Chapter 33: The Corporate Whore of Babylon (excerpt)


Chapter Thirty-three

Arriving in Pocatello, Henson drove up to an all night gas station to fill up. Gladd and Dali got out of the van and stretched their legs. On the drive, Gladd told Evering that when he got back home, that he should gather some clothes and his family and go to somewhere safe. Evering said that he had a wife and a ten year old son and that he would probably take them to his brother-in-law’s place in North Dakota. Gladd asked him if his brother-in-law was reliable. “Yes, sir. I’d trust him with my life.” “You sure will.” Gladd replied. After paying for the gas, the men got back into the van and headed out of town. The sun was starting to creep into the sky. Alex passed out some sandwiches and sodas that he had bought at the gas station. Normally, Gladd would be leery of eating food from such a source, but it had been twelve hours since the last time he had eaten. It would be another three hours before they pulled into Boise. Once there, the men would go their separate ways: Gladd and Dali to LA, Evering to his house, and Henson planned to go home to catch some sleep. Gladd offered to drive so that Henson could get some rest and his offer was accepted. Gladd did some of his best thinking when he was behind a wheel. When they arrived in Boise, they drove to the hotel where Gladd had stayed and picked up his luggage from the manager’s office. Henson then drove to the airport and dropped off Gladd and Dali. Henson would then drive Evering to his home and then head home to get ready for work. The two men went up to the counter, bought their tickets (fortunately, Dizzy had found their wallets and keys and put them in the envelop) and waited forty-five minutes before catching their flight. Both men agreed that they would wait until they got home before they went over all of the information that Dizzy had given them. Gladd told Dali when they got to LA that they would have to stop at a friend’s house to pick up his pet parrot and he would see if Alex could stay there for a few days. After taking into consideration what had happened the last time Alex had gone to his home inSanta Monica, Gladd felt that it would be safer for Alex to stay somewhere else. Alex agreed with him. Having taken care of these arrangements, the two men caught some sleep. It was a nice sunny day when they arrived at LAX. They went to the parking garage to pick up James’ car. James checked the engine first to make sure that it hadn’t been tampered with. Satisfied that everything was alright, they got in the car and headed for Chang’s house. When they got there, Ned was just leaving the house to go to work. “Well, it’s about time you got back. I was starting to worry about you.” “Yes, well it’s a long story, Ned. I’ll have to tell you about it later. Ned, this is my friend Alex Dali. I have another favor to ask of you.” “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Dali. Why don’t you both come in and have a cup of coffee. I’m in no real hurry to get to work. It’s not like I have any important people to meet.” “Thanks Ned, that would be fine.” The men went into the house and Ned asked his wife to fix some coffee for their guests. The men sat down at the kitchen table and, at that moment, David Chang walked into the room. “Uncle James, you’re back. Do you want me to bring Sasha here? I have a confession to make. I let Sasha watch TV with me and he seems to have discovered a couple new expressions that he likes.” “Oh, yeah. Like what.” The boy’s cheeks turned red and he looked down. “Well, he now says ‘Bite me!’ and ‘Suck it!’” “That’s just what I need, a parrot with a fouler beak then when I left him. You’ve got to quit corrupting him, David.” Gladd said semi-seriously. David knew that he was joking, so he shyly smiled. He then turned around and went to his room to get Sasha. Ned said: “I’m sorry about that James.” “Don’t worry about it. I was starting to think that that bird wasn’t trainable any more.”

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