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Book 4: Bacaidhean

By MultiMapper
Copyright ©2002-2018 MultiMapper.
All Rights Reserved.
For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit Copyright/Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link. While these stories are provided for free, I would appreciate it if those who were able would consider contributing to this artist via my Patreon.

Chapter 5

The boarding process was as routine as it could be.

When they went to their assigned seats, Agent Roberts was once again surprised at Mr. Darroch's subtle, yet thoughtful, planning.

He found that Dex had been assigned a middle seat in the row, between himself and Professor Everstone. In the row behind them, Miss Oaken and Corabeth were talking quietly.

Filipe, Paul and G were in the next row and the last of their group, Mr. Hansen and Zanner, were in the row immediately following.

Agent Roberts could easily see how the personalities of the people and their relationships with each other had been taken into account while making the seating arrangements.

"Can I ask you something, Agent Roberts?" Dex asked quietly.

"Sure. Go ahead."

"What's it like to live as a human? What's it like to grow up not believing in magic?"

"The people who say that ignorance is bliss may actually be onto something."


"No. I suppose not. But looking back, everything seemed so much simpler back then. All the rules were clearly defined and the world seemed to make perfect sense."

"That sounds nice."

"While I was living that way, it wasn't a bad way to be. But now I look back and everything seems so small and limited. It's like I was living in a bubble, sheltered from an enormous amazing world that I didn't even know was there."

"So do you think that knowing is better?" Dex asked uncertainly.

"I suppose that depends on what your objective is. Knowing the truth changes how you view the world around you. I was used to thinking of everyone being the same, having the same abilities and limitations. The only thing that made them different was their motivations and decisions. People who had nefarious motivations and those who made self-serving choices needed to be stopped for the betterment of society as a whole."

"Stopping people like that sounds like it would be a hard thing to do, but it also sounds like something that you could be proud of doing." Dex said thoughtfully.

"I felt like I was making a difference. Regardless of how effective my efforts were, the job I was doing contributed to making the world a better place."

"But you don't feel that way now?"

"I do, but it's not the same. There's so much going on that I wasn't aware of before, that I'm having to reevaluate my place in the grand scheme of things."

"Are you thinking of quitting the FBI?"

"No. But before I learned the truth, everything that was right and wrong was spelled out very precisely for me. When I faced a situation, there was no moral quandary. Stop the bad guy, help the good guy... it was all pretty simple. Now I have to look at a situation and consider if there may be magic at play or if an opponent may be motivated by trying to protect his people from being discovered."

"So you're trying to figure out how to do your job knowing that there are witches in the world who may be working against you?" Dex asked cautiously.

"Yes, to some degree. What was black and white before now has shades of gray that I never could have imagined. I guess that I'm a little overwhelmed trying to determine my place in the bigger world. Being a human, I'm at a disadvantage when dealing with beings of power, or in the case of the Wudewas, great size and physical strength."


"Yes. You'll be hearing all about them when we arrive in Kentucky. That's who we're going to be helping."

"I remember studying about them in my Health and Healing class, but I didn't think that there were any on this plane of existence."

"There's at least a colony of them, because I've been there."

"And we're going there to protect them from being discovered by humans?"

"Yes. Some people with advanced technological gadgetry were able to detect the Wudewas village and penetrate it with remote controlled drones. They were even able to kill a few of the Wudewas, although they didn't know who it was that they were killing."

"And you stopped them?"

"I was part of the team that stopped them. To tell you the truth, my biggest contribution to the whole thing was that I knew people with the skills to be able to help."

Dex thought about that for a moment, then quietly asked, "If you hadn't been there, what do you think would have happened?"

"Agent Fastbeck, that's my boss, he probably would have found another way to deal with it. I think the solution we were able to come up with was a lot cleaner and less troublesome than it might have been otherwise. But if I hadn't been there, I still think that he would have been able to manage."

"It sounds to me like your 'human' way of thinking might be the strength that you're bringing to the table. When witches have a problem, they usually think of what magic they can use to solve it. Since you grew up without magic, you think of other answers to the same problem, then decide which answer is best."

"I hadn't really thought about it in those terms, but I can see what you're saying." Agent Roberts said slowly, then thought to ask, "What about you? How are you different from a witch or a human?"

Dex seemed surprised by the question, but before he could answer, they could feel the plane accelerating for takeoff.

* * * * *

Agent Roberts was surprised by the force of the grip on his hand.

Dex hadn't shown any indication of being afraid, or at least no more afraid than was usual for him. But as the plane began to rise into the air, Agent Roberts could tell that the boy was nothing less than completely terrified.

"It's okay. It's going to be fine." Agent Roberts quietly assured the frightened boy.

"Agent Roberts, there's something you need to know about me." Dex said past clenched teeth.

"Whatever it is, you can tell me."

"I'm not a witch. I can't cast a spell or do any of the other things that witches usually do. In fact, most magic doesn't work on me."

"That doesn't sound like a bad thing to me." Agent Roberts said gently.

"But I'm not a human either. I'm an Oriad. I'm an avatar of the earth."

"I don't know what that means." Agent Roberts said honestly.

"I'm part of the earth and it's part of me." Dex stated simply, then explained, "If I'm not really careful all the time, the earth will react to what I'm feeling."

"Oh. That doesn't sound good."

"Actually, if I get too scared and totally lose it, the earth might try to rise up to meet us."

"Like a mountain might suddenly spring up out of nowhere?"

"Yes. Well, probably a volcano, but if that doesn't work, then it could just end up being a massive explosion."

"But wouldn't that hurt you rather than helping you?"

"The earth isn't known for thinking things through. It's mostly about action and reaction."

"So you need to stay calm at all times to keep the earth from reacting to you?"

"Not all the time, but there's always the danger that if something bad happened to me, the earth could react to it."

"So that explains why you don't see yourself as being like a human."

"I go to school with witches who can do all kinds of incredible things and I'm not a part of any of that. I also go to school with humans who can let loose of what they're feeling if they want to and scream or fight or just sing with joy. I can't be a part of that either."

"And if you ever did that, the earth might react to whatever you were feeling." Agent Roberts added, to confirm his understanding.

"I don't have any magic of my own, but if I need to, I can call upon the magic of the earth... the entire planet earth."

After a momentary pause, Agent Roberts quietly said, "We've leveled off. Are you better now?"

"Not completely. I can feel how far we are from the ground, but I can manage this. The hardest part was the feeling of being torn away from the earth's embrace. Even though I can feel the distance, I can still feel the connection, too."

"I think that there are a lot of people who don't care for the sensation of taking off. You did just fine."

Dex released Agent Roberts' hand, then said, "Thank you for talking to me while it was happening. It helped."

"The vast majority of humans don't have any idea of what's really going on in the world, so I'm well outside the norm. From what you've told me, you're well outside the norm too. Even though we're not the same in every way, we've got that much in common."

"I'm not used to feeling like I have anything in common with anyone." Dex said quietly.

"Hey! Me too!" Agent Roberts said with a grin.

Dex looked at him strangely for a moment, then broke into an unwilling smile.

* * * * *

There was a long silence as Agent Roberts and Dex contemplated what might lay ahead of them in the coming days.

"I'm glad you're going to be part of our team. I think you're going to be able to make a significant contribution." Professor Everstone said to Dex quietly.

Dex stared at him with surprise for a moment, then slowly responded, "Thank you sir."

"I don't know if you realize just how much of a contribution you'll be making."

"I'm going to give you access to the earth element, but if I weren't going to be there, you would just access it another way."

"I have had the opportunity to reconstruct other barriers over the years. In those cases, the most dangerous and time consuming part of the process was establishing a sufficient connection with the earth."

"So me being there will really help?"

"Your participation in this project will make our chances of success much greater. Establishing a barrier on a massive scale can be fraught with many dangers."

"How dangerous is it going to be?" Dex asked quietly.

Agent Roberts leaned a little closer to hear Professor Everstone's response.

"While the magic itself holds dangers for all of us, I believe the greater concern for you will be the possibility of becoming lost, either within the barrier or within the earth itself."

"What does that mean exactly?" Agent Roberts asked slowly.

Professor Everstone shifted his gaze to Agent Roberts and carefully said, "Dexter will be serving as a conduit for an enormous amount of power. It is possible that the flow of so much magic will, in essence, wash Dexter away. His physical being could possibly dissolve and become part of either the barrier or of the earth."

"If that happens, how hard will it be to get him back?"

"Once his physical body is lost, there is no retrieving it. He will no longer be himself. He will become something new... something enduring and eternal."

"I won't allow it." Agent Roberts said firmly.

"What we're discussing is only a remote possibility. We will do everything in our power to ensure that Dexter won't be in danger."

"No. If there's any chance that Dex might be hurt, then the price is too high. You'll have to find another way."

"It could take us weeks to find an alternative method for accessing the earth element and we would almost certainly have to bring in more personnel."

"I don't care. We'll do what we have to do. If there's even a chance that this will hurt Dex, I won't allow it."

"Be very careful Agent Roberts. Do not overestimate your authority in this situation."

"This has nothing to do with my position or authority. It has to do with common decency. No person of good conscience would allow you to put a child in danger when there was ANY alternative."

"This isn't something that needs to be decided right this minute. Once we've had an opportunity to evaluate the existing barrier and have a better idea of what we're dealing with, we can assess the risks."

"That's fine, as long as it's understood that Dex's safety is not negotiable."

"I can't promise that there will be no risk to Dexter, but if at any time he appears to be in danger, I promise that we will stop and consider alternatives."

"Alright then." Agent Roberts said grudgingly, then noticed Dex staring at him wide-eyed. "If anything happened to you I'm pretty sure that your mom would have me wishing for death before the day was over. And that doesn't scare me nearly as bad as what I imagine your father doing. He may be a lowly human, like I am, but you are the pride and joy of his life."

"Did he tell you that?"

"He didn't have to. It was obvious when I saw the two of you together."

"I just asked because he told me that, those exact words."

"Please don't ever doubt that it's true."

The slight smile that crossed Dex's lips told Agent Roberts not only that he had doubted his father's words, but also that those doubts had been assuaged.

* * * * *

Agent Roberts was mentally going over his list of needed supplies when he noticed someone approaching in the aisle.

"Dex, could you come back and talk with me and Mr. Hansen for a minute?"

"Yeah. I guess so." Dex said uncertainly.

"He just wants to talk to us about how we're supposed to work together. I've never manipulated magic from another person before."

"Okay." Dex said as he released his seatbelt and stood.

"I'll be here if you need me." Agent Roberts said as Dex scooted past him.

"Thanks." Dex said with a timid smile before leaving with Zanner.

* * * * *

"I feel that I should explain something..." Professor Everstone said, breaking the long silence between them.

"What's that?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"Upon reflection, I can see how you might have taken my response regarding the potential danger for Dexter as being a bit more than I had intended. You have to realize that in the course of my work, I deal with facts, statistics and absolutes. When I say that there is a danger for Dexter if he were to participate, I am actually saying that, statistically speaking, the risk for him can't be stated as being absolutely zero."

"How can you be alright with putting Dex in any danger?"

"How much of an achievement will it be for him if there's no danger or possibility of failure?"

"What will it matter if he's killed in the process?"

"Agent Roberts, this isn't my first time at the dance. I've seen how these things tend to work out. Please trust me when I say that Dexter needs this. I'm not overstating the importance of it when I say that our upcoming project has the potential to completely alter his destiny. His success or failure in the rest of his life could be determined in the coming days."

"Okay. I'll bite." Shawn said grudgingly, then asked, "How?"

"In the olden days, when it was discovered that someone was an Oriad, the conventional wisdom stated that after a certain point, they would wander away from society, never to be seen again."

"What does that mean?"

"In some cases it would mean that the Oriad would become a hermit, eschewing contact with humans and witches alike. In other circumstances, the Oriad might choose to join with the earth element, at which point they were lost to our world entirely."

"But are you saying that the project that we're working on could keep Dex from withdrawing from society?"

"That's my hope. In finding a way to use his natural ability to contribute to the project, I'm hoping that he will see his own worth and choose to remain in our world with us."

"But with him being neither a human or a witch, what kind of a life can he have?"

"I believe that he can have an adventurous and fulfilling life, putting his natural ability to good use. Projects such as ours require a great deal of natural magic to create and maintain. Once Dexter has had the opportunity to complete his studies, he may choose to commit himself to contributing to such projects. It could end up being a very good life for him."

An announcement on the cabin speakers alerted them that the plane would soon be preparing to land and that everyone should return to their seats.

"Dex's safety is not negotiable." Agent Roberts reiterated.

"Understood." Professor Everstone said simply, then turned his attention forward.

A moment later, Dex arrived and scooted past Agent Roberts to take his seat.

"Did you guys have a good talk?" Agent Roberts asked gently.

"Mr. Hansen was telling us about what we're going to do when we get there. I can't wait to try out the things he was telling us about." Dex said happily.

"I can't wait to see it." Agent Roberts said warmly, then added as an afterthought, "Buckle up, we're about to land."

"What? Oh, yeah." Dex said as he scrambled to find the ends of his seatbelt.

* * * * *

As the plane began its descent, Agent Roberts took gentle hold of Dex's hand to provide him some measure of comfort.

"I can feel the earth getting closer." Dex said as he held Agent Roberts' hand firmly.

"Does it feel good?"

"Yeah. It's like something wrong inside me is being made right."

"Just sit back and enjoy the feeling. We're almost down."

* * * * *

When Agent Roberts got up from his seat to get in line to disembark he noticed Sky Marshal Butler discreetly waving to get his attention.

Agent Roberts motioned for Dex to go with Professor Everstone, then waited for Sky Marshal Butler to make his way forward in the crowded aisle.

"I don't know what you're up to with those kids, but I'll assume that it's an FBI matter."

Agent Roberts schooled his expression and waited for whatever point Sky Marshal Butler was trying to make.

"I noticed that one of the passengers seemed to be showing quite a bit of interest in your group. I thought I'd give you a 'heads-up'." Sky Marshal Butler said quietly.

"Thank you for keeping an eye on us. What do you think is going on?"

"I don't have any ideas about that, but trust me when I say that he's up to something."

"Got it."

"By the way, I have a list of all the passengers and their assigned seating..." Sky Marshal Butler trailed off, then continued in a whisper, "Do you see that man with the saddlebag carry-on?"

Agent Roberts casually glanced around and easily saw to whom Sky Marshal Butler was referring.

"It would be illegal for me to disclose any passenger information that I have access to, so I won't do that. But if I were to mention the name Elias Ingram without any context, I couldn't be held responsible for whatever conclusions you might reach."

"Good point. And besides, with all the chaos of the airports and flight, who can remember where they heard anything?"

"Take good care of your kids, Agent Roberts."

"I'll do my best. Thank you, Sky Marshall Butler."

* * * * *

Although Agent Roberts had lost sight of the members of his group, he wasn't concerned since he had a direct line-of-sight with Elias Ingram.

As he left the plane, he noticed that Mr. Ingram appeared to be looking for someone. Agent Roberts slowed his pace and discretely kept watch from a distance.

When Mr. Ingram stopped, Agent Roberts followed his gaze and determined that Mr. Ingram was watching his group, more specifically, the students.

After a moment to consider, Agent Roberts decided to join his group and keep careful watch on Mr. Ingram, out of the corner of his eye.

"Did you get lost?" Dex asked as Agent Roberts approached.

"I stopped to help someone with their overhead compartment. What's going on here?"

"We were just waiting on you to catch up with us before going to the baggage claim."

"Let's go then." Agent Roberts said as he discreetly glanced in Mr. Ingram's direction to find that he was still intently watching their group.

* * * * *

As they arrived at the baggage claim, Paul quickly asked, "Do we have time to go to the bathroom?"

"It should be a few minutes before our luggage starts unloading. The restrooms are over there." Professor Everstone said as he indicated a doorway to the left of them.

"Be right back." Paul said as he started walking with G following a step behind.

Agent Roberts glanced around and easily spotted Mr. Ingram standing by a column several feet away, apparently checking the messages on his phone.

At least that had been Agent Roberts' immediate assumption.

Something about the way Mr. Ingram was holding the phone made Shawn realize that Mr. Ingram was using his phone to take pictures. Agent Roberts quickly deduced that from Mr. Ingram's position, that he was taking pictures of Zanner and Dex.

"Shawn." A voice said quietly from over Agent Roberts' shoulder.

Agent Roberts turned and asked, "Do you see that man with the phone by the column?"

"The one taking pictures of the kids?" Agent Fastbeck asked in return.

"Keep an eye on him while I make a call."

"I'm on it."

Agent Roberts selected the proper name from his contact list and hit the icon to dial.

A moment later, Agent Roberts said, "Agent Simmons? Would you have a free minute to help me with something?"

"Would you do a quick search for a man named Elias Ingram? He would be listed on United Flight 323 just now landing in Lexington."

"Everything's fine. I'd just like to get an idea of what kind of a guy we're dealing with here."

"No. In fact, the only other person who works in my field office is here at the airport with me. That's why I'm calling you."

"Just give me the short version."

"Right. I could have gone all day without hearing that."

"No. I'd rather not leave a paper trail. If I need to know anything else, I'll look it up for myself when I get back to the office."

"Everything's fine here. Gotta go. Thanks for the help. I appreciate it."

"Yeah. Bye."

"What did you find out?" Agent Fastbeck asked cautiously.

"Not much. I'd guess that we're looking at a ghost."

"What do you want to do?"

"There's not much that we can do. All he's doing is taking pictures in a public area. Any action that we could take would only draw attention to us and cause us a delay that we can't afford."

"Is there a problem?" Professor Everstone asked as he approached.

"Professor Everstone, this is Agent Conrad Fastbeck from the FBI. We just noticed that there's a man taking pictures of the children. I'm not sure that there's anything we can do about it without causing a delay in our mission." Agent Roberts said as he glanced in Mr. Ingram's direction.

Professor Everstone followed his gaze, then said, "Give me a moment. I believe that we will be able to handle this."

Agents Roberts and Fastbeck watched as Professor Everstone walked directly toward Filipe.

"What do you think he's going to do?" Agent Fastbeck asked cautiously.

"I have no idea. But Professor Everstone seems to have something in mind."

"What do you think this guy's up to?"

"My first impulse is to think that he might be a human trafficker, taking pictures of kids that he'd like to abduct... maybe forwarding the pictures he takes to his accomplices so that they can stage a distraction and carry out the abduction before we leave the airport."

"Paul!" Professor Everstone called as Paul and G were returning from the bathroom.

Agents Roberts and Fastbeck watched as Paul altered his course and joined Professor Everstone and Filipe.

After a brief serious discussion, Paul and Filipe turned their attention toward Mr. Ingram.

Agent Roberts followed their combined stares and saw a confused expression come over Mr. Ingram's face.

"What do you think they did to him?" Agent Fastbeck asked in a whisper.

Agent Roberts watched Mr. Ingram lower his phone and intently type on it.

"I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be anything overtly harmful." Agent Roberts said slowly.

"Good. As I understand it, we're going to need to be leaving as soon as you have your luggage."

"We're also going to be meeting the last member of our party... some historian or something named Brown."

A movement caused both agents to look up and they watched as Mr. Ingram irritably removed the battery from his phone.

Unable to restrain his curiosity, Agent Roberts walked to Professor Everstone to hopefully get some answers.

* * * * *

"Okay, what did you do to Mr. Ingram?" Agent Roberts asked simply.

"In preparation for our upcoming endeavor, I researched the achievements and strengths of our students. When faced with Mr. Ingram's behavior, I remembered that Filipe has shown exceptional aptitude for bestowing blessings and curses. Since there was a need to be discrete, I thought that I might just get Filipe to do some small enchantment on Mr. Ingram's phone."

"And he did that from all the way over here?"

"Although he normally might not be able to do so on his own, Filipe and Paul have become accustomed to working together to augment both their abilities. I'm not entirely sure what spell they used, but whatever it was seems to have had the desired effect."

Agent Roberts glanced back toward Mr. Ingram to find him still fixated on trying to get his phone to function.

"We chirped his phone." Paul interjected as he stepped closer and officially joined their conversation.

"Chirped?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"Yeah. It's something that I picked up in my technomage class. I can't cast a spell like that, but Filipe can. It's a curse that causes bad luck with technology. It's a quick 'one off', so we don't have to fuel it much or worry about leaving a cursed item laying around afterward. We put the spell on the phone, the spell activated and cursed the guy holding it, then the spell that bestowed the curse was spent."

"So Mr. Ingram is now cursed to have bad luck with technology?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"Yeah." Paul confirmed, then cautiously asked, "That's what you wanted, isn't it?"

"I'm not exactly sure what I wanted. I was just concerned that a stranger was taking pictures of the kids. I wanted to stop him without causing a big complicated scene." Agent Roberts explained.

"Well, I don't think he'll be taking any more pictures for a while... Maybe not ever. Filipe's never used that spell before so he's not used to regulating the power on it."

"I think what you guys did is fine." Agent Roberts assured him, then turned to Professor Everstone and said, "But we'll still need to keep a close watch on the kids until we're away from the airport. If Mr. Ingram has any associates lurking around here, they still might try something."

"I'll let everyone know to be on guard. If anyone tries anything, I can assure you that they will regret it." Professor Everstone promised.

"I believe you." Agent Roberts said honestly before returning to Agent Fastbeck's side.

* * * * *

"So, what did they do?" Agent Fastbeck asked as he kept the majority of his attention on Mr. Ingram's struggle with his phone.

"Cursed him. He's going to have a problem with technology for a while... maybe forever."

"Have you thought that he might be a spook?" Agent Fastbeck asked slowly.

"I can't think of a legitimate reason for any government agent to conduct an investigation by secretly taking pictures of minor children in a public airport. I think it's more likely that he's paid good money to have his identity 'scrubbed' so that his past can't provide us any clues as to what he's up to."

"Do you think it's worth digging deeper?"

"If you have the time when you get back, it might turn up something interesting, but I'm not too worried about it."

"I tend to have more time than I know what to do with. We'll see how things go."

The sound of a tone overhead drew their attention, then the luggage conveyor started moving.

"Would you mind helping me carry our camping equipment? We have quite a bit." Agent Roberts asked hopefully.

"How about I get us a cart? Stay and watch for your luggage while I do that."

Agent Roberts watched as Agent Fastbeck hurried away.

* * * * *

While Agent Roberts was waiting, he noticed a paunchy man approaching and looking around uncertainly.

When Professor Everstone noticed the man, he walked up to him and asked, "Mr. Brown?"

"Charles Bentley Brown." The man said sternly.

"Paul. Filipe. Please come here for a moment." Professor Everstone said to the boys who had drifted a few feet away.

"Yes Professor?" Paul responded as they approached.

"Paul Darroch and Filipe Pena, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Brown..."

"Mr. Bentley Brown." The man corrected.

Agent Roberts and Paul shared a look, and even though neither said a word, both knew that they were remembering Mr. Darroch's assessment of Mr Bentley Brown.

"Of course." Professor Everstone said flatly, then continued, "Since the two of you are going to be responsible for the manipulation of the water element in our upcoming project, you'll be working closely with Mr. Bentley Brown."

Paul and Filipe shared a look, then after an uncomfortable moment of silence, Filipe finally said, "It's nice to meet you Mr. Bentley Brown."

Paul's dubious glance at his classmate spoke louder than words about his feelings on the matter.

"May I assume that you have the artifact with you?" Professor Everstone asked in a leading tone.

"Yes. Of course." Mr. Bentley Brown said as he indicated the valise that he was carrying.

Agent Roberts noted that Mr. Bentley Brown hadn't bothered to show even an obligatory level of courtesy in response to Filipe's somewhat forced greeting.

"Once we've collected our baggage we'll be ready to leave."

"In my preparations I was unable to secure lodgings in the vicinity of Waxell. I have reserved a room in a town called 'Gooseneck'..." Mr. Bentley Brown said somewhat distastefully, "I'm not sure what provisions will need to be made to compensate for that."

"As soon as we arrive in Waxell, we'll drop off our personal belongings then continue on to evaluate the site. We'll set up a schedule at that time and you can make your plans from there accordingly." Professor Everstone said firmly.

* * * * *

Agent Roberts turned his attention toward the luggage conveyor and noticed that G had retrieved the majority of their equipment.

"Thanks for doing that G." Agent Roberts said as he plucked his suitcase of personal belongings from the conveyor.

"I saw that you were busy. So is that guy as big of a prick as Dad was saying?"

Although Agent Roberts was adverse to name calling, he felt that in this instance that it was more important to be honest.

"He seems that way. Try not to let his pompous attitude draw you into behaving disrespectfully toward him. It will only end up making things more difficult for everyone."

"I'm not the one you're going to have to worry about. I grew up having to deal with people like that because of Dad's work. Paul's the one who doesn't have any patience for self-important fools." G said frankly.

"If something happens, could you help me to keep Paul from escalating the situation?"

"I don't want to make things more difficult for anyone, but if Paul's right, I'm going to back him up." G said honestly.

"I guess I can understand that." Agent Roberts said as Agent Fastbeck approached with a luggage cart.

"Do you need some help loading that?" G asked as he looked at the pile of luggage.

"Yes. Thank you. I really appreciate it."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

I have certainly encountered people who were as full of themselves as Mr. Bentley Brown.

I'd like to see his ego brought down a peg or two.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher