Friday, February 28, 2020

Rock of Ages

This is Chapter 10 of The Inheritance, a serial fiction novel on FITK

Friday evening, July 10, 2020, Seattle

“Are you two alright?” said Mary when Sean and Jo walked in to the hotel suite, “It looked pretty bad out there.”

“What was that big boom?” said Mareka, “It shook the window!”

“I don’t know, Kiddo, it might have been the television truck,” said Sean, “We left after that.”

“I’ve got video of it on my phone,” said Jo, “Even though some of the protestors were wearing masks I’ll upload it to our dropbox, it might be too important too risk losing.”

“Well, it is pretty obvious that there was someone behind that demonstration, someone that wanted some publicity,” said Sean, “We’ll see what develops over the next couple of days.”

Back at the scene of the riot, after the crowd had finally dispersed, the television director of KWAH was on his phone describing the damage to his truck to his supervisor:

“Someone injected some kind of fluid or gel into the generator housing and, judging from the looks of it, it was pretty volatile; gasoline maybe, maybe napalm. It wasn’t a malfunction, there had to have been an intense source of heat to melt those cables and blow the gas line. Whoever it was knew what they were doing.”

“O.K. Bob, let the fire department see it, they might want to impound the truck. Is the rest of the equipment all right?”

As far as I know, the camera operators were out in the crowd with the operators, they got jostled a little, but suffered no damage. Outside of a loss of power the control room wasn’t affected, we’ve got the memory cards out of them, they’re on the way to the station as we speak. You’ll be able to see for yourself what we’ve got.”

“What about the explosions we heard? Was anybody shot?”

“As far as we can tell, someone put some cherry bombs in the trash bins before they set the fires. The big boom was the generator exploding. The police will want the video so make safety copies right away—before they get a warrant. This story is going to keep on giving for a long time.”

”Is there any more news on the house, Jo?”

“I scheduled a showing for tomorrow; you might want to cancel it,” said Jo, “In light of what just happened.”

“No, I think we could use a new place to hang our hats,” said Mary, “The sooner we get out of this neighborhood the better.”

“Is anyone else hungry? It’s been a long day,” said Sean, “I’ll call room service.”

“Do they have tater tots?” asked Mareka.

Saturday morning, July 11, 2020

In a residential neighborhood in North Seattle, an elegantly dressed middle-aged woman stepped out of her Escalade SUV when the taxi with Sean, Mary, Mareka and Jo pulled up to the house they wanted to see.

“Hi! I’m Ellie Langley, you must be the Carrolls,” said the real estate agent, “Welcome to North Seattle!”

“Hello,” said Sean, “This is Mary Robinson, my wife, our daughter Mareka, and this is her nanny, Jo Sanford.”

Jo ‘Sanford’ was far more than a nanny; she was the de facto business manager of CarRob LLC, the tax entity that dealt with Mary’s Spellapp business and Sean’s management of his grandmother’s artwork and estate. By mutual agreement she was usually introduced as Mareka’s nanny in social situations, it made things simpler and Jo had her own reasons for anonymity. Her last name was also a fiction, she had ‘gone underground’ after she had left an abusive relationship and an attempt was made on her life by a Russian agent during the ‘Billygate’ affair several years earlier. As Mareka grew older, Jo became more integrated into the Carroll-Robinson household and business affairs although she maintained a separate apartment in the same building as Sean and Mary. Now that Sean’s aunt Tina was dead, Jo was also the only person besides Sean and Mary (and Edwin Duddle) who knew the story of Sean’s grandmother Emily’s ‘resurrection.’

“Pleased to meet you all!” said Ellie, “I think that you’ll find this is an exceptional opportunity. Shall we begin?”

In a conference room in the Seattle Police Department Headquarters, a group of police officials were sitting around Arnold Marchal, the head of the Seattle Office of the FBI. Laurence Griswold, Chief of Police, stood up and addressed the group:

“The riot in downtown Seattle last night caught us off-guard. We’ve asked Mr. Marchal from the FBI to come in on our investigation for it appears that this was a coordinated effort orchestrated by some person or persons outside of the state, probably directed at two people that have been previously investigated by the FBI: Sean Carroll and Mary Robinson. Agent Marchal was the head of the Seattle branch during that investigation, I hope that he may be able to offer some insight into last nights incident. Agent Marchal?”
“Thank you, Chief Griswold. Sean Carroll had become involved in a plot involving Senator Clarkson who used Sean to connect with his estranged son, William Clarkson, Junior, who had acquired evidence linking his father to a covert plan involving arms sales and money laundering. Sean was forced into a cover-up that later became exposed thanks to efforts by the FBI and aided by Mary Robinson who, at the time, was operating a ‘data mining’ company. The plan had been setup by a group of men with called themselves ‘The Brotherhood’ who, along with suspected Russian agents, attempted to silence Sean. The ‘Brotherhood’ met its end in an explosion, set off by lightning, and all activities involving Sean and Mary ended at that time. What relationship all this has to yesterday’s event is yet to be determined. It apparently is unrelated to the BLM protests. Let it be noted that both Carroll and Robinson were fully cooperative with the FBI at that time. Chief Griswold?”

“From what we have been able to determine so far, the television crew was there to intercept and interview Sean and Mary, who were scheduled to return to their apartment last evening. They had been tipped off by a source in Decorah, Iowa, where Sean’s aunt has recently died, leaving a considerable estate to Sean and Mary’s seven-year-old daughter, Mareka. Let it be noted that television station, KWAH, and its news director, William Preston, have a history of aggressively promoting sensational stories. Mr. Preston has assured me that this was simply a “public interest” story, but his Twitter feeds and television promotions throughout the day seems to belie that assertion. The other part of this riot centers on the inflammatory comments by a self-styled preacher, one Andrew Stevenson, who had been using his television broadcasts and Twitter feeds to incite his followers to assemble at the same time and place to express their disapproval of Mary Robinson, whom they referred to as a ‘witch.’ It is unknown if there are any links to the two. It isn’t a regular protest, most the people involved are not ordinary citizens. We are going to try and get the footage shot by the KWAH camera crews and will be analyzing it to identify any perpetrators.”

“So, if you’ll walk this way, we can explore the grounds.”

Ellie Langley led the group through siding doors that opened to a brick patio. The yard beyond it sloped down to a wooded ravine where the sound of flowing water could be heard. The yard was bordered on one side by an enormous boulder.”

“You probably have already noticed the glacial erratic. It was left here during the last ice age and it is too big to be moved. It could have been dynamited or jack-hammered but now that the area around it has been built up that kind of disruption is out of the question.”

Mareka had run directly to the rock and was gingerly touching it.

“Let’s move here!” she said.

Next chapter: Doubling Down

By Professor Batty


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