A quirky story of wealth, greed, and revenge; a dish best served cold.

“Five years ago when this island was discovered, specifically by your research team, the island became yours under international law.  Except for the one anomaly pass, which showed what appeared to be a large camp fire, no ships have pulled into its cove for anchorage, no planes have passed within a hundred miles of it, and no natives have been seen on it.”

“Everything has been delivered, then?”

“Yes, the last of the material was dropped yesterday.  The final touches of your home and all the necessary facilities have been installed.  The engineer did want me to inform you that he upgraded you battery system with lithium-ion instead of the ni-cads.  Although they are more expensive, they will last longer and charge more quickly.  When do you plan on leaving, if I may ask?”

“Soon.  I have my itinerary laid out.  I purchased a nice sailboat through a dummy corporation; it is waiting for me in Tahiti.  When will your men be off the island?”

“They still have a few things to do; they should be off by tomorrow,” Sharpel replied.

“They know the conditions of their contract’s end?”

“They know.  Each has been given one million dollars; in return, they never heard of you, they never worked for you, and they have no idea about any islands that might have been recently discovered.  In addition, they realize that you have set a mechanism in place to deal with any of them that might think about breaking his word.

“If I may, Mr. Bridges, five years ago, you told me you wanted to disappear; not only disappear but be completely alone.  You remind me of two people, sir.”

“Who might they be?”

“Captain Nemo and Howard Hughes.  You are as wealthy as Hughes is, if not more so.  Tell me, what happens to your companies?”

Bridges eyed the man for a second.  He reached for the humidor on his desk, pulled out a cigar, clipped it, torched it, and after pulling on it, puffing out large clouds of smoke, he closed his eyes and smiled.  “Your analogy does not work Sharpel; I am no megalomaniac like Nemo was and I am not a technological wizard that Hughes was.  In addition, my mind is not eaten up with syphilis like they say Hughes’ was.  Nemo was out for revenge; I just want to be alone.

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