THE HEIST OF IRON MOUNTAIN (Amara Quest Series)

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CHAPTER 5

“Avalon! You’re welcome to my office, have a seat,” the United States President seemed a bit nervous as he sat down on the leather chair behind the Resolute desk in his office.

His august visitor, the CEO of G.S. Tech and a representative of Syndicate , a secret organization that consists of very powerful people from different parts of the world that controls and influences important happenings in the world.

The Saudi however continued to walk slowly round the Oval Office.

“So, this is the so much bespoken Oval office? Modest, I’d say,” he walked to the Charles Willson Peale portrait of George Washington over the mantle and traced a finger on the frame before putting it to his nose like he was smelling it. He went from there to the ‘Passamaquoddy Bay’ landscape painting by Victor de Grailly and stood inspecting it, his hands in the pocket of his white flowing Arab gown.

“I’ve read the application, sir,” the president said and coughed into his handkerchief; he had caught a cold recently and has been coughing incessantly, his wife had advised that he should go for a check-up or at least call their doctor but there was too much at stake for him to take even the slightest medical leave, he had to manage and besides he was already taking some prescribed drugs.

He sat back, examining the leather-bound application still in his hands; he would have smoked a cigar but he declined doing that in front of visitors unless he was in the company of friends or when he was alone. The cold sent another round of shiver down his spine.

“Are these windows really bullet-proof?”

Well, what do you think?” the president said with a grin.

The Saudi said and took out a box of Gurkha Black Dragon cigarettes from his snakeskin clutch bag and took out a cigar from it and offered the president.

“No, thank you. You know very much that in as much as the elitists in the U.S. are very much in support of this, eh, blacklist project of yours but I’m sorry the Office of the United States government cannot sign an agreement of this type,”

The Saudi heaved a sigh, “we have discussed this already and I do not think making it harder would do either of us any good,” he lighted the cigar and smoked, “I know all about your congress and all that but this is an absolute and ultimate secret between myself and your office, your scientists and the whole elitist group of this country. I need not remind you of the involvement of other powerful countries; I bet you wouldn’t like America to be losing out on such a great deal, would you?” He asked and the president kept mute.

The Arab kept on pacing around the office, his footfalls breaking the nightly silence. He knew that the U.S. President would need a little working up before he would be convinced to make an agreement; after all, he’s the leader of the most powerful country in the world.

“Obviously, the people who got your ass on that seat would be pissed off and would certainly have other plans for you. This is no longer news to the powerful people in your country; the celebrities, Hollywood stars, past presidents, Silicon Valley billionaires, the super-rich, you name them. Imagine the outcome Mr. President, I bet you personally want in on the blacklist,” he grinned menacingly.

“Enough of all that. The U.S. Presidency is not just a man’s private business; I have the interest of the masses to take into consideration as well. It is unfortunate that most of the officials in the White House had got me involved in this but you should know well that my hands are tied,” the President said, he fixed a cold gaze on the august visitor.

He coughed into his handkerchief before continuing, “The best I can do for you is to give you a signed document indicating the full support of the U.S. President’s office in your noble scientific bid but I’m not signing this blacklist application thing, that okay by you?” he asked.

The Saudi kept mute and appeared engrossed with smoking his cigar and making smoke rings; the President asked him again and he gave him a slight nod with his eyes still fixed on something behind the President.

He shifted aside some paper works on the Resolute desk and leaned forward.

The Saudi rolled the cigar between his lips,

“You are really a tough man, Mr. President, maybe I like that but I’m not so sure. I’m just trying to get my head around the fact that you declined my offer; but all is well, I’ll make do with that but I won’t promise full delivery of my services to your citizens and I’ll make sure they know that it’s not my fault when everything falls into place,” he said and winked with one eye.

The President was glad that this late night august visitor would soon leave, he really needed to rest after a busy day and he would chose his bed over sitting around in the Oval office and talking to this crazy rich Arab man.

He reached under the desk and unlocked a drawer, inside it were a variety of office effects and he pulled out a blank thick card which has a watermark of the U.S. Presidential seal and scribbled on it for some time before lightly flicking it across the table to the Arab man. It made a scrapping sound on the polished surfaced before the man stopped it with his long fingers.

“Here, you can have it. This is only recognized within the United States, I hope this meeting is over sir,” the President asked, he no longer made any effort to hide his impatience.

The Saudi looked it over in the light of the office and shook his head satisfactorily,

“I guess it’s about time you get back to the warmth of your wife, I heard she’s lovely,” he grinned showing a set of white teeth. They both stood up and shook hands,

“This way please, Avalon!” the President said and the voice activated record terminated.

“You keep on saying that,” the man said, his suspicion rising. He stopped in his tracks and turned to face the President squarely,

“I don’t understand what you mean?” the President asked, maintaining eye contact was something he had mastered over his long years of political ambition and that tactic was never lost on him when the need arises. In situations like this, it mattered a lot.

“Mr. President, you keep on saying Avalon and it is obviously not my name,” he repeated his cigar halfway to his mouth.

“Oh, there’s this Saudi I met before and he was looked just like you, we were so fond of each other and that’s what we call ourselves. Never mind, its sheer habit with a little dose of sleep,” the President said, he walked past him and held the oak door open.

“I hope to see you again,” he turned back and blew a smoke ring at him, “Mr. President.”

“It’s nice to finally meet you, I wished we had met on a more different ground,” the President added and caught hold of himself before he let out a loud sneeze.

“But we cannot help it Mr. President, can we?”

“So long, I guess it’s about time I retire. Enjoy your stay in America,”

“You too, I hope you enjoy your stay on that seat, the shorter the better,” he sneered and was laughing as he walked down the hallway.

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