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  • With: Liam MacLeod
  • Location: Trident Medical Center
  • When: May 2017
  • Time of Day: Morning

 

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Mark stood and stared at the door for a few minutes.  It had been a few days since the shooting and the wave of family and police had slowed down to a crawl.  From what Dave had seen at the police station the other day he knew the man's sons wouldn't be around at this time of day.  He didn't want many people to know about this visit...not just yet.

 

Waiting until the man was recovering well and truly from the gunshot wound, he had received was another reason why he had delayed this visit.  A nurse, who he was on friendly terms, with had informed of the man's condition.  Thinking of the woman made him smile a little.  She was a welcome distraction but in the long run he knew it wouldn't last - his past had seen to that.

 

He wondered how the old man would react to seeing him again.  No doubt, MacLeod would already know that he had moved here.  Maybe he should have paid him a visit by now but that would have required a lot of explaining to anybody who happened to be around.  However, this shooting had brought back memories of one particular training mission where they had both been through life and death and he had felt the need to come.  MacLeod was more than just a trainer; he was a mentor and a friend.  Every year for the last ten years, Mark had spent a week with him, learning skills and relieving burdens.

 

Opening the door to the room, Mark took a quick look around before entering.   The room was well-lit and smell a bit like apples.  No doubt, some over-enthusiastic hospital worker had overdone it when cleaning the room.   Knowing the type of man MacLeod was, the smell would almost be bordering on the unbearable.  The thought of MacLeod telling off the poor hospital worker made him smile a little.

 

Approaching the bed, he acknowledged the man, "How are you?"

 

@Stormwolfe

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As silently as the man had entered the room, Liam was still alerted to his presence before he spoke. He looked up from his iPad and looked over the rim of his reading glasses. Yes, they were mostly an affectation designed to disarm people. Liam MacLeod's eyesight was as sharp as ever as were his other senses and skills. In fact, he had read the riot act to the hospital staff earlier over having his room sprayed with that obnoxious apple scent. It clouded  his sense of smell.

 

He stared at Mark Carson, managing to peruse him for any visible sign of weaponry. They had a long and often shadowy history which made the Old Bear glad that Naomi had gone to Lucian's apartment to clean up and rest for awhile. Thoughts of his eldest son caused a quick frown to flit over his craggy features. It was past time that the boys reported to him regarding what had gone on with the girl he'd asked them to find.

 

"Mark. Past time you got in touch," Liam said, his native Scottish accent more pronounced than usual. Despite that and having pitched his voice low, it was clear and easy to understand. "I am healing. Canna stand staying here much longer, ya ken?"

 

@JulieS

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Mark smiled.  No doubt the old man had already checked to see if he was wearing a gun.  In fact, that was one of the first lessons he had learnt from Liam.  It was the summer before his final year of college and the organisation were putting him through some early training.  His stare show that Liam was still very much a man in full control of his senses.

 

Grabbing a chair, Mark pulled it up to near the bed and sat down.  "You know if I was any other man, you would've been out that bed quicker than anybody could blink no matter how much it hurt."

 

@Stormwolfe

Edited by JulieS (see edit history)

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Liam pulled off the glasses and with that, he effectively dropped the old man act.  It served its purpose with the hospital staff and, hopefully, would do the same with the police since the doctors had given the all-clear for them to speak with him.  That was going to be fun. Liam leaned back and studied Mark. No one ever really left the kind of work he did. Liam had to wonder how he was handling civilian life.

 

"How are you doing, lad? Feels a tad queer being out in the real world, does it?" Liam raised an eyebrow as he asked the question.

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Mark nodded.  "It does but I'm getting used to it.  I've got my kid brother to keep an eye on now that my parents are gone."

 

Pausing for a moment, he gazed at the old man.  For someone who had just been shot and despite his age, he looked like he was recovering quite well.  No doubt he would be up and about within the week unless his wife had something to say about it.  Liam was not the type to let the grass grow under his feet.

 

"I've taken up some private investigation and security work.  It's the closest thing I can get to what I used to do that won't raise any suspicions.   It keeps me busy but telling you what I've been up to is not what I came here for.  The reason why I came was because you're a valued friend and I wanted to see how you were doing.  I also want to offer my services...if you ever need them."

 

@Stormwolfe

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Liam settled back against his pillows and reached out to tap the button on the inside of the bed's safety rail that raised the head higher. He laid both his iPad and glasses on the bedside stand before returning his dark-eyed gaze on Mark Carson. His expression softened from gruff old bear to almost fatherly or, in his case, grandfatherly kindness. He also mentally reviewed the various irons that he had in various fires.


Kodiak Island was the second-largest island in the United States and the eightieth largest in the world. Still, it was a remote island and sparsely populated. Unless you were the kind of person that buried your head in the sand, you heard things. Liam was known around the island and had close friends from all walks of life. He was also known around the world for his business acumen, for being scrupulous in his dealings, fair in all things, kind to those in need, and his billions of dollars.


Aidan O'Quinn, Kodiak's Chief of Police, had already been in touch about his sons' brush with the law. Liam would have words with them later for how that operation had come off. Yet, they were handling it and taking care of Stephanie Stroud. Liam's instincts told him that she was in danger. No good could come of Mason Stroud wanting his niece located. That was why he had told the boys not to contact the man's representative when they found her. He had told them to take her someplace safe and find out from her how much danger she might be in. Liam's orders had not included having her forcibly removed from a public place.


Lucian and J.D. could handle the situation. They were both more than competent and at the top of their game professionally. There had to be something else going on that had prompted the ruckus at the Rave. Unfortunately, it might bring the attention of Björn's criminal operation onto them. That would be dealt with in due time.


"Private investigations and security, hmmm? Surprised you have not met Lucian yet. His company, Storm Shelter, is in the same line of work," Liam paused briefly and met Mark's eyes directly, "Nothing will stop my sons from looking into this shooting. Right now, I've distracted the lads with another job I'd been asked to do. This means that I will have to tell them a bit more than I've wanted to about my...extracurricular activities. They and I will need help with both situations."


Liam wanted to see how much Mark knew before he continued. He also needed to see if the younger man would even consider working in concert with his sons.

 

@JulieS

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"I know about Lucian and Storm Shelter.  It's hard not to in a town this big," Mark smiled. "I suppose I've done nothing to warrant any attention from him.

 

He leaned forward a little, "In a way I do like being in something that doesn't get me noticed.  It's what I've been doing all these years.  But there are times where I will and do come out in the open.  If Lucian wants my help in solving this then I will be happy to oblige."

 

Leaning back in the chair, he continued, "From what I can gather this isn't just some ordinary, random shooting.  If they wanted to kill you they've had plenty of opportunities to do so.  You're not exactly keeping a low profile here by running a tour company and being a prominent town member.  More than likely, it was to send you a message.  From who, I don't know.  I've sent out feelers to my former colleagues to see if they've heard anything.  You know, it's times like this that being part of an international network comes in handy."

 

@Stormwolfe

Edited by JulieS (see edit history)

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"Aye, lad. This is my home and I didna come here to hide," Liam stated adamantly. In fact, he still did the same job that he used to do for some large organizations that preferred to remain anonymous. Liam ran survival training camps for people that wanted to know how get out alive if they ever found themselves stranded in the wilderness. It was a practical how-to sort of course. At the end, the trainees would be dumped somewhere on Kodiak and told to get back to civilization. It was all carefully monitored, of course. 

 

"I have a few contacts I'll be getting in touch with soon," Liam admitted. There were a few people he could still trust. He also did not want to ostensibly tread on the toes of local law enforcement. "I will recommend that Lucian consider contracting with your agency. Of course, there's more under the hood than he and J.D. show to the public." 

 

Lucian had been a United States Marshal and during that time he had brought in some of the most dangerous criminals ever known. He had worked with Interpol and other international law enforcement organizations. He had taken on extreme training and, although he would only use it as a last resort, was a world class sharp shooter. J.D. had a long and distinguished military career and had most recently been working with a task force that dealt with the ultimate dangers...rogue military personnel that snapped and went to work for the wrong side. On top of all that, Liam had put all three of his children through his survival training. Even Reagan could bring herself out of the wilderness despite all odds being against her. Liam was proud of all three of them. They would get the job done, no matter what. If he could provide them with some additional help and leverage, he was glad to do it.

 

"On top of the shooting, there is the Stroud girl's situation," Liam said. "I am expecting an update, but so far, have heard nothing from the boys. Reagan called just long enough to say that everything was in hand," Liam added, his voice dropping to a mutter, "whatever that means."

 

Tags @JulieS

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11 hours ago, Liam MacLeod said:

"I have a few contacts I'll be getting in touch with soon," Liam admitted. There were a few people he could still trust. He also did not want to ostensibly tread on the toes of local law enforcement. "I will recommend that Lucian consider contracting with your agency. Of course, there's more under the hood than he and J.D. show to the public." 

"I have no doubt that there is."  Mark smiled, "They are your sons after all."

 

11 hours ago, Liam MacLeod said:

"On top of the shooting, there is the Stroud girl's situation," Liam said. "I am expecting an update, but so far, have heard nothing from the boys. Reagan called just long enough to say that everything was in hand," Liam added, his voice dropping to a mutter, "whatever that means."

 

Mark nodded, "Yes Mason Stroud can be a tough man to stop.  The organisation had a couple of run-ins with him or to be more precise, activities he was backing.  Thankfully, they were able to ruin his plans on both occassions.   If he wants his niece gone bad enough, he will do anything to make sure it happens."

 

@Stormwolfe

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"We have one more local resource," Liam said, a smile crossing his features, "providing you are still a hand with the ladies. Akela Noelani. She is a special agent with the Coast Guard Investigative Service, senior forensic specialist. I know she has assisted Lucian when Storm Shelter has taken on private investigative cases." He also knew that Lucian had not asked anything of her that was strictly illegal. Liam knew the woman from her after hours work helping out on his or Lucian's tour boats.

 

"Lucian also has one of those I might know a guy networks," Liam added almost as an after-thought. "We also need a backstory that covers you stopping in to see me on a regular basis once I'm out of this place." He tilted his head and studied Mark, "Thing is, I don't want to outright lie to Naomi or the kids. I never have...I've just not told them everything."

 

@JulieS

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"I understand about not being able to tell your family about what you do. "  A look of sadness appeared on Mark's face, "My parents went to their grave not knowing what I was doing.  Except for the occasional email and ones for birthdays and Christmas, I didn't have much contact with them.  The last time I saw them was about six months before the accident and then it was only a brief stopover on my way to another assignment.  As far as they knew I worked for some big international firm as a troubleshooter.   In a sense that was true, but not in the way they thought it was.  Even my brother, Dave thinks I worked for some sort of big financial group.  I haven't bothered to correct him and I don't know if I ever will."

 

For all the years, he had known Liam, Mark knew that the man was a good listener.  In some ways, they were both someone the other could  talk about the pressures of what they did.    On the few occasions, Liam had confided him, Mark had been able to give the man the support and understanding he needed.  However, the time of reflection was over and they needed to get to the business at hand.  After taking a deep breath, he continued, "Now about that story.  It will have to be a good one as I don't think your sons will be that easily fooled with the old you were a friend of my father's line."

 

@Stormwolfe

Edited by JulieS (see edit history)

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Liam chuckled as he mulled over the best approach. He had never outright told his children that he lived something of a double life. However, he felt sure they had guessed that he was more than a mild-mannered multi-billionaire. They had been respectful of his privacy and never challenged it. It had worked both ways. He knew that Lucian had worked assignments for the USMS that he disliked, especially while in the Witness Protection Service. Liam also never inquired about J.D.'s work which he never discussed. He had also never questioned Reagan about her marriage. As a father, he had been concerned for all of them. Liam could have called on his contacts to get him whatever information he needed. That would have irrevocably damaged the trust that held his family close to one another no matter how globally distant they were.


"I canna outright lie to them. At the same time, I willna risk telling the boys and Reagan more than you want to be known. Leaves us in a bit of a quandary," Liam said to his friend. "There is the option of me coming clean, and we tell them that we've crossed paths over the years. Let them believe you're a former spook of some kind."

 

@JulieS

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"Well maybe the simplest explanation would be the best.  We just tell that we've worked with each other in the past and leave it at that."

 

Mark half-smiled, "I know that my brother has questions about what I did in the past but thankfully he isn't pushing me to tell him.  I expect your sons are the same."

 

@Stormwolfe

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Liam tapped the control for the bed so he could lean back a bit more. He thought about the situation and finally shook his head.

 

"We were always good at winging it, Mark," he said quietly. "I canna lie to my family. We will state we are friends,  if asked, and leave it at that unless they keep askin' "

 

@JulieS

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"Sounds good to me."  Mark smiled, "We can work out how I can meet your sons later on but for now I think I'd better be going.  It will be lunch time soon and I don't particularly want to be around if you find it not to your liking."

 

Standing up, he pushed the chair back a little and placed his hand on Liam's shoulder, "It's great see you again.  Later on when you're up to, you can take one of your boats and do some fishing.  I've heard the salmon around here is very good."

 

@Stormwolfe

Edited by JulieS (see edit history)

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Liam smiled and nodded. As much as he hated admitting it, he was getting tired. He briefly clasped the younger man's hand where it rested on his shoulder. 

 

"We will go fishin' when I am out of this place," he promised Mark. "I have been wanting to show you more than our survival camps for a verra long time now." Liam honestly thought of Mark as another one of his sons. "I will see you again soon."

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"You can count on it," Mark said cheerfully.

 

Making his way to the door, he gave Liam one last look and a wave before he exited.  It was good seeing Liam again and that he was well on the road to recovery.   Now he had to work out a way to introduce himself to Liam's sons.  The only option he could see at the moment was to go straight their headquarters at Storm Shelter.

 

As he continued walking out of the hospital, he decided that he would leave it until tomorrow.  From Liam told him, his sons were busy with Stroud's niece and probably wouldn't be there anyways.  As for what he would do for the rest of the day, that was easy.  There were a couple of places he hadn't checked out on the island yet and now would be a good time to do it.  To him, knowing the lay of the land in the literal sense was necessary just in case.  With people like Stroud having an interest here, just in case could be sooner rather than later.

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About Storm Shelter

Storm Shelter brings crime drama and not quite soapy soap-opera to the online written RPG world. Set in one of America's last frontiers, the residents of Kodiak Island and Storm Shelter Air & Rescue encounter bad guys and storm gales in equal measure. The RPG offers guided site-wide plots and open character driven stories..

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