tagMind ControlSo Night Follows Day Pt. 02

So Night Follows Day Pt. 02


"Politicians hide themselves away.
They only started the war.
Why should they go out and fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah."
-Black Sabbath, "War Pigs"


"Well, Cara." Sally of Sally & Cara; co-hosts and co-alcoholics of America's

favorite early-morning talk show, "Up Your Morning! With Sally & Cara," said to her partner, taking a sip of their ever-present wine. "Big doings going on in Seattle this week, huh?"

"That's right, Sally." Cara beamed straight into the camera. "Leaders from many nations and CEOs of international conglomerates are gathering there for the Summit for Trade, Racial harmony, Agricultural science, Non-violence, Global peace, Education about vaccines, Religious acceptance, and Sexual equality; or 'STRANGERS,' which begins today. A week-long conference where all of those important issues will be considered at length."

"That's very interesting." Sally read from the teleprompter. "But, yes. One

attendee was on our show recently: Contessa Helena de San Finzione."

"Oh, yeah, Sally!" Cara seemed to be just remembering, as her own instructions said. "We interviewed her just a few hours before that tragedy."

The most popular tourist video clip of the attempt on Helena's life played on the screen.

"Ooh," Sally said, as Velasquez's face filled the screen after kneeing the cameraman in the testicles, then dissolved back into her own. "Get well, Helena." She turned to Cara. "She told us we could call her Helena, right?"

"I think so. But yes, we'd talked to her just a couple hours before that stalker attacked her." Cara sensed the mood might darken, and instantly perked up at the camera. "And she'll be up there in Seattle this week!"

"Well," Sally said, taking another sip of wine. "With all of those vital issues

being discussed peaceably by so many important people, I'm sure everyone will welcome STRANGERS to Seattle."

* * *

The protesters filled the streets for blocks around the Washington State

Convention and Trade Center

Riot police held them back from the line of limousines approaching the building. All of the slogans and insults hurled at them garbled into an endless argument about how every subject on their agenda would either save or destroy the world; with nothing in-between. Signs and banners lined the streets, mostly playing off the STRANGERS acronym: Don't talk to STRANGERS, STRANGER DANGER. One had a drawing of Yosemite Sam saying, "We don't cotton to STRANGERS here in Seattle, Varmints!" That one was her favorite, thus far. The Ultimados sitting in the back of Contessa Helena de San Finzione's limousine were wearing black suits and sunglasses instead of their usual uniforms.

"Oh, come on, guys." She said to them. "Someone put some work into that one."

She turned to look out the side window, and accidentally crushed her cigarette against it, sending hot coals scattering. The Ultimados put out any that got on the bottom of her dress and took care of the hole in the upholstery where the bulk of it had landed.

"Sorry." She said with a sheepish grin, taking out another cigarette. She

reached to light it, when one of the Ultimados produced a Zippo lighter.

"Allow me, Contessa." He said in Italian, lighting the new one for her. She

coughed a little on the exhale. Her expression changed to a serious one when she saw a protester in a gas mask throwing a coffee cup at the limo.

"Thanks," She told him. "You guys think this might go bad?"

"Just keep your vest on and stay in the middle of us, Contessa." Another told her. She'd noticed now that their fingers were resting on the trigger guards of the UMP40 machine pistols they had at the ready as they pulled up to the red carpet.

She started to exit the limo, when the man on her right side held out his arm, opened the door, and stepped out first. She almost went again when the second man blocked her off. One of the ones behind her motioned that it was her turn to get out now. She stepped out to where the first two were standing at attention and waited for the last two to leave the vehicle. They walked around her in a plus-sign formation as she made her way down the carpet, past the film cameras and reporters.

"Contessa!" A reporter's voice shouted above the other various questions. "Why is the summit happening in America, when America wasn't even invited?"

"They should try asking nicely next time!" She yelled back, without breaking

stride. The Ultimados led her into the lobby and away from the crowds.

* * *

Troy Equals and Susan Bailey licked ice cream cones as they sat on a bench in downtown Tacoma, looking at the door of the bank on the opposite side of the street.

"So," He asked her. "What's the plan?"

Susan watched people go in and out for a few seconds before answering.

"I talked to the manager a few days ago. I made him forget it, but now we know how much is in the vault, when the big drops come in, the combination, and which security company monitors the cameras. Julie went there and found out which guy watches the bank's cameras yesterday. Last night, she went to his house and convinced him to turn them off, take a long lunch, and forget about her. He'll act two minutes before we make our move."

Troy licked his cone while she spoke.

"Good thinking, there. Then what?"

"Then we go in two minutes after that." Susan replied, with a lick of her own

cone. "We walk in, I tell the guard to give me his gun and take a nap while you talk to the room and make them all obey us and not activate any silent alarms."

"Ok, I can do that."

"While that's going on, Julie pulls a plain white van that we've borrowed up to the back door. She checks the offices for any stragglers or would-be John McClanes. We don't want violence, but if it comes to that, we let Julie handle it."

She looked down at the bulge in Troy's pants, the up into his wounded-seeming eyes.

"You are absolutely The Man, Troy, but she's our Fighter. I need our Wizard handling crowd control." He nodded and Susan resumed.

"The Cleric, me, will stay up front and Turn Undead any walk-ins. I'll tell them

it's someone's birthday and we're doing a surprise party for them. That'll explain some of their missing time to them. Even though we know the combination, you command the manager to open the vault for us; to avoid unneeded fingerprints. Unless you thought to bring gloves."

"I did." Troy responded. "Made sure we ALL had them before we set out. Getting into the vault's going to be no problem. Then what?"

"We make the employees get rid of any trackers or dye bombs in with the money. They and the customers all start loading bags into the van. Might go faster if we make them stand in a row and pass them, like the old bucket brigade firemen. I'd say 30-40 minutes to secure the building and load up the cash. Longer if we've got to make them pour it all into the bags we brought with us; in case they don't have a way to deactivate the trackers on the bank's bags."

"Solid planning, Susan."

"While that's going on, I make sure the alley stays clear, and Julie re-joins you inside. The two of you give everyone false memories of everything. Business just made time fly by for the employees, the customers just remember that there was an unusually-long line at the bank. We return the van, load the bags into Julie's mini-van and our cars, and make the people at the rental place erase their records and any videos; then we drive home and pile all the money onto the bed. At that point, you fuck me, Julie, and any cuties we pick up along the way; on top of the money."

"Excellent plan, Susan." Troy said with a grin, licking the cone again, and still watching the front door of the bank intently. It changed back to a serious look before he casually asked her "So: Why don't we do it?"

"Because... it's wrong?" Susan asked, puzzled.

"You've already beaten Helen's top score, but go on."

"They'll definitely notice the money missing, possibly within an hour. I don't know the ins-and-outs of banking, like I'm sure you do; but even if we make them

think it's all still there, someone will notice sooner, rather than later. Probably when they start trying to give customers 'special money that only smart people like you and me can see,' or an armored car driver points out that the vault's empty, and all the employees insist the money's 'Right there, you fool!'"

"Mm-hm." Troy mm-hmed. "Then what happens?"

"Someone freaks and hits the panic button. The FBI might even show up before the Tacoma PD. When they find there was conveniently nobody watching the cameras, if they don't charge him as an accessory, that guy loses his job. Same for everyone at the bank. The Board will fire the whole branch and let the Feds sort 'em out. Best-case scenario, nobody finds work involving a background check again. Worst-case, they get sent to prison and/or the looney bin... Wait, no. Worst case, someone KILLS themselves to avoid prison or the looney bin! Or they get killed inside. We'd be directly responsible for that."

"Hoped you'd catch that one." Troy said. "What else?"

"The bank's insured, so they'll get it all back, but that kind of money 'going

missing' is news! Now reporters, reward-seekers, and conspiracy nuts are all in the mix. And the bank's stock or whatever will certainly take a hit; you could exploit that. But it's not going to be the big crooks on The Board who'll pay for it; this is the kind of shit that rolls downhill. They'll punish the small-time customers with all kinds of new rate hikes and fees to appease The Almighty Shareholders."

"Or a government bailout, taken out of 'The Little Guy's' taxes, so that turdball hits him either way. You've beaten Julie's score, now. Wanna set a record?"

"Yeah. We can't spend it. Enough of the bills will be traceable back to the

bank. If anyone can launder money, I'm sure it's you, Troy. I don't know anything, except that putting the money in the washing machine probably isn't really involved. But we'd have to do that, too; our DNA will be all over it. We might end up just having to burn it all. And the law can't stop looking for us until the Statute of Limitations expires for bank robbery. Then it becomes an 'unsolved mystery' that never goes away, like Amelia Earhart, or Jimmy Hoffa. Someone will sniff around and might find holes in my plan and track us down to our doorstep. We can take care of any snoops that come our way, but it'll be like the movie 'The Cheyenne Social Club;' Jimmy Stewart shoots the first bad guy, and his five brothers come for revenge. Stewart and Fonda take out the five brothers, find out that fifty cousins are coming now, end up having to flee town, and go back to life on the trail. We'd be in the same boat, except we'd have to take Helen's standing offer to move into Castle Finzione with her for the rest of our lives. I have an extra credit answer, too."

Troy turned to her and raised an eyebrow. Susan stopped looking at the bank and back into Troy's eyes, placing her hand on his knee.

"Since my boyfriend is too modest to have it on the quiz: We don't talk about money much, and my lunch is almost over, so I can't afford to get him turned on right now. Therefore, without talking too financial to him, I can infer by what he's done for me this past year, and the knowledge that he's invested for himself and his best friend since before they could drive; there's no point. Maybe he's not 'La Familia de San Finzione' level; however, If Troy Equals wants to fuck his wife and girlfriend on a bed of money, he can probably just go to one of his online bank accounts and have it delivered legitimately. Or send La Contessa a booty text about it. She'll text right back. 'Scappa and police escort running lights to Treasury, then Airport. How do you want it? Dollars? Euros? Bars of gold? Pick a damn currency, Troilus!'"

Troy laughed and stood up; their cones finished. He offered Susan a hand up off the bench, and she took it with a smile. When they were both standing, the kiss he gave her was one that held a particular meaning in their relationship; the one that they shared when words were inadequate for expressing their agreement to whatever the other of them had just asked or said.

"There are also the individuals in the bank to consider." He said, pointing at an old man walking in with a cane. "What if he's got a bad heart? Or needs to take his medicine in the next half hour?" He pointed to a woman their own age, running out the door and to her car. "She might be running to get her kid from daycare? Their late fees are by the minute, and I don't know how long they typically wait for a late parent before calling CPS, but THEY want to go home, too. Suppose a pregnant woman's water breaks because we've got her lifting heavy money bags? Or she miscarries. Someone else has a bad back and ends up in a wheelchair for life from us pushing him past his limit. Any of those things would be on us. And, as we've learned recently, if even one person in there is hearing-impaired, it's Anything-Can-Happen Day."

He offered his arm and she took it. They began strolling back towards Inner

Claire-ity Yoga, where Susan worked as the owner's assistant. Troy wrapped up the lesson.

"Doing What We Do can be fun as hell; putting an asshole in his place, solving people's problems and turning it into a fun little MC sex game with the women I love."

Troy gently patted Susan's hand with his free hand and looked her in the eyes.

"Spotting the beautiful, radiant soul imprisoned by one of those assholes.

Helping her break free and see how wonderful she is and what the world has to offer her."

Susan gave Troy the same kiss as before, then nodded for him to continue his wrap-up.

"The four people in the world who know how to Do What We Do can help others in many ways, and we can hurt them in many more altogether-too-easy ways. It creates in us an even greater obligation to consider the consequences of our actions than those who carry guns all day for a living. They just walk around with the power to end lives. We walk around with the power to destroy them. We can never forget that, and we have to be more careful than them."

"Hmm... 'Ethics for Mind Controllers 101.'" Susan thought aloud. "Does U-Dub offer that course?"

"No. I'd pitch the idea, but my teaching method thus far has only a success rate of 1.75-in-3."

"Odd number." Susan thought a second. "Both of them."

"The 'it's wrong' counted for half your grade. I could only give Julie a 50

percent. At first, anyway."

"So, how'd she raise that to a C?" Susan asked.

"She blew the teacher." Troy said, matter-of-factly, with a smile.

"Oh, EQUALS FAMILY Ethics for Mind Controllers. Ok." Susan mused. "Well, I've already got an A+, so, what would that get me?"

"A gold star for being such a Good Girl."

Susan stopped, closed her eyes, and shivered. Her nipples stiffened. Troy looked at her quizzically before he, too, felt the chill breeze off the Sound as well, and gave a smaller shiver.

"Why haven't we made that into an orgasm trigger yet?" He asked her as they continued walking.

"Because in the mind control stories I've read in the course of learning this stuff, 'Good Girl' is ALWAYS the orgasm trigger."

"Yeah," Troy rebutted. "It's a classic."

"Yes, it is." Susan agreed. "So, if we ever encounter some evil mind controller who hasn't taken your course, don't you think it's the first one he'll try on me and Julie?"

"That's a good point. Ok, we'll come up with something special."

Susan kept going, breathing the words in an ever-more excited tone as she spoke.

"And he and his thugs keep whispering it to us, again and again. 'Good Girl. Good Girl.' I'm on my knees, squeezing my tits, unable to stop cumming again and again. Julie's rolling around on the floor, hands thrust between her legs. And they won't stop saying it and saying it as they haul our unresisting orgasm-wracked bodies into the back of their van. 'Good Girl. Good Girl' playing on a speaker in the back, keeping it going until we both black out from pleasure and wake up as his willing harem girls."

"And there's your answer to the question 'Why haven't I shared Julie's trigger yet.' I'm saving hers for a special occasion. Also, I think you might have the basis for one of those stories there. Certainly have the groundwork for that gold star taken care of."

They rounded the corner to the street that the yoga studio was on to see Claire, the owner, walking out the door toward them.

"Hey!" Claire called out from up the street. "Julie's been trying to call both of


"Fuck!" Troy muttered, checking his pockets, and remembering that his phone was probably still in the soaked pants that Julie had removed from him a couple hours earlier. He hurriedly took out his keys. "What's going on?"

Susan realized that she'd left her own phone in her purse at her desk, when Troy surprised her by showing up and taking her to lunch. His classes in Seattle had been canceled this week because of the protests, and concerns that they might escalate into another WTO Riot. Julie was working from home today for the same reason, so it benefited her to have Troy out of the house as well

"She said it's not an emergency, and nobody's hurt." Claire said, reassuringly. "Just that something's going on at your house, and you both need to get home and see this for yourselves now. Go ahead and go; we're closing early today, anyway. All the students are either protesting or staying home because of them."

Troy opened the door and held it open for Susan to get in while she thanked Claire. As he walked around. Susan leaned over and unlocked his door for him before buckling in.

"I always hate when they do that on Star Trek." She told Troy. "Picard calls

down to Engineering and asks 'What's wrong? What the devil's going on down there?' And Geordi or Riker replies 'You'd better come see for yourself, sir.' No, the captain just told you that he wants information. You TELL HIM about the green, glowy, pulsing blob that's suddenly shown up and attached itself to the warp core! You don't go 'Just come put yourself at risk, too, Captain; because it's important enough to bug you about, but not so important that I can be bothered to explain while you're relatively safe, and needed, up on the bridge.'"

"I'd like to think Julie would have given more details if it was something like


"Well, you're the Math Guy around here." Susan said as Troy buckled in. "What are the odds that this does has something to do with the fact that Helen is coming to Seattle today?"

Troy pulled out of the parking space, toward the bridge to Federal Way.

"The odds of a fact tend to be 1-to-1."

* * *

Halfway home, the two of them realized that Susan hadn't gone back into the office to retrieve her purse, so she was without a phone as well. Troy found a pay phone, and Susan called Claire; who informed her that she saw it while locking up, and that her new plans for the afternoon took her past Federal Way, so she'd drop it by on the way.

The first indication of something unusual happened a block from their house, when they noticed the number of cars parked on both sides of their street. Troy drove slowly down the residential road, when they heard the music coming from up ahead.

"What is that?" Susan asked Troy.

"I Can't Explain." He replied.

"Lot of that going around today. Sounds like music."

"No, I'm saying that's what it is, 'I Can't Explain," by The Who." Troy

began singing along. 'Dizzy in the head and I'm feelin' blue. The things you've said, well maybe they're true. Getting funny dreams again and again. I know what it means, but." He started playing Keith Moon's drums with invisible sticks, then hit the brakes when he saw a tall, bald man in a black muscle shirt, cargo shorts, and sunglasses come running from his yard, across the street to the Greens' house. He held up a Frisbee and waved at their vehicle before continuing his journey. They both waved to him before getting around the motorhome blocking the neighbors' driveway to see what was happening in their yard.

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