The Zodiac Veils - The Thirteenth Sign

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Malachi - Chapter 3

He'd known that getting to where he was now was the easy part despite the years of hard work, but the Brothers needed him to be in a position of much more power. Even though they had told him their plan, he still knew that he didn't know everything, the main reason being why. They needed him in a position of power, to make rules. He could currently vote on rules and other such matters but he needed to make them. And so the process began again. Buddying up to the right people, exposing those who got in his way. It had been somewhat of a public scandal at the time, Iain's fall from power. It was front page news, plastered over all the tabloids. How his wife had left him, filed for divorce and stopped him from seeing the girls. A list of his expenses was published, including the cost of his second home and his second life with Justin. And Justin, that was all over the papers, he had sold his story and did pretty well out of it, he was now on one of those reality TV shows on sky. During all this public outcry no one seemed to pay much attention to the mysterious deaths of two other prominent people. A scientist working at the Eden project had died in a car accident only days after Iain was toppled and the body of another politician had been found at his Essex home and had suffered from an apparent heart attack.

No one had linked these deaths, why would anyone, they seemed unconnected, to those not in the know. But the faces of the two men still haunted Malachi. They woke him up from his dreams, the grey lifeless eyes staring at him, the blood soaked copper hair eerily reflecting the amber light, and the smell of the blood. But he knew his place and what he needed to do and he pushed these thoughts deep down.

He sacrificed a lot for the cause, he barley spoke to his own family anymore, it was just him his mother and his aunt. He told himself that it was because he didn't want to put them in any danger, if something went wrong and he was seen to be close to them, they would be targeted. However he knew deep down it was only due to the fact that he had no bond to them and he hadn't for many years, when he moved away for university he had simply left them behind. He would still visit for Christmas and Easter, but even these last few years he had been much too busy. There was no lady in his life besides Siri, he given up on that idea a long time ago. There had been one women, back at university but his devotion has pushed her away. He had no social life, no friends not even a pet. He took solace at the end of the day with a glass of whiskey and a cigarette on his balcony looking out over the city.

He didn't mind this life, he had always preferred to be alone. As a child he detested the play dates and birthday parties he was dutifully sent on. The other children bothered him, they didn't get him, he had much more of an eye for grown up things, he wanted to read the papers, watch the news, mummies little genius she called him. She hadn't seen the signs of bullying. The bruises on his back which he covered so well, the occasions where he wet the bed and washed his sheets his mother had just thought he was being helpful. She even took the time that he was pushed into the canal as a sign of him playing and being boisterous with the other children. Not the life changing moment it was for him. Whether she knew about the bullying and decided to ignore he didn't know but it was since that day he began to separate himself from her.

As the dark muddy waters had swallowed him he felt totally helpless, gasping for air, his lungs had forgotten how to work and he flailed around. It had been a few seconds before he had realised that he could actually stand in the murky waters. Years of silt had built up under the surface making the water only a few feet deep. But it was as he dragged himself onto the bank and lay on his back panting that he made a deal with himself. A deal that would mean he would do anything he can to gain power. Anything he could to be on top, to be the bully. Even if that meant stomping on people on the way up. He owed everything he has today to this deal with the devils.

**********

It had been a year since his meeting with the Brothers. Malachi sat in his living room in his penthouse apartment. He looked around taking in his success. The big apartment, the top end furniture, the maid who came twice a week and he smiled to himself. The open doors onto the balcony let in a slight summer breeze which cooled the air. He held in his hand the latest speech he was due to give at a party rally the next day, he had to admit, even he was taken in by the persuasiveness of his arguments. He liked to write his own speeches, he knew he had a great way with words and could ally most people to his cause, his manifestos.

A loud caw knocked him out of his daydream, he scanned the room to see where it had come from and he heard it again from the balcony. He cautiously held aside the vales to see a blackbird perched on the rails at the edge of the building. Attempting to shoe it away he saw its eyes. Big and green, human eyes. Similar to someone else's eyes he had once seen but he refused to let that memory resurface. For a moment they stared, each contemplating the other. The bird motioned to a package at its feet. The standard brown paper enveloped which it had no doubt dropped onto the wooden decking lay a few feet away from the bird. It cawed once more than took off.

He didn't know if he should be wary off the bird, since when did birds have human eyes? On the other hand he knew not to question the Brothers and from the seal on the envelope there was no one else this could have come from. The arrow and the lightning bolt crossed the flap stamped in black wax. It seemed rather medieval. Messages by bird, waxen seals and he shrugged it off and picked up the envelope. Opening it he found firstly a hand written letter.

Dearest Malachi

May we first offer our greatest congratulations upon your upcoming succession to leader of your party. Through hard work and determination we have all seen your meteoric rise and know that we chose the best man for the job.

You will be successful tomorrow in claiming your rightful position, and we will be playing our part in the proceedings, we too have our ways to bending people’s wills with words. As your speech will endeavour to secure your place, our siren calls will subdued any misgivings anyone may have.

We will be meeting again very soon and you shall know in due course where and when. Sadly it shall not be in person to shake your hand. But, please note that day shall also come without haste,

The rest of the documents within this envelope delivered by our loyal servant will provide you with further instructions as to our next steps and what we require from you. Please read them well, learn them, then destroy them for no one can know. We have no need to stress upon you the importance of this.

Until we meet again.

The Brothers.

He re-read the letter, he knew better than to question them but how can they guarantee that he will be chosen for the role. Then again he knew they had their ways and that filled him with a warmth. A thrill of success. He will be on top, only a few more months and he can take the crown for himself.

He turned his attention to the other documents within the envelope and began to read. Like small jigsaw pieces falling into place, he found himself digesting and realising why he had been told to do what he had. To build his campaign on identity, the expulsion of immigrants, extra funding for research and national databases and lower taxes on those who complied. It began to make sense. He took a pen and furiously scribbled on his speech for tomorrow, re wording it here and adding things there. He could use some of this information to work his speech into a masterpiece of literary genius. It would be the kind of speech that would be spoken about for years to come and he wanted to make it count. Picking pieces out of the Brothers documents and adding to his own speech, adding his own phrases. Even stealing a piece of Harry potter, for the greater good. He had always liked that turn of phrase and it was indeed for the greater good. People needed order and control. And the people who matter need a way of identifying those people of controlling and monitoring them. In the age of big brother and terrorism people are scared of cameras but they want safety. They want a way of ordering their lives. They are merely sheep who need to be told what they want and what to do, and he was to be their Shepard. He was the messenger of the Brothers, to control the flock, heard the nation into a greater era.

Putting down his pen, he knew that his words alone would win him his election. No need for the Brothers siren song, whatever that maybe. He read the documents one last time. Read the letter congratulating him. Read the information on his next steps. He opened the little door of the log burner in his living room and placed the documents into the flames. He watched as they curled at the edges, the sparks catching and consuming the paper. He watched as they turned black and then grey and let the flames lift them in small pieces and drift out of sight up the flue.

He did however keep the letter, knowing he shouldn't he hid it in the safe behind a picture in his bedroom. He wanted a memento of his hard work and what better than a well done pat on the back from the Brothers. Walking bare foot back through to the kitchen. The soles of his feet softly padding on the wooden floor. He took a cigarette from the packet and poured a large whiskey from the decanter full of the honey liquid. He settled himself not two feet away from the spot where the bird had dropped the envelope and took in the sights and sounds of the city. He thought about his speech, the big day tomorrow and the Brothers plans. A small voice rose up from inside. This was the voice that he didn't like, it usually sounded like Hillary.

You still don't know what's it's all about Malachi, they still haven't told you.

He closed his eyes squeezing them together until little white lights danced across his closed lids. He didn't want these doubts creeping in. He knew his place and he knew what he was to do. But the voice was still there behind his eyes and demanding his attention. With a hint of gloating in the voice, just before he pushed it deep down inside and took a final swig downing the contents of his glass he heard the Hilary's voice question him.

You know everything else but you still didn't understand why?


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