Connor Halling opened his eyes, and refocused on the man speaking. His media advisor—a man who had stuck with him through thick and thin, making the enigma that was Connor Halling likable to the gullible masses.
In other words, a genius.
The man had kept talking, even though Connor’s eyes had been closed. That was a rule to all who worked under the statesman. Never assume. As it were, Connor hadn’t been sleeping, but concentrating. The media advisor had guessed that, but the time for the meeting was at an end.
Connor held up a hand the and man stopped speaking immediately, waiting for orders. “Time’s up. Finish with the event organizer. Changes to the schedule.”
Then Connor waved a dismissive hand. The man disconnected his computer from the projector, picked up his laptop, and exited, heading directly for the office of the heavily-built woman who ran his public events. They would figure out the details—especially since Connor had set a bloc of days where he would be unavailable.
The days when the prophecy, the vision, would be made.
It was something he had waited years for. It would be perfect. To see the other Pack in one location, a location he ruled…it was almost too good to be true. So he had made it true.
According to his well-paid contacts in the airport, four people—two men, a woman, and a teenager had arrived in a private plane from Canada, just across the border. It had barely cleared a safety check, but was now sitting in a small rented hangar at JFK. The owners had said they would be taking it out within a week.
They would not—not if Connor had anything to say about it.
It had been duly modified by his grunts. Sabotaged as it were—just in case his prey managed to escape what had been prepared for them. They wouldn’t reach 1,000 feet. The bomb would detonate right after liftoff.
Small aircraft had such poor safety records, especially 30 year-old former South American bush planes.
Not that his Pack knew anything about it. They only knew their job…and that was impromptu for the most part. At the moment they were in the basement of one of his mansions just outside New York City proper, in medically induced comas. They would recover just in time to meet their adversaries in battle.
It wouldn’t due to have unexpected plans and thoughts disrupt the future Connor was making.
Connor intended to be there. To watch. The final destruction of his enemies. To be free of the…fear.
His throat clenched as the presence, the being with which he shared a body, moved within his mind.
“Fear…fear…” It was whispering. “Have no fear…for I am with you. We will not fail. We cannot fail. I cannot fail…Fear…”
The being’s thoughts were disjointed. Only because of him, because of it, was Connor who he was. Without it, he was nothing.
Marduk. The Ruler. The rightful Ruler.
“Soon of the remnants of the Pack, then of the world. Of all worlds…”
The thought was as clear and cutting as ice.
But the fear was behind it. Connor hid it, as he hid all treasonous thoughts. No matter what the others thought they were not one. There was Connor who used the power and the strength and ability…and there was Marduk, who existed. Who thought and dreamed through his human host.
It was only because of weakness, of fear, that Connor was allowed full control of his own actions. But should he fail one too many times…Marduk could find another. Would find another.
Connor Halling—Judge of the Pack, ex-Senator, ex-Governor, ex-Mayor, millionaire, and presidential candidate—was expendable.