SEEING IS BELIEVING II
For 17 novels I have followed the characters as they told and acted their stories. When new characters introduce themselves and new places, they tend to share a little more detail via their five senses. Older/continuing characters do the same thing, only they report a little less about their familiar surroundings.
In these last 17 novels readers have come to feel right at home when some character walks into or is doing something on one of Michael's two residence floors (16th or 17th - described many times) of the eighteen story loft residences at the building (Michael owns) called: thee cummings. Readers recently learned Michael also has taken over the 18th floor penthouse to use as guest quarters after remodeling the guest quarters on 16 for his daughter Jeannot, her great-grandmother Michella, and Helen's mother Vin Tu. This also meant that Chef Fabrece (also now the COS for NA-FOG) and Chef Banderas have suite's in the renovated 18th floor penthouse.
In a previous blog (SEEING IS BELIEVING) dated January 26th, and updated February 22nd Michael had tasked his new COS (Chief of Security) to update the security of the MG&A/NA-FOG offices. Again, though characters observe where they are and describe things verbally and in thought, it takes quite a lot of detail to give a complete ‘picture’ of certain surrounds that a character may not describe all at once. That is why I had COS, Claude Fabrece, sit with me and tell me all about his designs for upgrading MG&A office security and subsequently Michael's new residence and 'compound'
That description resulted in the detailed visual 'maps' which were included in book #17, "Just before..." (also shown in 'Seeing Is Believing') and now in book #18, "Ten Boxes" these details are in ‘Seeing Is Believing II’ blog post.
In "Ten Boxes" Michael Grant and his family are moving out of thee cummings and into a newly constructed residence—with greatly enhanced security—to protect his family.
The following graphics or diagrams show this new two-story residence with basement, detached guest quarters and parking area (above) and the property on which it is situated.
Here's the informational orientation spiel of resident Senior Security Officer Paula Endacott, to her new-hires:
"The property is approximately twenty (20) acres. From that 20 acres a fourteen (14) acre square plot has been delineated for what the locals and resident staff calls: ‘the compound’ or ‘PdJ’. When Michael first considered this location he thought he would call it ‘thee cummings north’. That was nixed in favor of naming it ‘Jeannot Palace’ after his daughter, but making it fancier-sounding, in French: ‘Palais de Jeannot’ (which she pronounced as: pal-A-day-jah-NO). A plaque proclaiming such can be found on the South Perimeter Wall to the left of the entrance to the vehicle sally port.
“The compound is fourteen acres bordered by a seven-foot high (concrete, rebar reinforced) one-foot thick perimeter wall faced with Austin stone and anchored to a two-foot wide by three-foot deep concrete and steel foundation. The property is situated on a north-south axis with (North, East, South & West) perimeter walls each 260 yards in length. The walls are bounded by a single lane paved service road with circular turn-outs in each corner. Beyond the ‘Perimeter Wall Road' is the wild, but brush-hogged, area that runs out to the property line.
“Inside the Perimeter Wall is the closely mown, manicured & landscaped ‘rolling parkland’ area.”
(The COS said to Michael, “Even she doesn't know the dirt used to create the rolling landscape came from the earth excavated from the one-story deep underground clandestine NA-FOG operations center basement, which occupies the same footprint as the residence.”)
“In the center of the compound is the Interior Security Perimeter (ISP) comprised of a 7-foot high, 26” thick artificial Box Wood hedge (containing motion and pressure sensors plus outward looking cameras with overlapping fields of view) which edges the outside of the entrance and circular drive. The circular drive allows vehicles to enter and leave the porte-cochère on the south side of the residence. Under the porte-cochère, in the second lane from the residence) The company town car and or stretch limo maybe parked there. Mr. Pepper Washington will provide notice if either vehicle will be there overnight. The 4-vehicle garage—to the right of the front porch, accessible under the porte-cochère—is strictly for family vehicles. All other vehicles use the east parking area."
“The paved ISP drive circles the compound leading to the parking area on the east side, midway between the main residence and the guest quarters. Traffic is expected to ‘keep right’. Ingress is made driving in a counter-clockwise manner around the compound until egressing after having made the full circle or leaving from the porte-cochère.
“To enter the compound you must pass through the South Gate. A gravel roadway (designated: “Windy Road”) connects the Interior Security Perimeter with the double gates of the vehicular sally port between the security-manned West and East Gate Houses in the southeast corner of the property.
“The West and East Gate Houses are manned 24/7. In addition to CCTV monitors for all compound cameras in both houses, the East House also has a tower for direct visual observation.
“On the west side of the West Gate House are four apartments A-D for the resident Security Officers, which can accommodate 4 to 7 residents. Apt A is designated for the Sr. Security Officer in Charge.
“The sally port is controlled by two rolling retractible iron gates. The interior North gate rolls westward into its wall pocket while the exterior South gate rolls eastward into its wall pocket.
"Each gate is independently operated, one at a time. Regardless of which gate is opened first, the vehicle must enter the sally port and the gate behind it fully closed and locked before the second gate will open, allowing the vehicle to pass beyond it. Should there be a necessity for the both gates to be open at the same time, armed security officers will maintain compound security until normal gate activities are resumed."
"Security Officers assigned to the West Gate House have three main duties: 1) opening & closing of the south exterior gate and sally port security, 2) monitoring all CCTVs and 3) communication with approaching vehicles and the residence.
"Security Officers assigned to the East Gate House will have four main duties: 1) opening & closing of the north interior gate and sally port security, 2) monitoring all CCTVs, 3) communication with approaching vehicles and the residence, plus 4) conducting eyes-on visual surveillance from the 'Tower'.
"In conclusion, other security staff will be tasked with roving patrol of the parkland area, the ISP and the Perimeter Wall Road."
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You will be in for a treat with all the new goings-on in Michael Grant's novel #18, "Ten Boxes", now in-progress. How do I know that? Because the characters have yet to disappoint me!