Read The World's End Series Book One: Dymond's World Online
Authors: CW Crowe
Just before he dropped off, he looked up at God. Humpty Dumpty was sitting on his ledge, but he wasn't pointing and laughing. His normally round eyes and mouth were all slits.
Being the future Richest Man in the World meant that Jason was almost always busy. There were constant phone calls, texts and meetings - all designed to help him decide which piece to move on his world-sized chessboard. For years, his total focus had been on the development of his battery technology, now it had shifted to the development of his fortune. He worked just as hard today as he did back at his lab.
But even someone like him could have his plans interrupted by events. The bombing and the closing of all the airports had made it impossible for him to get back to his office. Just as bad, the Internet had become slow and unreliable as so many people around the world were watching events unfold via news websites. The traffic volume had increased tenfold in the last week and, on top of that, a group of hackers had managed to take two of the Tier One networks offline. These networks, known as the Internet Backbone, handled traffic for many millions of users. Losing two of them made a measurable difference in connection speed and quality for just about the entire world. Even the cell networks were affected - at best, one in five calls got through and then the connection was likely to be dropped without notice.
Being isolated from his growing empire was bad enough, but it was obvious the world was starting to spin out of control and there wasn't a thing he could do about it. He'd barely seen Regina Martin for the last three days and no one else in her company "headquarters" would talk to him. They would make small talk, but if he asked any meaningful question he was told he had to "talk to Regina." Plus, it seemed that the entire group of fifty or more employees were tremendously busy - most seemed to not have any time to talk. When he'd asked one harried girl why everyone was able to be constantly on the phone, she told him that they were talking via dedicated lines to their other facilities.
Late on his third day there, he went outside to once again try to hire a jet to take him home. He had a list of companies who offered such charter services, but on his first try, he didn't get through to any of them.
He sat on a bench and looked at the desert vista. In the distance, jagged mountains rose. There were white puffy clouds that seemed to be below their peaks. The desert floor was beautiful in a wasteland kind of way.
The offices of R. Martin were low slung red brick. Even though the entire structure was only one story tall, it was quite big inside because it seemed to meander here and there. It was as if it was expanded more than once with a new portion shooting out of the old. He was staying in the part that contained suites for the VIPs who came to buy security in an insecure world. When he left with Regina the other day, there had been five of his fellow one percenters. They must have all signed up and left, because he was now the only guest here.
Across the desert were other buildings. They looked more high tech with cutting edge architecture, courtyards, and large open green spaces. They rose for six or eight stories from the desert floor. Probably they housed high tech companies.
As Jason looked back, he saw Regina walking towards him. She was wearing a skirt today and heels. He could hear her click as she walked.
She sat beside him on the bench. "Sorry to leave you on your own this way, Jason. It's been kind of hectic. We had a close call."
"Us. The world. That bombing threatened to make everything spiral out of control."
He didn't understand exactly what she was talking about, but she seemed relieved. He asked, "And now? You think things will get better?"
"Yeah they will. For a while at least. Tomorrow, the airports will reopen with bag check-in done at every Post Office. FedEx and UPS will come by and pick up the bags for transfer to the airport. The bags will be checked for bombs at the airport and then loaded.
"The stock market will start to recover as well. The Federal Reserve will pump in $20 billion to start, but they'll keep it going until stock prices rebound. The President will announce an extensive bombing campaign against the group who planted the bomb in Chicago. The video of vehicles and buildings being destroyed over in that shithole will help the public's confidence. The FBI will arrest people in several cities for providing assistance to terrorists."
He turned and faced her directly. "How in the world could you possibly know such things? It's like that video you had in the coffee shop. I . . ."
She cut him off. "I tell you about it later. Right now, I'm horny. Let's go."
She rose and walked off. He followed.
She lay naked on the bed, her hands joined above her head and legs spread apart. She let him take off his shirt, but that was all. "Ask permission before you do anything," she said.
It sounded like an order. "Can I rub your calves?"
"Yes, you can. I think I'll like that."
He did. They were firm, but smooth. They smelled slightly like flowers. He kneaded them down to her ankles.
"Can I massage your thighs?"
"Go ahead. I'm starting to get really turned on."
He put one hand on the inside of each thigh and moved them, palms down, from her knees to just below her crotch. He did it again in the opposite direction.
'God, that feels good. Don't stop." She spread her legs farther apart.
He was starting to breathe heavily. "Can I kiss your nipples?"
"Yes," her voice was quiet. Her eyes closed.
She moaned softly at the touch of his lips and for the next hour, she answered each of his questions the same way.
"I don't want you to think I do this with every billionaire who comes here."
They were sitting up in bed, recovering. She pulled her hair back and secured it with a clip from the night stand. "I've always been like this - I'll go months without a man and then, boom - something sets me off and I can't get enough. Don't worry though; it'll wear off in a while."
He grinned at her honesty. Most women were more reserved, at least in their talk about sex. Her forthrightness in bed and in their other interactions were such a turn on. He remembered the pain in his shoulder and it caused a faint resurgence of desire. He reached for her.
"Not now. As you have seen, things are more than a little hectic around here. I really shouldn't have been away this long, but I couldn't help myself. I've been thinking of getting in bed with you for the last two days.
"Anyway, play time is over." She started to dress. "On the way back here, you asked about our plan and what it would cost you. Are you ready to pay?"
He remembered that she'd said it would cost him everything. At the time, he thought this was just exaggeration or melodrama, but now he had a vision of Satan, offering him a contract to sell his soul, grinning at the temptation. All he had to do was sign on the dotted line in blood.
He shook his head to clear it. She couldn't be serious about the cost. It was silly to even think of him giving her everything. Still, she was obviously connected and seemed to know things that only government insiders would know. He decided to hear what she had to say.
What harm could it do?
She led him to a conference room. It was nicely appointed with muted colors and a maple table surrounded by twelve expensive looking ultra-modern chairs. Along the long wall, a series of large video monitors were mounted end to end. There were no windows. She pulled out a chair for him. "Sit," she said, her voice cool and in control.
He did as he was told. She went to a cabinet and got out two glasses and put ice in them. She brought them back along with a bottle of amber colored liquor. The label said "Elijah Craig." It said it was twenty three years old. She poured a couple of ounces in each glass.
Regina got herself seated and pulled a keyboard to her that had been on the table. She crossed her legs and typed. The monitors across from them came to life, one by one.
Jason saw a conference room on the monitors. It looked life sized - like the monitors were now just glass and this other meeting room was right next door. Seated in the center of the conference table was a single man. His grey hair was close cropped over his thin face and he wore round old fashioned looking black glasses. He wore a white shirt with a loosened tie. Behind him, a jacket was hung on the back of his chair. It was hard for Jason to make out, but there were insignia of some type on it. On his conference table, a glass was before him. It had a brown liquid in it.
"Jason McCrae, I'd like to introduce you to General Al Martin. He's a great military man and also a great father. Dad, this is Jason McCrae."
Jason was surprised to see a three star general sitting almost right across from him. He had a check run on Regina's company before coming here and he knew who her father was, but he didn't expect to actually be talking to him.
"I am pleased to meet you, Mr. McCrae. It's been almost two years since Regina told me that she thought you were really onto something with this battery technology. I've looked forward to this meeting for quite a while."
Two years? Jason looked at Regina and she smiled at him. Two years ago, he'd been basically working on his own. The few stories written about him in those days generally portrayed him as a "lone crackpot."
How could she have known?
He pushed that thought aside. "Ah . . . thanks General Martin, I'm pleased to meet you too."
"I trust Regina has been treating you well? Giving you what you need?"
He wanted to look at her to see how she was reacting, but he was afraid his face would reveal just how well he'd been treated by his daughter. "Everything has been great for me, General."
"Well fine. Regina tells me you are ready to hear about some of our plans, but before that, I'd like to offer a toast."
He picked up his glass. Jason and Regina did too.
The toast was a short one. "To living like men," he said. They all drank to that. Jason had no idea what it meant.
The Piece of Shit was not designed for two people. Once Fallon was on, there was only a little bit of the cracked leather seat left - perhaps six inches or so. Dy climbed on easily behind him and put her hands behind her on a tiny ridge at the back of the seat.
"You can't ride that way. You'll fall off. Slide up closer and put your arms around me."
She seemed surprised, "Mister, none of the bikers let their chicks put their arms around them. They make us hold on to the back. Ax is so fat I couldn't reach around him anyway."
"Listen Dy, I'm no biker like them. I just ride this piece of shit because I can't afford a car. Now slide up and hold on tight. If you feel yourself slipping or something, yell."
"I will, Mister." She slid forward and put her arms around his waist. He could feel her boobs on his back. She was wearing the same outfit as yesterday. Her already short skirt hiked up as she slid forward until it was almost to the very top of her thighs. He knew she didn't have underwear, but he didn't think that would be obvious with her pressed against him.
The two of them made quite a sight, but it was still before sunup, so he shrugged and tried to start the bike. It did well today - it coughed to life on only the fifth try. Fallon looked up at God, who was staring intently.
He drove carefully up the path to the highway and turned left, towards town. The sky ahead was starting to lighten indicating the sun would probably come up again today.
The road was mostly deserted at this time of the morning, but in the distance he could just make out that he was going to meet another bike. He couldn’t tell for sure, but the odds were good that it was a Harley. Fallon prayed that it wasn't Ax, released from the hospital after his dick surgery.
Their single bright headlights made it impossible for them to identify each other. Just before they passed in the still dark morning, the Harley rider put his left hand down in salute and Fallon returned it.
He couldn't take her to the car dealership, so he stopped at a fast food place. He gave her a twenty dollar bill. He always kept two twenties in the Airstream for emergencies.
"Go inside and get something to eat. It'll take me around twenty minutes to get back with the car. Bring me a coffee, will you?" He didn't normally eat breakfast.
She looked at the money and then studied the brightly lit building as if she was trying to understand what his words meant. Her voice was quiet when she spoke, "What can I get, Mister?" She seemed scared all of sudden.
"Anything you want. You look like you could use a few good meals."
"Yeah. Ax spent most of his money on beer and gambling. He wasn't a real good provider."
He expected her to go on inside the building, but she didn't move. He could tell something was wrong.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
His hand was on the throttle, ready to twist it and ride away. She put hers on top of his.
"Mister, you're coming back, right? You're not going to just leave me here, are you?"
It had been a long time since Fallon had felt anything other than pain or shame. He purposely tried to feel nothing at all when it came to other people - it helped when they ripped him off or betrayed him or fired him.
Now, in spite of himself, he felt an emotion he thought had been permanently removed from his personal repertoire. He felt pity.
"I'll be back, Dy. I told you I would and I will." Her eyes were large as they stared at him, gauging his sincerity. He added, "I promise."
She squeezed his hand and nodded as she leaned towards him. She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and then turned and went inside.
As he drove away, he could feel the spot where she'd kissed him. It felt warm.
When he returned, she was standing outside at the exact same spot he'd dropped her off. She smiled and waved when she saw him, like he might not remember what a girl in a miniskirt with red boots looked like.
She got in and handed him his coffee. He was careful to line the drink holder with a napkin before he placed the cup in it. Eating and drinking in the cars was also strictly prohibited. Fallon thought it was his day to break rules.
"Here's your change, Mister." She gave him a receipt along with a little more than nine dollars.
What did this girl eat that cost so much?
He looked at the receipt. She'd had two breakfast sandwiches, a large orange juice, a pastry and a fruit cup. The change she gave him matched the receipt to the penny. He'd been gone almost exactly twenty minutes.
He felt himself smile at the mental picture of such a skinny girl wolfing down her food. "Feel better?" he asked.
"Oh yes. I'm feeling so much better. It was good - not as good as that fish last night. That was the best meal I ever had."
She became quiet as he maneuvered the Bimmer over the surface streets and into the entrance lane for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. He put the EZ Pass transponder on the dash and drove through the "No Tickets" lane at the speed limit of five miles an hour. Getting a ticket was almost as bad as eating in the car.
Or having passengers. He glanced over at her. Her eyes were closed. He heard her snore gently.
The brand new 3 Series looked out of place in the parking lot for the Goodwill store. Fallon gave her the twenty nine dollars he had left.
She looked at the green bills. "Mister, is this all you have?" It wasn't said in a way of complaining that it was so little - instead it was in awe that he would give her everything he had.
He nodded, "It's all I have with me. Now go in there and get some clothes. Hopefully, they'll have some things you can wear. Try and get something a little less, you know, flashy."
"I wish you'd go with me and tell me what to get."
"I can't have you in the car when I drop it off and it's after 9:30 now. Besides, I know nothing about women's clothes. Just get something that you like - and see if they have underwear."
For the first time ever, he heard her laugh. "Going commando is kind of fun, especially on a bike. It's real airy." She gave him another quick kiss and left.
When he returned to pick her up a half hour later, she was nowhere in sight. Fallon went into the store, but she wasn't there either. He was surprised to realize he was feeling alarmed.
But when he walked out of the store, there she was standing by the car, carrying two bags.
He was shocked at the transformation. Gone was the biker chick with her miniskirt and tube top and red Doc Martens. Now she was wearing a simple sleeveless summer dress. It fit her well. She wore flip flops. Her honey colored hair was pulled back off her face.
She smiled at him, "Well?" she said as she spun around, model like. Her hips swayed as she did.
Fallon felt something stir in him, something that had been in hibernation for a long, long time. He swallowed. "You look real good," is what came out.
They got in the car. "And look!" she said, pulling up the dress. She was wearing panties. "They had them brand new in the package. Only four bucks for three pair! The stuff in there is so cheap; I got a few more things and spent all your money. I hope you don't mind."
He tore his eyes away from her crotch. "I . . . I don't mind, Dy. I can stop at a bank and . . ."
She reached over and put something on the center console. It was three twenty dollar bills.
Fallon didn't understand. He'd only started the day with two twenties. He looked at her in confusion.
"There was a trucker out back making a delivery. Most of them are pretty horny. I got it from him."
Fallon searched the dictionary in his mind to find the meaning for the words he'd just heard.
"You mean you . . ."
She could tell he was shocked. She spoke up in her own defense. "It was just a blow job. I didn't screw him or anything. And this is all he gave me, I swear. I'm not holding anything back. You can search me if you want."
Fallon put the car in drive and took off, spinning the tires and leaving black marks on the Goodwill parking lot.
He took the entrance to north I-83 and, after the local traffic had cleared, engaged the cruise control. He looked over at her. A single tear ran down her cheek.
"I thought you knew."
He didn't want to ask, but he had to. "Knew what?"
"That I was a whore. At least I used to be before Ax won me. They gambled for me and for once he won. I lost."