Splash Zone: Part 5

Splash Zone


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Splash Zone

In the following weeks, Rev. Don Thompson continued his media campaign to try and hold the park, and particularly Alec Hutch, responsible for ignoring the Bible and pressure him into stoning the whale to death, as penance. At first, Marine Kingdom's official response was only that they had no intention of executing the whale. However, as Hutch began to realize that the public was not taking this issue very seriously, he loosened up and began exchanging insulting and sometimes humorous jabs with Don Thompson through various media outlets. Thompson's escalating rage was noticeable to everyone.

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Things were not going the way the Reverend had planned. He was being constantly mocked on the Internet and by almost every mainstream news source that had even bothered to follow this story in the first place. It seemed that everyone had more sympathy for the murderous beast in the tank, than his holy crusade. There was no way that he would allow the public to push him aside and forget about him once again. He was going to have to do something extreme and attention grabbing; God demanded it!

If it wasn't wildlife nuts insisting that the park's collection be set free, it was religious nuts demanding that the animals be executed on the spot! Alec Hutch wondered why there couldn't be any major activism groups that insisted that the animals just stay where they are; remaining captive, healthy and profitable.

Now, with all of this attention focused on the whale, Alec had to deal with more trouble from radical Liberals. These types were a constant issue at any major animal park. The main culprits were an extreme animal rights group known as "Wildlife Under Severe Senseless Environmental Stress". They had sent letters to Marine Kingdom and many of its staff, threatening to commit various terrorist acts if the whale was not released into the wild. While they did fail to follow up on any of this, several members of Wildlife Under Severe Senseless Environmental Stress were caught sneaking into the park and were appropriately roughed up by Security and tossed out.

Fortunately, when it first opened in the early seventies, the park had arranged a deal with the state of Florida that allowed Marine Kingdom to act almost independently, as its own little city. Among other things, this essentially meant that the security team was a private police force and could act accordingly. Alec was glad that his security department was taking full advantage of this and noted that the only good thing about environmentalist hippies is that they're mostly broke, so when you beat the living hemp out of them and leave them bloody and battered on the pavement outside the front gates, there isn't much that they can do about that in terms of litigation.

Not to mention that, compared to him and his multi-billion dollar employer, hippies lacked some serious credibility where the courts are concerned. And everywhere else, for that matter.

Although Alec got a great sense of satisfaction by watching the video surveillance recordings of his security personnel savagely pummeling the dimwitted, college age activists until their bodies' higher motor functions no longer worked properly; he did have to admit that this whole "whale fiasco" was getting just plain stupid. Correction; it had bypassed "stupid" several exits ago and kept on driving towards some unknown territory of social insanity, without breaking. But park attendance had risen noticeably as a result of this strange publicity, so he really couldn't complain too much.

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