Summons from The Mayor
Whilst Alan was meeting with Fierhand, news had arrived at the manor requesting a meeting with another head of state. Only this one was a lot less advertising. The Mayor’s message had been demanding in the extreme. Demanding to know where Alan was and why his company was suddenly leaderless. Which unfortunately made more work for both Vernon and Jack. Who found themselves in the town hall the following morning to answer The Mayor’s questions.
“How much longer?” Jack asked, he was already bored out of his mind, and just wanted to get back and relax. He hadn’t asked for any of this, and it seemed like he was being punished for someone else’s crimes.
“Soon, sir.” Vernon said. he too was slightly miffed at this situation. What was going on at their company was of no concern to either The Mayor or his lackies. But Osmund had always made a point of thumbing his nose where it didn’t belong. At that moment Jack got up. “Where are you going sir.” Vernon asked looking intrigued at this sudden move.
“I’m going in.” Jack responded simply. And without any hesitation he walked towards the office door and opened it, revealing the empty room behind. He then walked inside and sat down on the chair opposite to the one that The Mayor would sit in.
“Master Jack. What in the gods name are you doing?” Vernon asked as he to walked into the room and looked down at the teen.
“Simple. I’m waiting for The Mayor.” Jack responded. “It might throw him off his game if we’re already waiting for him.” Jack finished looking up at Vernon who, getting the point that the lad was making, nodded and took the seat next to him.
Ten minutes later The Mayor walks into the office and halts suddenly when he sees that Vernon and Jack were already waiting for him. He curses to himself, before regaining his composure and sits down at the desk across from his two visitors.
“Ah Mr Wolfrick, what a… A pleasure to finally meet you.” The Mayor said in his most over the top nice guy voice. Jack raised his eyebrow, it looked like the man in front of him wasn’t even trying to fool him. “I meant to tell you how sorry I was to hear about your injury. We were all praying for your swift recovery.” The Mayor finished.
Jack looked at The Mayor. ‘Sure, you were.’ He thought to himself but chose not to say anything, better to let this bastard dig himself into a hole by himself.
“What do you want with the kid Osmund?” Vernon said, he was a lot less diplomatic than Jack had wanted to be, and clearly did not want to waste any more time than he had to in this building, when something occurred to him. The Mayor was here, albeit late. But there was no sign of his lap dog Eugene.
“What, no time for pleasantries.” The Mayor said with a mock shocked expression, he looked mildly offended but decided to just continue on. “Very well then boy. Where is your father?” The Mayor asked.
“No idea.” Jack said before gesturing at the door. “Can I go now?” he finished and made to get up which angered Osmund even more.
“You can go when I say you can go.” The Mayor replied, ditching the terrible acting now. “now I will ask you again boy. Where is Alan Wolfrick.” He asked again.
“I’ve got a question for you Osmund. Where’s your lap dog, eh. Where’s Eugene? To scared to come out and face and old man and a fifteen-year-old.” Vernon said, getting up now as well.
“Mr Fitzfurgel’s location is none of your concern.” The Mayor retorted. He seemed offended that he was being addressed to by the butler.
“And Mr Wolfrick’s is none of yours.” Vernon responded and looked at Osmund, waiting for a reaction and awaiting the backlash that was about to come his way.
“That is where you are wrong Butler. As The Mayor of this city. I have the right to know where everyone of its citizens are at any given time.” The Mayor shouted; his voice had been increasing in volume throughout the conversation. Gone were the pleasantries and lies of the start. They were now dealing with the heated truth.
“No. You don’t.” Jack said, getting up and walking out of the door, Vernon glowered at The Mayor and then followed, leaving Osmund alone and completely powerless.
On the steps to the town hall. Jack turned around to Vernon, looking concerned for the first time that whole morning.
“Did I make a mistake? Leaving like that.” Jack asked.
“No kid. Osmund may howl and scream at you over the phone and make threats.” Vernon said putting his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “But that’s all they will be. Threats. The Mayor can do very little against you or your brothers. He relies on fear, fear of potential retaliation against people who oppose him. Without that he has nothing to bargain with.” Vernon finished walking over to the car and opening the door. They had decided against letting Jack drive through the city until he was older, which initially annoyed the fifteen-year-old, but he eventually saw reason. Not that it was a security concern, the lad’s car was completely bullet proof, it was more due to the fact that driving on private roads which Jack had been doing, was one thing. Driving on the highway was something else. And Vernon didn’t fancy ending halfway up a tree because of an accident.
Back up at the manor, echo, the family husky leapt onto Jack when he walked through the door. Disentangling himself from this attack, and smiling for the first time in days, making Vernon realise that whilst Jack was doing an adult’s job at running things whilst Alan was gods know where. He was still a kid.
“Down Echo.” Jack said still smiling like a gormless idiot. As he turned to Vernon. “I thought that Wolfrick Co was bad. But The Mayor made even those monsters look palatable.” Jack said and the old butler only nodded, a small grin on his face. Every Wolfrick had had the same or similar reaction to dealing with whoever was the current leader of the city, compared to the arrogant fools at their company.
“You look tired kid.” Vernon said, he to felt tired but it was nothing compared to Jack, his skin was deathly pale and there was a deep shadow under his eye.
“Yeah, I’m heading upstairs.” Jack said. thankful for any amount of rest that he could get.
“Alright sir. Of you go.” Vernon said and walked off to find Charlie and Jack lumbered up the stairs to the second floor.
As Jack walked inro his room in order just to lie down for a bit, he thought about the week that had turned his comfortable life upside-down. What with Wolfrick Co, The Mayor and school breathing down his neck, he was absolutely shattered beyond belief. However, his rest was apparently going to have to wait a little bit longer as when he entered his room, he saw Martin sitting on his bed.
Martin Wolfrick had always been different, both in looks and personality to any of his older brothers. Although Vernon would occasionally comment on how much more the youngest Wolfrick looked the most like Alan with his blue eyes and dirty blond hair that there father had had at that age. Regarding his personality though, whilst all the brothers were considered reckless to varying degrees. Martin was the wildest of them all and the most eager to go along, consequences be dammed. There was also the fact that the kid was weird. His relationship with Echo being the obvious example. Whilst the family dog took to almost everyone and everything. The husky was the closest with Martin, to the point that the dog would almost mirror the boy’s emotions when they were in close proximity to each other. That had become apparent when he had had to go down into the crypts the previous year to calm Martin down when his youngest brother had found out that almost everyone in the manor would be leaving for the south. In all his years he had never seen both Martin and Echo so wild and angry.
“What are you doing in here baby brother?” Jack asked, sounding equally tired as he felt.
“Why do you keep going away?” Martin replied. The six-year-old looking accusingly up at his older brother.
“Because I have too.” Jack responded, he saw no reason to lie to Martin, but he didn’t feel that he could have given him the whole truth even if he wanted to. For starter’s he had no idea where their father was and two, he didn’t know how long he would be gone for. “Honestly little bro. I don’t know why. I just do.” Jack finished walking around his bed and jumping onto it.
“Why is da in the north?” Martin asked. This was another reason why Jack thought that his youngest brother was weird. Martin had the un-nerving ability to know things that he wasn’t supposed to know. The strangest part was that they had never caught him sneaking around, like both he and Dave had done to get information, and any attempt to get information on why Martin knew so much never went anywhere. The kid always told them that Echo had told him what was going on.
“How in the gods name do you know that?” Jack asked, he was genuinely curious on this as he didn’t know for himself. He expected the usual response about the dog, but this time was different.
“I don’t know. I just do.” Martin said getting slightly defensive at the accusatory tone in Jack’s voice. He wasn’t sure why he knew this, but Jack actually believed his youngest brother on this one. Although that didn’t help them in anyway.
“Listen Martin. I need to sleep. So…” Jack started but he was interrupted.
“Can I stay in here. I don’t want to be alone. I promise I’ll be quite.” Martin said in quick succession. Jack sighed, the previous night Martin had snuck into his room to make the same request, and although he had kept his promise not to talk, it had been slightly uneasy having his youngest brother sleeping right next to him.
“Fine.” Jack said as he took of the bandage around his head to reveal the hole in the right side of his head where his eye should have been. “As long as you do stay quiet.” Jack finished and, despite the fact that it was still the early afternoon, he fell asleep before his head hit the bed.
“How do you think The Mayor will retaliate?” Charlie asked, it was slightly concerning that the kid had effectively flipped Osmund off on his very first visit. Not that she cared that much about The Mayor’s feelings, she was more concerned about the possible repercussions that he could levy against them. Both she and Vernon were in the newly constructed communications centre, which was the only new addition that was not in the cave. Instead, they had simply converted an old storage room just of the entrance hall, due to the cave’s signal being too weak for the hologram technology to work.
“I’m not concerned about that. We have enough money and influence to make Osmund’s life bloody hell if he tries to move against us here.” Vernon said, whilst he agreed that Jack had been right to blow The Mayor off, he had found himself wondering who would win if Osmund decided to act on his anger and cooler forces didn’t prevail.
“I thought Dave was the reckless one, but this.” Charlie said trailing away mid thought. She still wasn’t convinced by the lad’s course of action. Alan had always kept The Mayor in at least a safe distance. But now, it appeared that those days were well and truly over. She wondered what that would mean for them going forward, whilst Vernon claimed to not be concerned, she wasn’t so convinced.
“Do we have any information on Alan?” Vernon said, wanting to change the subject as he could see that his lack of concern wasn’t convincing the scientist. The old butler had asked Charlie to try and track Alan. Even though going after him was an almost impossibility, he still wanted to know where he was. But there had been no luck, before he left for the city with Jack. But to his amazement they had some news.
“We know that he arrived at Normanguard about two hours ago. He is now currently headed south east. To where though. I don’t know.” Charlie said indicating the screen, which showed a tiny blip, halfway between the snow mountains and the fortress city of Normanguard.
As they were talking the sound of Echo barking could be heard from outside on the manor grounds. Normally this would have been no cause for alarm, but since the husky had barked just before they had been attacked. Vernon decided to go out and see what the dog was barking at now.
“Probably just some birds.” Vernon said as he walked outside, Charlie also came along, as she too was curious about Echo’s behaviour.
Echo continued to bark at the sky, leading Vernon to suspect that his bird theory was correct. But when he looked up at the clear sky, there was nothing.
“What is it boy?” Charlie said as Echo continued to bark at the sky. Charlie to looked up, the only knew thing that was there was a bunch of clouds. Not that she knew why they would have set the dog off. So, assuming it was just something else that they couldn’t see. Vernon and Charlie went back indoors leaving Echo to continue his verbal assault at the incoming weather system.