On Sunday, Travis sat down, as per his earlier plan, to write down the final part of his novel. This was to consist of many exposition heavy conversations, wherein the plot was to be gradually revealed. This would start with a conversation between the detectives and Dr. Small, followed by another conversation with the detectives and Oscar, followed with possibly one or two more scenes which would ultimately lead to the arrest of Mr. Thorn. He was also debating whether to add a scene involving the unknown Power Monger and government official.
The conversation involving Dr. Small and the two detectives was first. So, he took some time to recollect the context of this important conversation.
He had written the story to the point where the detectives had some doubts that Mr. Thorn was involved in some shady business, but were unsure about it's nature. They had arrested the attacker behind the failed sabotage attempt on Energised, who had pointed them towards a bank account. This bank account seemed to be operated by a non-existent corporation, which appeared to be run by one of the other companies Mr. Thorn owned. The detectives had busied themselves in identifying the actual owner of the account which had been used to finance the attack on Energised.. Also, Dr. Small remembered reading cases of poisoning with symptoms similar to StrangleHold, and had been searching the archives for them. With these things in mind, be began writing.
It was late in the afternoon when the two detectives reached Dr. Small's office. Once seated, Joe came straight to the point.
"So doctor, why did you call us? Has something new come up?
"Yes. New and unexpected."
"What is it?" asked Riley.
"A rather interesting fact. You remember I had mentioned that poisonings with symptoms similar to StrangleHold had been recorded in the past?"
"Yes, we do."
"I finally managed to find them. There were three occurrences in all. I remembered being consulted on for one of those. We had even managed to identify all of its constituents, but no incidents happened afterwards. It was a most mysterious affair."
"You mean StrangleHold was used st least three times before?"
"Yes and no."
"You are not making any sense, doctor." replied a slightly exasperated Riley.
"Well, what I mean is, it was one of the components that make up StrangleHold that was used. This component is responsible for the most of the symptoms."
"But could that not have been the Government using it to take out enemy targets?" asked Joe.
"No. Because the program which resulted in StrangleHold began four years ago. the cases I found were from over a decade ago."
"And who were the victims?" asked Joe, even though both him and Riley knew where this was going.
"It was used to kill the three diplomats in the environmental health conference in 2020. But I think you had guessed that already."
"Yes, we had." said Riley. "The terms 'three deaths' and 'a decade ago' could hardly have meant anything else."
"Now we have something of our own to share as well." he continued. "Our team of forensic accountants was able to trace the cash flows in one of Mr. Thorn's shady shell companies. It seems that company has been heavily buying all sorts of chemicals."
"That is certainly questionable. Do you have a list of the chemicals purchased?"
"Yes. Here they are." replied Riley. handing a printed list of chemicals to Dr. Small.
"Hmm. This is interesting." remarked Dr. Small after studying the list for a little around a minute. "This list contains most of the chemicals used to manufacture StrangleHold."
"So Mr. Thorn could be the one behind the murder of Terrence Plank." mused Joe.
"It is possible. But I will need to run some tests to determine whether the exact compound used to poison Mr. Plank could be made from them." agreed the doctor.
"In any case," went on Riley. "it is enough for us to get a search warrant."
"Yes." agreed Joe. "Let's go. If we leave now we can get the warrant issued today itself."
"Thanks for the info, doctor." said Riley. "We'll let you know in case we come across something."
"Likewise." assured Dr. Small.
Travis stopped writing and glanced through the conversation he had just written. It seemed to be short. so he added a few more sentences about the tests Dr. Small had done to identify it, along with a discussion between Joe and Riley regarding what should be the plan of action once warrant is issued. He added some more paragraphs detailing how the detectives carried out the search at Mr. Thorn's home and offices, confiscating everything they thought that would help shed more light on the matter.
Now he had to establish the motive he had decided earlier, he decided that Oscar would be the right person to discover a last minute alteration in the production line, which would lead to them discovering the real plan. Accordingly, he started writing.
The next morning, the detectives had an unexpected visitor in their office in the form of Oscar Johnson. Without wasting any unnecessary time, he came directly to the point.
"I think there is something going on with the production lines at the plant." he began.
"What is it?" asked Riley.
"There have been some last minute changes made to the process. And none of the team members seem to be aware of it."
"What!" exclaimed Joe. "How is this possible!"
"I don't know." replied Oscar helplessly. "I am not able to pick anything on the surveillance cameras as well."
"Does anybody have remote access?"
"Yes, some of the senior management has the necessary authorisations."
"Could one of these machines have been compromised?"
"Highly unlikely. All the senior management's laptops have the latest antivirus software and fully configured firewall. Both these are regularly updated."
As this was not going anywhere, Riley decided to try something different.
"Tell me Oscar, does Mr. Thorn also have remote access to the production line."
"Yes, he does. You think he is involved in this somehow?"
"Probably. The investigation is still ongoing."
"Okay. If that's the case I guess I will be a bit more discreet in my inquiries."
"Good. We will check how Mr. Thorn figures in this. In the meantime, can you try to identify what exactly was changed?"
"I will need some time to go through the code and the new equipment installed on the production lines. But I should be able to find out more in a couple of days."
"OK. But be careful. Let us know immediately in case you feel your life is in danger." cautioned Joe.
"It seems we are on the right track." remarked Riley after Oscar had left.
"So it would appear." agreed Joe. "But we still don't know what Mr. Thorn's plan is."
"We wouldn't have to wail long, I think."
And Joe was right.
Here again Travis paused for a while to think how to proceed. Clearly, it was now time for Oscar to discover the nanosensors and Mr. Thorn's plan for mass surveillance. Also, around this time, the analysis of Mr. Thorn's laptop was to conveniently reveal further details about the shady financial transactions, as well as deleted emails which proved that Terrence was aware of Mr. Thorn's plan and did not approve of it. He was planning to halt the production and go to the authorities, which provided Mr. Thorn the necessary motive to eliminate him. He started writing and within an hour, had finished the final events which revealed Mr. Thorn's plan and ultimately lead to his arrest and conviction. Towards the end of the chapter, he decided to add an indication about the "plot twist", which was to be delivered in the epilogue.
A few days after the trial was over, Joe and Riley were driving out to a scene of crime when Riley remarked, "You know, I still keep feeling that something's off."
"About the whole Energised case?" asked his partner.
"Yes, looking back, I think if that attempted sabotage hadn't happened, we would never have been able to solve anything."
"Yes. That bothered me as well. Mr. Thorn would have avoided anything to attract undue attention to Energised, especially after the death of Terrence Plank."
"And if the Power Mongers had financed it, why did we end up with a bank account that led us to Mr. Thorn?"
"Maybe it was all part of the Power Mongers' plan to get Mr. Thorn arrested?" reasoned Joe.
"But what good did that do to serve their purpose? The other founders of Energised are now even more determined to ensure that the launch of nLight1 is a success.", countered Riley. "And also, we still couldn't determine whether Mr. Thorn was actually involved in releasing Apocalypse back then."
"That is true. But as far as the department's concerned, its case closed. Maybe we will find the answers to these questions someday..."
"I hope we do. I don't like unsolved mysteries." said Riley, as they got out of the car.
A few minutes later, they were busy processing the current crime scene, with all doubts about the Energised case pushed to the back of their minds, where they would remain for quite some time.
Travis studied the conclusion he had written. It seemed to create more questions than answers.
Which was what he wanted, as it was in line with his original idea of the mysterious duo of the government official and Power Monger feeding clues to the investigators. The ending was purposely intended to make the reader feel that there had been some unseen forces at work, helping the two detectives every step of the way.
Now all that was left to do was to write the epilogue, and on this he started right away. He began with a description of the launch of nLight1 and how it helped Energised secure funding for further research. Then he followed it with an announcement by the Government to investigate Mr. Thorn's connection with Apocalypse and StrangleHold so that all involved could be brought to justice. This was to serve as the starting point for the final reveal, the "plot twist" that the reader had been waiting for.
Here he ran into another problem. So far, he realised, he had not bothered about a motive for the actions of the government official and the Power Monger. Now, he would need to think of one, in order to make the plot twist more convincing. He reviewed the plot mentally again and again adn finally found that there was a way in which he could establish suitable motive for these two characters.
That left the question about the sniper rifle. It was one loose end which he had to tie in order to complete the story. A little thinking about Mr. Thorn and the motives of the two puppeteers brought him to a solution for that as well. He decided against not explaining everything, but leaving some things for the readers to fill in with their imagination and creativity.
So he starting describing the meeting between the government official and the Power Monger, which was taking place at the abandoned power plant outside the city.
Have you heard about the announcement?" asked the Power Monger, with a hint of concern in his voice."
"Yes." replied his companion.
"You think Mr. Thorn will expose our little secret?"
"Not initially. But once he is convinced that there is no escape for him, he most certainly will."
"So we had best take care of him as soon as possible."
"Exactly what I had in mind." replied the government official. "I believe we have managed to solve our little 'puzzle'."
"Yes. One of my men has it in his safekeeping. He is awaiting further instructions."
"Good. He will be shifted to another prison soon enough. I will let you know the details once I come to know them."
"My man will be ready to take him out."
The two men then talked a little bit about their plan and decided the details of the next meeting. As they were leaving, the government official asked, "What have you planned to do with the tooth Terrence gave you?"
"At present, the part of the key to The Vault is with me. I am almost finished with the process of identifying a guardian for it. I will let you know my decision in a few days."
"Choose wisely, for Apocalypse is one of the least dangerous things The vault contains."
And with a parting shake of the hand, the two went back their separate ways.ns 220.127.116.11da2