Chapter 35 A Dish Best Served Cold
Maurice Morris was getting ready to face what was his most precious dream. After so many years of investigation and endless hours locked inside of his clinic, surrounded by blood samples, virii and shit. After so many years bowing his head each and every time he had crossed paths with the two generations of The Board’s members. After so many years taking shit from other scientists and doctors, finally the ultimate dream was becoming a reality. If ever before he had been drunk with thoughts of power and glory; tonight he was sure his veins were going to burn with pride and joy.
Dr. Morris always had known that Alexander Koemborn had been his most powerful ally since the beginning and tonight The Firms’ president was going to show his support one more time. Dr. Maurice Morris had been loyal to The Firms’ interests, and when he had put the corporation ahead of his own interest, he had challenged them; testing his power over them, and he was sure that he had won his little battle against The Firm.
Maximilian and Alexander Koemborn had discovered his secret unauthorized experiments and, in spite of that fact, they had allowed Dr. Morris to continue with them as long as The Firm would reach any kind of benefit as a direct consequence of those experiments. Back then Dr. Morris had grinned evilly and had complied with The Koemborms’ request. Not because he had been scared about the consequences of disobeying or disrespecting The Firms’ president, but because he had discovered a dark secret inside of the Koemborns’ family.
Dr. Morris always had suspected that Alexander Koemborn III was a real motherfucker without scruples or conscience, just like himself. The fact that Alexander, Maximilians’ younger brother had betrayed his own blood to reach his actual position at the council had been the last piece of evidence he needed to be certain about his suspicions, he used that secret as currency for his services, being paid for his silence concerning Alexander’s’ past.
He had always heard the rumors, the implications, of Alexander Koemborn being behind his family deaths. Of course there wasn’t evidence about that obscure event, but Dr. Morris didn’t need it. He had discovered by accident another much more succulent secret in the Firm’s presidents’ past. The existence of his bastard son; his first-born. If the rest of The Boards’ eleven members could get their dirty hands on that evidence, Alexander van Koemborn III would fall along with his sinister empire.
That was the only reason why Dr. Morris was sure that Alexander Koemborn had helped him to get rid of his brother Alain and his wife Mariel. Dr. Morris knew full well that he had Alexander Koemborn by the balls, so there was no reason to suspect that he would turn his back on him after so many years.
Dr. Morris frowned deeply when he recalled that today, still, he hadn’t discovered the identity of that little bastard. He had the proof of his existence; but not his identity. But, after a moment, Dr. Morris grinned evilly because from his new position he would be able to find it out.
Today, Dr. Maurice Morris was going to become part of The Firm’s Board. It was the first time since its establishment that The Firm was going to allow a new member, one who didn’t belong to the twelve powerful families that had created the corporation, to take a seat at the council. It was an event without precedent, so each and every detail had been anticipated with meticulous devotion.
Maurice Morris was going to take the first step on his way to immortality. He was sure that it would be just a matter of time before he would be able to take the seat of presidency at the council. The most difficult part was going to take place tonight; at the end it was just a question of his being there, no matter what he had done to arrive.
More than thirty five years ago he had sold his soul in exchange for recognition and power. Back then he had doubted if it even would had been worth the sacrifice, but all his doubts had been wiped away as soon as he had been able to reach positions that no one with his age would had dare to dream about. Not even his own father.
Dr. Morris had more than just unfounded suspicions concerning the existence of fissures inside the administrative council of The Firm. He had met with the vice president of The Firm, Mr. Charles Delacroix. Dr. Morris suspected that Mr. Delacroix was a powerful opponent to Mr. Koemborn, and apart from that he wasn’t oblivious to the fact that Mr. Delacroix wasn’t the only one starting to be more than just annoyed with Alexander Koemborn and his obsession with The Firm’s security protocols. Inside of The Board there were many conspirators and it seemed as if deep changes were about to take place. Dr. Morris started to suspect that things were going to be really favorable for his chances concerning his new goal.
Maurice Morris practiced in front of the mirror that evil smile as he thought about the shy and helpless Audrey Jacqueline Travis and the horrible things that bastard Riddick would do to her before he killed her. On that occasion, Dr. Morris had decided to get rid of the problem directly, not letting The Firm know about his plans concerning the girl and her memory loss. He had used the same employee that The Firm had been using for years to contact Riddick in order to not arouse suspicions about the killer. He had chosen Riddick because he was the most infamous killer in the galaxy and his reputation concerning his lack of scruples when he was set to kill someone, no matter who that person was, had been always well known.
Maurice Morris frowned slightly remembering how much credit it had cost him to buy the employee’s dirty conscience as well as how much the limitless ambition of that fucker Damien had cost. He should had known better than to trust in mercs. At this point in his life, Maurice was sure that none of them were worth the effort. But, he wished with all his soul that the fucking merc was bleeding like a pig in a hole, drowning in his little fortune. Maurice chuckled at his own thought. At the end he had gotten what he wanted, and from tonight on, credits would be the last thing that would trouble his sadistic mind. Power was the goal now. At least he was sure that his “beloved” brother, his lovely “wife” and the “little bitch” were all dead, and they would never present a problem anymore.
“No more loose ends, Maurice.” He muttered to himself and his grin widened. He then turned on his heel and went to the door of his suite inside of The Koemborns mansion to face his fate. Dr. Morris reached the door and headed downstairs, where the most powerful men in the galaxy were going to make superb witnesses to his ascension to The Firm’s Board’s seat.
Maurice Morris had been so absorbed in his own world that he didn’t notice the two mercurial pools stalking his fat body from the far dark corner of the room, hidden behind two dark blue heavy curtains. Fixing each and every detail, waiting patiently with an evil grin set on his cold hard face like a predator waiting for his next meal; his most precious prey. Or would it have been better to say their most precious prey?
The soldiers stiffened their positions as soon as they spotted the group of vehicles heading directly towards them. Almost immediately, the heavy iron gates slid open, waiting for the vehicle of Mr. Alexander van Koemborn III to approach.
The caravan made its way along the road, two military vehicles leading the way, escorting a large black classic model followed by two more military vehicles. When the black vehicle finally reached the entrance, the soldiers greeted its mirror windows with a military sign, oblivious to its four occupants.
The black vehicle drove slowly along the path, surrounded by leafy luxuriant trees at both sides of the road. After a moment a big mansion came into view in all its splendor. It was later in the afternoon, but the heavy clouds had turned the sun light into a dusky shadow. So, all the lights had been lit up on this exceptional occasion.
Considering the fact that the twelve members of The Board, their wives, families and close friends were present at the reception as well as almost the entire political class, and taking into consideration the relevance of the event, all the area had been surrounded by a top high security operation composed of soldiers who belonged exclusively to the elite unit of Spec Ops. As a direct consequence many of those soldiers had shined eyes covered with black goggles. All of then were dressed with black military uniforms and had been equipped with high gunsight laser weapons and HPW guns. Some of them had been moved to Onix from another military facilities among the nearest systems to Scorpion just for one purpose though; guarantee the security of each and every single prominent guest.
The mansion had belonged to the Koemborns family for more than one hundred fifty years. Alexander van Koemborn I had built it as a wedding gift for his wife. Since the earliest days all The Firm’s relevant events had taken place inside of its walls with no exceptions. Alexander van Koemborn III, The Firm’s president, had inherited from his grandfather his bizarre taste concerning expensive antiques that would have fitted on any 21st century mansion from the old Earth. So according to this, the interior design of the big house had been carefully planned following that request.
There were five large salons that had each been decorated in a different style in accordance with ambiances of Old Earth, namely: Japanese, Arabian, Hindu, European and African.
The main act was going to take place at the European salon. Big chandelier lamps made in gold and glass were hanging, producing a welcoming atmosphere. Heavy curtains mostly in dark blue and burgundy colour were situated at both sides of each window, tied up with ribbons made in golden cords. Carpets that had been brought directly from the old Earth Persian Region had been spread along the floors, covering almost completely the priceless marble that had been used to build them. Its value was impossible to verify because the entire Persian Region had been devastated more than one hundred years ago as a direct result of their internal territorial conflicts. All the furniture had been made in ebony wood as well as the interior carpentry of doors and windows.
The exquisite menu had been selected directly by Mrs. Koemborn as well as the wines that would been served during the dinner to accompany the exclusive dishes. On the other hand, Mr. Koemborn had been the one in charge to select from the private collection of his family the cognac as well as the champagne to toast for Maurice Morris’ new position inside of The Firm’s Board.
The agenda of such an exceptional act would consist of Mr. Koemborns speech, welcoming the new member to The Firm’s Board. In that speech, Mr. Koemborn would quote all Dr. Morris’ accomplishments over the years while developing his extraordinary efforts and experiments in the field of mineralogy applications in medicine, as well as how his flawless career and untouchable reputation had been essential, leading him to be rewarded with such an unique honour. Afterward, Mr. Koemborn would cede the place at the atrium to the last member so Maurice Morris would give his own speech.
To give possession and to symbolize Maurice Morris’ acquisition of his seat at the council, Mr. Koemborn would present him with a parchment with his family antecedents in which over the years, his descendents would be adding their names while assuming their obligations. That parchment would be considered from that night and on the highness distinction and it would be considered as the greatest honour for him.
Mr. Alexander van Koemborn III climbed out the black vehicle followed by his wife, Mariel and Jack. As soon as the four of them were in front of the main door of the mansion, two soldiers dressed in black uniforms and goggles greeted them with the military signal. Mr. Koemborn fixed his gaze on one of the soldiers who was just a couple of meters from him, narrowing his eyes in suspicion. He then turned his attention to Jack as he knit a brow. In response, Jack looked at him, smiling sweetly.
One of the soldiers grinned slightly as he gave the once over to Jack. She noticed his intense gaze even though his silver eyes were hidden behind his goggles. Jack turned her head as she slowly looked at him, driving her green eyes along his perfect toned body. When she reached his face, Jack smiled broadly, winking. In response the soldier’s lips let out a soft growl that sent shivers through Jack’s spine, turning her smile into an evil grin.
After that, Jack and Mariel were escorted inside and upstairs by the same two soldiers who had greeted the group. Then, Mr. Koemborn turned his attention to his wife, offering his forearm. Mrs. Koemborn smiled broadly and, accepting it, they made their way to the reception.
The rest of the guests had arrived before and they were now spread among the different salons. They were talking about financial and political matters; dancing to soft melodies and drinking exotic cocktails in fine glass goblets.
Mr. Koemborn narrowed his eyes as he fixed his gaze on the parchment that was securely locked inside of a large case made of cut glass. His lips spread in a devilish grin. After a moment, he laughed silently as he turned his head and looked at his wife. Mr. Koemborn took her hand and lifted it to his lips, kissing it gently and continued walking in the direction of the European salon in search of his honorable guest.
Mr. Koemborn made his way through the guests, greeting them and smiling broadly, radiating charm and class, stopping every few seconds, shaking and kissing hands of those in his sinister path. His chocolate brown eyes spotted Dr. Maurice Morris in one of the corners, in a lively conversation with the vice-president of The Firm’s Board; Mr. Delacroix. Mr. Koemborn narrowed his eyes in suspicion and headed directly to them.
As soon as Dr. Morris sensed his presence, he turned his head. “Alexander.” Dr. Morris greeted him, offering his hand. Mr. Koemborn shook it and extended his hand to shake Mr. Delacroix’s.
“Maurice. Charles.” Mr. Koemborn greeted back, smiling. He then turned his attention to Dr. Morris. “It seems that finally tonight you are going to face your fate, Maurice.” Mr. Koemborn said as his eyes flickered to Dr. Morris’.
“That’s what it seems, I guess.” He replied, grinning and taking a sip from his cocktail. Mr. Delacroix smirked slightly.
“I have to admit that at the beginning I had my doubts, Alexander. Considering your obsession with the 21st century.” Mr. Delacroix said evenly and fixed his cold gaze on him. Mr. Koemborn knit a brow slowly. Mr. Delacroix elaborated. “Twelve member had formed the council since The Firm’s creation. I did believe that number thirteen was an unfortunate presage for those who lived in that past century.” His voice sounded tinted with sarcasm. Mr. Koemborn narrowed his eyes slightly.
“Do not be so melodramatic, Charles. We can refer ourselves as just twelve plus one.” He replied, his voice extremely polite but as cold as ice itself. In response Mr. Delacroix tightened his jaw, narrowing his eyes in suspicion. Mr. Koemborn chuckled silently and continued talking. “I do know for sure that Phillipe is more than qualified and waiting eagerly to succeed his father. Probably it is the time when you should think seriously about your retirement, Charles.” Mr. Koemborn added nonchalantly, holding his gaze.
Mr. Delacroix’s eyes were wide open as he swallowed hard. He was more than sure that Alexander’s hand was behind his family members deaths. For a second the vice-president of The Firm’s could easily picture his own death by his son’s hands. The vision caused an uncontrolled shiver across his spine. Mr. Koemborns lips spread an evil grin as soon as he noticed it.
“If you excuse me. I have left my wife alone for a long time now.” Mr. Delacroix muttered through clenched teeth and turned on his heel, heading toward the center of the salon. Mr. Koemborn chuckled at that as he fixed him with a cold gaze. You can run, Charles. But you can’t hide, he added silently, following Mr. Delacroix with his eyes as his evil grin widened. He then returned his attention to Maurice Morris as he accepted with a nod a glass of cognac that one waiter brought on a silver tray.
Jack swallowed hard, taking a deep breath. She could feel her heart racing inside of her chest so fast she thought she would suffer a heart attack. Jack wasn’t scared, but she was trying her best to not rush to Dr. Morris and beat the shit out of him right then and there. Suddenly, Jack felt a strong presence watching her and slowly, she turned her head and looked up at the soldier who was at the top of the stairs. Immediately, Riddick grinned slightly as he nodded ‘yes’ slowly. Jack smiled broadly and turned her head. She breathed deeply one more time and entered the European salon.
“Where is your female companion, Maurice?” Mr. Koemborn asked nonchalantly, shivering the liquid slightly, inhaling its essence. “Do not tell me that a man of your resources came alone.” He added and took a sip from his drink.
Maurice Morris chuckled at that as he looked absently around himself. “I did come alone, Alexander. But I was expecting for you to..” Dr. Morris cut himself off as soon as a beautiful young woman dressed in a black dress knotted on her neck entered the salon. Immediately, he fixed his gaze on her, narrowing his eyes. A few seconds later his eyes were wide open, gasping soundlessly when recognition dawned. It can’t be. No fucking way, Dr. Morris said to himself. Mr. Koemborn knit a brow and turned his head, following Dr. Morris’ line of vision.
“You always had excellent taste in women, Maurice.” Mr. Koemborn murmured, leaning his head slightly to him. Sarcasm evident in his voice. In response, Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes again and gulped his cocktail in one draught as he watched Jack through narrowed eyes, unable for a second to speak or move at all. Then he blinked and she wasn’t there anymore. “Maurice?” Mr. Koemborn asked, grinning. Dr. Morris’ eyes moved franticly searching for her amongst the rest of the guests until he spotted her, with her back to him.
“Please, Alexander. Excuse me.” Dr. Morris answered as he headed toward her, making his best to not push the other guests on his way to the beautiful young woman, passing through them.
Alexander Koemborn nodded in agreement, grinning evilly. Then he fixed his eyes on Jack as he thought about Riddick. He could easily understand the reasons why Riddick was in love with her. Only a Koemborn would be able to appreciate the beauty in its primal essence. He said silently narrowing his eyes, sipping from his cognac. You did not only inherit my chocolate brown eyes after all, Richard, he added as he found himself chuckling silently.
“Audrey?” Dr. Morris asked in disbelief as he reached her side. The young woman turned around smiling broadly.
“Dr. Morris.” She said gently, extending her hand to him. He gasped silently, blinking.
“Oh, Carla.” Dr. Morris said almost in a murmur, shaking his head. The young woman frowned slightly.
“Are you ok, Dr. Morris?” She asked, concern on her face. Dr. Morris was sweating slightly. After a moment of hesitation, he pulled from his pocket a handkerchief and wiped his forehead. The woman fixed her eyes on him, waiting for an answer, her hand still floating in front of his face.
“Um.. yes, yes. My dear.” He replied as he took her hand, kissing it gently. “I just thought that you were…” He trailed off, blinking furiously. “Never mind. How are you, Carla? I was talking with your father about beautiful women when I saw..” Dr. Morris cut himself off as soon as he spotted Jack once again, crossing the salon in the direction of the stairs. Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes as he wiped his forehead once more with now trembling hands. Without a second thought he headed toward her, leaving Carla Koemborn puzzled.
Jack reached the bottom of the stairs and turned her head. Her eyes locked with Dr. Morris for a few seconds, she smiled and continued walking upstairs. Dr. Morris frowned deeply as he hurried his steps and followed her. When he reached the top of the stairs, he saw her entering one of the rooms situated at the end of the hallway.
“Audrey?” Dr. Morris called. Jack paused for a moment. Inside of her veins, Jack could feel the adrenaline running fast and closed her hands in fists, digging her nails into her palm, and then she entered the room.
Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes as he walked along the hallway, thinking about why Riddick hadn’t killed her yet. After a moment, Dr. Morris remembered his previous experiences linked to mercs and other scum like them and recalled his options. He wasn’t going to wait any longer to tie up that loose end. It was clear for him that at this point in the events, he had no other choice but take care of Audrey Jacqueline Travis personally.
Dr. Morris went to his suite located in front of the room that Jack had entered. He went directly to his closet and pulled out a black box. You’re not going to destroy me, little bitch, he told silently. He opened it and picked a small hypo syringe. Dr. Morris inserted a black ampoule and secreted the syringe inside of his jacket suit pocket. He took a deep breath, cleaning the sweat from his forehead one more time and headed to the room that Jack had entered a few minutes earlier. Dr. Morris looked around himself to make sure that nobody had noticed him and entered the room, closing the door at his back.
Jack took a deep breath and stared at him, her eyes flashing with banked anger. Dr. Morris fixed her with disbelief. “What are you doing here, Audrey?” He finally asked nonchalantly as he moved forward a couple of steps. Unconsciously, Jack took two steps backward.
“I came looking for you, Dr. Morris.” Jack answered as she looked at him from head to toe. Just the vision of him in front of her was making Jack feeling sick with every second that was passing. “I think you owe me a few answers, doc.” She muttered in disgust, breathing deeply. Dr. Morris went motionless as he looked around himself.
Jack had entered the only room in the mansion equipped with the most advance technology. He then narrowed his eyes, smirking evilly. “Locking door.” Dr. Morris ordered and in two seconds the door of the room was blocked. He then looked at her from head to toe as if Jack was the most worthless insignificant thing in the entire galaxy. “Answers.” He echoed, shaking his head. “To you?” He asked, mockingly. Jack narrowed her eyes at the tone of his voice. “I’m Maurice Morris, Audrey, and you are just a little bitch who happens to be in my way; a black stain on my flawless career; just a loose end, but I’m going to take care of you, my dear Audrey.” He added as he moved forward. Jack went motionless, staring at him with a gaze full of rage. “Don’t worry, Audrey. You’re death will be as sweet as yourself. I’ll do it fast and painless.” Dr. Morris finished as he pulled out the hypo syringe, chuckling at his own words. In response Jack grinned evilly as she ordered.
“Lights out.” Her voice firm. Dr. Morris gasped, shocked as he turned himself around, trying to see through the complete darkness. He cursed silently when noticed that Jack wasn’t in front of him anymore.
“Lights 100″ He ordered, but nothing happened. “Come on, lights full.” He repeated, rising his voice, getting impatient. Again nothing happened.
“Just my voice can activate them, doctor.” Jack said, smiling. Dr. Morris cursed himself silently and took a deep breath.
“You can run, my dear, but you can’t hide from me. Riddick didn’t kill you and I can figure out what you did to convince him, but that’s not going to be useful anymore, my little Audrey.” Dr. Morris added while trying to sense where exactly Jack was in the room. “At least not with me.” In response, Jack chuckled at his words as she felt Riddick’s body pressed against her back. She took a deep breath and smiled broadly.
“You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?” Jack asked softly as she kicked his hand, causing the syringe to fly from his hand across the room, landing a few meters from them. Dr. Morris grunted as he cursed himself silently. “Lights dim.” She ordered, grinning.
Dr. Morris turned around fast to look in the direction of Jack’s voice and blinked furiously, trying to adjust his eyes to the new level of light inside of the room. In the place where Audrey should had been, he found Riddick smirking at him. Dr. Morris gasped as he moved backward.
“Riddick?” his mind racing, looking around himself for a way out. Dr. Morris thought about the files he had read concerning Richard B. Riddick. He then remembered that those files recalled something about his ability to move faster than anyone else, almost as if he weren’t human.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk…no way out, doc.” Riddick growled, grinning. His voice was as cold as ice, almost enough to cut Dr. Morris’ breath, but he managed to stand his ground. Suddenly, there was no sign of Jack. He then stared at Riddick narrowing his eyes, his jaw tightening.
“You were paid to kill her.” Dr. Morris muttered in disgust as he looked at him from head to toe. “Why?” He asked. He was so annoyed with himself and so blind by his dreams of power and glory that his mind still wasn’t registering the course of events. Riddick’s raspy laughter echoed inside of the room causing that Dr. Morris to flinch at the sound. Riddick moved forward as he pulled out Jack’s black shiv.
“Maurice, Maurice, Maurice…” Riddick trailed off while playing with her shiv between his fingers. “Do you recognize this blade, doc?” Riddick growled, a slight grin tugging his lips. In response, Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes, swallowing dry.
Audrey Jacqueline Travis had been since she was three years old under his close supervision with the exception of the few months she was missing after she had run away from the last foster home. Dr. Morris frowned deeply, his mind flying far from the present moment, back to his memories of Audrey Jacqueline Travis. Suddenly the words of that girl, beaten nearly to death, while fighting for her own life, between consciousness and unconscious five years ago, echoed faintly inside of his brain. “…you promised…don’t leave me,…I’ve got no one else but you…” Back then, he had no idea about who the girl was talking about, but now. Now he knew.
Dr. Morris fixed his gaze on the black shiv, gasping soundlessly when realization and recognition dawned. Riddick nodded slowly. “That’s it, Maurice. What the fuck did you think that those engraved letters meant?” He asked and his voice sounded cold, fixing Dr. Morris with his silver eyes still covered with his goggles. Dr. Morris went silent, his mind racing. “Did you really think for a fucking sec that I was going to kill my little Jack? My own woman?” Riddick asked as he lifted his goggles, resting them on his forehead. Slowly, Riddick looked directly at Dr. Morris’ eyes. In response he gasped as he held his breath in fear, tensing every muscle on his fat body, feeling his heart accelerating its rhythm.
This had been always Riddick’s favorite part without a doubt. All his victims with no exception had always the same reaction. The beast within him roared with endless pleasure. The smell of Dr. Morris’ terror only served to increase its thirst for blood. Dr. Maurice Morris’ blood.
“Riddick.” Dr. Morris fixed Riddick with what he supposed was a cold menacing gaze. The beast within Riddick snarled at that. “We can reach a deal.” Dr. Morris said as he stretched his back slightly, sizing up the convict for a second. “Just name your price. Tell me what you want, Riddick. Anything. I’ll take care of the rest.” Dr. Morris added fast, trying to sound nonchalant, but his voice betrayed him, it held fear.
“Hmmm… Interesting.” Was Riddick’s answer as he cracked his neck bones. They both kept silent for a moment. Then Riddick turned on his heels and took a seat in an armchair, making himself comfortable. “I’m listening.” He growled as he lifted his hand, pointing to the armchair situated in front of him.
Dr. Morris grinned slightly as he looked around himself. He then hesitantly moved forward and sat in front of Riddick. He had to think of something, anything to survive this encounter with the killer. Dr. Morris was sure that it might be something he could offer to him in exchange of his own life. He wasn’t expecting this sudden change in events.
Tonight was supposed to be about realizing his dream of power and glory, but instead, here he was in front of Richard B. Riddick himself with no certainty about his immediate fate. Dr. Morris refused to let that dream go without playing all his cards and at this point, in no way he was going to give it up so easily.
“Tonight I’m going to become part of The Firm’s Board. I’ll be able to give you all the things you’ve always wanted.” Dr. Morris offered, shuddering with fear. He didn’t want to give Riddick the satisfaction of noticing his fear, even though he was oblivious to Riddick’s ability to smell it. He then cleared his throat. “There has to be something you’ve always dreamed about, Riddick.” He added, wiping his forehead with his handkerchief. In response, Riddick flashed him with a devilish grin.
“Well, doc. I already have who I’ve always dreamed about.” Riddick replied as he looked over Dr. Morris’ shoulder. Dr. Morris turned his head, following Riddick’s line of vision, puzzled for a second.
Jack was staring at him through narrowed eyes, full of anger and, holding his gaze, she headed toward Riddick’s seat and sat on his lap, making herself comfortable. Riddick grinned as he stroked Jack’s bare back, causing her to turn her gaze, locking eyes with him.
“You see, doc. Five years ago I would say what the fuck? But I’m afraid that tonight I must decline your offer.” Riddick growled, chuckling at his own words while his silver eyes flickered to Jack’s. In response, Jack winked at him, smiling broadly. Riddick grinned and then returned his attention to Dr. Morris. “But I’m sure that my woman here wanted to tell you something before you die.” Riddick added evenly as he fixed the doctor with a cold gaze that sent shivers across his spine.
Jack grinned at that as she locked eyes with Dr. Morris. Her eyes flashing anger. She then grabbed her shiv from Riddick’s hand and stood, heading to Dr. Morris’ side. In response, the doctor tensed even more as soon as he laid eyes on Jack’s black shiv, gasping. He swallowed dry and cleared his throat.
“Wait, Audrey!” He exclaimed, stiffening on his seat. Jack went motionless, staring at him. Dr. Morris’ breath was ragged and his heart was beating fast while his mind was racing in search of a way out of the situation. “You don’t need to kill me. I’ll do w, w, whatever you want me to do, Audrey.” Dr. Morris stuttered, sweating with fear. Jack narrowed her eyes in suspicion and after a moment she burst out laughing, shaking her head in disbelief. Jack couldn’t believe that at this point this fat fucker was still trying to manipulate her. She grinned evilly as she waved her shiv in the air at his eyes level.
“Too bad for you then, Maurice. Because the only thing I want you to do for me is die slowly and painfully.” Jack hissed through clenched teeth in front of him. “Exactly just like my parents died, doc. Just like those innocent children. The ones you killed with your fucking virus.” She muttered in disgust, pressing the blade against his chest, making him stiffen even more in his seat. “There’s nothing you can offer me to compensate for the pain and the tears.” Jack applied more pressure with her blade against Dr. Morris’ chest, causing a few drops of blood to spread along his white chemise.
Dr. Morris gasped as he shut his eyes, tightening his jaw. He then swallowed hard and tried to move. Not his smartest decision. In two seconds, Riddick’s curved shiv was stabbed on the armchair beside his head. Dr. Morris gasped in horror, sweating profusely. He hadn’t seen Riddick move.
“I didn’t say you could move.” Riddick growled, coldly. “Next time, I won’t miss.” He added as he stood.
Riddick headed to one side of the room and inserted a code on a terminal. After a moment the screen turned black. Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes in suspicion as he fixed his gaze on the screen. Riddick turned around and looked at him.
“There is someone here who wants to tell you something, doc.” Riddick said as he moved backward. In response, Dr. Morris frowned slightly.
Suddenly, the screen showed a woman reclined on a chaise longue, smiling broadly. Dr. Morris’ mind went blank. He couldn’t believe what his eyes were seeing. It was impossible. He had seen her corpse more than thirty five years ago.
“Mariel…” He trailed off in a murmur. Mariel’s eyes fixed him with a cold gaze as her smile disappeared.
“You tried in vain to subdue my wild spirit, turning my life into a living hell and you almost achieved your purpose, Maurice.” Mariel whispered gently, even though her voice sounded cold and distant. At her words, Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes, tightening his jaw. Mariel chuckled at that and continued. “Once I told you I would die for Alain without a second thought, and as you can see, I kept my word because my soul was dead, but tonight I’m going to live again, Maurice. And those millions of innocent souls who you killed are going to be able to finally rest in peace, knowing that you, my dear husband, won’t be able to see a new sunrise.” Mariel smiled slightly as she stood. She then turned her attention to Riddick. “Sorry, Riddick. I told you I wanted to be witness of his death, but…” Mariel trailed off, staring at him, her eyes showing pain and anger. Pain for all those who had died for Dr. Morris’ ambition, and anger because she had been too weak to fight for Alain. In response, Riddick nodded in understanding and the screen turned black. Then, Riddick looked back at Jack, pulling out from his cargoes’ pocket the red disc with the skull drawn on it.
Jack fixed her gaze on it with a questioning look on her face, and all of sudden Alain’s words popped into her brain. “…Take this with you Rick. When the time comes, use it. I’ll be waiting…” the old man’s voice echoed faintly and Jack found herself narrowing her green eyes.
“Are you curious, Jackie girl?” Riddick asked as he grinned evilly. Jack mimicked his grin, nodding ‘yes’. Riddick headed toward one side of the room and inserted the red disc into another terminal. “This disc only can be inserted on this terminal because there’s only one available use for it.” Riddick explained evenly as he typed a code on the keyboard. “To make possible a transmission through a secure line in seconds to any point along the galaxy.” He pressed a button and a few seconds later a big screen emerged from inside of a closet. Riddick fingered a new code that was written at the bottom of the screen. When Riddick was done, he turned to look at the doctor over his shoulder. “How about a brother to brother chat?” He asked him, grinning. Dr. Morris’ face turned pale as he fought the urge not to move a single muscle. He narrowed his eyes when after a few minutes on the screen appeared an old man with shined eyes, grinning.
Jack gasped, shocked. “Alain…” She mouthed, feeling her heart jumping inside of her chest, smiling broadly. Alain laughed softly as soon as he saw Jack awake and safe.
“Jack B. Badd, the strongest woman I ever met.” Alain said gently as he felt tears of joy, fighting for release. Jack walked to the screen and lifting a hand, she stroked Alain’s face. “My beautiful Jack.” He murmured, tilting his head slightly to one side as he closed his eyes. He almost could feel on his cheek Jack’s warm touch and a single tear escaped his eyes. Jack swallowed hard and cleared her throat.
“How are you, Hacker?” She teased him, smiling. In response, Alain opened his eyes blinking as a big grin graced his lips. Jack moved backward, smiling broadly and returned to Riddick’s side who tilted his head, smirking. Alain wasn’t sure if Riddick would be able to face his deepest fear, but once again, Riddick had shocked him
“I knew you could do it.” Alain replied as he looked at Riddick and his grin widened. The old man’s words held a double meaning, but Riddick pretended once again that he wasn’t catching it. I’m proud of you, tiny-boy, Alain added silently but his eyes flashed at Riddick with a gaze that was saying much more than just those words and Riddick found himself narrowing his eyes as a deep low growl escaped his lips. Alain burst out laughing. He had learned to read the killer and somehow he knew that Riddick didn’t still feel quite comfortable with who he was starting to become. Alain then turned his attention to his brother. “Hello, Maurice.” Alain greeted him, even though his voice didn’t hold any trace of emotion at all. Maurice’s eyes almost popped out of his face when recognition dawned.
“Alain.” He muttered in disgust. This caused Alain to chuckle at him.
“You weren’t expecting to see me again, huh, brother?” Alain asked as he fixed his silver gaze on him. Maurice gasped in surprise and anger. “You will never learn, Maurice. Mercs have no ethics, no code of honour at all, but again what I was expecting from you.” He added, shaking his head in disgust. Maurice grunted, annoyed, and that caused Alain to grin evilly, locking eyes with his brother Maurice. Dr. Morris tightened his jaw.
“Thirty six years ago, I made a promise to myself while I was being cuffed in your presence. I promised to myself that someday, someone bigger and badder than you will kill you, a slow painful death; and that I would be waiting until the end of time to see it.” Dr. Morris tried to move again, but a deep growl resounded around the room, freezing the blood in his veins. Alain shook his head. “Well, Maurice. Now is my turn to tell you those same words.” He added, fixing his brother with a cold gaze. “I’m going to leave you alone to face your fate, brother, because I’m sure that this is none of my business.” Alain hissed through clenched teeth. “Good luck, my beloved brother. You will need it now that you’re going to Hell.” Dr. Morris frowned deeply, his mind racing with all kinds of thoughts. Fixing his gaze on Riddick. “Thank you, tiny-boy.” He added, bowing his head as Riddick nodded and in two seconds the screen went black.
Dr. Morris turned his head to look at Riddick. “Well, Riddick. What are you waiting for then?” He asked coldly. If he was going to die he was going to keep his pride and face his own death with class and style. Riddick chuckled at his words.
“You see, doc. For the first time in all my fucking life I’m not in a hurry to kill. Night is young, doc. So I feel in the mood to share my time with you.” Riddick said coldly, even though his voice was full of sarcasm. “The real fun is about to start though.” He added, grinning evilly, feeling his inner beast rumbling with excitement locked in its cage. Then, he turned on his heels and headed toward a black bag. Riddick paused for a moment and then opened it. Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes in suspicion and held his breath for a second while Riddick pulled out a black box that Jack recognized immediately. What the hell…? Dr. Morris thought silently, frowning.
“Riddick?” Jack asked, puzzle for a second. Riddick glanced at her for the corner of his eye, flashing her with an evil grin. Jack narrowed her eyes when she sensed his inner beast coming on guard.
Jack never before had felt the beast’s presence so strong and at the same time so restrained, and she couldn’t stop the uncontrolled shiver that crossed her spine. Riddick noticed and frowning he realized that Jack was trembling slightly. He felt his inner beast pacing his cage extremely agitated, rumbling in anger. It could smell Jack’s fear, and that was something that Riddick didn’t want to smell ever again in all his life. And just then, Riddick understood that it wouldn’t be a good idea let Jack be around him on this occasion.
Without a second thought, Riddick headed to her and encircled her body, tightening his embrace. Jack encircled his waist, pressing her cheek to his chest, feeling his steady heartbeat, soothing her. “I love you, Riddick.” Jack said softly. In response, Riddick grinned slowly as he bent his head and pressed his lips against her ear.
“I love you, Jack.” Riddick growled gently, stroking her back up and down. Jack relaxed in his arms and her scent change subtly from fear to arousal. In response, a soft growl escaped his lips. Riddick grabbed her head gently with both hands and tilted her head back, locking eyes with Jack. “Here is where I do play who’s the best fucking killer, Jackie girl.” He growled, his voice as deep as the ocean. “And tonight, I’m gonna play it alone.” Riddick added and Jack noticed how his voice had turned as cold as ice itself; no trace of emotion at all. The beast within Riddick let out a roar in anticipation and Jack pressed even more against his body.
“Riddick…” she breathed, her eyes flickering to Riddick’s.
“Make yourself invisible for a while, Jack.” His silver eyes flashed her with a gaze that didn’t leave any room for complaint as Riddick let go of her. At that exact moment, Jack knew that the beast was ready to satiate its thirst of blood, and understood that it didn’t want her around. She reluctantly nodded ‘yes’ and turning on her heels, she glanced one last time at Dr. Morris.
“I hope you burn in hell, Dr. Morris.” Jack hissed in a menacing tone of voice. She then headed toward the door, unlocked it and left the room, closing the door at her back. Jack then shut her eyes as she took a deep breath. She swallowed hard and headed toward the entrance of the mansion.
On her way out, Jack noticed that the parchment wasn’t inside of its glass case anymore and she couldn’t help but wonder where it was as she climbed into Mr. Koemborn’s vehicle. As soon as Jack got in the car, she let out the air she didn’t realize she had been holding with a heavy sigh as she took Mariel’s hand in her. In response, Mariel bent her head, kissing her temple, lingering on her caress as she squeezed Jack’s hand lightly. The driver started the car and headed toward the space port where “The Darkveil” was docked.
As soon as Jack left the room, Riddick pulled out the hypo syringe and loaded it with a red ampoule. “How much you weight, Maurice?” Riddick asked absently turning his attention to him. Dr. Morris narrowed his eyes but kept silent. “I’m asking you because I’m trying to figure out how much serum I need to inject into your veins.” He added, smirking as he moved forward to the doctor’s side.
Riddick grabbed Dr. Morris’ jaw and he retreated into his seat, trying to release himself from Riddick’s grip, but he tightened his fingers. This caused Dr. Morris to open his mouth, his eyes showing panic. He better than anyone else knew the effects of the serum. “You should know that I’m not a man to mess with, Maurice.” Riddick growled as he applied more pressure with his fingers, digging on the skin. Then, Riddick grabbed Dr. Morris’ tongue and pulling it out of his mouth, he injected the serum directly on his soft palate. Dr. Morris gagged, forcing his nausea back down as his forehead glistened with his sweat. “Let’s play my favorite game, huh?” Riddick mocked as he released his tongue, grinning.
Almost immediately, the side effects of the serum were noticed by the scientist. Suddenly, he couldn’t force his voice out of his throat. Dr. Morris took a deep breath and opened his mouth to scream, but not a sound came out. His vocals chords were paralyzed.
Riddick shook his head and grabbed a chair. “What, doc? Cat got your tongue?” He asked mockingly as he sat, straddling it, resting his forearms on the back of the chair.
Dr. Morris’ eyes went wide open; he wasn’t scared, he was now terrified. He was sure that Riddick was going to slash his throat in one fast move and everything would be done in seconds, but the thought of dying slowly while through his veins the red serum was running mixed with his blood stream never crossed his mind.
As if he could read the doc’s mind, Riddick chuckled. “I bet you never though of yourself as a subject of your experiments.” He growled as he tilted his head to one side. “Let’s make ourselves comfortable, Maurice. It’s gonna be a hell of a long night, doc.”
Dr. Morris knew full well that within minutes his body was going to suffer the symptoms of a withdrawal that would become ten times worse with every second that passed, because Riddick had injected him with an overdose. He would have laughed contemplating the irony if he wasn’t so paralyzed.
He had recommended this serum to control and manipulate others. He had treated Audrey with it to keep her memory loss. He knew full well that in minutes he would be at Riddick’s mercy, unable to control his own body’s reaction or functions. Dr. Morris shuddered in anticipation thinking about his last hours of life. Thinking about what it had come to. Nausea, hemorrhaging, shivers, tachycardia, cold sweats and finally a extremely slow painful death. Dr. Morris looked down and his eyes were wide open when he realized that he was going to pee his pants. The voice of Riddick brought him back to his current situation.
“You’re going to die tonight, doc, but not before you’d be able to feel in your veins what millions of innocents suffered over the years.” Riddick said as he stood, grinning He was circling him slowly, talking in a low tone of voice; cold and distant. “What an irony, huh, Maurice?” He added as his mind conjured a vision of those kids killed in those foster homes, and Riddick went lost on thoughts.
Richard B. Riddick was considered the most dangerous bloody killer among all the known systems. An animal without scruples or conscience. A cold heartless monster capable of the most unexpected and unforeseen atrocities. But not even himself, who had grown up discarded from that society, treated like scum since he was new born, would had been able to carry out such an aberration. His survivor instinct had been what had kept him alive while defeating all kinds of dangerous situations. Using his intelligence and his skills. Skills that had been acquired over the years. Improved and perfected upon victim after victim since he was sixteen years old. His hands were stained with the blood of those who had died since them, his dark soul haunting him in his nightmares. Not even one of those nightmares reached their goal though.
If Riddick would have wanted to find a plausible reason why he had killed in the past, his answer would had been really simple; his own survival. But in this one exceptional unique occasion, his survival wasn’t threatened. Riddick chuckled at his own thoughts. Dr. Morris’ death wasn’t only his private and personal revenge because he had dared to hurt the only person who Riddick had loved since the very first time he laid eyes on her.
Back then they were on that forsaken planet. He had been chained by his ankles and wrists to a wall in a dark place and she was there watching him. He hadn’t seen her when he had already smelled her. Riddick realized that it had been there and then when she had seen him as himself and not like an animal. Jack understood his nature and his motivations and accepted him. Just because of that simple act of love, Riddick would have destroyed anyone who dared to lay a hand on his Jack. But right now, he was beyond that feeling. In the past he had killed because he had to, but right now he was going to kill because he wanted to. Dr. Maurice Morris would die because Riddick wanted to kill him.
His mind went back to that other single occasion in which he had killed someone because he wanted to. Back then, his victim has been the fucker who raped Jack when she was twelve years old and Riddick had unleashed his inner beast, gutting Jack’s guardian alive.
Riddick stopped dead in his tracks and stared at Dr. Morris whose body was shaking in panic and pain, and realized that this time he was going to kill him in the name of others. He. Richard B. Riddick himself, was going to impart justice. He would be the jury, the judge and the executioner. And for the first time, he was going to lock his inner beast inside of his cage and he was going to offer his last victim the bizarre privilege of the cruelest death without scattering a single drop of blood.
Riddick was going to kill Dr. Morris’ pride, his thirst for power, his dreams of glory and his fucking fat ego. And he was going to use the only thing that would be able to cause that effect. His own fucking serum.
Riddick growled silently as he forced his inner beast to enter its cage. The beast roared in denial, but reluctantly entered it and Riddick took a deep breath and exhaled slowly the air through his nostrils, growling one last time. He then went to the desk and grabbed the parchment. Grinning he turned on his heels and stood in front of his victim.
Dr. Morris blinked tears of pain, trying to clear his blurry vision as his nose started to bleed. “You reached the summit of your fucking flawless career, doc.” Riddick said coldly. “You thought you were fucking untouchable. You thought you were like God himself, huh, Maurice?” Dr. Morris’ eyes were wide open while forcing the air past his burning lungs, trying to control the spasms that were now causing his limbs to twitch so violently that he was sure they were going to tear loose from his torso. “You were going to make true your most precious dream, doc. Surrounded by all those upstanding civilized citizens who were silent accomplices in your crimes.” Riddick continued while watching impassible how Dr. Morris was aware of how his life was escaping his body, unable to control anymore his ragged breath or his racing heartbeats. A searing indescribable pain slicing through his veins, paralyzing his organs, but still able to feel each and every nerve, cell and atom that was once his body. “Those allies who were once at your service are the same ones who sent me to kill you, Maurice.” Riddick added, his silver eyes flickering to Dr. Morris’ eyes. At the sound of Riddick’s words, his pupils were dilated as the only sign of realization.
Riddick grinned evilly as he loaded a new syringe. Grabbing Dr. Morris’ jacket, he leaned his torso forward and injected the syringe at the fourth lumbar, the abdominal aorta; directly at the sweet spot through his clothes. Immediately, Dr. Morris’ muscles tensed at all once and his body went rigid for a few seconds. Riddick pushed him roughly back to his seat and grabbing his right hand, he put the parchment in his palm.
“Congratulations, Maurice.” Riddick smirked. “Welcome to The Firm’s Board Council. Enjoy your success, motherfucker.” He added as he burst out laughing. Dr. Morris looked down at his hand and closed his fingers around the parchment, tightening his hand into a fist. His mouth opened to scream, but no sound came out. Just when his life was about to end and he was running out of time, Riddick leaned his head and just a breath away of Dr. Morris’ face, he spoke in his more menacing tone of voice. “No one fucks with Richard B. Riddick and walks away.” He hissed, grinning evilly.
Riddick stood back up and watched the exact second in which Maurice Morris was conscious about the humiliation. The exact second in which his pride, his ego and his thirst for glory was defeated. The exact second in which Maurice Morris reached his most precious dream and, at the same time, his mind started to wipe away each and every memory.
All his life crossed in slow motion in front of his eyes. The faces of each and every single human being who had been subjected to his experiments over the years. Their accusing eyes flashing at him, revealing the true nature of his acts. All those who had suffered the consequences of his limitless ambition were laughing at him. Alain, Mariel, Audrey. All his victims, all his crimes. Dr. Morris felt his guilt consuming him along with his anger, fighting while the pain became unbearable and finally everything went black.
Riddick grinned evilly as he moved backward, staring at how Dr. Morris’ body went rigid. He then turned on his heels and headed toward the terminal where he had inserted the red disc with skull. He was going to pull it out when all of sudden an idea crossed his mind. Riddick smirked silently and fingered a new code on the keyboard. After a moment, a list with all the prisons along the Galaxy was flashing at him. Riddick grinned and selected from the list one name; Xela. He then inserted one last code and in the screen the intell he was looking for was spread.
Alias(s): The Hacker.
Protocol Security Code: 25710290 / Q
Offence(s): High Treason.
Sentencing: Capital Punishment. (Forgiven by The Firm’s Board).
Current Status: Imprisonment for life on Xela. Planet Zul. Alhaur system.
Riddick chuckled silently. Yeah, old man, we won’t be even after all, hacker, he said to himself as he fingered a new code that it was written at the bottom of the screen. Then he read again the intell and laughed silently.
Alias(s): The Hacker.
Protocol Security Code: 25710290 / Q
Offence(s): High Treason.
Sentencing: Capital Punishment. (Forgiven by The Firm’s Board).
Current Status: Freedman.
“Fuck you, Alexander,” Riddick murmured to himself as his beast snarled silently. After that, Riddick pulled out the disc and checking his surroundings, he turned on his heel and left the mansion, heading directly to the space port.
Mr. Koemborn stared at Dr. Morris’ corpse through narrowed eyes. He couldn’t help but feel a shiver run down his spine at the vision in front of him. If ever before he had felt impressed about Riddick’s twisted mind, in this occasion the killer had struck him numb. Not even he himself would have been able to conjure such a bizarre image. A masterpiece carried out with planned premeditation , a cold treachery. Oh, Maurice, you didn’t know who you were fucking with, he said silently.
Mr. Koemborn thought about the painful irony in which Dr. Maurice Morris’ final minutes of life had represented for him. Without a doubt his precious dream, his ultimate goal, had come true, but he had been unable to enjoy it much more than a few seconds. Mr. Koemborn was trying to figure out how the doctor felt when he realized that. Certainly Maurice Morris had became part of The Firm’s Board. The evidence was still clutched between his rigid cold fingers.
Dr. Maurice Morris had been contributing with his experiments to The Firm’s interests, but not even once had he showed his deep respect to the corporation or to The Board’s presidents. Not even once he had been grateful because the members of the council had allowed him to take a seat at their very same table. Without a doubt his reputation as a scientist had no precedents, but his ambition was what caused, at the end, his own death. The Board’s members had been playing with him, as if he was a marionette in their hands and he had been so blinded by the box, that he never bothered to open it, to look what was inside.
Mr. Koemborn fought the urge to burst out laughing at the top of his lungs. Riddick understood the doctor’s weakness, using them against him, inflicting upon his victim the worst death imaginable. Nevertheless, he should have expected something similar. Dr. Maurice Morris’s death had been caused by an overdose of his own serum. Mr. Koemborn suspected it had been the first time and probably it would be the last time in which Riddick overpowered the animal within to be able to act not like a bloody killer, but like a cold calculating assassin.
Not a drop of blood caused by the slash of a shiv, with the exception of the small cut on Dr. Morris’ chest, and he figured out that one was courtesy of Miss Travis. Not a single piece of evidence that would lead anyone to think about murder. Everything in the room was placed exactly as it had been since always.
Mr. Koemborn narrowed his eyes in suspicion when he recalled in which room Riddick had decided to kill his last target. It wasn’t that he would have chosen a different one in the mansion, in the end it was the only one voice activated and soundproof. Nevertheless Alexander’s instinct was screaming at him that he was missing something in the picture; he only had to figure out what exactly.
Dr. Maurice Morris had been playing a double game with a man who wasn’t going to allow that behavior; Alexander van Koemborn III. A man who had been able to betray his own blood on three different occasions in his life. A man who planned with calculating coldness the deaths of his father and his older brother. A man who hunted a young woman as soon as he knew that she was pregnant with his bastard. A man whose hand never trembled when he ordered to kill that woman, and afterward, dumping her newborn in a trash bin at the back door of a liquor store, wrapping around his little neck his umbilical cord. A man who sent that same baby sixteen years later to Slam city, turning him into one of the most dangerous men in the entire galaxy. A man who set the highest bounty over the head of a 24 years old man, becoming the most wanted man ever. Richard B. Riddick.
Dr. Morris discovered by casual accident the existence of that kid, but he hadn’t been able to know the real identity. Alexander Koemborn knew full well how that revelation would affect his position inside of The Firm’s Board. He couldn’t allow himself to have any weakness, not even one. But, he wouldn’t be the one to kill Richard B. Riddick. Not because he was his son, but because he secretly admired that killer. Above everything, Mr. Koemborn admired his unquestionable survival instinct since he was just minutes into his life.
Under his distorted perception of reality, Alexander van Koemborn III had been keeping that kid safe, hiding him from the eyes of the Galaxy. Nobody would have been able to suspect that Richard B. Riddick was Alexander’s first born. The president of The Board chuckled silently at his own thoughts. He had looked directly into Riddick’s eyes and he had seen the best within him, and that vision only made him felt proud of him. In some twisted way, Riddick was like himself. Alexander found in Riddick a dignified adversary, gifted with an intelligence out of the ordinary and as lethal as himself.
Now in the presence of Dr. Maurice Morris’ corpse, Alexander van Koemborn III was certain about one undeniable fact. Richard B. Riddick wouldn’t be a convicted murderer anymore; he would be, from now on, a free man. For now.
Nevertheless, Mr. Koemborn was still planning to keep an eye on Riddick. He was sure the killer might be useful sometime in the near future.
“Are we going to set him free, sir?” General Owens’ voice pulled him out of his thoughts. Mr. Koemborn slid his eyes in the General direction, arching a brow.
“Of course, General, I’m a man of my word.” Was his cold answer. He then turned on his heel and headed toward the door.
“With all my respects, sir. I think you should reconsider it.” General Owens replied, frowning deeply. He wasn’t sure that leaving Riddick alive and kicking and on his own was a good idea at all. Mr. Koemborn chuckled at the General’s words.
“I already, did, General.” He answered as he stopped dead in his tracks. Turning his head, Mr. Koemborn fixed him over his shoulder with a cold gaze, that sent shivers to the military man’s spine. “Are you questioning my decision, Owens?” He asked, narrowing his eyes in suspicion. In response, General Owens knit a brow.
“No, sir.” He answered fiercely. “My loyalty to your family is unquestionable, Mr. Koemborn.” He added, frowning deeply. His voice sounded tinted with annoyance. Like the thought itself was a shame to the military.
“Good selection of words, General.” Alexander said as he grinned evilly. “I wouldn’t wish to be forced to do without your valuable services, my friend.” His voice emotionless yet tinted with sarcasm. General Owens’ eyes were wide open as he stiffened his position, saluting. Alexander chuckled. “Dismissed, General Owens.” He said and continued walking to the door.
General Owens glanced one last time to Dr. Morris’ corpse and followed Mr. Koemborn out of the room. When he reached the hallway two soldiers were waiting outside. As soon as he crossed in front of them, both stiffened their positions, saluting him.
“Clean the mess.” General Owens ordered as he continued walking with long strides, thinking about Mr. Koemborns previous words and he couldn’t help but wonder why the fuck The Firm’s president refused at any cost to kill Riddick.