The house-sized troll Tosh Athack towered over Brackhaven and smiled. Brackhaven’s fists clenched as his brain turned with the need to slam the smug son-of-a-bitch monster into the wall. But Corrigan spoke before Brackhaven could act, taking the initiative, stealing control right out of Brackhaven’s grasp. “Would you care for something to drink? Soda? Coffee? Tea? The tea here is quite good.” Brackhaven glared at his long-time advisor and new chiefof-staff while the assorted FBI members chuckled. They were laughing at him. How dare they laugh at him? “Thank you, Mr. Corrigan, but we’re fine.” The troll snapped his fingers and the elf woman beside him stepped up with three sheets of electronic paper. Brackhaven ignored the proffered sheets. “Why are you here?”
The elf set the papers down on the conference room table and the troll bared his tusks. “We have a search warrant for all records pertaining to your campaign finances since the start of your 2070 gubernatorial run until now, which allows us to search your campaign headquarters and all related nodes. We have a search warrant for the governor’s mansion’s node related to all communications with Congressman James Grey and any other relevant documents mentioning Congressman Grey or related to him, regardless of whether these documents have been shared with the congressman.”
Brackhaven allowed himself to imagine that he could almost smell the dead babies on the beast’s breath. He wondered if this troll actually believed he had the authority to bring this city’s government to a halt. Grimacing, Brackhaven spat out,“How dare you interrupt an important meaning with such trivia. You will wait outside, agent,” the word tasted like ash on his tongue, “until I am ready to see you.” The troll laughed, actually laughed, in Brackhaven’s face and shook his head. “I’m not done, yet, Governor.” He picked up one sheet of paper and slide it across the table. “I have a subpoena for Emillie Corrigan and William Greene.”
The middle-aged energy secretary paled and shoved himself to his feet. “You can’t subpoena me. You don’t have that kind authority!” “Sit down, William,” Brackhaven snapped, the fire in his frontal lobe flaring to life with fresh pain. The headaches were coming more frequently, making it hard for him to concentrate. “I may not have the authority, Mr. Greene,” the monster replied, “but the UCAS House of Representatives does, as does the House Ethics Committee. I’m doing a favor for a friend, and if you decline to come with me willingly, we have permission to escort you as a hostile witness.” At a signal from their leader, the remaining members of the FBI team, two humans and two dwarves, approached Greene from opposite sides of the table. One dwarf grinned with glee. “You wouldn’t happen to go by the name of ‘Bill,’ would you? My friend Seth sends his regards.” Brackhaven looked over at Corrigan, one of the few people he trusted. The man tasked with fixing all the governor’s problems. Corrigan’s cold eyes gazed back without so much as a hint of worry or shame. Then the chief of staff gave a casual shrug. Chills went down Brackhaven’s spine and the voices in his head screamed in fury.