It’s at this point in our story that we must pause the events of Pin, St Louis, and the Strands, to introduce you to the reason for the conflict, Frederick Thorn Piper. Appropriately labeled, he liked his middle name, it was what he went by to others.
His Mother gave him a penchant for unusual names. “Frederick, are you sure this trip is absolutely necessary?” “Yes Mother. Alaska is a large place, there’s room there to build an empire.”
Olivia Piper smiled at her son, knowing there was a bit of the rogue in him. She also knew that of all her children, he was the smartest, and the strongest. She had no doubt he would become a wealthy man, her concern was the tactics he would use.
Her fears were well founded, as Thorn was as rough as the part of Alaska he settled in. While others dreamed of mining gold, he took it out of people. One of his enterprises was tricking discouraged claim holders to sell him their claims at little or no cost.
This was in edition to robbery, blackmail, and manipulating elections. It was always at a distance though, he had learned from his hero’s mistake. You might say the entire Strand history can be traced back to the thread of Aaron Burr.
For those not familiar, the former Vice President was accused of treason for attempting to turn part of the unsettled areas of our young country into his own kingdom. While Burr survived the court case, his reputation was severely damaged. This lesson taught Thorn to plan for others to do his dirty work.
As he grew more successful, Thorn also grew more greedy. It was then that he devised his master plan. One that would outlive him of course, he knew that, but he would be the founder. His memory would live on, and that fed his arrogance.
It was this pride that led him to manipulate his own family into positions which would secure his scheme. He picked his daughter’s husbands, allowed families to be separated, and passed on every aspect of his personality possible to his heirs.
This pride is why the Strands found themselves at a reunion in Minerva’s suite. Ironically enough, the crime network Pin had risked his life, and sacrificed his future to destroy, had been founded by another of Piper’s protégés. A criminal network very much alive, and hoping for the opportunity to get its revenge on a certain policeman.
Pin didn’t know all of this, but he did know that our nation’s capital was a lot closer to New York than Alaska. So his new Bride, the wolves, and he were staying with Francois on the outskirts of town. Soon, the couple would meet every member of the big top.
It was on a late night walk that Pin broke into a run. The man had seen him too, and was running fast. Pin was faster, and caught Ralph Hearns easily. “I didn’t expect to see you here Ralph. Let’s talk!”
Find out next week what their conversation holds, as well as the Thorn’s plan, in Alaskan Silver.