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The LG Hit Squad

[This started came out of the more serious thread below about bad luck]

[Sluggo] Jimmy, who did you have to take out this time?

[Jimmy] Uh... yeah, ignore my last e-mail. It was a knife fight. You should see the other guy.

[Ben] Yeah, but did you apply the coup-de-grace and leave our business card?

[Jimmy] "Business card". That little flick of the knife always did give me trouble.

[Ben] Come on. We practiced, over and over. I mean, how hard is it to carve that little trademark symbol, after all? Sure, the blood tends to obscure that 14-pt Tekton Italic script you prefer, but I'd told you you should have stuck with 24-pt Verdana. I mean, if people can't see our name, how do you expect to get new business? The TV ad was a flop.

[Jimmy] I keep telling you, if it has more of a look of the occult, it's more likely to make it into the news.

"Do you have people problems? We can help you remove any obstacles in your life". In hindsight, of course they were going to think we're a self-help group.

[Ben] And did you remember to bill the client? It's those little details that mean so much.

[Jimmy] I don't have to remember, they do. I'll get you a cuckoo clock.

[Ben] Oh yes... right. I'm the one that prefers to keep it on a friendly basis with the clients; you like squeezing the cash out of them when they forget.

[Jimmy] Hey, look, just because I like to remind them that it's not just a job, it's also my hobby...

I just prefer the psychological angle. If I can have the ... "other person" do most of my work for me, all the better.

[Sluggo] And stop hanging around Ben. He's a bad influence on you.

[Ben] What are you talking about? It's a partnership. Jimmy takes care of the "wet work" on his side of the Atlantic; I take care of any assasination contracts that come up over here (I also have quite a fine side business in mutilation, murder, mayhem, and, umm, Maytag washers and dryers. Where did you think the term "wholesale slaughter" came from? [1]) We're thinking of branching out to the Eastern markets, too, but we're arguing over the name: I think "Youth in Asia" has quite a ring to it, but Jimmy insists that it's just too cute for this type of serious business. Now, I ask you: if you can't laugh at people's guts being blown through their spines by a 50-cal slug, or someone strangling on sulfuric acid in their Heart-Healthy (tm) salad, or some shmuck being incinerated in his shower (ahh, the wonders of liquid sodium), what can you laugh at?

[If you want to have a career where you get to go to exotic locations, meet interesting people, and kill them in highly unpleasant ways, you should read Hit Man Online.]
[Jimmy] Ben, how many times? You don't laugh; you cackle, you grin, but if at all possible, you toss out a deadpan one-liner.

[Ben] Oh. Right, yes. Emphasis on "dead", although I'd initially read it as "debian one-liner". Which reminds me - we could hook up a bunch of TNT inside a computer case, to be triggered by a specially-crafted TCP packet... it would have to run Wind0ws, of course; a Linux firewall could shoot that plan down in flames. So to speak.

[Jimmy] I'm not sure if that'd work - how can we be sure it'd run long enough between crashes to be activated? On the other hand, it'd bring a whole new meaning to ... no, I won't go there.

[Jimmy] And "Youth in Asia" - come on, after that TV ad, we're going to have to turn away Boy Scouts. Though a lot of the skills are the same - rope work, knife handling...

[Ben] ..., rope work, Girl Scout handling... perhaps we should consider a sideline? I mean, we've already spent the money on the ad; might as well take advantage.

[Jimmy] OK, but no cub scouts - just teenagers, who should be feeling pretty murderous anyway.


[1] Other than pTerry, that is.

[Nope, it's a first. pTerry did have 'The place looked as though it had been visited by Genghiz Cohen. *

* Hence the term "wholesale destruction."' "Lords and Ladies"

The only quote I can find mentioning pTerry and "wholesale slaughter" is here:

'Opening the discussion out to questions from the floor, Terry talked about his love of the 'Tombraider' games with the improbably large breasted Lara Croft. He excused the wholesale slaughter of endangered species on the grounds that they get in the way of the gorgeous scenery. He then wondered where all of the stuff that you find in these games appears from - "Perhaps there should be a 'Tombstocker' game where you run around a large maze filling it with guns, ammo and keys ..."']

[Jimmy] Excerpt from "Going Postal" is available: http://www.harpercollins.com/hc/features/special/postal/3.asp Featuring Lord Vetinari :)

[Jimmy] Hey, I didn't violate any international treaties or nuthin'. Well, not any important treaties.

[Ben] Darn. We usually get to charge a hefty premium for those. See if you can negotiate that up-front, next time; I've never liked taking a client to court over those finicky little details.

[Jimmy] "Court". Ben, you have such a magical way with words :)

[Ben] Well, we have to keep it in polite terms. Somebody here could faint.

[And later...]

[Jimmy] I bloody knew it! All this spam is actually carrying encrypted messages to Ben!

[Ben] [Rolling eyes] Man, don't you recognize business correspondence when you see it? I swear, we're going to have to hire a secretary if you keep going on like this. Look:

[Jimmy] Sigh Sorry. Too many late nights, you know?

 Barney Swartz wrote:

[Ben] Client's name.

[Jimmy] Right, I'll track him down.

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[Ben] The target. Looks like one of those foreign types... Minnesota or Wisconsin or something. Might be one of yours, of course - Manx or Scottish, possibly. We'll have to hit the Yellow Pages.

[Jimmy] Manx, probably. Although there have been some Polish people moving in around here recently...

Recently you filled out a information request form regarding

[Ben] Well, he's polite, anyway. Some clients figure they can order you around, just because they're paying a measly coupla hundred grand... I swear, I'm getting tired of being so nice to people. The other day, some guy wanted to argue with me when I got ready to put a .45 slug in the middle of his forehead - I mean, really, what's the world coming to? "Behind the left ear with a .380," he says to me, "is how the guy on TV always does it. This forehead stuff won't look right!" Now, I'm as much of a people person as the next guy, but that was just too much; I just walked away. Let him do it to himself if he thinks he's so clever!

[Jimmy] Sheesh. Some people just don't have any appreciation.

[Brad] Since when do you have a .45? I thought you were a rifle sniper! And what about your dark glasses?

[Jimmy] It's all about using the right tool for the job - well, OK, sometimes it's about taking bets to see how far the blood will fly, but mostly it's about taking distance, target area, etc. into account.

[Brad] So a .45 is good for a back-alley ruckus but the sniper rifle is reserved for long-distance snipping?

[Jimmy] Yeah, something like that. I prefer the personal touch - you know, get to really know the person. I like to feel we get to know each other well enough that they'd rather do my work for me. Really cuts down the paperwork.

[Ben] What, you want the secrets of our business, just like that? This ain't Open Source, buddy... Of course, you could always apply for a job here. We'd start you off slowly, garroting and leg-breaking and such, but if you work hard and persevere, you'll get the full company training package. It's really wonderful; they start you off with Steely-Eyed Glare 101 and Wearing Your Weapons With Style, and go on from there.

[Jimmy] Make sure you stick around for all of the classes though. You can't use "Steely-Eyed Glare" without "Knowing Smile", for example, and you really don't want to use "Wearing Your Weapons With Style" until you've learned "Custom Tailoring". "Wearing Your Weapons With Style" will teach you some of the basics, or course, like having a few inches added to the chest of a jacket, or the various tradeoffs between cuff sizes, but not how to look for possible snag areas.

[Ben] Oh, and we have a very progressive health plan, all handled in-house: "Doctor" Louie (you don't want to know why they call him that) has discovered that no matter how bad something hurts, he can make you forget all about it, almost instantly.

[Jimmy] Just always have a supply of whiskey is all I'll say.

[Ben] (You may want to buy some supplementary medical care, just in case. All the rest of us do; odd coincidence, that.)

[Jimmy] Yeah. You get to pick the drink, and actually drink some of it.
your home mort gage   l o an. We would like to extend our arms with

[Ben] Ah. So, mort - not mutilation or extortion or anything like that.

[Jimmy] Oh fooey. No fun.

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[Ben] Oh, more than one target, eh? Good, good. I'm starting to see some money here.

As indicated, 100 people randomly selected would be able to

[Ben] Holy Moly, now that's what I call a real spree! I guess he wants to disguise who the actual targets were...

[Jimmy] Just as long as that is it - and not a "We're not sure who we're looking for, here's a vague description" thing. Those get really tedious.

re f i nance their home at an anual ra t e of 0.99% for 10 year.

[Ben] Oh. He wants a discount, eh? Well, it's not much of one - and the times are kinda lean. We'll give it to him, on the condition that he won't tell anyone - which means that everyone in town will hear about it by tomorrow. [wink] That's the right way to do advertising.

[Jimmy] Tomorrow? Groan Busy night ahead then. And I'd just started reading "The Adventure of English" too.

YOU ARE ONE OF THE 100 individuals.

[Ben] Looks like a threat, huh? Well, it's not really - just a penalty clause for non-completion, fairly standard. If we somehow manage to miss these guys, I'll take my rocket launcher to his house and we'll, umm, renegotiate.

[Jimmy] So it's OK for a renegotiation, but not when collecting payment? I mean, come on! When's the last time you had a payment collection where they didn't try to renegotiate?

You have limited time to apply for this offer.

[Ben] He wants it done quick, too.

[Jimmy] Right. No torture sessions. Fine by me - I start to run out of ideas after about 60 people.

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prfotwoca fhrifzc wfcpuzczd mjfscs Wbwakmm gcowiwe xinwrj ftxpwssnh
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[Ben] And, of course, an MD5 checksum of this last para is the number of the Swiss account with the payment. All a standard form sort of thing, really.

[Jimmy] Gah. Just got back from there, and I'm getting pretty sick of chocolate. This summer, we switch banks to somewhere like the Cayman Islands, OK?


[BIO] Ben is a man of many talents - living on board his own boat, he is well able to handle ropes. As a sideline to his work in espionage, Ben discovered the simple delights of contract killing. Now working as an independant contractor, Ben likes to keep abreast of the latest developments in the world of murder, while also keeping the old ways alive - with his skills as a blacksmith, should Ben find himself transported back in time, he will be armed and dangerous in no time.


[BIO] Though he has recently taken his first steps towards turning professional, Jimmy remains an amateur in the field of killing - mainly because of an unfortunate tendancy to kill his clients.

Released under the Open Publication license

Published in Issue 107 of Linux Gazette, October 2004