Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Controversy - Author Bell - Part 4

Controversy - Bell

Official Journal: File #---16. Part 4

  Ivan and I sat on a bench under the moonlit night. The breeze sent stiff chills down my spine, but seemed to help Ivan relax. The hot dogs we were eating seemed to help ward off some of the cool air. Murray, the friendly hot dog vendor, had set up shop about two blocks away from Stanton's tower, and so we decided to grab a snack before gathering evidence from Stanton. Ivan had eaten his bratwurst carefully, yet speedily, but I took my time to make sure the mustard and relish did not drip and stain my news anchor uniform. I was dressed to sneak into the party in full gear: a vest with a small news logo, a baseball cap, and my jeans and gym shoes. Expectantly, Ivan wore a tuxedo with a white collar and red pocket handkerchief. His fedora now had a small white card, with the word "PRESS" on the side, sticking out of the small belt wrapping around his hat. I never needed to remind him to stay classy. Soon after I finished wiping my hands clean with a napkin, a news van drove up and opened the side door. Coraline opened a window and waved us in. It was only a minute drive to the tower, but we needed to arrive together.

   I grabbed a news duffle bag from the back of the van and handed Ivan the news camera. When we stepped onto the curb, the spot lights and multicolored windows gave quite the display. The windows and front entrance would switch colors from a deep rose, a light blue, and mantis green. Not to mention that the pounding music made a distinctive impression to any guests waiting outside.

   "Ready?" I turned to see Coraline waiting for us on the sidewalk. She had on a long, violet dress; not conventional for new reporters, but it looked nice on her.

   "Yes, let's do this." Approaching the front door, a security guard stopped us. Coraline flashed a news card, and the guard reluctantly let us in. Walking towards the elevator, I noticed the secretary from the previous week sitting at the reception desk working. Tipping my head and hat down towards the ground, I hid my face while Ivan's camera rested on his left shoulder, blocking the secretary's view. Coraline gave her a smile and a light wave, and the secretary smiled back and opened the elevator with a button on her desk. We stepped in, and I pressed the "10" button. It glowed with life, and the elevator closed to shut us in total darkness. Then, the lights flicked on and lit the elevator with a dark pink hue.

   "Have you ever been to one of Stanton's parties, Ivan?" I was not sure why she did not ask me, but Ivan's shroud of mystery and facelessness definitely attracted more questions.

   Ivan shook his head. "No, I'm afraid I attend few gatherings of this sort."

   "Well, if you finish with Stanton early, you two should join us on floor ten." Coraline smiled and chuckled a bit. "For me, it's a nice time to relax and take a break from some of the stress of news work."

   "Understood, but I refrain from getting mixed in too many social affairs." Ivan stated bluntly. 

   Coraline rolled her eyes. "Suit yourself."

   "I prefer tuxedos." I looked over inquiringly to my partner. I swear I could barely make out a smile on the side of his face. it took her a few seconds, but Coraline recognized his dry humor and laughed a bit. When she turned her head away and flipped her hair, I nudged Ivan with my elbow to remind him of his dry humor. After a few seconds, I got a nudge back.

   Booming sounds of the party on floor ten soon started to fade out the quiet whir of the elevator. "Ding!" rang the elevator, and the doors noisily opened to reveal the giant room before us. Music blasted our eardrums, lasers and red lights gave dim light to the dark room, and hundreds of people were dancing and drinking to the music. Coraline stepped out and pointed to two men with news gear on. It was the driver and the cameraman with their news passes around their necks.

   "Welcome to the party, lady!" The driver laughed.
   "We've got a place set up and do a report, then we can hit the drinks." The cameraman said, nodding to her. He then looked towards Ivan. "Hey man, can I have my baby now?" Ivan handed the camera to him, and the cameraman smiled and gave him a pat on the back. "Oh, and you two should take our passes if you're going to the upper party." He slipped off his tag and handed it to Ivan. The driver stood up and threw his own tag to me. I caught it and slipped it around my neck while I pulled a small plastic bag out of the duffle bag.

   "And again, we're more than happy to have you guys come down afterwards and enjoy a night with us!" Cora smiled.

   "Thanks, but we might have a lot of work to do. Thanks for getting us in, and good luck with the report. We'll maybe talk in the future." I said as I backed into the elevator. Ivan followed behind and pressed the button for the top floor. The doors closed, and the dark lights dimly lit the elevator again. I unzipped the bag and pulled out my suit, a white shirt and black tie. I changed in the elevator and slipped the news clothes into the plastic bag again. I looked to Ivan, and he gave me a small earpiece that I stuck in my ear. Letting out a small grunt to clear his throat, he called out "The party needs a little more life."

   "Online. Are we well?" Scout's voice filled the comm in our ears.

   "Loud and clear Scout," Ivan's voice took a gentle but strong tone, indicating the focus starting to fill his mind. "we're about to enter Stanton's private party. Provide us a warning when you locate him on the cameras."

   "Roger that. I haven't seen any activity, but I can tell you that the dress here is fabulous."

   "Right, we'll fit the part. Thanks." Ivan tapped his ear just as the elevator gave another "Ding". The doors opened, but quiet chatter and the distant sound of string instruments filled the air. Stepping out of the elevator revealed that the room smelled like old furniture and roses. "Now this..." Ivan took in a large breath and let out a small chuckle. He likes crazy parties for sneaking around, but he likes delicate parties for relaxing. We approached a guard who blocked the entrance into the main room. We flashed our passes, but he held out his hand.

   "Hold up!" he let out a booming voice that shook us harder than the loud music did. "I ain't supposed to let'chu news peoples in tonight."

   "Um, sir-" I started to appeal.

   "No excuses, now get your asses out of here!"

   "Mark-" A woman grabbed the guard's shoulder. She had black hair tied in a bun, a flowing black dress, and a gentle yet firm grip on the man. "You can let these men in. I will make sure they stay in line." The guard, Mark, did not seem pleased, but he stepped aside to let us through. The woman motioned us to follow so Ivan took lead. I stopped and patted Mark's chest.
   "Don't worry, you're just doing your job." I could not resist giving a fiendish smile when he returned a death glare to my comment.


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