Their breaths echoed in the darkness. Elliot started to move but Tyrell grabbed him sharply by the arm. ‘Wait,’ he hissed.
A few seconds later there was another knock on the door, followed by three more in rapid succession.
‘They know we’re here Tyrell, what’s the point in hiding?’
Elliot broke free of Tyrell’s grasp and started to make his way to the door. Tyrell swore and ran after him. Once they reached the hallway they paused, and Elliot squeezed Tyrell’s forearm in support. More confidently than he felt, he strode towards the door and swung it open to reveal two men in suits.
Oh you have got to be kidding me. This is getting old.
‘Sir, you both need to come with us.’
Both men realised there was no point resisting, so wordlessly they followed the men in suits out into a waiting town car.
The journey was silent and tense. Elliot kept stealing glances at Tyrell. The mask was on and he was doing his utmost to appear calm and confident, but Elliot could tell by the slight facial tics he’d come to know very well, that Tyrell was anything but. Silently he tried to communicate to him that everything was going to be alright.
They pulled up outside a deserted warehouse. Silently they were led inside, and taken down a narrow corridor until they reached a door.
‘Only Mr Wellick from here,’ the larger of the two men in suits ordered. Elliot turned, wide-eyed to Tyrell, who just gave him a curt nod of reassurance. Elliot was offered a seat, and Tyrell was led through the doorway.
In stark contrast to the derelict appearance of the rest of the building, the room Tyrell was taken into was large and grand. A long banquet table was laid out, and the room was lit by candelabras, and filled with flowers. A string quartet played in the corner. Tyrell felt nauseated as he took in the people sitting around the table. Each one was dressed in black-tie finery, but wore the head of a teddy-bear costume. Tyrell looked into their black, dead eyes and felt dizzy.
He was sat down and poured a cup of tea in a delicate china tea-cup. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed with rage he stood up, swiping his hand and sending the tea-cup flying across the room and smashing against the floor. ‘What the fuck is this?’ he yelled, not caring that his composure was slipping.
The man sitting at the head of the table spoke.
‘My, my, Tyrell, you do have a flair for the dramatics. That temper of yours always was your undoing.’ Tyrell forced himself to take some calming breaths.
‘But I have to say, we are all very impressed with you. This was not quite how we planned to do this, but our fun had to end sometime. Everybody, please give our esteemed guest a round of applause.’
Clapping filled the air. Someone next to him patted him on the shoulder and whispered, ‘bravo’.
‘Now I expect you want answers. We are deeply sorry that we had to keep you in the dark for so long, but we had to make sure you didn’t do anything reckless. Nothing keeps people more obedient that fear, isn’t that right Tyrell? And we needed you to be obedient.’
‘Where’s my wife? What have you done with her?’
‘Patience Mr Wellick, we will get to that, but please rest assured she is safe.’
He cleared his throat and continued. ‘The chaos you have unleashed on the world has been planned for many years. You might think it was your friend that did this, but these cogs have been turning long before your little society was formed. You were carefully chosen for this Tyrell and nothing has made us happier than seeing you fulfil your destiny.’
‘Who the fuck are you?!’
The man at the head of the table leaned in to whisper to the person next to him. They both nodded, and the man turned back to Tyrell.
‘I think you’ve earned the right to know who’s been pulling your strings.’ He slowly took of the bear head.
Tyrell let out an audible gasp as the man underneath the costume revealed himself to be Phillip Price.
‘Now Tyrell, I appreciate you must be confused, so please bear with me as I explain. We-‘
‘What does E Corp possibly have to gain from this?’ Tyrell interrupted.
‘Oh now,’ he chuckled, ‘you can’t expect me to tell you that, surely? You are just a foot soldier! All you need to know is you made us proud. Well done.’
They burst into a round of applause again. Tyrell’s skin crawled.
‘It became clear that we needed someone on the inside. A pawn. Someone who had the technical know-how, but could be manipulated easily. Someone inconsequential.’
‘I was a VP at that company!’
‘Oh, sweet boy. Did you think you’d earned your position? You were competent, of course, but you got to where you were because we placed you there. How else would an outsider, with no wealth or influence climb the ranks so quickly?’ he laughed.
‘I must admit, there were things even we couldn’t foresee. When your friend formed his little society we couldn’t believe our luck - there it was, on a silver platter, a way to fast-track our plan. Though I must admit, we might have had a small helping hand in that one too.’ Seeing Tyrell’s look of betrayal he hastily added, ‘Oh no, don’t get me wrong, fsociety was all Elliot’s doing, but we certainly might have given him a few nudges, opened a few doors for him, if you catch my drift.’ Tyrell didn’t, but Mr Price continued regardless. ‘We couldn’t have imagined how successfully things would go, and how fast! It was all very serendipitous, as you like to say.’ He smiled a sickening Cheshire-cat like grin and Tyrell fought the urge to look away.
‘So we adapted, used the situation to our advantage. What kind of business-men would we be if we didn’t? You didn’t always make it easy for us though. You threw us quite the curveball when you got mixed up in that awful business with Sharon Knowles. You almost derailed the whole operation, but luckily we were able to make that go away. I understand you’ve since given the police quite a show, so I suspect you won’t have any more trouble there,’ he winked at Tyrell. ‘But then, it all worked out rather nicely anyway – we were able to fire you, and that set in motion the final phase of our plan.’
Phillip paused, seemingly deep in thought, before shaking his head sadly.
‘Oh Tyrell,’ he tutted, ‘it was heart-breaking to see you unravel in quite the spectacular way you did. It took a lot of work, from all of us, to keep you on track, keep you protected. But then we knew going in how unstable you could be, so that was our risk to take. We hoped you would be worth it, and I’m delighted to say you were’ he smiled again.
Tyrell shuddered. What the fuck did that mean? What did they think they knew about him? He struggled to fight a wave of nausea, and calm his breathing. He wished Elliot was in here with him, as he wasn’t convinced any of this was really happening.
‘The hack went off exactly as we’d hoped, but we couldn’t have you running off and doing something stupid, so we had to intervene. We’ve been keeping a watchful eye on you ever since, I have to say it’s been quite entertaining.’ Tyrell clenched his fists at his side.
‘Please, don’t be angry. We were so pleased with you when the hack went off smoothly that we wanted to tell you straight away, but you were in no fit state. We thought you’d lost your mind Tyrell! It seemed kinder to keep you sedated, and that little window of time was just what we needed to get the rest of our affairs in order. The only logical choice once everything was in place was to reunite you with Mr Alderson. It was so perfect, really- he was in worse shape than you! Running all over town trying to find you, it was adorable. Watching the two of you stumble around in the mess you’d made was quite fun, I must admit.’
Tyrell snarled angrily under his breath.
‘Since then we monitored you until you were stable enough to learn the truth about how valuable you really were. Though I must say you kind of forced our hand tonight. Elliot came very close to stumbling on something vital, and we realised we couldn’t put this meeting off any longer. You do work well together Tyrell; I have to admit your instincts about Mr Alderson were spot on.’
‘If you were worried about me ruining everything, why didn’t you just have me killed, surely that would have been easier?! I was inconsequential after all!’ he spat. ‘Why resort to cryptic threats and ridiculous riddles?’
‘We never wanted to harm you Tyrell, we’re not monsters!’ he gasped in mock-horror. ‘With regards to the riddles, I have to admit, that was a little stroke of brilliance I cannot take credit for. A colleague of mine thought it would be more fun this way, and I have to agree. As you can probably tell, we do have a penchant for the theatrical,’ he laughed. ‘But we were prepared to take more drastic measures if the situation had demanded it.’
Tyrell swayed on the spot, but was determined, as a matter of pride, to stay standing.
‘What does my wife have to do with all of this? Why have you taken her?’
‘Well, Mr Wellick, I think you’d better ask her that yourself, don’t you?’