Chapter 16: The Big Fat Scoop

Episode 16: The Big Fat Scoop.

Kodek had no idea (and why would he, really?) that he was currently witnessing the effects of what Brain, back in the United States, was mentally referring to as the Time Virus. All Kodek knew was that here he was with The Crew – that is, Ubert, Ernie and Chris – in the back of some Jew-owned jewelery store at the ass-end of Oxford at six in the a.m. (London time) watching as the Jewish daughter of the Jewish owner (and she also happened to have a Jewish twin sister who was standing right next to her as horrified as the crew currently was) while Jewish Daughter #1 (Alice) was convulsing in some funky-chicken way, still standing on her feet, hopefully unaware that she was bleeding profusely from somewhere in her torso.

It had started to happen right after that asshole Chris had shot Jewish Dad (and store owner) in the belly with a real-this-time semi-automatic pistol. After that shit had gone down in that pub on Charing Cross Road, Chris figured he’d better swing by Vicki the Vig’s flat and hit her up for a real-this-time pistol in case anything else should go sown while the heist was actually in progress (as opposed to before-the-heist-even-happened-whislt-downing-pints-in-a-pub).

So Chris had his gun. And the owner had been shot. Blood splattered, as it usually does, and as if in reaction, BAM! Daughter #1 (Alice) went all funky-chicken. Which might have been funny (and the grin plastered on Ubert’s face might indicate that it was) if it hadn’t been for the fact that she (Alice) had started bleeding herself. Bleeding inexplicably, Kodek might have added, if his brain had at that point in time had the capacity for elaboration.

When Alice’s guts ripped open and that two-foot penis-monster-thing punched out from her belly, Kodek had a clue that hey may have actually screamed. He wasn’t sure, because Chris certainly was screaming his fucking head off, as the shark-fanged penis-creature currently had a hold of Chris’s own crotch, right in its jaws! Kodek looked to the rest of the crew, everyone splattered in blood now, not sure just what the fuck he was supposed to do, and he saw that Ubert was laughing, laughing at Chris getting his dick eaten off by, ironically, something that looked like an alien-creature-penis itself… But Kodek though that laughter was tinged with the sound of insanity.

And that’s when he woke up.

In fact, that’s when he always woke up. Six years now…. on and off, anyway.

Kodek rubbed his eyes and looked over to check the other side of the bed. Anna was still there. He wasn’t sure why she wouldn’t be, or shouldn’t be, but over the past six years, whenever Kodek had The Dream, he found it hard to get his mind re-synchronized with time.

Six years.

He had to concentrate to make sure. Yes, it had definitely been six years since he’d been in London. Six years since that unfortunate shit with Vicki the Vig and…

Kodek the Plumber.

…You sure that was actually six years ago, man?

Kodek rubbed his eyes. He looked at Anna again, and had the illogical urge to f=touch her, feel her, basically to make sure she really was fucking there.

And The Dream… he thought about it more now, because he felt like the events in the dream, the diamond-heist-gone-horribly-wrong… Well, all that shit that had happened… that was impossible, right?

Only now, the dream was leaking into his recollection of events that he knew had actually happened to him. Like that day he’d met Anna. Hadn’t some sort of tentacle-creature burst forth from her flesh and…

Kodek’s eyes started to throb, he’d been rubbing them so hard. So he stopped. He thought about that day he’d met Anna.

That was one big fucking bazooka she’d had.

Anna snorted-snored and half woke herself up. She stirred and turned over to face Kodek, her eyes opening enough to be little slits.

Hey, baby,” she said. “You awake already?”

Yeah, bad dream,” he admitted.

Really bad?”

Not so much. It’s okay.”

Was it bad like this?” she hissed, and suddenly her mouth was elongated into some werewolf-maw and between the werewolf fangs a squid creature was flapping, with a set of teeth in the middle of its tentacled body like a vampire/shark vagina, and it was going right for Kodek’s crotch–!!

He screamed as he woke up (for the second time?) and scared the shit out of Anna so badly she actually bit down on his penis. Luckily, she stopped herself as her chompers barely broke the skin around his shaft, otherwise ruining what could have been a blissful morning wake-up blow job.

What the fuck?!” She asked him, and then saw he was in too much shock over his slightly bleeding penis to answer her heated query. So she let it slide for a while, and scooted over his stiff body to retrieve some cotton balls from the cabinet over the bathroom sink.

Half an hour later Kodek was all fixed up and sitting at the kitchen table over a bowl of Honey Nut Corn Flakes that he was more mulling over than actually eating. He figured he was also getting a fucking migraine, now, to boot.

How’s breakfast?” Ana asked, entering the kitchen completely naked and finding a peach in the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter.

Much better now,” Kodek told her.

Uh-huh,” she smiled at him, taking a bite of the peach, the juice running down her chin which she wiped away with the inside of her bare wrist.

So what are we getting up to today, then?” she asked as a follow-up question.

Well actually, we’re not going to do anything. Well, not together, anyway,” he corrected.

You got plans?” she asked.

I’m starting my new job today.”

Holy shit,” she said, staring at him directly in the eyes. “Is it fucking Monday today?”

Yeah. It’s-”

Fuck, I gotta get dressed and go!” she took another bite of the peach, ripping at least half of it off the stone in one chomp, and tossed the rest of it (which was not too damn much) into the sink and disappeared form the kitchen.

Kodek stared after her over his half-finished bowl of soggy Honey & Nut, have no idea where she was going or what she was apparently late for.

Probably something for The Corporation, he figured, and then never did remember to ask her about it after all.

He went about finishing his Corn Flakes while he could hear Anna in the shower, then blow-drying her hair, then rummaging around for clothes in the bedroom. She called a “goodbye” to him just as the door slammed, and that was it. Kodek was back with his own thoughts, and he had to get going himself. First day on the new job, and all that.

Kodek arrived at the newspaper building about an hour after finishing the Corn Flake mush, dressed in a suit and tie and a fedora on his head, which he figured made him look like a detective from one of those old hard-boiled film noir flicks, but really he looked a little more like Clark Kent, only without the Superman bit.

Is fist honest day as a journalist was not much to write home about, as it was absolutely nothing like Kodek had expected it to be. He thought he’d be beating his feet on the streets, pounding out lurid (but fully objective) stories of rape and murder and general metroplistic mayhem… But instead, he’d been on the computer for half the day doing research on statistics that other News Corporations had already dug up. Not only dug up, but had obviously already published as they were on the fucking internet. Journalism wasn’t about getting that big fat scoop anymore, no sir, it was not like the days of Woodward and Bernstein and All the President’s Men and hard-boiled films noir… fuck, it wasn’t even like Superman back in the late seventies. This was a first-come-first serve business and you had to keep ahead of all of the leakers of all of the news that was splattered all over the worldwide web. It was about keeping ahead of the leakers and hackers, not about constructing the best articles in the most objective ways, or digging for the truth – fuck the truth! Get it fast, get it first, and if you didn’t get the story first (hence it not really being a scoop), then tell it the BIGGEST so that you gave the public illusion that you had it first, anyway.

It was only 12:32 and Kodek had already made his mind up: Fuck This.

He left the office to go and get himself a drink.

Once he was finally seated at the bar across the street and down at the edge of the block (served him right for wanting to go for a drink in the middle of the metropolitan lunch rush, he supposed) he decided that getting some lunch might just be the right order for him, too. Yeah, lunch, and maybe this afternoon would be much better.

What can I get you?” the waited asked him.

Two beers and a shot of Jack Daniels.”

The waiter actually raised an eyebrow. “Two beers, sir? Are you expecting someone?”

Don’t patronize me,” he spat back at the pretentious waiter. “Obviously, one of those beers is going to be a chaser.”

Yes sir,” the waiter patronized back, and went off to get the start of Kodek’s lunch.

By the time he was halfway through the beer chaser (his last drink on the table, as it were), Kodek was waiting for his plate of oysters and side of garlic bread when he noticed that every time he looked over at that blonde chap sitting close to the double-doors at the front of the bar, the chap would look out through the windows set into those double-doors, trying to act like his attention had really been out there on the street all along. Like he was sitting there people watching. Well, Kodek supposed that technically the blonde guy was people watching, only it was Kodek he’d been watching. Kodek was about to get up and say something to the guy (like, “Hey, what’s your problem?” or perhaps something else of equal or lesser intelligence) when he stopped short. He had a completely overwhelming sense of deja vu, and then it clicked.

Ernie. Fucking Ernie! What the fuck’s he doing on this side of the pond…? And now Ernie wasn’t pretending to look out the window anymore, he had decided to actually make eye contact with Kodek, and now he was walking over, heading right for Kodek’s table, and Kodek suddenly felt like he was a leading cowboy in a Spaghetti Western. Only, he wasn’t sure if he was the good, the bad, or…

Hey, ugly,” Ernie said, and stuck out his hand. Kodek took it and shook it.

Hey Ernie. What the fuck brings you to this part of the world?”

I needed to talk to you.”

How’d you find me?”

Social Insurance Number, asshole. You went and got yourself a job that was actually on the grid. What the fuck, man?”

Kodek shrugged. “Needed a change, I guess.”

Yeah? And how’s that working out for you?”

Another shrug: “Could be better.”

Isn’t this your first day?”

First day, third drink.”

Ernie checked his watch. “Okay,” he said, and took a seat across from Kodek. “You order lunch yet?”

Yup.”

Than I’ll join you. And it’s on me.”

Deal.”

Two hours later, Kodek had heard the entire pitch. He suddenly felt the migraine coming back on.

You want to pull the heist again?” he asked Ernie.

Well, technically,” Ernie said, “we never actually pulled it off in the first place. So there is no ‘again’. This would be the first time.”

But the same store?”

Yes,” Ernie affirmed.

In London?” Kodek asked, just checking.

Yes,” Ernie sighed, as if he thought Kodek was being rather slow.

What’s the plan, then?’ Kodek asked, his tone suggesting to Ernie that This’d Better Be Fucking Good.

Reservoir Dogs,” Ernie said.

Nope,” Kodek said back, “It’s been done.”

Of course it’s been done,” Ernie said. “Tarantino knew it had been done. He stole the fucking idea from that Chinese movie with Chow Yun-Fat.”

Who?”

Replacement Killers,” Ernie said, as if that explained everything. Oddly enough, it did.

Okay,” Kodek said. “It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Reservoir Dogs-”

Actually, it hasn’t,” Ernie interrupted.

Come again?”

Nevermind. Look, what do you want to know?”

What do I want to know–? The plan – the fucking plan, Ernie!”

Oysters, sir,” the waiter rudely interrupted, not really giving a fuck what Kodek and Ernie had been talking about. They waited until he left, regardless.

Pretentious French fucker,” Ernie noted.

Look, fuck the waiter-”

-No, thank you.”

Kodek shook his head. “Pretty fucking please, Ernie. Stay with me.”

I’m with you.”

Good. Then run the fucking plan down for me again.”

Okay,” Ernie sighed (again) “It breaks down like this-

-Two in the back, four in the front. Four in the front are really just crowd control and distraction, As part of the distraction, they’ll pull a smash-and-grab, whatever they can get. But that’s extra, and it really doesn’t matter. Me and you, we’re the two in the back. We’re grabbing a fresh shipment from the manager and we’ll be out before he even knows what the fuck.”

Kodek stared at him. “And this is back in London.”

Yes, Kodek, fucking London.”

And what’s the score? Another shipment of uncut diamonds? ‘Cause that didn’t exactly pay off the last time we tried to pull this stunt.”

It’s not a stunt, Kodek, it’s a heist. And it didn’t pay off because Chris got his fucking balls shot off by those twin Jew bitches. Remember?”

Shot off?

No, not exactly…

So it’s diamonds again, then. What’s Morimoto paying for them this time?”

Actually, no, it’s not diamonds. That jewelery store isn’t even fucking there anymore, Kodek, didn’t you know?”

Why would I know? I haven’t been back to London in six years.”

Yeah, right,” Ernie smirked. “Anyway, it’s not diamonds. It’s nothing like diamonds.”

Well, what the fuck is it, then?”

Ernie picked up one of the oysters and slurped it back before answering.

Fucking drama queen, Kodek thought.

Ernie tossed the discarded shell onto the plate. “Organs,” he said.

What, like the musical instrument?” Kodek asked.

Don’t be an asshole, Kodek. This is serious. It’s illegal organ harvesting time.”

Jesus Christ, Kodek thought. Now he knew he had a migraine. Especially at the thought of scooping human organs out of God-only-knew-what…

This was going to be a fine mess, Kodek was sure.

Sixteen hours later, he was back in London.

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