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THE GATHERING CLOUD Eve was most happy when Kate called to inform her she was on her way to Alaska by air.  They had to find a place ...

Eve was most happy when Kate called to inform her she was on her way to Alaska by air.  They had to find a place to hole in and wait for Kate to join them. In Hawaii authorities were at loss as to what happened to the terrorist group who bombed two government facilities and took students hostage. Kate was confident that the explosions and the eight hour hostage taking of students would keep the police busy for long; at least long enough till they find a way to hit The Elite in a manner that would publicly unmask the evil they commit. As Kate made her way to Alaska, ideas ran through her head, she was determined to make use of her contacts in The Elite until she could no longer use them. By the time Kate had touched down at Alaska, she had thought through how to get Eve and those with her quickly out of Alaska. Going by road was risky, that much she knew. She had to go see Lombardi Peruzzo, a multi-millionaire Italian businessman who controlled a vast prostitution and drugs network in some North and South American countries. Lombardi was a member of The Elite but was not so deep as to know Kate’s position at that time. To show how low his ranking was, he was not even invited to the meeting of the lords of The Elite group in the submarine some months earlier.

Kate was certain that the man would get them to Arkansas quicker than any plans they could contrive would do for them. Lombardi had the means and the covering of The Elite to make that happen. To ascertain what Kate’s visit might bring, Lombardi had to make a few calls to a few of his contacts in The Elite, but his efforts came up short. Agents like Kate were like ghosts. They had access to the top most members of The Elite and carried out instructions from that level of The Elite. They could go about their assignments for years without being seen; and lived from nation to nation. In her young life, Kate had been to about seventy countries of the world and spoke several languages. For an agent as deep into The Elite as Kate, contacting Lombardi out of the blue bothered him somewhat. Her arrival could mean a lot of things, including his death if he had violated certain codes of The Elite. When Kate arrived at his palatial home, she was taken immediately to see him. “Your visit has me worried. I hope you have not come to take my head from where it stands,” said Lombardi, his English heavily accented with Italian. “I have no interest in your head, Lombardi. I need your help.” “What is it you need?” “I need a small plane to fly a few recruits to some location.” “How far will the plane fly?” “It will not leave the borders of United States.” “I have a hangar sixteen minutes away from here. The plane you need is there.” Lombardi rummaged in his office locker and brought out a white card. “Here is the location.” Lombardi handed her the location of the hangar. “Make the plane ready, I will get there in thirty minutes time with my recruits.”

“It will be ready by then.” Kate left Lombardi’s residence and headed straight to where she would find Eve and her team. The sight of Kate brought tears to Eve’s eyes. At first she could not believe that the lady who entered their midst was her cousin Kate Edward. She had a military build and a swift move about how she walked, even in how she talked. There was all over her the aura of self-assurance and confidence. For seconds they stood before each other saying no word; suddenly Eve put her hands around Kate and held her tightly. Tears flowed freely from Eve’s eyes. “I did not expect to see you again in this life. I and my mother were told all sorts of things about you, and all of them were bad.” Kate was hard; hard as steel. She was not the type to cry. She held Eve as firmly as she could and whispered in her ears, “How is your mother? I knew she was looking for me.” “You knew? Why didn’t you try to reach us?” “I did not want you people to see what I had become.” “Kate I am sorry for what my father did to you and your family.” “What are you talking about?” “It was my father who had your parents killed and recruited you into The Elite.” Kate pulled away from Eve and stared hard at her and then asked, “How did you learn this? My parents were not killed. They abandoned me for no reason. They are alive somewhere I search for them whenever I travel. I hope to find them someday and make them feel the same pain I have felt all my life.” “You are wrong Kate. Your parents were killed by my father. Don’t tell me you don’t know that my father, lord Fred, as they call him, is a member of The Elite and one of its most dangerous leaders? I think of him as the Anti-Christ.”

“I know he is a member of the Elite, but what I did not know was that he killed my parents and had me recruited into The Elite. When I joined newly he tried a lot to persuade me to leave the cult group. I dug my feet in and refused to leave. By then The Elite had become my life and only hope. It offered me reason to live on. For about four years now I have not seen your father. I have been avoiding him deliberately because I have been of the impression that he is angry with me for not leaving The Elite when he offered me the chance to.” “No Kate; all that was a stunt to deceive you. My father killed your parents and brought you into the Elite. That is the reason I fight the Elite. My mother knows this too.” Kate was stunned. She could not say a word. She looked at her wristwatch and whispered to Eve, “It’s time to go. I gave Lombardi thirty minutes to get to his hangar. Kate had not taken notice of Alejandro. Alejandro was content to let her have some time with her cousin. When their eyes met Alejandro smiled, but Kate could not manage a smile. She was seething with rage and felt betrayed. Alejandro hugged her and took hold of her hands. “I am glad to see you alive Kate.” Kate looked at him and her eyes seemed to go right through him; and she replied, “God saved me.”

On their way to Lombardi's hangar, Kate held Alejandro close to herself and said no word. Eve wanted to sit close to her and tell her so much but she made it clear to her that she did not want her close to herself, she whispered to Eve, “Your father killed my parents and destroyed my life. Give me some space please.” Eve was hurt. She knew what she and her mother had gone through in search of Kate. For Kate to brush her aside the way she did drove her nuts. She tried as hard as she could to endure it and wait for her to come round. On their way, Eve’s phone rang, it was Martin Douglas. He wanted to speak with Kate. Eve passed the phone to her. “Hello Martin!” “Kate where are you now?” “I am on my way to catch a flight. I am bringing the group over to Arkansas by air.” “Good. When you get here we will talk. It is about your parents.” “What is it about my parents?! Please tell me Martin!” Kate was not the crying type, but at this point she cried. The betrayal and the killing of her parents had left her torn. “You don’t have to cry, Kate. Before Justin Scott died, he said he was asked to kill your parents but he did not. Instead he spared their lives and hid them. That was one of the reasons The Elite came after him. He told us where they can be found.” “Are serious?! My parents are alive!” When Eve heard those words from Kate, she sat on Alejandro and dragged the phone in her cousin’s hand closer to her ears. The both of them listened to Martin with the phone in-between their ears. “But Martin, why didn’t you tell me all the while I was with you?” “Kate if I had told you, you would have left us to go find them just like you did when you heard your cousin was in trouble in Hawaii. That piece of information would have distracted you. We all decided to keep it from you. Your focus saved us back there. Thanks a lot. Get back quickly we are waiting for you.”

With the information that her parents were alive, Kate’s hard stance against Eve softened. “I can’t wait to see my parents. For years I hated and cursed them for abandoning me. I can’t wait to hear them tell me what happened,” said Kate to her cousin Eve. “I am glad to know they are alive. That gladdens my heart. We were told that they were killed. Maybe someone spared their lives.” Lombardi was true to his word and provided Kate a small jet to fly her team to Arkansas. On the plane all Kate could think of were her parents. A few times Alejandro heard her praying to God to forgive her for all the curses she heaped on them for abandoning her. The news of her parents being alive and the Elite having made moves in the past to kill them was a game changer. She was going to turn the group on its head. With an army of her own and the right contacts, she would tear them down to the ground. For once on that plane she smiled at Eve and said, “Eve, The Elite will hate the day they recruited me.”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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