The bad news is the Vegas thing turns out to be true. The good news is we are going to remedy the bad news.
Janah, “Daria, what did you find out about the targets?”
“We found out they are not men, where they live and the cars they drive. We haf driver license, photo on site, Pat Finney and Chris Demond, there’s a third, we don’t have a name,” she flicks on an IPad, two women of uncertain age, hard edge, one face narrow, the other chunky. Driver’s license pictures, not flattering, the typical mug shot. I wonder if the DMV could make a buck Photoshopping the crap they stick on the licenses? Finney was busted for prostitution several times, not in the last five years. Demond had an assault charge, a pot bust, a couple of traffic tickets. Third woman is a mystery, Surveillance describes her as tall, thin, not young, perhaps fifty.
Janah, “As supported by the Surveillance photos,” she opens another IPad, we have distance and close ups of the two, video of one entering a BMW, relatively new, the house in the background. It appears to be on a bit of open land, stand alone, not a subdivision. There’s a mountain in the background.
Janah continues, “Surveillance reports the presence of children, all female, ages between six or seven and maybe thirteen or fourteen. They are well groomed, appear healthy. If this is their stable, they aren’t being kept drugged in a basement.”
Nikko, “Any evidence of them being hired out?”
Janah, “Yep, two were taken on the same evening to different Vegas hotels, stayed a few hours and returned to the house. Delivery is by the third woman, she’s backed up by a large block of muscle. Both girls were brought to suites, the customers are high rollers, we have their names as well.”
Zi, “I assume your contact doesn’t have this information?”
Janah, “No, if we turn it over to him, he has a problem. First, neither delivery was to the hotel that employs him. He would have to report it to the police via the hotel security network. If they know and fail to contact the police, they have one problem. If they call in the cops, a public arrest in two upscale Vegas hotels for child prostitution is not local news, it’s international. Not the family friendly image they want to project.”
Amaya, “So do you tell him at all?”
Janah, “Not sure. He’s a good contact. If we handle the problem, we have an even better contact. Maybe even new contacts at other hotels. If we go in without telling him, and we have a problem at a major hotel, we don’t have him on board to smooth things over. Any ideas on which way to go?”
“I don’t see how it helps to keep him out of the loop. On the other hand, we get information from lots of contacts who don’t know the details of what we do with it.”
Nikko, “I don’t see how this is different, except that he’s in the city we’ll be working in.”
Zi, “I don’t have a sense of one or the other being better.”
Amaya, “He already knows what the problem is, just not that the girls are sent to the hotels. I suspect he’s already figured that out. I think it would be a mistake not to inform him.”
Janah, “You’re right. I’ll call him, then we’ll figure out what happens next. For now, be preparing disguises, think about your new hair color. If we go, we aren’t going as us.”
Janah, “Up to each of you. Dasha, Daria and Eloise haven’t been to Las Vegas. Don’t know if we need the drone, but it can’t hurt to have it.”
Over the next two days, more data comes in. It’s a busy group, kids out most nights, spread around various hotels and resorts. Turns out there’s another house and a second set of girls, sixteen in all. They work five to six nights, appear to get a night off depending on demand. None of the girls are older than fourteen, most under ten. Photos confirm what we’d seen, they aren’t drugged in any noticeable way, well groomed, dressed between little girl and sophisticated.
Given the scope of what we’d learned, she decided to have Chan come along. Chan is an imposing physical presence. While we are more than capable of handling men, even big ones, they make assumptions, one of which is that we can’t. Fights get messy. Chan, a five nine stainless steel refrigerator, gives them pause.
Private flight to Las Vegas, two Tahoes, suites at Bellagio, we’re treated like royalty. We pay nothing, Dixon worked it out.
Janah, who is Mrs. Pearson, talked to the contact, Darren Dixon. Explained we were coming to make the child sex problem disappear. He’s happy to have us deal with the mess. She gave him permission to check with a couple of names in casino security, we are subsequently guests of Bellagio. He doesn’t know Mrs. Pearson as anything but a voice. If Janah sees him in Vegas, she will be neither Person nor Janah, we will all have travel names and supporting ID.
Chloe, “Wow, these rooms are superb,” she checks out the bathroom, “cripes, flat screen TV in it.”
Amaya, “Something I neglected to consider, I shall install TV in our bath. See how travel broadens the mind?”
Nikko, “Broadens conspicuous consumption anyway.”
Amaya, “I am the consummate conspicuous consumer. It is a gift.”
Janah, “After everyone is settled in, please return here to plot, say, fifteen or twenty?”
Chan nods, goes off to his room, I begin to unpack, Amaya and Chloe off to their suite, Nikko and Zi to theirs. Ours is a huge two bedroom, Dasha, Daria and Eloise are in with us.
Twenty minutes later, we circle the dining table, have tea, fruit and cheese. You can get anything at Bellagio virtually instantly. All top drawer. Bar is stocked, lots of nibbles, we aren’t going to go hungry.
Janah, “Here’s the outline. We have two women at one house, three at another. Still only have two names, Finney and Demond. They may or may not be difficult to deal with, but I’m more concerned about their security, there’s more than the one guy. They appear to be talented, ex military, neither gentle nor empathetic. Our couple of weeks of surveillance hasn’t shown them in action, their mere presence is enough to keep the buyers in line. When a girl is delivered, it’s by one of the women, she collects the fee. One of the men hovers behind her, doesn’t interact. The woman explains the rules, basically simple. Condoms, no anal, no injuries, other than that, have fun.”
Zi, “What do they charge, must be expensive.”
Janah, “Three thousand for dinner, no sex, no undressing, no touch. Six thousand for benefits, three hours. All night ten grand.”
Chloe, “Who pays three grand for dinner only?”
Janah, “Some men want to have a beautiful young girl to just look at. They usually have dinner in the room. The girls dress from ‘little girl’ to heels and short skirts, depending on customer preference. Oh, while there’s no sex for the dinner date, the men can masturbate. It’s do it yourself. Girl giving a hand job means going to the next level. A fair number of men want that, or full blown sex. From what we’ve seen, that appears to be the most popular option, although we’ve seen a number of all nighters.”
Nikko, “We take the woman at the houses?”
“Well, not the hotels. We don’t want problems at the hotels.”
“If we do the women at the houses, the girls are there, what if they grab cell phones and start making 911 calls? What about the ones out working? Who collects them?”
“Good questions. The security goons don’t live with them, they share a house nearby. We take them first. We’re going to track their cars. We should be able to pick most of them off while they’re out. If we need to deal with them at home, then we do. The women don’t sit around the house all day, we tag whoever goes out. Since they never leave the girls alone, eventually we have to go to the houses. I’m hoping that we only deal with one woman per house, make it quick, get the girls secured. The women aren’t going to give the girls cell phones, too risky. No personal access to the internet for the same reason.”
Zi, “Are they educated in any way? I mean, they have roles to play, make conversation with the customer.”
Daria, “We tapped into their computers. They are a version of home schooled. They can watch TV, they have Dish. There is no access to e-mail. Computers are live from ten to noon, then two until four.”
“Must be school time. I wonder how educated the women are?”
Janah, “We don’t know, they could be anything. This is a professional operation, not meth addicts selling their kids. We don’t have any idea where the girls are from or how they got caught in this. Most are too young to be runaways, that’s a teen thing.”
Chloe, “Snatched off the street then.”
“Most likely, or there’s a kid prostitute incubator someplace. They get toddlers, raise them so they only know what they’re told. We ran across that once before, and there were also the Travelers, they snatched kids young and raised them to be con artists, thieves and breeders of more Travelers.”
Nikko, “When do we start?”
“Amaya, Daphne and Chan will go to the house with the security guys this afternoon. Get trackers on the cars. It should be simple enough. If you can get to the cars do it there, if somebody leaves, follow him and put it on when he gets where he’s going. If necessary we can resort to the drone. Tonight, we stick the trackers on the women’s cars, probably have to use the drone, neither house is easily approachable.”
Zi, “Whose car do they use for deliveries?”
“Security picks up the woman and the girl, takes them to the hotel. If they’re delivering more than one to different hotels, two guards go, one stays in the SUV with the remaining girls. Sometimes, the third guard takes a woman and a girl, but only one. They don’t leave girls unattended at any time.”
Amaya, “I’ll call for the car, let’s go to work.”
Security lives in an upscale subdivision, decent McMansion, three car garage. There are trees and hedges to separate the houses and offer some privacy.
We catch a bit of luck, one SUV in the drive, two others in the garage with the door open.
Chan is here to create illusion. If one of the men looks out the window, I could be standing in the middle of the driveway and he won’t see me. I’m good at sneaking around, but it’s late afternoon, not dark. I take three trackers, ease out of the car a half block from the house. Amaya pulls down the block, parks on the other side of the street just to the right of the target house.
I get moving. Chan can keep up the illusion from that distance for a couple of minutes, but not much more. The garage sits to the right, along the driveway. I’m at the edge, crouch and waddle into the garage behind one of the cars. The SUV in the driveway blocks their view of the garage, even presuming one of them is standing at a front window staring out.
Click, click, two trackers on. I do a spider crawl to the rear of the last car, click, shuffle over to my original spot at the front edge of the garage.
The front door opens, a big body near fills the frame, I walk backwards until I feel the sidewalk and move down the block away from the house. I hear Amaya drive on up the block, she’ll circle and grab me at the corner.
Back at the Bellagio, “We saw these guys on the surveillance video, the one I glimpsed live is huge, near as big as Black.”
Black is six-six and pushing two fifty or sixty.
Amaya, “I saw him, there was almost no clearance when he walked out the door.”
Janah, “Good to know, I’ll make sure the dosages on the darts are high enough to insure compliance.”
Amaya, “What are we going to do with them?”
Janah, “Try out David Li’s newest pharmaceuticals. He says one should do a memory erase, which is better than me sitting there for five or six hours. If it works, all I need to do is make sure his brain is drained.”
Zi, “So we don’t kill them?”
Janah, “We only kill Shadows, or if we or innocents are in life threatening danger.”
Dasha, “Dahfoney and Nikko keel Russians who are to sell us.”
“Different situation, we didn’t have time to do a mind reset and we didn’t have the current generation of drugs. I also wanted to send a nasty message further up the line.”
“Sister and Dasha will anyway keel them. We haf plan to cut throat in slip, instead fahmahley show up and we are now reech American girl. Ees better. Dahfoney, I will haf vodka now.”
“Vodka waits until Eloise and Daria have trackers on the women’s cars. We want to get this job over with quickly. First, we need to get the girls, second, we have too much going on at home to spend more than a couple of days here.”
Dasha pours herself tea, as if the thought of vodka never crossed her mind.
Janah, “There are two cars at each house, three standard sedans, one Ford Ranger. Surveillance says two cars are at one house, one at the other, the truck is gone. They followed it to a mall. If we hustle, we can place the tracker there without the drone, save a step.”
And we do, I take us to the mall, Surveillance has the row number and license plate. It’s a five second stop, click the tracker to the metal behind the plastic bumper cover, drive off.
Near the house, Nikko flies our drone down the block, in minutes both cars are done. Zi confirms two adults, a number of smaller bodies, we aren’t close enough for her to pick up an exact count. She says maybe six besides the two women.
Amaya’s at the other house, I check in, “Amaya, how’s it going?”
“Chloe says five or six girls, two women, Eloise is finishing the car now.”
“See you at the hotel.”
Half an hour later, we’re in our suite, our vodka girls are having a drink, Zi is in the casino at a poker table, Janah and Chan are playing blackjack.
Chan’s job is to play erratically, like a superstitious Asian. While he’s throwing money around, Janah is counting cards, but whoohooing like a rube. They fiddle around until eight thirty, then come back to the room. Dasha and I have ordered room service, sandwiches for the gamblers, Nikko and Amaya have a filet and baked potato, the rest of us have grilled fish.
Janah and Chan come along, “Where’s Zi?”
Nikko, “Still at the poker table, I’m going down to tell her there’s food.”
She leaves, Janah laughs, “I won twenty thousand, I think Chan lost three or four. If we wanted to mind control the pit bosses, we could clean the place out. But we’re getting free suites and food, I’d feel bad about cracking them for a couple hundred grand.”
Amaya, “Bellagio would hardly notice, besides, it’s good business if the customer gets lucky once in a while.”
Janah and Chan eat, Janah has champagne, the drinkers are winding down a bottle of red. Nikko returns.
“You find Zi?”
Nikko, “She’ll be along in a bit. She’s wiped the table, up a hundred thousand.”
Chloe giggles, “No amount of hat, sunglasses and beards are going to hide auras.”
Nikko, “No. It takes her an hour to get the sense of the players, when they have a hand and when they bluff. She loses some, when they have a playable hand that’s better than hers. It’s the all-in bluffs that make for her big wins. She catches them every time.”
“A Hold ‘em playing Shaolin priest, what’s the world coming to?”
Zi comes in, “We have a hundred thirty thousand credit. I can have them wire it to one of our accounts when we leave. We more than paid for private flying anyway.”
Daria, “I have read about roulette. Dasha and I will go to Mirage Casino. We will make a bet.”
Janah, “How much do you need?”
Daria reads the screen, “Twenty thousand.”
Zi goes down with them to the cashier, they take twenty out of Zi’s account, Zi comes back to the suite, Dasha and Daria walk down to the Mirage.
At the high limit roulette table, max bet is twenty thousand. Daria focuses on the ball, they’ve made no bet, she’s testing whether she can make the ball drop into any slot she wants. When she’s satisfied, they swap the cash for twenty thousand in chips and walk back to the table.
They are leaning on the table, Daria has a stack of thousand dollar chips. She makes the ball drop into double zero, the crowd moans, everyone loses. Then she stacks the twenty chips on red twenty five.
Even at this table, the high rollers blink, mumble, one says, “You got twenty grand to throw in the toilet honey?”
Daria doesn’t acknowledge him, the croupier spins the wheel counterclockwise, then sends the ball clockwise. It circles the rim a couple of times, sinks down towards the numbered slots, bing, bounce, hop, click…it drops into red twenty five.
There is total silence, then a burst of applause, shouts, a crowd forms.
Daria tells the dealer, “Have someone take the chips to the cage for me,” she tosses a thousand dollar chip to him.
They walk to the cashier, Daria gives them a bank account number in her travel name with instructions to wire the funds. They automatically withhold twenty five percent for the feds, can’t fix that. She has a driver’s license from Kansas, a US passport and a social security number for a deceased woman. We’d have to pay the tax even if she’d done it in her real name, so it’s neither here nor there from our standpoint.
They return to the suite.
Zi, “What happened?”
I know, I’d followed in Dasha’s head, but I saved it so the girls could tell the story.
Dasha, “Sister play one number twenty five only, she win seven hundred thousand, tax ees one seventy five, so we keep five hundred twenty five, gud.”
Chloe giggles, “I’ll say it’s gud. Surprised they didn’t want a picture.”
“They try, we say no ees possible, thank you for ask, you will haf nice day, we appreciate, blah, blah, smile like idiot girl.”
Amaya, “Good Lord, I have to type my fingers to the bone to get a half million royalty for a book, you stroll into a casino and walk out twenty minutes later with that much. Is that not cheating? Use your mind to make the ball go where you want it?”
“Casino haf gud story to tell, more people make beeg bet. We will make bonus to staff at Ultra Violet, use money to pay for more drone, expand workshop. Eloise haf gud idea for more device.”
Nikko, “Generous and resourceful, I’m impressed.”
“Dahfoney, we are tired from weening money. Time for to slip now, goodnight.”
The twins and Eloise troop off to their room, it’s not too late, eleven thirty, still, we have a project on, and tomorrow is a big day.
Up early, I click on the IPads, no blinking dots on the screens, order coffee and tea, Dasha wanders in when room service arrives.
“Dahfoney, what ees breakfast?”
“I can call room service or there are restaurants downstairs, one traditional café, another buffet. Buffet opens at seven, in five minutes, the café is twenty four hours.”
She takes the tea bags out of the pot, pours herself a cup, Janah appears and gets another.
“Plan of attack today?”
Janah, “Get security out of it. Once that happens, they can’t deliver any girls, at least not with backup. Then to both houses at the same time, or maybe we wait until one or two go someplace and pick them off while they’re out.”
Dasha, “What ees girls doing all time? Don’t try to get away, gang up on women maybe. Why stay?”
“That’s a good question. I know they can’t continue in the kiddie escort business, I don’t know how they feel about it.”
“You’re saying they might be okay with it?”
“Some might know nothing else. The older ones, who knows? I mean, they know there’s a world out there, they must want things they can’t have now, they can’t have friends or go to the movies. No formal school, trapped in the house until they meet up with a customer.”
“Should run away at hotel, who ees to stop, make noise, hotel security ees everywhere.”
“They’ve been scared out of that, threats against the others if one of them steps out of line for instance. These are the only kids they know, must be some sort of bond by now.”
Janah, “I also suspect there are drugs involved. Nothing to make them agitated, just the opposite, steady trickle of marijuana maybe. Or maybe it’s more sophisticated. What if it’s a form of geisha? They have ‘sisters’ a ranking system, like beginner to maiko to geisha.”
“Geisha ees no prostitute.”
“No, it’s only an analogy. The girls in this think they’re in a business, part art form, part career. Once they make geisha, or whatever this group calls it, they can leave, set up their own business as professional escorts. They are of no value as children for sex, but they have lots of sexperience.”
“And know about makeup, fashion, conversation, a few years as a high end child prostitute, they’ve seen and talked to a bunch of wealthy people, eaten in a fair number of upscale restaurants. Janah may have hit on it.”
Nikko and Zi knock, when they have coffee I rerun the idea past them.
Zi, “It has to be something like that. A girl who graduates and leaves could easily turn into a witness. The alternative is to sell them.”
Janah, “We need to get one of the security team where I can talk to him. I don’t want them killed anyway. Just incapacitated until we sort out the others. If I’m right, we have another problem.”
Nikko, “Girls who don’t want to change anything. They live the good life from their point of view.”
“Yes. Still, the path to geisha is voluntary, this isn’t that. No child decides they want to be a child hooker until they graduate to professional escort.”
Zi, “No, it seems they are just immersed in it, and all the other people they know, the other girls, are doing the same thing.”
Nikko, “It’s still the same problem. We get them out of this, but to what?”
Janah, “First, we call a halt to it, we’ll sort it out later. We’re only guessing about an organized promotional system, and we can’t know how the kids feel until we’re in front of them. Most of these girls are six to ten, not even adolescent. How they feel about it isn’t much relevant.”
Daria and Eloise come along, I hear Amaya, “We’re up. Going to breakfast. I caught enough of the story and explained your thinking to Chloe. We’re headed to the buffet.”
“We’re down in a minute, buffet makes sense with nine of us.”
We free range over a gigantic selection of breakfast options, every sort of omelet imaginable, fruit, yogurt, waffles, international, they even have Miso soup and dried fish. Nikko and Chloe are working on that. Sausage, bacon, ham, smoked salmon, bagels, three kinds of potato, salsas to crème fraiche.
We spread out to three tables, coffee and tea poured, I tell the waiter that all three tables are one bill, then get up to surf the ocean of options. Dasha has discovered they have blini and caviar, that settles the matter of a starter dish.
“How’s the caviar?”
“Gud, blini no bad,” she takes one, spreads sour cream, sprinkles it with caviar, rolls it up and passes it over to me.
“Yes, quite good, I don’t think they missed any kind of breakfast, whatever the country. Must be a nightmare of preparation. They have to clear all this and put out lunch, then dinner. Kitchen staff must number in the dozens.”
After warm up, we go off to order eggs or omelets, oatmeal, sides of bacon or ham.
It’s still only near eight, early, we take our time. It’s quite enjoyable, the place is pristine, food excellent. It also makes sense to stoke up, likely to be a long day, no lunch and a late dinner.
We meet back in our suites for nine, everyone gets suited up for action, Eloise has the drones loaded, darts prepared. We have three air guns and a selection of darts, they have David Li’s latest tranquilizers. I carry only a couple of knives, shuriken. Chan, Daria and Janah can throw stuff across the room with their minds, create illusion or cause the target to self destruct if necessary.
Janah, “Waiting on motion from the trackers. Three cars still at the security guys’ place. We should pack up our cars though, head in their direction.”
I call down to the valet, “Ten minutes.”
Our pharmaceuticals, darts, tranq guns are packed in cases. There are two air rifles, two pistol sized. The drones are in two duffle bags, IPads to operate them.
Five of us go down, the cars are ready, I drive one, we leave. Amaya and the others will come down in five, just the precaution of not leaving all at once. It’s a busy place, but there are cams everywhere, better to be cautious. Amaya even drives off the opposite way I did, circle around once she’s not in view of the cameras.
The house is twenty minutes this time of day, during the drive one of their vehicles gets on the move.
Janah, “One car is leaving, don’t know if there’s one guy or more in it.”
“Amaya, you see the one car leave?”
Amaya, “Yes, you take it or me?”
“I’ll go, keep on to the house, second car leaves, follow and engage if possible.”
Ten minutes later I’m watching an SUV cross in front of me, black Lincoln Navigator. One person only, too bad, be nice to take two out in one contact, but it isn’t going to work out that way.
“Dasha, you ready?”
I’m asking if she’s locked and loaded with the tranquilizer. We have to find a spot to stick him, get him to a room we have rented and start interrogating.
Janah, “Dasha, if you can get a shot, take it. I think we want to get him while he’s either in or near his car. I’ll drive him to the motel. Rather not leave his car sitting.”
“Zi, have any sense that he’s a Shadow?”
“Not so far, I need to be closer to be accurate.”
He pulls into a supermarket lot, the kind with a standalone gas station. It’s got a few cars filling up. People around, not a good spot. We wait while he does the routine, goes to the cashier and buys a pack of cigarettes, back to his car and finishes the fill-up.
“Janah, did you account for the size?”
“Yes, Dasha hits him, he’s not running down the street, he’s not walking two steps, we’re good.”
He drives across the lot, gets out and goes into the supermarket, a Safeway. Ten minutes later, he’s out with two plastic bags and headed to his car. We’re parked across the lane, where Dasha can see him get into his Lincoln. Her window is down, she has the rifle just above the armrest.
He circles behind the car, key fob out pressing the unlock, I hear the door click then the pop of the air rifle. Janah is out of the car with Chan, Chan catches him as he’s sinking to the asphalt, Janah opens the door behind the driver’s and they push him in. Chan goes in next to him, Janah grabs his keys and gets in the driver’s seat. One fish in the net.
“Amaya, you followed?”
“Yes, nice work, tell Dasha good shot. Got to run, both targets are getting in one car, maybe we can do a double.”
“Amaya congratulates you on your neat shot. They are following the last two, both in one car.”
Dasha, “Scope makes easy, target ees big. I see like standing next to me, pull treegger, done.”
We follow Janah to the motel, first floor room on the end. Lot’s near empty, checkouts have checked out, arrivals haven’t arrived.
“Geez, the Motel 6 here is a bit more upscale than average.”
It isn’t our Bellagio suite, but the rooms are clean, modern, decent size. Bathroom is orderly, still have the cellophane wrapped plastic cups, a reminder you’re not with the high rollers, or even the medium ones. We have this room and the one next door and the one next to that. A bit of insulation, and we have two more targets to drag here.
While Janah and Chan get Security One secure, I check in, “Amaya, what’s up?”
“Loading freight. Nikko popped one, when the second went around to see what happened, she did him. We got them in a lot near a café. Guess they were looking for late breakfast or early lunch. In any case it wasn’t crowded and we saw no reason to wait until they ate and returned. Good thing I have Daria, those dopes must weigh a ton. We’ll be there in fifteen or twenty.”
“We’re in the room on the end, park them in the one next door.”
Janah’s in the midst of reviving Security One when Amaya tunes in, “We’re next door, both guys on the beds.”
“We’re reviving our man, let the other two stay out of it for now. The other room can stay vacant, cut down any noise. Tell you what, go to that room and turn on the TV, not loud, regular volume, hang the do not disturb on the doors. When Janah has this one talking we’ll figure out what happens next. Chloe get any sense either of them is a Shadow?”
Amaya, “Nope, not bright stars, but not Shadows.”
“Neither is our guy, okay, sit tight.”
Dasha is helping situate Security One, our usual procedure, wired to a chair, wrists and ankles, facing a wall, lights down, halogen light directly in his face. Janah has the needle inserted in the back of his hand, Luer Lok in place, the first syringe loaded, I think she’s using a version of haloperidol, an anti-psychotic. In this case to make the target drowsy and compliant. David Li has boosted it with a hypnotic he formulated, essentially it’s liquid hypnosis.
Maybe he’ll just talk, so rather than sedate him first, I jam an ammonia cap under his nose, he snaps to, shakes his head.
“Fuck’s this about?”
Janah, “Child prostitution. And skip the denials, I can tell you when and where your last half dozen deliveries went.”
“You cops….no….I’d be getting’ printed and photo’d. Whattaya want?”
Janah, “You to get out of the business. I know you’re security, I know who runs the business. We’ll be dealing with them later. We took you and your two pals so your employers have nobody to back them up on deliveries.”
He gives their concocted story a go, “Don’t know nothing about child prostitutes. We offer security to rich people. They have their relatives visit when they in town. Lotsa kidnappers, see the rich with a niece, maybe his daughter when the marriage is broke up, think theys a chance to snatch the kid.”
Janah laughs, “You don’t really believe that story would hold up?”
“What I’s told, alls I know.”
“Okay, you’re going on a little trip, in your head. See you later, maybe. I’m not sure how this stuff works, but they tell me it gets assholes cooperative quickly.”
She presses the plunger while he’s jabbering, ‘Wait, wait, I don’t know jack, give me drugs ain’t gonna…..”
That’s as far as he gets, he sags in the chair, Janah waits five minutes, then starts in. She revisits the last few deliveries, he confirms. She asks how he is paid, cash per delivery, five hundred a day, whether they make one delivery or three or four. It’s easy work, just drive and look mean. Nobody gives them shit.
Janah, “Not bad, twenty five hundred, three thousand a week for riding around. What happens to girls that get too old? You know, could fly or drive themselves?”
“Don’ know, guess they drive themselves, like you say.”
“Interesting, how all the girls who are visiting relatives live in the same two houses, and visit relatives five or six nights a week.”
“Got big damn families I spose. Fuck, can’t hardly think, wha’d you give me?”
J“Anti-psychotic and hypnotic. Let’s talk a bit more, or, I’ll talk and you listen,” she adds another couple milligrams to his soup, “you want to help, you want to help me understand this business. I’m thinking of getting into the action, and for the right people, the pay for security could go much higher. You like the idea, I’ve spoken to your associates, they like it too.”
He’s near paralyzed, his reasoning brain is shut down, his emotions are flat. All his brain knows is what it’s being told. The brain does what the brain does, processes, puts the data together and attempts to make a coherent story out of it. As long as Janah keeps feeding him the same story, he believes it, at least after the first fifty times.
An hour later, we have a picture of the process. Visiting relatives was ridiculous on the face of it, and with the additional of drugs, it becomes impossible for him to stick to. Janah kept dropping in, ‘you know it makes no sense, they aren’t visiting relatives,’ to her ‘you want to help’ line. His brain has no option, it has to go with the input it receives.
That’s how Janah gets most of the targets to cough up data, but the new drug speeds up the process. She had to talk for four or five hours, now, in an hour she’s got most of what she needs.
Janah, “David Li wins first place. This is a lot simpler than before, I don’t even have to expend energy taking his mind. Put him out and get Amaya to wake up one of the others.”
“Amaya, wake up one of our contestants, Janah’s coming over, hang on, she has a question….she wants to know if you followed along?”
Amaya, “Yes, more interesting than TV.”
“Then let Daria do the drugs, you do the interrogation. I suggest you make him believe that his partners are rolling over on him, but you don’t believe all the story, and if he coughs it up, you can see he gets a good deal for testifying, some baloney like that.”
Amaya, “Watch the maestro at work.”
I follow in my head, she doesn’t take my suggestion, which is full of holes. Since he clearly isn’t under arrest, she would first have to convince him he was, then start in. She shortcuts that by using Janah’s story, she wants into the business.
Amaya, “See, I want into the game. And I want it in Vegas, lots of money, lots of perverts. If I get good security, like you and your pals, I already have a source of young escorts. What I don’t want is competition. I’m getting the women busted, you guys will be gone. Your partners think twice the pay is all the information they need. Same job, twice as much money.”
Of course, he’d tried the visiting relative story, but Amaya convinced him his associates had already dropped that nonsense. Within an hour he’s on the train and a fountain of information. We don’t bother with Security Three.
Janah, “We can’t wipe their minds yet, we need to check this out first. I want to say I don’t believe them, but my truth radar didn’t register a blip after they dropped the visit relatives baloney.”
We leave them with Minders, who will keep them mildly sedated until we’ve had a chance to sort out the facts.