ZION: THE REBELLION Chapter 9

EMPEROR’S PALACE, THE PEAK

Charles E. Ville appeared calm and composed, not at all worried about anything. But in reality he was close to a heart attack. That morning, everyone in the Peak was sent a text message saying that Julia O’Hielder was dead. An investigation had been taken to find out why she had suddenly died. An hour ago, Kyen had called Charles and ordered him to the palace, saying that Emperor Noland had demanded an audience with him. Charles was extremely concerned that the Emperor was suspecting him or that evidence had been found against him. He was currently in the Throne Room, waiting for the Emperor to appear.

The door to the Throne Room opened and in walked Noland and Kyen. Charles was not expecting the Emperor’s son. He did obeisance to them while they sat down on the thrones. “Rise, Charles,” Noland ordered and Charles stood up. “So, am I to believe that Julia O’Hielder’s death is just a coincidence?” Noland suddenly asked.

Charles wore an innocent and confused expression. “I do not know what you mean, Your Eminence,” Charles lied.

“I ordered that she be killed only after Anne was kidnapped. And now she is dead. From a drug overdose. Strange coincidence,” Noland elaborated.

“It is, Your Eminence. I am deeply saddened by O’Hielder’s unfortunate demise. It should not have happened to someone so young,” Charles pretended to choke up in emotion and wipe away an imaginary tear.

“She was fifty-nine,” Noland pointed out.

#@%^**!!!! Charles thought. “Oh. So she was.” Charles mentally kicked himself. He noticed that both Noland’s and Kyen’s faces were stern and impassive, not giving a hint if they were suspecting him or not. He realized that they were studying him.

“Charles,” Kyen spoke. “Why are you distraught about Julia’s death? You and her never got along and there was always tension between you two.”

Double #@%^**!!!!!! “You see, Your Highness,” Charles tried to improvise, “Even though there was tension between us, we actually liked each other some. And we were starting to become friends when she, unfortunately…died.”

Noland, to Charles’s surprise, was actually considering what he said! Is it actually working? That, Charles had begun to despair would not happen. “So you were in no way responsible for O’Hielder’s death?” he finally asked.

Charles shook his head. “No, Your Eminence,” he bowed as he spoke.

“I see now that having two courts, where one controls the other, is foolish,” Noland continued. “It only breeds contempt. We want peace. Isn’t that what we tell the people? So. I will, as of now, merge the Shamrock Council and the Court of Scarlet into one court, which we shall just call the Court of Scarlet. Charles, you shall be in charge of this new court. Maybe that way, we can have peace in here,” Noland decreed.

He was stunned. The Emperor had played right into his hand, giving him what he had wanted! His plan was now in motion. Noland then dismissed him. Charles walked out of the room, jubilant. This was perfect!

As soon as Charles left, shutting the door, Kyen began trying to work out why his father had just given Charles more power. Noland and Kyen both knew that Charles was behind Julia O’Hielder’s demise, and that Charles  had deliberately rebelled against what the Emperor had decreed, so why had his father rewarded his disobedience? He could not ask the Emperor why, as Noland hated being asked questions about his decisions and actions.

Noland, however, sensed Kyen’s confusion about what he had just done. But he was not angry. He realized that this was a perfect opportunity to teach his son a valuable lesson. “Keep your enemies close,” Noland instructed, “And those allies that you don’t trust even closer. Give them what they want briefly and they will put their guard down and will be lulled to sleep. That way, they won’t see the assault coming. Do you understand now?”

Kyen nodded. “But wouldn’t merging the two courts make the leader more susceptible to murder?” he enquired.

“And when Charles is gone, I will full control of the court,” Noland said.

THE RESTRICTED AREA

Anne, Zipporah, Eileen and two other females – Josephine La Magne and Sarah Mooney – were at the river which was some way from Zion. They were there as they had to go and collect water for their tank. Zipporah had been declared fit and healthy and she and Josephine were armed with guns, knives, light sabers and crossbows with quivers of arrows. Sarah, Eileen and Anne were filling buckets with water – they were going to carry two between them on the way home. Josephine and Zipporah had turned off their light sabers and had them hanging from their belts next to their knives and guns, both of their quivers of arrows were slung over their shoulders and they were both holding armed crossbows, keeping watch.

Eileen, Anne and Sarah were quietly chatting and laughing as they filled the buckets. “Oh, it’s such a beautiful day,” Eileen said.

Sarah smiled as she began filling her last bucket. “Yes, it is,” she agreed. Eileen stood up with her second bucket and looked over at her daughter and Josephine. Eileen walked over to her other bucket, bent down and picked it up. She stood up and saw a man dressed in black and was wearing black sunglasses standing infront of her and aiming a gun at her. She screamed, grabbing the others attention.

Anne watched as Eileen, Zipporah, Josephine and Sarah were shot with tranquilizers and collapsed to the ground. Two women and four men then stepped out into the open, surrounded her and all were aiming guns at her. “Please don’t fight,” one of the men said. “We’re tired and prefer to do this quickly.”

Anne had dropped her buckets, so delivered an uppercut to one of the men. She kicked a woman in the abdomen. The other woman quickly shot her with a tranquilizer, knocking her out. Two of the men picked up the unconscious Anne and they walked a mile back to their 4X4.

They threw Anne in the boot and locked it. Then they all climbed in the 4X4, buckled up and Black Widow started the engine, beginning to drive off. Spock turned on his earpiece and said into it: “Emperor, this is Spock. The package has been secured. Repeat: Package is secure.”

“You didn’t harm her?” the Emperor asked.

“No, sir. Saved her for you,” Spock replied.

“Excellent,” Noland said. “Let the fun begin.”

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