THREE MORE VANISH; FOGEY GANG ACTIVITY ON THE RISE
New York (Yelopress/ASP) A spokesman for the DEFA today released details of the disappearance of three adult males, all in their early 20s. Missing and presumed dead are Daniel Tompkins, James Rivington, and Jacob Astor, all of the notorious Lower East Side sector of New York City known as "Bodysnatchers' Alley."
In DEFA custody and undergoing intensive interrogation are two presumed members of the executive council of the Senior Savages, a fogey gang controlling a strategically located enclave of the sector. This brings the number of suspicious disappearances to 105 in the just-ended 24-hour period, 18 above the corresponding period last week. Local citizen groups have been demanding increased summary executions of hormies as a deterrent to the stepped-up incidence of youth serum related crime. Meanwhile, regional militia groups...
New York City
27 February 2018
My dear Skorblut!
I had scarcely had the opportunity to become acquainted with our Ami colleagues before they insisted upon assigning me to an active case. Every available unit of manpower and materiel is being mobilized in the attempt to halt what appears to be a crime epidemic of monumental proportions.
I am to investigate a particularly vicious 'fogey' group, the self-styled "Elder Statesmen." This band of aging stilyagi, hoodlums, and assorted gangsters must take the responsibility for a disproportionate share of the violent crime in a once-fashionable East Side neighborhood.
Area police and paramilitary authorities are in the process of mounting a large-scale offensive against street crime and anti-social behavior. If I am able to contribute my limited expertise to this effort, so much the better for the relationship between the German federal and American enforcement agencies.
True, my mission here has the primary objective of gathering intelligence data on the so-called "Youth Serum Phenomenon." But it is all to the good that I am acquiring practical field experience in combatting the problem at the same time that I am researching it.
Rest assured that I will inform you of all important developments and will keep in contact in any case.
Convey my warmest greetings to Trudl and little Petra and know that I remain
The tap-tapping of walking sticks, the dragging clump-hop of deformed limbs being forced into double-time limp signaled the approach of death.
Rookie Detective Ganymede pressed deeper into the dark doorway, fingering the curves of his snub-nosed .38, the only thing standing between him and a horrible doom: being literally chopped up and rendered down for the life-giving juices contained in his body organs.
Metal scraped against wood as the hormone-crazed oldsters drew swords from their canes and bore down on him like assault troops with bayonets at ready.
-- from Fiends of the Night, by Ezekiel Vladimiroff
FROM: SKORBLUT, GERMAN FEDERAL POLICE (SECURITY DIVISION)
TO: BLACKBLIGHT, DRUG ENFORCEMENT FIELD AGENCY
SUBJECT: IDENTITY VERIFICATION OF NEW LIAISON AGENT
CONFIRM CREDENTIALS OF EISENZANN, ONE OF MOST RELIABLE OPERATIVES OF GERMAN FEDERAL POLICE, POLITICAL DIVISION. LONG AND MERITORIOUS RECORD ATTESTS TO COMPETENCE IN AREAS OF INVESTIGATIVE AND UNDERCOVER WORK. WE REMAIN DISTURBED OVER UNEXPLAINED DISAPPEARANCE OF LAST LIAISON MAN. WE TRUST THAT INVESTIGATION IS PROCEEDING SATISFACTORILY AND THAT YOU WILL IMMEDIATELY REPORT ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS. END.
"... The drug itself, technically designated diazo-dextroamyl-inframethylene, was discovered in the laboratories of the Niedrigst Pharmaceutical GmbH several years previously. Said firm immediately began experimentation with test animals, with so striking results that plans were swiftly set in motion to produce and market it under the trade name Antisenilium. However, government officials, after extensive consultation with behavioral scientists over possible adverse social consequences of release of the drug, put a total ban on distribution and ordered a total halt to research. The ban was subsequently extended worldwide.
The most stringent precautions could not prevent details of the synthesizing process from being leaked to certain criminal elements who immediately saw it to their advantage to create a black market trade in the substance. The drug, familiarly known as "Fountain of Youth Serum" by its effect, or "DeathBane" on the streets, soon made its appearance in uncontrolled urban sectors. A determined police campaign has not sufficed to suppress trade in the drug or to prevent the alarming rise in crime associated with its availability.
The fact that it can only be extracted from the glands and tissues of live or recently deceased subjects in the post-pubertal stage makes the drug all the more difficult to obtain, and, from an economic viewpoint, all the more precious. The black market price of a single dosage, effective for a three week period, has reached $2500.
The so-called "DeathBane, administered to an aged subject, a wrinkled effigy of his younger years, brings back youthful appearance and vigor, restores the lusts of a bygone day. The drug must, of course, be re-administered at three week intervals, else its effect fades. This creates certain difficulties for...
-- from the hearings of the UN Extraordinary Subcommittee on Social Stability
Keeping a journal is entirely my own idea. But it will make easier the periodic reports I must submit to higher-ups both here and in my own country. It also creates s permanent record of my observations that could provide valuable data for my colleagues, should anything unforeseen happen to me. For the present let it remain a private indulgence, its existence known only to me.
To date the following:
Blackblight, my nominal superior, invited me to dine with him at a favorite cafe of his, a converted cellar beneath the sidewalks of an industrial area turned residential. Seated behind a rough-hewn wood plank table on what must have been a salvaged church pew, I plunged my fork into a triangular slab of undercooked beef while listening politely to his laments about his overweight daughter, his malfunctioning televiewer, his ulcers...
I must have let slip a fawn, for he abruptly stiffened and let drain the emotion from his voice. "Your commander, Police-Colonel Skorblut, seems to have a very high opinion of you, judging you capable of handling even the most difficult and unusual assignments. I hope you can justify his confidence."
He paused to spit out a bone. "The particular case you are on, this Elder Statesmen affair, has progressed to the point that we have the opportunity to plant a man right in the inner circle of the gang." He looked over at me and curled his lips over gold-capped teeth.
"Our intelligence net intercepted a courier from the International Drug Smuggler Centrale. He was to have delivered a shipment of DeathBane to the Elder Statesmen for distribution on the streets here. It will, in fact, be delivered. By none other than you."
He wiped the grease off his chin while that sank in. "To facilitate your penetration of the gang, we will provide you with a cover story. An all-points 'wanted' bulletin will be issued for the man you will be impersonating, so they will make the logical assumption that if you leave them you will be hunted down by the police. And, since you will demonstrate certain useful skills, such as the handling of class II sidearms, they should be most happy to welcome you into their ranks."
I fear that my eyes avoided the glint of his predatory smile, for he immediately enquired whether I had heartburn.
Assured that I did not, he hinted that butterflies-in-the-stomach were inexcusable for a senior field agent and that he could arrange for my early retirement if that suited me.
The wineglass shattered in my hand and I must have looked as though I would tear out his jugular in the next instant (which I might well have), but then he was on his feet laughing uproariusly and pounding me on the back.
"Go to it, my boy. That's the sort of spirit we need. You're hired."
So I was. Once again I am the innocent victim of circumstance. Be it so then. It is good for discipline.
The militia patrol escorted me as far as the warning track of the Redline Zone. The desolation began here -- and extended as far as the eye could see: an unending stretch of blasted and gutted buildings, broken sidewalks, lamp posts bent at grotesque angles, open fields of burned-out vehicles, doorways clogged with the corpses of stray dogs intermingled with twisted-up baby carriages, and everywhere shards of plexiglas from exploded televiewer screens.
Farther, my brave and trusty uniformed companions would not venture. Not even in their armored vehicles. This was the notorious Death Strip, home turf of the Elder Statesmen.
According to the instructions, I was to proceed 1800 meters due east, then activate a small microwave transmitter. The contact man of the Elder Statesmen would presumably home in on the signal and locate me. Further course of action was left to my discretion, meaning that I was in the hands of fate.
.... There is more of this story ...