Pluribus 9


September 15, 2031, 10:15 PM.

KDP Headquarters was an armed fortress.
Kaleidoscope Digital Productions (KDP) was Mel Antzen’s latest misadventure. About halfway between Burbank and Ventura in a light industrial complex, the kind with rolling riot garage doors and steel doors behind barbed wire fences. Ironically, there was a little handwritten sign on the guardhouse gate that said WALK-INS WELCOME.

Luisa turned to Don Jin in the back seat of the limo. “That must be for auditions. Are you interested?”

“It depends on how the meeting goes.”He saw a large bald man with a cell phone suddenly appear from behind the guardhouse.

His nametag said Gordo Loco. The name fit. He was wearing a US Army Cavalry captain’s uniform from the Civil War, sword and all. He talked back to his cell phone. “Yeah boss, the troublemakers are here.” With his hat in hand, he waved the limo over to a parking space near the loading dock.

As they got out of the limo, Don had to ask. “Is that a company uniform?”

Loco seemed annoyed as he brought them up the loading dock and through the garage door. “I have many responsibilities. I am performing tonight.”

Inside was a cheap movie set of fake campfires and Indian tepees with the actors in various states of undress. They were led down a narrow hallway to a standard conference room. The wall screen displayed the scene from the movie set but was replaced with an image of Mel Antzen that Don recognized from his briefing file. It was disturbing because the picture was thirty years old and he had not changed a bit. Anton’s money obviously paid wholesale for enough plastic surgery and biotechnology to simulate immortality.

“Hi there.” Anzten said in a voice halfway between a sportscaster and game show host. “You were not invited so I have asked my lawyer, Harry Reidel to be here.” The camera pulled back to show an attorney pretty enough to be a twin of Anzten. They must have gone to same surgeon.

Don was not too surprised at Antzen’s absence. The guy was slippery smooth. Luisa was steamed but managed to control it. “It was my understanding that this meeting was to be in person.”

Reidel leaned forward. “My client had other obligations and this was the only way to accommodate your deposition.”

“We will take an initial interview tonight, but will insist on seeing your client in person as soon as possible. Any place, any time.”

At that point, the lights went out and emergency lights went on. There were screams and then silence down the hall. The door to the conference room swung open and Gordo Loco stumbled inside, waving his sword shouting, “Indians! Indians!” He then fell over onto the conference table between Don and Luisa. There was a tranquilizer dart in the back of his neck.

At that point, Tapas Kalki, chief investigator for Applied Karma, walked in wearing an impeccable Edwardian suit and carrying a dart gun.

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Pluribus 9”

  1. Hi DJ!

    I just read through the Pluribus posts.

    I like the story a lot.

    Since you are soliciting comments about the website, I have a few notes about presentation. The story isn’t a blog, it’s a serial. So, it’s cool to have the latest post out on top for those who are all caught up. But there should be a link to the beginning of the story as well. And each episode should have a link to the episode that follows.

    That’s my two cents!


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