The Human League (Part 11)

On Monday, Terry gathered everybody together and told them what had happened down in New Jersey. Then he said. “OK going forward, regardless of the deal we make with Anchor 44, we need to start gearing our business to become more AI solutions-oriented with our own clients. We’re bringing in a guy I went to school with who is way ahead of the curve. His name is Kyle Jameson and he’ll work with each of you for a day, one on one, and give you all the basics. Then he will take over the AI operation for both Moorehouse Digital and The Human League. If the Anchor 44 deal goes through, Shawna and I will be hitting the road to sell Bloodhound in Washington and then nationally.


“Now Kyle is a really good guy. Super nerdy, uber smart, but very user-friendly. He was running tutorials in his first year at MIT. I’ve hired him for a year, but if it works out, maybe he’ll sign on for longer. We’re gonna jump methodically into the AI world. And Kyle will make sure we all land on our feet.”

Terry answered questions but there were only a few. Everybody was already starting, in their own ways, to figure out AI and how to use it, so with Kyle’s help, Terry figured he could have a super productive workforce in just a few months.

After the announcement, Terry and Shawna met with Jamie Goldman and talked about finding a new place for The Human League to operate. That way she could have room for the expansion that would hopefully materialize when the Moorehouse Digital people got completely up to speed.

Jamie was kind of relieved. “It really is starting to feel like a sardine can around here, “ She said. “I’ll call Beth.” Beth was Beth Slattery, who was Jamie’s life partner and had been since Boston. She had been a ReMax agent in Boston, and when she got to Plymouth, she transitioned to her own private agency. Over the past few years, she had gotten to know the Plymouth area quite well.

Beth showed up a couple of hours later and Terry and Shawna told her what they were looking for. She left after half an hour and promised to start sending them some ideas the next morning.


That night Terry and Shawna walked over to Senator Roman’s house, which was only a few blocks from their house.

The Senator had retired from politics. His only Washington gig was as godfather to the Committee for Cyber Safety, which he was able to do from home thanks to Shawna and Terry wiring him up after he moved in.

 Terry and Shawna shook hands with the Senator and hugged Olivia, who had been living with the Senator for a month now.

The Senator threw some steaks on the barbecue and then joined them at the table. The evening was cool. But they were all hardy northeasterners. A little cool weather didn’t bother them at all.

Shawna told them all about their trip down to New Jersey and their meeting with the Anchor 44 group. Olivia picked up on her excitement.

“Anchor 44 is an interesting name for a company. How’d they come by that?” the Senator asked.

“Well, according to one of the partners,” Shawna said, “It was something they all came up with over a couple of bottles of wine. In numerology, which I know nothing about,  the number forty-four represents what Damon says is the inexhaustible potential that all human beings have, So that was the forty-four part. The Anchor part was added to always remind them to stay grounded and in control.”

“That’s an interesting way to look at a lot of things.” the Senator said, as he got up to check on the steaks.

When the Senator came back to the table, Terry asked him how his book was going.

 “When I started writing it, I quickly came to realize how much we actually do in our lives and that the ability to remember even a fraction of it is something of a gift.”

“I write everything down in a journal on my computer,”  Shawna said. “I try to write in it every day, even on the days when nothing much actually happens?”

The Senator chuckled. “Kinda wish I had done the same. Be a lot less slave labour writin’ this memoir.”

Terry asked the Senator how the CCS was doing.

“You know Washington. Have to kick and kiss a whole lot of ass to get anything done. But they’re plowin’ along, probably faster than usual because the horror stories at starting to mount up. It won’t be long before the Republicans start dialling up their usual bitching. Thank the Lord for a majority government.”

“Well, we’re moving our software release as quickly as we can. But we really need to make sure it will do all we think it will.”

“The country’s weathered worse shitstorms than this, Terry. But you’re smart not to release it until you know it will do the job. And the government won’t get behind anything that’s not totally idiot-proof.”

The Senator got up the tend to the steaks. Shawna got up and wandered around the yard, looking at the garden.

“This is a good thing, you and the Senator?” Terry asked.

“Oh yes. He’s got a pretty hard shell from all those years in D.C. But underneath it all, he’s a real human being.”

Terry leaned in and took his grandmother’s hands. “Well, I’m glad. You deserve all the happiness you can get.”

“We all do dear.” And then she got to her feet and headed into the house to get the rest of the meal.

As they ate, Terry told them about the plan to relocate The Human League to their own space so that Moorehouse Digital would have room to expand.

Olivia just smiled. She had a good feeling about giving over the digital business to Terry, and he was proving her right with every move he made.

Terry could see that his grandmother was happy. He saw the way she looked at the Senator. Not like someone would look at a powerful political person, but the way someone would look at the person who completed them. He looked at Shawna that way. He knew the look and he understood the feeling.


The week flew by, as they packed up and moved the Human League operation to a house just three doors away from Moorehouse Digital.

The Human League would have the entire first floor for their offices and part of the basement for their server. The second floor was occupied by a lady named Florence Chisholm, who was a historian and had authored several books on the history of New England. She also taught American History at Quincy College on the UMass campus, which was just a short walk away.

Terry assured her that other than the occasional celebration, they were a pretty quiet group. Florence just chuckled because she knew that anyone under thirty in America was anything but quiet. But that didn’t bother her. She knew Olivia quite well, from the adult history course she taught at UMass and she knew all about Terry too.

Once they were all settled in their new offices, Terry got a call from Damon Drake. They arranged to meet up in three days time in Ocean Beach. The next day, Kyle Jameson showed up. He had a one-hour meeting with Terry and Shawna. He was introduced to The Human League people and then they walked up the street to Moorehouse Digital and met the rest of the peeps. Terry offered Kyle the pool house to live in, which Kyle cheerfully accepted after they had driven out to see it.

Kyle travelled light, computer-wise, like most geniuses, he worked almost exclusively from a high-end laptop, and a tablet which he took with him everywhere. Other than two full suitcases of clothes and runners, he was completely moved in within half an hour.

After dinner downtown they went to The Human League office and Terry got him to sign a non-disclosure, Shawna took him through the Bloodhound demo.

“That’s pretty impressive, Shawna. And you built this yourself?” Kyle asked.

Shawna just smiled and nodded.

“Well, I think you guys are gonna make out like bandits with this.”

“So tell me, Kyle,” Terry asked. “What do you think something like this would be worth? We’re trying to figure out a valuation. I’d really like your opinion.”

“It’s not so much the dollar value for the software as it is the costs incurred with setup, training, upgrading, and troubleshooting that are gonna make this work. And then you have to factor in the size of the company because that will determine a lot of things as well. In my opinion, you’re probably better off finding a business that needs it and going through the process with them. I would think that a group like Anchor 44 would likely see that as a logical first step. Then, of course, there’s the consumer market. Within a year from now, I think you will be seen as riding in on a white horse with this app.”

Kyle rubbed his brush-cut head. “Long and short. Let the Anchors deal with the B to B, and then just sell the app for, you know, twenty bucks on the app sites. The consumer market alone for this will make you tens, maybe even hundreds of millions. That’s the best I can do without more real-world info.”

Terry and Shawna had been thinking along the same lines. It was reassuring that someone they both respected was giving them the same advice.

 “Also,” Kyle said, “If the Anchor 44 folks don’t want to play, which I can’t see happening, I can put you in touch with a few people I know with the network capability to make this work. Not quite in the same league as Anchor 44 but nobody really is.”

While they were getting ready to head out on their trip south, Terry called his family lawyer, Angus Styles. Angus had grown up with Terry’s grandfather and managed all the personal and business affairs for the Moorehouse family. He gave Angus the Coles Notes version of the deal that they were trying to put together with Anchor 44. He also gave Angus Ray Conlin’s information and Angus told him he would be in touch with Mr Conlin, just as soon as a deal was agreed to.

Two days later, they packed their bags again and piled into the car. They were bound for the Jersey shore, leaving their company in the capable hands of Terry’s old pal, Kyle, who promised not to destroy anything, fire anyone or make anyone cry.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. I had a  20-year career in senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and effectively retired. I am now actively engaged, through blogging and memes, in showcasing businesses that are part of the green revolution. I am also writing short stories which I will be marketing to film production companies. I live with my wife, Heather, in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life.

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