This is the first part to the new “Chen” short story I’ve been working on. Enjoy!
Bernard Matthew was a careful man. In his world, everything was in its rightful place. Thus it’s safe to say that there was a sense of measured equilibrium in his office on the twelfth floor of Matthew Industries. Matthew was sitting at the top of a glorious empire that he built himself, brick by aching brick, one weapons deal after another.
Matthew Industries supplied cutting-edge armour and ammo to fuel some of the fiercest wars fought on our deteriorating planet. The company dealt with governments, fascist armies, terrorists, and revolutionaries. They didn’t care who fought who for what; for them, each new conflict meant business… more Benjamin’s to keep themselves smiling.
So on that cold, wet Thursday when Bernard Matthew walked into his office, he realised instantly that something was amiss. The equilibrium had been unsettled… his high-backed leather chair was positioned with its back facing him. And the voice from the chair was certainly something that he hadn’t placed in his office…
“Mr Matthew… so glad you could join us,” said that voice, the words flowing silkily through the air. It had a faint trace of a Mexican accent.
The door to the office slammed shut, making Matthew flinch briefly. But he stood his ground. From behind him, two sets of footsteps — heavy army boots — slapped the cold marble floor as they approached him.
“We’re going for a little ride, Mr Matthew. We have some things to discuss with you…” continued the voice from the chair.
“Who the hell are you?” demanded Matthew, his faltering voice betraying his defiant posture.
A smooth, soft laugh came from the chair.
“We are neither your friend… nor your enemy, Mr Matthew. But soon… have patience… you will find out soon enough…”
The last thing Bernard Matthew heard before the needle pierced his arm and before the liquid it injected induced him unconscious, was the sweet notes of a Spanish guitar. The melody they wove through the air pushed him into the opening blackness, and he crumpled into the arms of two soldiers who began dragging him toward his private lift.