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Monday, February 20, 2017

Philadelphia Is Burning


"Kevin, when you called and said you wanted to take me to lunch...


I really was expecting something else.." said my wife, Sepia..


''What did you expect?" I asked, eyeing her salaciously...


If Sepia was lighter skinned, she would have blushed...


"You know...I thought you wanted to...uhh...." she whispered...


"Lunch" had become our code word for afternoon sex in my office with the shades drawn and the door locked...


but not today...Today we were at a classy rooftop restaurant...


"Today.. I wanted to eat..." I said.
My lamb chop was off the chain... I eyed Sepia's Gourmet Pasta...


It looked incredible....


"Lover, this food is off the damn chain....It's delicious...I've got to tell Bonita..."


 she said.." How did you find out about this place?" she asked..


"Well you know we have a Food Magazine now.. It's digital...on line..One of the writer/Editors told me about it.. They're doing a live Podcast on this place next week...Sean Jackson is directing it." I said.


"Look at you...When I met you, you were the Writer/Editor and Chief of a little Hip Hop magazine...Now you own it and several others, A Music Streaming service.. Radio stations, TV Stations and a recording studio...My little mogul." she said.


"Hey, you aint done so bad either toots...You weren't the co-owner of a successful real estate business either..."I laughed...


"Wow Kevin, life has changed so rapidly in the past eight or nine years....I never figured we'd be married and the parents of a baby girl either..." she said as we enjoyed our food...
"You ever miss North Jersey?" I asked.


"Sometimes...but I have nothing there anymore...All my old friends are dead, Mommy is in prison....I'd have nothing to return to...All of my friends are here...My life is here...I love my adopted city..and my mannnn!" she said and leaned over and placed a soft sensuous kiss on my lips..


"Ummmmm that's a down payment on tonight mister.."she said..


"I look forward to that." I said and poured a glass of wine..
This was going to cost a pretty penny, but I suppose it was okay to spoil ourselves..I was using the nice bonus my last client had given me at the close of a case...


Oh yeah, I'm also a Private Investigator on my spare time..


"Thank you for lunch baby....but I have to go...I've got a house to show...."she said and kissed me again, softer, slower... Slowly driving me out of my mind..


softer, slower... Slowly driving me out of my mind..


"Byyye baby, see you tonight." she said...


I smiled...and watched her as she left...


II-
I returned to my office and saw a familiar face sitting in my lobby...
It was Bonnie Shay, an Attorney and Insurance Investigator ,I had worked with on a couple of cases..
"Heyyyyyyyyyyy girl, what's goin on?" I said and kissed her softly in the lips..
She blushed and smiled..
"Ummmmm, I wish I could get greeted like that everywhere I go.." she joked... "Kevin, I need your help...Can we talk in your office?" she said..


"Sure",I said..


We walked to my office...I called my assistant, Harry Charles..


"Harry, hold all of my calls.." I said and I closed the door..


I sat down at my desk...


''Soooooooooooo of what help can I be to the esteemed Ms. Bonnie Shay....Attorney at Law and Insurance Investigator?" I said.


"Ouuuu you make me sound more important than I am..." she said...She opened up her briefcase and showed me photos of several homes....












Several nice homes...They were all on fire!!!!
"Uhhhh I take it you guys insured these buildings?" I said.
''Every last one of them...Heavily...All of the owners are very wealthy, very well heeled...And here is the rub...Within the last two months....All of them got an email or a text.. FROM US, The Cyclops Insurance agency...telling them to refinance or re-insure their homes....Only it wasn't us!  And there is more..Their company's main computers were infected with “malware” or had other critical errors in order to encourage them to purchase “scareware” software products that had limited or no ability to remedy the purported defects...They were told ...To either purchase it or their entire system would be nuked...It's some kind of super virus that is counting down...The top I T people at all 12 company's tried to track it, tried to knock it out, but they couldn't..I dealt with something like this before Kevin...and I was able to knock it out...But this Super Virus is wayyyy over my head..I couldn't do anything with it either...So you see...I had no choice but to come to you and hope to God you can help me." said Bonnie.
"So you've been hacked." I said.


"Yes and I've been investigating for a few weeks now...The hack is coming from somewhere within our company....but I can't put my finger on it.. but I was close...
Kevin these men are afraid...They are all getting ready to sue us...They could put us out of business...My boss, Elwood Barnes...


told me to get with you.. He figures both of us can get to the bottom of this and I hate to say this...but for once I agree with him..He's prepared to pay you handsomely..." she said.


''Wow, this does sound big....Do you have the phone numbers of the men who were called and the cell phone information?" I asked.


"Yes....It's all here.." she said..


"Okay...let's go out to the copier....Make me copies of everything you have....Tomorrow, you and I will go and set up a meeting with these seven owners..It can be here....Meanwhile...I'll work on tracing that hack.." I said.


"Good and have you heard of the name , Fat Masterson...??" she asked.


"Fat Masterson?? Yeah, He was a gangster...I've never met him, but I've heard of him...Used to have several corners during the heyday of the drug trade...Had some juice on the street and a bookmaking operation too...had women on the street also...Feds put him away....Why?" I asked.


''His name has been bandied around...on the street, during my investigation...It seems he moved up in the criminal world to cyber crime...It is said that he and a partner ran an operation just like this a few years ago that the Feds busted up..He took the seven year ride...His associate was never indicted...Now he's out of jail and he and his associate could be behind this, my sources tell me." said Bonnie.



"Hmm, you did good work for two weeks...Let me find out if he's even on the street...This would be a pretty sophisticated operation for him....but not out of the realm of possibility..."I said.


"Was that his real name?" asked Bonnie.


"Bernard Masterson...The Two Ton Titan." I laughed..


"Really?" she gasped...





"No...Bernard "Fat" Masterson was 750 pounds during his hey day, thus the nickname.......The man loved to eat and not just anywhere...Only the best restaurants and Bistros.. He was a real foodie...He's been in federal lock up for 7 years....So he's out huh?  Possibly up to his old tricks...I'm betting in that time...His partner has gotten even better." I chuckled..


Bonnie reached in her purse and gave me an envelope...It was filled with 50's....Totalling almost five g's...


"Thanks....Shame you're on Salary, you certainly deserve some of this..."I said.


"That's okay...I just want to crack this case...So that I'll have a job..." she said..


''Worst comes to worst...You and your husband can come work for me.." I said.


"Awww that's sweet....let's hope it doesn't come to that....Not that I wouldn't love to work for you...I would but I kind of like the insurance business..." she said and smiled..


"I feel you.....Okay Bonnie...I'll see what I can dig up.."I said.


"Thank You Kevin..." said Bonnie.


III-
While that was happening....At the same tony rooftop restaurant Sepia and I had dined at a sinister meeting was going on between attorney A.J. Miller and the man once known as Fat Masterson...

"This food is incredible ...Oh I have missed this sooo much A.J." said Fat Masterson...

"I see...just take it easy...Take it easy....You look good man...All those years in Club Fed  did you wonders." said the Attorney...

"That food in the prison was horrible...Seven years of that crap would make anybody lose weight." said Fat Masterson...

"I see the man you got did great work..." he laughed..

"The Arsonist? Yes...I represented him as a Public Defender years ago....When I went into Private Practice, I repped him again..I just called in a favor..

"Seven Houses..Wow and not a trace for the cops...I love it...And that Hacker you hired..Wow!" said Fat Masterson...

"He's good...I represented him too in Private Practice...He's better than some people in the intelligence community....He' got so many firewalls up nobody and I mean nobody will get through that hack...He's put a super virus on all of those guy's business computers....And a threat...If they don't pay up and soon...This super virus will wipe them out completely their entire systems...causing them millions of dollars of damage...They know not to go to the police too!" said A.J.Miller..

Fat Masterson took another morsel of food...

"I'm telling you....I should have had you for an attorney when I got in trouble....Probably wouldn't have done seven years in the federal penitentary!" said Fat Masterson...

"They do say that I put the criminal in criminal defense attorney..."laughed A.J. Miller....

Fat Masterson laughed himself...

"Miller...You and I are going to make a fortune...The easy way...with no trace of the dough coming to us..."

"Yeah.....How about that?" laughed the Attorney

IV-
But while that meeting was going on , I was arriving home and passing Sepia an envelope....

"You have a case? Who is your client?" she asked as she counted the money and put it in our safe....
"Elwood Barnes and the Cyclops Insurance Company...Though I didn't actually talk to him....Bonnie Shay asked me to help her on a case..." I said.

"Awwww I love Bonnie, how is she doing?" asked Sepia..

"She's doing quite well...but if I can't help her...She and her husband and Elwood could all be out of a job...look at these photos.." I said.





Sepia looked at the photos...

"Oh My God....These were beautiful homes...." she said...


"Somebody contacted these owners , all wealthy , well to do people by email, by text...and told them to re-insure their homes...They were already insured by Cyclops....whoever contacted them posed as the Cyclops Insurance company and asked them to double their insurance...When they wouldn't knuckle under....Their houses were burned to the ground..They've also put a super virus on their company's computers that threatens to wipe out their entire system if they refuse to pay...It's a new kind of extortion......" I said.

"You've come a long way from investigating drug dealers and street thugs..." said Sepia..."You think this is a little over your head baby?" she asked..

"Once upon a time it would have been , but not now....I have five guys working for me that are ex CIA and KGB,plus Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson....and enough high end equipment to rival most police departments and the feds....I think I can handle it." I said smiling....

Sepia put our daughter,Kimberly down....She went running into the next room..Sepia kissed me softly..

"Ummmmmmmmmm can you handle all of this good lovin ,I got for you tonight baby, after Kimmie goes to sleep?" she asked.

"I sure as hell hope so..." I said, smiling raffishly...

And while I contemplated that...yet another house was catching on fire..

I was after a more sophisticated criminal or group of criminals...I welcomed the challenge...

(TO BE CONTINUED)


10 comments:

Toni said...

Yayyyy! Kevin is back!

Angie B. said...

Yayyyy! Kevin is back!

Sunflower said...

Yes..Kevin is back and with him the mayhem....Buildings burning...Super viruses! -LOL!

Lisa said...

Kevin has come a long way since his days of dealing with Drug crews and heist gangs and such...He's dealing with a much more sophisticated criminal now!

Halo said...

Kevin and Sissy and her detectives are dealing with more sophisticated criminals..

Vanessa said...

Another good and interesting story to start the week off!

Cheryl said...

Great beginning as usual!

Rita said...

Nice way to start the week off...With a Kevin story!

Brenda said...

Nice to see Kevin and company in action...This series has run the longest in Escapades..He was your first action hero!

Keith said...

Yes he was! Not my first charactor...but my first real series!