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Authors Note:
I took a few liberties and moved the Shadow up into modern times. So all the characters are the same and such they just have the modern equvilant of their jobs in the 1930's (i.e. Burbank is still the comunications man except now he has the internet to work with.) Also in this little universe of mine I'm following the movie's version of The Shadow's past and day to day alter ego. (I don't want to mess with the whole Kent Allard thing.) For The Pretender this takes place sometime after Mr. Lyle joined the Three Stooges.

Chapter 1

The Hotel Monolith in New York City catered to some of the most extravagant tastes in the world. Hollywood movie stars and foreign dignitaries alike favored the hotel for its style, elegance, and security. A common portrayal among regular guests was that the Monolith was safer then the witness security program. And any mention of the security of the hotel almost inevitably led to talk of its chief, the unorthodox red head Deirdre Callaghan.

Callaghan herself was a careful nonentity, no one really knew where she came from, how she had practically stolen the position she held, or what she was truly capable of. But very few ever stopped to consider those questions, Callaghan was simply the head of security at the Hotel Monolith and she did her job well so most of those who might question her background kept their mouths contently shut. Jarod however didn’t find that fact quite enough to quench his inherent curiosity as he sat in Miss Callaghan’s office.

“Quite an impressive resume Mr. Guardsmen,” Callaghan stated neutrally.

“Call me Jarod.” He smiled. Something seemed vaguely familiar about the décor of the office, but he couldn’t quite pin point it.

“Well, since you have all of your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted Jarod, I don’t see a reason not to let you start,” Callaghan said briskly after she had considered Jarod for a moment, “Kara Livingston, my assistant, will give you your assignment on your way out.”

“Thank you,” Jarod said pleasantly. Both he and Callaghan stood up. Callaghan circled her desk and offered Jarod her hand, which he shook before departing.

Deirdre walked over to the wet bar calmly she poured herself a shot of whiskey. She downed the burning liquid in two relaxed swallows. Setting her glass upside down on the bar she left the bottle of whiskey where it was standing uncapped as she turned and exited out the double oak doors Jarod had just left through. Kara Livingston was sitting at her mahogany desk carefully going through a pile of paperwork that would no doubt need Deirdre’s signature desperately tomorrow morning before being fed to the shredder. Deirdre frowned, she hated paperwork with a passion, which made Kara priceless as the girl had more patience then seemed humanly possible at times to take care of the shredder feed. Kara wasn’t even a week older than sixteen but Deirdre doubted she could ever find someone who could fill Kara’s shoes if the teenager ever deiced to quit.

“Did you get it?” Deirdre asked casually.

Kara didn’t look up from her paper work as one of her hands typed out a command on her keyboard. The spreadsheet that the teenager had been working on disappeared to reveal an audio file.

Deirdre smiled approvingly, “Good girl Livingston.” Deirdre had Kara record every interview she did.

“You’re playing a hunch of some kind I think,” Kara replied changing the subject abruptly.

“Really? And what makes you say that?”

“Well you usually are so rough during interviews that two thirds of all the hopefuls will have a sudden desire to find a new career choice,” Kara looked up from the shredder feed, “You hardly asked Mr. Guardsmen anything.”

“You’re to smart for your own good Livingston.” Deirdre laughed, “I am going on a hunch. Jarod Guardsmen is more then he seems and it’ll be easier to figure him out with him where I can watch him. So I didn’t want to scare him off.”

“You think he’s here for something other then a job as a security man?”

“His resume is to good to be true. As I said all of his T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. He wants something here and I intend to find out what.”

Kara nodded business like, “Well I’ll get you the complete 411 on Mr. Guardsmen when I get back from my lunch appointment.”

Deirdre frowned, “Since when do you have a lunch appointment?” “Since five minutes ago-“

Deirdre looked up at the entry was to the office as a somewhat tall young man with likable features opened the door. He nodded a greeting to the two women before speaking, “The Sun is shining.”

To be continued...


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