Supernatural Science Fiction posted March 10, 2011 Chapters: Prologue -1- 2... 

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Henry and 'Tas scope out Two Rivers

A chapter in the book Weapon

Getting To Work

by SeLF

We had all the pickup's windows open and several bottles of electrolyte drinks, plus water. Because of heavy summer traffic, we took our time getting to our destination, stopping at the highway rest stops to stretch our legs, using the public restrooms, and refilling the water bottles. As we moved farther north, the air became slightly cooler and drier, much to our relief. At one rest stop, the two of us stood together, wordlessly, and faced into a brisk breeze, and just breathed deeply of the fresh, green-scented air.

Henry had studied a city map of Two Rivers to find us affordable accommodations close to the centre of town called The Traveller's Motel. We could move in every direction from that location. The place wasn't fancy, but it was impressively clean, comfortable, and had everything we needed, including a kitchen. Henry had brought a laptop from the Citadel and a pay-and-talk, untraceable cell phone for communicating with the Citadel staff.

After we both showered, I applied some olive oil-based skin cream to the scar tissue on his back and over his heart. Some prickly heat rash had developed around the ridges of some of the lash scars due to sitting in the warm truck for hours, but the injured tissue had improved dramatically since I had started this daily ritual with him.

We both stretched out on the bed to rest for a bit before going out for supper. We didn't realize we'd fallen asleep until the boisterous occupants of a unit a couple of doors down returned from their day at the beach. We dressed in light, comfortable clothing and set out on foot with our cameras, to find a good restaurant. After a delicious Italian meal at a place called Rossi's, we did a walking tour of the heart of the town. I liked what I saw and took numerous pictures. There were many individual shops and restaurants. Book stores. A movie theatre. Live music venues and bars. Specialty boutiques. Apartment buildings were interspersed with the businesses. Along the streets that branched off from the main downtown thoroughfares were small, older, but well-maintained homes. The centre of Two Rivers was a mini-city within a bigger one. There wasn't a big box store in sight. Henry told me those were located in the outer, greater suburban sprawl of Two Rivers. The population was slightly over one hundred thousand people and, even on a light traffic day, it could take you a good hour to drive from one side of town to the other.

As there were still a couple of hours of daylight left, Henry wanted to show me a place of interest to us. We drove to the outskirts of the west side of Two Rivers. At the farthest point in a cul-de-sac named Sunset Vista, Henry coasted to a stop. He pointed to a large property surrounded by a high, stone fence. Just like Lee's. There was a wrought-iron electric gate. Not quite like Lee's, but close. It had security cameras facing the road, one on each side of the gate. On the stone fence to the right of the gate was a black metal plaque with the street number in gold, 224610.

"Well, Henry, I guess having a Fibonacci series for an address number would certainly help you remember it."

He grinned, but then added, "We can't sit here too long. This sturdy, blue-collar truck is a little conspicuous in this neighbourhood of luxury cars. Can you see anything from your window, any movement?"

Through the gate, I could see part of what had to be a vast, green, well-manicured lawn. Some underground sprinklers were running. I didn't have a broad enough perspective to see anything like a driveway or garages. Beyond the top of the stone fence, I could see, in the distance, the upper storey windows and roof of the mansion. It was green, like the roofs of Canada's parliament buildings in Ottawa. I took photos of what was visible, trying to be careful and not be pressured to hurry because of the encroaching dusk.

"There's not much I can see, which is by design, I'm sure. The security cameras have probably recorded the presence of our ride. That's why I didn't get out to take pictures; hopefully, with our hats and sunglasses, our faces are obscured. I wonder if they get many lookie-loos stopping to admire how the top five percent live."

When we drove away from the mansion on Sunset Vista, we didn't encounter any vehicles, in either direction. Not one. I found that unsettling.


It was nightfall when we got back to the motel. We settled into bed with the laptop and read an E-mail from Adam. The message said that, even in Two Rivers, there was next to no knowledge of The Cadre by the general population. One council member, and possibly the mayor, knew of its presence because of mutual business connections. Apparently, all applications for things like water and utilities, building permits, even internet, TV, land-lines and cell phones for the mansion and its staff had been done by one person. The legal owner of the mansion and property was a new-age personal growth business called Chart Your Path. The official contact person was Ms Melora Mulvey. There was only a cell number, no address. We assumed Ms Mulvey lived at 224610 Sunset Vista.

We both jumped when Henry's cell rang. It was Adam.

"We were just reading your E-mail. Thanks."

"You're welcome. Did you see anything interesting today?"

Henry put the phone on speaker so I could participate.

"We found the property on Sunset Vista. 'Tas took some pictures which we'll send you after this call."

"Okay. I just wanted to give you a very short list of businesses in town that require many workers. One is a huge vegetable and fruit farm, and the other is a manufacturing plant of modular homes which get shipped to Japan. The farm is called Good Health Fruit And Produce. The plant is named Green Homes. It all sounds very benevolent and environmentally friendly, doesn't it?" he asked sardonically.

"Makes a favourable impression on the community," was Henry's reply.

Then I asked, "I'll bet you're struggling to find ownership names for these businesses, but I'm sure there must be managers or supervisors that we can try to contact."

"You're right about the 'untouchable' aspect. There's a small army of management and legal eagles buffering the people behind it all. Here are a couple of names. Patrick Entwistle was an orchardist for twenty-five years before the bank foreclosed on his property. He now works as the farm foreman. Barney Grier was a building contractor whose own business folded when he was caught cutting corners by using materials not up to code, and ignoring safety regs. Given the downturns in their own professional lives, they might not question the sources of their labour force. I'll send you their business numbers right away."

"You wouldn't happen to know who Melora Mulvey is?" I asked.

"Yes I would, and it took only a bit of digging. Melora Mulvey is the daughter of one of The Cadre founders. Her father is Chetwyn Spears, who made his millions from gold and silver mines he owns in Africa. She will be the sole heir to his fortune, but uses her deceased mother's maiden name to avoid the immediate connection to her famous, in money circles, father."

"Anything else you can tell us about her?"

"She really has studied and trained in the area of human growth and potential. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology. Up and coming members of The Cadre being groomed for bigger things sign up for her courses just like many business owners. Yet. . . I don't know. . . from what I've learned about her, I doubt she agrees with the nutty and elitist philosophy behind her father's group. It seems her work is highly respected and admired by other psychologists, and by people who have taken her courses. Perhaps she could be a way in, a chink in the stone wall."

"Thanks, Adam. 'Tas and I will drive by these businesses tomorrow just to get a view of things. Then, we'll try to connect by phone with the numbers you send us. Maybe we'll inquire about any job openings. We'll keep you posted about our meeting these gentlemen, or not. I think you and Matt should prepare to join us here in the next couple of days. I'll see if there's a vacancy here at The Traveller's."

"Sounds good. I'll tell Matt when I see him tomorrow."

"I have one last question," I said. "How's Arthur?"

Adam hesitated briefly before answering as though he were carefully framing what he had to say.

"I think what you and Henry are doing has given him a sense that something real is being done. I mean, he knows the Mounties are investigating, but he's not privy to that process. You two are his friends, part of his extended family. He is convinced that there is some connection between the two deaths and the secretive activities of The Cadre. And, I'm inclined to agree with him.

"Today, he seemed to have regained some of his energy; he even helped me with this research. The day after tomorrow he goes for his basic driver's licence written and practical tests. So, for most of tomorrow he'll be with Matt practising his left turns, parallel parking, skid control, and stopping on a dime!"

Henry and I smiled at that. We both knew Arthur, in time, was destined to be a great driver, of any vehicle, under any weather or road conditions. Matt would see to that.

"We'll talk to you again, Adam. Give our best to everyone there," said Henry.

"Good night, thanks, and take care," I added.

Within a minute we had the contact numbers. Then I E-mailed the pictures along with brief descriptions. By the time Matt and Adam arrived, they would already have some visual references which would make it easier to navigate around the downtown area.

"Henry, I think we made a good start today, but I wasn't trained in reconnaissance. How do you feel about today?"

He snuggled closer. "We've made headway. But I think the next couple of days will reveal even more. When Matt and Adam get here, the real grunt work will begin. I don't have to tell you it could be very dangerous. We don't have the accessibility of the Citadel to use for any rescues we might make. So, first thing tomorrow, we'll locate the nearest hub of the Underground Railway which could take people on very short notice."

He smiled that sweet, entrancing smile. "But, we'll deal with that in the morning; now, it's time for a good night's rest."

I chuckled into the hollow of his throat when he snuggled even closer.


Henry and 'Tas begin gathering information about suspected activities of the secretive and elitist group known as The Cadre.
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