My friend Laurence O’Bryan challenged me to write a little extra story for my blog, one giving some history or context to the world of The Intern. I mulled this over, and thought it might be fun. So here’s a little teaser into what brought The Intern into being … fictionally, of course.
Parties. Women. Cocaine. That shiny boat they kept coming back to every month, sitting on the deck, laughing and trying to shake reality. All of the things that had bought him this personal prison, they were all gone now.
Now, of course, Mark Helper could give the homily about things not being important, how peace of mind was worth all the world’s gold, but down deep he knew it was only because those other things, the trappings of a shallow and sleazy existence, were now gone, no longer attainable without tipping everyone off to the fake company and utterly corrupt existence they now lived.
So what did that make him? A cynic? He was born with that. A failure even as a criminal? It sure felt like it, although he hadn’t officially been found out yet. All those words you would use to describe a good villain? Wretched? Unrepentant? They seemed so trite.
Mark learned today that “authorities” were looking into Daedalus Travel. Not by itself, but as a part of their looking into numerous government contractors. If they took anything more than a cursory glance into Daedalus, it would be curtains. It was the ultimate “shell” corporation, with no chance of withstanding any scrutiny. It didn’t exist, not really.
Mark’s head felt clammy and he wasn’t breathing right, not since he heard that news. He tried to eat on his way home from the office, but it just didn’t work. He ordered a luscious Indian meal, beautiful and expensive, but he really only nibbled. He kept going back to those words: “looking in” to his company. His fake company. He knew he wouldn’t eat for days.
As he pulled into his driveway, he thought about the man who was creating this grief. Greg Timmons. Timmons had goals and much bigger aspirations than Mark. Timmons was filled with the type of self-righteous steam power that would wipe him out, especially when it could easily be shown how shallow and unimaginative their partying had been, how the money they stole from American taxpayers did nothing more than create a bad Miami Vice episode.
Washington wasn’t coming down on Mark Helper; Greg Timmons was. Maybe not directly, but that was going to be the outcome. Helper had counted on Washington self-congratulation to keep him from being discovered. It wasn’t the problem.
Greg Timmons was.
Dear God. Could he really do anything about it?