“It’s rubble! Everything but those two paintings the chef purchased.” The curator was on his knees in tears. The Sea Horse spoke from behind him. “He wasn’t a chef, and it’s not rubble. All of this is an illusion, a bit of dramatic flair. The question is, who is his audience?”
The battle of Siegel Heights had ended with the final collapse. The main players withdrew, leaving Oceania’s Protectors to round up the lesser henchmen and accomplices. Spectrum was able to secure Wonzu’s weapon as a trophy. Each side suffered injury, there was no clear winner.The media weren’t sure who to blame, the villains or the heroes. The people of the city chose to blame the villains. They realized that Sea Horse and his allies were one of the few lines of defense their city had.
While they were all sorting out why, who, how, and what Siegel Heights was about, the two protagonists were weighing their options. Leonard Almeric stood looking out his window, the billionaire philanthropist and international media mogul was livid. His entire empire was turning on the dime that was Hyperbole.
Meanwhile Hyperbole, and his new bride, were rehearsing a play. It might seem odd, but they were actors after all, as well as thieves. It was more to pass the time, although halfway through the performance, they grew a crowd of one.
“Welcome Sea Horse to our humble chateau.” Hyperbole said with a bow and a flourish. “It’s hardly humble when almost the Colonnade’s entire contents are stored in the basement.” The man on the stage laughed heartily. “I’ll help you load them up if you promise to share the news with the world.”
“You mean the fact that they’re all fakes?” For the first time the woman spoke. “Ah, you are right Horatio, he is perceptive.” She was a beautiful woman, just an inch shorter than Hyperbole with long brown hair and hazel eyes.
“Sea Horse, may I introduce the newly Mrs. Horatio Lavalier. You may refer to her as Actrice, just as you know me as Hyperbole.” “How does this play out?” “I either embarrass my rival for holding the woman I love as extortion, or I cost him his entire art collection.”
“Meaning he coughs up the real ones and rebuilds the museum, or you expose him.” “Precisely! I’m so glad you are inclined to agree.” “Who is he really?” “Oh you’ve heard of him. Actrice answered. “He is known as Mimic in the criminal world. In the business world he’s the head of media conglomerate, The Almeric Group.”
“How did you get here?” “It started with Shakespeare, and ended with Keats.” Sea Horse didn’t move, Actrice explained. “I’m afraid he’s serious, actors are passionate about their roles. Especially when the role pays four billion dollars…”