Come El or High Water
Chapter 5

Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac

TUESDAY 8:45 A.M. Office of Henry Donaldson, City Hall, Chicago, IL

When Henry walked into the office, Alice glanced up and said, "Good Morning Sir, coffee this morning?"

"Yes please, Alice and could you bring your PDA with you also, there's something I need your opinion on. Thanks." Henry responded.

As Alice gathered up the carafe and PDA, she mentally replayed the look that Henry had been sporting while asking her this. If she had needed a defining word it would have been, pensive.

On entering the inner sanctum, Alice noted that Henry had just pulled a stack of eight by eleven printer paper from his briefcase and was now tapping them into alignment like a news anchor.

After they were both settled in with coffee, Henry said, "Alice, this is a rough draft of the introductory speech I'll be giving at my first fund raiser. I need to know if this is a Bold Initiative or Political Suicide. Let me preface it a bit by saying that what's on these pages, truly is my heart toward this City."

Clearing his throat, Henry began with, "Citizens of Chicago, for those of you who don't know me, my name is Henry Donaldson and as of today I'm a candidate for the office of Mayor of our City. Now, I know that all good political speeches are supposed to open with a joke, but I've never been very funny. So what you are going to hear from me tonight, will the simple, unvarnished, truth."

"To begin with, if you are here tonight representing a special interest group, you can leave right now. Oh, and while you're going away, take the last vestiges of the Old Political Machine with you. Now, if that wasn't enough of a wake up call, try this on for size."

"The only promise I will make tonight is that you - the citizens of Chicago - can expect to have a City government that will actually work for a change."

"I know it's a mind bending concept, but just imagine streets that you can actually drive on, because they are not continually torn up by work crews milking a twenty-four hour job for an entire month. Imagine competent people in City offices instead of the nepotistic, bloodsucking, morons that normally fill those slots. Imagine a foster care system that actually fosters children, instead of providing and nice safe home for pedophiles. Imagine a police force, unfettered by political considerations, that can actually do their job."

"By this point you're probably thinking we've heard all this before, but here's the real difference this time. As all of you are aware by now, the Good-Old-Machine has fallen on some rough times recently with the Horns-of-Shame plague and their ranks being thinned out with resignations by the bucket full."

"Oh, I almost forgot, you'll notice that my forehead is blemish free - well, except for a receding hairline - and it's going to stay that way. I've spent the last twenty-two years working in City Hall - the last twelve, as the head of City Zoning - and I can tell you this, I know how City Government has worked in the past and I also know how it should work. I intend to make it work the way it should."

"So here's your choice, if you like getting fleeced on a daily basis vote for someone else. If, on the other hand, you don't like having your tax dollars dribbled away on BS then vote for me. Yes, it really is that simple folks. Thank you for listening and I will now take questions."

Glancing up from his speech, Henry asked, "Well, what do you think? Initiative or suicide?"

"Wow, you sure didn't pull any punches, Sir and I didn't detect a platitude in the whole thing." Alice responded.

"I know. That's because there weren't any. I like treating people like adults, not moronic children." Henry said.

"Well, speaking bluntly," Alice started, "you know you're going to tick off a ton of folks."

"Yes Alice, I do know it. But the question is; are there enough grassroots level citizens left in this City to counter the Special Interest Groupies?" Henry replied.

"Yes Sir, I believe there are. As long as we can keep the Ballot Box Stuffers at bay." Alice said.

"I don't think they are going to be a problem this time. Somehow - and I don't know why I feel this way - but I think that the Horns-of-Shame-Plague is just waiting in the wings for the first moron to try and revive the old system." Henry responded, as an almost feral grin spread over his face, "Should be very entertaining to see who's the first one to sprout horns this time."

There was not one nice thing about the look of glee that appeared in Alice's eyes, as she said, "Oh yes Sir, very entertaining."

TUESDAY 8:55 A.M. On The Way to Lakeshore Dr.

As Mitch and Stanley made their way toward the Lakeshore district, traffic slowed until it came to a grinding, grid locked, halt about one-half mile from their target zone. Turning in his seat, Stanley said, "Looks like we're hoofing it from here, Uncle."

"Oh boy, am I looking forward to this jaunt. Let's see if we can find a Drug store first. I'm already feeling the need for Epsom Salts settling in ... in a big way." Replied Mitch, with a wry grin.

TUESDAY 8:55 A.M. News Stand Wabash & Van Buren, Chicago, IL

Mike had just finished with the first morning rush when Lannee's call came through. 'Lord Coordinator, our teams on the perimeter have just picked up - what we believe to be - the first serious probe by US intelligence.' This was sent along with a mental snap-shot of Stanley and Mitch as they made their way through the crowds. 'These two are not tied to any 'known' agency in the intelligence community, but their mental flavor is of an extreme deep cover operation. We will keep them under surveillance until we receive further word from you.'

'Again, Lady Lannee, you and your teams have our deepest thanks for such an outstanding job.' Mike sent, breaking contact.

He then proceeded to scan the pair while pulling contact numbers and times from their minds. On retrieving the contact number for The Agent, Mike cast out and located him just outside of Washington, DC. On scanning his mind, the picture emerged of a man so given to his Nation that he had been willing to disappear from the face of the Earth and human society to take up this role as The Watcher. Mike was momentarily taken aback by this level of commitment, but then decided that this was exactly the mind set they needed to work with.

He then contacted Elnore, sending, 'My Lord, we have found the US Agent of Enquiry, or Intelligence Coordinator. We believe he will be receptive to our group if approached by what he perceives as a fellow patriot. I will need to draw on the Clan power source to establish contact with this one.'

'Draw on us at your need Michael. All that we have is at your beck and call ... Now.'

'As always, My Lord, you have my deepest thanks.' Mike sent. Then focusing in on The Agent, Mike reached out and created a comm system in his mind.

TUESDAY 9:00 A.M. Safe House, Rock port, MD

The Agent was running through his morning calisthenics routine on the back patio, when he felt a mild tingle on his right temple. He brushed at his hair in annoyance, thinking, 'Good grief, it's way too early in the year for the mosquitoes to be out.'

The reply, 'I'm not a mosquito, Mark, ' sounding inside his head, brought him to a dead halt. It had been ten years since anyone had called him by his birth name and at this point he was on the verge of panic. Falling back on the established protocol, he removed the cell phone from his sweat pants clip and was preparing to press the last number on his speed dial, while his tongue probed for the clasp to his hollow tooth.

'Mark, would you mind 'not' doing that just yet? Otherwise, I've just wasted your life and my time.' came the voice again, followed by, 'Just breathe deep for a second buddy and let me fill you in a bit. First and foremost, you have NOT been compromised by anything against the interests of the United States. Second, you are NOT going psychotic; this really is happening. Third, this comm system you have just been equipped with is untraceable by any human device known. Fourth and final point, this contact is from the group that the President asked you to investigate. So, why don't you head in the house, grab a cup of coffee and let's sit down and have a nice long chat? Sure beats where you were headed thirty seconds ago.' This last was accompanied by a short chuckle.

Seeing only the two options, Mark headed back in the house and after grabbing a full coffee mug sat down and thought, 'OK, whoever you are, you're on. Make it good.'

'Well, first off, you can call me Mike. Everyone else in our group does and it's as good a name as any'. Mike sent. He then filled Mark in on the recent group history, complete with all the what, where and why of the decision to transport the families along with Max Aldmen's contact number as a verifying source.

'By the way, Max is also equipped with this comm system, so contacting him that way will limit you're exposure. Besides which, you can also confirm the truth of anything Max tells you, by sensing it.' Mike sent.

'Holy Crap, have you any idea what an incredible intelligence tool this could be?' Mark sent.

'Sure do. Problem is, we also know what kind of abuse it could be put to', Mike returned, while showing a brief rundown on said abuse including the view of a Televangelist with all the morals and ethics of a mink-in-heat.

'Oh My God! I had no idea. Hitler would seem like a piker compared with what an unscrupulous person could do with this.' Mark replied.

'Sure would, ' Mike sent, 'that's why you and Max are the only people - outside of our group - on the face of the Earth to be equipped this way.'

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