Copyright © 2012 - 2014 by Kyle Aarons and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
Morning and the seven thirty wake up calls to all four rooms came way too early for the eight boys. Only Craig and Steven actually rolled out of bed and started getting dressed. The other six did everything from covering their heads with their pillows to smacking at the phone until it stopped ringing to simply not responding at all.
Steven finished pulling on his faded jeans and brushed his teeth before he moved over and nudged Justin, "Hey, we are supposed to be down in the restaurant for breakfast at 8:15.
"I'm not hungry… and I don't think I want to tell the others."
"Come on Justin, you have to eat. Besides, I already said I would handle this. All you have to do is be there to answer a few questions and point us in the right direction."
"What if we wait a day or two?"
"If you really want to, but it'll only get harder and the time shorter for us to help you every hour you wait. I'm telling you, no one is going to make fun of you."
"How do you know?"
"Because I just do, Justin… Hey, tell you what, why don't we go down to breakfast and see what everyone wants to do today? Then we can bring up that we could use the others' help on something later in the day. This way, we'll have a chance to get to know everyone a bit better and have some fun before we go after the jerks who did those things to you."
"I don't know if I can do this…"
"No sweat. I'll do it for you. I won't even show the photos they sent you, and I still bet you I will get everyone on board."
Justin reluctantly nodded. "OK, but if they want to see the pictures, then what?"
Steven shrugged, "You need to stop thinking those stupid photos make you look bad, but I'll go one better. I will get everyone on for this I won't even tell them about the pictures. This way they won't even know to ask. Trust me, already. You did last night."
"Yeah, and now I am more scared than ever." Justin admitted as he forced himself to sit up and yawned.
"The only ones who need to be scared are those who did this crap to you. Now get dressed. I am hungry!"
Justin finally rolled out of bed and glanced over with a great deal of astonishment, "You ate like a massive plate then half of mine less than five hours ago!"
"Closer to four hours," Steven grinned, "but there have been more than a few mornings toward the end of every month where there is limited food around my place, so I eat when I can, so hurry up!"
"You are going to weigh five hundred pounds by the time this week is out!"
"No, way! I like to do way too much stuff." Steven smiled widely as he added, "I still haven't figured out half of the stuff I want to do, because it all sounds fun to me."
"Even the treasure hunt on EEL grounds?"
"Especially the treasure hunt; are you kidding me? Their headquarters sits on a wooded hilly area on over five hundred wooded acres with all sorts of hiking trails and places to explore with only clues and maps to go off of! I don't care if it's a bag of candy, that sounds like a blast to me!"
"Hours of walking around searching all sorts of places where there is still stuff like poison ivy and junk around doesn't sound like much fun to me at all." Justin countered, thrilled to have the conversation off of him for a while.
"Without me exploring and getting out and looking around, I would have never gotten here, Justin. Besides, it was a great way to make friends and stuff. Exploring the desert around Phoenix was awesome, even when it was 115 degrees and I had to worry about the occasional rattler."
"Your idea of fun and mine are a bit different, but if you really want to, I'll sign up to team with you."
"Awesome. I wonder what the treasure is?"
"Like you said, probably a bag of candy." Justin snickered.
"Better than a rattler." Steven stated with a giggle.
In the room across the suit, Craig rolled his shoulders and started doing some clapping pushups. After each upward shove, he managed to clap his hands together then catch his downward momentum before lowering himself down to his chin only to push upward with everything he had and do it again. After thirty he rolled over, shoved his feet under the bed, and cranked out a hundred sit ups. He jumped up and grabbed a large glass of water before speaking. "Glenn, you going to get up?"
Glenn used his arms to push himself up into a sitting position. "Well, I was going to sleep in, but after hearing and seeing what you do for morning wake-ups, I can see sleeping in is not going to happen around you."
Craig snickered, "If we are going to try to find out who is lying, this is the last day before the election. I thought you were game for this."
Glenn stretched and used both arms to lift his right leg then slowly, and with clear discomfort pulled it in to where it was bent. "I do, but I also like to sleep." He reached out to his chair and slid over only to see Craig move over to him.
Glenn held up his hand, "I got this…" He paused as he saw a bit of a confused and hurt expression cross Craig's face. "But thanks. I am sure I will need help lots of times this week, OK?"
"I just thought…"
Glenn shook his head, "Come, on Craig, I need to be able to pretend I am not helpless sometimes!"
Craig held up his hands and backed away. "Hey, I am sorry. I just want to be the best friend I can, and I am screwing up again!"
"No you aren't." Glenn paused and cringed and he pulled himself into his hover chair and powered it up. "As a matter of fact, I have to go to the bathroom bad, but with what we added we threw the balance off. Can you do a quick Gyro adjustment for me?"
Craig nodded and quickly moved over, then glanced down at the control panel in front of Glenn, "Nine degrees? How did we end up with a nine degree lean to the left?"
Glenn took a deep breath, "Um, how about you help me to the bathroom and let me go while you try to figure it out."
Craig quickly slid his arm under Glenn's left hip and cradled the damaged right with his hand, then lifted just like he had been talked through the day before. He then got Glenn into the bathroom and set him on the stool. "Look, I am still confused on what is doing enough, not enough, and going too far as far as this friendship thing goes, so should I stay or go?"
Glenn forced a smile to hide his frustration, "No, I'm good. See what you can figure out on the chair for me."
Happy to have some clear instructions, while still feeling useful, Craig quickly backed out and moved over to the still powered up hover chair. Just as he moved to the back to adjust the gyro, the phone on the end table next to Glenn's bed started playing Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker: Waltz of the Snowflakes.
From the bathroom Glenn groaned loudly, "That would be my mom!"
Craig eyed the phone for a second as he took in the music then shrugged and grabbed it, "Hello?"
A female voice sounded almost frantic, "Who is this? Where is my boy?"
"Um, is this Mrs. Olivarez?"
"Yes! Now where is my little Glenn?"
Craig shrugged as he stuck to the plan he had talked over with Glenn before going to bed. "Ma'am he is still sleeping. He went to bed early then had some cramps last night so I had to help him with his leg, I can wake him if you want."
The woman's huffing and puffing calmed a great deal, "And you are?"
"Oh, I am so sorry, ma'am. I'm Craig. We are sharing a bedroom here at the resort. Do you want me to wake him?"
"No, no…" the woman's breathing continued to slow and a great deal of anxiety left her voice. "Did he really let you help him?"
"Several times ma'am." Craig glanced at the phone wondering what the big deal was before pulling it back up to his ear and mouth again. "After the flight and the pizza party we had last night he was wiped out, so I helped him get cleaned up and got him into bed with the extra pillows under his hip the way he said he needed it. Then last night he had me help with the leg lifts about four in the morning and showed me how to help with the assisted hip rotations. It took almost twenty minutes, but he cramps went away and he was able to go back to sleep. That's why I haven't woken him up yet."
"Really…" the woman's tone spoke way more than the words did as she added, "and he let you?"
"He was a little worried, but he was hurting real bad, so me and Justin helped a lot when we got to the resort. He was in bed and asleep by like seven. Sorry if I did something wrong."
"Wrong?" The woman gasped out, "Are you kidding me? How much do I owe you and this Justin?"
"Owe us?" Craig once again pulled the phone away from his head and stared at it for a few moments before pulling it back up again. "He's my friend. Why would you owe us anything?"
"Friend? You really see him as your friend already?"
"Um, yeah… I mean, he may be one of the best friends I have ever had. At the pizza place he talked me though his chair and we worked on making it better and stuff, then we played all sorts of racing games and he even let me take his chair for a short ride. He's great and he's really nice to me…"
There was nothing but silence on the other end for nearly three seconds. Finally a single word was spoken, "Wow…"
Craig's eyebrows went up, "Ma'am?"
"Um, Craig, was it?"
"Well, um, wow… you have tears coming out of my eyes. It has been well over a year since I have heard anyone say they saw Glenn as a friend and, to be honest, I didn't even know he could play games in a pizza place… Plus, he has never let anyone other than me and his dad help him, no matter how much pain he was in… Is there anything I can do… Um, is there any way your folks will let you and this Justin come and stay with us for a while? Do you want something, um…Anything, anything at all?"
Craig chewed on the inside of his mouth for a few moments as it suddenly dawned on him his own dad would probably have a similar reaction if he found out some other kid said they saw themselves as his friend. It was interesting and somewhat comforting to find he was not as alone as he thought he was. At the same time, the idea of this lady wanting to buy more friendship bothered him a great deal. "Ma'am, I want to be Glenn's friend, I actually want it just as much, if not more, than he wants me to be his friend. I don't want you or him to think you need to pay me to be nice to him…" Craig paused then decided to be totally honest, "Actually, I think between Glenn and Justin, I may even learn how to make real friends. That's way more valuable than anything someone could get me.
Again there was a long period of nothing but breathing. Finally the woman found some words, but it was clear she was softly crying, "Craig, you have to give me your folks' number so I can find a way for you to come here and visit… Please."
"I'll give you my dad's number, but he is on ship somewhere at the moment. You can leave him messages and he will get back to you when he can."
"What about your mom?"
"What about her?" Craig suddenly spoke in a much less friendly voice.
"Ah, sorry I asked, young man. So where do you stay when your father is out at sea?"
"Unfortunately, with her." Craig spoke in a resigned voice. "But dad's tour was extended, so when he gets back, he'll have shore leave for longer than normal. I'll be with him for quite a while as soon as he pulls into port."
"Well, maybe you can come stay with us while your father is out to sea sometimes." The woman offered with a degree of hope in her voice.
"Now, that would be incredible." Craig stated with a high degree of enthusiasm. "Is this your cell number?"
"Yes it is, why?"
"I'll text you my dad's and old lady's numbers and names. This way, if something can be worked out, it will not be me pushing, cause otherwise my old lady's husband will say no."
"Understood, Craig," The woman sighed, "and I am sorry you and your mother don't see eye to eye. Can you please make sure Glenn drinks more before he goes to bed and he has some pills he can take for night cramps. I know he doesn't like them, cause they make him feel a little sick, but it would save you from having to get up and help him in the middle of the night."
"I don't want him to be sick, I'll just wake up and help him!"
Glenn's mom let out a very long breath. "You are a very special young man, Craig. Make sure to text me the numbers of your mom and dad… and please have Glenn call me when he wakes up."
"I sure will, ma'am, and sorry if I was rude about my mom, but…"
"Hey, it's OK, and maybe you can visit and take some pressure off you and her once in a while."
"That would be great, thanks, Ma'am. I'll make sure Glenn calls you."
Craig waited until he heard the woman hang up and then smacked himself in the head, "I must sound like some kind of horrible kid!"
From the bathroom, Glenn spoke up, "No, she gets it. She hates her dad so bad she has never let me meet him, and she sends his Christmas cards back every year with 'return to sender' on the outside. Oh, and thanks, you did great. I bet you cut phone calls down to once or twice a day from what would have been five to ten."
Craig let out a giant sigh of relief. "Glad I could help, but I think we have a problem with what we did to your chair. There is enough humidify down here, and there was enough power still in my extractor, to partially fill the container. The weight of the water is throwing off the balance. We'll need to make a tank that keeps it level or figure out a way to auto adjust your gyro for the weight.
"Ah, crap." Glenn muttered, "I never thought about water weight. "Let's shut it off and drain it for now while we find a way for the gyro to auto correct for more than me moving around a little. It shouldn't be hard to program in the parameters and tie it into the levels I already have in the control system for me shifting my weight."
"Sounds good. I'll take care of draining it, then I will balance it for the extra weight we added. The rest you will have to walk me through, though."
"Not a problem, but um… I'm going to need help to get out of here, since you have my chair."
Craig's shoulder's dropped as he shook his head in frustration at his own stupidity then all but ran into the bathroom. "Damn-it! I'm so Sorry, Glenn."
Glenn simply smiled as he finished pulling up him PJ pants and let Craig carry him back into the other room. "Don't' worry about it. My own dad has done the same thing way more than I can count. Even mom has when she gets in a big hurry. Once I was left in the bathroom while they went out to dinner. I was in there for almost four hours…" He snickered, "But they ended up feeling so bad they finally sprang for the gyro parts I needed."
This got a brief smile out of Craig as he quickly took care of the problems with the balance of the chair. "So, do you need help with some exercises and stuff?"
Glenn nodded then looked down, "You really don't mind?"
"No, but I will mind if you don't call your mom back, cause I promised her you would."
Glenn gave a thumbs up as he reached over and grabbed his cell, "Yeah, I don't want to let a very good lie go to waste."
"Only partially." Craig grinned. "You really did go to bed early and I did help you stretch at four this morning."
Glenn nodded, "Dad always says the best way to hide a lie is with a measure of truth. Which is what I think Ashwood is doing to Bryce, by the way."
"We shall have to see what we can find. So, call your mom and let's get dressed, so we can get the others and find a way to see who is telling the bigger lie."
"Hey, can you hand me the two orange bungee cords out of my therapy bag so I can start my stretches while you get cleaned up?"
Craig quickly grabbed the requested items before he moved off to clean up and get ready for the day while Glenn stretched and called his mom.
Ten minutes later, Craig opened the door into the central room of the suit and noted the room service dishes sitting by the door and Justin showing Steven how to adjust light setting on one of his cameras so the photos of them would come out differently with each snap.
Glenn and Craig said nothing for several seconds as they took mental notes on the impromptu photography course.
It wasn't until Steven turned, did he notice the pair. "Damn, Glenn, your chair is sure quiet!"
This caused Justin to spin with some surprise. But he quickly snapped half a dozen photos of Glenn and Craig together before joining in the conversation. He then eyed the chair and moved a bit closer, "You didn't have solar panels on it last night, did you?"
Glenn shook his head and smiled, "No, Craig and I are trying to improve it, but we have created a few glitches and I am not sure my gyro will be able to compensate enough. We'll have to figure out something better."
Steven moved up and knelt next to the chair, "Weight and balance problem?"
"Uh, huh." Glenn signed. "I made a computer program to make minor adjustment for me shifting my weight or adding books or junk, but we put on Craig's water extractor and panels for power and now it is struggling to keep balances even as I shift weight. It was totally screwed up until Craig drained the water."
Steven dropped down and looked under the skirting.
"Watch it; those blades will slice your fingers off." Glenn warned.
"Don't worry I am not about to go sticking anything under there while it is running." Steven snickered, "So you are going to use the water extractor plus the drain tubes, tie into the solar panels and make hydrogen so it is totally self powered, huh?"
Craig whistled, "OK, you certainly saw that quickly enough.
"I take junk and make repairs to it, or make useful things to sell out of it, so I am used to seeing how things work quickly." Steven grinned, "And your gyro is under there, above the fan blades somewhere?"
"Yeah, dead center under me so it can detect when I shift my weight, have school books with me or whatever, why?"
"Because," Steven nodded with growing confidence as his brain more fully wrapped around what needed to be done and how to do it. "If we move the gyro slightly to the right where the weight of the engine is and if Justin will let us expand on his micro-gyro with full auto-stabilization, then we could eliminate all the manual adjustment controls, save a lot of weight and you wouldn't have to worry about adding and subtracting things at all. We would have to change your chair a bit, so it is inside the auto-stabilization unit so you don't throw it out of alignment, but I bet it would only take a few hours to make all those adjustments once we build a larger version of the camera stabilizer."
Craig snapped his fingers and pointed at Justin with a great deal of excitement. "Holy Crap! Steven's a certifiable genius! If we could figure out a way to make it auto-stabilize, like your camera thing does, Justin, we wouldn't need to make manual adjustments at all and could use the same design in all sorts of things!"
Glenn's eyes went wide with excitement, "Yeah! Your stabilizer technology is exactly what I need!"
Justin nodded slowly as she saw a whole host of ways to use something he built for a camera to be useful on a myriad of things, "Sure… I mean, Steven's right. My camera stabilizer uses a mini gyro and is fully automatic. It has to be, I bet we could expand it to work on something like a hover craft, a remote controlled sub, a drone, upright walking robots, even fighter and a space craft cockpits… Why didn't I think of that?"
"You did, Justin!" Steven smiled even wider, "You just started small on something you know better than any of us, cameras and photography. The real question is, are you OK with using something you built to help Glenn's chair?"
"Of course!" Justin nodded vigorously. "With your guys' help, I could turn my invention into something beyond big! We could all make lots of money if we can perfect it."
Steven shrugged, "As long as we keep all the ratios the same, it shouldn't be too hard to make it bigger." Steven paused as he set Justin's camera stabilizer on the table and put an ashtray under it. "So if we think of the ashtray as the base of the hover chair and everything else as needing weight distribution, then we build the stabilizer around everything else and it becomes auto centering. I bet we could build the whole thing without a big lab, and it should only take a day or two."
The conversation was interrupted briefly as Keith walked through the door to the adjoining suite, wiping at his eyes as he did so, "You guys are loud."
"Wake up was over thirty minutes ago." Craig snickered as Ricky came in right behind Keith and yawned.
"Yeah, we were up till like three, probably later." Keith stated as he yawned as well.
"We were up later, or earlier than you." Glenn snickered.
"Yeah, but you had a nap." Ricky complained.
We are only together for a week, guys. Worry about sleep when you go home!" Craig snorted. "I think we should table this major upgrade for later, since we have Wednesday and Friday for science stuff."
"Agreed." Steven stated firmly. "So have you guys looked at what you want to do today?"
"Actually…" Craig glanced back over to Glenn, "We were kind of wondering if we could get everyone in on a team effort, but maybe make a bit of a competition out of it."
"You want to see who is smarter?" Keith asked, clearly intrigued.
"Not really smart." Glenn chimed in. "More like… um… crafty or sneaky."
"Sure." Steven agreed while glancing over at Justin, "Did you have anything in mind?"
"Well, we do…" Glenn cringed, "The only problem is, I'm not sure we can do it legally."
"Oh, really?" Steven stated with a great deal of interest. "Cause Justin could use some help from all of us on something which would require questionable actions as well."
The left side of Craig's lip twisted upward and his eyes sparkled in a way only a kid's eyes can when he really wants to do something forbidden. "Glenn and I want to see what we can find by hacking into areas of the government computer system. The plan is to see which Presidential candidate is lying."
The door between the two rooms fully opened as Scott came in, still in silk pajamas, "They're politicians, Craig; they lie for a living."
Alexander followed Scott in snickering, "I'd have to agree with Scott."
"OK," Glenn held up his hands, "Craig said the same thing when we were talking about it last night, but come on. How can one say the other is a terrorist and the other say it's not true? One of them has to by lying. I just want to know which one."
This caused Keith and Ricky to exchange glances and both woke up a bit more. Keith quickly joined in. "I have a good friend in Russia who says Ashwood is lying about Bryce, but the US has blocked access to many foreign servers and monitors everything. If we could find proof and get it to him before tomorrow, then he would let the whole world know what is really going on.
Craig let out a long sigh, "I'm not convinced it is Ashwood who is lying. What will you tell your friend if you find out Bryce is the prick and a terrorist?"
"Only one way to find out." Alexander snickered, "but hacking the US government… Guys, we would have to find an in without them tracing back to us, and I have a pretty good idea about the FBI's cyber crimes units. They will be on us like flies attracted to dog crap. Besides, we would have to hit servers in the Department of Justice or even more secure mainframes. Something like that would take weeks and we would have to come up with strong countermeasures to prevent getting caught…" Seeing Ricky shaking his head, Alexander paused, "You know something I don't?"
"Probably, just like you know lots of stuff I'd love to know, but don't." Ricky countered with a soft voice.
"So let's hear it, Ricky!" Craig demanded.
Ricky let out a long breath, "Other than me, how many real hackers do we have among us?"
Keith was first to raise his hand, followed shortly by Glenn and Scott. Both Justin and Alexander cringed and held up their hands about half way, while Steven spoke up, "I got the basics. If I had a real computer and some kind of access other then the library, I'd be a heck of a lot better."
Craig pointed over to Steven, "Hate to say it, but I am kind of with Steven. I know how it's done, and played around with it, but sitting in front of a computer just isn't my thing. I did manage to slide in and give my mom's man-thing a fake warrant for his arrest which got him locked up for a couple of days until they realized it was a big mistake a month or so ago."
"Now, that's beyond mean!" Justin nearly choked. "What did he do to you?"
"He made me babysit a bunch of brats who came over for my half brother's birthday party while him and mom went out for a 'romantic' dinner. It not only caused me to miss my Gymnastic lesson, but also got me dropped from the rings for the meet we had the following week. Then the jackass didn't pay me like he promised."
Steven cringed, "Damn, Craig, remind me not to piss you off!"
"Yeah, well, if he ever pulls some other crap on me, I'll do far worse. He is the biggest jackass this side of the Mississippi river." Craig clenched his fists and took a deep breath. "So Ricky, you have some kind of idea?"
"I can prevent us from getting caught and if I can get someone to play a decoy, I can get us in pretty deep depending on who comes sniffing around."
Glenn eyed Ricky for a few moments. "OK, I can't wait to hear this, but I am kind of with Alexander. There is no way we can hack into Department of Justice mainframe or worse, the FBI network will take us weeks!"
Scott let out a very long breath, "Anyone with a cell, take out the battery."
Before anyone could argue, Steven nodded and pulled his battery out and tossed it on the table, "Guys, do it. He has a good reason!"
While several were perplexed, they quickly followed Steven's lead. While this was going on, Scott moved over and turned on the TV and then turned it up to be uncomfortably loud. "First off, I already told some of you, but the NSA can listen though your phones if they think there is a good need, and turning it off just isn't good enough. Battery contact has to be broken." He then kept his back to the window and held up his hand while motioning for Justin to close the window shade. As soon as the heavy curtain was blocking out the view to the pool below, he turned to actually face the others. "They also employ a fair number of lip readers."
Seeing the skeptical looks, he smirked, "Guys, I know this is hard to believe, but Ashwood and Floyd Horney, the Homeland Security Secretary have taken the art of spying on US citizens to a crazy level. Their ability to get information from other places across the globe is almost as intensive. Do not ever underestimate what systems Horney has put in place. I don't have time to get into just how much I know and I'd prefer to stay away from how I learned it all. You'll just have to trust me. But let me give you an example from one of the files I managed to get access to… Anyone here want to volunteer for me to tell a secret about your family?"
"You got anything on my ass-wipe mom or her man-toy?" Craig wondered aloud.
"You sure you want to know?"
"If it's bad, damned straight I do!"
"Just don't punch me like you did your former squad leader!"
Craig's jaw dropped some as he eyed Scott with a shocked look, "How in the hell did you know…"
"It wasn't Brent's fault." Scott stated coldly, "Your step dad threatened him… Told him to do what he tried to do, or he would fire Brent's dad. Your stepdad wanted you to quit the Junior Marines and figured it was a sure fire way for it to happen. He just didn't expect you to fracture Brent's jaw in three places and break three ribs. The kid was two years older and thirty pounds heavier than you after all."
Craig's eyes were wide with fear. "But no one was there… Brent made sure it was just the two of us… How…?"
"The NSA picked up a conversation between your stepdad and Brent and it was enough to raise some red flags. The word 'marine' was combined with a few others Mr. Kenwood spoke, including the words 'break him', 'you'll pay' and 'bankrupt'. It was flagged as a possible marine getting blackmailed. Once the whole thing was scanned and found to be dealing with a domestic dispute, someone decided to track it anyway, since your father is an XO of a navel destroyer. A satellite tracked the whole thing and even caught the fact Brent pulled a knife on you before you opened up a can of… and this is straight out of the report… whoop-ass. That was the analyst's exact words for what you unleashed on Brent.
"As a follow-up, Brent threatened your stepdad with blackmail charges from a hospital phone and made your dad promote Brent's dad instead. Brent said he had a tape of the original conversation, but the NSA doesn't think so. They have your stepdad labeled as a moron and dropped him from a close watch list."
Eyes around the room all looked over at Craig, then back to Scott.
Steven spoke after sever uneasy seconds, "So what do you have on me?"
"Not much, but your dad's horror stories have caused some concern, since Ashwood has talked about instituting a ratings system for books, kind of like what is already done for movies video games. If he gets his way, your dad would have to tone down some of his stuff or his books could end up only being allowed to be sold in adult bookstores. Your dad is also on a background list as a possible child predator, since he has killed 63 kids between all his books, and a couple of them have been in sexual ways.
"OK, even though his NSA guys are right about my mom's jerk-off husband, I am hating Ashwood more by the second." Craig snarled.
Steven's whole demeanor became darker as he glanced over at Craig. "Not as much as I am. My dad would never hurt a kid in real life!"
Scott held up both hands, "I get it, and if you want something even weirder, the NSA lists your father as possible contact of value. I have no idea why."
"This has got to be, like, real top secret stuff!" Alexander all but shouted. "How did you get a hold of this and why?"
"Like I said, I'd prefer not to talk about the how." Scott lightly shuddered, but otherwise kept a straight face. "Let's just say some intelligence agents in the NSA are smart, but not intelligent. As for the why, I was worried about coming down here, so I had my dad do some checking, then I took it on myself to get some ammo on everyone just in case I needed it. Now I wish I hadn't. Sorry guys."
"As much as it pisses me off the government has my dad labeled as a someone who could hurt kids, it's probably a good thing you did. Otherwise I don't think we would believe you." Steven forced himself to take a few deep breaths before continuing. "But at the moment, I'd say you have all of our undivided attention. So, if you have something to say, let's hear it. Cause, right now, I am pissed enough to do whatever I can to make Ashwood look bad!"
"OK…" Scott closed his eyes and fought the desire to just run out of the room. He could tell by the way the others were breathing, they all wanted to know what information he had on each of them. "Look, I could get into a whole lot of trouble for saying this, but if you want to find some hard proof on what Ashwood is doing, you don't have to go any further than the FCC, and I don't think you will have to go very deep. The problem is, as soon as someone realizes the FCC is being hacked, it will start a shit-storm and everything the FBI has will come on line to find out who is doing what. Ashwood's Attorney General and Homeland Security secretaries will also bring the full weight of their departments in. None of them can afford the information to get out before the election."
"What information?" Steven demanded to know.
"Ashwood is controlling much of the media through the Vice President and FCC."
Justin managed to be the next to speak. "Do you have proof of this?"
"No way." Scott shook his head. "But I have heard enough to know what is going on. All I can tell you is there is proof, and the easiest to get to would be in the FCC; but I am not good enough to get to it on my own. The other thing you need to know is my own family is in on this, so if I do this, I am going against my mom and my aunt directly and my dad indirectly."
Alexander looked over with compete confusion. "Then why are you telling us about it?"
Scott took a very deep breath, "Because…" He paused as he blinked out a couple of tears, "The evidence is there to be found and I think my brother, Grant, may have stumbled on some hard proof, which is why he vanished the way he did. I also know my mom and aunt, and they both are hiding something about Grant's disappearance. Unless I get help, I'll never be able to find him and I think this is the best road to go down to figure out what happened."
"Any chance we can target another Ashwood while we are at it?" Steven asked is he moved closer to Justin.
"If we are going to go after the President, why not." Glenn snickered.
"Sure, any particular reason?" Keith asked quickly.
"Because," Justin spoke softly, "Owen Ashwood Junior is threatening me… has stuff on me…" Tears started rolling down Justin's cheeks as Steven put his arm around him.
"Oh, that self righteous prick!" Scott's left hand formed into a fist and smashed into his open right hand. Seeing all eyes turn to look at him again, Scott shook his head in complete disgust. "Owen Ashwood Junior is a totally spoiled jerk and should have been locked up half a dozen times by now. He has a thing for torturing animals, building bombs, and there are a whole lot of rumors about him forcing himself on both boys and girls. I know he did something to my brother, Denny, but mom pushed it under the rug since it was an Ashwood."
Alexander eyed Scott, "You mean your mom would let something happen to her own kid…"
"For a major political gain, yeah. Which is why I think she knows something about Grant. She sure let something happen to Denny… Actually, I am pretty sure it happened more than once. Besides, right after the trail supposedly went cold on Grant, mom's name was added as a strong front-runner for Ashwood's next Secretary of the Interior. There is no way those events are not related."
"I think I feel sick." Ricky stated, as he shivered in total disgust. "These are really the people in charge of this country?"
"Yeah, and I am only scratching the surface. What I don't know is what really worries me." Scott then turned to Justin. "I know Owen, he is a pussy and would never do anything alone; he finds ways to gang up on people. Whatever happened to you, whatever he did to you, isn't your fault. I've seen the way he operates. We'll nail him, then you tell us who else he had backing him up and we'll wipe the mud with them, too."
Keith moved over to Justin, "We got your back. It doesn't even matter what he did; I'm sure we can figure out a way to make him pay for it."
Craig glanced up at the ceiling as he realized he had stepped on a big pile of crap and it all seemed to be Ashwood stuck to the bottom of his shoe. "Fine, then we need to get our shit together and do it quickly."
Steven nodded in total agreement. "Ricky, if you have something we can use then get it, 'cause we are running on a tight schedule. We only have today, because tomorrow will be too late. We need to see what we can do to prevent Richard Ashwood from becoming a two term president." A bit of a smirk crossed his face as he added, "I guess he was given the proper first name, since it sure sounds like he is a giant dick."