Warren Murphy: Killing Time

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  • Название:
    Killing Time
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America's beautiful people are playing follow-the-leader with their latest guru, diet doctor Felix Foxx. As Foxx's disciples are dropping pounds, however, U.S. military leaders are dropping like flies. Coincidence? Maybe. But CURE's been counting causalities, and Remo and Chiun are being dispatched to muscle in and settle the score. They arrive too late at Foxx's fat farm - a fool's paradise where the wealthy go to buy time. And where, it appears, the smart set are losing a lot more than cellulite . . . Our heroes stumble onto an insidious plot - one that's eating away at the very core of Western civilization. And even racing against time, they've got a slim chance of stopping it . . .

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: KILLING TIME

Copyright ® 1982 by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

An original Pinnacle Books edition, published for the first time anywhere.

First printing, October, 1982

ISBN: 0-523-41560-5

Cover illustration by Hector Garrido

Printed in the United States of America

PINNACLE BOOKS, INC.

1430 Broadway

New York, New York 10018

KILLING TIME

Chapter One

The vintage 1940 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow glided noiselessly through New York's Central Park, its smoked windows sealing off the lilting strains of Pachelbel's Canon from the humdrum sounds of the city.

inside, behind the liveried chauffeur, sitting in a sea of velvet the color of his dark wavy hair, Dr. Felix Foxx sipped at a daiquiri from a glass of cut Baccarat crys­tal. He pressed a button on the partition between the front and rear seats.

"Any joggers?" he asked the chauffeur.

"No, sir."

"Keep looking," Foxx said in richly modulated tones, and switched the microphone off.

Ah, this was the life, he thought as he sniffed a rose in its Lalique bud vase. He finished his drink and set the glass back into the small lacquer bar built into the Rolls. He slid his hand over his $55 tie from Tripler and the flawlessly tailored lapels of his $1200 Lanvin suit. He looked down at his Botticelli shoes, gleaming a dark mahogany against the white plush of the carpet­ing.

A perfect life.

1

2

The rear speakers buzzed to attention, "Joggers, sir."

Foxx's eyes narrowed into hard little slits. "Where?"

"Ahead and to the left, Dr. Foxx."

He peered through the darkened glass. Ahead, run­ning alongside the road, were a man and woman dressed in running clothes, their Adidas sneakers kicking up the dust behind them. Their faces were flushed and glistening with sweat.

"Get into position," he said.

The car sped up alongside the joggers, then spurted slightly ahead. "Ready?' Foxx asked, a small spark of lust coming to his eyes.

"Ready, sir."

Through the smoked windows of the Rolls, Foxx took a good look at the joggers. They were sparkling with good health, two fine specimens flirting with one another. "Now," he growled.

The car zoomed forward, kicking gp a cloud of dirt and pebbles onto the astonished joggers. Through the rear window, Foxx could see them coughing and sputtering, their shiny perspiring faces coated with soot.

"On target," he yelled, laughing uproariously.

"Yes, sir," the chauffeur said.

"Shut up." He slammed off the communications system and chuckled while he took out a silver vial from his vest pocket and snorted a noseful of cocaine from a tiny silver spoon.

He hated joggers. He hated health. If it weren't for the miilions brought in from Running & Relativity and Live Free On Celery-Foxx's two books concurrently on the New York Times bestseller list-he'd see to it that runners, hikers, dancercisers, tennis players,

3

ski bunnies, and all the assorted other health nuts of the world were put on priority lists for euthana­sia.

The car swept out of the park and pulled up slowly beside the curb. "It's two blocks to the television stu­dio, sir," the chauffeur said.

Foxx sighed and put away the cocaine vial with a growl. "All right, all right," he said with the resignation of the doomed. "Hand them over."

The sliding partition behind the driver slid open, and the chauffeur handed him a neatly stacked pile of clothing. There was an undershirt, a pair of pale blue custom-tailored sweatpants, and a jacket to match. Foxx unfastened his own clothing reluctantly and handed it up to the driver, then put on the running clothes with a grimace. He hated the feel of them.

"Sweat," he commanded morosely.

Obediently, the driver handed him an atomized bot­tle of Evian Tonique Refraisant, which Foxx dutifully sprayed over his face to simulate perspiration.

It was hell being a health guru. "Anyone around?" he asked.

"Coast is clear, sir." The chauffeur slid out of his seat and came around to open the door for Foxx.

"Pick me up in an hour," Foxx said. He retched once and trotted away.

By the time he reached the WACK studios, the retching had subsided and the expression of bitter resolution on his face had changed to one of radiant cheer. He waved to onlookers outside the studio en­trance. He joked with the receptionist in the studio. He told funny stories to the other guests waiting to go on the "Frank Diamond Show" in the studio's green room. He jogged triumphantly on stage.

4

On camera, he was greeted with shouts and cheers. Frank Diamond introduced him as "Feiix Foxx, the Phantom of Fitness."

Smiling warmly, he admonished the overweight housewives of the nation to find happiness through fit­ness and his books. Audience members gave testi­mony to the life-changing effects of Dr. Foxx's inspira­tional talks. Middie-aged women screamed in ecstasy as he demonstrated jumping jacks. Fat girls threw their candy bars into the aisles with the fervor of zealots.

At the stage door exit after the show, a group of adoring fans thrust copies of Running & Relativity and Live Free on Celery at him to sign. Among the flapping pages was a pair of oversized breasts thinly covered by a tight pink sweater. Foxx followed the breasts up­ward to a Shirley Temple face beneath a mop of curly blonde hair.

"Hi," the girl breathed, causing her sweater to stretch almost beyond endurance. "I think you're just fabulous, Dr. Foxx," she whispered. Her lips quiv­ered.

"Oh?" Foxx said. She looked like the sort of girl who could accommodate him. Not many could. The last had been a screamer. Screamers were out.

"Have you read my books?"

"No. I'm waiting for the movie to come out." She pushed ahead of her a frowzy redhead with a road map face covered by thick layers of pancake. "This here's my roommate Doris. We live together. She thinks you're cute, too."

"Really," Foxx said, aghast. As he signed more au­tographs, he contemplated the blonde girl's mouth. It curved upward, like a new moon. There were bruises on her neck. "Where did you get those?" he asked,

5

brushing his hand languidly along her throat as the au­tograph seekers moaned in longing.

"Oh. My boyfriend," she giggled. "He gets kind of rough sometimes. It turns me on."

That was it, Foxx decided. She would do. "You'd better get a doctor to look at that," he said.

"Oh, it's nothing," the girl gushed. "Just a bruise. I get them all the time." Doris poked her in the ribs. "Oh. Did I say something wrong? Doris says I'm al­ways saying stupid things."

"My dear, you're enchanting," Foxx said. "Let me look at those bruises."

Her eyes rounded. "You mean you're a real doctor? Like on 'General Hospital'?"

"That's right." He eased her through the crowd to­ward the Rolls parked outside. "That's all, ladies," he said charmingly to the throng. "I've got a small emer­gency to take care of."

The women sighed in disappointment. One of them shouted that she loved him. He took the woman's hand and squeezed it. "Be the best you can be," he said earnestly. The women squealed with delight.

Inside the car, Foxx offered the blonde a glass of champagne. "I just love this fizzy stuff," she said. "Once I broke my arm. I took an Alka Seltzer. It felt wonderful."

"Your broken arm?"

She laughed wildly. "No, silly. The fizz. The arm didn't feel like anything at all."

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