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Joel E. Turner

"How are we positioned for disruption?"

"I got the agency on the hook for half a mill, should get us through the election season."

"I don't want any of those fucking eco-warriors, last time we needed an embassy job, they sent us a bunch of greens, all they wanted to do was spill pigs blood, hang a raft from a suspension bridge, you gotta check the creds on the talent."

"We got creds, believe me, they cleaned things up. 't's like a little regulated exchange now, they ain't doc'd, they don't work."

"Who is this, hessians-r-us? Hey man sorry it's my job I gotta ask these questions."

"You're out of touch, man, been upstairs too long. What, you think this is Manpower, bunch of lugs hanging, playing cards, waiting for the call to heave a trashcan through a storefront?"

"Less I know the better."

"You need to know, it's like this. You got talent, right, A to Z . . . registered, rated, dozen dimensions - hard stuff, demolition, hacking, disruption, mismanagement; three-stooges stuff, pie-facing, whatever; soft stuff, intelligence, psychographics, mayhem preference, willingness to be mutilated . . . "

"Whatever happened to plain old goons?"

"Got them too - 's what you want, that's what you get, not some doily-loving fruitcake happens to have the goon fizog."

"Some of the best goons are fruitcakes."

"So put it in your spec."

"Keeping a lot of eggheads employed, checking all this."

"It's very important, man. Better information, market's more transparent. So we did an advance order, a retainer . . . a futures contract, get the right to a talent tranche at future date with specified criteria."

"Take it easy Slick with the brokerbabble, trying to get over with that crew, can't fool me."

"'s just the world we live in bro', even a mug like me 's got to understand the paper he's dealing."

"Not me."

"You got me taking care of biz, but wouldn't hurt you."

"So we're okay, right?"

"Yeah, but look . . . someone's taking the other side, right? Assets all defined, capital market thing going. Get a pool of geezers, all doc'd and pretty, take a position. 's a security - like a pool of mortgages, 'cept it's mayhem-creating talent. There's them as wants that talent so there's the angle."

"You playing that side?"

"Eh just dabbling. With these big do's comin' up, holding more like a straddle, not sure where the price is going, but lots of activity, it's gonna move around."

"Who's in the middle here, we ain't going through the City or the Street, what, a bodega, barber shop?"

"Mr. Pleasant, respectable address, brollie-toting type, maybe a higher risk profile than your normal City denizen."

"Got to be underground."

"Don't like that word . . . more like . . . extragovernmental."

"How's that gonna sound in the docket?"

"Just keep your nose clean."

"'d think that Millbank crowd would be all over this."

"Last thing they're doing is shutting it down . . . got an interest, shall we say."

"You talking MI5 or 6?"

"They all piss in the same pot. All that good talent, how could they keep their hands off it?"

"That is awkward."

"Indeed. Time for that pint now, Rosie?"

"Better make it quick. Harry's waiting for us."


Joel E. Turner's fiction has appeared in Ambit, Proof and New Millenium Writings. He has recently completed a novel, Generation 'Dex, about the securitization of human potential. He lives near Philadelphia and designs analytic software for banks.

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