Friday, December 16, 2011

Beginnings No.15 Erdem Kross 16th November

Erdem Kross moved through the crowd, balancing a tray of Whiskies, Red and White Wine, Champagne and orange juice, skillfully offering the right side of the tray to each of the sleek, rich businessmen talking energetically all around him in a plush office high above Canary Wharf. They never broke their conversations as he, as a mere waiter was invisible to them, yet without thinking their glass of chosen booze was always the one nearest them as they swapped an empty glass for a full one.

As they discussed dips and whirls in the markets, who was due to have a share placing, potential catastrophes in currency movements they ignored this suave, black haired, short waiter, but he did not miss a word, nor did they notice his pen microphone and miniature lapel camera, picking up every detail.

On top of that if they had known Erdem had a double first in Economics and computer sciences, along with a full qualification in International Accountancy, they would have zipped their lips. Neither would they notice if they stayed late at the office, or arrived early that the same Erdem would be hoovering away, polishing and brushing as a cleaner amongst all the trading desks, this time with another name, light brown hair, shoes that lifted him nearly 4 inches invisibly and a different way of holding himself. Cleaners were invisible too!

One job gave him the leading edge information he needed, the other the place and time to benefit from it. Over time working with his 15 year old genius at IT nephew Sarp they had developed digital dongles that gave access to the computer systems, using password carelessly exposed whilst typing them in, and wireless ways of hoovering information out of the system remotely in Erdem (the invisible) presence and even when not, that had allowed him to create his own accounts that passed every security system placed by the banks and trading houses he worked in. he then transferred money to new accounts in the Cayman Islands and Liechtenstein.

Long ago he had made his first million using all the knowledge from his academic years, couple with the insider information he continuously gleaned from his false jobs. He returned to his home in Wimbledon as Guiseppe Po leading a respectable life as a quite but not too successful life as a self employed pilot of private jets which also allowed some interesting data mining! Now due to information gleaned in the last week, about a huge and obviously illegal deal being put together by a coteries of bankers, his opportunity to make a billion dollars in one go was tantalisingly close!

This evening he was for the 1st a little nervous, as he had begun in the last few weeks to feel, still with no actual evidence that he was being followed and even anticipated in his move on the market. What he did not know was that someone with just as many degrees as him, had come up with a similar way of working and was not noticed, because now he too did not see waiter, cleaners, doormen and security people as in his heart he was already one of the privileged few!

Standing only five feet away in the bustling gesticulating crowd, Arthur Johnson a  pimply youth of 25 years saw who Erdem sidled up and noted every detail ....

Over to you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beginnings No. 14 Marty Fattorrini del Popo 10th November

Marty wandered round the room in a daze, desperately tying to work out where he was, why he was there and how the hell did he get here! There were some clues, peeping over a very fat man's shoulder, he looked through a large glass French window onto a balcony which in turn looked over a bustling harbour. The idea of the SEA resonated, but with what he could not make a link yet. A beautiful girl walked up to him, gave him a long slow kiss on the cheek and whispered, where have you been hiding, No.1 lover? punched him in the ribs playfully,,but with a force that left him gasping and she disappeared into the crowd.

A very smooth looking waiter materialised at his side with a silver tray laden with several decanters of really expensive looking Armagnacs & whispered, the XO 1947 Sir?, but don't tell anyone and by the way I took your advice and now our future is protected in a way no one but you could have imagined or made possible - I owe you, big time!! Then he too vanished like the mist into the crowd.

So far he had not said a word to anyone, when he suddenly noticed his cuff being pulled and looking down, blinked not quite believing what he saw - a dwarf straight out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, bobble hat and curly toed shoes included, but not so nicely pointing in a discrete yet threatening way a Walther PPK. Its time we had a chat about that unfinished business and you are invited downstairs for a private chat. The matter must be resolved in the next hour, if not there will be hell to pay for you, for us and .... no that's too terrible to contemplate!. OK was the only word that Marty's fevered mind could come up with.

They swept through the crowd, as if they did not exist, stepped into a huge lift, furnished like a a very chic Manhattan Bar, with a bar lady, who gave Marty a knowing wink and shot up who knows how many floors, eventually sighing to a halt on the top floor, onto a spectacular air bridge that leapt from the building they had been in to an odd lollipop shaped building that seemed to consist solely of one huge penthouse with no other flats below it. The harbour now looked like a toy, twinkling umpteen stories below.

It took five minutes to cross the bridge with his dwarf companion keeping silent, but pointing helpfully at the other building with the PPK. As they got to the three story high, shining aluminium front door, it opened by itself and they were ushered into a foyer of such gigantic proportions that the mind reeled. On top of the jumble of confusions, wildly leaping emotions and and just plain crazy thoughts that had been building up since being aware of his presence at the party had, was a sense of awe, as to who might it be who owned this fabulous, monstrous sky palace and why he was needed to sort out what matter, and the consequences that might befall him should he not.

At the far end of the foyer a wide doorway led into a vast library, with maybe 40 levels of books encased in gorgeous wood facing onto a glass wall with a truly unbelievable view of the sea, and some mountains, possibly a volcano in the distance. By a huge baronial fireplace half way along the immense room, sat a small figure, embedded in a very comfortable armchair with a foot rest, and holding a long twig, with a marshmallow on it, being toasted to perfection.

Dopey! is that our honoured guest? or should I say host, as I have been camping here in this mediocre hut for a year, whilst you tracked him down and brought him here. Marty staggered as an explosion of memories repressed deep in his psyche began to tumble out - of course he was .......

Now over to you!! ..............................................

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beginnings No. 13 Vernon Erstadt 27th July

Veron Erstadt blanched as he saw emerging through the gloom Sandy Dryden walking towards him in a very determined manner, brandishing a pistol and mouthing obscenities. Where is my f***king Vermeer he shouted, this time i am going to kill you!

The room through which he now walked was quite extraordinary. It resembled a church nave, long and narrow, with high Norman arch windows, punctuating the gloom and from wall to ceiling along its whole length, lined with paintings and drawings, some unmounted and stuck on the wall with sticking tape, some on wooden boards, others on canvas, framed and un-framed, large and small - but everyone was a Vermeer or so it would appear!

Veron was in fact the absolute master of counterfeit Vermeers and had been so for going on 40 years. He was now "retired" after several spells in jail over the years, let down not by his art which was exemplary, but by dealers and agents even dodgier than him and now in his sixties, he had become a celebrity expert on the artist with dealers, owners and even the police seeking his advice.

What no one knew except for him and Sandy, was that for years, Veron had used Sandy to steal Vermeers from Museums and private collections and substituted them with his copies and these now resided on his wall, or had been sold on to other collectors. What Veron did not know was that also over the years Sandy had become an expert in his own right, with an equal talent for forgery, which included forging Veron's own tell-tales and hiding real Vermeers in front of his face by including some of Veron's art in them.

There came a point when both Sandy and Veron no longer really knew what was real and what was not, but they still thought they did.

This was why Sandy was now bearing down on Veron so theateningly! Veron had commissioned Sandy to steal a particular large Vermeer from a shady Mafia collector in Italy and substitute one of Veron's copies as he already had a buyer lined up for an astounding sum, which would mean real retirement was possible. This time Sandy, knowing this was a really big deal and possible the last one, had demanded this time to be paid with a real Vermeer albeit a small and relatively slight work of the master.

The deal done Sandy had taken it home and lo and behold - it was a fake, a damn good one perfect in the eyes of literally anyone else but not to Sandy. Is there no honour amongst thieves?!! he shouted holding the painting in one hand and a Walther PPK in the other and bore down on Vernon.

Now over to you!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beginnings No.12 Trevor Trover 27th June

Trevor Trover truly tasted terror transporting tricky TNT through tantalisingly tarnished tracks trashing tractors, trains totally ......

Over to you!

Not at all serious this time, but can you tell a story with the same letter at the beginning of each word!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beginnings No.11 Jerry Popovitch 22nd June

Jerry Popovitch had set himself a simple task that day in Autumn. Get on the train in Berwick on Tweed, where his estranged wife Adriana now lived and with whom he had spent a not unpleasant weekend, trying to revive the marriage, and return to London taking his new camera with him and trying an experiment, utilising one of its features that intrigued him.

The idea was simple, as the train now hurtled, sometimes at 125mph through stations, he would take a picture at 1/6000th of a second at each and every station, not actually seeing what he had taken at the time of taking. He would resist the temptation to look at what the camera had seen until he got home to his Chelsea (now bachelor) pad.

He arrived at Kings Cross and still resisting the temptation to peak, he headed home via the Piccadilly Line then the Circle Line and got out at Sloane Square, which was a short walk from his Lower Sloane Street first floor flat. He made a coffee using his beloved Nespresso machine and plugged the SD Card into his PC and imported the pictures using Lightroom 3, adding a shot of Cognac to the coffee as he pressed the button on the Slideshow option then settled into his Eames chair to see what the experiment had come up with.

At the very first image he blinked, the second had him gasping and at the third he fainted! Waking up a few minutes later he looked at all 23 pictures one after another. In each of them, Adriana walked from left to right across to a man, he sort of recognised and in a very relaxed and familiar way finally held his hand and in the final image walked through the turnstile and out of the station which he then noticed was Hatfield with a sign showing the day, date and time which was today! The images of the two ran like a perfect movie, with the background in perfect clarity caught at 6,000th of a second and was at a different station each time and they were all ones they had actually passed only a hour and half ago.

At that moment the phone rang, and a voice that brought a chill down his back, because it connected with that recognised but not remembered man, spoke. Jerry, I say Jerry, don't be alarmed, spoken in a sickeningly Etonian, Blues and Royals sort of voice we know what you have just seen and have called to say .....................

Over to you ...................

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beginnings No. 10 Vandervell 17th June

Vandervell ate humble pie. Since submitting his paper on Malthusian aspects of Drosophila melanogaster  fly populations, he had realised he had got it sooooo wrong. It was embarrassing. His twist on it had been a leap into the dark - right down a well! into deep water!!

By using quantum techniques to adapt sections of DNA in the fast breeding population combined with quantum computing techniques the plan had been to use the flies themselves as a quantum computer to monitor their eating habits and their fight for ever dwindling food resources and see how this might limit the population.

Talk about the law of unexpected consequences!!. The behaviour that emerged, and it now appeared that it was too late to stop it, was now a booming population of flies that had a combined super intelligence - a living quantum computer, which was very good, need I say it frighteningly good and coldly calculating at finding food for itself and investing in exponentially growing the power of its intellect to do so.

Vandervell now sat and trembled before the combined might of the worlds oversight committees of the sciences, the food commission, the computing societies, ethics, human rights, animal rights, even the Drosophila melanogaster society!  Who all wanted his blood, literally and figuratively in economic, financial, custodial and terminal senses.

Judge Aragon "shredder" Fairman III presided over the unruly mob filling the hall of the United Nations building while billions watched on TV as the humming and buzzing sound grew larger and larger, air conditioning ducts coughed and fell into silence and the light slowly failed.

In a quiet voice that surprisingly filled the room and caused a murmer of anticipation and shifting of seats, he said "I have an idea, that could turn into a plan, that becomes a course of action, which if implemented worldwide in an astoundingly co-ordinated way with awesome speed, skill and timing could ....."

Over to you ............................................

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beginnings no.9 Arbuthnot 13th June

Arbuthnot pressed the huge brass doorbell to the right of the imposing black door and heard the tinkle of a bell echoing down what sounded like a very, very, very,did I say?! very!! long corridor. He shuddered involuntarily as what sounded suspiciously like a wolf, howled somewhere in the distance and started wondering why the hell, he had turned left four miles back rather than right, as he had left his broken down AC Cobra by the side of the road near Much Cheeping under Wallow, the bijoux Cotswolds village he had just spent a day in with Falkoyana Struzz Fitzherbert, his date for the day, who he had met in slightly mysterious circumstances in a dodgy club in Marbella, four days previously.

Now through the door, he heard footsteps, a long way away, echoing and re-echoing down the dark corridor (how did he already know it was dark, dank and smelling of .... no don't go there he thought) and he half turned to leave, but something nameless held him rooted to the spot. Those distant steps now seemed to drum into his ears like pile drivers and had a sharpness and screeching sound that made him feel nauseous, but there was something sexy in all this that fascinated and disturbed him at the same time.

He had left Falkoyana, in the car, yet somehow he now felt it was she who would open the door and the thought of those long legs, the exquisite blond hair and blue, blue eyes gave him courage. The door suddenly was pulled open with astonishing energy, there was a flash of blond hair, Louboutins with impossibly high heels, a powerful scent and .........................

Over to you ......................