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Q Cell Saves the World

The Cover Story

The Introduction to Q Cell Saves the World

 

Q Cell Saves the World

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Dec 13, 2009
Posted by: Keith

After the fiasco in Southeast Asia, a little R&R is just the ticket. Especially since the company is going to pick up the tab. I suppose it is cheaper than a hospital stay.

The weather reports are looking good for fresh snow. I think everyone is looking forward to it. That is until the snow started getting out of control… The turning point was when the semi almost hit us head on and we didn't see it until it blew past.

So, we turned around to a little town we had just passed called Clearwater. With luck we'll be on our way to the slopes tomorrow. Good thing the On-Star was still working and got us reservations at the Clearwater Hotel, a 4 star establishment with a 5 star restaurant.

We were making decent time to the hotel when the old Indian jumped out in front of the car. If it weren’t for Samantha's (Agent Ryan) good driving skills, the old guy would have been DOA right then and there. Amazingly, he got up after that hit and cursed at us in his native tongue (well, we think so anyway).  We could see in the dim light that his left leg was definitely broken, quite possibly internal injuries as well. But before we could do anything, he made his way off into the woods.

To make matters worse, we now have a flat tire. But on the plus side, Escalades come with full size spares! Another 30 minute delay and we are back on the road.  Fortunately, the rest of the trip to the hotel was without incident.

The hotel was like a welcoming beacon in the blowing snow. So inviting and cozy looking… The staff was quite courteous and got us situated quickly. We got two adjoining rooms and quickly settled in. As we went down to the restaurant, we learned that the pass was closed and we will probably be stuck here for at least three days, possibly four.

The restaurant and bar were well stocked and the food was great. Samantha took the time to meet one of the guests, Dr. Cynthia Carmichael, a professor from Mandrake University in Eastfield, Montana. Granted, she mostly just bitched and complained about missing out on the skiing and being stuck in Snowflake Valley. After a few drinks and some good food, the group all went up to their rooms for some much needed rest.

But, it wasn’t meant to be. From the ladies room, they hear a loud crash, and then it got really quiet. It obviously came from the room next door. Being the ever vigilant CIA field operative, Samantha decides to go and check it out. The room next door’s door was ajar.  Signs of struggle are everywhere:  a heavy desk tipped over, a broken lamp and a piece of modern art knocked off the wall.  The biggest give away is the big gaping hole in the window with the heavy red curtains flapping in the winter wind. A thin coating of snow is white everywhere, except on the window sill, where it is red with blood.

Samantha spots a thin briefcase that looked like it had been hastily hidden under the bed. She quickly takes it and leaves the scene. Once back in her room, she starts to open it when Siss notices a thin wire and tells her to stop. The case was booby trapped with an acid that would destroy the contents. Seems like Siss knows what she is doing and quickly disables the trap.

Inside the case they find a detailed dossier on Maximilian Delaney, the owner of DMI, and his company. There is also a letter that basically says that Daimen Carson is an industrial spy hired by Universal Minerals. There is nothing else in the case.

Samantha almost gets spotted returning the case to the room, but manages to get it put back and into her room before all hell broke loose. One of the guests, Mrs. Mamie Hesley, happened upon the scene and started screaming.  It didn’t take long for the Sheriff, Marcus Willheim, and his Deputy, Sean Dumont, to show up and start asking questions. Apparently, Mrs. Hesley saw Samantha in the hallway just before she found the room, but didn’t actually see her enter or leave the destroyed room. And as circumstantial as it is, the Sheriff is looking for someone to throw in jail.

After lots of questions, everyone is allowed to go to bed. Fredrick isn’t very happy. The snow storm had taken out the phone lines and the cell phone coverage is non-existent in the valley. Internet withdrawal sucks.

Day One in Snowflake Valley

It is bright and the sun is shining when everyone gets up for breakfast. Outside it is a chilly -30F, burrrrr! The food is fresh and very tasty. However, about half-way through breakfast your wonderful repast is shattered with a scream…

Sometime during the night, someone had killed Dr. Carmichael. Only they didn’t just kill her, she was ripped limb from limb.  The poor little cleaning maid couldn’t stop talking about what she saw, “Her head, her head was… and I could see her lung—I think it was a—I almost slipped in it. The carpet squelched as I almost slipped in it. Her head…staring at me with the one eye left—it was under the bed, staring at me.” Rumors about the murder circulates quickly through the hotel.

Being the field agent that she is, Samantha had to check it out. Most of the body was there, but not all. There were claw marks on the window sill and there was glass on the floor of the room. Something had broken in and ate her. About this time the Sheriff shows up and starts questioning people again… needless to say, Samantha and company are his prime suspects, even without any evidence. The Sheriff orders them to not leave town with veiled threats if they do.

It doesn’t take long for the Sheriff’s suspicions to make it around town and everyone starts eyeing the group with suspicious looks. With nothing better to do, the group decides to head down into town to see about getting the rental fixed and see what supplies that they can get from the general store.  It was kind of disappointing that they didn’t even carry any type of hunting gear at the store. And the arrangement of the goods required the proprietor to help find anything. Samantha is cursing the fact that she didn’t bring a gun… “Never again will I go on ‘vacation’ unprepared. NEVER,” she said.

Samantha and Siss did manage to find some useful items, snowshoes and assorted sundries that Siss thinks that she may be able to turn into something explosive. But curiously, the general store does not carry any guns or ammuniton… And while they were poking about town, they kept seening an old indian man watching them, but they couldn't quite catch up to him.

Back at the hotel, Fredrick struck up a conversation with Ian Maguire, a traveling salesman, who deals in mining supplies. Amazingly, after an hour of conversation, he still didn't know what company Ian worked for...

 


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