No 161 - 2000
The Fisheye Incident: Part 3
I got to the office early; still no messages. I was on automatic pilot moving from cube to kitchen, brewing coffee, getting set for the work that I had abandoned when Jenn had interrupted. At 8:30, with the rest of the office buzzing loudly, I shut down my machine and waited. I knew they would come before trading opened at 9:00. After fifteen minutes, my boss, Dick, appeared.
‘We’re going upstairs.’
We went up in silence. When we got off the elevator, I turned to Dick.
He didn’t look at me. We walked around the perimeter of the floor, past several executive offices, including Jenn’s. Her briefcase was next to her desk, but she was not there. Dick led me to a windowless interior conference room. Jenn was at the table, flanked by one man I recognized - Sadler, our chief compliance officer - and another man I had never met. Jenn gestured toward a seat across the table from them. Dick remained in the doorway; Jenn waved him away. I heard the door close and looked up to see a security guard standing next to the door, hands clasped in a fig-leaf posture, cell phone like a dainty codpiece over his groin.
I fiddled with the china and silver service. Remembering that I was supposed to have turned over the monitoring program, I mumbled an excuse.
Sadler looked at Jenn with a pained expression.
‘Can we start?’
The other man seemed oblivious to us. He was immersed in the Daily News sports section, running his finger down a column of box scores as Jenn folded her hands and leaned forward to address me.
‘Don’t worry about the monitor, Evan - we’re past that.’
‘Where are we?’
Jenn turned to the newspaper reader, raising her eyebrows quizzically.
He folded his newspaper as if he were getting off a bus. He slouched back in his chair and smiled at me.
Fed, I thought.
‘Talk to your cousin recently, Evan?’
I glanced at Jenn. She looked cold. I went with the truth.
‘How is he dealing with the news?’
‘He’s going to cash out, if he can get in line quick enough.’
‘Guess you told him about Pinckney?’
Could cost you your job - maybe a hefty fine.’
‘If your job is putting assholes like me behind bars, then you really are the gumshoe hick you’re pretending to be.’
‘Evan, this is serious.’
I bristled back.
‘Then tell Mr. GS-15 here to stop with the stupid threats already and tell me why I’m here. And who he is, for that matter.’
Walter chuckled and held his hands up.
‘Just a bit of friendly advice.’
He pulled a paper from the file in front of him.
‘You’ve got the GS right - Global Investigations, not the SEC per se. We’ve been watching Recante for months. When Jenn and Pinckney called their SEC contacts within an hour of each other on Saturday, we got very interested. Especially the bit about the lab.’
He ran his finger down the paper.
‘Ever hear of Crispin Brothers? How about McMaster Associates?’
I could feel a bit more steel behind the folksy look Walter gave me. Why did I think I could lie to these professionals? I told them about my visit to Bradley’s house.
Walter laid the sheet on the table.
‘Bradley was a good one.’
I looked at Jenn, who stared at me without expression. I turned back to Walter.
‘He’s one of yours?’
‘And his wife?’
‘What do you think?’
I tried to breathe the stress away. ‘So what happens now?’
‘We’re going to let it happen.’
‘Let what happen?’
‘Recante’s next step... dumping the shares.’
‘You don’t have enough to halt trading?’
‘There’s no evidence yet that Recante’s done anything illegal.’
‘Seems pretty clear to me. Recante was behind this from the beginning. They used Atrium to lure Greystone into a deal that looked too good to pass up, then organized a network of buyers to push the stock price up, which made the deal look even better, until Greystone was committed financially - the corporation as well as the shareholders who used their paper wealth to overextend themselves. Now Atrium is pulling out of the deal, and Recante will use its network to dump the stock and push the price way down. Pretty soon we’ll see a tender offer from Recante to take over Greystone.’
‘It’s still not enough for an indictment. Besides, remember this is a lab test - we need to see what they’re really up to.’
‘I just told you what they’re up to.’
‘It’s bigger than that. They have a dozen other equihoods with the same process happening.’
‘So they’re diversifying their portfolio. What difference does that make? They’ve conspired with Atrium to defraud the Greystone investors.’
Walter’s voice became quiet.
‘Listen, Evan. We think we can flush these guys out if we let them play it out a little longer. We’ve got an unknown group of foreigners trying to simultaneously take over a dozen equihoods - this is beyond securities fraud.’
‘And you’re talking to me because... ?’
‘You’re a loose cannon. You get yourself to the right media contacts and you could screw this whole thing up - not to mention the problems you could cause for the Exchange management.’
‘Why would I do that?’
‘Who knows? That’s our problem. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a media hero.’
‘Of course, as you’ve pointed out, I could be in for some jail time myself, which gives you the hammer on me.’
‘I wish that was enough, Evan. But we have to worry about Recante. If they start to get squeezed a bit, they may want you to help them.’
Walter brought an official looking set of documents out of a very old briefcase.
‘So... we want you to enter our version of a witness protection program. You will have immunity from any prosecution related to this incident. You will agree to testify when we finally take legal action. And you won’t talk to the press or anyone else about this unless we tell you to.’
He smiled again.
‘Of course you could wait to see what Recante’s version of this is... but I can tell you that if you take an offer from them, you will move onto a very different list... like the one she is on.’
He slid a sheet across the table to me. It was a Wanted poster, like you see in the post office. There, smiling like a real estate agent on the scent, was Bradley’s wife.
‘She thinks she’s smart. Got her kids out of the country in a ski school in Switzerland. If she’s lucky, she’ll get caught. Recante won’t find her useful for too long.’
‘I guess Bradley was the smart one then, sticking with the red, white and blue.’ Walter gave me a look that went up to about six on the scary scale, with hints of what eight and nine might be.
‘It may seem that way to her soon.’
I caved quickly. The next half hour was logistics and signing papers. I had an agent assigned to me for protection and a beeper to hit if I felt threatened. Jenn hurried Walter along, looking at her watch.
‘We need to get back to the floor.’
Ten minutes later I was with Jenn and Sadler in her office watching the order log and trade executions projected on her whiteboard. We switched back and forth between Greystone and the dozen other securities that were being hit. They all told the same story. It was all sell and no buy. Sell orders from the shareholders started the day at Friday’s close. Since the opening bell, the asking prices had come down about five percent, with a few sales being made. We waited.
It didn’t take long. Within a half hour, huge blocks were put up for sale, and asking prices slid to ten percent below the starting price. This was the beginning of the Recante dump. I recognized some of the broker names from the lab phone call. Even with this big a cut, only a few buyers appeared. Then every fifteen minutes, Recante slashed their asking price another five percent. Other big blocks started to appear - who could tell if they were Recante pawns or not?
The smaller investors either panicked and brought their sell orders down, or froze. My bet was that most of the Greystone residents were in the frozen category, with the exception of those who got lucky and cashed out early before Recante started dumping.
In the corner of the screen display, there was a stream of headlines being pushed through from a newsagent. All the details of the Greystone and other equihood massacres were being spread across the investor community, creating a feedback loop of plummeting prices, shrill announcements, bigger price cuts.
By noon the damage was done. Greystone had lost seventy percent of its price, as had the other targeted equihoods. I got up and headed for the door.
‘Where are you going?’
‘I need to call my cousin.’
‘Just remember your agreement.’
I found an empty conference room, closed the door and called Rick. When he picked up, I could hear CNN blaring in the background.
‘How did you make out?’
‘I got out at thirty. Lost twenty percent of my assets.’
‘Better than seventy percent.’
‘Whatever, I’m out of here. There’s not going to be anything left. Bankers, creditors, customers - they’re all closing in. The whole thing is folding like a house of cards. The price right now might look great in another couple of hours.’
‘You’re definitely out?’
‘I’m just waiting for confirmation of the trades - once I’m cashed out, we have a buy-out on the house lease, then we’re gone.’
‘What about the people who didn’t cash out?’
I felt guilty, as if all the problems had been my doing.
‘I’ll come out tonight. Let me know if there’s any problem with the trades.’
When I arrived back at Jenn’s office, they were eating lunch. Walter was looking pleased with himself. His satisfied mug pissed me off.
‘Why don’t you come out to Greystone with me tonight? You can tell all the losers what a great job their government is doing for them.’
Walter ignored me, talking to Jenn.
‘Just talked to Europe. They have two Recante officers in custody. Heavy duty bankers from Belgium.’
Jenn nodded. Her secretary came in the room.
‘A call for you, Mr. Pick.’
I picked the call up in a cubicle outside Jenn’s office. It was Rick again.
‘I don’t know why I’m even calling you. But here’s the news. There’s a white knight.’
‘Isn’t that what you call it? Well, not exactly a white knight, but our board has been contacted by someone who says they’ll pay double the market price, assume our debts and legal battles - and give us a new set of employment contracts.’
‘It’s not Recante?’
‘Definitely not. No one knows who it is yet - they’ve helicoptered in a crew of lawyers and are working on a contract now. The plan is to review the tender offer in the morning.’
‘When’s the meeting?’
‘Nine o’clock. I’m not going - I’ve had enough. But sounds like you folks will want to know about this.’
I went back into the office and told them what Rick had told me. No one said anything. Jenn left the room for a few minutes, then came back and began working at her desk. Through the lunch hour, trading was minimal. Within an hour, Rick’s information was popping up as a rumor in the screen corner. Prices crept up a little as speculators grabbed a few blocks. I looked over at Jenn.
‘That your work there, you rumor-monger you?’
I was beginning to feel my old ass-holic self again.
Jenn turned from her keyboard.
‘Why don’t you take the rest of the day off? There’s nothing else for you to do here now.’
I gathered my papers, glancing over at Walter who was busy on his cell phone, trying to get a handle on this new development. I caught his eye.
‘Good luck, flatfoot - call if you get work.’
I stopped by my desk on my way out. Nigel walked by and did a double-take.
‘You’re still here? Thought you’d be in the clink by now.’
‘My lips are sealed, pal. Hey, you doing anything tonight? Little Monday madness?’
A slight squirm appeared momentarily behind Nigel’s ever-cool facade.
‘Sorry, love - prior commitment.’
‘Commitment, Nigel... somehow oxymoronic don’t you think?’
‘Really, Evan, I have a date.’
My antennae vibrated slightly.
‘No, actually ...’
‘What’s that in your hand?’
Nigel brought his hand from behind his back, looking at it as if it were an entirely new anatomical feature.
‘A brownie, Nigel? Two, maybe? Wrapped in a napkin? And your desk is back that way?’
Sherlockian, possibly Mycroftian, logic led me to the depressing answer.
‘Archana? Et tu, you fucking sneaky Brit.’
Nigel smiled happily.
I couldn’t help admiring the guy. He had no compunctions when it came to chasing tail.
At home, I putzed around my office, filing, cleaning up. Late in the afternoon I got a call from Rick.
‘You all straight on your deal?’
‘Yeah, it’s done. It’ll take a few weeks to work out the details. We’ll be clearing out of here in a few days. Going to go down to Charlotte and stay with Jane’s sister until we figure out our next step.’
There was a moment of muffled conversation, then Rick came back on.
‘Listen, Jane says why don’t you come over for dinner? She’s convinced me that you’re too stupid to have had anything to do with all this.’
‘Anyway, there’s some kind of party going at the pavilion, might be fun to get out.’
When I pulled up to the sentry gate, the guard waved me through without looking. As I approached the roundabout, I could hear music blasting from the pavilion, hard, choppy blues guitar. The fountain was filled with teenagers, half of them naked or near, underwear and brassieres soaked to transparency, quart beer bottles lining the ledge. I drove slowly through the streets to Rick’s house. Kids were everywhere, racing unheeding from house to house, across the streets. Two eight-year-olds walked down the sidewalk, carrying a toddler upside down, expressions of responsible determination on their faces.
Rick’s house was full of boxes, an odd echo of my visit to the Bradley household. I helped them for a while, then we took a break and drank coffee at the kitchen table. Jane circled her mug in her hands and looked at me.
‘I saw Dave Adams’ wife. She couldn’t - or wouldn’t - tell me anything about the deal. They’ve got so much equity, it’s just a question of how much they cash out with. But she did say she had talked to Debbie Wilson.’
‘She was the one on that news show last week with her husband. She said they were freaking out about the offer.’
‘Because of their girls, she said. I asked what she meant, and she said Dave would have her head for talking to me.’
Rick shook his head.
‘It’s like listening to a tape on headphones. Know how you can hear the song faintly a few seconds before it really starts? I think we’ve got a nasty tune ready to go down here, but I can’t figure out what it is.’
After dinner, Rick and I walked to the pavilion. Small children wandered from yard to yard, or lay asleep below swing sets. All the adults seemed to be at the pavilion, sharing bottles of wine, alternating tense discussions with boisterous shouting. The roofed area surrounding the bar was packed with a noisy throng, jazz blaring from the sound system. We pushed through to the bar, wedging ourselves into a small space next to a half dozen girls. The girl next to me was pressed by the crowd hard against my side. When I tried to work my hand into my jeans pocket for cash, her buttocks pushed against my wrist. She turned to face me, aggressively pushing her groin onto my knuckles. She reached her hand up, caressing my ear.
‘You like to screw?’
Right here, right now, I thought. Then another girl pushed in from the side, slapping my hand away. I recognized the childbearer who had transfixed me a few days ago. She wrapped her arms around the girl, who dreamily rubbed her face against the older girl’s breasts. They pulled away into the crowd.
I turned to Rick, who handed me a glass of wine. He laughed at me.
‘Typical bearer antics. They never have sex, but they act like prostitutes. Because of their intense hormonal focus. Anyway, you want to work that group, not their daughters.’
Rick pointed across the bar. I recognized faces and bodies from past visits.
‘Maybe later. Cheers.’
I detached myself from Rick and began slithering my way around the loudly chattering clumps until I found what I was looking for. A small group of men were in a focused discussion at a table. I flopped on the grass behind them, lying back, eyes closed, listening.
‘Sounds interesting, but I’m still out of here.’
‘Easy for you, cash out at half the price and you’re still sitting pretty down in Boca.’
‘Carol may not see it that way.’
‘Yeah, cut her clothes budget, Nieman Marcus may have to go Chapter 11.’
Manly chuckles. God, what assholes.
‘Scott, it’s no joke - if we can’t get the rank and file to go for this, we’ve got serious fucking problems.’
I snuck a peek at Scott, a cigar-smoking yahoo of the first order. He gestured with his Havana, blowing smoke at the sky in exasperation.
‘They’re gonna take it. They’ve got to or we’ll make sure they’re stuck in this mess forever. Remember, they’ve got contractual obligations.’
‘Does anybody know who this Arab is?’
‘He’s not an Arab.’
‘Whoever he is, he’s got boatloads of cash.’
‘How did the bankers find him?’
‘He found them. Personal connection with one of the Vice Chairs.’
‘He’s an old school pal of Cecil’s.’
‘Freddy said he’s a tyrant.’
‘Shit, my people say I’m a tyrant!’
Scott the comedian there, coughing and spluttering his own laugh track. Perfunctory guffaws from a few others.
‘No, a real tyrant, like he runs some city-state or something.’
Clear enunciation caused my ears to prick up. A quick glance at a buzz-cut, steel-rimmed glasses, sipping a glass of dark beer.
‘Ruler of a small sovereign island state - eastern hemisphere - democratically elected, I assure you.’
Quiet at the table. Boy must be inside the insiders. Finally a question, product of labored, sluggish thinking.
‘Exactly where, I mean what’s it called, is this near Sri Lanka or something?’ Buzz-cut laughed, a country boy sound.
‘Sorry Mike, if I told you... ‘
Scott cut in.
‘He’d half to kill you!’
Buzz-cut lit a cigarette.
‘And sell your daughters into slavery.’
‘That’s about the size of the deal anyway, right?’
‘And a good deal it is.’
‘If you don’t mind working for an Arab.’
‘He’s not an Arab you moron.’
‘And he’s not a moron, unlike some assholes I know.’
Shouting, laughs, iron chairs awkwardly scraping on the flagstones, hippolike figures lumbering to the bar for refills.
I went back to the bar. I found Rick on the other side, chatting up two women whom nakedness would have made more chaste in appearance. I grinned and nodded dumbly, staring at cleavage deep enough to... well, whatever you might please. One of them was lighting a professional-looking joint in turquoise paper. After a round of puffs, I held it behind my back, taking minuscule steps backward. Nice talking to you, hey, me and John Thomas will be back later... no one noticed me moving away. If ever I had been within pheromone range, I was definitely out now.
I nipped the joint out, and bellied to the bar. I yelled across to the crowd of bearers on the other side, more of them now, many boys and a few of the bloated execs from my table pressing amongst them, enjoying the lascivious repulsion.
‘Hey. I’m with the big tit babes now!’
Without looking, a tall girl flung the contents of a fruity welldrink across the bar, half of it flying past my head, the other half scoring a direct hit on my face and shirt. As I wiped the sticky pineapple slush from my eyes, my bartender friend appeared, handing me a towel.
He laughed and put a bottle of beer on the bar.
‘Things sure have changed since my last visit.’
‘Tell me about it. I’m getting out of here. These assholes can run their own bar. Last night, last shift.’
He took off his apron, and scooped up the tips that lay all over the bar.
‘Your friend Bradley had the right idea.’
Fat lot of good it did him.
‘The girls are getting a little rowdy there.’
‘They’re in the catbird seat now.’
‘Part of the new deal?’
‘Better believe it.’
‘Give us a six, friend.’
I dropped a twenty on the bar.
He put the twenty in his pocket and pulled the beer out of the box.
‘See you in the Keys, guy.’
He locked the register and waved as he left the bar. Within minutes, a few volunteers were behind the bar, dispensing drinks with abandon.
I found my old spot on the grass and sat down. As I hoped, the buzz-cut was still at the table with one of the quieter men, the others all squeezing boobs and tails at the bar.
I relit the joint and took a serious toke. My coughing made them turn their heads. I offered the joint out to the table. They joined me on the grass, smoking and drinking my beers. Back on the boards.
‘Christ, hope I can wake up tomorrow - the meeting’s at nine?’
‘Yeah, you’ll want to be there. This is a major deal.’
I tried looking very stoned, which was easy.
‘Lot of rumors, man. Gets me worried about my kids.’
The two exchanged glances.
‘No man, this is a win-win. How many kids you got?’
‘Three, my friend. Two girls and a boy.’
Buzz-cut gave his friend a look that said, let me take care of this bozo, show you how it’s done.
‘Listen, I know a couple of guys on the committee. Man, you can’t tell anyone, but if we don’t do this deal, we could all be looking at some real fucking problems.’
‘You mean these lawsuits?’
‘Hey, these are serious. We could be working them off for the rest of our lives.’
‘So what’s so good about this deal?’
‘For you, man, with the fucking girls? Sorry, no offense.’
‘None taken, I am sure.’
His eyes narrowed a bit.
‘They’ll pay you a commission up front - you’ve just got to pass over percentages on the kids. And let them take over the education plan - a great fucking plan. They got profs from MIT, Wharton, Sloan coming in here.’
‘Yeah, man, only the best. And you get even more for the bearing options - it’s unbelievable.’
They were up on their feet.
‘Look, I’m talking too much - great weed man, it’ll get me in trouble every time. Don’t forget - be there at nine. Want me to ring you?’
‘Hey, sure, cool.’
I gave him Rick’s number. They went away from the pavilion.
I went looking for Rick. He was in deep discussion with the deepest of the cleavage set. I hovered for a moment and then went to the bar. People were sitting up on the bar, pouring out liquor and wine to an unending sequence of proffered glasses. A hardfaced woman in a t-shirt climbed up on the bar, shouting at the crowd.
‘How much for your children? How much these fucking Arabs giving you?’
One of the bearers on the other side of the bar, arms covered in coiled metal bracelets, snapped her fingers and two girls next to her, brutally sexy teenagers, stood up on their bar stools and yanked the woman’s legs from under her. They caught her head just before it hit the bar. One leaned down and fixed her lips on the woman’s, slowly working her tongue into her mouth. The other slipped her hand inside the woman’s sweatpants, pressing hard against her pelvis. Within seconds the woman began responding involuntarily, arching her back and moaning. Immediately, the girls pushed her over the edge, sending her crashing to the floor behind the bar. The girl with the bracelets sneered derisively.
‘Fucking dykes are too easy.’
People stepped over her body as they continued to pillage the top shelf bottles behind the bar. I reached over the bar and rummaged through the cold box until I found a bottle of wine. Then I went back to Rick and his date.
‘Hey, man, I got the bottle that Jane wanted - we’d better go now.’
Rick looked at me, too drunk to be mad.
‘C’mon, Rick, you know how she hates it when you screw these old hags.’
Her tits moved off quickly, the rest of her following, as she resumed trawling more promising waters.
‘Fuck, Evan, I had her.’
‘Rick, that is the last thing you want to have right now.’
We wove our way through the streets to Rick’s house. I pushed Rick in the direction of his bedroom and sat down in the kitchen where Jane was making a list. I told her what I had gleaned from my eavesdropping.
‘Guess this fits with what you were hearing from Adams’ wife.’
Jane nodded, not looking up, continuing to scratch at the paper. I poured glasses of wine. She took a gulp of the wine and pushed the list away. Her eyes were red and swollen.
‘I talked to Debbie for an hour. They’ve already been contacted by the board. They’re testing a few shareholders to see how it will go over.’
‘So how’s it look?’
‘Joe and Deb take major cuts in pay. Christ, Joe just about ran the back office at his firm. Now he’ll be doing claims work for some foreign insurer.’
‘They’re going to take it?’
‘They’ve got to. They don’t have enough stock to cash out and go.’
She rolled the wine around her glass.
‘It’s weird. Like they’re just skipping right past our generation. Joe and Deb are taking big pay cuts and reduced hours. Their real job is managing the kids - all according to this tyrant’s plan. The girls are going to get pulled out of their schools and put into an academy here. High-tech engineering, computers, legal studies, there are special bonus deals for child-bearers who fit the right profile. Once the kids start generating income, Joe and Deb will get bought out. Completely.’
‘So that’s the tyrant’s endgame?’
Jane’s eyes teared up again.
‘Which tyrant? The one we’ve worked under for the past twenty years?’
Jane headed up to bed. I phoned Jenn at the office. She was still there.
‘I’m at my cousin’s. Probably shouldn’t be here. I need to call Walter - thought I’d give you a heads up.’
‘He’s here. Let me put him on the speaker.’
I told them everything I had heard that night. They didn’t sound surprised.
‘Good information, Evan. Look, take tomorrow off - help your cousin, whatever.’
‘Should I go to the board meeting? Rick can get me in.’
There was silence for a moment. Then Walter spoke.
‘Things have changed, Evan. We’ve talked with the board. The deal is legitimate. It’s going to pass overwhelmingly, sounds like. The investigation is over.’
‘The US Attorney’s office grilled the Recante guys for hours. They can’t get anything on them. They just look like a bunch of investors who made a bad bet.’
‘What about all this lab cell stuff?’
‘All we’ve got is your word on that.’
‘Pinckney says he doesn’t know anything about that. He denies saying anything like that to you.’
‘Walter, you asked me about McMaster and Crispin. How did you know about them?’
‘We found out from Bradley.’
‘So - doesn’t that prove something?’
Jenn cut in.
‘Bradley’s gone, Evan. There’s no case. The investigation is closed.’
‘And Atrium? They just backed out on their own?’
‘They say they’ve been looking to bail for months - got a much better deal in Dublin - Irish government gave them more incentives than you could shake a stick at.’
I walked away from the phone for a moment, and got the bottle of wine back out of the fridge where Jane had put it. I filled my glass to the brim. I sat back at the table, waiting for them to talk. I broke first.
‘And this friendly tyrant?’
‘That’s what they’re calling him? He’s legit. Actually was educated here at Wharton. Went back home to his island about ten years ago. Half the EU recognizes them as a trading partner. They’ve had an embassy in New York for a while now - they’re not quite in with the State department, but getting there.’
‘What about the other dozen equihoods? Is he getting them all, too?’
‘He got about half.’
‘And that’s all legit, too?’
‘Just more foreign money coming in. Nothing wrong with that.’
‘So, am I still in that protection program? What with Recante being such good guys?’
Jenn cut in.
‘For your own good, Evan, at least for a few months.’
Walter’s folksy cop voice returned.
‘Stop down next week, Evan, and we’ll see how it’s going. In the meantime, try to stay out of trouble. Even good guys can get nasty sometimes.’
I hung the phone up without answering and sat for a minute. Then I took my glass and walked out to the street’s edge and sat on the curb. The noise from the pavilion was louder than before, shouts and delirious screams threading through the pounding bass from the loudspeakers. Across the street, an orange mountain tent was set up in the front yard. Through its open flap, I could see one child asleep and another with a flashlight, studying the pages of a book. My eyes lost focus as I stared at this swaying luminous beacon, like a ship’s light on a dark sea, and listened for the low undertone of the message that lay encoded in the children’s future.
Joel E. Turner designs analytic software for banks. He lives near Philadelphia. The Fisheye Incident is from a novel-in-process (working title: Welcome to the Nabordex). Part 3 is the final installment of this story; parts 1 and 2 appeared in Ambits 159 and 160.
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