• 17- After the rain

    July 17th; 2050
    He hid among the crowd and lowered his hood when policemen patrolled nearby.
    Everything seemed to go according to his plan. The changing was on the air.
    He allowed himself to smoke a cigarette though well aware it was bad for his health.
    He sighed. The time he was a keen and conciliate diplomat was definitely over.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk had crossed the border once and forever. He clenched his fists. He couldn’t bear that failure of a President.
    « Why did Mikael had to fail? » he thought stopping in front of the main gate to subdue to the regular ID checking.
    “What the heck? What’s with me?”
    - You! Follow us.
    “Never, it’s not like I’m simply an ordinary citizen idiots!”
    A man dressed in black looked eagerly at that standstill weirdo:
    - Would you rather prefer to be dragged by force? Come on.
    He was compelled to obey otherwise it would cause a fuss if anyone was able to recognize him on regards to the last twenty years since his disappearance from the regular society. If the truth was uncovered, right now he could easily get in trouble.
    - Uncover your head.
    Said a rough voice.
    He looked up. Absent-minded he had indeed get to the entrance of the precinct.
    Slowly he lifted his hood. His hair had turned to a fading golden brown shade but his turquoise blue eyes were still careful and alert, the eyes of an experienced and sneaky strategist.
    - Why am I here? What are my charges?
    - Don’t talk brash in that high tone. It’s not your turn to ask questions.
    He stood up and shot glance at the young man in front of him:
    - You were still in your tender early childhood while I struggled to become the head of the country. Be careful about who you’re talking to little brat.
    Anger had overcome carefulness and it was already too late when he realized what he had just said. He sighed at his own stupidity and sat back on his chair.
    - So you’re suspected of having stolen the “Shovel of Death”. It’s enough charge to condemn you, don’t you think?
    - I think so.
    He sighed and crossed his arms:
    - Guess what I plead guilty.
    - Is that so?
    - How to be ashamed of that? I did it for the sake of the world…
    - Ohoh who do we have here?
    That voice he would have preferred to never hear it again.
    The young policeman stood up steadily:
    - Good afternoon Mr. President.
    - Sit down and quit the formalities. I have an even more important matter to carry out here than greeting my subordinates.
    The young man gulped frightened and obeyed.
    The President stared at the man before him:
    - Well then, greetings Marcus, I almost had a heart attack finding out you were alive all along. Now you have to explain yourself about everything and I won’t let you go until I get to understand the real cause of this wonderful mess.
    The interrogatory carried out by the President himself lasted for one hour. At the end of It Marcus was allowed to leave right away.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk was simply stunned by the twist in the flow of events.
    It was unpredictable his worst enemy was still alive, hiding in the shadows of clandestineness for twenty years. What to do now?
    Marcus was the trump card, clearly the last trump card willing to reverse everything to the right way.
    He just had to speak and everyone would follow his path.
    There was nothing to do against him, nothing against the true leader of the opposition.
    If even his death was a fake how far could he go as the upholder of justice to defeat him?
    Hellmet Pitsbulk admitted for once he had lost.
    Marcus felt uneasy as to know where the events headed.
    Hiding in the shadows for so much time had definitely disadvantaged him.
    He bought the daily release of the New World Telegraph: dissimulating behind the newspaper’s pages he looked around. He could oversee Hellmet Pitsbulk had sent more than one hit man to his heels.
    He bumped unknowingly into someone and mumbled shyly a word of apology.
    The atmosphere was tense and unpleasant as though someone pressed the butt of a weapon against his ribs.
    He walked fast. His identity discovered he was no longer safe.
    He trembled because of every glance, every suspicious look people too curious shot at him.
    Isha rushed to be at the hospital on time, it has been quite a bit of time since she last came to work again.
    Someone bumped into her and mumbled an apology. She swirled and saw a man wearing a dark red cloak walking fast towards the crowd.
    His silhouette seemed oddily familiar.
    - Wait! She exclaimed.
    The man startled and turned to look at her. His eyes widened.
    Marcus hadn’t expected to meet Isha here in that particular place.
    He looked around swiftly and put a finger on his mouth:
    - Sssht, let’s talk elsewhere.
    Marcus was stunned. He stopped in the threshold before making his way into the guest room. He came to the bed and stared at his dead son whose face expression was soft and peaceful.
    Marcus leaned forward and gave Hitori a kiss on the forehead.
    - May you rest in peace, he whispered his throat tightened by emotion.
    He stood up and bent over the balcony his head into his hands.
    He couldn’t let himself cry even if he so wanted to. Disappearing without giving news during twenty years had to be repaid one way or another.
    Moreover the bandages told themselves the infamous truth.
    He preferred not thinking about how Hitori had been tortured to death even though he was innocent.
    - What are you going to do?
    He swirled and saw Isha stood near the bed.
    He sighed heavily:
    - What to do? Today I’ve lost a son and you’ve lost your beloved.
    Guess I have to meet again with Theodora first. I have sure a lot to tell her.
    July 15th, 2040
    Sen Maa Kloud and his comrades got unexpectedly easy to the machinery room.
    Mikael was suddenly nervous.
    - What’s wrong? Ashley inquired
    - Nothing much, he answered turning to look at Theodora. To be honest we have only one half of the key.
    - What? Seven voices screamed.
    - Wh- why- why don’t you tell us earlier? Ashley yelled.
    - The strategy was able to work but the Official class acted faster than us.
    - No way! No way! NO WAY! What I’ve done to make such a careless son!
    - It was Marcus’ idea at first.
    Ashley calmed down and looked at her son with a quizzical eye:
    - Did you just say Marcus?
    - Yeah.
    Ashley looked at Mikael, then Theodora, Sen Maa Kloud and Isha:
    - Who is Marcus?
    - You seem to know him, why do you ask?
    - Do we talk about the one I think about? He is supposed to be dead if you see what I mean.
    - He sure was alive the last time we met not long ago. He asked me to give the first half of the key to the Lonesome people.
    Ashley frowned:
    - From any point of view it is strange if you are telling the truth.
    - Possible or impossible the big deal is now we can’t defuse the bomb.
    - Wait Mikael was it that thing you entrusted to me while I was leaving my former office at the New World Telegraph? Alys asked.
    - Yes it was.
    - I had to return it back in exchange for Hitori’s freedom.
    - Very good Alys, very good and now what are we supposed to do knowing that?
    - To our charge Nokira and I were not aware of the nature of that object otherwise…
    Theodora sighed:
    - Now we should wait.
    - Congratulations for getting there but your path ends here.
    Finally they faced Hellmet Pitsbulk their worst enemy.
    Fritz went ahead towards Hellmet Pitsbulk while reloading his weapon. The President remained calm and lifted a hand:
    - You won’t pass.
    Fritz walked faster then began to run.
    Hellmet Pitsbulk blocked his movements at the very last by an arm lock forcing him to let go of his weapon.
    - Is it him you’re calling leader?
    - Release that man Hellmet!
    The President startled: who dared call him by his first name?
    He looked up and skipped a breath.
    Presumably a time traveller who was not there the minute before had arrived.
    He wore a dark red cloak, head covered by a large hood.
    In the shadows, bright turquoise blue eyes shot glance at him.
    To redeem his composure, the President stuck out the chest:
    - No one is allowed to call me by my first name or else the few ones are my nearest collaborators. So who are you to miss so badly with manners?
    His interlocutor squeezed his jaw. He stepped forward and took the man by his collar:
    - Stop kidding me, WHO misses the most with his duties out there? Who is that opportunist student who came to me several years ago to study politics, took my place in the end and is doing everything possible to knock me out furthermore break me apart?
    - Me?
    - Yes you, so much you, the worst of you.
    - What of it? I’m not even sure you’re that person. Marcus Kokuboheki is forever dead once killed and for eternity.
    He knew he had hit the sensitive point of the man standing before him who drapped the cloak over his face to wipe any emotion in his face expression. Marcus felt his lips shiver and straightened the jaw to stop it from shivering:
    - You get a point. Killing coldly because it’s the most proper adjective the dearest being I ever cherished is killing me as well, once and forever because a father’s love for his son is absolutely irreplaceable.
    Slowly Marcus lifted his hood.
    - It’s been a while Hellmet. Be sure I won’t go easy on you.
    - It’s been a while Hellmet. Be sure I won’t go easy on you.
    A dead silence weighted the atmosphere. Everyone was shocked.
    Theodora raised hands to her mouth taking a step back:
    - Why? Just… why?
    - I’m sorry Dora, really sorry.
    - Don’t tell me you’re sorry! She screamed. Sorry for what? You were absent for the past twenty years and you dare saying you’re sorry!
    - I do not seek for your forgiveness. I know, know so well I did things the wrong way.
    - Where were you all this time? What were you doing?
    - I can’t tell yet. When the bomb will be defused and the world saved we will have all the time necessary to talk.
    - Have you ever thought it could be too late to just apology and go on?
    - Please don’t rub it in. I know so painfully what you’re feeling right now.
    He lowered his guard and breathed deeply:
    - That’s why we can only look forward if we don’t want to fall apart Dora.
    Let’s walk together. Again. If you wish so, I will not force you.
    - You…
    - I love you.
    He said those words without looking imploringly at her. His confession seemed sincere.
    The man talked before the hero.
    However Theodora was not for all that touched. All that pain, that time loss made no sense. She didn’t even want to listen to his story later on.
    If the key was complete to manage the defusing or if the world blew up whatever, all she wanted to was coming back to reason and reality.
    What if the unreal had became the real?

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