The Ingenious Inception (Excerpt)

The Lamppost

Everything on this Earth has a beginning. Every plant, every rock has a tale to tell. A beginning, a foundation… an inception. So it is for each organization, each fellowship, each friendship. Such is how our adventures began. But, to tell of this inception we must first go back to the point where the light just began to flicker on, before we yet knew one another. Let us go back to my foggy predicament, the literal one first.

There was a thick fog, that cold October night. My footsteps were muffled by the dense water vapor that hung in the air like a curtain.

Over time I began to hear the noise of jovial laughter splitting the night. Increasing my pace in that direction, I nearly collided with a lamppost that loomed out of the mist before me.

The previously stated obstruction I reasoned to be out of order as it wasn’t producing a ray of light. There was, however, light emitting from the windows of a pub that was a mere ten yards away.

Gazing into these windows, I observed a variety of personages singing and talking merrily, clearly intoxicated. The only people who were sober looked as if they wanted to change that as quickly as possible.

To sum it up, this was a place in which no one in their right mind would enter; so, naturally, I was going in.

I was just about to step inside when the lamppost flickered on behind me. I stopped in my tracks. I felt a cold shiver run down my spine, almost as if there was a person behind my back. This hypothesis was confirmed when the voice spoke:

“These parts of town are not the safest places, especially not for someone such as you, and certainly not at this time of day,” declared an elegant, yet masculin voice, with an accent I couldn’t quite place. “But that’s why you came here, isn’t it, Mister Hrothgar?”

I turned around slowly. A man was leaning against the lamppost. He was an unusual fellow in appearance, with a black top hat, and an umbrella and trench coat of the same color. He had a full, dark brown beard covering his face. In short, he was just as unusual looking as I myself am. His trench coat even happened to be identical to mine, which I found to be oddly offensive.

“Might I ask, how do you know my name?” I inquired.

He chuckled. “I know many things, Mister Hrothgar, but your name is one which very few people do not know.”

That did not make me feel any more comfortable, but I did not allow my unease to show on my face.

“What do you want of me, sir? I have nothing of great value.”

“That statement is no closer to the truth than we are to Perimene, but I wish not for anything from you but a drink.” He walked past me and opened the door to the bar. “After you, sir.”

Five minutes later we were sitting inside sipping something that I had chosen at random not knowing anything about strong drinks. I was looking around for the man I had come here for, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“He won’t be here,” the man from the lamppost said to me as if reading my thoughts. “The meeting has been rescheduled. I made sure of that.”

As if on cue, my phone dinged. I pulled it out and read the message on the screen: Delayed. Meet at café tomorrow @12:34 PM on the spot.

I looked up at the man. “Do you work for Hawkins?”

“No, I don’t, and I suggest you follow my example.” He took a sip of his drink, then put down the cup. “That is actually the reason I am here. You should not be trusting Anton Hawkins. All he is after is power. It doesn’t matter what they tell you. Why should you entrust a man of his likeness with such power as he is demanding from you?” I had no idea how he knew as much as he did. As far as I knew Mister Hawkins was one of the few who knew anything concerning the matter, but this man obviously knew quite a lot. He even knew where to find me apparently, or else he would not be sitting before at the moment.

“This is for the good of the world,” I spoke softly.

The man sighed. “It is, is it? Do you really believe such deception? You believe the man who lurks in the shadows, who covers up all his dark deeds with feeble reasoning?” He looked me in the eye. “Escape from this, Tobias. Anton will rid himself of you as soon as he has all the information he needs.” The man stood up. “Consider my words, Mister Hrothgar. Hawkins won’t deal lightly to you refusing him, but it may save many lives.”

The man began to walk out the door, but I called to him: “Wait, I never caught your name.”

He looked back and spoke. “My name is Muris; Sames Muris.” Then he walked out into the cold, dark night.

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