Play On, CHRISTINA NOTT
Christina Nott has three missions music, money and manipulation
She knows how to rock it
Touring the band From Saint Petersburg to Tokyo, to LA to Seattle.
All the time caught in an FSB plot against two politicians
Listen for the power chords
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Across the street, someone was listening in. He had arranged a shotgun microphone and a reflector and was picking up the sound across free air. It had that phase shift reminiscent of old radios.
“Yes, I’ve been called back,” Christina added, “I knew that once I’d contacted the FSB, my name would rise right to the top of their lists… What is the saying? ‘Out of sight out of mind’ .”
“How long?” asked Clare.
“Don’t worry, you guys will be the first to know. They have some kind of mission set up for me. They said it involves some travel. And you know what? They want me to be Christina Nott.”
“In that case, you’ll need your manager!” said Clare.
“Let’s let it run for a while, I need to find out what I’m supposed to do first,” replied Christina.
The audio seemed to go into a tunnel at this point. The guy with the reflector microphone could see that Christina was moving about in the office.
“Where are you…” The sound trailed off.
“Sss. Pppp. Gggg,” answered Christina.
“I’ve lost it,” said the man with the microphone. He sat in front of a small mixer desk and an array of wires.
“Keep trying,” said the severe-looking woman sitting in the room. She looked back towards her laptop screen.
“Let’s talk something about the music,” said Christina.
“Well, we ‘ve got you a tour, ” said Eckhart triumphantly, “It goes to the right places, where we need to go.”
“And where’s that?” asked Christina.
“Tokyo, then to the USA, to the west coast. To play in LA and then Seattle. You are supporting another band.”
“Who are the other band?” asked Christina.
“Erebus,” answered Eckhart.
“Erebus?” asked Christina.
“Yes, they are Canadians, who play quite often around Europe. They are quite a dark band.”
“Hmm,” said Christina, “It’s not my obvious audience, I don’t think?”
“No, we had to get a band that would tour where we need to go. They listened to some of your tracks, saw a video that you’d made of Hey DJ and said they’d include you in the tour. Their manager is a Brit and said he’d heard of you. They are playing some pretty large stadiums, you know.”
“Okay, but what about the practicalities of a band?” asked Christina, “Most of the musicians I’ve worked with do sessions and wouldn’t want to be on a full-time tour.”
“Taken care of,” explained Eckhart, “We found another band called Jallie T and they’ve said they will do the tour.”
“Wait a moment, I’ve heard of Jallie T – she’s an experimental electro-pop singer and has sometimes tours herself,” said Christina.
“That’s right,” answered Eckhart, ” Jallie T is a singer and a small band – electro-fringe. Drums, bass, guitar and synths.”
Christina wondered at Eckhart describing electro-fringe. He’d obviously read it somewhere.
“Yes, well won’t that be the package on offer?” asked Christina, somewhat confused, “I can hardly break into another singer’s band and take it over. And wait a minute – I think Jallie T is Canadian too. I guess the other band – Erebus might even know her.”
“Well, it has all been agreed, ” answered Eckhart, ” You are the act and Jallie T’s band is to support you on stage. Jallie T can sing too if she wants.”
Christina was quietly seething. “This is all wrong,” she said, ” I can’t just hijack another singer’s band like that.”
“Jallie T is cool about it. She has already said how much she likes you and that she knows your music attracts a wider following than her own brand of edginess. She thinks it will be better for Erebus to have a mainstream act rather than her quirkiness.”
“That all seems pretty magnanimous of her,” answered Christina.
“Yes – and the rich fees and expenses helped too.” added Eckhart., “You know, we brought her and the band here to Saint Petersburg too, so the you can have some rehearsal time together.”
“And where can we rehearse then?” asked Christina.
“It’s taken care of. There’s a few studios around here, mainly because we are quite close to the University district, but the one I’ve selected is very modern and has some good spaces. They can be trusted not to rip off your work too.”
Christina looked surprised.
“Yes, there’s still a healthy business in re-cutting original tracks here. Not remixes, pure bootlegs from masters. This studio has some special arrangements because it also provides some services to the FSB.
“What? Like the bad old days?” asked Christina, surprised.
“Yes, a lot of Saint Petersburg is still wired up, from the KGB days and then Putin’s time in the city,” answered Irina, “Remember yesterday I was cautious at the Literary Cafe?”
“Russia, Japan, USA”
“buy it for the road”
“this one’s for the FANS”
“riffs with star ratings”
“set it to eleven”
“all my dreams come true in one novel”
Drop the Mike
Dead men tell no tales
About a band
Big in Japan
MEET THE BAND
“Thank you, thank you – and hey that is one cool T-shirt. I love your look – the hair and everything! – What does that say – Roscosmos – what does it mean?
Christina smiled back – “I think I should be thanking you – prepared to learn all my numbers and come on this trip. And RosCosmos is the Russian Space Program – like NASA. – See there’s a logo.” Christina was suddenly aware that the whole band was staring at her chest.
“Oh, come on, let’s get introduced!” said Christina to break the moment.
Jallie T said, “You know something, we’ve hardly gone further than Seattle and Missoula before we got this gig. We’re all from around Vancouver. Except Ellie that is, she’s British, from London.”
“Yes, I’m Ellie, from Islington, London. I play bass and keys.”
“I know Islington, I used to be based in Hoxton – well, we called it Hoxditch – not so far from the canal.”
“We were practically neighbours, then!” answered Ellie.
“And I’m Nate – Nathan – as you can tell by this instrument I’m holding I play guitar! And I’m from Vancouver all my life.”
“Yes, and I’m Raff – that’s Raphael, I started out in Montreal, but then my parents moved, first to Calgary and then to Vancouver. My father was in the oil business and used to get moved around.
“Je suppose que tu parles assez bien le français aussi?” asked Christina
“C’était ma première langue – vivant dans la partie française du Canada. Où est-ce que vous l’avez appris?”
Christina switched back to English, “Yes I thought French would be your first language. To answer your question, I spent some time in Paris, so I suppose I speak Parisienne rather than French!”
The others laughed. “Okay, we’ll need to watch what we say around Christina.”
“And I see you have already met Lucas – Nothing would work without Lucas. He’s the genius that keeps us all on the road.”
“Well, I heard that last number. You are all excellent, and I like Jallie’s twist on the song – Er is it all right to call you Jallie?”
“Oh yes, the asparagus one. Spargel, ” remembered Bigsy, ” Spargel with everything. Spargel Suppe, Spargel Salat, Spargel as vegetable and then Spargel for pudding. That was an unusual experience.”
“Remember that British guy at the next table? He was being entertained there by a computer company. I thought he would explode at the thought of asparagus with everything. Like a revenge of the Spam song.”
So, we were looking at the scope of intelligence activities in target countries through the prism of the FSB's own communist belief system. This seemed ironic in the modern and increasingly corrupt Russia as the gangster classes were moving into the positions of influence.
The FSB could study and identify a capitalist system. The major monopolists or a conservative government hostile to the Soviet Union and/or socialism; maybe a population influenced by capitalist-controlled media distrustful of communists will all conspire to make the work of agents much harder.
I thought some of the Academy's teachings were outdated. It was like watching a TV show in black-and-white. It accidentally emphasised the new order thugs taking power in the Federation.
About the author.
Ed Adams was born, raised and educated in London but has travelled widely and to areas causing some of his friends to suspect him of a double life.
Of course, that would be an oversimplification. His time in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and North America influences his story-telling.
His novel-writing developed as part of a NaNoWriMo project, for which he has been a winner several times.
Nowadays based in Exeter (Topsham) but frequently in London, Ed has a good selection of backpacks and rugged ballistic nylon luggage with large wheels.
The Archangel Trilogy
Now the Science
Earth reaches out to Ganymede, a planet of Jupiter to robotically mine magnetite – a new energy source.
But why do the alarms keep triggering?
Check out the main ed adams web site for other Reader List information