Excerpt 129 from The Lake Demon by Ken David Stewart

Chapter One Hundred Twenty-Nine
“Jack, I want you to invite your whole crew aboard The Viper. This boat has more than enough room. I want them all to join us for lunch with drinks to follow,” Blake said.
“It sound like you want us to stay for awhile,” Jack said.
‘Who knows you may get to see another live Ogopogo. One of their species has bumped and jarred our boat three times. We think that it is upset that we have the replica aboard our vessel. We were just attempting to throw the model back in the lake when our boat suffered another strong blow from beneath the surface. I hope that Ogopogo is satisfied that we got its message. It has to be one powerful creature to push this boat around.”
“I have a new proposition for you, Jack. One that is going to more than make up for how I betrayed you in the past. After my fling with Debra ended I found out how it feels to be used and betrayed. It made me think about what had happened to you. You may not believe me, and I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t. My philosophy of life has changed. I used to think that it was a dog eat dog world and that everybody had to look out for number one.
I fell into a deep depression after the break up with Debra Lang. It got so bad that I went to see a well -known therapist. She helped me to see some things about myself that I didn’t want to look at. I was really full of self- pity. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was as much to blame for what happened as Debra was. The most frightening epiphany for me was the discovery that I didn’t have any friends. I had people I paid to work for me, but I was just their employer. I came to realize that I needed some real friends. In order to do this, I would need to mend a few fences,” Blake said.
“That was quite the speech, Blake. You know, I almost believe you. Can a leopard really change its spots?”
“I believe it can. That’s why I want to make it up to you. I’ve always liked you and you are the closest thing to a friend I ever had,” Blake replied.
“Okay Blake. You’ve got me interested. You said something about a proposition. What is it?”
“I want us to be partners again, Jack. Only this time we are not going into the new project to make money. Our objective will now be to be to make history. We will be on the cutting edge of scientific discovery. I don’t know how much money we’ll make, but we are sure to be famous. I can see us ending up with book deals and movie rights offers,” Blake said.
As Blake was making his pitch to Jack, Dr. Lionel Hardy arrived from the lower deck where he had finished lunch with his students.
Blake introduced Lionel to Jack.
“I’m trying to talk Jack into becoming a partner with us on this expedition. I was just explaining to him the great opportunity for scientific discovery we have before us. Jack’s skill set would make him a valuable addition to our project,” Blake said.
“That may be true, but so far all we’ve managed to accomplish is to capture a very well designed replica of Ogopogo,” Lionel pointed out.
Jack and Blake both laughed.
“This is a sort of inside joke, but Jack played a key role in helping us discover the fake Ogopogo. It’s a long story but I will fill you in on the details later, Lionel,” Blake said.
“What am I going to do about my crew if I agree to join forces with you and Dr. Hardy. With all the personnel on your crew we certainly won’t need the members of my crew,” Jack said.
“You are absolutely right,” Blake said. “Your crew will no longer be needed. Although I would like to keep your paramedic. However, to make their disappointment easier to bear, I will reward each one of them with a five thousand dollar severance cheque.”
“I believe that that kind of offer will go a long way to easing their angst,” Jack said.
“Lionel, I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you this yet, but Jack has obtained some amazing photo and video footage of a smaller version of Ogopogo,” Blake said.sofa-749629__180 1

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