“Sir, you’ve been summoned,” Agent Holmes, one of the smaller, more brittle agents, beckons.
“Of course, I have,” Helquest replies, pinching the bridge of his nose. The last few weeks had been hell for him, but now that the girl was going to cooperate, he should be able to keep the directors happy… for now. “Clear the room and put them on screen.”
Holmes does as he’s told before clearing everyone from the room. Ten faces pop up on the large screen looming over Helquest. He takes a deep breath, straightening his shoulders before gazing at the Elite directors.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” he drawls with that jaw-aching smile he’s mastered over years of practice.
“Enough with the niceties,” the silver-haired woman in the center snaps. “We haven’t received an update in weeks. Are the subjects ready? We want this mission executed on the fifteenth, no later.”
“They are training harder than ever.” Helquest smiles, clasping his hands behind his back. “The Morros girl has proven very useful. We will have exact results from her by the end of this week. As I suspected, she only needed some… convincing.”
“Very good.” The dark-haired gentleman on the far left nods his approval, as if Helquest needed any of their approval. “And the father? What became of him?”
Helquest’s smile falters, but he plasters it in place to keep from snarling. “He evaded us, yet again, but I believe he will leave Payton be in order to keep his other daughters safe. His compassion is getting the best of him. He should no longer be an issue for us.”
“Do not underestimate that man,” the woman in the middle scolds. The rest of them nod their agreement, causing the smile to falter again. “We have seen his work for three decades now. If he is still alive, he is a threat to our cause. Terminating him should be top priority.”
Helquest would have him terminated if he had any idea where he was or how he kept escaping from impossible situations. Now he had the help of his wife back, which couldn’t mean anything good for him, but he wouldn’t share that tidbit with the directors. They need not know that fifteen more agents were dead at Cadmar’s hands, and that two of his daughters had been so close to his grasp.
He levels a stare at the entire panel. “We have not discontinued our search for him. If he is found, he will be terminated. In the meantime, the fifteenth approaches, and I have to be sure my pupils are prepared. I bid you all good day.”
With that, he blacks the screen out, letting his shoulders slump for a millisecond before calling the agents back in to return to their work. For the directors to have the gall to question his methods, to think him incapable of handling the situation, make his future plans even more palatable. He had fought tooth and nail for this facility, for the ability to move forward with his plans of building this army, and he would not be deterred. They may cut back his resources, but he would always find a way to make it work.