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My Little Mystery Part 18

My Little Mystery Part 18

The assault happens, the better team wins. The losers forfeit everything.

At 1:00 am, Eric warned the group that the van and SUV turned down the road leading to the estate. The van drove up to the estate and blocked the driveway. The team got out and gathered at the rear of the van. Leo got out of the SUV entered the van and distributed the arms and ammunition to the team. Each member got a pistol and a compact machine gun. Some members got hand grenades while others got charges of C-4 with 15-second timers. Each team member took a side of the main house and advanced toward it. Emily went with the member who drew Cricket's area. Eric followed the movements of all the team members and kept the group updated on their movements.

Emily walked down the wall outside Cricket's room. She was next to the window and looked in locating where Cricket sat. She did not see Felicity, but Felicity saw her. As Emily mounted a double charge of C-4 to the wall, Felicity moved between the wall and Cricket. She forced Cricket to get down and protect herself from the eventual blast. When Emily set the timer, a loud click echoed through the room. Fifteen seconds later the wall exploded in against Felicity killing her instantly. Her body and debris covered Cricket and she lay there unconscious. Emily entered the room saw the two bodies and felt elated. Her nemesis was dead, she got her revenge and let out a loud cheer. She exited the room and the team member entered checking the area. Christoph ran down the hall in time to fire and kill the team member. He turned to face Emily, as she fired hitting him in the leg. He lost his gun as he fell. Emily walked up to him, looked down at him, smiling as she killed him. She turned and walked down the hall toward the kitchen. She stopped when she saw a very familiar face. What was he doing here flashed through mind. She turned to ask Mr. Wagner why he was there, when he shot her in the forehead.

Leo went around to the back of the house and crawled up to the patio. Damon exited the kitchen when the blasts happened. He hid on the patio expecting to catch a team member off guard. When he saw Leo crawl around the corner and stand up, he opened fire and killed Leo. Another team member fell to Damon a few minutes later. Damon got out of hiding and entered the house to find Natasha on the floor. He ran to her side to find her unconscious. The concussion from the blast in Cricket's room knocked her out. Damon slid her under a table and left her there. He went in search of other team members to prevent any more bloodshed. So far, four of the assault team members were dead. The remaining two members saw the loss of their friends and surrendered without any resistance.

The explosion in Cricket's room was the signal to the team that the assault began. Each man advanced toward the estate cautiously watching for traps and people outside. No trouble occurred outside, giving the team a false sense of success. When Leo went down the house unchallenged, the team felt totally in charge. No resistance encountered buoyed the team's confidence and they got careless. First, the team member with Emily died quickly in a hail of gunfire. That was one down, but the team thought two were down for the enemy. Things got bad when Emily started being reckless walking in the house. Her killing Christoph seemed to even the odds and swing things back to the team ’ s favor. When Emily hesitated at seeing Mr. Wagner the end was in sight.

Eric and Erin watched the assault unfold and recorded every event. When Damon moved out onto the patio and hid, they knew the end would quickly come. Leo crawled onto the patio at the back of the house. As he got close to the open backdoor, he stood up and a quick shot in the back of his head killed him assassination style. He fell into the kitchen blocking the doorway. The team member saw Leo in the doorway, went to step over him and Damon shot him down, when he came up behind him.

Now, two thirds of the assault team perished. Cal, Stefan and Natalia gathered in the kitchen. Damon met them after he checked on the fallen Natasha. It was now four against two. Eric called out the location of the two remaining team members. The group moved outside and surrounded the two men. They surrendered without firing a shot. Cal and Stefan handcuffed the team members and brought them inside.

The assault over, the group met in the dining room to assess the damage. The two defectors, friends of Natalia, were dead. Cricket was unconscious, but alive. Natasha recovered and joined the group. Now the real work began. The estate needed clean up and the assault team needed to disappear. At first, the thought was to give the team the same fate as the earlier assault teams. This would not work. The paper trail was too big and people would miss Leo and Emily. A more open and public end needed to happen. The van and SUV had to disappear too.

Eric spoke first. "We can take the van and SUV back to the storefront with the bodies. We place the bodies along with the ammunition and C-4 in with them. We stage an explosion and a big fire destroying the bodies and all the plans implicating the estate and us. The explosion can destroy or badly damage the van and SUV in the back of the storefront."

"That takes care of the bodies and team members, but what do we do to get care for Cricket?" Cal asked.

"I will take care of her for you as I did earlier." Mr. Wagner injected. "I have medical contacts that owe me favors and we know she was not fully recovered from the earlier accident. We can get her admitted to a hospital, as if she collapsed and fell downstairs. No one would question that given her history."

"Her entry into the hospital must be kept quiet. Her enemies in the oil industry must never know." Stefan added.

"No problem, we have her name that she used in Boston on record here. If we continue to use that name, no one will ever find out." Mr. Schultz said.

Eric, Cal, Stefan, Damon and the two prisoners loaded the bodies into the van. Stefan drove the van and Cal drove the SUV containing Damon and the two prisoners. Eric followed them into Southampton and parked four blocks away to avoid the traffic cameras recording him. Cal and Eric set small incendiary charges in the SUV and van. Stefan and Damon moved the bodies around inside the storefront. The two remaining team members died as they moved some of the ammunition and explosives. Stefan set four incendiary charges in the storefront to guarantee maximum damage. A cloned cell phone triggered each charge when called. Damon, Cal, Stefan and Eric walked out the back door and down the four blocks to the waiting car. As Eric drove away, Stefan dialed the phone and triggered the charges. Ten minutes later, as they entered the estate, a loud explosion and fire happened in downtown Southampton. The storefront, the van and SUV burned in flames so hot the armaments and bodies burned beyond recognition. It would be weeks before the authorities knew the identities of the burn victims. The fire marshal ruled the fire and explosions accidental, based on the contents found.

While the men cleaned up the team and disposed of them, Mr. Wagner called a doctor in Easthampton who made house calls. He called a private ambulance company run by a former the Bard School student. The doctor and ambulance arrived at the estate at the same time. The Emergency Medical Technicians worked with the doctor to get Cricket stable but she was still unconscious. Mr. Wagner with the doctor ’ s help got Cricket a room at a hospital in New York City where she would get the best care. The EMTs loaded Cricket into the ambulance and drove away quietly. The doctor followed and returned to Easthampton. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz waited for the group ’ s return from the storefront. When they returned Cal, Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz drove out to go into New York City and the hospital where Cricket checked in for care. On the drive Cal found out that, Cricket was in a coma caused by the concussion of the explosion. Physically she was fine and not in any danger. She needed tests to measure her brain activity along with an MRI of her head. There were suspicions that she never recovered from her first brush with death. Now she needed more and longer care.

Cal stayed by her bed never moving from her side. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz arranged for her bills. They left the hospital and drove back to Cal ’ s estate to brief the rest of the group. They arrived and pulled the car into the garage. When they walked into the house, they found the group seated at the dining room table waiting for word.

Mr. Wagner spoke, “ Cricket is in the hospital getting the best care that money can buy. Cal is by her side. She is in a coma and will undergo tests over the next few days to evaluate any damage to her brain. That is all we know. As things come to us I will tell you what is going on. ”

Eric stood and said, “ We monitored the destruction of the storefront. It is nothing but a pile of smoldering rubble. It will take weeks to comb the rubble looking for bodies and clues to how it happened. The vehicles behind the building are just hulks. We are safe from suspicion in any of the destruction. Now all we need to do is remove any remaining cameras in the area. We will wait until they are cleaning up the rubble. We need to rebuild the wall in Cricket ’ s room. That was the only damage sustained here. Everything and everyone is fine. ”

Damon and Natasha stood up and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. Everyone was tired and hungry from the night ’ s activity. The first thing made was a huge pot of coffee followed by tea. The rest of the meal evolved and came out piecemeal. Everyone ate their fill, relaxed and unwound. The chatter at the table centered on events going forward. No one talked of the death and destruction. They wanted to find this group of individuals responsible and punish them. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz sat quietly observing the group. They felt satisfied that the best team won and the prize was theirs. All that remained was to silence this group of men trying to destroy Cricket and her company.

Stefan stood and quieted the group. He spoke, “ We know what has happened. Now we need to find this group of people. We cannot destroy them as we did the assault teams. They are very visible and have long tentacles in the business world. Therefore, the only way to destroy them is to take down their business and close them forever. Our computer folks are searching for chinks in their armor as we speak. What we need is a legal way to put them out of business and preferably in jail. For now, I think we need to carry on as usual. Damon and Natasha will run the business. Cal will take care of the wolves and the foundation. Natalia and I will help wherever needed. Eric, Erin and the technicians will continue their investigations and work with the computer professionals when needed. ”

“ OK, we all have our assignments, let ’ s get busy and solve and fix this before Cricket gets home. ” Mr. Wagner injected.

Everyone got up from breakfast and took their dishes to the kitchen. Natalia cleaned up the dining room and went to wash the dishes. She felt it was her duty to keep things clean at home. She wanted to stay with Stefan and follow his example. Stefan conferred with Eric and Erin in the kitchen and Natalia listened to them. When she finished, she joined them with the planning and Stefan smiled at her. She sat next to him and listened intently.

“ We need to talk to the computer professionals and see what they have done so far. We have some data that they might need and we do not want to duplicate their efforts. ” Eric said.

“ OK. Can Erin and you travel into the city today? We can set up a lunch meeting for you with the computer professionals. Natalia and I will join you too. ” Stefan replied.

Stefan called Natasha and asked her to set up a lunch meeting with the computer professionals. “ Eric, Erin, Natalia and I will be joining the computer professionals for lunch. Can Damon and you attend too? Please set it up in Cricket ’ s conference room. We need to narrow down our focus on these rogue managers. ”

“ No problem Damon and I will be there. Lunch will be served for eight in the Executive Conference Room down from Cricket ’ s office at 12:30 pm. ” Natasha replied.

Natalia, Eric and Erin left Stefan alone in the kitchen. Monica glided down from her perch in the corner near the ceiling. She looked at Stefan and felt concerned for his welfare. The stress and pressure of the past few weeks showed on his face and body.

“ What is wrong, love? ” Monica asked. “ You look like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. ”

“ I am worried that Cricket will die and Cal devastated. If that happens, this group will fall apart. Blame, for it all, can be laid at my feet. ” Stefan said meekly.

“ Why do you feel this way? You did nothing wrong. The outside forces caused all the accidents. You have no reason to feel guilty. ”

“ I should have taught the bombing class not you. Then Cricket would be better. The men who are tormenting her are just bitter old men beaten at their own game by someone, they think, is a weak young woman. They are wrong and I want to beat them badly. I want to ruin their lives. ” Stefan said bitterly.

“ Roger and I will infiltrate them when their headquarters is found and help take them down. We are good at gathering information and passing it on. Roger is with Cricket right now. She is floating in limbo waiting to go back living with Cal. ”

“ That is good news. I feel much better now. Can you tell me when it will happen? ”

“ No, Stefan, time in limbo is not a straight line. It weaves and goes around but it does eventually go back to normal. It could be tomorrow or next month or longer. No one knows. ”

“ Can you get Roger and bring him to our lunch meeting? I think he may have some insight into these executives. They used to work for him too. He probably hired most of them. ”

“ Sure, I will go now and get him. We will see you at lunch. I love you and Natalia is a wonderful young woman for you. ”

Monica went to find Roger at the hospital with Cricket. They were together hovering above the body of the comatose woman. Cal sat next to her clutching tightly to her hand. He sobbed softly saying her name. Cricket looked down at him wishing she could touch him. When Cricket saw Monica, she smiled broadly and came to her. They hugged and were happy to meet again.

"What is going on, Monica?" Cricket inquired.

"I came to get Roger for a meeting in your conference room today. The remaining group with Eric, Erin, and the computer professionals are meeting to compare notes on information gleaned about the men persecuting you. As for you, you are not here. Mr. Wagner had you checked in as Marcia Shaw. He thought it best to hide the fact you were hurt in the assault. As far as the company knows, you are on a trip to investigate some new acquisitions for the company. Roger and I must leave. He will be back when the meeting is over. Bye Cricket, It was nice seeing and talking to you."

Monica and Roger arrived at the meeting early and hovered in the upper corner of the conference room. The other participants arrived in couples. The two computer professionals followed Damon and Natasha. Eric, Erin, Natalia and Stefan were the last to arrive. Eric and Erin introduced themselves to the computer professionals and huddled in a corner exchanging information about software in use. They set up their laptops and showed the cameras and all the footage of the assault. The computer pros wanted the software that Eric used. Everything went smoothly as lunch arrived and everyone ate.

Stefan stood and said, “ You know that Cricket and Cal are not here today. Cricket relapsed into a coma. She will be that way for the near future. I heard that she is fine. It is just a matter of time until she comes back to us. She is in a private hospital under the name Marcia Shaw. This information is to be kept private and not leave this room. ” A murmur filled the room, but Stefan stopped it quickly. “ We have a lot more pressing things to discuss here today. So let us get to it. Eric, what have you and Erin and our two computer professionals found? ”

“ There is not much more than we already knew. The group of men formed a company that is an oil investment and speculation firm on Wall Street. They buy and sell options on crude oil on the commodities market. It is totally above board and completely legal as far as we have found. They are very good and made millions in profits in a very short time. Erin, the computer pros and I continue to probe for weaknesses. We are looking at their past dealings. The only thing nefarious has been the attacks on Cricket and her holdings. ” Eric shook his head looked at Stefan and continued. “ Cal has some contacts that are looking at the men in general. We hope that something will pop out of these probes. If it does we will go after it and let this group know about it. ”

With that, the meeting ended. Damon and Natasha went back to his office. Eric, Erin and the computer pros went to their floor to their offices. Stefan sent Natalia to get some coffee and writing supplies. Stefan conferred with Monica and Roger until Natalia came back. Monica and Roger left to go back to Cricket. Maybe she had some more information to give them. Roger looked at the list of men involved and shook his head. These men were cruel and ruthless managers. They ran tight organizations and spent time shielding themselves behind walls of paper and laws. It was going to be a big battle to take them down.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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