The Novel of Financial Deception
Enters Its Third Year Online
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Casing Wal-Mart
Miller Risk Advisors

Rigged Chapter 20



Ross M. Miller
Posted August 16, 2004

I asked Dmitri to drive me into town. In a way, Muir got what he wanted. It’s just that he lost the game before a single card was dealt. And if we had played, I was confident that I would have quickly dispatched him. He was a man who talked too much and who let his subconscious bubble up to the surface.

Even if my initial hunch turned out to be wrong, the mere knowledge that Muir had a solution to my problem was valuable information. All mathematicians face the predicament that just because a problem is expressible in mathematical terms doesn’t mean that it has a solution. Mathematicians viewed their field as a giant problem that with enough effort could be solved completely—an idea that picked up steam when Albert North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell published their Principia Mathematica. The title was a shortened form of Newton’s great work in which he set forth the laws of the physical world. Einstein would explode Newton’s Principia and his Princeton colleague, Kurt Gödel, would do the same to Whitehead and Russell’s.

Gödel showed that not all math problems could be solved. In particular, he demonstrated how there could be theorems that were true but for which no proof of their truth could ever be found. Furthermore, one could not always tell that a theorem was unprovable just by looking at it. Gödel’s result was not limited to the mathematics of Whitehead and Russell. Any formal symbolic system sufficiently complex to make statements about itself—something like “self-awareness” in people—must have logical holes.

Depending on one’s viewpoint, Gödel’s work was either bad news or good news. The bad news was that one could dedicate one’s life to trying to prove the unprovable or solve the insoluble. The good news was that mathematicians would never run out of things to do.

In a universe crammed with unknowable stuff, the information that someone has  the solution to a problem can be very helpful. Knowing who that someone is even better. Knowing who that someone is provides even more help. If Muir Konin could figure what was going on with Ken’s fund, I knew that the answer did not involve fancy mathematics and might not even have anything to do with math. On the other hand, Muir’s willingness to exchange the solution for a victory at the poker table told me he thought that it had little value. I hoped that he was wrong.

Once we were back on the island’s main road, I said to Dmitri, “You know that coffeehouse in town that we passed on the way here. Go there as fast as you can.”

On the way to the coffeehouse, I took the computer from my bag, powered it up, and was ready to network in when he dropped me off. The coffeehouse had a wireless access point and I was able to get a good connection almost immediately. I tunneled through an encrypted connection to GFF’s network, entered their messaging center, and hoped that Randy would be there. I also sent e-mails to Tara and Zero in case I needed their help hunting him down. While I was waiting, I ordered something to eat and started to download pages from the website of every company in the vicinity of the black hole. Randy arrived soon after my food. While I ate, we messaged back and forth:

Me: any progress?

Randy: not really

Me: still looking at viruses?

Randy: yep

Me: here’s something to try

Randy: im game

Me: stop feeding in numbers and try words

Randy: such as?

Me: annual reports, sec disclosures, press releases, news stories

Randy: what am i looking for?

Me: ur virus

Randy: rosebud?

Me: not quite

Randy: when do u need it?

Me: asap, flight leaves soon, stay online and dont leave the suite

Randy: i get the feeling that you already no the answer

Me: dont let that stop u. hurry

Randy: gotcha

Me: and tell Tara the donut was truly transcendental and send my regards to 0

Randy: one question?

Me: yes

Randy: does it have anything to do with the penguins?

Me: now that you mention it, it does

Randy: ur such a showoff

Me: anything else?

Randy: bring back my manatee

Aside from security considerations, I did not clue Randy in on my hunch so that he could reach his own conclusions. Were there an alternative explanation for what was going on, Randy was the one to find it. The more I read, however, the less likely I thought that was.

Before I got up to head back to the airport with Dmitri, I checked in with Randy.

Me: find anything?

Randy: still working

Me: will be in touch either from the airport or the plane

On the ride back to the airport, I continued looking through the documents that I had just downloaded. The airport was coming into view when Dmitri’s cell phone chimed the Sesame Street theme. He had a short conversation in Russian and then turned to me and said, “Ve goink other place.”

“What other place?”

“Other place. Ve go. Not far.”

Visions of being taken to Moscow and forced to train pre-school Russian poker players flashed through my cranium, but I quickly dismissed them. At least we were still heading toward the airport. We went passed a construction site and stopped in front of a sunshine-yellow building that was adjacent to a runway. Were I to go to Moscow, at least it won’t be on Aeroflot. Not for the first leg.

I walked into the terminal and a pilot said, “Your plane is waiting for you.”

“That’s nice,” I said. “What’s goin’ on?”

“Didn’t they tell you? Hartsfield’s a mess, so you’ve got your own jet direct to Westchester. We should be able to keep you on schedule.”

“Mind if I make a call first?”

“There’s a phone on board. You can call in flight.”

The pilot appeared eager to go and so I followed him out to the tarmac and up into the plane. It was a typical executive jet—some type of Gulfstream. The twin engines looked like GFF models that I had once seen tested, which left little doubt that if we flew into a flock of frozen turkeys we'd be safe. The interior was one step up from a fancy RV, but I wasn’t about to complain.

“Can I use this?” I asked, showing the pilot my computer.

“Go right ahead. If it screws up the avionics, I’ll let you know.” With those reassuring words, he walked into the cockpit and closed the door behind him. I sat in one of the eight plush seats and considered my situation.

Given that I was not a GFF senior executive, there was no way that I rated my own jet and from past experience at the old lab I knew that the only way that Roland could get me aboard one was as his travel companion. There was only one person in the company powerful enough to summon me a private plane.

Once we were in flight, I picked up the phone and called the hotel. Randy picked up immediately.


“Hi, Randy.”

“Where are you?”

“I think I’m flying over the Okefeenoke Swamp. I’m calling from a private jet so we should watch it.”

“Lucky you. Wave to Albert and Pogo for me.”

“Speaking of animals, did you make the penguin connection?”

“Mira Sorvino, right?”

I was initially puzzled until I adjusted to the Randy mind-set. “Right. Mighty good clue.”

Randy chuckled and then asked, “What next?”

“Hang tight. I’ve placed most of the cards, now I have to figure out how to play my hand without getting burned at the stake.”

Copyright 2004 by Ross M. Miller. Permission granted to forward by electronic means and to excerpt or broadcast 250 words or less provided a citation is made to