Hopeless

Tall Tales

A New Threat

Kraal’merx sat at the large, wooden desk, leaning back in a luxuriant, leather office chair. He was wearing a blue uniform, replete with the accolades earned over the lifetime career of Colonel Albert Miller. The office had been thoroughly cleaned and not an iota of evidence remained that would suggest anything untoward had happened in that room.

He held the phone’s receiver to his ear, a smile on his face.

“Yes, Janet, that’s good news. The awakened people of this world are likely the biggest threat we face.”

On the other end, a woman spoke.

“True, and our relocation efforts are providing dividends, however… if you’ll pardon me, I do not agree with your assessment.”

The middle-aged gentleman’s smile froze. He sat up straight, his next words rimed with ice.

“What do you mean?”

There was a nervous cough. “You recall what I told you of my arrival?” There was a pause as the woman waited for him to affirm that. He remained silent. “Yes, well,” she continued, “it appears that there was an incident down south. Our task force went to retrieve someone who had slipped through the dragnet. However, they were met with stiff resistance.”

“I fail to see how this is relevant. Of course, some will resist and if you underestimate them…” He let that hang.

“Yes, my Lord, but these weren’t… people!” she insisted. “They were bane! At least four of them.”

The man frowned. “Are you certain?”

“The Namtar are not given to telling tall tales.”

“Very well. We are nearing the end of this phase in any case. Identifying further threats is, of course, a priority. You are well situated to ferret them out and eliminate them. That is your task.”

“Yes, my Lord. One that I will relish.”

“Good. Do not fail.” He placed the receiver back in its cradle.

He had known there would be resistance and he had known there would be those who had the power to fight back. But four of them… in as sparsely a populated area as this? That hinted that there were more than the Ba’al had reckoned. It would be no matter, they had come in such force that their victory was a foregone conclusion.

But this thorn would have to be removed, even if they weren’t a threat to the outcome, they could be a threat to him, personally. And Kraal’merx was determined to stand at the finish with the victors, to enjoy the fruits of their efforts.

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