Nary A Problem

Our trip to Midway was uneventful, as was our boarding of the plane to Portland, each under our new assumed name. The only thing of note was the wrench in my heart at leaving my beautiful electrocar for good in the long term airport parking. The liberty to drive once I left the Zone was one of the most precious changes in my life, and the Chinese electrocar was everything a High Class Tart of independent means could ever dream of. I never saw it again or heard what happened to it, but in one of those unasked for and surprising mental visions which would sometimes come to the three of us at once, the Chicago Police impounded it, could find no trace of “Sally Bayer” who owned it, and later they sold it at auction.

By that time GLCIS no longer existed, the members of the truth team were in the first six months of their life sentences for the murder of a GLCCA cop, and GLCCA had closed the entire case. So Sally Bayer simply vanished into thin air. After the death of its officer, GLCCA had no interest whatsoever in finding us and GLCIS, under it’s fourth chief, was set up only to kill people and not to track them down so, without GLCCA, it had no way of finding us. And it functionally ceased to exist but a few weeks after the hapless bombing of our storage unit.

We never saw or heard from Violet again. As I told Elizabeth so very long ago, as a spy I had simply ceased to be a decent human being with real friends; and as we both knew, the only friends a whore can have are other whores, and this only among the Higher Class Tarts or the Part Time Ladies. Most of the people Elizabeth or I personally knew and befriended lived in the Zone and the GLC, both of which we would never see again; most of Elizabeth’s friends in the life were long dead; and most of mine never even existed. Lady Chief had only work, fashionable dressing, and the study of cooking to come home to, ever since she had left Cherry Hawkins in the Zone so many years ago.

All we had was each other and our mutual love. That was enough, and no more was desired by any of us

Our exit of GLC had been so slapdash that neither Pacifica Intelligence nor Pacifica Security even knew that we were there and they never found out until we called them from our hotel! This was the first slip in their tradecraft that we discovered, though not the last. The easiest surveillance in the game is a standing customs tripwire. Customs agents always have the legal authority to detain anyone upon arrival. There was no surface transportation across the now unendurable heat in the Great Plains. The only airline service was to Portland. So whenever we arrived we HAD to pass through Portland airport customs. Though we’d made hotel reservations, we were expecting a Customs tripwire, a detainment, and to be taken to a safehouse directly from Portland Airport.

Lady Chief’s contact in the Pacifica GLC Embassy was the valiantly long serving “above the line” Pacifica Intelligence agent “Jacob”, “Keeper of the Spookhouse” who’s cover was diplomatic and immune from arrest as a spy. He was the second officer under the supervisor of the Visa Department and his real job was “below the line” agent running. Jacob had all the names on all the nine passports we were carrying since he had issued refugee visas for each one.

We found out later that he had forgotten to pass these names on to headquarters. Moreover, when asked to search for them, the names had some way been misfiled and they never did get to headquarters. We had to reveal the passports we were traveling on when we were finally sent someone by the agencies, but the other six names simply fell into a black hole. The tradecraft gods were smiling on us.

Jacob, like so many, was blissfully ignorant of the real threat posed by GLCIS Truth Teams. They had never needed to go to Pascifica, and his agency sent him to GLC with no explanation of how truly dangerous his assignment was. Pacifica Intelligence themselves didn’t know either. The next alternatives when you cannot arrest a diplomatic cover spy were either to abduct him, kill him, or both together. So, although he issued the visas, he very much doubted that Lady Chief was going to need them and let further processing slide. The storage unit bombing was as much a wake up call to Jacob as it was to everyone else in GLC. And he was an intelligence agent runner on site!

Only Commander Cherry Hawkins of the Zone was fully aware of how ruthless the shadowy Chiefs of GLCIS could be. Even after the killing of Micha Haaretz, Mossad undervalued GLCIS killers, and Poison Julep didn’t have a clue that, in Curtis’ and Ian’s tenure, GLICIS routinely left bodies all over Mormonia and Dixieland. All, particularly, had no clue of the ruthlessness of the 3rd, Female, and nameless CoS who we knew as Lady Chief, a still sexist taking of her at a discount which extended all the way to the meeting where she had to argue to be allowed to retire. She had been ruthless in fact and by reputation as a nameless 30 year old interrogator for Sec/Spy, ruthless as she climbed up the ladder to Senior Intelligence Analyst, ruthless as she seduced and then blackmailed Ian into making her GLCIS Chief, and ruthless through the 28 killings of her career afterward. Her mask of languid elegance deceived almost all who met her.

I know more about how ruthless she was than most of the characters in this narrative. I carried away about 3/4’s of it when I apprehended and absorbed Lady Chief’s feral inner self. She is my dear sister and constant lover and always will be, but I lived with the worst part of her, I became that part, and then I tamed it. Because I have it under strict control, where she didn’t, I’m actually as ruthless as she, maybe even more ruthless than she, because, in a real sense, I am her as well as her sister.

Elizabeth has written about weeping privately after certain remorseless beatings she had given, especially my own. I never wept after any of mine. Part of the discipline of my girls at Elizabeth’s Secret was the cheery attitude of Lady Chief’s feral shadow that I had while strapping my whores’ little butts off. It worked. I ended up strapping fewer on the average than Elizabeth, and developed the most blood curdling reputation ever heard of on Scarlet Fever Lane.

Where Elizabeth was the stern “second mother” as she grimly and thoroughly tanned your backside, but was always nurturing behind a closed office door, I was the terrifying older sister taking the skin off your ass with the mildest of smiles. “It hurts? Well, of course it hurts. YOU wouldn’t hurt if you’d been following the rules, now would you? I don’t enjoy this quite as much as my other chores as Madam, but I look on the bright side, a butt so sore that you never want it to happen again will make a better whore of you, since you’re now motivated to follow the rules. As your Madam, I think that’s worth it, and I find it very uplifting to make that happen.”

Bloodcurdling, indeed.

The girls loved us both and were equally the happiest girls and Highest Class Tarts on the Lane for us both. Big Sis was more worldly wise in appearance than Mom, and behind closed doors would give you trustworthy advice about anything whatever, and would give it with exactly the same cheery smile she had while beating you until you couldn’t sit for two weeks.

When we walked into the Forever Hotel, the best in Portland, Elizabeth and I were strongly startled and Lady Chief went into massive culture shock. The lobby was decorated for the final day of Tiki Week, with fake waterfalls, real parrots, and lush tropical potted plants almost filling it up. There was only enough room to get luggage carts through and, battery operated, electric Tiki torches were everywhere. All bellhops were dressed in red Hawaiian shirts unbuttoned almost to the navel and tan canvas pants, the desk staff were in blue ones and the cocktail waitresses were in yellow ones with very tight ocean blue capris, toting around trays of the last day 20% off Mai Tais, Fruit Daiquiris, Pina Coladas, Bloody Marys, and Margaritas to the lounge seating in the lobby.

These chairs and couches with extra side and coffee tables were full of people in Portland civilian dress (always ready to head to the beach) getting very patiently smashed while waiting for the suckling pig for the evening to be brought around on a cart and carved onto plates with utensil setups. Over the bar entrance, where these yellow and blue Angels of Mercy went back and forth with their trays, there was a big bioplastic banner: Beachcomber Lounge. But the service was superb and, if you overlooked the permanent fake blue period Piccassos behind the desk, it was as friendly and welcoming as could be. And our suite was as luxurious as Portland could show. Once in it Lady Chief gave an overwhelming sigh, audible through the entire suite, while Elizabeth and I dissolved into laughter.

The fact that no one was there to greet us solved a tiny problem with our pell mell escape from GLC that I hadn’t quite untangled yet. Just like Elizabeth so many years ago, I mailed both my guns to my new name at the Forever. But I didn’t know what I was going to do afterward.

At the Ritz Carleton you had to be a regular repeat guest to keep a storage box when you weren’t staying there, so I simply asked for one at the Forever, telling the lie that I had been transferred by International Interests of Chicago Llc (name, of course, made up on the spur of the moment) to Juneau, which had no GLC air service, just commuter hops to Vancouver and Portland. I expected to frequently stay at the Forever in the future when making plane connections to return to company headquarters, and I was in need of a more convenient mail drop in Portland than a post office box somewhere else in a city I didn’t know well and without an Electrocar. No trouble whatsoever, madam, and we look forward to continuing to serve you.

After being shown my box and getting my new key, I asked for mail coming in to be placed there until I and my party checked out. My guns arrived the next day and also a call from the desk clerk to my suite, so I went downstairs, picked up the package, and left my guns in the box for the future. Both Elizabeth and I later were able to register guns in our new names with the Portland police. Like Dixieland, Pacifica had no police data sharing with GLC, we had real passports with new names, and we used the second one of these that Portland Security didn’t know about, so there was nary a problem.

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