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May 25, 2013
Eye Pie

Hi. Melvin here. Sorry about the delay. I had family drop by unexpectedly. Don't worry, their last name isn't Klein (none of my family is) and we went out in public. I shouldn't brag but the time my face is caught on camera I'd die of embarrassment long before the O.S.I.R. got to me. I can tell where cameras are, when I'm on camera, and what angle of view the camera has. I wouldn't bet anyone can pull my face together from partial bits here and there even. If you watch a lot of TV, don't bet on reflections either. Its easy to be aware of any reflections large enough to use. Screenwriters always exaggerate technology. Anyways...

Josh is taking a well deserved holiday after another painfully hollow victory. We've done a good thing, but the cost doesn't feel justified. It should. How many other lives is one killer's worth? We're all taking a bit off, some less than others. I like to keep busy at the best of times and I'd have posted on time if not for the pleasant surprise.

I wanted to talk to you about a couple things. First, Lookered Lens has been out for a while. It has been another recording device to keep an eye out for, what with the line of sight camera sitting next to your eye. Yes you can see when the camera is working if you're relatively nearby to the person (the eye screen lights up), but that isn't always the case. It's really not a huge deal. A killer app has dropped for Lens though. It does facial recognition. It's rather good at it too. It's better than anything that has come out for the Z-Phone.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was the somewhat disastrous move made by Gabbl this month. You've probably heard of it before on other sites; it's called two-step authentication. It's supposed to be a safer way than just using passwords. With it you use a password, but the company also messages your phone a code that you have to enter. Anyone trying to pretend to be you has to know the password, and have your phone. I'm sure it protects some people, but it's also a good way to spy on people. Every time they want to do something they have to give away their location. It also ties your phone to the companies using the two-steps. You can imagine why this is terrible for the gifted. Now, not everything is an O.S.I.R. plot, but you can see how it benefits them as much as other authorities looking to keep tabs on people. Of course that does require the authorities in question having access to all the bits of code watching you, but we know that it easy as pie. Gabbl is also particularly open and with the way they'd been hacked earlier in the year you would think they wouldn't want to gather even more information to lose.

Tags: cameras, facial recognition, Gabbl, Joshua Rhoads, Lookered, Lookered Lens, Melvin Klein, O.S.I.R., police, surveillance, web administrator, Z-Phone.

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May 18, 2013
Hard Resolved

This week was hard. I almost didn't post this, as you can tell from the late timestamp. I'm very aware of how it can be used against me, and what people will think of me. Malcolm reappeared and caused trouble quite some distance from where Myron and I squared off against his proxy. This time several people were injured. My team was not there when it happened. A kill order came down from the Protectorate on Malcolm after his involvement was verified. There's no other way to candy coat it. If it became possible to do it with little evidence--read witnesses--he was to die. It didn't have to be my team, but I did not shirk my responsibility, since I had accepted his case.

Myron got out of the hospital already with strict orders from the doctor to lay or sit around at home. Thanks to our training and team composition that didn't mean that Myron couldn't help. Jack accompanied me out into the field. Jenny was on surveillance detail on site, while Melvin had an overview of all local camera feeds. On Thursday we caught up with Malcolm and a brunette woman. Like the last time, they were ahead of us, and he spoke to the woman who stopped and turned to open fire. With good visual coverage and a plan in place I immediately spun the gun from her hand before she was even in position to fire. I lucked out and she stopped right near a light post. I half flipped her like she was bending over for the gun and she hit the side of her head on the post. Jack closed the distance while she was stunned and slapped a pair of handcuffs on her. An open, empty, wallet served as police badge to anyone who looked at it--seeing his illusion of one.

What Malcolm didn't know was that Jack was alone and the me that was with him an illusion. I had gotten in front of him. As soon as he saw me he grabbed a man by the shoulder and whispered something to him. The man made a beeline right for me. There were several people between us and I didn't have a good line of sight to make a believable accident. Malcolm skirted to the edge of the sidewalk nearest the road and started to run. Traffic whizzed by on the road. I ignored the controlled man and turned my head and part of my body to follow where he was going. I could tell the man was almost on top of me. Malcolm dodged around another pedestrian and I pushed him lightly out into the road right in front of delivery van.

The man grabbed for me and, with some added momentum from me, fell flat on his face when I sidestepped him. I set a focus to hold him down until the conditioning wore off. Meanwhile Malcolm was bleeding out on the road. I watched from where I was with the other rubberneckers. Paramedics declared him dead on arrival, I guess. Jack had dragged the would be shooter back the way he had come and disappeared into the crowd. He let her go after liberating another gun from her. She was still groggy and hadn't seen his real face anyway. I left the man pinned to the pavement. He struggled but didn't make a sound. I walked away and released him after a ten count when I felt a safe enough distance away. That was it. Another threat was off the street, and I had killed again.

Tags: illusion, Jack Tourmaline, Jenny Brumal, Malcolm Jonovich, Melvin Klein, mental domination, murder, Myron Nath, The Protectorate, psychokinesis, split focus, surveillance, witnesses.

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May 11, 2013
Cash Flow Woes

It was a quiet week on the manhunt front. We could not get any traction at all ourselves, and nothing came in from our surveillance unit. I took the opportunity to let the team have the week off. We could have continued practice and training, but I don't believe it's a good idea to do that without break. Something interesting did occur this week. You may have even heard about it. If you are familiar with the gray work markets you likely know about donnies. If not then let me explain, and start with a refresher.

I can't get a regular job because I am hunted. There are other people like that, and there are some who just don't the government and the regular law. They work under the table or hire under the table and give people like me a chance to make an honest, if not strictly legal living. Then of course there is the black market, which is illegal, dishonest, and oftentimes downright dangerous. For years both of these markets used normal money, and some degree of barter depending upon which circles you travel in. In recent years they have begun using digital currency because the government can't track it if you are careful. They also can't control it. The most prevalent of these digital monies are the donnies--because donies doesn't sound as nice. Just like regular money there are markets attached to donnies and those can cause the value of the currency to vary, wildly, as we've discovered this week.

This year I was receiving 1 donnies--yeah it's both singular and plural, don't ask me--a day working. That was about $60. As the year has gone on the worth doubled. Then this week for a few brief shining hours it was at $220 before dipping down to $40 and staying there. There is no current expectation of it rising again anytime soon. It inevitable will, but perhaps not as high as it was when it was stable, and of course if could do worse and return to a more historic value. The people I was working for where handling the income tax for the employees. I discovered since the last time I talked about the gray markets that we do pay income tax, just not as individuals. Some kind of creative accounting is involved, but as long as the IRS gets its money it doesn't care. Of course not everyone does as they are supposed to so a lot of workers aren't paying their taxes of having it done for them.

The change in price means I may have to look for other work because the business owners are losing money just like I am. I may have to go somewhere that doesn't pay its taxes if I do get let go. Now that I know wasn't being a tax evader I'm not sure I want to become one. It's a tough call. Should I fund the people trying to kill me? When I buy from legitimate businesses I'm funding roads, schools, and whatever good causes taxes go to. It's all give and take, but I want to be good, even though I could be driven otherwise.

Tags: business, donnies, finances, gray market, law, markets.

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May 4, 2013
Hot Lead Pursuit

The hunt for Malcolm Jonovich continued this week. Myron and I caught up to him on Wednesday and got our first glimpse. That was all we caught because he was ready for us. It was on a crowded street just after work hours. I had taken off early from my job for the hunt. The entire team was out except for Melvin who was watching from whatever cameras he could access with his considerable talents, back at his home. Malcolm was up the street and I was closing in. He was with a woman with long, curly, blonde hair. They stopped and he whispered something into her ear. She stood still a moment as he began to walk away. Then she turned around back toward me and opened fire into the crowd.

I all but dove into a store tackling a woman who was coming out of it. I managed to keep the two of us upright and spin us with my feet to an only mildly jarring stop. She was about to protest when a shot came through the window right behind us spraying broken glass all over us. The shooter shouted, "Come out, Protector! I haven't hit anyone yet, but that'll change soon."

People were crouched down or lying on the pavement covering their heads with their hands. They all screamed alike and for a crazy moment it almost seemed like they had rehearsed. Myron came over the radio and told me he couldn't get into the shooter's mind. She was calling me out again, not having discerned Myron's existence. I let go of the woman I was clutching and went to the window almost where it met the wall. I could see the shooter. If I could have I would have been gentler, but instead I ripped the gun out of her hand and sent it skidding along the sidewalk.

Myron leapt up and closed the distance between him and her. I came tearing out of the store just in time to see her leveling another gun at him. I spun it around in her hand breaking her trigger finger, but not before she had squeezed one off. It hit Myron in the right flank. The gun was still in the air when I grabbed and slammed the woman into the nearest wall, her feet dragging over people prone on the sidewalk, spinning her enough that she smashed her face against the building's side.

She slid down the wall trailing blood on it. She was out cold. The woman broke two front teeth in the top and cracked one on the bottom. Whatever else Malcolm Jonovich was on the hook for, it now included a spree shooting. It also made me responsible for assault and for Myron Nath laying in a hospital bed with a bullet wound. When I catch up to Malcolm it's no longer going to be just to talk.

Tags: assault, escalation, Malcolm Jonovich, mental domination, Myron Nath, The Protectorate.

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