----- Chapter 5
Light was impressed by the feat of engineering that Martin had put together. The first thing he noticed beyond the fence in front of him was a building 20 stories tall in the center of the complex. It was a rectangular, curved building of glass and Steel, allowing for its residents to see each other while standing on the terraces of their apartments. The shelter buildings appeared to have been rebuilt from scratch. The five-meter-tall fence stretched in a circle around the large perimeter of the grounds. On the fence were a signs that read 'DANGER- ELECTRIFIED FENCE – DO NOT PASS THE LINE.' And there it was, the infringement line running at 3 meters inside and outside the fencing. From the dormitory, the complex was divided into 8 'pie-like-slices', each one hosting smaller, two-story buildings.
“The buildings are dedicated workshops, schools, theater/movie theater, pet food shop/pet fancy shop, internet cafe, bar/mess hall, chapel, veterinarian/human medical clinics…laboratories, a weaponry, direction, and security offices. The pie slices are divided by wooded paths, with benches provided with fountains and telephone points at the light poles....” Martin explained in detail, seeing Keith and Light’s curious faces.
Keith and Light also noticed the heliport. It looked to be large enough to accommodate a Mil Mi-26T. Keith gave an impressed whistle. “This is quite a setup here.”
A security guard at the gate came out to the vehicle on Keith’s side. “Can I see your ID?” he asked Keith. Then he saw Martin riding beside him. He looked surprised. “Mr. Fos-…I mean, Martin? I didn’t know you’d be coming by today. I heard you’d left for a vacation somewhere.”
“Ah, I had a few more things to do before I leave…and it’s tomorrow that I’m leaving for vacation. Could you let us through please?” He motioned with his hand for him to open the gate.
The security guard quickly walked back to the booth and the gate began sliding open. He waved to Keith and Martin and a surprised look at the wolf that was looking at him from the back seat as they drove past him and into the shelter.
“Do you already have a security team?” Keith asked Martin as he pulled up to the main building.
“It’s a temporary security service I’ve hired for watching the shelter while the construction is going on.”
The three of them got out of the car and walked into the building. Light was lagging behind, trying to get used to the spectacle. He looked around him again before following them into the building.
Inside the lobby, Keith and Light noticed the building’s…they didn’t know how to describe it…New building smell? Martin greeted the person seated at the front counter. “Miss Evelyn Sunman, this is Keith and Light. Keith and Light, this is Ms. Sunman.” He gestured with his good hand towards each person/animal respectively. Handshakes and pawshakes were exchanged before a Welsh Corgi walked into the room carrying a large stack of paperwork. He was reading one of the folders he held in front of his face, and wasn’t watching where he was going. He bumped into Light’s side and Light looked down at him.
“Hey, watch where you’re…” *eep* the Corgi looked up and made a frightened sound as he saw the unfamiliar wolf. He dropped the paperwork, scattering it across the floor. Light jumped behind Keith, he still wasn’t familiar with all these strangers, and this new turn of events had startled him. The dog was on the floor, a bit dazed (and wet) from the sudden fright of a wolf right in front of him.
“Ah,” Martin said, stifling a laugh “…how are you doing today King?”
The Corgi, that Light now knew was named King, shook his head and came back to his senses. Light politely ignored the fact that the Corgi had just wet himself, and offered him a paw. King appeared to have calmed down a bit. After all, he’d seen that the Milton wolves that they could be friendly if they wanted to be. He grasped Light’s paw and the wolf helped him to his feet. “Sorry about that.” Light said, a bit embarrassed at the mess he’d caused. “…my name is Light.” He smiled nervously. This day is just full of great first impressions.
King brushed himself off as he looked at the mess of papers on the floor. “Oh great!” he started, blushing, and obviously annoyed, “that took me forever to organize!” He bent down and started to gather the papers up. Light started to help him. “Hey!” King shouted, causing Light to pause and look over at him, “…don’t you think you’ve caused enough trouble?” Light didn’t like it when others snapped at him when he was just trying to help them. He started growling. King shrunk back; in his excitement he’d forgotten he was talking to a wolf.
“Light?!” Keith said, looking at Light and pointing a finger at him. Light backed off. “I uh, um…sorry…King, was it? I was just trying to help.”
King, was afraid to say anything to upset the wolf so he just went back to picking up the papers. This time Light didn’t try to help. The worlds of human and pet, and that of the feral were quite different, and even though he had spent much of his life with Keith, he was still learning.
Keith and Light followed Martin to a conference room down the hall from the lobby. Martin sat along one edge of a rectangular table, while Keith and Light sat across from him. Light turned over the two glasses in front of himself and Keith and poured some water from a pitcher that was sitting in the center of the table. Martin turned over his and Light leaned over it and carefully poured him some as well.
“Well, I have to ask Martin … it is ok if I call you Martin, right?”
Martin nodded. “Those military sticks-in-the-mud … always yes sir this, no sir that. I like my employees comfortable and happy; it helps keep the guests here calm … guests that might have had a stressful time with their previous lives.”
“I see,” Keith continued. He wasn’t exactly used to calling his employer by their first name. “I have to ask…why did you request us, personally, from RMMS. From the looks of things, you have enough money to hire anyone from any organization … so why Light and me?”
“Well for one thing …” Martin took out an envelope and opened it. He removed a stack of papers and laid them on the table. “…from your mission records, I noticed you hadn’t killed or wounded a single innocent animal. Most of the other possible candidates had caused collateral damage that involved the injury or death of at least one. However, upon seeing this, on the off chance that these reports could have been fabricated, I took the liberty of calling everyone you’ve ever worked for … and worked with. I was actually quite impressed that they all told me the same thing. ‘Keith is a true Boy Scout, through and through.’”
Keith blushed a little.
“Eagle Scout, actually,” Light added. Wait a minute, haven’t we defaced private property before?
he thought to himself. Of course, he had often left out non-vital facts and information from mission reports he filled out on Keith’s behalf. Keith loathed paper-work so he would often do house chores and manage the finances (the only paperwork he’d touch), while Light filled out the mission applications, reports and other paperwork. It was a good system…I’ll have to remember to ask Keith about that?
Martin went into more detail regarding what the job entailed, and how much they’d be paid, blah blah blah, etc. Light was beginning to be bored. He tuned in when Keith started speaking again.
“Well, I have to say, it’s the best job offer than I’ve had in a long time. But, if I’m going to be working for you, I have some conditions.” Keith said to Martin.
“The employee is already demanding his boss for things, and he hasn’t even started work?” Martin said with a smile.
“Well, we’ll see if I’m going to be your employee or not?” Keith responded, with a similar smile. “I need a shooting range. Sniping is a diminishing skill, and I want to stay sharp. I haven’t been able to find a range to suit my needs near my old place…and the nearest long-range shooting range is 4 hours away.
Martin smiled with pride. Once again, he’d outthought the sniper. “I’ve actually bought the kind of land you are looking for. I wanted the security staff to be well trained. About half an hour’s drive to the east, you'll find Dartmoor Reserve,” he wheeled his chair over to a reference bookshelf against the wall. He took out a binder folder and wheeled back to the table placing it in front of Keith. “I’ve had them install a shooting range and training course. It is, of course, fenced for preventing ferals from getting onto the range, and despite lying on a flat field it has been equipped with obstacles and firing points that can be moved and combined according to an individual’s skills and training type.”
Light and Keith looked through the images. Once again, Martin seemed more and more eccentric in his power of wealth. An entire shooting range and training ground for just the security?!
, however, thoroughly impressed with what they saw in the binder.
“I do plan on allowing it to be used during non-training sessions by the guests of Lucky Charm Grove, of course…perhaps for Airsoft or paintball matches.” Martin continued.
“Well, you’ve already taken care of the housing condition I mentioned earlier.” Keith said. He leaned back in his chair with his arms folded and his eyes closed, deep in thought. After a moment he opened them. “Who else do you plan to hire for the security team?”
“It will be up to you to find the other members. But, I have the final say in whether or not they’re hired.” Martin replied with less of a smile, and a more serious face than he usually showed. He would be ready to run background checks so hard, the ancestors of the applicants would feel it. It was getting to be late in the day at that point, and he would need to get to bed early, to get up early for the vacation tomorrow morning.
Keith was still leaning back in his chair and looked to the ceiling, pondering his decision. Sitting beside Keith, Light anxiously waited for his decision. He was hoping he would take this opportunity. He wanted to live in a house, not the small apartment he’d lived in with Keith all this time.
Finally Keith spoke. “Light, what do you want?” He looked at the wolf.
“Wha-?” Light responded in surprise. His eyes were wide open.
“Well, we’re kind of like roommates, right?...family? I’m not going to make a decision on where we live without your say-so.”
Light looked at Keith with sparkling admiration in his eyes, his mouth was slightly hanging open, his tongue hanging out in a smile. He hopped on Keith and started licking his face.
Keith was laughing and trying to push Light’s muzzle away, to no avail. Finally he got Light to stop, but he was still laughing a bit. “Okay, Mr. Martin, you’ve got yourself a deal.” He held out his hand and Martin, smiling, grasped it with his. “I won’t let you down, sir.”
Light howled with joy.
In an office near the lobby, King heard the sudden, loud howl and was scared stiff; dropping the files he was carrying. “*&^$ IT!”
Interview with Light (Omake): viewtopic.php?p=116412#p116412
Next chapter (6): viewtopic.php?p=123132#p123132