One Hundred Twenty Five

Home is good, we can get a deep breath, let the tension float away. This will be a welcome nothing day. Girls clean guns and stow them, pharmaceuticals in their case, nothing more active than laundry.
Zoe, ‘I’ll grill steak or fish, except somebody has to get it.’
Fin, ‘I’ll go, you come with, pick out whatever looks good.’
They go to the wilds of Sprout’s, come back with both, plus potatoes and spinach.
Zoe, ‘Steak can marinate overnight, I’ll bread these fat catfish filets and bake them. 
Fries to accompany, hand cut, skin on. Is that enough, we have a lot of fish.’
Zero looks at the stack, ‘Plenty, maybe cornbread, I’m feeling cornbready, with a bit of chopped jalapeno and slathered in butter.’
Fin, ‘That does sound tasty.’
Zoe, ‘Done, now go away, I need to get lunch made, deli cuts, roast beef and chipotle chicken, chips, toast or soft.’
CC, ‘Can you do finger sandwiches? I’d need to go crust free, finger sandwiches seem elegant, like me.’
‘Move along Highness, it will be up in ten or fifteen.’
We chew on fingers, crunch chips, sip Coke Zero.
Nikita, ‘Big story, some peerson kills ten people belief to be involve in child sex operation, also three more further north, plus four girls wiz sign of sex activity and three more but no sex activity. Girls are from all over, same story, peek up from street, drive a long way to house where bodies found in sweeming pool like dead feesh.’
‘It say anything about the rescuers?’
‘Only three girls, they say girls rescue them, they do not know anything about dead body. Girls up north did not see any rescuer, they say long drive in van, then it stops, then later police come.’
‘That it?’
‘One man says whoever kills them should get medal.’
CC, ‘There you go, I wonder, can I choose my medal, I don’t want some tacky thing hanging from a ribbon like that Olympic crap. Why do athletes get their picture biting it, that is stupid beyond stupid. Show a little class.’
‘What would you accept?’
‘A sapphire necklace, no diamonds, the stone and the chain, pendant setting, delicate platinum chain, not an ugly rap thing. The stone should be triple A, emerald cut, even saturation, natural, not synthetic, untreated and at least five carats.’
‘What would that cost?’
‘Fifty thousand, I saw a six point two carat for sixty five.’
Fin, ‘You have exquisite taste.’
‘I am an exquisite taste, as you well know.’
‘Your ego has no limit.’
‘I am beyond limitation, gaze on me in wonder.’
Nikita, ‘You will come to sisters for afternoon nap, we will not gaze or wonder.’
CC grins, ‘Are we sleeping?’
‘Do not make ridiculous.’
‘Oh, well then, lead the way.’
The three go up the stairs, better if I don’t wonder what they get up to, that way lies madness.
Zoe, ‘Come along Commandant, I wish to nap in your wrap, quite cozy.’
Fin, ‘Come with me, Zero, we can not nap, then nap.’
I’m certain the others had fun and frolic, Zoe’s back to me, smushed against my chest. One arm under her neck, she pulls the other over, puts my hand on her tummy. She’s out in two minutes, I join her shortly after.
Must be an hour, hour and a half, I feel a snout poking me. I roll over and rise, let Morshchiny out the back door. Check her water, dump the old, fill with fresh. It’s not feeding time, only three thirty. 
Maybe coffee, I fix the pot and go to my bedroom.
Zoe, is sitting up, smiling, ‘Lovely, thank you, you let Morshchiny out?’
‘Yep, and coffee is brewing, I should make tea, the twins will want tea.’
She climbs out, we’re both nude, Zoe is filling out, no longer just a stick, beautiful auburn hair, captivating violet eyes. She looks at herself in the mirror.
‘I’m getting there.’
‘Getting where?’
‘A few curves, no longer just a straightaway,’ she turns to examine the rear, ‘cute butt too,’ she giggles.
‘You are adorable in every way, and tall, tallest girl in the family and you’re the youngest…sort of youngest, CC and Zero stopped aging somewhere between twelve and fourteen. Zero said twelve, but she and CC both grew a bit into early teens.’
‘It drives CC crazy, she was tallest until I started to spurt.’
‘You think over modeling?’
‘A little. Can’t decide, don’t need the money, not looking to snag a hot boyfriend, there’s no shortage of attention around here. I guess I did decide, not for me.’
‘We manage to stay busy.’
‘We do, and I have time to trade a couple of hours a day. Considering travel for business and pleasure, it’s a full life, wanting more borders on greed.’
Zoe slips on her t-shirt, she slept in socks, I pull on pants and a shirt, socks and inside shoes, lightweight slip on sneakers. We step into the main room, I boil water for tea, pour myself a coffee while tea steeps.
Twins come down, ‘CC ees finish up in bathroom, takes her longer, she haf to admire herself in mirror.’
‘Any sign of Zero and Fin?’
‘Black tea, Assam.’
Nikita pours a cup for her sister, then herself, kisses Natasha’s neck and sits alongside.
‘You want cookies, crackers, cheese?’
‘Nyet, maybe others do.’
Ten minutes later everyone has tea or coffee, we’re around the dining table Zero bought, teak, with matching padded chairs. With my bed and clothes racks gone, the room seems enormous even with the table. They’ve laid more martial arts matting, more room to tumble and spar.
Fin, ‘I’ve been reading up on Wicca, most of it sounds rather nonsensical, but I’m beginning to think ritual is good for my state of mind.’
Zero, ‘Is it fair to ask what ritual? Or is it secret?’
‘No, hardly. CC has seen it. A circular rug, I could have drawn a circle, but the rug suffices and I don’t have to draw it on the floor. I put five candles at the points of a pentagram, symbolizing earth, air, fire, water, and spirit, which I think of as Qi. I sit in the middle, state my intention. So far, that’s it. The intent isn’t secret, I intend to be immortal. Zero said all the girls stated intention for the same, just without the ritual. I’d dance naked under the full moon, but we spend most of our time at home barely dressed and hopping around outside at midnight doesn’t appeal when there’s a warm girl waiting.’
‘So nothing else.’
‘One thing at a time, if I’m immortal there’s no point in rushing to the next thing.’
‘Have you decided on a next thing, I mean when you’re done with the current intent?’
‘Reading auras, Zero’s already expert, so are the twins.’
Nikita, ‘Sisters are not so good as Zero, but as you said, we haf many lifetimes.’
‘After auras, I don’t know, advanced Qi most likely.’
‘You don’t want to surf the astral plane? See the future, read minds?’
‘That could take time, maybe in my hundredth year, or second hundred, I prefer slow cooking.’
Zoe, ‘Speaking of, tonight is fish, hand cut fries, cornbread, ice cream if you wish.'

One Hundred Twenty Six

Estragon: I can't go on like this.
Vladimir: That's what you think.
― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot 

We lay back from saving the world for a couple of months. We understand that no number of dead abusers or rapists is going to make much of a dent in abuse and rape. Like the threat of prison has little or no impact on crimes of passion, or crimes of just mean and ugly. Those people can’t help themselves, they know it’s illegal, and they know they go to jail if they’re caught and convicted. So why do we take it on ourselves to eliminate them?
At the risk of being repetitive, but I’ll repeat anyway, we’re psychopaths, we can’t help what we do any more than the child rapist. We don’t offer reasons, or justification, not only do we not care what people think, we don’t even think about what people think. Society is corrupt, everywhere; sometimes openly, like our current government, sometimes secretly, like all former governments. Politics didn’t become corrupt, politics is corruption. You can whitewash it with God and Country, pledges, flags, anthems, like putting lipstick on a pig . I don’t know who said that, but they had it right.
I have to laugh, a gaggle of thieves and murderers gathering for the National Prayer Breakfast, ignoring their Christ’s own admonition:
‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’
Matthew 6:5-6
Even that boils down to groveling for rewards. Like politics, religion is corruption; do this, heaven; do that, hell. Spiritual capitalism. Jesus was a socialist, with capitalistic tendencies, God is a sociopathic fascist, which is redundant. If you’re one, you’re the other. A sociopath has similar characteristics to a psychopath, but the sociopath is disorganized and frequently likes self control, think of all the people God killed on a whim in the Old Testament.We have higher matters to contemplate.
Fin, ‘Zoe, when can we have those sausage sandwiches you made a few weeks ago?’
‘I’ll put hot sausage and peppers on the grocery board, tonight is grilled sea bass, habanero garlic butter on top, shredded purple cabbage with goddess dressing. Any other sides?’
‘Those fried vegetables you make, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, with the parmesan sprinkle.’
‘Good, we’ll have that as an appetizer, goes nicely with a crisp white.’
Zero bought a chalkboard for the kitchen. Zoe writes up the dinner menu, not breakfast or lunch, which we decide on the spur of the moment. Grocery and toiletry items are listed on notepad, when we shop, all the stuff girls want or need is on the list. I usually do the shopping, one or another girl comes with if the list gets long. They shop clothes or electronics online, aside from Zoe who is still growing, sizes never change. Dog things come from Amazon, except the fifty pound bags of pellets she calls food.
Zero comes from upstairs, ‘Ready to travel?’
‘What’s up?’
‘Shadow I think, as does Natasha. Three families have had incest videos posted, which earned mom and dad an arrest, despite all six saying they have no idea how or why.’
‘What do the kids say?’
‘Nothing public.’
‘Denials with video proof aren’t going far.’
‘No, the kids have been removed of course, kids from one and two went to relatives and are in hiding, two kids, a twelve and a nine year old from the third are in the social services meat grinder.’
‘Where did this happen?’
‘Flyover state, near dead center of the country.’
‘We haven’t run across a Shadow who can control that many at the same time, either we’re dealing with Super Shadow or there are at least two.’
‘What Natasha said.’
‘Any clues? About the Shadows I mean, we can’t simply roam around town looking for them.’
‘I had to a search for the locations, that wasn’t in the news. I got them. A neighbor reported a washed out Honda Marginal near the home of the second. Doesn’t mean the car had anything to do with the incident, it does conform to our theory that Shadows live downscale. Unfortunately no plate, no cams, it’s an ordinary residential neighborhood.’
‘How about intersections near the neighborhood?’
‘Possibility, I have a time, how do you propose getting the city or county to let us see footage?’
‘I can make a call. How long do they keep the files?’
‘I looked it up, it varies by disk capacity and quality, but at least a month.’
‘And this occurred…’
‘First two months, second near a month, third two weeks.’
‘Okay, my contact can find out how long the video is available until it’s overwritten. Maybe we get lucky, at least on the second or third.’
I have to wade through a couple of phone trees, but I persist and locate my military contact, now at Homeland.
After a little catching up, as former Rangers, we don’t rap much about the past, some of it is classified, some of it never happened, most of it is boring. I ask for what I want and don’t say why, he doesn’t want to know.
I find Zero on the roof taking the sun, lusciously nude. Fin is with her, what’s better than one luscious nude? I may need a cold shower, but first to the matter and hand.
‘Contact will get a copy, forward the file to me. Then we see if we can spot the car. Might take a while, I asked for covered streets near all three locations.’
Natasha and I can fast forward, if there’s a Honda that’s past prime, we’ll find it.’
‘These incidents all happen at night?’
‘Video on the web is likely time stamped, the CCTV feed is definitely time stamped. The court filings gave incident times, all between seven and ten at night, they must have gotten the times from somewhere.’
Nothing comes by cocktail hour, I don’t expect instant gratification, maybe tomorrow or day after.
I’m sipping cold vodka, Zoe serves the fried vegetables as an appetizer.
CC, ‘I like these more every time you make them.’
Zoe, ‘Thank you, I made a minor adjustment to the batter, paprika plus habanero garlic salt.’
‘That’s the bite then.’
‘Yep, is it too much?’
Nikita, ‘Not for sisters, we haf spicy taste.’
General agreement, I like heat, and Zoe’s careful with the various powdered peppers, Ghost, Habanero, Scorpion Powder, plus the blend, habanero garlic salt. All of them will add a pleasant kick when properly applied. Apply too much and they will blow your head off, and once it’s in you can’t take it out.
‘If you want more flame, the Ghost pepper is on the table,’ she points to the blue-black shaker.
Nikita is the only taker, and she’s careful about her extra dash.
Fin, ‘What’s on for tonight?’
‘Pick one, we’re following a dozen TV mystery or cop shows, Sherlock, Poirot, Criminal Minds, are we finished with Trapped?’
Fin, ‘Halfway through the second and final season, we’ve done every variety of Sherlock except the ancient movies, the BBC series, all the Cumberbatch movies and the Robert Downey one. There’s a dozen Poirot left, and the endless NCIS if we’re in the mood for that.’
‘I’m good with whatever.’
Fin is flipping around our various streaming sites, ‘Hey, I’ve read how noir this one is and we’ve never watched, maybe you guys saw it before I came, Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway?’
None of us have seen it, none of the girls were born when Chinatown was in theaters, come to think if it, I wasn’t either.

One Hundred Twenty Seven

Fin, ‘I’m not following any of the multitude of Wicca trails, praying to made up gods or goddesses, pointless ritual, phases of the moon, incense and candles, only good for blowing smoke and ash all over. It’s a wonder Wiccans can breathe, they may as well smoke.’
CC, ‘Gave it up entirely?’
‘Creating my own vastly pared down version. Reverting to Zero’s admonition, stick my intent out there several times a day and get on with life.’
‘Can you share your intention, or is it a secret by necessity, like telling people would screw it up?’
‘In most cases it should be secret. People inject their judgments, which can discourage the intender, oh, you intend to move matter with your mind, you do realize that’s impossible? Then the intender has a seed of doubt, or is made to appear ridiculous. If they had any momentum, it evaporates. None of us would even think to suggest such a thing cannot be done. So, my intention is to move matter with my mind. I have a few hundred years to intend it, but I don’t think it will take that long’
CC, ‘I’ve found I can move matter with my body.’
‘Big deal, so can a Sumo wrestler, or any other wrestler, or just me picking up a fork.’
‘I don’t mean in that way. When others see my splendidosity, they move towards me, I don’t have to wrestle anything. I call it CC-kinesis, the power of perfection.’
Nikita is unimpressed, ‘When do we leaf for Shadow keeling?’
Zero, ‘Tomorrow, flight at nine, three hours, two SUVs, check into the Hotel Flyover, it’s camouflaged from the air so east and west coasters don’t make snide remarks about middle class values.’
‘Do middle classers all have the same values?’
‘East coast opinion writers assume so, but they have no direct experience.’
We’re west coast, but we seldom flyover, lots of our varied activities happen in the heartland. Besides, the east coast is home to the Ivy League, an overrated and grossly expensive league, it mainly exists to cultivate pretension and entitlement.
How do you know a person went to Harvard? They’ll tell you, frequently.
I’m just wrapping up tooth brushing when Fin comes to the door.
‘In the mood to let me ride the joystick?’
She’s nude, even if I wasn’t in the mood, I would be. When it comes to the girls, there’s no such thing as not in the mood.
‘Any special requests?’
‘I don’t think so, something may come up,’ she gazes down my torso, ‘correction, something has come up,’ she takes the shaft and leads me to bed.
I’d happily go down on them, but as Zero pointed out, they’ve all had their pussies licked a thousand times, which is delightful, but not why they come to me. They’ve a mind to lick an outie rather than an innie, which Fin does slow and soft. When she’s got me granite, she takes it missionary. While I’m easing the shaft back and forth, I feel the bed shift, Zero has joined the party. If I wasn’t already filthy rich I’d buy a lottery ticket, clearly my luck train has pulled in the station.
Fin goes off, not an earthquake, but a healthy shake, I love to see them bite their lip while they shiver.
I pull and roll to the side, Zero climbs on and licks the shaft.
‘Fin on a stick, yummy.’
Then she takes it on top, rolling those hips like a high school cheerleader.
Another shimmy, I feel her tighten on the shaft, she groans, ‘Very good Commandant,’ a long sigh.
She eases up and off, ‘Give it to Fin, I have a plan.’
I’m pretty close to explosion, but orders is orders, then the plan kicks in.
Fin, ‘Cum inside me, we’ve been dying to try this.’
I do, and considering my last half hour, I flow like lava from a testy volcano.
Fin, ‘Geez, somebody’s been saving up.’
‘Hardly, you’re the cause of that effect.’
‘How sweet.’
Zero licks the shaft, covered with some of me and fair amount of Fin, then Fin scoots to the edge of the bed, sits up and leans back on her arms. Zero rolls out, kneels between lovely legs and licks, and licks, and licks.
Fin, ‘I’m pretty sure you got it all.’
Zero’s heads pops up, she’s grinning, ‘Cum ala Fin, that’s was better than Hagen Daz with whipped cream.’
She stands, pushes Fin back and lays on her. Tongues swap. I start to get up.
Zero, ‘Nope, you lay down between us, we want to sleep wet with sex.’
When I wake, I glance at the clock, plane to catch at nine. As fun as it is to lay here sugary sticky, we need to get a leg on.
I’m done with my shower when Zero and Fin come in, Zero sits and pees, ‘Leave it running, we’re next,’ then Fin relieves herself and joins Zero in the shower.
It crosses my mind to have a shower party.
Zero, ‘I’d like to party too, but we are stone out of time.’
Fin, ‘Commandant wants another go?’
Zero, ‘Yes, we’ll have to show a bit of discipline though, Nikita will be in here any moment rattling the cage.’
Nikita walks in, ‘Enough sexy time, we haf coffee coming, then airport,’ she looks down at my man part, takes it in her hand, ‘Commandant ees beeg dick boy. Sister says we should try on sometime.’
‘Just snap your fingers angel,’ sex with twins…I can’t dwell on that right now.
She lets it drop, it doesn’t drop far, it’s trying to rear its head, Nikita grins, ‘Sister says to quit fooling around, we will snap finger later.’
Fin and CC giggle, sometimes I forget the twins are telepaths, Natasha has not only been following the conversation, she can see what Nikita sees despite being someplace else. As they tell us, one girl, two bodies.
Zoe comes in with coffee for me, ‘Commandant is having a memorable morning.’
Fin, ‘After a memorable night. I’d tell you all about it, except I won’t.’
I follow Nikita and Zoe as far as my bedroom, they go to the main room, I get dressed.
Zero, ‘I arranged for breakfast on the plane, smoked salmon, capers, lemon, and crackers, bagels with vegetable cream cheese, coffee, black tea and diet soda.’
CC, ‘We have the gun case, knives, the drug case, our luggage, disguises, and the giant dog.’
We can fit in the SUV, I had to ditch the Hyundai, too small for everyone, wound up with a GM Massive, any bigger and we’d need another axle. The girls wanted deep red, maroon, I forget what the brochure called it. The thing isn’t particularly pretty, but it is big, has a gazillion horse engine, fat tires and a smooth but not slushy ride.
Plane is up and away right on time, the croissants and bagels warm, salmon chilled, coffee and tea hot, butter soft, they even got the bagels crisp and the cream cheese room temp so it spreads easily.
Zero, ‘They do a good job for us, I know we pay a lot to fly private, still, they keep the bar high.’
‘Where are we on the account?’
‘We sent them a million, we’ve used a quarter million in two years, we do around six to eight trips of varying air time, usually ten to fifteen thousand each way.’
‘Zoe’s made more than that over two years.’
‘Yep, the twins wind up paying for their trips plus a profit on conflict resolution business. Even with private flying, top shelf hotels, car rentals, vacations, and our everyday expenses, we don’t spend even half of what we make in dividends and interest. You’re scaringly close to billionaire Commandant.’
‘We, I know, I made a ton in my own business, and the market skyrocketed, but it’s all we, not just me.’
‘And the girls appreciate it more than you could know.’
‘And they needn’t diminish that by saying so, they demonstrate it every day, and I don’t mean the sex, though I must admit it’s a lovely extra.’
‘Good at it, aren’t they?’
‘Words cannot express.’

One Hundred Twenty Eight

That's how we stay young these days: murder and suicide.
Eugène Ionesco, Man With Bags 

Zero and Natasha spotted the washed out Honda four times. Twice going into the neighborhoods and twice going out. The plate shows the car registered to Harold Mobley, which means zip, Shadows change names more than some slobs change their sheets. It is also registered to a private mailbox. At least we know where the Shadow gets his mail. First order of business is to stake out the mail drop. 
The second order is to roam around town and see if we stumble on the Honda, or one of our Shadow spotters picks up a black aura.
‘I’ll stay here, there’s a coffee shop a few doors down, I can hang there and see if the Honda shows up. No point in tying up a car just to sit and watch. Two cars can divide up the area and sweep. You’ll need Zero and Zoe in one and the twins in the other. CC and Fin drive, the aura readers can focus on people, everyone keep an eye out for the Honda.’
Zero, ‘We think there may be more than one Shadow in this, there may be two cars, check cars as best you can, they can change cars, can’t change their aura.’
I get out and go to the Daily Grind, order a regular coffee, I’m not much for specialty stuff. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen the girls get even a latte or cappuccino, or anything with flavoring or whipped cream. If everyone was like us, Starbucks would fold.
I have a phone to occupy me, but I don’t want to be distracted while I study the street for the Honda. If the Shadow uses a different car, I’m useless, I don’t read auras, Shadows look like everyone else to me. Maybe not, Shadows we’ve encountered are not fat, more like emaciated, an exaggeration, slim anyway, most of America’s citizens are fat. Zero and I think Shadows use a lot of energy being Shadows. If a Shadow came in for coffee, the girls would hand him the cup and never think to charge for it. They can check out a basket of groceries and walk away with them, the clerk will have no idea why the register is short. Walk into a bank, teller gives him five hundred, he leaves, teller gets fired, clueless as to how the cash went missing.
All those activities take energy beyond the everyday. For simple transactions, probably not much extra, but some. For fun and games with incest, a lot, and for a longer period of time. So we’re thinking two Shadows, or more, not a lone psycho.
A text from Zero…nice town orderly well kept no sign of shadow
I reply…nothing here either coffee is good
I scan the news, very little of interest, half of it is politics I scroll past, most of the rest is stupid celebrity behavior or crap to buy. Always an article on boyfriends who murder their girlfriend’s kids, weirdoes who lock up their children or keep them in cages or get their daughters pregnant, seems to be a national epidemic. Based on accompanying mug shots they have a couple things in common, they’re poor and ugly. 
A new category, female teachers who send nude photos of themselves to sixteen or seventeen year old boys, then give them blowjobs in the car. Those women never seem to use Snapchat, maybe they don’t want the photos to disappear after a few seconds, maybe they prefer getting fired, then cop a plea for reduced prison time.
If a woman has sex with a teenage boy, I fail to see the criminality, nobody died, nobody even got hurt. The boy got the girl and didn’t even have to buy dinner. But it’s America, land of delusion that your teen isn’t having sex. If a fifteen year old boy masturbates alone in his room, is he contributing to the delinquency of a minor? If he takes a picture of his dick but doesn’t send it to anyone, is he in possession of child porn? If a teen boy or girl looks at porn, do you arrest the actors in the video? Anyone can surf and find all the porn they can stand, every possible act, position, any gender including Ladyboys. People getting pissed on, drink it, not to mention video of women getting their puss licked by a dog, sucking doggie cock, horse cock, fucking them. 
Some things are too ridiculous to take seriously, as if a hormonal urge should be suppressed because it violates the airy notion that sex is a sacred act. Or like Woody Allen said, ‘Sex and death, two things that only happen once in a lifetime.’
A text from Nikita…nothing so far
I reply…same with Zero no sign of car
The girl behind the counter must think I’m a recovering alcoholic, it’s my third coffee, maybe I could recite the twelve steps but I’d have to look them up on the phone. I like my evening vodka, but I haven’t been shitfaced since the army and then only a couple of times.
As I’m about to sit, I catch a Honda pulling in across the way. The street has angle parking, I can read the plate, damn, it’s the one. A tall man steps out, closes the door and walks to the mail store. The kind of place where they pack and ship, have a wall of mailboxes as well. 
I text both Zero and Nikita…come car is here
Two replies, got it…ok
I leave the coffee, tell the girl I’m coming back, go down the block on my side past the Honda, cross the street and stick a tracker under the bumper, tug to make sure it’s secure and walk to the end of the block, cross the street and rejoin my coffee.
If the counter girl noticed anything, she gives no indication, it’s the slow time for coffee shops, she’s doing clean-up things.
The man comes out with a few letters and a small package, opens the driver’s door and tosses the items on the passenger seat. I briefly wonder if he gets his mailbox free.
He backs out, drives a few feet and u-turns to the way he came. 
Five minutes and Fin shows up with Zero and Zoe, Morshchiny of course. I don’t want to attract any more attention, I go outside and lean in the passenger window.
‘He left but I got a tracker on the car, pull it up.’
CC arrives with the twins, I walk over and tell them what’s what.
‘I’ll go with you, hang on,’ walk back to Fin, ‘You have the car?’
Zero waves her phone, ‘Ready when you are.’
‘I’ll ride with CC, we’ll follow you, if the car stops, you stop, figure out if he’s gotten home or is running another errand. I don’t want two SUVs cruising around his house, apartment, whatever.’
And off we go, about a half mile anyway, he pulls in a supermarket lot, we wait.
‘Natasha, go in for a look, or have you already verified he’s a Shadow?’
‘Not close enough,’ she gets out and heads to the market, comes back in five with a bag, ‘got wine and vodka, thought I better buy something not just wander the store. 
He is a Shadow.’
I text Zero, they’re across the lot, she replies with a thumbs up emoji.
Our target comes out with a couple of bags, more plastic to torture ocean creatures. Humans won’t be happy until they’ve killed off everything, including themselves. Then cockroaches will rule while the oceans self-purify and trees, shrubs, and grasses set about cleaning the air.
This drive is longer, twenty minutes to a fourplex of indeterminate age, not new anyway, decently kept, small lawn in front with metal benches nobody ever sits on, parking around back, slots numbered for each apartment, open slots for visitors or second cars.
We move farther down the block, out of eyeball range, doors open so we can talk.
‘Zero, listening device. The building is on a corner, that’s good, should be able to park the car on the side street and get connected. He went in the upper right, right facing the building.’
Zero, ‘We shouldn’t all hang around.’
‘Right, Zoe, you and Morshchiny go with Fin, CC, you go with them, I’ll park the car and watch with Zero and the twins. Get groceries on the way, what’s the hotel Zero?’
‘Tired of Waiting Inn, owned by former Jehovah’s Witnesses who decided Christ isn’t coming after all. No Bibles in the rooms, no copies of Watchtower, guaranteed.’
They go off, I drive the car to a spot across from the fourplex, then decide it’s better cover if I move to the same side of the street. The Shadow will have a harder time seeing in our car from the second floor. 
She’s angling the dish to tune in, a car turns into the lot, a woman gets out.
Nikita, ‘Woman ees Shadow.’
Zero’s head pops up, ‘Dang, so she is, which apartment?’
Woman goes in the lower right, the apartment under Honda.
‘She has an orange Volkswagen, rusting out on the driver’ side. Nikita, can you get a tracker on?’
She gets out with the little magnetic box and a leftover coffee cup. Coffee cup mysteriously drops right behind the Volks, she bends to pick it up, magnetic case gone. She continues in the direction she was walking, wouldn’t make sense for her to turn around just because she dropped an empty cup.
Nikita shows a couple minutes later, ‘Made the block, from the lot I did not see any person looking out window but better to be careful.’
I’ve trained the girls to think in terms of what can go wrong, not blindly believe a plan, no matter how detailed, will go right.
Zero, ‘Here we go,’ conversation from Honda’s apartment.
A man, maybe Honda, maybe he’s got a roommate, ‘You and that fucking orange ugly, buy a new car.’
Zero, ‘She obviously went in the front, then out the rear and up that stairwell.’
‘Maybe she can walk through walls.’
Orange Ugly, ‘Piss off, it runs, sips gas, and like your wheels are so sexy.’
‘I don’t need a hot car to pick up girls.’
‘Children you mean.’
‘Girls come in all ages, up to six or seventeen anyway, after which they’re all fattened up with tits and hips, useless. Young is life’s elixir, old is…old.’
‘Like you.’
‘When do we make another video, something more interesting this time, we’ve done bad mom and dad, sibcest, doggie licks young cunt.’
‘We didn’t even ask for that, the kid was doing it before us, parents thought it was hilarious, the little girl loved it, the dog didn’t want to quit.’
‘Now all the friends and family can enjoy it as much as the kid and the dog. Lots of people are fucked up without benefit of our insanity. They torture their own kids, leave them in diapers full of shit, chained to a toilet. We’re practically saints.’
‘So what nastiness do you have in mind?’
‘Bring in an outsider, a muscular nigger to fuck mom and daughter, daddy sucks his cock first, then licks the cum off daughter’s face.’
‘Good, good, maybe have it so it’s mom’s idea, to humiliate daddy.’
‘Excellent, there’s fake acting like that on porn sites, this will be the real deal.’
‘We get the family locked down, bring in the black monster, let the fun begin.’
‘When you see Ali, get him to find the nigger, he’s Indian, half nigger already.’
‘Black, asshole. Hell, I’m mean as a cornered rat, and I sure as shit don’t give a fuck about anyone else, still, the word bugs me.’
‘They call each other nigger.’
‘That’s their problem.’
Zero, ‘There’s at least one more Shadow then.’
‘Yeah, we need to stick around, see who else shows up, there’s one car in a slot for the second upstairs apartment, and no car in the slot for the other downstairs one.’
Orange Ugly, ‘I’ll catch Ali now, his car’s outside, I’ll talk to Robert when he gets home.’
Zero, ‘Four, all in the same fourplex.’
Nikita, ‘I’ll tag the third car.’
‘Wait, she seems to think Robert will be home soon, you can do both.’
Honda, ‘When do you want to hunt?’
‘Have my eye on a cozy little family already. Mom and dad maybe thirty five, two lovely daughters, one seven or eight, the other maybe ten or eleven. Adorable blue eyed blondes.’
‘When did you stumble on to them?’
‘Mom and girls were at the grocery, I followed them home. I was going to get the younger girl and have a little fun with her. While I was figuring out when to grab her, daddy came home, so I dropped it. Went to the mall and got a substitute playmate, took her to a quiet spot, licked her smoothie, she licked me. I left her there, completely naked.’
‘Evil bitch,’ laughter.
‘Thank you.’

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