North Speer Louevard, Dember.
Monday, 26 June 2002

Charles Granger frowned slightly as he made his way to the conference room. It had been five days since the last command was issued, but he still hadn’t heard from Christian. Their location had been confirmed for over three weeks now and the wait was almost suffocating. He flicked open the top button of his shirt as he eased himself into the leather chair.

“Let’s get this over with,” He said, his ambiance hardly lifted by the cordial smiles of his agents. It would take more than the efforts of a bunch of agents to lighten up the mood of the almighty Charles Granger.

Charles not only ran one of the best security firms in Colorado but was also on the chart’s top of the young and rich catalog. And he was every bit conscious of his achievements, as well as he was of his looks.

“I believe the contract with Jack Sobel will only be calamitous to CS-Granger, taking into consideration the forthcoming elections.” The vice president of Strategic Planning looked into his notes as he spoke. “Specific changes have to be made.”

Charles looked at him.

“What are you driving at?”

“Tom has more to offer.”

“And in the long run?”

“There’s a whole lot of time to prepare.” This time, it was his secretary who spoke.

Charles sighed loudly and reached out to grab a pen from the center of the table, swiveling it in his hands as he spoke. “You should have followed the papers and done some researches to find out who had a greater chance of winning the elections before calling for a meeting.” He paused for a dramatic effect, then continued. “Here is what we are going to do. Get across to Tom, inform him of our decision to terminate our contract with him, putting in a word or two of apology, and then go ahead with Jack. And who the hell signed those papers?”

“You were out of town, Sir, and I had no idea they needed the security both for the same reasons. All the details lodged in hinted at a mere public gathering.” Charles’ secretary looked like she was about running under the table for cover. He seemed to have that effect on people, especially on days like this.

“And the dates?”

“I didn’t think much of it. I’m very sorry for the mistake sir.”

Charles sighed again and looked out the window, past the wide space of CS-Granger training grounds, and saw the metallic silver of Christian’s wheels pulling into the driveway.

It was about time.

He looked back into the room. “We should discuss the arrangements for the agents going to Mando in our meeting tomorrow.” There wasn’t any reason to divulge his subtle intentions for the agents at their arrival. The fewer ears that got wind of it, the quieter it would be.

They had been keeping an eye on the movements of Perseus for a month now. According to prior information, he was likely to remain in Mando until they struck. And the go-ahead ought to had been given on Wednesday. What the hell was Peter doing taking this long?

A tiny voice from the doorway suddenly began just as Charles got up to leave.

“Excuse me, Mr. Granger, your…”

“Thank you, Lucy. I will join him in a sec.”

He strolled out of the conference room and took the left lane that led to his office.

Christian was intently going through the paper’s column on encryption technology when Charles walked in. It was a fairly large office, warm and homely. But tucked in away from the eyes of others were high tech gadgets, small but powerful enough to sweep for bugs in a second.

Christian had on a casual t-shirt and jeans, and that earned an eye raise from Charles as he took his seat. He decided to play it cool, keeping aside all frets about the agonizing wait.


“They could do without me for a day. Something else came up.”

Charles could tell he wasn’t going to like this one. He swallowed as he picked up the telephone.

Christian shook his head. He placed the receiver back to its cradle and walked over to the refrigerator, bringing out two bottles of water.

“Tell me how things went with Peter first.”

“She’s dead.”

William felt a small stir of excitement and it showed in his gait as he returned to his seat.

“That’s a job well-done.”

“Or not. Peter needs to go as well.”

Charles held no sentiments about taking Peter out of the picture but he still needed to know why.

“I hate dawdling. Five days was just too long. And the janitor saw him leave the room. If the situations were to be different, it would have landed us in a serious mess. We cannot afford to make such mistakes and he knows too much already to be freely let off.”

“Of course. More so with the ties, they both have, sentiments are bound to put up a great front.” Charles had seen it happen so many times. “Blood is way thicker than water.”

They went quiet for a while, mulling over how they could accomplish it without leaving any trace. Few minutes went by before Christian broke the silence.

“How about one of your agents? Another staged accident isn’t going to demand too much.” He reached forward to pick up a bottle of water. “Tonight. He has been sent back for reports and will come into Dember to spend the night before seeing us. He mustn’t reach home.” 

“And Perseus?” They had never spent so much time on just one person. It enraged Charles more than he could let on.

“His plane landed at exactly 8:41am today.”

“Damn it! How did this happen?”

“The call came in early this morning. There is nothing we could have been able to do about it.”

Charles muttered something unintelligible as he tried to play the cards in his head.

“That motherfucker is getting on my nerves.”

“What next?”

“Allow him to come to us. He’s going to strike soon.”

He couldn’t stand a chance against them.
Christian placed his bottle down on the table and rose to his feet.

“You are leaving?” Charles asked.

“Martha needs me at home today,” Christian said. “She is of the damn vague opinion that I spend more time at work than I do with her.”

“And this is why I maintain that bachelorhood is perfect for me. No restrains.” Charles said with all seriousness.

Christian regarded his brother unfalteringly on his way out.
“You should call Mom. She misses you.”

“I will.” But first, he had to make some plans that involved getting rid of Perseus once and for all.

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