That Fateful Day
Rachel held Theodore in her lap, having sat down on one of the couches in the room. Theodore had gotten comfortable and was beginning to doze off again. The little boy rubbed his sleepy eyes and rolled himself to face his mother, snuggling up to her.
How many hours had gone by? The Bronevs had been moved and then left in the nice room for quite sometime. The only activity to happen was Targent men coming in the clean up the food when they were done.
Pavel stayed in his position, unmoving and refusing to response to any questions they had. He had made it clear he was done interacting with them, probably having already stepped out of line just talking to Theodore.
Last thing Pavel said to them was to wait, someone would come for them soon. After that he stopped replying, even refusing to say that much anymore.
Rachel didn't like the sound of that. They had been dragged around and threaten enough.
The silence in the room was getting unnerving, having nothing to do or say for the past few hours, other than sit and wait. Even if the adults wanted to talk about their predicament, there was a Targent member in the room with them. His English was questionable, however he could know more than he let on.
Despite Pavel being a part of the group of kidnappers, Rachel found herself feeling sorry for him. He came across as being in the same position as them in some ways, just doing what he had to for those he cared about.
Rachel found that she did believe him.
Hershel was beginning to get anxious, shifting around in his seat. Leon tried to convince him to take a nap like his little brother, but Hershel refused.
Everyone nearly jumped when there was a tap on the door, Pavel finally moving to open it.
Rachel didn't recognize the man standing outside the room. He looked very irritated to see Pavel there.
“What are you doing here?!”
Pavel narrowed his eyes at the man, not pleased with his attitude. “Mister Fin, Mister Gearald asked me, so I must...”
Fin groaned, pushing past the young Targent member. “I wish Father would stop using you as an errand boy. For God's sakes, you're his bodyguard! We have plenty of normal soldiers for menial tasks. I swear that man thinks he's immortal.”
Pavel rolled his eyes back as if he had heard this more than once. He went back to his guarding position, deciding it best to not engage.
Fin became aware of the Bronevs and coughed uncomfortably, embarrassed about his outburst.
“Excuse me, I apologize for that. It has been a long day. I am Fin Gearald and I believe you, Mister Bronev, have met my father already.”
Rachel looked over at Leon, who stood up. She didn't know who this man was and worried for her husband. It appeared Hershel was also worried, having grabbed his father's hand to stop him from heading over to Fin.
Leon turned to his son, forcing a small smile at him. “Stay here with your mother.” He slowly made Hershel release his grip before walking over to Fin.
Fin adjusted his cufflinks on his sleeves before turning his attention to Leon. “We are docking at the moment, Mister Bronev. I hope you had plenty of time to discuss everything with the family.”
Leon frowned at Fin. There wasn't anything to talk about, Leon and Rachel were fully aware of how little choice they had in this.
“Your work was also very impressive, according to... someone I trust.” Fin smiled. “Because of this, you and your family need to learn what your role will be here at Targent, once we confirm your answer. So if you all would come have a walk with me, we shall disembark and head straight towards The Nest, your new home.”
Fin turned to Pavel. “Come along. I'm sure Father would have you finish your errand.” Fin motioned for everyone to follow him, before walking out of the room.
Hershel stood up and ran to his dad, clutching his hand. Leon squeezed back and looked over at Rachel, who got up with Theodore. The little boy was very confused about everything and decided to keep quiet, hanging onto his mother.
The Bronevs followed Fin, Pavel coming up behind them, leading down the halls of the large ship. Surprisingly, it did not take them long before they were on their way off the ship, heading down onto a docking bay.
Several members of Targent were running around, moving crates off the ship and directing vehicles to carry the crates and the soldiers off to who knew where. They appeared to be in a hurry.
Having seen the sky for once in who knew how many hours, Rachel noticed how dark it was. The sun had set a long time ago, bright lights were all over the docking bay to give everyone visibility. Beyond that, Rachel couldn't tell what was out there. It looked so black and mysterious.
“I think my father has taken a shine to you, Mister Bronev.” Fin finally spoke up once they got on land. He continued to have them follow him, walking past all the busy Targent members, giving a nod to a few who acknowledged him.
“Normally we'd have you ride with the others, but Father would like to hear your answer himself.” Fin flashes them a smile. ”As well as meet your family proper.”
Rachel nearly gasped as a loud and windy sound started up, a huge gust of air blowing their way. More lights came on, revealing a huge airship in front of them, the lights coming from it.
“This should take us the rest of the way!” yelled Fin, trying to get his voice over the noise. He walked up to the open door on the ship, talking to one of the agents. It was impossible to make out what he was saying to the Targent member, but after he was done he signaled the Bronevs to come along.
Stepping inside, Rachel could see other members of Targent didn't quite look the same as the ones she saw before. Much like Pavel's uniform, the Targent agents here were dressed in a different shade of color, a dark red. There were only a few others inside that looked like the normal ones she had seen before.
The red ones were huddled around one of their own, who appeared to had been hurt, his arm in a sling and bandaged up. They were talking among themselves, reassuring their fellow red uniformed agent. At least it sounded like it.
“Hey, don't worry. I bet it'll leave a neat scar.”
“No one will see it, his arm will be covered up.”
“Come on, don't say that. He took one for the team.”
“He should just be thankful to be alive and that we were allowed to get him out.”
“Yeah... thanks for coming back for me.”
“No need, couldn't have Scotland Yard find you.”
“You survived your first day, kid. Not bad, eh?”
“Good to see you're up and about.” called Fin, causing the red uniformed men to stand at attention, the injured one nearly hurting himself in the process. “Don't over do it. You've earned some time off when we get back.”
“Yes, sir!” called the agents as Fin walked off with the Bronevs.
They were lead into a large room with huge windows. Rachel could only guess this is where they controlled the airship, not knowing much about them. Though it was very nicely put together, having two large couches in the middle of the room with a table in the center.
Sitting down was an old man with a young lady and a similar looking young man. Rachel looked over at Leon and could immediately tell he recognized them. She worried about Leon, wondering how well he was keeping it together. She could tell his anger was rising above his fear for these people, not that she could blame him.
“I've brought them, Father. “ spoke up Fin, getting everyone's attention.
“Ah, yes, bring them over.” the old man grinned at them.
Fin cleared his throat. “Yes, Misses Bronev, this is my father, Tomas Gearald. You've already met him, Mister Bronev. And these two are Ji and Jin, very well respected colleagues of mine.”
Gearald laughs. “Oh Fin, my good lad. Be a bit more truthful than that. We're here to try and build a better understanding, since our first meeting was so...stressful. We're meeting Mister Bronev's family, he should meet ours.”
Fin frowned. “Well, alright. If you insist. They are also my step-siblings.”
Ji rolled her eyes. “That is not the only reason for bringing them here. Jin wanted to ask Mister Bronev something about the artifact.”
Jin squirmed in his seat, looking away from everyone. “I-it can wait.”
“We'll get to that in a moment.” said Gearald. “Please, everyone have a seat.”
Reluctantly, the Bronevs took a seat in the couch across from Gearald. Fin sat down next to his father, Jin and Ji moving to allow him too.
Gearald looked over at the Bronevs, seeming to be getting a good look at the ones he hadn't seen yet. “What a lovely family you have, Mister Bronev.” Gearald leaned against his cane, giving Leon his full attention. “So, what is your decision?”
Leon took in a deep breath, trying to collect himself. “If... if I say yes to your proposal... Will you let my family go?”
Rachel grabbed Leon's hand. “Leon, are you sure?”
Leon looked at Rachel. “If I can get you and the boys far away from all this...”
Fin grimaced at this, glancing at Gearald. The old man nodded at Fin, allowing him to answer that.
“That would be impossible, I'm afraid.”
“What?” Leon was confused and feeling frantic by that answer.
“You see.” Fin closed his eyes for a moment, thinking over what he was about to say. When he opened them he continued. “I'm sure you were informed that you were never our target to begin with.”
Leon nodded to this.
“Of course. Professor Standwood was our real target. The evening we went to get him and his research, we hadn't realized he was prepared for us coming. One of our higher members informed him that this was his last chance.”
Ji's expression changed. She was clearly angry at whoever Fin was talking about. Jin looked over at her and whispered something, though Rachel couldn't make out what it was. It seemed to calm Ji down, her expression softening.
Fin continued. “When we got there he let us know right away he had no intention of coming. Not sure how the man acquired a gun with the heavy gun laws of London.”
“You were shot at?” asked Ji, who appeared to have not heard about this nor did she like what she was hearing.
Fin smirked. “No, not I. I told you, my dear. We have people for that... Anyway, at this point Standwood had become more trouble than he was worth.”
Rachel couldn't believe what she was hearing. How could they talk about someone's life like that? It was so casual, as if it had meant nothing to this young man.
“Little did we know, he had also contacted the authorities before we arrived.” Fin rubbed his temple, becoming irritated. “By the time we finished searching his office, we found he had hidden the most important artifact piece that we needed. With how everything transpired that night, my team had no choice but to leave everything as it were, minus the research. We took that with us, though I'm sure there's plenty we had no time to gather up. Sneaking out of a university without the police seeing us wasn't what I had expected to do that night.”
“However, doing so meant the police would find Professor Standwood was... Well we had hoped to make it look like a suicide, but as I said before, Standwood pushed us to be more direct. After we left, I suspected that Standwood hid the artifact with his partner in his research, which was you, Mister Bronev. I knew we had to find you quickly. London's finest would want to speak with you. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they have already visited your home by now.”
“And there lies the problem.” said Gearald. “With how quickly we had to remove the artifact and the fact that we had wasted so much time on Standwood, there wasn't any time to try to bring you over more...peacefully.”
Fin nodded. “I'm sure once the police see you and your family missing they will jump to conclusions.”
Rachel froze. Were they suggesting that...
“If you aren't their main suspect,” Fin went on, ignoring the horrified looks of Leon and Rachel. “you will definitely be a suspect. Do you really want your family to live like that, Mister Bronev? Harassed by Scotland Yard for the rest of their lives? Your boys being told constantly that their missing father is a murderer? We certainly can't let any of you go now.”
Rachel squeezed her husband's hand, feeling him tremble with anger. These people had already scared, threaten, and hurt them. Now they were ruining their lives to force them to go along with whatever they wanted. They did it so calmly, so easily.
The boys had been quiet the whole time, Theodore not sure what was going on and letting himself get distracted by the airship itself, trying to keep his mind off of the fact that there were more of those scary guards. While Hershel had been giving the old man a nasty glare the whole time the adults had been talking.
Gearald had took note of that and smirked at the little boy. Hershel just tried to look angrier at him for that, which amused Gearald.
“So, you see where we're at.” said Fin, not paying any mind to the children. “We need to know where you stand, Mister Bronev.”
As if sensing the growing tension, Pavel had moved over to stand in between them, incase something were to happen.
Leon's anger only began to subside due to the fear of what could happen to his family. He looked at his wife and his sons, knowing what he had to do. There was only one answer.
“For my family's safety, I'll do whatever you want.”
Author: Thank you so much for reading this far and for leaving comments. If you wish to see art related to this, I post artwork on pages that are posted on my profile.
Also at this time I am looking for a beta reader, so if you're interested, please let me know.
Thank you again.