Demolir L'empire - Part 1

March 14, 2015: Having finally tracked down his nemesis, Richard Dackleman, Shift arrived in Paris. Posing as a tourist, he prepares to take down the smooth boss once and for all.

Paris, France



  • Cab driver
  • French waiter
  • Supermodel

Mood Music:
"Awosoc" by Daddy Lumba

Earbuds were attached to a 2nd generation iPod nano, which was crammed into the back pocket of a pair of spring season 2015 Nudie Jeans. The juxtaposition was interesting but intentional; the music player did not have any connectivity to the grid at large. It was hard drive based, no Bluetooth, no wifi, and it hadn't been connected to a computer since before departing the U.S.

Leaving the bustling terminal of Charles de Gaulle dumped Kwabena Odame out into the busy transit corridor, where busses, cabs, private cars and the like were lined up like grunts going to battle in the trenches. Standing off to the corner, Kwabena bobbed his head as music from his native country of Ghana filled his ears. The map was unfolded, one of those 'See Paris!' types that tourists pick up before grabbing their post-flight Starbucks. The Nudie Jeans were paired with a brightly colored shirt of the sort typically worn by Ghanaians; orange, white, yellow and green, a fantastically brilliant pattern, an open collar unbuttoned to mid-chest. The sunglasses and the map sealed the deal — 'tourist'.

There was no phone in his pocket, no GPS; this trip was to be entirely off the grid. To protect himself. To protect those few he cared about. To keep meddling eyes away from his movements.


Once inside the back seat of the cab, Kwabena produced a little pocket translation book, into which he began to dig. The driver, annoyed, looked back and blurted out in broken English, "English? Come on, friend, I have not all day!"

"Tam! Weesa no pana umbasa. Ahhhh, no English, ahhhh, no ahhh, no French!"

The cabbie rolled his eyes and annoyedly hit the clock. If he was going to wait around for a translation, he was gonna get paid for it.

"Ahkay, ahhhh… prenez-moi… au… eightah teen rue de la Paix?"



"18 rue de la Paix?"

"Sa, sa, sa, sa!" answered Odame. "Ahhh, yes, oi, 18 rue de la Paix."

"Amende," the cabbie grumbled while firing his engine.


The apartments at 18 rue de la Paix had been built some time in the 18th century. They weren't the type of places to be occupied by an Average Jacques; updated both inside and out, the entire fifth floor had been converted into a penthouse suite. Very expensive. Luckily, across the way there was a small cafe, where people of all walks could sip their espressos while dreaming of making the kind of money it takes to occupy one of the apartments at 18 rue de la Paix.

Kwabena found himself sitting at the cafe, sipping on an espresso while nosing through some magazine. The earbuds had long since been discarded; a tray sat nearby bearing the crumbs of something sugary and sweet, and the little French translation book sat next to that.

When the help arrive to clear some things from a nearby table, Kwabena looked up to hail the waiter with a pleasant smile. "Oi, ahhhh… se il vous… ah, plait me montrer… a l'hotel le plus proche?"

Everything seemed to go a bit fuzzy when the help provided his answer. Even while pointing Kwabena to a nearby hotel across the street, the African's silver eyes remained transfixed, behind sunglasses, upon the beautiful woman entering 18 rue de la Paix. It was rumored that Dackleman had a penchant for keeping a select group of supermodel types entertained and in close proximity; based on the legs, the cup size, the height, the length of the heels, the cut of the fashion and the amount of time and attention to detail put into that hair and makeup, he'd found the right spot. It was like a little slice of NYC High Society was carving its way through Paris one heel-clack at a time. That was one of Dackleman's girls, through and through.

"Merci." A somewhat menacing smile was granted to the waiter, his tip coming generously. After the waiter bowed and left him in peace, Kwabena turned back to study the apartment building where Richard Dackleman was holed up in.

"Found you," he murmured to himself, "you stoneless son of a bitch."

(to be continued…)

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