THFWS&TTM’s: “…there’s battle lines being drawn…nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…”

“…there’s battle lines being drawn…nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…”

(Buffalo Springfield: “There’s Something Happening Here”)

As the players in this one-act play called the trial became more polarized by the actions of the attorneys and the attentions of the media, the proceedings were beginning to resemble a three-ring circus and the actions by PharmaCorp/SAIC/Leidos and its members and followers and generally anyone willing to do their bidding became more provocative and confrontational.

And because the actions and values of The Management were untenable in the court of public opinion, their energies were centered around intimidation, and generally trying to press for an out-of-court sealed settlement without admitting guilt and trying as much as possible to suppress public knowledge every way they could.

The members of The Management were constantly calling each other to verify solidarity among each of its members, and seeking statements of commitment and assurances of mutual support so as to present an impenetrable wall to the Plaintiff’s assault.

Ex-military subcontractors for privately owned government contractors tend to get particularly neurotic during such proceedings because the relative protection of military chain of command, national security and secrecy, etc. is not guaranteed in civilian life. Things that end up being done or ordered in the civilian world do not have the impunity that they do in the military.

Sebastian Gailbraith Lodge was new to this experience and was starting to come apart at the seams like a cheap suit. Somewhere deep within his psyche, he sensed that his haughty and self-righteous modus personality was just a smokescreen for his massive personal insecurities.

He was not comfortable watching The Caine Mutiny because something deep inside him felt sorry for Captain Queeg because he sensed they had been cut from the same cloth.

As isolated as he felt from most of the rest of the world, he’d felt a kindredship for Queeg that was so strong that the first time he saw the movie he though Queeg was the hero until his breakdown on the witness stand. Sebastian Lodge was terrified of the prospect of testifying, and doing everything he could to separate himself from the operations of The Habitat so as to insulate himself from responsibility.

For this reason, Stanley Linderman had been given substantial promotions and was expected to oversee the Habitat as well as the operations at The Sanctuary. Lodge needed deniability and it was his intention that Stanley would provide it. At the same time, the stress was making him behave in a more paranoid fashion each day.

Stanley could see what was happening quite clearly, as he had become quite proficient at estimating Sebastian’s character, if not outright reading his mind altogether. “Fucking great! he thought… “The band has already assembled on the deck and is tuning up to practice “Nearer My God to Thee” and suddenly Sebastian Gailbraith Lodge is queuing up to make me the Captain so that he can jump into the lifeboat.”

But it just didn’t matter to Stan. He knew he already had his course charted out for him, at least he thought so. He had a plan. Lodge figured that if he got Stan sufficiently emotionally invested in justifying the actions at The Habitat, if he didn’t go native and get soft on him, he would provide the mutual deniability that Olly North had tried so hard to give to Reagan.

His biggest fear was Stan’s potential for duplicity in his loyalties to both The Management and the members of The Home for Wayward Souls, but he was cluelessly grasping at straws. If he only knew….

(Cut to Sebastian G. Lodge’s office at what was formerly the offices of The Center for Primate Studies. There remains a slightly unpleasant very pungent odor that seems to linger in S.G. Lodge’s office just a little longer and stronger than anywhere else. Imagine the smell of an entire suburban block burned beyond habitability, but extinguished just before the roofs collapsed…plastic, tar paper, and carpets…clothes, furniture, blankets and bedding. (Lodge, by the way, pretends not to be able to smell it any longer.)

(Linderman): “I understand you wanted to see me sir…”

(Lodge): “I would apologize for not contacting you directly by phone, or text, but the circumstances dictate the utmost discretion. I want it so that when you turn on those degenerates at The Home for Wayward Souls who are provoking all of this, no one will suspect it…I assume you are still clear as to the loyalties you owe our employers, correct?”

(Linderman): “I have managed to earn the trust and respect of our adversaries without compromising my commitment to the operation. They know I have been charged with protecting Management’s interests in their legal property. They like me well enough and are comfortable enough with me that I have had much opportunity to become privy to their most unguarded moments…”

(Lodge): “What about that journalist that’s thick as thieves with two of them?…you two got to be a bit of an item for a while there….”

(Linderman): “Well, her husband is back in the states…they live a rather unorthodox alternative lifestyle…there were no secrets, and no lies were necessary…he’s just as concerned with discretion as we are…but he always gets her full attention when he is home, which made the separation (which I told her it was for appearances) less awkward…besides…he may work for the DOD, but he’s not involved directly with anything that Management is currently involved….”

(Lodge): “Who would have thought was even possible?…I mean how often does that ever happen?…they have their fingers in just about everybody’s cookie jar…Just the same…I can’t afford to have you feeling mixed emotions….”

(Linderman): “You know my record better than anyone…when has that ever happened?”

(Lodge): “Just so we’re on the same page…”

(Linderman): “Anything else, sir?”

(Lodge): “Just stay frosty.”

Stan wanted to laugh in his face.

As Stanley Linderman left Lodge’s office to return to his post at the Sanctuary, he thought about his original assignment, which was to “protect management’s interests in their property”, namely Frederick’s safety, even though it was really just a ruse to conduct surveillance on The Sanctuary and The Home for Wayward Souls.

He knew that Lodge had not bothered to get clearance to conduct espionage on American citizens not involved in terrorism. Not only did Lodge believe he was above those rules because he believed he answered to a higher power, but Stan also knew Lodge had been passed over for promotions several times because of his ultra-right(eous) ultra-religious zeal.

Many of his colleagues laughed at him behind his back to the point where they seemed to smug to even pretend not to treat him like a buffoon to his face.

“Just remember your original, stated assignment, Linderman.” he mused as he started to accelerate on his way to The Sanctuary.

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