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Re: [Shazam Earth S Lives on] Zing, Queen of Quick: Las Vegas Card Shark Part 4

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  • The Time Trust
    I finally had a chance to read all the chapters of this story so far. It s got me hooked. Can t wait for more! Cheers, Doc Quantum of The Time Trust ...
    Message 1 of 41 , Mar 3, 2010
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      I finally had a chance to read all the chapters of this story so far. It's got me hooked. Can't wait for more!

      Cheers,
      Doc Quantum of The Time Trust


      >
      >From: ddswanson <ddswanson@...>
      >To: ShazamEarthSliveson@yahoogroups.com
      >Sent: Sat, February 27, 2010 11:18:16 AM
      >Subject: [Shazam Earth S Lives on] Zing, Queen of Quick: Las Vegas Card Shark Part 4
      >
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      >>
      >
      >Aleny didn't want to spoil her expensive business suit, so she risked losing the men by again speeding up the fire stairs and to her room. 'Sure feels great being in costume again,' she thought to herself as she stopped for a very brief inspection in the mirror. 'Lookin' pretty good, too. High time Vegas meets Zing, Queen of Quick!'
      >
      >>To her relief, the two men were just reaching the street when she peeked through the fire door. At top speed, she flashed through the lobby and onto the street. 'Zing shouldn't have to sneak out of anywhere!' she thought to herself indignantly. 'A Queen must maintain a certain amount of decorum. I'll buy a house tomorrow.'
      >
      >>The two men called a cab which headed out of town. Zing followed, using several super speed tricks to make sure they wouldn't see her. Signs of civilization disappeared quickly as they passed the city limits; Las Vegas had no suburbs to speak of. She enjoyed running through the cold, clear air; she would have to try it again sometime when she wasn't on business. About 10 miles outside of town, the cab pulled into a jam packed parking lot under a big, bright flashing neon sign. 'Peaches and Cream Inn' in bright blue alternated with 'Girls Girls Girls' in equally bright red and yellow.
      >
      >>Strangely enough, the cab waited and the men returned in less than 5 That was hardly time enough to doff a coat; what was going on here? As the cab left, another pulled up, and two more similarly anonymous men got out. 'I don't think they're here for the Peaches," she smirked.
      >
      >>"Guess I'm finally get to see the inside of one of these places," she chuckled to herself, then disappeared. Vibrating internally so she could pass through the walls, she quickly ran through one exotically decorated room after another. Most of the rooms were occupied; she didn't slow down to see what the occupants were doing. Then she flashed through an office, which looked much more interesting to her.
      >
      >>A man sat behind a desk and another much larger man stood just inside the door, On the desk were several thick bundles of bills, held together by rubber bands. The two anonymous visitors were just dropping similar bundles of bills on the desk, each about an inch thick with rubber bands around their middles. Already on the desk were 8 similar bundles. Atop each stack was a hundred dollar bill. If all the bills in each stack were hundreds, there was around a hundred thousand dollars on the top of that desk!
      >
      >>To the men in the room, a small woman dressed in green simply materialized out of the air, accompanied by an unusual draft. "Gentlemen, I'm your new partner. My cut is half the day's take, and my contribution to the partnership will be keeping the secret."
      >
      >>"Like hell you say! Jake, take care of her." The big man pulled a pistol and fired twice. He couldn't have missed, but the bullets thudded into the wall behind her. This unnerved Jake, and he emptied the rest of the clip. The bullets seemed to magically pass right through her!
      >
      >>"My turn," she said calmly. She stepped forward, leaned to the side, and landed a kick on Jake's jaw before he could move. Jake's head snapped around and he collapsed heavily to the floor. "Anybody else?"
      >
      >>The man at the desk opened a drawer. A strong breeze blew past his face as he stared in astonishment. The drawer was empty and the woman in green was holding his pistol in one hand and 5 of the bundles of cash in the other.
      >
      >>"I don't really want to put you boys out of business," she said crossly. "But you better stop screwing around or I'll take it all."
      >
      >>"The boss is gonna kill me if I don't deliver the full 100 grand!" said the man behind the desk hoarsely.
      >
      >>"Not my problem," Zing said coldly. "I'm being very generous. I've heard that cheating the casinos is like cheating the mob. I imagine that shipping marked cards from the Unicycle factory might be considered cheating. Betcha somebody'd be looking for a pound of flesh if the word got out."
      >
      >>She vanished as the two anonymous men lunged for her, and reappeared instantly behind them. "So, I'll see you tomorrow night, eh, boys? Same time, same channel. And make sure you bring my cut, or it will be your last day in operation. Ta ta, boys!" She disappeared and a sharp wind blew across the room.
      >
      >>"Jeez, Joey. Are you gonna tell the boss?" one of the anonymous men asked.
      >
      >>"You maroon! Wadda ya think, I want the boss op'nin t'nite's envelop and seein it 50 grand short, and nobody's said a word to him? 'Sides, I got me a few ideers 'bout tamarra night. Ya knows the boss likes guys what shows 'tishootive. " He laughed. "Der'll be some suprises for that bitch tamarra yes siree!" With an evil smile on his face, he picked up the phone and started dialing.
      >
      >>*****
      >
      >>Two large men in dark striped suits fell into step with a tall, distinguished- looking black man (think Sydney Poitier at 50) as he entered the Magic Tables casino. "Please come with us, Mr. Smith," one of them said, quietly.
      >
      >>"Do I have any choice?" he asked calmly.
      >
      >>"Yes, sir, you can turn around and leave the casino," the other said.
      >
      >>Smith abhorred violence, though he had some experience with it over the years. Even more, he wished to avoid damaging his suit, which had cost more than those of both these goons combined, plus an extra month's salary for each thrown in. "Sure, gents," he said casually. "We going to see Mr. Rackham, I assume?" Neither answered. "Talkative, eh, guys? Well, I'll just have to talk to Rackham, then."
      >
      >>He was quiet for the rest of the half minute walk down a corridor no tourist ever saw. Sure enough, they led him into the Security Office and Rackham was waiting. For long seconds, nobody said anything, then, realizing that Smith wasn't going to speak first, Rackham broke the silence.
      >
      >>"Damn, Smitty, I thought you got the message the last time we escorted you out. We don't want your kind in here."
      >
      >>Smith's expression didn't change, but suddenly the room felt 50 degrees colder. "Courtney, I asked you to call me John,." Rackham winced; he went out of his way to keep his first name secret. "What's this about 'my kind'?" Smith asked in a dangerous tone.
      >
      >>Rackham flinched and held up his hands, palms out. "Sorry, John, I won't ferget again. You know the boss doesn't like the way you wins at Blackjack all the time, even dough we can't pin nothin' on ya. Just guys like you that wins alla the time is all I meant. I din't mean nothing else; c'mon, ya knows me better'n that!"
      >
      >>"You still can't believe I'm just that good, can you?" John asked sarcastically. "I think you better call the boss, Rack," Smith said in less menacing tones. "Somebody forgot to tell you, I'm working with him now."
      >
      >>"Hard to believe," Rackham said.
      >
      >>"Is, isn't it?" Smith grinned, then his expression darkened again. Rackham hastily picked up the phone.
      >
      >>A few minutes, Rackham was apologizing profusely. Smith ignored him and entered the casino. A couple of hours later, he was backstage at the Golden Gate Casino, comparing notes with Balbo Baldini.
      >
      >>*****
      >
      >>"No evidence of anyone at the Magic Tables reading cards. But two of the suspects were playing at the Atlantis, winning steadily. Looks like whatever these guys are doing, it only works with Unicycle cards." John's tone changed; he was disgusted by what he'd encountered earlier. "I had trouble getting into both places, too. They've decided I win too much, and they can't figure out why. Guess they never learned to count."
      >
      >>He paused, looked his partner over carefully. "Are you sure we're runnin' with the right side here, Balbo? Aren't half the casinos run by the mob? What do we care if a bunch of card sharks figured out some way to beat 'em?"
      >
      >>"Only half, John? Your faith in your fellow man is touching," Balbo chuckled. "If it was just the casinos getting ripped off, I wouldn't lift a finger. But it's tough enough already for a tourist to win legit in Vegas without some clowns raking off a hundred grand a day. Anyway, I saw two more of the suspects at the Parthenon. I think Miss Han's an independent, though. And I think she made me, too. About halfway through the game, she started playing legit."
      >
      >>"Somebody at the Unicycle factory must be doctoring the cards." John mused thoughtfully. "But I've examined one of the marked decks with a microscope and can't find anything. Maybe it's invisible ink - but how are they reading it?"
      >
      >>Invisible ink was a standard in the repertoire of any stage magician; both men knew dozens of ways to 'develop' it. And eventually, after multiple applications of chemical swabs, heating the cards, and exposing them to powerful light, they finally found the answer. Under a black light, they could see that printed on the back of each card, in glowing invisible ink, was the image from the front, reversed.
      >
      >>"But they're not using a black light," Balbo protested.
      >
      >>John cocked his head, thought for a moment. "Professor Wildman used to have special contact lenses to see ultra-violet. Maybe science has finally caught up with him?"
      >
      >>As a youngster, Balbo, along with his brother Frankie and their adult friend, John Smith, had worked in the traveling magic show of his father, Valdini the Great. There was plenty of time to read as they rode the rails between cities and new jobs, and the pulp 'Professor Wildman' magazine had always been their favorite. 'Prof' and his 5 assistants, each a genius and world famous in his field, traveled the globe helping people and righting wrongs just because it was the right thing to do. Prof was the greatest genius of them all, and science and technology were just now starting to build some of Prof crime-fighting inventions.
      >
      >>After his father was murdered, Balbo had used his stage magic and deductive skills he'd learned from the Prof. Wildman stories to identify the murderer. He, Frankie and John had honored Valdini's memory and adopted his traveling magic show as their own. Strangely, trouble and mysteries found them wherever they went, and they always managed to sort things out and make things right. Frankie had eventually gone to college and got a 'real' job,
      >
      >>A week ago, a representative of the Council of Casino Owners had asked John and Balbo to see if they could find out why collective profits had fallen by almost a million a week. The pair normally didn't work for money; doing right for the sake of right was sort of their hobby. But the Council had insisted on a contract. They wouldn't do business otherwise.
      >
      >>"So now that we know, what do we do?" Balbo mused. "Just go back to the casino Owners' Council and tell them? That would fulfill our contract."
      >
      >>"Bad idea!" John was emphatic. "They'd probably just start killing people. I think the FBI; they can arrest the guys behind this and maybe keep 'em safe."
      >
      >>"We won't get paid if the FBI solves the case," Balbo pointed out. He didn't seem to worried about it.
      >
      >>John smiled. "We sure don't need the dough, as popular as the show is. And I really don't want their money anyway. Probably has blood on it, somehow."
      >
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      >


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    • Drivtaan
      I m playing catch up again (and, man, do I have a lot of catching up to do). I have really enjoyed the exploits of Zing in Vegas and I have to ask, have I
      Message 41 of 41 , Dec 23, 2010
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        I'm playing catch up again (and, man, do I have a lot of catching up to do). I have really enjoyed the exploits of Zing in Vegas and I have to ask, have I missed the next chapter?
        I can't wait to see what happens next.
         
        Lee




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