Report to Polizei DM13 (Bavaria)

 

Attn: Kaiser 673-90-534K              21:31:33--06-30-2020

From: Detective 1 Class Fassbinder (88-90005)

Re: Betaville Affair in 2009

 

       I have just arrived in Munich. I am happy to be back home, considering the strange activities I have undergone in the Southern Sectors; there is no hope for Africa, none, I am afraid. But the anarchy is not so bad as our media make out.

       I found a memorandum asking for my recollections of the Betaville Affair, and I shall do my best to reconstruct those odd developments. Often I awake in deadness of night with a sweat about my torso, remembering certain instances of that affair. I shall recreate my memories with as little descriptive embellishment as I am able. (Some dates and times may be slightly mistaken, be warned.)

 

Monday, June 13, 7 a.m.: The CEO of Exon went for an early morning run near his home in Division 147 of Betaville, the ultra-secure section of Washington Area, headquarters of America. The CEO's name was Larry Neopollex; he was almost bitten by his neighbor's dog, Pluto. A garbage truck approached Neopollex  several houses away from his own home, and a woman got out of the truck, a woman we now know was Ainsley Ives. She informed Neopollex that he was being abducted and she asked him to climb into the back of the garbage truck. Neoplollex did as asked, though Miss Ives showed him no weapon initially. She then gave several neighborhood childred nuclear diode and told them it was sand to make castles of, or so they understood this blue substance to be. Then Neopollex asked Miss Ives to shoot his neighbor's dog, and she did so with a Sennheiser Luger (.456 calibre, Hamburg Sector 11). Pluto was instantly killed, and Neopollex seemed quite pleased at this development.

 

I learned of the abduction at the same time the police gang of Betaville Sector 147 learned of it: Miss Ives specifically asked to speak with Detective Second Class Solomon White, the ex-football hero, and since I was his guest as an affairs observer that week, I followed the story from the first moment. The demand was for four million U.S. dollars (now equivalent to 2 billion marks), in exchange for Mr. Neopollex. Solomon White and I informed a video conference gathering of Exxon offcials about this demand, and it was agreed that the bribe should be paid, despite ironclad anti-ransom regulations promulgated by CEO Neopollex only a few weeks before his abduction;there was some considerable argument from directors of the company about these regulations, and I must say I was surprised that some objection to the payment was raised by Mrs. Neopollex, who was adamant that protocol be duly observed. Det. White and myself then explored Sector 147 while we waited for communication from Miss Ives; we spent several hours in the most beautiful marshes of Lorton, which reminded me of the Reconstructed Blue Forest in Warsaw Sector, but I shan't digress.

 

At 16:23:07 (U) we were paged by Ives: Det. White, an affable (black) man who learned that morning that he was afflicted with a rare blood disorder (with his wife six months pregnant!), informed Miss Ives that Exon was willing to pay the ransom. Miss Ives then informed us of the conditions under which the bribe should be paid: four million U.S. in ten-dollar notes were to be dropped in Sector 13 of Anacostia, a minimum secuirty zone (MSZ) plagued by three airborne lethal viruses and contolled by "tribal" warfare of the heaviest armaments, and the mney was to be dropped at mid-day from a helicopter. When Det. White informed the Exon executives of this condition, bedlam ensued. I was present with White to watch the Exon chiefs agonize over their decision: the publicity of dropping four million into a minimum security zone populated entirely by armed blacks was too much for the company, and suddenly they insisted that they wouldn't pay the ransom, and that the deadline of 24:00 for accepting the conditions should be allowed to pass without acceptance. During this argument a very curious thing happened: a man with a blue-tinted goatee walked into the Exon video conference room and announced that he knew the ringleader or one of the ringleaders of this gang, which was a shocking enough claim, but that more shockingly still when asked to identify himself he replied, "My name is Siddartha, but you know me as Buddha." Of course this sentence resulted in hilarity among the oil people, but I was intrigued by the man's character and bearing. He did seem slightly alien.

 

At approximately 20:00:00 (U) on June 13, the Exon Company decided it would not pay the bribe. It exhorted the Washington Area Polizei to apprehend the ringleaders if possible, but to keep the entire affair from the media. Detective White and his ensigns from the 147th Sector followed up on Buddha's claim, and we soon had an Interpol match: Wanda Forever, identified by Buddha as a possible ringleader, was very likely to be involved, in which case eco-terrorists Ainsley Ives, Mirinda Torok and Cheeta Galen would also be involved. These women were part of the Mobil Sabotage, The Gang of Seventy-Seven plot against the Queen of Holland and the Whitecollar 1000 affair. It was difficult to understand how Miss Ives had penetrated into USZ Sector 147, since she had been radiation-marked in 2017 along with her co-conspirators and would therefore be unable to move in 147 without attracting police gang attention. But I digress.

 

At 22:09:09 (U), Wanda Forever was located by global radiation tracking (which we must get our hands on, since it gives the Americans such extraordianry Apprehensive Powers), and was brought up on video. She claimed she had nothing to do with the Neopollex abduction, and that she was in Uganda (African former British colony, now rated Max Development Zone because of total acidic soil imbalance [carcass-type B, deforestation grade A, etc.]) doing "organizaional" work. When Miss Forever appeared on Video, this man calling himself Buddha made the most plaintive attempt to make himself known to her, but she ignored him, causing us all a fair upset since he keened so obviously for her like a lap dog; he even tried to sing her a song, about a "Blue Heaven," but she seemed disgusted with him. She ackowledged that Miss Ives and her cohorts were probably involved with the Neopollex kidnapping, and then she dropped her own bombshell: Mrs. Neopollex and several other environment sympathizers would control Exon's economic and political fate if CEO Neopollex were killed, and Mrs. Neopollex apparently had plans to take the company in a new direction, according to Miss Forever. (Mrs. Neopollex and her friends would control almost 20% of Exon stock in the event of CEO Neopollex's demise.) The new company would be called "EcoGas," and would donate some small percentage of its sales to solar energy research in an effort to capture the Eco-Yuppie market. When Mrs. Neopollex was confronted with this revelation from such an unlikely source, she defiantly admitted these plans, whereupon there followed a fevered and rancorous debate among the company's officers. None of the male officers wanted to change Exon's current status as the third-largest revenue earner globally; Mrs. Neopollex and her friends invoked the example of cosmetics giant Body Shop and supermarket behemeoths Stonyfield Farms as proof of the Eco-Yuppie stratagem's potential; and several officers pointed out that dropping four million dollars into an MSZ would be an action not without its positive public relations possibilities. It was therefore decided that the bribe should be paid according to Miss Ives' demands, and that the money would indeedbe dropped by helicopter with the most media hoopla possible; Exxon would be seen as a nice organization giving development money to underprivileged communities. When Miss Ives called Det. White at 06:00 the next day, he would inform her that the helicopters would drop the money at 08:00 and presumably CEO Neopollex would be free. This seemed to be the resolution which made most people happy, though Mrs. Neopollex stormed out of the Video conferencing room after shouting threats of a legal injunction. But Det. White was determined to find Miss Ives and her cohorts and crack the case before 06:00; he insisted on iterrogating this odd fellow, Buddha. Around midnight that night, we heard the most amazing claims from this stranger: he had been sent at the behest of the Universe to find the meaning of existence, and had spent two thousand years without much success until he ingested psilocybin mushrooms during a Viking raid in Ireland in the 11th century; his 'trip' convinced him that the meaning of life lay in appreciating the magical elements of the planet and the ability of the mind to be expanded beyond reality, or at least this is what I gathered from him and his descriptions of his ensuing several hundred years of research. In the late 20th century, this fellow claimed, he was exposed to MDA in Rio de Janeiro and was brought to a "magical ecstasis of the love-sword" when he suddenly found himself face to face with Wanda Forever, a teenage athlete of legendary ability who had just lost a breast to cancer caused by dioxides; the loss of the breast made Wanda Forever turn to archery as her sport, in which she won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics. Thereafter Miss Forever embarked on a career of journalism to expose the corporations causing the kinds of pollution which had resulted in her own tragic loss, but soon found that journalism is not capable of delivering the truth to the public. Then, according to Buddha, Miss Forever turned to terrorism or, more specifically, to eco-terrorism, which she employed to murder several leading international industrial leaders; this last claim accorded with the mysterious deaths in 1999 of several such corporate chiefs which perplexed the world at the time for their unusual methods of poisoned darts. According to Buddha, Miss Forever had abandoned her bow and arrows and turned instead to a blowgun and curare, the Amazonian poison thought to be extinct. I digress and digress! The point is that Buddha and Wanda Forever had a short love affair, one night to be exact, during which both were under the influence of ayahuasco (another South American medicinal herb), and then Wanda turned her back on Buddha and disappeared. He followed her progress as blowgun queen in the media, but then the murders ended (after at least two dozen incidents) and he was left with nothing but his memory. And it was this Neopollex kidnapping which brought this extraordinary man to Washington Area, to search for his long-lost love.

 

Detective White listened to Buddha's story with an expression of utter disinterest, until Buddha mentioned something about Wanda Forever's steadfastrule about environment: always keep your feet on the dirt rather than on concrete, and always try to keep as much sky above your head as possible (he mentioned that the ideal would be 180* around the compass, or better yet be atop a mountain when possible, "since all energy comes down from the sun through the sky"), and that Ainsley Ives and Mirinda Whatever and Martha Bluenose were all "in love" with Wanda Forever. These two facts got White thinking. He'd dismissed Buddha (asking him to stay in the USZ Betaville) and run a data search on property near Betaville which was made up of little concrete and a very low skyline; he found a small hill named Fairfax Station which belonged to the Exon Gasoline Company. We had something. At 04:16:36 (U), Detective Solomon White was given a second-degree clearance to patrol the property, and we drove out to the place, a wonderful spot seemingly barren of urban activity. Truly, I was astonished by the purple glow of the hills and small trees; not a building broke the horizon. White was convinced that Ainsley Ives and her kidnapped CEO Neopollex were on the premises. He celled back to Sector 147 headquarters, and received a shock: communications were out. Depressing his Call button raised only this electronic message, "Your selfish genes are barely human, So says Kid Silicon." This line would reverberate around the world for almost a week, of course, and become the root of the Kid Silicon Communications Erasure which caused such unique financial turbulence in the leading markets for months afterward. But you know all this . . .

 

So here we were in quiet, reconstructed Fairfax Station, with only hills around us, no communication, looking for a band of terrorists with the sun about to rise through the haze; and for sure above all ticked the 08:00 deadline to tell Miss Ives that Exon accepted her terms and would dump the ransom money over black Anacostia at mid-day. Unbelievably, the second-degree clearance for patrol meant that Det. White could not leave his patrolcar; the American police gangs have an actual restraining device in their cars to keep valuable servicemen and women from being killed in vulnerable situations. As an observer, I was not under such restraint, so I went for a walk at about 06:00 (U). The air was thick with nature, so strange for me from the CM. The grass beneath my feet felt fabulous, and so much of it! Birds sang, frogs bellowed, and a soft breeze blew over me from the north. The electric static of the communications lines hardly disturbed my stupor, and I felt transported back to  another time, when Mother Earth ruled and civilization consisted only of circle jerks in caves. Then there he was in front of me, the Buddha! He beckoned me to join him in his crouch behind a hedge of bush (how I wish I could be urbane and identify the genus), and told me he was waiting for Ainsley Ives to appear, and he pointed to a spot where CEO Neopollex was buried alive. I thought about fetching Solomon White, but suddenly Ives emerged from a small wood and walked to where Buddha had pointed. She was accompanied by several young women, all quite gay and pleasant but Ives, who looked wan and tired despite her great beauty (forgive me!). The women cleared dirt and grass from atop a large coffin, and Ives opened the thing to let out a nervous but joyous Mr. Neopollex. He was obviously strained by 24 hours locked underground in such close quarters. I could hear him asking about the ransom, but Ives spoke in subdued tones and caused Neopollex' complexion to change. I realized that Ives was probably unaware that the Exon Company was ready to pay the ransom at the appointed mid-day hour, and it seemed likely that she was telling Neopollex she hadn't yet heard from his people. I felt the urge to stand up and tell Ives about Exon's willingness to pay the bribe, when suddenly I saw Miss Ives raise a small gun toward the face of Mr. Neopollex. She asked him a question, and he made a nervous reply of some kind, before he hurtled backward into his grave, face smashed, and the sound of the gunblast swept past us. I was speechless.

 

To my horror, Buddha leapt from our hiding place to approach the women, who bristled but did not threaten him. I approached the group and heard Buddha asking if he could talk to Wanda Forever. Ives asked him who he was, and when he identified himself, she laughed. "That's your child, you know, Kid  Silicon, who's out there bankrupting Wall Street over the optic cables," she said. I told Miss Ives that Exon Company was set to pay the bribe; that Detective White hadn't been in touch because of the communications breakdown created by this Silicon Kid, and Miss Ives took the news nonchalantly: "It wouldn't have mattered if they did pay the bribe or didn't," she said, "Because there are some mistakes you can't pay for." And then she bid us both good day. Buddha was of course filled with questions about Kid Silicon -- was this a child of his union (however briefly) with Wanda Forever? Did Kid Silicon know that he, Buddha, was his father? Etc. But Miss Ives smiled enigmatically and strolled back toward the woods with her gang of females. She looked at me once and shook her head as if in a small warning, or so I took the action.

 

I returned to Detective White, in a trance in his patrol car. He would never be the same because of his disease, and I'm sorry to say he passed away a few years later. Mrs. Neopollex did take over Exon Company, and now we've got more EcoGases than 7-Elevens in Bavaria Sector. And as fate would have it, in 2023 I ran across Buddha singing in the lounge of a hotel in Hong Kong. I asked him if he'd found Wanda Forever. He'd learned his lessons about women, he told me, and shrugged. Had he found the meaning of life for the universe, I asked. He sneered as he told me the universe wasn't after meaning; a better high was all the universe wanted, just like the rest of the world. He then tried to sell me a copy of his CDROM, which I ruefully admit to not buying and have been searching for in entertainment depots throughout the world. Buddha did not seem to have much planned for the future, but with a past like his perhaps this is understandable. (Though it isn't to me!)

 

So ends my report. Ainsley Ives is still at large and Wanda Forever is in the news again with this dastardly population-control plan of hers. Kid Silicon is a major drag to all of our healths, and perhaps is the only person whom I wish vicious and devastating harm. I'm not sure what use this recollection of mine will be to you, but perhaps you have some great plans . . .

Regards, Your Humble First Class Detective Fassbinder

foto by Helmuth Humphrey of Kristina Berger, Sandra Bishop, Nica Tran and Hal Handerson.