Betting that the conversation was about to run off madly in all directions once again, and having explained the fundamentals of Commonwealth, Lance told the others he would send them a link to a hidden, password protected page on his website, where they would find a more detailed conceptual overview of the idea. No doubt, three highly imaginative minds would have many questions, and many answers for those questions, all of which could be dealt with if and when they found, or made the time to sit down in a formal meeting, with a preset agenda, and Lance told them as much. The boy added that they should consider whether they wanted to convene such a session prior to heading down the Yellow Brick Road to see Branson, wherever he might be.

Kitty chummed the waters, “It’s a shame my father isn’t alive. He’d love this. We are now living n the most interesting of times. This story has a billion angles, and a million more develop every day. It’s a carnival on every corner, from a reporter’s perspective. A carnival and a car crash. In my mind, I can see him reading the first reports of the virus, back in January, and staring into the void, mumbling, ‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.’”

Madonna picked it up and ran with it, “You’re rigt about there being a carnival, and a car crash on every corner. And where there be car crashes, there be ambulance chasers. I’ve been wondering when the lawyers would enter this circus of a million rings. And now those bad clowns, with writs up their yin yangs for ladies, and gentlemen, and children of all ages, have crawled out from under their rocks, and screamed for a spotlight.”

Madge had drawn the spotlight to her, and the others waited to see the old bird sing and dance. She accommodated them.

“The Attorney General of the ‘Show Me’ state has climbed up on his hind legs, pointed a cloven hoof at Beijing, and commanded, ‘Show me the money, chinky-chinky Chinaman!’”

“How much does the suit ask for,” asked Lance.

“Hundreds of thousands of billions of trillions, would be my bet,” Stephen laughed. “Missouri huh? It would be a joy to have Samuel Clemons covering that shitshow. They should hold the trial on a paddle wheeler, chugging down the Mississippi to the House of the Rising Sun, where Madame Fifi La Belle and her femme fatales will be happy to take the money of the winners, and the losers, too, if they have any left, which they surely will.”

Lance piped in, “It’s interesting that a State Attorney General would file an action in one of his own courts… I assume he did, rigt?” Madonna nodded her confirmation. “Interesting because, as a general rule, sovereign states enjoy immunity from prosecution in the courts of other sovereign states, so his own courts will refuse the case, saying they have no jurisdiction.”

“So, why did he bother,” Madge asked.

“I don’t know. A piss poor attempt at election year show boating?” was Lance’s first guess. “But what he should do, if he really wants to stir the pot, and get headlines around the world, is file actions in the courts of Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Beijing insists that Taiwan and Hong Kong are parts of the People’s Republic, so the CPC could not ask for the immunity from prosecution they enjoy from other sovereign states. The CPC would be cornered, and the whole world would be laughing.”

Stephen liked it, and added to the fun, “The CPC could file counter suits, of course.”

“Yes, but if I were the Grand Wizard of the CPC, I’d file them in Cuban and Venezuelan courts. They could conjure up the ghosts of Castro, and Chavez to adjudicate.”

Chuckling, King said, “Those fucking Germans started this, didn’t they? Didn’t Merkel send Beijing a bill for a couple hundred billion bucks?”

Lance laughed uproariously, but corrected his father on the fake news folly, “It was actually a tabloid that sent the bill, but yes, the Chancellor is getting the credit.”

“Oh, I can see why she would get the credit. That’s a woman who looks like she’s always looking for someone to spank. She’d be a great repo man. You gotta know the CPC politburo boys piss their PJs nightmaring about her coming for them, with smiley face, and nasty intent.”

“She’d also be a great frontman for Ramstein,” King exclaimed. “Can’t you just see her, ‘Du. Du hast. Du hast mich!”

King loved the idea so much he got up and started doing the goose-step funny-walk, a la John Cleese in the Don’t Mention the War episode of Fawlty Towers, and singing,

Du hast
Du hast mich

Du has
Du hast mich
Du hast mich gefragt
Du hast mich gefragt


Kitty Kaboodle was laughing, and singing along with King. For some reason, Madonna felt compelled to command the girl’s attention, so she asked, “What do you think, Pretty Kitty? Are you litigious? Do you wanna sue somebody?”

A switch flipped open in Kitty’s head. And it flipped shut, just as quickly. She stopped laughing. Her face froze. Her mind tried to find the switch again. She’d seen something in the light that came with the flipping of the switch, and she desperately wanted to see it again. She wanted to touch it, to taste it, to fuse with it, whatever it was. It was electrifying. Orgasmic beyond sexuality. A mindfuck.

Madonna was aware that Kitty was elsewhere, and cautiously called the girl’s name, “Kitty?”

Kitty kept staring into the void, threw out her rigt arm with her hand signifying STOP, and commanded, “Nein!”

Lance became aware of what was going on, or at least that something was going on. He, too, felt compelled to utter her name, “Kitty?”

Lance got the left hand, “Nein!”

Unable to concentrate with the others fixating on her, Kitty got up, walked purposefully to the door in silence, and left the suite. She had to find that switch.




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