Blind Sight
Chapter 14

Copyright© 2011 by vlfouquet

New Definition Of Impossible!

Cassie stood with Julie outside Big Bertha and watched as the trucks with flatbeds loaded with prefab buildings pulled into the camp site. As each truck pulled to a stop, one of her crew questioned its driver about which load he was carrying, then directed the driver where to unload and setup.

It was loud and appeared completely disorderly. In her mind Cassie could see what the end results would be. The first to be assembled was one big building, that would become "We Find It" Mine Site Headquarters. Her office would be moved out of Big Bertha and into a semi-permanent location.

There would be an office for Julie Summer as well and she would control access to Cassie.

The front entrance opened into a reception area with a waiting area and a reception desk. To the side of that area would be the security office with two rooms. The first would be general security and the second the office of Special Deputy US Marshal Clint Wilson. A hallway would open in front of security and reach all the way to the rear wall where there would be an alarm emergency.

Another central hallway would intersect the main hallway with multiple offices off each set of halls.

Cassie's door would have a sign that stated:

Cassandra Howly Howard, VP

Mineral Location and

Development

She had paid extra to get these building shipped and assembled. Tiny told her that the headhunting company had found a very likely prospect to become their Director of Mining Operation. At present Tiny and Cassie were doing that job together. That would be one more step to relieve the pressure she was under. She could stay, at most, another month.

The company was growing by leaps and bounds. From 38 employees at the beginning of summer they were now over 200. The official Company Headquarters was located in Sonora, Texas, her hometown where she would be spending most of her time for the next few years. Her Dad was there and was on their Board of Directors.

Their company by-laws were strictly drawn up. There was no age limit, in either direction, to sit on the board. Every member of the Board must own or control at least five percent of the stock of the company. Presently that was Tiny with forty-five percent, Cassie with twenty-five percent, George Howard five percent, and Wesley as director-elect of the employee association which held five percent, with twenty percent held in reserve by the company which Tiny could vote.

A prefab apartment building with ten apartments was being set up for female employees to have a place to live on site. Julie was thinking seriously about moving into one as she now slept in Bertha with Cassie during the week and went home to her family on weekends.

"Cassie, I'm going over to the setup area and talk to the person in charge. I'll find out how soon we can start moving in. We have an interview with Scott Whitehair tomorrow about the position of Director of Mining Operations. If the offices are not ready we will have to use Bertha and it really needs a good cleaning inside."

"Are you saying I'm sloppy, Julie?"

"No, I live here too, so it's not just you."

"Yes, you are right and that's one of the reasons we needed the offices."

"Using Bertha is like using an office in your home that was converted from the nursery, not very professional."

"Julie, remember you need to go to Bonners Ferry today to interview for the receptionist and office manager positions."

"Ouch, that going to be really good, I know everybody in town. They know me and they are just not going to have any respect for me and will not believe I can hire or not."

"Well you can until I say differently, just be impartial. Use your knowledge about them. You probably know all their little dirty secrets as well as their strengths. Look at it this way; it's your company, would you want that person working for you?

One more thing, document everything, any and all reasons for not hiring or hiring for a different position then the position they wanted. Oh, tell them, no matter your decision, they will be contacted later. Then fill out a letter with an envelope and send it with all the information to your uncle Joe Buckley to review."

"Tell him that you want to cover your legal position for failing to hire or to hire for another position. Let's see how he handles it."

"Mention a secret or two to each applicant, and then bring up the fact that they can't hide anything from you. Make sure you ask the hard question: 'Do you really want a job or not?'"

"Oh, one more thing Julie, you are no longer my Administrative Assistant, you are the Executive Administrative Assistant, and raise your salary to Six thousand a month. First thing in Bonners Ferry get yourself some business cards made up. Get a few right away to hand out at the interviews. Grab a couple of prepaid debit cards to be sure and have available money to pay for things"

"But but ... I have not been here two months yet!"

"Those times are guide lines, they are not law."

Julie wandered off slightly dazed. She was stumbling all over the place, her mind going in circles and not paying attention where she was walking. She started to fall and was jerked to an abrupt stop by a big hand grabbing her upper arm.

"Ms. Summer, are you trying to kill yourself? Wake up; you cannot be walking around where construction and moving equipment is running."

Her body had twisted as it came to such a quick stop and she was looking up at the sky and the silhouette of a man. He relaxed his grip but did not release her as he pulled her back to her feet. Then she saw him clearly. It was Clint Wilson, their head of security, a tall good looking man, about ten years older than her. She blushed at her thoughts but he was good looking.

"Oh, thank you Mr. Wilson, I was just shocked by what Cassie did."

"Cassie, huh? What did she do now give you a couple of million in gold to put in your socks?"

"Oh my god, that would be just like her wouldn't it? She treats it all like it was just metal. No she promoted me and gave me a raise!"

"I thought you were her Administrative Assistant? What did she promote you to, VP in charge of paperwork?"

"No but almost, she just made me the Executive Administrative Assistant."

"Hum, that's like Sergeant Major in the army. Well congratulations! I've been watching and you've earned it. Did you know that you have increased Cassie's effectiveness by over three hundred percent since you have been here?" With that, he turned and rotated her with him and waved at the buildings going up all over the mine site. He turned and looked at her, "Tell you what, this Friday I'll pick you up at your family home and we'll go out for a celebratory dinner."

"Egh, what? Me?" Her voice squeaked, "but I thought you and Cassie..."

Clint started laughing, "Me and Cassie? You do know I'm a Special Deputy US Marshal?"

After a pause Julie said."Yes I did but what's that have to do with dating Cassie, is it because she is one also?"

Clint wiped a tear from laughing so hard from his eye. "No Julie but I am really surprised you don't know, Cassie is only thirteen; there's nobody in the company young enough to date her. Most of the men don't even know her age but are scared to death of even thinking of dating her. Now all the interns think they are in love with her, but it's just overgrown admiration."

"THIRTEEN! You are kidding me, right?"

"Nope, Tiny told me once that he thought she was seventeen the first time he met her and that was when she was twelve. That is one amazing female but let me tell you she even scares me. Let's get back to the more important things, Friday night 2000?"

"YES! Oh yes I really want to celebrate."

"Okay, now be careful, we have a date this weekend."

She turned to walk away then stopped. What was she doing out here? Oh yes, finding out how soon they could start moving into the offices. With that she strolled toward the building supervisor.

An hour later she caught up with Cassie, "Cassie, they will have the office completed by tomorrow afternoon, which will be too late. How about catching Mr. Whitehair and setting the meeting in town. We could use the restaurant at the Casino. It's very nice."

"Good idea; I have something I need to do in town and tomorrow will be good time to do it. You go ahead and make the arrangements and plan to be with me. You take off for town now and spend the night with your family. When and where should I meet you tomorrow?"


The next morning, Cassie was up early to get instructions to everyone before she headed to Bonners Ferry. By the time she came back to the mine site everything would be ready.

This was one of the times Cassie really missed being able to see herself in a mirror. She scanned herself as closely as she could. The 360 degree vision was handy. She really needed to get her hair trimmed as it was getting a little raggedy in the rear. But the suit actually 'looked' good on her! The suit made her look in her twenties.

She put on a sturdy dress belt with her pants. The belt now supported her clipped on holster and her credentials. With her jacket just hanging unbuttoned neither was detectable by normal sight. She went by her home office and put a letter into her briefcase.

Outside Big Bertha her new Tahoe was waiting. Her shotgun was held fast by a clip on the dashboard. An M4 was in a carrying case that slid under her seat in the Tahoe. The only reason she could even get the M4 was because of her Special Deputy US Marshal appointment. Testing at their range near the Mill site had shown her that with her blind sight she was a fully qualified expert with all the weapons.

Getting in on the passenger side, she opened her briefcase and took out her backup, a Glock 27 that she wore in a holster in the small of her back with a standard 9 round magazine.

Her regular pistol was a Glock 23 with the full optional 17 round magazine on her right hip.

Cassie normally did not wear her backup but the first thing she did when she woke up this morning was to check out her backup to be sure it was loaded. To her that meant she was going to be carrying it. She used the .40 caliber and that meant all her magazines were interchangeable. Her extra magazines were all 17 rounds.

She figured if she needed the extra magazines then she needed the extra rounds as well. It was uncomfortable to sit in the car with the holster in the small of her back, but she'd rather be uncomfortable then out of bullets.

Clint walked over and got into the driver's seat. Turning to look at her, he studied her for a moment. "Cassie, why me today; you have gone to town many a time with Julie or one of the interns driving? But this morning you sent me word that you wanted me to drive today."

"Clint, I can sometimes see things before they really happen. Sometimes it's just a feeling. This time it's a feeling, but since I am going to fire our lawyer and transfer all his records to another lawyer and he might try to cause trouble, I will use that as an excuse instead of 'my gut'".

"Good answer, my gut has saved my ass a couple of times, 'my gut' is a great answer."

He drove out of the mine site and down to the ford. It took hardly any time before they were going down the County Road. Since the company trucks used the County Road so much they had made arrangements with the county to help pay the cost of maintaining the road, so the drive was much smoother than a normal county road.

"Clint when you get into town, head for the Commercial Office building downtown. Before we get there let's test the lights and siren." Cassie pointed at two switches on the dash.

He reached over and flipped both switches for a second or two. A siren began to howl and underneath the front grill red and blue lights began to flash. Then he turned them were off. "Okay! That worked."

They pulled into the parking lot and Cassie opened her briefcase and removed her parking signs that told everybody that this was her car; Special Deputy US Marshal Cassandra Howard.

Clint took his position to the rear left side of Cassie and his eyes scanned the street and roofline.

She pushed the door of the office building open and stepped inside. "Clint, someone was watching for us but I could not pinpoint them!"

"Damn, I felt something too."

They took the elevator up to the third floor. Stepping out of the elevator Clint spotted two men in work uniforms with a dolly waiting outside the lawyer's office.

The men, who had been slouching against a wall, stood straight on seeing them approach. "Ms. Howard, Peter Albright, Bonners Ferry Transfer and Storage, I was told to meet you here and wait until you arrived."

"Thanks, Mr. Albright; we will be just a minute. Do you have some boxes in case they are needed?"

"Yes Ma'am, we are a full service company, we will box it, load it, transfer it or store it."

"Well I am not sure what we will find, but I would like everything we move out to be boxed in your boxes, before they are moved. Do you know how to reach the mining site out off County Road 111?"

"Yes, ma'am, my brother went to work out there."

"Good, that's where you will deliver what you pick up here. Ask for Colossal and get his signature."

He grinned, "Yes Ma'am"

"Have you met Colossal?"

"Yes, he came over with my brother last weekend."

"Tell you what I changed my mind, take everything to Attorney Joe Buckley's office."

"YES MA'AM!"

"Let's do this Clint."

She opened the door and entered Arthur G. Washburn's office.

The neatly dressed and coiffured middle-aged receptionist looked up as they entered. "May I help you?"

"I am Cassandra Howly Howard. I am here to terminate the relationship between Mr. Arthur G. Washburn and our company 'We Find It' and to take into my possession all files, documents and any other possible assets of the said company that might be in Mr. Arthur G. Washburn's possession."

"Oh dear, one moment please." she reached for her intercom, but at that time the door into Washburn's inner office opened. He stood looking first at Cassie and then took a quick glance at Clint, but his eyes went back to Cassie and stayed.

He turned and entered his office saying over his shoulder, "Come on in."

They followed him. Along one wall were four cardboard filing boxes. He waved at the boxes as he took his seat behind his desk. "I was here all night being sure to pack up everything I could find that applied to your company. Ms. Howard, that box on the right has an unopened Fed Ex package addressed to you."

"I had nothing to do with instigating the events that led to me having that package. One of your crew showed up with a letter stating that I would pay him one thousand dollars for any documents that he would bring to me to hold. The letter was from a previously retained client. Upon my seeing who the package belonged to I took possession and put it in your company files."

"Wait, when we hired you were you already retained by the other company or client?"

"Yes and when you approached me I should have realized that a conflict of interest might arise and turned you down. That was my first mistake!"

"That statement leads to the question, what was your second mistake."

"Not severing my relations to my other client when I knew for sure there was a conflict of interest. My third mistake was not notifying you as soon as I took possession of your package."

"Hum, Mr. Washburn, you seemed to have covered all the bases. In these circumstances what would your advice be?"

"What I think you are already doing; terminate your legal relationship with my firm and take back possession of all materials in that I might have and retain another lawyer that has a cleaner reputation then mine."

"Mr. Washburn, you are very sharp. It's too bad that you could not keep your nose clean with us. Now I have some men that will take possession of those boxes and transfer them to storage. Would that be okay with you that they now enter your office."

He laughed, "Ms. Howard, I am regretting this more and more. You are recording this are you not? Your wording is impeccable leaving no doubt of what you mean."

Standing he said, "At your pleasure Ms. Howard." He waved at the boxes.

Peter Albright had re-loaded all the materials into his boxes and was out of the office in less than ten minutes.

"We will be leaving now, Mr. Washburn."

"One moment, Ms. Howard, I don't want you to make a mistake. I have heard through one of my contacts that there are some strangers asking about you. They appear to have some "heavy hitters" with them. I have nothing to do with them and, to the best of my knowledge, nobody that I am working with is working with them. Be careful."

"Thank you."

With that they left Washburn's office, hopefully never to see him again. "Clint?"

"We'll move very carefully. I don't know what you can do but whatever; we need to be on very high alert."

"I have to do three more things here in town. First get Julie, then go to Joe Buckley's office and finally meet with Mr. Whitehair."

"I sure hope the trouble can hold off until after the Whitehair interview. We really need a Director of Mining to take over running our mining operations."

The trip to get Julie was without incident as was the trip to her Uncle's office. They were very careful exiting the car and then walking into Joe Buckley's office. He was very pleased to see his niece.

"Excuse me a minute Ms. Howard." Then he picked up a file folder off his desk and handed it to his niece. "Caroline Staffer is a piece of work, she was trying to set you up for a sexual discrimination law suit. Good documentation, she still might sue but you have your ducks in a row."

"Now what can I do for you?"

"We would like to retain you as our local attorney for things like what you just did for your niece. We need to make sure we dot our 'I''s and cross our 'T''s."

"I thought you already had a local attorney?"

"We did until about forty five minutes ago. If you agree we have four boxes of materials in a truck out back."

"I heard some good things about your company and also some rumors that it's all a government cover-up for some military convert operations. Looking at who is passing those rumors on I am sure you are not. So, on thirty days probation on both parties part, I will agree. Bring in your boxes."

Cassie took out her cell phone and called Albright, "Peter, bring the boxes up to Joe Buckley's office."

"We have to run, Mr. Buckley. I have a meeting at the Casino Restaurant in forty five minutes. So I need to rush."

"They serve a mean rib-eye there, so don't let me hold you up."

The three of them exited the office and took the elevator down to the lobby. "Still clear Clint."

Cassie still felt watched, but her scans did not detect anyone who appeared to be taking any interest in them. Their arrival at the Casino was almost anti-climatic except that Julie had no idea what was going on around her.

The host at the restaurant recognized their party and seated them in a secluded area away from any windows, their preferred location.

"I have a guest, a Mr. Whitehair, coming. Please show him to our table when he arrives."

"Yes Ms. Howard, I will do so."

They sat at the table for awhile, conversing. Cassie came to the conclusion that Julie had again done her superb job interviewing the prospective new employees the night before. She felt like she was picking up the vibes between Julie and Clint.

She fought and succeeded in hiding her smile. Obviously while she had not been around they had begun to make friends and maybe more.

Cassie noticed that the host was headed their way, followed by a man with the slight appearance of a Native American. She stood, and of course the others did also.

The host lay a menu down in front of the vacant chair, nodded at her and then left.

"Mr. Whitehair?"

"Yes Ms. Howard?"

"I'm pleased to meet you. This is my Executive Assistant Julie Summer and my head of Security, Special Deputy US Marshal Clint Wilson."

"Deputy US Marshal?"

"Special Deputy US Marshal, I do not get paid by the government, it just gives me Federal Authority. That's a real help when working on Federal Land and near state and International Borders." Clint answered the implied question from Whitehair.

Cassie took over the conversation, "Mr. Whitehair I have read your resume and the Consulting firm's report that recommended you. I understand that you are retired from your previous employers. Why start up the hassle at a new company?"

"I retired at my previous company before I said something that would have gotten me fired. That way, I walked off with my entire pension and other benefits. I need them. I have three teenage children."

"Your resume and application mentioned you are a native to Idaho?"

"I am sure it also mentions I was born on the Nez Perce reservation. I attracted the attention of the tribal council and earned a scholarship to a very good school that had a degree program in mining engineering. That's what helped me find a good job in my home state. So that's where I've spent my whole career."

"What was the thing that you were afraid you were going to say that would have gotten you fired?"

"I could not let their slip-shod way of operating continue without objecting. The company had recently been bought out and the new owners were cutting back on safety, waste management, and the reporting of events to both OSHA and EPA."

"So, if you saw those same things in our company what would you do?"

"I would report them to upper management and if their policies were not changed, then I would again quit."

"Mr. Whitehair, what do you know about our company and our operation?"

The interview continued for over an hour. Near the end of the hour Cassie signaled the host and he sent a waiter over to take their orders. The drink order was without any alcohol. The rib-eyes were just as good as Joe Buckley had said.

Sitting back later, relaxing with coffee, Cassie opened the negotiation. "Mr. Whitehair, I liked your position on safety and pollution from mine waste. I hate what mining and oil/gas drilling can do to the surface, but we need the resources to keep civilization going."

"I am going to hire you if we can agree on the rest of the negotiation. What do you need in salary and benefits?"

"It really depends on what I am being hired to do?"

"Director of Mining Operations; you will be in control of all mining and milling on site. You will be in charge of all hiring and firing other than the Security and office workers. There are some employees that are not primarily mining employees and most will be leaving the site for other positions. They are old time employees and helped find and setup this mining operation. They will be going back to their primary work."

"We have five placer claim associations under contract to the Employee Association which is our answer to the miners union."

"All employee of our company are member of the Employee Association with one basic share in the EA. The company has the same one share as does each officer in the company. This Association holds five percent of the company. The original employees own the placer claims but pool their gold findings. We have contracts with those original employees that will allow the Company to take over the placer claims in the future.

At the present time the Employee Association has assets worth more than eight million dollars. For approximately 200 employees, that is forty thousand dollar per employee, but it's not that simple. Every new employee starts off at a different level on the asset division formula level. You would not start at that level, but I can guarantee that by this time tomorrow, if you agree, you will have at least a thousand dollars to your credit."

"Now what do you want?"

"Good health insurance for my whole family. We have no major illness in the family to my knowledge. I would also like a good pension plan and a salary of Two hundred thousand a year."

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