Subject: [PW!] Between the Devil and Route 44
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 20:43:18 +0000 (UTC)
From: "Steffan Alun"
Organization: BT Openworld
"Employee of the Month: Mike Smith
Mike has constantly worked hard for ComComCom since joining it. He has
always produced quality material, and does everything according to the
rules. His co-operation with talented manager Ralph Harrison has been
integral in his achievements. Mike claims to value the company more than
anything else in the world."
-- from the "ComComCom - Fine-Tuning the Future" newsletter, released May
Pokewars!: Mike Smith
"Between the Devil and Route 44"
Mike Smith always felt uneasy when he left the ComComCom building to
pick up his daughter from school. Nobody had actually ever told him it was
alright to do so. Whenever Mr Harrison, Mike's boss, had a problem with
anything Mike said, he'd respond instantly, but would remain silent and
seemingly self-involved if he wasnt bothered.
That was what he'd done whenever Mike asked if he could leave to take
his daughter home. After a few weeks, Mike had started leaving without
asking. He still felt guilty about it, even though he knew it was fine for
him to do it.
He parked next to the school and walked through the gates. He saw his
daughter training her Smoochum in a field behind the main building, as she
often did when waiting for her father to arrive.
"Hi Shelley," he called.
"Hello," she replied, her voice sounding rather raspy.
"Are you alright?" asked Mike.
"I think I've got a cold," said Shelley.
"Mr Smith! Excuse me!"
Mike turned around. It was one of Shelley's teachers.
"Shelley's been feeling a bit ill," she said. "She says it's just a
cold, but I think you'd better take her to see a doctor anyway."
"I need to get back to work," said Mike. "I'm only taking a break to
bring Shelley home."
"It may be urgent." The teacher sounded concerned. "I tried to phone
you at work, but I was told you were in a meeting."
Mike had not been in a meeting; he had been trying to sort out a report
which Mr Harrison wanted to give to ComComCom's president. It was a far
more stressful and time-consuming experience than going to a meeting would
"I'll take her as soon as I can," said Mike.
On the way home, Mike saw a helicopter leave the ComComCom building. It
was leaving early. He blamed himself for not being there; Mr Harrison would
now lose the contract, and it was all his fault. There was no turning back,
though. He had to get Shelley home before returning to work.
"Are you feeling better?" asked Mike as he pulled into the drive.
"Not really," rasped Shelley. "My neck really hurts."
For the first time in his life, Mike had to choose between his
responsibilities at work and his responsibility as a father. He did not
like it at all. He didn't know how long Mr Harrison could take care of
things at the office; Mike had ensured that he'd always been there with him
apart from when he had to pick up his daughter. Even being ill didn't stop
Shelley being ill was different, though. When it came down to it,
working at ComComCom was really a way for Mike to support his family. If
Shelley needs a doctor, thought Mike, she'll get one! The best one
available as soon as possible!
"I'm just going to phone to check up on Mr Harrison," he told Shelley
"Hello. You're through to ComComCom, building a bright future for
bright people. How may I help you?" asked the almost-mechanical secretary.
"Could you please put me through to Mr Harrison's office?" asked Mike.
"I'm afraid he's not here," replied the secretary. "According to Mr
Compeyson, he had to sort something out with the helicopter. I haven't been
informed of his precise location."
"Alright. Could you please pass on a message?"
"Tell him that Mike Smith has taken his daughter to the hospital. I'll
probably see him tomorrow."
The hospital visit lasted far longer than Mike had expected.
The doctor believed that Shelley had an infection of some sort and
wanted to keep her in overnight. Mike wanted to stay with her, but also
knew that he had to be in work the following day. Once again, Mike had to
choose between his job and his daughter. He knew that he didn't really have
a choice; he decided to stay with Shelley until she was allowed to leave the
Mike phoned his wife to inform her of the situation. She came to meet
him straight away, and the two of them stayed the night. Mike didn't get
much sleep. He was worried about Shelley. He was worried about Mr
Harrison. He was worried about the future in general.
"You should go to work," said his wife the following morning. "I'll be
fine here, and I'll phone you if there's any news from the doctor."
"Are you sure?" asked Mike. "I want to do the right thing for Shelley."
"You'll worry if you don't go. That'll be bad for Shelley. Go now, and
you'll arrive in time."
"Thanks." Mike smiled. He was happier now that he didn't have to make
the choice himself. He'd go to work to help both Mr Harrison AND Shelley.
As Mike walked past an emergency ward, he felt as though someone was
hiding nearby, watching him. His suspicions were confirmed when he felt the
cold steel of a pistol against his head.
"Don't move," commanded a voice. A very familiar voice.
PW! posts about Mike will probably feature more character development, with
ones about Mr Harrison involving more action and plot advancements. Just
thought I'd mention that. Again, feedback would be appreciated.
A large collection of plagarism: