Flash and Thunder
September 12 – Reports out of Iran indicate lightening has struck and injured the President of Iran as well as the Ayatollah, sending the country deep into chaos. Both were standing at a dais speaking to a large crowd of supporters when the pair were hit from a flash of light streaking from the sky. Some witnesses to the event have accused the United States of initiating a laser guided drone attack in an attempt to kill the President of Iran and the Ayatollah. The United States has denied having any responsibility in the events that have led to the injury of the two leaders. Both are in the hospital where they are listed in critical condition with first and third degree burns over 50 percent of their body. Reports from the hospital state the biggest issue impacting their health is a weakened immune system because of their burns. Doctors are attempting to treat them for an unknown virus that has invaded their blood stream as a result of this weakened immune system. Since both seem to be fighting this same type of virus they are speculating the flash of light that struck them may have carried the virus. After the lightning strike a number of key high level military personnel have fled Iran, seeking asylum in Iraq. A crowd of protestors have descended upon the parliament, accompanied by a number of representatives from the military to declare the formation of a new government. It is unclear what kind of power they have to initiate change. They have declared the new leader will be elected by a vote of the people. The news out of Iran is still being filtered by what can be captured through social media since the international press is still not allowed into Iran.
In another piece of odd news a worker in Beijing, China appears to have been injured by a lightning strike. The China government had ordered the tree stump in back of the adoption center where Jason Woo was raised to be removed after over hundred people gathered there to listen to him pitch in a game against the New York Yankees the previous day. The government spokesman commented officials were concerned with the clutter being left by people visiting the tree stump, littering the area with flowers, wreaths and trash. When a worker threw a chain over the tree stump and hopped on his tractor to pull the stump out of the ground, lightning struck him just as he was about to start the tractor. The other workers fled in fear. It is unknown if the Chinese government will ask the employees to make a second attempt to remove the tree stump that is now reaching deity status in a country known to discourage religious activity..
“Have you heard anything about the dinner last night?” Larvell was searching the internet on his desk top computer for any news on the dinner with the President. The fact there was really no news was good news, indicating nothing too embarrassing had happened.
“Haven’t heard anything.” Rigo was sitting on the couch reading a hard copy tabloid. An automated tablet lay next to him powered off. This seemed backward to Larvell. Rigo never read hard copy material. Everything had to be on line or it did not exist. “Seems there was a kid who claims to have seen an angel descend from the sky just before the collision between Victor Murray and Kevin Beamer. He claims the flash that occurred at the game was an angel. The angel lifted Kevin up and threw him backward before any collision.”
Larvell did not want to tell Rigo about his conversation with John and their discussion of Moogie believing Jason was the son of an angel. He still had a hard time digesting that disclosure. “Kids have vivid imaginations. I only saw a flash of lightening and then heard the thunder. I didn’t see any angel. Did you?”
“I only saw a flash. There did not appear to be any bolts. But according to this kid, the flash was an angel coming down from the sky. Doesn’t it seem pretty weird when you watch the replays there is no flash or signs of a lightning strike when we all know it happened.”
“That same tabloid you’re reading also tried to convince us our President was an alien from another planet. I don’t know if I would believe anything that tabloid reported.”
“What they report they don’t always expect you to accept. The claims are from everyday people who have become exposed to strange stuff. These claims could have some validity if our minds were not always closed to logic we have been taught not to accept. How do you explain the tattoos from the arms of Victor Murray melting into one giant black ink spot and third degree burns on both his arms?”
“Lightening can create third degree burns.”
“But to obliterate all his tattoos? Lightening doesn’t do that. And why did Kevin not receive any burns. He came out of that collision pretty healthy. The Yankees are certainly suspicious something strange went on in the game yesterday. They have asked the Commissioner to investigate the events of yesterday and have requested Jason Woo not pitch anymore this season until an investigation is completed to explain the thunder that occurs after each game he pitches.”
“So the Yankees believe Jason Woo is responsible for the burns on the arms of Victor Murray. You know how preposterous that sounds? Do they really expect the Commissioner to conduct an investigation into Jason controlling the sounds of thunder of lightening strikes?”
“You have to admit, what happened yesterday was pretty weird.”
“The fact the Orioles won the game was pretty weird. Anything else is just conjecture. I’d be surprised if anything is done about the Yankee complaint.”
Larvell opened his top desk drawer. There were two envelopes sitting inside. A larger envelope was given to him by his father. It supposedly contained all the information a prosecutor would need to indict Mr. Hwa. The informer had given his father copies of emails, names of companies and social security numbers used by Mr. Hwa to siphon off millions of dollars from the United States government. His father had now passed this information to Larvell. If they chose not to indict Mr. Hwa when they received the envelope the information inside would still be damaging enough to thwart any attempt by Mr. Hwa and his group to get approval by major league baseball to own the Oriole franchise. Larvell had also included in this envelope the organizational tree Rigo put together, highlighting the common names from the pharmaceutical company and the company owned by Mr. Hwa to show that these two companies are one and the same.
A smaller envelope contained a one way ticket to Mauritius, a small, little island country off the eastern coast of Africa. It was a place Larvell always wanted to travel, a good place to disappear for a while. He had read it was a popular vacation spot for Europeans. Not many from the United States travelled there because it took almost a full day to get there. It was a perfect place for him to get lost, until things got peaceful again. Larvell did not want to be here if some sex video came out with him as the star after this damaging information about Mr. Hwa and his company is disclosed.
He closed the drawer. “I got a call from Gus Corona yesterday. He is the agent for the Cuban pitcher Pablo wanted to sign. He is also the agent for Troy Harper.”
“He’s asking for a raise already? Troy hasn’t done anything yet.”
“No. He’s asking for a deal. He’ll give me a discount on the bonus for signing this Cuban pitcher if I can guarantee Kevin Beamer will catch him in the minors just like he caught Jason Woo this year.”
“Can you guarantee something like that? Kevin is going to be a six year minor league free agent, unless you plan on keeping him on the 40 man roster. We don’t know if he wants to spend his time mentoring another pitcher in the minor leagues. Have you talked to him?”
“Not about this but we have talked about his future in the organization. But I hope to have you raise the subject with him.”
Rigo’s voice rose an octave. “Me. Why do I have to talk to Kevin? You’re his contact.”
“Because I’m leaving today for a vacation and will be away for a couple weeks. You have my email. If anything comes up about the team you can email me. Until then, you are in charge of the Orioles in my temporary absence.”
“Me!!!” The pitch in Rigo’s voice went to whine level. It did not sound pretty. “Where are you going? The season isn’t even over yet. This isn’t like you. How can you go…” Rigo rambled on, his voice becoming white noise as Larvell thought of Mauritius. He didn’t know when he would be back. It would all depend on any release of videos and the reaction from those videos. The ticket for his one way flight was for tonight. The large envelope would be mailed to Trevor Wilson, the Oriole beat reporter, as he was on his way to the airport.
Larvell needed to get away from life for a little bit. Let the world go on without him for a while. Mauritius seemed to be a good spot for that. He only hoped no angels would find him there and strike him down over some trysts with prostitutes.