2.21.2005

16445

This is for someone else to write, as I am too lazy. Good for paperback writers or perhaps a script treatment. Anti-hero, maybe, maybe religious, I don’t know. Like I said, lazy. Read The Ax by Donald E. Westlake for flavor.



Miles Alguire is the layoff guy, the outside, impersonal consultant hired by employers that have to practice some “employment restructuring” and “let people go.” Miles sole purpose in life is to walk through the doors and hand people their walking papers, accepting the animosity and anger that would otherwise go towards the management. If necessary, he even claims to be the consultant responsible for the decision of whom to fire, accepting full responsibility—and a lot of tongue lashing—from the suddenly unemployed.



Small, quiet and polite Miles listens to the violent outpourings from people whose services are no longer required.



Basically he travels around the globe to get shit on.



Miles doesn’t mind. He has his collection of jazz records, a fat paycheck, a formidable parakeet and 15 safe deposit boxes and drop sites around the world holding detailed dossiers and contact lists for his previous employers.



You see, Miles doesn’t work for the automotive, information or manufacturing industries. No, he’s a Company man, through and through: Yakuza, Italian and Russian Mafias, any organized crime ring big enough for middle management.



Times are changing. Used to be if Two Guns Eddy wasn’t pulling his weight you fitted him with heavy shoes and scuba lessons. Nowadays things are more organized, more civil. A Columbian cartel might want to drop protection for local gangs that rough up the locals too much and cause a little too much bad P.R. Miles goes in, dissolves the official ties, and the bumbling, leaderless ruffians get rounded up and arrested within a month. The Russian Mafia’s new leader is not quite as deviant as the last and wants some restructuring, upping the drug and arms sales but dropping the white slave trade and child pornography rings. Miles goes in, gives them the pink slip, dodges a few bullets and is on his way. He’s been doing it for awhile.



Miles, clever little Miles, always dodges the bullets, listens to threats but has never been so much as pushed. Miles has a secret, a dirty little secret, that he whispers in the ears of those he lay off, a little severance package for damned. Wait, he says, wait just a little while.



Next week Miles is visiting an influential Iranian gentleman who has invested a bit of money in weapons manufacture.



The waiting, it would seem, is just about done.

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