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 ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner

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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:19 pm

[Obligatory warning: The next couple posts will involve no small amount of blood, gore, and perhaps language.]

“Kamren,” he started as if tasting the man’s name on his tongue for the first time. “You misunderstand me.”

Bathed in the light of the full moon and backlit by the glow of the party, the two delegates stood alone on the balcony. The conditions were perfect: no cloud cover in sight, no wind to speak of, and a blind spot in the security. Yusuf and Kamren’s twenty minutes were up, show time.

“My father,” Yusuf continued, his English no longer broken and only slightly accented by the mounting venom in his voice. “Was an awful awful man. He left my mother before I was born, but I found him not twenty years ago.”

He paused here and downed his drink in a similar fashion as the last one.

“Yes, I found him with another woman—some whore—and we talked and talked. Oh, how we talked…I fondly remember his screams even to this day.”

Yusuf cast his gaze over to Kamren as if implying some inside joke.

“He begged for mercy, he told me he would do anything; he even had the audacity to call me his ‘sweet son’. And you know what? I almost believed him, I almost believed him until I looked into his eyes.”

Yusuf’s black eyes drilled into Kamren trying to judge his worth.

“I looked into his eyes and saw nothing. No love, no remorse, and no humanity…” The warlord sighed deeply electing to leave the rest open to interpretation. “You know Kamren, I’m telling you this because I want you to know someone when you leave here tonight.”

Yusuf flashed one last metallic grin.

“Farewell, Minister.”

No sooner had the words left the Somalian’s mouth, than two gunshots marred the quiet evening from atop a distant knoll and forever changed the course of history. One bullet tore towards the English minister’s vulnerable chest and another whizzed for the Somalian strongman’s black heart. The two men would indubitably soon find themselves in a better place.

---------------
In the distance, those observant enough might have caught a short-lived flash of green. This was how Jennifer Oswald’s short career as an unwilling assassin ended. Her body would be found a few hours later near a particular French couple’s yacht with the fingerprints to match the hastily disposed of weapon. Nothing remained to trace the crime back to its true mastermind.
Now, this was politics at its finest.
---------------

One never quite got used to getting shot. The bullet that should have killed Yusuf in less than a few heartbeats crumpled against his ever-present bulletproofing charm and sent him like a ragdoll back into the main room. His chest ached, blood ran down the back of his head from where it hit the floor, and his breaths came unevenly, but he was alive.

Could the same be said of the esteemed Kamren Jennson?

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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:19 pm

To be told he'd misunderstood the man was not something that came as a surprise to Kamren. The broken English, and obvious ability to have a message lost in translation was not one that the Minister was worried about.

However, for the first time that Kamren had been speaking to the Somalian, the larger man's accent was fading, his English growing with much more confidence with each word. An unsettled feeling began to creep in to the Minister's gut in that moment, but despite the warning signs starting to show, Kamren just put it down to distrust of the man before him. Not that he'd trusted him to begin with.

The Somalian was speaking of his father in a manner that showed obvious distaste. The subject was not a new one, Clarinda and he had been through situations with father figures not being good enough. And, whilst the situations were vastly different, Kamren could empathise with the moment. But, Kamren couldn't quite piece together the reasoning for this information. It held... in his own mind, little to do with the vote, but it was a personal story. One that was not a customary conversation for the event they were at.

When Yusuf had finished explaining the story, and then explained why he had told Kamren what he had, Kamren couldn't help but frown slightly. The goal of this Summit was not to go away 'knowing' people. The goal was to do the right thing, the thing that would ensure that future generations would be able to live happily, safely...

“Farewell, Minister.”

"Wa-"

Kamren's word didn't finish, though, the sound of two gun shots registered two moments too late. The first Kamren knew of the bullet that hit him from behind was the painful, piercing feeling, just to the bottom of his left shoulder blade. The gasp that left him as the force pushed him forward and down to his knees would likely have been audible as he collapsed back in to the room of the gala.

The pain lit up like wildfire in the Minister -- the man found only a moment later as he tried to breath in normally that there was a tightness in his chest he'd never felt before, his breathing... sounded ragged, uneven, laboured. Kamren could feel his eyes growing wider as the realisation set in, and then the panic, his right hand moving to his chest, the source of the immediate pain, which was... wet...

Bringing his hand away, Kamren's eyes caught the red of the obvious cause of the wetness in his chest. Blood.

"No..." Kamren managed, voice barely audible because his breathing was both much too quick, and much too difficult. The shaking hand managed to plant itself back on the floor, steadying the British Minister as he tried... to no avail, to work out what to do.

"Clar..." The man mouthed, trying to call for his wife just over four and a half thousand miles away. To the woman he knew could fix this situation in a heartbeat, but who he'd chosen not to bring with him. Chosen, because he never wished to burden her with his own job when her own was so much more important than his. His arms tried to move forwards, to move himself closer to the guests in the room, to help...

But, the pain ripping through him in that moment, the pain was making everything much too hard, and his arms gave out beneath him as his body let out a groan. The warmth of the blood on his stomach was trying to push him towards operating, but Kamren's body was not processing normal bodily functions.

A cough rattled through the Minister's body as he tried to suck in another breath, to little and less avail...

The wedding procession started and everyone's eyes turned to the back of the Church to show the arrival of Clarinda Warren. The young Healer looked most beautiful in the perfectly white dress she'd chosen for the day, and her smile, ever so radiant as it always was when they looked on one another made Kamren's heart swell with pride. Clarinda had chosen him, accepted him, loved him with all she had, and today, they would become equals in the name of God.

The word 'help' rose and died on Kamren's lips as he tried to push himself back up, a pool of red now seeping out from beneath him as he tried once more. It wasn't working.

The face of his beautiful daughter came to the forefront of his mind. The child who had been a handful ever since Clarinda and he had adopted her, but a child whom Kamren loved more than he could ever have told her. Lux, whom Kamren had told softly as she slept the morning of his departure how much he loved her, before placing a soft kiss on her forehead.

Kamren's body shuddered in resistence as he pushed himself up, the effort making him cough once more. A cough the sent flecks of blood out in front of the British Minister on to the perfectly white tiles.

Another groan left Kamren's lips as he tried to move, his body thinking for a moment to do as it was bid, but giving out half way.

Kamren's eyes fell upon the wedding ring on his left hand, the gold band engraved with two initials, intertwined as one.

Knowing, now, that the second letter was going to be left in this world.

Without him.

Kamren's hand closed enough so his thumb could touch the C on the ring, a silent promise that no matter what, he would never stop loving the witch who'd become part of his life by pure accident. Someone who'd become is whole life through choice, through chance, and in love.

Clarinda Jennson, the woman who made the Minister of Magic the man he was today, was the last person Kamren saw of this world.

The Minister's eyes glazed over as his last breath failed, as his heart gave one last, pathetic beat. Eyes firmly on the ring he'd been given almost thirty years ago.

Not two minutes, and the life of the Minister had been ripped from him.

Ripped from him before a whole room of people who would, momentarily, be prime suspects in his murder.
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Louis Clement
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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:41 pm

Louis' evening had brought him before the Indian delegates, with whom the Clements had little and less business. Louis' eyes were on the Greeks and the Sri Lankans, in truth, but it would be much too obvious what he was trying to do if he made a beeline for them. After all, they had all evening.

Vanessa had, not to Louis' surprise, ensnared the German delegate, and she was happily dancing with the man as Louis stood talking politics. The difference, though, was that Louis was being obvious in his maneuvers, Vanessa had the harder job of making it look less forthcoming, as was the beauty of the role of the female in politics. And, Vanessa Clement was very, very good at this, much better than her husband, in fact.

"And, tomorrow's vote, it will be interesting, yes." The Indian delegate continued, Louis' attention coming back to the man before him. "With so many people unsure, or hiding their cards." Louis smiled politely at these comments, the number of delegates who believed themselves to be being sneaky, but the Clements had worked them out. One by one.

Even the Somalian delegate.

Just as Louis was about to reply with a number of unintoxicating remarks on the subject, the sound of two shots went up. Many people may have mistaken them for fireworks, but Louis' years in the military told him enough in that moment. Sniper fire. "Ven... Excusez-moi." Louis said, though he had already begun to move in that moment, not waiting for his own dismissal from the people.

Throughout the night he'd kept his wife's presence known at all times, not wishing for Ven to be unprotected in a room full of people believing themselves to be powerful. It, therefore, came as no surprise to Louis that, by the time people were starting to panic, the music falling short, and the worry to start to affect people's movements, that Louis reached his wife.

"Ven, viens, nous devons partir." Louis insisted, and the slightly whiter features of Louis' features would be enough to tell the witch that this was not okay. That she -- because Louis would never put anything above Vanessa -- was no longer safe. That they must get safe, because the thought of losing Vanessa again was unfathomable to the Lord Clement.

But, even as Vanessa spoke in that moment -- words to deter their departure as she excused herself from the German delegate, the sight that came through the doors of the balcony, the view that came before Louis made the Frenchman pull Vanessa close to him, her back firmly to the situation unfolding.

"Ne te retourne pas, ma chérie," Louis whispered softly, eyes drifting down to his wife's in that moment as he held her close to him, protectively to him. "C'est ... le ministre britannique." He added softly as the gasps, the calls for help, the panic, the shouts of people telling someone to help the Minister. The screams of the women.

Everything, was amassing to a mess, but so long as he had Ven, securely held to his side, and knew she was safe, Louis could ignore the light tremor in his body that swept through him. He could ignore the memories of the army life he'd left behind all those years ago, and the fear of losing the one person he loved.

Because Vanessa was safe, and that would be all that ever mattered, no matter the cost.



viens, nous devons partir -- come, we must leave.
Ne te retourne pas, ma chérie -- Do not turn around, my darling
C'est ... le ministre britannique -- It's... the British Minister

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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:01 am

Rebecca laughed softly as the American delegate engaged her in light-hearted conversation, the two couples feeling at ease with each other--far more so than they probably would have with some of the older delegates anyway. She opened her mouth to respond to his question, getting out the words, "Well, I've been--" before two loud, distinctive cracks broke through the air.

Gunshots.

In an instant, her wand was in her hand, and she was turning toward the origin of the sound. As per her training, she had already scoped out every possible escape route from the moment they'd entered the room, and she now scanned the doors closest to them, making sure the way was clear if they needed to run.

Lucien's hand found hers as the two Canadians laid eyes simultaneously upon the scene unfolding by the open balcony doors.

Lucien's breath caught, his eyes widened in horror and disbelief as the British Minister fell to the ground, a pool of blood beginning to form underneath him as the older man struggled in vain to push himself back up. He felt Rebecca's hand slip from his, and watched as if in a daze as she ran across the room toward the dying minister, wand out, and head clear as it always was in a crisis.

The same could not be said for Lucien. The Canadian delegate froze, the scene replaying itself over and over again in his head as the shock gave way to panic, which in turn gave way to a single burning fear.

"Rebecca!" he shouted, shoving his way through the panicked masses after his fiance. He skidded to a halt beside his better half, who knelt before the prone form of the British Minister, the ever-growing pool of blood soaking through her dress. Her wand hovered over him and she muttered a long string of basic healing spells under her breath, managing to clear up some of the blood, but not much else. Her auror training taught her basic first aid, but this? This was well beyond her capabilities.

"Fuck," she whispered, slumping slightly and retracting her wand resignedly, her hands slick with blood. The Minister's eyes had glazed over, and the man had stopped moving. It was too late.

Rebecca jumped back to her feet and ran out onto the balcony, scanning for any sign of movement in the distance, intuitively picking out the best places for a sniper to hide, and searching each one as best she could in the dark. The night was quiet. The assassin was long gone.

Just in case, the young witch went through a short series of protective charms, sealing the room inside a general protego totalum, hopefully ensuring no further attacks. Then she turned to survey what else required attention, shifting her gaze to the Somalian delegate who lay unconscious on the floor with a gash in the back of his head.

She knelt beside him, determining his wounds to be superficial for the most part. He was not in any immediate danger, though he probably had a concussion. She patched up his head with an episkey, and cleared the blood with a tergeo, before standing and taking stock of the other delegates swarming about the room.

Her gaze met Lucien's. He had watched her rather helplessly as she'd performed her duties swiftly and automatically, but now that that was done, he glanced down once more at the dead Minister. He knelt, feeling slightly sick to his stomach. There was nothing he could do, but it felt wrong just leaving him there. He gently reached out a hand and closed the older man's eyes, his stomach lurching as he touched the still warm body of a man whom he had seen alive and well not ten minutes ago.

He felt Rebecca's hand on his shoulder and he rose, a feeling of numbness washing over him as the events of the night sunk in, and he became aware of the other occupants of the room once more.

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Mycroft Holmes
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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:25 am



"Mycroft is everything okay over there?"

Much had changed since he had left the summit; for one thing his sister had decided to open up more and seek him out. And while he would be thrilled to bits at this chance, the islands threatened his sanity every day. Each and every day people argued and it was clear to him that he was incredibly naive in thinking that this could be a prosperous event.

"I'm fine mon coeur" he whispered.

"Myce you're lying to me"

His lip twitched. Whenever Tess went into her nickname for him, it was to distract him into telling he more. But he did not want to burden her with adult things; she was a child. Looking at their mirror of communication her eyes looked sad as she took him all in.

"Things are hectic here, but it's almost over. How is everyone?"

That set her off in talking about everything and he found himself pressing his cheek tighter against his hand. She looked lovely in her pajamas, no longer the child he knew. He missed her dearly and he knew that a part of her was doing this to make him feel better.

"Myce...come back to me okay? I-I don't know what I'd do if you didn't come back to me."

The shakiness in her voice made him a bit alert.

"Are you okay? Is everything okay?"

"Everything is fine...I just know it's dangerous over there. So many big names, the powers the tensions...you shouldn't be there. But you are and I can accept that...just...just come back okay?"

"I promise" his voice tight. "I love you"

A pause.

"I love you too. Be safe"

The end of a call.


....


Spoiler:
 

He wore a simple suit; he did not want big frill or to show off. He knew who he was and he knew that he had much to learn from the people around him. The moment he had entered he had tried to look for the Minister only to be kept behind by the representatives of Latin America.

Both people were very chatty and wished to debate the position. He was very vocal in what he said and stuck with the Minister. It was not a hard position to argue considering it was one that he believed it. Both people were charming but their hopeful demeanor showed him that they did not know of the internal politics of their world.

A shot made him freeze. He had not heard a gun in his life, but the tension that rose through the people gathered was clear. The women screamed talking about running away but he was firm in hopes of finding his mentor.

Pushing through people he apologized profusely but asked to see Kamren.

"Minister! Minister!" he cried out.

But no one was of any use. It was near the end of the hall when he found who he was looking for and all color drained from his face. There was the man that all of the UK admired, laying there and shot with a muggle weapon. He fell to his knees and reached for the man's shoulder, hoping to see some movement. But it was no use: the light in his eyes were gone. A tremor ran through him and he bit back tears.

He was frightened; he wanted everything to work out and yet he had lost a good man. A great man who had given him opportunities that he could have never dreamed of. He closed Kamren's eyes and begged for help.

This was a dark day.

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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:29 pm

Each wound—in Yusuf's considerable experience—had a character all its own, a uniquely exquisite character. Some wounds stung at first only to taper off into nothingness, another could lay dormant for years before surfacing in a fiery vengeance all its own, and then there were those that made life unbearable warping time itself as each passing minute felt like an hour and each hour a day. Perhaps 'character' wasn't the right word; flavor worked much better. Yes, a flavor and the Somalian fancied himself a connoisseur of the most discerning taste.

Surfacing from the brief depths of unconsciousness, the warlord startled from his unnatural sleep with a sudden ragged breath. Along with his newly found consciousness came the pain, the wonderful pain cascading through his body like a waterfall. His head throbbed making each heartbeat torture, the ambient light that once seemed a bit too dim now felt overpowering, and then there was the stabbing pain that blossomed from his chest with each breath. If this was his end? Well, then he could die a happy man.

Unfortunately for those gathered at the gala, this was far from the end.

Moving like specters through the crowd of delegates, two large men of Somalian descent found their way to their leader's side just as the well-meaning Canadian left him. Helping the strongman to his feet, not a single word was exchanged—this was business as usual. Instead, leaning on the shoulder of one of his personal guards, Yusuf made his way back to the bar where he had first met the now deceased Kamren.

"Vodka," the ailing man grumbled as he took a seat. "The whole bottle."

The bartender had long since disappeared so one of his men retrieved the half-empty bottle for him. Never one to stand on ceremony, Yusuf took a healthy swig of the drink and leaned his back against the bar as he gazed out at the mess he'd made, his masterpiece. To his right, one of his guards muttered protective spells over both himself and his leader while to his left the second bodyguard kept any curious souls at bay.

Surely, to any onlooker, he looked to be a man in shock.

His brow seemed permanently furrowed in pain, his breathing, while strengthing, still came in short breaths, and his bloodshot eyes bugged out ever so slightly. For perhaps the first time the entire summit the Somalian looked human, approachable even if not for his imposing companions. This notion, of course, could not be further from the truth as the devil's hungry gaze soon found the lifeless body of Kamren Jennson and, for the briefest of moments, a glint of triumph appeared in his eyes only to be snuffed out a moment later by another wave of euphoric pain from his chest.

Yes, those two bullets had indeed brought both Kamren and Yusuf to a better place.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:15 am

Much later, Jackson would reflect, tragedy often struck at the most inopportune of moments. Growing up in the heart of republican country in America, the young politician was no strange to gun violence. In fact, the failure of politicians and leaders to do anything about rampant gun ownership had made the community almost expect a shot on any given day.

And yet it still came as a surprise each time that blunt staccato was heard. When the shots sounded, there was no way Jackson could not recognize the familiar sound. No matter how lavish and secure the room, no mater how distinguished and well protected the guests, no matter how jovial the tones of interactions. A gunshot had a way o claiming center stage like nothing else, and here there were two.

Having grown up trained to respond to gunshots, the young wizards actions were quick, instinctive and self preservatory. Reaching out for Sasha's hand, the man immediately dragged her to the for where he himself had fallen, ripping the hem of her dress in the process. Jackson knew if more gunshots were to follow, their best chance was being lower than everyone else. If the redheaded made a sound, he ignored it, pushing her lower still and blocking as much of her slender frame with his own as he could.

Jackson watershed the death of the British Minister in fear, fear that he would be next. But when no one opened fire, the young wizard finally relaxed. the beeper in his jacket was already flashing, a sign that his own security team was aware of the situation and that he and Sasha were yet to be declared safe. As the stunned Canadian moved to assist his fiance, Jackson finally realized where he'd seen her

She was also part of the security detail the Canadian delegate had brought along with him.

Reaching into his coat, the raven haired young man squeezed the beeper gently, the device turned green and stopped flashing. informing the team that their principal and Sasha were safe. Turning to the redhead, he gently pulled her into a cuddle, simultaneously swinging the coat off his shoulders and draping it over her shivering form.

"You okay, Sash?" he asked, trying to avert her attention from the dead man. "We're going to be okay. Look, there's lots of security here now. You'll be fine."

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Sasha Denver
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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:36 am

Sasha did hear the gunshots too which made a girl be shocked. She had never yet experienced anything like that before. She had no idea what she was supposed to do in situations like this. All this was new for her for sure. Last a few months have been all part of new experiences for a girl.

Sasha suddenly was dragged where Jackson had fallen, which did even surprise her again. To be honest she still tried to understand what had even happened. Why those people were shot. Anyways she didn't even notice that hem of her dress was ripped there yet.

To be honest Sasha was even too shocked to make any sound even. She noticed from the corner of her eyes some people lying on the ground but she wasn't sure if they were dead or not since she couldn't really see. She was lowered towards the ground and was mostly protected by Jackson's frame to see anything.

She hoped that all this will be over soon and there won't any more gunshots which didn't really seem to happen there now. Sasha just wished all this will be over and she wouldn't really have to think about these events ever again. Well, she wasn't exactly sure even how all this did happen.

She looked towards Jackson when he said it was safe now and even asked how she was there now. "I'm okay I guess. Just probably still a bit of shocked what just happened," she said there simply. She didn't really smile this time since she didn't really wanna force herself to smile there now. The girl had looked at that man there now but she knew the memory of people being shoot might haunt her for a while.

"Oh, I'm glad it's over I guess," she added there now. She should really be freaked out probably but she just wasn't really. She barely knew anyone her, so she didn't really have any emotional attachment there too. So she will be eventually okay.

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PostSubject: Re: ICWW Summit: Gala Dinner   Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:27 am

For Vanessa J. Clement, it wasn't the gunshot that alerted her to the fact that something wrong. Not was it the static in the air that people claimed as premonition for such events. No, the Lady Clement was made aware of something irregular when she felt her husband grow tense, from all the way across the room. Before she had a chance to even turn and look his way, Louis was by her side and shielding both her body and her view. A moment later, the witch heard the unmistakable thud of a body hitting ground.

A lifeless body.

The sound was followed by a stunned silence which broke almost immediately as some moved to protect them and theirs while others moved to help the victims. Automatically, her eyes and ears tuned in to the reaction because Vanessa knew Louis would be observing the deceased and trying to work out the method and opportunity.

Which left her with the motives. Louis read crime scenes, his wife read people, and the data they came up with together was often faster and more accurate than any law enforcing authority. Vanessa noted the Canadians were the first to move in, a suspicious move disguised behind a caring facade? Or a genuine attempt to help? Predictably, the American ducked for cover and Vanessa's gaze swept past him to the young lady he was protecting, a very familiar redhead Vanessa had seen in her daughter's yearbook pictures.

Making sure the child was safe, Lady Clement moved on to the rest. The Somalian was up on his feet and to the bar. The Indians were still shell shocked and the German Chancellor beside her and Louis was also staring shrewdly around the room, apparently unconcerned for his own safety. "Si nous partons maintenant, il semblera suspect," she murmured softly against her husband's ears, squeezing his hand gently. She knew his fears, they mirrored ehr own. But she also held a deep belief in her heart that confirmed she would not die today.

Not like this.

Only minutes later, more Aurars and local police were storming the scene, guiding all the guests to another corner of the ballroom where they were asked to wait until they were interviewed upon what they saw and heard was was procedure. All the time, Vanessa remained with Louis, watching the mixture of emotions run high in the room. It took hours for everyone to be questioned but finally, they were allowed to leave. For now, everyone would remain a suspect until further investigation proved otherwise.

It is always darkest before the dawn, Vanessa thought to herself as Louis slipped a protective arm around her, guiding her out of the hotel and to a safe apparition point. Their boat, while only serviceable accommodation on a good day, seemed rather welcoming all of the sudden. It as with some surprise that Vanessa noted she was actually tired from the night's events.

Yet the surprises were long from over, as the Clements would find out near their state of the art yacht - in the form of a bloated corpse who would soon be identified both as the assassin responsible for the murder of Kamren Jensen, and a member of the Canadian security team. A close friend of a certain Rebecca Dryer - fiance to the seemingly harmless Canadian delegate.  

A murder on international waters, in a country exempted from the rule of law, by a man who looked like he could never harm a soul.

Now the game had truly begun.

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