- STEELE BEING HUMAN
- Part 1
- by Chris
- Reasons for Steele Being Human
- This is my very first completed fan fiction (but the short
story "Holt Sang to Steele" was started before this
one) but I never had it posted. The story takes place in 2002
- 20 years after Remington Steele stepped into Miss Holt's life
and in the same year as Bond 20 hits our movie screens. This
story depicts some possible future events for our favorite couple.
- Since I had only watched half the third season when I
wrote this, this is how I imagined what took place afterwards.
I have also found it necessary to provide you with my picture
of what the world looks like in about one year's time. This will
help you understand the events in the story. This story is researched
meaning that most facts and ideas are taken from academic material,
encyclopaedias and various governmental reports. However, the
actual story line is only hypothetical but could very well happen.
- Mr. Steele and Ms. Holt got married at the end of the
4th season. After the finish of the 5th season they soon had
a daughter Katherine, now 15, (who will play an important part
in the cause of events) and a son Daniel, soon 14, (not a main
character, away at a boarding school in England). Even after
having a family, Laura and Remington (even though the final series
was not conclusive, I have decided to have Laura call Mr. Steele
"Remington" when not in public) continued working together
as a great team to refine their investigation skills, just making
parenthood an asset in their work. The agency's name has therefore
been changed to Steele Investigations.
- Mildred Krebs, who was about to obtain her PI license
at the end of the original series, has continued working with
the Steeles as an investigator, solving many cases quickly thanks
to her excellent computer skills. She has not minded keeping
an eye on Steeles' children when they have been at the office,
serving as an extra grandma. Especially Katherine took an interest
in what Mildred was doing and thanks to that, Katherine has developed
a genuine interest in computers and does very well with them.
Since Ms. Krebs now works as a PI, the agency has seen a few
front office personnel work for them over the years. At present
it is a young South American man named José "Joe"
Rosario. The Steeles thought it would be wise to have a Spanish
speaking person in the office considering the large portion of
Hispanics in the LA area in particular, but in the USA in general.
The Steeles partially sponsor Joe taking science classes at UCLA.
- Steele Investigations has been trusted with more and more
high profile cases, each success leading to more challenges.
Their cases have taken them to many parts of the world. However,
as their fame has risen, the Steeles have managed to keep a moderate
profile, taking their success "with a pinch of salt",
focussing on their family and their job. To keep up with their
ever-increasing challenges, they have taken the time to take
classes in various subjects. In addition, Ms. Krebs has made
sure that the agency is on tops when it comes to using the most
efficient technical tools (not the latest, always a "value-for-money"
approach) to facilitate their work. For instance, in this story
the Steeles use 3G mobile telephone technology (which happens
to be what my dissertation will be on).
- With the increased focus on environmental legislation
in California (and elsewhere), the Steeles have to handle quite
a few environmental-related cases. Also, with their high profile,
they devote some of their free time to charities, quite a few
of them environmentally related. To further stress that they
are genuine about their environmental concern, they have an environment
management program put to work at the office. This means e.g.
that all agency cars run on ethanol or are provided with fuel
cells, modern, highly efficient solar cells are used for both
hot water and some of the electricity, all lights fitted are
long-life, low-power bulbs, and sensors are installed in the
office to make sure that any heating/cooling is optimized. The
Steeles have done the same with their house. Environmental foresight
(and social concern) has become a normal way of living for them.
Note! From this description it can be understood that the office
of Steele Investigations no longer is located in those tall twin
buildings. When they had a family they decided to relocate to
another area where they bought a house and used it as an office.
When having kids they did not want to spend too much time traveling
to and from work.
- World of Steele - The situation in the world regarding
some pertinent matters
- Even with several international conferences on environmental
matters taking place over the last ten years, international agreements
on such issues are quite rare and to make as make countries as
possible to sign them, the wording in them still remain quite
lame. It is the global market economy which sets the ceiling
for most environmental efforts. If the market is ready to "buy"
something (an act or a deed), companies are willing to invest
in such things, as a way of enhancing their image and hopefully
their profits. It still is the bottom-line figures (short-term
thinking) together with the ethics of the members of the company
boards who are the judges as to whether environmental concern
is legitimate. Still, many companies have come to the conclusion
that it is wisest to invest in the latest technology when investing
in third-world countries instead of "dumping old factories".
Two reasons lie behind this change in attitude. The latest technology
has become so easy to use that even less trained people easily
can handle it. In addition, there are enough well-educated, local
people around to supervise the use (or the company doing the
investment has fully understood what is required when doing technology
- Global heating continues to be the No. 1 worldwide concern,
causing the global weather pattern to become gradually more erratic.
This has resulted that there are more refugees in the world due
to unbearable weather conditions than there are due to hostile
activities (acts of war). While many areas have to be abandoned
due to repeated flooding, yet other areas are not receiving the
seasonal rains, causing the land to dry out.
- The world population continues to grow, however not as quickly
as it did a couple of years ago. Especially in Africa, the population
growth has almost come to a halt due to HIV/AIDS and some other
serious disorders, yet without a cure. Still, with the continued
urbanization, there is a need to enhance the productivity of
the farms to keep famine away. The drying out of fertile areas
in combination with demands on increased crop yields have forced
relief programs to look into using genetically modified plants,
as the climate change caused by man is taking place at a higher
rate than nature by itself can manage.
- Genetically modified crops have become quite a big business
even though the population in the Western world is still hesitant
about using them, mainly due to two reasons. Even though there
are guarantees that they are safe, people are not sure about
the long-term effects ("How can you be sure that they have
been verified?"). Second, since the Western world still
has an abundance of food, there is a choice to stick with those
"un-tampered". However, in many third world countries
there is no choice. In order not to starve, they have to accept
whatever the rich countries are willing to help them with.
- Disclaimer: I do not own the characters Remington
Steele, Laura Holt or Mildred Krebs and I have no intention to
infringe on any rights. This story has been written for entertainment
purposes only. Except for geographical facts, the conflict and
famine in Ethiopia and the UN name as such, all persons, events,
organizations/companies etc. figuring in this storyt have to
the best of my knowledge never existed, nor taken place.
- Day 1 - Steele Facing A New Problem
- Flying over the Swiss Alps, showing off a wondrous landscape,
a farm is coming into view on the slope of a mountain. When getting
closer, it can be seen that it is a dairy farm with cows grazing
outside. When looking closer on several animals, it can be noted
that they have large swollen areas on their bodies, causing them
to move in discomfort, moaning with pain, as if seriously ill.
- After this close-up aerial view a few seconds of sky can
be seen before a new landscape is coming into sight. At first
it shows a barren land, North/Eastern Ethiopia, badly struck
with draught. Then replanted areas come into sight and when getting
even closer, people can be seen working in the fields, smiling.
The camera then continues to the refugee camp turned village
not far away. When zooming in on one of the shelters, medical
people are seen treating people, people lying on their backs,
stern-faced, a scared, helpless look in their eyes. The aerial
view zooms out and aims for the sky again. Continuing focussing
on the sky, after a few seconds the house where the office of
Steele Investigations is located comes in focus.
- Steele at the Office
- [Day 1, morning, GMT - 8 hrs]
- Steele called upon
- The front office is in view and the phone at the front desk
- "Steele Investigations" Joe answers with a slight
Spanish accent, "how can we help you?" He listens to
the other person. "I'll see if Mrs. Steele is available.
Please hold the line." Joe calls Laura's office and says
"Mrs. Steele. I know you are busy but this man strongly
insists on talking to you immediately. His name is Mr. Van Kasteren,
calling from the UN in New York."
- The door to Laura's office is semi-open and Joe hears an
"OK" both in the receiver and through the door. Joe
transfers the call. Joe hears Laura say "Laura Holt-Steele
Certainly, we'll be there...Tomorrow afternoon at
at the headquarters, yes."
- Joe sees Laura, as usual looking smart in slacks and a nice
top, put down the receiver. She gets up but remains standing
at her desk for a brief moment before she heads for Remington's
- Remington, dressed in business pants, a shirt and a tie that
matches Laura's top, is at his desk, leaning back in his chair,
reading the morning paper and sipping on a cup of tea, his usual
morning routine for the last two decades or so. He looks up when
Laura comes in. He continues to look at her since she has a puzzled
expression on her face. "What's up, dear?"
- "A Mr. Van Kasteren just called, from an agency called
UNEASE at the UN headquarters in New York." She says somewhat
distracted, her mind still set on what Mr. Van Kasteren had told
- "The UN indeed. We haven't worked for them previously,
have we?" Remington comments just to urge her to tell him
more about this new client.
- After a short silence, Laura continues. "He just mentioned
something about an inconclusive preliminary report on an environmental
problem that is severely affecting a UN supported program, and
he wants us, as an independent body, to look further into it."
Laura continues, now sitting at the end of his desk, focussing
on Remington. "He didn't give any details, except that it
was urgent and that he'd like to meet us tomorrow afternoon at
and then be prepared to go to *Europe* directly
thereafter, if we accept the case that is... Have you seen anything
in the paper that can give us a clue what it's all about?"
no, I don't believe so
The only thing
that I've noted concerning an environmental issue is that global
weather researchers believe that the seemingly ever-present El
Niño will continue to make the weather erratic in many
locations around the world for the rest of this year". Remington
responds, his face taking on a thoughtful expression, then "But
sure the UN doesn't want us to become weathermen, does it? Wouldn't
that be to let water rise above our heads, literally?" Remington
comments with a wry smile, a smile quickly fading as if he felt
he has been too blunt.
- Steele taken care of by Mildred
- As Mildred, as usual dressed in a stylish not too bold a
dress, shows Laura and Remington out the door, she says, "Don't
worry about that, kids. I'll make sure Katie is taken care of.
Don't worry about that other case, that Nesari blackmail. I'll
handle that. Get off to the airport now, will ya?". After
closing it behind them, she goes into her office, sits down at
her computer and starts searching.
- Joe is heard in the background making calls to clients, asking
for re-scheduling of appointments.
- Day 2 - Steele at UNEASE
- Steele takes New York
- [Day 2, morning, GMT - 5 hrs]
- Laura turns on her mobile phone as she and Remington debark
their flight from Los Angeles. It beeps right away and Laura
retrieves the e-mail message. It is from Mildred and she has
listed three possible areas for their new case. Laura shrugs
her shoulders in discomfort and shakes her head as she reads.
Remington looks over her shoulder. He frowns as he too reads
what Mildred has found out.
- Steele waiting
- [Day 2, afternoon, GMT - 5 hrs]
- "Mr Van Kasteren will be with you in just a moment",
Remington and Laura are told by a middle-aged with a French accent
after presenting themselves upon entering the main offices of
UNEASE where they would meet with Mr. Van Kasteren.
- "Truly an international place this, wouldn't you agree?"
Remington says, trying to make a conversation as they sit down
to wait in the front office. They both had noted the sign with
the staff names outside the offices, a sign on which there were
names in more than a dozen languages.
- "Yes, very." Laura says absentmindedly, more concentrated
on letting her eyes look over all the pictures in the room as
if she would be able to pick up clue as regards why they had
been asked to come there. "Mildred came up with three possible
subjects, didn't she?" She asks Remington even though she
remembers very well what Mildred had e-mailed them just as they
arrived to New York.
- "Yes, yes, that's true" Remington says falling
silent. Both are brainstorming their heads for clues on how they
would approach any of those three quite grim scenarios Mildred
had envisaged for them.
- The middle-aged man, who had been sitting at his desk while
they had been waiting, working on a computer, interrupts their
trains of thought. They have not heard anything, but obviously
the man has been given a message to let them into Mr. Van Kasteren's
- Steele getting informed
- [Day 2, afternoon, GMT - 5 hrs]
- "There you are." The man says briefly as he shows
Remington and Laura into the room.
- "Thank you, Mr. Devreaux", Mr. Van Kasteren says,
approaching Remington and Laura, reaching out with his hand to
greet them. Two people, one middle-aged, smart casually dressed
man and a younger Chinese woman in plain, yet stylish, clothes
and with a brace on her left arm, are sitting on each side of
a fairly large table in the room.
- Mr. Van Kasteren, impeccably dressed in discreet, harmonized
colors and with an excellent fit, firmly shakes hands with the
Steeles, saying "How very nice of you to come here at such
short notice. I hope this didn't cause you any trouble. I AM
aware of how busy you must be." He then makes a motion with
his hand for them to sit down at the table.
- As they move to sit down, Laura comments "Mr. Van Kasteren.
By the sound of your phone call, none of our other present engagements
are of such importance that they couldn't be rescheduled. Also,
we do have other staff as well." She finishes putting on
a slight smile, looking at Steele for confirmation. Steele nods
barely noticeable, reassuring her that she had chosen the appropriate
tone of speech.
- "Excellent. Well, I'd better introduce two of my colleagues
and then we'll tell you more what this is all about. First, Dr.
Ng Kheng Li, my right hand when it comes to environmental expertise."
All three get up to shake hands across the table. "She will
give you the 'technical' details shortly. Then Mr Mikhail Petrov,
the officer in charge of the program in question." Another
round of getting up and shaking hands. "He'll be able to
give you all the facts about the program that you'll need to
know. Do you have any questions or shall we get down to it right
away?" Mr. Van Kasteren finishes his introduction.
- "Please, proceed. We'll ask questions underway, if that's
fine with you? Steele says, raising his eyebrows and putting
up an arm slightly as if seeking confirmation.
- "That's fine." Mr. Van Kasteren responds and continues.
"You probably do not know that much about the role of my
office, it has not been around that long, I may add, so I'll
brief you about that first. In short, UNEASE, which by the ways
stands for the UN Environmental Activity Supervision Entity,
is responsible to the Secretary General of the UN for the environmental
supervision of all UN-funded support programs as regards land,
forest, air and water management. This agency was created since,
even though stressed as important, the environmental aspects
of UN programs never came first in priority. The role of UNEASE
is to make the environment just that
As you can understand,
knowing the number of programs in the areas I just mentioned,
we have a wide responsibility. To fulfil this we have to rely
on a lot of local expertise in the respective country but also
on the voluntary organizations that are involved in our programs,
partnerships as they are called. If everybody would be employed
by the UN, the bureaucracy would be just
" he says
not finishing the sentence, slowly shaking his head as if bearing
the thought, then continues "Well, I guess that gives you
the overall context. Please, Mr. Petrov, if you would like to
present the details of your program and the problem at hand."
- "Certainly, Mr. Van Kasteren." Mr. Petrov says,
then turning to Remington and Laura. "First, please call
me Mike. I don't want any sense of formality hinder whatever
we have to talk about here today", he says as he presses
a button to reveal a screen and walks up to a laptop that's sitting
at the top end of the table. "As you probably know, Ethiopia
and Eritrea have been involved in hostile activities toward one
another for a number of years, at times it seems like a truce
could be achieved, but the situation is still unstable. This
has forced a large portion of the people living in the north-eastern
part of Ethiopia to flee southbound." He begins, pointing
at a map showing refugee movements in Ethiopia over the last
few years. "Unfortunately, in addition to the refugee movement,
the global warming has caused the weather pattern in the area
to change. Rain has become quite sporadic, resulting in lower
ground water levels. Normally Ethiopia experiences severe draught
about every tenth year but over the last few years, severe draught
has occurred every year. Due to the hostile activities, recurrent
farming activities in the traditional growing areas have almost
ceased, causing the land to dry out even quicker. But seen as
a total, today there are more environmentally related refugees
than there are war refugees. Therefore the UN has established
a combined famine reduction and land reclaim program in an area
somewhat south of the traditional farming areas, in the vicinity
of the refugee camps turned villages." He continues showing
a number of pictures of water level change, location of refugee
camps and the extent of the UN program. "The program was
established in this area about a year ago and two crops have
been harvested so far, with a good yield, I must add. And at
first it seemed to cure the normal refugee camp illness, pellagra."
- "Sorry for being uninformed, but what causes pellagra
and how does it affect a person?" Laura asks.
- "Lack of niacin
causes dementia, dermatitis and
diarrhea, quite unpleasant actually" Mr. Petrov finishes
with a grimace. "Anyhow, with that problem reduced, people
started getting really ill, especially infants, who are more
Turned out to be a blood-clotting disorder.
The simplest cut ended up being a rather horrifying experience.
The medical staff in the camp, who come from 'MEDÉCINS
POUR HUMANITÉ' [Doctors for Humanity], MPH, quickly noted
that it was due to lack of K-vitamin. What has caused this shortage
they do not understand. What is bad though, is that more and
more people get this disorder and some are really sick, as if
they have hemophilia...without having it!"
- "Has anything changed at the camp during this time?"
- "That's the odd thing." Dr Ng Kheng says, entering
into the discussion. "We have noted that new people coming
to the camp do not seem to get sick right away. It takes a couple
of weeks before the symptoms really become noticeable. When it
comes to the water and the food, they have been the same. The
water is treated in a biological treatment plant before use and
as regards the seed and the fertilizer used for the farming,
both have been provided by a UN purchasing agency, and have remained
the same since the program started. There is one thing with the
seed that you should know though. The wheat grain is genetically
modified in two aspects. It is changed to grow longer roots for
better water absorption and it has an increased mold resistance,
especially to mildew."
- "And the new grain is well tested for its new properties?"
- "Yes, it has been grown for a relatively long time.
An American company called FutAgro Inc. based in New Jersey is
the provider. Wherever else it has been used, no strange 'incidents'
have been reported." Dr Ng Kheng explains.
- "You mentioned something about a similar problem that
had occurred somewhere else. Would you mind filling us in on
that one?" Remington queries.
- "No, not at all." Mr. Petrov continues. "By
chance we happened to have a Swiss from another program visiting
this particular camp when Dr. Ng Kheng and I were there to investigate
our problem. This gentleman, a Mr. Eichhorn, said that he had
once heard about lack of K vitamin in living organisms. You see,
K vitamin shortage is not that common, definitely not like a
'plague'. Anyhow, the local paper had written something about
some dairy farms in a concentrated area struck by disease, as
if the animals had eaten common rat poison, which gives just
about the same symptoms."
- Dr. Ng Kheng continues "That's all that we know, I'm
afraid. Our Swiss colleague was kind enough to give us the name
and the location of those farms. Here you are." She finishes
by handing a piece of paper to Laura.
- The room is silent for a few seconds, as if everybody is
digesting the information given and taken.
- Mr. Van Kasteren breaks the silence. "We are not investigators,
we are supervisors of environmental programs. We do not want
to see people die in an effort to reclaim desert land and make
living conditions bearable. We DO need help
Are you willing
to take on the case?, his eyes wandering from Remington to Laura,
as if looking for an affirmative answer.
- Before Remington and Laura are able to answer, Mr Petrov
says "Just to make sure that you base your decision on all
relevant information, I need to inform you that there may be
shooting going on in the vicinity of the camp. The camp has so
far never been attacked but one can never say never..."
- The Steeles look at one another and then Laura says "First,
from an ethical point of view, it's unfair that these people
are suffering from a changing weather pattern partially caused
by us Westerners releasing large quantities of green house gases,
mainly from burning fossil fuel, into the air. The people in
this area have to take the punishment for an environmental disaster
basically innocent of
- Remington continues "We don't fear being shot at. God
knows how many times we've had to deal with that. However, this
case is somewhat out of our normal line of work
then the range of cases we've handled before and drawing from
that experience, plus getting some assistance from this office,
yes, we'll help you. It definitely seems to be a case where we
can help some fellow humans very much less fortunate than we
are. Many may still regard Africa as the forgotten continent
but it isn't to us."
- Laura nods in agreement.
- "Whatever you need, please let us know." Mr. Van
Kasteren assures them.
- "You are most welcome to make use of my environmental
knowledge whenever necessary" Dr. Ng Kheng states.
- "I'll go with you to Ethiopia to help you get the information
you need and cut any red tape that there may be. I promise, I'll
do everything I can to help you. Whatever happens, I stand by
my motto 'Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto' - 'I am a human
being: I regard nothing of human concern as foreign to my interests'
Mr. Petrov finishes with emphasis.
- The Steeles cannot help but smile gently back at him, masking
their surprise of the quote.
- Steele discussing MO #1
- [Day 2, early evening, GMT - 5 hrs]
- While Laura and Remington leave the UN Headquarters, they
discuss what has to be done.
- "With Mr. Van Kasteren pushing hard for tight timeframes,
I guess we have to split up for a short while. One of us has
to go back west to pack for Africa and get things organized,
and one should continue directly to Switzerland to talk to those
farmers. Then we could meet in Switzerland to travel together
to Ethiopia." Remington suggests.
- "That's a good idea. I know Katie will be terribly disappointed
not coming with us but final exams ARE coming up and the situation
in Ethiopia did sound a bit dangerous. Mildred will just be so
pleased to step in as Grandma, don't you think?"
- "But we need to get started right away. Mildred can
do a lot of research yet before today's over with. With my hay
fever I couldn't stand going to those farms without bringing
my medication so I suggest I'll fly back tonight and you can
take a late flight to Zurich."
- "OK, that's fine
Knowing from previous cases,
nobody is beyond suspicion so she should start with our new clients
that we just met. And then that company
- "Yes, FutAgro. Sure
And then the UN purchasing
procedures and records for this particular program."
- "Agree, right on the spot, Laura. Plus if she could
find out some more on that incident in Switzerland."
- Steele going separate ways
- [Day 2, mid-evening, GMT - 5 hrs, late afternoon LA time,
GMT - 8 hrs]
- While waiting for their flights, the Steeles have a light
dinner at an Italian restaurant. Laura is talking to Mildred
on her mobile phone.
- "Did you get all of that?
Good. I'll arrive then
Don't bother to meet
Of course, you're
right. That'll save time
First thing tomorrow again
him somewhere in Switzerland." Laura says smiling at Remington.
"Yes, see you later." Laura turns off her mobile, then
to Remington, "Mildred truly is a pillar. She had already
understood that she and Katie would spend some time together
and asked Katie if that was alright, and it was. Even though
Katie never has been any trouble, you *never* know with teenagers."
Laura says giving off a slight sigh of relief.
- "Laura, I just thought of a health issue. Do we have
all the necessary inoculations and stuff for Ethiopia? It would
be sort of sad if we ourselves almost died in the process?"
- "Thanks to our little Christmas escape to Kenya, I think
Otherwise we'll have to fix that in
- Switzerland. No problem." Laura says reassuringly.
- "I guess I'll contact those farmers as soon as I get
to Switzerland. It would seem a tad rude to call over there at
this time of the night to make an appointment. Farmers are early
risers but 4 in the morning, nope
Mildred would send me
an e-mail to up-date me, wouldn't she?"
- "Yes, she will. Well, there's my flight. Don't forget
to call David when you get over there. Since you don't have time
to go and see our son, I'm sure he'd like to know whereto his
parents are disappearing. See you soon, dear." Laura says
as she gets up and gives Remington as warm goodbye kiss. "I
hope you won't be yodeling next time we meet." Laura says
with a big smile.
Remington smiles back at her, expressing to her that he hopefully
will not be and watches her leave.
- To Part 2
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