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 Epilogue, part 1

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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Epilogue, part 1   Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:55 am

He still wasn’t sure why he’d decided to pick the magazine up. It wasn’t exactly his usual type of read, and these days he was more likely to be flicking pages on the tablet computer than he was browsing left-over magazines. They were just so, so…old fashioned! But for whatever reason he’d reached out that morning and taken the copy of Country Life from the top of the pile. And that was how it had all started.

He had been sitting in the hospitality suite – the green room – at the BBC’s radio studios in West London. Running early for a live to air interview to discuss his various projects and pick some tracks that had influenced him, he’d had some time to kill, and had told a slightly flustered production assistant that he’d be absolutely fine in there until they were ready for him. He’d dumped his coat – a rather snazzy black and purple number - on a chair, and then stood for a few minutes looking out of the window over a London skyline blanketed in thick wet November snow. He hadn’t been in the UK much over the last year or so, and so this sort of cold had almost become a novelty, but it reminded him of another place that was once home, and he smiled to himself for a second remembering childhood snowmen. Simpler times.
 
He’d turned away from the window and found a seat, sipping slowly from a bottle of water he’d taken from the offerings which lay on a low table at the side of the room. He hadn’t eaten that morning, but couldn’t face the heavy pastries that were laid out. Not his thing.
 
So instead he’d sat down, folded his long legs in front of him, brushed a strand of hair away from his eyes, and smoothed the lines of the black jacket he was wearing. He’d turned his mobile phone to silent mode, and had closed his eyes, taking his mind into a state of calm. Some people claimed they needed time to stop and think. He was different – he sometimes needed to be able not to think of anything.
 
But for whatever reason, it wasn’t really working today, and so that was when he’d looked to the pile of magazines on the table to his right. Unlike your average doctor’s waiting room, these weren’t aging and dog-eared 2nd hand relics. They were all current, and most concerned the media game in one way or another, as you might expect given the location. But amongst them, perhaps also fittingly for the celebrity faces that might spend time in the room, there were magazines on fashion and high-living, and on the top, none other than Country Life – the bible of the hunting, shooting, and fishing set. He certainly didn’t subscribe to that little club, but nonetheless, he sometimes found their  pretense amusingly OTT, so for want of anything better to do, he’d grabbed the magazine and started to flick through.
 
As expected, it was full of adverts for bespoke leather and tweed goods,  articles on how to have the perfectly managed stable, and a review of the new Land Rover, all far removed from his tastes. But towards the back was a section on properties for sale. He’d been vaguely entertaining the idea of returning to a home in the UK at some point, so he started to pay further attention.
 
Then he’d seen it. The advert, spread over a full two pages. For a few seconds, he’d just stared at it, not quite sure if some reflected memory was somehow playing tricks on him. Some hang-up from earlier reminiscences because he was back in England for a change.
 
But he’d soon realised his eyes weren’t playing tricks. The advertisement was genuine, the details  were correct, and the series of photographs showed the locations he was so familiar with. He’d slept in that guest suite, eaten in that dining room, walked in those grounds.
 
And ended friendships and families in that library.
 
And now it was for sale.
 
Asterson House was up for sale.
 
At that moment he had become aware of a voice, someone saying his name
 
“Mr Novaar?”
 
It had taken a second for him to force his brain to stop his eyes focussing on the page and turn his attention instead toward the door. It had opened, and the production assistant’s head had appeared in the gap. She’d had a slightly quizzical look on her face, and My-ron had realised she must have been there a few seconds.

She’d coughed an apology.
 
“Sorry, I just said we’re ready for you now, Mr Novaar?”
 
My-ron had forced himself to answer, flashing a smile through his painted lips.
 
“Yes, sure, sorry, I’ll just be a second”
 
He’d watched as she ducked out the door, and then he’d stood, stuffing the magazine into the pocket of his coat.
 
The question kept running around his head
 
How could Asterson House be up for sale?
 
He’d followed the production assistant into the studio, shaken hands and smiled at all the right people. He’d made the points and squeezed in the plugs that he’d wanted to, and they seemed pretty satisfied. But when he’d listened to a recording of the show the next day, he couldn’t actually remember being asked any of the questions, and it was apparent he’d done the entire thing on a sort of auto pilot.
 
It had been the same at further appearances during the day – physically he’d been there, but mentally he was a thousand miles away. Luckily he’d always had a knack of being able to still be entertaining even when his mind wasn’t totally on what he was doing. Even now, some 24 hours later and back at the hotel suite sitting in front of a TV screen he wasn’t really watching, he couldn’t concentrate on the memo he was supposed to be reading. Each time he’d start in, his brain refused to focus. Instead it kept asking him the same question.
 
Why was Asterson House up for sale?
 
My-ron reached out a hand and picked up the wine glass to his right. As he lifted it, the light caught the edge of the glass and it shone like crystal.
 
Like old, valuable, lead crystal, the sort he remembered drinking from…
 
And in that moment, his mind wandered, recalling the first time he’d set foot in Asterson House. It was some time ago now even to those with an objective view of time, but from his perspective it seems lifetimes, eons ago. He was little more than a boy really; a wannabe who was working whatever wrestling dates he could in whatever dingy cold and damp community centre they could erect a ring in. He’d been playing at the business then – dreaming of bigger things but never really believing they might actually happen. And then that fateful meeting in Hillsborough that started all of this. He’d been invited for a weekend of training – a casual invitation which at the time had seemed such a big deal to him – and had shown up determined to prove he was “one of the boys in the business” and be as cool and nonchalant as possible about the place. But it was impossible. Asterson was a magnificent house. A massive edifice of golden Cotswold stone nestling in the Oxfordshire hills and surrounded by perfect grounds. It made such a statement that for a kid from a Northern metropolis like Sheffield, it may as well have been a different planet.  He remembered just standing there for several minutes, taking it all in. It may not have been entirely his style of house – there was a stark difference between it and his Tokyo and LA homes – but truth be told he’d never stopped admiring the place.
 
He’d finally walked up the entrance steps with such hope in his heart. That was what he remembered, the hope he’d had.
 
And that was what had been lost since. Hope.
 
When he walked up those stairs for the last time, he’d know that there was no hope, not any more.
 
That had been a year ago. That night when he and Luke had confronted the demon that was David Shand. When he had watched as the demon was put down for a final time. As his sins were revisited on him, and as for the only time in his life perhaps, David Shand didn’t have an answer, an escape plan, a way out.
 
A year ago and yet My-ron could remember it as though it were yesterday. The images were still clear in his mind. The posturing, the accusations, the incredulity, the shock. He could hear Luke’s words as he cursed and disowned his father as My-ron looked on. He could hear the venom David spat in their direction, and he could hear the final promise David had made.
 
“I’ll kill you for this My-ron, you know that, don’t you?”
 
But above all else, he could hear his own voice, and see his own image. He could see himself strut before David, he could see the exaggerated gestures he’d made, the theatrics he put into the delivery. He could hear the tone of his voice, the exaggerated pitch and the coldness of the delivery. And it was obvious that for all his regret, despite himself a small part of him enjoyed that moment of triumph. He’d always known about the darker side of his personality. The darkness to his light. The Vampire to his Cyberstar. In many ways it was what defined him. Yes, he knew that the darker side of his nature had even enjoyed some pleasure from delivering the words that were like nails in David’s coffin.
 
The part he had played in breaking father away from son.
 
And it wasn’t a feeling he had been comfortable with. Then, or at any time in the past year when he’d looked at Luke.
 
As he stirred from his thoughts he was surprised to find that he’d got out of his seat and had walked over to the windows, staring blankly out into the evening. He turned and placed the glass down on top of a chest of drawers, and as he did so he cursed to himself.
 
Why now, why was this coming up now, and why was he letting himself get dragged back into the past? He’d spent enough of his life walking in those shadows. Hell, he’d said it often enough. So why was he stood here dwelling on the past?
 
And that’s certainly what David should be. Shand was a figment of his past, a ghost which had been laid to rest and moved on from. He chastised himself – it was stupid to bring it all up again. He ought to just let it go.
 
He rationalised it to himself. So what did it matter if the house was up for sale? Shand had a half dozen houses across the world so was it really that strange for him to sell one? And why do you care anyway – if you never saw him again it would be too soon. The man used you. Your whole adult life the man used and abused your friendship and your trust. You hate him, and you have every right to. Whatever he decides to do doesn’t matter one iota to you.
 
But then that little voice.
 
It does matter though, doesn’t it? You know it does. You know that if Asterson is for sale, there’s more to it than Shand simply selling his house. And you know full well that you want to know what that is.
 
So, despite the history, despite the past, and despite his best instincts for self-preservation telling him otherwise, My-ron picked up his laptop and started to search.

.......................

Dawn came late on that November morning, almost as though the entire city wanted those extra few minutes of rest before it finally submitted to the cold winter day. The sun didn’t make it high into the sky at this time of year, and as a result there was a blood red tinge to the sky as the first light crept through the cracks in the curtains.

Not that it mattered to My-ron. He seemed to need little sleep anyway, but last night his head had never seen a pillow. He’d remained at the laptop, searching for information, scribbling notes, even making telephone calls to countries across the world. He more he discovered, the more strange it seemed. Asterson House was indeed for sale, but that wasn’t all. It seemed that Shand’s properties in the Maldives and Italy had also been sold in the last 6 months, and just last month the Montana ranch had been put on the market. One house being sold was perhaps explainable, but four being sold all at once? That was something different.

At first, My-ron had wondered if there was a financial reason. After all, the economic climate over the last five years had hit even the biggest companies. It would be unusual, but perhaps David had over-extended the business. However, he’d been able to dispense with that theory pretty quickly. For one, the size of Shand Holdings meant that if it did ever go belly-up, not even David’s impressive property portfolio would make a dent. But more importantly his research hinted at no dent in the company’s rock-solid stock or position. He’d spoken to McIntyre, who still had some contacts inside the Canary Wharf HQ, and Neil had told him that everything indicated the company was as good as ever.

However, the conversation with McIntyre had yielded some rather more interesting news. It seemed that Shand had scaled back his role in the company over the past year. He’d not officially given up any power or position, but it was said he rarely attended any meetings now, and dealt with all business through correspondence. That seemed odd to My-ron after Shand had been so keen to take control again when he returned in 2011. He’d asked McIntyre to see if he could find out more, and ten minutes ago an email had arrived.

“My-ron.

No-one seems to know much more about what’s happening with Shand.

Look, I have found something. TBH, I wasn’t sure I should give you this, but here goes. When I said he dealt with all business through correspondence, I meant actual correspondence. It seems everything is sent to a PO Box address. Its weird

Shand Holdings
PO Box 392927
Silbermann Street
Inverness, Scotland

My-ron, I have to say this. Be sure you want to get involved in this again. Are you sure you can’t just let this go?

Neil”

My-ron sighed to himself. He wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure about any of this.

There was a flight to Inverness leaving from London City Airport in 4 hours.

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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogue, part 1   Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:55 am

OOC: Written with input from Myron. Part 2 will follow shortly.

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Julius Seizure

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogue, part 1   Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:01 am

Part 2???

Come on, you're ill, you got no excuse!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Epilogue, part 1   Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:22 pm

I keep meaning to get to this but never seem to have the time. If I don't feel so awful tomorrow I might give it some further thought.

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lonewolfshanehunt

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogue, part 1   Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:27 pm

Mate, you really need to return to competitive RPing. You'd destroy everyone!
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PostSubject: Re: Epilogue, part 1   Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:08 pm

Started writing some more today but I feel so shite I got about a page in and couldn't focus on it. I have it mapped out in my mind though, so once I feel better, it'll get done.

And Wheato, thanks for the compliment, but I'm not sure it was ever about that for me. And I'm not sure I'd want to do it again now.

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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogue, part 1   Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:05 am

Part 2 will be up this weekend!!!

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