(Alright. Here's yet another joint story. This time, its a collaboration with capm. It's called An Ill Wind Blows. Enjoy!)
Chapter 1: The Offer
It is a nice sunny day, in Caracas, Venezuela. In this capital city, children hurry off to school, and citizens to work, as the clocks strike 8 AM.
This includes the Security Office of the President. Military personnel are changing shift, as they get ready to continue their job of protecting the President.
After the new shift has gotten a chance to settle in for the day, a strange telegram, originating from St. Kitts arrives. The receiving Sergeant reads it attentively, and then wonders if he should inform the Major in charge or not. This could be a hoax. But if it isn't, it would mean his head if he does not report it.
The Sergeant walks over to the Major's office, and knocks on the door.
"Enter!" commands the Major.
"Excuse me, sir! But we just received this telegram from a St. Kitts telegraph office!" replies the Sergeant, after he stands at attention, salutes the Major, and hands him the telegram.
"At ease!" barks the Major, as he returns the Sergeant's salute. He then reads the telegram, and a blank expression crosses his face. Surely, this is a joke, he thinks. No one can do what this individual claims! Or can they?
He is debating in his mind as to whether he should inform the President, when that decision is made for him, as the President himself enters into the office. The Major and Sergeant immediately snap to attention, and salute. The President returns the salute.
"At ease! As is my custom, I am here to review all telegram transmissions over the past week, to see if there are any that can be used effectively for propaganda purposes."
The Major responds, "El Presidente, we have received 10 or so telegrams this past week. This is the latest!" And the Major hands the telegram to the President.
The President sits down and begins to read the telegram. Slowly a smile grows on his face.
"Why this is PERFECT propaganda material! I can use this against the USA and implicate them in this plot!"
"Surely," the Major states, "we are not going to pay!"
"Of course not, Major! No one can do what the individual in this telegram states! That's what makes it perfect propaganda material! There is no risk to us, and it may very well give a diplomatic black eye to the USA!
"I must quickly get this to my Propaganda Minister, and then file a formal Diplomatic Protest with the United Nations!"
The President goes off quickly, humming happily to himself. A golden opportunity to cause the USA some diplomatic problems, he thinks gleefully.
But little does the Venezuelan President know, is that the President of the USA has ALSO received a similar telegram.
In Washington, DC, the Secret Service received the telegram at approximately the same time as Venezuela.
The Captain in charge reviews the telegram. With a serious expression on his face, he asks the delivering Corporal, "Have we checked the telegram office in St. Kitts to find out who is responsible for sending this?"
"Yes, sir!" replies the Corporal. "The telegram was paid for in cash, so no personal information was requested!"
"Sir? Do we need to let the White House contingent know about this?"
"I do not know! I am going to give this to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and he can decide what to do about this!"
"Yes, sir!" replies the Corporal, as he salutes and goes back to his post.
The Captain places a call to the Secretary's office.
"Hello? Yes! This is Captain Blainforth! I have an issue I think the Secretary should be aware of, before the Cabinet meeting with the President!…..Yes, I will be over in approximately 10 minutes!"
Captain Blainforth hands the telegram to the Secretary of Homeland Security, who immediately starts to read it.
"Is this someone's sick idea of a JOKE, Captain?" growls the Secretary.
"We really don't know, sir! All we know is that the telegram was sent from St. Kitts and was paid for in cash!"
The Secretary debates in his mind as to whether to tell the President or not. After musing for about five minutes, he decides that he will tell the President, but AFTER the Cabinet meeting. He doesn't want to look like a Chicken Little to the other Secretaries, if this is a hoax, but he also doesn't want to lose his position if it isn't, and didn't inform the President.
"I'll handle this from here, Captain!" the Secretary says. The Captain salutes, and returns to his desk.
The Cabinet meeting goes off as always, later that day. After the meeting, the Secretary of Homeland Security asks the President if he can see him, one on one. The President agrees.
"Mr. President, we received this telegram earlier this morning. It may be a hoax, but it may not be! We have been unable to verify the authenticity of the telegram, or identify the author, outside of the signature noted."
The President slowly reads the telegram.
"This appears to be a hoax! The deadline for payment is two days from today! Of course, we won't pay, and let's see what happens!"
The deadline comes and goes, and nothing happens. Both Venezuela and the USA are sure this was a hoax. But on an island in the tropical mid Atlantic, steps are now in progress to carry out the threat.
"So! The fools refuse to pay my "fee"! Very well! I need to show them what Anne Cumulus can do!"
So saying, Dr. Cumulus goes into her complex from her private apartment. She walks through a large factory type building to a Control Room, where her Lieutenants await.
"Good morning, Anne! I take it our demands weren't met?" asks Seida.
"You are correct, Seida! The fools wouldn't pay us the money! So now we shall extract our "pay" from their oil-fields!"
"Conditions aren't right for a tropical depression to form off of the African coast, Anne, right now, but should be by the end of the week!"
"Excellent, Georgia! Because we didn't strike immediately after our demands weren't met, we should catch Venezuela and the USA completely off guard when we strike next week!
"Mabel! Start the hot air making equipment of our string of islands! I want them at maximum strength so that we strike with a hurricane of 300 MPH winds or greater!"
"Right away, Anne! I'll call the island stations and give the go ahead to ramp the equipment up!"
Dr. Cumulus smugly exits the Control Room and heads toward her private apartment.
"Soon the whole world will know that Dr. Anne Cumulus is a threat to be taken seriously!" she thinks to herself.
It is just before lunch, when Jerry receives the telegram from Washington, after the deadline. Also, thanks to an agent in Venezuela, he has received a copy of the Venezuelan telegram as well. The President of the United States wants WOOHP to apprehend the individual who tried to extort money, with this hoax. But Jerry isn't so sure this IS a hoax.
The USA telegram reads:
"To the President of the United States:
Deposit $10 Billion in the Swiss Bank Account noted, before the end of the month, or I will unleash a hurricane of monstrous proportions on the Gulf of Mexico, destroying your oil producing capability!
/s/ Dr. Cumulus"
The Venezuelan telegram was identical, except for a demand of $20 Million "protection money".
Jerry calls in the head of WOOHP labs, Dr. Quincy, to see if they can develop anything to thwart the threat, if it is real.
"Dr. Quincy, this may be a hoax," Jerry starts, as he hands the telegrams to his old field partner, "but if it is not, we have to see if we can stop this threat!"
"Well, Jerry," replies Dr. Quincy, as he finishes reading the telegrams, and gives them back to Jerry, "fooling with Mother Nature can have unintended side effects, some of which can be very hazardous!"
"I understand, but a hurricane larger than a Category 5 could kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, depending on where it would strike! And the damage would be in the Trillions!"
Dr. Quincy thinks for a short time. "You're right, Jerry! If we don't try to stop this thing, and it is real, far too many will die! I'll get my best people working on this right away!" Dr. Quincy stands, and leaves the office for the lab.
Jerry knows he'll need his best spies to thwart this threat BEFORE it occurs, if it is real. And he needs them now!