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LynnCSWC
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:54 am

They arrived at a different hotel. Across the street was a diner. Jake decided to take Mary there instead. 

Once inside, they found a booth in the back but where they could still see outside and hopefully not be seen. They ordered some hot tea and a piece of chocolate cake to share. 

Jake looked into Mary's eyes. "I have a plan that you may not like." He explained his thought process.

"You're right, I don't like it. I don't see how going to Arturo will get those women out of the trouble they are in. For all we know, he is part of the whole thing. I want to make a difference in their lives. Not the mastermind, Mr. Big, and his cronies."

The waitress brought their order. Jake sipped his drink put a package of sweetener in and took another sip. "That makes sense but how are we going to do any good?"

Mary took a bite of cake. "Mmm, that's good. Maybe we can get with Chief Murphy. He can take me to the safe house and I can pretend to be a shell-shocked victim. Maybe gain their confidence and learn some more that way."

"Sorry to say this but you kind of look the part right now."

She saw her reflection in the window. Beyond that, a limo pulled up to the hotel. Out walked, Mr. Big.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:37 pm

Mr. Big was carrying the strangest things--an armful of skunks.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:26 am

He was clearly in a stinking mood.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:45 am

Mary was stunned.  “An armful of skunks!  Surely the stink sacks have been removed.  Perhaps this is a symbol of something.  I remember in school they said that “where there is smoke, there if fire”.  Many people get distracted by the smoke and don’t investigate the cause of the smoke. This is not the first time I hear about skunks with this investigation.  Are we overlooking something?”
“Hmmm.  I never considered that.  Perhaps we are overlooking a clue. It could be a symbol they use as a warning to others involved in their clandestine operations.”
“Yes.  I had the same thought.  It could even mean things like: the coast is clear or perhaps, back-off, the coast is not clear.   We know that a skunk smells.  The smell could be similar to the smoke and fire.”
“Let’s see what happens when Mr. Big comes out of the hotel.”
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:37 am

There was a lot to see.  Mr. Big looked very cross.  He walked over to the large pond
behind the hotel and unceremoniously dumped a huge  handful of skunks in.  The skunks hated water so hissed appropriately.  
They  began squawking and jumping in every direction.  When they caught sight of Mr. Big they came scuttling after him.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:21 pm

Mr.  Big started yelling and running.  The faster he ran and the louder he yelled the more the skunks 
came after him.


What to do?  Very good  question.  He wisely decided to dive into the water and swim for it .
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LynnCSWC
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:46 pm

Jake and Mary didn't see Mr. Big come back out. They wanted to know more but Mary wasn't dressed to go inside and blend in. Instead, they decided to call Chief Murphy. 

When he arrived at the diner, they filled him in on everything thus far. He told them to wait where they were. He went to the lobby of the hotel and asked if someone had seen a man with skunks come through. Everyone pointed towards the rear of the building. When he got to the back of the hotel he saw skunks surrounding a pond and a man swimming back and forth. He cleared his throat. "You know the water isn't very deep, you can stand up."

Mr. Big got up and turned around. He saw the skunks. He saw the chief in his uniform. He instinctively raised his hands. "These rascals have been invading my space and I had enough of it. I hoped bringing them here would get them out of my hair. Except now they have gotten all over me."

"Tell you what, why don't you come with me to the station and we'll talk about it."
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:04 pm

"Talk about it!   Yell about it  seems much  more appropriate." Exploded Mr Big.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:26 am

Of course, none of this was true. It was just Mary's imagination running wild. She had been bored with Arturo's conversation and lapsed into wondering what might happen if she gave herself away. A loud crash of splintering glass snapped her out of her reverie. A man carrying a gun had bolted into the hotel bar. In his hurry, he bumped into a waiter and sent a tray of drinks flying.

Mary's trained instincts as a police officer clicked in, but she held back. This was a testing moment. Should she use her ability to disarm this man and save the lives of everyone in the room, or should she sit tight and see what might happen? If she did the former, she would expose herself as an infiltrator; if she did nothing, someone might die.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:21 am

It didn’t take her long to decide.  Saving or protecting lives was the reason she had joined the police force. “My new assignment be dammed”, she thought.  Saving someone’s life at the risk of her own, or even her career, was more important. She first went to the waiter offering assistance.  It was a good diversion tactic giving her time to evaluate the situation and place her closer to the gunman.  The gunman paid no attention to her.  He faced the bartender, waving his gun.  The bartender raised his hands saying, “What do you want?”
“I want the all the cash in your drawer” he said while throwing a cloth sack on the bar. “Be quick about it.”
Mary realized that it was a robbery and if the bartender did as he was told, no one would get hurt.  Although she was in a good position to attack the robber, she didn’t feel it necessary or wise to do so.  “Let him have the money” she thought. “So long as he doesn’t have reason to use the gun, further action won’t be necessary.”
The bartender emptied the cash register placing everything into the sack and handed it to the robber.  The robber then turned to the customers and said, “Don’t anyone move.  If you move, you’re dead.”  With that, he backed out of the bar closing the door behind him.  He could be seen running down the street.  Mary gave a sigh of relief that it had not been necessary to intervene.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:12 am

Being in the midst of a bank robbery was never fun.  Having lots of money was great.  What next?
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LynnCSWC
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:44 pm

Mary turned. She saw Arturo and Mr. Big coming her way. 

Arturo arrived first. "What were you thinking, my dear?"

Mr. Big was a step behind and stared at her. 

Mary gave a nervous laugh. "I guess I watch too much American television. Back in my country, my favorite Cagney and Lacey. They just jump and run toward bad men."

Arturo laughed which caused Mr. Big to laugh as well. When they calmed themselves, Arturo said, "That an old show. Many new ones out. Sometimes women get shot."

Mary wasn't sure how to take that. She did what she thought would get her out of trouble. She fainted.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:48 pm

Mr. Big was not impressed. Had he not been in public view, his lack of sympathy would have been verbally on display. As it was, he seethed inwardly and called over one of the female bar staff, who herself was badly shaken at the sight of an armed robber. Her job required her to stay calm and deal with any situation that presented itself. "Excuse me, ma'am," she said.  "Are you okay?"

"I am all right, thank you," Mary replied, "but I need to go outside. I need air."

Jake aka Terri offered to help Mary to walk to the exit for some fresh air, but Mr. Big nodded towards two of his hoods and asked them to escort Mary. "There's someone upstairs who requires your attention," Mr. Big said to Terri. With reluctance, the man dressed as a woman left the bar as bidden. He knew that Mary would be alone and without his protection. He hoped she would be okay without him.

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LynnCSWC
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:10 pm

Mary played along with the situation. As they got to the door, she was escorted over to where she could sit and get some fresh air. 

A "hood" who had dark hair and dark features stood close by. "Boss not impressed. He think you weak. You not last long."

Mary's shivers were internal as well as external. "I better now. Thank you."

The hoods escorted her back inside to Mr. Big. He told the hoods to take her upstairs. 

This can't be good, Mary thought.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:07 pm

In the private room where Mary was finally released, were five,yes five, baby skunks.

They were parading around and spraying  everywhere.

This was not a dream--it was cold reality.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:56 am

Mary was in turmoil.  She needed time alone to sort things out and excused herself complaining of a headache.  Once alone, she reflected on what was happening since she accepted her assignment as undercover Agent.  She realized that diversion was being used and that she was part of that diversion as evidenced by her fake fainting.  Then there was the use of skunks.  The only thing that she could associate with skunks was the fact that they stunk. “Did they fit into the diversion?” she wondered.  She suddenly remembered a quote by Sherlock Holmes, the famous investigator.  He said: “Whenever you have eliminated the possible, whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth”.  So, what was possible?  She knew that human trafficking was involved and that the smuggling of rare stones & gems was also in process.  Who were these people?  Were they strictly a gang of foreigners or was there some collusion with those in authority such as the Police and the FBI?  She remembered something her father had taught her and that was “Trust no one but yourself”.   He had added to that statement: “Until they prove themselves trustworthy.” Was it probable that those purporting to be in authority, on the side of law and order, were involved or was that improbable?  Having considered the past events, she felt it wise to trust her own instincts and not be swayed by diversionary tactics, if that was what they were.  She breathed a sigh of relief.  She was now ready for the next confrontation whatever that may be and would use her own judgement.


Last edited by Abe F. March on Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:59 am

While Mary considered all the possibilities, Sam had fogotten about the goings on in the neighbourhood. Life had taken a sudden turn when he received devastating news that his daughter had been shot in a school shooting. His whole world had been shaken in a way that he could never have imagined.

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LynnCSWC
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:58 am

Violence against others is never good. The underlying reasons may help resolve future events. Was Sam's daughter only wounded? Was she a target because he got involved by bringing another young woman into his household even for so brief a time as to warm her up and call the authorities? Sam may never know. He only knew he and his wife needed to get to his daughter straight away. No matter the personal cost.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:14 am

Trying to make sense of this disaster left him only with questions.  Why?  Why, Why?  How could this happen?  What is the cause?  How can this be prevented from happening again?  His thoughts would not allow him to rest.  Taking the life of a child that never had a chance to grow up and experience life was something beyond comprehension.  His sadness turned to anger.  He felt the need to do something – anything to eliminate the pain he felt.  The debates over gun control would once again be forgotten unless something was done to eradicate the menace they posed.  His thoughts were riveted on guns.  They were invented for a more efficient method of killing.  What about the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill”? There are no footnotes with exceptions. The gun has no brain. The common expression by gun promoters like the NRA say that “guns don’t kill – people do.”  That is true.  It takes a person to pull the trigger.  Banning all guns would be the simplest solution, however he knew that would never happen.  “Banning assault weapons is a good place to start, but it must go beyond that” he thought.  Blaming mass shootings on mental health was just another excuse to divert attention from the dangers of gun ownership.  Revenge caused people to do act impulsively and they did so by having a gun available.  Temporary insanity was real.  Regretting one’s actions could not bring a person back to life.  “Yes, the primary problem was with gun ownership,” he thought.  He would act by speaking out and encourage others to do the same.  The parents of the children killed was a good place to start.  Getting the classmates of those killed involved would also add to the voices demanding change.  Doing nothing implied that one didn’t care.  It also made those in power complicit in the shootings if they failed to act.  The slogan “In God we Trust” is a farce, he thought.  If people believed in God for protection, they wouldn’t need a gun.  If they want a slogan that is honest, it would read “In guns we Trust”.  The hypocrisy of religious fanatics was evident.  “I must do everything I can to point this out even if it means losing a few friends. If losing a friend will help save a life, it is worth it”, he thought.
Sam stood, stretched and with a determined look on his face, he vowed not to let the death of his daughter be in vain.  He believed that she was alive in a new dimension and would be proud of his efforts to prevent the untimely death of others.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:53 pm

But his daughter was not dead. Thanks to Wolf, she was alive. It had been touch and go for the first twenty-four hours, which, to Sam and his wife, felt like a decade. 

The day of the shooting was National Pet Day. All the children were allowed to bring their pets to school. Wolf was used to the drill and always behaved impeccably. He was a real favourite with the whole class. At the end of the fun day, the children and their pets spilled out of the classroom. At the far end of the corridor, an armed teenager appeared from nowhere. He raised his gun and was about to shoot. Sam's daughter was his nearest target. Wolf sensed the danger as all the children started to scream with fear. The dog leapt into the air and knocked the rifle upwards. A load blast filled the air as he pulled the trigger. The bullet missed the little girl's heart but lodged in her neck, narrowly missing her carotid artery, which would have meant instant death. 

The dog snarled at the would-be killer and leapt again. This time high enough to grab the teenager by the neck. Wolf sank his teeth into the soft flesh and began to shake the boy ferociously. A teacher grabbed the gun and called off the dog.

Another teacher called 911, while a third teacher applied pressure to the child's neck to stem the bleeding. The children, in a state of panic, ran out of the building as fast as they could.

When the ambulance arrived, Sam's daughter had passed out.

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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:05 pm

Sam's daughter had had a very tiring day.  All she wanted to do  now was head for her cozy bed.  She hoped her room no longer smelled of skunks, but was so tired she couldn't really care.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:18 am

The relief felt by Sam and his wife, having learned that their daughter was still alive, was immense.  The tears that flowed were tears of joy.  The action taken by Wolf was another reason to be grateful and proud.  Sam’s previous thoughts about taking action were only strengthened by this event.  How to protect the children in a sane manner dominated his thoughts.  He reflected on the recent events starting with the girl, Natalie.  “What the hell is going on in this country?”, he thought.  School shootings, the over reaction of the police by shooting innocent people based on the color of their skin indicated that racism still existed.  Banning people based on their religion was yet another cause for concern. On top of that, the threat of war was causing fear at home and abroad.  “Who or what is responsible for these concerns?” he wondered.  Is it the fault of the government or has the mentality of the people changed?  What caused the change?  Were people becoming too self-centered, and if so, why?  Did money-driven ambition cause people to disregard the needs of their fellow man and think only of themselves?  Was it true that “money is the root of all evil”? he mused.  Was it the attraction of money that caused people to engage in illegal activity such as people trafficking and smuggling operations?  Did notoriety play a role in causing people to engage in mass shootings?  Something is definitely wrong with our society, he concluded.  What to do about it remained a puzzle.  As he contemplated the problems there was the feeling of exasperation.  Suddenly he realized that he was attempting to change the world and how other people think. This reality helped him decide to concentrate on his own actions. He would do what he could to protect his family, his friends and those he came in contact with. He would continue to pursue the resolution for the girls being exploited with trafficking and not be concerned with the reaction of Chief Murphy or anyone else that tried to inhibit his participation.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:50 am

For now, Sam's daughter was his main concern. As soon as the ambulance had arrived at the hospital, she was rushed to intensive care. There she received the undivided attention of a plethora of hospital staff: nurses, doctors, surgeons and anethetists. She was put under general anesthesia and underwent immediate surgery to remove the bullet lodged in the lower part of her neck close to her clavicle. Several times the heart monitor stopped and the trained medical staff had to restart her heart. 

By the end of the operation, the surgeon told Sam and his wife that he had stabilised her condition, and the next twenty-four hours were critical. When she pulled through, the relief they felt was like nothing they had ever experienced before. 

When she came home, they worried that she might still be traumatised, but faithful Wolf worked wonders. He never left her side and slept by her bed every night until she recovered. His healing powers worked better than any medicine.

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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:11 pm

Wolf was wonderful  He stayed by Sam's daughter and guarded her.
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PostSubject: Re: Continued Story   Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:22 pm

While Sam was preoccupied with his daughter's recovery, Mary decided to sit tight and see how things developed. She had learned little from the Mexican, except that he knew people in very high places. A knock on the door broke her thoughts. "You're wanted downstairs," one of Mr. Big's side-kicks said. He escorted her back to the bar.

The police were waiting. The chief showed no recognition. "I believe you were in the bar during a heist," he said.

"Yes," Mary replied. 

"Could you describe the guy?"

"I not looking. I very afraid."

"Okay, but if you remember anything, call in at the station and give a decription."

May nodded, but she knew that Mr. Big would not allow her to go to the police.

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