Chapter 8


Brisbane’s bawdy smile made the girls standing next to the staircase blush and turn away as he went up to the second floor.  Past a couple drunkenly giggling to each other and down another corridor in the outrageously opulent mansion, Brisbane ducked into a room that would seem a tiny closet to passersby.  To those who knew its true purpose it seemed too obvious as to its true function.  No room would be this small in such a home.  Brisbane ducked through a hidden passageway behind a row of fur coats and blazers.  Immediately on the other side he was bathed in pale blue light.  Immediately a beautiful woman flickered onto the enormous plate of glass in front of him, “Welcome to Zirian Technology, Mr. Zirian.”

Chuckling to himself, Brisbane immediately rounded the corner of the glass and pulled a panel off the back of the computer.  It was disguised as a coffee table below the glass.  Mr. Zirian was either about to show off this marvel or already had, either way the clock was ticking.  The computer would only allow 120 seconds without proper identification before alerting the household as to intruders. 

The worm he had attached to the server pulled Zirian’s government codes, recent acquisitions, and current projects.  “I could use some grant money too, if it’s not too much trouble…” Brisbane muttered to himself.

As if on cue the screen flashed with a confirmation of deposit into an unlisted bank account.  As the words DISPUTE IN PERSON momentarily flickered across the screen, Brisbane smiled and disconnected the device.  Mr. Zirian would let a measly $250,000 go if it was going to cut into his merger this week.  He heard the closet open behind him and ducked behind a desk in the back of the small, black room. 

Mr. Zirian entered with five or six party guests and began giving them the monologue sell that Brisbane had heard so many times while casing the office downtown.  As the group moved to face away from him Brisbane stepped behind a female guest.  Moments later when she finally saw him she stared judgmentally at his five o’clock shadow, grabbing for her blond date’s arm who reacted similarly.  Brisbane simply smiled brightly and excused himself, heading for the stairs.

He returned to the terrace where Ms. Donovan was downing yet another glass of champagne in a rather vulgar fashion.  She watched his approach with the hooded eyes of someone bored beyond rescue.  Brisbane laughed out loud before throwing an arm around her waist, “Thanks folks!” he shouted, raising a hand in farewell to the crowd around the buffet, “but its hot tub time!”

Before taking the keys from the valet, Ms. Donovan paused meaningfully with all the poise and grace of her birth, and vomited into a nearby Lamborghini.   

“I think it improves it,” she quipped after Brisbane ripped the keys out of her hand.

The End

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