The dark walls of the room were made more somber by the minimal amber lighting that circled the edge of the ceiling and the candlelit sconces at wide but equal distances along the walls. Floor and ceiling were covered in mahogany with darker stains pooled along the floor. No carpets muffled the sounds of the heavy chairs as they moved with the occupants sitting and shifting. Table lighting fanned out from the leader’s position of power which minimized the view of his features.
The meeting leader and organizer gave a slight smile as everyone took their respective seats and waited quietly for him to begin. No idle conversation or whispers came from the attendees. Before they were all seated, a large black female enforcer-type individual approached the leader and quietly whispered, “The room has been swept. No unauthorized electronics are present.”
She then took up her post behind the leader and stood at attention, aware of every movement made by everyone in the room. She looked quite menacing though she was as still as granite.
The leader seemed tall even while seated. His dark, straight, thick stock of hair was well groomed, if a little long. His eyes appeared black as coal with the muted light not reflecting in them at all. His hands were sculpted, with long fingers. No jewelry adorned his hands or neck. His dark suit nearly blended with the color of the massive armed leather chair. He watched the group as they gathered and sat.
After a few moments, he finally offered, “I appreciate everyone breaking free from their daily routine to attend this meeting. I know you find travel to this monthly meeting tedious. I simply do not trust the importance of our meeting content to encrypted voice/video tunneling, controlled by the very people we seek to, uh …, re-orient.
“I wanted to advise you that monies from our standard business practices are being funneled into our newest project. We need to have clear milestones at the computer-projected intersect points, so that our goals can be achieved while we remain an anonymous entity. Let’s go around the table, and give me short, crisp bullets of each of your assigned projects.”
Before the third report could be offered by that attendee, the leader interrupted, “Moncrieff, can you explain your failure to the group? Your actions in the copper commodity area were picked up by a most dangerous adversary who has been scanning for other examples which could potentially expose our carefully orchestrated plan.”
Moncrieff tried to swallow, but his dry mouth simply would not cooperate. After several deep breaths, he managed to regain control as he haltingly offered, “I, um …, saw an opportunity, rather that is, a trading anomaly which would let us, um…, I accelerated our earnings with that trade. I thought that …”
The leader simply raised his hand to gain the silence he wanted. Moncrieff struggled to keep his terror under control as the leader then stated, “We have very simple rules in this organization. That way, when someone doesn’t comply with them, we have very simple solutions.”
The leader cut his eyes over to his other large black enforcer who, in an instant, was behind Moncrieff. The enforcer’s bulk had pinned Moncrieff between the chair and the massive mahogany table. His large, powerful arms quickly wrapped themselves around Moncrieff’s head and abruptly twisted it 180 degrees, producing a sickening crack loud enough for all to hear.
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