(I need help. Who will help me? I don’t know anyone who can do the things that I need done to get my daughter back. Mother Sayer wrestles with many thoughts to include thoughts of death to her daughter and herself. It is always best to contemplate serious matters with a serious train of thought. I’m a woman, a business owner, a daughter, mother and an Army Major. What is it about any of those qualities combined that gives me the capability to handle this situation? I do need help, but where do I find it? I can’t go to family because this matter has outgrown any help my father or siblings could offer. God I wish Zar were here.
Keep it together Se’May, she tells herself. Alright. Keep working and follow through on everything which means don’t fall apart or show signs of stress toward any of my staff at the ARC. I’ve been trained by my father, the United States Army, and my own protocols to push me to the limits of my mental and physical abilities. Abandoning these learned competencies right now would be as foolish as applying an emotional response to this affront to my family. No, I must bring to bear all I’ve learned to find a solution for my dilemma.
I won’t abandon my daughter, myself or my company. I won’t bring disgrace to the Officer’s Corps of the United States Army. I will emerge victorious as I’ve dealt with Mr. Goone honestly and fairly. That man’s offense this time will be his last against me. I will outsmart this man and get him out of my life forever. This means Se’May, oh just say it, you will have to incorporate some hard qualities that men use so thoughtlessly. These qualities are called for right now. Doy has to learn from her mother certain skills more quickly than she has up until now. This situation can’t happen again and unfortunately I have to be a mother and a father now.).
Mother Sayer: (After opening her eyes at 0600 as she always does every morning, Mother’s mind races through all facets of her dilemma. She knows her thoughts must return to the days when she commanded a convoy or clip in Iraq. The sharpness and the certainty of lacing together every step and act throughout her mission each time she went outside the wire. She rises from bed returning her mind to its’ combat state of readiness.). Well, Mother, let’s go get her done.
Mother arrives at the office at 0800 after dropping off Justus at school. She takes a moment to scan the area for any signs of trouble. Someone out of place, something that wasn’t there the day prior. She can’t put her finger on what she’s feelings, but something is different about this morning.
Sarah W. Certainty: Good morning Mother, I hope all is going well. Have you solved your problem with one of my father’s henchmen?
Mother Sayer: No Sarah, I am contemplating many things, but honestly I’ll need help to execute a lot of them. That’s where I am right now in deciding my next course of action regarding this matter.
Sarah W. Certainty: Well, do you know anybody like that? I mean anybody that’ll undertake such a serious matter like this. I sure hope you do because this Goone is sort of a thug with certain refinements. He’s not just a looker loving all the ladies. He can fight. I’ve seen him fight and I’ve heard of some of his brutality. He’s no joke.
Mother Sayer: (That’s what I’m talking about. Intel. Now I’m getting somewhere.). Does he have many friends that would back him in this kind of move. Taking a child as hostage?
Sarah W. Certainty: Oh, yes he does. Forget what you see in the movies or on television. My father has men working for him who have no problem taking life or inflicting pain on anyone, men or women. Don’t go up against them thinking these men have a code of decency of some kind that values women. They don’t.
Mother Sayer: How many men do you think he has?
Sarah W. Certainty: I’d say at least 30. Mr. Goone ran a part of my father’s territory here in Louisville. You don’t get that responsibility by being a man who gets squeamish when you need to hurt somebody for not paying up.
Mother Sayer: Wonderful. Just what I wanted to hear. A man with loyal henchmen. Great.
Sarah W. Certainty: If I may step out of bounds on this, how did you meet such a man?
Mother Sayer: Out of greed. (Brutal honestly is the only place I act from going forward Mother thinks to herself.). I was stringing together a pile of successful moves so fast that I didn’t think to consider the next move. It’s the next link or attachable thread that is the most dangerous when experiencing all the success from everything I touched. “It’s like being in traffic and the car in front is stopping. Instead of just stopping behind I change lanes without clearing it on the right.” I just didn’t practice all I’ve learned and quite frankly I deserve to be stung by this nagging bee.
Sarah W. Certainty: I can say one thing about you Mother. You’re consistent.
Mother Sayer: Consistent? What do you mean I’m consistent?
Sarah W. Certainty: I mean you still accept blame and the consequences that arose out of your decisions. My Father would certainly have hired you if you were a man. So, how are you going to solve this predicament is the question of the moment?
Mother Sayer: To be honest Sarah, I, right now, I don’t know.
—————- 1stInterlude —————
(The flight through Europe was standard protocol as General Sennfphoru boards the last leg of the trip in Atlanta, Georgia. Before he disembarks his flight from Europe to Atlanta, the General is told to check in at the airline ticket counter to verify the last leg of his flight. At the ticket counter, the General is handed, along with his ticket, an update to where the target is in real time in South America. Mr. Goone is being tracked with all possible destinations on alert for his arrival. ‘Watch for a black adolescent girl and report back immediately.’).
Mother Sayer: Well Sarah, I’ll be in my office. I need some time to think.
Sarah W. Certainty: Okay, I am going to get lunch. Do you need me to get you anything Mother?
Mother Sayer: A tuna on wheat would be great, thanks Sarah.
Sarah W. Certainty: (A call is made to the Truck Shop and Son Skyy gives Sarah the update on when Mother’s old commander is due to arrive in Louisville.). Good, I’ll walk her down to the lobby at the end of the day with all the employees of the ARC present.
Mother Sayer: That’s a good tuna fish sandwich Sarah. I must remember to have it every so often now.
—————- 2ndInterlude —————
(The General has landed. Son Skyy just knows it. He somehow knows it. As wind crackles with steadiness as it’s undeterred in whichever direction it chooses to travel, so does the General move unrebuked in a quest his mind is ordained to fulfill. The air pressure seems to suddenly compress causing sound waves to buckle or die in flight before reaching a receiver. This Commander was lauded for his precise adherence to plans and their execution. The men and women he commanded knew his expectations. They were the most stringent and demanding they’ve ever faced in their Army service. If you were an operator under his command you had better know your tactics, techniques and procedures blindfolded. Those who couldn’t meet his standard were not commanding soldiers in his task force. Not in Iraq or anywhere for that matter where lives depended on leaders knowing their jobs.).
General Sennfphoru: (Tholodious walks off the plane with his carryon. Baggage claim is avoided because that’s bad tradecraft, but it doesn’t mean he’s oblivious to the two men who seem out of place greeting passengers as they clear the arrivals gate as family and friends await their loved ones. Tholodious signals to his team members at the Louisville Airport to stand down as he knows his entry in country wouldn’t go unnoticed. It is about 1pm on a sunny day in April that begs for every living soul to get outdoors and enjoy the weather. He walks outside to the vehicle that will take him to his meeting with the Major.). Pharwalker, report.
Pharwalker: ( Sumori Pharwalker’s presence is just like her name is envisioned. A beautiful Korean operative trained in all tactics including those that require she blends into her surroundings.). All is as planned General. Our contact has seen to it that the Major will be at her office building until 4 pm. She is unaware of your presence. If the Major agrees to come with you, your transport is standing by to take you both to the staging area.
General Sennfphoru: Where did this Goone finally set up shop?
Pharwalker: He’s in Colombia.
General Sennfphoru: Is the team there prepared?
Pharwalker: All was in place before the target arrived with the girl.
General Sennfphoru: Tell them to maintain surveillance according to Standard Plan 3. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing the locals would identify as unusual on a day to day basis.
Pharwalker: Yes General, Standard Plan 3, operations in an austere climate. Everything brought in slowly and out of sight.
General Sennfphoru: Make sure they understand that there are more things at stake here than just returning this little girl to her mother. I will ask something of the Major in return for doing this for her and I don’t want any detail missed or overlooked. Is that clear?
Pharwalker: Yes General, very clear.
—————- 3rdInterlude —————
(The General arrives a block away from The ARC Incorporated office building. He decides to grab a bite to eat at one of the city’s famous restaurants. After ordering, he notices a waiter standing in the back staring at him as if he’s holding his piss without a place to relieve himself. The General excuses himself from the table and tells his team to stay put. He walks to the restroom and there in the hallway is Twelve. Twelveworks for some U.S. intelligence agency, but he could never get a straight answer from him which one. Although he finds the moniker a bit obvious, he just shrugs it off as Americans trying to be applicable to the nationality of the contact.
The General explains to Twelve that his stay isn’t part of anything Mossad or the intelligence agencies are unaware of and he’s just in town to enjoy one of America’s great cities. Twelve tells him that Se’May Sayer’s daughter is on the radar, but she didn’t qualify for Federal assistance. The General’s reply is something like good to see you and maybe when I have more time we’ll exchange war stories.).
(The ARC has had many days where uncertainty crept through the slightest of cracks and attempts to dictate actions and behaviors, but Mother Sayer has also learned in 34 years through her Father’s teachings how to blunt and dispel its’ impact. Now, more than ever her training is being tested in the direr of situations. A life hangs in the balance.
This is when the realization hits her. I can’t count on Zar to take over this situation as the husband should in these types of matters. My husband is not here for me to lean on, so I have to do something I’ve been avoiding. I’ve got to harden up. I’ve got to suppress my tendencies to nurture my children and just tell them what to do. It is time to be more aloof and demanding. God help me she thinks. My children will resent me for it, but they will be alive and well. I can live with that outcome.).
Mother Sayer: (It is getting on into the late afternoon. She is finished reading about the ongoing projects and one in particular she has spent the bulk of the day familiarizing herself with. It is involving the Medical Division of the ARC Incorporated. A study has shown some promising results. It would seem the human mind concerning dementia and other related illnesses respond to historical probing. Gathering a thorough account of a patient’s history and seeking to make meaningful dialogue around treatment goals could be a breakthrough. The medical team is researching a theory they call ‘fractures’ which if successful and contact with the patient’s cognitive ability is established; it could signal the inroad long sought after that could revolutionize the field. She gives the appropriate funding approval and takes a look at the time.
Around 3pm, Mother decides to call it a day, but she will make sure her projects are readily accessible in case she decides to make a move to go for her daughter.). Sarah, can you assemble everyone in the lobby, I want to make an announcement before I leave for the day.
Sarah W. Certainty: (Did someone jump the gun and tell Mother what we were planning? The thought races through Sarah’s mind slapping away all attempts at slowing it down. Wait wait wait, she has finally restored normal traffic in the corridors of her mind. Just ask her when she wants everyone down there.). Yes, Mother. When would you like your team assembled in the lobby?
Mother Sayer: Oh, around 4pm would be ideal. We’ll just play it by ear if something occurs to change that timeline.
Sarah W. Certainty: Very good Mother. I will spread the word.
Mother Sayer: (Mother picks up her office phone and dials her residence. From this hour on this day forward, I’m finally going to play by America’s rules. ‘For Keeps’.). N’tare. How is everything?
N’tare: All is well here Mother. Is there something wrong?
Mother Sayer: Yes, there is something wrong. My daughter is in the hands of a crook. A well trained and fighting crook I might add.
N’tare: Is there something I can do?
Mother Sayer: Yes there is N’tare. Is Justus home and if he is I want this to start happening right away. He is to stay at home until I tell him otherwise is that clear? He goes to school and he stays at home afterwards.
N’tare: Quite clear Mother.
Mother Sayer: Second, I want all of his friends and that school to undergo a thorough background check. Tell me what you find. Hire the best and most discrete private detection agency in the city. Tell them that there will be more work for them in the future if they deliver the goods.
N’tare: If I may ask Mother, to what end does this action you now undertake foresee of your future?
Mother Sayer: (Mother knows N’tare will do as she asks of him because he trusts her judgment, but she also understands human nature as changes this monumental means something.). I am preparing fortifications because the war comes to my doorsteps again. I apologize for asking you to do this over the phone. This situation has exposed a weakness in my perimeter which allowed this man, Mr. Goone, to cruise right into striking distance. I can’t allow that to happen again, ever.
N’tare: I will begin my search of what the city has to offer and get back to you when I’ve completed this task.
Mother Sayer: Thank you, N’tare. Your friendship and council is worth more to me than you’ll ever know.
(It is now 3:40pm and all checks have been made on the To-Do-List. Acts have been decided upon and taken. One thing though Mother didn’t anticipate. The ARC Council calling a session right in the middle of this crisis. ).
ARC Council: Mother Sayer. It is time for another chat. Are you prepared to face us?
Mother Sayer: (There is a quick response that nearly broke through her lips. It would’ve sounded something like, “Are you fucking crazy, do you know what’s happening now?” Fortunately, Mother Sayer at this point in her development is learned enough to suppress the natural human tendencies present in us all.). Oh, course.
ARC Council: Are you having any problems we should know about?
Mother Sayer: Problems that are inherent to a multi-million dollar company is all. Can you be more specific about your inquiry? Do you want to know if the toilets are working? Maybe the weekly menu in the kitchen needs sprucing up?
ARC Council: What about your daughter? Is she in trouble?
Mother Sayer: (Somehow they always know things they shouldn’t. I guess that’s what I get when I hire ‘Philosophers’. Yeah, she’s so grounded when she gets home?
ARC Council: What’s her infraction we might ask?
Mother Sayer: Oh, she flew off to some faraway place without my permission.
ARC Council: Where is she right now?
Mother Sayer: (Mother is steaming with indignation over this intrusion into her family’s crisis, but she knows she needs the practice. This won’t be the first time she thinks to herself that an enemy has penetrated all the way into her life so intimately. Keep thinking on your feet she recalls. This is a variation of one of the Army’s tenets. ‘Shoot, move, communicate.’). Right now. I do not know.
ARC Council: Do you want some help?
Mother Sayer: (The realization hits her like a punch in the gut from George Forman. I have skills long ago learned resting in the memory corridors of my brain! I have need of them once again. The logistical planning. The ability to function with intelligent purpose and forethought that indicates focused intent to reach a desired conclusion. My father has taught me well. The Army has taught me well. I won’t fall apart now and bring disgrace to the time, care and trust they’ve shown in me to perform under pressure. Recall the skills, traits, and keen determination that did mark your name for they are needed once again. Additionally, I’m glad I didn’t fight against the relentless demands of me because if I did; I certainly wouldn’t possess those great skills that this situation calls for.). What?
Mother Sayer: I’m sorry, what did you say?
ARC Council: (The Council did take note of her retreat into her thoughts, but they decide to ask the question again.). Do you need some help?
Mother Sayer: No. If you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting that was called ahead of your session.
(Mother exits the ARC Council session and walks with Sarah to the elevator. The encounter with the Council increased her awareness of the serious matter she faces even more profoundly. Nonetheless, she still must bring to bear every resource at her disposal to solve the problem and bring back her daughter. Alive.).
Mother Sayer: Sorry about that Sarah. I did set the parameters to include the right to call a session no matter what situation I was facing.
Sarah W. Certainty: No need to apologize Mother. We’ve seen the effects these sessions have had on the bottom line of this company. Working for you doesn’t just fatten our bank accounts. Working for you stimulates our minds to grow beyond any job I’ve ever heard of or have been told about by my friends.
Mother Sayer: I think you mean I’m a weird employer.
Sarah W. Certainty: No no no Mother. I’ve grown and matured beyond what I’ve thought a woman could believe was possible, except for save my own Mother. I’m indebted to you. What you’ve taught me; I know you “can’t recall what you haven’t learned” and it tells me I should be grateful to the one who spent the time doing it, and of course myself for being ‘willing to be taught.’
Mother Sayer: (Contemplates for a moment while her thoughts coalesce.). Sarah, I’ve been too slack in my total embracement of you, my staff, and everybody associated with the ARC. When you have lived as many years as I have, or you may understand immediately what I’m about to say and know what burdens I must bear.
Sarah W. Certainty: (Thinking of her parents, especially her mother.). As do we all Mother.
Mother Sayer: “There are systems of parental teaching that’ve been done from grandmothers to mothers and grandfathers to fathers. Neighbor to neighbor, principal to school teacher and all the systems of discipline that was woven like an attachment of tethers. These systems served as the conduit for which instruction flowed. Now, I don’t know how they were destroyed and torn asunder, but they’ve been frayed extensively throughout many years.”
Sarah W. Certainty: You are talking about ‘familial systems’. Systems of caring, discipline and instruction that make up or should make up any sound family life if there must be one.
Mother Sayer: Yes Sarah. These familial systems served communities very well. How do you think Black people survived and even innovated in an America where they were denied the basics? Education, freedom, safety from tyranny and the ability to start from nothing and still take care of each other.
Sarah W. Certainty: I’ve read a little of the history. Please tell me more.
Mother Sayer: Defiance was a rallying cry, but accountability I suspect was crucial to getting everyone on the same page to make it work. People had to trust each other and dare I say, love each other.
Sarah W. Certainty: Like you love your children? Like you love us?
Mother Sayer: Yes Sarah, like I love my children. I also love my people and always think of us all when I make decisions keeping the doors of this company open. Cherish your blessing Sarah because ‘you’re being taught in the midst of one of these systems that wasn’t allowed to be frayed or torn asunder.’
Sarah W. Certainty: Right Mother, as you’ve taught me. I can only run one or two choices for my life. It is written somewhere that you gotta be hot or cold because the third option is vomited out.
Mother Sayer: (Mother chuckles.). That’s correct Sarah. I’ll explain it metaphorically if I may. When a person is pulled in more than one direction, the effect manifests itself like a shotgun blast. As a shotgun blast projects out wider as it travels farther, it’s effect on the target is minimal if at all.
When a person instead chooses a path in life, then their energy is focused and directed toward a definable goal. The blast hits the target. Another way of putting the cost of indecisiveness is like plugging every appliance in your house into one power strip. Each appliance is pulling juice or energy from that wall socket. Think about it. Sooner or later that socket would get burned out. Why? Because the demands would eventually be more than the outlet can take.
That is the purpose behind a familial system. The entire community keeps everyone in check. We used to didn’t complain when a neighbor admonished our children. We didn’t complain when we got punished at school. Now America as a society wonders who is there to watch and guide our children when the parents aren’t around.
Sarah W. Certainty: I’ve got to contemplate this knowledge like I do all of your deep sessions with me.
Mother Sayer: Sessions?
Sarah W. Certainty: Just like you keeping yourself strong with your council. I keep myself strong staying put with you and learning all I can from you.
Mother Sayer: I appreciate that Sarah. I love you too. I think though we should start down to the lobby as we’re already late.
(The door to the elevator opens when Mother and Sarah reach the lobby. Stepping out into the spacious interior of the building always reminds Mother of a parade field. She needs to address her troops and keep them informed as to what’s happening in her family. She begins.).
Mother Sayer: Everyone, I have some important news that I need to tell everybody before I do what I have to do. My daughter has been kidnapped by a man I once did business with. He is demanding money. I will be taking a leave of absence in order to straighten this out. In my absence, Sarah will coordinate all your projects. Please continue your work as if I’m still here. Thank you.
Sarah W. Certainty: Mother, thank you for your trust in me. Respectfully, we want to help you get through this.
Mother Sayer: What are you talking about? (In that moment she sees Son Skyy make his way to the front of the employees standing in the lobby. She is curious he is here as the truck mechanic shop was exempted if customers trucks needed to be completed.). Son Skyy, is the shop okay?
Son Skyy: Mother, I.
Mother Sayer: What is it Skyy?
Son Skyy: Everybody gather around Mother. We want to help you.
Mother Sayer: You have. Now I have to go.
Son Skyy: No Mother, we want to help you.
Mother Sayer: Move out of my way. All of you. Right now.
Son Skyy: No Mother, we want to help you.
Mother Sayer: (The desire to get her daughter back becomes overwhelming and Mother lashes out.). Move right now! (Mother is blocked from leaving and she gets pissed). Move!
Son Skyy: We’re going to help you and that’s why I’m here.
Mother Sayer: I told all of you I will handle this myself. Now get out of my way and let me go get my daughter.
Son Skyy: No Mother, you’re not going anywhere until you agree to let us help you.
Mother Sayer: I knew it. I knew it when I was doing it. That was the worst mistake of my life. Giving you women, you men my love. Now I’ve put you all in danger as well. (Mother then tries to move people out of her way and get to the door, but Son Skyy says something that makes her pause.).
Son Skyy: I told everybody about what I had in mind and they agreed that I should do it. I’ve called somebody we both know to help you find your daughter.
Mother Sayer: What? Who did you call?
(At that moment General Sennfphoru says two words).
General Sennfphoru: Hello Major.
Mother Sayer: (At first Mother thinks she didn’t recognize the voice, but as she’s been taught she lets the voice, then the memory come to the forefront of her mind and she realizes who has just spoken to her.). Well I’ll be, Colonel Sennfphoru. How? What are you doing here?
General Sennfphoru: I came as soon as I got word. We need to agree quickly as we don’t have time to go down memory lane. My transport is waiting right now.
Mother Sayer: Already barking orders are you. I’m not going anywhere with you until you tell me why you’re here in Louisville.
General Sennfphoru: I can help you get your daughter back.
Mother Sayer: Don’t make a claim you can’t fulfill! I am not in the mood for any of your judgments or critiques right now. I know I’m at the mercy of my daughter’s captor right now, and I’m a little bit on edge. Sorry. Forgive me that outburst. That was rude of me.
General Sennfphoru: No apology is necessary. I am well aware of your tendencies. We need to speak and if you’ll agree; I can go get your daughter and bring her back unharmed.
Mother Sayer: Not without me you’re not!
General Sennfphoru: Major, you don’t need to prove anything to me or anyone. I know you love your daughter. Please, allow me to do this for you.
Mother Sayer: (Mother pauses and then decides on accepting his help.). I will go with you. My daughter will know her Mother came for her. Discussion over. Is that clear General?
General Sennfphoru: (The General knows too well the Major’s tenacity for her soldiers, and he knows he can extend that same devotion to her daughter.). Agreed.
(The General throws up the universal sign for ‘saddle up and move out’ and Pharwalker immediately alerts all positions to be ready for movement.).
The goodbyes were extended, but not until business was conducted. Mother Sayer left all department heads in charge of their operations. She instructed that all ongoing projects that were approved can be picked up from Sarah in her office. Sarah knows everything and it will continue to be conducted in that manner. If you run into any issues, you are to bring them to Sarah for consultation and approval. Then, Mother turns to all her people and apologizes. “I didn’t mean to say I made a mistake in loving all of you. My father gave me love I didn’t believe existed. His primordial sperm didn’t join with my Mother’s egg so I could part the matrix, but he gave me everything that mattered. His love. I restore my love to you now.
By the way, don’t have too much fun. I will be back and I expect to see my company not only standing when I do but going gangbusters as well.
…………to be continued.