Chapter 2 - King of the World
"What do you mean, disappeared
?", Ravenna snapped, "How can the Pope
just disappear ? - it's unheard of !"
"Well, that's what the newspapers are saying", Mynaeris replied calmly, "And Fox of course, but you know enough to take what they
a large measure of salt".
Ravenna leaned forward in her chair, a fire in her eyes that Tobias had never seen there before. "What are they saying happened ?"
Mynaeris stood and walked over to her desk. From amongst her papers she pulled out a newspaper which she tossed onto the coffee table.
, Tobias said as Ravenna picked up the paper and began scanning the front page. "I thought you had more taste, Myn"
Mynaeris smiled, "It's supposed to be the most widely read newspaper in the country", she replied as she walked back to her seat, "I feel that
it's my job to know what rubbish the masses are being pumped full of and what they think", she grinned, "Plus I happen to consider it a highly
Ignoring the banter of old friends, Ravenna quickly ran her eyes along the page until she found the relevant passage. The shortness of the article did
nothing to quell her feelings of unease.
The whereabouts of Pope John Paul II were still unknown yesterday according to Vatican sources.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, insisted that there was no evidence of foul play and that
despite the preconceived notions of certain conspiracy theorists the disappearance has nothing to do with recent information transmitted from Vatican
astronomers based in the Antarctic.
Until such time as the whereabouts of the Pope are discovered, the duties of Supreme Pontiff will be performed by the cardinal secretary of state,
Angelo Cardinal Sodano.
Ravenna threw the newspaper down and rubbed her face before turning towards Mynaeris once more. "How long before you can get us the things we need
?", she asked quietly.
Mynaeris thought for a moment then crossed over to her desk and removed a small digital camera. "Come over here please", she said, "You too,
Tobias". She opened a door and led the way into a lavish bathroom with white walls, underfloor heating and large marble jacuzzi.
"Still living in the manner to which you are accustomed, I see", Tobias said with an admiring glance around the room.
"Of course", Myn replied, "But I doubt ..."
"We came here for passports" Ravenna interrupted as she stood at the doorway looking into the room, "Not for a tour of your bathroom, nice as it
may be". She crossed her arms and glared from Mynaeris to Tobias and back again.
"We need a white background", Myn explained pointedly ignoring Ravenna's ill-mannered interruption, "For the passport photos". She took hold of
Tobias's arm and stood him against the wall. Stepping back, she fiddled with the camera, aimed the viewfinder and pressed the button. Tobias grimaced
at the flash and rubbed his eyes. Myn checked that the photo was of acceptable quality before gesturing to Ravenna. "You next", she said as Tobias
made room for his companion.
"Normally I'd just send you both to Darcus and he'd take the photos at the same time as fixing up the passports", Myn explained to Tobias as she
lined Ravenna up for a shot, "But I need a few moments alone with you, John, if you don't mind". Tobias nodded his agreement as Myn continued;
"Ravenna, once I'm done here, Reikuro will take you across town with the camera while I speak to Tobias".
The camera flashed again.
"All done", Myn said, handing the camera to Ravenna who scowled at the picture on the small camera monitor. "I look like the living dead !", she
"Exactly", Myn replied leading them back into her office, "They are
supposed to be passport photos after all.
Ravenna tucked the small camera into her pocket; "Who's this person I'm supposed to meet ?", she asked as Reikuro appeared silently beside her.
"Darcus Fecque", Mynaeris said, "The best forger this side of the Atlantic. He's been doing a lot of work for me recently, especially since this
was setup. It's a joke I'll tell you that. Elections ? What elections ? - the result is a foregone conclusion".
"We've been, well, out of the loop recently as you know", Tobias said as he closed the bathroom door, "What elections ?"
"For leader of the World Community", Mynaeris explained. "Thirteen candidates from all over the world. Hang on, I've got the bumf here
somewhere". And with that she strode over to the desk and began rummaging through her papers.
"Excuse me", Ravenna butted in, "But don't you think we need to be going if we're supposed to meet this 'Darcus' character ?"
Mynaeris looked up from her desk. "Good idea", she said with a smile, "Reik - watch out crossing Aldgate. You know what happened last time".
Reikuro nodded and with a grin opened the door and ushered Ravenna out of the office.
"I won't ask what happened last time", Tobias said once the door was closed once more.
"Best not to", Myn replied with a smile and went back to work. Tobias shook his head and waited.
"Got it !", Mynaeris said at last, and reached over to hand a folded piece of paper to her companion.
The soldier took it and read it quickly, a frown crossing his face.
"List of Candidates for position of President of the World Community.
", Tobias read aloud. "George W Bush, Anthony Blair, Henry
Kissinger, Ariel Sharon, Vladimir Putin, Javier Solana
, ... who's he ... Solana ?"
"EU's foreign secretary until the WC came into being", Myn explained.
Tobias nodded and continued, "Robert Mugabe
... No fecking chance, Dieter Ignatius, Helen Bach, William Patel, Anna Key, Ronald McDonald,
". Tobias sighed and shook his head again. "Mugabe hasn't got a chance in hell, Britney will get the young neanderthal and old
perv vote but that won't be enough for her to win, and the rest are unknowns from God only knows where". Tobias handed the voters card back,
"Blair's screwed because most of Britain hates his guts, and the others haven't got much strength, militarily speaking. That leaves ..."
"Exactly", Myn said. "Forgone conclusion - Bush's people will fix this
election the same as they did the US Presidentials".
Tobias groaned; "That's all we need", he said, "George Bush - King of the World
[edit on 30-3-2005 by Pisky]