Friday, July 27, 2012

Star Whacker-10

I started scoping out the hotel and the concert venue, finding plenty of excuses to do so by way of taking up a celebrity-related slant on sports and civic engagement. (Oh, how self-important charity functions are when celebrities and star fuckers get involved.) Dovetailing my assassination work with my day job’s hyping of the upcoming three-night stand proved to be efficient and lucrative; I cashed a lot of fat paychecks from overtime as well as increased ad revenue from my blog traffic. Fortunately, I found plenty of places to stash useful things and learned what the security details will be when the target is on site in both places.

I also got on the list of trusted local media people, which took some use of my network of colleagues to go to bat for me. (Not as hard as it seems, as I am the only celebrity journalist with international reach and name recognition to match; being the big fish in a small pond is not that bad, now that the Internet lets me dig for dirt everywhere from anywhere.) This meant that I had the way to get to my target. With sufficiently free access to the space and the target, all I needed to do was to find some way to deal with the rival assassin- and I decided to make him work for me.

This ex-IRA guy is a bomber. He’s not going to attempt a long-range rifle shot. He’s not going to attempt a close-range handgun or knife attack. He’s not going to attempt to ram the target’s vehicle, or some other common insurgent method. He’s going to arrive ahead of the target, scout the territory, and then attempt to place a bomb. If he’s still at-large after all this time, then he’s been in the United States for a while; he’s ditched his accent, and he’s taken a cover identity that easily allows access to a target’s likely spaces—home, office, etc.—and that cuts things down considerably.

Using euphemisms, I’ve discussed this with my FBI funtoy. (She’s safe enough once I get a glass of wine in her.) By liberally lacing in asides full of popular culture references, and talking about the stuff that Mariska Hargitay gets up to, I keep her fantasies of using my ascension to the Law & Order: SVU writing staff to “…get her out of these shit cities and back to Civilization…” so I can pick her brain about my problem.

To her credit, she solved it rather quick: “Your bad guy’s most likely to be part of the team that your diva victim sends in advance to secure the location. Your Not-Benson heroine’s got to finger him, and that means getting a DNA sample somehow. If he’s this good, then he’ll always keep his hands covered and be very careful about contact.” I rewarded her with empty promises of getting her a TV shot as I fucked her silly.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Star Whacker-09

I turned again to my FBI contact. I got her some VIP tickets for an Amanda Palmer show (after explaining how this will help her get where she wants to go), and that was enough to get her willing to pay attention during the regular briefings in the office. Letting her make me breakfast once a week, if you follow (“Think of it as practice for that rich husband, and yourself as the next Giada.”), got me the other favors I needed out of her. When she next came over, she had briefings about possible threats in hand; many of these were well-known within the Intelligence community, but not popularly-known at all, which is why I had to spend some time the next day double-checking the references.

Nonetheless, “burned spy” was an apt summary. I had three likely suspects. Two of them were American, both with military backgrounds. One was ex-Army—Special Forces, then CIA, burned with the failed coup against Chavez; turned to the cartels to survive, looking to come in but no one’s biting—and the other two are ex-Marine—Force Recon/Scout Sniper, then DEA, burned when the Sinaloa ties came out; he defected to Los Zetas—and the foreigner is ex-IRA (and said to be a burned MI5 agent). Great, a trio of trained, experienced, and desperate marksmen and knife-wielders with lots of times to syndicate operations of every sort- this is very much “if they catch me, they will kill me” and I don’t want to die.

Unlike my FBI screwtoy, I am very aware of the sort of people backing this play. They want this target dead, and they are not the least bit reluctant to smooth the hitter’s way. Therefore, manipulating the biggest American counter-intelligence agency can only go so far. Furthermore, if I try to flip the flow by trying to plant information on her to push towards her bosses that will probably backfire and bring me unwanted attention.

I was running out time, and I needed to strain as many rivals out as possible; I ran with a risky option. By way of proxies and other means to anonymize my identity and location, I put tips off on these likely rivals. Over the next week, I saw the two tied to the drug cartels south of the border get killed in arrest attempts. That left the ex-IRA guy, and if he’s like others I’ve read about then he’s been in the United States for years now. Still, one guy is better than three. I can deal with this.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Star Whacker-08

I had the in I needed, and got the information I needed from that source, to begin a serious set of inquiries on the sly as I went about my day job business. The public records regarding my target did turn up plenty of previous history, most of which did not point towards possible suspects for pulling the trigger. Instead, I found plenty of possible fallguys, and that’s not to be discounted; having a fallguy is what made my first hit so successful.

I put aside that list of likely suckers for now, and instead focused upon hitters, which meant a turn towards who would put those hitters into the field, and that in turn meant digging more into the target’s life and past. That was right up my alley, so I met several of my contacts familiar with both the occult and the celebrities that deal in it. We took a backroom at one of our favorite coffee houses, and to keep the owner happy we splurged on lunch as well as drinks; he’ll not complain about us when we’re dropping $50 per head.

Informally, we’re called “The Coffee Crew”, and we meet for talking about more than this, but I got them focused through emphasizing my target’s coming to town and the curious practices that this celebrity is known for. Since we’re all a bunch of odd ducks, one way or another, we got away with this by taking collective refuge in the audacity of our unabashed eccentricity. (Yes, being a straight man that deals heavily in celebrity gossip without being a metrosexual makes me quite eccentric before taking the psychopathy into account.)

The bulk of our meetings are easily dismissed as shallow coffee talk about famous people and the rumored weird things that they’re said to do, which is why I can get away with talking about this in a public location, and they are reliable sources within their areas of expertise so I nurture these ties with a steady stream of inside information. Again, I know what they want so I know that I can always get what they want by giving it to them.

Because our meetings tend to be meandering affairs, I won’t go into details. Instead I will focus on this one exchange:

“Some of my sources in the boardrooms on the coasts, backed up by my contacts in Europe, tell me that they’re looking to force our fading famewhore into retirement.”

“Retirement, or ‘retirement’?”

“The latter, and it’s said that the ones pushing that are encouraging her spiritual practices.”

“You’re going to want to pay attention to people connected to Bohemian Grove as well as being a regular for Bilderberg. That’s where the confluence would be in the United States, and anyone that’s on about making that famewhore into a sacrifice has to have European ties because it’ll need to be signed off by the top men- and they’re in Europe.”

Intelligence ties, connected into the Trans-Atlantic network, means that I’m looking for very specific sorts of spies- and because any hitter will be a disposable asset, I’m looking for a burned spy for certain. The crooks, as I figured out here, will be just a dangerous distraction.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Star Whacker-07

While the liaison was a personable enough guy, the gossip addict proved to be quite the score; this was a young woman from the East Coast, from a respectable family with political ties, marking time as a functionary until she could score a rich husband. Many of my high school and college classmates would be aghast at this woman, including my ex girlfriends; when she wasn’t asking if I met this or that hot guy, she whined about being here- she wanted to be in New York City, Los Angeles, and would have been okay with Chicago, but nothing here meets her standards. (Which, considering the high reputation of our theater and music scene, I found doubly-astonishing; she was a flat-out gold-digging status whore, and not very good at hiding it.) I knew that she saw me as an escape route; I decided to use that against her.

Lunch went as expected. I got the press response I asked for, and I gave the liaison the expected fluffy-bunny demeanor. I gave the gossip girl all of the flirty moves, and as we left the diner I slipped her a card inviting her for drinks later. I got a call from her an hour later accepting the offer, and I knew that this was more than one form of in. I arranged a few things, told her when and where to meet, with the bait that I’d tell her all about my time in Europe if she did. I won’t bore with details; this isn’t about my conquests. I paid the cost to bring this one into the network, and I knew what maintenance would cost me to keep this one around, so it’s not like I didn’t see what the deal was.

What got me her continued interest was when I played the “I’m doing this to pay the bills until I make it as a novelist.” card, and I showed her the manuscripts I keep around to sell this to people. Then I laid on her the “I could use some help with my research.” gambit on her, showing her the True Crime book based on my first assassination (carefully scrubbed, of course), and how it’s doing on Amazon and so forth. It went like this:

“So, I’m looking to branch into crime thriller fiction, and I already know about high-profile murder scenarios so I’m writing one of these as the premise of the novel. I need to know a lot more about the usual sorts of hitmen and such, and I know that the FBI deals a lot with that sort of thing. It’s the sort of thing that can me a gig writing for Law & Order.”

I saw her eyes light up as I mentioned that show’s name. I knew that I had her hooked for certain.

“Yeah! I can do that!”

Find the thing that they want, and you can get anyone to do anything. By the weekend, I had her in my bed and the files detailing the common psychological and background profiles of hitmen on my hard drive. For her sake, she gave me nothing that was classified—she didn’t have that access anyway—and I gave her nothing that she wasn’t expecting. Keeping her satisfied and useful proved to be easier than expected.