CXVI:Secrets Broken(2)

By: Angie Smith

“Are you alright?” she called to Woods as she backed towards him, not taking her eyes off Williams.

“Can you untie me?” Guilford-Johnston pleaded.

She turned the gun on him. “Don’t utter another word, you spineless snake. You’ve said enough.”

Guilford-Johnston nodded apologetically, as though he understood her anger.

She refocused the gun on Williams and bent down as she backed up to Woods. “Are you alright?” she asked him again.

“It’s my shoulder… I’m losing a lot of blood… I think the bullet went straight through.”

“Ring for an ambulance,” Plant called. “We both need medical attention.”

“I do not take orders from you!” Barnes snapped.

“No, you take them from me,” Woods said. “Ring for backup, Maria. We’ve got Williams alive. It’s over; this is the end.”

“This isn’t the end,” Williams announced, getting to his feet. “This is the beginning of the end.”

Barnes stood and, gripping the gun in her right hand, fished her phone out of her pocket with the other.

“Don’t ring anyone,” Williams said. “You know what they’ll do. I’ve still got so much to put right.”

She looked him over. Something about him was familiar, but she couldn’t put her finger on what it was. He was definitely different from the picture Bedford had given her. She was troubled by it. “We’ll make sure they can’t get to you,” she said. “Besides, Dudley’s on the run, and Faulkner-Brown’s gone missing.”

“They know the game’s up. They’ve left Plant here to face the music alone. But the authorities will want me silenced, and they’ll find a way of doing it.”

“Don’t listen to him,” Plant said. “Do as Woods ordered, call for backup.”

“Maria, you’re intelligent enough to know who the real criminals are in here,” Williams prompted.

“You’re all as bad as each other.” She glanced at Woods who was pressuring his wound, but blood was seeping through his hand. He looked in a bad way; she needed to act fast. “We uphold the law. You lot think you are above it,” she replied quickly, thumbing through the numbers in her contact list.

“No-one is above the law; what I’m doing will bring the unpunished down. Look at him.” He pointed at Guilford-Johnston, who was perspiring profusely. “He’s the worst kind of all; he gets someone else to pull the trigger, while he hides in his government office surrounded by his aides. He’s no better than Faulkner-Brown. At least Plant gets his hands dirty.”

“Like I said, you’re all as bad as each other.” She glanced at her phone; the number she needed was there.

“Listen, the killings are over; they were an unfortunate necessity, to get the story on the front pages. . .”

“An unfortunate necessity!” she exclaimed, refocusing on Williams. “Is that how Faulkner-Brown described the murder of your family?”

Williams locked his stare on her. “You’re going to give me the gun, Maria, and I’m going to walk out of here.”

“You are so wrong,” she replied. “I understand some of what you have done, but having all your family murdered doesn’t justify taking the lives of seven innocent people.”

“I didn’t have all my family murdered,” he corrected. “I’m surprised you haven’t worked it out.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My biological father is still alive, and he has a son and daughter, both of whom are exceptionally talented, highly intelligent, multi-linguists, with photographic memories and skills most people can only dream about. Does that remind you of anyone?”

She paused and shrugged involuntarily.

“Think about it!”

Perplexed, she shook her head.

“Maria, I’m your brother - we share the same father.”

Uncharacteristically, she wrestled with her response. “No, you can’t be!”

“Yes I can. Your father dated my mother; they were childhood sweethearts. I’m the result of their first sexual experience.”

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