His assistant, Ed Smith, had an idea.
“Sir, we don’t need to make these protestors disappear. We need them to quieten down.”
“Ed, I know that. I’m not stupid. How do we get them to shut up without breaking the law?”
“We compromise with them.”
“They don’t want a compromise, Ed. They didn’t want the nuclear plant built, now that it’s here, they want it gone.”
“What if you brought in Hanson Greene to oversee the storing of the hazardous waste? It’s an olive branch, and could go a long way to smoothing things over with the demonstrators.”
Winger nodded and rubbed his chin. “It could work,” he thought. After a few seconds of thought he knocked on the glass. The driver pressed the button and the glass slid down.
“Take us to the jail.”
“Right away, sir.”
Hanson Greene sat in the corner of the holding cell. Police walked by and looked in at those housed there. The other prisoners huddled together on the other side of the bench. Mayor Ted walked into the room.
A desk sergeant stood to his feet and nodded at him.
“Good afternoon, Mayor Winger.”
“Hello. I would like to speak to Hanson Greene, please. Do you have a room where we could speak in private?”
“Sure. Um, a guard will have to go in with you though.”
“No. This conversation is for his ears only.”
“The guard can observe from behind the glass. That’s the best I can do.”
“Fine, sergeant. Make it so.”
The guard led Hanson Greene to Interview Room #1 and handcuffed him to the table. Mayor Winger sat across from him, and watched as the guard left the room. Hanson stared at Winger, the mayor stared back.
“What do you want, Winger?”
“You’re a disruption to this town’s progression, Hanson. I would rather you stop being a hinderance and help us move forward instead.”
“You’ve signed a death warrant for this town, and now you want me to help you finish the job?”
“I want you to ensure that the hazardous material produced by the plant doesn’t leak into the streams. I want you to make sure it’s stored in a safe manner.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because, it’s the only way you could ensure that the plant doesn’t become the danger you’ve warned about.”
“What do I get out of it?”
“You mean besides a paycheck and the assurance that the plant is operating on the up-and-up? I don’t know. What do you want?”
“I want 100% transparency on everything. The people in this town needs to know what decisions are being made.”
“Fine, Hanson. Let’s talk about what I want.”
“What do you want, Mr. Mayor?”
“Your band of merry protestors gets disbanded today. The delegates of Reid Energy does not get pelted with Play Doh anymore. From this day forward, we work together toward a better future.”
“Fine, Mayor. I will call off the dogs when I get released.”
“Great. I will contact the judge and try to rush your release through.”