“The bastards know we’re on to them now!” Hightower rubbed his hands together, a huge grin splitting his skeletal face.
“Your understanding of military strategy is highly overrated.” Fitzhugh replied in disgust.
“I beg your pardon?” Hightower’s smile faltered as he raised an eyebrow ominously.
“You’ve just sent them a fireworks display and a mile-high banner proclaiming: Here we are. Come and get us if you dare. You idiot!” Fitzhugh knew Hightower and the others needed his logistical skills too much to risk jeopardizing the entire operation. He saw Hightower’s jaw tighten when he, too, recognized how ill-advised releasing his legendary wrath in the Colonel’s direction would be. “Watson is going to go apoplectic when he gets wind of your little stunt. I don’t even want to contemplate how the Senator will react but trust I won’t be by your side when he learns what you’ve done.” Fitzhugh added with a shudder. The Senator’s outwardly calm demeanor had deceived many who dared cross him. He delivered his own brand of justice swiftly and completely.
“I’ll thank you to remember what I’m capable of.” Hightower’s voice softened but Fitzhugh recognized the uncertainty Hightower tried to hide beneath the menacing tone.
“I know exactly what you’re capable of. Potentially endangering the entire operation because you can’t control your damned temper!” Fitzhugh stormed out of the room to bring the others up to date, his mind already working on a plan to minimize the damage.
Realizing the current fiasco warranted a face-to-face meeting, Fitzhugh sat in the teleconferencing center, contemplating how he was going to share the latest setback with his cousins. He contemplated the amount of work they’d already put into building and preserving their power; how many years, generations even, had gone into the planning and the laying of groundwork, and how quickly one man’s untethered rage could bring it all down like a house of cards in a hurricane. Realizing he could no longer delay the inevitable, he glanced at the tech who waited, fingers poised over his keyboard and gave him a slight nod. A few moments later, Prime Minister Nathan Watson’s face appeared on the screen before him followed by the somber countenance of Senator Crutcher.
“Greetings, Cousin.” Watson’s cheerful voice made what Fitzhugh had to say all the more difficult. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Hullo Nate.” Fitzhugh replied, his dull tone communicating this was anything but a pleasure call. “All secure at your end?” His words a carefully crafted request for a private call between the three of them.
“Right and tight.” Watson responded in the same cheerful tone. “What’s the news from the Colonies?”
Knowing the Senator would dispense with formalities, Fitzhugh focused his attention on Watson’s mor...