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Blackmailed Babe, a Cobra story.

February 07, 2018 01:40PM
the second story about Cobra, in which he is hired to do something amusing to a blackmailer. I was writing these between getting 'The redemption of Chauvelin' out and published, a definite change of venue... I think I've avoided any 18th century language, if I've missed a 'lud' or 'stap me' please let me know

Blackmailed Babe

Neon flashed a rather sickly yellow ‘Ra tazz’. I suspect it was once ‘Razamatazz’ but the letters in the middle remained resolutely dark. I sipped the chilled piss that was sold as beer; one could not even use a pun about getting rat-arsed on this swill. Darkness was punctuated with coloured flashing lights, dim enough to conceal rather than reveal, and to disguise the fluid that was being sold to the punters. A few couples gyrated with more enthusiasm than grace to the sound of the overpowered speakers. I would hesitate to call it ‘music’; to do so would violate any law regarding accurate description.
I was joined by the woman I was expecting. She was around forty-five, and handsome enough. She had not run to fat as many older women do, nor had she developed into a scrawny old maid, which is usually the fate of most of the rest. She had nice curves in the right places, and if they were enhanced, they were done so tastefully and naturally. She wasn’t at all a bad looking dame for someone in her forties. She was expensive enough for low level Juvenate™ treatments, but not expensive enough for the top rank ones. Her neck showed that she was not as young as her face suggested, though I suspected it had been lifted somewhat. The neck always gives away a woman’s age, even with top rate skin tucks. They show.
She sat down next to me, eyeing the stick-pin of a snake I had in my leather jacket.
“You’re the Cobra? They say you’re the best.”
The female was nervous. I could see the sweat on her brow, and I could smell it, one degree off downright fear. The augmented nose had cost a fair bit but it was worth it. I could pick it up even amidst the stink of humans dancing, sweating, screwing, pissing in corners and throwing up, all at war with several cheap perfumes. The normal scents of a low class nightclub.
“I am, and I am,” I said.
There might be a few out there as good as me, but you never let the client know that you acknowledge this. They have to be confident in you.
She breathed a shuddering sigh.
“Good,” she said. “I ... I don’t necessarily need a ... I don’t think I want you to kill anyone.”
“No? It’s what I’m usually hired to do,” I said. “I hope you aren’t wasting my time.”
“I ... I’m being blackmailed,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow. That is usually a prelude to demanding a sanction on the blackmailer.
She flushed.
“Do I have to tell you about it?”
“No, you can pay my tab and we can go our separate ways and forget we ever spoke,” I said. Really, she expected to get away without sharing why she was being blackmailed? And I had had her tagged as moderately sensible.
“I see,” she said. She drew in her breath, visibly composing herself. I suspected that she had probably figured out that she had little choice and only asked the stupid question out of blind hope. “Very well. I made my first money from a very exclusive brothel,” she said. “Clients got what they paid for, but it was still ... vice.” Well, that was nice and straightforward, no prevarication. I gave her kudos for not spending twenty minutes in what she managed to condense into twenty-one words.
I had now figured out who she was. I’d seen her in an advert.
“And you’re one of the local managers for Sweetwater Developments,” I said. “The only puritanical company left in the world who actually believe in goodness, light and all that sort of thing.”
“They’re nice people,” she defended them. “And I’m not ashamed of my body or having done what I did; only the top echelon would not take kindly to it.”
I gave a rather cynical smirk.
So far as I could gather, most of the executive officers of Sweetwater had sticks so far up their arses, you could see them when they spoke.
“And do you know who is blackmailing you?”
“Yes. Nathan Dulles. One of my former clients. He is another local manager, and he’s a man who found religion and confessed all his sins of the flesh on television, which is how he got the job. In fact, he was there before me; I’ve been there a year, and we ran into each other at a soft drink convention. He recognised me immediately, which is partly my own fault for the vanity of keeping myself looking ... as nice as possible.”
“I don’t think you’d have got the job without the artificial aid to look as though natural drinks helped your health,” I said, cynically. “It’s inconvenient that he is a publicly reformed crusader; it means that blackmailing him back won’t wash,” I commented.
“Exactly,” she said. “I don’t want him killed. I just want it to stop, and I want him ... embarrassed.”
I nodded, and named my price.
She didn’t even haggle; he must have got her knickers in a twist.

It took a bit of setting up, of course; such things do. And he had good security in his home, and top of the range security cameras. I could have hired a hacker and done things in a brute force way, by kidnapping him, but that’s not the way I operate. Moreover, if I had him doing what I wanted him doing, voluntarily, as you might say, he had nobody to blame but himself.
I put on a suit, and got to know Nathan Dulles a bit better.
Naturally I went a lot further than putting on a suit as a disguise. Tissue-thin gloves with someone else’s finger prints on were a must. As it happened, they were Dulles’ finger prints. That amused me somewhat. I got them off a cup in the coffee shop he visited, and made the gloves myself. Next, a little bit of wrinkling agent painted onto my face; it’s not a profound change, but it ages you ten years, and is virtually undetectable. My expensive nose didn’t like it, but then, I hadn’t asked its opinion.
Contact lenses were next, an unremarkable blue grey. And then the clever bit with the sub-dermal nanotractors. I dialled a face on a simple animation program, Dazzle-Studio 57, plugged in the electrodes to my face and let the computer rearrange me to be the non-existent character.
Of course it’s illegal. The technology is made under licence for DocuDrama™, so their actors and actresses really resemble long dead characters. I spent a year as General Custer to get the implants. Nicking the ‘trodes and the program was relatively easy, as was wiping all the records of my true face.
Was it a lot of trouble to go to? Well I like being free, and alive, so on the whole, I preferred to spend a year in paid jail of being an actor to serving a hundred and twenty five to life in somewhere like Joliot.
And believe me, there are some judges vindictive enough to arrange Juvenate™ treatments so you serve every year.
Anyway, Nate and I got buddy, and we talked soft drinks and hard core religion. It was so exciting I nearly split myself in two trying not to yawn. He was a soft man; he had soft hands, which I hated shaking, because it felt like holding a handful of worms. His waistline was soft rather than paunchy, and his soft face held unattractive folds a bit like an unmade bed. His soft hair was a trifle too long and he sported that most unforgiveable sartorial solecism, the brushover. His hair was thin and nondescript, and in his shoes, and on his salary, especially with the extra from my Miss Client, I would have made a few changes. He could have had it shaved, depilated and re-seeded with hair the colour of his choice for a couple of months’ salary. And yet so many middle management men still choose the brushover. One of life’s little mysteries.Perhaps it’s a form of insecurity, a need to cling to their own hair as some sort of machismic urge amongst the unmacho ranks of the terminally unmanly. I had to have my hair changed to play General Custer; it was contractually required. I hated it, and when I escaped, I went for a short, black hairstyle to be as unlike the man the Native Americans called ‘Long Hair’ as possible. I bet the real Custer was thin on top and kept it long ready to brush over one day.
Nate and I got friendly enough that he was ready to accompany me on a coffee-shop crawl addressing meetings, decrying hard liquor and loose women. And then it was a matter of making sure that the coffee he drank in each place was slightly laced with vodka. It didn’t need much at first to get him tipsy enough not to notice the increased doses or the bitterness of the latest aphrodisiac. He hardly noticed that the last coffee shop we fell into was actually a brothel, and all the ladies paid to give him full attention. He also missed me slipping away.
And of course I had tipped off the press, and made a call to the cops that someone was drunk and disorderly. The madam was to whisper to him that she would not press charges so long as he foreswore all blackmail.
The pictures on the Trideo exceeded expectations.
By the time he was filmed he had soiled himself for being so drunk, as well as having the embassy of his pleasure trickling down his bare leg. They had to fuzz out his still priapic proof of his performance.

She gave me a bonus.
I call that very civil indeed.

Blackmailed Babe, a Cobra story.

Sarah WaldockFebruary 07, 2018 01:40PM

Re: Blackmailed Babe, a Cobra story.

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 09, 2018 01:38PM

Re: Blackmailed Babe, a Cobra story.

Sarah WaldockFebruary 10, 2018 05:58PM

Re: Blackmailed Babe, a Cobra story.

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 10, 2018 06:58PM

Re: Blackmailed Babe, a Cobra story.

KarenteaFebruary 07, 2018 09:41PM


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