"Pawns and Kings": Holden Carver is assign with the other Prodigals, Peter Grimm and Miss Misery, and along with lower subordinate Triple X-Ray, on a mission to directly remove John Lynch's asset.
- I will do whatever I must to ensure the success of my goals...and I will do whatever it takes to keep my people in line. No sacrifice is too great. After all, we can't live on trust in our world.
- -- Tao
Appearing in "Pawns and Kings"
Synopsis for "Pawns and Kings"
Holden Carver is assign with the other Prodigals, Peter Grimm and Miss Misery, and along with lower subordinate Triple X-Ray, on a mission to directly remove John Lynch's asset.
In a flashback of yesterday, Holden expresses his concerns to Tao that the latest mission is risky in expecting a major retaliation from Lynch. Especially with Holden on this mission. Tao is not too worried and reveals that capturing Lynch's major asset, a master codebreaker, and turning him as a part of the Syndicate would make a major impact on Lynch, just as similar to Holden; furthermore, this is why he sends the entire Prodigals to capturing the codebreaker from a well defended code-breaking facility, and with special help from Triple X-Ray.
That night, Holden meets with Miss Misery about the mission and have to play safe from Grimm's suspicions.
In the present, the Prodigals infiltrated the facility with X-Ray's help in seeing through the facility's defenses. The facility's entire personnel are soon alert to the infiltration. During the crossfire between the Prodigals and I.O. soldiers, Ray barely see through to their intended target. With this given information of the codebreaker's location, Holden allows himself to find him. After killing several I.O. guards Holden finds the codebreaker, which, to his surprise and horror, reveals to be a child with an overgrown head connected to machines. Holden is hesitant in bringing the child to Tao, just as the child begs him to kill him to relieve him from his torture. Holden, reluctantly, does so and euthanize him to end his misery.
Holden returns to the Prodigals without the codebreaker and escape onto their helicopter. Grimm demands to know what happen to the target, which Holden answers that he die by lying that he perished from being disconnected from the machines. Grimm expresses his disappointment that Tao will not be please, and stating that there is another objective: he shoots X-Ray in the head right in front of Holden and dumps his body out of the chopper. Holden becomes enrage at Grimm for what he did, in which Grimm replies that X-Ray's death was on Tao's orders as he already learned that he was a mole.
Holden later shares his outrage in front of Tao, stating that Ray was entirely innocent even if he was a spy. Tao, however, points out to him that he already knows that his minions are disposable and forewarns Holden that even though he likes him, he will keep him in line no matter what the cost. To show his point, Tao shows Holden multiple TV monitors bearing images of Miss Misery. Heavily implying that Tao will kill her to keep Holden from rebelling.
- This book was first published on December 22, 2004.
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