Like most of you, I am a popular writer of highbrow thrillers and suspense novels in my spare time. For your entertainment and erudition (both of which I care about deeply), I will be serializing my latest work, THE GRONE PROTOCOL, here in my “blog” (short for “web blog”) every weekend (unless I forget or don’t feel like it or die or something). Here’s the fifth chapter, which should more than fill your daily quota of gripping intrigue. If not, go down to Barnes and Borders and ask see if they have any mystery/thrillers about secret religious orders and Renaissance paintings. No, really, do that... I honestly wonder how they'd react.
Chester Brombleshire watched Barry Peterson wait for the elevator on one of the many video monitors that made up the southwest wall of his study. Sipping a glass of vintage Pagalougelli Zinitininni, he chuckled softly to himself. Though he had no awareness of it, Barry Peterson was nothing but a pawn in Chester’s nefarious game of checkers.
Standing at just under four feet, Chester had built his vast fortune on the backs of men like Barry. Not one to get his wee little itty bitty hands dirty, he instead chose to manipulate those whose intelligence he considered beneath his own. Which was pretty much everybody, as Chester was hella smart. He had been the first in his class at prestigious Yole University, though in truth that was due to the fact that the class rankings were based on height. Still, Chester’s intelligence was nothing to sneeze at. So if you did sneeze at it, it’d be like, wow, you’re sneezing at absolutely nothing. Way to waste a perfectly good sneeze, jackass.
Chester prided himself upon his intellect. In 1990 he was featured in a list of the World’s Smartest Shortest Listmakers by List Magazine (“Listing the lists of our lives since 1989”), and he turned now to the framed copy of the issue’s cover on his wall. He himself was not on the cover (which instead featured platinum recording artists Jesus Jones, and the tagline “Can Jesus Jones save rock and roll?”), and as Chester gazed up at the harbingers of guitar-based music’s once-and-future salvation he wished to himself for the thousandth time that he had instead framed the article that mentioned him, or at least saved the inside part of the magazine. He shook his head, clearing his mind of unimportant thoughts and the soaring chorus of “Right Here Right Now.” “Such things are in the past, Chestie... When the world sees what I’ve got in store for them, Jesus Jones will be the last thing on anyone’s mind.”
However, Chester would soon find that his elaborate plans would crumble like a house of cards on a table that somebody kind of jiggled a little bit. Intelligence and mastermindery can only stave off the inevitable for so long, and in the end, his formidable brainpower would not be nearly enough to stop what was about to happen.