Chapter 16 of
The foiled kidnapping attempt garnered much attention. Of course, the local media wanted interviews and began hounding the park's Hospitality department. The Public Relations team worked in that department. Two specialized in social media, two in communications(television and radio), one in print media(newspapers and magazines) and the Head of the P.R. team had taken modeling and acting classes as well as Public Relations. The fact that she was local, and a lesbian, was a bonus.
On the advice of the P.R. team and under close scrutiny of Trent, VentureRealm hosted a press conference. Tessa and Dave would be interviewed. At the appointed time, both local and some national Press were allowed into a conference room and set up. Ten minutes later, Emily returned and nodded to begin.
When the camera lights came on, Emily smiled and spoke into the microphones. "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm Emily Rosenthal of the Public Relations team here at VentureRealm Park. I do regret that we are limited in time, so please be considerate of each other. I now present Queen Tessa of VentureRealm. With her is Captain Dave Wells."
Emily curtsied then moved back and to the side as Tessa nodded to her then faced the Press Pit.
"Good morning and welcome to VentureRealm. It is my understanding that you are all here to inquire about a recent event here. That event was the attempted abduction of a child. As this is an ongoing investigation by the local and state authorities, we are not at liberty to discuss specifics. We can discuss some general points. Let us begin." Tessa stated then pointed to a man on the far right.
The man, from the local newspaper, stood up. "Bayleston Times, Queen Tessa. Some say the Security here at the park is rather extensive. Is that due to the fact that so many children are here?"
"Children hold the greatest of treasures; dreams. By working diligently to ensure their safety is paramount, we guard that treasure." Tessa replied then pointed to the far left.
A woman stood up. "Fox News. Is it true that the kidnappers targetted a little boy for the sex trade?"
Tessa gave her a stern look. "I see Fox News has difficulty understanding what they have been told already. You may sit down until you do understand."
Another woman was indicated and stood up. "USAToday, uh, Queen Tessa. You did say that safety is paramount here. Could you eleborate on that please?"
Tessa nodded to Dave, who stepped forward. "VentureRealm has a multi-tier system for safety and security. This system utilizes both electronic and personnel to detect situations of distress. Our personnel are stationed at optimum placement for immediate deployment, along with roving units for rapid response, in the event of a guest becoming distressed."
The manner of Dave's response clued them all in that they were now dealing with a military officer that handled things personally.
A man in the center stood next. "L.A. Times. Judging by your previous response, would it be a fair assumption that certain military aspects are being used here?"
Tessa answered this time. "VentureRealm puts high priority on the hiring of Veterans. The women and men formerly of our Armed Forces still have so much to offer and wish to serve, but in a way more personable. I encourage this and have welcomed them with open arms. Also on our Security force here are former members of the Law Enforcement communities. Both aspects bring abilities to the table that can and do work in conjuction to ensure the wellbeing of our guests. Not just some mere security contingent, but Guardians of the greatest treasures. They carry themselves as Royal Knights."
Another woman stood up. "CBS News, Queen Tessa. What types of prior military personnel do you have here?"
"Captain." Tessa redirected.
Dave stood forward again. "We have members from all branches here and various specialties. Many are veterans of the field, both Afghanistan and Iraq. They all served with honor, fully discharged and able to serve here. Some are currently active in National Guard and Reserve units, VentureRealm fully supports those that still serve in those capacities and make every accomodation for that continued service."
"ABC News, Captain." A woman stated as she stood up. "Do these prior military personnel have some kind of specialized training that makes them suited to this field?"
Dave nodded. "In a way, they do. So many of our personnel have served overseas in the combat theater, which of course is a hot temperature environment, that they have become trained to work in those conditions. They know and recognize the hazards of such exposure. Heat-related injury is very common for places such as this. As we have served in heated conditions, we are vigilant to look for the signs that our guests may become distressed from that. Our rapid medical response teams stay on deployment footing to treat the guests. Security seeing the beginning onset of heat-injury can advise a course of action and direct to a suitable area to abate the progression and begin recovery so that the guests can continue their visit safely and comfortably."
A man in the back stood up when he was pointed at. "MSNBC. You mentioned some kind of Medical teams. Could you elaborate on that?"
"Certainly. The park has two full-time Registered Nurses in our Medical Station. Each area of the park has a team of a Paramedic and an EMT on station at all times. These Rapid Medical Teams are led by a prior-serviceman. He is formerly of the Navy. A Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen, or SARC, as they are called. This gentleman served overseas within elite Marine Reconnaissance and Naval SEAL teams, providing medical assistance during combat operations. His joy is looking after the wellbeing of others and is happiest knowing that all under his care are in fine health. All of them are a pleasure have here." Tessa said with pride then pointed to a woman beside the man.
The woman stood up. "Miami Herald, Queen Tessa. Compared to other places, all that seems to be rather extreme. Isn't it?"
"Not in the slightest. We have a responsibility to ensure our guests' safety. Be it from the environment or from elements that wish to take advantage of those here to enjoy the hospitality. This responsibilty is taken very seriously and it is our focus. A circle, if you will." Tessa explained and even gestured. "We can not be satisfied with our efforts to entertain, if they can not enjoy them. They can not enjoy, if they are distracted by suffering of some sort. If they are suffering, we can not entertain them. It all falls back on itself. Our measures may seem extreme, but that is because the situation warrants that. Would you not agree?"
Several gave a chuckle. Tessa had eloquently talked in a circle and it had not only been illustrative, it had been correct.
"Touche, Queen Tessa." The woman sat down smiling.
A man stood up over to the side. "New York Times. Abduction of children is a constant threat, everywhere. What measures does VentureRealm take to prevent this from happening?"
Dave smirked. The man was slicker than Fox News. "We have multiple elements that firstly, discourage the attempt. However, there are some who will be determined. Those elements will prevent their success. VentureRealm IS on the cutting edge for the utilization of equipment, personnel and tactics to protect the children here. As to details, I'm afraid that is as far as we are willing to discuss. Details are kept confidential to maintain effectiveness. Wouldn't want those nefarious types to know all the ways we foil them, would we?"
Everyone chuckled, he had answered, but not entirely.
"Quite the point there, Captain." The newspaperman chuckled and sat down.
Tessa nodded to Emily, who stepped up to the microphones. "Ladies and gentlemen, we've run our time. Thank you all for coming. There are information packets on the table on your way out. Good day and thank you."
The press began to collect the packets as their crews gathered up equipment while Tessa and Dave waved and left. A six person Security detail stood by to watch them leave.
The Fox News woman went up to one and turned on her digital recorder. "The owner and head of security didn't tell us alot. What did happen during the kidnapping recently?"
Jimmy Sloan wanted to roll his eyes, but kept a poker-face. "VentureRealm is not at liberty to comment about such incident, all inquiries related are to be submitted to the Sheriff's office and District Attorney."
"Sounds like cop-talk." The woman remarked with disgust.
Jimmy just smirked. "Drive safely, don't forget to buckle-up."
She now knew that he was or had been a cop of some kind and wouldn't get anywhere.
"You're a parent, wouldn't you want to know what was going on with potential child predators?" The reporter asked the woman beside Jimmy.
"Local authorities will be able to answer questions at an appropriate time." Former DEA Agent Anna Calderone replied blandly, knowing it would simply aggravate the woman more.
In disgust she turned and left. Had she turned around, she would have seen all six smiling at her failure. In fact, all six members were former law enforcement and had been hand-picked to be at the press conference. None of the press had particularly paid much attention when a Dog-handler had passed them on their way in. They had no idea that the Handler and dog were both prior military with Army EOD.
Princess Michelle was between shows and leading a group of children. Casually she came to a stop and smiled to the old Native American man with a young Native American woman beside him.
"Good afternoon Elder StormDawn, Miss JumpingDoe. We would like to visit and learn about the old ways, may we?" Michelle asked.
Linda JumpingDoe translated the Elder's words. "Please do Princess. Knowledge should always be given to the young."
As if an invisible gate lifted, Michelle and the group walked forward. Actually they simply stepped over what looked like a mosiac brick placement in the pathway. There were many designs of Native American theme in the mosiac. The children, followed by their parents and sitters, eagerly taken in the sights of tribal works.
Several other tribal ladies took turns explaining the workings of the craftsworkers. Finally the children were directed to the performance area. The Elder told the story, translated by Linda, behind the dance performed by younger men in full costume accompanied by drummers that sang as well.
At the end of the dance, they all clapped and Michelle smiled. "Wonderful! I'm afraid I have to go back to my Saloon now. Please enjoy yourselves."
Everyone smiled as the Princess of WildForest elegantly turned and left.
Joe Nably was barely controlling his rage. Foster had emailed a report. He had been released from the County Correctional Center after paying a fine. Foster having failed at getting any usable information out and couldn't remember any he had seen.
Nably looked around at the park's website. He saw the Native American feature and thought about it. An idea hit him. Quickly he searched for groups opposed to Native Americans. A whole slew came up. With a cruel smile, Nably sent the more aggressive sounding group a message. They were claiming to be Christian-based, denouncing Native American cultural practices as demonic and so on.
"Let's see how they like some negative Press!" Joe Nably sneered.
He went back to previous reports from Foster. A small note finally stood out. Several cast members were reputed to be gay or lesbian. That was also something he may be able to use. The problem was that it wasn't confirmed. He needed that.
Joe dialed the number. "Foster. Start going to the gay bar there. Find out if any of the fags or dykes hanging out there work in that park! Don't screw up again!"
It had been a week since the Press conference and things seemed to be quiet. Suddenly people began to rush around in WildForest then held up signs that they had concealed then put together. They formed a line in front of the Dancers and Drummers to block the view.
"THESE DISPLAYS ARE THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL! HURRY TO ESCAPE! DON'T BE TRICKED! ALL GOD-FEARING RIGHTEOUS WHITE PEOPLE SHOULD OPPOSE THIS!" A man yelled over a small megaphone.
Members of Security came up, but stopped at a distance.
"People. You'll have to stop this and leave immediately." One of the Security members instructed.
The man with a megaphone got in his face with it. "WE ARE WHITE AND RIGHT! YOU CAN'T MAKE US LEAVE!"
"I don't have to." The Security member smiled. "He will."
"You're all under arrest." A middle aged man with short-cropped hair wearing jeans, western shirt and boots announced.
Megaphone man sneered. "You can't arrest us!"
A badge was flashed. "Wrong. I'm Tribal Police. You're on Tribal Land. I can arrest or shoot you. Security Men, I give you permission to enter to secure these people and await Federal Agents to them take into custody."
"Yes Sir!" One replied then led the others across that ornate line.
Within seconds, all the protestors were cuffed.
"Never mess around on Reservation Land. We take it personally." The Tribal Officer growled in the leader's face.
An hour later, a State Police bus arrived and all the protestors were loaded onto it. The Troop Commander was given a disk.
"That video will show that they were on Tribal Land, disrupting cultural display. I've already notified the State Attorney General and Bureau of Indian Affairs." The Tribal Officer informed him.
Megaphone man snarled. "Damn Indians!"
One of State Troopers looked down at him. "Boy; you're in a heap of trouble. Everybody knows you don't go making trouble on a Reservation."
What reporters had been tipped off by the group to be there were just as shocked as the protest group.
"Excuse me." One of the reporters asked the Tribal Officer. "Is VentureRealm Park a Reservation?"
The Officer shook his head. "Not the entire Park. Just a specific area within it. I'm Tribal Police Chief Dan Ironshirt."
"I'm still confused Chief Ironshirt. Are you saying that the protest was illegal?" The Report asked.
Dan nodded. "Very much so. Things work very different on Reservations. Even if they filed with the county, it means nothing. They have to appeal to the Council, which can deny them. The rest of the Park is owned and controlled by Queen Tessa. She donated a specific area to a Council of Nations. Those Nations include the Dakota, Pueblo, Cherokee and Navajo. We're protected by treaty with the United States Government. A formal treaty was offered by Queen Tessa to the four Nations. Long story short; those people are facing Federal Charges. Serious Federal Charges."
The reporter turned back to the camera and made her closing statement, doing her best to conceal her own surprise at the revelation.
Bureau of Indian Affairs immediately took the group to trial a week later. It was literally a 'turkey shoot'. The prosecution had every duck that could be thought of in a row and quacking in formation. Even a few things nobody had ever thought of before was thrown in. When the actual validity of a certain area of the park being a Reservation came up, Tessa was called to the stand by the Defense.
The Defense attorney gave a smug look. "Miss Frost, please clarify this false allegation that an area of your amusement park is, in any way, a Reservation."
He thought he had been somewhat entertaining, by smiling to the Gallery and throwing air quotes during the word Reservation.
"Not a problem. An area in the section WildForest had been surveyed then marked off and donated to a council of Tribal Nations by legal treaty between Myself and those Nations. This has been recognized and approved by the United States' Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. This went into effect shortly after the park opened. The Prosecution has copies of those documents, already submitted into evidence. I have copies as well, with me." Tessa replied then smiled with malevolence. "Wanna see?"
Every Native American in the gallery smiled as well. Queen Tessa Frost had given her word, put it on paper and wasn't about to go back on it. Some were thinking that she might even be inclined to ask the Officials to step aside simply so she could have the pleasure of taking on the opposition all by herself. It was obvious that she had been provoked and was now itching for a fight. The self-made Queen wanted to make an example that would be remembered.
Tessa went a step further and addressed the court while still on the stand. "I invited representatives of Native American tribes to my park. Their culture is amazing and much can be learned from it. I have done much to ensure that they are respected and protected. Not just because it's the right thing to do; I feel a kinship to them. I, too, have been victimized by so-called Morality Groups. I was abused by them as a child, but held onto myself. I will do what is correct in the interest of good people. Including the total destruction of groups like the one you represent. On the record; don't ever try to pick a fight with me or those within my realm. I'll show no mercy."
The last part had been issued dripping with venom along with her gaze going to a point in the gallery then back to the Defense Attorney. He knew that she wasn't talking to just him or his clients alone. There was someone else, in the courtroom, that she meant it for as well.
"No further questions." He said.
Tessa was dismissed. Court went into recess for two hours, during which there was a closed door meeting. Court reconvened just before close of day and the case was settled with a guilty verdict. The fastest win for a case involving Native Americans and Hate groups. Not only was there a heavy fine, there was also a settlement to be paid to the Council of Tribes. The Judge Ordered each individual of the group never to return to the area.
Joe Nably walked angrily out of the courthouse. He knew that Tessa Frost's last statement had been directed at him personally. Fairly obvious, as she had locked eyes with him. He was so angry that he almost ran directly into the focus of his anger. He stopped short and was face to face with Tessa Frost herself, flanked by a ten-member Security escort and two men in suits.
Reporters had been hoping to interview her, but saw that she and her escorts looking like they were preparing for a confrontation. Patience was rewarded within seconds.
"Joseph Nably." Tessa glared at him.
"Think this'll stop me?" Nably sneered. "I know your secret. Drag Queen."
Several of the Security made to move, but Tessa simply held up a hand and they stopped.
"I am not now, nor ever been, a Drag Queen Mister Nably. The fact that I'm transgender was never a secret. Everybody knows. My guards are not here to protect me from you. They are here to dissuade me to not tear you to ribbons right here on the steps. You're scum Nably. This is your final chance." Tessa said flatly.
Trent Valens nodded to someone behind Nably. He turned and saw a Marshal.
"Joseph Nably. You are hereby Served." The Marshal informed him then put a paper in his hand.
Trent smirked. "The State Police conducted an investigation into your Private Investigator. His license has been pulled. That is an Injunction against you. Cease and Desist any and all further attempts to disrupt the operations of the park and stalking of its employees. The Hate Group showed the email that got their attention. It got the Judge's attention too. Followed by ours. It came from you."
"He didn't learn before that it's not good to get our attention." One of the Security remarked.
Dave called him down. "Secure that."
"Hoo-Ahh, Captain." The Security-man replied at Attention then resumed Parade Rest as the others.
Joe Nably leaned closer. "Nobody tells me 'No'. I always get what I want!"
"You won't get VentureRealm. Me, and my people, aren't going anywhere. We're here. To. STAY." Tessa said firmly.
Trent smiled. "In those documents are also restraining orders. You are not allowed within 500 meters of the park or Tessa. That means you have to leave or be arrested."
Nably looked at the papers finally and saw it. He swore and left.
The reporters finally pounced.
"Is it true? What he said." One reporter asked and pushed her mic forward.
Tessa's switched immediately flipped. In her most regal manner, she addressed the media. "Joseph Nably has set his sights on VentureRealm Park for reasons we do not know. I stand in the way of his plans, whatever they are. I purchased the property nobody wanted. No one had the courage to do anything with it. I made my dream come true. Greedy, unscrupulous people using underhanded tactics will not harm that. Neither myself, nor the people that work for me owe anyone. We have earned for ourselves. We are here to STAY."
Another reporter tried a different approach. "You said that you are transgender. Is that official?"
"I am and it is. My Transitional Process has been by the numbers, following the medically approved guidelines. No short cuts, nothing below standard. Everything above board. I am the premier employer of LGBT and Veterans. Guests can rest assured that they are looked after by the best this country has. Each and every member of cast and staff have been thoroughly vetted and I have gathered only the best! There will be absolutely no slandering or trash tabloid portrayal. The media will maintain true Journalistic Standards or face the harshest of realities." Tessa warned then said. "We're done here."
All members of Security came to Attention loudly then followed, closing ranks protectively in diamond formation around Tessa, Dave and Trent. The effect was more impressive than anything everyone on the Courthouse steps had seen and respectfully made way. Queen Tessa and her guards were not a group anyone wanted to challenge.
Tessa had finally given in recently and bought a more comfortable vehicle for going out and about, a Lincoln Navigator. Trent sat in the back with Tessa while Dave rode shotgun. A sedan holding four members each had the luxury SUV between them.
"You do know that you're going to be all over the papers and news, right?" Trent asked.
Tessa casually flipped through a file of papers she had brought along to go over. "Make the call Captain."
"Yes Ma'am." Dave nodded then brought his phone. When the call connected he spoke briefly. "Nably called Tessa a drag queen on camera, Emily. Go FULL saturation. Out."
Trent shook his head. "Of course. You were expecting it."
Dave looked back. "Emily came up with 6 different plans to combat the outting of all the transgender cast, including Queen Tessa. Before any of the Media broadcast anything, the truth will be all over them. Hell, Emily would send out pigeons with notes if she had them."
"Remember Trent, Drag Queens are parody performers. The only parodies are a set of songs sung by three straight guys. No drag queen acts in VentureRealm at all. If a media person refers to any of my performers as Drag Queens, we can sue. Fun, huh?" Tessa smirked. "The correct information is being sent out in a manner that they can't deny receiving. They go with Drag Queen, they're screwed for biased Journalism."
Trent chuckled. "Drop me off at my office. I better start drafting some lawsuits."
"Dave." Tessa prompted.
"Onward!" Dave told the driver who merely chuckled.
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