The Conciliatory Case, A Miles Mitchell Mystery


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As a private investigator I provide knowledge in a personal, precise, individual manner.  My friend, Daniel Dewey provides knowledge as well but in a much more broad and widespread way, he knows things and he provides that information to people and organizations for a price. Daniel interacts with people over the internet, through the world wide web, across cyberspace to infinity and beyond. Now Daniel has helped me out with cases on the basic surveillance and such, but when it comes to interacting, and dealing with people face to face, other than simple questions and answers, he gets help from his friends.  When he it comes to dealing with people who may be dubious or difficult, he calls me.

I pulled up a seat at his table and ordered a coke from the waitress who was riding herd on his table of papers, a laptop, two cell phones and a tablet.  Not to mention his mostly eaten hamburger and fries. It was late afternoon; the only time Daniel would monopolize a table like this, and he would always tip well.

“What’s up Dan?”

He held up a finger as he was on the phone with someone. From what I was hearing he was discussing information about a new Disney ride that was being built he wrapped up the conversation and made a notation on his tablet and then turned his attention to me.

“I need you to fix something, it’s sort of a case.”

The wording was strange, not the normal opening on a case. Normally it was ‘find this’, ‘tell me what someone is doing’ or ‘where does he go’. The common who, what, where and how. “What needs fixed?”  I said apprehensively.

“You know my business; people pass me information and I disperse to various outlets.”

“All that pay you.”

“In some form or another.” Daniel replied.

“Of course. So, what do you want me to fix?”  I said trying to look imposing, “Someone not paying you?  You want my crew to work them over?” Striking my closed fist into my open palm, in a threatening manner.  

“Ah yeah no.”

“Good Millie just got a new manicure and always breaks a nail when she roughs people up and confrontation upsets my tummy.”

Daniel just rolled his eyes.  “I have two Youtubers who feed me information and I occasionally feed some back.”

“And?”

He looked uncomfortable but pressed on. “They have been feuding and it is putting a crimp in the information they get for me.”

“They have been feuding?” I said confused. “Like they are arguing?”

Daniel shakes his head. “Not exactly, they have been messing each other’s shots up, interrupting each other’s interviews and monologues on camera, each trying to get into a shot, and then load things onto the internet before the other. I mean I am all for a little bit of competition but these two are taking it too far and it is messing with my business.”

“How?”

He got out one of his phones and pulled up a video, it was one of the vloggers in question letting the air out of a car tire, the rest of the video showed it was the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom. Daniel put the phone down and looked at me. “He sent that raw unedited footage to me yesterday, as a preview before he sent it out to be edited and uploaded to his channel.”

I shook my head. “That is troubling.”

Daniel nodded in agreement. “I was able to talk him into editing that part out, but I am afraid this will continue, escalating, getting stupider and stupider and they will get thrown out of the park.”

I nodded. If they were thrown out of the park no more videos and no more information for Daniel. “What do you think I can do about it?” I said stealing a French fry off his plate but putting it back when I realized it was cold.  

Daniel shrugged. “I don’t know talk to them. You are better with people than I am, make some peace, unkink the hose so the information will flow.”

I was curious about why he was so hot about these two video bloggers. “Do they got some inside scoop on something special you are looking for?”

He looked a little embarrassed and mumbled a reply.

“What?”

He replied again with a quiet muttering.

“You are muttering, what did you say?”

He held up tablet and again muttered.

“Daniel what did you say?” I said a little irritated.

“I am looking for information about a fifth gate.”

I looked skyward in exasperation. “Daniel.”

“I know, I know.”

The Fifth Gate was a term that was shorthand for a new Disney park.  There were always stories flying among die hard Mouseketeers that the company was going to open up another park. Theories flew and fluttered around like papers in a hurricane, a park dedicated to Villains, a park dedicated Marvel Superheroes, one like the Disney Seas in Tokyo, or god knows what else.  When Daniel and I sat around playing poker, we would always make fun of people that brought up rumors of a fifth gate, blowing their arguments to pieces with logic and facts.

I suppressed a laugh. “Okay, okay. Give me their contact information and I will see what I can do.”

“I appreciate it.”

I gave him a punch in the arm and said, “A fifth gate.”

He replied with a playful swing at me as I walked away. “It could happen.”

I went back to my matchbox of an office, the one next to the Machine Gun Range and above the Indian restaurant and started doing further research on the two vloggers.

The first one went by the name of Castle Monkey; he had an animated version of a monkey climbing on the outside of Cinderella’s Castle.  His real name was Kip Miller, I ran a background check on him just out of habit. I got his address it was near the back end of property near the Magic Kingdom.  Kip Miller had no criminal record or even traffic tickets. I even Googled him and found he was from Wisconsin and had moved here five years ago.

The second video blogger was a Dell Irvine he went by the name of Man of Adventure; his avatar was a smiling blonde cartoon guy with a pith helmet. He also lived right behind the Magic Kingdom in fact from what I could tell he was right around the corner from the Kip Miller.  Mr. Irvine had similarly moved here recently, four years ago from Ohio. 

In order to understand what was going on with these two I put on my headset and dove into watching every single one of their videos. To tell the truth I watched with one eye and listened with only one ear. They covered ground that I was familiar with, restaurants, rides, shows and parades. They both started out kind of amateurish and disjointed. About six months ago they got better, much better, smoother editing, more polish. They had turned a corner and started getting more and more followers, almost professional presentations, funny, quick and about an equal number of followers.

To tell the truth I was kinda bored watching those videos and I kept hoping the phone would ring to give me something else to do, but alas no phone calls about a missing person or a cheating husband.

But when the videos got better, I saw the initiation of the feud.  Kip made a comment about the former location of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and in the next video Dell corrected him.  Then in Kip’s next video he had a rebuttal to Dell’s correction and then he went back to comment on something Dell had misstated a few videos before. The remarks and verbal jabs went on for the next months, and it was the Man of Adventure who made the first overt action. Dell Irvine showed up in a Castle Monkey video off in the background, he was wearing a t-shirt with his logo and his name on the back.

In the next video it was Kip who did the exact same tactic but this time he walked through the background twice. The intrusions into each other’s videos continued and they progressed each getting more and more invasive.  I shuddered to think what was not being published.
I could see why Daniel was worried about Park Operations cracking down on these two, if they continued the way they were going it was going to get ugly.

Adding it up, I had two Midwesterners who were apparently neighbors who were either really really prideful or there was something else going on.

I decided to mull over what to do next, contemplating is something I do very well over pie, I threw on my sneakers and jumped into the my car, it was still making that noise in the AC vent so I kept the windows down.  The noise was a lack of AC which was not working, the AC had not worked in my Buick since the last remodel of the Carousel of Progress.

A few minutes later I pulled into Millie’s Diner. Millie is my girlfriend and has been since about the same time that my AC went out.   I had a large glass of milk and a piece of Fruit of the Forest Pie. Millie was not there, and I could not convince the new waitress that I should be given a discount. Daphne the head waitress was no help with the discount and smirked at me digging thru my pockets. I decided I needed more personal information about the video makers.

I wanted to talk to these two, but I did not know how to find them.  I did not want to go up to their front door and simply introduce myself. I called up Daniel to see if he had any ideas, we talked it over for a few minutes and decided that he would call them and dig up some information for me. I only had to wait a few minutes until Daniel called me back, it seems Kip the Castle Monkey was on his way to Animal Kingdom to film the gorillas, for International Primate Day which was coming up.

I made my way to Animal Kingdom, showing my lifetime pass as I walked in, the young female cast member at the front gate stated she had never seen one before and I made an offhand remark that you had to be born into it.

Making my way back to Africa and to Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. It took me a minute to find Kip as he was at the Black and White Colobus Monkey enclosure and I watched him for a bit. He was very polite and conscientious of other people while setting up his tripod to get a good shot of the animals in the enclosure. I watched him for a good while still mulling over how was I going bring peace to these two vloggers?

It was then that everything went sideways.  There was a lull in the foot traffic and Kip was packing up his tripod when Dell Irvine, the Man of Adventure showed up.  Surprisingly wearing the pith helmet that his cartoon avatar wore.  He walked up to Kip and poked him in the chest. “You.”

“What?” Kip replied.

“You flattened my tire.” Dell said about to poke him in the chest.

Kip was about to respond when I moved. I had already begun moving the second recognized Dell and as soon as I got close enough, I stepped in between them and separated them with my own body.  “Dell, Man of Adventure, Kip the Castle Monkey step back and take a breath.”

I have a lot of experience breaking up belligerent people and if you can mentally knock them off their game and increase physical distance you have half the battle won. I stepped back half a step when I saw they were both looking at me.  

“Who are you?” Kip asked first.

“And how do you know us, are you a fan?”

I rolled my eyes; this Dell guy was always selling. “No, I am not a fan, I am a private investigator.”

I saw the look on their faces, it was always the same, surprise and confusion; people hear about private investigators but they don’t think they will ever meet one, let alone have one break up an argument.

“You two need to cool it.” I said and motioning towards some guests who had just rounded the bend in the trail. They stepped back and straightened themselves up as a family in matching t-shirts began watching the monkeys.

We all stood there for a few minutes, the two vloggers watched the family and occasionally they glared at each other, I looked them over, they were nothing out of the ordinary, two average looking guys, one taller the other a little stouter but they each were dressed a like typical tourists, Kip had a camera bag full of gear but Dell had no bag, so he was not here shooting a video today.   I motioned for the two of them to follow me and I lead them down the path.

We found a table in Harambe Cafe and sat down; they were both wary not only of each other but of me.  It was a silent table, and I was wary of uncorking the bottle of their disagreement.  I started talking to distract them. “Daniel has a thing for The Sword in the Stone, did you know that?”

The two of them shook their heads no.

“Do you guys know how many animation cells still exist from that movie?”

Both of them shook their heads again.

“Well Daniel does, and just about everything else you can think to ask about that movie he knows, just ask him, but be prepared to listen for a long time, once he starts he can go on and on.”

“How do you know Daniel?” Kip asked.

“We go back a long way.” I stated, I could tell they were overcoming their shock and I figured it was a good a time as any to bring up the problem. “Daniel wants me to help end your feuding.” The two of them turned towards each other and each took a breath and narrowed their eyes.  I could tell they were about to start fighting again but I held up a hand to stop it before it started.

“I want you guys to tell me about your Youtube programs.”

“It’s called a Channel, a Youtube Channel.”

“Tomato, Potato.” I said dismissively.

“I have over two thousand subscribers.” Kip started.

“You are falling behind; I have two thousand five hundred and two.” Dell said in response.

Kip just waved his hand. “I got something planned that is going to blow people away, I promised it in my….”

I stopped it with a quick question before they started trying to one up one another. “You guys making any money off this. “

They both started to answer, their response was jumbled, together but they both basically said they had a big sponsor on the line.

I was getting tired of holding up my hand to stop these two but it was working so I kept doing it.  I pointed to Dell. “Who is your big sponsor?”

Dell started “It’s a new travel agency by a company that just branched off from one in New York City, it’s called.”

“Southern Cruises, Adventures and Relaxation.” Kip said.

Dell turned towards him. “You to?

Kip was surprised by this as well.

“Wait, wait both of you are trying to get sponsored by the same company?” I eyed them suspiciously.  “Tell me, how did they contact you?”  I pointed towards Kip.

“They gave me a call.” Kip answered.

Dell nodded.

“You too?”

Dell answered. “Yeah last week.”

“Do you guys give out your phone numbers on your Youtube channel?”

Both of them shook their heads. “Did they contact you before, through e-mail?”  Their response was similar, both shaking their heads and answering no.  I changed tactics and got them talking about their love of Disney and how they got started on doing the vlog thing. Both were naturally big fans of Disney parks, Kip through the movies, Dell through the rides. They had married local girls, and both worked from home, Dell was a financial guy and Kip was an online tutor.  Working from home gave them some extra time to work on their Youtube channels.  I listened to the two for a while but then I brought it back around to the potential patron.

“Did the sponsor set any conditions before they advertised with you?”

“They wanted me to get five thousand subscribers.”

“Me too.” Dell stated.

“How do you think this company….”

Dell finished. “Southern Cruises, Adventures and Relaxation.”

“Yeah them.”  I said inwardly rolling my eyes but holding a poker face.  “How did they get a hold of you?”

“Oh, I think I know, they mentioned they talked to my editor, Reliable Sean.”

“Hey that’s who I use.” Kip answered.

“Wait you guys don’t edit your own stuff?” I said confused. “His name is Reliable Sean?”

Both of them looked a little embarrassed but Kip spoke up first. “Reliable Sean is just his company name. I edited my own stuff at first but then this guy contacted me and said he could do it better, in half the time and with better effects.”

I turned towards Dell. “Is that the same thing with you.”

“More or less.”

I pondered this and the guys talked among themselves and I just listened. They talked about how much he was charging them and what exactly he did for them.  The conversation went on for a few minutes and I lost track when they started getting technical.  There was something else going on here then just two guys having competing Youtube channels.  I had a theory, but I needed some confirmation.  

“Kip did you watch Dell’s channel?” Dell shook his head.

I asked the same question of Dell.

He shook his head and added. “Sean showed me his stuff he clued me in on the mistake that Kip made about the location of Mr. Toad’s wild ride.”

“And that is when this silly feud started.”  I pointed to Dell. “How did you know Kip let the air out of your tire?”  I saw this brought up his whole reason for being here, but I also saw the confusion in his face.

“Sean told me, he e-mailed me that portion.”  He turned toward Kip. “You know it took me a half an hour to change that thing and I lost the light so I could not shoot that day. “

“Okay guys calm down. I think there is something else going on here.”  The two stared at each other across the table.  

“What?”

Kip had to get a dig in. “Besides him sending ten people into my last shoot every two minutes asking where the bathroom was.” I held up my hand, but he continued. “It took me an hour to get a five-minute monologue.”  

Dell snickered a little at that.

I could tell emotions were ramping up again. “Guys, guys, you both have been messing with each other and it has got to stop.”  They continued to look angry, but I continued. “Daniel is worried you guys will get thrown out of the parks if this continues and I think he is right.”

They both shrugged it off.

I looked at them confused that they did not know this. “You guys know that getting thrown out of the parks involves getting a lifetime ban.”

This stopped them both cold and Kip spoke up. “Lifetime?”

I nodded solemnly stretching out the word. “Life time.”

This both had them look at me and I just nodded affirmatively slowly.

I talked to them for a while about moving down here and being married, both highly recommended it, and how they came up with ideas for their channels.  I also discovered it was not until six months ago that they had learned they lived right around the corner from each other.  I then asked them about Reliable Sean and his services.  They both agreed he only took a nominal fee for editing and uploading their videos for them.

“He uploads it for you?” I said surprised.

“Yeah, it’s part of his service.” Kip said.

“Yeah, he is pretty fast too.” Dell added.

I looked at both of them curious with a nugget of an idea forming in my skull. “I am calling a cessation of hostilities and activities for the next twenty-four hours while I gather some information, no videos and don’t have any contact with Reliable Sean either.  The two of them looked at me confused but they agreed.  I headed back to my office to do some more research into Reliable Sean and the Southern Cruises, Adventures and Relaxation Travel Agency.

It is amazing the stuff you can find on-line if you just know where to look and just keep digging. I also helps if you have an eye for details and can connect the dots; company records, mailing addresses, and always in the public domain, criminal records.

By the next morning I had a plan and a solution which I set into motion with a couple of phone calls.  I had to get to the Polynesian Resort early to make sure it would work out.  Daniel was more than happy to show up as well and lend a hand.

It was two o’clock when the guest of honor showed up, he approached me with a bit of reluctance with a ball cap pulled low down over his face.  “You are Mr. Gideon?”

“Gideon Coachman at your service and you are Reliable Sean?” I said shaking his hand and offering him a seat.  He sat but looked around uncomfortably but sat.

“Your message was you represent; how many was it, ten Disney vloggers looking for help with their channels.”

I nodded and took a sip of my bottle of water. “Sorry we had to meet here, but I am on vacation and I don’t have a rental car.”

“No problem but I do have another appointment I need to get to.”  He put on a big show of looking at his watch, but he looked around the area twice before looking back at me.

“Oh well this should not take too long.” I said taking another sip of water. “So how is the video business?” He looked uncomfortable.

“Good.” He replied.

“You upload videos for Castle Monkey and Man of Adventure, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do.” He said.

“Any other channels?”

“A few.”

“According to my research you upload for about ten different vloggers, but Monkey and Adventure are your biggest channels right now.”

“I guess.” Sean said. “But don’t worry, any clients you bring me will get the same level of service those two receive.”

“It’s interesting that all the videos except those two are hosted by and sponsored by the same company, Southern Cruises, Adventures and Relaxation.”

Sean’s eyes narrowed. “So.” 

“Southern Cruises, Adventures and Relaxation is owned wholly by a company based out of a P.O. Box in Celebration, that is right down the road.”

Sean shrugged.

“The same P.O. Box that receives mail for “Reliable Sean’s Video Service.”  He was fairly good because the look of surprise on his face was very quick.  “So, any content that is sponsored by S.C.A.R. is owned by that company.”  The look of shock on his face this time did not go away. Either he was surprised that I put together his little word play or that I had uncovered that he was scamming people, so I continued.  “The first channel that is owned by them is called Breezy the Eighth Dwarf.” The shocked looked stayed on his face.  “I watched Breezy’s videos or should I say yours Sean, they were pretty good until you did something that I am guessing was very stupid and the promised eighth video never came out some big exclusive some backstage views of Galaxy’s Edge.” I motioned for someone behind Sean to come forward.

“Hi Sean, nice to finally meet in person.” Kip said.

Dell said simply. “Sean.”

They had been at a lower table listening to the whole conversation. “While getting the video you got caught.” I stated.

Sean was angry.  “One little backstage peek and they had me arrested and banned from the park forever.”

I shrugged. “So, if you could not make any more videos, you decide you were going to control videos that did come out of the park. You started collecting vloggers with your editing and uploading services, and then once you controlled the upload you enticed them with a sponsor who would then own their channel.”  Sean looked mad like he was thinking about taking a swing at me. I simply continued as I had him right where I wanted him. “Yeah I did my research on you, you are right at this very moment trespassing on Disney property.” I held up three fingers. “Initially from Studios, then Magic Kingdom, and the last time from Epcot; but not a from a resort, yet.”

I motioned for Daniel who brought his laptop over from the next table where he had been sitting. “So, unless you want to make it four times, I suggest you unlock these guys channels and give them password access back.”  I fanned them out the trespass court records out like I had a winning poker and placed them on the table.

It took a few minutes for him to relinquish control of the channels back to Kip and Dell but when it was done, he hesitated for a few minutes, glaring at them.

I motioned for him to leave. “Maybe you should go before I call Disney Security and Orange County and tell them you are back.”  Sean looked around and left in a huff. He muttered something about getting me or some other nonsense.  Kip and Dell sat down with me and Daniel joined us, he had been sitting at a nearby table with his laptop open.

Daniel spoke up first. “You guys want might want to keep an eye on your stuff for a couple of days, in case he added a second editor feature or some other backdoor way to mess with your videos.”

Kip looked at Dell. “Maybe the lesson is, don’t let anyone else control your content.”

I spoke up. “You know you guys are pretty good vloggers, why don’t you guys work together.”

Daniel nodded in agreement and threw in an idea. “You could even keep the feud going, but stagged, like pro-wrestlers.”

They looked at each other. Kip spoke first. “We could give it a try.”

“I always liked your camera work.” Dell said.

“Your take on Tomorrowland was pretty cool.” Kip responded.  

Daniel and I walked away as the two of them began planning their Youtube productions. As we walked a question came to me. “Daniel?”

“Yes Miles.” He answered.

“Nice guys and all but how would they know anything about a Fifth Gate?”

“They would not.”

“So, what were you putting me on with that Fifth Gate nonsense.”

“Not at all.”

“So, what’s the rub bub?”

Daniel smiled. “Kip is married to the daughter of the Head of the Survey Dept for Osceola County and Dell’s Uncle in Law, Phil, is Vice President of Construction for Central Florida’s Largest Electrical Company.”

I put two and two together. “So, if Disney ever wants to build something the first thing, they do is survey land and start running power lines.”

“Exactamondo buddy.”

I nodded and walked with him. “Playing the long game hoss, pretty smart.” I said while tapping my temple.

“Let’s go get some lunch I am starving.” Daniel said.

“You are buying.” I said. “Peacekeeping always makes me hungry.”

The Walkaway Case

The 2nd Miles Mitchell Mystery, The Case of the Missing Mementos

The Lost Train

The Road to a Wedding Case

The Faux Surveillance Case.

The Dress Up Case

 



Categories: A Miles Mitchell Story, Outrageous Lies and Tales

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