WE HAVE PICTURES OF YOU IN BED WITH THE BOSS's DAUGHTER. IF WE DON’T SEE $1,000,000 IN CASH IN THREE DAYS WE’LL SEND THOSE PIX TO DADDY. WON’T THAT BE FUN!?
And so begins Mark Sterling’s descent into mysticism, murder, tales of murder, and an ingenius plan to take over his Microsoft-like corporation.
Author Jay Atleson
THE STORY PLOT
Mysterious, cryptic emails arrive on Mark’s secure iPhone with a link to a website on which he discovers a video for sale that shows him in bed with his boss’s deceased daughter — and instructions to pay a million dollars in blackmail.
According to the national Stack Rankings, Mark Sterling is one of the top IT sales executives in America. He’s also the most sought after model in Cleveland.
As part of his job at Milligan Systems, Mark is field testing a Beta version of SAM, a sentient email/texting system that emulates the thinking pattern and decision-making parameters of the device owner, enabling SAM to automatically delete unwanted messages, create and send appropriate boilerplate replies, and generate a daily of list of messages that need personal attention by Mark.
But someone unknown is paying close attention to Mark. When he attends a party on a motor yacht thrown by an NFL Cornerback, he is attacked and almost killed by an unknown assailant.
Mark and Lisa Lancaster — a curvaceous PR Executive assigned to the SAM project— are directed to a casino in Windsor, Ontario, and ordered to lose the blackmail money gambling. Instead, Lisa wins thousands of dollars. Upset, the blackmailers order Mark and Lisa to meet them in an abandoned party center. A gun fight breaks out in the dark, one of the blackmailers is shot, and Mark and Lisa flee.
Like some modern-day Job, Mark is accused of buying and selling drugs, loses his job at Milligan Systems (which discovers itself on the edge of bankruptcy), and is blackballed by his modeling agency.
In the end, Mark is exonerated, Lisa is vanquished, and SAM is decommissioned.
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Our Story So Far . . .
Mark and Lisa have just returned from trying to lose a million dollars at a casino in Windsor, Ontario. Instead, they were only able to lose $20,000 while Lisa, having been baned for being drunk and outrageous, skipped out in the middle of the night to another casino and managed to win $100,000.
Their inability to follow the blackmailer’s instructions has them ordered to meet — cash in hand — in an abandoned night club in the heart of Cleveland’s Little Italy.
As usual for the pair, nothing goes as planned.
► Chapter 15
Jay Atleson on Platinum Blackmail
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