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‘Damn you Alex, weakness is not allowed in our activities’. Sergei Ivanov fills the glass of his friend again and places the bottle of ‘Grande Champagne’ back on the wooden table.

Alex Villas looked out of the window while continuing to remain silent. The warm weather this October seemed never ending. While listening to the words of Sergei, he imagined being elsewhere, under a less oppressive atmosphere. It was becoming increasingly difficult to focus his attention during this long speech, a speech that was supposed to cheer him up but instead seemed to be dragging on.

‘I understand your doubts and you would not be human if after such actions, you remained unmoved. You know the situation. The Plan of the Organization has been in place for many years. You must also agree though that we must save humanity from itself. It is our role, our responsibility.’ Sergei stated. ‘Do you really know the price humanity must pay, so that we must save it?’ Alex questioned aggressively while emptying his glass, then filling it back up again. ‘Anyway…’ Sergei continued, ignoring Alex’s comment, ‘we are not there yet. It remains a possibility. The politicians of the world will gather soon. So do not lose hope.’ ‘Don’t play this game Sergei’ Alex barked, ‘You and I know that the rescue of humanity depends not only economic changes, though important as they are, but also a fundamental shift in the spiritual and philosophical attitudes of every individual on this planet’.

The tone of the last sentence worried Sergei. Alex Villas was beginning to call into doubt the validity of the Organization’s ‘Plan’. Sergei knew that this explosive situation might cause a chain reaction of events with far reaching consequences, one of which would involve Alex’s disappearance.

Sergei Ivanov decided to change the topic of discussion. Speaking of the Organization today was leading to nothing good with Alex. ‘What a poor friend I am, I did not even ask you how is your beautiful wife, the lovely Maria?’ Alex smiled at the diversionary tactic of his friend. ‘Thank you for worrying about her. At this time, she will be spending all of my money, after that, spending time with one of her lovers’. He said, looking at his watch.

‘No…’ Replied Sergei, ‘I’m sure you’re wrong. What man could replace Alex Villas, the friend to the stars… a rich business man… a man of great success?’ ‘Simply, someone by her side’. Said Alex, with a pale smile. ‘During recent months, our paths didn’t cross much… And never in the bedroom. Our relation is almost purely professional. She merely parades beside me in one of her fashionable cocktail dresses and helps me with some difficult transactions.’

Alex bowed his head for a few seconds as he remembered some details. ‘She knows how to make herself indispensable through her gift. Consider now, how do I make business without it? How could I make it without her?’. Sergei listened to his friend then said, ‘Do you make her aware of your illegal activities?’ ‘Which illegal parts are you referring to? Traffic influences? Corruption? Or insider trading?’ Alex asked. ‘No Alex’ Sergei replied ‘I’m not talking about this part of your business, rather the drug business’.

‘Ahhhh, of course. How stupid am I!’ Exclaimed Alex, ‘So, yes. She has been aware from the beginning. Anyway, I do not know how I could hide it from her… Remember, she can capture thoughts from whoever she wants. She is also sometimes in contact with my men. It’s difficult enough to make myself scarce when the ‘Plan’ comes to my mind. To try and avoid her when this happens, seems pointless’.

‘And… Her reaction?’ Sergei quickly added. ‘Why do you ask what you already know? She agrees! Maria has always been venal and power-hungry. You are well placed to know this, after all, you hired her and put her in my bed’.

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