Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Friday, April 05, 2013

Too Hot to Handle

The Prince and Prowling partners made their way through the hot buffet line quickly and efficiently, satisfied that former Senator Evermore Breadman's protest against cold DIY sandwiches had succeeded.  They sat down and proceeded to discuss important Partner matters.

"Cigemeier!" exclaimed the managing partner.

The junior partner looked up apprehensively from his mashed potatoes--he had never been the first item on the partners' meeting agenda before, and he did not consider it a good sign.

"Philippe Fromaggionesco--"

"Who?!" asked Bridezilla, startled by the foreign-sounding name.

The managing partner glared at her.  "He's a 1st year associate!  He's been here for months!"

"What practice group?" asked Breadman.

"That's not the point!" exclaimed the managing partner.  "He brought something very alarming to my attention this morning.  He came in very early--"

"That is alarming!" joked Breadman, and everybody made sure to laugh.

"--and he saw Cigemeier naked in the men's room, doing peculiar things."

"Oh," said Cigemeier.  "That's just hot yoga.  I found the control for the men's room thermostat, and I crank it up and do my hot yoga before anybody else comes in.  I can't crank our heat that high at home."

"Philippe said 'peculiar things,'" said Bridezilla.

"It's yoga!" protested Cigemeier.  "Stretching and strength exercises.  If you do it in a very hot environment, your muscles and connective tissue have super elasticity.  Anyway, Bridezilla does ballet in the ladies room!"

"Can't you find a sauna like a normal person?!" protested Breadman.  (But he didn't care what Bridezilla was doing in the ladies room; in fact, he and his wife had separate bathrooms because female plumbing was disgusting.)

"Look, I never saw anybody come in that early before," said Cigemeier.  "It won't happen again."

"See that it doesn't!" exclaimed the managing partner, who was already stuck with Chloe Cleavage on the P&P payroll the rest of her life because of all the naked blackmail photos she had.

A few miles to the east, Justice Department attorney Atticus Hawk had his own hot button issue to contend with:  fallout from the death toll incurred by the rogue Predator drone in Asia.  "We can't pretend it never happened," his boss was saying, pacing nervously around Hawk's office.  "Four of those kills were U.S. citizens."

"CIA agents," added Hawk.

"They're still U.S. citizens!" gasped Hawk's boss.

"I didn't say they weren't," protested Hawk.

"Well, what are you getting at?"

"Nothing!  I'm just going over the facts here in this memo."

"Look," whispered Hawk's boss, sitting down in the guest chair, "right now the CIA doesn't know if it's better to call it an inside job or admit they lost control of a drone.  You need to write a memo reinforcing the checks and balances in place for the termination orders and making it clear that these rogue killings were an aberration, and that U.S. citizens are not at risk."

"Who's this memo for?" asked Hawk.

"Address it to the President--no, address it to File," said Hawk's boss, getting up to pace around the office some more.

"What about the people that recovered the rogue Predator?  Are they under investigation?"

"Ha!" exclaimed Hawk's boss.  "That's classified.  I don't have a clue how that drone was recovered!  And the CIA is shitting in their pants because the casualty list doesn't point to any obvious suspect--that's what my buddy tells me."

"OK," said Hawk, thoroughly baffled.  "I'll write a memo reiterating that the Predator drone program has checks and balances to ensure no targeting of U.S. citizens.  But why couldn't they disable it?"

"Classified," sighed Hawk's boss, and with that, he was gone.

Hawk reached for the antacid in his bottom drawer, terrified the nightmares would return--the drones, the detention, the torture, Basia's burning up in an explosive fireball.  It was just a rogue, he told himself.  Just a rogue.

Not far away, a rogue job offer had just bombed International Development Machine:  it was from International Development Nerds, and they wanted to pilfer "Girl Hurl" thought leader Liv Cigemeier.  "You are revolutionizing the social media world," said the recruiter, watching with satisfaction as Cigemeier munched happily on her Founding Farmers salad.  "Are you sure you don't want some wine?"

"No, thanks," said Cigemeier.

Hmmm, I hope she's not pregnant, he thought, noting her wedding ring.  "We can offer you a 30% raise, an extra week of vacation, a trip to the United Nations in October, and three international development conferences per year."

"That sounds fantastic," said Cigemeier, trying not to reveal her runaway enthusiasm.  "But it's important that I can work on more than gender issues:  climate change, biodiversity, sustainable--"

"Oh, yeah, of course!" the recruiter said.  (The Nerd board of directors expected a 300% rise in charitable donations and a 50% rise in development contracts by signing her:  international development rock stars didn't come along every day!)  "And the 'Girl Hurl' Twitter account--you're sure you have legal control over it?"

"Oh, yes," said Cigemeier.  "My husband's a law partner, and he made sure of that."  (We're buying a house this year!)

"Great!  Great!" said the International Development Nerds recruiter.  (She'll probably be on maternity leave within a year.  Damn it!  But she could blog at home, maybe--or take the baby on the road....)  "When can you start?"

"Let me just talk it over with my husband, and I'll let you know this weekend.  But I could start two weeks from Monday."

Back at the Prince and Prowling luncheon, a proud and happy junior partner was reading the jubilant text from his wife, Liv.  "Cigemeier!"  He looked up nervously at the managing director.  "What's happening with the Bumblebopper malprac--"  (Audible gasps from around the conference table.)

"The Bumblebopper incident," said Cigemeier, "was handled by Chloe Cleavage.  She really stepped up and identified the weak link on the team.  He's gone, and he signed an exit agreement accepting responsibility for the slight deviation in quality control."

"Chloe handled it?" asked the managing partner, narrowing his eyes.

"Yes," said Cigemeier.  "We have everything under control now, and the client is satisfied."

"That's excellent news," said the managing partner, with a sinking feeling in his stomach.  (Cleavage has botched another case, and she blackmailed a contract attorney to take the blame!?  Oh, God, I need to find another job before Bumblebopper sues us for malpractice!  Does Bridezilla still have a gun in her office?  What if Cleavage blackmails the wrong person, and he kills her?!

"Are you alright?" asked Bridezilla to the managing director.  "You look nauseous!  Too much gravy?"

"Umm, yes, too much gravy.  Meeting adjourned."

Out in the Tidal Basin, Ardua of the Potomac stretched her tentacles out to the cherry blossom tourists, and darkness trespassed on their souls.


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