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csyphrett

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csyphrett last won the day on April 16 2018

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  1. Has anybody had to deal with the new tax work yet? I'm having a hard time figuring if I owe anything CES
  2. The Shield 1940- 9 Flanagan arrived at Miss Rich’s apartment building. People milled about. He didn’t see a policeman yet, but he had no doubt one was on the way. What was his next move? He couldn’t stay where he was. Someone would see his getup and call the law on him. He didn’t want to explain anything. And there was a chance Westwood’s man had been hurt during all this. Should he check to make sure? And he didn’t know if Miss Rich had been taken alive, or left for dead in her apartment. He needed to find out in the narrow window he had before the police arrived. Flanagan got out of his stolen car. He decided that it was best to go in the front door. He didn’t have a lot of time for sneaking around. He pushed through the small crowd. He ignored the comments on his costume as he spotted stairs and elevator side by side. He went up the stairs as fast as he could to the third floor. He read the numbers on the doors as he searched for the right place. He paused when he found a bullet riddled mess at the door he wanted. “Miss Rich?,” he called out. He held his shield in front of him in case her guard was still capable of shooting. “Miss Rich!” He pushed the door out of the way and stepped inside the apartment. He shook his head at the bullet holes in the walls, and furniture. He spotted blood on the tile covering the floor and followed it into the kitchen. He paused when he found the bodyguard lying on the floor. Flanagan frowned as he knelt beside the man. He spotted blood on the man’s shirt. He opened it and shook his head at the hole he saw. He might live if he was taken to the hospital right away. The police weren’t going to do that. It would take too long for them to mobilize in his opinion. He had to do something now if he wanted to save the man’s life. Then he could look for Miss Rich. He found a hand towel and some tape. He packed the towel in the wound. He checked the man’s back. He didn’t find an exit wound. He taped the towel in place, wrapping the tape around the man’s torso as tight as he dared. That caused a cry, but he couldn’t let that deter him. He had to move forward. Flanagan picked the man up and carried him out of the apartment. He took the elevator down. He couldn’t jostle the bodyguard with a three story walk down steps. The hole in his side might soak through towel and tape if he encouraged it. Flanagan had to push the crowd out of his way so he could carry his burden to his stolen car. He placed the man in the back seat, and got behind the wheel. He aimed his car for the nearest hospital. Hopefully the doctors would be able to stop the bleeding and save the guy. He would have to call Westwood after he had dropped the bodyguard off. He needed to know where Rydell and Courtland were so he could plan his next move. He had to get Miss Rich back, and they weren’t going to stop him. He pulled up into the driveway to the Emergency ward at the hospital. He glanced at the sign so he knew where he was, but that was for calling Westwood after he had the victim squared away. He got out and waved one of the nurses over. He opened the backdoor and reached in and pulled the bodyguard out of the car. He carried the victim into the building, watching as one of the women on duty called for a doctor, and a gurney. An orderly arrived a second later with a rolling bed. A few seconds later, the bodyguard was on the way to an operating room. Flanagan almost smiled under his mask. He put the feeling aside. Now he had to get back to work. He got back in the car as a nurse demanded his name. He looked at her for a moment. Then he drove off. He roamed the streets for minutes until he found a payphone. He had to call Westwood’s office so he could tell them their man was at the hospital. He couldn’t go home, and he couldn’t look for clues at Miss Rich’s. He needed information if he wanted to find her. He searched the car and found some change. He got out and walked to the phone booth. He opened the door and dialed the private investigator’s number while he watched the street. He had a distinctive appearance. The police at Miss Rich’s apartment would make the connection if the hospital informed them about the shot man that had been dropped off. He imagined a description of his purple suit and shield was being sent to every radio car in Manhattan with the order to stop him. He couldn’t afford that. “Westwood Detective Agency,” said a voice after five rings. “Would you like to leave a message?” “Miss Rich has been kidnaped,” said Flanagan. “His man is at St. Luke’s. If he checks in, tell him that I need to know if he tracked Rydell, or Courtland, home. Got it?” “Who should I say is calling?,” asked the message taker. “Tell him it’s Flanagan,” said the financier. “I’ll call back in a few hours to see if he has checked in.” “I got it,” said the voice. “As soon as Mr. Westwood calls, I will let him know.” “Thanks,” said Flanagan. He hung up. Where did he go from here? He couldn’t drive around in a stolen car all night. He couldn’t go home either. The office or the factory would be places people would look for him to show his face. He couldn’t do that while he was trying to figure out how to rescue Miss Rich. He couldn’t go home until he was sure the cops had hauled away his earlier catch. He needed to think about his next moves. He needed to get off the street. He needed to know things. He decided to drive by his place. Maybe the police had already taken his catch away. He needed to rest for a minute and think about some way to get Miss Rich back. If he could do that, he might be able to figure out where they had taken her. He planned to hurt Rydell if something had happened to his secretary. He didn’t know how much pain he was going to inflict. He decided to wait until he knew which way the wind blew. Then he would see how much the man liked having a broken leg for starters. He pulled into the alley behind his townhouse. The front of the place had looked quiet. He hoped that meant the police had come and gone. He used a key stored in his armor on the back door. He stepped inside. He searched the place. His attackers had been taken away. One of the policemen who had answered the call had left a card. He put that in his armor’s pocket before he went to his phone. He had to call the factory and let them know to keep an eye out for trouble. If he and Miss Rich had been attacked, the factory might be the next target. He went to his parlor and sat down in his favorite chair. How did he fix things? He closed his eyes and thought. Links formed with the assumption that Rydell was behind Courtland. The places they could safely hold Miss Rich narrowed to places that Rydell owned in some way. He discounted businesses and offices. He concentrated on places that he knew Rydell used for pleasure. He didn’t have time to check them all. Miss Rich might be in trouble while he thought. He needed a way to narrow it down more. He decided to call Westwood’s office again. Maybe the detective had checked in and was still there. He needed to know if the agency had trailed Rydell and Courtland around. Maybe the hounds had seen something that would help him. “Westwood Detective Agency,” said Westwood. He sounded angry on the phone. “It’s Flanagan,” said Flanagan. “I need to know where Rydell and Courtland went.” “Courtland is in a hotel in lower midtown,” said Westwood. “Rydell is at his house on Long Island.” “Did Rydell stop anywhere on the way out to the Island?,” asked Flanagan. He had been to Rydell’s mansion. It stood up close to a nice beach with a shape like a white Monopoly hotel. “Not that my man saw,” said Westwood. “He’s still out there according to the last report I got.” “Which hotel is Courtland in?,” asked Flanagan. “I have to ask him some questions.” “St. Luke’s said some man in a costume brought my investigator in,” said Westwood. “I’m sure it looked good,” said Flanagan. “Where is Courtland at?” “It’s a place called the Aviary,” said Westwood. “I need you to stay on Rydell,” said Flanagan. “I’m going to talk to Courtland. If Rydell leaves his house, I need to know where he goes. If he has Miss Rich, I doubt she will be at a business, or his house. He’ll probably have her somewhere close to the house in case something goes wrong and he needs her.” “He has two other properties close to his place on the Island,” said Westwood. “They’re both rental houses.” “Where are they?,” asked Flanagan. He memorized the addresses before he hung up. He had a choice on what to do next. Maybe he should talk to Courtland before trying to search houses that might have civilians in it. He went out his back door and vaulted the fence to get to the alley beyond that. He got behind the wheel of the stolen car and started it. He drove down the alley and out on the street. He headed for the Aviary. Flanagan turned over pieces in his mind as he drove south. He didn’t have a lot, but he liked the challenge of thinking about the inside of the box. If he was wrong about Courtland, he was going to have a problem with the rest of his plans. If he was right, there might be something to link the face man to Rydell and the both of them to Miss Rich. And he wanted to be right in this above all others. He parked beside the hotel, grimacing at the flashing sign on the roof of the place. He got out and went to the fire escape on the side of the building. He used a dumpster to get to the bottom rung of the ladder. Then he started up. He climbed up to the second floor window. He let himself in. He crept down the stairs to the lobby. He watched the desk man. When the employee stepped away from the desk, he jogged over and looked at the register. He jogged back to the stairs and hoped Courtland hadn’t switched his room. He climbed up to the indicated room in the register. He knocked on the door. He put a finger over the peephole. He didn’t want Courtland to take it in his head to run. “Who is it?,” Courtland asked. “Room service,” said Flanagan. “I have some extra towels for you.” Courtland opened the door. He froze when he saw the purple menace on his doorstep. He tried to swing the door shut. A fist to the face stopped him from doing that. He staggered away from the door. “Let’s talk,” said Flanagan. He stepped inside and shut the door.
  3. I would like to pick Captain Victory for my bonus pick. The title is no man escapes the manhunters CES
  4. The Shield 1940- 8 Flanagan placed Miss Rich in a cab and sent her home. He made sure to pay the hack enough to cover the ride with a generous tip on top of that. He told Berra to let him know when they were done cleaning up. He walked upstairs to his workspace. It wasn’t a lab, but it had a ton of books and some equipment he could use for small things. He couldn’t build more armor unless he decided to knock out a few internal walls and have vats and other things dragged upstairs and put in place. He liked to use it to catch up on reading industry reports and new patents. Some of those he could reverse engineer and use for his own company. A few he bought outright because he couldn’t figure out how they were supposed to work, and he didn’t mind paying for things he felt could help his company. He decided he needed a visual aid to keep him up to date on what he was doing, and what he needed to do. He pulled down a chalkboard from the ceiling and picked up the chalk on the tray at the bottom. He spent an hour assembling what he knew in short sentences. Each sentence had a confirmation written down next to it. A lot of question marks took their places where he didn’t know enough to proceed. How did he tie Rydell to Courtland? He had no idea at the moment. He was sure they were working together, even if he had no proof. Maybe Westwood’s detectives could dig something up. And then Shanks sat on the side. Whom did he work for? If he could be tied to the Rydell-Courtland partnership, that would make things that much easier. If he couldn’t be tied in, that meant another party wanted him dead, and he had no clue who that could be. He decided that everyone knew he was going to be home for the next few days. Someone would make a play. Shanks was in hiding. This might draw him out, or someone else who wanted Flanagan out of the way. How long did he have to wait was the one question he really wanted answered. A knock on the door drew him back to the present. He pushed the chalkboard back in its hiding place before pulling the door open. Berra stood on the other side. His tie and jacket had vanished since they had talked. “We’re done,” said the caterer. “Everything is as it was.” “Thanks,” said Flanagan. “You really came through for me.” “You paid the money and provided the extra hands,” said Berra. “That was enough to make everything presentable.” “No problem,” said Flanagan. “Let me show you the door and lock up. I have a meeting tomorrow I can’t miss.” “The bill is on the kitchen counter,” said Berra. He turned and headed downstairs. “I’ll have Miss Rich write you a check in the morning,” said Flanagan. “It’ll be in your office tomorrow. I’ll send it by messenger.” “Let me know if you need another party catered,” said Berra. “It will be my pleasure.” “All right,” said Flanagan. He walked behind Berra. He casually looked around. Everything looked like it was still there. He closed the door behind the caterer, noting a van with the restaurant name on its side waiting in the street. He locked the door. Flanagan searched his townhouse to make sure it was empty. He cut off the lights as he went up to his bedroom. How long did he have before they tried to kill him? He pulled on his armor as he waited. He had taken the week to put the thing together. He wore coveralls, a piece of chain mail, and a tunic over that. He had adopted a welder’s mask and hood to protect his face except for the glass eyeslit. Everything had been dipped in his concoction and was a dark purple. He had dipped a triangle of wood to make a purple shield. He strapped it on his arm. He felt it would stop a blast of dynamite, and as many bullets as it could block. Flanagan sat down in his chair, beside the door of the bedroom. He reached up and cut off the lights. All he had to do now was wait. Flanagan wondered where they would keep watch on his townhouse. He doubted there was any place other than directly across the street. He supposed they might come at him early in the morning. That was the usual time for raids. If they didn’t show up by five, he would get some sleep so he could be fresh for the office in the morning. He would try this the next two nights. If it didn’t work out, he would have to try something else. He doubted it would come to that. As soon as they knew where he was, they should have decided if they were coming right away, and what they were bringing. Any delay hurt them. A noise attracted his attention from downstairs. He went to the door. The solid coat of mix kept the chain mail from rattling as he moved. He looked at the stairs. A light shone somewhere on the ground floor. He crept to the stairs. He realized that he had never tested if the chemical would absorb falling damage as well as it did being shot and blown up. He doubted he could fall three stories in his new suit and just walk away. He didn’t want to test it now that he had intruders in his house. The lights came up the stairs. He counted two flashlights. He couldn’t see how many men were behind the lights. He stepped back from the railing. He wanted them away from his lab, and caught flatfooted when they reached the top floor. He leaned against a wall, raising his shield to maximize his coverage. He waited as the group paused at the top of the stairs. One of the men pointed at his closed bedroom door. They assembled at the door. One of them tried the knob. It twisted under his grip and he nodded. He pushed open the door and the group crowded in the door and started shooting. Flanagan frowned at the new holes he imagined being punched through his bed. He walked forward. It was time to have a talk with his home invaders. He walked up to the last man in the group. He kicked the man into the rest of the group before they realized he was behind them. Then he started swinging as hard as he could as the group tried to get away from him. He realized that he could hit harder because his chemical soaked gloves spread the impact as he punched. He wouldn’t want to hit a brick wall, but it worked great against the bones of faces. Flanagan took several blows to his shield, but he barely felt them. He used it to ram a man into flight across the bedroom. The gunman hit the window and almost crashed through to the street below. The financier took a blow to the face he didn’t feel and backhanded his attacker into a chest of drawers. He followed through with a punch that sent the man to the floor. One of the men scrambled for the door. He had recovered his pistol, or never lost it in the scuffle. He turned and started shooting into the room as he ran to the steps. The obvious plan was to run down the stairs and out the front door. He never expected a crazy man to jump the railing and fall down on him while he was shooting. Then they both rolled down to the third floor. A purple gloved fist ended the fight with two punches. Flanagan got to his feet. He ran up the stairs to the fourth floor. How many of the assassins were still ready to fight? He ran to his bedroom door. He turned on the light. The room was wrecked. He shook his head as he grabbed one man still trying to fight his way to an escape and slammed his face into the wall. The armor had worked better than he had thought it would. He checked it quickly. Several slugs had hit his outer tunic and flattened against the covering. He had barely felt the impacts in the struggle. He started tying the men up with strips torn from his sheets and searching them. The police could pick them up as soon as he was done. He went to the man in the stairwell and dragged him back to the bedroom. He tied him up with the rest. Flanagan looked at the wallets and slips of paper he had tossed on his end table. He went through them, taking any money he found. He paused in his examination of the slips of paper on the end table. It had two addresses on it. One was his townhouse. The other was one he had heard but never seen. Where had he heard it? He realized it was Miss Rich’s place. Had these goons hurt her? If they had, he wouldn’t be calling the police for a long time. He slapped one of the men awake. The gunman struggled against his bonds. He punched the man in the face to get him to pay attention. “This address,” said Flanagan. “Where did you get it?” “What does it matter to you?,” spat the captive. “I’m going to count to five, then I am going to throw you out the window,” said Flanagan. “Then I am going to talk to one of your friends next. Where did you get the address?” “Screw you,” said the man. Flanagan hefted him up and carried him to the cracked window. He started counting. “What are you doing?,” asked the man. His face pushed against the cracked insets of the window. “Where did you get the address?,” asked Flanagan, pausing his count. He pushed the man into the window. “Otherwise, you get to fly.” “The guy who hired us gave us the address,” said the man. “A crew is already over there.” “Were they supposed to kill her?,” asked Flanagan. If the answer was yes, he was going to get revenge the moment after. “No,” said the gunman. “They’re just supposed to hold her until after the meeting that’s going to be called. After that, it won’t matter.” “You just saved your life,” said Flanagan. “I’m going to call her. Then the police. If something has happened to her, I know who all of you are. I’ll find you and make your life hell.” He looked at where the phone should be by his bed. He didn’t see it. He looked around. It rested on the floor. He picked it up and asked the operator to connect him to the phone number for Miss Rich’s place. He waited, but there was no ringing tone. He called the police and asked that someone be sent over to pick up the five men he had captured. He told the man on duty he didn’t know where the owner was, but doubted he had wanted his bedroom shot up. He put the phone down. “I’m going over there,” said Flanagan. He picked up one of the pistols and stuck it in his belt. “If something has happened to Miss Rich, I will make you sorry.” Flanagan left the room. He knew he was too late if the two groups had struck at the same time. Maybe there was a clue waiting there for him. He headed downstairs and found the car his attackers had arrived in. He got in, tossing his shield in the back seat. He pulled away from the curb and headed for Miss Rich’s apartment. What meeting would have been called with both of them out of the way? He thought about it as he drove. //218403
  5. This is what I got so far. Location: Washington DC Heroes: The Fighting American, The Guardian, OMAC Villain: 1 Options: Ariel, The GPA, Dan Turpin So I need three heroes and a villain. Rounding out the rest of my roster I'm grabbing Captain Glory, Silver Star, and Bombast I'm going to use The Manhunters as my villains. CES
  6. The Elevator. This was the basis for a mail campaign I ran for a few years. I had an elevator that went to different Earths and related dimensions. The top five floors was occupied by a hotel where floor 2 was a hotel and diner, floor 3 was a museum. floor 4 was an armory, and floor 5 was a vehicle/mech store. The other 95 floors were the various dimensions. CES
  7. The Shield 1940- 7 Flanagan walked his townhouse. He nodded at the security guard at the door dressed as a waiter. He had decided on his scheme after five minutes of thought. It had taken him a week to put things in motion. Most of that time, he had spent at the lab. He put together a lightweight suit of armor. He had boxed the armor up and brought it home to his townhouse. It sat in the closet upstairs. He planned to put it on after he had dismissed his guests. He had issued invitations to a bunch of people across the business scene in the tristate area. Rydell and Rutherford were on the list. Courtland wasn’t, but the man had shown up. Westwood had been alerted so he could find out who Courtland had ridden with so they could add that to the list of things they knew. He walked into the miniature ballroom. It stood full of suits and dresses filled by people he barely knew. He noted the presence of guards dressed as waiters moving through the room. Miss Rich stood to one side with Mr. Coutri. Neither looked happy to be in attendance. “What do you think?,” asked Flanagan, as he joined them. “I know most of the lawyers in this room, and only like two, or three, of them,” said Coutri. He sipped from a snifter in his hand. “Miss Rich?,” said Flanagan. “We should have held this somewhere else,” Miss Rich said. “It’s like looking at a can of sardines in nice clothes.” “It’s fine,” said Flanagan. “It narrows our suspect list to the people in this room and their staffs.” “Not really,” said Coutri. “But it does narrow it down from the entire tristate area. We need something physical to narrow it down to someone in this room.” “I’m hoping to narrow it down to one person before the night is over if Mr. Westwood’s detectives are as good as they think they are,” said Flanagan. “I think the dinner is almost ready. We have to get these people outside.” “I think that’s your job, sir,” said Miss Rich. “All right,” said Flanagan. “Don’t call me sir.” “Everybody!,” said Flanagan. He clapped his hands to get the crowd’s attention. “Dinner will be served outside in the back yard. Please follow me, and we’ll get you set up.” He led the way down the central hall of his townhouse to the back door. He opened it, and stepped outside. The party goers followed, drinks in hand. Flanagan glanced at the caterers. They seemed ready to take care of things. The detectives stood out against the regular wait staff. He hoped they didn’t spook whomever wanted him dead. After all, the whole point of the party was to set the bait for the trap. As long as he was at his office, or his lab, it was going to be hard to get at him. But his townhouse was in the city, surrounded by other townhouses, and anybody could scale the low stone wall that surrounded his back yard. And three of the people he didn’t trust knew he was going to be there all night after the party. He wondered how long he had before someone showed up to kill him. He checked his watch. He figured the party would start breaking up about ten, maybe eleven. The caterers had to clean up. Westwood’s men would have to take up position to watch the outside of the house and then stop anyone trying to leave. He figured the killer would try after midnight. His armor waited on him upstairs. He had timed himself and practiced. He could pull it on in two minutes. As soon as he had seen everyone off the property, he would go upstairs, put on his armor, and wait. If they came for him in the limited window he had opened, he would be able to shrug off most normal impacts and defend himself until the detectives took action. He had to hide the armor before they saw it. He didn’t want people knowing he had it before he was ready to start selling it to the highest bidder. He was still working on ways to mass produce the suit. If it got him through the night, it had more than earned a successful rating from him. Flanagan moved through the crowd as they found seats at the tables brought in for them. He planned to eat his dinner in the kitchen, but he wanted them to think he was thinking of them. It was his first party, and he couldn’t wait to clear these virtual strangers off his property so he could move to the next phase of his plan. After making sure everyone was happy, and the food was moving, he retired to the kitchen. He leaned against the counter holding the sink and watched the backyard through his window. He hoped his plan went off without a hitch. He could see these people expecting him to show up for their garden parties after everything was settled. He didn’t plan to do that. At least the caterers hadn’t been infiltrated. The last thing he needed was his party turning into a blood bath. He noticed Courtland had taken a seat by Rydell. Rutherford sat two tables over. Westwood sat in a spot where he could watch all three. Small talk seemed to rule the evening. That was fine. Flanagan grabbed a plate and went through the prepared food, grabbing what looked good with tongs, or a fork. He poured a glass of milk to drink with his food. He seemed to be the only teetotaler at this shindig. He should have expected that. He hoped he didn’t have to pour the bunch of them into cabs by the end of this. “It looks like everything is going smoothly,” said Billy Berra, the owner of the catering service. He was gray haired, thin, and had a jaw that would make a nutcracker proud. He wore the same white jacket, white shirt, black pants, bow tie, as his employees. “I think so,” said Flanagan. “Your guys have done a good job.” “The extra help you rounded up made everything easier,” said Berra. “They’re a little brusque but they seemed to have been able to keep things rolling smoother than I would have thought.” “Smoother than I thought too,” said Flanagan. “This is pretty good.” “Just some chicken, some steak, some seasoning, and some sauce mixed together,” said Berra. “The vegetables are mostly greens with potatoes and corn mixed in with it.” “No cordon bleu?,” asked Flanagan. “That’s just chicken with blue cheese,” said Berra. “I like to make food with some flavor in it.” “It does have that,” said Flanagan. He took another bite and chewed. “If I ever need a personal chef, I will call you first.” “I own a restaurant you can eat at any time you want,” said Berra. He shook his head. “Come by and I’ll fix you my recipe for an omelette.” “That would be swell,” said Flanagan. “I’ll come by one day for that.” Berra saw one of his employees doing something, and left the kitchen to talk to the waiter. Flanagan finished his plate, loaded it again, and ate that while watching his back yard. He spotted Miss Rich sitting in a group next to the house. She looked uncomfortable. He put the dirty plate down next to the sink. He stepped outside and walked over to Miss Rich’s table. “Ladies,” Flanagan said. “Do you mind if Miss Rich and I talk for a bit.” “Go ahead,” said Mrs. Kiel. Rumor stated that she had conducted the trade with the Indians for the island, and remained after everyone else was dead. She waved her hand for them to go. “You’ve done a good job with this,” said Flanagan. He led her away from the crowd. “Thanks.” “The caterers handled everything for me,” said Miss Rich. “All I had to do was give them the order, and the money from the discretionary fund. I have already filed copies of the receipts and sent the originals to accounting.” “You’ve done a good job,” said Flanagan. “What do you think of the guests?” “Some of them are very sharp,” said Miss Rich. “Some of them are very stupid. Some of them mix it up in ways I am not sure how they were able to make money in the first place.” “They inherited it,” said Flanagan. “If something happens to me, Coutri has some paperwork for you to sign. I just wanted you to know so you wouldn’t be surprised.” “Paperwork?,” said Miss Rich. “Yes,” said Flanagan. “He’ll go over it with you if it becomes necessary. I’m hoping it isn’t necessary.” “All right,” said Miss Rich. “Nothing will happen. You have all these men around you.” “I also have one man standing outside your door,” said Flanagan. “When this over, it will be back to business as usual. Until then, I want you to be as safe as possible.” “Why would they come after me,” said Miss Rich. “I’m just a secretary.” “You also know everything about the company from how many paper clips we buy, to how much material we ship from one port to another,” said Flanagan. “If you were to disappear, the company would flounder until we moved someone into your spot who is as good as you are, if such a person exists.” “There’s some,” said Miss Rich. “I know one girl who covers the accounting department.” “Put her on your list of replacements if you keep one,” said Flanagan. “But I am going to try to make sure that isn’t required.” “Thank you,” said Miss Rich. “I’ll see you in the office tomorrow. We still have that meeting with the people from the government.” “I’ll be there,” said Flanagan. “The contracts look good, and it’s things we can easily handle.” “This has been a weird experience,” said Miss Rich. “Thank you for inviting me.” “I didn’t invite you,” said Flanagan. “I ordered you to put things together, and you did with great efficiency. I couldn’t have got all these stuffed shirts here myself.” “I noticed you were avoiding talking to them,” said Miss Rich. “That’s another reason I ordered you to put things together,” said Flanagan. “None of them would have believed it if I had sent the invites myself.” “I can see that,” said Miss Rich. “Now, we’re going to say goodbye to our guests as they leave,” said Flanagan, checking his watch. “Then I will put you in a cab to take you home. Lock up when you get there. You’re the linchpin to the company, and even with a guard, I want you to be careful.” “If something happened to me, what would you do?,” said Miss Rich. “I don’t know,” said Flanagan. “If it was because of a person, I would hunt him or her down and eat their liver. Anything else, I would probably have to join a monastery and reflect on the conditions of life.” “Really?,” said Miss Rich. “No exceptions for the liver either,” said Flanagan. “Thank you,” said Miss Rich. “I will hold on to that statement until my dying day.” “So we have to shake hands, and say goodbye,” said Flanagan. “How hard can that be?” “That nice old lady I was talking to thought we’re in a relationship,” said Miss Rich. “Really?,” said Flanagan. “What kind?” “Getting ready to be married,” said Miss Rich. “I don’t think I would make a great husband, Miss Rich,” said Flanagan. “You could do better.” “I seriously doubt that, sir,” said Miss Rich. “Every uncommitted woman, and some of the committed ones, outside would throw themselves at your feet. I guarantee it.” “They would be throwing themselves at someone who doesn’t have time for them,” said Flanagan. “Exactly,” said Miss Rich. “But they don’t know that. They just see the millionaire financier entrepreneur who owns parts of five states and will give them anything they want.” “Really?,” said Flanagan. “What do you think? Would I make a great catch?” “If the woman didn’t mind sitting at home waiting for you,” said Miss Rich. “Otherwise, no.” “That is sharp,” said Flanagan. He smiled to say he didn’t take offense. He liked his work more than he liked people. He could live with that. “It is better the truth come out now before you let some gold digger get her claws into you and ruin your name and fortune,” said Miss Rich. “That will never happen as long as I have you,” said Flanagan. Miss Rich blushed. The guests filed down the hall as they finished their talk and food. Flanagan and Miss Rich shook their hands and let them out the front door to the street. Cabs and chauffeur driven private cars were summoned to carry them away. “I still want to buy your company,” said Courtland when his turn came up. “I can’t sell it to you,” said Flanagan. “I’m in the middle of an internal investigation. Have a good night.” “Internal investigation?,” said Courtland. Internal investigation?, mouthed Miss Rich silently. “Someone tried to have me killed,” said Flanagan. “The thought is that it was someone in the company. We’re going to root him out and turn him over to the police.” “Good luck,” said Courtland. “I was wondering who gave you my private number to the lab,” said Flanagan. “I think I got it from your secretary,” he said. “I’ll have to talk to her about that,” said Flanagan. “Have a good night.” “Good night, Flanagan,” said Courtland. He stepped out on the stoop, walked the eight steps to the sidewalk, turned right, and started walking down the block. “I did not give him the lab number,” said Miss Rich in a low whisper. She looked furious at the claim. “Rydell gave him the number,” said Flanagan. “How do you know that?,” asked Miss Rich. “It’s obvious they’re old friends,” said Flanagan. He smiled at the next guest leaving and ushered them out. //216401/
  8. I would like to option the GPA and pick OMAC as my third hero CES
  9. I have been reading a lot of books and havent been keeping track. I think Kill for Me by Tom Wood is the last non sci fi/ fantasy book I read. Victor is hired to settle a cartel war. Neither side is happy with how the assassin takes care of his business CES
  10. i would like to option Brooklyn Dan Turpin CES
  11. I would like to option Ariel from Thundarr the Barbarian CES
  12. I wish I had a magnifying glass. CES
  13. The Shield 1940- 6 Flanagan sat behind his desk at his office and looked at his notes. The jacket had stopped four bullets without taking a scratch. He had felt the impacts, but had received no damage as far as he could tell. The small soreness he felt could be from the actual fight later instead of getting shot. He wondered how he would have felt if he had worn the shirt under the jacket. Would that have spread the impact even more after the initial hit? He couldn’t expect it to stop heavier weapon slugs, but it had been a good field test. He wished it had been something he had come up with and not because someone had tried to kill him. “Mr. Coutri and Mr. Westwood are here,” reported Miss Rich from the outer office. “Send them in,” said Flanagan. Coutri, a serious man in a good suit and grave demeanor, and Westwood, smiling too much and wearing a suit pulled off a rack somewhere, came in. Flanagan waved them to padded visitor chairs. He hoped they could help him out. “Thank you for coming,” said Flanagan. “I need your help with some problems that have come up.” “What kind of problems?,” asked Coutri. “A man named Arnold Courtland has persistently asked me to sell my interest, or the whole company, to him,” said Flanagan. “The answer has been no, but he won’t go away. I need you to dig into him, Mr. Coutri. I need to know everything you can find out about his financial status, and if anyone is behind him. I need a way to attack him, and possibly buy his company, and interests out from under him if I can. In any case, I want the offers to stop, as well as any offers to the board he might be making.” “I’ll see what I can do,” said Coutri. “It might take some time depending on how he has arranged his businesses to protect his holdings.” “Do what you can as fast as you can,” said Flanagan. “I need ammunition for the next board meeting.” Coutri nodded. He wrote the name down on a card and put it back in his suit pocket. “Mr. Westwood,” said Flanagan. He looked at a note on his desk. “Mr. Coutri has recommended you as an investigator. I need you to get me everything you can on a man named Ian Shanks. I need you to find him, and keep an eye on him. I need to know everyone he talks to, and everything he does until I figure out how he fits in to things.” He handed over the license he had taken from the gunman the night before. “I took this from him last night,” said Flanagan. “He tried to shoot me.” “Do the police know?,” asked Coutri. “The New Jersey State Police know about the attempt, and they have his gun,” said Flanagan. “I don’t know if they can trace it back to him, or if it belonged to someone else. They don’t know I took the license, or that I know who he is.” “That could lead to trouble down the road,” warned Coutri. “I’m not interested in the police catching him,” said Flanagan. “That would be nice, but it won’t solve my problem. I have someone trying to take over my company, and an attempted bombing of my main factory, and an attempted shooting of me. I doubt that Shanks decided on his own let’s kill Frank Flanagan. I need to know if he is working for Courtland, or someone else. If he is, then I can think about what I can do about it.” “I’ll put out some feelers,” said Westwood. “If he has a record, he might have some known associates I can use to find him. If he doesn’t, I’ll have to start at this address and work my way outward.” “Do whatever you have to do,” said Flanagan. “Only a few people know about this. A detective named Dern is looking into the bombing. He spoke to me at the hospital. The state police said they were going to hand the pistol over to a detective to chase down. He hasn’t called yet.” “It might take a while,” said Westwood. “I assume if we find this Shanks, you’ll want to turn him in.” “I’m more interested in finding his boss,” said Flanagan. “If you see him committing some other crime, turn him in. I’ll be on the look out for his replacement.” “He missed,” said Westwood. “A new guy might already be out there. We won’t know until he takes a shot at you. I’ll get you a bodyguard to try to keep you safe.” “Don’t worry about that,” said Flanagan. “I have some things to do at my factory, but I don’t plan to be out in the open except for transit between here and there.” “How do you want to proceed after we complete these tasks?,” asked Coutri. “I don’t know,” said Flanagan. “I don’t know if they are connected. If we can prove that they are connected, we can take them both out by proving they’re a conspiracy. If they are separate efforts, then we can take one, then the other.” “All right,” said Coutri. “I’ll see what I can dig up.” “Leave everything with Miss Rich if I am not here,” said Flanagan. “She’s the only one I trust.” “Got it,” said Westwood. “Where is this factory, and does it have a phone?” Flanagan pulled a card from a tray on his desk. He wrote down the number of the lab phone on the back and handed it over. That struck him for a second. He paused at the thought. “Courtland called me on my private line at the factory,” said Flanagan. “Only four people other than you have that number, and I just gave you the number.” “So one of them must have talked to Courtland and handed him the number to call you,” said Westwood. “Names?” “Miss Rich, Frank Saxon, Jim Rydell, Larry Rutherford,” said Flanagan. “Saxon runs our West Coast operation. Rydell is on the board. Rutherford is my Treasurer and Financial Officer.” “There is a small chance that he didn’t get the number directly from any of these people,” said Westwood, taking notes. “He could have stolen it somehow, or hired someone to steal it for him.” “Find out,” said Flanagan. “I would stake my life on Miss Rich, but Saxon could get a promotion out of a change of ownership, Rydell would get some money if he was able to sell his shares, or get more shares in the new company, and Rutherford could want a bigger seat at the table.” “All right,” said Westwood. “I’ll put some men on them and see where they go. If Saxon is out west, I’ll call some people out there and subcontract the work.” “That’s fine,” said Flanagan. “Miss Rich, could you come in, please?” The secretary opened the door and stepped inside. She closed the door behind her. “Miss Rich, Mr. Westwood is going to need personnel files and so forth from us,” said Flanagan. “Also he will have someone guarding you until this is over. You’re the only one I trust, and I don’t want any problems for you.” “So you think someone will throw a bomb at me?,” said Miss Rich. “Not really,” said Westwood. “I like to be thorough. Mr. Flanagan said Arnold Courtland called him at his lab, but only a few people have the number. Is there any way he could have gotten the number from you.” “Yes,” said Miss Rich. “Depending.” “I don’t understand,” said Westwood. “I have a list of people I have to call on my desk,” said Miss Rich. “Mr. Courtland has come here to talk to Mr. Flanagan. All he would have to do is look at the number for Mr. Flanagan’s lab on that list if he had time to read it between my notifying Mr. Flanagan he was here for his appointment and showing him to the office door.” “Do you know of anyone else who might know the number?,” asked Westwood. “Mr. Rydell,” said Miss Rich. “He likes to call if there is a slightest hiccup, and Mr. Rutherford, who calls when there’s some problems with our cash flow, or numbers. They call my office first, and then generally say they will call the factory looking for Mr. Flanagan. I assume they both have the lab number.” “Anybody else?,” said Westwood. “I don’t think so,” said Miss Rich. “Usually people call me, I call Mr. Flanagan, and he calls them back, or tells me to act on whatever I was asked.” “Can you give me an example?,” said Westwood. “When Mr. Flanagan came back to work after the bombing, I took a call from Mr. Rydell. He wanted to talk to Mr. Flanagan about what happened. I talked to Mr. Flanagan. Mr. Flanagan told me he didn’t want to be bothered while he was going over some of our production contracts. I told Mr. Rydell that Mr. Flanagan was busy and would call him back when he was done. He became a little huffy on the phone. I told him that Mr. Flanagan was busy, and it was fine to come down, but I was sure that Mr. Flanagan would throw him out of the building. It was better to leave a message.” “You told a member of the board I would throw him out of the building?,” said Flanagan. “Yes, sir,” said Miss Rich. “Mr. Rydell is too haughty for my liking.” “Thank you, Miss Rich,” said Westwood. “I am going to need the personnel files for a Frank Saxon, Rydell, and Rutherford for a start. Can you get them for me?” “Yes,” said the secretary. She left the office. “I like her,” said Westwood. “I wish my secretary would threaten some of my clients like that.” “I’m surprised Rydell didn’t demand I fire her,” said Flanagan. “Do you think this Courtland and the attacks are connected?,” asked Coutri. “They look that way to me.” “There are only so many options,” said Flanagan. “Either Courtland wants the company so bad that killing me is on the table so he can get it, or I have two enemies acting at the same time. Either way, I have to know what’s going on, and deal with it in some way.” “Don’t worry,” said Westwood. “If Shanks is connected to Courtland, it will take a bit to dig it up, but we will. He isn’t going to work for free.” “Shanks might have a helper,” said Flanagan. “I hit him on the head pretty good. It took a bit for the State Police to arrive, but he was gone. I am leaning on someone else being there and driving him away while I was calling the law, but his skull could be that thick.” “When we find him, we can see if he has someone who helps him out,” said Westwood. “Go ahead and get started,” said Flanagan. “As soon as I hear from Courtland again, I’ll call you so you know where he is.” “Be careful,” said Westwood. “I want to get paid.” “I’ll set up a fund with Miss Rich to pay even if I die,” said Flanagan. “I’ll sign the paperwork before I leave today.” “Have it filed at the courthouse before close of business,” said Coutri. “Otherwise, if you die tonight, we want get paid.” “I’m not going to die unless I blow up my lab,” said Flanagan. “If that happens, Courtland will be able to buy everything for a song.” “It was nice meeting you, Mr. Flanagan,” said Westwood as he stood. “I don’t think I have ever met someone so cool about someone wanting to kill him.” “This isn’t the first time something dangerous has happened to me,” said Flanagan. “I’ll call you in the next few days to check in. If something happens to me, Miss Rich will pay you to keep digging.” “You can call to check in, but it will probably be close to next week before I have something for you,” said Westwood. He looked at Coutri. “I don’t know how long it will take to dig into Courtland,” said Coutri. “We’ll have to do a ton of searches for his licenses and records just to get a handle on things if he is an honest businessman. If he isn’t, we’ll have to track him through any associates.” “See if he is connected in some way to Rydell,” said Flanagan. “The man owns a quarter of the company’s stock. He might want the rest.” “Makes sense,” said Coutri. “I’ll see what I can dig up.” He stood up and straightened his suit before joining Westwood at the door. They stepped out to talk to Miss Rich. Flanagan sat back in his chair. He needed information. If they could get him something, that would help him settle things so he could get back to work. He didn’t like the fact that he was a target, but he wasn’t a social butterfly. If someone wanted to get him, they would have to come at him at one of three places. He spent the most time at his lab, then his office, then his townhouse across the city. He idly considered what would happen if he went home. He wondered what would happen if he had protective gear. No one would be watching his house. He hadn’t been home since everything started. Any watcher would be bored out of their mind by now. He needed information. The townhouse was probably safe. If it was watched, would anybody be stupid enough to come after him? Could he grab one of his attackers? Did he want to be bait? Maybe he could use a tougher set of armor for protection just in case. Flanagan leaned back in his chair. It was too bad he couldn’t rule Saxon out of this. It would be nice not to have to worry about something while trying to get to the bottom of things. “Miss Rich,” he said into the intercom. “Could you come in here, please?” She appeared with pad and pen in hand. Her eyebrows knitted together as she wondered what he wanted. “Please sit, Miss Rich,” Flanagan said. He gestured at the visitor chair. “I would like to talk to you for a moment.” Miss Rich took a chair. “Do you have a boyfriend, a fiancé, Miss Rich?,” asked Flanagan. “Excuse me?,” said Miss Rich. “I need a date,” said Flanagan. //214054
  14. Loaded Doreen's Duel for Hodgepodge CES
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