Micro-chip riches has a magnitude of problems that leads to the ultimate demise! Karma will have its revenge.

Story Concept

“I’m the luckiest man in the world!” thought Richard Seelig as he took the elevator up to his chic Morristown penthouse, clutching the bottle of Roederer Cristal in one hand and fingering the small Tiffany box in the other. He had the ring specially mounted with a diamond the size of New Jersey for his special girl. Dr. Seelig, the world-famous inventor of the RFID chip-enabled bank interface technology that single-handedly solved bank card theft and fraud, had become rich on the patent of his invention. It was so popular because it provided unmatched security and eliminated the need for a PIN or passcode; all the account holder needed to do was hold up his or her subdermal-implanted hand to the scanner.

Such a device was quickly adopted by banking networks which earned for Seelig a profit windfall. He moved out of his modest downtown apartment into the plush condominium overlooking the breathtaking New Jersey shore. Here he lived with Celia, his girlfriend of five months; in fact, it was she who chose this place. Whatever she wanted, he got for her. She was all he wanted, and now he was on his way to propose to Celia.

A knock-out with wavy blond tresses cascading down her silky-smooth shoulders, her red lips turning up in that luscious smile that highlighted her crystal blue eyes, Celia was the embodiment of mystery and mischief. She had decorated their home in warm hues, tasteful artwork, and the best furniture money could buy. Yes, he thought as he walked towards her, five months was a short time, but why wait? He was ready to dive headlong into the future with this woman, the girl of his dreams, who cherished him like nobody ever had.

Because if truth be told, Richard Seelig was a physically unimpressive man. Short in stature and slight of build, he was the stereotypical bespectacled child who was invisible to everyone but his mother. Now in his mid-forties, he was resigned to his single life. Until along came Celia, and things changed. It was pure luck that he ran into her on the sidewalk, causing her to drop her handbag which he quickly retrieved and handed back to her. Then their eyes met and she smiled. Her winsome, wonderful smile. And he was bewitched. No, five months was a lifetime. At last, he was wealthy, respected, and most of all, loved by the most beautiful girl in all of New Jersey.

Champagne

“Oooh, I see you’ve brought the bubbly! Wait, let me get the glasses,” she said as she gave him a welcome kiss, took the bottle and turned to the kitchen. He admired her gently swaying hips outlined by the $8,000 Neiman Marcus evening gown he bought her, the seductive glimpse of her thigh showing through the high-slit skirt. He set himself down on her favorite overstuffed loveseat as she came and placed the two champagne-filled glasses on the coffee table. Ever the gentleman, he handed her one, and took the other.

“So what are we celebrating, dear?”

He anxiously took three giant gulps from his drink, then brought out the box from his pocket.

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His mind raced, as if forever, to find the words to say to her, how to get her to say yes. Then he noticed his fingers became unsteady and trembled. “I must be more nervous than I thought,” he said to himself. He opened the box, but as he raised his eyes to her his vision blurred. She looked at the box but seemed unmoved. Then he noticed. She had not taken one sip from her drink. The last thought that passed through Richard’s mind as he crumpled to the floor was how Celia’s smile faded and how cold her crystal blue eyes had begun to look…

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Alea was on her flight to Fiji. “At last,” the dark-eyed brunette thought, “that pathetic dimwit is out of my hair – literally!” She could have laughed out loud at the irony. For the past five months, she dyed her hair blond and wore blue contact lenses, all the while biding her time until the right opportunity presented itself. And now she had it all. Lucky for her, she knew that Richard had his microchip implanted in his left wrist unlike everybody else who had theirs at the back of their hands. So, when she cut his chip out, she made it appear as a self-inflicted slash of the wrist. Tut, tut, poor, lonely, depressed Dr. Seelig seemed to have taken his own life. Or so the police records would say.

Alea herself had her chip on the back of her right hand, and wasted no time having Richard’s inserted into her left. She knew Richard kept most of his wealth in several dummy accounts under pseudonyms, and with a few lines of code inserted into the algorithm, a single chip could unlock access to all those accounts. Dr. Seelig thought his invention had made his accounts impervious to hacking because of their unique ID numbers. He never imagined that the tiny chip acts as a key to all accounts if someone acquired it physically – over his dead body, of course. But bank secrecy laws have firewalls around accounts under different names in bank databases, so unbeknownst to authorities, even if they sequestered accounts under Dr. Richard Seelig’s name, the dummy accounts would still remain active. At least, for a short time – enough time, Alea thought, for her to clean them all out.

Upon arrival, she took a cab to the Fiji Marriott where she reserved a first-class suite. While checking in, she caught sight of a rather dapper, sophisticated young man looking her over. She paid no mind to him – it was, after all, a big hotel with many guests. The next day, decked in a flamboyant sundress and wide-brimmed hat, she lost no time engaging in her favorite hobby, shopping.

She headed for Nadi, where she heard one can find local open-air markets and classy shopping malls. She had just purchased some pricey jewelry at La Galerie in Nadi when, out of nowhere, she was greeted by a faintly familiar face.

“Hello! Forgive me, but I recognize you from yesterday at the Marriott. Such a coincidence that we stay at the same hotel. I’m Sanjay, and I noticed you’re not from around here. A beautiful young lady should not be traveling unaccompanied. Would you like me to show you around?” Alea knew better than to accept an offer from a stranger, but he was tall, dark, and terribly handsome, and she does need the company. But first, she asked him where she might find a cash-dispensing machine that allowed chip withdrawals, and he led her to one close by. He looked away, apparently observing his reflection at a nearby shop window as she drew some cash from her own account and some more from the unfortunate Richard’s. Then they set out for lunch.

Tu’s Place had a distinct local ambience with the best in Fijian cuisine –kokada for starters, followed by the Chef’s special salad and moca soup, rourou balls, Lolo fish and exotic Bula prawns, washed down with glasses of light Pinot Noir. Alea could not remember when she had enjoyed herself so much in the company of such a suave, cultured gentleman. They took a late afternoon stroll through the open markets where he picked out a lovely bouquet of local blooms that would light up her hotel room nicely. The sun had long set when he walked her back to the hotel. She invited him into her well-appointed suite, where they continued to talk over a bottle of Bordeaux that Sanjay picked out from the hotel winery. She was so engrossed and captivated by her new friend that she did not notice how tired she was, how the wine had a slightly bitter taste, and how, midway through their conversation, she had begun to doze off.

Alea awoke with a jolt to another day in prison. It was a year after Fiji, but she never got used to her orange jumpsuit, and her first glimpse of it and her cold white cell every morning shocks her back to reality. She should have known that slashing Richard’s left wrist would have triggered the suspicions of keen NJ homicide detectives. Richard was a leftie – that was why he had his chip implanted in his left wrist in the first place – and it would have been easier for him to slash his right wrist with his left hand. Sure, he died of blood loss consistent with suicide, but the toxicology report that came back negative for poisons instead detected a heavy dose of sedatives.

An all-points-bulletin was sent out for the blonde, blue-eyed Celia seen in the condominium’s security footage, but she could be found nowhere. They did trace Richard’s bank aliases, however, and found they were being accessed by a tourist in Fiji who the hotel concierge identified as Alea Malheur. They flew to the Marriott to accost her – only to find her, unconscious and bleeding, in her plush suite. She would have bled to death had they not found her in time.

So now, Alea is paying for murdering the unfortunate Dr. Seelig, but the police were never able to solve the mystery of her own unfortunate fate. They could not identify her through her fingerprints; that was because when they found her, her hands were missing. Somebody had hacked them clean off with a machete – the signature modus operandi of the dreaded Asian Mafia operating in Fiji. Somebody must have noticed her lucrative spending, and that she used both hands to withdraw cash, because her accounts, and Dr. Seelig’s, were empty when the police searched.

Alea reaches up, scratching her roughly shorn head with the stumps that were once attached to hands. This will be another long day.

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Characters

Richard Seelig – the protagonist. A humble man, he worked hard, became successful, and thought he had found love and a future with Celia. Unfortunately, he trusted too much, and his only fault was his gullibility.

Alea – the antagonist who takes advantage of Richard’s trust and kindness. She craves wealth and schemes to acquire it at any cost, even murder. Her full name has a deeper meaning: Alea is Italian for risk or hazard, and Malheur is French for sadness, unhappiness, or misfortune. It is contrasted with Celia which is derived from the Latin word for heavenly.

Sanjay – the symbolic character for karma. He is a stereotypical mobster, a criminal and therefore an evil person, but he brings poetic justice by restoring the balance of the universe that was disrupted by Alea’s murder of Seelig. Sanjay literally stands for Lord Shiva, the principal Hindu deity known as “The Destroyer.” The Hindu trinity composed of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are in charge of protecting the universe.

 

Setting / Scenes

The first setting is Richard Seelig’s New Jersey upscale penthouse. It has a breathtaking ocean view, is well-appointed and shows expensive tastes. It was selected and decorated by Celia, reflecting her materialism but also symbolic of a predator laying her trap. Her physical appearance and expensive attire portray a fake persona.

The second setting is in Fiji, a warm tropical tourist spot with open markets and shopping malls. Alea stays at an expensive suite at five-star Marriott Fiji. She is dressed in a colorful sundress and wide-brimmed hat, carefree and relaxed.

The third setting is the prison where Alea has been incarcerated for Seelig’s murder. It is cold and constrained. She is bald and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit.

Plot Turns

There are three major subplots: Richard’s murder, the Fiji trip, and Alea’s ultimate fate. In Richard’s murder, we are introduced to Celia. The couple’s first meeting was described as coincidental, but the details hint that it was planned by Celia. She is a blue-eyed blonde not unlike the typical Hollywood heroine. She has expensive tastes, and Richard’s past shows that he was vulnerable. Celia’s treachery created a feeling of pity for the hapless Richard and an overwhelming sense of injustice.

The second subplot shows the real Alea who revels at her success. Her hair is brown and her eyes are dark – precursor to a darker personality. She meets Sanjay, an attractive stranger who captivates her in much the same way she did Richard. Sanjay appears to look at his reflection as Alea makes a withdrawal, but it is hinted that he is actually observing her. She is then wined, dined and romanced with flowers, and by the end of the subplot she likewise succumbs to a sedative he slips in her drink. The similarities in subplots 1 and 2 are intentional but subtle.

In the last subplot, Alea is now transformed into the physical deformation that reflects her deformed soul – stumps for hands (she is deprived of her means of doing further harm) and shaved head (loss of beauty).

 

Teaser

Alea ends up finding out shes pregnant while in jail. They release her for medical concerns, but not before chipping her to keep track of her.