Story:Conspiracy of Meerkats Part Two

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Conspiracy of Meerkats Part Two
Written by JWolfman

As soon as the Baltimore Spirits administrative workers spotted Samuel Windance walking down the hallways of their building headquarters, they wisely looked down and let him pass without a greeting. No one dared to look at his furious expression or study the look of his eyes, as if fearing his mere gaze would set them aflame. They had every reason to do so after FurSports-net’s reporter Tashira Rucson released a report accusing Windance of speciesm and even Islamophobia, and the responses from the general public and even FBA players were generally negative to the surprise of no one. The jackalope thankfully paid no heed to them as he walked by, until he walked into a small lobby and glared at the grey hare secretary sitting behind her desk.

“Is Khaldi in there?!” He demanded, his voice booming. He didn’t wait for the startled secretary’s response as he grabbed the door handle leading into his office and made his way inside. He only made a few steps in before he stopped, the fury in his eyes changing into that of confusion.

Two canines; one a black labrador and the other a golden retriever, stood up from their couch seats as soon as Samuel walked in, and while there was a meerkat sitting behind his own desk, it was a meerkat in his seventies, wearing a suit similar to the canines’. Once the initial shock wore off quickly in Samuel’s mind, he frowned and both his hands curled into fists.

“What’s going on? Who are you?” He directed at the male meerkat.

The meerkat raised his hands, palms forward in an attempt to calm him. “My name is Nasser Khaldi… Lina is my daughter. I’ve been expecting you to come here as soon as the news broke out, so I called up Lina and told her to stay home.”

Samuel growled in response. “I’m going to call and talk to her, and get security to come here and haul you out of here.”

“No, you will not do that. Please, sit down,” Nasser replied with his voice calm, and motioned to a seat on the other end of the desk from him.

“What’s the meaning of this?! Did you leak those lies to the reporter?” His growl grew in volume, more threateningly.

“Lies?” Nasser replied. “More like… what’s the term for it now…? Alternative facts? Sit down, Mr. Windance. If you just cooperate with me, everything will be cleared up soon.”

As he said those words, the two canines suddenly approached toward Samuel and grabbed his arms. Samuel immediately protested with startled yelps, jostling his arms but they quickly overpowered and dragged him to a chair, forcing him to sit down.

“What the hell?!”

“Calm down,” Nasser said with a sigh, and then sat back down on Samuel’s office chair. His mere calmness and indifference to how the two canines were treating him had unnerved the jackalope, and already a small hint of panic crept up his spine. Nasser had this aura about his presence that immediately struck Samuel as off-putting, but he finally cleared his throat and once the two canines let him go, he adjusted his body on the chair for better comfort.

“What do you want?”

“First of all, I want to thank you for hiring my daughter. She’s done well, forming a team strong enough to enter the playoffs, hmm?”

The complement surprised Samuel enough to throw off his words, and he only managed to sputter a few incoherent sounds in response. Nasser simply continued.

“I understand that you’re upset about these accusations about you, and rightfully so. If you just cooperate with me, all these accusations will go away, and those reporters will simply leave you alone as they go hunt for the next scandal to latch themselves onto.”

“Did you sent out that letter?”

Nasser raised an eyebrow and he leaned back on his seat. “Me? No, I didn’t send it out to Ms. Rucson personally, but I was aware of it before she even read it. Now you tell me, Mr. Windance… do you think those voice recordings actually exist?”

“I… I…” Samuel sputtered out, suddenly unsure. He paused, blinking his eyes several times as his frantic mind thought back to past events. The letter certainly outraged him, but was that anger due to the fact the information was leaked to the media, or because he had been recorded without his knowledge and consent?

“You called the letter as a lie, didn’t you? When you came storming in here. But not all of it is… fabricated?”

“I may…” Samuel paused again to swallow dryly, the realizations dawning upon him. “I may have said that I wanted… to have a team of all bunnies like myself… and I was upset when Lina traded away Brax Trenor to the Howlers…” He frowned. “But I never insulted your daughter and never said anything about her religion!”

“For your sake, you better not,” Nasser replied firmly. His calmness faltered into a low-set growl but it only lasted for a few moments before his voice reverted back to its calmness. “To answer my own question… the voice recordings do exist. They’re all in a safe spot, and no, you may not listen to them yourself. But if you do what I tell you to do, then those voice recordings? Destroyed, purged, burned out of existence.”

“What do you want me to do…?” Samuel Windance asked, his voice lowered with a tinge of dread.

Nasser leaned his head toward him, over the desk between them. “Sell the team.”

The words didn’t even register in Samuel’s mind until the realization sunk in a few moments later, and he dismissed quickly the initial temptation of charging to the meerkat to choke him on the neck with his bare paws. Instead he shook his head angrily and glared at him. “What?!”

“Sell the team,” Nasser repeated. “Give the order to my daughter to fire the head coach after the team loses in the playoffs, and believe me, they will lose in the playoffs, most likely by the first round, and then begin the process of selling the team to my group of investors.”

Samuel quickly stood up but the two canines behind him quickly grabbed his shoulders, forcing him to roughly sit down again. He grumbled incoherent curses in anger and then he looked back at Nasser with a hiss. “This is blackmail!”

“I know it is,” Nasser calmly replied. “Sell me the team and the voice recordings will disappear. You’ll be a very rich man and you can retire lavishly, with no evidence to stain your name. Sell me the team.”

Samuel stared at the meerkat coldly, but the realization dawned upon him that he might have little choice in this matter. If this Nasser could coerce him to sell away his greatest love due to blackmail with such nonchalant calmness, what other sorts of evil could this man tolerate with such personal apathy? Didn’t Lina Khaldi mention to him before that her father came from pre-Revolution Iran and he worked for the monarchy then? What could he have possibly done and seen in his youthful time, when there were such horrors so dreadful that it caused an entire general public to rise up in revolt in that country? Now this man sat on his own desk chair behind his own desk. The jackalope’s large ears slowly flop back to create a rather submissive feature on his face, and his eyes dart left and right along his desk. He noticed that all his personal photo frames of his family had been cleaned off his desk, as if the ownership transfer process had already begun.

“I will think about it…” He finally said softly.

It wasn’t the answer Nasser sought, but he nodded. “You have little time to think. Think quickly.”

He nodded at the two canines and they finally let go of Samuel. The jackalope stood up and turned to leave immediately, suddenly uncertain on what to do. If he resisted, he might go down in flames. If he bowed and sold his team, what would his legacy with the team be? What would the new owner do? Honor his legacy or trash it?

Once Samuel exited the office, Nasser leaned back on the office chair, making it squeak softly. “Give Mr. Westerlyn the call,” he said to the two canines. “Tell him he will have his team.”

“And if Mr. Windance refuses?” One of the canines replied.

“Then we will have two new jobs. My job will be to destroy him personally, and your job will be to destroy his family.”

“Yes, sir.”

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