Thanks to its tinted windows, Ebenezer Clinton Scrooge III observed the hectic crowds of streets slipping silently into the night of waiting, like gray and dark specters washed away by a December wind. The gaudy festive lights served only to emphasize their desperate anonymity. Scrooge leaned back in the limousine leather upholstery, comforted by the fact that he no longer needed to mingle with the crowd. It was at the moment the car was slowing down at the intersection of 52nd Street that he first thought he saw the face of .
Someone stood on the sidewalk and looked directly at him, which was impossible because from the outside the windows exhibited an impenetrable black veil. Somewhere the bubbling foam of humanity sank like water into a creek that rushes while it breaks on an ancient stone motionless. Someone with eyes exactly like … no, that just could not be! A moment, the cold air of the night embraced him, rendering helpless the luxurious and heated interior of the Bentley imported.
He leaned forward, striking his face sharply against the glass in a futile attempt to confirm or more likely to refute his initial impression. The figure was no longer there. Faced with congestion has slowly subsided and the limousine continued with threatening grace through the rush hour traffic swarming. A simple trick of light that was everything. Moreover, they say that everyone has a double, but there was no mistaking the irascible glow that always warned Scrooge that his former partner and opponent had measured exactly the machinations of mix of his devious mind.
Strange, it was a sensation that momentarily overwhelmed him with nostalgia. He was not a sentimental man, far from it, but he missed the challenge of an equal. In the days and years following the accident there had been no one of sufficient intellect and strength of character to prevent the ruthless march of Scrooge to power. Control the media and you control the masses. He smiled to think that while the world was for all intents and purposes unaware of his existence he could reach inside men's minds and plant seeds that took root and bore fruit, a very profitable fruit in effect.
That was what had caused the flaw and every day that passed, it widened until a gaping gulf opened between them that nothing about this land can not fill. It was not that one or the other man was opposed to the use of manipulation as a perfectly acceptable way of influencing the thoughts and opinions of the vast global public. that the company had amassed via its satellite, television and the media empire. Mind control through channels such as subliminal messaging was a universally accepted marketing method used by all major companies, whether you wanted someone to buy a particular brand of toilet paper or plunge a nation in the war.
& # 39; Plunge a nation into the war!
Sweat beads began to melt and drip into tiny streams on the Scrooge front. By dabbing them, the source of his sudden malaise crossed the surface of his consciousness as the last desperate attempt of a man who was drowning to breathe. These were words that had been neglected once in his direction with a vehemence that had temporarily silenced him. Words that had broken the final frayed tie of friendship forever. Jake's words.
"It's almost time Ebenezer."
The sudden interruption of his reverie by a disembodied voice on the internal intercom of the car kicked him off. He pushed a button and opened the communication with Grainger, his driver.
"What did you say Grainger?" Even if he spoke, he knew the answer. Grainger would not dare to be so familiar. It was not Grainger's voice that he had heard.
"Nothing, sir, at least not right now, but I've been trying to talk to you for the last ten minutes."
"It would be easier to wake the dead!"
"sorry!" Scrooge He had swallowed his throat and strangled himself strangely.
"I said that the intercom was to be played, sir.It looks like we have some dumblays in our systems tonight.
" With the Common Flock! "
This Voice still not Grainger, but another that he knew too well.
Leaning forward, he peeked over Grainger's unsuspecting shoulders in the mirror overhead. his dark brown eyes were staring at him, eyes that could not be Grainger's because his eyes were blue, his eyes were blinking and they were blue again, Scrooge produced a large silk handkerchief and started To mop his brow, it was oppressively hot, sometimes the gremlins had also managed to disrupt the air conditioning.His head began to throb.This is a direct consequence of the Glued against reinforced glass or sudden and unwanted revelation that he did not want Grainger to go back because he was no longer sure the presence was directly in front of him, Grainger. It was absurd!
The car stopped in front of the monstrous building that Scrooge recognized both as his home. He exhaled and the tension flooded him. Have a hold! Which land had invaded. A vaguely familiar face in the crowd and his imagination flew off on a great moment, to quote the vernacular, something that he normally avoided at all costs. He let himself fall into the welcoming folds of the padded interior while the car slowed down slowly to stop. Although normally imperfect to the pressures that oppress the powerful men, he had to confess to himself that the recent clandestine arrangement & # 39; done with some state shadow programs had caused in him the first spasms of anxiety experienced since … well, long time ago. After the Watergate, no one could be considered immune and what if this new 'venture & # 39; was a bridge too far? Too late now, the dye had been poured; along the potential reward was immense.
"Here we are sir."
The words shook Scrooge back into the present dispersing his thoughts like a flock of crows started. "Final Destination", the phrase evoked morbid images of unlucky teenagers who met prematurely in various ingenious and horrible ways. Not that he was specifically opposed to the idea of such a fate that would abate on a significant part of the young population. What was the point of most of them anyway? Drugs and sex seem to be the only activities they enthusiastically pursue. The language they spoke was in general totally incomprehensible and, unless they engage in the armed forces, where their energies could be channeled and directed towards more constructive goals, Scrooge could not see not much to justify their goalless existence.
Grainger opened the driver's door and Scrooge saw his large volume disappear on the sidewalk with increasing apprehension that he was unable to exorcise. Normally, the presence of Grainger was a source of comfort, providing protection and exuding intimidation in equal measure. Caesar did not feel safer in the middle of his Praetorian guard than Scrooge with Grainger's massive figure at his side. But not today. A bad feeling was infiltrating like a fog inside the limo and he was again a child hidden under his bed while the famous dread stairs were coming up the stairs before deliberately stop at the door of his room. The silence was always the worst that contained in itself all the possibilities of pregnancy of a child's fear.
Silhouetted against the smoked glass, Grainger seemed much smaller and infinitely more menacing. Obeying a primitive instinct, Scrooge hastened to secure the inner latch as a hand was trying to open the door from the outside. How many times has Grainger performed this same procedure to protect his master from unwanted media attention with his huge frame as Scrooge cautiously emerged from his black cocoon? Thousand probably. But today, it was different and the door was already open from the outside with an irresistible force. Since there was no bed to cover, he dropped into the gray dusk of December.
Nobody was there. Where was Grainger and he had not opened the door, who had? Scrooge remained the limo's back attributable to the potential sanctuary abandonment that he could still offer. Then he saw Grainger. He was about twenty meters away and looked like he was in a one – sided fight with an unfortunate individual who was now pinned to the ground but who was obviously not yet completely subjugated. Scrooge examined the immediate area with a mounting alarm. Could there be more than one assailant? He was aware that the last project he had agreed to pursue was not without risk, but had not anticipated that this risk would be of a physical nature. Certainly not as rude as an assault on the street in broad daylight. Where was the security? They would surely have waited until it happened once they knew that the private elevator had developed a loophole. Something was really not going well.
The prevarication was not one of Scrooge's flaws and after assessing the situation, he quickly determined a course of action. Taking refuge in the limousine, while tempting, was not a viable option. Determined individuals who dared to attack the very steps of the citadel of his personal empire would not be discouraged by a locked door. Obviously & # 39; they & # 39; had managed to scramble communications between the limousine and its so-called secure communication channel at Interstellar Inc. .., which would explain the absence of security officials and senior officials. It would also indicate that anyone who planned for that had access to very serious equipment.
There was no sign of angels or demons on the marble steps that rose like Jacob's ladder from the frozen sidewalk. He was alone and vulnerable waiting for the fall of darkness and the Bogeyman's call. On his left, Grainger seemed to be in complete control of the situation, but why did he speak the wretch against Scrooge and not in the opposite direction? Was not Caesar killed by those whom he believed were most loyal to him? Dark silhouettes began to descend the marble steps towards them. Security had obviously ended up being reconciled. He glanced at Grainger, who had stopped a few steps away with the unharmed individual safe and sound. Scrooge has decided to err on the side of discretion. Leaving the individual to Grainger's care, he turned to the steps of his citadel.
Two steps up, he stopped. There was something wrong. The characters on the steps were still moving towards him but very slowly. In fact, they were moving one step closer, approaching one another, as weeping as he had already observed a funeral cortege. He remembered it as if it was yesterday. It was Jacob's funeral. He stepped back.