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My Little Mystery Part 19
By
frogprince

My Little Mystery Part 19

The assaults are over, now to get the real evil doers. Some surprises pop up later.

Cricket and Monica met when Roger and Monica returned to her hospital room. They moved away from Roger to speak privately.

Cricket asked, “Has anything happened with my persecutors. I am anxious to get them taken down and put away. They have ruined so many innocent lives with this vendetta against me.”

“Not yet, they are still looking for evidence. It is very hard to find anything from outside the company.” Monica replied.

“Do you remember what I did to take down Wolf’s Head Oil? Do you remember that Emily was part of that plot? You were working down in the accounting department. We planted evidence of some shady accounting practices and watched as the stock prices fell. As it fell I bought up the shares to keep the stock trading.” Cricket told her.

“Yes, I remember those days. It was exciting making those things happen and watching the company scramble to recover as it sank deeper. It was also a shame that it happened. Roger did nothing wrong to hurt anyone, he was a victim as much as the other stockholders. I wonder if a similar scheme could work here. It is something to ask Eric and the computer crew.” Monica said thoughtfully.

“There are some notes in my private files about the methods used to bring it down. Maybe Damon and Natasha can read them and figure out a way to infiltrate the other company and attack from within.” Cricket told her.

“I will tell Stefan about all this. He remembers the men involved and knows what you did to them. He does not remember Emily I think. What happened in both cases might still be workable here. At least it is a place to start to take them down hard.” Monica cheerfully replied.

Cricket moved away to find Roger, as Monica left to return to Stefan with this new information. Cricket found Roger and hugged him. He looked surprised but pleased that she still cared for him. She took his hand and pressed it to her heart in a show of deep affection for him. She looked down at her comatose body in the bed. Cal sat beside her holding her hand and looking at her relaxed face. His other hand stroked her hair and caressed her cheeks. Cricket saddened at the sight and pressed Roger’s hand harder to her chest. She wanted so much to return to her body and wake up. She felt a force keeping her away from returning. Whatever was there, held her away to allow her body to heal and grow stronger. It hurt deeply to see Cal in such a state, she knew that he really loved her and wanted her well again.

Monica found Stefan sitting with Natalia in the conference room after lunch. They discussed the proposals made after lunch. It still occurred to them that attacking from outside would be very ineffective at taking the managers down. Ideas verbally flew between them with each shot down as quickly as expressed. They overlooked something obvious, but nothing jumped out at them. Monica hovered behind Natalia to get Stefan’s attention. Stefan looked up, saw her gestures and asked Natalia if he could be alone for a while. Natalia left with a questioning look on her face.

“There are some private papers that Cricket kept detailing what she did to take control of Wolf’s Head Oil. She told me that she had Emily infiltrate the company to spread some illegal transactions and set up false accounts so she could siphon off funds. That could work with this new group too very easily, because they have big egos that make them vulnerable.” Monica informed him.

Stefan shook his head. “We never thought of that scenario. Only Cricket knew all that went on at that time. When Cal and I helped her, it was almost over. What lead up to that, happened earlier with Emily. You were there but not directly involved. Thinking about it now, I feel strongly this will work with the help of Eric and the computer pros. We need to get Damon and Natasha on the inside to start the flood of data and illegal transactions.”

Stefan called Natalia, Damon, Natasha and Eric to the conference room. When they arrived and sat down he said, “There are some private papers in Crickets office that may just be what we need to take down her persecutors. The papers detail what she did to take this company away from Roger Wolfson and wrest it from the men who are attacking her now. I will have Damon and Natasha find the papers and evaluate if they can do the same thing again. The only way to get these people is from within. They appear to be well insulated from an external attack.”

“This is the best news we have had in weeks. Let’s get moving to find these papers.” Damon enthusiastically spoke.

“Unfortunately I was part of the original plot, so I cannot participate now. Emily and Monica were also part of it. Damon and Natasha have to be the ones to infiltrate the company and work from within.” Stefan added.

Natasha and Damon went directly to Cricket’s desk and found the papers immediately. They made copies of the files and distributed it to the small group. Damon and Natasha called at the company and secured jobs easily. Damon hired into the accounting area and Natasha became an executive secretary to the CEO. This fit into the plan perfectly. Natasha had access to a lot of confidential data which she gave to the computer pros. Damon was able to start establishing bogus transactions and accounts in the Cayman Islands for the executives. His ability to forge documents and signatures came into play very well. In a very short time, the computer pros established back doors to all the systems of the company. The full examination of the books and transactions proceeded quickly and exposed a lot of wrongdoing. The biggest issue was how to make these dealings public. They needed to get the SEC, IRS and FBI involved in these things. Once the investigation started, it would snowball and take the executives down quickly. Once that happened the company became ripe for either takeover or dissolution. Cricket desired to take the company and make it part of Wolf’s Head Oil. That would make her victory over these executives complete.

Damon collected enough papers and transactions in his first two weeks to get the company closed. He became a whistleblower along with Natasha. They left the company and came under protection of the FBI until the case went to trial. The SEC halted trading in company stock and suspended their trading on the commodities exchanges. The IRS swooped in and ordered a very close audit of the books from the first day the company started. The day they left, the FBI came to the company with warrants for the arrest of every executive and search warrants for all the accounting records and computers. It happened so fast that the executives had no chance to destroy a single record. During their arraignment in federal court, the executive plead not guilty. Over the weeks that followed evidence collected mounted and became so huge that each man if convicted would finish out his life behind bars with no parole. Cricket won a hard fought and high priced victory.

The gathering of evidence lasted for two months, after which the trials of each executive began. The results of the trials found each defendant guilty of multiple counts of criminal conspiracy to commit fraud, wire fraud, embezzlement and attempted murder of Cricket. The sentences, which ran consecutively, amounted to 125 years each. The newspapers, wire services, TV outlets and online bloggers went looking for Cricket. She became the most sought after woman to interview. No one found her due to her condition. Over time the trials and the need to interview Cricket died. Life went back to normal for everyone.

Stefan became the spokesperson for Wolf’s Head Oil and its future. He announced that they bought the assets of the oil investment firm and planed to continue its operation. This announcement got great press in the financial community and around the world. The commodity market rebounded in two days back to its pre-trial level. Everyone wanted to join the group of people involved with the takeover. Damon took over the reins of the company with Natasha serving as his executive assistant. They became the toast of Wall Street and courted by every investment firm to buy a piece of the company. To everyone’s disappointment the company remained privately held and closely guarded. Eventually the company merged with Wolf’s Head Oil and became the investment arm for new discovery of oil fields and speculation.

Six months after this took place, Cricket still lay in the hospital in a coma. Weekly tests confirmed that she was fine, but her body repaired itself slowly. She had no brain damage or physical impairment. Her body refused to revive itself and bring her back. The doctors felt she would recover, but it was just a matter of time. Cal continued to spend time daily with her holding her hand and reading to her from newspapers and books. Every day Cricket hovered over her body watching Cal. Most times, she held the hand of Roger who continued to be by her side. She felt sad to see Cal sit there daily. The time he spent daily sitting beside her weighed heavily on him physically and mentally. He never lost faith that she was there and would return. Every member of the group came frequently to see her. They told her how the company did financially and in the ever-growing word of alternative energy. Wolf’s Head Oil became the largest alternative energy company in the world. Each group member became multi-millionaires and spent time giving back to the community where they lived.

At dinner that evening, everyone gathered to toast the group’s success and plan for the future. Cal sat there quietly in a very pensive mood. Stefan assumed the duties of leader and CEO of the group. Damon and Natasha ran the daily operations of the company and were its public visage. Eric and Erin assumed the duties of running the wolf rescue foundation and the research and development of new technologies. Everything seemed under control and everyone was happy. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz never returned to the Bard School. The investigation into the explosion that killed Monica and disabled Cricket the first time stopped. With the imprisonment of the executives, it became a non-issue.

Natalia sat next to Stefan at the table tonight, as she wanted to learn from him. She looked at him with love in her heart and wonder in her eyes. She learned so much already, but knew it only scratched the surface for her. Her training at the Bard School ended, but her life had just begun. She thought there was no better way to live than with Stefan and this group of adventurers. Stefan looked at her and smiled, as he reached to tap his glass for attention.

“Everyone, I know we have weathered a lot of adversity over the past months and things have been very quiet. We need to look ahead to the future and plan our next moves carefully. Cricket, our leader, remains hospitalized, but seems to be progressing physically well. The doctors assured me that she is healthy and mentally well. Her tests and scans continue to improve daily. They are cautiously optimistic that she will be with us soon.” Stefan said, as everyone cheered quietly.

“We improved the security and monitoring here at the estate. Cricket’s estate is next with planned upgrades to cameras and sound. The wolves keep most people out, but the house lacks a lot. After we finish at Cricket’s, we plan to re-vamp the offices of Wolf’s Head Oil. The security force does a good job, but there are big holes in their coverage. The computer pros that helped us earlier are involved in improving cyber security.” Eric expounded.

Stefan took over again, “Over the next few months the assignments are as follows: Damon and Natasha run Wolf’s Head Oil, Cal will resume the wolf advocacy program and Cricket’s estate, Eric and Erin will continue monitoring security and improvements, Natalia and I plan to fill in where needed. We need to keep a low profile, but also protect Cricket from unwanted stress and publicity. So far, we are effective in that area, but we are getting too relaxed and losing our focus. Let’s tighten things up and remain vigilant.”

Cal spoke up, “I know I have not been very much help of late, but I appreciate everything you have done. Cricket grows stronger and seems relaxed when I read and talk to her. I will try to be here more often. The trips to the hospital are exhausting and the neglect the wolves suffered is not good. It is a good thing I have a support staff and you to be my backup. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Wolf’s Head Oil is doing extremely well. The company is growing and expanding into new energy resource areas. This group as stockholders has done well too. I plan to keep the growth continuing and expand conservatively over the next few months. There are no major changes planned and we continue to explore for oil resources around the world. Natasha is a very good assistant and friend and together we keep the company stable.” Damon spoke up.

Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz looked at each other, nodded and took over the conversation. “As you are all aware, Gus and I represent the Bard School. Our being here is not accidental, but very deliberate. For quite some time the Bard School saw an increase in the number of students coming from America. Always looking to grow the size of our student body and expand our campus, we decided to open a new campus here in the United States. There were two choices for this expansion. One was Hooligans Ltd and we all know where they went. The other was right here at this estate. It is the ideal spot for a satellite school with about 40 students. Natasha and Damon were the first students we sent as a trial for the mentoring program. This proved to be successful beyond our expectations. Not only did they grow and learn, but also they thrived and became mature young adults in the process. The maturity with which they handled themselves and all the crises they face made the choice of Cricket and her group easy. It is with great pleasure and hope, that you consider our request and proposal to turn this estate into an extension of the Bard School.” Mr. Schultz said.

“You want to bring children here to learn the art of bomb making, forgery and assassination?” Damon injected.

“Yes, we have investigated the requirements from the town and state for opening this as a school. The house is perfect as classrooms, library and dining commons. There is adequate room to build dormitories and additional buildings without overcrowding the property. We have the proper paperwork and the contractors ready to move. All we need is to sign with us and construction can start immediately. In four months, the first group of ten students will arrive eager to learn. We wanted to wait for Cricket to be here, but that is something we cannot control. You folks sitting here have the power to make this happen, all you need do is say yes. Are there any questions?” Mr. Wagner added.

“You have been observing us and testing us to see if we qualify and are ready to assume this role? Were Natalia, Felicity and Christoph also, test students?” Stefan wanted to know.

“Felicity and Christoph were test students. Natalia graduated, so she was on her own, but I will admit she did very well in this affair. Natasha’s kidnapping was a mistake on our part, but it turned out as we hoped it would. As a group, you performed well and upheld the traditions of the Bard School. I know this is sudden and we are overstepping our bounds, but we need a decision now today.” Mr. Schultz answered.

Stefan stood and said, “By a show of hands, how many want to open this estate up as an extended campus of the Bard School?” Seven hands shot in the air making it a unanimous decision in favor of the school.

Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz thanked everyone individually, as the group broke up. There was still a lot to do, but for now life continued as it had since the assault. Construction started on the school campus with Eric, Erin and the technicians watching. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz made sure all the paperwork was up to date and legal.

Cal tended the wolf pack and found that it grew in his absence. Australia needed another small wolf pack, which Cal provided and delivered personally. Cricket’s estate had better cameras and sound detection installed during a massive rewiring project. The upgrading of the interior systems proceeded quickly and quietly.

Cricket remained in a coma in the hospital. Over the coming months, her estate became her new home until she recovered. The doctors remained optimistic about a full recovery. She and Roger watched over her body and each other. Cal visited her everyday and read to her.

Damon and Natasha became engaged to marry. The company flourished under their control. When the estate next to Cal’s went up for sale, they bought it and moved in right away. Eric and Erin spent time bringing this new estate online connected to the existing security network.

Stefan and Natalia made a good team. They watched over everything going on and made sure things happened on schedule. Over time, they began dating and became very close. Their role changed the following spring when ten students arrived at the Bard School USA Campus. Stefan became headmaster and Natalia his personal assistant. Monica still hovered close to Stefan making sure he stayed protected. The school officially opened and classes commenced. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz stayed as instructors.

The group was together and functioned as a well-oiled machine. Nothing could go wrong now or could it?

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

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

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

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