Of Monsters and Men

An Anastasia Romanov story.

Coventry Street, Soho.

At the end of a long and gaudy boardroom table sat a man.  Wearing what some would consider a flawlessly tailored suit that cost more than the average man’s annual salary, he adored the silence. He was known in the under world of organized crime as the ‘Blue Whale.’ Single-handedly responsible for harmonizing the gangs of London into one untied, all be they, ferocious… family. Just as now, he sat at the head of England’s most violent faction, headquartered in the belly of Coventry Street, Soho – City of Westminster . At street level, no one would suspect  the beast that lay beneath, blindly mesmerized by the daily hum of London’s pedestrian guts. He was the godfather or organized crime’s greatest renaissance in 100 years. As grand as the accomplishments were, he was a small man in stature, constantly aware of his inadequate look. So obsessed about his hair plugs, reconstructed nose, and cheek implants, he had a mirror with him at all times. There was even one placed ever so delicately in his briefcase, so, when he opened it,  all he would see was himself.

Fahad Farooqi was about to chair a meeting the result of which would take his organization global. This was his chance to finally be respected in the business world as a legitimate player and no longer a fraud. Reaching down, under the table, he pressed a button, “send them in Elizabeth.” As a dozen well groomed and tailored men walked in, Fahad thought back to his childhood, to the moment he decided to embrace darkness over light, evil instead of good. He was fourteen and she was eighteen. He had used his golden tongue to seduce her back to a flat he had managed to rent on his own after running cocaine in the east end. That career had started when we was ten and still in primary school. When he dropped his pants in front of her she laughed so loud at his then micro penis, the only natural reaction was to slice her throat wide open. He enjoyed that moment, watching her die right there on the floor of a dirty flat.

A tap on his shoulder brought him to. It was his security head Chatham, letting him know the final member of the group had arrived. The long dark table with candles placed in the middle was covered with bottles of McClellan 25, Russian Vodka, and a wide assortment of lobster, fine cheeses, and rare wine including a $135,000 bottle of Saint-Emilion, Cheval Blanc – ’47.  Fahad had done his homework, reading ‘Home & Life’ magazines for years to forcibly fit in with the elite. To serve the food he even had a handful of his best strippers. He clapped his hands and told everyone to leave. ‘Carmichael, connect us to the portal.’ The lights in the room fell and the faces of each participant were now hidden. A large screen came down from the ceiling, on it was the voice of their offshore director, a person with whom they had never met.

He was only to be known as ‘Maestro,’ a ghosted financial wizard who worked with the world’s most elite, ensuring discretion, minimal tax exposure, and the greatest resource of all – information. His voice and face were always distorted. He had funded each of the members around the table. He, in effect, owned all of them in some fashion or another. Their businesses, their families, their futures were all marked with his thumbprint, his DNA. Hotels, restaurants, hospitals, banks, drug companies, and three governments. He was in control of more than two hundred billion in assets. Their prize possession was a network of under-ground and some legitimate taxi operations, all throughout the UK. London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle. It was all a front for a major drug cartel.

Fahad stood up from his high backed chair and knocked a gavel on the large oak table which had been stained black. ‘I would like to call this meeting to order gentlemen. We are all now in attendance. We are now joined by our counsel and funder. Maestro will open with an update on the last 72 hours. As you know, the plan has been falling into place with perfection. That is thanks to the blueprints we were given over five years ago, and all of your hard work. Soon, the new dawn of power will be at our finger tips.’

Sitting down, the group turned their heads toward the screen, which was now projecting a 360 degree hologram. There was nothing much to see or hear other than a spinning globe. Maestro was merely a cloaked outline, wearing what appeared to be a porcelain mask, somewhat a kin to the early days of Canadian hockey. The only distinguishable marking was that of a red line which went from his left eyebrow to the right lower cheek. The distorted, almost synthesized  voice said, ‘we are here today because the world as we know it is in ruin. Immigration has destroyed the greatest world powers, castrating theri abilities to protect the elite, the strong, the dominate. Our economies are being run like charities, and we are protecting the scum through endless hand outs. We support the addict, the wife beater, and the unemployed, providing them assistance while hard working men and women are bleeding out all around us. This disgrace of humanity is soon at an end my brothers and sisters.’ With that, he slammed his hand on what appeared to be a steel table on his end.

The room erupted in applause. Each member stood up. Fahad raised his glass in a gesture, to toast Maestro. As he brought the crystal flute to his mouth he began to choke on the remains of a nut he had just put in his mouth to nibble and chew. Crashing backwards to his chair, he tapped a secret red button under the table. As the group kept clapping, unaware of the choking Fahad, the door opened and in walked two sultry servers thinking their boss was summoning them for service. One of them was an 18 year old named Svetlana. Somehow she had found herself on the bad end of a drug need and could only cover the debt by dancing at Fahad’s men’s clubs. A personal favourite to many of London’s wealthiest – due to her joyful appearance, Haven had become very familiar with the needs of fat, disgusting white men who only wanted her for some twisted porn-inspired fantasy.

The two working girls walked over to Fahad. The one in front, a tall knock out of mixed ethnicity – part Asian, part West African – was so fucked up she didn’t realize what was happening. Instead she just worked the group, thinking of cash. Svetlana saw the choking Fahad and, stepping closer, instinctively slapped him on the back, instantly freeing the guilty nut. She regretted it the moment it happened. ‘He should die,’ was all she could think, ‘that filthy son of a bitch.’

Svetlana noticed that everyone at the table, in a flash, was looking over at her and Fahad, who was now rushing to recover – sitting up, projecting alertness, while undoing the top bottom of his shirt. The room was silent. ‘What is happening,’ came the voice of Maestro. Taking a step back, she tried to blend into the wall. She knew from firsthand experience how heavy handed Fahad could be. His trophy wife Haven, a well-bread and entitled Londoner who he paraded around to lunch meetings and other such superficial events, often took direct blows from his ring adorned hands.

After taking a large pour of Scotch, Fahad downed it one mouthful and responded to Maestro, ‘Sorry gov, it would appear one of my staff were trying to off me.’ He turned to his right, grabbing Haven’s hand, ‘I will deal with you later.’ He then took his right hand, which was abnormally small for a grown man, and slapped her left  ass cheek which was almost completely exposed in her strip club mandated go go shorts. The table laughed, affirming his steps to humiliate her.

Svetlana broke free and bolted for the boardroom doors – escaping for the moment. She cursed her good looks after getting another slap on the ass from Chatham who she was forced to give hand jobs to every Wednesday after closing. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t eat on Thursday. Her name and her looks gave away a lot about her. She was Russian, very Russian. A plastic surgeon who had clients on all of the A lists had once come to the strip club and demanded to take her picture after ten glasses of brandy and three lines of coke. He said, ‘you have to be my baseline, the one I try to re-create in all of these dissatisfied rich buggers.’

Walking onto the main floor of Club Envy, London’s leading gentlemen’s franchise and the well known home of all of the City’s underground mafia, she could feel her heart pounding. She knew she had to do something. She knew, in her soul, she needed to get out. But she was so far in, it seemed almost impossible. ‘Svet, Svet,’ the bartender called out from the corner of the room, ‘they need you back upstairs, and now.’ Fucking cocksuckers she thought to herself, knowing it was going to be about humiliating her in front of the other bigshots up there. She knew what she had to do; she knew the time was now to finally end the torment which started over ten years ago in Moscow.

Svetlana turned on her heal, miraculously maneuvering on bright red stilettos, darting for the main bar. Reaching over the counter she grabbed a 60 ounce bottle of Absolute Vodka and poured out three large shots. Passing one to the bar tender she cheers’d herself in the mirror and downed the first, then the second in quick succession. The time had come for her to break free from the cover she had labored under for her country. A mission she had volunteered for, trying to impress the top government representatives within the security bureau – FSB wanks. The Russian government had been long posed to take control of much of London’s inner working. Their plan, to simply buy in through the acquisition of top football teams had not reached the desired goal due to this recent organization through the hands of Fahad.

Taking her time up the stairs, she grabbed a small capsule from inside her bra, tapped tight to her left tit. She placed the pill inside her mouth and bit down. This activated a beacon which now connected to her jaw and thus tuned into her ear. In Russian, she called out her security clearance and asked to be put through to the chairman. Not quite yet at the top of the stairs, she notified the Russian government that the true head of the organization was a faceless man named, ‘Maestro.’ They were in a meeting now, and that she would patch them in via her mouth piece. She then asked for authority to take down Fahad, once and for all.

Once the clearance to kill the top UK front-man was given, she let out a little, ‘To the Federation,’ and walked into the boardroom, with a tray of fresh champagne flutes handed to her by one of the three bartenders preparing drinks and found outside the door. The meeting was still in full motion. Svetlana tried to pick up where they were by standing close to Fahad once the glasses had been distributed. He gave her a disgusting wink. ‘I bet he thinks he’s going to blow his load all over me again tonight, that fucking pig. I am going to enjoy cutting his dick off.’ As she lost herself to the fantasy of his death, she heard an unexpected phrase, in a very familiar tongue. It was Russian. ‘Our operations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the east are all set. The outbreak will start in the city centres. The taxis have already been loaded and will be activated on my command,’ the voice of Maestro echoed in her ear. ‘Once the pathogen goes airborne, Russia will be brought to her knees before anyone knows what hit them. Those bastards will feel what true winter is like, they will cry out to you in this room and to our cells in New York and Rio for help. The great empire will finally fall. It will be the beginning of my greatest work. My masterpiece.’

Svetlana stood like a statue with a racing pulse. Her weight was being held up only by the wall she was leaning against. ‘Did the bureau just hear this message? An outbreak, a pathogen, the down fall of the Motherland?’ She remembered the emergency protocol, to send a message of such magnitude to the bureau directly for the President via all three communications devices she was wearing. The people had to be warned, and now.’

The Motherland must find out about this plan. She pulled the device from her mouth and placed it in her left hand. She then quickly pulled the third button of her blouse off and put it too in her left hand. The last device, nudged ever so delicately on the lip of her pink panties was going to be a bit of a challenge. The two shots of vodka were opening her blood vessels up, helping the adrenaline kick in. She knew the President, Dimitri Ramanov needed to be alerted immediately. He needed to engage the emergency protocol for chemical outbreak. Svetlana decided the only card she had was fuckface Fahad. She stepped close to him, as discussions were still on going around the table. She took hold of a near-by decanter of wine and leaned in to fill his glass. She whispered in his ear, ‘I am so wet. I want you inside me now.’ A true professional dirt bag, he titled his head ever so slightly.’ There was no resisting it – accentuated  accent and all.

‘Show me,’ he said. ‘Show me how much you want the Blue Whale in you?’ ‘Ok,’ Svet said, ‘make a distraction so I can give you something.’ At that Fahad jumped up and said to the group, ‘have I shown you the cabs we will be using for the mission? They are identical to those in my fleet.’ He walked to the side of the board room and drew open the heavy curtains revealing a large glass partition. On the other side, a mass garage, full of cars, workers, and pallets of cocaine. As the group rushed forward, Svetlana reached under her mini-skirt and took her little pink panties off. The third device fell into her hand, as planned. ‘These are the newest London Cabs on the Market – a cross bread between the New York Checker and the Old Hacknay cab. They truly are the future.’

The group returned to their seats. Into Fahad’s hand slid her moist panties. Grabbing his silk jacket pocket filler she pretended to wipe sweat from his head while crushing the three devices in her left hand together. She whispered in his ear, ‘In only a matter of minutes, this entire shithole will be swarming with my people you pig.’

She was just in the process of controlling her breathing, getting ready for the bang which would be her cue to make a hasty retreat down the garbage shoot and out to the waiting Mercedes when she heard her name being called, her REAL NAME – ‘Anastasia, we would not want to disturb our plans now would we? Your Russian brethren will NOT be coming any time soon. We know all about your work and your attempts to sabotage our network here. Consider this your last good bye.’

Svetlana, in a feet of desperation, dove forward, grabbing a knife placed in front of Fahad. Before she could thrust it into his neck, a gun shot rang out. She fell back, whispering the only word in her heart, ‘MOTHERLAND.’