Monday, December 22, 2008


Chapter 2: The Black Prince
Once back in Washington, DC, Jimmy Christopher assumes the character of Carelton Victor, portrait photographer to the rich and famous. Carelton is Operator 5's Bruce Wayne or Lamont Cranston. Before going to see Z-7, he is informed by one of his clients about Prince Horpa Tal, a Tibetan royal who is visiting the US. Naturally, he's invited to meet the prince. He makes a note to remember the invitation.
Z-7 informs him of the mysterious USIS deaths: Gila Monster bite, rattle snake bite, garroting, and death by flaying. It seems all of the agents were working on a case involving smuggling of hashish into the country. No one knows who the killers are, but witnesses reported "Asiatics" wearing black turbans with matching robes. Operator 5 is convinced that someone is using "bhang" to recruit people for a cult religion. By the end of the chapter he's been whisked away to a secret cult meeting under the guise of his Carelton alter ego.
Where do I begin?
First of all, Tibet did not posses a "prince" such the Europeans knew one in the 1930's. The High Lama was still the divine ruler at the time. Second, the bite of a Gila monster, although toxic, has never been known to kill a human. And...swarthy Asians in turbans? OK. This alternate universe Operator 5 inhabits is very different from mine.

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