessive about all their personal relationships. They are also very adept at simulating malevolent spirits. That combination lends itself to some pretty nasty personality traits. Benevolent, they are not to those who cross them.

Catherine swallows hard. Very unpleasant images are being entertained in her head.

“I see, now.”

“So, do we have an agreement?”

“Yes, we do.”

“Good. Then we eat. Unfortunately for Jenny and me, it [breakfast] won’t be you and Obie.”

Print Friendly
Posted in I, The Jury, Vampire Noir | Leave a comment