You know who they are! Sentinel on Soundingboard duties and CajunBear finding my faults. Thanks Guys!
Chapter 47 Landslide
Everything in the room screamed 'MONEY'. From the hand rubbed blond oak trim work and Corinthian leather upholstered chairs to the almost silk like deep plush carpeting and ten thousand dollar Armani and Savile Row suits; which is why the person sitting at the head of the table looked totally out of place.
While his outlet clothing seemed to place him in the middle class, there was absolutely no doubt of who was in charge. The men around the table all looked a little green and more than slightly worried. Maybe it was the teal eyes of his brunette paramour, with her arms crossed, slightly behind and to his left, boring holes into them. Maybe it was the fact that the large, obviously armed, man standing protectively just to his right looked ready and willing to visit them with violence. It might have even been the cadre of equally well-dressed lawyers standing behind him!
"Gentlemen, my Father is not even buried! And you think that just because you happen to be the Board of Directors of Senior Industries-North and South American operations, that you can act as if you are the sole owners. I remind you that Father held 50% of all stock. And upon his death, it passes to ME!"
No, it was the icy pale blue eyes glaring at the assembled men around the incredibly expensive hand lacquered teak table that had them sick in their stomachs.
"Years ago, my Father vested me with 10% of all Senior Industries. With my Father's passing, I now hold 60% of all voting stock. That means I can fire Any...Body!"
"For years, you gentlemen have considered me to be nothing more than an appendage of my Father. I personally do not care one way or the other what you think of me. But if you believe for one second that I will allow you to collapse this company, which has been in business in one form or fashion since the 1600's, through corruption and greed, then you ARE going to get a visit from ONE of the gentlemen who arrived with me!"
While they all knew Junior overtly meant the lawyers, the unspoken threat was the large, very fit, Hispanic man to his right. If they got caught getting out of line, they had a choice of the sharks circling behind the new CEO and Chairman of the Board or the barely leashed Wolfhound beside him. And this wasn't one of the tamed, domesticated animals found today, but one of the half-feral killers that once upon a time struck fear into the heart of the Roman Legions stationed in Brittany.
"Just because I am going to be incommunicado does NOT mean that I won't be keeping track of things here and in Madrid. Remember that Gentlemen! And I suggest that you pass that on to your counterparts in Madrid and around the world!"
Junior turned and strode from the room and for the first time in his life made sure everyone knew, without saying a word, that no matter what he was before, he was still a Senior.
"He needs a bike of some kind...
But since he's not, like...
twelve or something, maybe...
you could make it a motorcycle."
Kaname had begun to recognize the manic gleam and, even before Kim had a chance to break in, Kaname cut them off before they had gone too far. "No transforming super mecha-bikes. Just a simple motorcycle. That I could probably make happen."
Personally she liked the idea of a bike. She fondly remembered riding on the back of a 'stolen' bicycle as Sousuke pedaled through part of the countryside when the Sousuke had forgotten her notebook. Or riding back home after trying to frighten the Soldier at the "Haunted Hospital". Yes, as Kim would say, being able to hold him as they wound through the mountains had a most "def" appeal.
She asked, "What else?"
The Tweebs thought about it and said,
"Well, we always liked...
sledding in the winter.
We could mount some rocket engines...
and you wouldn't have to climb back up the hill."
"OK, a sled." She said as she wrote down what they were saying, ignoring the rockets.
Kim just smiled and shook her head. She had to admit her brothers had surprised her. The Tweebs didn't know it, but for one of the few times in their lives, their big sister was proud of them. Once they heard why Kaname wanted their help, they were more than willing. It wasn't pity or charity. Sympathy was the closest word she could think of.
"How about a computer for...
playing the latest video games?
Give it the latest in video...
graphic cards and you'll be able to...
play any game in the world!"
Kim and Kaname shared a glance, and then just LOOKED at them for a moment, while Kim said "Think about it."
The Tweebs looked at each other for a second.
"Oh yeah, you got...
Wade in the basement.
"Well, how about some 'action figures'...
with animatronic action and laser guns...
that shoot real lasers!"
They stopped as Kim started getting a horrified look, looked at each other, shuddered and said,
that's too much like the...
"Oh, you could get the stuff to play 'Battleship'...
with remote controlled ships...
from somewhere and go to the lake...
and sink em'!"
Kaname glared at them, "Do I look like I'm a government? I have a budget that really means something!"
Kim said, "I'll be back." and went up the stairs.
"Hey, Sagara plays guitar...
we saw a flyer for a benefit concert...
for some band called Cheap Trick...
just after New Years...
you think he'd like a set of tickets?"
Kaname's jaw dropped.
Kim left Kaname to brainstorm with the Tweebs and went upstairs to find something to drink. In the kitchen, out the window, she saw James Possible on the patio. Kim was a little concerned because it was freezing cold outside. She walked to the patio door and watched. He was standing there wearing a jacket, leaning against a post, with what appeared to be an empty mug in his hand, looking up at the towering Rocky Mountains.
I took my love, I took it down.
Climbed a mountain and I turned around,
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills,
Till the landslide brought me down.
She looked to the half-full pot sitting on the coffeemaker and figured he needed a refill. Grabbing a mug for herself, she picked up the pot, went outside and asked, "You want some more coffee, Daddy?"
When he turned to face her, she felt like her heart was breaking. It looked like his already had. James wasn't in tears, but the look on his face spoke of poignant, bittersweet memories. "Daddy?"
He just looked at her with a half smile and held out the mug in his hands. When she filled the mug, he surprised her by saying, "Thanks Kim."
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
The lack of his normal, almost condescending, 'Kimmie-cub' or even the more paternal 'Kimberly' threw her. Wondering whether to ask what was bothering him or letting her mother know about it, she poured the rest of the pot into her mug and took the pot back to the kitchen. Looking back to the patio, she saw that he didn't even seem to notice the cold as he'd turned back to watching the sun set behind the mountains. She went back outside, just watching him. Something was really on his mind as he stood there while twilight covered the sky, snow blanketed the ground.
Mmm, mmm, mmm
Well, I've been afraid of changing',
Cause I've built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder.
Even children get older and I'm getting older too.
He normally seemed to be in his own world, but this went even beyond that. Her father had been known to get so focused on a project that her Mom had been forced to occasionally collect him from the Center before he collapsed. But that was with a project or a machine of some kind in front of him.
"Daddy, are you OK?"
He just looked at her with that bittersweet smile, "I'm fine, Kim." He cupped her cheek, "It's just that once you learn something, you can't unlearn it. I had some things thrown in my face today that I just can't ignore anymore. I can't forget it or pretend that I don't know or realize anymore."
She was getting scared now, thinking that he was sick or something, "Daddy?"
He pointed to a spot in the yard, "It was right over there, you and Ronald had your first snowball fight! The two of you were soaked to the skin and still Anne and I had to drag you both into a hot bath. And now Ronald has grown in to fine young man!"
He set the mug down and this time cupped her face, "And you. You've grown into a very beautiful young woman. And it all happened so fast!"
Well, I've been afraid of changing',
Cause I've built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder.
Even children get older and I'm getting older too.
Oh, I'm getting older too.
He looked at her with a slightly mischievous grin. "As a matter of fact, I think that snowball fight was also the first time you two took a bath together. I think the last time was when you were about six." Like flipping a switch, his face went poignant, "But it won't be the last anymore, will it?"
She knew this was breaking his heart. Tears traced her cheeks as her chin trembled, "No Daddy, it won't."
He held her by the shoulders, looked into her green eyes and asked, "Are you happy ? Are you happy with Ronald?"
She nodded and said, "Yes Daddy. I'm so happy, sometimes I feel like I'll burst."
She saw the tears well up in his eyes. He held her head to his chest and she heard his voice rumbling inside his torso as he said in a cracking voice, "Then that's the only thing I could hope for."
Tears trailed her cheeks as she said, "Thank you, Daddy."
Awh, take my love, take it down.
Awh, climb a mountain and turn around.
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills.
Well, the landslide bring it down.
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills.
Well, the landslide bring it down.
Ohoh, the landslide bring it down.
Sousuke dropped Junior, Bonnie and Alejandro off outside a nondescript house that, except for the garage behind it, looked similar to every other in the neighborhood. The back door was opened by Ron, standing in the entrance to the kitchen.
"Come on in. I need you guys to help me out." They walked into the living room to see a small pile of mementos, knickknacks, and assorted personal items being placed into boxes.
"The place is completely furnished and there's even dishes in the cabinets and cookware under the counter by the stove. The cable is up and there's TV's in here and two of the bedrooms. Using this place means you don't have to sign anything or leave a paper trail for someone to follow."
"This house has three bedrooms. I'm assuming you'll only need two, so Junior, you and Bonnie can use the master bedroom, down the hall, second door on the right. It has a full bath. Towels and washcloths are in the cabinet." Ron looked at Alejandro saying, "First on the left is yours. That's the street side. There's a small bathroom connecting the two smaller rooms. Same thing there."
"I bought ya a couple a vehicles. They're in the garage; the keys are hanging by the back door. There's a laptop and a cell phone for each of you on the dining room table."
"The cells are encrypted, but only for local use. Junior, I figured you would need to call some of your company execs. Use the house landline. Wade ran the signal through his system, so it's really secure. Don't ask me what he did or how he did it. Something about spreading the signal out."
"The internet is up and the place has a secure Wi-Fi set up. None of the laptops have passwords yet, but Wade loaded em up, so as long as you're careful they're secure. Just be sure to create passwords for em."
"Bonnie, I know ya didn't go shopping for groceries very often, but you should remember your way around. If not use the laptops for directions or you can call me or Kim."
Junior just took it for granted that Ron was able to set something like this up so quickly but Bonnie knew better.
She asked, "Stoppable, how were you able to get this place set up so fast?"
Bonnie was surprised to find out that 19 year old Ronald Stoppable actually owned a house. "Yours'? You actually bought a house that fast?"
"No, I got from my uncle. That's the reason I need you guys to give me a hand. What I wanna do is move the personal stuff into the last room, down the hall on the left. Once that's done you guys can have the run of the house."
"You have an uncle that just gave you a house?"
"No, it was in his will. He was murdered."
While Bonnie was trying to stammer an apology, Ron looked at Junior, "We think it was the same guys that went after your Father."
The pale blue eyes went absolutely flat.
The man didn't want to report the information the intelligence section had just come across to the platinum haired young man. He really DID NOT want to do this. Unfortunately he was the most junior member of the section and been given his orders. He knocked on the door to the office.
"Enter." He opened the door and pensively entered. The man standing before a huge window looking out over the mountains glanced over his shoulder.
"Yes, what is it?" He turned back to watching the sunrise.
"Uh, Sir you gave orders to let you know of any information concerning the subject Chidori Kaname."
"Yes, yes, what is it?"
"Get on with it."
"Uh sir, I think you might want to look at a video clip we recorded from Celebrity: In Depth."
The young man shot back, "That tabloid television trash media show?"
"Chidori Kaname would never be near that garbage. You've made a mistake. I suggest you check the data again."
The man gulped, "Sir, the information is waiting on your terminal."
Mr. Platinum waved the man away and the man left as fast as he decently could, before the young man in the office got a chance to see the video.
Mr. Platinum pulled up the file and started media file.
A spinning logo flashed 'Celebrity: In Depth' and the screen faded to a hawk faced woman in her early to mid thirties.
"This is Ima Suchnso! Breaking news for all of those that want to be 'In the know!' In our Top Story tonight, as many of you know, world famous, Kim Possible entered the college scene this year, leaving the nest of her former family home. The exact location of her new digs are as 'Yet' undetermined. The only information we have so far is that she has moved in with her paramour Tom Loppable and several other freshman students."
"For now though, we're focusing on her college life. For the last several months, she's been seen in the company of not only Tom Loppable, but THIS young couple as well." A grainy video clip showed Kaname and Sousuke strolling along through the campus quad. She was snuggled up to his side with her arm through his, looking up at him with an obviously exuberant smile on her face. Kim and Ron were walking beside them as they chatted about something the the camera couldn't catch.
"It's taken some time, but the identity of the two people with Kim Possible and Tom Loppable has finally been determined! The girl is Kaname Chidori and the young man is Suke Cigar!"
"What IS the history of this mysterious couple? Crack Celebrity: In Depth research reporters have spared no effort in bringing you the hottest news. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, so far the young mans past is still shrouded in mystery, so let's start with the girl!"
"Viewers! Don't let her pretty face and full figure fool you. This girl is no wallflower or shrinking violet. We have solid information that she was responsible for the maiming of not one, but TWO disadvantaged persons at a fast food eatery near the campus. The reports obtained by Celebrity: In Depth show that she brandished a gun and fired four times, catching the two poor souls in the crossfire of her indiscriminate shooting spree, crippling them for life."
"The police did Nothing!"
"How could this be? Let's look a little deeper! Miss Chidori is the daughter of this man," A video clip of Shunya Chidori addressing the UN flashed on the screen. "He is Shunya Chidori, a Japanese delegate to the United Nations. Coincidence? We don't think so!"
"Something else about this young woman to consider. She's attending an expensive university with no visible means of support. While her father has the means to pay for her tuition, the research instead shows that she has a 'full ride' scholarship and that no one seems to able to determine who the sponsor is. Another mystery!"
The screen behind Ima Suchnso flashed a freeze-frame closeup of the video, focusing on Kaname and Sousuke. Once the still was visible, it zoomed in closer and closer to her left hand. "If you look closely, you'll notice a very sizable chunk of 'Ice' on her left hand and from the way they are acting it's a good bet that Mr. Cigar put it there. Are wedding bells ringing for this very young couple?"
"Celebrity: In Depth was able to question Mr. Chidori about the implication his daughter was engaged before she even finished her Freshman year! Roll tape!" Shunya was walking down the steps of the UN building on his way home when a reporter and cameraman practically teleported in front of him.
"Mr. Chidori, Ima Suchnso from Celebrity: In Depth. Please tell our viewers your opinion of your daughter's apparent engagement before she's even 20 years old?" Ima jammed the microphone into his face. Shunya tried to play it off.
"Ahhh, Engrish wakarimasen."
"Mr. Chidori, we know you're very fluent in our language. Now please answer the question."
"Very well. If you must know, the engagement ring my daughter is wearing belonged to my wife. After her passing, she wanted Kaname to to have it. When the time came, I gave it to her fiancee prior to his asking her to marry him. Since I presented to him, you can guess my opinion of both him and the fact they are now engaged."
"Are you certain you can trust them since the best information we have shows that she lives with Suke Cigar."
Shunya's eyes went hard. "No! Not Suke Cigar. Sousuke Sagara. Sousuke-kun is a fine young man that has done more for my daughter than anyone, that might even include me. The both of them have shown excellent judgment in the past and I have total faith that they will conduct themselves in a responsible manner. The two of them have my complete trust."
"Now if you'll excuse me, I have a prior engagement."
The screen flashed back to the studio where the anchor said, "Stay tuned! More to come on this breaking story following this break!"
When the clip mentioned the fact that Kaname was openly wearing an engagement ring, eyes went wide and a jaw dropped. When he heard that it was Shunya, of all people, that provided the ring, teeth clenched and eyes narrowed dangerously.
But it was the "Complete trust" comment that sent Leonard Testarossa into a fury. He was counting on the man's disapproval of Sagara to hinder the relationship between the couple. Instead her father had thrown a wrench into his plans.
When they arrived back in Germany, the Sturmbannführer stepped into the laboratory of short man that currently held the title of der Fuehrer, saluted and waited. He patently refused to use the stiff arm Heil salute from the Third Reich, instead, using the current salute of the Bundeswehr, his right bicep parallel to the ground right hand went to the edge of the right eyebrow, hand flat and palm twisted slightly to his face.
Dementor, knowing it was the best he was going to get from the stiff-necked Major, simply said, "Report."
The Major recovered to Attention and said, "As planned, Sir. Once we convinced the Yono to release Fiske and take the subject, the Obersturmführer simply bludgeoned him in the back of the head hard enough to render him unconscious. The Yono then returned to the earth. Fiske was kept sedated the whole trip. The hardest part was reentering Germany itself."
"What is Fist's condition?"
The Major shuddered, "He seems to be even more monkey-like than before. But in good health otherwise."
"Gut, have Monkey Fist taken to America and release him close to the family of the Untermensch. As crazy as he is Fist is still predictable. He will immediately try to attack them and that will draw out Stoppable. Observe, but don't interfere. Let's see how the Untermensch responds."
The Sturmbannführer saluted and turned to leave when Dementor said, "Oh, and Obersturmbannführer, promote the Obersturmführer to Hauptsturmführer, I think his performance deserves it."
The newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel nodded and said, "Sir."
When he shut the door to the laboratory, he walked towards his office muttering "Arschloch!" (ASSHOLE)
Entering the office, he sat into the chair and sighed. Rifling through the reports, he found the ones that set him on the path he had chosen. If they weren't stopped the terrorists would win. They had the will and the means to bring the European sub-continent, including Germany to a radical Islamist Dark Age that would be worse than Torquemada and Inquisition. The only hope he could see was a radical shift in the German way of thought.
Most German civilians ascribed to a Pacifist philosophy, but he knew the truth. George Orwell said it during the height of WWII in his Notes on Nationalism concerning those same Pacifists.
"Those who 'abjure' violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf."
He looked up to the plaque on the wall that, as far as he was concerned, said it better. A misquote often attributed to Orwell, but instead penned by a journalist writing about the author and his views.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night
only because rough men stand ready
to do violence on their behalf ."
To survive the coming onslaught, Germany would need the same will and drive they had shown prior to 1939. Focused on a threat, ready to face ruthless, violent, uncivilized behavior, just as ruthlessly, just as violent and just as uncivilized as their enemy.
But if they could stand against that onslaught, Germany could become a bastion that the enemy could not defeat. This enemy wasn't the Allies of the 40's. They couldn't drop enough bombs to flatten the entire German Heartland. Terror was their only weapon. And if Germany could stand, it would become a nucleus of resistance once the rest of the West finally learned enough to figure out that you could only negotiate with "Nice" people. If they weren't Nice, there was no reason to even try.
That was the American problem in the Middle East. They kept trying to be Nice to people that weren't Nice. Most of the Middle Eastern peoples were barely above a tribal level and only understood Conquered or Conqueror!
It was time for Germany to stop being 'Nice' and start being 'Good'. Otherwise a night could fall over the West that would take centuries to recover from.
One of the things that bothered him was instead of battling Team Possible, they should be trying to, if not recruit them, then at least become allies with them. Stoppable in particular had shown a willingness to become one of those "Rough Men" who would draw a line and take a stand against the Darkness saying, "This far and no farther! You shall not pass!"
And if the information he had seen was to be believed, then the rest of Team Possible was either just as willing or nearly so. He had carefully kept most of that data away from the lunatic two floors below. He had fostered a trust with the Intelligence Section and convinced them to filter all the data through him before it got to Dementor, Thank God. He ranted and raved enough as it was.
As he started in on the paperwork, the former Obersturmführer knocked and entered. The Lieutenant Colonel waved for him to shut the door and take a seat.
Once seated the Obersturmbannführer said, sarcastically, "You have been promoted to Hauptsturmführer, and I have been graced with the rank of Obersturmbannführer. A glorious day for Hero's of the Nu Reich, eh! Well you wouldn't be here without a reason. What is it?"
"Target two was seen in New York, Sir. Our orders said..." He trailed off.
"Yes, they did. But according to our information, target two is a spoiled, petulant man-child with no thought for anyone but himself. Not that I believe that, not after seeing his father in action. The apple would have to fall very far from the tree to get away from the man that fought us to a standstill. And when it's all said and done, 'Blood will tell'. But as far as anyone else is concerned, target two is non-factor. Is that clear? That way he can have some security."
"How are the men?"
"The men are yours, Sir. No matter why they joined before, they are now SS Nordland and YOURS. They will follow your orders implicitly, without question or hesitation. They know you won't order them into dishonor, at all, nor their deaths without a very good reason. Simply put, they would follow you straight into hell, as would I, Sir!"
"You humble me. I only hope I can prove worthy of your trust and faith."
"You already have, Sir"
"Hauptsturmführer, are you sure?"
"Hauptsturmführer, I ask because I might have to give you orders that might seem strange. Are you positive?"
"Well than, did you know that I'm distantly releated to Claus von Stauffenberg?"
"Sir?" The German Captain had heard the name, but couldn't place it.
The Obersturmbannführer prompted, "Oberst im Generalstab Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg? The 20 July Plot? 20 July 1944?"
"Sir? That von Stauffenberg?"
"The same. And it's begining to look like we might have to try all over again. I just hope this time we can succed where he failed."
Ranks and translations
Wehrmacht Heer(German Army)
Oberst im Generalstab-Colonel of the General Staff Corps