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D. H. T.

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  1. C'est quoi, ce machin? Quelqu'un peut-il m'expliquer ce que ça fait dans le BIOS, au démarrage de mon PC, s'il vous plaît? D'avance merci pour vos éclairages.
  2. :) Si je maîtrisais le japonais comme je maîtrise l'anglais, je crois que cette version serait déjà sortie, elle aussi. Pour l'instant, la seule chose que j'arrive à lire, en japonais, ce sont les dessins (dans les mangas). :)
  3. Bonsoir tout le monde. :) Pseudos: D. H. T. (ou DHT$, ou D. H. TERENCE, nom d'auteur) Prénom: Terence Age: voir date de naissance Taille: en fin de croissance Poids: variable dans la minceur athlétique Situation: hétérosexuel Ville: Nice (France) Signe astro: Verseau Né le: 27/01/1975 Extrait de casier judiciaire: rien à ma connaissance Voiture: ça va, elle roule Centres d'intérêt: projet BD "MARS GIRL" (voir mon site)
  4. "MARS GIRL" (synopsis) A – Synopsis: The scenario of “MARS GIRL” evolves between thriller and SF. The New Yorker profiler Kelly takes part in an investigation into the disappearance of ten serial killers. They were kidnaped from their penitentiary during a raid commando. In the same time, still in the United States, murders are commited against scientists of the research center “Living on Mars”. The latter works in a rather secret project, parallel to the one of the NASA… B – Detailed synopsis: 1 – in New York, the profiler Kelly and lieutenant Sam provide for arresting the serial killer Oscar; 2 – Kelly takes Oscar at her place, Sam arrests the killer; 3 – Kelly’s holidays in Puerto Rico with the call-girl Melissa, her childhood girlfriend, and their lover, the businessman Michael; 4 – some strangers plan a raid on the Leavenworth federal penitentiary, where Oscar is held prisoner; 5 – helicopter raid on the penitentiary to deliver ten serial killers; 6 – Kelly and the director of the FBI Jeff go on the spot, in Kansas; 7 – in New York, meeting between Kelly and the assisting director of the FBI Oliver; 8 – in Alaska, Kelly questions the families of the victims of the first killer, the Traveller; 9 – in New York, Oliver inquires into the disappearance of the New Yorker director of the scientific project “Living on Mars”, David; 10 – in Greece, Kelly meets the young archaeologist Maliwan, the sister of one of the victims and a member of a secret society; 11 – in New York, the team of Sam finds the corpse of David, malformed, in its residence; 12 – Sam entrusts the corpse to the forensic expert Greg; 13 – in Miami, the boss of the New York police force Victor brings Sam and Oliver together to take stock; 14 – the director of “Living on Mars”, Silver, greets Sam and Oliver in Vieques, Puerto Rico; 15 – Kelly and the Amazon Maliwan go to Bulgaria to face the local Mafia; 16 – the two girls and some other Amazones break down their adversaries opposition; 17 – in London, Melissa informs Kelly that Maliwan is a hired killer and that she’s related to some American bounty hunters; 18 – in New York, Sam and Oliver discover two new corpses, similar to the first one: those of David II and a black waitress; 19 – Kelly, Sam and Oliver take stock in the laboratory of Greg, who speaks about radioactive victims; 20 – in Vieques, Kelly meets Silver; 21 – in New York, Kelly joins up with Sam; 22 – Kelly and Oliver take stock; 23 – Silver temporarily takes in hand again the management of the laboratories of New York, Sam is made responsible for providing his security; 24 – some witnesses inform Kelly and Sam that David and the black waitress went out together; 25 – in New Hampshire, Oliver and a local sheriff go to the site of nuclear waste where Oscar was seen; 26 – Oliver carries out the arrest of the killer; 27 – in New York, Kelly questions Oscar, which owns up to have commited the three murders; 28 – in Oliver’s opinion, these confessions are credible, but Kelly more favor the authors of the raid on Leavenworth; 29 – in Utah, Kelly meets the bounty hunters whose chief, a woman called Erika, informs Kelly that the same organization, the Science & Security Fundation, finances the hired killers and “Living on Mars”; 30 – in New York, Victor brings together Kelly, Sam and Oliver in his office, and the thesis of Oscar’s guilt stands out against the profiler’s opinion; 31 – in Allenwood central prison, in Pennsylvania, Kelly questions Oscar again, in vain; 32 – in Las Vegas, where the Gunner, the second killer, was seen, Oliver talks with his local colleague about it; 33 – in New York, in a luxury hotel, Silver and the high society celebrate the first birthday of “Living on Mars”; 34 – in Pennsylvania, Oscar is slaughtered during his transfer to Kansas, and Sam recognizes the killer: his own brother, a dealer of the Bronx; 35 – in New York, Kelly is doubly attacked at her place: by the third killer, the Boaster, which she kills, and by Maliwan, which escapes; 36 – in Las Vegas, Kelly, Oliver and the bounty hunters break down the Gunner’s opposition, then the profiler questions Erika, who breaks with Maliwan; 37 – in his residence of Nevada, Michael shows his research center and a secret invention to Kelly: a computer able to take over audio-visual satellites and to shift the fault on another computer by hacking; 38 – in New York, a woman assistant of Silver dies from a cocaine overdose, then Sam questions the scientist, but the conversation turns sour; 39 – at the laboratory of Greg, Sam hears that the corpse of Oscar and the one of the girl were transferred to the center “Living on Mars”, in Vieques; 40 – in Vieques, Kelly, remotely guided by Michael, penetrates the buildings of “Living on Mars” and bumps into Maliwan; 41 – caught in her own trap, Maliwan dies in a Martian room whereas Kelly, in a truck, gets back the two corpses and escapes; 42 – in New York, Kelly confides her plan to Sam: to make examine the corpses by Greg in Michael’s research center, in Las Vegas; 43 – the FBI gets to know of the Highway’s murder, put to death precisely in a freeway lay-by, and Oliver refutes Kelly’s accusations against the Science & Security Fundation; 44 – in Washington, Jeff and Oliver decide together to turn down Kelly out of the matter; 45 – in Southern Africa, in the desert of Namibia, Kelly confides in Abyss, a former profiler: in the brain of Oscar and the one of the girl, Greg found computer chips; 46 – in New York, the FBI finds the Seducer, the Cannibal, the Strangler and the Son, dead, killed with their own weapons, and Oliver then interprets the raid on Leavenworth as a terrorist act; 47 – in Washington, Jeff and Oliver call back Kelly, but the latter stands her ground; 48 – in New York, Melissa seduces Silver and persuades him to take her to his laboratory; 49 – Silver wakes up with a hangover, amnesic about the night that he has just spent; 50 – the corpse of the ninth killer, the Saver, is found hung, with in his pocket a letter where he admits to have killed the five others, and, in other respects, television channels everywhere in the world diffuse a compromising document on “Living on Mars”, bringing about Silver’s suicide.
  5. 49 - Shit… What a hangover… The next day, about midday, at Silver’s place. The guy awakes, wide on his maroon sofa. Dressed in a bathrobe. At his feet, the bottle of scotch, empty. On one of the two glasses, lipstick marks. A card sticked under the base. He takes it and reads it in a loud voice. - “Thank you for this pagan delights night. Our crazy things still resound between these marble walls. Listen to the echo of Roman orgies. And remember your mistress.” There’s a ring at the door. - Yeah, who is it? - It’s me, Silver. It’s over midday. We are back, with the guards. - All right, I come and open. - And about time too. The guy falls. Gets down on all fours. Gets up, walks towards the door with a heavy step, turns the handle and lets his enchmen go in. Each gorilla joins his room without making comments. The secretary stands there as straight as a ramrod. - Make me a coffee, Hick. - You call me Hick too, now? - The other damned cop isn’t there to do it anymore. I take over from him. Get a right mouthful. - You look in a good mood. - Yeah, it appears that I fucked well last night. Look at the note this whore left me. - Show it to me. Silver holds the paper out to him. The other reads it, while helping his boss to join the kitchen. The latter falls in a heap on one of the chairs at the bar. The other stimulates the coffee machine. Affects an admiring pout putting back the card. - Anyway, she’s clean. No scattered rubbers. - That’s the way real pros do. But I should stop drinking scotch. It ravages me. A ringing. Silver’mobile, in the pocket of his bathrobe. He picks it up. - Hello?… What?… Oh, good… Very well… Not, I don’t understand… Yet it seemed to me that… Ok, I will be there for two PM. I had an appointment downtown, this morning… That’s it, see you later. He switches off the mobile and puts it down in front of him with a casual gesture. - The guys at the lab. - What did they want? - I would have left the mainframe computer turned on, yesterday evening. - I hope we hadn’t any burglary. - Not, everything is in its place. I must have forgotten. By the way, let me tell you something. - What? - It’s high time that we clear out of New York. This city is just about to get on my nerves. I appoint a new manager here, and we go back to Vieques. My wife needs me. Since the attack last month, she worries. - I would worry too in her place. 50 Between the 103 Street and Lexington Avenue, a subway station. In an underground corridor, Kelly waits for the next metro to come. Two minutes later, the crowd flows. The girl gets inside. Meets Melissa. The call-girl holds out an envelope to her. The dialog lasts a few seconds. - On this disk, the “Living on Mars” computer adress. All passwords. A data base. Top-secrets video documents. Simulation. You won’t believe it. - Did everything go smoothly? - He opened the doors of the center to me. Then, sleeping pill, forgetfulness serum, hacking, back to his place by taxi, sleeping pill and serum again, sofa, sleep, and see you. Without anyone being any the wiser of it. - Great, I give the toy to Michael. He waits for me at the next station. The whole world won’t believe it. Switch on your TV this evening. Melissa gets off. Looks for a moment at the metro moving away. Blends into the crowd. Federal Plaza, half an hour later. Over a coffee machine, Oliver and Sam. The Fed girl gives the Black cop a dig on his shoulder. - So you took up residence at our place, cop? - And you didn’t hear the news. Look at what I found, this morning. He holds out a short letter to her, written with a trembling hand. She reads it in a loud voice. - “I’m the one who killed the Freeway, the Seducer, the Cannibal, the Strangler and the Son. I’m the one, finally, who puts me to death. For my soul’s atonement and humanity salvation. There won’t be earthquakes in California anymore. And that’s forever.” She turns towards Oliver. - What’s that bullshit? - This letter was in the pocket of the ninth killer, the Saver. Hung in a tree, close to the HQ of the police force. Greg deals already with the stiff. - Your conclusions? - The same ones as Jeff. I have just called him. The Leavenworth matter is closed. Whether you like it or not. - Whether I like it or not? What about the Traveller? Perhaps Jeff forgot that he’s still on the run. - Maliwan must have liquidated him. The corpse will soon surface. Wait and see. At the end of the day, in Miami. Victor, in front of the TV, watches the news with his Lebanese girlfriend. Suddenly, the picture gets mixed up. The logo of “Living on Mars” appears on screen. From a red desert background, a very naked man moves forward. Got to the foreground, he stares at the viewer. His body changes little by little. Becomes unrecognizable, monstrous. Looks more and more like the corpse of David. A voice off, Silver’s one, comments on the scene. - Soon human beings will be able to walk stark naked all over Mars! The programs begin again. Victor’s girlfriend looked away so as not to see the screen. - Really diabolic. The next day, news channels everywhere in the world give the same explanation: their satellites were pirated by the Vieques mainframe. The members of the Science & Security Fundation think of winding up their organization. When this last information comes through, Kelly, alone at her place, picks up her mobile. It’s Sam. - Silver committed suicide. - Do you want me to cry? (end)
  6. 33 New York. A luxury hotel around Madison Avenue. Lightings, orchestra, big buffet. The limousines jostles at the entry. Some personalities try to outdo one an other in elegance. Some couples dance among gildings and crystal. Champain circulates. Silver has just finished his speech. This comes as a relief to all. The center “Living on Mars” celebrates its first birthday. Suddenly, the music stops. The light goes out. The technicians and the team of stewards turn up. Go round the room. Arrange some cords around the center. Force people to huddle together behind. A large empty circle is created in the middle of the reception. Silver disappeared. His voice off takes over in hypnotic sounds. - And now, our new planet… That which will see our children growing… An intense red light comes on. Fills the empty space. Soon makes way for an enormous face. Instead of the eyes and the mouth, some dark cavities. The appearance slowly bends forward. 90-degree. Appears in the form of a rock. Dominating a desert area ochre toning. Silver comments on the scene. - This hologram is inspired by one of the first photographs of Mars. From top, this massif looks like a human face. Some people saw it as the sign of an extraterrestrial civilization. But the real dimensions of this object are too much important. Nobody can build the Himalayas! He pauses. The spectators keep silent. Sam, acting all blasé, finishes his champagne glass. Stops himself from burping. The other resumes. - We are on live from Vieques. This room is a true Mars planet in small-scale model. Soon, in front of us, the first woman of the new world… Emerged from the rock, a figure appears. Light black suit. Tightly fitting. Matched entirely opaque helmet. From the top of her base, she jumps in the air. Spins round. Lands on the heels of her thigh boots. Continues her choreography. In the empty space, gives several circular kicks. In the style of Thai boxing. - She’s among us. She could hurt us. Even kill us. But she won’t. On the contrary, she will protect us. The ground rumbles, fissures. The noise of the shakes makes the windows of the hotel rattle. A robot emerges from the ground. An android. Metallic gray. At the tips of its arms and legs, some steel claws. It rushes at the girl. The latter avoids it. Leaping aside. Jumps on its shoulders from behind. Tears cables out from its back. Some sparks. Fire. Jogging with her elbow, she kicks its head in. The machine falls to the ground. Crashes. The warrior girl gets up. Bows and bows again to the audience. - What an ease! Thanks to our ultralight suit! And soon, when we will bring about scientific progress, we won’t even need it any more! Human beings will be able to walk stark naked all over Mars! The image disappears. The lightings of the room comes back. The orchestra plays again. The henchmen remove the cords. The manager of the center returns with a broad smile, victoriously raising his arms to the sky. The people applaud him. Then mix again. Among the crowd, some familiar faces. Politicians, managers, journalists, middle-class women, high-class call girls. Of which Melissa, Kelly’s friend. Silver doesn’t like to hit on her. His wife came from Vieques on that occasion. Alex, one of the men of the Black cop, finds his boss. At the buffet, a caviar toast in his hand. - Then, Sam? Impressing, isn’t it? - I suppose so… It looks like an amusement park. Moreover, stripping off on Mars… You still believe in Father Christmas. - That’s all bluff, according to you? - That’s that, yeah. Besides, let me tell you… In my opinion, Mars isn’t the future. It’s the past. The ancients saw it as a planet of blood. Whereas it’s rust, actually… Do you know where are Harry and Sandy? - They watch the New Yorkean assistant of Silver. The nose of this chick is stuffed up with coke. - No wonder. Who did she get that from? 34 Friday October 1, early in the morning. Allenwood, Pennsylvania. Sixty one degrees, cloudy sky. A group of armed men leaves the central prison. A van is parked in front of the entry. In the back, the two heavy doors open. The driver lets Oscar get in, under escort. - Have a look at the back from time to time. - Are you kidding? This guy is wearing chains more than clothes. And two machine-guns will remain pointed at him. All through the way. Are you becoming paranoiac or what? - He’s a raving lunatic. We don’t know what he’s able to do. - I subdued some harder than him, believe me. The vehicle starts. The prison guards look at it moving away. - The matter’s closed. - Yeah, good riddance. One hour and half later. The Allentown international airport. The van parks in an alley, in front of a terminal. Some travellers with their carriages of luggage hurry up. Some others go out or wait for a taxi. Some security officers come and go. Sam finishes his coffee, throws his plastic cup in a garbage. The driver gets out. - Hello, Sam. I bring you your customer. - No problem on the road? - The guy is hardly standing upright. He’s dead from so many tranquillizers. Do you bring him back to Leavenworth? - Yeah, the plane for Kansas City leaves in one hour. It’s no picnic. - They will be glad to see him again, over there. - Let them get out of the shit. I don’t give a fuck. Then a car appears suddenly. Forces its ways through. Rushes at the small group. Inside, some Blacks. A whole gang. Through the down back window, one of the guys fires at Oscar. Several gun shoots. Around, the people shout. Run away. The cops fire at the car. It moves away at any speed. At their feet, the corpse of the prisoner. - Shit! Who are these guys? - I know nothing of it. They beat it. Give a call to all units. We must form police roadblocks. Sam comes up to the body. Bends down. Examines it. Turns to the others. - He’s really dead. - That’s not worse, mind you. But why did they do that? - I know them. The guy which fired he’s my big brother. - Your big brother? - Yeah. A dealer. From the Bronx, like me. I live in Soundview, him in Mott Haven. That’s not very far but it’s years since we didn’t speak to each other. And see each other. - Do the others belong to his gang? - His best friends. - Why did they attack Oscar? - Some crack matters. A settling of scores. - And they came from the Bronx up to there? - Yeah. They are well informed. When they want to strike, it’s always where we aren’t ready for it. As you can see, they got us. - We will. - Not. They will abandon the car. Disperse. Join their hiding place. Because they have one around somewhere. They must. Forget it. - We shall see. I’m not done for yet. What are you going to do? - Bringing back the stiff to New York. A co-worker lent his car to me. In the evening, Sam, back to Manhattan, come and see Victor. The boss of the police force greets him in his office. Looks at the lieutenant straight in the eyes. - You must help us to nick your brother. - It’s out of the question. I don’t deal with the Bronx. - Bloody hell! We talk about a public menace! Are you his accomplice? Is it that? - I’m not the accomplice of anybody. My job is Manhattan. Period. - You aren’t a bad cop, Sam. On the contrary. But you piss us off, with your family problems. - Family? We lost touch ten years ago. I’m sorry, boss. 35 Nine PM. Kelly is back from Federal Plaza. She goes home. Crosses the dark lane which leads to her entry. The elevator has just broken down. The landlord takes the piss out of the people. She lets herself in for the three floors by foot. Somebody forced her door. She takes out her firearm. Enters hugging the walls. In the near darkness, sees the mess. Knocked down pieces of furniture. Dispersed papers. Broken glass. A burglary. Suddenly, the light is coming on. An hooded guy emerges from the closet. Throws himself at her with a knife. She falls down. The guy twists her wrist. Her firearm slips out of her hands. Lay down on her, he pins her to the ground. She struggles. His belly against that of the girl. He has an hard-on. On the point of stabbing her. She manages to tuck a leg up toward herself. With a kick, sends the attacker flying ten feet further. He falls in his turn. Gets up. She rushes at her firearm. The latter disappeared. - Don’t move! Behind Kelly, a girl. Also hooded. She picked up the revolver. At the same time, she shakes her weapon at the man with the knife and his victim. - Drop this dagger, bugger! - Catch it. With a powerful blow, he sends his blade right on the newcomer. As a flash, it comes and embeds itself in her right arm. Blood spurts. The firearm beats it again. This time, Kelly recovers it. Shoots several times at the guy. The latter, close to the opened window, moves back. Loses his balance. Falls into space. Crashes to the ground fifty feet lower down. The hooded girl jumps on her. Hits her fast. In her face, in her belly. With her fists, her feet, her knees. The other loses her revolver again. Dodges as much as she can. Picks up a broken table leg. With her two hands, uses it as a shield. Soon smashed into two pieces. Kelly moves back. The stranger bleeds with a vengeance. Pulls out the knife, still driven into her right arm. Makes slowly her way towards her prey, threatening. The firearm, too far. The other nevertheless plunges on the other side of the room. Seizes the weapon. Turns over. Her back on the ground. The gun pointed at the girl. - Take off your hood. - Don’t you guess who I am? - I told you to take it off. - Ok. She obeys. A hard and amused expression in a fine Asian face. - Maliwan. It could be only you - Fancy meeting you, isn’t it? - I thought you were in Greece. - Not. At the moment I carry out excavations in Vieques. - In Vieques? Excavations? - I’m interested in the Andean Condor. We came across some very old objects bearing its effigy in the Caribbean. That’s for your culture. - Tell me instead you watch over Silver’s wife. - It’s also true. Since the latter deals with New York. And the army hurry their preparation for departure. We have no choice but taking over. - What on earth are you doing here? - What about you? Why did you come and see Erika? What do you want from us? What right have you to stick your nose into our business? - You missed killing me. - Not, just warning you. - Who was this guy? - I know nothing of it. A burglar. All right, this is all very well. I have to go. Maliwan runs towards the window. Jumps in the tree level with the story. Slides down the trunk. A biker waits for her. She climbs in the back. They beat it. Half an hour later, some police cars and an ambulance. The guys take delivery of the corpse, inspect the street. Sam helps Kelly to tidy up hers. - Your attacker was the third killer. The Boaster. Greg will confirm it to us. - I was sure of it. 36 Sunday October 3, eleven AM. Two cars leave Las Vegas on the way to the north. Take the road to the desert. In one of them, the Fed of Nevada. Still like a cow-boy. In the other one, Kelly and Oliver. A score of motor bikes escort them. Erika and her gang. Armed to the teeth. While driving, the profiler looks at them out of the corner of her eye in her outside mirror. - I have to talk things over with them about Maliwan. - No wonder this matter makes you cross. But you waste your time. The Thai acted alone. - You look so self-assured. - I spoke to Silver on the phone. I called his wife too. They are sorry. The Amazon disappeared. No more news since Friday. Nobody understands why she attacked you. - That’s easily said. What about the bounty hunters? They aren’t well-informed, perhaps? Maliwan quite talked to me about Erika. - She lied. I already questioned the group. You will ask them for it yourself in a few minutes. There are more pressing matters for the moment. - Where do we go? Since my arrival in Vegas, you didn’t say a word to me. - We are going to stop the Gunner. Some people saw him in the desert. From the top of a rock, he fires at the cars which go by. With a sniper rifle. - He aims at the kids, I bet. - Yeah, but he always fails to go off his targets. At point-blank range, he gets out of the shit. But a long distance away, he’s out of training. - I’m afraid it won’t take any longer. We can’t get there early enough. - We’re nearly on the spot. Shots. Kelly suddenly slows down. Her windshield flies into pieces. The cow-boy’s car smashes into her. Several bikers tumble. From the top of his station, the other idiot keeps on firing. The Feds rush outside. Hide behind their car. The dressed bounty hunters break out using machine-guns. The Gunner falls sixty-five feet. Tumbles at their feet. Dead as a doornail. Spotted with sand and blood. His rifle lands on his skull. Erika raises a hand in the air. The men stop. The cow-boy comes and sees the blonde. Throws his hat on the ground. Spits to one side. Points his finger threatening at the boss woman and her gorillas. - We wanted to question him. I knew it would take this turn. You bunch of mental defectives! - It’s best to say we saved your life, damn stupid! Oliver intervenes. The other picks up his hat. Joins his car. Inspects the damaged fender. Seizes it with his two hands, pulls it off with all his strength and throws it at Erika. The latter just avoids it. Some of the men make as if to make their way towards him. The girl holds them back. The cow-boy takes the wheel and leaves in a cloud of dust. Turns and goes back. The blonde, with a piercing look, observes him moving away. The other bikers pick up their machines. The New Yorkean opens his hands as if to apologize. Erika turns overs. Kelly rides her motor bike. - Do not mind me. Make yourself at home. I have some kept cool beers in the back. - I rest my ass. The time for a question or two. - And who questions the other? You or me? - Shut up. What your girlfriend was doing in Harlem? - Which girlfriend? I don’t have any girlfriend. If you mean to talk about Maliwan, I know nothing of it. I never asked her to go to your home. She takes initiatives. Try to find her and come to an agreement with her. - So you aren’t in on it? - If I meant to frighten you, I wouldn’t send the Amazon. I would come myself. - And you don’t know where I can find her? - We are all looking for her. We don’t like her methods. They present a bad image of us. - You can say that again. Oliver seizes the Gunner by the two arms, felt flat on the ground. Beckons Kelly to come over. The latter gets off the motor bike, meets him and helps him to transport the corpse. They put it in the trunk. Back to Vegas. The bounty hunters move like greased lightning to Death Valley. Soon disappear into a cloud of dust. 37 The evening. A sumptuous suite in a building. Out at Nevada desert. A little outside the tourist attractions. In a minded property. Kelly and Michael have sex. He’s lay down on his back. She’s sitting on him on the move groaning. It’s been going on for three quarters of an hour. His cock is still as stiff as a ramrod. Within two hours, they changed position seven times. He’s about to shoot his load. Insults the girl and slaps her. They shout at the same time. She falls down on him. They kiss each other. Have some more champagne. - We don’t see each other very often at the moment. - Business. Trips. But I will be soon in New York. - For how long? - I don’t know yet. Several weeks, perhaps more. We will meet each other every evening, if you like. - Like at the very beginning of our relationship. Do you remember? It would be great. - Of course I remember it. It’s not so far. We still have beautiful years ahead of us. Don’t you think so? - I hope so, in any case. The world is so uncertain. - You’re telling me… Do you still have time, this evening? - Even all night. My plane takes off only tomorrow in the afternoon. - In this case, I would like to show you my last brainwave. The guy gets out of bed. Pulls on a pair of jeans, a sweater and some tennis shoes. The girl imitates him. He makes his way towards the exit. She follows him. They take the elevator. Reach the third basement, twenty-five stories lower down. They cross several offices. Get to a glass partitions space. Some photocopiers, computers and big screens. A new room. Blocked up access. A synthetic voice asks Michael to key a code. He presses twenty-five keys in one go following a precise rhythm. Then fingerprints. Speech recognition. Eyes identification. - You can’t be too careful. - I can see that. The door ends up opening. They enter. Facing them, a large electronic map. Some various colors luminous points move, cross and show curves. A control panel. Several keyboards. The lovers take each of them a seat, opposite the machine. - Do you have any idea of the place we are in here? - In your Vegas residence. - It’s true, but not only that. Welcome to my research center. - You do research? On what? - You know I manage the most important media. News and entertainment channels. Hollywood studios. Newspapers, radios, telecommunications companies, access providers. - I know that. What are you getting at? - This screen represents the sky. Luminous points are satellites. Each one has a function, signaled by a color. The red points, for example, represent the communications satellites. - For the moment, it’s quite simple. - This control panel is a computer. It allows the running of a very unusual program. Unlike anything else in the world. You won’t find it in any other machine. It’s the last fruit of our secret work. - What’s the good of that? Michael smiles. Gets up. Opens a small metal door, at the far end of the room. Comes back with two glasses and some soda. First gives Kelly a drink. - We live in an uncertain world, I agree with you. Politics has stood aside. Today, two powerful lobbyings clash. On the other side, oil and insurance companies. On my side, media and law firms. Here’s what builds and devastates the planet. You can’t take the rest seriously. - And what then? - Then we finalized a weapon. Thanks to this program, I can hack a remote computer. To take over the images broadcasted on worldwide TVs. And make the hacked computer carrying the can here. - If I need it one day, I know where to find it… 38 - Even so… She’s been staying alone in this car for ten minutes. - And what then? Perhaps she’s on the phone. - Do you see her on the phone? - She must have a free hand kit. - And I tell you we should have a glance. - You’re the boss, Sam. The Black cop and Sandy get out of the car. Walk towards the girl’s vehicle. The assistant of Silver in New York. Parked at her home. Washington Heights. Eleven PM. She’s back from a dinner downtown with her boss. A habit. Not many people in the streets. Now and then, some passers by. The chick’s sitting at the wheel. Motionless. Her head back. Her mouth open. Her eyes almost with the white showings. Some white candy under her nostrils. - Can you see it? That’s what I told you. - I call an ambulance immediately. One hour later. The Structural Biology Center. Silver agrees to greet Sam. The latter first comes across his private secretary. - Look, Hick. Did you get up too? - My boss is to greet you. - I hope so. - And stop calling me Hick. The guy lets Sam enter. A room full of computers. That where David II had answered the questions of Oliver. Alone at a table, Silver. Dressed in some pajamas and a robe. - When I knew, I hurried. We have to talk about it now. I’ve been worrying about this girl since the beginning. - My men worried too. At the “Living on Mars” party, we didn’t know what she kept her going. Alone in a hotel room. With three guys. On the bed, a silver tray. Several lines of coke. And she had some more. We had to get her out of there. - And yet she was a good element. A hard worker. I don’t understand it. - Well, I mean… She kept funny company, didn’t she? - I can’t watch everything. Neither does the police force, as you can see. This evening, ten minutes alone. And that’s the overdose. Who’s to blame? Search me. The human factor always gave me trouble. It’s been following me since the time when I used to work for the NASA. - Without allowing for the loss of both David. - Isn’t it just, all this is very annoying for us. The consolation is that the murderer was found. And it must be admitted that the successful attack against him gave me a great pleasure. I would almost like to thank the one who did that. - Still coke stories. - This, the other drugs and weapons. The everyday lot of the world we live in. The quarter of the world money supply is connected to laundering. The Mafia remains one of the pillars of our civilization. The police force is in a position to know. - You can say that again. - That’s why I dream of Mars. To rebuild the world by another land. To keep the best. To manage our resources. To preserve the beauty of life. Deep down it’s about an ecological project. And pure love. - Well, since we tackle this question… I mean, love affairs, extramarital bonds… - I don’t like anyone to take the piss out of myself, you cop. Nor your insinuations. I didn’t sleep with this chick, ok? - I don’t like it either. Then we have one thing in common. - I got up right in the middle of the night. To see close up your total prat look again. I’ve been watching your little game since the beginning. Your arrogance. Your hypocrisy. You’re a good cop, it’s all the same to me. You can be fit for wiping my backside as well. If I want to find shits about you, I can ruin your life. And your bosses will throw you in the trash can. By my request. So you should learn to behave yourself. - I don’t take a stand against provocations. Maybe I have a total sprat look. But I use my brain. And you shouldn’t show off with me. 39 Monday October 4, nine hours AM. The laboratory of Greg. Sam visits him. - Plans for holidays are far, Greg, aren’t they? - You’re telling me. Moreover, I have some bad news. - For a change. - I can’t carry out the girl’s corpse postmortem. - Why? You raped it and left traces? - I’m serious. The stiff is dedicated to science. Transferred to the center “Living on Mars”. Direct to Vieques by plane. - Didn’t you have time to see it? - Just to see it. They were waiting for me this morning at the opening. They insisted on retrieving it getting a move on. - Who? - Some armed guys, all dressed in black. With official documents. I found that odd, so I called Victor. He gave me confirmation of it. They put the corpse in a box, loaded it on board their delivery truck then beat it. - Do you have some others stories like that to tell me? - The worst thing about it is that I do. I bet you also come for Oscar. - If need be. It’s not a mystery. He’s been killed right before my eyes. - Anyway, you wouldn’t have found it. They got their hands on too. - What? - You heard me right. There, similar. I hadn’t time for anything. You delivered the guy to me three days ago. The postmortem was ordered for this morning. - What’s that delirious? - Left for Vieques too. Listen, the best is to ask Victor. Your boss knows everything. - And I don’t know anything. All right, I go and see him. Thank you even so. Enjoy your holiday. - I’m counting the days until next year. Twenty minutes later, at the HQ of the police force. A secretary asks the lieutenant to wait in the corridor. Victor finishes his phone call. - Come in, Sam. You’ve come at the right moment, I wanted to chatter with you. - I’m not talkative, boss. - You will make an effort. What about the shambles of yesterday evening? - There’s never any shambles with me. Nor with my guys. We do our job. - You’re buggering around. You let this cow kick the bucket right before your eyes. Were you shagging Sandy meanwhile? - We aren’t so close to each other. We didn’t see anything, boss. The chick was back from the restaurant. We followed her. She was parked at the entry of her building. Before getting out, she must have sniffed some lines. After ten minutes, we worried. It was too late. - The junkie was bloody discrete. - This time she was. But the other evening in the hotel, you should have seen the fiesta. - What the hell does the other evening matter? I tell you about last night. Silver complained about you. - Is that the true problem? I’m not complaining about him. All the same he pisses me off. But I keep polite. It’s my job. - Why did you speak to him badly? - I wanted to question him, boss. Simply to know the nature of his relationships with his assistant. He became red and looked daggers at me. Before uttering threats. Against my career and my life. It’s nothing to do with me. This guy doesn’t need cops to make a suspect of himself. He gets out of the shit all alone. Victor examines his speaker’s face. The latter keeps cool. The other raises a book put in front of him. Lets it fall down. Throws up his hands. Bends them. Ends up sighing acting all blasé. - I don’t know what to tell you, Sam. He spoke to me badly too. You aren’t the only one. I’m not questioning your sincerity. I know you. When you want to tell somebody to piss off, you make no secret of it. But I have to take measures. - Like what? Taking away from me the discreet watch on this imbecile? I accept it. I have better things to do. Thank you, boss. - Yeah, I will get another team in on it. Too bad for him. Did you want to ask me something else? - I saw Greg before coming. He told me about the two corpses. I would like to understand. - It’s because of the devil, I had warned you. 40 Tuesday October 5, one AM. Vieques. On the road. A few hundreds feet from the former military base. A woman, hooded and dressed in black. She hides her motor bike in the greenery on the verge. Crosses the way. Threads along the netting, avoiding the lights. Stops as soon as she sees the entry. Activates her miniature transceiver. - This is Kelly, I’m on the A point. - This is Michael. Perfect. How many guards are at the entry? - Two, as expected. - Do you have your eyepiece on them? - Affirmative. - Prepare two anesthetic darts. - That’s done. Permission to shoot. - Granted. The girl complies. The first guy falls. The other one has no time to react. He collapses in a heap too. - Wait before joining the entry. First activate your visual jammer. - The cameras aren’t pointed at the guards. The supervisors couldn’t see anything. - Not, but you will cross their field. Send an interfering signal. It will wreck the image for a few seconds. You will have time to go to the other side. She presses the single button of a small case at her belt. Runs towards the barriers. Jumps over. The red signal of the equipment came on up by the camera. It goes out again. - I’m on the B point. Your system is impressive. - I only employ competent people. - Are you sure they haven’t seen anything? - Some shit on their screen. They must have hit their TV a little. If the thing hadn’t worked, the alarm would have sounded. - Ok, where do I go know? - Cut across country. Activate the trap detector with your eyepiece, then try to avoid the luminous green points. - That’s done. That’s full of it everywhere. I have to tread warily. - You just have ten minutes left to join the building before the relief. Get a move on. - Ok, received. Kelly rushes between the traps. On tiptoe. One thousand sixty four feet holding out. Obstacles in tens. She arrives out of breath. - I’m on the C point. - Bravo, now the hard begins. - Two seconds, I get my breath back. - You have five minutes left. Go round back the building. The door isn’t minded yet. Inside, the corridors remain deserted. Take the stairs, go down to the second basement. Cross the Martian rooms area. The mortuary is on the other side. - Here I go again. - Good luck. Kelly sets off again hugging the walls in the night. Gets to the southern façade of the large hemisphere. Penetrates the latter incognito. Rushes down the steps. - My D point, the basement door. Protected by a code. - Connect your decoder to it. - Ok. It seems to take time. - Now you aren’t in a hurry anymore. A beep sounds. The girl puts her gadget. The door opens. She enters. It closes behind her. - Fancy meeting you! - You again! Maliwan. In her Martian suit. She levels a firearm at the Puerto Rican girl. Throws an identical suit at the feet of her enemy. - Pulls it on, we are going to fight on Mars. - What about oxygen tanks? - Needless. These clothes produce some. - I don’t understand. - They recycle the exhaled air. - Science has made great progress. - I warn you, it takes time to adapt. It will be my advantage. You look for me, you will find me. - You’re still so brave. 41 A dimly lit very large room. Devided in two by a one thousand six hundred feet long corridor. On both sides, a door every one hundred sixty feet. Thick partitions. Under the revolver duress, Kelly goes ahead. Maliwan leads her. They get to the other end of the room. The Amazon opens one of the left doors. They get into a compartment. A giant screen, similar to those of Silver’s office, gives to see the landscape. Kelly reacts. - The mountain with human face. - Did you recognize it? This evening, we are going to repeat the feat. They enter a cabin on the right. An elevator. The killer girl presses on a button. A shake is felt. The load goes down. Thirty seconds later, the automatic doors open on a corridor. Heavy metal walls. At the end, an airlock. Then another one. Mars. At last. Maliwan violently pushes Kelly to the red ground. Feeling paint, the other falls flat on her belly. In spite of her giddiness, she hears the last words of the warrior girls via her helmet radio. Finds the force to answer. - Now you have to fight. - Against you? - Good question. The answer is in front of you. - What? The victim looks up. From the monumental rock, five deadly robots. They move towards their new prey. - Programmed to kill you. - I thought you had balls. - I already told you: honor isn’t my bag. The only thing which interests me is the result. - You claimed victory too soon. The robots pass Kelly. Seem to be unaware of her. Form a circle around Maliwan. The latter, surprised, remains freezed. Screams of anger for the last time. - What filthy machines! The androids unsheathe their steel claws. Drive them into the girl’s body. At the same time. Very quickly. Once only is enough. The monsters retire. One minute later, Kelly regains consciousness. The elevator goes up. By her side, a new appearance. A tall blonde with short hair, a great ass and some beautiful boobs. Silver’s wife. - I know you. You’re the profiler who caught Oscar. - That’s me. I was on the track of the Thai girl. I followed her up to here. - She got a helluva nerve getting her arse over here. Only to create chaos. First the attack against you. Then no news. - But how?… - I reprogrammed the robots. In spite of her precautions, we had located Maliwan. So I could do what was necessary. I thought she was less stupid than that. - Is she dead too? - Yeah, she won’t get up our noses any more. But you have to explain to me how you entered. - Just give me time to take off this suit. The elevator stops. The Martian girl undresses. Massages her left wrist. Turns on a bracelet. A needle comes out. The spy flies at the blonde. Drives her syringe into the latter’s neck. The other faints. Kelly leaves her behind. Goes out of the compartment. Finishes crossing the corridor. On the other side, the mortuary. Deserted. Quickly, the transceiver. - Hello, Michael? Kelly speaking. - Damn and blast it, where have you been? - I got into a pickle. I will explain it to you. I came across Silver’s wife. The forgetfulness serum enabled me to overpower her. - She won’t remember anything. You’re clear. - And I reached the E point. - Bravo, there’s only one step left. - Where is the truck? - The access to the carpark of the mortuary must be indicated. Can you see it? - Yeah, a green and white sign. In front of me, on the right side. - Ok, there isn’t a soul. Still get a move on. Seize the vehicle. And go to the exit. 42 - You look knackered. - Yeah. The Bronx, at Sam’s place. The sun of midday blinds the room. Kelly, hidden under the duvet, slowly surfaces. The Black cop, dressed in some tightly fitting shorts, sits down close to her on the edge of the bed. He gives her a cup of coffee. - I’m supposed to work, at this time. - Let’s say you work with the FBI. - I didn’t even hear you arrive, this morning. Where do you come from? Why didn't you go back to your home? - If I disturb… - Usually, each of us keeps his own hideout. When you come and sleep at home, it means you have trouble and you want me to cover up for you. Isn’t that true? - I spent the night at home. The whole night. Is that ok, or should I go over your lines with you? - All right, you found your alibi. But you must explain all this to me. - I can’t go into all the details. I was in Puerto Rico. I made a round trip in Michael’s private jet. - You’re really awful, with your shitty tricks. In the beginning I followed you in on the job of Oscar. But now, you go too far. - Did you watch the news? - Yeah, and what do they say, according to you? The center “Living on Mars” has been held up last night. They found the corpse of Maliwan. Got hacked to pieces in a Martian room. A truck was stolen. The barriers of the complex were forced by a roadhog in hood. And Silver’s wife doesn’t remember anything. - Everything’s all right, then. Sam puts his hands on his face. Looks into the empty space. Deeply breathes in. Snatches the cup from Kelly’s hands. Gulps down the coffee at one go. Sends the container flying and breaking against the wall. Smiles to the chick. - Now, I’m calm. I can hear everything. - Michael has some equipment. With his machine, he hacked some of the center’s files. To obtain the plans of the buildings and the security system. - Does your billionaire get involved in scientific espionage? - He couldn’t give a damn. We wanted to recover the two corpses. According to our informations, the boxes were still in the vehicle. - And the infos were good. - Greg will be able to carry out the postmortem. - Greg?! You want to get Greg in on it?! You’re really not quite all there, today! Are you sure you didn’t smoke crack, in your turn? - Think about it. He’s the only one we can ask for it. - I guess the continuation of your story: you take the truck and drive to the sea. There, a boat loads the boxes. Makes you cross. On the other side, in Puerto Rico, the jet of Michael takes over. Drops you in New York at dawn. And sets out again for Tombouctou. - For Las Vegas. There, in Michael’s laboratories, Greg will be able to work. - Why did you take parallel action? - Because my interpretation of the matter differs from the one of Jeff, Oliver and the others. - And what’s your interpretation, fucking hell? - My suspicions relate to the Martian project. Because of the precipitated transfer of the two corpses. As if they wanted to hide something from us. Also because of the attitude of Maliwan, which I find again over there as if by chance. Silver’s wife claims to have kicked her out of her private guard. But I know that’s untrue. After she attacked me, the Thai girl went back and hide in Vieques without worrying. It was a put-up job. They know I ask myself questions about them. They tried to get rid of me. Without saying a word, Sam gets up. Opens his closet. Collects some clothes. Gets dressed. For the sake of peace and quiet, she ends up doing the same. Pulls on some flesh-colored stockings. He turns towards her. Puts a hand between her thighs. - Are there whores in Vegas? - You ask me if there are whores in Vegas? - Yeah. - Less whores than one-armed bandits. But if you’re a customer, I can introduce you to a girlfriend of mine. - It’s not for me, you idiot. If there are whores, Greg will agree to do the journey. - Then we are to get on. I love whores too. 43 Wednesday October 6, one PM. Indianapolis. A freeway lay-by. A guy stops to have a piss. Goes to the crab-apple trees. In the grass, many red fruits. At the foot of a trunk, a body lying down flat on his stomach. Motionless. The man shakes him. - Wake up, man. If you don’t, I will piss on you. No answer. Washington, one hour later. The HQ of the FBI. A woman assistant transmits a call to Jeff’s office. - Who wants me? - The police force of Indiana. It seems urgent. A beep. Change of interlocutor. - Hello, Jeff speaking. - The Freeway was found. Dead. - The fourth killer… And where did you discover him? - In a freeway lay-by. - Logical. - The FBI takes precedence over this business. That’s why I call. - Perfect. I ask for the transfer of the corpse. With a detailed report on the localization of the facts and the circumstances. The administration will do what’s necessary. - Where do we transfer it to? - To our forensic laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. The corpse will join those of the Gunner and the Boaster. - All right. We deal with it. Three days later. Manhattan, Federal Plaza. In the morning, Oliver calls the profiler. - A postmortem has been performed on the Freeway’s corpse. The cause of death: homicide by strangulation. No print to identify the guilty party. What do you think of it? - Dead of his own weapons. He was killed as he killed his victims. It seems obvious. - For once, we agree with each other. It remains to be known who. - That’s still the point which divides us. - You can’t work with prejudices, Kelly. I give you the record of Quantico, you study it and you draw up an individual profile. Either you know your place, or you forget it. - Don’t you even want to hear my version? - On the contrary. I’m very interested in hearing it. For we must break with it. Then? - The Science & Security Fundation organized the raid on Leavenworth. “Living on Mars” did genetic experiments on their own researchers. Hence the absence of chemical residues in the corpses. The latter were genetically modified, like corn or colza. - You belong to the funny farm. And what was the object of these experiments? - Weren’t you at the birthday of the center? - Of course not, you well know that, since I was in Vegas. What does it change? - Silver declared that one day, human beings would be able to walk stark naked all over Mars. Here’s the goal: to adapt our immune system to the red planet. - Better and better. Silver had disagreements with his New Yorkean employees. Then, to take revenge on them, he used them as guinea pigs. Is that what you’re telling me? - Exactly. But he had to avert suspicion. Hence the raid on Leavenworth. And the docility of Oscar. - His docility? Did you choose the right word? - Yeah, he obeyed the orders. Because Silver gave him crack. The foundation’s money stinks of drug. The woman assistant dead by overdose, that’s similar. This chick was manipulated. It stands out a mile. - Manipulated? And what for? - To keep silence. She knew things. - What’s the connection with the Gunner, the Boaster and the Freeway? - Diversion. But also his will to lay down a new rule. The Science & Security Fundation killed two birds with one stone: they gave an alibi to the experiments of “Living on Mars” and eliminated the serial killers. - So I was right. They were kidnapped to be put to death. - Yeah, but it has nothing to do with the families of the victims. With the exception of Maliwan, may her soul rest in peace. 44 Monday October 11, in the beginning of the evening. Washington. Jeff and Oliver made a date with each other. The director of the FBI greets his colleague in his residence. The other must put Kelly’s report before him. The two men install themselves in the living room over a drink. The boss reconsiders the last events. - It looks like a house of cards which collapses. Each figure falls one after the other. First the Dealer, then the Boaster. Then the Gunner and the Freeway. I have the impression that it’s only the beginning. The sense of all that escapes me. - I have the same feeling. A very strange business. - Let’s try to take stock. I guess the lead of the families didn’t work out, did it? - Alas not. In the four corners of the country, our investigators did their best. But the concerned people are out of trouble. - So no connections with the extreme right. - Many people don’t give a damn about the extreme right, the left, the center, labor unions and the rest. They are satisfied with earning their living and consuming. Anyway, why would we complain about it? We represent the authorities, don’t we? - The profiler Kelly took part in these investigations. No result either? - Well, I was coming to it. She went over the Traveller’s record. Her tour in Alaska and Eastern Europe was very brilliant. She liquidated some members of the Bulgarian Maffia. And found a hired killers and bounty hunters network. - The criminal Maliwan was one of the leaders, wasn’t she? And the sister of one of the victims? - That’s it. But without any another element, the connection with Leavenworth stops there. Kelly has another opinion. I have her report here. You should brace yourself to read it. In a speculative way, it takes some beating. - Here we are. This famous report. I will read it attentively. What is it about exactly? - About all and nothing. The ideas of its author evolved as the time went by. There’s a common point all the same. A kind of eagerness. A will to expose a big plot. - This word always frightens me. They use it a little in every shape and form. What’s the nature of this plot? - Scientific. Political. Financial. Criminal. Terrorist. Gangster. And that’s not all. - You got the works. I bet the most respectable institutions mix with drugs traffic. - Right. - Who pulls the string of this plot? - The Science & Security Fundation. - With which money? - Officially, the World Trade Bank’s money. But also private industrial groups one. To say nothing of some obscure tax havens. - What for? - To change the world. With a science which would produce new genetically modified human beings. And a security which would force the prisons. To kidnap the criminals and to liquidate them. The paradise on Earth. And on Mars. - The center “Living on Mars”… But there’s a guilty part in this scenario, isn’t it? - Silver, the leader of the project. He would have taken part in the organization of the raid. Carried out experiments on two of his co-workers. Supplied Oscar with drug. Set up the arrest of the latter. Sent Maliwan in New York to kill Kelly. Drove one of his women assistants to overdose… The list is long. - That’s a lot for only one man. Especially when we have no proof. - Just coincidences. The Thai Girl, at the same time sister of a victim, member of the foundation and in charge of watching over Silver’s wife. We found the killer girl at Kelly’s place when the Boaster came to kill her, etc. - I know Silver. It would amaze me that he liked this kind of reasoning. The arguments of the guy are solid, isn’t it? - For Kelly, it’s nothing but pretences, diversions and window-dressing sets. - That’s definetely too much for only one man. And too much for a profiler. So we have to… -…take the matter away from her? 45 Wednesday October 13, four PM. In Africa, in the desert of Namibia. On a long black track, a white four-wheel drive crosses the ocher sand landscape. An intense blue sky. A moderate heat. Dominating the dunes, a long horned oryx watches the car go by. Sometimes some acacias border the glowing heights. A lady is at the wheel. Around fifty. Gray hair, dark eyes, strong and harmonious features. Jeans, tee-shirt, tennis shoes. Her name: Abyss. Former colonel of the police force of South Africa. The first woman who has been profiler by profession. She’s the one who trained Kelly. She drives her passenger northward. - We will leave soon the oldest desert of the world. Eighty million years. At the same time, everything changes. It seems dead, but it swarms with life. A little rain or a little wind are enough to make everything unrecognizable. Permanent and ephemeral. Under a temperature of one hundred and fourty degrees during the southern summer. And the Ocean less than sixty miles from there. Fur otaries on the beaches of Cape Cross. Laid by the Benguela cold currents. It’s really a land full of contrasts. I’m fascinated. - When you’re fed up with Johannesburg, you come to Namibia. To change your ideas. - I wanted to make you benefit from it. Johannesburg is moreover another universe. A very dangerous city. I kept a taste for danger. But if you never leave this urban hell, you blow your top. So I come here from time to time. - It’s beautiful. Two hours later, the sun goes down in Damaraland. The travellers left Namib behind them and climbed. Some wild mounts replaced the dunes. Abyss and Kelly are on the point of joining a Himba village. - I know these people. Seminomads. They practice the ancestors worship and live on breeding. I already stood at their place. We can spend the night there. - I needed some change of scene. It’s a good time. - It’s a matriarchal society. The women there have a complete freedom, live topless and share their lovers. They look a little like you. - Or I look like them. Some huts in the middle of a plain. Men, women and children stripped to the waist. The housewives, with their body coated with butter, ash and hematite. Carefully fussy hair. Jewels and chains sparkling on their ebony skin. Abyss makes the introductions. The dinner, corn porridge and goat ragout. At the end of the evening, the two visitors retire to their hut. Chatter a little before falling asleep. - My best memory remains the Strangler from Cape Town, twenty years ago. Twenty-two victims, little boys. I draw up the following profile: a Black teacher, about thirty, very clean, having a good car. Authoritarian, careful about his appearance and fit to win easily the confidence of his preys. Himself raped at the age of the latter. The bull’s-eye. A typical matter, I made short work of it. - Why did you stop, twelve years ago? - Because of my weakness. It’s hard in time to identify with killers. - What do you think of my business? - To my mind, a complete exception. My diagrams are very Freudian. They concern isolated individuals, haunted by old emotions. You’re flirting with the counter-espionage. And your methods become barbarous. I hardly recognize my former disciple. Even with my experience, how can I follow you? - Just imagine that it’s true. - I never came up against this scenario. To hide a treason under serial murders. To frighten the nation. To sound the bugle of a new order. And to make science a butchery. - I come back from Vegas with a buddy cop and a forensic expert. Do you know what we found in Oscar and the girl’s brains? Data-processing chips. Grafted among neurons. If that’s not manipulation… - But you acted secretly. The hold-up in Vieques, what a madness! You would be struck off, if Jeff and Oliver knew it. And you would do time. Now they took the matter away from you, your choice is simple: to give up, or… -… to go on on my own. 46 The next week, in New York. Each drama breaks out a little before dawn. The first day. A security store by the 3rd Avenue. Broken window. Activated alarm. The corpse of a man. Thrown in the middle of glass breakings, miniature cameras, mike detectors, night vision glasses, telephone voice recorders. Fallen flat on its back, with its arms spread and its mouth wide open. Naked, its sex mutilated, a bludgeon inserted in its anus. The fifth killer, the Seducer. The second day. A butcher’s in the Bronx, by Boston Road. The metal shutter destroyed with a rocket launcher. The shopfront door pulled up. In a cold room, among beef pieces: a head, a chest, two arms, two legs, a cock, a pair of testicles. All human members severed and suspended like meat. Freezing. The sixth killer, the Cannibal. The third day. Central Park. Between the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and the 85e Street, not very far away from the police station. A pair of stiffs aligned in grass. The first, his hands cut, tightened and stuck around its neck with glue. The second, deprived of its skin, open flesh. Respectively, the seventh and the eighth killer. That is to say the Strangler and the Son. Monday October 25. A crisis meeting in Federal Plaza. Oliver and his woman assistant chair the discussions. Called together around the same table, the other Feds listen and take notes. The director opens the meeting. - Greg, the forensic expert, gave me yesterday his report for each postmortem. As in the case of the Freeway, the conclusions are obvious. These are homicides. Each murderer was liquidated according to his own methods. Strangled Strangler, etc. Any suggestion for the investigation? - The same psycho did the job. In spite of the differences from one body to another, we find the same intention: to render evil for evil. - Ok, but why did he give up the fourth killer in Indianapolis, and the others in New York? - We still don’t know. It goes to show he’s mobile, in any case. - I propose two orientations: either the authors of Leavenworth did the job, or someone else did. - Considering the first scenario, we know where and when our murderers were kidnaped: in the central prison, last July 4. Otherwise, we have to determine who took over. - Let’s turn down the first assumption. If our mysterious commandos had struck again, they would also have liquidated Oscar and the two others. Without forgetting that the Traveller and the Saver are still on the run. It questions our original idea: they didn’t kidnap these bastards to kill them, but to let them go in the country. Now the raid against the central prison seems a terrorist act. - The continuation is simple to guess: each prisoner went on his own way. The Dealer attacked the scientists, the Gunner landed up in Vegas, the Boaster wanted to get revenge on the profiler. - It’s easy to understand: Kelly had contributed to his arrest. Quite by chance if Maliwan were there during the mugging. - Many people have a grudge against Kelly. No wonder if two criminals turn up at her place at the same time. She has a risky behaviour in a dangerous trade. But I stop there with her: it’s always the people who are not there that get blamed. - You do well. We could think that you’re jealous of her. We still have to explain our last corpses. - Somebody hunted them in the whole country. And succeeded. - He didn’t do it alone. He had to take on some bounty hunters. - Like Erika and her gang? - Why not? I want each agent present to move his contacts. The agenda: to question all the professional killers known in our files. To make them speak, one way or another. Jump to it. - I pass the information on Jeff. 47 - What did you talk about with Abyss? - It has nothing to do with you, Oliver. - I will ask her the question. - I know her better than you. And since longer. - And then? - She won’t say anything to you. This woman is my tomb. Tuesday October 26, between midday and two PM. Washington. This time, the house of Jeff greets also Kelly. The director of the FBI went in the kitchen, leaving alone the two New Yorkeans for a moment. He returns with a plate. Sandwiches. Three glasses. Fresh orange juice. He comments on. The profiler will answer, while drinking and nibbling. - No alcohol during the service. - And there, it’s the service? - Of course. Since it’s a work meeting. - Why did they call me back? I thought I was banished. - Banished, the word is a little immoderate. If one of our agents had attacked “Living on Mars” and had taken two corpses away, then I would have banished him. Without hesitating. - Wise decision. It’s better to be among reasonable people. - Of course, my dear Kelly, the decision would have been wise. That’s the reason why I’m the boss and they obey my orders. - I have no complaints. - The last events in New York justified this u-turn. I still need the opinion of a profiler. Better point out the one which knows best the matter. - I’m very touched. - That’s enough fawning. Oliver and I worked out the following scenario. July 4, the raid. Then, the terrorists open the cage. The big cats escape. Disperse in the nation. We find three of them. Two still escape from our hunt. The last five are pursued then sacrificed to their own altar. The guilty part: a serial killers serial killer. - And the FBI wants to know what I think of it? - The FBI requires it. - I stick to the report I gave to Oliver. No reason to change my tack. I’m not narrow-minded. But Oscar and the two others fell into our clutches. That’s a bit much. Like the Dealer who dabbles in nuclear power. And Maliwan the Martian which turns up at my place when the Boaster is there. As for the victims of Indianapolis and New York, I blame them on the same foundation. Everything leads us to them. Moreover, they are rich, powerful and discrete. Impressive enough to face a federal penitentiary. And to make a mess of the country. - That echoes what I said. It’s terrorism. - We nearly agree with each other about it. Not about the rest. Jeff drinks up his orange juice glass at one gulp. The liquid runs out in his throat sounding like pipes. He gets to work on his sandwiche. Oliver intervenes. - We are willing to admit that you’re right, Kelly. We didn’t call you back to ruin you. I admit to have underestimated the complexity of this matter. But if what you say is true, you have to prove it. - Just think about it, Oliver. I’m a profiler. They ask me for a profile, not for evidences. - Your profile isn’t psychological. It goes much too far. It lies outside your area of responsibility. - That’s not my fault, if my conclusions lead me to an organization, and not to an individual. The most I can do is to get the FBI to follow the track which seems to me the right one. The decisions belong to Jeff here present. You take part in it too. And the agents and cops, in the field, have more than me their say. - Serial murders and criminal conspiracy… Really a curious mixture. Moreover, you forget the recent attack against Vieques. The stealing of the two corpses. Another mystery again. - You mean: another staging. - A staging? Why “Living on Mars” would simulate a raid against their own buildings? - To get rid of the corpses in a secret place. Because they know what these corpses contain. Perhaps our missing proof. - You seem to know quite a lot. - It doesn’t matter. Nobody wants to listen to me. Too bad. 48 Saturday October 30, late in the evening. Las Vegas. The king of the media’s residence. Michael, Kelly and Melissa have just made love. Got high having sex. They never take drugs. The sensual pleasures are enough for them. The three of them brought together, it’s really fantastic. They rest in the jacuzzi, at the very top of the tower, sipping cognac. Through the large picture window open onto the sky, the black eyes of Melissa are lost in stars. But the girl keeps on paying attention to the conversation. Kelly and Michael consider a new offensive strategy. The profiler starts. - The postmortems of Greg enabled us to find these computer chips. That’s the proof. Silver manipulated Oscar and the girl. Used at the same time the device and dope dependancy to control them. That’s why “Living on Mars” wanted to get back the corpses. - But you know we still can’t make the most of this proof. - No need to remind it to me. I just have to see the nuts of Jeff and Oliver. It pisses them off to be unaware of which wreaked havok in Vieques. - Do you think they have suspicions? - You never can tell. Better to take care. They are not so idiot. - Anyway, our strategy functioned up to now. We can move on to the next stage. - The satellites hacking. Your famous toy. - It has never been of use before. It will be its baptism of fire. We will do really well. - If our girlfriend agrees to carry out her mission. - Melissa, your mission, if you accept it… Two days later. New York. After a work meeting, Silver leaves the Washington Heights laboratories and goes back to his residence. With him, his private secretary and three bodyguards. There’s just room enough for the five men in the elevator. The door opens onto a corridor. The director goes through his pockets, looks for his keys, promptly walks towards his front door. Melissa, at the same time, leaves an apartment next door. Meets the five guys. Smiles at the boss in a charming way. He turns as the girl goes by. - One moment… We know each other, don’t we? - I was at the birthday of “Living on Mars”. An unforgettable evening. What a sight! - We have to know each other. I had a busy day, I have time for a drink… - Well… I was going out, unfortunately. - A so important appointment? If my evening was unforgettable, better to prove it to me, isn’t it? - Must I regard this insistence as a compliment? - Luck turns quickly. You should leap at it. - Experience speaks for itself. The interior. Marble floors, walls and ceilings. In contrast to the oddly set out pieces of furniture, the plastic covers, the cardboards boxes full of crockery and the piles of dusty books which lie since September. A large sofa like a maroon paving stone. A coffee table, where survive a bottle of scotch and two badly rinsed glasses. Silver makes a sign to his secretary. The other remains fixed in front of him. Seems to wait for a detail. His boss shows impatience. - Now you leave us. You worked well, beat it. Far from here, very far. Until tomorrow morning. - Ok, but… - But what? - Your escort stay, don’t they? - Not, time for them to go. Nothing can happen to me. Let’s stop acting. - As you want, Silver. The guy leave. The two others, alone at last, take seat and start to clink glasses. - So we are neighbours? - Friends set off on a journey. I look after their apartment. - That’s your job, then. You rent your services, in a way. - I’m not very greedy. But I never refuse a gift. - Ok, I have the impression that we were made to get on well together. You do some little filthy things? - As long as that remains for fun. But I have a favor to ask you in exchange. - What is it? - I would like to make the deal in your lab. Take me now. The field of science always made me dream.
  7. 17 Monday August 30, in the evening. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. The cliff of Tsarevets. Kelly and Maliwan walk in the medieval lanes. Stop for dinner in a small restaurant. Local food. Pasta with eggplants. Stuffed bell pepper. Pork kebab. Zagorka beer. The two girls are sat at table outside. Their dinner looks like a farewell. - Then, Kelly? Your answer? - To become an Amazon? I’m not bothered. - It means no. - I’m already busy enough. - You wanted to infiltrate us, you bitchy girl. - Bite back your insults. And don’t ask for trouble. - I really have to bump you off. - You gave me every time to break the law of silence. You should have eliminated me beforehand. - I’m not afraid of your shitty FBI. - You should. A man arrives in the street. The Thai girl seems to recognize him immediately. Everything happens very quickly. The guy puts the hand in the inside pocket of his jacket. A firearm. Maliwan gives the table a kick. Throws it right on the attacker, which falls down. Breaking glass and earthenware. The leftovers spot the terrace. The owner of the restaurant, alerted by the noise. He runs towards outside. The girls cleared off. The killer sets off in their pursuit. The old city, stiff climbing. Less sporty than his preys, the man gets out of breath. Because of the distance and the night walkers, hesitates firing. The archeologist knows the place well. Takes her accomplice off along the ramparts, towards the north-east of the hill. They hide both behind blocks of stone. The guy gropes his way in the darkness. Right level, opens fire. The girls move forward without cover and fire at the same time. Maliwan misses. Kelly kills the bastard. In the heart. - You got me out of a tight spot, bitch. We are all square. - I hope you will get off my back. - You came and met me in Greece. You should have staid in New York. - What about the corpse? - This place is an old execution rock. In the olden days, they threw the traitors over the cliff, towards Yantra. - That’s pretty clever. Where do you leave, tomorrow? - Our Bulgarian colleagues showed us what we wanted to see. My archeologists buddies and I go back to Athens. You? - I go to England and visit a girlfriend. Then I go back to the United States. - Our paths diverge. - We will meet again. The next day, in London. The airport of Heathrow, five to four PM. Melissa greets Kelly. They spend the evening together. Attend the concert of a R&B girl singer. The worldwide star appears at the Scala of London. They like this music, combining rap rythm and soul voice. They have danced to it for ten years. Front, they listened to New Jack. Still front, to funk. Midnight. A luxury hotel in Park Lane. In their room. The two friends take bearings. - Sometimes I take on odd customers. Then I gave them a sleeping pill and I go through their papers. Once I met a Czech ambassador. In his attaché case he kept informations concerning the Girls of Mars, the Amazones. - With photographs, of which that of Maliwan. - It’s quite true. That’s why I recognized her the evening of the ceremony. - What do you know about these girls? - They have friends in several Eastern Europe and Asia governments. They have also bonds with bounty hunters in the United States. 18 Thursday September 2, midday. The world gets to know of the re-election of the republican president. Kelly returned home the day before. She slept much. Oliver rings her. - Then, the trip? - I’ve got news. Do we see each other to talk about it? - Call on the HQ in two hours. Besides? - I’m fed up. Fed up with racism. Fed up with ignorance. Fed up with puritanism. Fed up with laws against abortion. - Why do you say that to me? - No reason. I want to grumble, that’s all. Are we still a country of freedom or not, for Christ’s sake? Federal Plaza, two PM. The director greets the woman in his office. - At first, congratulations. - For? - Bulgaria. The five international criminals which you eliminated. - They attacked me, I answered. It’s just self-defense. - Our services has wanted these bastards for two years. I will quote you as an example. - I went over the Traveller’s record again. The sister of one of the victims works in archeology. By her way, I discovered hired assassins network. Here are some secret documents about them. - Where did you find these papers? - I know some informers. - Ideas, for the continuation? - With your permission, inquiring into the bounty hunters. They are Amazones buddies. But Kelly will wait before setting off again. The guys will need her, in New York. In the night of Thursday to Friday. The Upper West Side police station. Sandy, on guard again. Disturbance in David II’s place. A phone call to Sam. The cop takes his motor bike. On the spot around six AM. A few blocks from the first David. Roadblocks, police cars, barred street. The same mess as the preceding time. Sam meets Sandy. - Were the scene marked out? - I took care of it with Alex and Harry, boss. The door wasn’t forced. The kidnapper was to have the keys. It’s not a mystery. He was bloody discreet, that’s all. As for the rest, no tracks. - Go on. - We found everything alight when we arrived. The body was set out on the sofa of the living room. Closed doors and shutters. Neither pieces of furniture out of place, nor footprints, nor revolver bullets in the walls, nor blood stains. A ringing. Sam’s mobile. - Hello? What? Another corpse? In the garden of Brooklyn? Ok, I come. Oliver rolls up. - Some informations, Sam? - The FBI’s already there? Talk about a millstone. - I saw the stiff. Same state as David. - Another one awaits us in Brooklyn. Just follow me. - Two like that in the same night. Crime show business works overtime. - Yeah, it’s the way of the world. Broadway. Then Manhattan Bridge. On the other side, streets bordered with old white houses. Red or green sloping roofs. Washington Avenue. The museum of art of Brooklyn. Sam stops his motor bike at the carpark. Oliver meets him with his car. - Feds should arrest cops for speeding. - You indulge in wishful thinking. The two men enter the botanical garden. There are many cops already on the spot. Their boss guides the newcomers towards the corpse. Sam questions him. - Any idea about the victim’s identity? - Apparently, a Black waitress, disappeared two months ago. We called the barman, her presumed boss. He maintains he recognizes her. - The barman? What about her family? - She had no family. She was an easy prey. 19 Ten AM. The laboratory of Greg. Sam and Oliver are on the spot. Kelly has just met them. All in the same office. Four steaming coffee cups on a plate. The two Feds, for the moment, stay in the background. They listen to the Black cop questionning the expert, sometimes exchange looks. - Then, did you see our two customers of last night? - Enormous. But this time I need you to tell me some more about the circumstances. - Conjectures. Having said that, Sandy is probably right. We suppose that both David and the girl were indeed kidnapped. The abductor, if he’s the same one, had to swipe them in the street, like kids. He wasn’t to be alone to do the job. He stole their keys and tortured his victims before killing them then bringing them back to their places. Discreetly, using the night. - What about the music? - The disturbance? A way of attracting attention. He wanted to bring us to the bodies. Time for the neighbors to react, he could quickly leave the building. - Bloody risky. - Yeah. We will catch him the next time. - You forget the girl’s corpse, that changes everything. Discovered outside, in a large park, without noise, almost by chance. - That’s true. The day watchman had just taken over, began to patrol. The night one didn’t catch on. The stiff lay in the middle of the roses. - Our murderer’s a real poet. - A very skillful intruder, above all. The botanical garden of Brooklyn is in the open air, but its access remains blocked up except the opening hours. Not a single sign of a burglary, not a single footprint. They had to come by helicopter and to release the girl in the flowers. - Nobody really noticed a thing? - The place is large. Be sure that the guard was sleeping in his cabin. What can you say to us about the corpses? - Nothing final before the result of the post-mortem. But the guys already carried out the external examination. They undressed them. The face, the neck, the chest, the belly, the arms and the legs comprise outgrowths of flesh. These last form important globulous clusters. Several organs must have swelled and overflowed while mixing. It looks like nothing on earth. - But the deformations are the same from one body to another? - More or less. The intact parts also, oddly: the right side of the face, the chest at the place of the heart, the belly on the level of the intestines, the right arm and the left leg. The rest is a riot of dead tissues. - Everything reminds us of the case of David. - It’s quite true. We know where the tumefactions come from. Cells proliferated in an abnormal way. It’s revealing of a kind of rapid cancer. We can make this deduction to the naked eye. I also consider the historical record of the files: the two new ones, like David, were abandoned one or two months after their disappearance. - Only radioactivity can produce that? - A radioactive serum, pricesely. The problem is that we didn’t find any trace of the chemical the first time. - How do you explain it? - I know nothing of it. The seat of each tumor is under the skin. We check out the location with a scanner. Then, with the point of a needle, we collect a small piece of tissue. The depth of the thorax and the abdomen requires surgical operations. The samples are placed in preserving liquids. Cut out into very fine sections first colored then examined under the microscope. - Yeah, nothing escapes your tests, if I well understand. Shit, what a mess, this story… When do we get the results? - We are snowed under. In two days, if everything’s fine. Sam turns to Oliver. In the face of the Black cop, an expression of irony. - Then, you believe that the ecologists struck again? - Don’t piss me off, Sam. Only you arrested these guys. - But you admitted that Silver was right. - Kelly thinks it’s the work of a serial killer. I can read it in her eyes. And I believe what her eyes say to me. 20 Federal Plaza, at the end of the morning. Kelly and Oliver, back again. Sat facing the director, the girl crosses her legs. Looks at him as if something amuses her. - Now you can guess what I’m thinking? - Sam had your favors. I’m satisfied with your eyes. - Your girlfriend would be happy, if she heard you. - Why not? She likes my charming side. It adds spice to our couple. - Provided she’s a charming lady as well… - When someone’s getting the come on, that’s one up to her. Don’t worry about her. He crosses his hands on his desk with a sigh. Scans the piles of records which surround it. Returns towards the profiler. - Is he a serial killer, according to you? - It seems telepathy doesn’t work anymore… - Seriously. - I know nothing of it, Oliver. I’m just like you, discovering. Did you remember to watch the radioactive waste sites? - Jeff and I made this decision at the beginning of the matter. Not a single of these places catches our napping. - In all the States, or only in New York? - In all the States, Kelly. From New England to Oklahoma going through Idaho and Kentucky. Seventeen strategic places. Uranium, tritium, plutonium… You see, we didn’t wait until you return from Greece. - How does it look? - For the moment, nothing. But the entries are well minded. - Then a nuclear physicist undoubtedly did the job. In any case, somebody who knows all about it. - What would be his motive? - It’s difficult to say. In any case, Sam’s right. Nothing to do with the ecologists. The Black waitress is the proof of it. The director of “Living on Mars” was mistaken. - Go and tell him. - That’s what I’m going to do. - What? - Leaving for Vieques. And reassuring him. So that he stops to get up our noses with his paranoia. - Ok. Wait at least for the official result of the postmortem. You will be more credible. - I already reserve my plane ticket. Three days later, Sunday September 5, two PM. Vieques. The navy base. Kelly, on a motor bike, comes along to the entry. Several soldiers go up to her. - I’m a Fed. Here’s my card. One of the guys takes the papers. Moves away. The others stay planted in front of the girl. Devour her with their eyes. The other returns ten minutes later. - All right, Silver will greet you. The center “Living on Mars” is indicated. You just have to follow the panels, my tart. - Thank you. That’s what I call good manners. She starts again. In several places on her road, army trucks and warehouses. Some men come and go. Load cases of weapons and ammunition. The army leaves. In front of a large building in the form of a hemisphere, a carpark. Kelly stops. Silver comes out and greets her. She follows him inside. At the entrance, some large walls of glass. A reception filled with light. Many people dressed in white meet. An elevator. Several dark corridors. A lecture room. On each wall, giant screens. Simulation of the Martian environment. Reliefs. Cracks. A pink sky. A rust half-light. - Not bad, the decor. - Better than the compliment. On these screens, we can admire the plains of West Utopia. The alignment of the craters draws parallels and polygons. It seems that something disappeared from the rigid part of the ground. Ice, perhaps. - Some photos taken by the probes? - Better than that. A video camera. Live from ours. In the basements, we recreated Martian environments on a small scale. - What for? - Killing rats. 21 Monday September 6, five PM. Back again in Harlem since the last day in the evening. Kelly and Sam just had a fuck. Lay down and naked in the bed. The girl, sensual. Snuggled up to the cop’s muscular body. With a hand, he caresses her ass. With the other, plays with his firearm. - You saved my life with it. - Yeah. Just. - Why a 9-mm? - I like heavy guns. - And I like when you insert it to me between the thighs. - I thought that you preferred my cock. - I like both. - Greedy. - Yeah. I need always more. - You want me as much as you stay in New York. One day, you will leave with your billionaire. - Possible. In the meantime, I’m there. - Everything was all right, in Vieques? - Not bad. But you were right. A real stupid bastard, this Silver. Self-important, megalomaniac, solemn. The head bigger than the bottom. - That’s what I told you. He showed you the center? - Partly only. He claims to have created a Mars planet in small-scale model. - What does it mean? - Ground and rocks full of iron oxide. Yellow, brown and red. Very low temperature and pressure. Carbon dioxide atmosphere above all. Exposed to cosmic rays. - I bet that’s the place where he unleashes his laboratory rats. - Yeah, that’s what he told me. He throws living animals in his Martian rooms. Watches them dying. Gets their corpses and their tissues examined. - What does he looks for? - The limits of life. - It’s too complicated for me. Sam puts his firearm on the night table. Takes a frozen beer bottle. Drinks some mouthfuls. Gives it to Kelly. The girl finishes emptying it. Leaves it on the ground, at the foot of the bed. - So, how’s our business coming along? - Our three radioactive victims? Things are progressing so-so. We think it’s about a serial killer. - A possible connection with the escape from Leavenworth? - It depends… Wait, I show you. Kelly gets up. Makes slowly for her office. Sam looks at her buttocks, her legs, her feet. She returns with a record. Holds it out to the cop. - What’s that? - A synthesis, which I have just completed. - A synthesis on what? - On the ten escaped prisoners. Sam starts reading the document. A summary of a few pages. The synopsis describes the main points. The first killer. The Traveller. Needless to present him again. The second one. The Gunner. Sentenced to life, like all the others. Killed five little girls with a firearm. The third one. The Boaster. Killed two women with a knife. Raped their corpses. Claims to have forty victims to his credit. The fourth one. The Freeway. Raped and strangled fourteen teenagers. Hitch-hikers whom he hunted on the major roads. The fifth one. The Seducer. A security officer who played on his playboy physique. Coaxed some young women. Twenty-one notches on his gun. He struck them, mutilated them, sexually abused them and let them die. The sixth one. The Cannibal. Homosexual. Sodomized and assassinated eighteen dropouts, all Blacks. Cut them up with a kitchen knife. Before eating them. The seventh one. The Strangler. Thirteen old women passed through his hands. The eighth one. The Son. Knifed two women. Exhumed some corpses. He was aiming to cover himself with their skin. To look like his mother. The ninth one. The Savior. He heard voices. Liquidated thirteen people. In order to “fight against the earthquakes in California”. The tenth one. The Dealer. Oscar. Arrested by Sam and Kelly. 22 Tuesday September 7, ten AM. Federal Plaza. Kelly and Oliver. The girl goes to find out what’s happening. - Did we inquire into the people who have private helicopters? - Concerning the victim of the garden of Brooklyn? Of course. We watch these private individuals since the attacks against the World Trade Center. As you can imagine, that’s nothing new. But they all have an alibi. - It’s easy for the rich to find an alibi. - They are taxpayers above any suspicion. I assure you. Why would they go to all the bother of throwing the body of a waitress in the country? - Because of boring. - The thing’s that they don’t have time to be bored. A brilliant business, dream wives, gifted children. Moreover, we would have to suspect all of them, but only for this reason. Because not one of them is concerned by nuclear power. Not in the slightest, as far as I know. - All the same, our culprits had a flying machine. But we’re unaware of their identity. - The raid on Leavenworth proved something to us: in this country, one can hold a hundred flying machines without the knowledge of the authorities. - We really flounder. This black waitress doesn’t make sense with the rest. - What did Silver tell you? - He persists in his error. According to him, the ecologists killed this girl to cover the tracks. He still sees on his scientific project as the target of a plot. - In a sense, that holds water. In Puerto Rico, some militants accuse him of having taken part in the tests of the navy. - And some activists would have taken it out on his colleagues using uranium? Out of revenge? - “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you”. - At this stage, that’s terrorism. - Nowadays in the United States, all the minorities pass for terrorist bastions. Especially when they become on the left. - There must be a link between this girl and “Living on Mars”. - Ok, but which? - Perhaps she was an ex-partner of David. You told me that he was a womanizer. - Let’s not exaggerate. His substitute had told me about some conquests. - His substitute didn’t sleep with him. Which were his habits? How he used to make his way to his work every day? - On foot. He left half an hour early and went down Riverside Drive. Then got to the center of biology, not far from the university. - I know a guy which keeps a hamburger stand in Riverside Drive. Perhaps he noticed something. David in the company of a Black girl. Some masked people who turn up and fly at them. Who knows? - I doubt whether the memories of your fries salesman go back so far. But why not? The phone rings. Oliver pick it up. - Hello? Speaking… In New Hampshire? This morning?… Very well. I will be on the spot from this evening. A silence follows this short communication. The Fed seems astonished. Lost in thought. - Who? - The cops of New Hampshire. You’ll never guess what they saw. - Tell me. - Oscar. They saw Oscar hanging about the site of radioactive waste of Seabrook, a village round over ther. - And they let him go? - He cleared off. He runs quickly. - Do you take the piss out of me? - I’m ashamed of the local police force. I will go and see on the spot what’s happening. - Ok. I will use it to investigate into Riverside Drive. The guy I told you surely picked out something. - Check also the timetable of the waitress of Brooklyn. 23 At the same time, Silver is on the aircraft which takes him from Puerto Rico to New York. Sat beside him, his private secretary. The two men discuss. - It’s a good thing I entrusted the running of the center to my wife’s care. This way, I’ll be able to supervise personally what happens in New York. - How long will it take? - As long as necessary. I will miss my wife, but I will return almost every weekend to Vieques. - It’s dangerous. You run the risk of being the next victim. - It isn’t more dangerous than if I stood over there. Now that the army leaves, we don’t benefit from the same protection. Fortunately my private guard stays to take care of my wife. - Concerning the accomodations, I organized everything. You will live in an apartment in 5th Avenue. With a bodyguard in each guest room. They will escort you in all your travel. - What about you? - I found a studio in your vicinity. You will know where to go and see me for the paperwork. - Ok, that should be fine. For more security, I also asked the New Yorkean police force for getting one of his best men in on it. - I bet that’s Sam, the guy which came and see you with Oliver, the Fed. - That’s right. We shouldn’t leave anything to chance. The landing at JFK. The reception. The luggage. Sam is already on the spot. Silver, under escort, gets into a limousine. Before following him, the secretary comes and sees the Black cop. - Are you the one whom my boss called? - Yeah, that’s me. Listen, Hick. I warn you, that’s not the only bloody job I have to do. So I will discreetly follow your boss to protect him. But only when I have time. - Otherwise? - My guys will take over. Sandy, Alex and Harry. A shock team. We four are the best of Manhattan. - It seems to me that Victor, your big boss, entrusted you with the radioactive victims question. - For the moment, I manage this business. Let’s hope that won’t deviate from my jurisdiction. There’s already too much mess around here. - Anything new? - We arrested every Puerto Rican ecologist that we possibly could in our area. Victor dreads a lawsuit. Try to convince your boss. He really goes down the tubes with his paranoia. - It’s already done. You can release your prisoners. But in the event of a problem, you will get a right mouthful. - We will see it. You should say that to the true guilty party. - Try to find them. - I should hope so, Hick. I should hope so. Sam joins the downtown area on his motorbike. Finds Kelly in Riverside Drive. The girl comes at once from Federal Plaza. - Did you come on foot? - Yeah. Will you drop me at home presently? - Ok, but then I have just time to drop you. Victor wants me to watch Silver. - Why is it? - The guy has just arrived in our area. He takes in hand the running left by both David. - What about the young people of my district? - Finally, your visit in Vieques was useful. We can release them. - I don’t know if it’s thanks to my visit. But so much the better. - So much the better, as you say. But I think of something… - What? - If ever the waitress were an ex of David, Silver may change his mind again. - In my opinion, no fear. To attack the circle of a guy is not activism. That’s Mafia methods. Our hierarchies will cover us. - Let’s hope for it. Silver’s brother will remain adviser at the White House. - It doesn’t give him all the rights. Come with me, I will buy you a hamburger. 24 Riverside Drive. One PM. A view on the approaches to the New Jersey, beyond Hudson. Some passers by. Sportsmen, runners and cyclists. People who do rollerskate. A hamburger booth. Kelly and Sam place an order. The girl questions the salesman. Takes two photographs out of her pocket. One of David, one of the Black waitress. - Did you know these people? - If I knew them? It seems to me. The guy used to come here from time to time, between midday and two PM. As a rule, he used to take a chicken sandwich and an orange juice can. - What about the chick? - The chick? I think she was his girlfriend. In any case, they came together one day. They seemed to get on well. - How that? - They were often kissing each other. - Are you sure we talk about the same girl? - I can’t forget her. - You have a weakness for Black girls? - You can say it. Especially when they have so pretty face and body. And the most beautiful ass in the world. - Because you saw her ass too? - She was wearing a tightly fitting Jean, this day. Such a beauty, assassinated. It makes no sense to me. I hope that you’ll find the bastard who did that. - We are working on it. Did you notice anything else? - Like what? - We thought that they were attacked at the same time. - I haven’t seen anything, anyway. Some cops already questioned me about this subject. Kelly turns towards Sam. The lieutenant licks the ketchup that trickles on his fingers. Stares the salesman. - I would think your colleague Sandy already came here. - She indeed questioned some district shopkeepers. But we hadn’t thought yet of the connection between David and the girl. - Do you have time to take me to Brooklyn? We will call on the boss of this waitress. - Ok, this way we will get to the bottom of her timetable. Brooklyn, twenty minutes later. Marcy Avenue, between the Long Island docks and the cemetery of Greenwood. Sam parks in front of the establishment. - The killer could have given up the chick in the cemetery. - To save time for us? He doesn’t have your sense of humor, guy. - But he’s well organized. - Too much well organized. The surroundings of the bar, rather in bad taste. In contrast with the inside, clean and comfortable. In the room, some customers. Sat at table over cocktails. Rum or margarita. In the bottom, a stage. A sound system. On the walls, concerts posters. The barman greets the two newcomers. Sam makes the first move. - What is it for? - We are cops. We would like to see the manager. - He’s travelling. A business trip. But if I can inform… - Certainly. Do you know why we are there? - For the waitress, I suppose. - We need her timetable. Can you get it out again for us? - One moment. The guy picks up a bunch of keys under the bar. Goes away behind for two minutes. Comes back with a large folder. Puts it down flat. - Which day? - Friday July 9. Was she off, this day? - Not usually. We did over her timetable every week. We are a musical bar. Sometimes, we greet some famous bands. As a result, there’s more work. - Was it the case, before her disappearance? - Not, nothing was happening. July 8 in the evening, she returned home earlier. I remember it, she set off again with a guy. A certain David. And the next day, she didn’t work, indeed. - Thank you. Sam and Kelly go away. Outside, they take stock. The profiler sums up. - They spent the night together. The next day, David went to his lab. The girl made had a lie-in at his place. They met again in Riverside Drive about midday. - And got caught this same day. 25 In the evening. Seabrook, New Hampshire. The sheriff’s car. The latter and Oliver drive to the site of radioactive waste. - This village’s a real backyard. How can you live in such a place? - You don’t always have the choice. At least, it’s quiet. I prefer that to New York. - I would have already committed suicide, in the place of the inhabitants. It’s the asshole of the world, around here. - However, the rate of suicide is less high in our area than in the large cities. - It still has to be proved. - A gas station. I stop for two minutes. Two fuel pomps. A shop. Behind, the forest. Already plunged in darkness. The sheriff gets out. Fills up. Goes away to pay. Will have a piss. During this time, Oliver calls Kelly. - Did you go and find the guy of the booth, today? - With Sam. We questioned him. - And then? - He knew the two victims. David numbered among his regular customers. He came with the girl the day of their disappearance. We went to the bar of Brooklyn to know the timetable of the waitress. Everything agrees. - She was his girlfriend, then? - Recently, apparently. And they were kidnaped together. - Did you also check at the lab? - We already know that David didn’t come along to his work on Friday July 9 in the afternoon. - Ok, but how to explain why the corpse of the Black girl was found last of all? - The murderer tries to cover the tracks. It remains to discover why. - Some news from Silver? - He settled in New York today. The guys of Sam take turns making sure he’s safe. What about you, for your part? - I’m with the sheriff of the place. We’ll have a glance at the site of Seabrook. - No trace of Oscar? - Not, but it shouldn’t be long coming. There aren’t many places for hiding, around here. His withdrawal symptoms will be quick about betraying him. - Keep on informing me. The sheriff turns up. Takes the wheel again. On the road, his radio is making a signal. Some cracklings. A voice. - Boss, there’s an emergency! Two guys, in a helicopter, are launching an attack on the nuclear site! One of both, armed with a machine-gun, fires at everything! - Received, we will be right there. He takes a junction. Turns into a forest road. - Where do we go? - In my hut. To pick up some tools. - That’s the limit! Perhaps we have nothing else to do! - Keep cool. FBI or not, keep cool. I need my tools. So no need to yell. The officer stops suddenly. Everywhere around, trees and bushes. - So, where’s this hut? - We are there. The guy gets out. Starts to inspect the surroundings with a flashlight. Locates a tree marked with a cross. Squats himself in front of it. Clears the leaves off the ground. Digs a little in the ground with his hands. Finds a ring. Pulls it up. Lifts a trap door up. By means of a ladder, he gets into an underground passage. Oliver follows him incredulously. A small corridor with neon lights leads them in front of a steel security door. The sheriff takes a key out of his pocket to open. - Here’s my hut. - An arsenal! In the room, weapons everywhere. Rifles, machine-guns, rocket launchers, ammunition. In tens. - What they need is a bazooka! 26 On the spot, the helicopter flies over the site. Inside, two men are discerned. The pilot and the gunner. Oscar reloads his machine-gun. Down, the attendants hide. Around the entrance gate, three patrol cars. The police officers met the others in the enclosure. They all seem to await the end of a storm. The crazy one keeps on taking out. The noise of the weapon blends with the one of the engine. The sheriff parks. Gets out. Prepares his bazooka. Oliver tries to hold him back. A last recommendation. - I need him alive. - I can aim. The guy opens fire at the back of the helicopter. An explosion. Flames. Unsettled, the machine falls. Nearly crashes to the cars. The sheriff has just time to reverse. Oliver rushes towards the cabin. Gets Oscar out of the wreck. The murderer, unconscious. Quick, to move away. A new explosion. Too late for the pilot. The other guys turn up. Around the car of the sheriff. In the back, Oscar. Bound hand and foot. Ten minutes later, he recovers consciousness. The cops return to the downtown area. On the road, the Fed questions his prisoner. - Who was this guy with you, Oscar? - You will never know it, jerk! Got you! Son of a bitch! - You have been taken for a ride. You acted too much like a prat. It’s better to cooperate, trust me. - I’m the cream of the secret service. My mission crushes the FBI. My means are unknown. My credits unlimited. The carpark of the town hall. The Fed picks up his car. Thanks the sheriff. - It’s a pleasure to see some local staff so well equipped. - As long as that’s any use to the country, that’s no problem. Seabrook isn’t the asshole of the world. - I will try to remember it. Now, I go home. We have just to load this bugger into my trunk. - Is that statutory? - No, that’s just survival instinct. And if I could tear his teeth out and muzzle him, it would be even better. - Have a good return to New York. The highway. Ten PM. The traffic is flowing steadily. In the trunk, Oscar. Oliver calls Kelly. - Here we are, I’ve got him. - You arrested him? Great. - A little thanks to the sheriff, I must confess. They are bloody well armed, in this village. We should have called on them, at the time, to protect the World Trade Center. - Our man’s been up to his old tricks again, I bet. - You can say it. On board a helicopter, he was machine-gunning. - A helicopter? Build along the same lines as for Leavenworth? - Apparently. But I don’t know anything more for the moment. Meet in the office tomorrow morning. - Ok, all right. Kelly hangs up. One past ten PM. Midtown. A grill-room around 51 Street. Sat at table inside, with Sandy. The two girls watch Silver. Come to dine with a chick from the lab. At another table, the bodyguards. All in black. In the room, a quiet atmosphere. Some rather smart customers. The colleague of Sam drinks a red wine mouthful. The profiler turns her mobile off. - Sorry, it was an urgency. - I hope everything’s all right. - I feel already better than a few minutes ago. - You seemed a little tense. Anyway that’s nice of you to have wanted to come with me. I would have been bored, all alone here. - The question interests me. When I knew that Sam and his buddies were held back elsewhere this evening, I proposed to stand in for them. - You did right. But there’s a chance this job will become monotonous. The fact that a guy like Silver has so much influence… I mean: so much so that he mobilizes cops to protect him all the time. That’s really odd. - He’s related to some of the men of the President. That’s not so surprising. But I wonder why he invited this girl to dinner. - To deceive his wife, probably. 27 - Now is the time to use psychology. - Nothing to do with psychology. - How’s that? - That’s coordination. - Coordination? - That’s what I said. So Oscar thinks he’s a government agent? Very well. We will take advantage of it. So as to get his services to work with ours. - But that’s delirious. - Did I deny it? Wednesday September 8, in the morning. Federal Plaza. Oliver and Kelly, accompanied by Sam. The murderer, locked up in a room. The three investigators observe him behind a screen. The profiler is on the point of meeting him. The door opens. A table. Two chairs. She takes a seat opposite the criminal. - How are you doing, Oscar? - Look, the usual whore. It’s a pleasure for me to see you again. - The feeling is mutual. You made progress. The pieces of furniture are intact. Bravo. - Don’t take the piss out of myself. I’m tied up like a sausage. - Each in turn. It’s just a formality. Nothing personal, I assure you. - I’m a pro. - I have really no doubts about it. And the crack did you a lot of good, from what I can see. - Why did you give me some to me? - To get into conversation with you. Among professionals. - I already gave you a chance. It’s too late. You survived, but others will kill you. - Your employers, I suppose. Or some other agents, which do the same job as you. - You don’t know anything of my job. - I went over your record again. Before attacking me, you killed three other women. A cop, an army officer and a customs officer. First you obtained their address. Then penetrated their residence without their knowledge. Real talents as a burglar. The university of life must be proud of you. - Fuck you. - Then you surprised them and put them to death. All in the same way. Bondage and one dose of crack after another. Murders by overdose. I’m unaware of which service you work for, but these are shock methods. And when I see you, I have doubts and convictions at the same time. - Really? And what are they? - There were some miscarriages of justice, in our country. If today I’m persuaded that a cop woman betrays our government, I will try to kill her. But I will hesitate, at the same time. I will think: what if it were a miscarriage of justice? These are my doubts. - What about your convictions? - I will tell you my convictions. I’m unaware of the crime you accuse me of. But I’m innocent. Because I know that I haven’t committed any crime. You were about to do the trick with me. Only about. A justice came between us. A justice which comes from above. Without it, I would be today like so many of our Black or Puerto Rican brothers. All dead on the electric chair for crimes which they didn’t commit. - Then what do you want? To make myself cry? - I don’t. I want to meet your bosses. To plead my innocence at them. - Is that all? Don’t you want me to feed you on either? - No, thanks. You see, there’s a kind of problem, in our legal system. - Which? - Services are badly coordinated. If only Feds and secret agents could exchange their tips more often! We could save time. - I have my time. - But the nation doesn’t. And we work for the nation. I give you a chance of getting back to work. When I gave you some crack, I took the first step. It’s your turn. - I killed the three radioactive victims. This is what you want to know. - Why these confessions, suddenly? - Because it was already planned. 28 A few minutes later. Sam, Kelly and Oliver, got together in the office of the latter. The profiler answers the questions of the director. The lieutenant listens to them. - What do you think of Oscar’s confessions? - I doubt whether they are sincere. - Why? - Because his previous victims were civils servant women. And he killed them with crack, not with radioactive serum. - Perhaps he changed his target? - Possible, but nothing indicates to us why he would have done it, is it? - The missions of the secret agents evolve. He must think that his bosses gave him some new instructions. - But where this imagination would come to him from? He never said that he heard voices. Technically, that would pose a big problem. - Which? - Radioactivity. Ok, he can penetrate various places without the knowledge of anyone. He’s good with his hands, he’s a handyman, a resourceful man. Even right down to refinement. I think of bondage. Now, let’s suppose that he got nuclear waste. It implies that he first found a means of being protected. Because the irradiations could have hit him, of course. Then, he would have prepared serum… I’m afraid we are overestimating him, don’t you think so? - Not inevitably. Let’s not forget that he can make coke and crack. He has knowledge in chemistry. The obstacles you talk about have nothing insurmountable, for a guy like him. - The real problem is that we reason as if Oscar were always an isolated criminal. Somebody helped him to leave prison. A powerful organization. That he seemed to know already before. - Of course, the helicopter of Seabrook seems to prove you right. It doesn’t mean anything, after all. They indicate to us the robbery of this machine two months ago. I had a phone call from the heliport of Seabrook Station. - But they still didn’t identify the pilot. - What do you conclude? - For the moment, nothing. No helicopter was stolen in New York, lately. - Not, and then? - How long did you take to go by car to Seabrook? - Three hours by the freeway, the traffic was flowing steadily. - Three hours. And for a very good reason. It’s two hundred and twenty miles from here. Oscar couldn’t cover this distance in his stolen machine. This model doesn’t have such a range, as far as I know. Even if the dates agree. How could he have dropped the corpse of the waitress in the garden of Brooklyn? - He most probably had accomplices. Criminals like him. Dealers. Why do you always drag it round to Leavenworth? This guy is a serial killer. He’s got a screw loose. He thinks he’s on a mission for the government. Hears about “Living on Mars”. Thinks immediatly of a nuclear plot. Wants to liquidate the responsible persons. That’s simple, isn’t it? - There’s neither the murder weapon nor the mobile. He didn’t leave any trace behind him. Not even a genetic print. And you want to divert Leavenworth? Are you subjected to pressure at the moment, Oliver? - We all are. That’s not the question. The raid of July 4 is certainly the fact of a terrorist group. Connected to the families of the victims. Oscar escaped out of their clutches. Relapsed into crime. - You know what? I want to take off. I will see the bounty hunters I told you about. Perhaps they will tell me some news. Why don’t you record Oscar’s confessions, in the meantime? You seem to value it so much… In your place, I would think of the lie detector. That’s just an idea. You’re the boss, in New York. Kelly takes her leave of the two men. On the point of going out. Sam hold her back by the shoulder. - Don’t forget our appointment with Victor in two days, in his office. - I will be there. 29 Thursday September 9, midday. Canyonlands, in the south-east of Utah. A four-wheel drive crosses the landscape of red rocks. High natural towers, cliffs, chimneys, hills and plateaus. Kelly has just gained the Island in the Sky. Between Colorado River and Green River. In the LaSal mountain, of which the sight dominates a quarter of the State. In the middle of a dense forest of fir trees, Dark Canyon Lake. By the edge of the water, some other four-wheel drives. Some men, White and Black. A score. Large, muscular, hard looks. Jeans, tee-shirts, heavy wind-breakers. Each one of them carries a rifle. Kelly stops in front of them. Gets out of her car. Stare each one of them. They all keep silent. Some of them part aside. Let a woman through. Medium height. Blonde with green eyes. Hair to the buttocks. Dressed in leather. A black bandana round her forehead. The first, she breaks the silence. - You must be Kelly, I suppose. - And you, Erika. The queen of bounty hunters. - In person. Maliwan told us about you. - No wonder. She owes her life to me. - But she didn’t give you my number. - Not, someone else did. - Can you tell me who? - Not. I can keep a secret. - Probably a friend of yours. It doesn’t matter. What do you want from us? - I inquire into the Leavenworth matter. - You too? - How’s that, me too? - Keep your nose out. The law isn’t the only one to want the escaped prisoners life. - We don’t want their life, but just to put them in clink again. And to know who hides behind the raid. - Why does that concern us? - Who pays you to track them? - That’s another question. And you didn’t answer mine. Why does that concern us? - To solve a criminal business is dicovering hidden links between people and things. You too are an Amazon. I know it. But between your bounty hunters and the Eastern Europe hired killers girls, there’s more than that. I guess only one organization. You tell me which. - It’s not a mystery. The Science & Security Fundation. - What? - The Science & Security Fundation. Financed by the World Trade Bank. The same Bank which helps the Eastern Europe countries to be rebuilt since the end of the cold war. - How many activities does the foundation merge? - All the activities concerned by its ideal. - Its ideal? - A warlike, courageous and strong civilization. Established in the nobility of the past. Determined to kill the evil of nowadays. Turned to the future of a new human race. Science and security, as its name indicates it. - What does it mean in concrete terms? - Several things. You know a little the security side: Maliwan, me and others. The heiresses to the American interference in the planet. The spearhead of world, private and liberal police force and army. We are the first one. Thousands of others already follow us. - What about the science side? - Research into weapons. But also archeology. And physical and natural sciences. - Don’t tell me that… - “Living on Mars”. The foundation also deals with the genospatial project. - Do you know Silver? - The manager of the center? Not personally. But I know about the radioactive victims. The media talked about it. They also touched on the arrest of the ecologists. And their release. - What do you think of it? - Somebody tries to throw a wrench in our works. We are all doing mixed up in that. - Speak for yourself, Erika. Speak for yourself. 30 Opposite Federal Plaza, southern side. Halfway to Broadway and Brooklyn bridge. The HQ of the New Yorkean police force. Friday September 10, in the end of the afternoon. Kelly, back from Utah since the morning. She meets Sam and Oliver in Victor’s office. The lieutenant and the two Feds. All three sitted opposite the police boss. The latter first speaks to Oliver. - Well done, for the arrest of Oscar. - Thank you. - Did he start to speak? - Better than that. He confessed the three murders. - Perfect. We’ve got our guilty party. - I think so. The boss of the police force turns towards Kelly. Stares her looking anxious. - I guess the conclusions of the profiler naturally support those of his colleague? - I’m sorry to contradict Oliver in the presence of a stranger. For my part, I would like to express some reservations about it. - Some reservations? - Nothing very interesting. It’s related to Leavenworth. I’m afraid to bore the police force. - Not at all. New elements are always welcome. - In this case… To sum up, let’s say that the FBI prioritizes a certain lead since last 4 July. - Which? - That of the families of the victims. - I know about it. And what then? - I followed this track. It led me to an army of professional killers. People who lay down the law in our business and a little everywhere in the world. At the service of the highest bidder. - Who are these people? - Some Science & Security Fundation representatives. Now, the latter also invests in high technology. One of the concerned groups gives much money to “Living on Mars”. Via a tax haven. Upstream, we encounter the World Trade Bank. - That’s very interesting. But these are rumors. Nothing more. Moreover, what’s the link with the three corpses of New York? - “Living on Mars”. The scientific project puts together Leavenworth and the killers I met. The stakes are beyond the crimes of only one individual. Oscar is only a pawn in the game. The robbery of the helicopter, the attack of the nuclear waste site… For me, it’s all an act. Victor frowns. Runs his two hands on his face. A heavy silence takes hold of the room. Oliver intervenes again. - Too much confusion with Kelly. And no tangible evidences enough. She’s granted a brilliant young woman. My scenario is simpler. More probable. Jeff admits I’m right. And it seems like you too, Victor. - We’ve got a guilty party. That’s the only important fact in my eyes. The rest is philosophy. The boss of the police force last speaks to Sam, who didn’t say a word since the beginning. - What about you, Sam? Do you have any other idea? Some objections, perhaps? - Not at all. I’m a man with practical experience. Everything seems clear to me. - No opinion about Leavenworth? - This shit isn’t my business. I work in New York. Victor looks like feeling better. He will conclude the conversation. - I hear about some things in high places… Here are the orders I’ve been given. Let’s say that one month goes by without a fourth stiff. In this case, we send Oscar back to Kansas. And the record is closed. The three visitors take their leave of Victor. Go out of the office. Oliver goes back to Federal Plaza. Sam and Kelly stay together. Will have a bite to eat in a Chinese fast-food around Broadway. Find a free table in spite of all the people around. Pose their trays. Install themselves. Settle up. - What a solidarity. - The bosses are right, Kelly. Your thing is delirious. - You didn’t understand anything, I bet. How can you say that? - Well, because I didn’t understand anything. 31 Monday September 27, two PM. The central prison of Allenwood, Pennsylvania. High security. Kelly visit Oscar. In a room, she waits. Sat at a large empty table. Reading her notes again. A few minutes pass. Two guards turn up with the prisoner. The latter, half-asleep. Chained up. The girl speaks to both others. - Leave me alone with him. - No problem. We will have a cigarette. The guys throw Oscar on a chair, facing Kelly. Leave the room laughing. The prisoner grumbles, seems to awake. - Where am I, shit? - Nearly one hundred sixty miles from Manhattan. It’s not yet Kansas, but it’s a bit closer. - And you followed me up to there, slut? - Probably for the last time. You have nothing else to lose, now. There’s no harm for you to tell me what you know. - It depends. - What does it depend on? - On what you will give me. Do you have some crack on you? - I have some crack. And a glass pipe. - Make me a dose again. - Don’t you know courtesy? She takes a black case out of her bag. Confiscated to the killer the day of his arrest, five months behind. The ritual follows. Once. Then two. Then three. The killer breathes out loudly. Close his eyes. Opens them again. Bursts of laughing. - You don’t know what you miss, bitch! - I know it too well, Oscar. Because of you. - One day you will come back to it. The temptation is too strong. - I don’t want to end like you. Kelly clear out her equipment. Put the case back in her purse. They will be none the wiser. - Now, I listen to you. - What do you want to know? - The truth. - I killed David, his girlfriend and his colleague. - I have trouble believing you. - Believe what you want. You or nothing, that’s the same. - How did you kill them? - With radioactive serum. - Where did you take the radioactive material? - At Seabrook. - Why did you come back over there in helicopter? - To kill these bastards. - Which bastards? - The cops who kept a close eye on the site on the request of the Feds. - What for? - Forcing my way through. Stealing some material. Trying a last attempt. Against Silver. - Did you want to eliminate Silver? - Yeah. He was my last target. I knew that he came to New York. - How did you know it? - They spoke about it on the radio. I listen to all the news. - The cops wouldn’t have let you get on with it. Silver is the big boss of the project. He has a lot of people around him. Connections. A little like you. - I would have got out of the shit. I’m very crafty. - And very scientific. How do you protect yourself from radioactivity? - With a special suit. - You weren’t wearing any suit when Oliver found you. - I had one. In the helicopter. It burned. - Of course. And how did you prepare the serum? - It would take to long to explain to you. You’re useless at chemistry. You’re just fit for giving blow jobs. - How did you escape from Leavenworth? - My bosses saved me. I already told you that. - Did they give you this new mission? - Yeah. They count on me. I’m the best. - Anyway, you never leave any traces behind you. - Never, not. I just leave the corpse in a prominent position. To frighten idiots. - Did you have also a helicopter for the girl of Brooklyn? - Yeah. But it wasn’t the same one. My bosses have equipment everywhere. 32 Las Vegas, Nevada. Eleven PM. A police car stops at a luxury hotel. Oliver gets out. Turns his back on the neon signs, the giant attractions and the night heat of the desert. Enters the lobby. Locates an isolated lounge area, nears the bar. Crosses, to go there, a one-armed bandit area. Settles. There are crowds of people. The atmosphere is heavy and noisy. The waitress, a tall sexy brunette. Interminable legs. Black pantihose. Very bright lipstick. Malicious smile and look. He orders a bourbon. While sipping, he checks his mobile. Calls Kelly. - Did Oscar talk again today? - He repeated me the same thing. - Are you disappointed? - Slightly, yeah. - After all, what did you hope for? - A little lucidity. - That’s sure, crack makes lucid! - Why do we take him seriously, in this case? - If he isn’t the murderer, then who? - The authors of the raid. They must have a grudge against the Science & Security Fundation. I favor a gangster matter. - Think about it just two seconds. Some very rich strangers. They invest hundreds of million dollars in a business. What for all that? Killing two scientists and a waitress? And making an unable to go on dealer carrying the can? You go down the tubes, Kelly. - Not, money goes down the tubes. A kind of financial dictator. Who had fun messing the country up. - Listen, I leave you. My contact has just arrived. - Think about what I told you. A guy turns up. A cow-boy look. Oliver rises, shakes hands with him. The other sits down. Orders also a bourbon. The New Yorkean gets information. - I never saw you before. Are you dealing with Nevada? - Since one year. - Where were you before? - I used to work in California. As a special agent. My business is rather the fight against narcotics. I had asked to take the management of Vegas in hands again. To solve the last coke big deal. - The Ramirez and Cabral matter? It was you? - Yeah, bloody publicity. - Not bad. Let’s hope that we will be lucky as much this time. Can we count on our Kansas co-workers? - They are too busy with the anarchists in their area. On the other hand, you coped well with Oscar. So I called you. - That’s normal. Any evolution, since your phone call? - Not, bad luck. But we questioned again the hotel desk clerc. He positively identified the second killer, the Gunner. - How did it happen? - Last Saturday, the guy turns up to the reception. He asks for a room. The other asks him to wait. As a result, our customer is on his guard and beats it. Typical. - He felt noticed. I remember this crazy one. The sort to throw fits. He’s not overdiscreet. The cops and I had caught him in the street. In broad daylight. When school comes out. He aimed his firearm at the kids, in front of everyone. - What a shit. No wonder he turns up in a public place. When his portrait is posted everywhere. Bounty hunters didn’t let it. When the news came through, Erika and her gang moved to here. - What? They are in Vegas? - With their big four-wheel drives, their rifles, all their paraphernalia. As recently as this morning, they came and scoffed at me in my office, around East Charleston Boulevard. - How many are they? - A score. It’s still twenty too many. - You don’t seem to love them very much. - They may cock up everything. - Or help us. When we are snowed under, they can make themselves useful. - Do you want a bet?…
  8. Merci encore de votre accueil. On va dire que tout le monde parle anglais, de nos jours... :respect:
  9. Enjoy! ;-) ( And see also: http://www.blue-hardware.com/forum/index.p...t=0#entry239903 ) D. H. TERENCE (D. H. T.) - "MARS GIRL" (protection: SGDL, 01/2005) 1 East Harlem. The Spanish district of New York. West Lexington Avenue, at the 107 Street corner. A lane. A dead end. A pavement prolonged in carpark. Small buildings with red or ocher frontages. Cars parked on both sides. At the bottom, a small garden. A large tree. An island of greenery. No lighting at night. An unknown year. A Tuesday of May. The sun is shining. It already feels like summer. Kelly leaves her building, a few minutes before one PM. The young woman was born in Puerto Rico. She grew there. Just thirty years. Medium height. Thin and great figure. Long brown hair, ponytail. Brown skin. Fine face, round cheeks, pulpy lips. Dark, moulding and sexy clothes, high heels. A real stunner. Her training: psychology and law in New York. Then the FBI acadamey, Quantico, Virginia. Her trade: profiler. She goes down the 3rd Avenue, 116 Street direction. The oldest Mac Donald’s of the district. On the way, a band of rabbles gets at her. She knows the young people of the corner. But she doesn’t have that friends. Some effective punches to defend herself. They are soon by ground. Twist the belly. She moves. In the restaurant full to bursting, she finds Sam. A lieutenant of police force, about thirty too. Black, rather large, medium stoutness. Concerned, but calm. Jean, sweat shirts, tennis shoes. Another table, his colleagues. Sandy, Alex and Harry, three White. Between twenty and twenty-five years. Kelly sits opposite Sam. - I’ve awaited you for ten minutes. Here you are, I ordered you a cheeseburger and a light Coke. - I was delayed. You took nuggets again, you? - You can’t change the way I am. What about our plan? - It works. The guy follows me in the street, as expected. - Are you positive? - It will be almost too easy. Prepare to pick him up, with your guys. - A large risk is taken. - There’s nothing without nothing. - Why do you look at me like that? - You have barbecue sauce on fingers. It’s disgusting. The guy they talk about is a serial killer. He’s called Oscar. Thirty years. Black. Large and large. Bearded. A scar in the middle of the face. Nike track suits he should wash, sometimes. People of the district saw him. Several times since the last murder. He seems to have followed his prey for several days. They finish their lunch. Kelly leaves the fast-food the first. Posted on the other side of the street, the killer. He has awaited her for twenty minutes. She has fun taking him for a ride. Just for the sake of making him cross. Goes shopping in an Italian store, side of 118 Street. She likes Latin grub. Then she goes home. The last crossroads. He approaches her and approaches her. A sport bag he holds with the left hand. - Hey you, chick! I have things to say to you. - Kind? - I’m called Oscar. - Rather old-fashioned, as a first name. What planet have you been on? - We speak at home, ok? - Ok, follow me. 2 They enter the building. Take the elevator. To the third floor. Her place is small. Very bright. Not much of pieces of furniture. He takes a seat. She prepares coffee in the kitchen. Turns up with two smoking cups. He begins his sweet talk. - I’m a dispenser of justice. The government pays me to shoot down bitches like you. Then here’s the deal: you get off my back, or I ridge you. - Ok. First I finish my coffee. She throws the beverage in full mug to him. It burns. - Filthy whore! He gives her a kick. In the jaw. Blood squirts. She hasn’t seen anything coming. She collapses. He opens his sport bag. Slips on latex gloves. Cleans the fight tracks. Attaches the girl and sticks adhesive plaster on the mouth to her. Strips himself, shaves, takes a shower, slips on a suit. To leave the building incognito, later. She awakes. Naked. Sat on a table. Bound from head to foot. In a Japanese bondage position. The cords are too tight. Hemp burns her skin. The killer takes out a glass pipe. Prepares a dose of crack. Tears off the adhesive plaster from Kelly’s lips. Forces her to smoke. Then, another dose. And another again. Convulsions. Epilepsy. In spite of her bonds, she falls from the table. He will pick her up. To start again the torment. But feels a weapon directed against his nape of the neck. Glock 18 9-mm parabellum. Sam is held behind him. On the way of the urgencies. In the back of the car, Sandy maintains Kelly. By mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The Harlem hospital, in the 506 Lenox Avenue. Nearest. Not too shady. The heart about to release. At once intubated. A peripheral venous way. On the level of the arm. Adrenalin. Cardiopulmonary operations. Rapid, external massages. Saved. Just. Her fractured jaw. Operated the very same day. Success. But one month of hospital to the liquid mode. Duration of the application. The evening, alone in her room. Perfusion of Valium and injection of atropine. Because of the crack. To attenuate the convulsions. To support the cardiac function. To calm the tremors. To support pulmonary ventilation. Tired. She nevertheless watches the news on CNN. Tidal waves in Southeast Asia, a hundred and seventy thousand dead. In Ukraine, victory of the candidate pro-European to the presidential ones. Political instability in Iraq. The arrest of Oscar. But also, a report on the world of science. For the first time, she hears about the center “Living on Mars”. The revival of the space conquest. To colonize red planet. The scientific community occupies the small island of Vieques, close to Puerto Rico. The girl, from her origins, feels concerned. The problem is the naval base which shelters the scientists. The soldiers carry out nuclear tests. The population is fit to be tied since years. It appears that cancers multiply. Even UNO’s interfered so that that ceases. But the American soldiers always hog the place. The Puerto Rican signed petitions. Her civil proceeding has the same goal as her job of federal agent: protecting democracy. During her month of hospital, she deals with the day-to-day matters. Reads files, gives phone calls, thumps on her portable computer. Advises her colleagues, cops and federal. Murders, kidnappings, disappearances. Always this shit which returns. She leaves Friday June 18. Invite Sam to dine at hers. He comes with tequila. Settles, then questions her. Wants to understand why of all these risks. - Your plan was really dodgy. I hesitated to follow you. - Our man had to be destabilized. He’s a macho and a crack dealer who blew his top. He thinks he’s a secret agent, charged to bump off authoritative and corrupted women. He has survived and prevailed in the urban jungle for years, from Los Angeles to Harlem. - Yeah, but you have bloody methods. You narrowly missed snuffing it. Oh well, it’s your life. - The important thing is to have succeeded, isn’t it? They finish their dinner, a dish of pasta. Empty the bottle of tequila. Fuck, because they want it. With rubbers, because they sleep with which they want. Seek another thing to drink. Nothing. Shopping should be done. Sam goes back to his place. Kelly falls asleep. 3 Oscar’s tried guilty. Sentenced to life in high security. In the central prison of Leavenworth, Kansas. A federal penitentiary. Kelly has just learned the news. She’s relieved. She hasn’t gone away on holyday for ages. She buys a plane ticket for Puerto Rico. Her native island. Calls one of her childhood friends, Melissa. The latter’s already in San Juan, the capital. Melissa is a luxury hooker. She knows society. In show biz. Politics. The two girls grew together. The profiler’s friend earned her spurs in fashion circles. Motion picture. Luxury hotels. Prestigious networks. Since, stands on her own feet. She does the upper crust’s favours. Takes part in negotiations. Deals with public relations. Hopes to retire in ten years. Thanks to her, Kelly knew Michael. This guy has been the only regular partner of Kelly for five years. Brown quadragenarian with a model physique. Director of the biggest communications conglomerate in the world. Like Kelly, Melissa is all the rage. Thirty years. Wasp waist. Full and firm boobs. Curved ass. Fine face. Fleshy lips. Black hair. Dark eyes. Soft and sensual voice. Expensive and provocative clothes. Pussy level high fashion. Cut off. Bare pumps, diamonds set. Monday June 21 at the end of the morning, she will greet Kelly. Takes her convertible metallic gray Porsche Carrera. Luis Munoz Marin airport direction. The two girls meet. Go for a drive. Park close to Calle Marina. Go for a walk in the old San Juan. The harbor’s quays and their large cruise steamers. The Fortaleza and Santa Catalina Palace, the governor of the island’s residence. The San Felipe del Morro Fort dominating the sea. The Calle Norzagaray’s intense colors houses. A Plaza San Jose shaded terrace. The two girls lunch. Eat bacalaitos, crusty cod fritters. Melissa is curious. She wants Kelly to tell her her last business. - I didn’t know you liked your trade to such a point. - The media speak too much. It’s publicity for me, but it’s bloody annoying. - Why aren’t you Michael’s kept woman? - Michael is a good screw. The day when I would like also his money, I would say to him. For the moment, I prefer to work. - You inspire to me. I want to write a whodunnit on you. - Because you do like to write? - Why, yeah! I’m not going to whore it all my life. Even if that pays well, in my case. - Ok, but think of changing the names, in your whodunnit, nevertheless. - Don’t worry, it isn’t for immediately. - Perhaps we will live over Mars, when you write it. - Over Mars? - You didn’t hear about Vieques project? - I did. Somewhat crazy scientists. They profit from considerable private funds. Are you interested in it? - Our island is concerned. But Michael will say some to me perhaps longer this evening. He meets us for the dinner. They finish their meal, have a coffee, share the check. They spend the afternoon in Isla Verde beach. Sun, sea, white sand, idleness, jet-skiing, bodysurfing. And so Melissa is ironical about the conquest of Mars. - It will take a long time, before you can tan over there. - They should send the serial killers in space. This way, at least, we would have an easy time of it. - They should send the majority of men, you mean. - Except Michael. - And except my customers. - Earth would be the new Venus! During the dinner, Michael informs Kelly a tax haven hides behind “Living over Mars”. The trio finishes the night in a Hotel Wyndham Casino’s suite. They like having orgies. 4 Kelly benefits well from her holidays. During this time, in Kansas, a nutcase thingy happens. At the time, what’s Kansas? A State of three million inhabitants. At the best of aeronautics stuff. A super economy. A soil full with resources. Leavenworth central prison, in the north of Kansas City, is like the State. A place where the guys don’t make the things by half. Some fourty height feet walls. Five blocks of individual cells. A large camp of military drive just at side. Among the thousand eight hundred prisoners, ten serial killers. Most dangerous of the country. Of which Oscar. No crack. He has a rough time of it, undergoes worst weanings. It belongs to his punishment. Once more, he blows his top. Without his dope, that’s much worse. In the refectory, he breaks the tables into two. Knocks the grub pots on the ground. Beats the guys who serve. Other prisoners. Guards. In two minutes, blood’s gushing. Last nine severely wounded persons. A guy lost an eye. A chief brings out his henchmen howling. - Stop this bastard! It takes ten of them around him. With electric bludgeons of three hundred and thousand volts. They get him in the end. They dispose of him in disciplinary isolation. He tries to smash his cell’s door. With his fists. With his head. Miss breaking an arm. Bashing his own skull. Yell like an animal. To take it out, bites wrists. So extremely that he tears skin. Veins. Tumefied face. Hands covered with blood. He shouts always more extremely. - Give me some crack, fucking hell! The supervisors are fed up with hearing him. Ten guys roll up again. Block him. Attach him. A doctor gives him an injection to send him to sleep. The rough one collapses at the end of three seconds. The doctor gives his recommendations. - If he awakes, don’t detach him. Especially not. Let him piss and shit in his pants. - We should have benefitted from it to shoot him down, yeah. But that’s not the nutcase thingy. That’s just a drug addict prisoner having withdrawal symptoms. The nutcase thingy comes afterwards. In Kansas, as in the other States, they prepare on July 4. National holyday. Independence Day. Since the World Trade Center, the Americans worry. The least official event and everyone’s on alert. The Attorney General. Cops of Kansas. Feds. The office of investigation. The police force of Capitole. Firemen. First-aid workers. The infantry. The Air Force. The aerospace program of defense. A band of guys prepares also on July 4. Some old men in three-piece suits. They made fortune on the Stock Market and set up, in Wyoming, a real estate company. They want to launch out in property agent dealings. Since months, they cross California, Idaho, Colorado… Look for a ranch, with a ground. Choose Watowa Farms, Atchison, on nineteen miles in the north of Fort Leavenworth. They fork out seven million dollars. Obtain licences. Give cash to their neighbors. Build twenty hangars. Intercept the delivery of one hundred trucks. From Fort Worth, Texas. Ten hours on the road. In the hangars, they set up hundred combat helicopters. Equipped to release a powerful soporific gas on the enemy. At the same time, they train thousand soldiers. Skinheads. Minor offenders. Schizophrenes. Religious fanatics. Losers, in short. July 4 at the evening, they are ready to strike. Their target: the central prison. Their goal: to deliver the ten serial killers, of which Oscar. Their reason: that’s nobody’s business but theirs. At half past eleven PM, Fort Leavenworth soldiers are worked up. The hundred machines rush at them. On board each one among them, ten men armed with machine-guns. Let the party begin! 5 Just above the prison. A black sky, illuminated by the helicopters. Noise of the engines. Saturation. Down, panic. The soldiers run in all the directions. - Shit, where did they find this band of buggers? - I know nothing of it, fuck! - What did the chief say? - That we will kick these bastards heads! The men snatch their missile launcher batteries. Time to send ten missiles on the flying machines. The latter explode in full flight. There are still ninety left. They already released their soporific gas. Falling aspleep, the soldiers are dropping like flies. In a few minutes. All the population of the camp and the prison soon sleeps soundly. Never seen before. Nobody had time to give a phone call. The external reinforcements will end up arriving. Too late. Meanwhile, by the hundred invaders. Equipped with protective masks. They seize the premises. Force the safety device. Reach the block of the killers, also asleep. - These are the one we must release? - Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. - It goes terrific. - We are to be quick about it. - What’s there to do, then? - We evacuate them, we pick them up and we deliver them. As planned. - And afterwards? - Afterwards? The kamikaze phase. We blow ourselves out. And we die like heroes. - Shit, I felt like hearing you say it! - Then jump to it! The attackers follow their plan literally. Fireworks in the sky of Kansas. All the machines explode. With their crew on board. All, except the last, which gives the ten murderers. In the proper time and place. Ten cars start again. Each one in a different direction. In each trunk, a killer. The last helicopter finally commits suicide. A perfect job. In the night, far from there. A man. Awaked by a phone call. Three AM. - Hello? - Leavenworth speaking. We were attacked a few hours ago. - What? - Attacked. Hundred combat helicopters. They caught us unawares. Sent to sleep. With gases. - Victims? Damage? - All the men are unscathed. But they released our most dangerous inmates. - A nutcase thingy. - That’s just the word for it. The man’s called Jeff. The new boss of the FBI. Appointed by the president. Around fifty. A White with a rosy complexion. Gray fair. Medium height. Light stoutness. Oval face. Pointed nose. Opened wide blue eyes. In three-piece suits by day. In the morning, he swallows a coffee cup, takes a shower, shaves, gets dressed and speeds along to the office. Washington DC. Pennsylvania Avenue. The Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI. A large square block. A modern fortified castle. Inside, swarming with people. Jeff avoids the journalists at the entrance. Parks. Takes the elevator. Moves towards the conference room. Convene his closer co-workers. Crisis cell. Agenda. Prelude to the meeting of the Pentagon. - It’s a serious business. I presently see the president. Anything new? - We already went back to Fort Worth, Texas. We found an undergound arms factory. In the basements of a large office block. Completely deserted. - That’s where the machines come from. We have to go into this mess. And for the killers, to put a profiler in the picture. - Ok, we call back Kelly. 6 The profiler takes the plane. Lands in Kansas City, Missouri. Wednesday July 7 at ten past two PM. Retrieves her bag. Rents a car. Arrives at destination half an hour later. Leavenworth. Thirty-five thousand inhabitants. The oldest city of Kansas. A vague memory of the conquest of the west. The girl arrives at the central prison. Jeff, the boss of the FBI, awaits her already. Comes specially from Washington. To inspire respect. On the spot, the prison governor. The team of the penitentiary. Soldiers. The mayor of the city. The sheriff. They all have shadows under their eyes. Some formalities exchanges. Then Jeff authorizes Kelly to put her questions. The spokesman of the establishment turns towards her. - Any unusual detail, in the escaped prisoners behavior during last days? - No, nothing special. Oscar’s withdrawal symptoms, but we expected this. The medical care did the job. The situation was under control. - What kind of relationships they had with the others? - As a whole, they were unaware of mutually. They were hostile. - Therefore, not a shadow of a complicity? - What does this mean? - They perhaps were in cahoots in the course of events. - It’s rather improbable. They spoke little and remained solitary. Funny question, for a profiler who masters their records. - Criminology isn’t an exact science. I get information about the circumstances of the raid. - It’s difficult to see how these murderers could have plotted their escape together. And we knew no bond with the paramilitary ones to them. - Why, in this case, did those ten disappear and not the others? - The authors of the plot decided some thus. We are unaware of their reasons. The escaped prisoners were caught off their guard as much as us. - Escaped prisoners in spite of themselves, therefore. - This in an outlook. - That’s not what the prison governor, who is here with us, declared in the papers. In last Monday Kansas City Star, he mentions “ten runaways”. It’s ambiguous. - How’s that, ambiguous? - If they escaped, they weren’t kidnapped. - That’s playing with words. - I’ve no time for playing. - And we don’t try to manipulate the media. We tell the truth. The gas of the helicopters sent us to sleep, as well as the prisoners. Period. - Then why, in the whole country, is it all about an escape? - Because the commandos helped the killers to escape. At the root, the latter didn’t know about the raid. But today, they benefit from it. - And what about Oscar? - What, Oscar? All right, he thought he was a kind of secret agent. Protected by a powerful group, being in league with the government. But it was delirious. - Sheer coincidence? - Of course. - What rules out the idea of a serial killers organized gang. - We have to face the facts. These people are isolated individuals. Psychopath mafias don’t exist. Kelly has no more question. Jeff thanks the audience. The two federal ones set off again together. The young woman at the wheel. Behind them, a car with armed agents escort them. On the road to Topeka, the capital of Kansas. The governor waits for them. Formality visit. The main points were already known as. During the way, Kelly makes a note of her mission. - Which will be my role later on? - To advise us. This stage of the matters, we mustn’t overlook any track. We are to be on the watch for the least clue likely to betray the killers. The latter can constantly re-appear. 7 Manhattan. Broadway. Federal Plaza. New York FBI. Snowed under teams. Computer hacking. Terrorism. Al-Qaida. Mafia. Spies on behalf of Iraq. Arms traffic with Hezbollah. Drugs traffic. Children traffic. Hold-ups. Despite everything, a priority matter, here like elsewhere: the escape from Leavenworth. Oliver, the new assistant director. Fifty years. Medium height. Thin. Gray. Emaciated face. Eagle-eyed. Perfect service record. Friday July 9, midday. Kelly planned to lunch with him. The meeting place: a French brasserie in Soho. Walls marbled with cigarette smoke. Scratched mosaic floorings. Huge piles of eggs at the bar. Red leather benches. Large mirrors. Ceiling out of painted glass. Waiters carrying impressive seafood platters. Oliver, already sat at table. Kelly meets him. A waiter places the order. Two peppered steaks with chips. Recently in office in New York, it’s the first time the director meets the young woman. He compliments her on her dress. Then gets straight to the point. - Everything went smoothly, with Jeff, two days ago? - We went together to Leavenworth. Then to Topeka, in the evening. - How’s the atmosphere, in Kansas? - Odd. People agree to cooperate, but make of it the issue of only one State, theirs. Show skepticism opposite our contribution. Seem proud of what little effectiveness they proved. The rare damage in the prison, of course, was quickly repaired. - The governor’s point of view? - Between ourselves, she’s a little paranoid old woman. She accuses the Midwest anarchist movements. - Whereas it’s about a more general problem. I agree. - Indeed, so close to the presidential elections, it’s necessary to estimates the raid’s impact on public opinion. In the whole country. - It was undoubtedly the true goal of the operation. - Undoubtedly. But we shouldn’t forget the escaped prisoners for all that. - Instructions of the boss? - For the moment, to watch for the signs of the reappearance of the killers. And to inform the hierarchy of it. - The psychopathes would thus be used for terrorist purpose. - This assumption holds water. - Is there another one? - The assumption that a band of mentally sicks persons hatched a plot. - What would give to profiling a more important place within the investigation. - I like to show initiative. I make no secret of it. - I like initiative. With respect for discipline. Having said that, I would grant my preference to a third scenario. - I guess: the mysterious authors of the raid would have kidnapped the killers to liquidate them. Underground dispensers of justice, considering the prison sentences too lenient. - Very perspicacious. This is why we opened an inquiry at the victims families. These last cries out for vengeance. All they have to do is to be in league with powerful movements of extreme right. - I didn’t suspect such means within these movements. Hundred helicopters gunships, a ranch, a small army, that’s something. But why not? - We seriously consider it. It’s necessary to question the victims families. It’s one of the rare leads we have. The services don’t know which way to turn anymore. In this moment, I dread a threat against republican convention. It opened yesterday in Madison Square Garden. We installed roadblocks all around it. - I know, I’m well-informed. It took my taxi two hours to bring me back at home, from the airport. The two Feds finish their meal in silence. Outside, the noise of the crowd. A demonstration. A reaction to republican convention. The demonstrators appeal to national disobedience. The Leavenworth affair added fuel to the fire. 8 Kelly prepares to set off. Victims families. To find them. To put some questions to them. To search the shit. She packs her bags. In her room, her TV alight. A newsflash. - We have just heard of a disappearance. The New Yorkean director of the center “Living on Mars” would have been abducted. His kidnappers didn’t appear yet. The man, a geneticist… Genetics. The ADN. The human genome. The impact of the dangerous radiations on the body. Mutations. Which bearing on the conquest of Mars? Sunday July 11, half past five PM. Her plane lands in Anchorage, Alaska. Sunny sky. Outside temperature: sixty-four Farenheit degrees. Anchorage. Two hundred and sixty thousand inhabitants. Three hundred and seventy miles to the south of the polar circle. Mountains. The large ocean. First visit: the father of one of the victims. Night watchman of the art and history museum. A neo-Nazi sympathizer. Has hosted a racist website. Problems with the law. The guy receives Kelly at work. After closing time. Alone in a room dedicated to the art of the far North. Statues of Eskimos. Seals hunters boats. White landscapes paintings. The New Yorker starts with a recalling of the facts. - The first of the ten murderers is called the Traveller. He killed eight people. Among them, his own mother and one of her friends. - Trashy son of a bitch. - Before, six hitch-hikers. Including three in Colorado. Very far from here, therefore. To cover the tracks. - Why Colorado? - Other similar murders had been committed in this State. - Bloody pervert. Why is this bastard alive? Corrupt law. - Three first, in Alaska. His native land. Always solitary hikers. - Of which my daughter. What do you want, slut? To turn the knife in the wound? Are you wet? - I do my job. - All that’s Jews fault. And Negros. - And Puerto Ricans also, perhaps? And Arabs? And homosexual ones? That will do, I don’t want to hear another load of crap. - Then beat it. To go out for some fresh air. To save time. This watchman is too damn stupid to be suspect. Second visit. A small log house close to the Lake Spenard. A couple of fishermen. Modest, gentle and sad people. Otherwise marked by their family tragedy. They invite Kelly to stay for dinner. Broiled halibut. Cold seas typical fish. Salad. Corn bread. The profiler thanks them. She gets back to her hotel, a downtown area Hilton. The next day, Juneau direction, the capital. To go there, Seward Highway. Turnagain Arm Banks. The Portage Glacier. Prairies inhabited by wild mooses. The tundra. Large green trees of the park of Chugach. Last visit in the far North. The third victim’s elder sister. Head waiter in the only Thai restaurant of the State. Coming from Bangkok. Lunch time. The Fed awaits the end of the service to speak to her. Orders her meal. Fried shrimps, onions, sauce with pepper, palm sugar. The girl meets her for the coffee. - Rather original, a Thai restaurant, in this area. - That’s my husband’s idea. We left our country at the time of the economic crisis. - And business is doing well, here? - We succeeded in becoming integrated. We just had to put less spices in our food. - Do you still have family, in Thailand? - My parents remained over there. And I have an other sister, Maliwan. Mad about archeology. - Can I see her? - She works in Greece. 9 In Manhattan, Oliver reviews piles of files in his office. Helped by one of his co-workers girls. They discuss. Drink coffee. She asks him questions about the day’s priorities. - Nothing new concerning Leavenworth? - Yeah, I called Washington this morning while arriving. - And what then? - They lead the inquiries into the real estate company which organized the raid. Registered office in Delaware. A tax haven. - Given the circumstances, they could remove the secrecy. - Certainly, but the accounts are closed. - Is the partners identity checked? - It’s false. And the guys vanished into thin air. We don’t even know in whose names we would make out the arrest warrants. Complete fog. - What do we do, today? - The disappearance of the New Yorkean director of “Living on Mars” intrigues me. I will take a turn round over there. - Ok, in the meantime, I go on sorting the files. Morningside Heights. Convent Avenue and Street 133’s corner. The center of structural biology. One of the buildings recently shelters the New Yorkean annex of the project settled in Puerto Rico. David is the guy who disappeared. Oliver gets in contact with his substitute. The latter’s nicknamed David II. He greets the Fed in a room full of computers. - Is it for the disappearance? - Indeed, I find that odd. If it’s about a kidnapping, why they attacked a scientist? - I hope the investigation will reveal it to us. - I only discover the center’s activity. Based in Vieques island, I believe? - That’s right, and protected by the navy. But “Living on Mars” has expansions within several research sites in the United States. Here’s one. - What does the project consist of exactly? - A private group had the idea of proposing an alternative to NASA. Our goal’s to study every possible condition of human life on Mars. - It’s a little abstract. - Actually, we use very different fields. People coming from all horizons work among us: doctors, genomists, data processing specialists, physicists, astrophysicists… - But what for, in concrete terms? - Colonizing the red planet. That poses many problems. The flight lasts six months. During this time, we’ve to protect the astronauts from the cosmic rays. Then they’ve to survive, once on the spot. Exploiting the Martian soil resources. Converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. Producing water. Perhaps, one day, making grow plants, forests, raisings… - That’s what we call terraforming? - Precisely. But this dream shouldn’t keep us away us from the main point. - Namely? - Human body. Its endurance against the obstacles of nature. Its adaptability to progress. The richness of its genetic potential. To live on Mars is also to propose to mankind a different evolution. The knowledge of genome’s central in our perspective on the space conquest. That’s why we use the genospatial term. - It’s very interesting. I vainly believed it would bring me clarification on the abduction’s motive. I still don’t see grounds to provoke hostility. - Me neither. We live in a country which likes science, not true? - And religion, as well. But as to setting up fanatics against life on Mars… David had enemies? - Not that I know of. A copybook career. Few centres of interest out of his trade. Single person. Some female conquests. Family in Tennessee. Apparently, nothing more to get out of it. Oliver thanks the guy. While leaving, calls Kelly. - What’s new, in Alaska? - Nothing. I take off for Greece. 10 Wednesday July 14, half past six AM. Kelly’s plane stops over at Denver, Colorado. Rocky Mountains. Gold rush. She goes downtown. Questions the last families. Like those of Alaska, still marked by the Traveler’s path. No special clue. The Boeing starts off again at ten past five PM. Arrival Thursday in Frankfurt, twenty past ten AM. An Airbus takes over at one PM. Athens, fifty to four PM. Greece. Ten million and half of inhabitants. The end of the Balkans peninsula. European democracy. Orthodoxe culture. Politicized media. Economy lagging behind. Kelly, tired. Bag. Taxi. Downtown area. Hotel. Quickly, a room. She falls on her bed. Awakes the next day, eleven AM. Gets ready. Eats a sandwich. Leaves. Sun. Heat. A little tourism. Piraeus. The Acropolis. The Parthenon. The Aeropage. The city, in turmoil. The Olympic Games are in the offing. Return to the sources. The new sports sites. The developments works revealed new vestiges. There works Maliwan, the Thai girl. She shares an expedition with other archeologists. Europeans. A whole band. The Asian girl. Twenty-five. A little taller than the Puerto Rican. Very fine. Pretty small ass. Long black hair. Brown skin. Cheerful face. Dark lips. Severe eyebrows. Entirely absorbed in her patience work. Dressed for that: olive-drab shorts, white tee-shirt above the navel, walking boots. Very direct, Kelly introduces herself as a federal agent. Uses a break to question the girl. - I made a long trip to meet you. - I already heard of you. You fight against killers. I like that. - You like that? In which sense? - If I had got the bugger who took it out on my sister! I would subject him to the same thing. And I would kill him. - I will disappoint you, then. I never killed anybody. - There’s a first time for everything. - I met your other sister, in Alaska. It looks as if you aren’t of the same temperament. - You don’t meet girls like me everyday. - Are you really an archeologist? - I always had this ambition. I studied in my country. Then I came here. I took part in several expeditions in Greece and Eastern Europe. My colleagues and I will soon leave for Bulgaria. And I travel all over the world. - That’s an exciting life. What will you do, in Bulgaria? - Some other archeologists discovered a Thrace mausoleum on the spot. They want to show it to us. We know them very well. We already worked together. - A Thrace mausoleum? - A large monument. Full with treasures. The Thraces were warlike people. They fought on the side of the Trojans. Supplied Athens with mercenaries. And Spartacus, who led the slaves against Rome, was also a Thrace. - You also like old history? - One day I will explain you why. If you like, stay with me a few weeks. My friends won’t say anything. - If it’s no trouble to you. - It isn’t, but you’ve been warned: my job’s rather long and tiresome. It takes sometimes months before putting the hand on an object. - We will converse. Time will be less dragging. There aren’t many women in your team. - Greece remains a macho country. I don’t give a damn. If a guy gets at me, he will be in for it. I’m feminine, but a Thai boxing champion. In the evening, they have dinner in a taverna. Go and dance in a nightclub of Glyfada. Come back home in the night walking by the seaside. - I will tell you who I really am, Kelly. - I listen to you. - I belong to a secret society. We devote ourselves to Ares. Mars. The god of warlike fury. - You’re free to believe in what you want. 11 New York. The Bronx. Soundview. The cradle of hip-hop. Territory of Blood, the most violent armed gang in the East coast. Reaction of the Blacks to the Hispanic bands. Since ten years, more cops. Less crimes. But racist police misconducts. Filthy atmosphere. All the bodegas kept their security windows. That’s where lives Sam, Kelly’s cop buddy. In an apartment. He was born in this district. Works in Manhattan, but refused to move. Wednesday August 11, five AM. Awaked by a phone call of his co-worker Sandy. - Hello? - Boss? Sandy speaking. - An emergency? - We found David’s corpse in his residence. - David? The scientist who disappeared last month? - Himself. And in a sorry state. - Torture marks? - More than that. Difficult to enter into details by phone. The best is to come and see. - Which address? - Upper West Side. Amsterdam Avenue. Easy to locate, we put police roadblocks around the building. - Police roadblocks? For an ordinary corpse? - It isn’t an ordinary corpse. I have never seen such a thing before. - Are there some people? - Several teams are already on the spot. - Ok, coming. He gets up and gets dressed at speed. Takes his motorbike. Shoots off. White Plains Road. Westchester Avenue. It’s fast. Without stopping, the five miles which separate him from the north of Manhattan. The 7th Avenue. Morningside Heights. Cathedral Parkway. Amsterdam Avenue. It’s less fast. Sam threads his way through the traffic. Stops in front of the roadblocks which disrupts it. Several police cars. A crowd of onlookers. Journalists. Twenty to six AM. The policemen recognize the lieutenant. Let him enter. He gets information. - Which floor? - On the fifth one, boss. - Who told the press? - Nobody did. They are in two places at once. - It’s bullshit. I don’t want to see one in the building, ok? - Agreed. We go on blocking them. - And neighbors? - They have been given the order to stay at home. Nobody left the building. - That’s well. And who are the people in the street? - Inhabitants of the district. - You have to make them move along. As well as the journalists. - The men keep a close eye on the police roadblocks. - That’s not enough. The system is used to hide something. Out of the question for the rubberneckings to see the body when it’s left. - All right, boss. Sam penetrates the building. A twenty-five stories maroon block. Everything cleared out all around. Watched corridors. On the first floor, a young woman. She anxiously glances round through her half-open door. The cop comes and sees her. - No leaving. - I must see my daughter to school. I’m a young divorced mother and… - Don’t tell me the story of your life, I don’t give a fuck. You stay at home, and you close this bloody door. - It has the merit of being clear. - Very clear. Tell me, by the way. Did you know David? - There are many of us, in this building. - Ok, forget it. Sam takes the elevator. Meets Sandy on the fifth. She waits for him at the door of the victim’s apartment. - I was on guard last night. A neighbor, awaked by a noisy sound system, alerted us. The music came from here. - I want to see the corpse. 12 Midtown East. An apartment of the 48 Street. A man prepares to leave. Holidays. On his bed, an open bag. At side, a plane ticket for Brazil. Documentation. The best hookers guide. Eight AM. In his bathroom, the guy shaves. His mobile rings. - Hello? - Hello Greg, Sam speaking. - I was just thinking of you. I thought: poor chap, having to let himself in for all this shit. While I make tracks to Rio. - You don’t make tracks to anywhere, Greg. We carry a corpse. - That’s the best one. It doesn’t happen everyday, in New York! - When you see the stiff, you will less try to be clever. - Sorry, my plane takes off in two hours. - Your damn stupid holidays are for next year. My hierarchy counts on you. - My assistants will take care of it. I trust them. - If you’re not at your lab in half an hour, I smash your face in. - Ok, I understood. Let me go. - Get your backside into gear. He hangs up. Looks at his open bag with a sigh. Greg is a forensic expert. Manages a large laboratory at First Avenue and 30 Street corner. Of Ukrainian Jew origin. About thirty. Stocky figure. Brown hair. Beetle-browed. Black and somewhat slant eyes. Big nose. Thick moustache. He finishes shaving. Gets dressed. Town clothes. At work, twenty-five minutes later. He greets Sam, who escorts the stretcher. The body’s lying under several covers. They don’t see a thing. - Not yet in Rio? - So you pig decided to show up, you did? I should smash your face in. - You’re really an ugly-looking customer. I will never get used to it. - I already explained to you how a coroner from Alabama goes about carrying out a postmortem? - Tell it anyhow. - He gives a kick to the corpse. Then declares: “He’s dead and no mistake!” - Cribber. A Fed told me that one. But he was funnier than you. - About my ugly-looking, I guess. - Yeah, but nothing compared with our customer. - Found this morning? - Before dawn. A neighbor called Sandy. - The chronological account of events? - Not much to state, man. Things went off without anyone’s knowledge. Nobody in the building noticed a thing. - I knew David. We had part studied together. First we will check it’s him. You never know. - He’s unrecognizable. But the intact half of his face looks like his photo. - If I understand correctly, somebody would be gone on the fifth floor of his building with the body. Without showing himself. And would have put it at home. Without forcing the door. There, he would have put the music on. Before beating it incognito. - Yeah, that seems incredible. - I’ve to realize. Greg raises the covers. Backward movement. His assistants, around him, look at one another with perplexity. Sam still looks fascinated. The expert turns towards him. - Bloody hell! What’s that? - You will say it to us. - Certainly. But not immediately. Let me stand the shock. - Do you have already an idea? - I’m a pro. I don’t answer without analyzing before. On the other hand, I can tell you what that reminds me of. - What? - Somebody which would have eaten radioactivity. 13 Miami, Florida. A hacienda, not far from a golf course. The second home of Victor, the big boss of the New Yorkean police force. Former business man. Ex-director of the customs. Vice-president of Interpol. Veteran of Vietnam. He shares his life with a Lebanese data processing specialist. A beautiful girl. Himself, white tanned complexion. Medium height. Thin. Muscular. Shaven skull. Deep blue eyes. Authoritarian look. Sober and elegant clothes. He brings Sam and Oliver together in his hacienda. Friday August 13, in the morning. The black cop is the first to arrive. He took the plane the day before. His boss shows him round the house. - Why the idea of receiving us here, boss? - Whereas it would be so much simpler in New York… We have to consider the situation with detachment, Sam. I always do that. - Miami is even so a damn detachment. - We are still on the East coast. Come with me, I will show you something. They cross a shaded palm plantation. Gardens of cactus. Gain raised terrace. The view dominates sugar cane fields. An old residence. Pale orange interior walls. Refined furniture. Rich ornaments. In the middle of the living room, a black marble statue. A guy with a top hat. - You know who’s this guy, Sam? - I know damn all about it, boss. - He’s the estate’s first owner. A Basque immigrant. He made a bundle. And you know what the legend says? - I don’t. - He had sold his soul to the devil. In exchange for a power. The power to appear in seven different places at the same time. - Seven? What a bundle. - But that hadn’t made him richer. I found five other statues like this one in the residence. I still look for the last one. - What that brings us to, boss? - Each crime is a question. We don’t necessary find answers on the spot. - Can we prove the killer is in Miami? - Can we prove he’s in New York? And not in Austin? Or in Tokyo? A guy who leaves corpses like that behind him has diabolic powers. Outside, the noise of a car. Oliver has just arrived. Parks. The two others get out to greet him. The small group make for another house of the estate. A white villa on the same level as the garden. A field of orchids. A large swimming pool. Victor ask them to sit down by the water, round a stone table. A guy gives them some freshly-squeezed orange juices. The Fed doesn’t hide his impatience. - Ok, thank you. I already had a coffee at the airport Burger King. - I explained to Sam a moment ago… - What? The story of the seven statues? I know it already. - But… How? - It’s the first time I come here. I always get information before setting foot somewhere. So we can stop discussions. - Then let’s go straight to the point. You sum up the important facts, Sam? The Black cop takes the documents out of an envelope. Copies of the postmortem report. Signed Greg. - The identified body’s David one. - Did our expert do his job correctly? - You can say it. - Go on. - Historical Data. Found clues. Laboratory examinations. Biological tissues. Cellular samples. Body fluids. Secretions samplings. Forensic serology. DNA technology. - Et cetera et cetera. When the death went back at the time of the tests? - Approximately twenty-four hours. - Rapid, all that. Death causes? - Homicide. High radioactive irradiation. Death following on from the caused mutations. - Really diabolic. 14 Vieques. Sunday August 15, half past tow PM. Sam gets out of a small plane. The shuttle between Puerto Rico and the close island. Himself, left New York in the very morning. He has an appointement for Monday with Silver, the director of “Living on Mars”. Oliver will be also present. Sam gives a phone call to Victor. - Hello, boss? I’m already on the spot. - You’re early. I spoke to Jeff, the boss of the FBI. Oliver will meet you only tomorrow. As agreed. - I like to be early. Especially when the Feds are also in on it. - We need them, Sam. The business is too odd. We can’t risk keeping that for ourselves. - I would like to know why I’m here. - Can’t you guess? Didn’t you listen to the latest news? - I did, I heard the disappearance of David’s substitute. - That’s the answer. Silver, the manager of the project, called us every name under the sun. He accuses us of failing to do our job. - Never heard about this guy. It seems to me that he’s a real asshole. - He’s a highbrow. And he’s well connected. With the White House. And the family. Then be diplomatic for once. - Ok, understood. I’ll keep quiet. - I hope so. What will you do, today? - I will go to the beach. It’s my day off. - You’re lucky. All right, I’m going. No stupid things, ok? Vieques. The Small Girl. Eighty-four square miles. A semicolon in the Caribbean. Last nine thousand five hundred inhabitants. Coconuts, sweet potatos, avocados, bananas, papaws and… uranium. The tests of the army’s uranium. One half-century of conflicts between the navy and the local population. So that the American soldiers finally leave. Return the territory they stole. And stop polluting and ruining the life of the people. Sam rents a motorbike. Goes for a ride. Admires the old lighthouse of Punta Mulas. Visits the historical museum in Isabel Segunda. The Conde of Mirasol fort. He follows the seaside. Finds a quiet beach, close to Mosquito Bay. Spends the day. Looks in the evening at the million small lights which splash about in the waves. Eleven PM. Alone in his hotel room. A newsflash. The president of the United States has just made a decision. The army will have to leave Vieques. It’s sure. It’s final. Demagogy? Opportunism? The elections approach. That’s also sure. The reaction isn’t long in coming. One hour later, noise outside. Sound systems. Drums. Fireworks. Shouts of joy. - Free Vieques! The inhabitants exult. They have a wild time. The next morning. Outside a luxury hotel. Sam and Oliver meet. Await Silver. Find the time to drink a coffee. Then another. The guy finally turns up. Accompanied by his wife, a short hair washed-out blond, hyper-sexy. Thirty years, six feet, sixty kilos, 37c. The couple, escorted by about fifteen guys in black. All armed with machine-guns. They encircle the terrace. Supervise the surroundings. Silver. Fifty years. Big, muscular, shaven skull. Adidas jogging suit, tennis shoes. Former manager within NASA. His specialty: mechanical engineering. Requesed to direct “Living on Mars” since the launching of the concept. His family’s initiative. The latter holds a leader group in energy and automation technologies. The guy clears his throat. Lights a cigar. His wife undresses herself. Wearing a leopard G-string, throws herself in the swimming pool of the hotel. Silver admires her. - She swims well, isn’t she Once again, Oliver gets impatient. - Why are we here, if it isn’t asking too much? - Puerto Ricans of New York killed David. And kidnapped David II. These bloody ecologists must be arrested. 15 Athens. The same Monday August 16, in the evening. The Olympic Games opening ceremony. The enclosure of the stadium. Seventy-two thousand spectators. The corridors which lead to the rows. Kelly passes her friend Melissa. They are alone a few seconds. - What do you do, here? - I escort a businessman. Mad about sport. He needs a hostess. What about you? - I’m with archeologists. You remember the Traveller? The serial killer? The girl I meet is the sister of one of the victims. - Asian? I saw you with her a few moments ago, when you arrived. - You seem to know her. - Only by reputation. She’s a hired assassin. I will explain it to you later. - When do we see each other to talk about it? - I must go to London at the end of the month. For the business. We can arrange to meet over there. - Ok, have fun. - You too. And look out. Kelly forces her way through the crowd. Maliwan waits for her. - You took a long time. - Sorry, I had to stand in line at the washroom. - You didn’t miss much. The ceremony will start in a few minutes. - Great. The chief priestess appears. The one which lit the flame. She presents her show. Chronological recalling: three thousand years of sports history. Four hundred drummers. In the middle of the stadium, the giant rings blaze up. The official speeches. Sixty feet high, the head of a cycladic statue suddenly appears and changes. The traditional procession of the nations. The Olympic oath. The opening of the games. Six athletes take turns carrying the torch. It falls over the bowl. Rise towards the sky. In the middle of the fireworks. Later, Kelly and Maliwan. At the bar of their hotel. - Ok, did you quite make up your mind to leave with us for Bulgaria? - I did. But I’ve some questions to ask you. - I listen to you. - During this month, you introduced me to archeology. Above all, you told me a secret. Why? - The property of a secret society is to be known of its only followers. - And what then? - Then I want you to belong to it. - I would have to leave the FBI for that. - No, but you must keep our secret. - You take a risk. Imagine I refuse. - Really? In that case, we find you and we kill you. - I can defend myself. - It’s sure, but the girls and I are killers. - A women society? - Yeah. We are the Mars Girls. The Amazones. The distant heiresses to the worship of old Thrace. - What will my initiation rites consist of? - The Bulgarian Mafia invaded the site of the mausoleum. To plunder its treasures. And to resell it with private collectors. - And then? - Tomorrow, you come with us. And we massacre these buggers. Still game? - Still game. The next day, six PM. Chipka, Bulgaria. The Valley of the Roses, in the South of Balkan. Varied landscape of rock summits, forests and small rivers. The access to the mausoleum, blocked by large trucks. Just at way in, about fifty girls. On brand new metallic black and gray Suzuki 750 GSX-R motor bikes. The warrior girls. Dressed in high-tech suits. Foolproof protection. Dragunov precision rifles. At the head of the group, Kelly and Maliwan. The Thai gives a hand signal towards the heavy trucks. The girls throw grenades at it. The vehicles explode. There’s going to be trouble. 16 They hear guys howl. One of them, in flames, throws himself on the road. The Thai girl, with her rifle, slaughters him like a dog. - Go to hell, trash! The fifty motorbikes jump over the wreck. The battle looks short. The gangsters are twenty or so on the site. Kelly puts it out to the leader. - Superior in number. No credit. - We don’t give a fuck! We’re there for cleaning! The plunderers take cover behind the cars. Try to resist with their rifles. The New Yorker takes part too. Helped, like the others, by the aiming data-processing system of her helmet. Kills five men single-handed. Right in the mug. Blood spurts. Maliwan bumps off ten others of them. The last five want to surrender. Naively, leave their hideout. Hands up. The fifty girls fire at them at the same time. They’re not men anymore but Gruyère cheese. Spotted with blood. Fucking carnage. The boss of the gangsters. He shows himself in the last. Alone and unarmed. Challenges the Thai. - You want to fight, bitch? Show me what you’re able to do without your rifle. The girl takes him at his word. Comes towards him. Demonstration of Thai boxing. Two minutes. The guy, by ground. The nape of the neck broken. Dead as a doornail. The Amazones gather the corpses together. Pour gasoline on them. Put a match to the heap. Watch the spectacle while drinking Pepsi. Kelly awaits compliments. - How I was then? - You iced the quarter of these shits. Not bad. - They were really not numerous. - It’s a beginning. If you want, you’re one of us. - Actually, you’re a hired assassin. The archeologists paid you for this business? - They did, yeah. As I’m an archeologist too, it was twice use to me. But there are all kinds of customers. - Then where’s my part? - A beginner is never paid. You will be for your next contract. - I didn’t say yet I accepted. - You can take time until the end of the month to think about it. The next day, the scientists carry out again their excavations in the mausoleum. The warlike girl becomes a research worker again. It’s like chalk and cheese. Kelly, in her hotel room. On her bed, in front of her portable computer. In video with Sam. - Is everything all right, in New York? - Yeah, not bad. But I did a rotten thing. I arrested some ecologists of your district. Young people. - Because of Silver? - Do you know him? - Not, but I’m in the picture. Oliver told me the story. In urgent need of scapegoats for the murder of David. - What do you think of it? - That’s not your business, Sam. Do your shitty job. - Ok. Midday in New York. The black cop has lunch out. An appointment with Oliver. The French restaurant of Soho. The stock of the visit in Vieques. The Fed tries to figure Sam out, whom he knows recently. - So, what about the director of “Living on Mars”? - He hasn’t it in him. He’s a clown. - And the lead of ecologists? - Bullshit. But I obey the orders. - Silver exerted pressures again on your hierarchy. - As on yours, Oliver. Without his connections, this guy’s less then shit. - Perhaps he’s right, you never know. - Are you damn stupid or do you mean to do it? We are still unaware of what happened to David II. With a bit of luck, he might be alive. - With a bit of luck. Having said that, there’s been a new development: in spite of the departure of the army, “Living on Mars” will stay in Vieques. - There’s a reason for everything… - What do you mean, then? - Nothing. Drop.
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