The Zodiac Veils - The Thirteenth Sign

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Malachi - Chapter 1

Artificial light cast its amber glow down from the low level lighting. The small room was void of windows and the only door was guarded from the outside by a well-trained, rough looking armed man. One wall was predominately taken up by a large screen which currently glowed with a dull black light and the Brothers symbol. An arrow and a lightning bolt crossed within a circle, which in turn was contained within an oval, almost like an eye with a cross through the centre, he'd wondered what this symbol meant but knew that too much digging would mean bad consequences. Around a circular table in the centre of the room sat three figures. Upon entering they acknowledged each other with a courteous nod and then sat waiting for the screen to come to life.

He stared at the other two men from beneath lidded eyes, his eyelashes almost closed but he studied them his blue eyes sparkling. Both were male and in their late twenties/early thirties like him. He couldn't see anything specifically remarkable about them and both looked like other politicians such as himself. The man on his left wore a pricey looking high end suit. The sheen of the fabric and the delicate stitching reeked of upper class private boarding school money. He had dark well groomed hair with hints of grey already peppering his temples. His skin had an almost olive complexion and contrasted his grey eyes. The gentleman on his right wore a suit similar to his own, not quite high street but nothing that would break the bank, a small silver pin held his blue tie in place. The light reflected off his copper hair and his green eyes stood out even in the dark room.

When the message had landed in his desk that morning he was unsure as to what they had been drawn here for. The first time he had met with the Brothers he was alone. They had come to him in his office. Well not the actual Brothers, he had still to meet them in the flesh. One of their employees had brought a tablet and explained to him who they were. He remembered thinking it was all very James Bond and MI5 and wondered what they wanted with him and if the iPad would self-detonate in thirty seconds. He'd only been working in the mayor’s office for a few months but he had been doing well. Well enough to be promoted from his entry role. He was proud of his new office and the other staff had bought him a small fern which now sat on the window basking in the grey autumn light. The Brothers had told him what they wanted of him, he knew it wasn't the whole story but what they described and what they offered was too much to resist.

So here he sat waiting for the Brothers and as he thought they don't usually keep him waiting the screen flickered to life. As usual he couldn't actually see their faces. The two men on the screen sat shrouded in shadow. They looked like those people in crime reconstructions, faces covered for their own safety. He knew he shouldn't really trust these two men. After all you wouldn't take instructions from someone you don't know and never met. He remembered his mother telling him off once for being found swimming in the canal,

'Would you jump off a cliff if they asked you?' The thought made his blood boil.

But all they offered had peaked his interest. They had proved themselves to him. He found that with their guidance he had quickly rose through the ranks, and he knew that with continued help he could make it to leader of his party. They had dropped little memos with current public responses to opinion polls before the official numbers had even come out. Scandalous information on his rivals was always a good one, he still had a few secrets about possible advisories up his sleeve. He had so enjoyed blackmailing the leader of his constituency and knew it was only a matter of time before the secret gay affair story would come to light and then he would step into his shoes and take control and leave the ridiculed man to the mercy of the tabloid wolves, who would no doubt tear him to shreds. He allowed his attention to focus back on the screen.

'Good evening gents, I trust you are well and we do apologise for the short notice' the voice deep and steady showed no sign of emotion. The kind of voice that demanded attention from everyone within the vicinity.

'We have the most wonderful news to share with you all' the second voice was higher almost unnaturally high, feminine in quality but with definite male tones woven in.

'Yes indeed' the deep voice agreed. 'You each have been entrusted with your own parts to play, and on the whole you have played them well.'

The blue eyed man didn't quite like the sound of that. He thought it strange that the Brothers had brought them all here together. He knew other people were involved and he also knew how secretive the Brothers were in their plans. He had always known that the overall plan rested on the shoulders of many men, but he had always assumed they were kept part for the own safety if not the safety of the Brothers. But here they were. He had always trusted his gut, and from the moment he held the memo in his hands that morning his stomach had been churning.

'The subject of which we spoke has been captured' the higher voiced shadowy figure almost burst out in excitement.

'Quite, yes. She's being held in the facility and the procedure has been a success' the blue eyed man noted a hint of happiness in the deep voice this time.

'Unlike the other subjects, she has maintained a satisfactory level of health and the specimen is doing very well. In only a few short months we will see the fruits of our labours...however' the deep voice lost its bounce and became steely and stern turning the last word into a threat.

'It seems that two of you don't seem as dedicated to us and what we have offered you as we would have hoped.'

The three men around the table shuffled, and the blue eyed man tried to think of any discretions in the secrecy he had been sworn to.

Without warning the private school gentleman slumped to the table. A pool of dark blood seeped from his mouth bubbling and gurgling and made its way slowly and stickily across the table. His expensive suit soaking up the ever increasing dark liquid. Gasps of breath issued from his lungs and they sounded wet and dull, his grey eyes stared at him, asking for help. Slowly, as if someone had pulled a plug out of a bath, he could actually see the life draining from his eyes until they were lifeless and his death glare was focused on the screen. The other two men looked at each other.

'Sirs, I must declare I have been honest and truthful to the cause'

The blue eyed man called out whilst standing up. He felt the need to point out his loyal dedication.

'I have not spoken a word to anyone of our meetings, I have played my part and done what was requested of me'

'Yes Malachi, and we are very grateful for all you have done for us, and we are nothing if not men of our words'

With that, the copper haired man fell to the table, then slid off his chair, his face towards the now standing man. The copper hair fell into his eyes which stared out wide and surprised. Blood flowed from his mouth and was joined by the large pool on the glossy black table top which had begun to run in thick streams to the floor. Their blood seamlessly converging on the tiles creating a dark pool. The men’s glassy stares unnerved him. How had they managed that? There was no one else in the room he had seen no visible signs of attack, the guns, no knives no ways to administer poisons.

'Don't worry our good man, you have pleased us, the same fate does not await you. We had great plans for you three men, but we knew the fickleness of human nature, so, as luck would have it you are now our first choice.'

'Oh I did say I liked him didn't I, he was always my favourite' the high voice practically called out with childish glee. Practically bouncing in his seat and clapping his hands together.

'Now, now brother calm down' the deep voice soothed with exasperation.

'When we first spoke to you and over these last few years we have informed you of pieces of our plan and promised you great power for seeing our ideas come to fruition. And we will not back out of our promises.' Words seemed to slip off this man’s voice like honey, though he hadn’t met the man he Malachi had to say he trusted every word this Brother said to him.

'Th th thank you good sirs' he stuttered his blue eyes watering, he wasn't sure if out of fright or admiration for the Brothers and everything they had accomplished. This was what he had been waiting for. He knew that there was something mystical about the plan but he never knew the full details, capturing some girl, running tests on her setting up databases within loads of different secotrs. He had to play the waiting game, he had to be a good little boy and follow orders. You couldn't just rush the game and expect to win, you take your time, and aim cautiously and now here was his prize. The truth!

'Now sit back down Malachi and we will tell you the next phase and what we now need of you.'

Malachi smiled, his blue eyes locked onto the screen, riveted. He was ready for this, the last ten years of servitude and he was now getting his reward.


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