By Mark W. Meier
Six weeks later Ben Kiel welcomed Austin and Cromwell back to the law firm. His sorrow at Amy’s death was tempered by the mixed news of Judge Boynton’s ruling which allowed his business to be reconstituted.
Terrance Yang, the minority stakeholder in Grambic Tiles, was awarded another eighty percent of the company. Judge Boynton had reinstated the only will ever filed with Michael Grambic’s actual signature. Grambic hadn’t known of his cousin until years later, and Yang had been instrumental in the days following his father’s death.
The remaining ten percent of the company was awarded to Victor Howe, who had been deemed a hero for trying to save Amy. Every one of Grambic’s executive assistants over the years had been named as the inheritor of ten percent of Grambic’s assets, and Boynton allowed Howe to receive it. Howe was ecstatic.
The recuperating former secretary was also awarded all other Grambic holdings – cash, property, and investments, which included the Grambic mansion. In gratitude of Amy’s actions, which were never specified, Howe formed a nonprofit organization to fund overseas missionaries from Amy’s Baptist church in Waterloo. In turn, Howe was awarded the aloe plant found in Amy’s hotel room. His only response was a wide grin of appreciation.
A bereft Gavin eventually found a relative willing to accept a collect phone call from Georgia. Enough money was wired for the clerk to buy a bus ticket back to Waterloo. When he arrived, he discovered he’d been fired. Not surprising, but a disappointment nonetheless. A nearby convenience store hired him as a night clerk.
Charges of attempted manslaughter were dropped against Nachell Peralta. The district attorney found her assertion she thought Amy posed a serious threat was reasonable and declined to prosecute. With Terrance Yang firmly ensconced in the spacious office on the top floor of Grambic Tower, Peralta found working there distasteful. His daily lunch delivery of greasy-spoon cheeseburgers churned Peralta’s stomach. Within a month she’d found other employment as a personal security consultant.
In the space between spaces, where the Brotherhood resided, power shifted. Kulak, under orders from Rosimar, demoted Chamos for his failure. Ruax had benefited from the whole incident. He now outranked Chamos. Mastema vanished, presumably to train another wizard. None in the Brotherhood had an inkling of where he’d gone.
Most surprising of all, Baraqijal was given much more authority than he’d ever dreamed of. His advancement put him nearly on par with the power of the demoted Chamos, which drove the senior Brother to distraction.
The mystery of how a statue of John Wesley vanished from its place in Reynold’s Square remained. That it suddenly appeared at the top of Grambic Tower was an even deeper enigma.
Don’t ask the Brotherhood to explain. They’re too busy with other plans.
Bathin stepped out of a sound-stifling thick fog and showed an identity card to an official about to enter a virology lab. “Doctor Gao? I’m Doctor Ren Long from the World Health Organization.”
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