”There was an accident. ”

”Is everything okay? ”

Jiyo Kael shook his head. ”They
e dead, ” he said softly.

”All of them? Certainly not all of them? ”

Jiyo Kael nodded, taking the coffee from the Old Mans hand before he threw it away. ”As far as I can tell. Given the circumstances, its pretty hard to be sure. ”

”Jesus. What happened? ”

”As usual, the boatman arrived at five oclock, to pick up the crew and take them ashore. When he came here, no one was waiting. Anyway, he hung out for ten minutes or so, then called security from the intercom down to the pier. ”Jiyo Kael paused, frowning in concern. ” Would you like to sit down, Mr. Wills? ”

Edward nodded in annoyance. ”Just keep it up. ”

”So, after no response on the intercom, I was stuck here to look around. ”

Jiyo Kael waited for his boss to finish his coffee again before continuing, hoping that the man would sit down before he fell down.

”And? ”

”Right. So I didn see anyone at the table and couldn get an answer to his buzzing. It was not dark yet, so the lights were not on and the place seemed deserted. Its long and short, he thought we would close the project and never bothered to tell him. Apparently I went straight to HQ and gave them the right conversation. They tried to contact the island, but also couldn raise anyone, so they reached out to Security, who eventually contacted me to find out what could have happened. ”

Reaching the surface, Jiyo Kael drank his own coffee , swallowed it well before continuing: ”I can raise the table here, or anyone on the satellite phone. It just seems weird. How everyone is suddenly out of contact like that. So I jumped on the copter and went here to take a look. ”

”And what did you find? ” asked the Old man with a hardened voice.

Jiyo Kael left from behind the table to be accessed by his boss and the screens. ”The one on the right. The end, ”he said.

Edward looked at the CCTV screens, collapsed into the chair with a crash as if he had lost his breath.

”Is that what Im thinking, ” he asked, barely hearing the voice.

”Im scared, Mr. Wills. ”

”Bring me down. I want to see them for myself. ”

”I don really think that would be a good idea, Mr. Wills. ”

Edwards eyebrows met his nose and he slowly raised his head from the study on the CCTV screen. His eyes became blurred and Jiyo Kael saw how blood filled his face, the tiny capillaries standing up.

”Sorry? ” he growled.

Jiyo Kael realizes the mistake he made and he tries to make up for it. ”I just can guarantee how safe it will be down there, sir. Youve seen what they can do. ”

Walking into the elevator, his boss shouted. ”What is the door code? ” he said.

Walking over to the keypad, Jiyo Kael dialed the number and stood up when the elevator doors opened. Following his boss inside the car, he watched it press the Down button. His fingers were no longer trembling, in fact, as the minutes passed, Edward looked more like his former self.

”I left the light on, ” Jiyo Kael said as they exited the elevator. ”To keep the little bastards in The Hole. ”

The Old Man just nodded and walked out of the corridor. Jiyo Kael has to hurry to keep up with him.

Jiyo Kael opened the door of The Hole and turned around. ”Be careful. Theres glass all over the floor. Some of the shelves seem to have collapsed. ”

Mr. carefully selected. Wills his way over piles of dark earth and glass from a broken breeding tank, walking towards the bones piled up in a corner. He knelt beside them, knees trembling with effort. Picking up a large femur, he hovered over the tip of his finger.

”Look, ” he said quietly, almost as if talking to himself, ”its already stripped. No blood, no tissue, nothing. And look here, ”he continued, handing the bone to Jiyo, who clicked on his nail with some beautiful indentations. ”Like a big rasp brought here. ” Dropping the bones, he suddenly dipped his hand into the pile, scattering them in all directions, obviously looking for someone.

Jiyo Kael couldn be sure, but it looked at him as if the Old Man was picking up some things from the pile. His boss had turned his back on him so he couldn see what he was doing like that. Getting up, Edward walked into the pit in the middle of the floor and looked over, staring intently at the sticky mess.

Bending down, he grabbed his arm just above and moved it sideways, dropping whatever he got in his hand into the pit.

Something moved under the crusted surface, following his movements. Jiyo was about to run and pull his boss away from danger, but the Old Man faced him, with a big smile on his face.

”She did it, Jiyo Kael, ” he said, admiration clear in his voice. ”He really pulled it off. Damn it, he said he would. I never believed he would do that. ”

Jiyo Kael approached all the rest of the project staff and squatted bones, just as his boss did. When he came down here alone, he didn want to hang out. Now he was curious.

Picking up on what looked at him could be an ulna, or it could be a radius – he had difficulty remembering his biology lessons as a child – he saw the joint missing at one end. It looks like it was attacked by thousands of small creatures. Poking the rest of the skeletons, he saw the small bones missing. The phalanges is it? There is such a thing.

The Old Man was on the other side of the pit, looking at some glass tanks on a wall.

Jiyo Kael felt that coldness on the back of his neck – a sign that there was nothing like it. It served him well in the Special Forces, which saved his life more than once. Jiyo Kael rubbed his neck, wondering what was bothering him. He walked down the corridor, looking up and down.

”Hey, Mr. Wills, ” he called for a moment, ”come and see this. ”

Edward found his PA kneeling on the floor, the lights above reflecting off from his head. His nose almost touched the tiles as he closed his eyes in the corridor. He stood up, took off his pants and headed to the floor. ”Look at yourself, ” he said.

Kneeling, Edward looked up. He could just see the long scuff marks on the tiles, as if something had been pulled along the corridor. He stood up and shrugged, as if to say, ”So what? ”

”They were all gathered in the corner when I came down here, ” Jiyo Kael said.

Edward nodded. ”You
e saying they were dragged somewhere and eaten. Is that it? ”

”There is no doubt about it. Many bones are missing. If I came after half an hour, I don think we would have found anything. ”

Edward slammed the door to The Hole and nodded. ”I think I saw a canteen farther down the corridor. You can make me some coffee. We need to talk. ”

Jiyo Kael followed the Old Mans back as he hurried down the corridor. It was as if he had suddenly come to life, all signs of his fatigue were gone. Jiyo shook his head, went to the coffee maker and opened it, took two cups from under the counter.

Slowly smoking coffee in front of them, the two men looked at each other. ”It was a bloody incident and a mess, ” Edward said.

Jiyo Kael just nodded. Words are unnecessary.

”All right Jiyo Kael , I will give you my decision directly. It could be the end of everything Ive built over the years. ”

Hand raised as Jiyo Kael began to speak, Edward shook his head. ”No, let me finish. ” He thought for a moment. ”Ive been with Jiyo Kael for a long time, you know whats involved here, the thousands of jobs that will be lost in case it comes out. I can let that happen. I really can . ”

There was a long silence as the two men sat and thought about it. Jiyo Kaels brain was roaring. Everything he has now, everything he has been in the last six years, is because of the faith the Old Man has placed in him. He always admired his boss, marveled at the long time he put in, and how he was able to come up with new investments and projects to keep the organization growing year after year. Now all of that is threatened. But this is a huge thing to hide.

”I really need your help here Jiyo Kael, ” the Old Man said quietly. ”If this horrible accident comes out Ill be done. ”

He sat quietly for a moment, then looked at his PA, his eyes glued to hers. ”These people know the risks of working here on this project. Thats why I looked for people without families when I hired them, and I paid them a lot of money. ”


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