"Illusions": Holden Carver stealthily climbs up to the penthouse of the Secret Monarchy's powerful man, who Carver is ordered to kill.
Appearing in "Illusions"
- Miss Misery
- Diamanda M'Batu
- Francis Marsh (Single appearance)
- Nathaniel Oberst
- Yuri Kasokov
- Joshua Marsh (Only appearance; dies)
- Imperial Grove
Synopsis for "Illusions"
Holden Carver stealthily climbs up to the penthouse of the Secret Monarchy's powerful man, who Carver is ordered to kill.
Moments ago, Holden, Miss Misery and Tao observes the true rulers of the world in a secure room for some time after Tao arrived. Tao is amuse as the rulers are quarreling than usual which goes exactly as he had planned, much to Holden's confusion. Holden is still skeptical of the Secret Monarchy as the true rulers, and Tao have him and Miss Misery to attend the reception.
At the reception, Holden is meet up with Miss Misery. Holden then questions her as to how a powerful society manage to rule the world and is never stopped by anyone such as the Authority. Misery explains that the Monarchy has been the true roots of the systems that governs Earth and always been for thousands of years. Among the members of the Secret Monarchy are Yuri Kasakov, the true architect of the Russian Revolution, and Joshua March, the highest ranking member of the society. Tao is a member, but he only serves as a background advisor. Holden then questions how such a society has been keeping itself secret in which Misery tells a story of a reporter who unintentionally discovered Imperial Grove and was founded. The reporter's background was check and then release back to society; however, upon arriving back to his home the reporter discovered that his life was literally erased by the Monarchy. Hence its absolute secrecy.
Upon going back to Tao, Holden is introduce to Diamanda M'Batu, the queen of Egypt and monarch of Africa, who request Tao to have Joshua Marsh vote favorably for her. Tao then have Holden to stay with him and observe his meetings with the other monarchies. Holden observes these meetings, most of which are not very important and mundane. Among those that came was Marsh, who didn't really seem to like Tao's presence at his party. Finally came Marsh's son, Francis. Tao fully reveals his intention and tells to a shocked Francis that he will elevate him and replace his father. The younger Marsh is extremely apprehensive about this, but Tao assures him that his father will die by "natural heart attack" by Holden Carver.
The plan for the elder Marsh was laid out as Joshua Marsh deactivate the security system at his penthouse on his way for a late swim for thirty seconds. This is when Holden infiltrate Marsh's penthouse and wait for Marsh to come back for him to kill, and Francis will vote the way Tao tells him. In order for Marsh's death to be natural, Holden absorbs a charge of electricity and shocks Joshua to give him enough pain that could give him a coronary. As Holden slips away unnoticed from Marsh's security, who discover their dead boss, he wonders if John Lynch would have want this to happen.
Arriving to his room, he finds Miss Misery waiting for him, naked. Misery says to him that she wants to make love with him, much to Holden's surprise as he originally thought she has relations with Tao, in which Misery replied that it happened "sometimes" and "sometimes not." Misery then ask him what he thought about her from last night from beating Etcher to death. Holden admits his feelings to her and the two have sex, knowing that Tao would kill them for this.
The next day, Tao's plans have gone accordingly with Francis' ascension, with the monarchies' votes varies with controversy. In the end Tao made every member turned against each other. With the angers and dissents brewing, Francis decides to leave early. As Francis is slightly bewildered, Tao advise him that everything will work out and suggest that he needs children for an heir. After Francis left on his plane, Carver then question Tao as of all the manipulations he only had Francis to undo all of his work, and wants to know why. Tao simply answer that he grew tired of the way of how old and boring that the world is govern and that with Francis' ascension thanks to Holden's and Miss Misery's objectives (that she committed this morning), is enough to rock the Monarchy's system.
- This book was first published on April 16, 2003.
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