02-11-2013, 08:29 PM
Dimitra sat silently in a chair in Criss's suite, surrounded by her three sons and the MindFreak crew. She did not even so much as raise her head to meet their collective gaze, but stared sadly into space. She had failed her cause. Her two-day protest outside the church had been in vain. All that work of meetings, petition drives and protests had been all for nothing. SilverStar had won. Holy Trinity was doomed.
"Mom?" Criss whispered gently. "Can I get you anything? Cup of tea? A beer, maybe?"
She shook her head no, still staring into space. Her fighting spirit had been crushed within her, leaving her feeling like a helpless old woman without a reason to go on. She sat there, wavering, then the tears began to fall. She covered her face with her hands and began to weep openly, unable to contain her sorrow anymore.
Criss put his arm around her shoulder to comfort her. "Mom, it's okay," he crooned. "Don't cry. Mom, please, don't cry. Everything's going to be all right."
"No," Dimitra sniffled. "It's not 'all right' as you say. We lost, Christopher. We lost the fight for the church. It's all over now."
"No, Mom," Criss argued. "It's not over until it's over. They served that injunction this morning. We can still save the church."
He swung around to face her directly. "Mom, listen," he said firmly. "You did the best you could to save Holy Trinity. You stuck to your guns and stood up for what you believed in, you and Father Stefan. Maybe chaining yourself to a tree wasn't the greatest idea, but it did generate a lot of publicity for it. People out there are really POed over this, and it was all because of you. Now I know you're tired and probably hungry, so let's get something to eat and you can go back to your room, take a shower or something, and just relax, okay?"
Dimitra nodded wearily. Criss helped her up from the chair and handed her over to Costa, who took her out of the suite and back to her room. Dave shook his head sadly after the door closed behind them. "Poor woman," he said pityingly. "She really wanted to save that church."
"Well, I'm still counting on the injunction," Criss said. "And I'm gonna sue SilverStar for getting her arrested like that."
"I can't believe someone could just take over a whole neighborhood, just like that," JD said. "That's criminal."
Suddenly, Criss's cell phone went off. He pulled it out and answered it. "Hello?"
"Hey, Criss, it's me, Sully."
"Hey, Sully, what's up?" Criss replied casually.
"What's up? Dude, you'd better turn on the TV and find out what's up!"
Criss was puzzled. "Why? What's going on?"
"All hell's breaking loose in North Las Vegas, that's what's going on!" Sully exclaimed over the phone. "I just barely blew by there and nearly got hit by a chunk of concrete!"
Criss turned away from his phone conversation. "Hey, Dave, turn on the news, willya?"
Dave reached for the remote and turned on the giant screen TV. Criss and company watched in horrified amazement as hundreds of people marched in front of SilverStar Enterprises, carrying signs protesting against the demolition. It was an impressive turnout, but what really chilled Criss was that many of the protesters were Loyals, angry over Dimitra's arrest. The LVMPD had turned out in force to prevent any rioting, armed with batons and tear gas grenades.
"My God!" Criss whispered. "Sully was right! All hell is breaking loose!"
"It's just not fair," Dimitra sobbed into Costa's shoulder as she sat on the bed in her hotel suite. "It's just not fair!"
"Mom, everything's gonna be all right," Costa assured her as best he could. "You did everything you could to save the church."
"I just don't understand how they could just take over like that," she sniffled. "This is America! Things like this don't happen here in America! At least, they are not supposed to."
"Mom, no one's gonna take over the church, okay? Criss has an injunction against them, and we got a class action suit against them as well."
"Then why was I arrested for trespassing? How could they arrest me if it is not their property?"
"Look, Mom, just get some rest, okay? You're tired. You'll feel better after you've had a nap."
Dimitra looked at Costa sharply. "Why are you treating me like a child?" she demanded. "Who's the parent here? I don't need a nap, I need a way to save the church! You think I'm some old woman who has to be looked after by everyone? I can take care of myself!"
"Don't 'Mom, please' me!" she snapped as she rose to her feet. "I'm going back to the church and see Father Stefan. At least I can pray for a miracle there. As long as I draw breath, that church will stand!"
Realizing there was no dissuading her, Costa offered her a lift. He was relieved when she agreed, and soon both were off to Holy Trinity to make a final stand against SilverStar.
Monique Wesley looked out the window of her office down at the mob of angry protesters outside her building. "Who are those people?" she asked irritably from no one in particular. "What are they doing down there?"
She managed to catch a glimpse of a picket sign or two denouncing her as a money-grubbing land-grabber that cared more for profits than people, a modern-day Marie Antoinette who told them "Let them eat cake". Enraged, she grabbed the phone and punched the button to summon security. "I want those people away from here NOW!" she demanded. "Clear the whole area! Use tear gas if you have to! Just get rid of them!"
She slammed down the headset and leaned on her desk. Ingrates! she thought. Here she was spending a king's ransom to better their lives and they turn on her like that! How could they treat her so badly after all she did for them? Stupid, selfish ingrates!
The phone buzzed. Monique answered it. "Yes, Ruth, what is it?"
"A gentleman from the District Court is here to see you, Ms. Wesley," Ruth told her in that deferential tone all secretaries use when addressing their bosses.
Monique sighed. Another process server. She'd been hauled into court so many times in the past she could have become a lawyer herself. "Send him in," she said resignedly.
"Yes, Ms. Wesley," Ruth said, then hung up. After a minute's delay, a stocky, grey-haired man with a badge in a leather case slung around his neck handed Monique a summons to appear in court thirty days hence. Monique took the papers and read the name and address in the plaintiff's box. To her surprise and outrage, the plaintiff was none other than Criss Angel himself, suing her for "wrongful arrest under false pretenses" on behalf of his mother. For Monique Wesley, this was the last straw.
She called Milton Dewey and left a message for him on his voicemail detailing the summons. With a feeling of relief, if not vindication, she hung up the phone. Milton knew what to do, she thought confidentally. He was the best in the business. She'd teach Mr. Hotshot Magician who was boss here in Las Vegas and show him just how fast she could make his money disappear.
Last edited by Veritas; 02-11-2013 at 08:41 PM.