Fall of an Empire.

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Reynolds
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Fall of an Empire.

Post by Reynolds » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:43 pm

New Maristow Estate, England. 2050.

The photograph was printed on glossy paper of high quality and mounted in an intricate gold frame. It was perched on an old antique walnut dresser, the sort that comes with a framed mirror and drawers either side of a matching low stool.
It was unusual to see a paper photograph these days. Everyone used digital images or even three dimensional holograms with attached sim-sense files so that people could plug themselves in at watch or even re-live the memory. These frames would often sit there scrolling steadily through thousands of images.
A man in a modern suit, a shiny fabric in charcoal grey with white collar and cuffs reached out and picked it up. He studied the image of a man and a woman on their wedding day. Thay were happy, or at least appeared so. But then, they should do, the man thought. She was marrying a rich Peer of the Realm and he was marrying a woman maybe ten years younger, beautiful in an exotic way, tall dark hair elegant and full of real flowers that matched the brilliant white of her dress.
Movement at the door attracted the man's attention.
An old man, silvery hair at the sides of an otherwise bald head. He was dressed in full butler's regalia.
"Excuse me" the old man said boistrously as he stomped into the bedroom. "That is of no concern of yours." He snatched the picture from the other man's grasp. "And you have no business being in here. Lord and Lady Reynolds will be home shortly and as I mentioned earlier, you are to wait in his study. You do not have free reign to wander this house poking at things that are nothing to do with you, Mister Shore!"
the younger man smiled, amused by the butler's outburst. He ran his fingers through his mop of blond hair nonchalantly.
"On the contrary my dear Mr," he paused a moment, "I'm sorry, I don't recall your name?"
"Brocklesby," the old man replied with a annoyed tone. He knew full well that this man knew who he was and was just playing games.
"Of course, yes! The erstwhile MR Brocklesby. I thought you'd be bigger! But I suppose the tales I heard of Lord Reynolds' father are from some time ago now, aren't they? Yes, formidable once, but nothing breeds entropy like time, wouldn't you say?"
"Nothing bleeds like a punched nose, you sanctimonious prick!" Brocklesby mumbled under his breath.
"What was that?"
Brocklesby sighed quietly.
"Lord and Lady Reynolds will not be happy to find you in their bedroom, sir. Please return to his Lordship's study and await their return."
Shore sighed too, taking the picture from the butler and replacing it on the dresser. He glanced at the one beside it. Lord and Lady Reynolds with their three children. The little one had pigtails and a tooth missing. She was perhaps four or five? The next one up was about thirteen, pretty, long dark hair and dark skin like her mother. The eldest, their son, named Sebastian like the eldest son had been named for generations, stood proud alongside his father in his army uniform. He stood out from his family in a stark way. The large tusk-like teeth protruding from his lower jaw were the main give-away. An orc.
"Such a shame for the family. To have such bad genes turn up, and then this accusation cast against them. I suppose it makes sense really, if your master shouldn't really be here."
Brocklesby, still a well built man, stepped up close to Shore.
"Get out now, while you still can or so help me god I shall put a bullet in your eye and claim you were a burglar!"
Shore smiled, but shrugged his shoulders."As you wish, Mr Brocklesby."
He proceeded out of the room and back down stairs to the Lord's study.
There he made a call.
"Sir, everything normal here. The supposed Lord and Lady will be here shortly. I guess they didn't want to be present at the ritual.Yes, sir, I have them standing by just outside the estate pending the verdict. Yes, sir. Of course I will. Until i have no need to Polite any longer."

Reynolds
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Re: Fall of an Empire.

Post by Reynolds » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:44 pm

Upstairs, in the Master Bedroom, one of the huge wardrobe doors opened.
A girl of fifteen pushed her way out of the clothes that hung in neat size and colour order.
she was tall for her age, a little thin, but toned. Gym class saw to that.
Her hair was white-blond and her skin pale, belieing her mother's Scandinavian heritage.
She wore a black Metallorca t-shirt and black denim jeans with white pumps.
Putting her phone back to her ear she said, "He's gone. What a creep! What was he doing rummaging around in my parents' room? I mean, what a perv!"
"So why is even in your house, Tavia?" the voice on the phone said.
"Urgh! It has to be something to do with this court case against my Dad."
"Oh, that's just bullshit!No one can just turn up and say hey, that's my house and my land and look I got a moldy old bit of paper that says so!"
"I don't know, Lucy. Mum seems pretty worried. She says it's not true but thinks the whole thing could hurt father's businesses."
The girl heard the floor board creak outside the bedroom. She quickly dived down and rolled inder the old four-poster bed.
"Gotta go!" she whispered into the phone before hanging up and flicking it to silent.
From her vantage point beneath the bed she saw a pair of highly polished shoes and trousers pressed to a razor edge.
"He has gone," Brocklesby's calm voice announced. "And if you have left your mother's clothes creased, Miss Octavia Astrid Reynolds, you will have Mrs Green to answer to!"
"How?" Octavia, Tavia to her friends, exclaimed while crawling out of her hiding place.
Brocklesby smirked. "I've told you Miss Octavia, I know everything that happens in this house!"
He turned his head slightly, as though trying to hear something distant.
"Your parents are at the front gate," he said before turning and heading downstairs.
"He bloody well does know too!" Tavia muttered and followed after the man that was her grand father's best friend.
Last edited by Reynolds on Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Reynolds
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Re: Fall of an Empire.

Post by Reynolds » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:57 pm

It was well into ther small hours of the morning when Lord Reynolds' and Mr Shore's phones rang almost simultaneously.
Reynolds, in just his shirt and comfortabel slacks looked tired. His eyes were rimmed with dark colouring and he had bags under them.
Mr Shore on the other hand looked fresh and ready for anything.
Both men rose from their chairs, where that had been sitting in absolute silence, as they answered their phones and walked to the opposite ends of the room.
Mr Shore's call was over almost before he had reached the wall whereas Reynolds' call looked as though it would take a while.
His face dropped and shoulders sagged at what he was hearing.
"Are you sure?" he asked, struggling to keep his voice calm. "This can't be right. How can this be right, for Christ's sake? Yes, I know the High Court oversaw the ritual, but they have to have made a mistake, how else would they have gotten this result? Yes, I'm sorry, I'm not accusing you of anything. Listen, could you get someone to dig into the backgrounds of everyone involved, if we can discredit this it will look better for the company."
He began pacing, listening to his barrister explaining the procedure and the checks that had already been carried out and what the result meant.
Shore had hung up, a triumphant look upon his face. He placed another call and then slipped his phone in his pocket.
Seeing that Lord Reynolds was still occupied he approached the Lady of the house.
"Mrs Reynolds."
The older woman cast her dark eyes towards him. She sat straight-backed, her hair tied loosely behind her head.
She too had changed upon her return home and wore a casual pull-over and comfortable trousers. Shore noted the toned body encased beneath the clothing.
Beside her was an exact replica, except about twenty years younger. The girl's skin was perhaps a shade lighter than her mother's.
The dress code for the younger Reynolds girl was very different however. A teenager going through her rebellious phase, Shore surmised. He doubted she was that rebellious. These rich powerful types, toffs they used to be called a couple of centuries ago, were all the same in his experience; Stuck up arseholes.
"You have one hour to gather your things. Then you must be gone."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Get your thing and get out of my employers house. Or we'l move you."
Freya Reynolds took a sharp intake of breath, her jaw clanched.
"I will do no such thing," she hissed. Her daughter squeezed her hand.
"Suit yourself. Oh, and I'll ned your bank access codes and your credsticks. Please advise your company directors to conveine in the morning ready to sign ownership over to the true Baron."
With a smugly patronising smile he turned for the door.
Sebastian Reynolds finally ended his call. He saw the tears in his wifes eyes.
"Don't worry," he said looking from his wife to his daughter. "We'll sort this out, it's got to be wrong."
Last edited by Reynolds on Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Reynolds
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Re: Fall of an Empire.

Post by Reynolds » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:12 pm

Octavia Reynolds sat in the huge bay window of the grand New Maristow mansion. She was perched on the windowsill with her shoulder resting against the ornate window mullion.
She was angry as she watched the vehicles approaching up the long straight driveway. It had been half an hour since the family had learned that the verdict had gone against them.
Her mother was sat on the couch. She was quiet, observing the scene before her and watching her husband argue with Mr Shore.
The younger man’s arrogance had increased dramatically since the call. It was as though this all had some sort of personal aspect to him.
Octavia was guessing he had issues with rich corporate types, or maybe even the gentry as he was all but threatening physical violence if the family did not comply.
Two black Americar sedans led half a dozen trucks up to the gravel turning circle outside the front door obscuring her view of the central fountain.
Octavia waited.
Once more her father’s raised voice filtered into the room as he argued with Shore. Soon he was ushered in through the doorway by Shore’s thugs, otherwise known as Temple Security Agency, who then placed themselves as a human wall preventing him exit.
Octavia waited some more.
The young girl glanced at her watch. It was a sixty year old Rolex that had belonged to her grandmother, given to her by her grandfather just before he died.
She frowned at the time. Their apparent hour to vacate the premises had been and gone and Shore was getting increasingly aggressive.
As if on que a bright light appeared in the night sky. At the same time her phone rang. She hooked her earpiece in place and flipped the monocular into position.
Her friend Lucy’s pretty face appeared in her left eye’s view.
“Sorry I took so long Tavia, I had to wake father and he was very grumpy until I explained.”
“It’s alright Luce. What did he say?”
“Okay, you can still appeal, which is the main thing, but the current judgement will stand until it is overturned. But Lopes shouldn’t be doing anything until the courts have issued their writ and declared what should be done. Father says that the litigation will be a lengthy process and won’t happen overnight. Technically the only person who can revoke a person’s peerage title is the ruling monarch. And no one was going to wake the king up just to turf your dad out at two ing the morning or whatever.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be the one to have to that. Okay, what did he say about them taking our house?”
“Again the court has to declare the settlement criteria before any hand over. Dad says, technically the Lopes’ original home at Lopwell still exists. And they will have a claim over it, but they would have to prove that your parent’s house was built using money generated as a direct consequence of your father’s peerage and the estate’s funds. Of course if the house was built with corporate funds then corporate law will take precedent.”
“Thanks Lucy, that’s awesome. Give my love to your father.”
“I will. He’s calling your dad now to explain. Love you Tavia.”
“I love you too babes, see you tomorrow,” she paused. “Later today,” she corrected herself.
Lucy vanished from view.
The white light in the sky was bigger now, and was now two lights.
Octavia climbed down from the window and sauntered towards the door just as Mr Shore arrived.
He stood in the doorway flanked by the two Temple Security men he had posted to guard them. Detain them was more appropriate, Octavia thought.
The blond haired man saw Lord Reynolds seated at his desk writing notes on a scrap of paper. Lady Reynolds remained in her chair dispassionately observing.
He was about to approach Lord Reynolds, he was finding it difficult to remember the man was no longer a Lord, when he noticed the couple’s eldest daughter approaching him.
She was tall and slender. Her fair hair was piled on her head. She had dark sultry eyes the colour of sapphires. Her cherry red lipstick almost glowed in the dimmer lights of the lounge.
She was walking slowly and his eyes travelled from her classic and very expensive Converse All-Stars, up her long slender legs encased is ripped net stockings to an outrageously short plaid skirt and up passed the white blouse that was knotted at the bottom showing a hint of tummy and unbuttoned at the top. The blouse sported an embroidered logo of some electro-metal band from Japan that he had heard of but had never listened to.
Shore found himself a little disappointed that that the unbuttoned neckline wasn’t plunging into more ample territory. His gaze progressed up to those smooth dark eyes that smiled at him.
She had come to within a few feet of him. He liked what he saw.
“Oh my God!” he thought, surprised at himself. “What the hell am I thinking?”
The girl was chewing gum and stood opposite him, jaw working.
“Where are you going?” Shore asked her.
Octavia looked at the guard-guy to Shore’s right and flashed him a smile.
“I’ve got some friends coming over. They’re flying in now.”
Shore frowned. “Why? You do know what time it is?”
“Yeah!” her voice had a slightly husky quality to it, definitely had a flirty intonation.
“And what are they supposed to be coming over for? You do know this isn’t your house anymore?”
“Mother says I have too much junk. My friends are coming to help me get rid of the rubbish. Apparently it is all over the house and she’s fed up with it getting in the way.” She beamed at him.
There was something in the way she said it that made him think there was some other meaning to her words. He searched them for some hint of euphemism but couldn’t find any. She was smiling at him so sweetly, so pretty, he couldn’t find it in himself to say no.”
“Alright but be quick and don’t get in my people’s way.”
She brushed one side of her hair behind her ear and her eyes sparkled.
“Thank you, you’re a star.”
Shore noticed the slight extension of the girl’s upper ear, forming a definite but slight point. He had a bit of a thing for elves.
Octavia bounced out of the room and he watched her, his eyes lingering on her posterior.
“She’s fifteen, you sick bastard,”
Shore gave a start at the quiet voice that spoke no more than a metre away from him. He hadn’t noticed the family’s butler standing there.
“Look at her like that again, sir, and I’ll put your eyes out. Got it?”
Equally quietly and full of threatening menace Shore said, “She’ll be begging to get with someone like me before long, you know. After her parents have been locked up and she’s destitute. It would be a better alternative to life on the streets. Innocent girls like he don’t last too long, on the streets.”
Brockleby’s jaw clenched and his body tensed at the implication. “You’d be surprised!” he didn’t say.
“Oh please do something, Mr Brockleby. I would love the opportunity to see how well the great Brocklesby and Reynolds partnership would handle the trained and armed men?”
Brocklesby was visibly shaking with repressed fury.
The sound of turbines whining loudly resounded up the hallway.
“What the hell?” Shore glared at Brocklesby and frowned seeing the equally quizzical look on the butler’s face.
He began heading for the front door.
Two large LAV’s in deep crimson and white colours had touched down on the front lawn.
Shore stood in the doorway to New Maristow House looking bewildered. He counted a total of fifteen troopers from Knight Errant, the international security company. They were accompanied by a woman in a suit.
Shore was familiar with Knight Errant. He’d been on both sides of their business over the years. They were amongst the best.
The woman, maybe in her early thirties, her dark hair pulled back into a bun spoke with the senior Errant trooper, who in turn issued orders to his team.
Several troopers peeled away and set themselves as human blockades on the driveway.
The woman approached the main house flanked by three Errants.
Shore appraised her bearing. She walked confidently in her knee length skirt and heels. This was a woman used to dealing with corporations. He noticed that she was looking straight at him.
“Good morning Mr Shore,” the woman said extending her hand forward.
Shore shook her hand noting her firm grip.
“You have me at a …”
“Millie George, Knight Errant Department Five. That would be legal,” she interrupted him.
“Okay,” he said drawing out the word. “But may I ask?”
“I represent the interests of the Magdalene Group and Baron Reynolds.”
Shore paused, nodding. “And which family’s Baron would that be?”
“Reynolds.”
Shore looked back over his shoulder at Mr and Mrs Reynolds accusingly.
Turning back he smiled. “I apologise but you’ve had a wasted journey, Miss George. The Reynolds family are no longer members of the peerage. I am here to ensure that the Lopes family interests are served. Therefore I am taking an immediate inventory of all items within the property, including the property itself and to ensure the Reynolds squatters are removed by sunrise, as per my employers instructions.”
“And therein lies the problem, Mr Shore. Department Five is of course aware of the legal case against the Reynolds family and tonight’s outcome. Now, as of yet no compensation or rectification judgement has been passed by the courts and if I am not very much mistaken, the King is the only person who can revoke a Title. That event in itself is likely to take several weeks unless there have been exceptional circumstances, for which this does not qualify. And I doubt very much that anybody has wanted to disturb His Majesty with this until morning.”
Millie George glanced at her troops’ commanding officer.
“Captain Anderson here will ensure the safety and sanctity of all Magdalene Group property and personnel using any means necessary. I would advise you and your security team to think about the situation seriously. At this juncture, you can rest assured that the law is with us. With that said and out in the open, perhaps you might consider it best to vacate the New Maristow grounds.”
Shore blinked rapidly.
He reached into his jacket causing the Errant troops momentary concern and to brandish their weapons in a more forceful manner.
“Easy!” he said moving more slowly. “I have a copy of the High Court verdict passed just this night. It decrees that the Lopes family are the true holders of the peerage title and that the Reynolds family are nothing more than criminal imposter. Therefore all property and rights appertaining to the Barony are Lopes’ and not Reynolds’. My employer, being the true,” he emphasised the word, “ Baron Roborough has instructed me as his agent to remove all unwanted residents and guests from his property.”
Millie Sighed.
“No it doesn’t,” she said. “The verdict merely declares that the court has found in the Lopes family’s favour, nothing more. Your employer is being premature and has made a request of you that you have no legal right to enforce. We however, have the full weight of British and more importantly Corporate Law behinds us. And to back that up I have a seasoned and heavily armed security team ready and prepared to repel all aggressors with extreme prejudice. Now, I am done bandying words, Mr Shore. You have ten minutes to gather your team and vacate our territory.”
“I need to make a call,” Shore said, the uncertainty obvious in his voice.
Millie George made a show of looking at her watch. “Time is ticking,” she said with raised eyebrows.
Shore barged passed Mr and Mrs Reynolds into the house.
His two men at the door glanced at each other, then at Miss George and the armoured troops behind her. They had come lightly armed, their dark fatigues were armoured but only offered minimal protections. The Knight Errant team looked like they were heading into a warzone.
“God dammit!” came a frustrated yell from inside.
Mr Shore came storming back out barging passed Mrs Reynolds so forcefully that he knocked her aside. She lost her footing on the step and fell.
Hearing the surprised scream Shore stopped and looked at the falling woman like someone watching an event they do not understand.
“Addanna!” Reynolds gasped lurching forward to try and grab his wife’s arm but he was too slow.
Addanna tumbled down the steps onto the gravel and lay motionless.
Everyone else was frozen, staring in stunned disbelief at the woman laid on the ground.
Silence pervaded the night; even the creatures out in the darkness were silent.
The moment was broken when a slight form pounced out of the darkness onto Shore’s back and punched him in the temple.
Shore staggered, his arms flailing to grasp at his attacker. He managed to bend forward making the form slide closer to his grasp as another punch smacked his cheek. His fingers clenched at long hair, gripped tight and pulled hard.
The form screamed and was thrown off.
Shore turned on the mystery assailant, not quite believing it was just a kid. The temple punch had threatened to black him out despite pain editors and a level of bone lacing.
He went to say something but Octavia came at him again, her left hand wind-milling in. it would be an easy block.
But Octavia dropped to her knees at the last second, scraping her legs across the rough granite chippings.
Her right hand shot out at blinding speed catching Shore right between the legs.
Naturally Shore crumpled, his eyes rolling back and hands instinctively closing in protectively in his injured tackle.
Octavia stood over him, fists clenched and rage oozing from every pore.
She glanced with no small relief to see her father helping her dazed mother to sit up.
There was an angry cut above her mother’s eye and her leg appeared to be sitting at an unnatural angle.
Again the seething girl looked at Shore and kicked him in the face.
He astonished father just blinked at her dumbfounded.
A gentle hand rested on her shoulder. She shot the owner a foul glare, tensing.
Millie George smiled warmly at her. “We’ll take it from here, Miss Reynolds,” she said and without further instruction two of the Errant guards stepped across and grasped an arm each, lifting Shore to his feet.
He immediately struggled.
“Quit it, Mr Shore,” Miss George warned. “You just had your arse handed to you by an unarmed fifteen year old girl. Lets not escalate this and cause you further embarrassment.”
Forcing himself to his feet he found his legs shaky.
He glared at Mille George but she was unflinching. She stared back, her own expression almost mocking and very much daring him to try something.
With barely contained anger Shore silently signalled for the Temple Security team to withdraw.
Last edited by Reynolds on Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Reynolds
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Re: Fall of an Empire.

Post by Reynolds » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:13 pm

They were gone within five minutes.
As the lights from their vehicles disappeared from view the ambulance arrived and the paramedics took great care of Addanna Reynolds. They placed her in the LAV and instructed the Baron to follow on separately.
Lord Reynolds was in the hallway, his daughter sitting on the floor beside him as Millie George entered.
“The team have secured the building but I don’t expect to see any trouble now.”
“Thank you,” Reynolds said. “How did you know to come so quickly? I hadn’t thought about calling Knight Errant.”
“We were contacted by one of the company leading shareholders.”
“Really? Was it Bob, or perhaps Helena Guthrie?”
“I am not sure I am at Liberty to say, sir,” she glanced down at Octavia as the girl stirred at clambered to her feet.
Reynolds followed her line of sight.
“Oh, it’s okay, Miss George you can speak freely in front of Octavia.”
“Sorry Lord Reynolds it is you whom I am unsure about speaking about this. The shareholder….”
“It’s fine Miss George,” Octavia said.
Millie smiled politely and nodded. “I’ll just need a signature, Miss Reynolds.”
“I called her, dad,” Octavia said.
“You? How did you know and why did they even respond to you?”
“I’m a shareholder.”
Reynolds laughed but Millie didn’t and that made his laugh fade almost instantly.
“When grandfather died,” Octavia explained.
“He owned fifty percent of the company and his shares were sold off. Did he pass a few to you?”
“Not exactly,” she replied a little sheepishly.
“Come on sweetheart, out with it.”
“He owned another company, which he gave to me. Skyforge. I’m the owner of Skyforge, father.”
Reynolds couldn’t believe his ears. Skyforge now owned forty percent of Magdalene Group and was represented on the Board by old-man Kessler.
“The thing is, dad, Skyforge own Iberman Investments, Kolnge Incorporated and Rift.”
Reynolds did a quick calculation. “That’s sixty percent of the company?”
Octavia nodded.
“With my fifteen percent and your mother’s, that means we own all of Magdalene?”
“No father, you own twenty five percent. I own the rest.”
“But why you? You’re just a child?”
“Grandfather saw something in me that he didn’t see in you. Without meaning to be cruel, you’re soft, dad. Lovely, but soft. Grandfather knew this day could come and had prepared to keep the business out of Lopes’ grasp. Yes, they will probably get thirty percent, but the controlling voice will be mine.”

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