Monday, July 14, 2014

Chapter 8

            Malcolm Blake sat behind the large, mahogany desk set in front of a large window.  The drapes were open sunshine poured in behind him and gave some much needed light to the darkly decorated library.  The house he had rented was more than adequate.  Dark, paneled  walls covered the whole interior.  The darkened decor fit his mood.   The closer he came to the end the darker he got.  He would succeed.  For years he had been planning and building.  For years he had watched and waited for the perfect moment.  And if they played it right, the moment was here.
          A knock came at the door and he straitened in his chair as the person entered.
          "Have you done as I instructed?" he asked, pointing towards the seat across the desk from him.  The Watcher sat and and looked at him.  He felt as if he was being weighed in some calculation and he didn't like it.  After a moment of scrutiny The Watcher gave a small smile.
           "I looked where you said but it wasn't there."  Malcolm swore and stood up and began to pace.
           "What about the information on Kirland and Sutan?"
          "Not there either.  But not surprising.  She probably keeps them with her."  Continuing to pace Malcolm started grinding his teeth in frustration.  He needed those files.  To make his triumph perfect he needed those files that proved Thomas King had been ordered to kill his father.  The people of the United States had become suspicious of the intelligence services and he needed to use that suspician in his plan.  He suddenly realized that the Watcher was sitting looking at a picture on the wall.  They weren't concerned or in any way upset over the set back.  Why?  Malcolm walked back towards the desk and leaned against the front of it.  He used his advantage of standing over The Watcher to look down on them and study them.  The Watcher simply looked back at him, no expression on their face.
           "What was there?  What did you find in the safe?" he asked.  The Watcher smiled and he felt like he was looking into the face of a very satisfied cheshire cat.  The watcher sat back in their chair folded their arms loosely.
           "Something you will pay me a great deal of money for."  they said.
           "I'm already paying you a great deal of money.  What could you have possibly found that would ever induce me to pay you more."
          "Pay me double you mean."  Malcolm snorted and walked back around his desk.  He sat down and stared at The Watcher.  They were a very helpful tool in his plan and had come at a heavy cost.  But there was something he saw in their face that made him pause before dismissing the possability of more payment outright.
           "Alright, tell me what you found and I'll tell you if it is worth double."  The Watcher shook their head.
           "I'm afraid it won't work that way.  But trust me when I tell you that if I had asked for triple, you would have gladly payed it without blinking."  Silence stretched out for a long minute as the two studied each other.  Malcolm steepeled his fingers in front of his face and leaned his forehead against them thinking.  Money wasn't the issue for him.  His fortune was more than he could spend in two life times.  It was more the principle.  He knew The Watcher was an asset he couldn't do without but was also one he knew he couldn't trust.  That being said, they were no fool.  He didn't doubt that information they had was worth something.  But as a business man, could he take the chance that it was worth the amount asked.  Revenge had not blinded him yet and he hoped it never would.  To be calculating and clear headed to the end would make his success that much richer.   The Watcher began to stand and opened their mouth to speak when he cut them off.
             "Very well.  The price is double."  Sitting back down, The Watcher smiled.
            "Transfer the money into my account and I'll hand it over." they said.  Malcolm grumbled as he picked up the phone on his desk and gave directions for the transfer.
             "There," he said as he hung up, "the money is in your account."
             "You'll understand if I check first."  The Watcher pulled out their phone and pulled up their account information.  A slow, ugly smile spread over their face as they looked at the screen.  Malcolm worked to keep the grimace off his face.  He couldn't forget the danger this person put him in.  "Everything looks in order."  they said and pulled several folded sheets of paper out of a pocket in their coat.  Standing up they tossed it on the desk and turned to leave.  "I'm sure this will change things.  Get in touch with me when you have figured out how and I'll tell you if it will work." 
            The Watcher left the room.  Makolm waited until the door closed behind them before reaching for the papers.  As he scanned them he swore in frustration.  They were Sarah King's adoption papers.  Useless information he already had!   The last page was different though and as he read it he swore again, this time loudly and in shock.  Then he began to laugh!  The Watcher was right, he would have paid triple for this information.  And it changed everything!  A knock on the door was followed by his assistant putting her head in and looking at him concerned.
            "Is everything ok sir?" she asked.  He slapped the papers down on the table and continued to laugh in sheer delight.
           "Everything is perfect Ms. Lake.  More then perfect in fact." 
          "Then is it ok to send in Mr. Kirland and Ms. Brennan?"  He calmed himself down and took a deep breath.  But he was unable to wipe the smile from his face.
           "Please do Ms. Lake."  She nodded and opened the door all the way and gestured for the two people standing in the outer office to enter.  As the door closed behind them Malcolm looked at Brian and Sharon and the smile widened even more.  Brian took a step forward, giving a small tug to Sharon's hand that he was holding.
            "Sharon, this is the head of Runda, Mr. Malcolm Blake."  Malcolm reached out and took Sharon's free hand, covering it with his own.
            "Ms. Brennan, it is indeed a pleasure to finally meet you after all these years.  I have heard only wonderful things about your progress." he said.  He pulled her over to one of the chairs and she let go of Brian's hand as she sat down.
           "Thank you Mr. Blake.  I'm excited to be here."  She smiled and Malcolm nodded, putting on the air of a loving grandfather.  He leaned back on the desk behind him.
          "That's good to hear.  We have a very important job for you to do.  Something that you have already been working on without knowing it.    But now we are entering the final stages of the mission and you are the final piece we need to succeed."  Sharon took a deep breath and glanced at Brian who gave her a small nod of encouragement.
          "Anything I can do sir."  she said. 
          "Good." Malcolm said, then walked back behind his desk, carefully folding the papers he had just finished reading.  "New information just came to me so there will be a small change of plans but for now we will continue with the original."  He sat down and pulled two files from his desk drawer handing one to Brian and the other to Sharon.  "Many years ago, when we were first getting started, we came under attack by an inteligence group called The Company,  Several of our best agents were killed and ever since them, we have been fighting a battle against this group.  We have discovered they have ties to Alquida and the IRA before it was ended.  There has been some evidence that also connects them to the drug cartels in Columbia and numerous black market weapons dealers.  We believe that we now have what we need to bring this agency down.  You Sharon."
        Sharon looked up from the unopened file in her hands in shock and confusion.  She glanced at Brian who seemed completely calm and unphased.
         "I don't understand." she said.  Malcolm gestured to the file she held.
          "Open that."  She did and gasped at what looked like her own face looking back at her.,  The only difference was her hair.  The girl in the picture had blonde hair, like hers had been before she had dyed it.  "That is Sharon King.  She is the cousin of an agent of The Company.  She was kidnapped several years ago by an unknown organization.  We recieved intel that shortly after the kidnapping she was accidentaly killed.  The death was hidden from The Company and her cousin still looks for her today."  Sharon looked from the picture of the young woman to Brian in confusion.
        " helped me pick my name.  You said I looked like a Sharon."  Anger rolled through her and she snapped the file shut.  She couldn't look at the picture.  "Tell me that's not me!" she hissed at Brian.  He closed his own folder and reached over to take Sharon's hand.
         "Of course not."  She pulled her hand away and looked at him.
         "Then why did you say that about the name?  When was she kidnapped?"
         "About a month after I found you.  You were in a coma.  The information was given to me to look in to.  I was shocked by how much you both looked alike and I looked into it to see if the dates were off, to see if you were her.  But you weren't.  I'm sorry."  Sharon stood up and started pacing slowly, folding her arms across herself because she suddenly felt cold.
          "You picked that name for a reason.  Why?" she asked. 
         "That was my doing."  Malcolm said.  He stood up and walked over to Sharon. "My dear, Brian told me about you shortly after you woke up.  He showed me your picture and I couldn't believe that resemblance.  He said he had made a connection with you and felt that you could be a great asset for Runda.  Perhaps someone who would have the ability to finally break into The Company and bring them down."  Sharon backed away from them and felt a pain begin in her head.  "Yes, it was manipulative.  But you had no memory of anything about yourself.  Brian felt that we could give you a life and a purpose in Runda.  We are an organization of spies.  Perhaps what we did was cold and calculating.  But we gave you an identity, a purpose and a family."  Sharon looked over at Brian and the pain in her head intesified.  She put a hand to her head and closed her eyes.  Fear shot through her and she started to wonder for the first time in years who she really was.  She felt Brian take her hand and she opened her eyes. He was standing close to her.  She found herself gripping his hand tightly as the fear started to melt away.
           "I'm sorry Sharon.  I'm sorry if I hurt you.  I never meant to.  I saw a strength in you.  The doctors said you might never wake up but you proved them wrong.  You fought yourself back to this world.  I thought that strength would get you through anything.  But I understand if you want to walk away.  You don't have to do this."  Sharon felt her breathing slow down and her heart stopped racing.  The pain was gone from her head.  She let go of Brian's hand and sat down looking at the closed folder for a minute.
          "So this organization is basically a terrorist group." she said.  Malcolm nodded.
          "One that has connections in every country and is based here in the U.S."
           "What about the FBI and Homeland Security?  They haven't been able to do anything all these years?"  Brian and Malcolm both took their seats again.
           "The Company only moved it's base of operations to the U.S after 9/11.  They are set up as a ghost inteligance agency.  As far as we know, the only one here who knows their true purpose is their leader, a man we have only identified as The General.  Until today."  Malcolm said.  Brian looked at him in surprise.
           "We have a name?" he asked.
           "We do.  But that will stay with me for now.  At any rate, we are here alone.  The FBI, HS and CIA are all unaware of The Company's true nature.  For them, The Company is the helpful cousin no one talks about."  Sharon tapped the folder.  She still didn't want to open it again just yet.
          "Why not show them the information you have?" she asked.  Malcom leaned back and sighed.
          "The truth is, we don't know who to trust.  Since the agencies started sharing information The Company has inserted itself in every American agency.  We don't know who has been bought or who is just being used.  You understand, if we take down The Company, the US Intelligence network will have to clean house, and there are too many important people, here and in other countries, who don't want that."   There was silence for several minutes as Malcolm and Brian let it all sink in.
           Sharon sat looking down at the folder.  Her hands were clutching it tightly and creases were starting to form.  She worked to relax her grip and slowly opened it again.  She looked at the picture of Sharon King.  The pain was starting to come back to her head again, but not sharp.  She shook her head, trying not to think about it.  She felt like she was looking into a mirror of herself three years ago.  She had dyed her hair red so that every time she looked in the mirror she didn't wonder about her past.  It was the only thing she could really change about her appearance.  This poor girl.  They had each other's face's and because of that, Sharon was being asked to play a role in bringing down what sounded like a giant terrorist organization.
             "She's really dead?  And her family doesn't know?" she whispered.  She felt Brian's hand on her shoulder.
           "She's dead.  And her only family was her cousin who refuses to believe that she is anything other than alive."  Taking a deep breath Sharon looked at Malcolm.
          "What do you need me to do?"  Malcolm smiled and leaned forward.
         "We need you to become Sharon King."

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