Ladies and gentlemen - yeoman - natives of any stripe and all ships at sea ... let's go to press.

Snow squalls blow across sterile island parkland. Bone chilling air eats right through my wool black-and-white checked parka. Documenting the hiding-in-plain-sight meme, my GO-PRO VIDX had run continuous since I crossed to Long Island. Sound chewed battery and catching lonesome wind-whistle I had just turned it on. People and their styles were food for this early storm. He was waiting. On a dockside bench and near a copse of pine we are nearly invisible.

"My name is Sigma-Alpha-47. I'm 26 years old, clean and sober.” He wears a crew cut, mustache and eyes beaded so far back under eyebrows they might have disappeared. “Married , almost - - We - - I - - I was almost married. "

Sorry about the wife”. Pushing. “My gig is who what when - - - “

I know the rap, Mr Scranton. The militia know you. Forward march!”

Your WANTED picture is on every Post Office wall in New Jersey. Marching is the last - - - you were military, then?” Caught that; he's no fool.

Sigma platoon, Alpha ranger company, the division it doesn't matter any more. Honorable discharge for wounds I received in the Tongaland conflict.” His head shook as if to say 'what a waste'. “We never put more than a brigade on the ground; not enough to flank Boko Haram columns, but enough to get killed. I fought at China ridge and Bankottati. Lots of black-pants volunteers protecting the Chinese diamond mines; lots were advisors to Boka warlords !” He raised a pantleg and the coarse scar ran screaming knee to ankle. “Ball-buster mine, but it fired low. Bronze star - - -” Chills and shivering; “Sure I knew about the American uprisings. But, I never even considered the militia; thought they were a meth-head Nazi fringe.” He had enough and just stopped talking.

The long hoot of a local train came and went. “President Clintons war gone bad. Perhaps a different pants-suit would help.”

SA-47 never laughed. “Has she started walking again? Our Majors and Colonels told us Clinton had little control. One of Obama.nations affirmative action 3-star generals, a brother of Jeh Johnson was running the show. Bastard smoked a pipe like MacArthur and didn't care how many white infantry got killed to protect the HIV ravaged Bantu.” His voice tailed off ... Gulls dove low, over the stone groin following a wind bitter and determined. Long Island Sound breeds that kinda wind like Long Island breeds liberals - - We waited on the gulls. Their shrieking cries drown out his voice. Then - - "Once Charlie Company landed Bantu savages pelted in from every Liberian ghetto in Africa. We killed with honor, and I was glad to get out.”

“More women in New York.”

“More drugs in Tongaland.” I was supposed to shut up. “Back home I chose technical study - BS Iowa State, Masters in EE Rensselaer Poly. Before I shot Professors Stanwick and Rosen I worked for CKNY, SVD analysis in the ADC human factors - - - "

Haunted, hunted militia eyes I saw before. His eyes burned right through the drifted snow. But, no way Jose. I hadn't flown cross-country to collect an alphabet. "Heh, pad're," I rapped casually, "slow it down." A crust of frozen brine spray I wiped from my mouth - taste bitter as NE December wind. I lit a Camel. "Ya gotta talk to the computationally dis-inclined. My viewers - - HRI viewers don't always do arithmetic so well --- or anagrams ..."

"Sorry - - I'm just - - my girlfriend Sari - - on Saturdays, she liked driving the Ford pick-em-up out to Long Island. Her two girls - - they liked the ocean breeze. Fresh air, clean - - you know - - "

Tobacco smoke bit at my lungs and I hacked. "Yeah, pad're ... life can be OKey. Now - - what's with the ADC? Classical music, huh ... yeah right. Not a sneeze_rock group was it ... hehe ..."

SA_47 -- his face blank as a face can be and still breath. He said. "No Mr. Scranton. ADC -- where I worked - - Advanced Dynamical Computation. Our lab ... we measured and modeled human group behavior under stress."

"Like fans at a horse race? But, not like now, huh ...?"

His voice quavered. "I don't do models any more. That's right."

"Which models did you do?"

"We extracted stressors from public rave phys-mo - - physical motion - - data to support New Yorks ACHU laws."

"The AUDIO CRIMES of HATE UNITS ... yeah ... you worked with Stanwick and Rosen?"

"Worked for - - not with. Mostly for Stanwick. He was the environmental culture guru. Human behavior is determined by local, current environmental pressure ... a social tensor not a force; like Maxwells Equations in a dielectric. Push, pull, shear and twist, find your crowd and cry out loud. That jingle was his scientific position."

"Well yeah --- tensor, force --- I get twisted up every day.” I tried lighting a camel and the wind blew it out. Not good. “And you measured those group interactions?"

"Yes we did, Mr Scranton. We calibrated, normalized, measured, recorded and databased them by-the-millisecond. Before publishing the results got passed up-the-chain so any illegal pleasures or relationships could be identified and prosecuted.”

"Prosecuted! Hell of a threat to the research groupies. How did you convince them to join?

Money, partly, money and status. Rich young bitches too expensive or too bored to fuck on a Friday night date figured they would never be arrested. The cat-walk crowd considered the privilege to be worked-on by Rosen.”

Sort a' Rosen-da-riveter, eh. How was he actually involved?"

"Rosen - - as a full tenured Professor in the same department, and a genetic determinist he could damn well do as he pleased. He believed in hardwire heaven, where dense weaves of entangled wave-functions squeezed out Quantum uncertainty. Find the gene you know the teen. Sure, it's a joke. For the book he was Stanwicks nemesis."

"Nemesis, huh. Office politics? Who's first name on the grant, office size, who’s stuck with freshman honors, who screws the juiciest grad roundheels. They hated each-other!"

SA-47 stared out over the frozen, wind-bleached sound. "Hate? Technically, yes. In the journals, yes - - but, best of friends, actually, those two. Colleagues, collaborators and conspirators. Belonged to the same clubs, same Rabbi, hired the same tailor and lived next door to each-other across this flatland, on Long Islands south coast. Best friends? Pre-read each-others papers, so no later critique was unexpected and unconnected critics got crushed. They even married each-others cousin ..."

Was Sari an American girl?”

Ice crust had formed on his eyebrows and he chipped it off. “Sari --” cold rattled the name between his teeth. “American in everything, but birth. Born in Kuching, provincial merchant class, got raped in a Malaysian high-school, pregnant --- birthed twins. Her choice was simple. Either stay at home, as a Muslim whore or immigrate.” His eyes leveled on mine. “As Sari related, 'my family insisted on purdah and my brother swore slander on my head, an honor killing should I leave the family protection'. Those stones don't role!”

Snow had sifted over my boots and I kicked it away. “But, she better move fast,” I considered and wind ripped the words from my mouth.

Fast Sari could do. A family friend in PASSPORTS and TRAVEL greased the skids; she had been a hostess on a three-plane Somalia airline and knew plenty. A US job was even simpler through LinkedIn. Slave labor you know _ _ _ Sari got an offer, a plane ticket and green-card fast, cause she self-learned IBM Z8 assembler. She already had a passport; each month she reported to the main Thailand office, working for a company logging teak and mahogany for plywood.”

Family didn't mind her stepping out?”

Political thing. The Thais sold to American retail, and had to prove they employed female professionals. Malaysian women were considered sluts; involved families traded her work for a Thai maid. Sari wore a semi-burka outside the city, and her brother took most of her paychecks for gambling.”

Nice family; I know a few. But, what’s a Thai - - or Malaysian logging company doing with an IBM mainframe,” I asked skeptical?

Helps to have a cousin in the Sunni royal family. US military aid was sold to the highest bidder, and a kickback returned to some American political rainmaker. Give it to the wogs. Their ex-diktator fucked all over and the Malaysian Immans kept track. Sari had her place.”

The sucker-play smelled miles away. “There! But, she wasn’t nothing here.”

Nothing at all. The New York furniture company that hired her fired her when she wouldn’t fuck for the boss-man. Down and out like a West Virginia coal miner. She slept on floors and for peanuts did traffic flow design on her laptop.” I passed over a chrome flash and we both gulped like a hot throat was warm. “Music saved her Mr Scranton - - if save is the right word. We met at a NYPhil rehearsal --- Wagner! They only charge you one-third ticket prices to listen from the balcony and, well one thing led to another.”

So you helped!”

Fuck yes I helped. My position was solid, work highly rated and academic contacts easy to make. Stanwicks riff I knew and he paid for it. Programmers, I knew them too from Atlantic City to Quebec. Short order, really with Saris talent snagging a job at the Adel Riverine Institute. Top drawer. She wrote self-modifying code for flow modeling of the Hudson River. You know up-and-down, side-to-side, woops there's a dead body!” SA-47 couldn't laugh at his own joke, but I did. He finished. “You wonder why fish don’t swim past the Statue of Liberty?”

Damn was it cold. I wore a wool pork-pie that couldn't touch an ear. “Never tried fishing there.”

He didn’t laugh. “Anyrate, her research boss was a decent fella and raved about her work. Top drawer. Department wanted to pay for half-time computer studies. They contacted CKNY. That’s when Stanwick and Rosen heard her name. Psychology Departments stock up on heavy-weight coders to massage their bullshit data into something tolerable. Sari said it was the same in Malaysia ”

Last name?”

Sari? You can’t pronounce it.”

OKey I’ll just write.”

You can’t spell it.” I pocketed my plastic stencil-pad. “One night. Mr Scranton when Sari had returned from class - - to my north Italian Ravioli and both kids asleep - – her tight pumpkin colored body was curled around mine like a boa and she said. 'Andrew, why they know nothing?'

Who I asked. She kissed me. 'My fellow students. Some graduate from Harvard and can't build a STRUCT. Others fail to perform POINTER arithmetic! You could read about that 50 years ago. Old white men wrote it.

Yeah - - - they did - - we did once. When workers considered it their job to push the best man for'ard. But, now - - schools are afraid, Sari, schools and professors afraid that racism or ACHU laws will be used against them if stupid people are not passed on.”

What stupid people are allowed in my class? What race is this?” SA-47 wore a ski-cap and he pulled it down against a flurry of snow. “She held her arm against mine and in the windows twilight glowed simply man and woman.”

Yeah yeah well that's romantic as cold Hades. Some dark-sites claim Rosen needs to beat his women before he can get off. Doesn't treat his animals any better. I hear they study cats nine to a cage.” How subtle could I be?

Yep, cause the square-root of nine is three. But, you’re close to the right idea Mr. Scranton.”

Smartass could'a been more subtle. “Last time I took a square root was in seventh grade. Don’t think our teacher liked my answer.” My Zippo lit the next Camel and it fumed like a steam engine. “But I mean Sari was a prime mark for both Rosen and Stanwick.”

SA-47 jumped from the bench, wandered into the trees and then back out. “Fucking stupid me I never saw it, the grift steaming right toward her! Sari, a successful minority succeeding against all odds. Stanwick pimps for the who-she-knew crowd, and that who is me. Rosen butters the hyper-intelligent Asian bread, a noble savage for all the trouble she causes. Sari gets squeezed between their conflicting agendas and I get to lubricate!” He took a Camel, lit and tried to smoke it. “I never figured they could force her as a student to join one of their volunteer research squads.”

Squad, like the Army!”

No question! Bastards worked it slippery. If she wouldn't join a squad they would declare her unfit for the computer classes; either too stupid because of her accent and self-taught skills , or too smart so embarrassing to all local affirmative action students. That would be a clear violation of the ACHU laws. Of-course volunteers all got vetted and paid by the Feds.”


Feds want to make sure all students have an equal chance of failure; no personal advantage allowed from family, experience or genes. It was yes or no and at first I couldn't help her. After joining they put her on a drug therapy - - ZomBimbs they were called - - because she was judged too optimistic and aggressive! Rosen is an MD/PhD with access to all the recent mind-twisting shit, straight from NIH labs. He can test, prescribe and medicate. Sari was zoned out of her mind within a month. She starts failing muscle-memory and eye-reflex tests, and stopped calculating Greens functions on her daughters etch-a-sketch. She just got slower. Stanwick jumps on that as a clear marker of local socialization dependency.” SA-47 finished with the Camel, half-way and butted it out. “About that time I asked Sari to marry me!”

You were living together?”

Third story walk-up in a gentrified stone tenement. By then different addresses same apartment . I knocked a hole in the joining wall, put in a 19-th Century walnut and brass door and never looked back. Iron claw-foot tub. Landlord promised an elevator real-soon-now. Sari laughing picked a California King cause then I'd need to scramble under Ju-Jitsu moves to get at her. Her kids knew about bad men and never peeped, even to their friends. When the drug issue hit home I'd weaned her away from ZomBeez; Camel straights did the trick! Sexier than ever, she returned to the tack-sharp behaviors that got her the original offers. Adel Institute promoted her.”

But Stanwick found out.”

Sari faked stupid, faked the zoned-out zombie-mode in group testing. She said Rosen never took his eyes from her ass. But other students knew. How can you hide being the best? She just had to help some weak-links - - - she cried about it. One round-heel D+ bitch who was fucking Stanwick spilled beans. Anyway, Stanwick knew Sari aced her C++ final exam, then figured two plus two. Class was over and she escaped for the month between terms. Rosen and Stanwick choked and ranted and threatened, but even they couldn't turn CKNY bureaucracy on a dime and Sari passed with honors. Then three weeks ago Stanwick called me into his office; his sec called it a friendly chat.”

Attacking you?”

SA-47 let the question slide by. “No department or university officers were present. That's called I think plausible deny-ability! In addition to Stanwick and Rosen there was a long-faced, tweedy Gub'mnt bitch and a Wall Street suit dressed for Costatas. Both were pissed off and all , but ignored the profs. She wasn't about to get laid and he wasn't about to waste time.”

He said. “I'm attorney Wills, Andrew. I represent interested parties who donate millions to charitable research programs. Rosen and Stanwick benefit from those donations, as does the forwarding of - - - of knowledge. Your bedmate has become a tactical problem. She will be shipped back to Malaysia ASAP.”

She said. “The United States Government does not tolerate immigrant freaks disturbing its program agenda. Native affirmative action survivors bless them will NOT be out-performed by derelict immigrants. Sari whatzernam will be expatriated within the week; or within the day if we can find her.”

Stanwick said. “Better talk to your supervisor, Andrew. I believe you are fired.”

Rosen said. “Corrupting a research survey by falsifying drug therapy is a felony. The survey data somehow slipped passed our firewall. A Slovak darknet spread it; now competitors are asking embarrassing questions. Our attorneys have put locks on your bank checking and Fidelity investment and savings. Don't even try to break those locks, legal or otherwise; you could be in jail by dinner-time!”

They can't do that. Not even now.”

The storm had blown up from north reaches of Long Island Sound. White-caps crashed, ice floes snapped one into another, and the blizzard all, but whited out parkland trails and trees and tourist buildings. Temps had dropped five-degrees and breath-mist enveloped us both. GO-PROs lens had iced-over and the digi-cam buried in noise. We sheltered behind the museum and its brick-wall storage of Indian and colonial artifacts , and the exhaust blown by an AC vent seemed like an oven.

Can't? You say they can't Mr. Scranton, but two beefy black and blonde-hair gestapo burst into Rosens office, slamming back the door and scattering chairs. Both carried Glock-40s and clamped meat-fisted hands on my shoulder.” 'You're outa here, pal growled the blonde bitch.' Cuffs were on and I was hustled out the door without a last word. Another squad met me at the parking lot with a bag of my office desk trinkets. 'Take five minutes to be off the property, Blonde growled “or you're in aggravated trespass.' He touched his Glock. 'Oh yeah you better take this.' He dropped Sari engagement ring into my hand.

I Zippoed two Camels; he smoked one. I said - - - Sari !”

I rushed home Mr Scranton; my apartment door was splinters on the floor. We had been broken open, invaded, destroyed. Except for a blood-smear on the kitchen wall, Sari and the kids were gone. I called the cops and got a BUZZ-CLICK-BUZZ - - digital voice, 'Weather conditions have closed all city roads. No patrol cars are available until tomorrow noon.' My cell-phone coded out-of-the-system they had covered all bases. I wasn't getting to the airport. Any airport, but I took one last fling.”

My head was racing. “Costatas!”

SA-47 was unmoving, his cheeks blue and nose red as a pepper. “War lessons were coming back to me. JI-Haid taught lots, though most soldiers refused to think about the worst. In our lab the issue was considered too deep to be casually spoken"

"What's casual?" My wool hunters coat was scratching and pulling the neck loose let cold burrowed in. "That people destroy eachother? Sartre had that pegged long ago, him or Thucydides."

"No, Mr Scranton, not the phenomenology, but the ontology; Whether evil is hard-coded into our reptile brain, or a neural space just sleeps, waiting for some minor key." SA-47 stomped his feet, got up and circled the bench. "Guess the blood set me off. First, I pried up floor-boards from the kids room and from a cubby extracted my 357-cal Dan Wesson. Six-inch barrel and loaded with military steel-points. Call it a souvenir. A spare twelve-round carry followed, with leather boots and a bugout bag, something Sari never approved of. Less than two hours since Rosen struck and cold vengeance had penetrated my soul.”

Bugout bag? You weren't urban preppers, you and Sari?”

I made the girls share carrying that bag when we hiked the Adirondacks. They knew it held our chocolate bars so they didn't mind. Sari scolded me, said I needed a spanking, but I might like it too much.” SA-47 voice had broken and he fought for control. I'd done that - - once - - now he continued. “Then to the 5-star steakhouse. I had taken Sari to Costatas twice before. I proposed there, hiding the diamond under a slice of Key-lime pie. Using cut-alleys I could trick the distance to eight blocks from our tenement.”

Early diners by the time you got there?”

Lights were all on, and one couple was just entering, another leaving. I had been wrong, Mr Scranton. The tweedy Federal bitch WAS going to get laid. At first table left of the redwood doors, a space with its own glass pane for expos'e, there sat Rosen, Stanwick and the Federal. Their faces came up big as pumpkins, each with a Halloween smile. She had changed to a blouse showing all tit and was smoking an electro-cig; Rosen a Partegas and he blew hot Cubano smoke around her breasts. Stanwick sat kat-corner, one hand around a scotch tumbler, his left under the table doing what it did best. All strictly forbidden and smoke wreathed them like Christmas bunnies.”

No protection?”

Cold had partially frosted the glass pane. I circled the snowy, empty block. New York is wealth and wealth does not favor the militia. Bantus still rape and pillage, but nothing new there for the globalist Federals to buy off. After waiting across the street for ten minutes I identified as protection only the waist-coated doorman, his 32-caliber Barrette bulging from a back pocket. I approached smiling, and slammed his head with the 357-cal gun-butt. He went down soft as a snowflake.”

Silent snow; I bogarted the Camel and even the wind stopped. "Think you're G*ds snowflake?"

"By then - - just the wind, Mr Scranton. My 357-cal is single action, so I cocked the trigger without really aiming and fired through the glass.”

Newspapers reported only Rosen and Stanwick were shot from inside, close up, assassination style. Nothing about the Federal female.”

Figures they would - - and wouldn't. The Fed bitch should not have been there, so media whores made-it-so. Death scene was Photo-shopped! In Somalia we learned to shoot fast and hit targets through shit; urban warfare makes that a go-two. Costatas dinner table was easy. They all died with their mouths open. I shot each twice, once in the neck and once in the head as we did to Somalia Bantu. They were a hard kill; these three gushed blood and floated away like dark, irritated angels. Alarms went off and I ran.”

Whistles and bells - - alarms went off now, at the train station one-hundred yards away. Incoming local, heading for Manhattan. I needed to catch it. We both started up the frozen path, the station building nearly obscured by blowing snow. He carried a long plastic gun-case in his left hand while his right stayed in a pocket. I said. “You have friends in town?”

No, not that kind. The militia found me, tucked me under their skirts and hustled three of us out to a Long Island beach-town. Their computers had recovered about 90% of my savings in gold coin. Money and me, stored in an empty loft since this town's dead as dodos during winter.” He thought. “I've told you too much already. If the Federals scrape your brain - - - “

Never happened. Feds don't want the publicity. Never will happen to Will Scranton. I carry a capsule under my left bottom wisdom tooth. One bite and it's over.” The train station platform was yards away. “What's next SA-47?”

I thought about that. No woman no friends no job. I can't use your solution - - Catholic ya know - - Think I'll just work my way up the command ladder. Rosen didn't scheme on his own provenance. Next person up-the-chain gave him orders. A vipers nest. Mebby the Wall Street suit gives lots of orders.”

I tapped his guncase and dragged deep on the Camel. “Mebby he got you out of town.”

He wrenched sideways, clawed at his own face. SA-47 would not tolerate that idea.“ I find that next person and put him down. Since power links to power I move on to another and yet another, higher ranked gestapo - - - and the next until I make a mistake and go down myself. I will try going down ugly, like the Boko belly-bombers. If the militia needs work done I can't ignore them.” SA-47 smiled for the first time. “The militia think my fight is also theirs. Can't quite see through it yet, but the steel-tipped bullets are free.”

Again the train-whistle, closer and more lonely. Sari and SA-47, two lovers they're gone everywhere, but - - - he turned, walked away and the blizzard swallowed him.

We're home with another HRI. Returning to port, Ladies and gentlemen good night. .