“Please come in, Mr. Morgan. It’s quite nice of you to join us”, offered Jericho’s slight-statured nemesis. He was reclining on a plush, crimson couch about fifteen feet beyond the entrance. One arm was splayed leisurely across the back of the sofa around Jericho’s mom while the other laid in his lap. On the marble coffee table in front of the man and between Jericho and his prey lay a Glock G-43 sub-compact pistol, its barrel pointing squarely at Jericho. To the left of the coffee table stood the second bodyguard, his hand on the butt of the Magnum .357 nestled in a quick-release clamshell holster at his waist, dark shades covering a granite-like face. The gorilla at the door was armed similarly and displayed equal readiness.
While Jericho registered all of this as he slowly walked into the room, he had eyes for one person only: His mother. He scanned her rapidly for any damage, of which there was none. Alice’s face was a mask of assured calm, the relief at seeing her son belying the barely concealed terror of the situation she found herself in.
As Jericho came to a stop five feet from the coffee table providing cover for the hateful man responsible for this crazy situation, he heard the suite’s door shut behind him, locking everyone in. The young fighter smiled boldly and assuredly directly at his mother.
“Hey there, Momma. Having fun yet,” Jericho quipped.
“Oh yeah,” returned Alice, making her best carefree impression, “These guys are just a barrel of laughs.”
“That’s enough,” interpolated the man in charge. “We aren’t here for a family reunion.”
“Why are we here, you little shit,” asked Jericho coldly.
Calm down, bruddha, he thought to himself.
“We are here, Mr. Morgan because I wanted us here. We are here because, like it or not, you are now in the Order‘s employ and will be so until we say otherwise. We are here because you need a lesson in manners. Your mother didn’t do a very commendable job of teaching you to respect authority.”
Jericho tensed at the intended slight but held himself in check.
“Now that, unlike at the arena where you were quite dismissive, I have your complete attention, I will explain fully the position you now hold and the organization within which you work,” the man began.
Jericho stood quietly, feigning attention, allowing his mother’s captor to talk, to relax, to believe Jericho had given up and accepted this outlandish fate. While one section of his mind did indeed pay head to what the man was saying, another portion continued to poke and pry for any weaknesses or potential openings.
“The Order has existed, in one form or another, for over five hundred years,” the small man continued. “We have been known to the public as the Illuminati, the Free Masons, even the New World Order. Those names, those identities are not important. What is important is who and what we are. We control the bank you keep your considerable fight earnings in as well as every other major financial institution in the three world geographical areas: The Americas, Europe, and the Far East. We own the Federal Reserve, which means we own America. We see everything. We know everything. We control the flow of nearly all information.”
“Only ‘nearly all,’” asked a sly Jericho, eyebrow raised.
“Oh, that’s coming, Mr. Morgan,” the man responded. “That is coming very soon. There is legislation in the House right now, hidden within a banal bill, that will allow for complete government suppression of the internet. It will pass. And, if it doesn’t, the next one will. Or the one after that.”
“I’m sure you can see, Mr. Morgan,” the noxious man continued with a disturbing smile, relaxing further into the plush couch, “In working with us, you are blessed to be tallied with the elite of the world.”
NOW, Jericho’s mind screamed.