Fire & Ice: A Love Story”, Ch. 37: Thomas’ and Caroline’s Division Team Think they have a Breakthrough, 7/20/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #235
An Original Story Copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace
(all rights reserved)
[I will illustrate my story with images of actors representing my ‘dream cast’–including Richard Armitage and Anne Hathaway for the lead characters of Thomas and Caroline, respectively, as noted in the image credits. There are also images of Brian Protheroe for Martin, Mary McDonnell for Mary, Seth Green for Todd, Raven Symone for Fiona, and Logan Lerman for Allen. The images representing Trevor are stock photos from MS Office Clip Art.]
[(1) Fire & Ice story logo left]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Fire & Ice” is a romantic thriller. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes and some passages involving intrigue and some violence. I will label those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings I provide, then please don’t read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Story Recap: Thomas and Caroline are on the Northwest Limited train heading to the Northwestern U.S. They keep to their cabin mostly to avoid Trevor’s natural exuberance causing them undo attention.
“Fire & Ice”, Chapter 37: Thomas’ and Caroline’s Division Team Think they have a Breakthrough Wednesday Morning
Martin convenes a morning meeting of the SA’s [(2) below] 24 hrs into crisis mode early on Wednesday morning. Many of them have been working nearly round the clock, crashing on some cots he had brought it. And their wrinkled clothes and untidy hair signal the level of stress they are all under as they file into the conference room.
Martin: “So, everyone has been combing our project archives the last 24 hours. Has anything remotely suspicious turned up?” He asks ominously.
Allen: Wisecracking, he says. “Martin, we’re in the business of suspicious. It could be anything.” He shakes his head ruefully. As the newish kid on the block, he doesn’t have the seasoned reasoning skills–nor historical insights that many of the longer term SA’s have.
Todd: “There might be something, or it could be a dead end.” He looks fatigued and drained.
Martin: “We’re not ruling anything out. Let’s get it on the table.”
Todd: “It’s just that we’ve noticed some unusual economic downturns in Eastern Europe and the ‘stans’ countries coinciding with greater unrest.”
Mary: “What’s so unusual about that? The two tend to go hand in hand. And the social service agencies are moving in to try to assist the individuals hit hardest by this.”
Todd: “That’s the thing, Kamirastan shouldn’t be having monetary difficulties. They just received U.S. and UN aid, and a new sport shoe factory is being built which will reduce unemployment by half–especially when additional factories are opened for a car manufacturer and a clothing distributor. Their economy should be turning around, but it isn’t.”
Fiona: “Do you suspect someone or a group of people are siphoning off funds into their own pockets?”
Todd: “I do. Embezzlement on a far grander scale than what has been seen before–in the billions of dollars.”
Martin: “Had you brought this issue to Thomas’ attention?”
Todd: “Yes, he and I were getting ready to discreetly alert the U.S. State Department and the UN–and suggest that they employ a forensic accountant. But Thomas wanted to review the materials once more before making such a bold move. In fact, he had taken some files home to read with him Monday night.”
Fiona: “And he would have had to have had Wendt’s prior approval to remove those files from the office.”
They all look at each other in shock. Could this crisis really be about money–not ideology or jihads, just plain old everyday greed?
Mary: “No Division files were found at Thomas’ and Caroline’s apartment. So either the killers of their neighbor Mrs. Burns took tem–or Thomas still has them with him.”
Knocking on the conference room door, Martin motions to him and Bernie joins them.
Martin: “Have you placed the messages?” Bernie nods.
Allen: “Has there been any response yet?
Bernie: “No. But if Thomas and Caroline are still traveling and avoiding towns, they might not have been able to find a local library or internet café to access the internet with anonymously. Still, I have placed coded messages on the usual public sites they might visit. Only Thomas will know that they’re from us.”
Martin: “We have another problem.” The SA’s look at him worriedly. “Peter Wendt is still missing–as is Paul Foster.”
Mary: “The cover story we have out is that they are attending high level meetings in DC.”
Fiona: “But what about their families? Do they know anything?”
Mary: “Mrs. Wendt said her husband told her that he was going to meet someone from his team that evening. And then he never returned.”
Allen: “What about Mrs. Foster?”
Todd: “Sticky proposition there. They’re divorced and haven’t been in contact with each other for over a year. It seems Foster was unfaithful to her.”
Fiona: “Then the ex Mrs. Foster should have no compunction telling us about her husband’s activities. She and her attorneys may have even uncovered something during the divorce negotiations.”
Martin: “You’re thinking unusually large payments that no one can explain.” He nods his head.
Todd: “I’ll check into whether either of them had off shore accounts.”
Martin: “Speaking of which, Bernie, has Thomas accessed his off shore accounts for funds?”
Mary: “Good, less ability for whomever is orchestrating this to track them.”
Martin: “Alright. Todd, you and I are going to conference call the U.S. State Department and then the UN about the possible embezzlement in Kamirastan. If it comes to light anyway, then there would be no need to silence Thomas and Caroline. It could diffuse the situation entirely.”
Allen: “But how will it come to light? Won’t the State Department keep it a secret?” He asks naively.
Fiona: “Allen, you’re the internet and social media guy. Can anything be kept from going viral on the net if people want to know about it?”
Allen: “Not really.” He winces. Then it dawns on him what they are asking of him. “Oh!”
Martin: “Allen, you understand that the leaked information can’t be traceable back to the company–back to us. Work with Bernie on that.” Allen and Bernie nod to each other. “Mary and Fiona, delve more deeply into Kamirastan and its key players–in and outside of the government.” They nod. “Todd, you’re with me. We’re conferencing this call to the State Department now.”
Everyone leaves to attend to their tasks–hoping against hope that they are not too late. And they hope that Thomas and Caroline and Trevor can be spared from any retaliation.
To be continued with Chapter 38
(1) Fire & Ice Story Logo is a composite of MSOffice Clip Art images:
fire (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=fire&ctt=1#ai:MP900438774|mt:2| ); block of ice (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=ice&ctt=1#ai:MP900402236|mt:2| ); and a heart (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=heart&ctt=1#ai:MP900399589|mt:2| ), 5/13/12grati
(2) Image of Thomas’ Division Team is comprised of the following actor portraits:
Image representing Martin is that of British actor Brian Protheroe and was found at http://www.brianprotheroe.co.uk/Brian_Protheroe/Brian_Protheroe.html;
Image representing Mary is that of American Actress Mary McDonnell portraying Laura on Battlestar Galactica and was found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lz9THa5gdMk/TWmtypjKBCI/AAAAAAAAWJc/KUWTvZfn3NU/s400/laura_l.jpg;
Image representing Todd is that of American Actor Seth Green and was found at
Image representing Fiona is that of American Actress Raven Symone and was found at http://images.wikia.com/suitelife/images/2/23/Galleria.jpg;
and Image representing Allen is that of actor Logan Lerman and was found at http://www.zimbio.com/Logan+Lerman
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