Party Faces LLC, Prologue

Note to our regular readers: Firing up this prologue for a new novel, Party Faces LLC, does not mean I’ve forgotten the story about Grunt, featuring Michael Jade and others. The Party Faces concept has simply been demanding expression for a while now. It seemed like a good idea to get started. Hopefully, I’ll have more time to write after the snow flies in Montana.


The bearded man glowered at his clean shaven partner. “Russ, you don’t understand. Making these available to the public is akin to handing out do it yourself kits for building nuclear bombs in your average suburban garage.”

Unimpressed, the chubby inventor aimed his watery blue eyes and his 210 I.Q. at the speaker. “Nuke-you-ler if you’re George W. Bush. You really believe nobody else will come up with this if we don’t? I taught you better than that. We’re in hundredth monkey territory here. Others have to be working on the same concept; who wouldn’t want access to a perfect disguise system in these perilous times?”

“All times are perilous,” came the retort.

“Be that as it may, the people need a way to defeat all those facial recognition programs out there. I know you agree, Tom.” Insufferably calm in his certainty, he pushed his coke bottle glasses back up the bridge of his nose so he could see through them instead of squinting over them.

“I do agree. But it’s not that simple.”

“Theatrical sigh. With you, Tom, it never is.”

“That’s why you pay me the big bucks to handle security.” This was an inside joke. Every penny had gone into research and prototype production; neither of them had drawn a salary, ever. “It won’t just go to the people. The feds will be on it like white on rice before you can say ouch. If they find us, we’ll be Hoovered up like so many dust particles from a carpet, required to work only for them by force if less persuasive measures don’t work. Foreign agents will infiltrate, copying your science like the Chinese and others have been snatching our secrets for decades. Terrorists, foremost among them the Islamists, will caper gleefully at their newfound ability to evade detection with the greatest of ease. Even if we do escape and evade, avoid detection altogether, our lives won’t be worth a plugged nickel. Every spy and hit man on the planet will be hunting us down. You think we can survive running a sales operation with the entire planet looking for us? You. Have. No. Idea.”

Russ decided to cave. A little. “Well, um, let’s say you’re right. That I have no idea. It’s true enough; the outside world isn’t all that real to me.”

“No kidding.”

“So, if you’re right…”


“If you’re right, but we can get the job done for long enough to make the knowledge open source impossible to contain before we die a thousand deaths, the question is, Tom…is it worth it to you? Because I know it is to me.”

“There’s no changing your mind, is there?”

“There never was. Besides, if a man with your background isn’t enough to keep us safe, nobody can do it. I have every confidence in you.”

It was Tom’s turn to sigh. A real sigh, drawn from the soles of his feet. “I’m one man, Russ.”

“But you’re my man.” Russ Tyler smirked. The matter was settled. He turned back to the CAD program he’d designed, leaving his lover to figure out how they could market Tyler’s discoveries without getting assassinated or worse. Captured would be worse. Much worse.

Spurning the use of a computer, Tom Alexander made notes on a sketch pad with a gel pen plus a variety of colored pencils. They couldn’t just hide in a cave and make this work; a lot of their success–if indeed fate allowed any success at all–would have to come from hiding in plain sight.

It was some time before he realized what song he was humming. The Things We Do For Love, by 10cc.

2 thoughts on “Party Faces LLC, Prologue

  1. Nice prequel or introduction or whatever it is you want to call it, Ghost… the perfect camouflage system, and one that would counteract most camera based surveillance systems? Quite a game changer. Question is, why isn’t Tom thinking of using the invention itself to hide in?
    Of course, using the invention to open an LLC in Nevada where noone knows who owns the LLC would help, but the money trail would be almost impossible to hide if they want to charge for the use of their invention. Of course, if they give it away… simply saying they are anonymous hackers sharing an invention the Feds had hidden away would definitely create a whole bunch of issues and might just hide their tracks… as long as they don’t leave clues that have DNA, URL or other fancy ways of tracking people down in our modern society. But I think you have something else in mind: a party! fun raising is great if there are gifts in the party that are multiplied as people share what they received….
    Oh, so many possibilities! But meanwhile Grunt and Michael, and even Treemin Jackson, among others, are waiting to be recognized before this new invention… well, I think you get the idea. 🙂
    Just keep on writing please.

  2. Thanks, Manny. I’m not losing any sleep over Treemin; he’s got 180 or so chapters out there already, more than any other series I’ve tackled to date. The plan is to finish off with two “full runs” of 120 chapters each, total 240, but Jackson can wait whether he likes it or not. So there! 😀

    The Grunt saga is another matter. I’ve been writing on that one today and have the next chapter about half done.

    Even so, waiting to be recognized before a new invention is seldom a winning position. Ask the latest buggy whip genius, about the time horseless carriages made their debut. My tentative plan for this winter is to alternate chapters between Grunt and Party Faces, with Treemin ever on the back burner. But we’ll see.

    Tom most likely does plan on using Russ’s invention(s) to fly under the radar, but only in part. It’s going to take a lot more than changing appearance for them to survive.

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