Chapter 14: A Gamble
Morren’s father was a honest police officer. He was trusted by everyone and was someone you could always rely on. He died on duty, leaving the four year old Morren and his mother to fend for themselves They never had much money, so Morren’s mother worked in a factory. Twelve hours a day, trying to give her son a better life. Morren himself joined her when he reached the age of seven. Working long days in the factory under horrible working conditions. However they were happy. When Morren was sixteen years old, his mother died. He was left alone with no relatives. Life had been cruel on him, but instead of hating it, he embraced it. Honesty led his father into a bitter death and honesty led his mother into a life full of hardships. He was tired of living at the side of the weak. He would become like those who stood on top.
The conference room was completely silent as Shang and Morren were still looking right at each other. Shang had just proclaimed that he had proof of Morren’s wrongdoings. Which was not true. He was just bluffing. There was no evidence, nothing at all. Morren’s intelligence proved to be more than an obstacle then he thought. Morren left zero evidence that would trace cases like the previous chief’s untimely death to him. He hated to admit it, but Morren was smarter and more cunning than him. That’s why fighting on his level will only proof disadvantageous to him.
‘’Lorenzo, may I ask you a couple of questions,’’ he asked officer Lorenzo who was still standing next to him.
Morren was immediately alarmed when Shang approached Lorenzo. Lorenzo looked towards him for what to do. Why would Shang want to question Lorenzo, thought Morren. Does he know of that- No that’s impossible. There are no traces of evidence. Morren was conflicted he didn’t want take unnecessary risks, but pulling Lorenzo back would be too suspicious. He decided to let Shang speak against Lorenzo, and gave a nod of confirmation.
‘’Ask away Shang,’’ said Lorenzo. ‘’You’re still suspicious, so don’t think you have managed to restore faith.’’
‘’Oh I know. Don’t you worry about that, you just need to answer a couple of questions.’’
Shang was still not sure of how effective this would be. It all rested on the degree of how right Albert’s assumptions were. He told him yesterday in detail how the previous chief’s case was handled and what precisely happened. No sign of forced entry, but still a lot of damage in the house. Albert made a detailed course of events description for him. Firstly, someone that the previous chief knew came to his house in the middle of the night. The chief let him in and provided drinks for the both of them. Hence the empty glasses on the table. These glasses were thoroughly studied, but no sign of saliva was found in them. Albert presumed that the unknown acquaintance did something with the glasses. Poisoning is extremely likely, as the chief’s body contained a high dose of an unknown substance. It must have been a quick working kind as the chief probably began to feel the effects very soon. This was the moment the acquaintance took his chance and opened the door for more people to enter the house. The previous chief was a strong man, so they had to prepare all this measures to even stand a chance against him. A fight ensued. The chief fought back, but the poison must have meant his downfall. The house was afterwards cleaned for evidence. Leading them back to the situation where they are now. The unknown acquaintance must have been Morren. The case was shut-down, which proved the suspicion. Normally this would mean the end of any case. However Morren couldn’t have done this alone. As perfect as Morren is, his subordinates aren’t on the same level.
‘’Lorenzo, on the night of the chief’s death. Could I ask where you were?’’
Lorenzo was taken aback by the question, but he still managed to respond immediately.
‘’That’s a strange question. However if you really want to know. I was together with Morren analyzing a case in HQ. Are you implying something, Shang?’’
‘’I’m not implying anything. It’s just weird that you said that you were in HQ.’’
‘’Why would it be weird?’’
Shang could sense the uneasiness in Lorenzo’s voice. He was so close.
‘’Because we hav-‘’
Morren interrupted him before he could finish his sentence.
‘’That’s enough out of you, Shang. You don’t have the authority to question a police officer know your place. Judge, If you would like to stop this illegal action of the sir Shang. ’’
Judge Douglas was stroking his long beard calmly. He was interested in hearing more about this cases actually. The previous chief was a close friend of his. However he was to remain impartial at all times. Morren was right.
‘’Shang, you are to stop this questioning of officer Lorenzo immediately.’’
Shang cursed himself. If he was just a bit sooner, he could have had him. His wager had failed. There was no way he could restore the faith in the other officers. This was his defeat. Lorenzo was looking relieved. He didn’t waste any time in rubbing the loss in Shang.
‘’What a shame Shang. After such a speech you still didn’t manage to deliver. Just so you know, I have taken no part in former chief’s murder.’’
There it was the light at the end of the tunnel. The opportunity he waited for. Lorenzo had dug his own grave with those words. Shang looked at Morren, who had heard the slip-up too. He was boiling.
‘’Judge, can I ask one last question,’’ asked Shang.
‘’Only one, then you will return to your seat and not speak again during the course of this election.’’
Shang nodded in approval.
‘’Lorenzo, how did you know that Chief Dorem was murdered?’’
‘’Murdered? I meant to say passed away. It was just a slip of the tongue.’’
Lorenzo had replied casually, but it was clear that he realized his mistake. There was a lot of clamor coming from the other officers. They too found the slip-up strange. Judge Douglas silenced everyone immediately.
The officers stopped talking. Judge Douglas focused his attention on Shang.
“Shang, is there something wrong?’’
‘’There is actually, Judge. Everyone in this room heard of Chief Dorem’s passing. It was a natural death, one of old age.’’
‘’Well, he could have mistaken his choice of words couldn’t he?’’ said Judge Douglas.
Shang gave a big smile. Here it would come, the finishing blow.
‘’Maybe for us, but Lorenzo was in charge of the whole case. He worked days in unraveling the case. Such a slip-up is impossible for someone that wrote the cause of death in the case files!’’
A clamor broke out. It was complete chaos. Officers were throwing insults at Lorenzo and accusing him of the death of chief Dorem. The Judge tried to restore order, but to no avail. Lorenzo who was standing lifelessly tried to defend himself.
‘’Do you belief what these PSA rats are telling you? It was a simple mistake!’’
Benjamin stood up. He had been contemplating the whole time since Shang had confronted him. He now saw the true corrupt form of the police and he decided that he would no longer ignore or take part in it.
‘’Lorenzo, you liar. Weren’t you the one that spoke at the funeral and repeated his cause of death? How dare you speak shamelessly in front of us!’’
Shang was relieved. After all those psychological mind games, he had finally attained victory. However there was still a last obstacle to be crossed. He looked at Morren who was just sitting calmly on his seat. He showed no emotion at all and seemed to be in deep thought. The chaos surrounding him not fazing him in the slightest. What was he thinking at the moment…
Morren was reminiscing about his past. His father that came home late at night. He had been secretly staying awake the whole time. His mother scolded him, but they still sat with each other in their cramped up living room. A way too small apartment, no heating and just enough money to live. Still, those days were still a lot warmer than now. What was it that he sought? Power? Or the same warmth of those long gone days…
Morren suddenly stood up. He walked calmly to the middle of the room and took place at the stage. Nobody expected this sudden move, including Shang.
‘’I first want to congratulate Shang. Your performance was incredibly during this election of ours. You have deduced every move I made and would have made flawlessly. You were getting sloppy at the end, but your wager still paid off.‘’
‘’What do you mean to say Morren?’’ asked Shang uncomfortably.
‘’I’m just applauding your efforts Shang. I know what will happen now and let me just say... You won’t get your way Shang Archibald.’’
Those last words contained pure malice. Shang had finally broken his façade that was the real Morren. Still what did he mean-
Before Shang could finish his thought Morren already approached Lorenzo.
‘’Morren, I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention to use those words.’’
Morren was just calmly looking at Lorenzo. There was still not a single emotion coming from him.
‘’No, Lorenzo, I’m sorry.’’
‘’What do yo-‘’
It was too fast for anyone to react. The focusing of Zayr on Morren’s right hand and sound of Lorenzo death scream. Morren’s hand was pierced right throughout Lorenzo’s heart. Lorenzo looked with tears in his eyes at Morren. After only a couple of seconds, all the light of Lorenzo’s eyes vanished. Morren retracted his arm calmly. Lorenzo’s body lifelessly falling on the ground. A gaping hole in his chest. Everyone was too shocked to even react. Morren took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the blood of his hand and arm.
‘’What are you waiting for?’’ said Morren to the guards. ‘’Do your job properly and arrest me for murder.’’
The officers were taken aback, but listened to him. It was a weird sight to see the chief arrested in this way. As Morren was being deported he walked past Shang. He whispered something, so faint that only Shang heard them.
‘’Do you consider this a win, Shang?’’
With those last words Morren left the conference room. Shang exactly knew what those whispered words meant. They had cornered Morren, and finally could bring him to justice. However the only lead they had was lying lifelessly on the ground. The death of chief Dorem would be pinned on Lorenzo, and Morren would be just seen as someone that took revenge for the chief. An officer that took justice to the extreme… A complete joke. Morren outplayed them.
After Morren was taken away the election continued. Ninety percent of the votes went to Albert who thus became the new chief of police. The incident regarding Morren shook Aleandor and the whole world. Media talked about it fervently. During the emergency lawsuit the next day Morren admitted to being guilty of the death of Lorenzo. He proclaimed that chief Dorem was his friend and like a father. A lot of people were compassionate with Morren and it sparked many debates along the countries of Sphera. Morren was sentenced in the end to six years in prison. Because of his many years of service to the country and the surrounding conditions of his crime. He was giving a low sentence.
Black Turtle prison, Vana
‘’This is your cell Morren. We have given you an empty one, but don’t mistake it for charity. You are a criminal as long as you are here. Don’t forget that.’’
‘’I won’t, don’t worry, jailor,’’ said Morren.
After the jailor left, Morren lay on the provided bed. He began laughing. What gullible fools, all of them. They really believed that he killed Lorenzo for the chief? He couldn’t stop laughing. Only giving me six years in prison. They really don’t know who they are dealing with. He’ll just bide his time and wait for an opportunity to take his revenge. No more than revenge. He would create his own organization. With his connections and intelligence, no one would be able to compete with him. An organization that will finally give him the power that he longed for all these years. He raised his arm in the air. Clenching it into a fist.
‘’I will stand at the pinnacle of Sphera with my enemies laying death in my wake. The first one will be you, Shang Archibald…’’
- The Netherlands
Bio: We are a group of three aspiring artists that want to benefit the world and create a bright future for the next generations, or we would like to think so. So let’s begin the real introduction. We are three students who dedicate their free time to make a story that will last. Inspired by many fantasy novels and manga, we wanted to make a story that is both original and familiar. From these ideas we derived the story of LOTDL as we all know it. We try our best to improve and keep trying to gain more knowledge of the art of of writing.