Alan sits at the table alone eating whilst watching the fire in the hearth burn itself out. When a voice comes out of nowhere. The voice of his long dead older brother Gerrard Wolfrick, although Alan didn’t recognise it immediately.
“Alan.” The voice of Gerrard said, his voice coming out of the fire. Alan looks up from his meal and looks back into the fire.
“Who’s there?” Alan asked, there wasn’t a reply. ‘Must be more sleep deprived than I thought.’ He said to himself before returning as the voice spoke up again.
“No. It’s Gerrard, little brother.” The voice of Gerrard said but this time his voice was coming from all around the room. At these words, Alan damn near fell of the chair in shock.
“That… That cannot be. Your dead, I buried you.” Alan said, clutching his chest, making sure that he hadn’t just died himself, but his heart was still pumping blood around his system, which meant that he was either tricking himself. Or going mad.
“Yes. But I am a spirit. Like so many others, unable to move on.” Gerrard’s voice said. A sudden breeze extinguishes the fire. And causes the furniture, including the chair that Alan was sitting on, begin to levitate of the floor. Alan looks panicky around the room for a few moments whilst airborne, before the furniture sets itself back down on the ground and the fire reignites itself.
“That’s not possible.” Alan said, righting himself and getting up out of the chair, really questioning his sanity now. Unbeknownst to him. His two eldest heard this latest statement as they passed the door on their way outside.
“Dad. What’s not possible?” Jack said, the fifteen-year-old looking slightly confused from the doorway, his long dark brown hair covering over his bandaged right eye socket. Dave also looks at Alan slightly confused, the cut on the twelve-year-old’s cheek was finally starting to heal over, although a small scar still remained. He was about to spill the beans on the voice of the boy’s uncle, when Gerrard contradicted him.
“Do not speak of this to anyone little brother. They will not understand.” Gerrard said, before his voice disappeared. Alan looked around the room as Dave walked into the room slightly ahead of his older brother. Both of them looking slightly confused at the sight of Alan walking around and talking to himself. Jack looks down at his brother.
“Go and get Vernon.” Jack said and Dave runs off towards the east wing. Leaving Jack alone with his father.
“Dad?” Jack asks again, at which Alan seemingly breaks out of his trance and looks over.
“It’s nothing. Don’t worry yourself over it.” Alan said smiling weakly before grabbing his staff and walking out of the room leaving Jack alone until Dave returns along with Vernon, limping in tow.
“What’s the problem lad?” Vernon asked. Limping towards him as quickly as he can, he wound, whilst not as bad as before, was still aching slightly.
“I don’t know.” Jack said looking behind him, to see his father walking out into the grounds. “But dad was acting really weird. Weirder than normal at any rate.” He finished turning back to Vernon. If anyone would know what to do, it was the old butler.
“Right.” Vernon said, he had seen some weird stuff himself but this all but confirmed it for him that Alan was indeed hiding something from him.
Outside the manor and in the small graveyard Alan stands alone by the tombstone of Gerrard Wolfrick staring at it almost willing it to give him some answers. What had he expected? That his brother would come out of the ground and tell him his plan. They had wanted to bury him in the crypts, as they had done for their direct ancestors, but it hadn’t felt right. And still to this day, Alan had no idea why. He was still pondering this, along with the fact that he was hearing someone that he knew to be dead when Vernon limps towards him.
“Master Wolfrick.” Vernon said as he opened the gate to the graveyard and entered, it had been a long time since the butler had walked through the graves and he now remembered why that was. There was a chill in this place that he had never understanded. As if the people buried here were only sleeping and would wake at any moment. At the sound of the old butler. Alan turns around and puts on a false smile, knowing full well that Vernon would see right through it.
“Is there a problem Vernon?” Alan said getting up of the ground.
“I think there is Sir. Something that Master Jack witnessed you doing.” Vernon said limping up to Alan with concern, he had seen his grandfather go mad as well, and it had almost destroyed the family name. and Vernon was determined that that would not happen again.
“It's nothing Vernon. Don't worry yourself over it.” Alan said, he had been foolish to think that his sons had not seen anything, but this was something that he had to deal with by himself.
“It's just, both Jack and Dave heard you talking to yourself is all?” Vernon said. he didn’t believe for a moment that there was nothing to worry about. After all, Jack’s visions had led to them gaining information about the enemy. So maybe this too was something that they should know about.
“Like I said. I'm fine. Now I should get going.” Alan said walking past Vernon to the gates and continuing over his shoulder. “My company isn't going to run itself. No matter how much I want it to.” Alan finished as he walks off, followed by Vernon who goes to fetch a car. As he did, he wondered why Alan was being so secretive about this matter. But the old butler supposed he had his reasons, and that Alan would talk about it in good time.
In the city, Alan looked out of the window. The people were once again protesting in front of the town hall. But this time, there was no attempt by the guards to disperse the crowds. They merely stood in front of the building, keeping guard, whilst looking like they would very much like to join the protestors.
“News from the west?” Alan asked.
“Yes sir.” Vernon said, it had not taken long but the news of the west had started to cause a sense of panic in the city.
“Why hasn’t Osmund got rid of them?” Alan asked, not that he was complaining, but The Mayor was seemingly spending more and more time locked away in his office, with only his aid Eugene for company. Which concerned Alan. For all the talk about Eugene being a calming force on Osmund’s worst impulses, he was completely unreadable to everyone he met and combine that with the fact that Eugene had a knack of getting people on his side meant that for all he knew Osmund was dead and Eugene had taken over.
“Your guess is as good as mine on that one, master Wolfrick.” Vernon said as he rounded the corner and drove towards Wolfrick HQ. the only building for miles around that seemed to be still functioning correctly.
As they pulled up, they saw even more people standing outside the huge tower, looking inside for whatever reason, Alan didn’t know. But when he got out, they crowded around him. Sighing he realised who they were.
“Mr Wolfrick. Your company went out to the east why aren’t they going into the west?” One reporter said. ‘We have.’ Alan thought.
“Why haven’t you left your home in such a long time?” Another one said. ‘Who the fuck was this person to ask that.’ Came to Alan’s mind.
“Are you looking to take over this city, Mr Wolfrick?” A third inquired. ‘What the fuck was this person on about.’ Alan realised that these people had nothing and began walking up the steps.
“Why have you stopped making weapons for the military. Is it because you’ve fallen out with The Mayor?” A fourth asked. Alan looked around at this question, he had been halfway up the stairs when it had been asked, but he didn’t know what to say; other than variations of the word ‘No.’ and ‘None of your fucking business.’ So, he looked at the crowd of reporters and journalists, said absolutely nothing and walked into his building, with Vernon a few paces behind. Once out of view Alan burst out laughing.
“Taking over the city. I’ll give her that one. That would certainly be an idea.” Alan said, wiping tears of laughter from his eyes. “Right, to business.” Alan said to himself and continued up the stairs towards the boardroom.
At his companies HQ, inside the boardroom. Alan sits at the end of a long table deep in his own thoughts. With Vernon standing a few paces behind him. As daylight come through the windows. One of the board-members; Ivan Blane, one of the few board members that Alan respected continued to talk.
“I am not sure that this board recognises the gravity of the situation that we are in.” Ivan said, looking around at the room, he looked concerned although with these people it was hard to know when they were being sincere. Another board-member; Brett Morgan, chimes in his two sense.
“What are you saying?” Brett asked.
“That the Mayor has become a lot quieter lately. As if Lord Boris was merely used to distract us from the real threat.” Ivan said.
“That, remains unclear.” Brett said turning to Alan who was sitting still deep in his own thoughts and hadn’t really been following the conversation. “Mr Wolfrick. What are your thoughts on these theories?” Brett asked, putting his hands together. Alan startles into the present with every member of the board looking at him, before he composes himself.
“Hmm. What. Oh yes. Forgive me. I was deep in thought.” Alan said, he had in fact been listening to try and hear his long dead brother. Thinking that he could bring his voice forth at will, but for whatever reason, the dead would choose to communicate with him at a time and place of their choosing, not the other way around. The board-members look around at each other nervously. Before Alan continues. “You were saying?” Alan asked the room at large.
“Mr Blane is worried about Lord Boris. He believes that he is being used merely as a smoke screen. To distract us from the real enemy.” Brett said looking concerned at his boss.
“Yes. Ivan is right. We should all be more worried.” Alan said, gaining control of himself finally and committing to the meeting more thoroughly.
“And since that harpy came to us last year. We have been cut off from finding out information about the Mayor. And that doesn't even take into account whatever is happening in both the east and the west.” Ivan said, it had not been long after Alan had found out about the same weather disturbances in the west. That the rest of the country had found out, it had caused both panic and confusion. With two similar natural events happening so close together, it was only natural that the people in the streets were getting worried. However, the fact that Harper Godfrey had left their employ despite the threats made, was not something that concerned Alan, they had, after all, more important things to worry about.
“Yes. I fear that the fate of the world will be decided in these next few months. We must do everything in our power to stop the darkness.” Alan said, he had made several changes to his company since the attack on his home, every single employee was now tasked to develop and make experimental weapons to fight the enemy that shall not be named. This was against The Mayor’s wishes and they were dangerously close to being declared undesirables, but they had all taken the decision to focus on the enemy that was in front of them, rather than the one behind.