Chapter 30 Another string pulled on
Damien was cuffed with his hands behind his back and he had been sat on a chair while four ex-soldiers stood around him. He was pissed all to hell with himself; he couldn’t believe that he had been so fucking stupid as to let these assholes catch him with his pants down. He was about to fuck the brains out of a whore, when they stormed in, screaming and firing. When he had asked them what the fuck they wanted, they had just answered that they had been sent by Alain Morris and started to beat the shit out of him, but purposely avoided hitting him in the face. Then they had moved him to a basement under the brothel and here he was, bleeding like a fucking pig, and with more cuts on his body than years he was old.
Dr. Morris had told him that his brother was harmless and worthless; and that there was a slight possibility that when he reached Zul, his brother would have died already by the hands of those bastards who lived on that hell. He chuckled at that thought. Harmless, my ass, he scolded himself.
Damien had lost count of how many hours he had spent being tortured at the hands of, with no doubt now for him, fucking ex-soldiers. He had heard about their techniques for pulling out information, or just having some fun, with anyone and now he’d had his suspicions confirmed. Damien had always been a little mentally unstable, and along those lines, he had even enjoyed some of the evenings events. But for some weird reason, an hour ago Damien had started to think that these ex-soldiers were reserving the funniest part for the end. At least they hadn’t killed him yet, so maybe not all was lost. He had always been a lucky bastard and that fact didn’t have to change now, did it?
Alain entered the brothel with Carl and they both headed toward the stairs for the basement. He knew full well what the consequences were going to be for letting Carl and the other ex-soldiers have someone like Damien, the merc; but honestly, he’d had no other choice. Alain had always hated violence with all his soul, and just thinking about what Carl had in store for the merc was only making him feel sicker with every second that passed. Alain, however, had a role to play; he had to show Damien that he was as tough as them. I do hate violence, he thought silently to himself as he let out a heavy sigh.
Alain needed Damien with no sign of injures on his face when he forced the merc to contact his brother. Alain didn’t want to cause Maurice to have any suspicions. To that end, Carl had explained that the merc’s face was still as “pretty” as it had been when he landed on Zul. Alain nodded. Carl just looked at him and grinned. The ex-soldier was sure that the old man, who all of them had always referred to as “Hacker”, was playing a role, pretending to be a tough guy, when it was clear that he wasn’t, but Carl didn’t care. He had always known that a man didn’t need to be a Firm’s man to be as bloody a son of bitch as any of them, if the circumstances required it.
“Hacker?” Carl called when he realized that Alain’s face had lost colour and had turned pale. Alain locked eyes with him one last time, and breathing deeply, he nodded. Carl nodded back and opened the door.
Damien raised his head and grinned when he saw Carl enter the room with a broad smile on his face, he was followed by his target. Alain’s smile almost turned into a panicked scream when he saw the actual state of the merc. He was naked and there were cuts all over his body, and at his feet he could see a pool of blood and urine. On the table beside him, Alain saw a few utensils that he didn’t recognize, but honestly, he didn’t want to know how Carl and the others were planning to use them on Damien. Alain felt sick, and for a second, he had to fight his nausea back. He then felt Carl’s hand grabbing his arm and tightening his grip almost painfully and Alain focused his attention on Damien and the business he had ahead of him.
“Bet you hadn’t figured you’d end up here when you went looking for some company tonight, huh, merc?” Alain said in a very serious and cold voice. This earned him a reassuring look from Carl, which told him his act was holding up.
Damien chuckled as he spat out a mouthfull of dark blood. “I’m not dead yet.” He retorted, smirking through his bloody lips.
Alain sighed, and shook his head. “That’s true. But I can change that in a blink.” He said as he moved forward until he was toe to toe with him. Damien frowned slightly at his words. Alain chuckled, forcing himself the whole time to breath through his mouth and not through his nose. “You thought that I was harmless, and in some ways, I am; but you forgot where you are right now, little boy.” Alain explained as he took a seat in front of him. “I’m a hacker, which means that I can create a new ID, wipe away dirty lives, transfer credits to untraceable accounts, all kind of things.” Alain paused as he looked around himself. Carl’s face was a cold mask that sent shivers down Alain’s spine. Damien stared at him, his mind racing. Alain shook his head and continued. “For civilized citizens I’m dirty scum, just like yourself, but here on Xela….” Alain grinned an evil smile as he got to his feet. “I’m almost as untouchable as The Board’s president himself, Mr. Alexander van Koemborn III.” He finished as Damien followed him with his gaze.
“Don’t bore me to death with your fucking prattle, old man. If you’re gonna kill me, do it, if not, leave me the fuck alone.” Damien hissed through clenched teeth.
Alain’s hard laugh echoed in the small room, causing Carl to grin. He knew that this old man was pretending, but fuck it, even he was buying it. “Quite the opposite, Damien.” Alain smirked. Damien’s eyes went wide at the sound of his name. Alain started to pace the room as he spoke. “Oh, yeah. I forgot to tell you that I know who you are and who sent you here. As I told you before, I’m a hacker. But. Problem is, I’m not just anyone. I’m “The Hacker” himself, which means that any intel recorded inside a computer is available for me to find, read, and change at my wish. I’m sure that Maurice forgot to mention that little fact though, didn’t he?” Alain stopped and stared at Damien. In response he just narrowed his eyes. Alain waited a few more seconds and then started to pace again. He found that the farther he was from Damien, the better it was to breath. “Of course, I’m not Maurice. I only use my skills to help people who are on this side of the street. People who need a change in their lives. People who are in trouble. People just like yourself, Damien.”
Damien had been following Alain through narrowed eyes. He wasn’t sure where this old fucker was heading, and that started to unnerve him, but at the same time, Damien was curious about how this shit was going to end. Alain sensed the confusion radiating from the merc and frowned slightly. He then cleared his throat and continued.
“My beloved brother sent you to kill me, and promised to you that your services would be rewarded, didn’t he?” Alain asked Damien as he arched his brows. Damien didn’t move or answer. Alain let out a hard sigh. “That’s not gonna happen anymore, merc, you already know that though.” Alain added as he tilted his head to one side. “I’m going to offer you a new deal.” He said gently.
Damien laughed. “Are you gonna raise the doc’s offer?” He asked, chuckling.
Alain grinned. “No. I’m going to save your sorry ass, and in return, you’re going to do me a favour.” Alain answered as he pulled the tracking chip he had duplicated from his pocket. Damien fixed his gaze on it.
“What’s that shit?” he asked, his eyes narrowed in suspicion.
“I bet that Maurice, my brother, told you to bring him my identity chip as the evidence of my death, didn’t he? Otherwise, you won’t get the money.” Alain raised the chip as he headed toward Damien. In response Damien just narrowed his eyes even more and slowly he nodded. “That’s what I thought.” Alain took a seat in front of Damien and ordered the lights to dim. The merc blinked furiously to adjust his eyes and Alain raised his goggles, making them rest on his forehead. “Good, now, you listen to me and pay attention,” He then locked eyes with Damien. “Let’s pretend that you’ve already killed me and removed my personal chip.” Alain said coldly. Damien nodded yes with a devilish grin on his lips. “Great. I see you can picture my bloody death easily.” Alain said, chuckling. In response, Damien’s eyes sparkled with a gleam of pleasure. He could be as bloodthirsty as “Big evil” himself, if he was in the mood. “Now, now, Damien. Try not to cum in your pants just thinking about my death, would you?” Alain scolded him, his voice full of sarcasm. Carl grinned an evil smile, he had to admit that this old man was really good at this shit. He was just waiting for his chance to play with this merc a little more.
“Now, you take my personal chip and take off from Zul in your ship, Snake’s bite. Then you reach the Alhaur system atmosphere, and in a couple of hours, you will blow into millions of fucking pieces.” Alain explained to him, his voice even, not a trace of emotion in it and just a slight grin on his lips.
“And how is that?” Damien asked in a sarcastic voice. “Who’s gonna blow me? You?” he snarled as he rolled his eyes.
Alain’s grin widened. “The Firm.” He stated as he played with the chip between his fingers. “This chip is not only an identity one, asshole. It’s also a tracking chip.” His silver eyes flashed coldly at him.
Damien’s face went slack with shock when he heard this. He knew what that shit was. He had heard about them before, but he thought that those hacking chips weren’t used anymore. To most of the people with more than twenty-five years, those tracking chips were an urban legend, and for the younger ones, they didn’t exist at all. But for Alain Morris, they were as real as The Firm’s power.
Damien’s mind raced at that point. Then realization dawned. “Fuck.” He muttered in disgust.
“Yup.” Alain retorted, grinning. “Either way, your fucked Damien.” He added as he locked eyes with him. Damien shut his eyes and cursed himself silently. Alain took the opportunity to breath deeply and then continued. “Nevertheless, you can still win this game of yours. I know mercs, Damien. They have no ethics, no honour. They all want just one thing, and their loyalty has just one consignee. Money.” Alain paused to watch him.
Damien thought about his options. If the doc wanted to fuck him, he had definitely chosen the wrong merc to fuck with. He had never felt the urge to be loyal to anyone and now wasn’t going to be different. “What’s the fucking deal?” Damien asked him.
Alain grinned an evil, triumphant smile. “You’re going to take a seat in front of a comp, with your pretty face intact, and you’re going to contact Maurice. Tell him that you’ve changed your mind, and that you want your money in advance.” Alain stopped, sighed, and rubbed his eyes.
He was exhausted, and dealing with Damien in his current condition, nauseated. Too many emotions in too few hours, old man, he thought to himself, frowning. You’re too old for this shit, Hacker. Carl stared at him through narrowed eyes. It seemed as if the old man was going to break at any time. Carl cleared his throat to catch Alain’s attention. Alain snapped his eyes open and looked up at Carl, who nodded slightly and grinned. Carl’s gaze showed him that he was doing a great job pretending, and that this shit was almost at an end. Alain nodded back and focused his attention once again on Damien and continued, explaining his plan.
“Then, when you’ve confirmed that your money is in your account, you’ll send to him the intel inside of this fake chip. I know Maurice. He doesn’t want the chip, just to be sure that I’m dead.” Alain chuckled at his own words. Since they were children Maurice had hated him, and he’d never made an effort to hide that fact. Maurice had wanted to see Alain dead since always.
Damien smirked. “Who’s gonna assure me that I’m gonna enjoy my fucking credits, huh? …..Hacker?” He asked him, narrowing his eyes.
“This point is where I come on the scene. I’ll transfer that dirty money to an account where no one, not even The Board, will be able to find.” He explained to Damien. “You’ll live the rest of your worthless life as a rich fucker.” Alain finished.
“That’s all?” Damien asked, his voice held a slight trace of amusement. Alain looked at Carl. The ex-soldier had a cold, blank look on his face that showed Alain that he was ready to play his part. Slowly, Alain turned his attention to Damien and shook his head no.
“Unfortunately for you, no, Damien. That won’t be all.” He said, sighing. He could guess what Carl was planning to do with Damien after he had contacted Maurice.
Alain couldn’t help the strong shudder that crossed his spine. For a second, he wasn’t sure anymore if asking Carl for his help had been a good idea. He was sure about one thing though, he had crossed the line, and he was at a point of no return. If Alain wanted evidence of how his life had gone to hell, and how he had turned as disgusting as all the other scum in the galaxy, thanks to his brother Maurice, he only had to look around himself, to realize that he wasn’t better than his own brother.
Carl moved forward until he was at his side and Alain locked eyes with him, sighing as he shook his head. He then looked down at Damien. “Your ship has been transferred to Carl’s property. If you want it back, then you’ll have to convince him to sell it to you again. I think you’re going to stick with us for a long time, or at least until you’ll be able to find a way to leave Xela.” Alain paused and looked at Carl, who smiled broadly. “Oh, and also, you’re going to be out of business for a while. Consider that last part courtesy of Carl and his friends here.” He said as he turned to leave.
Damien grinned a devilish smile. “And if I say fuck you?” He hissed through clenched teeth. In response, Carl’s fist punched his ribs with all his strength. Damien bent over completely, letting out a hiss of pain. “Fuck you, pussy.” Damien said, coughing.
Alain flinched at the sound Carl’s fist produced against Damien’s already broken ribs. “I’m afraid that you don’t have that option, Damien.” Alain turned his attention to Carl, who looked at him in complete silence. He then extended his hand and Carl took the fake tracking chip from him. Alain spoke in a low menacing tone. “When our merc here is done, please show him the way back to the south side of Xela. With the rest of the ex-mercs.” Carl nodded. When Alain reached the door he turned around and locked eyes one last time with Damien, who had his teeth clenched and was trying to catch his breath. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you, Damien.” He added as he opened the door and left.
The next thing Alain heard was Damien’s screams of pain. Alain shook his head in disgust and tried with all his will to get rid of the visions that popped into his head without mercy. Maurice, you always forced me to do things that you know I really hate, fucker. He headed toward the street, lost in thought and ready to wait until Riddick finished with his business.
Alain Morris was “The Hacker”. Just like he had said to Damien, that meant Alain was the only one with the skills to create a fake tracking chip; to create a new ID for anyone; to transfer credits to untraceable accounts; to know top secrets from The Firm’s classified files…. Certainly, he was “The Hacker”, but unfortunately, Alain wasn’t a mind reader. It would have been impossible for Alain to know what was inside of Damien’s mind, or anyone’s mind for that matter. Basically, if the intel wasn’t inside of a computer; he wouldn’t have been able to find it, to know it or/and to change it according to his wishes.
Alain Morris, alias “The Hacker”, didn’t know the terrible consequences of leaving Damien free and alive. How could he have been able to know about the merc’s plans concerning Richard B. Riddick and his little bitch? How could Alain know that the woman who was wearing on her neck Mariel’s necklace, would be in more danger than ever before?
Scorpion system. Planet Onix. The Firm’s Board Main Building.
Alexander Van Koemborn III had been The Board’s president for the last fifteen years. His father, Alexander Van Koemborn II, had died prematurely after a heart attack, and his older brother, Maximiliam Van Koemborn, had succeeded him. However, suddenly and unexpectedly, his brother had been found dead in his own home. It appeared as if someone had entered the house and killed him while he was sleeping peacefully in his own bed. After many months of deep investigation, his death never was clarified. In the mean time Alexander had succeeded his brother, assuming his duties and responsibilities. He had assumed the presidency of the administrative council of The Firm just one week after the event.
None of the other eleven members of The Board complained, after all, Alexander Van Koemborn III had been groomed from the time he was born to take that position, along with his older brother. A couple of years later, Alexander showed that he was more than qualified to lead The Firm to places where a corporation never should have been able to reach. Under his expert hands, The Firm became more powerful than ever before, but also more sinister than ever. Nevertheless, inside of the more powerful political and financial circles, the rumours that Alexander had had something to do with his family members deaths had been always insistent, but they were just that; rumours.
Alexander Van Koemborn III, The Firm’s Board president, entered his office followed by two soldiers and headed directly to his personal assistants desk. He was tall and slim; dressed in an impeccable dark blue suit. His formerly curly black hair had turned grey due to his age, he was somewhere in his sixties. Even at his age, Mr. Koemborn was a more than attractive man. Many years ago he had broken many a women’s heart, and still today, he was a man who never passed unnoticed. His big, chocolate eyes sparkling with a brightness that only one thing could cause. Power. Everywhere he went, his body always radiated charm and class, but at the same time, it seemed to radiate something sinister.
Mr. Koemborn walked with long strides down the hall way, his eyes fixed on the woman sitting behind the table made of wood. The woman was in her fifties. She sensed his presence and raised her head from the documents she was currently looking at.
“Good morning, Mr. Koemborn.” She greeted him in a gentle tone while smiling broadly as she stood.
Mr. Koemborn smiled slightly. “Good morning, Silvia.” He answered as one of the soldiers extended his hand to give her a CD. Immediately, Silvia took it and nodded.
“Thank you.” She said as she returned her attention to their boss. “Mr. Koemborn, Dr. Morris has called, he would like to know if you would be available to have a lunch with him, sir.” Silvia said, her voice sweet and correct.
Mr. Koemborn narrowed his eyes slightly, as if he was recalling the intent of the invitation, and then looked at her. “Of course, Silvia. Tell Maurice that I’ll meet him at the Aztec Country Club.” He said gently as he turned on his heels. One of the soldiers moved ahead of him and opened the door of his office. In response, Mr. Koemborn nodded firmly as he entered, the soldier closed the door after him. Then they proceeded to stand on guard in front of his door.
Mr. Koemborn headed to his desk and took a seat. Almost immediately, a soft knock sounded on the door. “Please, come in Silvia.” He said absently, as if his thoughts were somewhere else. Silvia entered the room and went to him.
“The printed copy, sir.” She said as she extended her hand to give him a copy of the intel recorded on the CD. Mr. Koemborn raised his head and took it.
“The CD?” He asked as he put the papers aside.
“It has been destroyed as usual sir. As well as the trace on the computers.” Silvia answered smiling shyly. He nodded one last time. Silvia turned around and went out, closing the door behind her. When she was out of his office she frowned slightly and bit her lower lip.
Silvia had been working as his personal assistant for almost fifteen years. She had been loyal to The Firm from the beginning. She never asked questions, or made any comments about the things that happened around her. That was the reason why she was still alive, and she knew that full well. But Silvia didn’t understand why Mr. Koemborn was obsessed about leaving no trace of information which concerned Richard B. Riddick or Audrey Jacqueline Travis, alias Jack B. Badd, on any of The Firm’s files for the last five years. After a moment, she shrugged her shoulders and went back to her desk. It definitely wasn’t any of her business.
Inside his office, Mr. Koemborn made himself comfortable in his chair and started to read the documents in front of him. He smiled to himself when he thought about Richard B. Riddick, escaped convict and murderer.
Riddick had been chained at his ankle and wrist, blindfolded, and a bit had been stuck in his mouth. He had been sat in a chair while ten soldiers surrounded him with their guns loaded, pointing at his head. The beast grunted, pacing its cage it was starting to get tired of this shit. The door in front of him was opened and Riddick noticed the slight change of scent around him. It had turned from fear to danger.
“I’m sure that the bit and the blindfold won’t be necessary.” A cold voice said. Immediately, one of the soldiers removed the bit from Riddick’s mouth. He tightened his jaw, growling. “Finally we met, Mr. Riddick.” The man greeted him politely. In response, Riddick grinned a devilish smile. He couldn’t see him, but Riddick could have sworn that the man had grinned back. Without hesitation a soldier snatched the blindfold from Riddick’s face, causing him to shut his eyes tightly and the beast to roar. The room was too bright. “Leave us alone.” Was his last order.
The soldiers looked at him, amused, but not one of them would have dared to say something against The Firm’s president. A moment later the two men were alone in of the room. Riddick sniffed the air around him, and frowned slightly when he didn’t sense any trace of fear. “Lights dim.” The man said. As soon as the light turned comfortable for him, Riddick opened his eyes, blinking. “I guess that now it’s much better, wouldn’t you say that, Mr. Riddick?” The man asked him, his voice even, with no emotion and extremely polite.
Riddick stared at the man. He was as tall as Riddick himself but slim and toned. Dressed in expensive clothing, but behind the appearance, his presence was as dangerous as his own. He growled as he felt his inner beast go on guard. They were looking at each other like two predators in the middle of the jungle. Sizing each other up. Whoever this man was, he wasn’t frightened at all, quite the opposite. It seemed as if he was fascinated by the fact that finally he had found someone as deadly lethal as himself, Richard B. Riddick. Immediately, the beast within Riddick started to grumble, pacing agitatedly inside of his cage, but ready to attack in seconds.
“Who the fuck are you?” Riddick growled, his voice deadly serious and as cold as ice itself.
Mr. Koemborn took a seat in front of Riddick. “Mr. Riddick, I would like to offer you a deal.” He said ignoring his question. Riddick just knit a brow as he locked eyes with the man. No fear at all. In fact, his eyes were flashing at him with banked excitement. “I have to admit that your records have caused quite an impression, Mr. Riddick. I’m sure we could find a more effective way to give free reign to your instincts, and in the process, we would be able to satisfy our mutual ….. necessities.” Mr. Koemborn explained to him, a slight hint of sarcasm in his polite tone.
Riddick narrowed his eyes. This rich motherfucker was starting to piss him off with his polite manners, his expensive suit, and his Mr. Riddick’s. It was clear to him that he wasn’t in the presence of a nobody, so he must be a member of The Firm’s Board, and not just any of them. Riddick smirked when realization dawned. He was in front of Alexander Koemborn, The Firm’s president no less.
“What the fuck do you want, Alex?” Riddick mocked, making sure that the tone of his voice didn’t leave any room for not answering the question this time, even though it was full of sarcasm.
Mr. Koemborn locked eyes with him. “You are an intelligent man, Mr. Riddick. I am sure that at this point you can figure out what I want.” He said as his smile widened. “But the important matter here is not what I want, it is what we need from each other.” In response, Riddick slowly raised a brow and fixed him with his silver, menacing, gaze. “From now on we are going to be on the same side of the street.” Mr. Koemborn added as he made himself comfortable on his chair, grinning.
Riddick’s raspy laugh boomed around the room. Mr. Koemborn didn’t flinch or move a muscle. His face remained calm and relaxed. Obviously, he wasn’t stupid, he knew full well that it wasn’t just a coincidence that his men had caught Riddick. It seemed as if he would have had drop his guard. Of course, the man in front of him had nothing to do with the kid who was sent to slam to keep his mouth shut, and unknown to the rest of the universe, to cover the death of Alexander’s brother. After a moment, Riddick put his “don’t fuck with me” trademark look on his face and locked eyes with him. Mr. Koemborn couldn’t help the slight shiver that crossed his spine, causing him to narrow his eyes.
Mr. Koemborn steeled his face. “What’s your dream, Richard?” He asked coldly.
“Dream?” Riddick echoed, chuckling. “Someone like me doesn’t have fucking dreams, Alex.” He added sarcastically.
“All of us have dreams. Even someone like you, Richard. Oh, excuse my manners, Mr. Riddick. May I call you, Richard?” Mr. Koemborn asked as he stood. Riddick shrugged. He then started to pace around Riddick as he spoke. His voice even and polite. “According to your records, I would say that you’re not interested in money or power. It’s not that that small detail would be essential, but in our days, it is something at least out of the ordinary, if you let me say it; and according to your reputation, I feel almost tempted to discard directly, love.” He stopped in his tracks and looked at Riddick, who in response narrowed his silver eyes, grunting.
At The Board’s president words, Riddick’s mind conjured, without consent or warning, a vision of his little Jack smiling at him with her beautiful, green eyes sparkling. An unconscious grin spread on his sore lips. Then his vision turned suddenly dark and the beast let out a roar, causing a deep growl to escape Riddick’s lips. Mr. Koemborn stared at the killer and narrowed his eyes. He could easily figure out what Riddick was thinking about at that moment. Or maybe, it would be better to say about who the convicted murderer was thinking about. They went silent for a long moment, until Riddick shook his head and looked up at him.
“So, there’s only one thing left that I could offer you to make you consider seriously my more than kind offer, Richard.” He cut himself off as he locked eyes again with Riddick.
“What’s the deal, Alexander?” Riddick growled, smirking, his inner beast grumbling agitatedly in its cage.
“Freedom, Richard.” Mr. Koemborn answered as he took a seat again in front of him. “Freedom to disappear inside of this vast territory that is known as the galaxy. The bounty on your head will be revoked after our deal has reached its end. You could do whatever you please after that time arrives though. You’ll be hunted no more.” Mr. Koemborn paused to watch Riddick. After a long moment, Riddick’s lips showed a devilish grin. Mr. Koemborn smiled and continued. “But, in the meantime, you will be using your skills just for us. We will say who, when, and where. Of course, you will be free to choose how.” He added as he mimicked Riddick’s evil grin.
Riddick thought for a long moment about his options. He knew full well that The Firm’s offer was something more than just what it seemed to be, but he could deal with it. He had nothing to loose now. He had already lost the only thing that meant something for him. His little kid. His Jack. The beast roared in anger just thinking how and why he had left her behind, without even saying goodbye. That skinny girl who had stormed into his life without invitation, and had made herself comfortable inside of his dark soul as if she had always belonged to that sinister place. Riddick needed to stay away from her, to stay as far as he could to protect her from himself and the terrible consequences of letting her be close to him. The animal within Riddick felt its thirst for blood became unbearable and let out a whimper.
“One exception. No women or kids.” Riddick growled, still lost in his own thoughts. At the sound of his words, Mr. Koemborn arched his brow and couldn’t hide his amusement at such a qualification. Nevertheless, he found himself nodding in agreement as he continued staring at Riddick in complete silence.
It appeared that the convict was considering his offer. He knew that one year before, Richard B. Riddick wouldn’t have spent more than just a few seconds before answering yes, and suspected that he probably would have never made such a reference, but he also knew where and with who, Riddick had spent the last six months. Mr. Koemborn couldn’t help but wonder if a fifteen year old girl had been able to produce such an effect on a bloody mass murderer like Richard B. Riddick all by herself. Mr. Koemborn thought about Audrey Jacqueline Travis, now alias Jack B. Badd for a moment. With a doubt, that girl was really an extraordinarily, worthy subject, and that fact made him think. Even though, just for a second, he thought he was making a terrible mistake by letting Riddick stay out of her life.
“Done.” Was his answer as the beast within him let out a deep growl in anticipation. Mr. Koemborn was pulled out of his thoughts at the sound of Riddick’s voice, and grinning, he rested a silver card on the table.
End flash back
Mr. Koemborn shook his head as he fixed his gaze on the documents for a long moment. Then, he let out a heavy sigh and dropped the report on his table. He inserted in his personal comp a chip and entered a security code.
“Good morning, sir.” A voice and a military sign greeted him.
“Good morning, General Owens. Where’s our man?” He asked, no emotion in his voice, just a slight hint of curiosity.
“The Darkveil was about to enter the route to N-340 ten hours ago, sir.” General Owens answered as he checked the ship’s destination. “Riddick is heading to us.” He added as he frowned slightly. “Two weeks travel and his ship will reach our system, Mr. Koemborn.” General Owens explained as he narrowed his eyes. In response, he nodded absently.
“Is Miss. Travis still with him?” He asked as he locked eyes with the general.
“Yes, sir. She’s on board. According to my intel, after they left Thalion, they headed to Alhaur system and landed on planet Zul a few days ago. Apart from that, it seems that the population of ex-mercs tried to catch our boy, so naturally, there was a bloody incident at the space port, sir.” He said. Mr. Koemborn arched a brow, questioning.
“Xela…” He murmured as he made comfortable, crossing his hands, tapping his lips with one finger. I wonder how many possibilities exist that you have talked with that damned hacker, Riddick… he asked himself, lost in thought, narrowing his eyes suspiciously as he talked. “Has Miss. Travis been injured?” Mr. Koemborn asked absently.
“No, Mr. Koemborn. The last report says that The Darkveil, with both of them safe and sound on board, took off twelve hours ago, sir.” The general answered, pulling Mr. Koemborn out of his thoughts.
“Good. Send him the intel about his last target. And, General, get everything ready to give “The Darkveil”, and her captain Mr. Richards, clearance to land on Onix.” He said as he rubbed his chin. General Owens looked at him, a questioning look on his face. Mr. Koemborn locked eyes with the General one more time. “Afterward, Riddick will look for answers, I think it is time that we have a …… welcome home meeting with him, General Owens.” Mr. Koemborn added.
General Owens frowned deeply. “Do I have to use our contact?” His voice carried a hint of disapproval. General Owens never liked that little man.
Mr. Koemborn grinned an evil smile. “Oh, I forgot to tell you, Owens, but I’m afraid that we can no longer count on our little, scary friend. He’s no longer a man for The Firm. Let’s just say that he has been forced to retire.” His grin widened as he watched how General Owens smiled broadly. “Use a secure line, I don’t want anyone knowing about our business, and don’t forget to wipe away any trace of the transmission.”
General Owens nodded firmly and turned to pick up a silver card. He then inserted it into a comp next to him and entered a code, sending the intel to The Darkveil’s main computer. A moment later, General Owens received the confirmation of the delivery. Afterward, he pulled out the silver ship and wiped away the trace of the sign. “He will receive the intel in a few hours, sir.” General Owens said as he checked the information spread on the screen in front of him. In response, Mr. Koemborn nodded, closing the connection.
Afterward, he pulled out the chip he had inserted and wiped away the trace of his call from his personal comp. He then reclined back in his chair, with his fingers entwined, tapping his chin. Well, Richard, I guess that our deal is about to reach its end, he thought as he stood. He then went to the door of his office and opened it. Immediately, the two soldiers outside stiffened their positions.
“Silvia, I’ll be at the Aztec Country Club with Dr. Maurice Morris.” He said as he headed toward the elevators followed by the two soldiers. Silvia just nodded and went back to her job.