Seventy Seven

‘Zero, how did Zoe know about first and third person?’
‘From her reading, I explained that books are written in one or the other, a narrator who describes what happens but isn’t a character in the book, every character is third person, he, her, him, she. Or the narrator is a principal character, in which case I and me are the most frequently used pronouns.’
‘So if I did it, it would be Commandant said, Commandant did, or he said or did, but no I or my or me.’
‘Exactly. Krishnamurti never referred to himself in the first, not in public talks, he always said the speaker when referring to himself. If we are not our bodies in reality, then it makes sense to talk about the entity manifesting as a body in time and space as not our self, which is a character on the screen of consciousness, not our true self, which is not a self.’
‘So we’re like a page in a book, not the words written on it.’
‘You may say so. The page makes the words possible, a place to appear but having no say in what words are written on it or how the story unfolds.’
‘When Nisargadatta says to think of I Am, he doesn’t mean I in the normally accepted sense.’
‘No, in consciousness there is no I.’
I’ve adjusted to the girls’ advanced maturity, they talk about things that wouldn’t pass through the mind of a typical twelve or fourteen year old. Now Zoe, at six? None of it ever crossed my mind and I’m twenty nine. I don’t like clichés, so I won’t say better late than never.
Zoe comes down the stairs toting an ever present book. I think she’d read on the trampoline if she could. How many little girls meditate by watching stock prices change on the Bloomberg screen? Yes, Zero got her a Bloomberg terminal, a mere twenty four thousand a year for real time market quotes worldwide. She can buy and sell right on the terminal. So far she’s made a hundred twenty thousand, net of profits and losses, in six months. I put up a half million for her to work with, I think I should go to a million.
Zero, ‘Good idea, can I tell her?’
Reading my thoughts again, ‘Sure. Transfer the money from one of the other corporations.’
Our everything is in one or another corporate name, the house, the cars, utilities, bank and brokerage accounts, our airline account. I’ve gotten me distanced from it all, maybe Zero’s right, there is no me, certainly not in my financial life. I could disappear and Zero would have access to it all. Maybe…
‘I’m not going to shoot you Commandant, I’d have to find a new boy toy, one who can grasp what we are, and CC would be royally pissed. She’s vowed that the only penis allowed to past through her portal is yours.’
‘Good to know I can sleep with both eyes closed.’
‘On the subject of murder, the twins have been good, understanding that we have Zoe and that we dropped murder for hire.’
‘But they haven’t had a chance to terminate anyone is a while. They getting fidgety?’
‘Yes, and they found a predator mid country, toddlers his specialty, although a couple of six year olds were raped.’
We don’t use terms like molested or fondled or sexually abused. For us, it’s all rape.
‘He’s out of prison then.’
‘Been out, he’s on the RSO list and is on probation, such as it is. He served four years despite abducting and keeping the children for weeks. They got him on four toddlers and two six year olds, they think there were more but no one else came forward.’
‘They sure he did the ones he was charged for?’
‘Semen in the vagina, yeah, they’re sure.’
‘I imagine he thought he’d cleaned things up.’
‘Finger washing a tiny puss isn’t a power wash, the stuff swims up past wherever the tip of the penis was when he ejaculated. Obviously he had no clue.’
‘How old is the rapist?’
‘Sixty, and rich, which explains the lame sentence.’
‘You want the twins to get this one.’
‘Yep. They can drive, you got them ID, CC can make them look older and not like each other. They will resemble the photos on the licenses but not exactly.’
‘I recall, they looked driving age when she got them ready for the photo. I need a new one though, to lease a car they have to be twenty one, even when we get it through the airline in a corporate name.’
‘No, that won’t be necessary. A corporation will buy a decent car, it will be there when they land. Nobody will ask jack doodle.’
‘Good enough then, when do they leave?’
‘Tomorrow, or we risk being their next victim.’
She’s joking…I think.
‘I’m joking doofus, the twins would never turn on us, they understand where they are wanted and appreciated.’
‘Locate them, I want to talk.’
She taps a message, two minutes later the twins come down.
Nikita, ‘You want to see us?’
‘Yes, Zero says you can take care of the rapist. I agree. Take your ID, there will be a car but not a rental, I think Zero has told you already.’
Nikita, ‘Da, we will haf company car, Nissan Neurotic sedan, black. We will prepare, you will take us to airport tomorrow. Sisters will make man dead, drive it home.’
‘No, we’ll arrange to get it sold, take a plane home, just don’t use the same airport. Leave the car at the new airport. If you want a short vacation, fine, fly someplace you want to go and we’ll arrange different transportation.’
‘We do not want vacation, vacation ees being home wiz fahmahley, and now Zoe.’
Zero, ‘Natasha has been helping her with trading stocks, she likes it as much as Zoe, not that you can tell, giggling isn’t in her repertoire of expressions.’
I smile, the twins are gems, but happy face didn’t come as an accessory.
They blink simultaneously, they do nearly everything at the same instant. I’m privileged to live in a house with mystery girls. My attitude is simple, whatever they want, whenever they want it.
‘Don’t torture him, just put a nine in his brain and go. The more time you spend, the more that can go sideways.’
‘Da, da, we are professional, sisters do not anyway fool around on job.’
I nod, they go back up to whatever they were doing.
‘Will it be difficult to get close to the target?’
‘Probably, his home is surrounded by an eight foot high wall, iron bar gate, no other entrance.’
‘Should we develop a strategy, at least talk over possibilities with them?’
Zero, ‘You’re concerned, not doubting their ability, I get it. They go alone, they figure it out. Besides, on the ground is different from hypotheticals.’
Seventy Eight

Our twin diamonds fly off to disengage a rapist from sentience. We could change our methodology, cripple them to the point of near vegetable, thus creating an example to anyone otherwise disposed to rape babies. We don’t because the world doesn’t work that way. If the prospect of getting caught, a public trial, and prison fails to dissuade them, hearing about another rapist’s pain wouldn’t either. 
It’s like claiming capital punishment deters murder, look around, you see any decline in murder? It doesn’t stop us, or any other killer.
It never occurs to rapists that they might be next, partly because they’re obsessed, drowning in hormone overdose at the sight of a child and the ensuing fantasy. In the case of physical abusers, they’re just pure mean, evil, ugly.
We realize they are helpless against their urges, we don’t care, actions have consequences. Domino’s delivers pizza, we deliver consequences.
What about us? We murder people, do we face consequences? Maybe, first they have to catch us. Good luck. We arrive unannounced, we have no ties to the target or the victims, we don’t hang around afterward, we don’t leave prints or shell casings. Homicide detectives need to find a connection between the dead guy and killer, there are no connections. Even serial killers have patterns and generally focus on one type of victim, prostitutes, college girls, English majors. Our victims are child rapists, wife, girlfriend or child beaters. A detective isn’t going to lose any sleep looking for their killer. Then there are Shadows, a whole ‘nother can of crap.
CC and I are chatting over coffee, ‘It seems weird, the twins not around, Zoe asked where they went, I used the on business explanation, which is no explanation. She didn’t pursue it, only asked when they would return. I told her no more than a couple of days, maybe three. She seemed satisfied to leave it at that.’
‘Keep her busy, I’ll get her to help with meals, she likes that.’
‘Zero has her, they took the Vespa to the grocery, we have some alone time,’ she stands, strips off her t-shirt, ‘can you think of something to occupy an hour?’
I can think of several things, all involving me exploring her exquisite everything. I set about my task with gusto, CC is always sensually responsive, she likes being handled, knows what she wants and has no trouble saying what to do when. As previously noted, I’m good at following orders, CC and Zero like me to follow orders and richly reward me for doing so. My favorite reward is their soft moans, groans, quivers, shudders, the delicious feel of their orgasms. By the time we get around to mine, I practically explode.
CC giggles, ‘I wonder how much of you I’ve swallowed, directly or scraped off my face,’ she swipes her cheek and licks the creamy off her finger, ‘Zero and I are addicted to this stuff, she insists our complexions are perfect due to the secret skin lotion you supply.’
We laugh at our goofiness, she’s on her back, I’m on my side next to her, my hands stroke the amazing soft skin over hard muscle.
‘Keep that up, before long you’ll be ready to take me again.’
‘Before long is now, you enhance my recuperative powers, you’re better than Viagra.’
‘You used Viagra before?’
‘I wanted to try it, I can say it works, even after orgasm the thing will stand at attention as long as it’s played with. I’ve never had performance issues, but for guys who do, they’d be stupid not to use it.’
‘I’m feeling a stiff snake against my thigh,’ she spreads her legs, ‘scoot over and put it to its intended use.’
There are worse things than insatiable.
All good things must cum in the end, we have to get showered anyway, Zero and Zoe will be back any minute. I assume that Zero has been in my head and won’t bring Zoe home until we’re done cavorting.
After we’re shiny, she and I change the sheets our playground, garage door opens, the nearly silent Vespa rolls in.
Zoe bursts in with two bags of groceries, Zero with two more.
Zoe, ‘We got lasagna ingredients, Show me how to make it Commandant.’
‘What meat?’
‘Ground veal.’
‘Excellent, let’s surf for a recipe,’ I’ve made it before and could do without a recipe, but better to let her fish around, get familiar with following a recipe, plus the reading involved, new words, descriptions.
She climbs up on a stool, pulls over a tablet, taps in veal lasagna, up pops recipes. The internet offers so much variety, in the pre-net days, you bought cookbooks and got one or two lasagna recipes, now there are dozens. Still, lasagna is pretty simple, layers of pasta, sauce, meat until it’s all used up. We don’t make the pasta, too much trouble, we buy supermarket lasagna and boil it. I chop up the onions, carrots and celery, part of the ragú, then show Zoe how to make béchamel sauce, butter flour, milk and nutmeg. Brown the ragú, add the veal and brown it, pureed tomatoes and white wine, simmer. It take three or four hours for the ragú to cook down and lose most of the water, can’t have watery sauce. I want it to coat, not drip.
Zoe hangs at the island, checks the process every so often, we want the flavors well mingled, and the water gone, but not to burn the sauce.
When it’s ready, thin layer of béchamel, ragú on that, grated parmesan on that, layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat five more times, bake.
We have wine, I have a vodka cran, the lasagna is ready but needs to cool so it isn’t runny when she cuts the chunks.
Zoe butters slices of ciabatta, toasts them on the oven a bit, then serve.
CC, ‘Dang Zoe, this is restaurant quality, I’m no expert but I doubt a better lasagna can be found anywhere on the planet.’
Zoe smiles, her default look, ‘It was fun, I got through two Sherlock Holmes stories and part of an Agatha Christie, one of the Poirot mysteries.’
‘The Pasta Murders?’
Zoe giggles, ‘There’s no pasta murders, hey! I can write one. Zero, help me write a murder mystery.’
‘You start in, when you have a few pages I’ll read them and we can talk about it.’
Zoe, ‘I thought you would tell em what to write, then let me take credit for it.’
‘That’s mental plagiarism.’
‘What’s plagiarism?’
‘Copying someone else’s work but not attributing it to the author, currently popular with students cut and pasting from Wiki.’
‘That’s stealing.’
‘And if you take Zero’s ideas and present them as your own?’
‘Oh…I get it,’ she giggles.
Zero, ‘You also can’t borrow ideas from the books you read, not directly. Your reading can’t help but influence your writing, even if only subconsciously. In that sense, all authors are partial plagiarists, but not intentional plagiarists.’
‘Sounds complicated.’
‘Write what pops into your head, it doesn’t need to make sense at first, could be random thoughts for instance. Or an idea for some person in danger, or who gets injured or killed, or who rescues or helps someone. Some authors like detailed outlines, it keeps them on track. On the other hand, rigid adherence to an outline limits possibilities. Now I’m over-thinking it, I don’t mean to confuse you. Do you want to write on the computer? Or do you want to use pen and paper?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Writing on a computer with Word or Open Office is, to my mind, simpler and more efficient. You can delete things without erasing or drawing a line through, the program will spell check for instance. If you like a sentence or paragraph, but want to move it to a different part of the book, you can cut and paste. With paper you have to rewrite the whole bit in the spot you want it and scratch out the original. With the computer you can use the find function to locate places and names, or specific words, on paper you have to wade through everything you’ve written.’
‘Computer is it then.’
‘In the morning, I’ll help you set up a Word document, there are steps to take to add page numbers, you should save your work regularly, if the power goes off, you could lose part of the work. Word also auto saves every then minutes. I’ll get you a thumb drive, when you’re done for the day, send a copy to the thumb. If the computer dies, your work won’t die with it.’
Zoe yawns, sprite has been busy all day.
‘Let’s get you ready for bed, you can read until you fall asleep.’
‘Are Natasha and Nikita coming home soon?’
‘Don’t know, they aren’t much for phone calls or texts, they only left this morning, well likely hear from them tomorrow.’
Zoe comes to CC and me for twin cheek kisses, Zero follows her up the stairs.
CC, ‘She’s doing remarkably well. Zero has her stacked up with projects, she moves along from one to the other without complaint. In fact, I’ve never heard her complain about anything.’
‘Neither me, but our mixed breed family doesn’t complain either. Zoe takes her cues primarily from Zero and Natasha, to some extent from the rest of us. We don’t do family drama, nobody is mad at or jealous of anyone else.’
‘That would be dumb, we have everything we could possibly want, thanks to you.’
‘I have everything I want, thanks to five perfections.’

Seventy Nine

The twins did the surveillance thing, discovered the probation requirement that he stay at home is largely ignored. He has an ankle monitor to track his location, a joke, the twins spotted the monitor fixed to a dog that roams the property and the house. A vicious brute of a Rottweiler as Nikita discovered when she passed the front gate, the dog snapped and growled until she was out of sight.
Natasha, ‘If we kill him at home, we will have to shoot the dog.’
Nikita, ‘Dog ees vicious, eef he ees escape, he will attack someone, maybe even a child. I can shoot him now except we do not want to create disturbance, put target on guard.’
‘The target thinks he is smart, but is stupid. If the probation person comes around and target is gone, he gets arrested again, back to prison. He has a big house, pool, satellite dish, what can he do out than he can’t do in?’
‘Rape child.’
‘Ah, of course.’
‘We can follow when he leafs, maybe get to him before he gets to child.’
‘If that is what he is doing he must have an accomplice, someone who finds the child, holds it until the target comes.’
‘Da, then we get to keel two peersons, bonus for us.’
They can’t get to the car to attach a tracker, have to wait as long as it takes for him to leave.
‘Drive around the block, the street is quiet but we can’t leave the car sitting in this neighborhood, rich people worry about thieves, maybe even have private security patrol.’
‘Maybe, but I do not think so, one would have come past by now. They might still call regular cop to eenvestigate car.’
‘Let me out here, I see a spot to stand out of sight of street and neighbors. You find a place to park that won’t make anyone curious.’
Nikita drives off, gets to a busier street, one with stores, business offices, a parked car attracts no attention.
The twins are telepaths, they don’t need to send texts back and forth, they don’t need to be face to face, or even in the same city. Communication is mind to mind.
Evening has arrived, Nikita drives to a fastie to find a toilet. 
She buys a coffee, back in the car she connects with Natasha, ‘Eef you haf to pee, I am next to fast food place, I can swap wiz you.’
‘Da, come now.’
Nikita swaps with her sister, Natasha takes the car and goes to the same spot. She slips on a watch cap, tucks her hair down the back of her shirt. Not great, but it would keep anyone who saw Nikita from wondering why the same girl is using the toilet and buying coffee twenty minutes after the first time. 
An hour passes, then Nikita taps in to her sister, ‘Gate ees open, come get me.’
When Natasha gets there, Nikita hops in, ‘Silver BMW, top of line. I haf license plate, but hurry, he went in same direction we did.’
Natasha accelerates, keeps it just over the speed limit, they don’t need to get stopped for a citation.
Nikita, ‘That ees car, just past red light up ahead.’
The light takes a minute, the BMW took a left, Natasha waits until it’s green, cross the street and left on the next street. It leads to an on ramp for the expressway.
Natasha follows at a reasonable distance, nothing happens for five miles, then the BMW blinkers and takes an exit. He goes right on the two lane for a few miles then left onto a winding road up the mountain.
Nikita, ‘One house only, see?’
‘Da, small cabin.’
‘Road ends, stop here, I will walk up and take a look.’
‘Take your gun, you may get a chance.’
Nikita pulls the slide on the Glock and chambers a round, steps out and heads up.
It’s dark, no streetlights up here, but the place has power, she can see lights in the house and one over the door.
She moves to the left, where light comes from the interior, the right is dark, maybe a bedroom. The evening is cool, almost chilly, Nikita glad for her cap and the suit jacket she wears to hide the gun. She moves to the first window, half open to let in the crisp evening air.
Voice, a woman, ‘Got your dog working the monitor?’
Target, ‘Yeah, he’s well trained, patrol, not too fast, stop and sit, move again a few minutes later, then in the house, back out to sit on the patio.’
‘He do the same walk every time?’
‘Pretty much, I don’t leave the property except to come here. I do shut the dog door sometimes, he has to stay in which varies the routine a bit. It’s worked well, they don’t have a clue. You have fresh video?’
‘Why I called, this one isn’t for your average perv, you up for a bit of torture?’
‘Sure, play it.’
Nikita taps into her sister, ‘You hear?’
‘Da, I’m coming up now.’
Target, ‘Jesus, she’s gorgeous, how old, four, five?’
‘Five I think, they don’t include bios with these things.’
Natasha appears, the twins crouch under the window, Nikita lifts her head enough to get a sense of the room. The sides of two heads, the screen of the computer is visible on a coffee table, a bit out of focus because she can’t see it straight on. Natasha rises next to her, they see a child pinned to a wall with wrist and ankle cuffs, she makes an X on the wall, arms and legs spread, she’s nude.
Exactly what happens next isn’t easy to see, but it’s easy to hear, a scream.
The twins silently speak mind to mind.
Natasha, ‘She was burned with a cigarette, see, hand with lit cigarette.’
‘Da, we do not anyway need to see more.’
‘We will go to the porch, I will make a noise, she picks up a rock about the size of a softball. You stand to the side of the door, one of them will come out.’

Nikita nods, they scoot around to the front, climb the porch steps. The door opens like they all do, in and to their left, Nikita positions herself on the right, Natasha behind her. She drops the rock, thunk!
They can’t hear clearly, muffled conversation, nobody comes to the door. The light goes out inside.
Natasha, ‘Maybe they think it is a bird, or a dead branch falling.’
Nikita, ‘Move to that side, I will take the other. I think I know what they are doing.’
Natasha doesn’t have to ask, she knows what her sister is thinking, one or both of them is going out the back door. 
‘They will sneak down the side, maybe with gun, be careful.’
They split up, Nikita right, Natasha left, turn the corner and wait.
Nikita sees nothing moving, she does hear the soft pop of a suppressed Glock. She moves to the rear, Natasha in her head.
‘Woman is dead. Target is not supposed to be here, may be hiding.’
They are at the back door, it’s open with the screen door closed, the house remains dark.
Natasha, ‘He cannot hide in there forever, he cannot call cop or anyone else.’
‘Then he will make a run for car, we should go back before it occurs to him.’

They return the way they came, Natasha passes the woman sprawled on her back with a hole in her forehead, eyes open as if she’s watching stars.
Now parked on the front sides, listening for the door.
His voice, ‘Fuck it all, I’m outta here.’
He gets as far as the front steps, Nikita puts a nine in the side of his head. It tips him to the right, then a missed step, hard to do steps when you’re dead, falls to the dirt on his side.
Nikita, ‘Do we take computer?’
‘Nyet, police will find two dead bodies and a child torture video, or, wait, we will go in and check, one of them may have deleted it.’
The laptop is still on, playing a screensaver of porn photos, facials are prevalent, twinks sucking each other a close second. 
‘Ees any way to tell where video came from?’
‘Maybe, but we have to leave the machine, look around for an external drive.’
Nikita finds a half dozen common thumb drives in a desk, Natasha boots one at a time. Two drives have old records, recipes, no porn, she erases those, the rest of the drives are empty. She fiddles with the controls, finds the stored video collection. She downloads video to the thumb, then a second and third thumb.
‘Time to go.’
They strip off latex gloves in the car, will lose them on the way.
‘We caught a break, target going to the cabin I mean. I am sure he takes other drives just to get out of the house. We would have killed him then, but missed getting to the woman.’
Nikita, ‘For all we know he haf other child perv peerson een town.’
‘It is getting on to ten, I am not sleepy, we will drive someplace, look up something with an airport, book plane.’
‘How ees Commandant going to sell car?’
‘I did not ask, Zero said we leave it at the airport. We need to wipe it down, inside, door handles.’
‘Drive it through car wash, or one of those do it yourself spraying places.’
‘I think we drive home, keep car, it is almost new and runs well, we can use it.’

Eighty

A night at the Dreary Inn, which isn’t accurate, it’s not exactly lively, but it’s quite nice, big king, sitting room, standard microwave and small refrigerator.
They get in late, midnight, no frolics, just sleep.
Up at seven, morning necessities, shower, dress and out. 
On the way Nikita calls, ‘We will keep car, driving home now.’
‘Okay, you’re about a thousand miles, break it up, drive until you’re tired, then get a hotel room, we’ll see you tomorrow.’
Zoe doesn’t ask, if she had, they went to look at investment property, didn’t like what they saw and came home. Whether she has a child’s radar that tells her not to be nosy, or weather CC’s ‘on business’ non-explanation sufficed we don’t know.
Kill the day, evening call from Nikita saying they estimate noon tomorrow. They made all but two hundred miles of the trip, checked in someplace and slept. They pull in this morning at eleven thirty.
Nikita will give Zero a rundown, and that she and Natasha can see if anything on the videos offer clues to where they originated. For that, they need Zoe occupied.
Zero corners CC for a quiet word, ‘Take Zoe to the grocery, or a bookstore or shopping. Natasha and I need to review video, ugly video.’
‘My pleasure.’
Nikita decides to ride along with them, they go off to whatever, maybe all three.
I take a look at a couple of videos, it’s common kiddie porn, little girls kissing cocks or getting their pussies licked, a woman licks what appears to be a five or six year old girl, another girl with a boy’s penis in her mouth. I go downstairs, enough with just that bit, I can be more useful making lunch.
I’m cranking out chicken salad when Zero and Natasha come down.
Zero, ‘Most were nothing different from any other child rape. Natasha said they watched the beginning of a torture video, she downloaded it along with the others. Skipping detail, the girl was killed, it wasn’t…I don’t know what the fuck it wasn’t. Wasn’t pretty is too tame, disgustingly ugly is too tame.’
‘Any luck on location?’
‘Eastern European, Slavic, one from Japan. Nothing we can get to, nothing that stood out enough to even make a guess. These people know how to keep identifiers out of the video.’
‘Destroy them, we can’t have that crap laying around.’
Natasha, ‘Already crushed and flushed. We left the video file up at their place, police will have them soon, Zero made an anonymous call or it may have been days before anyone found the two.’
‘Good, then they aren’t going to look hard for the killer.’
‘I shot one, Nikita the other, think they will figure out two, not one, from the ballistics?’
‘Not happening. You used hollow points, right?’
‘Da, and we collected casings.’
‘They get fragments, a jigsaw puzzle with no solution, even missing pieces, be lucky to even get the caliber. Like I said, cops aren’t going to spend an extra minute on the case and the public won’t care once they announce who was killed. If you confess, they’ll turn you into a heroine.’
‘Sisters don’t care about heroine, we care about killing assholes.’
I smile, ‘I’d say you got that part down.’
CC returns with the Precious Angel and the Angel of Vengeance.
‘She bought books, we went to the market for basics, decided to skip any other shopping.’
‘I have chicken salad, you want it on toast, finger sandwiches, or just chicken salad?’
‘Whatever the others want, you know me, I don’t want to be special.’
I laugh, ‘Try that on Nikita.’
‘Um…no, I prefer fabricated humility, not insults from a Communist insurgent.’
‘One girl’s insult is another girl’s truth.’
‘You have a point, which I shall ignore, give me the finger, I mean fingers.’
‘I know what you mean. If you want me to make them, you have to lose the jeans, your legs inspire me.’
‘And the universe, God wants to be me.’
‘Which God, there are so many.’
‘All of them, including consciousness, or awareness. I create awareness; let me demonstrate,’ she slips off the jeans, now in only a shirt, unbuttons it, sits on a stool, the shirt hangs down both sides, nothing but CC’s marvelous in between.
I do my part, eyes wander slowly from toe to top, with a pause in the middle.
CC grins, ‘I love being lusted over, or is it after?’
I hear the pat of little feet, ‘Zoe’s coming down.’
CC buttons up, crosses one luscious over the other.
Zoe, ‘Pick Zoe up, Miss Perfect.’
CC reaches, pulls up the sprite, back to her, legs straddle CC’s. 
Zoe’s in a leotard, leans against CC, ‘Your legs are so smooth,’ cocks her head, ‘you may kiss her now.’
CC covers one cheek, Zoe offers the other, covers that one as well, giggling the whole time.
Zoe, ‘You want Zoe to get off?’
CC, ‘Life is better with you in my lap.’
Zoe grins, she always grins, ‘CC adores Zoe.’
‘Only because you are adorable. One day you shall even be as adorable as I, it is impossible to be more adorable, perfection is, by definition, perfect, as I am in every way.’
Zero, ‘Don’t write that down, it is part of the Secret Teachings.’
Zoe, ‘Zoe’s family is weird, much better than normal.’
‘What do you know of normal, you’re six and a twitch.’
‘Normal is people with jobs, get married, get divorced, kids that go to school and join clubs, or sneak off to do drugs and have sex, like that.’
‘Sounds like slavery.’
‘It is, Zoe read it in a book by a psychiatrist, a mind doctor.’
Nikita, ‘What did mind doctor say?’
‘The person who defines himself according to the likes and expectations of others and, by extension, of the society in which he happens to be born, also condemns himself to by far the most dishonorable kind of slavery; the slavery of the mind, Neel Burton, Hide& Seek, the psychology of self-deception.’
‘You quote from memory?’
‘Zoe remembers what she wants to remember, forgets the rest.’
(Perhaps I should remind you, Zoe is experimenting with referring to herself in the third person.).
Zero, ‘Zoe made ten thousand yesterday, on only two stocks.’
‘She out?’
‘Never holds positions, always out by market close, or when she’s had enough numbers.’
‘Zoe, what happens exactly, when you trade stocks?’
Zoe, ‘She watches the prices, the number of shares traded, if one of them is green, she buys, if one is red, she sells, Zero says it is selling short. The others don’t matter.’
Color coded stocks? Not only a new technique, a unique technique.
‘Never knew anyone who could do that, see colored stock symbols.’
‘If anyone could do it, it wouldn’t work anymore.’
‘An excellent insight.’
This is true of any stock picking system, which is why they always fail in the end. The voodoo of stock charting is an example. Millions of people follow various systems, moving averages, exponential moving averages, stochastics, each of which has subsets based on time, one day to one year or longer. Once thousands of trades are placed as so-called signals are perceived, like prices nearing or crossing a made up line, the trades kick in. What they fail to realize is that for every buyer there’s a seller, and vice versa. There has to be or there wouldn’t be a functional market. While there may be a slight bump up or down, in the end the buys and sells cancel out. Occasionally there are shocks to the system, some nasty economic event, like derivatives failing to perform as predicted. Then buyers move to the sidelines. No buyers, market collapse, sellers dump at any price, which makes buyers disappear, the fear frenzy leaves a lot of people with nothing but ashes.
A different problem exists with analyst recommendations. They are frequently dead wrong, their guesses, and that’s what they are, guesses, gambles, are regularly off by twenty five percent. Even if the guess is in the right direction, say higher earnings or revenue than predicted, a twenty five percent error is still an error.
In sum, nobody can predict the market, the performance of any individual stock or any mutual fund. They prove that it can’t be done every day, but the public still follows analyst opinions. Stupid really.
So why do so many institutions use money managers? Investment committees need a scapegoat. If they do the actual investing themselves and it goes bad, they eat the blame. Better for them to simply fire the money manager and hire another, who will be equally inept.

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