Ivanka was walking back to her house in Region 12, which was where she lived as an undercover agent for the League. Right now, she was not there on any business. After the Shamrock Council and the Court of Scarlet had become one court with Charles ruling it, Charles had ordered her to go back to Region 12 for a holiday. Ivanka was still confused by his sudden generosity. She wondered why he was giving her a holiday when she had recently had one? She had summarised that Charles was doing that to hide something from her, but she was not sure what and was not complaining about the extra holiday as she now had extra time to pursue that mystery of hers.
She was carrying home her daily ration of food that everyone was giving each morning which was meager and was meant to be enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ivanka hated the small amount, but to blend in, she had to have as little food as everyone else in Region 12. Ivanka had discovered that someone was following her as she had noticed the past couple of days there that this man was going wherever she went, but he kept a distance. Ivanka did not know, though, who he was.
The black Avatar glasses she was wearing was also designed to show her what was going on behind her. She had dubbed it “rear view mirror vision.” She turned it on and watched as the left glass on her glasses suddenly showed footage of everything behind her. Yep. He was following her.
She stopped at a red traffic light and mingled amongst the crowd which was waiting to cross as an army tank full of armed Law Enforcers was slowly driving by. As she was patiently waiting, she began thinking of that Hannah who had not wanted her to go on the Chair when she was five. I wonder if she knows what my parents real names were? She wondered.
Suddenly, a name flashed through her brain.
CELL 33, UNDERGROUND PRISON
Anne cried out as she landed on the prison floor. One of the two soldiers who had brought her to the underground prison locked her cell door. They walked off, apparently content that she would not escape. And she could see why – the walls were made of concrete and looked extremely thick and the floor was also made of concrete. She looked around her cell. There was no windows, but there was a light bulb, but she decided not to turn it on. She could smell mould and dirt and thought it better not to see it. By quickly turning on the light and then quickly turning it off after seeing how dirty it was, she also saw that her cell was small and that there was no bunks or beds to sleep in. With You, YEHOVAH, I’ll be content, she thought and she meant it. Anne jumped in surprise as a rat scuttled into her cell, caught sight of her, and ran off in fright, which made her smile.
Anne decided to quote some scriptures because she always felt YAH’s presence when she did that. And right then, she was starting to feel fear and needed to fight it with His Word. Getting in a comfortable position on the floor, as the roof was low, she raised her hands and head upwards and began to praise Him. “Psalms 91 says: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of YEHOVAH, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my ELOHIM; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I trust! For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow that flies by day. Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday-“
She suddenly noticed…sunlight? coming into her cell. Then, she felt two invisible arms wrap around her in a hug. Anne smiled as she suddenly knew. “Hi, YAH,” she greeted.
“Anne, you are a good and faithful servant. During this time, you didn’t succumb to fear, anger or despair and you didn’t turn your back on Me. Instead, you drew even closer to Me, praised Me and believed even more in Me,” YAH whispered to her. “You made Me your Refuge. You will find your daughter and you must tell her the truth.”
“Is Anastasia a prisoner here as well?” Anne enquired.
“No,” YAH said.
“What truth must I tell her, Father?”
“You will know when you see her.”
THE DINING ROOM, EMPEROR’S PALACE, THE PEAK
Nora, the global Empress, was nervously eating her dinner. But she managed to put on a calm appearance for her husband. She was reflecting back to the day that Charles had told her he would put her on the throne. When Charles had told her that he could help her obtain the role of global leader, he had also shown her a tiny bottle of red liquid.
“This is a poison. Looks and tastes like wine. Even smells like it. But this minuscule amount kills instantly,” Charles told her.
She kept glancing at her husband, who was eating his food slowly as he, Kyen and Charles were having a conversation. His goblet of wine sat untouched by his plate. Charles had been invited to that dinner and so far they had been relaxed and talking about nothing important. Strange, she noted. Just hurry up and drink the wine, she silently wished. Charles had assured her that he had taken care of the poison.
“Your Eminence, is Anne going to appear in court?” Charles asked. He had been invited to the dinner celebration of Anne’s kidnapping.
“Your Eminence, there is one thing that I need help understanding,” Charles asked.
“Yes?” Noland prompted. He’s in a good mood, Nora noted.
“What can the advantage be of kidnapping Anne? Why don’t you just destroy Zion?” Charles asked. “What do you hope to achieve?”
Nora and Kyen watched Noland as Noland considered how to answer. The Emperor leaned back in his chair and picked up his goblet of wine. He looked at it and swirled it around, contemplating what to say. Drink it! Nora silently. Noland raised it to his lips and then lowered it, arriving at a decision. No! Nora mentally groaned. “I want to live-stream – just to Zion – her court session and the torture session that will come afterwards,” Noland explained. “We’ll offer them a choice – either surrender to the devil and us and help the League by giving us it’s very advanced technology or we’ll kill Anne and destroy them by an attack.”
“You’re going to announce to them that we’re going to attack them? They’ll be prepared,” Kyen said skeptically.
Noland laughed. “Very observant. We won’t announce the part about the attack. That way, if they refuse, we can launch a surprise missile, air and ground attack,” he clarified.
“Very smart, Father,” Kyen praised. Nora and Charles echoed the praise. Noland raised his goblet and so did Nora and Charles, but not Kyen as he did not have any as he hated wine. Nora, Noland and Charles gulped down some of their wine.
Noland and Nora dropped dead.
Kyen stared in horror at the bodies of Noland and Nora lying on the floor, with the broken pieces of their goblets next to them. “I’m sorry, Nora,” Charles said quietly. Kyen looked at him and only took a moment to realise what that meant.
“You killed them,” he said. Charles looked at him as Kyen charged towards him. Kyen swung his fist, but Charles nimbly ducked and at the same time grabbed Kyen’s arm and flipped him forwards onto the floor.
The prince swung his legs back up and slammed his feet into Charles’s face, knocking Charles to the floor. Kyen stood up and ran to the table to try and find a sharp enough weapon to kill Charles with. Kyen heard movement behind him and saw Charles coming at him with his fist. Kyen darted across to the opposite side of the table, grabbing the carving knife that Noland had used to carve the swan they had been having for dinner. He held it up. “Stay back!!!” he threatened. I wish I had my gun, he thought to himself.
Charles just laughed. “Puny,” he mocked.
“So, now I know why you killed O’Hielder,” Kyen realised. “You wanted control of the courts. It was just the next step to global power, wasn’t that? Then what?” Charles lunged for the left. Kyen darted right towards the exit. “You decided to kill my parents and I to become Emperor. Is that it?”
“Yes, you little rat.” And Charles picked up a chair and threw it at Kyen. Kyen ducked, but not soon enough. The chair hit his arm, knocking the carving knife out of his hand and onto the floor. Charles pulled a gun from his dinner jacket and fired rapidly at Kyen. Kyen ducked and swiftly ran into the hallway where he straightened up and ran. He saw a Super Cyborg up ahead, standing guard.
“Hey! Help!” he shouted. The Super Cyborg fired straight at him. Kyen dived into another hallway. He shut the door to the hallway and used that moment of peace to open a secret hole in the floor that was one of the many entrances to the secret tunnels that ran from the palace to all around the world.
The Super Cyborg swung open the door and fired several shots into the aisle before he realised that Kyen was not in there. Huh? he took of his helmet and looked down. His cybernetic eye scanned the floor for any boot prints of Kyen’s and saw the prince’s boot prints leading forward a couple of feet, but then suddenly stopped. He scanned the floor just ahead of where Kyen’s prints stopped and saw the outline of a hole. His eyes scanned it and saw Kyen’s fingerprints on it. He reached down and lifted it up. There was a ladder leading down into a dark tunnel. There was fingerprints on the top rungs of the ladder, and he scanned them. IDENTITY CONFIRMED. KYEN COLLINS, he thought.
He stood up and just then, Charles E. Ville walked in and immediately noticed the doorway. “Kyen Collins went down there,” the Super Cyborg reported.
Charles gave a direct order. “Kill him.”
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