Six (6) Years Ago
Jiyo Kael Del Valle, PA of Edward Wills, multi-billionaire and sole owner of Bio-Tech Corporation, was tense. He was running out of time and daylight on his walk. It was too dark to fly, and if he didn land the helicopter as soon as possible, there was a good chance he would lose fuel for it.
Giving a small smile of pleasure, he breathed a sigh of relief. He arrived on the coast of Linapacan Island, Palawan, Philippines exactly where it was supposed to be. Linapacan Island, part of Palawan. Spot-on and no problem.
The island is aptly named, it looks like it, as if a giant with an outsize scimitar had sliced the top clean. Jiyo Kael left the beach and headed for the torn formation from the thin end, looking in the dark light for the helipad. Its been a long time since hes last here, and hes not quite sure how the setup has changed. He needs to guard against any barriers and security.
The project is located in a natural indentation at the larger end of the island, or rather, the large slab of its concrete roof. The laboratory itself is buried deep underground.
As Jiyo Kael approached the helipad, the halogen lights on the side of the slab came alive, and within a few precious seconds he was blinded.
”Damn! Fools, ignorant! What do they think they
e doing? ”
Jiyo Kael just closed his eyes in anger, landed in the middle of the big white circle painted on one end of the slab and turned off the machine. Flicking the switches, he sat while waiting for the rotors to slow down. Giving his eyes a few seconds to adjust to the dark, he jumped out of the chopper and closed the door, turning to the entrance. He left quickly, going through the rude word he would give to the fools of the worker that he was almost blinded.
As he walked on the cement, he suddenly thought, and he shook his own stupidity, giving a bitter smile.
The outside lights turn on automatically at dusk; he was not fortunate enough to arrive at that particular time. He could barely see the island through the thin cloud of lights blazing all around him, only the lone, sad-looking structure that was the entrance to the project.
Walking towards the glass box tucked into the far side of the slab, he rubbed one hand over his forehead, looking right and left as he walked.
Jiyo Kael is handsome in physique, handsome, tall and muscular. He always wore a black leather jacket over a white shirt and red tie, matched with gray slacks and very shiny shoes. His co -workers joked that he probably bought a lot of Americana suits, jewelry, at his job 6 years ago and he hadn done it all yet.
Jiyo became the PA of Edward Wills, an American Businessman with a large office building in Manila and a large house in Prime Subdivision in Cavite. For the past six years, the Old Man – as he is referred to privately – has sought him out after he left the American Special Forces, making an offer so despicable that he could not refuse it. Over the years, he got that money, but saved the Old Mans life on more than one occasion.
Jiyo Kael was nervous, and with good reason, because he was now close to seeing the glass walled entrance building. The large curved desk facing the doors is empty, as is the glass sided lift shaft. The vehicle was obviously lowered to basement level. There was no trace of anyone anywhere, and that worried him. The Lab is empty.
Reaching the doors, he pressed the entrance button, the violent buzzer echoing through the reinforced glass. He knew the second buzzer would sound in the lab below, in case the security guard was not at the desk for some reason.
Without a response, Jiyo pointed the over-ride code at the entry pad, clicking with impatient fingers as he waited for the glass doors to slide aside. A shiver touched the nape of his neck as he entered. Glancing back over his shoulder, he shuddered in his anxiety.
He walks around the big table, Jiyo sits on the chair, staring at the CCTV screens placed in a semicircle in front of him. There are five, all showing different views of the rooms below. Nothing moves in any of them.
He sat in his chair for a moment, forehead furrowed, then he sat down in confusion, he saw something in Camera 5, covering The Hole.
Because that particular room is kept in eternal darkness, the camera is equipped with an infra-red filter, giving everyone on the screen an ethereal glow.
There was a white object lying on the floor, just to the side of the picture – it seemed familiar to him.
Holding the control stick, Jiyo moved the camera to get a better view, zooming in on the photo. A long hissing sound hissing escaped his lips and his eyes widened. Zooming in further, he felt his heart rate increase and a sweat dripping between his shoulders. Yes, he is right. There can be no mistake what awaits him in the lab.
He picked up the desk phone, he pressed at a number available to only a select few. Holding the phone to his ear, he continued staring at the CCTV screen. When answering his call he uttered four words, his tone being a dull, flat monotone.
”Kael. Isla. Now. Alone. ”
Taking a deep breath, Jiyo returned the handset to its holder and stood up, surprised at how weak his legs were at the sight. He was about to go to the elevator, he pressed the call-button, tapping his fingers on his thigh as the elevator car moved slowly from under the shaft.
The elevator seemed to last forever, but when the doors finally opened, Jiyo hesitated, it had to be prevented from re-closing with an outstretched hand. He stroked the back of her neck, and she went inside.
”Kael. Isla. Now. Alone. ”
When the clear voice spoke in his ear, adrenaline flowed through Edward Wills body. The quiet words caused a chill in his heart and a lump in his throat.
Kael is the code word of his PA, used in an open line when security is a concern. It only works in an extreme emergency – for emergencies.
It means he needs to act and act now; take the call seriously, because something bad is going on.
In the six years his PA has been working with him, Jiyo has never used it. Edwards lips parted as he thought of the phone call and its four words.
Kael. Isla. Now. Alone.
It is quite obvious that something bad is happening on Linapacan Island. Something very bad if Jiyo used the special code word.
Throughout the day with his Director of Finance in sorting out which tax haven would best house his companys revenue, Edward Wills was tired, and he promised to deliver his wife at night. Now heres Jiyos call, which doubled the pressure on him.
Leading a global conglomerate whose turnover has exceeded much of a small countrys national income is bad enough, without all this bloody cloak and dagger. Damn the man.
Jiyos emergency call upset Edward Wills more than hed like to admit, worrying over stress, despite being tired. This is the most tired he has felt in the thirty -five years since he started building his business – a business that spans thirty -three companies and employs approximately twenty -two thousand people in thirteen countries. . Edward Wills sighed loudly, he felt like he was a little farther away, higher and deeper.
Calling his wife, Edward waited until it appeared at the living room door, then gave her his best, disarming smile. ”Something happened dear. Im sorry, but I have to go back to the office. ”
”But Darling Ed,
” she said, pouting on her lips.
”You promised me youll have fun at night. We
e going to the newly opened Music Opera House that I want to see. ”
”I know Dear. Im sorry, but I can do anything about it. Something important is coming. ”
”Its always been an important Darling Ed. Don I matter too? ”
Edward Wills was a short handsome man, with a fruitful face, running up to fat and past the first appearance of youth – but his wife was tall, thin, perfectly fit, and twenty -five years younger than him. . She also has the temper to match her shiny red hair and looks at him now with an expression that says shes about to explode.
”I have to leave dear. ”
Almost running into the hall, Edward took off his coat and hurried out the door.
The elevator doors opened and Jiyo exited a corridor that descends along the building from end to end. Many doors lead on either side, all of which are open – even the one labeled by the staff, The Hole. Its not good – not good, in Jiyos mind.
The light level in the corridor is low, designed to switch to quarter power whenever the door to The Hole is opened. It is less disturbing for those who live in such a way, as they are, largely nocturnal.
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