Title: The Secret in the Basement, Part 7
Character/s: Uther, Merlin, Gorlois, Sarrum, Will, Mordred, Daegel, others, ambiguous character
Summary: a death leads to a secret in the basement
Word Count: 1184, not sorry in the slightest
Prompt: 331. S/He kept absolutely still as the footsteps got louder
Author's Notes: Part One ; Part Two ; Part Three ; Part Four ; Part Five ; Part Six
I hope I know what I am doing. 10 points if you can tell me who the Shadow is.
He kept absolutely still as the footsteps got louder. He really thought they should let this go, look elsewhere but Uther was a stubborn bastard and the others were too timid to tell him no. It was grating on his nerves. Gorlois looked up at the others as they sat down at the table. Uther, Sarrum, Odin, Catrina, some up and coming sycophant whose name he couldn’t remember and a couple of PAs taking notes. They all knew full well what he was going to say. They knew the laws just as well as he did and had been over this before. He flipped open his file anyway and got started. “The Sovereign Realm Act of Albion is very clear on land ownership by extra-national citizens of Albion. No extra-national person or entity, or international person or entity, may own land within 50 kilometers of any border and,” he made a point of looking at Uther, “outside that 50 kilometer radius precedence must be given to all national persons or entities.”
“What does that mean?,” the sycophant asked.
“It means that since we are not citizens of Escetir, we can’t just go buy land in Escetir. The same holds true for Camelot and Rheged,” Gorlois stated with annoyance.
Uther sat forward in his chair clearly put out by the current conversation. “We’re all aware of the rules. Did you manage to find any loopholes?”
Gorlois held his emotions in check. “None. The law is very tight on this one. I tried to find a way around the definitions of national entities and ownership. Neither you or Pendragon Corp. can own more than a 45% interest of any company, corporation or trust.”
Uther turned on Sarrum. “Any word on who might be putting in a bid for the property we are interested?”
Sarrum looked Uther in the eye. “My sources say there is one potential international bid and four potential national companies preparing bids. Of them, only Wyllt Emrys Corp. actually has the financial capability to make a bid without seeking investors or borrowing.”
Uther narrowed his eyes, “And you are certain they are preparing to bid.”
Sarrum nodded, “They have already applied for and received permission from the Land Management Bureau to submit a bid. With regards to the other three nationals, two have been denied permission to bid and one has yet to apply. It is unclear if the two that have been denied will reapply.”
Odin decided it was time to contribute, “What about the international company?”
Sarrum smiled, “Word has it that Rhys Unlimited will be denied permission to bid because of their involvement with the Harris trafficking scandal.”
Catrina twisted in her chair to smirk at them, “So then Wyllt Emrys is really the only group standing in our way.” She sat forward in her chair, So, if the other bids are simply too short? Would we stand a chance then?”
Gorlois turned to look at her. “Of course. The law doesn’t require owners to sell below market value just because a national wants to buy it. Mind though that it also doesn’t allow us to simply outbid with outlandishly large sums of money. The Land Management Bureau will have final say.”
Catrina gave them all a rather haughty look. “Perhaps all we need to do is convince the front runner not to put in a bid.”
He kept absolutely still as the footsteps got louder. The click tap click tap click tap made his heart beat a little faster. He couldn’t afford to be seen by anyone but the person he was meeting. The gun in his pocket was hard, smooth and fit neatly in his hand. He was prepared as a shadow came to stop a short ways away. “I’m here.”
He let go of the breath he didn’t realize he was holding as reached into his breast pocket and pulled out an envelope. “This is the package I need you to pick up.”
The shadow reached out a hand taking the envelope. He looked through its contents. “The shipping is extra-national?”
“It doesn’t need to be,” he stated.
“Where do you want delivery?”
He pulled a small burner phone from another pocket. “Use this phone to contact the man who will be taking the delivery. Destroy the phone once he has picked up the package.” He made a point of making his voice extra firm, “There must, of course, be no permanent damage.”
The shadow shifted, his voice taking on an argumentative tone, “This will cost you extra.”
He tightened his jaw. He had known the costs would be greater but that didn’t mean he had to like it. “Understood. You will receive recompense according to the difficulty of the work.”
The shadow’s voice seemed to relax once he was assured of payment. “What is your timeline?”
“I need you to pick up the package between the 24th and 30th. After the 30th the package is of no value,” he stated clearly.
The shadow tucked the contents back in the envelope and pocketed both it and the phone. “I accept.”
He stood still as the shadow turned and walked away, He listened for the click tap click tap click tap of his shoes to disappear before slipping through the backdoor of the restaurant.
He kept absolutely still as the footsteps got louder. He could hear them step then shuffle about as they stopped to search. He thought about shouting for his friends but if he were wrong they would never let him live it down. His heart was beating so loud in his chest he was so sure they could hear it. He closed his eyes in an attempt to calm himself. It was stupid to think someone was following him. It was probably just his stupid friends. He had no idea why the fuck they had to come here all the time. It wasn’t like they didn’t have places to drink and smoke weed in Ealdor.
“BOO!” Mordred yelled in his face. Merlin shrieked in return after which he yelled, “WHAT THE FUCK MORDRED!”
Mordred doubled over laughing. “The look on your face.”
Will stepped into view laughing as well. “He’s right. The look on your face.” He was pushing a few buttons on his phone. “This is so going on the internet.”
Daegel clapped him on the shoulder, “Aww come on Merlin. It’s just a joke.”
Merlin angrily shoved Daegel’s hand off of him. “You lot are just a bunch of wankers.” He stalked off and out the door of the abandoned house they used as a hangout. He stomped about thinking of going to his Uncle Geoffrey’s house but thought better of it. Geoffrey would just give him a lecture. He stopped to reach into his pockets for a cigarette. The man slipped up behind him easily sliding a cloth over his face. Merlin quickly felt dazed and dopey. He tried to fight it off but found himself too disoriented. He felt the needle slide into his arm and a painful burning sensation. After that everything was a complete blur until it went black.
To Be Continued ...