“Four generations at least, possibly more.” The man said, sitting at the table. He was referring to the Medici family that had once ruled parts of ancient Italy. “Then along came Machiavelli…” The man interjected at the appropriate time.
Mayor Lafayette responded, “Of course, people forget that the Medici shut him down.” “Yes, they do sir.” Was what the man replied, but this was his response mentally. “I never forget that, it’s why I’m still alive, and sadly, why you are, for now.”
Pin and Carl didn’t know it at the time, but their dinner companion was so much more than the mastermind of the Pick Axe group. A political adviser and a friend, and their worst foe. He contributed to every force, society, and every power group in town.
Sherlock Holmes had described Moriarty as a spider, but Wynton Strand preferred the analogy of the octopus to the arachnid. He had his tentacles embedded in Alaska. Strand slowly tightened each as he sent out a cloud of black to cover his actions.
If his plans succeeded, one day the Governor’s office, the Senate, and finally, either the Supreme Court or the Presidency would be his. He toyed with the idea of both, either way, he planned on ruling Washington.
Right now, what he needed was two heroes. Men that the people would trust, untouched by graft or greed. This was the real reason he had spent years, and part of his family fortune, building up the Pick Axe’s.
He had to give Lafayette and his Hired gun a villain they could seemingly take down. He would ride their victory into his own power, and then let the Pick Axe men he kept free, finish them off. Strand was pitting both armies against each other, playing Chess against himself.
The two men joined Strand in his study for coffee after the meal. They never dreamed they were in more danger here, than when staring down the barrel of a Pick Axe man’s rifle. After all, this was the villain’s lair, or if you will, the Octopus’ tank.