Well, after a LONG sabbatical, I’m back. I’m currently debating on whether or not to continue this story, but I’ll just post the chapters that I have done now and see how the next few days shape up.

Chapter 12

Sam sat in the plane, silently pretending to read the airline magazine. Actually, he was casting glances over at Fred. The teenager was seated at the window, staring down at the endless blue below. He appeared to be contemplating the ocean, but Sam could see his mind was on something else. Something was bothering Sam’s friend. Sam eventually set his magazine on his lap and tapped Fred on the shoulder. He turned his head. Sam cleared his throat.

“Is something bothering you?”

Fred gave him a questioning look. “What do you mean?”

Sam grasped to find the right words. “I mean, uh… you seem different.”

“How am I different?” Fred chuckled. “Look at me! I’m still the same old Fred.”

“I’m sorry, Fred…” Sam swallowed. “But you’re not. You’re different. You’ve changed.”

Fred’s face became serious. “Changed? How?”

Sam could sense he was in deep now. Oh, well… “Well, take that business with the lady in the terminal. The Fred I know wouldn’t have caused a massive power failure and threatened that lady. And… well… you’re just… I mean…” Sam fell silent. He was at a loss for words.

“Sam… you’re wrong…” Fred gave Sam an icy stare. “Somehow… you’re wrong. I haven’t changed.”

Sam shook his head. “No, Fred. You have. And it’s not just the deal in the terminal. It’s a lot of things. You’re not the same person that I started out with from the door of your house. It’s just… your personality, the way you act, even the way you look… you’ve changed. You know what I think it is? It’s that thing in your pocket.” Sam paused. “You know… if it would help… I could, you know…”

Fred jumped back and shouted “NO!” so loudly that everybody on the plane turned to look at him. His face turned red and he fumbled for words. “I’m sorry, Sam, but… it’s my mission, my burden to bear. You can’t help me.” Then he turned back to the window.

Sam muttered a feeble “I’m sorry.” and went back to his airline magazine. But despite all his efforts, he couldn’t stop a single tear from rolling down his face.

* * *

Aaron followed Greg, Liam, and George down the hall towards the Prime Minister’s office. His heart was pounding in his chest, and his fingers moved along the edges of his empty belt, as if hoping for a weapon. Guards and employees were giving the group strange looks as they passed. Aaron returned them, and many of the people turned and found some excuse to move the other way.

When they reached the door, Greg stopped and turned. “I have no idea what to expect in there,” he said quietly, “But I know one thing; Sean’s hold over the people in that room is very, very strong. Be careful what you say or do. One wrong move could trigger a reaction we don’t want at this point.” The three nodded, and Greg pushed the door open.

Aaron was struck at first by how much the room looked like a tomb. There were no lights except for the windows. There was so much dust in the air that as the light revealed it, the entire room seemed to be shrouded in mist. Papers and books lined the walls, tossed aside weeks ago and collecting cobwebs.

But the worst of it was the desk at the far end of the room. It was littered with papers that hadn’t been touched in weeks, and had more dust than even the rest of the room. There was a ball of hair that was lying on the table. Behind him was a wall with no windows that was covered in shadow. Greg stepped forward and cleared his throat.

Part of the shadows seemed to break away and form a woman. She was short and pale, wearing too much makeup and skintight leather clothes. She tapped the ball of hair, which raised to reveal a wizened old head. That had to be the Prime Minister, Aaron knew it. His face was lined and wrinkled with care and worry. But his eyes…

His eyes seemed vacant, empty, devoid of life… and free will.

Aaron cast a glance over at Greg. The FBI agent was studying the Prime Minister’s face intently. Finally, he spoke. “The politeness of your employees has grown less and less over the last few months, Prime Minister Winn.”

Prime Minister Winn (that had to be the old man, Aaron decided) raised his head and said nothing. The woman leaned forward and whispered something in the Prime Minister’s ear. The old man stirred, and his wrinkled, cut lips parted to form soft words.

“Why, Greg Grey, should I welcome you hear? All you ever bring is news of death and chaos.” Greg stopped and glared at the woman. Prime Minister Winn continued. “What news do you bring now?”

“I bring aid in troubled times. I bring help to my friends.” Greg paused. “Are we not friends?”

The woman crossed to the other side of the table. “No, sir. You are not my lord’s friend. He has no friends, except for our master and me. You bring only chaos and death in your wake. You want to know if you’re a friend. You’re nothing more than a sign of bad luck!”

Greg drew himself up to his full height and jabbed his finger down at the woman like the finger of doom. She recoiled before him. “How dare you! Don’t think I don’t know who you are, Greta Worm. I did not travel to the edge of death and back to take pathetic insults from a pathetic excuse for a woman.” Greta recoiled and her hands slammed on the desk. Immediately, the doors flew open and soldiers started to rush in. Greg stepped forward. “I knew from the moment you said our master that something was up! You crazy woman! You’ve been working for Sean this whole time! Well, sorry, lady, but his hold over this region ends now!” With a final flourish, Greg thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. He held it up to Greta’s face, and she paled.

Then she turned and started screaming at the soldiers. “Get the phone! Get the phone! Don’t you know what that is? Get it!” The Greta turned and ran.

The soldiers raised their weapons, but Liam and Aaron were on them before they could fire. Liam became a storm of arms and legs, moving lightning fast with the soldiers hitting the ground like thunder. Aaron knocked a few out, but not as many as Liam.

Greta sprinted towards the open door, but she didn’t get more than three feet before George tackled her and pinned her to the ground. “Let me go!” she screamed. “This is improper! I’m a lady!”

George put his hand over her mouth. “If I were you, I’d stop screaming,” he said coldly. “Before I give you something to scream about.” Greta fell silent.

The whole room fell silent, watching Greg as he slowly approached the Prime Minister, cell phone outstretched. The old man stared at the FBI agent, then the cell phone, and then to the chaos around him. Then he roared with laughter. And when he spoke, it was not his voice, but a richer, deeper voice that Aaron had heard so many times on TV.

“You’re too late, old friend. This is my world now. You failed…”

The voice of Sean White dissolved into laughter again.

To Be Continued…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email