FEBRUARY PERSONAL ACCOUNTS


February 15th (MON) Game Session 014: (Rogue Traders-Intro)
After the meeting (16.00) tykes comes up to Cell 10 with a much-dreaded new mission. Unlike previous missions this one looks actually a long-term work with little or no associated risks (which makes Derek bury his head to his head and with the superb theatrics skills of Alice prevent her from laughing at the face of her boss). Their new employer will be a very conservative blue-chip financial company, Goldstein-Sachs Incorporated. Goldstein-Sachs wants BE to arrange an around a clock surveillance on a small Miami based financial corporation, MG Capital Incorporated. To me more exact, their mission is to follow MG Capital's founder and CEO, Marcus Goldstein, who incidentally also happens to be grandson of CEO (and founder) of Goldstein-Sachs Inc. Work should come originally from the Marcus' worried grandmother who has made his husband to look a bit after their grandson if he is a starving artist or actually doing it well.

 Cell 10 goes to work immediately with the files. Pretty soon it looks that MG Capital is doing just fine, at least by the numbers. Goldstein-Sachs has dug up information like deals done that show MG Capital being smallish but rapidly growing financial corporation that had targeted Spanish language money that likes to come to Miami. Alice also notices that Marcus has never worked for his grandfather and she ponders if they have had some kind of break-up earlier. However, Marcus' work record in other -equally respectable- financial institutions is admirable. Boy surprised everyone in the Wall Street by packing up his bags, hiring several other young wizzkids and moving to Miami and starting up a new company. He speaks Spanish well, that Derek ponders come from Spanish language 'lectures' in Caribbean during university Spring Break, and business has flowed in well in virgin territory. However, between the lines Alice reads that grandfather is worried that boys rise has coincident with latest surge in drug trade on Miami area and is worried on basis of boy's success.

 Thus Cell 10's mission is to baby-sit the Marcus and the initial contracts calls for 4 weeks of surveillance. Tykes explains that client (or to be more honest his super-expensive army of lawyers) have underlined the need for surveillance of with who Marcus "Golden Boy" Goldstein makes business and to report to them as accurately and promptly as possible. Lawyers have also given a number where they can be contacted in case of problems. Furthermore, they have also given a number for Mr. Smith, a human resources consultant in New York, who will carry on from thereon if something exceedingly alarming happen. They should also consult with Mr. Smith in case of Cell 10 actually finding out that there are somewhat shady characters involved with less than impeccable record. Alice gasps, as Tykes will next present a multiple hundred-page contract that has been written explaining every single detail of the mission. The bottom line is -however- to see that Marcus will not get into public scrutiny or other similar problems. Furthermore, details of his business associates should be dug up and reported to grandfather's representatives.

In the end (17.00) both Alice and Derek receive a thick file of paper that should be studied thoroughly before signing NDA with the client tomorrow. Derek leaves early (17.30) to read it in home, i.e. leaving job, but Alice has no choice but to stay a bit later in the work and study the mission a bit. She is beginning to think that management isn't as fun in BE as it has been cracked out to be (for about every 15 minutes during that evening). On the other hand, it has allowed her to start a hew hobby, shopping, and her expanded wardrobe is a sure sign of pay rise (and being a closet shopaholics). After a date with a file filled with paper and twice emptied coffee machine she finally gets through the file (21.00) and gets home in a taxi pondering herself how easy things are for Derek who gets of the hook so easily, perhaps too easily...

 Derek intends to pick up the car he bought last night (honest) but something little comes on a way to there. He leaves his car home and walks towards car sales when he gets a bit hungry. Thus he stops to see his friends in El Gatto Blanko (19.00) and eats there and takes a beer or two. Then he switches to Tequila and takes a shot or two while talking on just how good car he got himself. Needless to say, he takes a shot or two before the road and stops for a moment to chat with his friend Miguel who invites him to take a round on pool. Not that he is just drinking, he calls his friend Tito to come to bar with him and friends and bring him a CHILTON car guide (so Derek stays in bar to take another shot and few more for the road while waiting for it). As he gets the guide (01.00) and rises to walk back to car sales he starts to speak in foreign languages (vomit and throwing up being most common) and Tony Valandez calls him (and totally ratfaced Tito) their friends (read relatives) to see them home (02.00). 

February 16th (TUE)
Tuesday morning starts again with Derek picking up Alice at 07.00 from her work. They arrive to work in good time (7.45) to see a small army of lawyers already waiting for meeting to be held in 8.30. The meeting goes on along the lines pretty much routine in BE. Armand Bounassist leads the discussion on BE's side while a number of equally python-like reptiles with conservative yet stylish suits and Rolexes and New York accents parry and riposte. Meanwhile Alice and Derek look boring discussion hoping that they would all agree on this or that particular detail and they would just get to sign. Tykes keeps his face completely normal and (at least on Alice's mind) seems to follow observantly every single word being said. Her beliefs are further reinforced as Tykes occasionally whispers to Armand a question or two on something. However, finally everything seems to click in place and they sign NDA's (12.30). 

 Lunchtime is arriving (12.45). Tykes and Armand Bounassist take Goldstein-Sachs lawyers to a business lunch leaving workers behind to fend off on their own. Alice notices that deCortez has still not yet invited her for a lunch and a great justified hatred keeps on growing inside her. It is something, primeval, fearsome force of nature that every man has learned to fear. Thus she has no choice but to satisfy her culinary needs by going down to cafeteria-restaurant (well, dog food factory roller conveyer really) in the plaza of Johnson Tower. During the entire leather goods tasting nutritional supplement (food would be an obvious overstatement) Alice pays little attention to Derek plotting on returning back to lunch invitation discussion with deCortez on tomorrow. After all, one cannot break one's promise, can one? Derek just thinks that it is that time of the month again.

 After the lunch (fodder that is) (13.30) afternoon goes on BE business. Alice concentrates her efforts on reading through several insurance claims dutifully reading through them. Meanwhile Derek listens to bugs installed to Burton's house. Much to his regret there does not seem to be much action happening on the phone lines. Lady of the house is mostly chatting with her friends and confessing about Wednesday's night out that she expects to be very exciting. The exact details of her expectations remain on a level of giggling that greatly disappoints excitedly waiting Derek. After an hour of so of real work Derek starts to work on a surveillance material and a music mixer program of his computer. They had worked out party mixes like that back in the SIS when they followed suspected (well, anyone really) households in 24/7 schedules and in boring days obvious low shots and steamy phone conversations helped to boost the morale. Thus he gets to work to build his own party mix. Theme of his reworked tape will be animal sex with cut'n'pasted voice sync where both members of household confess their problems due lack of proper potty training. After some dreaming of playing this tape to a dream castle to Mrs. Estella Burton he gives it up as somewhat counterproductive to their mission further ahead. Goddamn work ethics!

February 16th (TUE) Game Session 015: (Rogue Traders-Intro)
Everything ends in a good (bad?) time (16.00) and so does the workday back in Johnson Tower. Derek drives Alice back home but traffic is jammed (as usual) too. Traffic moves onwards slowly so Derek closes his eyes to sleep moving meter or two whenever someone politely reminds him to do that. In practice this happens whenever the foul language level of driver sitting in jam behind him increases over the level of shouting of Duty Officer after a failed stakeout. Meanwhile Alice concentrates on working with her laptop planning a bit ahead of what they should do with the Marcus Goldstein mission.

 Derek's sleepy existence is finally disturbed as he receives a phone call (16.30) from the car dealer he bought his, yes! That is HIS, super car. The dealer is quite curious of when he'd drag his rust heap home since he promised to do it in Monday. Derek, who has no memory of promising anything, admits being too busy with his work but coming to get it today. Privately pondering further on the idea he imagines that he might have said some, well, a lot of, shit and probably should get the car ASAP to a decent workshop for work. Thus he agrees to pick up the Corvette tonight. 

 Alice receives a phone call too in the ride home (16.45). It is her what-used-to-be-her-very-best-friend Jane. She is in a conciliatory mood, which happen to be due natural law that men are boring after a week of being with one. Thus she really wants how to talk with what-is-her-very-best-friend Alice. Alice senses that Jane is in a conciliatory mood and lets her talk. Jane has had good plans for next weekend. Her idea is that they would go fishing this weekend... WHAT THE FUCK?! This totally surprises Alice who usually thinks of other kinds of weekend entertainment. However, after an hour of talking this and that including fishing, fashion in general and accessories in particular, weather, boys and so on Alice gets a wind of the situation that they intend to rent a boat and go to Bahamas for swimming, eating and other activities. Since there is no work, at least none yet, for that weekend from BE (cursed be that demon Tykes), she is basically free. Furthermore, Alice would like to talk thing out with Jane and agree on everything with Jane and her friends. Besides, she doesn't have that much free time this year anyway.

 After getting through the traffic jam (18.00) Alice concentrates on enjoying her time with Dali who is more than happy of all the attention his mistress is giving to him. She takes a dog for a job in a park and plays with it for quite some time before returning home (19.30). Then it is time to get out for a nearby bar (20.00) to drink that compulsory one drink and read the papers before returning back home (21.00). Dali is in a serious playing mood but (thankfully?) calms down (around 22.00). Alice follows soon after.

 Meanwhile Derek is busy as well. This time he drives to El Gatto Blanko and eats first (and cuts down drinking to few beers and sticks to smoking non-stop) with his friends. After a good meal and some (many) beers (20.00) they all decide drive to car sales where Derek got his Corvette. Thus Rey, Tito, Arturo and Miguel jam themselves into Derek's car. Whole sight makes waitresses Rita and Maria take a picture of it for memory (which at least Tito has in a bit fuzzy kind of). Drive across Tuesday evening through slum (it is not yet ghetto) to car sales (20.30) goes uneventfully (although switching gears is a pain for Derek). They get service by honking horn and shouting until salesman arrives from bathroom to open the gate for them. Salesman looks super-fucking-pissed-off at Derek but he wasn't here to marry that bastard but to get his car. Besides the salesman is just as happy to get rid off the car in his lawn. To make a short story short salesman gives keys to Derek (21.00) who jumps behind the wheel (alongside Tito who'll show him directions to garage) as his friends stick with his own Audi TT Roadster. Arturo gets to drive Audi as he is biggest (and no one wants to mess with a bear sized guy who has sat for manslaughter, ten years ago, but still). Thus the convoy leaves place in a good order (?).

On their way to garage that Tito uses to get his own wheels fixed, they are stopped by Miami's Finest (21.30). After all, they just saw a group of obviously poor guys driving with a foreign (read expensive) car. Derek quickly learns why Bobbies are called Robo-Cops here in America. Rifle waving and body armor wearing cops seem right out of Northern Ireland (plus they eat Uncle Arnold's Steroids here too) with ridiculous haircuts. Derek (and all others) keeps his mouth shut and hands and legs spread as he kisses asphalt and stormtroopers come to deal with the problem. However, much to group's delight he manages to deal with the problem as he is only one wearing a suit (and thus a taxpayer compared to spick-scum). Derek manages to talk things out but his nice suit and impeccable paper work do most of the talking. He even convinces the beat that these guys do not hold him or his family a hostage and force him to talk on their behalf. Satisfied that things are working out, police returns to their Jeep Cherokee (Death Squad Special down in Columbia) and return to their patrol of protecting people with their selfless and dedicated work. Needless to say Derek just bought himself a miracle-maker status. Miquel Ortega is especially thankful since he had a clasp knife (just a small one) in his boot and he would have gotten serious shit from the heat if he had been gotten caught.

 Garage (22.00) seems semi-legal affair at best but Tito convinces Derek that it is almost legal now. It is too small to interest anyone and does just some receipt-free trading under the counter but then again, which legal garage doesn't? Derek has to admit that whole set-up look fairly well. Garage manager-owner is a decent fellow and Derek gets some high marks recommendations from Tito and especially Miguel who convince Pepe Anacleto that he should take Derek in. A hand shake and some haggling (but just honest haggling) later Derek gets a spot on garage, can look through the junk yard for spares and promises not to do any drug deals or have gun or drug stash here to avoid heat. Derek has his own suspicions that this chop-chop. eh an honest garage plays roughly on these rules and since Tito has been holding his wheels here for last five or so years, the deal looks good (22.30). After that Derek parks his Vette and switches to his Audi driving his friends back to El Gatto Blanko (except driving Tito home) and heading for his own home (23.00).

February 17th (WED)
Morning starts like always with Derek picking up Alice (07.00) and driving to Johnson Tower (08.00). Insurance claims pile is quite high but some determined work by Cell 10 leads into considerable reduction of that monument. There is, as always, a limit and Alice, who isn't in a particularly dutiful mood thinks that this is a perfect opportunity for inventing other activities. She decides to have a little shooting since there has been a while for a last time. Besides, she is secretly in love with her SigSauer! Thus she decides go down to cellar of Johnson Tower where BE has built a pistol shooting gallery. It is usually fairly deserted as most BE employees interested in serious shooting usually go to BE Ranch where selection of ranges is more varied. However, the range is still in the cellar and thus Alice decides to use to her advantage. 

 Derek ponders the idea for a while and then -much to joy for Alice- agrees to her idea and they both get down to basement (9.30). After signing a fair deal of paperwork they get down to actual shooting. Derek stops after the compulsory-shooting test and excuses himself to return back to work. Alice looks at him as if he was somehow ... odd. However, she soon forgets him and shoots for next few hours few series and chats with Valerie who is staying there to supervise shooting. Valerie discusses on work in general and shooting in particular. According to him there are several groups who get training from BE in the Ranch, like CRASH and almost all of the local police tactical units. As far as Valerie is concerned, a lot of those guys positively love their guns, a opinion that Alice, who has seen FBI's own tactical unit people readily agrees.

 Alice notices that it is a lunch hour (12.30) as she gets back to office with a slight waffle of gun powder and gun oil still hovering around her. She goes directly to deCortez's office (cubicle to be more exact) to confront him with her gun with her. DeCortez is, to be honest, very surprised at Alice and is completely at loss of words when she innocently sounding asks if yesterday was a good time for lunch. DeCortez's normally wide smile turns sour and his eyes mote to look at the desk calendar and notices (together with triumphant Alice) that it is still on last week. After turning page he (they) notices the lunch invitation for Tuesday. DeCortez looks very surprised and Alice just says a light-hearted (and by no means ironic or insulting) goodbye and turns on her high heels and walks from the room... 

 Rest of the lunch time Alice spends on a long and throughout cleaning, inspection and finally oiling his SigSauer while listening with one ear Spanish language cursing coming from deCortez's cubicle He curses his back luck and promises alternatively to make it all up to his sweet beloved angel (which flatters Alice considerably) and alternatively promising to make that bitchy slut crawl on his feet (which makes Alice decide to let him swim in his own misery a bit longer. Like the rest of his miserable life). Alice cannot but feel that she has done the good deed for today. She also thinks that she has had A Really Good Day(tm) and that deCortez is having A Really Bad Day(tm). DeCortez only closes his mouth when Tykes walks to his cubicle and talks with him a few words. She turns imaginary pistol towards deCortez's cubicle and shoots at it. Bullseye! Meanwhile Derek wisely makes sure he looks at insurance claims in his desk VERY intensively...

 After today's little (hardly noticed nor discussed around coffee machine in office later today, well, for the rest of the month) episode Cell 10 turns their attention to more productive pursuits (13.00), i.e. their work. They decide that it is useless to go out to baby-sit Mr. Goldstein yet but very useful to carry out some background checking on him and his associates. They go through his cars (and other vehicles like a power boat on harbor), apartments (in a expensive gated community in Coral Gables), hobbies (golf), things he does in evenings (discos and night clubs) and personal matters (he is rumored to have a steady relation to a young daughter of a wealthy surgeon living in Coral Gables too). These are all things that could be quite useful for them in their mission. They also collect a similar -if thinner- file on other members of MG Capital. Databases of major and local newspapers are scouted along with company's web sites to collect files of company contact information, press releases and financial statements. All and all, the afternoon (and a lot of evening) will go doing all this boring but useful background checking.

 Derek concentrates to order some surveillance equipment from Atlanta that could be useful for long-term work through Valerie (and L&P). Having done this kind of work for quite some time in his previous work, he writes his request directly to requisition form to save time. Then he goes to L&P for consultation (15.45). Valerie looks through the form and ponders that most of the list would be available already in Friday except for the night vision filters for common digital camera and digital video camera that are ordered from Atlanta.

Then Cell 10 comes up with a plan of using Paladin Systems as a cover company for their work. It seems perfect cover as it is up and coming computer consulting company that differs (on paper at least) very little from other up and coming internet companies looking for bigger and better office space. After all, New Economy is here to stay. Furthermore, private individuals do not rent rooms or offices for themselves in city center. As a matter of fact it is time for this company to start looking for a new office space in city center, hopefully as close to MG Capital as possible. Paladin Systems feels to be a perfect cover for such a company. They also decide to get themselves Green Cards necessary for surveillance work in golf courses that seem popular among MG Capitals employees. Alice decides to take care of it tomorrow as both she and Derek are already yawning due late hour (20.30) and they decide to call it quits for the day.

 Derek drives Alice home (20.30) who then relaxes at home. Melissa has thankfully taken Dali out so dog is merely happy to see his mistress. Alice takes a shower, eats a bit and relaxes reading classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde until sleep arrives in good time (22.00).

 Derek gets home too (20.45) and relaxes watching television (nothing much comes out of it) and plans on doing some domestic work (like taking out the garbage and buying food to his refrigerator) but he cannot help himself as the Call of CHILTON is too strong to his simplistic mortal mind. He just sits on his sofa without minding telly at all and eats up the book of forbidden knowledge of Corvette page after page. Time flies and he wakes up from the spell at 03.00. Derek murmurs something and closes television and gets to bed with CHILTON book within arms reach.

February 18th (THU) Game Session 016: (Rogue Traders-Intro)
Morning starts again with Derek picking up Alice (07.00) and they driving through (this morning quite light) traffic to BE office (07.45). With most of the data already collected the Cell has to concentrate on practical work of getting things done.

 Alice starts her day by tracing where Mr. Goldstein usually goes to golf. He frequents rather exclusive golf course in Coral Gables (What a surprise -Not!, she thinks). Getting to play there would be simple if she'd had a Green Card but she hasn't (at least yet). Thus at first she tries at first to get a beginners course there but response (after learning where she lives and her company is) is the kind of cold politeness that signals her that her course application will float around for ever (8.45). They do not actually hand up the phone but she can imagine that her application is stored to garbage can. She remains unfazed by this turn of events and decides to ask similar thing from other golf courses where more common people go. Biscayne Park's golf course seems suitable and is far more receptive than Coral Gables. She quickly secures a beginner's course to Paladin Systems who needs a free golf course for its partners. She secures a weeklong course starting at next Monday. Everything goes smoothly as businesses often asks perks like this to their management and course is reserved for Paladin Systems employees' only (9.15).

 Meanwhile Derek has been finishing up few questions that have arrived to him concerning the surveillance equipment last night. He also gets a confirmation that equipment is on its way to him. With work things going well on this part he informs Alice that he wants to go out to get himself few nice suits to match other people who frequent corporate buildings in city center. He also needs equipment and clothes for golf. Alice nods to him and Derek smiles how he got himself a free afternoon from the work as his boss works himself silly (11.30). Derek leaves like a shadow begging that Tykes will not see him so he does not get any 'minor' extra jobs. With luck (and carefully timed timetable) he slips unnoticed from Johnson Tower to freedom. 

 Derek starts by going to eat some lunch in city center (12.00) and making a list of things he need to do today. After all, planning prevents failures (or rather the lack of planning cause glitches go unnoticed). With a lunch finished he starts to get on a work. He starts by buying himself a decent golfing outfit (13.00). Since he knows little of it, he essentially trusts to advice given to him by sports club buying something from the middle. Not too expensive and certainly not the cheapest. With the golfing needs satisfied he goes to buy himself some nice suits. If he intends to move in city's corporate center unnoticed, he just has to look apart. However, flashy outfit is unsuitable (unless one is somehow related to show business). Checking out a good suit takes time and measures are taken first. With these dealt with it goes to check out some nice shoes and great suits. Armani seems to fit the bill of stylish looks that Yuppie uniform just has to be. Since he has time (and he acts as if he has all the time in the world) his shopping spree is slow and he relies a lot on expert advice on selecting suitable combinations of suits, shirts and ties. However, all is said and done finally (16.00).

 Meanwhile Alice spends her afternoon checking at suitable office space they need for this work. It means a massive search through web-sites and several phone calls to learn who is who in construction and office space rental business in Miami. She does find out who owns building (and rents it) so she can start asking office from it for Paladin Systems. She soon gets rental agency's personnel to phone and explains the need for new place. She learns that they do have free offices and actually few of them are even in ideal location (that Derek suggested to her yesterday) of two floors above and/or below in a building directly opposite to the building where MG Capital has its office in the 10th floor. However, Paladin Systems is fairly small and new company and thus they cannot give suitable office immediately due risks involved in recovering rental if this small company gets into financial problems due large rental costs. Thus they are put into a waiting list for some time until more senior management can consider matter properly. Alice senses that this is all and euphemism for never. Thus she thanks rental agency for their time and then calls to New York (12.15).

Mr. Smith listens carefully for Alice's call and makes a quick check of her identity. After this has been made he discusses with her listening her worries. Mr. Smith speaks very good English with a kind of a calm, clear and impeccable accent and extremely even voice one only hears when listening to news broadcasters of BBC in 1960's (or when discussing with troubleshooting consultants who have been working since that era). Mr. Smith promises to call back to Alice when misunderstandings have been cleared up. Alice feels herself empowered with the kind of a warm and fuzzy feeling she last got when she heard she war promoted to be a Cell Leader. Thus she thinks that it is time for her to pauper herself a bit. She goes downstairs to Johnson Tower Plaza to sit in cafeteria and sit in the sun. There she drinks a very good cup of expresso and a sacker cake. She smiles to herself savoring every single drop coffee in her tiny cup while being fully contend with herself.

 However, all good things end up in time and she returns back to office (12.45) getting a phone call almost immediately. Mr. Smith informs her that she should call back to rental agency of building owner and that she should also consider calling to a new number that he also supplies to her. Alice phones as suggested and realizes that now she is talking to General Manager of rental agency. After compulsory introductions she explains her needs and learns that there is an office where she wants it and it is immediately available. As a matter of this extremely polite gentleman arranges her office exactly where she's like it to be (in a perfect location of 12th floor). He also promises to send her the standard rental contract immediately via fax for studying. He even agrees to sign rental papers today (because she wants to get it over with quickly) whenever she'd like to as he happens to have completely free afternoon and evening too.

 Alice notices that necessary paperwork is already being faxed to BE office (where she'd liked it) and goes to check things with Armand and ask legal help from him. Armand suggests that she'd use Rodrigo Laroche for checking up with the papers as he is currently knee-deep in handling legal matters of contract with Goldstein-Sachs. Linda Motherly is currently (like always) working on a pile of cases and thus unavailable too. Paralegal Laroche goes to work to read through the paper (13.00) and comes into conclusion that this is all fairly standard rental contracts with no hidden extras involved (15.45). Most terms concern of using same security, utilities and household services as other companies working in the same building and various standard terms that rental agency has earlier agreed with the utilities companies. Alice asks and gets him also to handle all necessary paperwork from behalf of Paladin Systems (although she'd still need to sign the actual papers) (17.00). Finally they jump onto Laroche's Lexus and drive to Paladin Systems new office in downtown to check out what they are renting

 General manager is there opening personally office doors (18.00) for Alice and Laroche and showing her places along with usual salesman who hangs around showing her whatever she wants to look at. They show her the view and Alice cannot but agree that it is absolutely breathtaking as she can see very clearly down to glass walled front of MG Capital while others look at the view along major streets. Furthermore, office is in good shape and has everything modern office needs in terms of utilities, telecommunications and wiring.  Meanwhile Laroche checks out the paperwork meticulously again. Everything looks fine and papers are signed (19.00). Laroche cannot but comment to Alice that he has never seen so complicated thing gotten through so smoothly and Alice just smiles and nods that there are days when things just go well. She does not bother to mention that there are times when slow wheels of legal wrangling just require a little bit of Mr. Smith(tm) lubricant.

Alice says that she really wants paperwork done by tomorrow as they need to be able to use office already in the next week. Laroche looks somewhat exasperated but nods that things can be arranged as Alice smiles to him markedly that her suggestion is not really a suggestion. Then she says half thoughtlessly that she does not need car as she'd go directly to home and Laroche nods and jumps to his Lexus and leaves to drive back to Johnson Tower (19.15). Alice -who expected him to offer to drive her home- looks at back lights of Lexus totally surprised as she notices that she has been left alone. He must be gay; she thinks when she calls herself a taxi. During that taxi trip Alice gets a phone call from Jane who has been arranging (gossiping) with all her friends on a trip. She just wants to check if Alice remembers to come to the trip. She has some real news too. Nana has been encouraged (told to) to fishing trip too. Both women talk of this and that and trip goes along as they talk on important things like new clothes. Alice is getting in the mood for weekend and cannot but smiles herself on how much she actually expects it for now.

 Back in home (20.00) she dedicates her life to Dali and they go out for jogging (mistress jogs and throws stick to Dali who runs back and forth as if fire was on its tail) (21.00). Then it is time for a quick shower and back to bed reading Stevenson's excellent depiction of Victorian England while Dali rests on his own bed in corner until deserved sleep comes (23.00).

 Derek drives after his shopping home (17.00) and decides to give himself a treat too. He goes to find a nice looking Mexican restaurant to eat well and after some driving he sees a decent looking place (18.00). Eating well and reading newspapers is a good way to pass afternoon and actually only thing disturbing him is a call from his friend Tito asking about weekend's program (18.30) (and to ask where he can be if he is eating out and not in the El Gatto Blanko). They agree that they could do a bit of a working day in Saturday. Tito is making some final adjustments of his wheels and Derek is interested in taking out the engine. They agree to work on Saturday and perhaps hold a small barbecue on the evening there too. Plan seems good and they decide to go for it (18.45).

 After the meal Derek goes back home (through a shop) to read a bit and is caught in a dilemma of browsing through skin mag (delivered conveniently and unnoticed in a brown envelope) or bowing to Call of CHILTON. In the end the fight of giants ends in draw and he reads both while a bottle of tequila keeps him company. Sleep comes eventually (02.00).

February 19th (FRI) 
Morning starts with Derek picking up Alice in the morning (07.00) and they get to Johnson Tower (08.00). In the office Alice notices that Laroche has been working throughout the night as she already has a pile of paper to be signed. At the same time they got a notice from messaging service that Paladin Systems has received several faxes to its head office in next to air port. Derek is exceedingly eager to go there to read those faxes and Alice is too focused on coming weekend to bother to stop him. She thus lets Derek leave. Instead Alice concentrates on signing paperwork Laroche has left for her.

 Then it is time to put some work on her subordinates. She sends text message to Derek that he should take care of renting office furniture to city office of Paladin Systems. After a while Alice gets a call from furniture rental company as she has been masked as a contact person. She immediately realizes Derek's clumsy attempt to make HER to work on this one. Oh no, no way! She discusses things with the furniture rental and arranges a meeting with them today in city office. But she also asks them to handle all necessary dealings with Paladin Systems through its Vice-President of Human Resources Mr. Cameron-Diaz.

 Then she faxes a message to Derek (who is currently busy with surfing on the net looking desperately for boob pictures of Atomic Puppies girls) where she congratulates him for his promotion as a Vice-President of Human Resources and ask (order) him to get himself necessary business cards and get city offices keys from the BE office's desk. Oh, and he should get office fixed too, and do it today. Then she leaves the keys to office to Cell 10's cubicle with a note: "To Vice-President of Human Resources". Then she forgets her beeper to BE's office goes for shopping (11.00)....

 Derek curses on the fax and realizes that his plan has been completely and utterly cocked up. Phone keeps on ringing and faxes keep on arriving to his fortress at alarming speed so all he can do is to go through papers of Paladin Systems to stem the tide. Thankfully to him he sees a master file of SOPs of Paladin Systems (11.30) that has very obviously been written by a member (or probably a former member) of Royal Navy. The font and settings make it clear that this author must have been Royal Marine. Essentially it includes all necessary contingencies in case of emergencies. Since Derek isn't much of a administrative person he follows the list step by step following "Paladin Systems Office Mobilisation SOP V1.1 (January 25th, 1999)" (a document that has red stamps for "THIS DOCUMENT IS SECRET UNDER PALADIN SYSTEMS NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT" and "DO  NOT REMOVE FROM PALADIN SYSTEMS PREMISES").

 Alice starts her shopping spree humbly with new golfing clothes, well, she needs spares too. Then it is very necessary for her to get appropriate business outfit, actually one for each day of the week (just incase). Then she needs something nice for the weekend, swimsuits and bikinis and nice dresses ("and that cocktail outfight too"), all preferably fashionable, ("hard to choose between colors so perhaps it is best to take all four of them") general upgrade on her beauty box ("no, make it one, eh two, of every shade"), and some nice shoes, and more shoes, and few more shoes ("and I absolutely need these sandals too!"). After checking (and buying) several Italian (and French) designer labels (good thing that she got that pay raise) she isn't just using her credit card. Oh no, as a red-blood American shopper, she is shopping till she drops (she has to stop as she cannot carry absolutely nothing more to the taxi) (17.00).

Back in work (real work this is) Derek essentially follows material that Alice got from the office space rental accepting the suggested services (and thanking God that Alice has somehow gotten so complete papers of the new office space). He pretty much follows all the instructions and gets promises of services (and office computer systems) installed during the Wednesday (which promises to be exceedingly busy day). However, furniture does come there just like that and thus he arranges a meeting with furniture rental sales clerk. He saves time by selecting same furniture that Paladin Systems use in the current office (and Thanks God it is meticulously identified in existing documentation). They agree a meeting at 15.00 in City Center so Derek jumps to car by 14.00 to drive through Johnson Tower to pick up the keys and get in time to a meeting. He checks out the office and its excellent view (to MG Capital's office) while furniture salesman comes up measuring the rooms and they set up how furniture should be set up. Derek is quite satisfied with a view. It is truly superb for Cell 10's work. They also finish up the measurements and layout (16.00) and furniture is promised for Wednesday too.

 With all the real work done it is time to get serious with revenge business on Miss Alice Wilcox, CEO and Founder of Paladin Systems Incorporated. Being a Partner does give him rights but getting caught would be expected and disastrous to his career (both in Paladin Systems and in BlackEagle). Thus he decides that revenge is a business best mixed with arse kissing so oily it makes her choke. He gets on work (and the amount of energy he puts on it is considerably more intensive than weak running all the time speed he did earlier today with Paladin Systems' new office). He starts by ordering his CEO a name sign with golden metal characters to declare everyone who is the boss here. Then he gets downright nasty and orders a portrait for a CEO where she looks the world (the office) on her feet with a combination of arrogance and thirst for power. Thankfully making these kinds of portraits is a growth business amongst (supposedly equal) internet companies (more mature companies usually hire better artist) and Derek gets a fourth-rate (calling those daubers a third-rate "artist" is insult to third-rate artists) hack that draws and writes and paints these kinds of pictures within a day or two. Derek also gets it installed by Wednesday that drives the starving artist (all right, a starving bungler) exceedingly happy. With the work done (17.00) he closes the doors and gets ready to spend his weekend...

February 19th (FRI) Game Session 017: (Payback-Intro)
With the work done Alice jumps to taxi and drives back home with taxi filled with loot and phone in her hand as she chats with Jane on the phone and they get time table fixed. Back in the home (17.30) Alice packs up quickly and decides to leave R. Stevenson's great book (that she has almost finished up already) behind. She will have fun with her new friends as she is going to have social life kicked up with Jane and her friends (with whom she wishes to get really close friends very soon). 

 With everything done (and preparing a mountain of suitcases) she jumps to taxi (19.00) and arrives to marina at set time (20.00) to Marina where her friends are already busy enjoying themselves. The gang of five is now, besides Alice, her best friend Jane Winn (leader of the pack), rather nice (but clearly a rival to Jane) Mariah Osborne (who is clearly poorest), well dressed (and well to do) Susan Robbins (who spends money like there is no tomorrow) and finally a bit shy and reserved Nana Kawakami (who wants to show of other girls she is dashing and daring and beautiful young lady too). After a bit of chatting and discussing the girls bond easily and Alice is quickly accepted to group. Discussion soon flows almost as sweetly as Pina Coladas do. Only Nana seems a bit shies compared to others as discussion rises in both tone and risqué. 

 Girls plan to enjoy evening in Miami sipping drinks and having fun and then go to Caribbean in the night with boat. Mariah tells that her boyfriend (supposedly soon going to be a public attorney) knows of a hotel that was built practically ready when finances got sour. End result is a big hotel in island paradise with no tourists what so ever. No prying eyes or friends to see what is happening either. Alice grins and switches from extra-sweet Pina Coladas to raw taste of Stoli shots. Meanwhile girls keep on sitting in bar in Marina, eating lightly and chatting this and that on what is going on and what is happening in Miami. 

 Jane gets a bright idea (23.00) of making Nana drink too much. They simply change her Bitter Lemons to Pina Coladas to have some life on her too. Rather inexperienced Nana soon realizes (or rather before she realizes) that there is a bitter pill amongst the sweet drinks and she soon chats as quickly as others talking more and more in Japanese as she get drunker and drunker while others nod and smile and talk with her fluently in Drunken (common language that every one from any community or heritage can speak when they are ratfaced). Susan quickly grabs Nana's eyeglasses away and soon they get her to sing Karaoke (00.30). Her specialty seems to be Frankie Sinatra's My Way (that Alice picked up from the jukebox) with an emptied flower vase as a microphone. Business television's rolling ticker provides a perfect subtitling to bat eyed Nana who fuzzily agrees that Brendon Gumble is Sinatra. This is hardly a problem to Nana who sings (quite well actually) much to delight to other girls (and rest of the barguests too).

 Derek feels that his throat is sore from today's work and thus he drops his car to home (18.00) and heads to El Gatto Blanko (surprise surprise!). Once there (18.15 as he is busy) he parks himself up next to pool table to watch soccer and talk with friends of "sure" tips on horses. Being considerably cleverer than Eduardo Valandez he believes that drinking shots is considerably better short-term investment than betting wrong horses. Derek's comments on Eddie are seconded by Tony who believes that Derek's plans are good for him (and for the business of bar). Evening goes onwards fairly uneventfully (that is like always before). Rita and Maria do their best to carry booze (and food too) to customers. Customer base is roughly usual. Some young girls and boys come for a shot or two before heading for city center's bright lights. Then there are few older couples from nearby blocks come to take a drink, perhaps eat, then go home as evening turns into night. Meanwhile the basic core of heavy duty El Gatto Blanko clients stay and chat with Tony (mostly because Eddie is busy in kitchen as long kitchen stays open).

Talk eventually turns (23.00) to fixing Derek's new wheels and of meeting cops on the road back to garage back in Tuesday. Miguel thanks Derek again for saving his but and since he and Arturo have bot been in jail tell Derek some facts about life on the street and behind the bar. Derek who has sat in Spanish prison (THE worst time in his life) nods and agrees and from the sound of it things are about as crap in both sides of pond. However, the big difference is that in UK cops are usually just racist fucks while here in States they are heavily armed racist fucks. Miguel tells assorted group (00.00) how Pepe's (yes, the guy who owns the garage) cousin was shot dead by cops when he was going to video store and cops has made a stakeout. Bad for him that cops were CRASH unit and had exterminated everyone in store once stakeout had been sprung on attempted robbery. Pepe swore that his cousin never carried a gun (knife yes but never a gun) and he was found with a .22 in his hand (Colt Framer(tm)) and some crack in pocket (Monsanto Drug Bust(tm)) so the case was spiked. Pretty much everyone around bar table agrees that police's gang-suppression unit makes street cops look like angels when it comes to shoot-outs. Tito seconds Miguel's thoughts (based on his gang friends who just love CRASH -not) and turns talk back to cars. Derek can sense that something on Miguel's talk did hit a bit too close to Tito…

February 20th (SAT)
Girl's night soon turns into wee hours and Nana starts to feel a bit bad (even after they start pouring her watered down drinks). However, she does not start to vomit but instead keeps herself in a good composure. Furthermore, closing time approaches (01.00) and thus it is time for them to leave. After a suitable (biggest logistical nightmare since the end of Desert Storm) chaos of getting all five girls to a taxi (second is needed to carry their entire luggage) they get to their boat (that Susan had rented out). They finally get to the boat (01.45) and its skipper and shipmate (actually a teenage boy) carry all the women's luggage down while they go to sleep below deck to a huge bed. All but Nana who stumbles to Bathroom and stays there (at least that is what Alice remembers as she falls into sleep). Boat glides off harbor as girls get to bed (02.00).

 Rest of the evening in Miami went well to Derek who turned his attention to playing pool ("lost a dollar, damn!") and then to poker ("I won 2 dollars, great!") so he is on a winning street ("coming ahead tonight!"). Bar's closing time comes and goes making waitresses trying to clean up some of the mess and then closing the doors and windows and then head for home. With the bar closed (yeah, right) Ramirez goes home ("you pussy-whipped chicken-shit loser"), Tony goes back to take out empty bottles and Eddie sits to bar to enjoy drinking with the rest of the clients (including Derek who has been accepted in despite the fact that he is some kind of rich foreigner but okay guy). Drinking and talking continues on important things like how Penelope Lopez has changed her name to P-Lo and Maria has been talking nothing but it all night. Fact that bear sized Tony comes back from outside makes sure that talks stays directly on voluptuous figure of P-Lo and Maria subject kind of drowns out. Talk goes on and on until Eddie starts to tire out and rest of the people take a clue and call it a night (03.30). In the end Derek gets somehow (using taxi) back to home (after all, he is rich) around morning (04.00?) and falls into bed drunk as hell.

 In the morning there is a small crisis in the boat in Caribbean as Nana deeply in sleep in boat and has locked the door behind her (11.30). Alice defuses the looming crises with a small knife and girls take few pictures on Nana who is still asleep (even with all the fuss) with her panties down on ankles. However, they mercifully drag her to bed to sleep off while others arrange bathroom schedules. Other than that things seem just fine on boat. Luggage is aboard (Thank God!) and Alice goes to see how sea looks like (breathtaking to a girl who has seldom been on sea). "Skipper" is handling the boat (which actually consists of sitting and letting autopilot do the work) professionally. Meanwhile his mate (ship boy actually) is a pimple faced teenager who tries his best to look a real sailor as he does all kinds of small things from cleaning the boat to checking equipment.  Other than that he tries his best to both glance and to avoid obvious staring of women worshipping sun and enjoying boating in their bikinis (and using liters of tanning lotion). Even Nana comes up with her nose white and avoiding talking as she drinks constantly water and trying desperately ponder what she did last night while others tease her about it mercilessly.

 Derek wakes up in Miami in the morning (11.00). After washing his teeth with tequila he decides to wake himself up properly. Derek pours cold water to kitchen sink and puts some ice cubes from fridge there too. Then he closes his eyes, gasps for air and puts his head into water. It either kills a man or wakes him up. Unfortunately to Derek it did not kill him. He drags himself to garage and sees Tito who is slowly but surely arriving to hone up his wheels too. After obligatory morning beer and talking of this and that (12.00) they decide to get up to serious work. Tito's wheels is a 1959 Cadillac in sky blue paint, long rocket fins and enough chrome to make sun shine. His car is ready (it is always ready) but he likes to tinker around the engine honing it up and fixing up (imaginary) problems in the engine. Meanwhile Derek sees for the first time sober what he had bought. His car is not that bad. It is a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible (Serial No. 19467S125640). It looks to be on crap shape but some time and tender care could (will that is) turn it into dream car.

 Derek and Tito look through the car and Derek sees (much to his delight) that car is basically sound. Chassis seems all right and despite rust here and there nothing appears to be unfixable. Gearbox is brand new (well, old but sound and recently changed) while suspension in general seems to be working. However, transmission seems otherwise be in need of serious overhaul. Derek comes to conclusion that whoever moron drove this before, busted up his wheels and changed gearbox first and probably no clue on maintenance at all. Fully knowing the end result he opens up the hood to check out the tortured engine. There nothing but deadbeat V8 with 454 cubic inches of lost glory and they rise it to table put it apart for use as spares (16.00). Derek makes a mental note to order a new LS6/ZR2 engine. Rest of the car needs some work too. Derek writes up a list when he and Tito go through the junk heap to get some spares (if any). They got lucky and get at least some of the parts. All and all, a new paint job is necessary as well as new interior too. However, with paint work, interior and new engine, the spares in junk heap plus minor details here and there (perhaps even a nitro injector and/or supercharger, preferably both) this lame horse will turn into a Jolly Roger flagged Lean and Mean the Street Machine.

Back in Caribbean boat approaches their destination (14.00), a typical island Mariah described as officially known as a Paradise Island (like about every other holiday island in this part of the world). Alice has to admit that all her fears were misplaced. Island has lush greenery of jungle (not that she wants to look at that anyway) combined with a wild rocky shores (that skipper wisely keeps his boat away from). Things get even more promising when boat moves at leisure pace towards northern end of the island and long sandy natural beaches (no money spared in moving sand there to create a nice beach) and palms provide fantasy island looks. Behind this unnatural beauty is a tourist trap par excellence, with a smattering of high-rises (one seems to be functional with others still under construction. Smaller buildings, like bungalows, restaurants and like fill the rest of this holiday paradise. There is a harbor with concrete piers (some half-built) built on stones. Marina with smaller piers allows holiday visitors to come and moor there. All and all, a Paradise Island. 

Girls jump of the boat about as soon as they can. Marina has only few boats and only a couple of people can be seen looking curiously at new comers. Alice feels that the whole island has an unreal feeling about it. Some buildings are half built while others are complete with only a couple of visitors there. However, few Hispanic-looking people emerge to carry on their hand luggage (a small mountain). Alice and her friends sign with false aliases, as they surely do not want anyone knowing what they have been coming here to enjoy about. Few American dollars deal with it and they are booked in. Hotel rooms are large and functional although that final touch (functional satellite television, mini-bar and like) is missing. Mood in a whole place is quiet and sleepy. A perfect place to have fun without anyone knowing about it, Alice smiles as she gets ready for the evening....

 Back in Miami both men decide to call it quits for today (18.00). They get to a nearby store to buy booze and even some food so they turn garage front (there is a grill next to those oxygen tanks next to oil barrels) ready for a barbecue party. Things start to heat up nicely as a both are slowly (well quick actually as far as Tito is concerned) getting drunk up. Sun sets and life is definitely good with talk on important things in life like cars and cars and races and good-looking girls. Derek lazily looks at garage action and sees some young studs (at least by their own opinion) checking up wheels clearly ready to go out tonight. However, Tito's and Derek's evening is pleasantly disturbed when (much talked and always who looking for) Juanita (21.00) comes with two of her friends in tow. They want to ask Tito to loan his car for them when they go out tonight. Tito plays hardball to put his little sister on her knees in front of his buddy (while Derek wisely stays concentrated on drinking San Miguel) while Juanita is getting pissed off on Tito's booze induced machismo (which he always does have). Young bucks next door see the whole thing and see an opening and three boys come to chat. Girls like a little flirt and talk goes on. Leader of the boys (whose name Derek probably heard but immediately forgot) makes a move on Juanita who does not seem ready for it and slaps him back. After some time of healing his ego he makes another move and Juanita asks Tito to come to 'talk' with this jerk.

Tito jumps up and (22.00) two guys look each other real hard. Buck is certainly younger and a bit smaller than Tito is so his two friends come put some more weight into staring game. Tito is one on three so Derek rises up too to face the two younger guys. Tito and buck talk tough while "assistants" stare on each other too. Buck's second in command decides to test his luck and pushes Derek who stays still. Meanwhile Derek pushes back and boy steps back. Having lost the two younger guys start to lose nerve and fall back while Derek gets ready to pounce and go for a kill when they'd come back. Boys do read the situation right and fall back and buck is alone with Tito getting seemingly ready to tear him apart. With no friends and now facing two to one odds he calls it quits and hastily retreats back to car showing obscene signs and suitable threats (22.15). With the intense moments gone away Tito is the king and Derek is surely at least a stud. Girls decide to forget asking anything from Tito tonight and just sit there with boys. Tito is man of the hour, Tito es myo macho. Meanwhile Derek gets girls talking on him too (as Juanita has told them that he is that cute looking guy with weird accent who is so well-mannered that he actually cleans up his hands in bar). Derek plays a hero act and chats with the girls while Juanita and Tito go through their usual discussion (argument) of life in general and life in a Miami slum in particular. 

 In the Caribbean girls meet again on hotel's restaurant (disco) to eat dinner and chat with each other on what they think of the place. Mariah is loudest of all just savoring the attention and praise she has gotten from others from finding this place. Place was a result of some kind of highly ambitious hotel/casino construction drive back in 1980's. However, the ownership of whole affair was highly irregular too. Apparently the financier was some kind of a crook and got in serious trouble with FCC. Furthermore, several banks financed part of the deal and are now suing their way through bankrupt courts to claim half-built holiday spot to themselves. As a result the construction crew left the place leaving whole place half-built, most of the hotel people never came and only a token number of caretakers is in place.  It is half-built but comfortable, away from other holiday places and secluded. AS far she (or her financial crime busting super lawyer boy friend Mark to be more honest) is concerned, banks will argue over it for next decade or so. Things are further complicated by the fact that island is actually part of US but belongs to another country.

 With story finished girls concentrate on eating well and drinking even better. Even DJ arrives to fumble on a tape (that is SO old compared to Joy-Boyz where anything over month old is golden oldie). Smoke machine is missing too and half of the lasers are not working (not installed) but action is heating up and after first hour or so boys are being waited to come. However, first guests they see are two French tourists, a couple that is spending one of those long holidays that Europe is so famous for, compared to US where free-time is unknown (a cursed principle that Tykes seem to adhere strictly to). They are bird watchers and scout around taking photos of birds and just about anything. Chatting goes on and everyone is having good time as evening turns quickly into a night and couple calls it quits.

 Next step in girls program is to check out where all the men are. So far all they have seen have been fat hotel workers (disgusting) and pimple-faced boys (complete jokes). However, around time when French leave they see a group of five men arriving to check the action on the place (and they are definitely not the only ones doing checking). Men park themselves on a nearby table and start to order food while both groups discuss on eating each other. These men are very different breed from the others they have seen in the island. They are not Adonises by any standard but have the kind of muscles and edge that girls just instantly find turn on. Not that the five young women on their best and obviously looking for action is that much of a turn off to these men either. Discussion (with men on Spanish and women on English) quickly starts. Alice does not bother to reveal that she speaks Spanish fluently and enjoys listening (the great secret of) what boys are talking each other on girls (i.e. sex sex sex).

 Eye blinking games go on along the night and tables are soon joined to allow everyone talk with everyone else. Mari cigarettes are also found (and very obviously no one cares in this place) to assist in getting into mood. Men are South-American sailors who work as hired hands on this island. Girls nod and forget these minor details immediately while concentrating on more interesting business of flirting. Games continue on dance floor too with super-charged girls moving like devil on their tail and men (desperately) trying to hang on. Especially Jane and Susan seem unstoppable on dance floor (due fact that they shared an ecstasy pill in bathroom together earlier). However, Alice stays sharp and catches the biggest fish first going for what seems to be the leader of the pack. They (Alice and Manuel) both switch to talk in Spanish and seem to get exceedingly well together. Pairs seem to form quickly and no one is on a mood to argue about them. Manolo seems to have a clear authority over other guys and arguments, if any, quickly die out at least among men. 

 Some time at this stage women go to girl's room for refresh themselves. In reality they plot for continuation of the night. War plan pretty much concentrates on giving boys subtle hints of what they'd like to happen and then letting things continue on their own course of action. Everyone pretty much agrees to this (Nana seems especially edge-on) and girls return to disco to carry out their plan. However, about the time when they return DJ changes music to slow dances (and leaves to calculate the wad of cash men paid for him for that). Girls get a hint and action in dance floor is slower than before but games continue on terms of flirting and probing to more daring and daring. Manolo and Alice are first to leave (03.00) and retire upstairs to check out the bed...

Evening in the Miami ends like they always seem to do (03.00). Tito gets way too drunk and Juanita asks Derek to help her to carry him home. They drag him to his Cadillac and Juanita drives home (as Derek wisely decides to sit in front) dropping her friends home first (whole night is busted anyway). Back in home Derek carries Tito to bed and Juanita offers to drive him home which Derek readily agrees. Back on a trip he notices that she is looking at Derek a bit interested looking. Thus Good-Derek and Evil-Derek go through a struggle between libido and life. Juanita is his best friend's little sister and end result can only be total mess. However, she does have a figure that looks like a like a break-neck roller coaster ride. (Warning: Derek Cameron-Diaz's sexual fantasies are federal and state penitentiary approved. Actual fantasies may vary.) In the end Derek decides to play it wise (WHAT A LOSER! PUSSY!) surprising Juanita who expected (perhaps hoped for?) something to happen (or at least indication of it) and thanks Juanita for a ride and stumbles home to drop on bed and dream of something nice (but not Juanita) like he and all the girls of Atomic Puppies (Warning: Derek Cameron-Diaz's sexual fantasies are illegal in District of Washington D.C. and at least 8 other states including Florida). Sleep comes eventually (04.30)...

February 21st (SUN) 
Alice wakes up late as there is absolutely no reason to hurry (and Manolo -macho fantastico- has gone too) (11.00). After the shower she gets to the restaurant for breakfast. Sooner than later other women also come there still tired from last nights fishing trip. Especially last night's E-eaters seem almost zombies. Everybody is very satisfied to fishing trip despite little tiredness and they agree to check out beach next. They all agree that afternoon is best-spent win bikinis enjoying sun and having a small picnic. In the beach talk is on last night and Nana seems to have found some kind of a lost speech button. Her description sounds a bit too good to be true (doesn't it always?) but everyone agrees that night was quite fun and that this is a most excellent way of spending a free weekend. During light lunch discussion turns to men and their wild tattoos (knives, pitchforks, flames, naked women) and rugged outlooks. Alice keeps her mouth shut on the fact that Manolo, a Venezuelan sailor he was with, had only such a pitchfork tattoo on hand but also scars that must have come from a knife fight. Then again, she expected no less from a sailor.

 Afternoon ends as women gather to hotel's restaurant for dinner where they meet Mr. and Mrs. Duprée again (16.00). Couple is busily showing women some photos they have snapped on wildlife in Caribbean area. When the dinner ends women get ready to return back to boat saying good-byes to Duprées who will get ready for a small jungle expedition to take more photos before darkness on their own. After suitable logistics nightmare of getting luggage to boat they head back towards the continent. Since they'd like to get back before morning this time they collect a wad of cash for extra fuel expenses. Skipper takes a note and speed increases to suitable level.  Back in Miami (21.00) it is time to separate. Alice takes a taxi home and heads straight back to bed (22.00) to sleep off. Dali's attempts to get her mistress to go out to play with him go awry and she shows him whose the boss in this house. Alice spends her last energy to finish up Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and then sleep comes as book is finished...

 Derek wakes up several times in the morning (07.00, 08.00, 09.00, etc) and turns his back to sleep some more. He finally gets up when noise from air conditioner gets too loud (13.00). He wakes him up the usual way (and even today was not killed) somehow crawls to El Gatto Blanko (14.30) for a long breakfast. After staying relatively sober (San Miguel is not a shot but medicine) he meets some of his friends as he eats well to stuff his stomach. However, the Call of CHILTON is too strong for him to resist and he starts reading it there enjoying its details. Rest of his friends come too along with Tito who looks particularly ill-will which makes Derek sure that he has had a real clash with his family this morning. Anyway the day continues as usual but Derek plays it safe staying in beer and asking help (i.e. buying drinks) to his friends so they give him ideas of where there could be a good place to take his 'Vette for fixing up. Tito comes up with few places and they all check out which places are good and which are bad ("these cheated my cousin", "this place is ran by Anglos", "High prices but good service"). Derek thanks everyone for their help paying off the tab and heads home (20.00) to get some real sleep before tomorrow. He goes right to bed to get himself up for some kind of shape (22.00)...

February 22nd (MON) Game Session 018: (Rogue Traders-Intro, Car Wars)
Monday morning starts with Derek picking up Alice (07.00) and heading towards work in a normal traffic. She and Derek have both their golf gear in tow since course for Green Card starts today. Morning goes easily for Alice checking through some insurance claims. She notices (much to her delight) that insurance claim mountain seems to have slightly fallen and takes it as a sign that their relative importance in company has increased. At the same time loud cursing can be heard from cubicles of Cell 9 (okay) and Cell 8 (nice). Meanwhile Derek (who seems to have changed markedly in the short time he has worked with her in Miami) seem to put a lot more effort on reading those files and finding problems there, which she thinks is a good thing (really!?). 

 Day's office rumor (which they can now listen to) around the coffee machine is that they would get a protection work around Indy race in Daytona Beach in coming weekend. Word is that they either protect drivers or guard hardware. Alice thinks that it is just what she'd want to. On the other hand, she hopes that things work in Wednesday's break-in or they might get into real trouble with law. Alice gets tremendously excited on idea that they'd get to see whole world of fast cars and see them on action.

 Meanwhile Derek looks at the claims pondering them on his own. One of the claim writers seem to have a redneck sounding name and claim seems to be something only a stupid redneck could do (car caught fire on a lonely patch of road as he was out to take a leak), guilty of being stupid. Then he takes everybody whose name sounds like a black (they are ALL crooks) and finally he checks very carefully each every claim written by Anglo (and adds one innocent Anglo as criminal too because they are all out there to hurt us Latinos). He also accepts one claim written by a Hispano to make day's good deed. With his work done he then concentrates on drinking coffee.

 Then Cell 10 drives to attend the golf course in Derek's car. Golf training starts for earnest for Paladin System's partners with a bit older gentlemen starting with description of proper grip. Then it goes to practicing proper grip (again and again and again). After all, the secret of a good swing is on a good grip. Once the lesson is over they get back to BE. Alice jumps onto Tykes when returning back to cubicle. He reminds her in rather cold polite manner that Cell leader's meeting is on every Monday at 2pm and that she should put more emphasis on remembering it. Then he asks from Alice what the time is it? Alice looks at her clock and notices that it is 2.05pm and biting her lip walks meekly behind Tykes to meeting room.

 Much to Alice's surprise coffee machine rumors were correct. BE will mobilize about its entire strength to handle personal protection of Indy drivers in Daytona Beach in coming weekend. Most of the planning is based on last year's plans and there are no real changes. This naturally means that most experienced cell leaders just nod and agree while greener ones (like Alice) just nod and pray that they learn the ropes in time. Tykes will be there in place running the show too. Then they go to actual details of the mission. Timetables of teams need to be coordinated along with their specialization and on-going operations. Tykes goes through each cell's situation and Alice's answer that they are quite free to work in coming weekend if they are not arrested or do not have felony charges or outstanding arrest warrants from Wednesday's mission. Alice ponders that six (well two-three months really) months ago she wouldn't have even imagined of saying that. Fact that about third of BE cells seem to have similar reservations does little to comfort her. In the end Tykes makes decisions and distributes shifts. Cell 10 gets 16.00 to 24.00 babysitting shifts.

 Meanwhile Derek has gone shopping (no boss around, so he's free). He goes to a nearby supermarket (Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart!) to buy some guns. It is not that he actually needs them but he really thinks he might need them because of the place he lives in (and without admitting it to himself, people he is increasingly spending his free time with). Thus he goes for a shotgun first. The arms bazaar is nothing short of comprehensive so Derek selects a pump-action Remington 870 P over initial offerings of double-barreled (European style) and gas-operated (if you really want firepower). He also wants it chromed to make sure that whoever he'll face it with surely notices it is big and bad gun. As far as next bought-in is concerned, he wants (and gets) a chromed Colt Mk IV Government with walnut stock (actually more common than ordinary stock version). Salesman picks him up a box of ammo to both while Derek fills up the licensing form that deals with all the necessary paper work for getting guns (Thank God to Decent and God-Fearing Reagan-Bush-Bush administration that has streamlined the gun buying process!). Then he gets the guns and ammo in nice and neat boxes in Heckler&Koch plastic bags (accept no substitute!). Then he heads for nearest McMonolith Burgers for a revolting tasting BigMonolithMeal(tm) to get himself a large McMonolith(tm) plastic cup (what he has ever wanted -since last week). After that meal (a joke really) he heads for Johnson Tower.

Alice gets herself a lunch in cafeteria (disgusting tasting) and returns back to cubicle to see Derek preparing Monolith(tm) plastic cup to floor to practice his putting. At range of one meter the put hits home almost for certain but as long as the distance increases for fifteen or so centimeters, about every put goes awry (he has a long way to go). However, Alice arrives with files and thus rest of the evening goes on reading plans that Tykes has prepared for BE's Miami office. Alice (and Derek) will have to admit that whatever Tykes is as a persona (does he have a persona?) he knows his job through and through.

 Clock hits 4 p.m. and Cell 10 calls it quits. Derek drops Alice home (like always) (17.00) and heads for home. Alice takes Dali out and they go to jogging and she goes to a nearby bookstore. There she tries to find some good classic books but manages to get only Shelley's Frankenstein. The book is thin and balloon sized breasts of the woman on first page make her ponder just how low her country can go in false advertising? Well, Dali wants attention and rest of the evening goes on playing the dog, shopping for food and returning home (20.30) doing domestic chores and some aerobics (I am gaining weight!) with a dog on tow. Shelley's book is shortened version (what a disappointment) but still quite interesting. Sleep comes in good time (22.30).

 Meanwhile Derek takes his shopping home, finally takes out the garbage and buys some food (toast and ham) while stocking up his refrigerator with more beer and tequila like always before (18.30). He even washes dishes and then he concentrates on his new guns. He decides to clean them up a bit (19.00). It passes the evening (to 23.00). He gets to sleep soon afterwards (23.30).

February 23rd (TUE) Game Session 019: (Car Wars)

 

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