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    Thread: Will Wonders Never Cease?

    1. #11
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      Chapter 19: Life Goes On


      Stanley was asked about what he was doing during the emergency, and he swore he was just sitting at home watching it all on the TV, and many of his friends laughed thinking that sounded just like him. But that report was still there, only it moved to a different desk now, and they knew that if they worded things right maybe things would be different, and Stan got messages and calls and finally people coming to his door asking him to ‘at least give it a try’ and finally he agreed to go see, and many in Washington felt they had won.

      But ‘go and see’ didn’t sound like some permanent thing at all, and a few mentioned that once they had him he’d stay, they’d see to it. But when anything , and I do mean ANYTHING got close to Stanley it stopped dead. Clubs from behind, tranquilizer darts, even bullets. Nothing got through to him and every time he’d just look them in the eye and smile that crappy smile of his knowing full well what was going on.

      They did get him to do a few small jobs so they were paid pretty well for the aggravation of not being in control. But anything remotely dangerous or when someone would get hurt or killed and he just waved it away saying that ‘his friends wouldn’t like that’ and off he would go again.

      They found out quickly enough they couldn’t control him the normal ways so they tried women, drugs, drinks and finally just plain old cash. He was getting paid extremely well for otherwise simple jobs and he did each of them magnificently. But they were still trying to manipulate him and he knew it right out in the open, and finally after a rather tedious day he smiled that smile and said he was going home, and the entire office he was in stopped dead at the sound of it.

      “There aren’t any flights out to New England all this week.” The man they assigned to him said, as Stan laughed right out loud and the people there looked shocked.

      “Sure there are...” He said, as everyone there swore that they were right and no flights were available.

      “When you talk to the REAL Boss tell him that I’ll be home resting for a while, and if he’s nice to me maybe I’ll come back some other time. But ask me to hurt anyone, kill anyone or sink any more ships, and the deal is off.” he said and stepped right out through the big window behind him, and fell...12 stories... but never touched the ground.

      “Lets go home ladies.” Stanley said as Cora and one of her friends caught him and hand in hand they flew north with a fighter escort all the way, and Stanley even waved as he drifted down to land and they went inside so he could make himself some coffee after that cool ride home.

      “He did what?” the Big Boss said as the story, and video was shown and he fumed that he thought they were gaining something over time. But Stanley left them know he wasn’t a killer and never would be and if he was somehow tricked into doing it, they weren’t at all sure anyone could hide from him...there or here. “Fine then, I hoped he would be more reasonable, maybe more Patriotic or something, but he’s just not worth the effort, there are many others that will do the job almost as easily.” he decided, and Stanley’s trips to Washington ended there.

      But they did spoil him while he was there, and in response to that his house now had a big enclosed deck with a 6 foot hot tube in it. The walls were plexiglass, totally bulletproof and heat and cold resistant, and though this outfit cost a bundle, it would last him the rest of his life.

      Clare got a call a day later and after a few tense moments she hung it up and smiled. They decided that Stanley was more important to them as a Teacher and possibly a Breeder in the future. If he had such great powers maybe his children would too, and once more the Hemming school was front and center for the future of the world, and Stanley was going to be watched very closely to see if they had done the right thing.

      Since his talents came out he had brought them more and better info about Spirits than anyone in a century. The new lessons for all classes were more detailed, and Spirits became part of every class. Every student needed a Spirit Guide to graduate and the people going out to work in the Future would be stronger and better prepared than before.

      Clare made sure the politicians knew this up front, and that since she took over as Headmaster the school had gotten more respectable, and they were now openly testing all over the country for skilled students. No longer would they just train their children, but there were a rare few out there that could be found and trained and with the new initiative the numbers available in the future would be more and better. That alone made the school worth keeping, so after all the tension of the past weeks new deals and agreement were made, and the school was left to train another generation of Naturalists, and Stanley was lined up well in advance to be first a teacher, then the Headmaster to keep it going for another generation.

      “Well thats silly..” Stanley mentioned when she finally sat him down to tell him everything.”I get the whole ‘running the family business’ thing but breeding...really?” He asked as she looked surprised then just smiled and said it might not be that literal, after all you can only marry one person at a time.

      “Sounds like too much work to me.” he mentioned as she got a quick chuckle, since she thought he’d say something like that.

      “Thats tough...” She added.” Its the Family business and after all the trouble you caused you better do a good job too because I’ll be watching.” She grumped and he asked if she was planning on quitting already, and she laughed and said she had a few more years in her yet but he better start thinking a little more about it though.

      “I caused? Who kept making me take tests and sent all that info to those fools in D.C.” He asked as she left him know it was a deal..any really skilled person usually got work there... advising the President on many important things. “Advising I can do, but while I was there they pushed that envelope to the extreme.” he added and told her about some of those things and she looked upset.

      “I doubt ‘advising’ was the real reason they went and stayed there. I had to get a ride home myself because they kept telling me I could never get a plane home.” he added as she looked sad. Many others had gone there to work and never returned, and she just assumed they were happily working away making big bucks...but maybe that wasn’t really true. “My Spirit Advisors told me straight out that once they were there many were forced to do terrible things, and their Spirits through them, and so when they asked me I told them my friends wouldn’t like that, and I refused.” Stan said as she agreed he had done the right thing.

      “They seem to think they own us, that we can only exist because they allow it.” Stanley added while she looked sad.” I think we need to let them know it might work the other way around too.” he said as she demanded that things just settled down, and she didn’t want him making waves. “Don’t worry mom, there’s lots of time. I’m still learning after all and they know by now that we wont do everything they demand, so thats a start.” he added and she agreed that if they were careful that things might change, slowly over time.


      Chapter 20: New Blood, New Rules


      Stanley was still getting lessons from his friends. He never asked any of them their names but made up some for them like Water Woman, and Earth Maiden...every Natural type had a representative coming and going, and Stanley spent a day traveling the oceans, and another flying around the world seeing the pollution and dead and dieing birds and animals. If there was something important he was taken to see it, and he made notes of important things and passed those on to his mother who also was working to get the word out to those that needed to know.

      In a few weeks he gathered information that would have taken a century to gather on its own. And Agencies in the government that were in charge of these things either were thrilled to get the free info...or shocked someone else could find out these things faster than they. So much information appeared so fast that the usual people that help keep it all under wraps got overwhelmed and many things they hoped to keep a secret got out to the Press.

      Even the U.N. got upset because while they believed the people had a right to know, they also had deals to help fix these problems slowly and quietly, and those were under attack now. So when Stanley was ready he asked for a meeting with the entire U.N. and after seeing what he can do when he wants they agreed and countries that seldom appeared for meetings went to see this one, because they knew that this was the worlds leading expert in Nature... and many had questions...and favors to ask of him.

      His entire Family was there, sitting on stage as Stanley got introduced, and many whispered among themselves since this was the first time seeing him in person. He waved and gave them all his cheesy smile and asked if anyone here was doing anything to clean the planet...and faces got serious and a few looked angry he could start his speech this way.

      “You probably wonder where I can get so much information so fast...right? Well let me show you. Friends can you come here please?” he asked and people, oddly dressed people just...appeared... beside him and many recognized them as Spirits and some looked frightened and some bowed down to pray right there.

      “These are my friends...” Stanley started, and laid a hand on one small young man and smiled at him and he returned it.” This is Earth..tell me my friend what do you control?” he asked and the young man admitted he controlled everything that was considered Land, soil or any other type of land worldwide, as mouths dropped and eyes popped all over the stadium.

      “Thank you...” Stan added and turned to the well endowed young lady wearing almost nothing and she gave him a hug and he smiled and asked her too.” what do you control?” he asked as she said Water...all water everywhere. And people started to see where this was going and a few tried to sneak out but they just couldn’t move at the moment.

      Then Air and Fire..they were all here, all the Spirits that people had called Gods and prayed to until they felt they no longer needed them anymore, and now they used them like sluts and treated them like dirt, and hundreds of Leaders sat there, mouths gaping open to see their Gods standing before them.

      “This is where I get my information from. Its real information not false like some of you have been spreading for years. I also see to it that everyone can find out. Some of you tell the Press that you’re working hard to clean up the planet, then build coal fired generators that pollute even more. Others hunt down and kill fish faster than they can reproduce, and then complain prices are going up. Well DOH!” he said as Clare got as good laugh at that one.

      “People need to eat!” Someone screamed and Stanley agreed they did.

      “But you take prime farm land and make it into military bases, dozens of them that you don’t need, Then complain to the U.N. that you need to buy food from others when you yourself made that decision and then went begging for handouts.” he added as many looked upset he was dragging all this out in the open.

      “We need to protect our people too.” He heard as he laughed and many more looked upset.

      “You’re adults here right? You make important decisions that effect all your people, every country does right? So how about we let you solve your own problems? One country in particular that shall remain nameless for today has pollution so thick that its making seeing to walk and drive difficult, only the Wind saves thousands of people from dieing from the pollution. Many more are already in the process of getting cancer or other sicknesses from it that they will then cry about here...asking for free handouts when their people die. Its all your fault you know, and what would happen if the Wind didn’t come for say...a year?” he asked as mouths fell open and some started screaming that that was an act of terrorism, and he didn’t argue the point.

      “You all have been slowly destroying land and water that you need to live...and even now you wont do anything about it because, hey! The planet will clean itself someday right? Well thats true but only after the pollution stops, and thats why we are here today. I have my friends here all Nature standing here looking at each and every one of you, so now...lie to them...tell them you’ll fix it all and that we’ve already begun...lie because you know none of that is true.” he demanded as the people there gave them all a serious look and only a few radicals could scream that it wasn’t true and that it wasn’t their fault.

      “Then I’ll help you myself. You claim the oceans are full of plastic and no one did it? Water my dear, for 1 month please stop all currents leading from cities into the oceans. Let the waste gather there so it can be tested and proven to not be polluting.OK?” he asked as she agreed, and rivers feeding into bays slowed down and the oceans currents stopped accepting the waste and even as the speech went on cities started to smell worse than before.

      “You cant do that!” One man demanded as Stanley turned and asked her if he could and she hugged him and said she’d do anything he asked, and the room got dead quiet.

      “I want the U.N. to monitor these tests see to it that companies that are caught polluting pay the fines and use those to help clean up the planet. I have talked to a young man in the US that started a company to clean the oceans. Its a tiny company now with one boat that harvests plastic right out of the ocean. But he told me that its spread so thin that he can only make a profit when its gathered a one place, and so I told him to move his boat to...Los Angeles Harbor...because my friend Wind will blow tons and tons of plastic from the ocean into the harbor and then he can gather it. I expect people to pay well for it too..the man needs to feed his family as well.” Stanley mentioned and the US representative said they would gladly pay him, and they didn’t realize for a second how much plastic was really in the oceans now.

      “This is my gift to you all, my help to see who is polluting the most and help gathering the pollution for removal. One month like this and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more fines after this and that cash can go to slow pollution everywhere.” he said and he got a round of applause...from the Spirits... and they disappeared, and he walked from the stage and didn’t even stay for the dinner afterwards, and as they flew home his mom mentioned he might have made some enemies today, and he smiled saying that that fear was what stopped everyone else from helping the Planet...and she admitted it might be true.


    2. #12
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      Chapter 21: Reality Sets In Worldwide


      “When I was in Washington they tried not to let me know what was really going on.” Stan mentioned, as his mom and dad waited. “But I have good ears, and can pretend not to hear. It seems this whole 5 skills thing had some worried that I would have more control than the government has over the planet. Well thats silly because we all have more control than them, and they already knew it. They act this way because fear keeps us in line...they think. The fact we make a living doing jobs is a minor thing to them, they just cant admit that we do big things to help keep the world’s economy going, and the economy will falter without us.”

      “They fear control they don’t have, and no one has ever shown them just how much we have, trying to hide it so they don’t panic. But I believe that adults have to know the truth to make good decisions, and so this month I’m going to show them the truth. First we do control the world, like it or not, second they have destroyed big parts of the economy and ecology, which they swear they didn’t. But in a few days the truth will start to show and things will start to change, you just watch.” he added smiling as they both looked a little worried, but they said nothing.

      Day one of this Month of Truth nothing much happened. The little company with the cleaning ship arrived at the harbor and gathered a few little pieces already floating there. Stanley called and thanked him saying that a ‘tide of plastic’ would arrive soon and it was all his, and the man just laughed saying he’d be ready.

      Day two, when the port people got to work this morning nothing really different was seen, a few pieces of trash blew around but nothing they hadnt seen before, so they ignored it and went on with their work.

      Day three...things are changing...the boat owned and operated by the little cleaning company gets to the docks early and sees patches of garbage all over the harbor, and they just cleaned it yesterday. So away they went and as one patch got gathered another popped up, and today they made some good cash since 3 tons of plastic got gathered and hauled away, and the Harbor Master thanked them saying they’d get top dollar for all that trash and a deal was struck.

      Day 4 and even Washington was starting to see what direction this was going in, the ‘tide’ was coming and today the little cleaning crew couldn’t keep up. The surface of the water was multicolored with pieces of red, blue and white plastic floating along in the breeze. Small boats refused to leave the docks and some larger ships were worried there might be bigger stuff under this skin they cant see until it was too late. Only sonar and watchers on decks kept the flow of ships moving in this sea of garbage.

      Day 5 news crews from all over the world were on the docks set up and filming. The captain of the little cleaning ship got an interview and he repeated what Stanley had been telling him. That this was just the tip of the iceberg, that hundreds of thousands of tons of garbage was in the ocean, and he could work for ever just to keep up. “Watch for the garbage gathering around factorys and plants, that will be the sign these are the biggest contributers.” he announced as people agreed and local news crews in helicopters made films showing factories nearly shut down by massive garbage floats and some had to halt business until they could haul this all away because water filters were clogged and without water their machines could not run.

      Day 6, investigators from the states and even the U.N. were on some sites asking the tough questions and fines started dropping, and as part of the plan to help clean things up the U.N. gave that little company a grant to buy and set up a second cleaning ship, doubling their chances to keep up. But by now it was obvious, the ‘tide’ was in, and the harbor was laying a foot thick in garbage, bigger boats plowed through it like the water itself but it never went away it just got thicker.

      Two weeks in and Stanley got an interview too, and he mentioned that what they had seen so far was nothing compared to what the planet had suffered under the weight of business. The plastic sea at Los Angeles was only from a few hundreds miles off shore. That left enough plastic in the worlds oceans to ‘mine’ for generations and his friend in that little boat was running ragged, and ordering new boats set up the same and even better. It was a new business, cleaning the oceans, and Stanley made sure the world knew he was helping, not hindering them in their efforts.

      But companies that had dumped for generations were getting a lot of attention, and they weren’t happy about it. One day a plant owner came running in demanded to know why they were shut down and the State Regulators were there and fines were given and the man screamed he pay them...every day...so long a his plant was let operate, but the water vents were clogged tight and divers went out to clean them and they clogged again in an hour, and the plant was losing money hand over fist for the first time on ages.

      “Our files show you had a filtering system in place 10 years ago..why isn’t it running?” He got asked and he said it needed repairs, and they reminded him if it was working it might just keep the plant going, and he had maintenence start it up for the first time in years and the exhaust from his plant got cleaned by maybe 40% before going into the river, and even that was better than nothing.

      This story was played over and over at plants and factories all over the world, as garbage floats never moved from the exhaust vents that they had always forced into the sea. Many were forced to close because they had never got set up to gather this or clean their exhaust, and some saw this as only the beginning, and they took this time to build cleaning stations so they wouldn’t be singled out again.

      Millions in fines were leveled and the worst offenders were shut down until they did something about their waste. The news went on and on about it everyday now, and faces of those dragged in for hearings were on the news every night. The secret little war to keep their crimes hidden was failing, and even with Lawmakers demanding this was a ‘witch hunt’ fines continued, and Heros like the little cleaning crew and their boats were applauded as doing the right thing, and his company got world wide attention, and he got offered contracts in places he could never get to in his lifetime.

      When Stanley declared the month over, he was on the news again. It was a big thing now to see him offering help and making sure everyone was OK. He apologized for closing the Port of Los Angeles for cleaning, and they agreed that they had no idea that they had been polluting so much for so long, and they started new rules to cut down on it. The Port got cleaned in a few days now with two boats running full time, and that little company bragged that they gathered and cleaned up more than 300 tons in that month, and people applauded for them as the owner took a nice bow on Nationwide TV.

      “A drop in the bucket...” Stan said as even his friends there agreed.

      “But the port and water under and around it haven’t been so clean in 20 years.” Water mentioned as Earth agreed that it had helped. “If that cleaning crew had a dozen ships we could position them and just send them waves of garbage to gather. It would keep him busy for a long time.” Stan heard as he laughed saying he didn’t want to work his friends too hard.

      “What? This? Pfft.” He heard as he laughed and a few others joined in.

      “We’ll see..” he added as they waited to see what if anything real would come of this, and he wasnt too sure this was enough to change much.

      In a week he got a call from his cleaning friend thanking him, saying they got some great publicity and even a grant to build the second boat. Now they were ready to do some serious cleaning, and Stan nodded he understood.

      “If only we knew where a lot of that junk was.” He heard as Stan nearly laughed out loud.

      “Your boats do good work but they are a little small considering the size of the problem.” Stanley added as the man looked thoughtful.” If you had something bigger maybe something like an old fishing boat that can carry a hundred tons of junk, then traveling out into the ocean would become profitable.” Stanley mentioned as the man agreed.

      “Hmm... some old boat thats still worth fixing would be nice, I cant afford anything new that size.” He heard as Stan laughed and asked if they were back at their home base now and the man agreed saying he worked his people long hours cleaning up the Port and they got big kudos for it.”You, I’m not so sure they would applaud.” He said as Stanley agreed they were probably mad at him for that stunt.

      “ Well, if you fix up some old boat big enough to work for long hours in, maybe a few spots a few miles out will form a sort of little whirlpool, catching floating garbage for miles around. Nothing big enough to hurt a boat you understand.” Stan mentioned and his friend agree, and the next day when they went to the docks to look for work an old wreck was sitting there, half in and half out of the water, and the Captain laughed saying they had a lot of work to do, and tools got gathered and men from the town came to help, and in a month he owned a boat capable of traveling for hundreds of miles out into the ocean, and he announced it on the news as his next big step up, and a map appeared on his phone that day with 4 marks on it and he added that to his charts and out they went looking for garbage to clean.

      “It’s a small step forward.” Stan heard as he agreed, but if one person can make a buck doing something others will follow, and he knew this was just the beginning.


      Chapter 22: ‘Incorporating” His Ideas

      But this little business only worked to gather plastic and floating plastic at that. But there was other garbage, some hauled out miles and dropped, some done on purpose by the government, and others wrecks from wars and storms and many other reasons. But none of them were worth gathering because the cost of ‘raising’ a ship was incredible. But then no one had the help Stanley had, and when he mentioned it many laughed and agreed.

      “How about we start a little company of our own?” Stan asked as everyone agreed they’d help.” First we need a ship, big enough to haul around a LOT of metal and garbage, something not too old that looks impressive.” he hinted as Water gave him a dirty look saying now he was getting particular, and he smiled and said ‘well if you cant do it’ and she was gone a minute later.

      “And I’ll need a crew of specialists.” he added, and started calling friends and many who were not too busy agreed to work for him and the next day the Port Authority in Portland called saying his ship needed docking permission, and he agreed to the costs, and they all ran down to see a newer tanker sitting, not looking especially healthy but it was afloat, and Stan thanked his friend and said she could be a member of his crew too, and she walked on board right along with everyone else.

      Some welding, some cleaning and some electrical work and in two weeks Salvage Incorporated was in business. His corporate finances didn’t look bad even the first day, and his ship was worth over a million, sitting there empty, but it wasn’t going to stay that way, and with huge doors to open and a big empty hull inside it was what he needed most and he gave Water a nice kiss for helping and his friends looked away smiling.

      They got the engines running and pulled away from the dock for the first time and everyone cheered and the dock manager welcomed a new business to the port, and Stanley thanked him. He got a list of what salvage was going for and he mentioned they’d be back later and away they went chugging along while his very own bottom seeking scanner told him when they were near something.

      “He’s pushing this pollution thing hard.” One Senator mentioned, as many of his friends agreed.” At least this keeps him out of our business, for now. Thats a good thing...for him.” And the meeting was over just like that, and it was obvious to anyone who saw and heard...like someone who can be everywhere at once...that these fools hadn’t learned a thing yet.

      They traveled up the coast a few miles out just traveling along slowly when Water asked him what all he wanted to salvage.

      “Anything worth something, even old wrecks.” he added as she stopped the boat and they walked out of the command center looking down on the main deck and Stanley ordered the big doors opened, and one man asked if they needed the winches readied, and he was told it wasn’t necessary. In a minute the water bubbled up and out popped the masts of a medium sized sailboat. Not too bad looking, it wasn’t sitting on the bottom for too long it seemed. It got lowered into the hold and the doors closed and Stan thanked her for her help.

      “You do know we can help to.” Sherry called up to them, and Stanley agreed that friends with Wind and Water powers could help as well, and he whispered that Water was making everyone else look worthless, and she decided to do the scanning and let others help then too.

      Another few miles and another wreck, a small pleasure boat that probably went down in a storm. It didn’t have a hole in it anywhere, so it probably got swamped by a big wave and went down that way. This was just the first day and so they turned around and went home and as they got unloaded other salvaging crews nearby looked impressed, if not outright shocked.

      The local insurance agents ran out to see, and after checking their lists the boats got identified and Stan and his new Corp got a big pat for bringing them in...and a nice finders fee too.

      Boats are expensive things, toys for the rich and famous or working vessels for fishermen and traders. So even a 20 foot boat was worth a nice amount, and that sailboat was even bigger and was worth a small fortune.

      Stanley used this new cash to load fuel into his tanks for the next time and food into the galley for longer trips. He was doing OK for a new company just starting out, and he thanked everyone who said so and made sure his Natural friends got credit for helping, and his Corps finances looked even better, and his first day was on the news.

      “I always knew he’d be a success.” Clare mentioned as the news ran the story, he now owned a medium sized industrial ship and his own Corporation, all in less than a month. “But...I wonder what he’s really up to?” She whispered and she sat there in her office wondering what he would do next.

      For a week training went on on board the ship. Water users were taught how to reach under the ocean and pull boats back to the surface. There, Air users could grab them, dump the excess water out and bring them on board. In case it was needed... or even possible... Earth users could use their lightning ability to do welding and other repairs, and everyone got better by the day and as Stanley sat in the Captain’s office looking over files, Water appeared and said that Step 1 was almost finished, and he smiled.

      “Then its time to move on.” He said, as she agreed. “Is everyone here? I’d like to have a meeting if you dont mind.” he asked as every Spirit came and stood there waiting for his requests.

      “If you dont mind me asking.” Land asked as Stanley said he was always willing to listen.” You have two other realms you have never spoken to, and I was asked if you realized or just were ignoring them.” he hinted as Stan looked too surprised to speak. In all the Spirit Realm there were really 6 areas, Fire, Water, Earth,Air, Space and Time. But he had no Time skills and his Space skill was very weak even now.

      “I apologize my skills in these areas is very weak and maybe even non-existent. If I snubbed anyone I truly apologize and of course you all are welcome here.” he announced, and the very space in front of him split like a crack in glass and out stepped a dark shadow, no facial features at all, but it took its place by his other friends and he heard a whisper in his head saying that Time would watch from a distance since being here might cause troubles all over the world.

      “I thank you my friend for even speaking to me. I would never expect Time to stop what it was doing just to come to a meeting.” he announced, and everyone smiled because now he had spoken to every known Spirit Realm and they all had returned his best wishes.


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      this one ahs about 30+ chapters so it'll go on a bit more. starting another one about genetics causing Magical abilities in a Post Apocalyptic world full of monsters, and corrupt cities,so stay tuned.


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      Chapter 23: Building a Future.


      “The government has left us go for now, but my intelligence network tells me they still think force might be needed later on, mostly aimed at me.” He added as sadness seemed to creep into every face.” Of course we wont let that happen. They have made it completely clear that they want to rule the world, either through force or by abusing and using all of you. That is totally unacceptable. Together we can not be touched or misused, and my Family and all the others like me will one day be able to talk to all of you just like I do now.So I have decided, that after some slow progress making inroads into business and politics, we will move off the coast, and form our own country.” he added as many nodded they agreed and some just smiled that he was thinking so big.

      “How big an island do you want?” Land hinted as everyone chuckled but Stan said that wouldn’t be necessary, at least for now. Until we get better situated in the business world and gain friends in politics they wont consider letting us go without a fight, and I want no one to die from this. So we start with the Corporation, gain a reputation, and then wealth from it. Wealth is the only power greater than politics, and with it we can buy all the help we’ll need. But it will take time.” he said as everyone agreed.

      “Got you covered...” he heard as he laughed and said that it was time they started making friends in high places, and they started looking for bigger boats to raise and he even bragged online that there ‘wasn’t a boat or ship we cant raise in a day’ and that challenge wasn’t going to go unnoticed for long.

      Of course he knew he’d be checked out and instead of having some stealth site people had to search for, his was big and bold, right out in the open. He bragged about being part of a secret group covered up by the governments of the world for centuries, and that he had the power to control the world. Of course that might be true but he needed a lot of publicity in short order, so saying such things brought out all the weirdos in a second.

      He got interviewed right at the house, and when they demanded to see his power he walked over to their car and with one hand lifted it off the ground and smiled and held it there...then...he left it go and walked back to his front porch were the news people were standing, and the car....stayed there floating on a cushion of air.

      “I could have done that standing over here...but you came all this way looking for a show so I thought, Hey why not?” He said and laughed as they all looked faint. He waved his hand and the car slowly lowered back to the ground and only one person had the nerve to ask anything after that.

      “If you have this great power, what do your parents do?” She asked, as Stanley told them his dad prospected for oil and ore for mines, and his mom ran a ...very special school...and he winked and refused to say anything else about it.

      “We have been around for 300 years...thats right before this was even a country, and our school teaches us things like this...and no, not everyone can learn this its a skill that has to be born in.” He admitted as notes were taken and cameras rolled, and when the interview was over that car had never traveled so fast back the way it came.

      “We have to get this into print before the government finds out we know!” Got mentioned and they ran like maniacs and when this hit the news, Capital Hill was ready to erupt.

      “He told them everything!” Some screamed as many nodded it was true.

      “Don’t worry we have the upper hand. They will admit they were pranking everyone themselves in less than a week..or never print another rag magazine again.” The Chairman said and they all talked about what to do with Stanley since he refused their offer to help keep the country safe, they ignored him..until now...because if he kept this up soon everyone would know and that was never the plan.

      “He should have just sat up there in his little house and kept his mouth shut.” The Chairman said loudly and everyone agreed, and one second later Stanley knew every word that was said, and had it all recorded ...for posterity.

      “Nows a good time.” He said and as he did Cora appeared in front of Congress, floating near the high ceiling as mouths dropped everywhere. Shots were fired and she smiled and drifted over to the podium and the Chairman stepped back as she landed and smiled wide for everyone there.

      “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, I am AIR...” She said as many laughed out loud and a second later they were all gasping for breath as she forced all the air in the room to the ceiling and held it there for about 30 seconds. Not enough to damage anyone but more than enough to get the point across. Finally they could breath again, and she gave them her big patented smile and people were to frightened to say a word.

      “You do like to threaten people don’t you? Well, I represent Master Stanley Hemming, and he asked me to come and show you what Spirits can do. If you have a soldier, sailor or intelligence person that can do that, bring them out and have them challenge me. But the good news for you is my Master told me...’no one dies’... and so I will have to stop a tiny bit short of that.” She added as everyone sat back in dead silence.

      “MY Master says this: We have served you for over a century, and others before you. We never asked for control like you do, we enjoy our freedom and did, before you or your country existed, and we will continue to. If you need our help call and we will come, if not leave us alone. If you cant live in Peace with us then we will never serve you again, and that goes for defense against storms in the South or stopping the spreading desert in the Midwest. Because of us you can exist, keep that in mind, because everyone will soon know about us, not just the few from before. We want to walk happily arm in arm with our friends the Spirits in every city and Nation, and we will. Agree and nothing else need said, don’t and the country may well be forfeit. So says Master Hemming thank you for your attention.” She said, and was gone...just like that... and it took quite a while for anyone to speak and when they did it was pretty softly.

      “I need to go to the bathroom..” One lady said and walked slowly out the door as others refused to try and move. But it settled down after a while and the few radicals thought they had some plans, but others were quick to stop them.

      “With this Decree he has effectively taken over Maine as a sovereign state or country.” One screamed as others reminded him that they are still willing to work to protect the country, they just want a little appreciation for all they’ve done.

      “And what stops him at that? Maybe tomorrow he’ll want New York or some other State, what will we do then?” He screamed, as people finally saw him for what he was, to frightened to think straight, and laughed in his face.

      “Politics will go on as usual, he only wants a place to call home where no one will bother them, and we still get all their help like we always did. Its not a bad deal really. We managed to keep them a secret since the dawn of Time so I believe the People have a right to know that there are special people working to protect them.” One lady said loudly but not everyone could agree on anything, it seemed like business as usual.

      “I demand a vote...” One older man said as he stood up,” but before you vote remember what just happened here. The Master says ‘no one dies’ but one little girl nearly killed us all, in one go. And I’m sure if some thing were to happen to her master she wouldn’t hesitate a second to be back here again.” he declared, and even the loudest among them got quiet and the vote to let the news out about the Hemming School passed by a landslide.


      Chapter 24: Appreciation...and Tourism


      Stanley called his mom a few minutes later and told her the news. They could not only admit they were there, they could advertise for new students all over the world. She thought he was joking and when he hung up she called the Senator she always reported to and he admitted that the new Law had just passed, and she looked lost for a second.

      “It was time..” Was all he said, and when she hung up she looked upset, and wondered what Stanley had done now.

      “Come on Stanley..after 300 years we get our rights now? And we can advertise the school worldwide? What did you do? We never thought for a second this was going to happen not in our lifetimes.” She admitted as Stanley just laughed and said she needed to dream bigger then, and she gave him a dirty look.

      “ We are no longer a secret for the rich and powerful alone, we can work for anyone who can afford us, and spread our names around the world. We do a lot to help hold this world together, and I believe we deserve the right to brag a bit don’t you?” he asked as she admitted not being stuck as some secret society or something would be nice, and he agreed, and she said she’d see how it goes from here before screaming at him some more, and she hung up and went to work calling news crews and telling them there was going to be a special announcement at the school at noon tomorrow and they certainly didn’t want to miss this one.

      When they got all set up everyone was there from every major news organization. Clare spent the entire night getting it organized and when they walked out on stage in the auditorium cameras were on and microphones as people started their speeches wondering what was going to happen next.

      “Ladies and gentlemen.” Clare said loudly “at 1 pm yesterday the Congress of the United States passed a new law that removed all the restrictions they had on us and this school since the country was founded. Today we proudly proclaim that Hemming Academy is a school for Special Students, and has been for over 300 years.” She said and paused as questions started flying in.

      “We know its a very high class Ivy League school but Special in what way?” Got asked as she stepped to the side and Stanley stepped up.

      “We are special people that can and do commune with Spirits, people that control the entire planet, and all of us through them.” he said as a few looked like he was joking them and others openly laughed.

      “Friends... if you please...” Stan said softly and 5 people or shadows of people just appeared before them and some got a little quieter now. “Introduce yourself please.” he asked as Cora stepped forward and said she was the very Air they breathed and with a flick of her hand people had to grab their cameras and mics to keep them from getting blown away.

      “I am Land..” The small young man said and with a wave the entire building shook and things started falling from the walls, and as he closed his fist, everything stopped.

      They all got a turn and when they were done the news crews looked the worse for wear, but they admitted it was quite the show.

      “These are the Spirits that control the Earth inside and out. We as Mediators talk to them and ask their help. Ever wonder why Hurricanes hit the coast and then just disappear? They get hit by an equal force coming off the land to disperse them. Why some states seem to be turning into deserts but never really become one? Because they get just enough rain to stop it from happening. Humans finding oil wells and gas wells miles deep inside the Earth? We can sense them and we get paid pretty well for it too.” Stanley admitted as people all over the room had to stop to think.

      “Congressmen and Senators and Presidents for centuries have known all about us. Big corporations hire us to do things it would cost huge amounts to do without us. Thats the truth, a truth that has been hidden by them forever. Now with the passing of this new Law we can finally tell and show you who we are and what we do.” He said as a few more questions were asked and after wards people gathered their things and got loaded to go, still not sure if they understood what they had been told yet. But Stanley helped them to understand, as they were getting loaded he walked out, he called to them and waved and disappeared into the sky with his friends and only one cameraman got it on film and that film just became worth a small fortune.
      But some people never stop, and when the news showed the meeting and the Spirits talking to everyone one old Senator stood and said that since the bill had not been signed by the President yet, technically what they were doing was Treason, and many others told him to shut up and sit down, it was decided and they could do what they wanted, but he wasn’t going to let it go, and a few others thought maybe they could still gain control back from the Naturalists and so they started a new plan.

      They had always sucked up a bit to the Naturalists, paying them some very nice cash for their services. But now that they were open to the public they sent messages out saying that all the old deals were done, and that anyone who wanted to hire one could offer them whatever they wanted.

      People traveled all the way to Texas or California just to get told their deals were over and that they had to negotiate with them for every job. The prices they were offering were a drop in the bucket compared to what they got paid before, and many turned right around and left them standing there, screaming that they had to take this price, but many wouldn’t.

      “I was afraid of this..” Clare said as Steve heard the same thing from a corporation he had worked for for ages. Not only were they cutting his pay per job, there was some talk of cutting off his percentage too saying everything would need renegotiated from scratch.

      She called Stan and told him what trouble he caused this time and he just smiled and said to send every call to him, and she agreed, and when he got those calls he told them to sit back and relax, take no jobs, none, for a month then he’d negotiate their deals again himself.

      They didn’t know what he had planned but they gave him the benefit of the doubt, and one company after another got told they were ‘on vacation’ to call back in 4 weeks and many looked too upset to speak.

      So they called their Senator back and gave him a piece of their mind saying that Naturalists were expensive to hire but they got the job done, and they were screaming at him for starting this.

      “We’ll starve them out just be patient.” he said as one man told him that he had bought land just for this reason and he had a short time limit to use it or lose it and he couldn’t wait a month for that vacation to be over. “Then keep trying... one of them will surely crack after a while.” he got told and he tried again and again and nobody would answer, and after a while and sure enough his contract expired and he lost a good piece of land because he couldn’t get it prospected in time.

      And if that wasn’t bad enough every UFO freak and nut job in the US came calling, screaming that they had secret powers and wanted trained, when the testing showed they obviously had none. But when people think Super Heros are real they want to be one, and one after another got violent saying they were being held back from their glory, and finally Clare had them escorted off the grounds by security.

      But they did find a few more this way, as one person asked this little girl whose Grandmother drove her all the way from Florida how she knew she had powers, and she smiled and said that ‘she grows things’ and the teachers smiled and said that everyone grows things, but the girl pointed to a flower on the windowsill and it grew 3 inches in a minute and the teacher was shocked and happy and the girl got admitted to the Earth class the next day, to the thrill of her Family.

      So even though those first few days were a real pain things started to settle down and after losing a ton of deals even the companies started to think twice about messing with their biggest source of income, and when the month was over the deals were back in place and maybe just a tad more, if you got there quick and got good results, and adding speed and volume incentives made some a little more than before.

      “Incentives for finding bigger mines and wells what made you think of that?” His mom asked as Stanley just smiled wide and asked if she remembered them telling everyone that most of the resources on the planet were gone by now, and she agreed, and Stan shook his head no and laughed and she knew he had inside information that could start a dozen new corporations, but he wasn’t sharing it.


    5. #15
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      Chapter 25: Cash and Reputation get Gained

      Stan’s little salvage crew was doing pretty well too. Many small lost boats got brought back and one racing sailboat that went down in a storm. That belonged to a famous racer, and when he met the ship at the docks and claimed his boat again he praised them for doing what others had told him was too expensive to consider.

      The finders fee for an Olympic class racer was great too and the corporations account went up yet again. Now after just being in business for 6 months it went from 1.5 million in worth, mainly just the freighter they were using, to 6 million, even after paying the crew. Making it one of the fastest growing new companies of the year, and they had several months of growth left to go.

      “Things are looking pretty good for us but we need something big...something no one would ever think about... to really shock people into paying attention.” Stanley mentioned and everyone agreed. The work he had been doing got some news coverage but nothing compared to the constant propaganda from the government, who were still trying to get out from under the flak for keeping things like this a secret for so long.

      Every group who thought the US Government had been keeping secrets about their interests got new ammo and rushed to demand that if Spirits exist then so do Flying Saucers, and Ghosts and Demons, and they demanded that they had a right to know all that too...even if such a thing didn’t really exist at all.

      But the uproar slowly died back down, and some groups that had worshiped the Earth or Sun or Nature were once again in the news, because they found out their Gods did exist, and the Spirits felt good knowing they hadn’t really been forgotten and Stanley agreed that they ruled this world and it was their place to see to it and he appreciated them helping when he called, and they smiled that when it all started he was the only one to treat them well and through him old religions that loved them for centuries were getting started up again.

      One day Water mentioned she had been working on something and she suggested that they take the freighter out and check it out. Stanley didn’t ask what but went without a second thought, and as they got out about 13 miles from shore they stopped and she just smiled and with a raise of her hand the ocean popped and gurgled and after a minute it split open and out slid a massive thing, so much bigger than the freighter as to dwarf it completely, and Stanley stepped down from the control room to look up at it sitting there, and it was clear it needed some repairs and only his friend was keeping it afloat. But it was huge, and he got the numbers of the side and checked the Internet and stood with his mouth open as she got a huge laugh at the look on his face.

      “Yorktown...lost during the battle of Midway Island at the end of WW II. 824 feet long, displacing 20,000 tons. It had crew space for over 2000 men and women and all the equipment to keep them going.Diesel powered with turbines and 4 propellers and a top speed...when new...of near 30 MPH.” He was at a loss for what to say and slowly Cora asked if he wanted help repairing it, and he didn’t even speak he just nodded his head, and lightning struck it and sizzled along the holes and cracks and within an hour it floated by itself again, not exactly as advertised, but then there were floors full of water inside yet that needed drained.They pulled along side and went on board and it needed some serious cleaning and the technology was ancient, but it was in good shape considering, and as they got the doors opened and all the water drained a Coastguard Cutter came by...at maximum speed it might be added... and asked what the Hell they were doing, and Stanley told them they rose a WW II ship and he was claiming it, and since no one else had ever tried it they saw no reason he couldn’t do it, and the paperwork got started.

      “Do you have any idea what it will cost just to keep it running?” The Captain asked as Stanley nodded saying he was pretty sure his cost would be many times less than what it had cost originally, and the officer didn’t look like he understood, and Stan had the crew check it out and see what it would need to get just one engine running, and after a day of hard work, and some emergency charging of the old batteries, one old diesel engine coughed to life and the big ship slowly turned back towards the nearest port, and Stanley called ahead asking if they had a spot big enough for this and they looked more than impressed, but they set him up next to the shipyard and after several hours of slowly sneaking along the massive ship stopped in dock, and was met by every news person that could get there in time, and Stanley announced that when he said they could raise anything...he meant it.

      “The carrier Yorktown..we cant possibly let him keep it can we?” The Senate asked as many weren’t sure. It was covered under the salvage laws since it sat on the bottom for a long time but it had been a military ship and certainly even those old guns would never be allowed on a civilian vessel.

      “Thats not a problem any longer.” One Senator said, laying his phone down and addressing the others.” he called immediately and sold all the guns to antique dealers, and they are being removed even as we speak.” he said as many decided that that was OK then and they lost their reason to complain.

      “Well if we let him have it he’ll just sell it anyways, but thats no problem for us since we’ll see who gets it before any deals can be formalized.” Got mentioned and the idea of letting him have it became a lot clearer.” If he doesn’t sell it it’ll break him in short order. No single American can pay to run something that size, a crew alone would cost millions a month. So I’m wondering what he has in mind. Maybe just a publicity stunt?” got mentioned as others seemed to think that was it, and so when the papers came down they got approved... and for now... Stanley owned his own aircraft carrier...and all the bills to go with it.

      Chapter 26: Upgrades all Around

      It became a fun project, Stanley had everyone he knew there and many people they brought along just to look and help. The first week he had the old guns taken off and sold to antique dealers, then bought a new digital radio with GPS, and added that. Then took the original radio out and sold it once again and actually made a profit on that deal since the new radio was off the shelf stuff and the old military radio went to some museum.

      Only one tank had fuel in it and it was so low on octane to make it hard even for a diesel to run it. But there were other empty tanks and when he checked he was surprised how much fuel they really took. But he added a few gallons of alcohol to the old fuel, bringing the octane back up to a decent amount, and bought 5000 gallons of new fuel, not enough to fill it but enough for now.

      He had 30 people, friends and volunteers helping that week and when it was over the title came back OK and he officially owned it, and while tons of mud and garbage got cleaned out of the crew quarters, he had all the old batteries taken out and disposed of and a whole new set added to run the starters for the engines.

      Then a good cleaning on the injectors and replacing some wires, and they started right up and idled easily, and everyone cheered that they had been along for the ride on this job, and he made sure they all got mentioned around the school and on the news thanking them for their help.

      Then he started getting creative. He had all the old paint on the deck taken off and a single helicopter pad repainted on the bow. Then he added some buildings to the top, and forms that got filled with dirt a meter thick, and the garden club added flowers and bushes and a few small trees and he lined everything up so that there were ‘roads’ between the buildings and each one was a two story and had large rooms in them. It finally got figured out when he admitted that he was broke for now and needed to get back to work that...he was building a second school.

      But when he was standing on the bridge talking to his friends he admitted they were going to go back out in the freighter to find something to sell, because they were getting dangerously low of funds.

      “Don’t worry about it,” Cora said as Water turned and asked her why.”I have a boat on its way in now, that should help.” She admitted as Stan looked surprised and thanked her graciously.

      “When will it get here?” he asked as she said in less than an hour, and he asked what size it was so they could clear it with the dock master, and she admitted it was around 100 feet long and he gave her a nice peck on the cheek and made the call as Water stepped closer and asked what she thought she was doing, and Cora smiled and whispered ‘I wont be left behind.’ And they gave each other a dirty look and waited for the new boat to get here, and when it did they had a dock ready and Stanley already had offers to buy it, and his money problems got a lot less real fast.

      “I always wanted to ask you..” he said turning to Water who smiled and waited.” This ship went down in the Pacific, thats thousands of miles from here.” he added as she nodded and said ‘what’s your point?’ and even Cora got a smile at that one.” You cant fly it here, and the entire continent was in the way, you didn’t bring this through the Canal did you?” He asked as she laughed saying that would ruin the surprise.

      “I just went around.” She said seriously and he remembered that she literally was water, all water, and she lifted an aircraft carrier from the bottom of the Pacific and brought it here by going around the tip of South America...all because he mentioned once he needed a bigger boat. And he started to realize how much more careful he’d need to be about wishing for things in the future.

      “There are some new UFO sightings because of it too, I think.” She mentioned as he reminded her she said she didn’t fly it here, and she laughed saying that at one point during a chilly, thick morning fog, she went by some fishermen doing over a hundred... and they just saw the big wave and a shadow... and Stanley turned away trying not to laugh out loud thinking those poor fishermen probably got laughed at for reporting this, and he’d make sure a little info about it got leaked later.

      “With you two around I almost don’t need the salvage crew...but...” he said waving his finger before they went wild again.” They do need to make a living too so lets let them run that part of the business ok?” And they both agreed but Water mentioned that if they went out of port with this they’d need a small boat or two to carry people to and from the carrier, and Stanley agreed to that, and Cora mentioned they had a helipad but no helicopter yet, and she offered to find them something and he thanked her and he stood there looking out at the port and tried not to notice the two of them working to outdo each other.

      “But ladies...” he said as they got a little louder.” Please, no fighting, the port couldn’t stand it.” he added softly and they settled down and by nightfall Stanley had two small cabin cruisers that sat on the bottom for quite a while, but they were fiberglass and only needed some engine work and some new seats. And with a big gust of wind an older helicopter settled down on the bow, and Stanley saw something probably from the Korean or even Vietnam war sitting there and it was certainly big enough to carry people, and he thanked them for their help and said that was all he needed for now, and they both went away for a bit.

      Now maintenence work, and the chopper needed almost a completely new engine and blades, but they got those fixed and the little boats got brought on board using winches mounted along the sides, and set in mounts so that they could get worked on too. It took a couple weeks but they both ran again, and Stanley now had his helicopter for passengers and boats too, and he didn’t think he’d need anything else after getting the bunks new mattresses and pillows, the ship was almost ready to start its new life.

      “Ready for a tour?” Stanley asked as Clare agreed and her and Steve came up the elevator to the deck and walked out to see people laying around resting, and flowers and bushes , some with fruit on, all around. Then three buildings with nice big windows and fans mounted in the upper corners for ventilation, and she said some of her rooms weren’t this nice, and she asked if he thought they had enough students to run both schools and he said they did, but she didn’t see where.

      “Now that we can advertise, some new people have shown up right?” He asked and she did admit they found a few new people and he nodded saying that since they started the school 300 years ago many took classes and left. Sometimes never to return. Many were thought lost or dead, but some just wanted to live a normal life and so they never used their gifts again. But by now their families were bigger, several generations bigger, and many new children might have skills and want to attend a school for special people, and she agreed it was possible, and he turned on a computer in his office and his new school had over a hundred applicants already and she looked stunned.

      “Where did you find all those so soon?” She asked as Stanley laughed right out loud.

      “From the old school records and a place called...’Ancestry .Com’ “ he said and she got a good laugh too and he admitted he worked long hours for two weeks to talk to all these people, and had a teacher actually go out and meet the kids and test them, but now that was done many decided that with new laws helping them they wanted their kids trained, and tuition was already coming in, and he told them the school had live in dorms and a cafeteria, so none of that would be a problem.

      “Now the next problem,” He said as she waited to hear.” I need a full cafeteria staff, got any extra?” he asked as she turned away to keep from laughing in his face.

      In a month the ship looked almost as good as new. Stanley had pictures taken of the deck, the buildings and even the little park at the one end. It looked too good to be true, but it wasn’t, and before they pulled out of port on their first sea cruise with students on board, their first year of training was paid for, and his ships fuel and enough food for the 200 people living there now.

      He had a plan, since the government even now tried messing with them from time to time he picked a spot, almost center between the US and Europe, half way between Bermuda and the Azores, he could go either way in an emergency, and if need be there were dozens of places to move to, and they anchored there. Now they were a separate entity from the original school, sitting on the open ocean in International Waters, and as far as he was concerned he had no one to answer to now because he openly claimed neutrality, saying that his school was International, and outside the jurisdiction of all countries. It got a rousing round of applause from many and he reminded them they take students from all nations and never discriminate, and a few more popped up soon after and joined their classes right after that.

      “So that was it...” Got said on Capital Hill a few days later.” he’s declaring himself neutral, not a citizen at all! We planned on using his second school as good advertising for how well we helped them join the modern world. But now he’s sidestepped us completely! Now he says there’s no discrimination, all nations will be treated equally, what BS! His school and his mothers was always a part of the US and we controlled who came and went and kept most of them for ourselves, but now thats all gone.” One Congressman went on and on, and got laughed at for it.

      “The original school is still there, we still have all the Naturalists we will ever need.So let him go and live at sea, we don’t need him! And good riddance to bad rubbish... he was nothing but trouble anyways.” Got said and many agreed since the original school still existed then they would still get their way, and Stanley didn’t need to come back here ever, as far as they were concerned.


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      Chapter 27: Tropical Education

      It didn’t hurt to be able to advertise that days off could be spent on Bermuda’s beaches either, and Stanley asked and got permission for his students to go there anytime they wanted. The helicopter could get them there and back, and they had boats too, and it got mentioned that for fun someone had asked to use a boat for fishing near the ship, and it got approved, and on weekends a few did some fishing and brought in some nice dinners for everyone. And Stanley took advantage of that to advertise pictures of the kids and their catches, both on the bulletin board at school and their web page for the world to see.

      Then some pictures of students on their days off on Bermuda, and even Clare started getting jealous, as many in her school started thinking of transferring out.

      “Damn it Steven look what he’s doing now...not only has he opened his own school and got students from all over the world... he’s got bonuses and places for them to spend their time off that even I wish we had.” She stated, as he got a good laugh because she always advertised them as a ‘quiet educational facility in a small town in Maine’ it almost screamed quiet education, and it had worked for decades. But now with open advertising going on, Stan was taking advantage of it all. He had pictures taken from the helicopter showing the huge ship, the park on it, people laying about on their time off. Girls in swim suits, he knew exactly what he was doing, and there were people who saw this all who wished they had special abilities to just get to go there.

      “Business is business, and for once I think he’s found his niche.” Steve added and even Clare had to consider that. He even had Spirits just walking around with him, and even giving speeches about their specialties. Regular teachers didn’t have a prayer getting the attention of students when Water walked in wearing her usual green leafy cloths, if you can call those cloths, and when she spoke the very sea itself became part of the classroom. All the Spirits showed up once in a while, and the question and answer sessions were really something, and had to be interrupted once or twice when they veered too far off topic.

      But it instantly became known as the premier educational facility for Naturalists, and even Clare admitted when asked that he was doing very well for himself.

      “Not everyone has Spirits willing to give you a free school.” She hinted sourly, as even Steve looked away knowing what she was really upset about.

      They had been told that Stanley was a very rare person, that he ‘walked in this world and ours as a Multi-Dimensional Person’ . That meant his own spirit was powerful enough to let him see and understand them even in their own dimension, and no one had been able to do that for centuries.

      They separately controlled the world and even outside it. But he joined them together, like an axel holding all the spokes together on a wheel. With him there they refused him nothing, and even he was surprised when the big ship appeared. It was beyond what he had even planned for, and he threw everything he had into getting it ready and then beyond, to setting it up as his school.

      And through him the number of students doubled this year, a surprise to even Clare who had said they missed a few every year, but never in her wildest dreams did she think so many were overlooked.

      Now Naturalsits were a new specialty on the world stage. Many people knew they existed that never had before, and countries that had been left out found out about it, and even now new jobs were screaming in from people that wanted to rush to catch up.

      But rumors of high paying jobs, and salaries worth many times what the average person could ever make were getting passed around, and now that people knew who they were and what they got paid, many were upset beyond anything ever before, because they weren’t in that Elite group.

      Racism is a bad thing in any country and region. Many wars were fought over it every year. But to be hated because you were born different, and when you still worked to help everyone without question, that was sad. But if you have a dollar more than anyone else someone will hate you for it, and Clare’s school got bomb threats, usually just some weirdo causing trouble, but on one occasion a car exploded in the parking lot, and even she saw that whoever did it was still close by.

      “There’s been an increase in criminal behavior since the announcement came out.” She got told and she agreed that she found new students because of it but there had to be a downside too. “We’ll keep you posted as new info becomes available.” The officer said and left, and she had to think that being well known now might not be as easy as she first thought.

      But she didn’t know that she was protected even now, as Cora stepped in close to Stan while he was working on the web site and whispered that a group of terrorists were targeting the old school now, and Stan looked sad but agreed and asked her to see if she could help find them, and a recording of their last meeting got dropped in the letter box at the local police station that very day and they had positive proof that it wasn’t just one young drunk venting anymore.

      Within a month they cornered and caught two men who were watching the school and when questioned they went off about unfair hiring practices, and how wages for the average person needed to go way up...all silly things because people get paid because of their skills... and people with more skills get paid more, simple to understand right? But after a while it came out that they got this idea from flyers and videos sent to them, from overseas. There was actually an organization setting out to drag down all the highly skilled people over the world, either forcing them to work for the same rate as everyone else or fighting to bring regular labor prices up to their level, something that was never going to happen.

      But it got mentioned that if talking wouldn’t do it then other means might be necessary, and the FBI got involved, and after a few more weeks they found info that a group of Neo Nazi’s were involved. They sold illegal weapons and seemed like they were trying to start a little war of their own to boost sales.

      But they were very professional, going so far as using ear buds for communications and sign language instead of voice. Even Cora had a hard time getting anything on them even though they knew they’d slip up eventually. But in the mean time things were getting stressed out as more attacks fell onto Naturalists world wide, because of greed and jealousy.


      Chapter 28: More Fame, Less Fortune


      With the entire world knowing about Naturalists now, people who never knew were suddenly aware. Like salesmen from all the biggest agencies. Stanley and his mother got calls and messages online from people trying to sell them either custom made books and videos, or cars, planes and in Stans case... even a personal submarine.

      He got a good laugh at that, since with his connections he could go anywhere he wanted... and never get wet. He once even did a tour under and around the ship looking for trouble spots in a big air bubble and that gave him a chance to see everything himself, without having to pay maintenence to suit up in diving gear and check it themselves. He did find a few scratches that weren’t all the way through, but a small lightning bolt made short work of those, and the heat and marks were easy to find inside and then they were gone over again in there by Fire Users.

      The ship would never be absolutely new again, but then it wasn’t a military craft anymore either. He got calls asking him how he got it and why he chose this design for his school and many news reporters came and went, and Stanley got paid well for them too, but every dime went into his school and it had the every best in computers, and even a job placement agency of its own for graduates.

      But it got mentioned that he was...technically... poor by some standards. He had friends with a million or more in the bank and he had a lot of property, but little in the way of cash. His ownership of the Salvage Company helped, and from time to time he got a nice deposit because of that, but his mom growled at him for being so generous when he had to plan for his own future. And he reminded her that the school was his future, and she finally gave up on that fight.

      But she wouldn’t give up on another. Stanley was now in his 20‘s and he was well known, famous even, but he didn’t have a girl friend at all. And though there was some question about his relationship with a few Spirits, no regular lady friends had appeared, and he got reminded of that more than once.

      “Don’t worry I’m fine...” he’d say as she gave him a real dirty look, and he’d either just look away or find an excuse to close the link.

      “You don’t think he’s.... well you know...” Clare hinted to Steve, as he got a good laugh at that.

      “No I don’t think he’s Gay. However I wont say he doesn’t have some kind of relationship with one of his Spirit friends though.” he hinted as she got grumpy again. Never in all History has a Spirit and Human had a relationship that worked out...that is they never had a family...and she was worried that was his fate too.

      So during one interview she openly mentioned that Stanley wasn’t seeing anyone, and she wished he was. WELL... that did it...she had mentioned that her son, a person of high ideals who owned his own school was looking for a wife, as lady Naturalists from all over the world started calling and showing up suddenly. And the big ship started looking like a Super Heros Base or something with people flying in and out, sometimes at odd hours, and Stanley sent a sour message back to his mom demanding that he could run his own life...thank you very much. And she got the biggest laugh that he was finally talking to real women at least.

      But work goes on too, and when a certain countries Leader stopped by and asked for help, Stanley agreed happily. They sat and talked and after a while it became clear that his economy was in the toilet and he was asking how to fix it.

      “Fishing and Tourism was our biggest economic system for years and we did well, but we started moving more to agriculture because growing food was cheaper than buying from other countries.” he explained and Stanley agreed it probably was. “ But many of our people still make a living fishing but the areas along my coast are getting less and less populated with fish they caught for generations. Now,I dont believe this whole ‘Global Warming’ thing, but there’s got to be a reason, so can you help?” he begged, and Stanley asked if he’d listen to an expert on the subject and he openly agreed.

      “Water honey, can you give us some expert advise please?” Stan asked and instantly a pretty blue girl appeared and sat down beside Stanley and the man looked surprised, but tried not to show it.

      “Yes, I know the area well.” She started as Stanley waved for her to continue.” The farmers there haven’t been doing it for very long, and they over do everything. They get government subsidies to increase production, and because of that they over use fertilizers and chemicals without thinking its all running into the sea all along their own coast.” She mentioned as the Leader looked shocked and a bit sad that his own rules and demands might be part of the problem.

      “Also, forcing not only farmers but manufacturing to compete with countries bigger than yours has caused increased dumping, legal or not, so the fish are moving away to avoid this area and tourists are avoiding it altogether.” She announced, as Stanley nodded and thanked her for coming and she disappeared in an instant.

      “While a little of that might be true, I seriously doubt one young Spirit knows how to fix all my problems.” he announced as Stanley looked sad and a little upset by his comments.

      “I take it you don’t know who that was.” Stanley mentioned as the man just shrugged.” That was Water...literally the ocean that is right off shore of your country. Is she says something bad is there, you must believe it, because she knows better than anyone. She gave you good advise and I understand it will force some major changes to your economy, but either you stop polluting the oceans or you stop fishing forever, because thats what she was saying...your push to make more money from your economy is what is causing this problem... and fishing along your coast is dieing... wither you like it or not.” Stanley added as the man looked sad ,upset, and maybe angry to be spoken to like this.

      “The good news is this: Fish all over the world are getting less and less, so if you fix this problem and they return, then every fish you catch will be worth more and more as other Leaders refuse to do what must be done. The manufacturing and farming might help you, but if you save the fishing industry then your income from fishing will only go up, year after year.” he added and THAT made him smile and he dropped a nice deposit on Stanley for his help and a few days later a big change in his country was seen on the news. He was fining plants for illegal dumping and forcing them to gather up all those illegal barrels they dropped into the sea. It wasn’t a huge thing but as Water mentioned, ‘every little bit helps’ and she was happy Stanley worded her warning better and changed a fools mind.


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      Chapter 29: Europe gets Involved

      The word got out that the school gave good advise on things, and one by one leaders from other countries got involved in fixing things. Inclosed areas like seas had it worse, less circulation meant more pollution stayed right there, and just gained in toxicity every year. But some liked their cash, and when Stanley advised them to either cut back on their polluting or stop all together they just laughed and waved it away, and Stanley reminded them that hauling in food from other countries would take away all their profits, but they didn’t believe a word of it, and went on polluting and racking in the cash.

      But stupidity is its own reward, and with a little help, the pollution that was washing into the Mediterranean for instance, seemed to be less and less while pollution on shore got more and more, as Water refused to accept it any longer.

      “Is this alright?” She asked as Stanley agreed it was.

      “They make the pollution, let them bath in it, then they’ll see how much they really do make and they’ll cut back, wither it costs them or not.” He said, and she agreed it might work and she also refused the pollution from a few other countries nearby, and their land started losing fertility and farms started dieing all over.

      Of course their leaders ran right back to him and begged him to fix this, and after a while they started doing things a little better and less pollution was made, and so less could escape into the sea.

      While some were very upset about it, they did realize that they were over doing it...and so they cut back a bit... while everyone was watching anyways, and the sea started getting cleaner and some fish started to return.

      With him leading the new school and his work to reduce pollution and clean the air and water, his opinions got into the curriculum too and when his students went out for work they preached his doctrine to everyone and it did seem to help, since they were needed to help keep costs...and pollution down... and many little things got done to make them happy, and one by one nations got a little more careful about things and the land and water seemed to get better for it.

      And while he was preaching being more environmentally friendly to all of Europe, Clare was fighting a different set of battles back home. The group they were chasing was called the Movement to Eliminate Naturalists...and they believe that if there were no Naturalists then all that cash would come to them because they, as Normals... as they were calling themselves... would be running the machines that would be needed to replace them.

      While no machine operator had EVER made 6 figures and never would, Naturalists can, if they do good work and find mines and wells and other resources for their clients. They get a flat amount for the job and bonuses for long running resource gathering. Big wells pay more, bigger mines pay more, and it was well known that when manual labor was used instead using big trucks with scanners and explosives, the chances of finding anything goes down by 40% and companies don’t like those odds, and so they pay them a LOT less.

      But the Movement was demanding equal pay too, and the companies were hiding behind the fact that Naturalists were faster, did better work for less overall, and so they refused them new contracts that they demanded that would nearly double their income.

      “Then we have no choice...” Got mentioned on one angry phone call,” they’ll all have to die.” And the company officials that heard this at their negotiations sent that message on, and the school became a security nightmare as Clare got ready for more attacks.

      A call was made to a special line some time later and the Leader of the Movement was asking for more money to buy weapons and hire specialists. The man on the other end listened for a while and agreed saying the card was getting a deposit, and the call ended with him sitting behind his massive desk smiling wide.

      “I dont understand sir...you’re a Billionaire... why waste you time on some odd little Movement that has no chance of succeeding? Double the wages of normal laborers? Impossible! We all know there are limits preset on such things, so why lead them on?” he asked, as his boss got a good chuckle at that saying he couldn’t care less about the Movement, but this other person... this Stanley Hemming... intrigued him.

      “If you can believe everything we hear he’s more powerful than any nuclear nation on the planet, but he just sits out there on his little boat teaching the next generation of Naturalists. Why? If he has such amazing power why not use it? We control entire industries world wide and wish for more power, but HIM? He doesn’t seem to care about anything but himself and his Spirit friends. I wonder what he’ll do if his entire world is threatened? Will his true abilities come out to play? Will he be seen as our equal... or as another weak fool with big dreams? I can hardly wait to see for myself.” he added and laughed as his advisor looked tired just thinking that if Stanley really had such power even a Billion might not protect you from it.

      And a minute later Cora leaned in and whispered that there was a new player in this game, and Stanley smiled and said he was wondering how long it would take some high roller to get involved, and they laid back on the bed together and took a nap, and he smiled thinking that people thought they could sneak up on him when the entire world was his ally.


      Chapter 30: Testing and Failing... for Fun?


      “But sir...what if we find out it’s all true and he has such incredible abilities... then what?” The man’s advisor asked as he got a look that made him wish he hadn’t.

      “If he will stand up to me and all my comrades then he can be considered our equal, and we’ll offer him a place beside us. If he refuses to use his powers for some reason, then I want some way to control him, and make him use them for me instead.” He added as his man nodded that he thought as much.

      “Then I suggest you think seriously about this before it’s too late. Even a Billion dollars doesn’t count for much against all the Natural Disasters that could come our way. Make sure you have something to fall back on...just in case.” he said as the man chuckled thinking that he was as safe as anyone could ever be, and his advisor felt like being here on this day and time was probably his worst idea yet.

      “I already started the test...” The Boss, Mr. Harris said as his man nodded and waited to see what was going to happen now, and he silently called his lawyer and left him know that none of this was his fault, and it became part of the official record of the day.

      12 hours later a tanker truck loaded with gasoline was crushed by an unknown object as it ran full speed through the streets of the town, headed for the school. It got within sight of the front gate and then was crushed from above, leaving nothing but scrap metal and a huge puddle of fuel that the fire department had to clean up.

      Cost of the first test...350,000 dollars, and chance of success? Absolutely None.

      By now Carl Harris was seeing that strange things happen in this town. No one saw what happened, but it happened in broad daylight on a major road. All anyone said was the truck was running way too fast, and as it turned onto the road to the school it was smashed into the ground like the entire planet suddenly sat on it. The driver was found a hundred yards back where he jumped free, but the truck never made contact with the gate or wall, and the driver was now being charged with terrorism and attempted murder, but he wouldn’t say a word, even in his own defense.

      “Crushed...hmm not what I expected.” he said softly as his man just nodded and waited.” My research team says that to do that in one second something had to weigh over 1000 tons, thats a serious amount of weight you’re flinging around Mr. Hemming.” He whispered and even now his man wished he could get out of his contract too. But thats not how this game is played, and he knew only a lot of money...or time spent in service...would ever allow him to be free. And he wished Stanley better luck.

      “Imagine if that hit the side of this building.” Got mentioned, and sitting here 20 stories up did make you think, if you weren’t an ego maniac.

      “I guess I was thinking too small.” Harris added and another plan got started as Stanley just shook his head at the stubbornness of this new man.

      Two days later and a freighter loaded with ‘fertilizer’ left a port on the Eastern US, it ran at normal speed out into the ocean and after a while turned towards the new school floating helplessly there. Once within a hundred miles it sped up, faster than it should have been able to and within sight of it a huge watery hand gripped it and pulled it under, and its crew got gathered as they popped up and taken into holding by the school security.

      Cost of the second attempt, more than 2 million dollars, and still nothing managed to touch either school.

      It got reported, and since they were in International Waters no one country had authority here. But everyone involved were US citizens, and so the UN agreed to let them handle it, and the men got taken back to the mainland and imprisoned for acts of terror, and again they wouldn’t say a word about why they did it.

      “Carl Harris you say? How can you know that for certain?” The Director of the FBI asked as Stanley explained that he had the ‘best spy network in the world’ working for him and a recording of what was said was sent to them and they looked properly impressed.

      “We’ll check into this ourselves, and I dare say I’d like to talk to you a little more after this is settled about your ‘spy network’ “he said and Stanley agreed and the link went down.

      “That should put a kink in his plans.” Stan said as everyone there smiled and agreed. Stanley demanded that ‘no one dies’ and many here agreed, but how long could he keep that up with attacks coming more often and more deadly, and if one of the countries Elites got taken down, how many others would take it personally and step up to replace him? Only time would tell if his rules could be kept for the long haul, and they all knew it.

      “ Master Harris..the FBI have been calling every hour claiming they have evidence that you are involved in terrorism. We cant refuse them for much longer so you better start planning what you’ll say.” he got told but he had his story all laid out already. The Movement came to him demanding money and he refused, but they threatened his Family saying they knew where his children went to college and where and when his wife shopped. So he felt he had to buy some time and he gave them what they wanted while his own security tried to shore things up around his home and get more guards and bodyguards for his wife and children. He never intended to help anyone, it just happened to work out that way. That was his story, and his lawyers had enough reasons and technicalities to buy time so that charges would be years coming, if ever.

      That was the story he laid out when their meeting occurred and the man from the FBI got a big smile from it, to Harris’s surprise. Then he played HIS recording, and even the man himself looked surprised and worried after that.

      “Carl, what have you done??” His own lawyers asked and he saw that if things kept going like this his own people would throw him under the bus to protect themselves.

      “Absolutely nothing!” He demanded “ It’s a fake obviously, any high school student with a computer can make fakes as good as this!” he demanded as the man from the FBI said they checked in over, one word at a time and found no tampering of any kind, and his lawyers looked a lot less sure of themselves.

      “We’re not here to exchange stories...” The FBI agent said seriously. He stood and dropped an envelope onto the table for the lawyers to see.” Carl Harris you are being charged with Espionage, Terrorism and attempted murder, you have the right to remain silent..” And as they spoke he got arrested and handcuffed and his lawyers demanded he say nothing, and they all ran out with him as he got taken away.

      The story hit the news instantly and all over the world it was seen that a major industrialist was caught supporting Terror and was arrested. Many who knew him knew it might be possible. But they had deals going all over the world together, and so they too sent lawyers to help out and price was no object, and soon Harris was out on bond...an extremely high bond...but still, and he was furious that his reputation had suffered from this ‘little incident’ and even his advisors had to demand he stop this foolishness, but he just scoffed at them and went on setting up other plans and even a place to go if they came for him again.

      “He’s insane...” Got mentioned on the phone that evening, and people that might go down with him got their 2 cents in in exchange for immunity, and the FBI got even more evidence that this man was a terror mastermind, and that even now more attacks were coming.

      Clare saw and heard too, and even though the school had taken no damage at all up until now, she always worried about it and even lost sleep over it. Offers to transfer to the school ship got more serious thought, and finally she saw that Stanley might be right, that staying inside this country might have sentimental value...but their safety here was not guaranteed... even by constant calls to the authorities all the way up to Congress.

      “You’ll be fine...just make sure your people keep working...” became the standard reply,and she saw that people in high places she thought were friends were only there to prod them on so their clients got what they wanted, and when things got dangerous they curled up in some nice safe corner and left them to their fate.

      “Damn it to Hell.” She whispered and sat back looking tired. “Air...thank Stanley for watching over us, and ask him to continue would you?” She asked, and it was done, and she didn’t know what they would have done if Stanley didn’t have a contract with the very air itself, making it his own personal intercom/listening devise.

      But she knew this wasn’t over...and that even if this Harris person went down for years it might just upset others and the attacks, and hatred towards Naturalists, would continue. It seemed it had been festering for many years and now with the proper money and news attention, groups were getting seen and backed, and even though many weren’t into deadly attacks some odd things happened, and it all slowed down the school, and made their reputation look even worse.
      “Secrecy was definitely better.” Clare admitted and went home for the night and once she left the office Cora swooped in and took the new flower pot from by the windowsill up high into the sky, and when it exploded no one even knew it had happened.


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      Chapter 31: Removing a Thorn and Addressing the Plant it Came From

      With new recordings coming in everyday, and accounts of him trying to buy more people to do his bidding Harris was finally taken back into custody without bond, and many of his high powered friends weren’t too happy about it.

      “He may be an idiot, but he’s one of us.” Got mentioned on a video conference call, and many of the richest people on the planet were there.

      “Naturalists have worked well for us for centuries, he was a fool to interfere with our deals. They have never had a central leadership, so now they do, so what? We gain billions a year having them around so let them... the... hell... alone!” Got added, as many argued back and forth either way.

      “They do good work for certain, but now they step up and order US around? One of our own has been taken down by one young man with some small time assistance from Spirits? Unheard of! I say we may well need them to keep our fortunes growing, but they need to know their place!” Got added as many agreed.

      “This young man, this Stanley Hemming, they call him the King of Earth because all the Founding Spirits follow him. What does that even mean? Founding Spirits? We are supposed to shake in fear of some ghosts like they can really hurt us? And he gets more powerful each day because others have failed to give him a proper warning. Then leave it to me...I know exactly how to stop this foolishness.” One man screamed and his link closed and many wondered what was going to happen next, and they decided that this was the only way to test the newest member of the Worlds most Powerful, and see what he was really made of. If he was truly powerful, then they would ask him to join them and control the world. If not, he would be stomped out of existence and they would go on like nothing had happened.

      Two days later while sitting at her desk a bullet entered from the window behind her and struck Clare in the left shoulder. She screamed in pain, grabbing it as blood rushed out and her assistant in the next room ran to see. She called an ambulance and they took her away, and Stanley got the report a few minutes later, and he swore that he didn’t see this coming.

      “The person who fired the shot must be in custody before the hour is up, and I want to know who paid him, right now.” he screamed and Cora stepped forward saying it was one of the richest men on the planet, a Lord Rothkid, from England. And Stanley set up a warning of his own, and after an hour trying to get through to him on the phone he was allowed to see him, and the man had the biggest smile, knowing full well why he had called.

      “You should stay out of world politics, you aren’t ready yet.” he offered, as Stanley laughed out loud and the older man looked too angry to speak.
      “You’re at Coverington Castle right now aren’t you? In room 23 on the second floor. I suggest you vacate the building, all of it, and all your family members and employees. I’ll give you an hour to comply... please do take this seriously...” Stan offered and closed the link, and the man was furious some young person could threaten him... but there was something in his eyes that screamed he wasn’t kidding... so he did vacate the building and as a hundred people, their Master included stood by looking around a massive cloud rushed in. wind screamed and howled and lightning as big as busses rained down,and when it was over not a building of any size was left standing and the storm past like it had never come. And the Masters own mother looked around with shock and tears in her eyes and asked...

      “Charles..what have you done? You’ve enraged a God!” And for that second even he had nothing to say.

      “Charles had the Masters mother shot in the shoulder..and in retaliation Master Hemming destroyed Coverington castle... right to the ground in less than an hour.” Got reported and many in the meeting were to shocked to speak, and the chairman finally stood and said they had seen his power and skill, and Stanley was offered a place on their Council to help guide the world beside them from now on...and he refused and laughed at them from his ship out at sea... and he told them he was going to change this world and they could join HIM, or be left penniless, and they said nothing as the link went down and the chairman had to think seriously about if that was a threat...or a serious offer.

      Lord Rothkid was a trillionaire, but the loss of his family home, his collection of fine art, his collection of prototype cars and planes, everything in a day makes even a trillionaire think hard.

      2.7 billion dollars...gone in an instant... and after his anger subsided he knew that his very life and the lives of his entire family had been spared, and he stepped back a bit to rethink this plan. Master Hemming was not the young fool he had thought he was. He was a serious young man, with serious power. He got his revenge from a thousand miles away, in a way that no one would ever be able to prove he had anything to do with, and Charles saw that fleets of ships, buildings and even miles of property could disappear just as fast, and his opinion of this young man changed drastically overnight.

      Stanley called his friends together and thanked them for coming to his aid, and many just smiled and said they would always be there for him because he was a just young man who wasn’t abusing their power for himself.

      “You’re being considered one of the most powerful men alive right now so you really should show it more. Not in violence, but the men you’ve been talking to own factories, fleets of ships, even run small countries from behind the scenes. They are extremely wealthy and so maybe you should consider putting a little more into your accounts too, just to make it look good.” He got told and he reminded them that alone he had little skills, it was they that did the work and he had refused to abuse their trust in him just to make money, and everyone there got the biggest smile, because he never thought of himself as much as others, and they loved him for it.

      “I’m doing OK, the salvage company is still running and I get a cut from that. And tuition here is paying to keep the ship running, since it just sits here for now it isn’t that bad.” He offered as a few got a chuckle at his naivety, and he looked sad that even they thought money made things right.

      “If you don’t want to spend it on yourself then save it until it looks good enough to others as a sign of being a success, then use a little at a time , give some to charities, go to nice dinners and go out on the town from time to time. Being locked up here isn’t good for you, or your image.” He heard and while he did understand, it just wasn’t in him to blow a lot of money just for looks.

      “Maybe your right, I’ll consider it.” he decided, and while they had his permission...of a sort...a WW II submarine drifted into Port in Portland and got sold and a treasure ship from 200 years ago was found by the salvage crew, and while bringing up tons of gold coins and antiques they got into a big scuffle with the State who said anything found in their waters was theirs, and proof came out that it was on the bottom in international waters...and some local politicians fought tooth and nail to get their share... and lost.

      But the Federal Government stepped in and claimed some ancient law that dated back to the colonial times, and did manage to get more than half before they agreed that bringing it all up from such incredible depths was very costly, and so they settled. And Stanley went from a couple million to half a Billion in his account in a few months, and the first thing he did was give the salvage crew enough to retire on, as if they were going to retire so soon. But their futures were now secure, and Stanley’s looked a lot more secure too, as another ship pulled into Port and he asked when they were going to stop, and Cora smiled and gave him a kiss on his cheek and Water followed suit too and said that he had nothing to worry about. Since Time began things like this had gone out into the sea and sunk, hundreds and hundreds, not to mention wars and people too stupid to stay in Port in bad weather. Truly hundreds of ships of all sizes dotted the ocean bottom and just as many planes dotted the land, and this was just helping to clean up pollution they said, and with that in mind he decide that it was a good idea, and they could continue.


      Chapter 32: A Wealth...of Pollution...and Troubles


      Stan had money to use now and even though nobody was saying anything, more was on its way. He decided that the Salvage Corporation needed more ships, and so he mentioned to Water that the old boat would stay in service but they’d need another one, maybe a bit bigger than that one.

      “But don’t get carried away, nothing even close as big as this, got it?” he added, as Water gave him a big grin and said she understood,and he called to tell his team that a bigger boat was coming so get ready to train a second crew for the original one.

      They got started on that right away, and a week later Jason, his Team leader called and asked if this was their new ship, and turned the camera to show a tall, long thing with a flat top and Stanley asked what the heck it was.

      “Registration says: Unyo...WW I carrier made from some cruiser or something, only big enough for 8 planes so maybe the smallest carrier even built. Sunk during the war.” he explained as Stanley looked a bit tired and Water whispered that 'its not as big as this’ and he agreed he did say that.

      “How big exactly?” Stanley asked and the figures showed just a little less than 600 feet and after some time to think he agreed. “This will be the flagship of the Salvage Corporation...set it up as such... it’ll scan bigger areas,and has the potential to bring in entire military wrecks off the bottom. If anyone asked, we’re going to single handedly clean up the oceans of the world because no one else will.” he declared as Jason laughed and said ‘you’re the Boss’ and the old ship got transfered into the Corporations name, and a major cleanup with repair and upgrades got started right away.

      “You know a bigger freighter would have been OK, right?” Stanley hinted, as Water smiled and said some of those were as long as this, and he had to admit that was probably true. So after the big boat got cleaned up a bit they added a single landing pad at the one end like the school had, and an older helicopter mysteriously appeared there over night. It was just another fix up project, and in less than a year the new ship pulled out of port on its maiden trip to search for things to bring in and to act as the Mother Ship for all salvage vessels to come after.

      By now Stanley had graduated his first class and helped them find work. The new Naturalists were happy to brag they graduated from the carrier and still bragged today about how it was loved by everyone that went there. He had no trouble at all finding more students, and even Clare was doing OK now that that terrorist group was all but gone.

      “Another one huh?” She whispered as she saw the news of the new Mother ship pulling out into the open sea for the first time.” Water sure likes to do things in a big way.” She hinted and there was a almost silent chuckle in the background and even she smiled. “If you two cant get the job done I’ll be sending more women out for a visit...I want to be a grandmother someday you know.” She hinted and the room was deadly quiet.

      But the message got sent and as they stood back talking about it Stanley came in for his normal day of work and the two of them seemed like they had something to say.

      “You’ve been talking to my mother again haven’t you?” he guessed immediately, and they both laughed and agreed they had.” I’ll have kids when I damn well want to, and you can tell her that for me.” he added as Water asked, straight out, when he was planning on doing that.

      “We enjoy our times together.” She hinted as Cora agreed.” but you’re 25 now and WE cant give you children and never will. And our Fathers refuse to allow us to become truly Human so we can do that for you.” She added, as Stanley stopped them right there... saying he had a deal with both their fathers. They can stay and help him..in all things...but he can never let them give up their immortality for some Human, even though there were thousands of other Water and Air Spirits to take their place.

      “I’ll find someone when I’m ready.” he added softly, and they both agreed saying they were going to help then, and he didn’t even look up because he had seen this coming.

      “We love you and always will, but starting today its just business between us. We’ve been arguing with our fathers over this for months now and they were right. So you better start thinking about a Human female, or you’re going to get really lonely soon.” And they both left and Stanley threw his pen down until it bounced and sat back thinking that he had been pretty happy until now, and a voice inside his head hinted that he knew this was going to happen, and Stanley admitted he did, he just hoped it wasn’t so soon.

      But with that he was just the Boss again, like it was when they started the school, and he dove into his work and decided that after having the big ship as the main base for his corp then it was time to spread out a bit more. Everything they had done for 2 years had been in the Northeast, so he watched the auctions and instead of asking Water to help, he bought a retired Coast Guard Cutter...just over 120 feet long...it had lots of room for small to medium sized boats to get dragged in and had decent sonar and radar and even communications too. So now another crew got hired and this ship set sail for their new base...in Florida...and a wealth of new ground to cover and ships to raise.

      “I could have gotten him something for free.” Water hinted while seeing what was going on, and Cora just smiled and said he felt he needed to spread his wings a bit, and they had to give him some time. “Can you say that you’ll never get lonely without him again?”
      Water asked as Cora got a big grin and whispered that she never said they were going to stop seeing him...he just needed a real Human female to give him children. And Water’s eyes sparkled for a second and she agreed, and they both felt a little better after that and went on with their work, as hidden eyes watched on and someone just shook his head sadly.

      But in another city another meeting was being held and Stanley and his expansion of his Salvage company got noticed.

      “He refused to join us when we offered, then goes out and adds new ships to his own fleet and starts claiming to be cleaning up the world all alone.” Got mentioned as the worlds richest shook their heads sadly again.

      “Harris is doing time..of course we’re talking care of him so its not what anyone thinks was going to happen. But Master Hemming is very close to replacing him now in gross income and property owned. He added another antique carrier now to his Salvage Corporation. That raises his worth just there to nearly half a billion. It didn’t cost that to build, but if it needed replaced today the cost would be prohibitive.” The man declared as everyone agreed.

      “He wouldn’t join us because he thinks we don’t care about the Planet, our families have for decades raped and pillaged the place for profits, and he walks hand in hand and talks daily with the Spirits of the planet itself. To him we must seem like fools destroying the land we live on while bragging about making a profit from it.” Got mentioned as many there got silent.

      “So he’s a Environmental Activist then?” One asked, as a few had to think about that.

      “More like a Planetary Overseer right now. The Mediterranean is getting cleaner, fish that were dieing off are making a comeback and some factories that used to dump there have built filtering plants because their own pollution washed back onto their lands and almost destroyed the farming industry until they took action. That has never happened before, so it’s easy to see where it came from. But in this case he was right. The local economy is improving. The cleaner water has attracted more tourists, and every town and city is making more profits. It seems Environmentalism can be profitable over the long haul.” Got added as a few looked impressed.

      “Maybe when we asked we went about it wrong.” Got mentioned, as many thought that might be true. “When we asked he refused saying we could join him instead...but are we willing to change everything to look good in his eyes...or the eyes of the Spirits that govern the Planet?” he asked and many weren’t sure they could do it.

      “If things like this continue...we may not have a choice.” Got added and the meeting ended with a few thinking that doing things a little differently might truly be better.

      “The meeting is over...” Cora mentioned as Stan asked if anything new was said. “A few are starting to see what we’re doing but they aren’t sure its worth changing decades of profits to join you.” She added and he nodded he understood. They had done things their own way for ever and because of them the world was as it is today. But if they changed their minds even a little...they owned and operated more than half the industry on the planet... and a change in their way of doing things would be seen immediately world wide.

      “We continue with the Plan.” he added as she agreed. But he wasn’t the only one with a plan as his mom was having a meeting of her own.

      “Ladies its nice to see you again..” She started as Sherry and Charlotte walked in and sat down. “Stanley’s work to help us find new students is working almost too well. We usually train around a hundred a year here, but his first class just graduated and he had 125 in the first year. And he’s getting in touch with families that almost stopped being Naturalists and talking them into at least training their children. If he keeps this up then in another year he’ll have over 150 and we’ll be at full capacity here.” She added as they both smiled and agreed he was something else.

      “And that leads me to you. Neither one of you are married at the moment or have children to worry about, and you are both excellent Fire users, and so I’m offering you jobs as instructors on the school ship. Stanley has what I feel is barely enough teachers to get the job done now, if he gains even more students then they will be strained to the breaking point. So what do you say? Want to teach on a ship in the tropics?” She asked, as they both agreed with big smiles and she saw that as her best choices these two might have a chance, and they went to get ready and she called and told Stanley two new teachers were coming to teach Fire users, and he thanked her, not knowing who they were or why they were really coming.

      And as the two ladies stood waiting on their plane Sherry looked over at Charlotte who just smiled back and pretended to ignore her.

      “Do you think for a second we got chosen by accident?” Sherry whispered, as Charlotte looked like she’d laugh out loud at that one.

      “Not for a second.” Charlotte added, and they both smiled and went on board to start their trip to see an old friend.


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      Chapter 33: Old Friends..new Competition


      Sherry and Charlotte got a flight from New England to Florida. Spent the night at the local hotel, and at 9 the next morning were walking through the airport looking for landing pad 5.

      It took a few minutes and they had to ask for directions, but they walked around a corner dragging their luggage behind them to see a middle aged man wearing a white uniform with blue trim standing with a sing that read: Hemming Academy...and Sherry yelled and waved while Charlotte tried to pretend she didn’t know her.

      “ID’s please..” he asked, and they showed their photo ID’s and he agreed they were the right ones.”This way.” he said and they walked down a short hall and out a large door and there sitting about 50 feet away was a large, white helicopter with a picture of a tree with green leaves on the side of it and a sign saying “Hemming Academy", and Sherry laughed immediately, as Charlotte looked a little worried it might not fly.

      “Oh don’t worry...its a Huey! They were around for decades hauling everything from troops to supplies and even did rescue missions. They were the top of the line during the Korean and Vietnam wars.” She explained as the pilot said she knew her ships, and he got them on board and closed the hatch and the big engine started up and they lifted off and headed East.

      “ The Dean will meet you when we land, if you’ve never seen the ship before I’ll go in slow so you can get a good look..we’re very proud of her.” he called back and even Charlotte got a smile at that.

      “It’s a retired carrier isn’t it?” Charlotte asked, as he agreed.

      “The Yorktown...over 800 feet long with living space for up to 2000, of course we don’t need even half of that.” he explained as they all smiled at that. “The Dean got it for salvage and after a lot of work got it running again. It’s possibly the biggest salvaged ship ever to be reused as a civilian vessel.” he bragged as Sherry got a huge grin thinking it.

      “That means our old friend is quite rich now.” Charlotte whispered to Sherry, as the man laughed out loud.

      “He wont need to worry about breakfast cereal in his lifetime.” he joked, as Sherry laughed at that one and Charlotte just sat back smiling.

      “What he didn’t want to say is... a full sized carrier sells for around a billion dollars now.” Sherry whispered... as Charlotte looked a little short on air for the moment.

      “And the Salvage Corporation just got a much smaller one to use as a mobile base, that makes 3 ships for them so no...Stanley isn’t starving.” he said and laughed, as even Sherry looked impressed.

      “I hear his mother is on him about not being married yet.” Sherry hinted, as the pilot chuckled at that.
      “I cant really say, but ladies from all over come and go..many times looking pretty angry I hear. So who’s sending them here... I have no idea.” he answered as both ladies just smiled and they could see something on the horizon as the helicopter started to drop down, and slow down, and they could look out and see people walking all around, three nice looking buildings, and grass and bushes... even a garden... and they swung in and landed softly and as the door opened Stanley was standing there in a nice suit, all smiles, and they got out and he shook their hands and welcomed them to his school.

      “Its been a long time.” he hinted as they both agreed.

      “You grew up well...” Sherry said, as he just laughed.

      “And your not stick thin anymore either.” he said as she growled a bit, then they all laughed.

      “Right this way ladies..” he said and they got on what looked like an oversized golf cart and away they went, and they got the Royal Tour, and then assigned bunk space, and when he finally walked away it was clear that he was happy to see them...or to get more help..either way.

      “He certainly did..” Charlotte whispered to herself, a little late but better than not at all, as Sherry got a big grin and knew this was going to be a fun trip.

      The two ladies shared a room with a shower, possibly made for officers in the past. But though small, it wasn’t bad, and Stanley had made a few changes to make the entire ship a little more comfortable for everyone. So by morning the next day they were ready and got introduced to the staff and at least one lady thanked them profusely for coming saying that they were run ragged trying to keep up so far.

      “I promised we’d get more staff...” Stanley mentioned, as they admitted he had. “So this is our first attempt. They are both good Fire users and can start taking classes immediately.” he announced, and a cheer went up and for the first few days they assisted other teachers and by the end of the week they had their own classes, and a lot of people were really happy, not the least of which were the young male students when two new female teachers barely older than them walked in all smiles.


      Chapter 34: Settling In for the Long Haul


      They put in a couple weeks to get used to the place and things went well. Charlotte made the first move and asked Stanley to have dinner with her and he agreed. They sat and talked and he found out all about her mom getting divorced and taking one of the families companies from her dad. She ran it pretty well too, and wasn’t going to have to worry about retiring when she was ready, and Stanley said he was happy to see they got things settled. And Charlotte admitted they both took a couple months of therapy just to make sure, but that was all in the past now.
      “It looks like you’re doing fine now and I’m happy to see it. You had some rough times, and came out of it better than before, thats all that counts.” he offered as she nearly cried and thanked him for understanding. “I did sort of think you’d be married by now. Your family was pushing that pretty hard back then.” he admitted as she smiled and said her dad was gone and with him this idea she had to rush into things. Her mom said things like that were completely up to her, and while she dated a few times, no one was quite what she was looking for, so she was still waiting.

      “You’ll do fine I’m sure.” Stan said and that was pretty much it for their first date, if having dinner in his quarters counted as a date. But she went away smiling and knew he hadn’t really changed, and for her that was important to know.

      Sherry was still getting into the swing of things here but doing pretty well too. She sat back and watched Charlotte get a head start and smiled knowing Stanley was never going to jump right in with anyone. She also knew that when the time came she had as good a chance as anyone, because she had been told secretly that Stanley asked about her several times while they were still in school, and even after graduation, and seemed to like her easy going attitude and big smile she always wore.

      Well she was a little older now and not nearly as thin as back then, and she took good care of herself and her hair and makeup were always perfect. If he still thought well of her at all, she was perfectly ready to see what he was made of, if and when she got the chance.

      And Stanley knew all this and more. His mom was never going to give up, and these two were much closer to his ideal mates than some strangers that just popped by demanding things. Charlotte was very pretty, the image of a beauty queen or something, shoulder length red hair and a nice figure. She acted with great poise and grace, looking for all to see like a member of Royalty, and he knew any business man or politician could do a lot worse when choosing someone.

      Sherry was practically her exact opposite. She was a girl from a working class family,who never had been wealthy or seemed to worry about it either. Her blond hair was just short of shoulder length, and her figure had improved quite a bit since school... while not nearly catching up to Charlotte...she did look good. She was in fine shape, slightly muscular but not too tom boyish in any way, and she laughed and joked regularly, and made everyone around her smile, and that easy going attitude was what drew Stanley to her the first time they met.

      He knew he had to start thinking about dating soon, his friends had informed him of that quite clearly. While they were always going to be his very best friends, a physical relationship just wasn’t in the cards. And so he finally decided to think more seriously about it, and everyone around him knew it was just a matter of time.

      At the next meeting all the Spirits were there, and they made sure that Stanley knew his plan to gather and destroy polluting things worldwide was having an effect, if only slightly.

      “Two of the plants we pointed out during the Month of Enlightenment now have full time cleaners running, reducing their output of pollutants by over 50%” Water mentioned as Stan said that while not perfect it would help.

      “Master Jones has 4 boats now running cleaning up plastic all over the shores and waters of the US, and is making good progress in cleaning up the local environment. Of course we help a bit, like making sure he finds tons of plastic that appear to be stuck in small whirlpools from place to place.” Cora added as everyone nodded agreement.”In the last 3 years more than 1000 tons of plastic refuse has been collected and disposed of. A tiny fraction of whats out there but better than nothing.” he heard as he agree wholeheartedly.

      “The Med is getting better too...” Water added, saying that as pollution went down some fish that were nearing extinction were making a comeback and tourism was on the rise now that the terrible smell of chemicals was gone from many small communities along its shores.And since they put some serious pressure on some plants and factories, others saw them coming and either started cleaning equipment they had just sitting, or built new equipment to keep from getting targeted.

      “Pollution overall is dropping, and things are slowly improving in these areas.” he got told as he agreed it was a good start.

      “We forced the areas around the Mediterranean to submit to pollution laws and they are slowly responding, so now we turn our heads towards Asia..” he said as many there looked very serious.” Coal fired electric plants without any filtering at all...people getting sick daily and pollution so thick you can cut it with a knife.” he went on and he had slides and videos to prove it.

      “In some extreme cases only a few helpful breezes keep the people from choking to death on the fog.” Cora mentioned as Stanley agreed they probably saved a few lives this way, but the governments weren’t doing anything to help their own people, or the environment at all.

      “I’ll see about giving them something to think about. First I’ll brag up anyone doing their share and they’ll get help, maybe even a free grant for pollution cleaning. Then we lean on the polluters. I might even close a few plants down to allow the local environment to clean up a bit, if only for a week or so.” he added as everyone agreed. “If we prove we can make a difference good or bad, then they’ll be forced to listen and act. I wont ignore people just because they aren’t where I came from, I’m a member of the world, not just one small country.” he announced and the second stage got underway.


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      WEEKEND EDITION..GRAND FINALE

      Chapter 35: The Far East gets Noticed


      Stanley made a big announcement and all the news agencies were there for it. He told them that some countries were trying harder to keep the land and water clean and he appreciated it. But he also pointed to some of the largest countries on the planet and said they were polluting so fast that they would end their own lives and the lives of thousands of others, because the land could not handle the amount of pollution they were throwing out. He offered to advise them on how to do things better, and then listed the few biggest ones saying they better take time to talk now, because their time was rapidly running out.

      He went on to hand out a check to a company that had been trying unsuccessfully to buy enough land to start a solar farm, and the government had stalled them for months now. Stanley personally guaranteed him enough to purchase all the land he’d need, and the man was in tears as he shook his hand and accepted.

      Stanley then offered to let him put solar panels on his ship, thus doing away with the constant need to run generators, which cost more every day. The man agreed wholeheartedly, and Stanley pointed to him as a entrepreneur that was not only thinking of make a living, but saving a bit of the planet as well. And even as this went on a meeting was being organized in China, because he named them himself and offered them advice, and if they didn’t do something about it they’d look every bit as ignorant and arrogant as he said they were.

      A week went by and he got an invitation to come to Hong Kong for a meeting with leaders from all over the area, and he accepted graciously. They set up the time and place and he got a warning days in advance but instead of taking a commercial jet, he had a different plan. He wanted to impress people, because in that part of the world only power meant anything and he had Charlotte go with him, as his assistant, and she was dressed to the nines that morning as they got on the helicopter, and it started towards China.

      “Will we be getting off and boarding a plane in the Azores?” She asked as Stanley just laughed and said it wasn’t necessary, and she looked surprised. He had made his own plans and as they left the ship a whistling sound was heard and they were forced back into their seats a bit as the ocean and then the land beneath them went by at frightening speed.

      “How fast are we going anyways?” She asked as the pilot turned around all smiles and said he didn’t know because...his air speed indicator didn’t go that high..and she looked a bit faint.

      “Now, now, we’re perfectly safe, believe me.” Staley remarked and gave her a bit of a one armed hug, or as much as two strapped in people could. The pilot was sitting there not touching a thing, and looking at his phone and smiling as Charlotte felt like asking him again but knew his answer would be the same.

      “Passing over the Med right now.” He said and they hadn’t been in the air more than a few minutes, or it felt that way at least. “Now entering Pakistani air space.” he said and they called and he said they were on their way to a meeting in China...and the operator was as shocked as anyone and gave them permission to pass...and they were gone by then.

      “Over northern India right now, adjusting our flight path to Hong Kong.” He said as Charlotte was in shock, and Stanley thought it was all too funny. It took them about 2 hours to fly from the school...to Hong Kong,... and Stanley knew they were watched every step of the way. His helicopter was never made for such things, even new ones of the best quality and highest price couldn’t do what they just did ,and when they landed a military guard was there to meet them and the Ambassador to China shook his hand as he stepped out of the little ship and Charlotte smiled her patented smile and acted all the while like his Executive Secretary, and every man there was impressed and they got rushed into a stretch limo and taken to the Embassy for their meeting.

      Politicians from India, China and several other countries were there and when the hammer tapped on the table they all looked at Stanley and asked what his advise for them was...and he smiled his biggest smile and started his speech.

      “As some of you know...I represent the planet itself, so my information doesn’t get modified or changed to suit politics.” he started as people smiled and tried to look civil.” I have information that over 500 square miles of China alone is turning into wasteland. Pollution has made nearly all water unsafe to drink and people are getting sicknesses at an alarming rate. Your pollution problem is dragging down your own economy, and in less than a century this country will be uninhabitable.” he announced as people demanded he was a liar, and that they had facts to dispute him, and he sat there and laughed at them...as all eyes went wide at his arrogance.

      “Other countries around you are fighting to keep up. India was always a spiritual country, and now they have left all that go to rush to their destruction..trying to show China and others it can become an industrial powerhouse as well.” he went on, as the representative to India swore it wasn’t true. “You have days when the air is so polluted that only the wind saves lives...to the point you expect it and even demand it. My question is this: what will you do when the wind refuses to help you any longer?” he asked as mouths fell open around the room.

      “Nature has always been our friend she saves us from this bad air and from pollution by cleaning the land and air herself.” The Indian rep screamed, and Stanley asked when was the last time any of them ask the Land or Air if it was still true? And many there laughed at the very thought of it.

      “If you could ask..to stand before them yourself..what would you say?” He asked as it got pretty quiet and finally one chubby politician jumped up and said he’d demand they save his people, and the room shook as a loud and strong voice laughed and all eyes went wide.

      “What do you think, my friends?” Stanley asked and a second later 4 people were standing there on either side of his chair and men and women all around the room looked shocked, and one jumped up to run but was stopped before he left and forced to sit down. “These are the Spirits that own this world. Not you or me, them. They ALLOW you to live here, to take care of their lands, but now they are here standing waiting for an explanation as to why their land is the way it is.” Stanley added as people got really silent.

      “The land here was once fertile and grew everything you needed.” One young man dressed in brown said as many agreed.”Now there are places where it is dead...absolutely dead...down several meters. Nothing will ever grow there again...nothing.” he said sadly as someone screamed it was his fault for not cleaning the land fast enough.

      “I have done the same for millions of years.” The young man said and he was looking pretty upset right now.” But you have learned to destroy even the planet itself. It doesn’t take a nuclear bomb to destroy things, you’ve been doing it for centuries and never once thought to look around as see what you’ve done. Its almost like you don’t care if you live or die, because thats whats going to happen to many, very soon.” he said as one older man screamed that he wanted to know who could talk to HIM this way, and Stanley laid a hand on his friends shoulder and introduced him as Land, the every soil the planet was made of...and the room got silent and the old man sat down.

      “This...is Air, this...Water...and this Fire...all Spirits that have helped and even served you for generations, and people or creatures even before you existed. They take care of the planet because they ARE the planet. So when you sign an agreement to put off cleaning your rivers or land for another generation... remember them..they stand here today for the first time in recorded History, because you have killed your own land and many of its people...and it will only get worse from here.” Stanley declared as many had nothing to say and the few brave enough to speak were apologizing and asking them to fix all their problems for them.

      “Here’s a quote for you to live by from this day forwards.” Stanley said, as he stood and they all turned to go.” Even God only helps those that help themselves.” he said, and walked out to the shock of everyone in the room.


      Chapter 36: For Fear of Death

      The meeting was talked about on every channel. They left some videos out, mainly ones showing them standing up to Stanley and his ‘Demon friends’ the Chinese Ambassador said, and even back home Stanley was shaking his head and wondering when Humans got so stupid. Because they gave them a warning, one last chance, and here they were refusing to accept the truth and lying about what they were doing about any of it.

      He had given them some praise for starting a few Wind Farms and Solar Plants but nothing else, and nothing he said about thousands dying ever got mentioned and he just laughed thinking they thought they were getting away with something, but they weren’t.

      “What do you want us to do Master?” He got asked, and he just shrugged saying that he thought they were smarter than this, but he finally told them to do whatever they thought was right because he was washing his hands of these ones, and they all went away and things got worse in China and India immediately, as fogs settled in over their cities, and the wind refused to drive it away.People walked around with gas masks on and it was shown on the news as hundreds were rushed to hospitals, that also had little to no filtering for the air.

      The UN demanded to know what they were doing to fix this, and they laid it all on Stanley’s doorstep saying he threatened to stop the wind and let them die, and the UN asked if it was true and Stanley had a recording of the China meeting that no one thought he had, and he gave it to them in its entirety and it got played on every news channel, and the Indian and Chinese Ambassadors swore none of it was true, and even the UN stopped sending emergency workers after a while saying that they couldn’t guarantee their safety there.

      Plants sending deadly pollution into the rivers, the main water supply, got shut down because the rivers refused to flow down stream... and everything backed up until the plants had to be closed.

      The politicians went into a panic, their pet projects to make hidden cash were all going under, and only a few religious leaders felt they had a chance to help, and they prayed day and night and after a while the rivers started flowing again, and they got credit for saving a few towns and cities and they became local heros.

      But Stanley knew it was only a first step, they refused help or advise, and so something had to be done.

      “The plants doing the most damage are huge, older places.” he said as everyone agreed.” If they were forced to replace them then even newer plants of the same type are a dozen times less polluting that those.” he mentioned and they agreed to give that a try. A massive storm moved in and power for an entire region went out and everyone went home to wait for repairs, and after the plants were empty, lightning struck many of the storage tanks and explosions and fires rained down as the shock was felt for miles in every direction.

      6 of the largest chemical plants in the region went up in flames and were considered a total loss, and lawyers tried to prove that Stanley ordered it done, but of course it couldn’t be proven since the only people to know were Spirits that never spoke to anyone else, and never would.

      He just said that he wasn’t within a thousand miles when it happened,and had dozens of people as witnesses that it was true. The UN stepped in and said they’d help them rebuild, and plans for more modern and cleaner plants went over for them to see, and one by one the politicians of that area started to see that not only were the new plants more modern and faster, they polluted 5x less. So wither they liked it or not their regions started making progress, and Stanley sat back sadly thinking that this was the only way to help them, to force them to do the right thing, saving thousands of lives in the process.

      Of course he made a few new enemies, since the reconstruction would cost billions of dollars, but he didn’t care. It was for the good of everyone, mainly people forced to live and work in these areas, and if he could save a thousand lives, then a plant here or there wasn’t important, at least not to him.

      By this time the Florida ship was having a decent day. They had found and brought in a small fiberglass boat and sold it for a thousand. Then a 18 foot sail boat and the insurance company gave them a nice finders fee for that. And now an old wreck, or what was left of it. A few cannons, a bell and some old plates and cups, no real treasure. So they photographed it all and sent the info to the Florida government knowing they were going to take most of it anyways. But to their surprise the info got shared and the insignias on the cannons showed they were from a French trading ship, and each cannon would be worth millions. So France got involved and Florida lost its claim. Meanwhile Stanley called and asked what they wanted from it all and France basically said...everything...

      “You can raise the cargo and cannons and we’ll pay you a fair wage for the work, but under section..." and away they went claiming anything that ever left France and got lost at sea... and after talking to the French Representative Stanley agreed they owned it all, and recalled his ship to look for something else.

      “Wait...what are you doing?” he got asked after they saw he left the area.

      “I sent you the coordinates for the wreck. My ship and crew get paid top dollar and I cant afford to let them work for free. So send your own ship to gather the wreck, and we’ll let you know if we find any others that might be yours.” he said and hung up, laughing to himself,because he knew they only wanted the wreck so long as someone else was doing the work.

      In the next week he got two more calls one demanding that he do it for the agreed price and he was quick to tell them he never agreed to anything, and they hung up on him then. But three days later they came back with a counter proposal, and he’d get 40% of anything he found, and they already had buyers for all the antiques including the guns and his share would be over 5 million dollars, and at that he agreed, and in a few days the cannons and a box full of old plates, cups and even some silver wear were sitting on the docks getting appraised and it all got loaded onto a ship and left for France, and Stanley’s crew got a good payday and he finally made a profit from the Florida trip.


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