Lucifers Semi-Final Conclave -- Part 25
Silver Springs, MD Lunchtime, Monday
Christy Bales sometimes stopped by her ‘mission’ moonlight job during weekday lunchtimes. She and Jennifer were well liked there, because of their volunteer work, and when tired of the park, they would stop in to just swap howdies.. She almost did so today. Almost. By first entering the lingerie shop in the block behind the mission. She had often shopped there. Her favorite lingerie shop was owned by a high school friend, and was only a few paces across the alley from the rear of the mission, She had sometimes went directly from the back storeroom of the mission to the back of the lingerie shop, and knocked .. And Pam, the proprietor whose office was right beside the rear door would admit her with a smile. Likewise, Pam would open the rear door to save her the long trip around the block when she exited. It was almost lunchtime at Rocksense.
This was far from a normal day for Christine Bales today. She had not planned on visiting the mission for lunch nor buying new panties today at all. Yet she ALMOST did both.
Christy was spooked today. This morning at her job, she had been questioned extensively about Phillip Warren by three agency men, two of whom she had never seen.
During the hour long inquisition, subjects from Jennifer to Phil and even Danielle and Bill Meacham were broached. They almost made her forget how to think clearly. But Christy is far from a dummy.. Leaving the parking lot at Rocksense for lunch today, she turned directly toward the mission. There was a car that closely followed her out of the lot, but turned the opposite direction. As she watched in the rear view, the car only went a few car lengths and turned into an adjacent lot. Immediately, a brown sedan came from that lot and turned in her direction. She slowed purposely, and managed to miss the green light at the first intersection, she pretended to brush her hair using the rear view, as the brown sedan stopped behind her. Two men in suits she observed. One vaguely looked like one of her inquisitors, she thought. The light changed, and the adjacent traffic lane proceeded. She brushed and primped until all six cars in the adjacent lane had cleared the intersection. The brown car waiting behind sat patiently. Finally, the cars behind it had began honking.. She ‘woke up’ and scurried across just when the light changed yellow. The brown car barely made the light, and was still on her tail. She well knew the tactics. Flush the rabbit and run it to it’s hole. The inquisition was the flush, but she was not going near her safe place, not now, thank you very much. She turned into Chik Fila, which was her usual. The brown sedan continued on. She went through the drive through, and got her lunch. She looked carefully all around as she exited, but no brown sedan… She continued to the small park where Jennifer and she often went for lunch. As she parked and was walking to her favorite bench… well.. Looky yonder… a brown sedan with two guys inside was parked several cars up, directly across the street. She mentally flipped them a plethora of birds, and sat at her favorite bench, and enjoyed her sandwich and orange juice. When she was done, she decided she would do some trolling. She pulled her cell phone from her purse. She had been a regular visitor to this bench for several months. This area never had more than 3 bars on her early device, but… Behold 5 bars… Mr. Harris’s Stingray I presume… she said to herself…I saved a few birds for you… She dialed a number at random, and pressed send… After 5 rings, a man’s voice answered… She excitedly exclaimed, …I have to talk to you NOW… the jig is up… and then hit disconnect. She then walked quickly to her car. The brown sedan, was parked going the opposite direction from her… she cranked up and took off rapidly. In the rear view, the brown sedan made a U turn and followed. She smiled as she made a right, went a few blocks and pulled into the employee parking lot at Rocksense.. And went back to work… Yep, the brown sedan pulled into the Rocksense visitors lot.. Just before she buzzed in the door with her transponder. She thought to herself, well this COULD wait until Danielle’s call on Saturday, but lemme think on it a bit…
As Clive and Danielle walked into Moe’s Auto Parts Emporium, Clive was howdied by--- you guessed it…Moe Treacher, himself. Moe was well known and appreciated by most small shops from Boulder City down to Searchlight. If he didn’t have it he could have it in by the next day noon, or tell you where to get it today. Moe had been in business for 25 years here. He had 11 employees in his store plus a full time gofer. ‘Who’s woman did you steal today, Clive? He winked. This is Phoebe Mergenhagen from Tucson, an old high school chum of Alex’s up for a visit, he said. Moe said howdy, ma’am.. Better be careful…Clive may only have one arm, but he’s faster than greased lightning with the one he does have. She smiled her million watt smile, and nodded. Moe looked to Clive.. So what’s happening? Well, Ken bought a truck from a couple down in Searchlight. They had run low on funds courtesy of the casinos. It is a real POS, been sitting 10 years. Ken liked it though, so he ran the title, came back clean… The woman owned it outright. Buffy is taking it easy now, due to her pregnancy, so he gave her buddy here a wad of cash, and asked me to drive her up here to get this filled… He handed him the list… Moe flipped through the list and whistled…I’ll put my guys on it… but its gonna take a couple of hours… Yall go kill some time and come back, OK? … OK said Clive and as they left, he said.. Watch him, Phoebe… He may be old and ugly, but he’s quick.. They smiled.
They went to the SUV.. Bree said, we may as well go to an insurance agency to buy some insurance while we are waiting, then up to DMV to get title transferred and tags…Look, there’s insurance right there. They got back out and walked a few hundred feet to the agency. Bree explained she needed only State minimum required Liability, no collision… She produced her new license, the truck title and waited. The agent swiped her new license on his terminal, and started writing, occasionally asking questions… He finally said… Perfect driving record for 10+ years…not even a citation, wow that is unusual… congratulations.. That earns you a gold star rate.. Other drivers? Yes, primarily my husband Horace.. But there may be others, occasionally, is that OK? Yes, so long as they are licensed and over 25. That will do, said Danielle. Six months or a year for now.? .. A year, please.. . He hit a few keys and printed the receipt and the temporary cards.. Your policy will be mailed to you in a few days… these will get your Registration and Tags at DMV… Anything Else? How much? She asked.. $477.33, he said… She paid, picked up the paperwork, and they left for the Henderson Satellite DMV office… An hour and 10 minutes later and 765 dollars poorer they walked out of the DMV, with temporary title and registration in hand with metal tags, and of course a paper receipt for $525 of sales tax paid, including, of course ,‘other fees‘. They shook their heads… Danielle looked at a grimacing Clive -- Well…I, as a faithful servant of big brother, am grateful that Phil and I now have the proper response when they demand -- “papers, please” … It’s much preferable to the alternative, dontcha think?
They then returned to check the progress at Moes. He was standing beside 3 huge boxes of parts and 14 gallon jugs of various liquids… he said, pointing to three items he had lined in red on the list, these three are in Boulder City at the Ford dealer… You can drive over, or I can have them here by tomorrow noon… all the rest is here… he pointed again to the small mountain of parts. Clive looked at Phoebe who replied---let’s go get them, Clive.. Well, you heard the lady, Moe… show her the bill.
He hit a few keys on his computer. Somewhere under the counter, a printer began singing it’s song… for a LONG time.. When it finally quit, he reached down, placed one hand over his eyes, and handed her the sheaf of papers. The top page of the stack revealed a total of 2416.12… she reached in her concealment purse and started dealing C notes on the counter. When she got to 24, she reached in her wallet for a single 20. Moe handed her the change with an apologetic look, and called to two of his employees, pointed to the pile of parts and stuff, then to their SUV. They said their goodbyes, and thanks, and went to supervise the loading.
As they returned to the SUV, Bree asked if there was a high end furniture store in Henderson… Well, not really, Clive said, but there is in Boulder… If we are going to the Ford place there anyway, we can check it out… Five minutes later, the parts were loaded, and away they went… A few minutes later Danielle looked over and said.. Clive, I’m hungry.. Pick us a good place, and I’ll buy your lunch… Sounds great Danielle, I seldom pass up a lunch date with a lady, especially when shes paying, he said…
She just smiled…
Back in Silver Springs, MD
The two suits who had been tailing Christy were puzzled indeed, as they sat in their car in the visitor’s parking lot at Rocksense. They replayed the recording several times… each double checked the number she had dialed…yet again .. One said… now, how in the hell could he be wrapped up in this? We need to call home… They are not going to like this one damned bit… lets recheck everything again… to make sure there’s no mistake….
Hmm.. It seems that the fickle finger of fate has really rattled the applecart somehow, doesn’t it… or, perhaps, one of that plethora of mental birds Christy cast at them at the park hit home? Hmmm, interesting….
Boulder City, NV
Something is bothering Clive, Danielle thought… He has been unusually quiet in the last 15 minutes. He smiled as they turned into a street that ran near the Dam, and proceeded to a bluff area which overlooked lake Mead. Like Italian? He asked… Of course, she said, as they parked in front of a small restaurant with a nearly full parking lot… Wow, exclaimed Danielle… What a view.. As she looked over the huge expanse of blue crystal clear water that snaked between canyons and extending to the distant mountains.
They managed a booth near the glass front of the building that had a great view of the lake, as well as the scenic walkway outside, which Danielle had earned from the hostess with a simple request, and of course the 20 that she requested it with. Once seated the waiter queried them for drinks. Tea for me, Clive uttered… Danielle said.. Well, since he’s driving I would like a White Zinfandel, She grinned… They sat for a moment, perusing the menu… Clives bummed out for sure.. She mused. After they had ordered, Clive looked about the inside, and said … nice place, this… haven’t been here for a couple of years, actually.. You will like it… Already do, she said.. Wonderful view…
Think about it.. Here is a 40 yo grizzled Ranger vet, 230 pounds, 6 2’. Has seen and caused more deaths than are in a large cemetery, and eaten more snakes than most have seen… He’s seen it all….. He has his feelings and personal memories locked inside a steel vault… Protected with more armor than an Abrams tank carries. Thus he has not seen any one who can make him say “uncle” … YET.
But it’s coming..
ANND, ladies and Gentlemen -- in this corner we have-- Brigdht. Nature’s healer.. She has a PHD in Psychology, and is just now awakening to her flesh mission. She weighs in at 112, soaking wet, and measures just a finger thickness over 5 feet. In addition, she is a well seasoned mental quick-draw expert… Ding, goes the bell…
Clive had been following the antics of a young couple sitting outside, enjoying the view. The guy was dressed in crisp army fatigues with their bottoms tucked neatly into shiny boots. The girl was a fresh faced, laughing, lass. They were obviously joined in spirit with each other, maybe even newly weds. They were having fun, as only the young can truly do… Danielle was sipping her wine, interpreting Clives facial expressions as he observed the couple. When his eyes glanced down at the stub of his left arm, then back to the couple with nearly closed eyes, she struck. The blow was devastating to Clive, who had inadvertently opened his armored vault for a quick peek inside .
Danielle reached across the table, and placed both her small hands over his clinched fist, resting on the table near the window sill. Clive was startled, and looked up in surprise. With her gaze firmly on his eyes, she unfolded his hand, placing her fingers between his.
Would you like to talk about her? She asked. The blow shook Clives large body down to his toes. When he recovered slightly, He looked again out the window at the couple.
Slowly, he turned to Danielle, and she noticed immediately the departing of bad memories from his face, attempting to reenter the steel vault he had so long maintained… He managed… It’s a long story, Bree..
Danielle replied.. Clive, we have plenty of time… We have not even picked up the parts yet, and after that, it’s a good hour’s drive to get home…
Just then the waiter appeared with their food… at this interruption. Clive smiled, well lets eat for now, it will give me time to figure out the best way to begin… She smiled at him, removing her hands from his with a final pat on his now open palm… That’s a Deal, she said.. I’m famished… Outside, the couple walked to their car, arms around each others waist… ding ding ding ding … Clive had thrown in the towel for the second time…as once again a woman had him with both his shoulders pinned to the mat …
Phil was done. The hussy was even grinning as he had managed to remove all the bird lime, dirt dobber nests and much of the chalky paint from both the truck and the camper. The hussy looked much better. Although he had done a decent job inside the truck cab, detailing the dash and leather upholstery of the seats, He had not yet done any cleaning inside the camper. He had explored in there, though, and was impressed with thoughtful design and layout… It actually had every convenience that a small one bedroom apartment might have, though in much smaller size. Their bed was nearly standard queen sized, however, with the mattress located over the truck cab, accessed with a small ladder for access, When stored, its steps pivoted to provide additional, but temporary kitchen counter area. It had a small propane refrigerator, a two burner stove top with oven below, a small sink with electric pump. A small bathroom complete with a ’sit down’ (on the commode) shower and small sink with another electric pump for increased pressure. The bathroom ‘door’ when closed had a set of 4 shelves on its outside for storage of whatever. A full lengfh metal mirror was hinge mounted on the outside of the shelves, which served also to prevent items stored in the shelves from dislodging and falling during travel, as well as a door to access the items. There was even a small closet directly across from the bathroom door, for hanging long garments. There seemed to be sorage cabinets every where inside, and there were small windows wherever possible. It had a 5 gallon propane water heater, as well as a heater inside the camper for room heating. The lighting and water pump power for the camper ran on the trucks 12 volt battery system. There was also an 120 volt inverter which powered 4 sockets for using normal 120 v items.
And, there was more, he just had not found it all yet.
He had dutifully allowed Buffy two 15 minute breaks outside so far.. He noticed that she had bravely reappeared again, just now, with a couple of thick sandwiches , a large bag of chips, and a pitcher of tea on a tray. She pulled a small table up to the two chairs, had a seat, poured herself some tea and pointed to the second chair… Phil smiled, wiping his hands on a clean rag…
Silver Springs, Md..
Christy Left work at the usual time… Her job at Rocksense required her to be clerk to both the third and fourth floors, and occasionally, but seldom to deliver memos to the fifth (top floor).
Very interesting day today, she mused… This morning, I got interrogated… and After lunch, several biggies swarmed often between the fifth and third floor. Some times the same were together, sometimes there were different people in the small groups…
She was of course completely unaware of the tumult her short random call had instigated. The fickle finger of fate does indeed answer in coincidental and strange ways on occasion.. That number, you see, just happened to be a very private cell number which had been carefully protected and scrubbed from all records… it belonged to #6...
She had been thinking… though.. She went by her small apartment, grabbed her hiking stick and the unused burner phone she had purchased from staples last Saturday when Phil called the mission. She had bought two then… thinking of the security two of anything afford… She checked to make sure the number she had entered into it as Jennifer was talking to Danielle was still there. Satisfied, she stuffed it into her hiking shorts, and drove to Annapolis for an afternoon stroll near the water… Nice Afternoon she thought, as she started her hike…
To be continued:
The previous part 24 is here: