Category Archives: Rollick


…or perhaps pastino. No one really knows where the genus name for Parsnips came from. “Pastus” meaning “food”, or “pastino” meaning “to prepare the ground for planting of the vine”. I had a feeling that meanings like these would have a greater bearing on this case than anyone expected.

We had had many dealings with the White Rose before. We’d never met him, of course, nor even ever seen him. Only the few scattered conversations, shunted through proxies around the world, voice scrambled and descrambled dozens of times, sent through an unhackable optical link in Rio, all the standard things a true professional would do.

And up to this point, the White Rose had seemed content to deal with internal Eastern Bloc matters. Some grievance some nation or city-state had with the former Russia, some internal squabble in one of the London or New York expat communities. But now, this was was different. What would the French Ambassador to Japan be up to that would interest the Eastern Bloc? Or worse, what if it had nothing to do with that? They said there was evidence of a struggle, which was odd. The White Rose was known to kill from a distance, or at least silently. If the ambassador put up that much of a fight, then they must be either very, very good to notice the White Rose, or something else was going on…


Rollick could hardly see his client’s face through the smoke. The smoke that covered the city like a permanent miasma.
“I need you to find someone for me.”
“I can’t tell you that.”
“Why not?”
“Because I don’t know who they are.” “What I can tell you is that they left a parsnip cut like a rose by the body of the ambassador.”
“The White Rose.”
“Exactly. No one has been able to find him, or even know who he is, but we think he has just tipped his hand by starting to play politics.”
“So, what *do* you have for me to go on?”