Chapter 8 The Trioscepter Burden
A pen tapped against a desk and it smacked faster by the Trioscepter leader named Ron. He was a man with combed light brown hair and glasses, and he sat on his leather chair, looking at a portrait of his father in a tux that hung in his office. He thought, I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want to be the one in charge. It’s all my fault that everything is falling apart. It’s my fault that my brother is no longer here.
Ron slammed his fist on the desk and stopped tapping the pen, launching it against the room and breaking it.
Aldrich stood by the door with a straight face and said, “Well, perhaps I stepped in at the wrong time. Maybe I’ll return when you’ve cooled off.”
Ron said, “Wait, you’ve come for a reason. I assume you’ve got some news for me.”
Aldrich said, “Barry informed me of some information he discovered. It may bring you a bit of comfort, but it’s a bit disturbing as well. It’s about the news broadcasted the other day.”
Ron said, “Yes, I’m well aware. However, I’m unconvinced though that the Scarlet are fighting among themselves. It’s not like the past when Drake took over the organization.”
Aldrich said, “Well, Barry was at the scene undercover, and he hacked into the system to get more information.” Aldrich took out a flash drive from his coat and walked toward Ron’s computer. The flash drive clicked into the computer, and he stood behind Ron. Aldrich said, “It’s disturbing, but anyways I think you should watch it to get an understanding of the situation we might be in.”
The video played without audio and it was dusk. A gate and tall fences were at Location Two’s entrance, and tall light post lit up the factory area. Two Scarlet men stood in watchtowers, and two others guarded the gates.
Ron said, “I thought that factory was abandoned a long time ago.”
Aldrich said, “It used to be abandon but not anymore.”
The men guarding the fence talked with each other as two more men appeared from the factory with drinks in their hands. They moved their hands as they had a conversation with the guards at the fence and the men on the watch towers stretched their backs, looking into the distance.
Two shots fired and the bright path of the bullet slammed straight into the lights. It was dark, and all the guards appeared as silhouettes. The light of the bullets struck all the guards at the gate except one who escaped. Rapid fire flew into the watchtowers, and the men ducked as the bullets ricocheted.
From the brush, twelve silhouettes rushed toward the factory and leaped onto the fence, climbing quickly and then it went static, ending the video.
Ron looked over his shoulder where Aldrich stood and said, “Who are these people who went charging toward the fence? Those aren’t our men.”
Aldrich said, “We’re not sure who or where these individuals came from. We don’t even know how many there are.” Aldrich grabbed a photo from his pocket and said, “Remember the spy that got away from our headquarters.”
Ron slowly looked over his shoulders and frowned. “I hate being reminded about him getting away. This better be good news, Aldrich. Otherwise, I’ve failed to keep my promise to Donovan that he’d be safe. Ever since my father was assassinated, nothing’s been going right until he came. I can’t bare another failure.”
Ron grabbed a glass from his desk and threw it toward the wall. Sweat dripped from his face, and he breathed in and out. He took his glasses off and laid them on his desk as he wiped his sweat. He said, “If the enemy knows him they’ll want him and his technology. They’ve witnessed our power grow and will crave our superiority. However, let me hear what you’ve got to say”
Aldrich said, “Barry has recovered Donovan’s document, and the spy is dead.” He put the document and photos on the desk. On the picture, puncture wounds were on the spy’s face and body. The spy was bruised, and blood covered his clothing and body. He laid in the grass barefoot.
Aldrich said, “The documents were found at a gas station, and Barry found the spy’s body close by Location Two in a black bag, but we don’t know who killed him.”
Ron said, “So the Scarlet never got word of Donovan?”
Aldrich said, “No, they’re distracted by the mysterious killings that occurred, and they believe the spy was killed with the rest.”
Ron put his glasses on and said, “Bring Donovan to my office. I must have a word with him.” Aldrich went and got him. Donovan arrived sluggishly and with bags under his eyes.
Ron said, “Well, Donovan, I can assure you that you’ll have much rest after the news which was told to me. The spy is dead, and your documents are returned. You no longer have to worry about it.”
His face was droopy as he grabbed his documents and said, “I feel awful that I am relieved of the death of a man. I’m happy and disgusted with myself. Since I lost my career, I have seen a side of myself that I never thought existed. All I want is for this nightmare to end.”
Ron said, “Donovan, the nightmare has ended. You no longer have to worry about anybody telling your secret.” He grabbed a thick amount of money from his drawer and laid it on his desk. “Donovan, here is your share. Your skills have strengthened our organization. You’re truly a talented young man, and I do hope one day your dreams will come true. Hopefully, no one will ever find out about this dark time in your life.”
Donovan looked at the money and stared at it for a while. He looked at Ron and said, “I’m honored for this gift, but I cannot accept it.”
Ron said, “Why can’t you take this?”
Donovan said, “I don’t mean any disrespect to you. It’s just that I cannot bear more weight on my shoulders. Many people died trying to obtain this money, and I cannot take any more of it.”
Ron said, “I understand. I respect your decision. However, if you ever change your mind, you’ve got one week to retrieve it.” Ron put his hands together and cleared his throat. He said, “Donovan, I almost failed to keep my promise to you, and I don’t want this to happen again. I must ask you to leave. I hope you understand. But anyways I want to thank you for helping us in our difficult time. I hope you do succeed in following your dreams.”
Donovan said, “Thank you. However, I believe someone else can change this world.” Donovan looked at his wedding ring and said. “I realized what my whole world is.” He walked toward the door.
Ron said, “Best regards, Donovan.”
Donovan returned home with his head down. He entered, and his wife sat on the sofa facing the opposite direction from him, showing only her backside. Donovan shut the door and said, “Cassidy, I’m home.” She didn’t answer, and he said, “Cassidy?” He walked toward her, and her suitcase was next to her.
Cassidy grabbed a tissue from the end table but didn’t turn. She blew her nose and said, “Where were you?”
Cassidy yelled, “Donovan, answer me. Where were you?”
Donovan said, “I-I-I was working like I’ve always been.”
Cassidy blew her nose and tried to hold in her tears. She reached for another tissue, but the box was empty. Cassidy grabbed the box and threw it against the wall. She stood up and looked at him. A tint of red was in her eyes and the light shined on the dry tear streaks. “I went to the place where you said you worked and they told me you never did work there. You or someone paid them to cover up your lies. Now, don’t tell me another lie, Donovan. I want the truth from you now!”
Donovan was silent for a moment but said, “I’ve had enough of this, so I’ll go right ahead and say it. I … I created technology for ... for the Trioscepters.”
Cassidy said, “What? Why would you do this to us?”
Donovan’s eyes watered and said, “I did what I thought was right to do. I saw a poor father digging in a garbage trying to provide for his wife and child in the alley, and they were murdered the next day. I was afraid that this was our future and I wasn’t going to let that happen to us. But now I see that I’m a fool, and you were right. I don’t have any faith in what you believe in.” He looked downward and said, “I’m a criminal, and I’m the one who should leave. Not you. I don’t deserve someone like you.” He turned and walked out the door.
Cassidy wiped her red nose as tears streamed. The door shut and she put her hand on her chest where her heart was located. It felt as if Cassidy had a hole in her heart. She felt empty and alone. The air was still in her house and the clock ticked. She knelt on her sofa and grabbed a pillow, covering it with tears as her hand laid on her heart.