Professor Ender was caught off guard by the young Pensworth’s anger. He watched the boy stalk away from where he stood and stormed toward the main doors. The riled crowd of protesters soon broke rank and rushed to catch up with Lucas. Enders turned his face toward the news cameras, his face a mask of concern for the world to see. Inside the professor cheered. He hadn’t known what to imagine from this hastily thought through plan, but obviously, things had turned out far better than he could have expected.
The professor followed Alice into the hotel room, removed his jacket and threw it over the back of a chair. Exhaustion beat down on him after the long day. The unscheduled march on Pensworth Oil and Gas, then the unexpected rampage started by Lucas. He stood leaning on the chair as he replayed the tirade in his mind.
The way Lucas stormed into the glass tower owned by his father, then the crowd of demonstrators who followed the young Pensworth inside. The buildings security being brushed aside as the flash mob began smashing objects in the grand lobby of the building. All this captured on cameras by the media. Ender smiled as he relived the scene of destruction the mob imparted on the buildings entrance.
His smile increased as he recalled the flashing lights and the rush of cars when the police arrived. Lucas and several other protestors were handcuffed and marched out of the building all under the scrutiny of the news cameras. The professor hadn’t known what to expect when he hijacked the demonstration at city hall and on a spur led the crowds through the busy streets toward the gleaming office tower bearing Lucas’ family name. But that impromptu march, he realized couldn’t have been better planned.
“What are you going to do about Lucas?” Alice’s stern voice cut into his thoughts interrupting his mood. “We certainly can’t leave him in jail,” she stood firmly planted a few steps away from where Ender stood, her face wrought with concern.
He glanced over at her almost forgetting that she had accompanied him back to the hotel. “No, definitely not,” he answered quickly to mollify her. “Go clean up or order supper. Whatever you need and let me worry about our friend. I’ll call down to the police station and find out about having him released.”
Ender waited as Alice left the room then wondered over to the corner bar and poured a two fingers of scotch into a glass before rummaging through the inside pocket of his jacket for an expensive Cuban cigar. Clipping the end of the cigar, he slid open the patio door and settled into a chair. Resting his feet on the balcony rail, he held a wooden match to the Cuban then raised his glass in a mock salute to his good fortune. The smug smile returned to his face.
He was in no hurry to find out how Lucas fared after the altercation at the Pensworth building. The police let him go with a warning for his illegal disruption of traffic caused by his march; their primary concern was for Lucas and the other demonstrators and the anxiety their short rampage caused.
Ender drew the acrid smoke into his lungs washing it down with another sip of the scotch. He needed to find a way to keep Alice calm while he waited for Lucas’ outburst to play out. The media had lapped up the scene from earlier like he suspected they would, in fact, they had gotten more footage for their coverage then he previously had planned when the idea of the march had come to his mind.
The castaway son of an international oil baron rises from the gutter to champion the cause of environmental stewardship and returns to confront his father. Ender rolled the headline around in his head. If he were writing tomorrow’s column that is the byline, he would use. He had already decided that any phone calls about the boy’s welfare would wait until the morning.
He wanted to see the effect today’s events had on the media. If the story sold a lot of papers and garnished a lot of attention then he would have the cameras meet him at the police station in the morning as he fought for Lucas’ release. If the media ignored today’s debacle, then poor Lucas was probably not worth his time.
With another puff of the cigar, he focused on what he lies he would tell Alice to comfort her until morning arrived.
The sound of the running shower drifted through the open balcony door. Maybe Lucas’ famous last name wasn’t the only good fortune to come his way recently. A little charm and a shoulder to cry on, anything could happen he thought as he stubbed the cigar out and tilted the glass of scotch back before heading for the bathroom.
Sunlight streamed through the bedroom window. Ender opened his eyes slowly. His head pounded, and his brain was foggy. He lay on his back trying to remember the previous night. The jackhammering in his head increased as he tilted his head to the side. The sheets beside him were rumpled but empty. Struggling against the constant throbbing, thoughts of last night slowly worked back into his foggy brain.
The briefest of smiles tilted the ends of his mouth. It had taken him a lot more drinks and several of Alice’s joints before she relented and gave into him. What had he promised her he wondered? With great care, he swung his legs to the floor and then strode to the ensuite.
With a towel wrapped around his torso, he walked from the bedroom into the main room of the hotel. His hands busy toweling his hair dry. Alice sat scrunched up against the end of the couch; her attention focused on the TV. A taped feed of a reporter from yesterday's clash at Pensworth building was talking about the aftermath of the sudden march from the city hall steps. The news cut back to the studio as the anchor updated the story.
Professor Ender leaned across Alice and picked up the TV remote. He switched to another cable channel. The story played out the same. Ender’s headache eased as he watched repeats of yesterday’s event. So far so good he thought to himself. Turning his eyes away from the news he glanced down at Alice.
“Morning,” he said cheerily. Alice mumbled a response her eyes avoiding his. Ender shrugged, tossed the remote on the couch near her and strolled back to his room. He picked his phone off the bedside table and glanced at the screen. Several texts waited. He quickly read them as he scrolled down the screen. Some he immediately dismissed, but others caused him to read over.
“Finally, we have something newsworthy enough to advance our cause,” read one. “Congratulations. Finding the Pensworth boy was a stroke of genius,” read another. Ender smiled. Between the news coverage and the texts, he started to push back the nagging worries about having his funding stopped and his rock star lifestyle end.
The professor made a few well-placed phone calls. Finished on the phone, he dressed swiftly and sauntered back into the main room. He couldn’t wait to give Alice some good news.
“Grab your things,” he beamed at her, “I have the car waiting. We are heading for the police station. It’s simply deplorable how they locked poor Lucas away.” Ender piled on the shit. “We must have him released before he has to suffer anymore. And don’t worry," he continued, "I’ve notified the press. I will be giving a statement condemning the abhorred treatment of our good friend. Outrageous, really when you think about how the wealthy can use the police to do their bidding whenever someone questions their morals!”
The professor escorted Alice to the elevator. On the way down to the lobby, his mind was filled with thoughts of how he could continue to use the young Pensworth to his advantage. The hastily called press conference outside police headquarters was just the start. He had the ball rolling. The world had just begun to understand how determined he was to save the planet…. well, that was the message he hoped to portray when he rescued poor Lucas from jail.
A new Canadian Author with too many ideas in his head. Surprising even himself with where his stories go.