Author's Note: Two chapters in one day! Wooo! I just wanted to post a note to remind people to read Ch. 13, since I'm doing a double post. Thanks for reading! :)
Chapter Fourteen: Business Propositions
September 14, 1940
Betty Blight sat in her jail cell pondering the events of the last few days. Everything had gone according to plan until those kids with the magic rings showed up. She had earned the favor of Don Porkaloin, patriarch of the wealthy mafia family the Greedly's. Her Moon Manipulator had performed outstandingly, turning the massive Hurricane Deirdre around and bringing it ashore. She was certain that she would be able to convince the Don to front some money to help fund Laurence Plunder's fledgling military research company.
But then those kids- and that crazy blue superman they managed to summon- went and ruined it all. And to make it worse this so called "Captain Planet" destroyed her Moon Manipulator. It had taken a lot of time and money to develop that device and she was not very happy to see it torn apart.
Despite the loss, however, she was intrigued by the situation. Those kids had rings that enabled them to control the elements. This was fascinating to her scientific mind. If only she could get ahold of those rings, she might be able to figure out how they worked, and then…
"Miss Blight, you have a visitor." The gruff voice of the deputy distracted her from her thoughts.
Betty looked up to see Laurence standing outside of her cell. He was dressed impeccably, as usual, in a dark green three piece pinstriped suit. Betty wondered where he even managed to find such a suit; it must have been custom made. She smiled brightly. "Laurence, baby, how nice of you to come for a visit."
He sighed and shook his head. "What kind of a mess did you manage to get yourself into?"
"If I recall correctly, it was your idea for me to come down here and convince the Don to fund your little project." She folded her arms around her chest and glared at her lover.
"Well, it certainly wasn't my idea for you to get arrested!" he responded hotly.
Betty narrowed her eyes. "Some unforeseen circumstances arose," she said, her voice tense. "Perhaps if you would get me out of here I could tell you about it."
"It's already done," he replied coolly.
The deputy unlocked the cell and slid the door open. "Miss Blight, you're free to go."
"Well it's about damn time," Betty muttered as she pushed her way past Laurence and the guard. "Come on Laurence, baby, let's get to the Don while we still have a chance."
Betty managed to work her charm to convince Don Porkaloin to have dinner with her and Laurence. The Don brought his crony Rex Rigger along and the four of them dined at an upscale restaurant overlooking the ocean. Betty and Laurence watched Don Porkaloin eat, or rather binge, both looking rather appalled at the amount of food he was managing to consume.
"So tell me about this investment opportunity," the Don said after he cleared his plate.
"I'm starting a military weapons research company," Laurence Plunder said. "I'm anticipating that eventually the United States is going to be drawn into this war, and when that happens I plan on being in a prime position to sell our government the most advanced weapons in the world. And even if our country does not become involved, we can sell them to other countries just as easily."
"And you think you are capable of developing such advanced weapons?" the Don asked, not sounding convinced.
"Of course we are," Betty answered confidently. "You already saw how well my Moon Manipulator worked."
"Yep, turned that hurricane right around, it did," Rex Rigger said exuberantly.
"That it did," the Don said slowly, as if he were considering the idea. As he was thinking, their waiter arrived with another plate laden with food. The Don took a huge bite of mashed potatoes, managing to swallow them in a seemingly impossible amount of time. "I suppose you have even more tricks up your sleeve, Miss Blight?"
"We definitely have more going on than just that," Betty answered quickly. "We're conducting research in many experimental areas of military technology, including biological weapons."
"What's that?" The Don snorted as he choked down the second plate of food at a nauseating pace.
"Biological weapons are viruses or bacteria that have been altered to be highly contagious and quickly lethal. Just introduce a small amount of the pathogen, say into an enemy military base, and within days they could all be dead," Betty explained.
"Just imagine the implications," Laurence added. "Taking down an entire enemy regiment without putting any of our own troops in harm's way. The government would certainly pay big money for such a weapon."
Don Porkaloin paused from his eating to think for a moment. "Suppose you did make such a virus, what's to stop it from spreading and killing everyone?"
Betty smiled at the Don. "How thoughtful of you to consider the implications. I knew you were a very smart man," she said in her most flattering tone. "Of course we have considered such a scenario as well. There would have to be a cure, very well guarded obviously, that we could administer to our own people if such a need arose."
"However, we don't anticipate that being a problem," Laurence Plunder said. He took a sip of wine before continuing. "We have many other projects in the works as well. Some are enhancements to artillery or armor. Some are developments of new kinds of weapons. Some of it probably sounds crazy- things like mind control."
"You're right, that does sound crazy," Don Porkaloin said before tearing into what seemed to be an entire pie that he had ordered for dessert. "But I have seen some crazy things over the last few days. And if Miss Blight here can develop a machine to control the weather I am sure she can develop these other things as well. I suppose I would be interested in investing in your venture, Mr. Plunder."
"Excellent," Laurence replied happily. He glanced at Betty who was beaming with satisfaction. Their plan had proven to be a success after all. "I have already begun construction of a facility in New Mexico, you are welcome to visit any time you would like."
"New Mexico?" Rigger asked, sounding confused.
"Yeah, why all the way the hell out there?" Don Porkaloin added. "Ain't nothing out there but a bunch of filthy Indians."
"Exactly," Laurence said, grinning wickedly. "We want to be as far away from civilization as possible, to ensure that no one disturbs us in our pursuits."
Author's Note: Thanks again to mudget for beta-ing! :) Don Porkaloin, Betty Blight and Rex Rigger are all from the episode "Hog Tied" which was also set in Florida in 1940. Thanks to all who have been reading and reviewing! :)