Premiered 9/9/9 (9 September 2009)
The continuation of The Myth and Legend of D'PTah, an original novel by Dan Sewell Ward.
Being Senator Thomas K. Layde's personal aide does have its perks. But just in case you're missing my meaning, dirtbag, I am not his mistress. I have never had to provide sex just in order to move up in the organization. I am in my position by right of having worked my ass off. Only when I had established my authority and been recognized for my ability to get things done, did the Senator and I actually have sex. But it was done as equals. So keep your snide remarks to yourself. Melissa Sheba Court doesn't tolerate such crap. Southern Belles don't have to! In a word, stuff it!
Yeah... yeah... I know: he's a member of the most exclusive and powerful governmental club in the world, and I am... comparatively speaking... nothing but a lowly aide. But I'm the one who gets things done. Without me, the Senator could never achieve a third of what he does on a regular basis. I choose my lovers, as many as I feel necessary, and whenever I decide to so engage. There are no employer--employee relationships when we decide to meet and satisfy our animal needs. I get my kicks, because that's the way I want it. If he does as well, fine; but who really cares?
I do enjoy sex, but I must admit that power is often times even more orgasmic. For that reason alone, I wouldn't give up my job for anyone. It's just entirely too delicious. Keep in mind that as a fully fledged member of the power elite – even without title or portfolio – I have the rare opportunity to participate in some of the most important meetings in the world, all dealing with important events in the conduct of modern affairs. Thus the Senator and I get to do whatever we damn well please, and hang the consequences for all those serfs and sheep waiting to be sheared... the serfs, not the sheep. The peasants can take a flying leap! I prefer the top of pyramid because the view is so much nicer.
Not bad for a girl from the Alabama sticks who just happened to have the face and body of a Hollywood starlet. And who, incidentally worked hard to maintain said face and body in prime condition. But just so we're straight here, understand it's my mind that makes me valuable... that keeps me in my position of power. It's my planning, my organizational talents, and my ability to accomplish near miracles in the furtherance of the Senator's and my common goals that keeps me where I am. Together we make an incredible team. Both of exceptional intelligence, we're partners in every sense of the word; just no arbitrary and capricious titles to designate me as such.
I chose Senator Layde as the object of my ambitions for the simplest of reasons. He is the sharpest operator in town. I mean that with the greatest respect. He is the consummate politician in a world of brilliant artists in the second oldest profession. Anyone can practice damage control; some even capable of shedding damage like a duck sheds water – the most common being the contrition bit. Tom Layde, on the other hand, doesn't bother. He, under my guidance, never even incurs damage in the first place. The damages, the innuendos, the charges of malfeasance, they simply never happen.
As far as I am aware, he is the only high ranking member of the governmental elite who has a dedicated staff organization who does nothing but provide cover for his every activity – legal, ethical, and otherwise. Memos, press releases, and intentional leaks flow continually from this group, each and every item specifically intended to provide clear evidence of Layde’s consuming passion for honesty, fair dealing, and forthrightness – even when he was privately saying and doing things entirely different in every respect. His political adversaries have inevitably come to admire him for maintaining the appearance of the totally clean persona. Even his family life is one provided by actors and actresses – those able to conform to an autocratic director’s all consuming vision. This includes Mrs. Layde!
The truth of the matter is that Layde's wife had in fact been an aspiring actress herself, but felt the need for a bit more stability in her chosen roles. Looking for a longer run, she chose the gig of the supportive wife of the all conquering knight where she could enjoy the luxuries derived from the massively ill gotten gain... and where she could also enjoy and participate in the most outrageous fantasies of the deranged elite. With respect to Mrs. Trudy Kylee Jessup Layde, the Senator never complicated their personal life with something so mundane or filled with such potential problems as sex between them. The Senator's best orgasms derived from his attainment of power, even though he's found competition in the sexual orgasms derived from our occasional, incredibly secret rendezvous moments.
Oh... did I mention that the loyal Mrs. Kylee, one of the pinnacles of DC society... was shacking up with her alternate power broker? Surprised? What you need to know is that life in DC is something else. The apparent lack of orgies stems from everyone making extensive preparations to avoid getting caught. And when it came to pragmatism, Kylee was one of its greatest champions.
More importantly, the Senator's connections to the Barons of Power, the chiefs of industry, were legendary. The trick was that all such connections were accomplished in such a way that you would have thought the Senator was the working man's workaholic. No big parties for the man to publicly attend. Any such party was not worth attending to begin with. The truly elite are virtually invisible from the public eye. They admire and invite the Senator for the simple reason that they admire his virtual invisibility. He is one of them – or at least a candidate for becoming an apprentice to them.
How is such a thing achieved, you ask? How can a reigning Senator dart in and out of the public awareness with the twinkling of eye? How can he appear to be working late into the night on the affairs of state – or being the dutiful husband to his adoring wife and sharing their marital bliss – and yet find his jollies in the company of those who rule the world? Simple. As I mentioned earlier, he uses actors. Two very special actors stand in as his double – virtual twins who makes appearances from afar, keeping the press thinking they know where the Senator is (and therefore failing to be newsworthy for the paparazzi). Meanwhile the real Senator jets off in an uncharted plane to enjoy the fruits of fantasy islands of all manner of delights. What the hell is power for if not for pushing decadence to the furtherest extreme?
The Senator... with my help... was the man who had orchestrated one of the great coups in the history of politics. He had fooled them all. He had committed every manner of subterfuge and deceit in the pursuit of his goals, and simultaneously set himself up for a massive surge of patriotic fervor to call him (against his alleged will, of course) to be the leader of the world in perpetuity. Not just the free world, mind you; the entire world. The Senator was not inhibited by limited or merely great expectations. I like to think of myself as being the prime mover in such ambitions. Hey! It was my idea! Layde just follows the script I wrote.
Imagine then how thoroughly pissed the two of us were when at the verge of ascending to the ultimate Leadership and enjoying all of its fruits, that we should suddenly have a total novice slip in through the back door on the wings of an angel! How could anyone with such luck, fortitude, and sheer brilliance be blocked by a commoner without the connections, foresight, and willingness to do anything in the attainment of power? It was outrageous in the extreme. I don't mind telling you that I was just a bit miffed. I was, after all, to be one of the power brokers behind the throne.
So what really were the choices at the advent of the Regency? To be the point man in striving to bring all of the corporate forces to bear? OR to fade away and enjoy the fruits thus attained? Or better yet, be the Fifth Column in the Regency? Ah yes, now there seemed the better ideal. We could still have our cake and eat it. The world's power was being consolidated; why not replace the leader with my senator? And close on his heels, me. Obviously world power would be shared with yours truly. Keep in mind that I could always count on his friendship; I knew too much. I also knew how to preserve the evidence in the event of my untimely demise. For this he both hated and admired me. I loved both of his emotions, even when he attempted to hide them! I love this shit!
The clear choice was bringing to reality the manner in which he could succeed the Regent and take an even grander prize than first envisioned! There was no need for frustrated ambitions to manifest. After all, the Regent was human (or so it was assumed), and therefore he could have been as easily fooled concerning the Great Senator as all but the most cynical (and thus well informed) individuals. With his perfect track record, my “uncle” Tommy would be the perfect candidate to accomplish all the wonders that the Regent wanted. Thereafter, with covert sabotage -- the latter being a past talent and accomplishment of Senator Layde on numerous occasions -- my boy could still carry the day. The Senator could confide in the CEO Barons his duplicity – knowing they would appreciate the possibilities he offered as the leader of the even greater New World Order... that is to say... the system to immediately follow the Regency’s vain attempt to remake the world. It would be billed of course as a continuation of the Regency, but in reality it would involve covert modifications that would be anti-regency to their very core. It was all part of the standard practices of pragmatic politics -- and for which Miss Melissa could be proud.
The first step in our plan – after I had first lifted the spirits of my lover by telling him of my quicker thinking – was to bring together very selected power members of the elite, the gang I lovingly referred to as The Warlords. They could be our go-betweens to the truly powerful, could be used up in our plans as necessary, and ultimately set us up for the biggest prize. The plan was for us to meet in the security of a very private yacht. Simple! Even if getting to such a meeting was a trip in itself!
The journey to Yachtville was a good example of just how the Senator and I weave our magic. It began for me in my DC apartment, where to all extents and purposes I had returned for the evening. Earlier in the afternoon, a female (alleged) plumber had been let into my condo by the building superintendent, ostensibly to do some personal renovations. The moment I got home, we did a quick costume switch and I walked out to her van and left. Simple as that. Of course that meant I could not as the lady plumber return before morning. The same might be true for the Senator, in which case, we might have to later indulge ourselves in various forms of plumbing analogies (plugging the drain, rotor routering, and so forth).
Of course, I would probably have to turn on the after burners and make damn sure that I got my jollies first – before he rolled over and slept it off. Sometimes, the guy was a real shit.
Meanwhile, the double at my apartment could do pretty much whatever she wanted. Just no visitors – lest another person learn of the switch and thus compromise or reduce security. And never fear for the working girl; she was being paid handsomely for lying on her backside... as it turns out, unmolested.
Once I was in the van, I returned to the alleged plumbing shop, only to take another car to a homestead on a tributary off the Chesapeake. (Plumbers live really quite well in DC – especially those who are capable of providing the full range of plumbing activities!) From the homestead, it was easy to walk the short distance to the pier, slip into the small launch, and with fishing gear in evidence, head out into the bay. Of course, I had to have bait, and this took me to the bait shop, where I met my fellow angler with the goods – in this case the Senator in what was the worst case of drag I've ever seen. Of course, two other actors left on my launch to go fishing, while the Senator and I slipped into another boat ostensibly called the Admiral's barge for the ride to the yacht. There we changed into clothing befitting our membership in the Warlords Club, and upon our arrival, entered the saloon of one way mirrors. The interior of the yacht's main saloon was in fact totally hidden from external viewing, even while enjoying clear views of the surroundings in the event of there being any slight threat to our security. The yacht was cool as shit!
It belonged ultimately to some XIP [Extremely Important Person, aka Unknown IP] named Norman Malestrom, albeit an ownership hidden within a maze like sequence of intermediaries. The guy was to lowlifes like the Senator and I the stuff of legends. Malestrom's name had made the rounds, albeit only in hushed overtones, but any personal information was never even speculated upon. I had never even seen a photograph of the guy, and frankly I had my doubts as to whether or not he even existed.
Certainly Norman who had never deigned to share his space with me before, would not be doing so this day either. Instead, he would have one of his lackeys, Layton Ronohon Kennedy act as unofficial host. Layton was supposedly deceased but was in reality a fat and happy... formerly under indictment for massive fraud... Chief Executive Officer. Layton relished every opportunity to flaunt his brilliant disappearing act. He claimed that he was the one who convinced Norman to rechristen the yacht the Escapade. Suffice it to say... Layton is really full of it.
Norman's associate, however, a Washington Power Broker by the name of Barry Laurence would be gracing us with his presence. Big fucking deal! Barry was the legal genius -- who under the rule of law -- ensured that his friends and extremely well paying clients were never troubled with pesky things like indictments and subpoenas. One of his clients included Richard Villa, a top ranked international power broker and arms dealer, whose lineage took him back two generations to his grandfather, the legendary Richard Villa – not to mention his father with the same name. Ostensibly the practice of naming all of the sons who took over the business the same "Richard Villa" tended to promote a much greater reputation for the name inasmuch as there were three of them combining forces over generations, all engaging in blatant and outrageous behavior. They were the pirates... posing as one... who had begun to have ballads composed in their honor. Surely you've heard of the Legend of Pirate Villa. 
The latest Richard also had the rather unique perspective of having both his grandfather and father allegedly killed in two separate but equally spectacular fashions. Accordingly, the fact that there was still a Richard Villa plying his trade made him appear as Richard the Resurrected. The guy must be the only pirate and arms dealer in the world with several full time public relations people. And now I was about to meet the legend. It was not clear why he would be attending the meeting, but if one were to believe the stories, it would be mostly for his personal entertainment. Richard was a founding member of the Military Industrial Complex's Thank You For Smoking and Buying Weapons crowd – and yet had been able to keep his sense of humor. I could learn to love his kind of arrogance.
Considering the special circumstances, also in attendance was General Lester Mick, allegedly a recent convert to Regency Rule. Mick, of course, was in his position as JCS Chairman simply because of his being faithful to the specialized interests of the other Warlords. To his credit, he understood the basis of his tenure, and was therefore appropriately subservient.
There were other occasional members of the Warlords, but time was of the essence in the conduct of this meeting, and not all could meet on short notice. It must also be said that there was only so much room for all of the super egos on Norman's yacht. Perhaps having only three in addition to Senator Layde was probably a good thing for me, in that there was still room for me at the round table... so to speak.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten about Abbie Dale Tensile, aka the Baroness, aka the Black Widow, aka dog breath extremis. This consummate bitch claimed to have been descended from French Royalty in the twisted, albeit traditional methodology of such personages and their minions. The question she always provoked in me was 'Where was a guillotine when you needed one?'
When she had finally arrived, I immediately assumed Abbie had hung about on her own version of an Admiral's barge, just in order to make her grand entrance. In that way, she could display once again that she was far busier and more important than the mere males with whom she had deigned to spent time conspiring and plotting. The woman was a bitch, and I'd willingly take her down in a heart beat.
Abbiedale's "royal status" was always assumed (by her) and it was this that resulted in her late entrance... as well as having the audacity to bring along “Poopsie”, her black poodle. The dog would have been ready and eager to hump every leg in the room, except that the bitch kept him on a massive gold chain which clearly hurt its neck and tended to pull the dog over forwards so that he often looked as if he were trying to stand on his head. At one point the Baroness actually rested her right foot on the dog's back as the poor animal laid there on the deck, contemplating its slobbering on and/or chewing the table leg.
As usual, Kenny Baby – the Senator's name for Layton -- was the perfect acting-host. I suspect he even calmed the waters of the Chesapeake to ensure no one would get seasick and throw up on Norman's precious, handmade, imported carpets – an act for which Layton would have caught hell.
It was the Senator, though, who took the lead and brought the group down to business -- leaping past the small talk and getting down to the meat of the matter. “General Mick. Perhaps you'd be so kind as to provide us a briefing on just exactly what happened last week.”
Villa, of course, couldn't resist the chance to put Mick on the defensive. “I would think it was abundantly clear what happened. The military showed us its back side. I recognized it immediately as that's pretty much the only side I've ever seen.”
“Not quite the situation... Dick!” Mick maintained a hard smile. He had clearly prepared himself for this meeting. “You might not be making your typical fortune selling to both sides in this case, but I'd say that the main reason for this is that you don't have a clue who the other side is. And frankly, I'm a little up to here with your weapons which inevitably say, “no warranty unless used by this date.”
Laurence the Lawyer, frowned and said, “I've always enjoyed a spirited repartee, but can we for the moment, restrict our discussion to the facts?”
“Good idea. General Mick?” The Senator was back in charge.
Mick took a breath. “Whenever you encounter a military situation where you are flying blind, and you see an opportunity to maintain the full integrity of your forces by the simple expedient of stepping back out of the line of fire... you do it! Which is precisely what I did, bringing the rest of the Joint Chiefs with me. They've acknowledged and supported my strategy of not being irrevocably committed to the so-called Regency, but only appearing to be so for the moment. We can, if the circumstances warrant, pivot and charge in the other direction on a moment's notice. It would represent a coup, obviously, but one stemming from and representing the military, industrial, and financial might we all collectively represent.”
“What precisely are the 'warranting circumstances'?” The Baroness Abbie had spoken, with the full presence normally accorded her regal stature facade.
“Basically a matter of intelligence that identifies the weaknesses of the enemy.”
Layton asked, “Who exactly is doing the intelligence gathering?”
“I have access to multiple sources,” Mick replied. “I control directly the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and via the chain of command, Admiral Sudra's Office of Naval Intelligence. We also have links to the NSA, CIA, FBI, and three other organizations sufficiently secret they don't even have names.”
“Don't worry about them; they know absolutely nothing. No self-respecting intelligence service in our arsenal would consider giving real intelligent to those clowns.” Mick flicked them out of the conversation with amazing dexterity.
Laurence was more on point. “Which one do you think will make the difference?”
“Probably Naval Intelligence. In the past, they would come up with something, in some cases sufficiently outrageous so as to require confirmation from another source. The confirmation always took some time, like this was the first time the idea had even occurred to the other intelligent agencies. But the lead would inevitably pan out. Admiral Sudra runs a tight ship, quite literally.”
“Does he know about us?”
“He's never reported to me anything – even when it didn't involve me. But there's always the possibility he suspects something. We're not the most obscure members of the elite.”
Villa the First's grandson redirected the conversation. “Assuming we do find a chink in the Regency's and the NinGish's technology, what then?
“We act on it.” To Mick, the answer was obvious.
“But not precipitously, I would think.” When the others turned to my Senator, “We're going to have to look at it from the viewpoint that we might well be able to use the Regency for our own purposes. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, take 'em over from the inside, and then become them.”
Laurence was clearly intrigued. “Is that plausible?”
“Probably not for Layton. He's dead, so I hear.” Villa laughed slightly. Layton even smiled himself, doffing his virtual hat at what he assumed was a great compliment on his dexterity.
“I assume, Senator,” the Baroness Abbie said, “That you would be available to assume the Regency if for some tragic reason it should suddenly became available.”
“Of course,” Tom Layde answered with a smile. No one was being fooled here. “But I will need to do some preparatory work beforehand. It is essential that I ingratiate myself in such a way that the Regency and his amateur staff think I can be trusted. This might be quite difficult, but I've had some experience in creating illusions on what others would want in a trusted leader.”
“But you're a politician. Why would anyone trust you?” Laurence, being intimately untrustworthy (aka a lawyer) was probably an authority on such topics.
“The simple way is to betray someone to them, and thereby allow them a public relations victory.”
“Like who would you hand over?”
“Layton would probably be the simplest.”
Layton suddenly looked slightly more concerned than he was apt to display. But he knew how to play the game: Keep it light. “I think perhaps I'd like to hear the other... more complex way.”
“It's not as if it would be more than a momentary respite,' Layde assured him, “until you once again escaped scrutiny. All of that can be easily arranged.”
“Hiding can be a royal pain in the ass,” Layton confided. “I prefer the status of being in the dead files – where no one even thinks about going on some fanatical quest.”
I glanced over at Abbie to see her reaction, but she seemed more concerned with her pet poodle and whether or not her resting her foot on its back was in any manner... undesirable for the dog.
Layton then added, “I can tolerate my current status only so long as I am reasonably assured they think I'm dead.”
“They don't,” the Senator said point blank. When the others looked skeptical, he added, “The only thing preventing your immediate incarceration has been the potential for a negative political fallout for the powers that... until a few days ago... were the powers that be. But with a new regime, there may be a rush to inform on you. I rather suspect several others are prepping themselves to ingratiate themselves with the new regime by giving you away. It's pawn to Bishop three and check mate. If, on the other hand, I am allowed to do so, then I can also ensure that you will thereafter quickly be whisked away by one of our people. These professionals have the talent to place the blame on one or more of our competitors – who will of course be required to pay the penalty for their dastardly act.”
“They know?” When Layde nodded his head, Layton could only say, “Shit.”
“Are there other possibilities?”
“Of course. I can't depend upon a one shot offering. I will also have to arrange for Layton's ultimate escape – this one which will be considerably less obvious than a quick press release and an equally rushed cremation.” The Senator became quiet for a moment as he measured their response. “What I need from this group is the understanding that I will be going into a deep mole condition. I will be unable to risk the slightest chance that my loyalty would be questioned. I will of necessity be operating independently, but I must be assured of your full backing if and when I am in need of support, and quite possibly... additional offerings, key intelligence points, possibly expendable individuals, with which I can bolster my position within the Regent's Inner Circle.”
“Perhaps you will be unable to... report on a regular basis,” Laurence interjected, “But I see no reason why we can not regularly advise you of our needs.”
“How do you do that,” Villa asked?
“Simple, we put coded messages into the media. We simply devise a code phrase, which when used alerts the good Senator that there's a message, and then insert our directives to him, but disguised of course as opinions and editorials. There are a lot of rabble rousers out there; it's just a matter of planting the stories and controlling the meat in them.”
“I like it,” the Baroness smiled. Perhaps she thought that concluded the matter. What a bitch!
“Inasmuch as the Senator and I can meet publicly,” Mick added, “I could act as a message carrier as well.”
“Of course,” someone said, while everyone else in the yacht's meeting room felt less certain.
That's when I stepped out of line. “I could relay reports from the Senator to the Group,” I said.
There was an immediate hush as if the coffee table had just raised its ugly head, spilling the tea and crumpets. Most of the responses were frowns – including the Senator's quick look at me -- but Laurence was at least open to the possibility. For just a moment, he smiled at me. “Yes. I think we could set up a methodology for doing just that. We would want to use it very, very sparingly of course. I doubt that we can hope to maintain security if there are more than a couple of even brief reports. For truly critical information, of course, we will want the personal appearance of the Senator at our meeting.”
The Baroness Abbie had to add, “We should have a good idea of what is happening from the normal press releases. The only reason to allow an intervention would be in the event the right honorable Senator had intelligence on the covert actions of the Regency.” She didn't add the obvious caveat: 'No sense in using up an expendable messenger without profit.'
I could tell that the Senator would loved to have shoved the black dog up her anal sphincter, but he was getting what he wanted. No sense in rocking the boat... or the yacht. He would smile and amuse himself in thinking of ways of taking down Abbie Tensile, the reigning CEO of the pharmaceutical (aka pharmacidal) giants. Or he would give me the task of doing so, and I would relish the opportunity. Queen to Rook's castle, as they say. I could almost hear the strains of Götterdämmerung  in the distance. My blood began pumping just thinking about such delights.
 With apologies to William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride, and his character, the "Dreaded Pirate Roberts" [Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973].
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]