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Slam, Bang, Thank You, Vinnie

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        This time McPike's gone too far,  Vinnie Terranova fumed to himself as he stalked down one of the corridors of the large business complex that housed the OCB. 

          I know I'm a cop.  I know he's my boss, more or less, but this time he's asking too much!

          Oh, first it was "Vinnie, we want you to infiltrate the mob, bring Sonny Steelgrave down."  I said, sure Frank, no problem.  What a jolt!  I was so naive back then.

          Then, then, he says, "Vinnie, we want you to button up the garment industry."  Well, like uncle Mike tells me, time and tide wait for no man, and sure enough things either wore out or came clean in the wash.

          What's next?  The music biz.  Why not the movie biz, Frank?  So I could show off this jawline and maybe get into another line of work.  The music biz… that was a shaky one, all that rock and roll; hard for a guy to keep his feet on the ground.

          And now?  Now, Frank wants me to infiltrate an underground organization I haven't even heard of!  Fandom?  What the hell's that supposed to stand for? 

          Fan-dom…  I have to attend cons?  Pass myself off as a Zine-Ed?  Sounds kinky and illegal, if he asked me, which he didn't.  I'm supposed to contact "tribbers" (must be some sort of gang) 'bout doing a multi-media zine with mixed universes.  Sounds like something out of my last physical!

          I'm supposed to go along with crossovers but no slash?  Well, all I can say is,nobody better try to cross me over!

 

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

 

          Frank McPike smiled faintly to himself as he stood behind his closed office door and tried to center the etching the head of the OCB had given him as a birthday gift.  It was hideous, but he knew he had to hang it up or the man would be insulted.  Of course hanging it behind the door might not please him either, but at least it's up!

          To amuse himself, Frank ran over the latest assignment the OCB had arranged for him and Vinnie.  Fandom, it sounded interesting.  Vinnie would be going in undercover, and Frank would hang back in the shadows per usual to make sure things stayed on track.

          According to the file, most of the players Terranova would run into would be women.  That should make Vince happy, he mused.  He'll get to wear some out of this world clothes, hang out in hotel lobbies

          The faint pound of footfalls vibrated through the closed door.  That must be the kid now.

 

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

 

          …And the kicker is, they already know who I am!  What are these guys thinkin' about?  How am I supposed to go somewhere, undercover, when they're already putting reports out on our activity?  Granted, those reports are a little exaggerated, but it's the principle of the thing!  Besides, I read some of those reports and it sounds like they want to nail my hide to the door!

          Christ, they're trying to drive me to an early retirement, that's what it is!  The OCB wants me off the streets.

          Vinnie stopped and glared at the closed door to Frank McPike's office.  He stormed up, grabbed the knob, yanked and threw it open.  The door slammed against the wall, vibrating dully.

          "Frank, we gotta talk!"  Terranova paused, looking around the empty office.  McPike was nowhere in sight.

          Reaching in and grabbing the doorknob, Vinnie yanked the door shut and spun on his heel, ready to try the director's office next.

 

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

 

          The pounding grew louder.  It didn't sound like Vinnie was too excited about their latest assignment.  Oh well, he'd grow into it.  Frank heard the younger man grab the doorknob.

          The air rushed from the older man's lungs, his face smashed against the etching, holding it against wall.  His arms, pinned at ninety degree angles to his body, still held the hammer and nail.

          Abruptly the pressure was released and Frank turned around to stare at the door, disorientated.  He was numb.  The etching slid to the floor.

 

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

 

          Frank was in there!  Vinnie fumed, turning back at the sound of the crash.   If he's trying to hide from me…

          Grabbing the knob, the agent threw the door open a second time.  It stopped short of the wall with a dull thud, followed by what Vinnie could only describe as an Indian war cry like he had heard at the weekend westerns of his youth.  The cry was followed by a string of imaginative expletives ending with "My nose!"

          Stepping into the office Terranova peeked around the door to find McPike, face red, hammer clutched tightly in one hand.  As the younger man watched, Frank slowly raised the tool above his head, preparing for a killing blow.  The war cry repeated and the arm began its downward descent.

          "Okay, okay!" Vinnie cried.  "I'll do it!"

 

The End