World of Fiction

A serial format to new stories written only waiting to be published!

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Mission From Mars-The Press Hounds

“That damn annoying little brat,” said Mentor. This Long woman was proving to be more trouble than she was initially worth. The three follow up articles she wrote on the last message tape was proving to be a media sensation. What initially began as a daily progress call become a twice, three time, four time, to almost hourly call. Every reporter wanted the next big scoop. Something had to be done.

The phone began to ring. It was becoming almost like clockwork with those damn reporters. They would never leave Mentor alone. Grunting as he walked over to the phone, he turned the screen around and took a deep, cleansing breath. “Richard Mentor.”

“Mr. Mentor, this is the Times,” replied the caller.

“How can I help you?” asked Mentor.

“How goes the search?”

“Well,” replied Mentor. “The search has shown a great deal of things were placed in storage we did not even know about. For instance, the number of periodicals from when the Founders first came to Mars is amazing. We plan on donating these artifacts to both the museums and libraries for public use. However, as for tapes, there have been a few found, but nothing which indicates any signs of a message from Earth.”

“How soon before the search will be completed?”

“I am confident that if all our available employees work at this particular task, we could complete it by the end of the week.”

“Thank you Mr. Mentor,” replied the reporter. “Our readers will be very interested in this.”
Mentor smiled and pressed the end button on the phone. He scowled at the blank screen and started to pace his room. The indignation of having reporters contacting him all the time was beyond belief. Even worse were the rumors he was beginning to hear about the government considering a repeal of their recent vote to appropriate more funds to his space program.
Going to the phone again, Mentor punched in a few numbers and got Williams on the phone.

“What are the chances of a bill being brought up to suspend my funds?”

Williams shook his head and said, “The President is considering it. There are a few Senators who are also thinking about it, but I am still holding the line on going forward with everything. It will set a bad precedent if we pull your funds so quickly after giving it to you.”

“Good,” replied Mentor. “I want you to let the Senate know in some way or another that I am going to do something to crush this story once and for all.”

“What are you going to do?” asked Williams.

“My concern, not yours.” Mentor disconnected the call and sat down behind his desk. He picked up the piece of paper which had the names of people he was going to have on the ship. What was originally going to be a mission having all of the most famous people on board turned into a mission with the military. Now he had to consider a few other things. He could consolidate a few of the positions together and create a couple of extra seats on the ship. If that were the case, he could have some fun with this. There were already cameras onboard the ship in order to document the trip and let everyone know exactly what would happen.

A few different thoughts were going through his mind. Killing off Miss Long didn’t sound like too bad of an idea, but people might wonder about the death of a young reporter after such a big story came out. Scaring her might be a good idea, but then again she could print the threats and link them with Industrial Sciences. Nothing like a little reasonable doubt to make readers think. This was something that needed some careful planning. Mentor realized that if he wanted to kill two birds with one stone, he not only had to something to discredit this story, but make everyone involved with it save face and look good. It wasn’t as if he wanted to crush the young girl, but he did want to weaken her position.

The phone in his office went off again. “Richard Mentor.”

“Mr. Mentor, this is the Chronicle.”

“Ah yes,” replied Mentor. “I do have a statement for your paper. Please let everyone know there will be a press conference in two days. I was just notified that the search of the vault has been completed and there are a few items that have been put aside for my viewing.”

“Thank you, sir,” replied the reporter. “This is going to be a scoop for all of us.”

Mentor turned off the screen and looked at his paper. Two days was not a lot of time, but giving himself a time limit was always a good thing. It forced his mind to think a little faster. The question was how he would take care of Miss Long’s story while allowing them both to have their dignity. With a snort, Mentor amended that thought to just letting him keep his dignity. Perhaps a good knocking down the old ladder would be a good thing for the girl. She was young and could rise back up, but not until after he had achieved a number of his own goals.


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