Review of the first chapter...
Aster Tadleigh, Renowned journalist of the Westview Chronicle, just visited the prison of Christian Wyclef, leader of the Criminal Gang, the Order Of Righteousness. After learning the Orders' purpose and an alleged induction of a new leader, Tadleigh then learns that all the information he needs is within the Westview Government. Curious, Tadleigh decides to head to government base and see for himself...
As Aster drove through the stormy weather, Wyclefs voice still swam around throughout his head. "The only thing stopping you is law, justice, and your conscience. But are those elements truly powerful enough to stop you from knowing the truth?"
Obviously those elements weren't too powerful, because as Tadleigh drove through the stormy weather, flashing lights of the government base could be seen up ahead. Aster stopped at the gates. Getting through wasn't a problem, as he had a media pass to be able to inspect most places throughout the government. The sneaky part was being able to get into the computer room.
Quickly, Aster showed his media pass to the guard. "Sorry, I left something inside last time I was here," He shouted through the pelting rain. He knew it was the stupidest excuse he had ever thought of, but hopefully it was good enough to convince the guard.
Luckily for him it was. The guard simply nodded and let him through. Aster put his pass back on the dashboard and drove through towards the car park. Closing his door and hurriedly running under the cover before he got soaked, Aster opened the door and entered the tall stone gray building.
The Westview government base was really quite simple considering its large structure and level of importance. At the moment, Aster knew the whole building inside out. The ground floor consisted of the main office and reception with the staffroom around the back. The second floor was the offices for each of the government leaders, although with around five of them already murdered by the order some offices were used as just file storages. However, it was the third floor that held most of the important documents. The meeting room for all leaders was on this floor as well as the government's main network computer. This was where all records and files were kept, and that is where Aster was heading towards.
As Aster Tadleigh pressed the button for the lift, straight away the large metal doors opened. There wasn't a single person in the building at the moment except the occasional security guards, so waiting was not a problem. Aster stepped in and pressed the third floor button. As the lift zipped up towards it's assigned destination, Aster was starting to get worried. Not only for the fact that if he got caught he would face some huge charges, but because he was doing some extremely illegal for a reason that come to think of it, didn't really sound that good. It felt like greed consumed him; like at this time all that mattered to him was getting the truth about the order and making front page news. There was also that sense that what was inside of those computers was more than what Christian Wyclef let on to be. It was like as if finding the information would reveal to him a new side of the government and even a new side to him. Knowing this, reason and doubt flew out of Aster's mind. Suddenly the elevator beeped. As soon as the doors were apart, Aster walked through the third floor corridor.
Almost as soon as he had walked through the door, the network room was opened for him. All aster could see was a corridor which obviously led to the network computers. It was like someone had been expecting him, but Aster didn't think like that. Walking through the long corridor and sure enough, Aster Tadleigh found himself inside the network computer room.
The network room was as boring as the rest of the building, only with a whole lot of wires running towards the one computer in the room. It was the only room Aster had never been in throughout the whole building, and he was a bit surprised. "hmmmm..." Aster thought to himself. For a room that's so important, you would think there would be more computers that just the one." Wasting no more time on thinking, Aster sat in the chair. Straight away, the computer switched on. This shocked Tadleigh, who jumped slightly in his place. Files were flying all over the place on the screen, until suddenly one stopped and opened in place. Coincidental or not, it stopped at a file which happened to interest him.
CRIMINAL FILE FOR: Mr. Hamish Tadleigh
Aster's jaw dropped. Asters' son Hamish was jailed only 2 days ago. Maybe this was a different Hamish Tadleigh, Aster thought. He read on:
CRIME: 1st Degree Murder
WITNESSES: Miss J. Ferguson, Mr M. Hailes, Others irrelevant
PROSECUTOR: Hon. Government leader J. Bieder IV
SENTENCE: Death by Firing Squad. To be done within 5 days
Aster suddenly saw red. Hamish was charged with murder, however he was with Aster at the time. Aster had tried to argue this, however Hamish had been held in prison until he was to be convicted. This looked to be his conviction. Tears flowed from Aster Tadleigh's eyes. He had given the court an alibi for Hamish, yet from what it seemed, Tadleigh's son was to be executed in 5 days. Aster was shaking with rage. How could they? I gave them an alibi!! My son is not going to be killed for something he didn't do!! Suddenly, a note came up. An email for the government. Aster was shocked to see the sending email address:
Curious, and knowing that it was for him and somehow from himself, Aster clicked on the email and it popped up onto the large screen:
To Whoever Reads This,
429 Reid Street. Within 1 hour. All answers you seek are kept there.
Aster raised his eyebrows. If the person who was doing this wanted Aster to take the bait, he was well and truly hooked. Aster quickly wrote down the address and jumped out of his seat, running downstairs into his car. Very quickly, he dashed out of the car park and made his way towards the location. Aster had a feeling his wild goose chase for answers were going to stop at that address. 429 Reid Street.
Within minutes, Aster had finally reached his location. As he got out of the car, he noticed it was an old fish market shed. Aster didn't want to waste anytime. He looked around the neighbourhood, before he knocked on the door. Not even before the first knock, the door slid open slowly. Aster looked around through the darkness. He was unsure about this, but his determination to find out what was going on had the better of him. He walked through and looked around the dark and seemingly empty shed at 429 Reid Street.
Aster couldn't see a thing. As soon as the door closed, total darkness surrounded him. Aster shouted out, but was given a response by his own echo only. Suddenly , he heard a phone ring behind him. Aster swiftly turned around and saw the outline of a young man with a glow coming from his pocket. It was his phone ringing. As he answered the phone, the lights were switched on. Aster blinked from the bright lights, before looking around. There were men in black business suits everywhere. All looked about 20 to 30 years of age. They were in a circle around him and the other young man, who was now talking. They were all smiling at him in a funny way. Like how Wyclef would smile when he was interviewing him. Aster had a feeling he knew where he was. Just then, the man in the middle of the circle approached him. "Sorry sir, but the phone is for you." He said in a quiet yet confident tone.
Aster looked at him cautiously. He didn't know whether or not to take the phone or not. However, he still wanted answers. He took the phone from him and put it up to his ear. As he saw everyone staring at him, he gulped before speaking into the phone. "Hello?"
"Well Mr Tadleigh, Long time no see."
Aster sighed at the sound of the voice on the other line. He had a feeling that it was Christian Wyclef on the other line, and his instincts were correct.
"Christian, I need to know what's going on. Was it you that showed me my sons criminal file? What does my son have to do with this?" he asked in a panic. However, Wyclef stopped him.
"Aster, please. I will now explain to you what is going on. Please just listen and I will now explain to you what you have been seeking."
"Mr Tadleigh, your son was involved in a gang. Being in jail now, im not sure if he is still part of it or not. That you will have to ask him. Anyway, the gang your son is involved with is the one that killed that man. Of course as you know, your son was nowhere near the murder, and therefore was not guilty of anything. However Mr Tadleigh, this certain gang has several members that are either government leaders or are set to be government leaders if anything unfortunate happens. The witnesses listed on the criminal file are fabricated; Made up and gave false accusations that they saw you kill this man. The prosecutor, Jim Bieder IV, is the one to blame. He is apart of their movement and the one covering them. To do this, he decided to blame your son. The only one who wasn't there when the crime happened. This is where the order comes into it. We are out to destroy our government. To bring it down to the ground and hopefully bring down the corruption the leaders have. To do this, we are forced to kill the leaders of the Westview government."
Aster was shaken. everything he had just heard fit into every piece of the puzzle he was trying to solve. The fact that Hamish was convicted even though a proper alibi was given, the fact that the Order Of Righteousness was being hunted by all types of authority. it all made sense. Christian Wyclef spoke on.
"Mr Tadleigh, that is why we have chosen you to be the next leader of the Order. The reason? You simply have something that my other followers lack. Purpose. Where their beliefs in my teachings are strong, they lack the true passion to follow through with my plans. You on the other hand, compliment this flaw perfectly. Where they lack the purpose, they make up for in belief. Yet where you lack the belief in my ways, you now have purpose to carry it out. To save your own son from being a victim in the corrupt city we live in. Now you have a choice. Will you chose to follow your beliefs, in which you will lose a member of your bloodline? Or will you rule over my order, and lead them towards crushing the corrupt and criminal? The choice is yours. Goodbye Mr Tadleigh. Hopefully, whatever you choose makes you happy in the long run. I have a feeling, we will never see each other again." And with that, Christian Wyclef hung up.
Aster just stood there limply. It felt like he was now carrying the world on his shoulders. Wyclef had just set him up!! He had known all along that Aster was the one to follow in his footsteps. The trick was getting him to do it, and it seemed that Christian Wyclef had succeeded. So now the ball was in his court. What would he do? To save his own son, Aster Tadleigh would have to throw out his beliefs; Throw out every feeling of hate towards this Order that he had been researching. He was not only the key to saving his sons life, but maybe countless other lives that would be eventually swept up in this web of corruption that was happening throughout the city. His choice was clear. Hanging up the phone and handing it back to the man in the middle of the circle, he nodded at him and looked at each and every one of those surly young faces as they now bore smiles while clapping now rung through the shed. It was from that moment on, Aster Tadleigh was no longer an esteemed journalist and law abiding citizen of Westview, but now a leader of the one of the city's largest and most powerful criminal movements. Aster now had a larger purpose to his life. Where Christian Wyclef had failed, Aster Tadleigh and his Order Of Righteousness would now go on and succeed.