The following article is about a fictional company in The Gerosha Chronicles and related media. For the real-life Sleet Mountain Service Center near Stephenville, Newfoundland, see RV and Travelers.com.
Sleet Mountain is a fictional water bottling company in the Gerosha multiverse, and is a "bland name product" stand-in for the real-life Ice Mountain company. It features in both the miniseries Blood Over Water and its 2013 novelization.
Sleet Mountain was founded in 1970 by Richard Lusital, whose son Bob would take control of it in 1987. The company managed to get by and do fairly well for its region for 22 years under Bob's leadership. However, the Obama administration's new policies and regulations led to the company having some issues with how its warehouses and bottling plants were operating. In 2009, the company started seeing its profit margins shrink for the first time. Bob, who was getting old, decided the time was right to retire from the company. A man named Clyde Spendelworth quickly befriended Bob and then placed himself in line to become the new CEO.
However, Clyde's ties to organized crime wound up destroying the company within a matter of a few months. Not only was Clyde's plan to save the company millions of dollars through cleanup fraud an unsustainable plan that led to hefty EPA lawsuits, but the FBI became curious when it turned out that several of Clyde's employees at the northern Michigan bottling plant began murdering each other. The cost of litigation to the company, as well as Clyde going missing, led to the company's dissolution in February of 2010.
Clyde himself became wanted in connection with sex trafficking, pollution, cleanup fraud, and multiple counts of murder and conspiracy to murder. His underlings George Lawence and Kyle Tugrass were among those found dead, as well as a certain Mark Stefflin who was believed to have been murdered in his own home. A certain Chris Kennal from the company had gone missing, suspected of involvement in somewhere close to 28 homicides involving both Sleet Mountain personnel and notorious sex traffickers in the Gleeful-N-Young brothel. An Ashley Phillips tied to the company later testified in court to having been kidnapped and repeatedly raped, as well as having been blackmailed into serving as an accessory to the destruction of evidence in a murder investigation. Two others, an Aaron Stefflin and Monica Shelly, filed accusations of having been abducted by Sleet Mountain personnel. The bodies of Vance Lingolin and Bob Lusital, both believed to have been also murdered, were never recovered.
- Vance Lingolin: Accounts receivable department head. In the supplementary materials for the miniseries, Vance was first sent to kill Mark, then failed to do so. In the novel, he was the first to attempt to blow the whistle on Clyde; and he was killed by George.
- Bob Lusital: In the novel, he was the former CEO of Sleet Mountain before Clyde took over. He vanished after a party at a cabin one day, and was never seen or heard from again.
- Clyde Spendelworth: CEO of Sleet Mountain. He has ties to numerous seedy organizations, using Sleet Mountain as a front for them. In the novel, he is tied specifically to Shiny Horizons and to an illegal sex trafficking network dubbed "Gleeful-N-Young." Clyde is very versatile and manipulative, and not afraid to kill anyone who gets in his way.
- Chris Kennal: Area account representative. He is a tad hedonistic, but likes to live his life for "the cool of it all." He is usually quite friendly, but is also very greedy and self-centered.
- Ashley Phillips: Secondary Marketing Assistant. She is a fairly new recruit, but quickly falls for Mark. Clyde is quick to take notice, and exploits the situation to blackmail her.
- Kyle Tugrass: Warehouse supervisor and eventual hired hitman.
- Mark Stefflin: Office manager with a conscience, who finds himself in over his head.
The existence of Sleet Mountain in the Blood Over Water franchise was a convention born initially out of necessity, before more was done with it creatively. In late September of 2009, the Wednesday evening TVPR 318 class at Ferris State was in need of a villain corporation. Instructor Nathan Meadows insisted that "an environmental theme" should be worked into the plot somehow. Assigned director Chris Wilson immediately suggested that events could take place centered around the Ice Mountain bottling plant located in Stanwood, MI. Stanwood was only a few short miles away from Big Rapids, and had a pond located conveniently nearby. In the 1990s, there was a lot of activism and scandal surrounding the Stanwood plant. It was believed that a hit-and-run had also occurred in the area.
These themes of pollution scandal and an alleged murder were first incorporated into the Mountain of Cabal episode "Late Matters Not," in which Alvin Monaco was the first to discover some paperwork in Mike's house. Blood Over Water was able to get by in its production up until Part 2 before Ice Mountain was mentioned by name. The Dozerfleet founder suggested changing Ice Mountain to some other name, so that a real company wouldn't be defamed. After all; the high point of the class was supposed to be that the end result was broadcast for cable. Chris and other classmate Kyle Mayer seemed totally unconcerned with the ramifications of that, however.
In 2010, the Dozerfleet founder took it on himself to make a version that was cable-ready. It was determined that "Sleet" made a good censor for "Ice." However, limited ability at the time for making good dubs meant that the actual dub was only used once. A quick-rendered "Sleet Mountain" wallpaper was added to Chris Kennal's laptop screen in Part 3 of the miniseries, as a way to cover up the Ice Mountain screen that featured originally. Several other scenes were pop-edited or else were re-cut to remove any actual references to Ice Mountain. Likewise, one of the functions of re-shooting the coffee shop scene in Part 2 was also to obscure any Starbucks logos that would have been very difficult to deal with in the original.
The introduction of Clyde Spendelworth at the tail end of Blood Over Water begged for "Sleet" Mountain's history to be explored in more detail. In April of 2013, that new mythology surrounding Sleet Mountain began to be explored in detail as Dozerfleet Comics welcomed a novelization of Blood Over Water to its ranks. Its logo, depicted above, was based on the quick wallpaper designed as a censor screen in 2010.