The 3rd Chief of GLCIS: The Memorandum

Date: October 9, 2085
To: Senior intelligence Analyst, GLCIS
From: Chief of Service, GLCIS
About: Altering Deep Cover Training in light of Agent “Montecristo” going renegade.

Please brief tomorrow’s staff meeting with the substance of this memo. The interview with the President this morning was very difficult, I had to admit that though we supplied none of the arms or explosive, we were at fault insofar as our Deep Cover training is concerned. It has been little modified from the dangerous days from 2030 to 2050, when it was first established, and one component of it contributed directly to the criminal incident.

In particular it is the “McGuiver Goodie Box Week” where deep cover students are trained in impromptu sabotage with improvised materials, impromptu face-to-face assassination with handmade silencers sufficient for use with 9mm pistols, and silent unarmed killing methods. It is this section that needs to be separated from Deep Cover Training and taught only to our Truth Teams. In that regard, I’m proposing a policy phasing out our in house thugs, and replacing them with explosive and sabotage experts trained by us and drawn from our reserve agent pool which we retain at GLICIS headquarters for one time, medium cover penetrations. After being trained such experts could still function well as reserve agents since our use of Truth Teams is very infrequent and will be significantly reduced without operations to track and kill one of our thugs gone renegade. Any and all suggestions about how to make these changes and in what order are solicited.

A new Truth Team would consist of one killer, and either one or two agents trained to use explosives. All Truth Team members would receive more intensive and focused training in unarmed and non-pistol armed killing. I’m requesting that, under your direction, staff members do the following things. 1) reassess past truth team operations debriefings examining whether thugs made any significant contribution to the success of the mission 2) Identify whether we actually ever used any 2 killer, 3 thug truth teams. Just running it over in my mind, I can’t remember any.

Finally, I’ve told the President that I will retire as Chief in 6 months. The President, and his Prime Minister, wish to take a more proactive role in the selection of the next Chief of Service. Since major candidates will include members of the current staff, I’m asking you to meet with the President’s Chief of Staff. In house candidates will need to be schooled on the proper protocol for Presidential interviews and more extended sessions with the Prime Minister. I’m also asking you to brief the CoS on what will be needed, if candidates are considered from beyond GLCIS, to maintain the secrecy of agents in place and operations in progress.

I have told the President that, while active, I will offer him any assistance he needs in this search, but upon retirement I will withdraw from the proceedings entirely. I’ve given them six months to get their “proactive” act together, but if they don’t I’m recommending your appointment as Interim Chief so that you may take on the advisory role I will be leaving.

Yes, if you need to, you can call me Lady Chief, or just call me Julie, the name given me by my dear heart Cherry Hawkins so many years ago. I use both names as a matter of controlled familiarity, a GLCIS trademark. Just as my predecessor took a call name Ian for use when he is introduced as a “former Chief of GLCIS” so I use Julie in the same way.

Our last civil workname, which we still retain, is referred to nowhere in the GLCIS files, and we never reveal it, even to our best friends. This is for our continued safety, because when we retire we never know how many dangerous enemies we leave behind. Our pensions are deposited directly, to an independent bank, from one of the many shell companies run by the agency holding companies. My name appears ONLY on the shell company list of payees and nowhere else and that list doesn’t include my past history, my address, or my Dictapad.

When among the small circle of friends, centering around my dear “Elizabeth” now Jessica, for this year, as the Keeper of the North Chicago Safehouse; and Sally Bayer who came home from Deep Cover as a Whorehouse Madam at about the same time as I retired, and chose to take the generous pension instead of a new assignment, because the whorehouse provided the revenue for some well invested I independent means. We three did have our happy ending of dinner at the Agents Club and aperitifs in the library. And the physical bond between myself and Elizabeth and between myself and Sally were finally consummated. For the curious, Sally did indeed, take on for life the “comehither gait” of the high class tart.

I need Sally and Elizabeth both. The horror of my own crimes, mostly murders by proxy, and their collateral damage, haunts both my days and my nights, with the last of the bodies hanging on me being Bernadette and the whole ruling clique of the Matriarchal Zone. And my chats with Micha Haaretz have ceased because they are no longer necessary. Her voice is with me most of the time taunting me for the guilt and remorse she never felt. Together we three hold up all the dead bodies of each of us, giving us the space to breathe and be happy together until we go to the ultimate resolution of those crimes in OUR Moment of Truth. And my greatest fear is then, afterward, meeting Micha Haaretz face to face. But they do more for me than they need from me and I’m grateful.

So, where to start…the tone of my memo above should tell you that, if I had not offered to retire in six months, I probably would have been asked to resign. The fact that the then current Zone political disturbance was solely caused when our Deep Cover agent Bernadette Johnson went rogue, made a powerful fertilizer bomb, and used it to kill the Chief Matriarch and the entire Matriarchal Cabinet, as well as herself, at the Matriarchal Residence, simply could go nowhere except to a “new broom to sweep things clean” desire among our political masters.

As an aside to the difficulties Bernadette’s revenge made for all of us, I’ll repeat a part of my private conversation with the President, with the Prime Minister present, concerning the outcome to be expected if I handed in my resignation that day in the more general meeting. I think they both expected me to be blindsided and devastated at the prospect, the President with some sympathy, the Prime Minister with unconcealed satisfaction, though I doubt he realized how unconcealed it was and how much it was getting on the President’s nerves. At first the prime minister attempted to shut me off, but the President was interested in what I had to say and let me continue, though they both looked a little sick at the end.

“Candidly,” I said, “I brought a resignation letter along should you demand it. Yes, I said demand, under the circumstances I see no reason to euphemise it as a “request”. This is a time for straight talk. So I will outline what will happen from the moment that such a letter passes from my hands to yours.

“First, I will automatically and immediately be barred from the building and my office. At the agency, we know this may happen, and none of us leave personal memorabilia in our offices or at our desks. Nor do we have nameplates. We operate on the assumption that we are at risk at headquarters as well as on a foreign posting, if not as high a risk as in cover abroad. I was present when my two predecessors spoke to us stressing this and I have continued to do so. GLCIS policy is that all such resignations are presumed to be for culpable cause and the moment I give it to you I will become a “major security risk” in fact THE most major security risk, given the breadth of my contact with all GLCIS operations, including ones that have yet to be formally committed to record.

“My status as such a major security risk will be permanent, both for the general safety of the Service and because of the fact that the operations I’m familiar with will include ones that are planned to extend as long as two decades. Legally, this will mean that any past, present, or future of the agency’s employees will be barred from any contact with me except for the Security Officers, the Interrogators, and whatever senior official would be placed in charge of any such an interrogation. The employees of GLCCA would be included in such a ban.

“Also under law, my present workname passport will be seized and I will be barred from legal travel outside GLC. And both any pension I might receive for my service as well as any private assets I’ve accumulated will be subject to revocation at the pleasure of GLCIS and asset forfeiture will also be at the pleasure of the Service.

“Then at my level of security risk, the protocol in house will be to make a formal review of whether or not I should be killed by a GLCIS Truth Team.” At this point I finally began to have their undivided attention. “These decisions will usually examine both my level of access to past and present secrets and the likelihood that I might betray them. Up to now, employees who leave for culpable cause with my level of access have automatically been recommended for “termination” whatever realistic risk there may be of secrets being revealed. I wouldn’t expect that to change. I have personally ordered the killing of four employees designated major security risks during my entire tenure. You were not advised of it because your knowing about it is a political danger to you. The only exception to that is when the target is an employee of another agency or a citizen of another country. These parameters are set by the law establishing our charter, and the relevant executive orders.

“You look surprised, gentlemen! I remember very clearly the briefing I gave you when you entered office, Mr. President. Your predecessors made it clear to GLCIS that the security of both the country and the Service was paramount and was to be protected “by any means necessary” as it says in the Executive Order which you renewed immediately after that briefing. We kill people. Not all that many, and not all that often, but we kill those who are a major threat to what we do. Had we discovered Bernadette Johnson’s plot before it ripened, I would have had her killed. I also would have had her killed if she had not chosen to die in her own bomb blast. I planned a killing of the Chief Matriarch of the Zone and her executionress Angie Albertson at the time of the deliberate and gratuitous mutilation by them of two GLC citizens Bernadette and her father. President Gerald Washburn overruled it. For Bernadette’s sake I’m sorry he did.

“We have assassins specifically on the payroll to do just that, kill people. Somebody has to sign the death warrant, and that is me, Chief of Service. And somebody has to hire murderers and turn them into professional assassins. That is also me. Your predecessors required that they be kept completely insulated from that process for very sound political reasons. But since I presume you wish to take a more proactive approach to replacing me, the first question you need to ask about any candidate is, ‘Do I want this person to decide whether people live or die?’ or even ‘Do I want this agency to continue to have the mandate and means to kill?’ If you don’t, then you need to work on the law.

“Now I implied something that I will state explicitly. If I give you this letter of resignation I’m at high risk of being killed by my own agency. Right now the person who would make that decision is my immediate subordinate the Senior Intelligence Analyst, whom I work with every day. The process of evaluating my suitability for killing will start automatically unless he stops it. And if our roles were reversed and I was given an evaluation to kill him, I would order it done. Later the new Chief of GLCIS will have to re-evaluate that decision, if I’m still alive.

“As a “security risk” I will almost certainly be watched by GLCCA so there never will be any trouble to find me and kill me. Weather permitting, I like to sit in a rocking chair on the porch of my apartment watching the sunset every evening. GLCIS and the GLC Government would keep me from fleeing to another country, and if I tried to do it before my passport was confiscated I would almost certainly be traced and killed. Nor could I rely on any source of money that GLCIS couldn’t shut off immediately. Where I would go from there were I abroad, I won’t speculate.

“In consequence, if I hand you this letter of resignation, I will leave immediately, return home and begin to pursue my other interests. In my heart I will wish you the best of luck in finding a suitable candidate. But most of my attention will be given to my own conscience and it’s burden of the twenty-eight people whom I murdered by proxy, as well as other evil that was simply part of my job as a spy, an interrogator, an agent runner, and finally as Chief of GLCIS. And I’ll ask myself whether any of it was worth it. I don’t know what I’ll answer.”

Neither of them made any reply, and we adjourned to the larger Ministry meeting.

Having just retired and distanced myself from an incompetent committee of Parliament chaired by the Prime Minister, which dithered away those six months when they discovered that choosing the head of your Spookhouse is hard work and brain work, the “proactive involvement” of our political masters in the process gave the term a whole new meaning.

It is such a shame about Bernadette. My old flame Cherry gave you the backstory of torture, humiliation, and mutilation of her by the Chief Matriarch and Matriarchal Cabinet Member Angie, who, through nefarious ways, wormed herself back onto the Matriarchal Cabinet after having “voluntarily resigned” from it in the debacle of the Mossad Killing Spree seven years ago.

Bernadette kept her drive and desire for revenge well hidden. And when she persuaded us at GLCIS to use an altered procedure for her deep cover position, there was not a breath of suspicion of any such thing. And it certainly did look like a damn slick trick. She had brought back from the Zone, after she had fled it, her new citizenship certificate and her dominant woman licence. We set our forgers to work making two copies of each in her new worknames. 

We also made sure that workname one belonged to someone with black hair instead of Bernadette’s fine golden blonde. This, with a short and sassy blonde cut, as well as four top of the line black wigs, and heavy black horn rim glasses as well as a different makeup palette to go with them, gave us our most fluid Deep Cover agent ever, with an instant change of identities between 3 separate “citizens” whenever needed. We also noted something that Cherry had observed as well at the start of Bernadette’s journey: the Zone had no writers to speak of.

Well, we would fix that by taking her black haired workname completely out of the Zone economic system. Caitlin Jones became a freelance writer from the Zone. We paid her money directly for “pieces” (mostly written by us) monthly. With Caitlin having gainful, but hidden employment, Bernadette, as Abigail Harrison or as herself, needed no job at all since she would appear so sparingly. Thus our gold headed heroine was hidden in perfectly plain sight, in a way that would have made Henry Peterson proud!

Caitlin took an apartment in her name, and her blonde friend “Abigail” was a frequent visitor. Caitlin was very frank to the surrounding neighbors, that not having a submissive male for oral pleasures meant that she needed to cultivate a friendship where she and Abigail had to help one another with their ungovernable cravings at any hour of the day or night. So Caitlin gave Abigail a spare key to simply let herself in, and not force Caitlin to get out of bed if Abigail came late. Caitlin thus had the luxuriance of being languid and ready in bed and Abigail had the mouth watering prospect of finding Caitlin so.

And the neighbors were so thrilled that Caitlin and Abigail were so quiet a couple and so contented with one another. Nary an argument was heard between them. It looked like their match might be “the real thing”. Lucky Caitlin. She was part of a whole generation of love starved Zone women, whose career income hadn’t reached the point of being able to afford their own submissive, and then the door for them was closed when the Matriarchal Cabinet decided three years ago to completely curtail offering male submissive citizenships to non-Zone residents.

The money pinch of maternity both for the individual Zone mothers and for the Zone as a whole came upon them far faster than they expected as the artificial insemination program expanded. Soon there might not be a need for any more men than nature provided. If that. Further, from the very beginning semen was collected and frozen only from the males FEM/AUTH had judged to be “reliable submissives” So there was little need to train any males not already established as submissives by birth in the Zone, who only needed citizenship training, and a good start on a breeding program to create eventually a naturally submissive population of males.

Indeed, within the confines of the Matriarchal Cabinet it was anticipated that within 3 generations a huge backlog of sperm could be acquired and classified allowing the reduction of the male population to only those numbers required for sperm bank renewal, about 1/20th of the present population, with the rest disposed of by abortion or pre-first year infantcide.

It is estimated that Fem/Auth, the citizen police and training agency, saw their student numbers cut by 1/3 by the ending of adult submissive training, and their budget cut by 1/2 with an exhortation from the Chief Matriarch to “do more with less” (a time tested and convincing way to boost an agency’s morale). No amount of backdoor politics by ANY front slash agency with the House of Matriarchs could stop, or even slow, the wholesale budget cuts. The hard realities of needing Maternity Ward beds, gynecologists, obstetricians, more primary care doctors, day care centers, children’s clothing supplies, and an urgently needed kindergarten space and teachers for the babies born 2068-2071, the first run of artificial motherhood.

The front slash agencies in place, particularly Fem/Auth, dug in their heels when first approached about changing their bureaucratic configuration to provide some of these services, so the Matriarchal Cabinet created a new agency, Maternity Services or Mat/Serv, and gave them both ALL of the above required tasks as well as ALL the money summarily stripped from the other agencies, including Ex/Pat which was completely closed down and it’s personnel transferred to Cus/Pas at the same time that the Cus/Pas budget was cut by 30%. And all that money has proved to be barely able to keep Mat/Serv above water.

Since, from “the Inception”, the prevailing personal dynamic in the Matriarchal Cabinet has been that of paranoia, Fem/Dom street police, prisons, and counterintelligence agency had the least money taken away (10-20%) with the stipulation that counterintelligence take no cuts at all. Their response was to enlarge the neighborhoods of each beat patrol lowering the amount of policing contact with each household and the prison personnel numbers were frozen and allowed to reduce by attrition. This generally took care of budgetary matters and their morale stayed high. However, Shirley, the counterintelligence AI, showed markedly degraded performance in consequence. This led to a minority in the Matriarchal Cabinet advocating a Shirley Shutdown as a cost saving measure.

The police were the only agency savvy enough to reach out to Mat/Serv with policeman visits to the daycares and the growing elementary schools. A universal favorite among caregivers and children alike was Commander Cherry Hawkins, whose massive presence, particularly with her Garrison cap, and gentle demeanor won the children’s hearts wherever she went.

The one pressure group that had held the line against cuts in services was the submissive maledom. The advisory House of Males was an already present pressure group for males whose opinions were legally mandated to be considered and voted on by the House of Matriarchs, even if the advice was not taken. Further, the Speaker of the House of Males had held his position since the early 2050’s and had always had a savvy political relationship with the Matriarchal Cabinet. He now played on their paranoia, particularly about out of control males, to successfully keep male services like Scarlet Fever Lane untouched by cuts.

A few of Abigail and Caitlin’s peers in her generation were lucky enough to click with a submissive of the same age either during or just out of citizenship training when the financial status of each of them were about equal and they could live as roommates for the 10 years before the male’s outside income plateaued while the Matriarchal’s income and status kept rising. But most of the newly made citizen males were snatched up by Matriarchals 10-20 years older than Caitlin who could by then afford 3-4 submissives in their households.

These younger citizens had no pressure group or advocate for themselves, and observed, quite correctly, that both Matriarchy and Maternity were inhibiting their growth personally, professionally, and in quality of life. This was the same group of Pre-Citizenship students whose complacency was shattered by the story of Bernadette Johnson. For merely making a rude gesture, the still sitting Chief Matriarch ordered Bernadette caned in the most painful and life ruining way possible with the intent of giving her a permanently, painfully, and totally scarred buttocks. This was combined with driving her out of the Zone by making any attempt to live there in a legal fashion impossible. Thus always threatening her with the prospect of prison, where the Chief Matriarch averred that she would see Bernadette routinely strapped on her painful scars and thighs, for no reason and at her mere command.

Every young pre-citizen clearly perceived that this sadistic, brutal, and tyrannical fate could happen to any one of them at any time, for little to no reason, completely separate from any legal protection as citizens or process within the law. The more intelligent and better read among them could immediately see it as a return of the caning-until-mutilated treatment that the Matriarchal Cabinet had permitted for non-citizen spys, only this time directed at Zone Citizens or Citizen trainees, making the sadistic torture of it and spiteful motives behind it unequivocally plain.

At the time of Bernadette’s caning and its explosively sudden exposure, not a single person of her age in the Zone spoke against her or justified her torture. And the Chief Matriarch who ordered it done had suffered nothing for it, while her country was railroaded into 5 years of economic chaos inhibiting the ultimate earning capacity of every one of those newly minted citizens. And many, if not most, were left from all this with sedition in their hearts.

Caitlin’s deep cover as a freelance writer was managed through a GLC based shell company “McGuffin Literary Agency” who received her rough drafts, edited them, and returned them for final approval (which Caitlin didn’t trouble too much over, since her rough drafts were really, really rough). The Agency then submitted the finished pieces to obscure (read non-existent) magazines and electronic outlets. The Agency was a real powerhouse. Everything Caitlin submitted was accepted and she made a very good living in the Zone as a free lance. The checks would come to the Agency, who would make an electronic deposit of the month’s work into Caitlin’s Zone Bank account. As the icing on the cake, the Agency sent back electronic copies of “clippings” from those phantom little magazines and electronic publishers.

So, if anybody, such as Fem/Dom counterintelligence, wanted to know how she made a living, she could show them her DATALINK (big brother of Dictapads) her final drafts, her clippings, and the bank deposit receipts for each month’s work, and neither would she know, nor could Fem/Dom find out, anything about the checks sent to the superb McGuffin Literary Agency. That is the Visible Means of Support, which allows any police agency to sleep far more soundly about what you’re doing. And Abigail was simply a will o’ the wisp never appearing anywhere but Caitlin’s apartment and across the boundary in Chicago.

In addition, an electronic reporter’s blank, a camera, and a recording function, on her Dictapad, along with Caitlin’s present cover, allowed her to be anywhere, talking to anyone, at anytime, while arousing minimal suspicion. So job #1 for GLCIS was just for her to go places, talk to people, and follow up promising leads, but for GLCIS, and not for her articles. And one of the beats she walked for GLCIS, and not for herself, was anything involving the Matriarchal Cabinet, from their typical breakfast to their formal interaction with the House of Matriarchs, she was collecting for a major, commissioned article for Commonwealth GLC, the prestigious monthly for GLC’s movers and shakers.

At least GLCIS didn’t think she was walking that beat for herself, or maybe for her alter ego Bernadette.

Bernadette herself at first appeared relatively seldom in the Zone. But she frequently flew to Chicago on a long term project (visiting as “Abagail”) with collateral personal benefits. She would rent a motel room for trysts with one of the younger and more presentable GLCIS thugs and the personal benefits were his stamina and enthusiasm. Her alter ego Caitlin had had a fiery affair with one of the lesser class whores on Scarlet Fever Lane and had persuaded her lover to teach the tricks of repeatedly getting and keeping a man erect multiple times in a short space of time, as well as getting him blowing off like Mt. Vesuvius for at least the first two of them.

Caitlin, of course, didn’t get any on the job training, but she learned well enough, by seducing a couple of non-citizen males for practice, after which she probably could have filled in for her hot whore girlfriend, at least on a slow day, and Bernadette suddenly had a lot more tools in her box. Soon she had the hook deep into her thug and pretty much could drag him anywhere, just like the old, old song, “It ain’t too bad the way you’re usin’ me ’cause I sure am usin’ you to do the things you do.”

Bernadette had been given (for other purposes) an Electromagnometer, which she used to alter the readings of the GPS in her thug’s wrist to hide the fact that he was shacking up in motels and occasionally going to places in Chicago that he shouldn’t, and taking Bernadette with him.

There she made all sorts of contacts with the criminal small fry of Chicago, the ones that The Outfit didn’t even bother extorting because the yield was too low. These were medium level drug dealers; beat-ups for a price thugs (including murder if the price was right); juvenile car thieves who supplied The Outfit’s body chop shops and Vehicle Number Identification removals (a big money maker from hoodlums one step up who were “connected” with The Boys and did piecework for them); the illegal gun dealers that The Outfit left alone so their own guns, purchased there by the piecework hoodlums, would have no extra linkage and the gun dealer would never know the gun’s destination; small operation fences for stolen goods, run out of pawnshops; and very much larger scale house burglars who kept a very low profile off of The Outfit’s radar screen.

A very colorful crew, and when Bernadette’s pal “Joey” had to meet GLCIS curfews, she did a part time outcall business with all of them for in kind goods and services. To do that, She also laid out a considerable sum to an Outfit Chop Shop for a VIN free electrocar, false Dixieland and GLC license plates, and a connection to the owner’s brother in law who rented out long term garage storage, had a harridan of a wife, and was badly in need of Bernadette’s creature comforts every time she visited Chicago.

That’s how she got the blasting caps and illegal pistols: a snubby for her purse, a new but venerable design Glock 19 with both two 17 round 9mm magazines and one 30 round magazine, 100 rounds of subsonic 9mm bullets, and a threaded and extra length barrel for the Glock. She tried for a commercial silencer to go on the barrel, but her sources just couldn’t turn one over, and even her big time burglar couldn’t find one. Peculiarly, Bernadette (or Abagail) was often in the city at the same times that Caitlin was having consults with McGuffin Literary Agency on the 13th floor of the Ritz Carelton.

These consults and hotel stays occurred frequently enough for the Ritz to allow Caitlin to have a semi-permanent visitor lockbox, an arrangement they often made for wealthy Zone residents to store small personal items that, cruelly and unfortunately, were illegal to possess in the Zone and sometimes even illegal in the GLC. You may wonder why so many Zone ladies visited Chicago frequently: the answer is that a gal gets bored and just wants every so often to pick up a Dominant GLC lounge lizard for a one night stand and maybe a good sound spanking if she can deliberately act bitchy enough.

The owners of the Ritz had a long term presence in Chicago, the cashet of working with GLCIS, and were quite willing to pay The Outfit top dollar to keep any legal paper from opening up those lock boxes, passing some of the charge to the frequent guest. Among the services purchased was 24 hours notice when legal paper couldn’t be kept from arriving, so that the management could exchange “extra charge” lock boxes with a backup set of empty boxes in the basement. All part of the top-notch service. So Caitlin could arrive secure in the feeling that her little gal notions such as car license plates, a pair of firearms with ammo and extra magazines, and curious little aluminum tubes that looked like small cigar carriers and had Warning! notices on the sides, would always be there.

With all the items she needed and could find purchased and stored, Bernadette wrapped up her Chicago presence. She enticed thug Joey to a motel in a part of town that was off limits and miles from GLCIS, and, while he was sleeping off his fourth explosive orgasm four hours before curfew, she used the Electromagnometer to completely fry Joey’s GPS, extracted his wallet and Datapad, went to a fine detailing electrocar wash to have latent fingerprints in the wrong places cleaned away, then parked the car in the garage space with the Dixieland plates on it, did a second wipe of the steering wheel and the door handles, and checked into another nearby motel that she had carefully never used before. She had a very good night’s sleep, woke up and paid her bill, took a taxi to Midway Airport and vanished into a ladies room. After freshening up, Caitlin came out of the ladies room, went through the security checkpoint and waited for the flight to Montpellier to depart.

Joey didn’t do so well. With a fried GPS whose last known location was a motel in the forbidden zone, a totally missed curfew, and at least a day and 1/2 walk to GLCIS with no money or ID, Joey was at about the halfway point when a car stopped a half block behind him, a tall, gangly figure with empty eyes got out, briskly stepped up to behind Joey and emptied five silenced .22 rounds into the back of Joey’s head, got back into the car which had pulled up to him, and swiftly sped away. Fully 15 minutes later a grandmother walking her Pug dog discovered the body. No one else had been out on the mid-morning street for the better part of an hour.

The GLCIS Armorer blew a gasket when told that yet another one of the threaded barrel pistols now had a history and needed permanent disposal. It was the third one in a week and a half. (and 3 more bodies for me) The Chief herself, me, Julie, had to come down to the armory to smooth down everyone’s ruffled feathers and have the Armorer write out an emergency requisition for five new .22 target pistols. The extra two had him smiling again, and the killer had returned to his usual empty eyed stare. It wasn’t too much to do. After all, it was the Armorer himself who would have to saw off and thread the barrels. I only found out much later how much more important a body in my collection thug Joey was beyond just one of our thugs who had gone off the rails.

Caitlin also had a secondary task from GLCIS as a spy. We had given her a B pendant. Since her livelihood came from her literary agency, no one could penalize her earning capacity because she wore it openly. When anyone else flashed a B back at Caitlin, she would engage them in conversation to see how deep their Bernadette sedition really ran, usually with a “How do you think Bernadette would feel about the Zone, now, so many years later?” The answer to that question would, by both content and tone of voice, tell Caitlin about how deeply the individual’s support for Bernadette still ran, and what they, themselves actually thought about the Zone projected on an imaginary Bernadette. Caitlin made sure, however, that she only spoke her first name once and her last name not at all.

If this sounded promising, Caitlin would ask if her informant had any friends who still actively supported Bernadette. If yes then Caitlin would try to arrange a time to meet them both together, so she could get them talking to each other about the Zone, Bernadette, their own progress in Zone life, and their satisfaction with their place. This was coffee shop/ice cream parlor conversation, so Caitlin would offer to treat the informant and her friend to coffee and desert at a time of their choosing, and would give her Dictapad number to the informant. Caitlin continued the questioning by sounding out attitudes toward maternity, matriarchy as “higher ranking women”, submissive males, their own economic trials and tribulations, and, most importantly, where the Zone was headed.

This particular run of questioning was yielding results that began to make the GLCIS analysts of Agent Montecristo’s reports happy as could be. Something that seldom get’s explained but is of some importance is that Agent Handles are to keep the particulars of an agent’s cover away from the evaluators or their clients within GLCIS. Then the reports could be spread far more widely within GLCIS and up the ladder to the political consumers. The drawback to this was that no one in GLICIS could know what Caitlin, or her alter ego Abigail (Bernadette), was actually doing either in the Zone or in Chicago. It is of some irony that Bernadette’s cashe of illegal supplies was in a guest lock box of the same hotel where Caitlin flew in for debriefing by us, the McGuffin Literary Agency. We even would fake dated McLA correspondence explaining what Caitlin was doing in Chicago, that she would dutifully file back in the Zone, for the potential request of Commander Cherry’s Rough Riders in Zone Counterintelligence.

Our own counterintelligence, GLCCA, had been shaping up very nicely under our old friend Violet, of the Mossad killer days. I received a very disturbed and disturbing intra-agency memo from Violet, head of Plain Clothes Investigation over there, about a short haired blonde outcall hooker who’d been raising the temperatures of the Chicago riff raff criminals for a while, all for barter and not cash. Neither Violet nor I would have been that interested in her if the first bit of bartering Violet found hadn’t been blasting caps!

This is the sort of thing that makes an agency like GLCCA sit up and take a second look. It also caught my attention because we deliberately keep a high profile Headquarters on Randolph Street to keep down gossip and intrusive curiosity about our being an intelligence agency. As long as our data and agents are secret, our building doesn’t have to be. Unquestionably, however, this makes us very vulnerable to homemade bombs. We’ve been lucky so far, but someone our there who wants to illegally possess blasting caps (we assumed that the hooker was a paid blind for someone or something else) is a high priority target for both of us. So I pulled off the head of New Canada/Alaska agent running (the yawner of the GLCIS departments) and set him and his staff doing a little digging ourselves.

I also did Violet a favor, classified the investigation as a Major Security Danger, and wrote her so. Since this was all happening among the small time thugs and creeps, this would give Violet’s Plain Clothes GLCCA cops a lot more legal leeway in how rough they got with informants. The next day I got back a thank you card, so that must have been helpful.

Back in the Zone, what Caitlin had uncovered, that was making our analysts so happy, was an unknown to us but immense and widespread dissatisfaction, even over ten years later, with the 5 year period of non-relations and economic sanctions from GLC. GLC itself was almost always not blamed for this, but the fault was placed squarely at the feet of the higher ranking Matriarchs, particularly at the complete immunity of the then, and still current, Chief Matriarch from consequences of having destroyed relations with GLC fecklessly and arbitrarily with the Bernadette caning. “They” made the mess and dumped it on “us”, the generation of Bernadette.

“We” (the informants consistently used the plural) have been robbed of the “place” in the Hierarchy that we should have by now at age 35 or so. We were particularly robbed of the submissive males of our own generation, by the well-off generation that was then 35 in 2068 and are pushing 60 now with often as many as SIX submissives in their households while we largely have none.

“We” are also being constantly pressured to become broodmares when most of “us” barely have the economic means to survive alone. It is those younger than us, now in or just finished with citizenship training that are falling into the “mommy trap”. “We” hear them openly discussing the “choice” of submissives or children.

That generation’s male submissives are restive about why “we” women, aged 35, aren’t “taking care of them” like our males were taken care of 15 years ago! And with the closure of non GLC male citizenship applications, the ratio of submissives to Matriarchals in the citizenship training is now 1 to 3! Those of us who speak our mind to the younger males tell them not to worry, the 50 and 60 year olds will have plenty of room for them, when they graduate into the 8 submissive households. You should see the wrinkled prune faces on them when we do.

But the brighter of the young males have already figured this out and they are heading to the Whorehouses in droves and spending all their surplus income there. Even the bar patronage is drying up, gambling will soon be a thing of the past, and it even seems, very worrisomely, to be cutting into men’s retail sales. The males tell us confidentially that if they’re going to merely be sperm donors, they prefer to do the donating to women who treat them like human beings and not just Y chromosome breeding stock.

“We” are perfectly well aware where the Matriarchs (with their 6 submissives each!) are forcing us, even though they don’t have the face to admit it, into an all female society with only the most humble of places for us underneath those with more money, more clout, and better caning skills. And if we presume to step out of that place, our fate will be that of Bernadette.

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