Wednesday, January 29, 2014

33. And so they began

A private message arrived at her Facebook inbox, from one Mark Lee.

Mark Lee:  "Hello Shannon, I'm writing you to seek insight into this person Rebecca Bates, whom I've read about in your blogs.  I've had interactions with her, in person, and extra doubts have arisen in my mind.  I would like to see if there is anything about her you know that could shed light on these doubts.  Any help will be appreciated.  Keep up the great work.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Please keep this between us for now.  - Mark"

Shannon Stone, "Hi Mark, just to clarify for me, are you the Mark Lee who testified in the congressional hearing last week?  I've read the transcript.  You nailed it shut."

ML:  "And you are the Shannon Stone who testified for HR 1724 last month?  I was there.  Bravo!"

SS:  "Yes.  But, well, all I can recall is that it was nerve racking - even for a litigation attorney.  So, what is it about Ms. Bates that you would like to know?  I'll help in whatever way I can. - Shannon"

ML:  "Hi Shannon, it is quite sensitive, so I can't talk about it by open email.  It strikes me to be potentially important enough to justify a plane ticket.  Whether you will take the flight or I will is up to you. - Mark"

SS:  "I have cases I can't get away from.  If you could come here, you'd be welcome to stay in my guest room."

Within days they were walking in the backwoods of Shannon's acreage.  She pointed out to Mark where the confrontation took place, then invited Mark to talk.

Mark outlined what he had found thus far about Rebecca, and sounded somewhat hesitant when he came to the worst case scenario.  "I'm no conspiracy theorist, Shannon.  I'm just leaving no stone unturned."

Shannon walked on for a spell.  "Knowing her, it is not all that far fetched.  Not only is she a psychopath in my opinion, she also has an arson record.  Some years ago, she was convicted on burning down her own barn and trying to pin it on animal right's activists, including an added twist in the form of her ex-boyfriend being also a suspect.  She served two years, give or take.  This alone proves that she has a criminal mind and no conscience to govern it with."

"What would you do in my place?  Considering that you're an attorney."

"The first choice to make is whether you want to report it or not.  If you do, yes, that sex video would have to come to light, and it would go all the way up to the president and first lady.  If you don't, you'd be a one-man CTU, if not an accomplice to the crime."


"The Counter-Terrorism Unit - a fictitious government agency in a popular TV series."

"I assume this CTU has all the state-of-the-art equipment and software that I don't have."

"And an 'interrogation room' to boot.  You know what that means."

"Well, I do have a basement, haha."

"The problem is to identify the substance in the bottle.  And since its being a chemical or biological weapon of mass destruction, you cannot bypass reporting it."

"That's what I'm afraid of.  Something I can't quite grasp.  Why would she put that video into the capsule?  Why doesn't she use it now?"

"She just might.  I'm sure she has made copies of the video and is just biding her time or waiting for the opportunity.  What I think is that she understands the mindset of a president.  She knows that they all want their faces up on Mt. Rushmore.  They think about legacy, reputation, history, where a few decades are but a line in a page.  This puts a very powerful lever in her hands, and she could play the president for years if she wanted to.  But she wants big results, she would want to blackmail a president, not an ex-president, and the election is coming up soon.  So, I think she'll make a move, if she hasn't already, though probably in private with the president and/or first lady."

"So how do you think the president will react?"

"I'd be very scared if I were him - if the video is as bad as you say it is."

"You can take a look at it when we get back to the house."

"I'll take your word for it.  Anyway, I think his first impulse would be to put the lid on it.  Failing that, he would have to come clean with the American public, before the video goes viral."

"The video is extremely graphic.  Once it gets out, the president will be destroyed, and the presidency itself will be forever tainted."

"So then, the president's next impulse will be to find Bates and erase all evidence.  And perhaps even eliminate all witnesses, which could include me."

"They could, but this is contingent upon them catching Bates, and she implicating you."

After a few silent steps, Mark said, "Damn it!  I'm no farther ahead than where I started."

That evening, after Trevor had gone to bed, Shannon did view the video.  "Pardon me while I go and throw up."

"Yes, the president does look better in a business suit than in his birthday suit," Mark quipped.

"I was thinking about Rebecca," Shannon said.  "No doubt about it.  This is dynamite."

"So the question is - how would she use it."

"Blackmail, of course."

"If so, it would be against her interest to publicize it."

"This depends on her true motive, whether she want to profit from it, or to destroy the president," said Shannon.

Mark nodded.  "By my feel, I think she wants to profit from it.  I don't sense any deep hatred she was holding against him.  This means that she does not intend or even want to publish it, but instead to play with him over the next three decades.  In any case.  I'm going to download the video into a flash drive and delete it from my computer."

"Good idea."

In the evening by the fireplace, Shannon said, "Oh, Mark.  My turn to seek some advice from you."

"Nice for a change."

She told him what happened to Rev. Lowry.

"I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of this," said Mark.  "I think he will overcome his fear and stand up against them.  Then all hell will break lose."

"Just what I'm afraid of.  Thanks, Mark."

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