Exigence Ep. 01

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EXIGENCE • EPISODE ONE

IMPORTANT. This is a sequel to my Hypergeniture series. You will not know what’s happening, who the characters are, or what they’re talking about if you haven’t read that story first. The good news is, I can strongly recommend it, and so can many readers who’ve left kind comments and ratings!

If you like romance, action, adventure, sex, incest, more sex, more action and even more adventure… Well, you’ll like both Hypergeniture and this episodic continuation. Sometimes it’s a serious story with elements of love and mystery. Other times, it’s a shameless stroker and indulgence in male fantasy.

Author’s Note: Because life is absurdly busy, I decided the best way to proceed with Oliver Orwell’s story is an episodic approach. This will allow me to release new content slightly more regularly while maintaining the standards I set for myself. Basically, I’ll be releasing short, self-contained novellas as ‘episodes.’ For me, that means instalments of between 20,000 and 30,000 words, each capable of being read and enjoyed as a standalone story with its own beginning and end. There will also be a tiny teaser at the end of each, hinting at what’s coming down the line, which I hope will get you talking in the comments. I’m also especially fond of receiving your emails through the feedback portal on my profile!

Finally, I would like to issue a small content warning for the following story. There is a scene involving two characters who role-play a non-con/reluctance scenario. I believe the scene in question is quite mild compared to others I’ve encountered in this category and others, and I did my best to ensure it’s not gratuitous. However, if it’s at all likely to upset you, please feel free to skip chapter 9 (‘Hard News’) and go straight to the epilogue. I’ve intentionally isolated the scene within that chapter to ensure readers can bypass it without losing crucial information about the plot.

All sexual activity is between characters that are 18 or older. This is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to real persons, places or events is purely coincidental. The below is not intended to serve as a guide for real-life sexual encounters or relationships. Stay safe, happy and healthy! 🙂

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Prologue • Start the Presses

Danika Dalton narrowed her eyes. They were blue as Arctic ice and stared ahead with a coldness to match their colour. She balled her fists and sucked in her lips, barely containing her emotions as she faced down her stubborn editor.

“C’mon, Jimmy,” she implored, “this is the one!”

Flicking her blonde hair back, Danika was a beautiful woman who looked like she’d been through a war. After a long night working on her pitch, she wasn’t about to be denied.

The head of hard news and investigations at the London City Financial Examiner was unmoved by his colleague’s insistence. He was a seasoned boss, used to dealing with over-excited journalists. Picking up the handkerchief he kept with him at all times, he wiped his brow and licked his lips, shaking his head to signal that he wasn’t persuaded.

Slouching in her seat, Danika thought for a moment before deciding she’d try to charm the man with her booby blonde looks. Her following few words were purred, not spoken. She dropped one shoulder and lifted another, doing her best to add intensity to her gaze.

It was a strategy that didn’t work for a second.

“C’mon,” Jimmy implored, “you surely don’t think that old bag of tricks will work on me? Your parents were my best friends!”

“Hmph! Worth a shot.”

“You’re getting desperate. I’ve seen more than one journalist try their luck seducing editors and subjects. It never ends well.”

Danika exhaled as one would after an extended meditation. She was glad to be seen and furious to be frustrated.

Shaking his head, the editor rolled his office chair back and became lost in recollection. “Your parents were brilliant journalists. Your dad was a real wizard with words, and your mother was the best news photographer of her generation! Back then, we had class! We had readers! We were prestigious!”

Slamming a fist against the desk, the daughter of mavericks and masters was resolute. “We can be all those things again. This is the one, Jimmy! Oliver Orwell has been doubling his net worth once a month, and I’m the only person who seems to have noticed. This story will change the way people think about the rich, about him–“

“It’s wackadoodle crackpot nonsense, babe,” the editor rebuffed. “You can’t honestly believe some kid who inherited his money is a business genius outplaying every other billionaire on the planet. Some of what you’ve written implies he’s the reason the American president resigned.”

“I’m not saying that–“

“Then what are you saying?! That’s your problem: You always have a story but never have anything to say. You want to emulate your mom and dad — good on you — but they had more than just the right bursa escort sources and the latest breaking news.”

For a moment, there was a reprieve in the back and forth. Even at the best of times, the news business is a rough and tumble affair where no one can afford to be too precious about their ego. Danika knew that but also felt like she was running out of time.

As his employee sucked cherry fumes from a vape pen she kept close at all times, the editor diagnosed her problem. “You want awards–“

“Recognition,” Danika corrected.

“Fine,” he accepted. “You want recognition… Every couple of months, you come into my office and tell me you’ve found the next Watergate. I give you money and time to chase your leads, and you end up losing interest because what you thought was there ends up being too small for your taste. Instead of chasing this mythical ‘big one,’ why don’t you take some time to figure out what you really want from this career? Become content with being average for a while.”

Exhaling a large puff of scented vapour, Danika grunted inaudibly. She knew her time at the Examiner was coming to an end. She’d turned 35 a week before and felt her best years were behind her. Her future would consist of writing market updates buried somewhere in the middle of each edition, catering to the last dozen city men who still bought physical newspapers.

Her father had warned her against becoming a business correspondent. She wanted to make him proud, but she never had a taste for his kind of work; warzones and famine. She wasn’t made for that stuff, though, she wished she was harder and tougher.

Sports reporting wouldn’t net any prestigious awards, so she hoped to uncover the next Enron scandal or somesuch by entering the financial press.

Her editor was right… Danika kept finding facts, but she never settled on a story. She knew the big one was out there — and he knew she had the potential — but the pieces never quite fell into place.

“This time,” she insisted, “it’s different.”

“How?”

Straightening her back, Danika made her case. “Think about it, Jimmy. Oliver Orwell: Some wunderkind who inherits a few billion. He spends a couple of days in London before disappearing for weeks. When people see him again, he’s at a tennis match in Australia with a security detail the size of a small army, winning a massive plane off an Arab prince. He shows up in Los Angeles, Vegas… He disappears again, and people start speculating he’s off holidaying with some Caribbean dictator. Here and there, people catch glimpses of him in South Africa, Dubai, India–“

“So,” the editor remarked, “he’s an itinerant guy. What does it have to do with anything you’re alleging?”

Danika’s eyes grew bright as her intelligence shone through. “Even if I’m wrong about his net worth, there’s something about this guy… He’s a man with a plan. None of these trips was a random breakaway. I have the data to prove he’s much richer than anyone believes, and I have a hunch he’s involved in something shady.”

“Data… A hunch… Shady… Do you realise he can sue us to oblivion if you start throwing around conjecture? Not to mention his company is a major shareholder in every other paper in the country. Really, babe, his people scare me more than any other rich man’s entourage.”

“Exactly! How has he gained so much influence in such little time? There are even people out there speculating he’s behind the resignation of the American president!”

Shaking his head, Danika’s boss accepted defeat on two conditions: “First, you need to step away from the craziest assertions. Keep it simple. Second, you have to sit down with the man. You seem to have done some good work on the numbers side, but it’s shaky. If you can get him on the record, even if he denies your figures, you’ll have my blessing to proceed.”

“His team have been ignoring me–“

“Make them not ignore you!” the editor insisted, smacking his palm against the desk with the gusto of a general instructing his vanguard. Persistence was an essential characteristic of any good newshound, and he wouldn’t let her forget it.

Danika nodded assertively and rose to her feet, finding effortless balance as she marched to the door, ready to seize the day. As she reached the threshold, she felt something hold her back, and she soon realised unuttered words were weighing on her heart. Thinking about it for a moment, she had to be sure of herself. She was about to make a big declaration.

“Jimmy,” she said.

“Babe?”

“This is my last try–“

“Babe–“

“This one has to work! I… I can feel it. This really is the big one. I’m going to make you proud… This is the one. This is my final shot at everything I’ve ever wanted.”

With no small amount of unease, the editor sent Danika on her way. She was off to uncover the secrets of Oliver Orwell, and it seemed like nothing could stop her.

01 • Swiss Time

My watch ticked from bursa escort bayan one second to the next. It was a flawless machine.

Master craftsmen had perfectly calibrated the distance between moments, but my mind was less steady. The object was a finely made masterpiece. My battered brain, on the other hand, was an imprecise hourglass.

As focus brought clarity, I smiled. It was 12:30.

My eyes closed with that smile still on my face. When I opened them again, the smile went the way of my inner peace, and I grumbled.

It was suddenly 12:35.

Grunting, my head snapped up, and I spotted three men sitting across from me on the other end of a futuristic boardroom table. I knew who they were, but it was knowledge I couldn’t summon. They stared at me nervously, probably thinking I was insane. Next to me, someone cleared their throat. I turned to him, finding my old friend Felix. He held an easy command of the situation, drawing attention away from my odd behaviour.

“Gentlemen,” he excused, “would you mind giving us a moment to discuss a private business matter? I’m afraid we received some disturbing news before you arrived, and it has us a little shaken.”

The men rose to their feet and shuffled off politely. Once they were out of the room, I begged my high school roommate for an explanation.

“Disturbing news? What happened?”

“Nothing,” he folded his arms, “I was simply looking for a way to explain your behaviour. What’s going on with you?”

“I… I guess getting my head bounced around by those would-be assassins did more damage than I first thought. There’s not a part of me that isn’t in agony.”

Yes, the third attempt on my life had taken a greater toll on me than I first realised. The first try saw me stabbed in the stomach. The second found me spending weeks in South American jungles. But the third… The third seemed to have left the biggest mark.

Felix smiled warmly, with empathy only a true friend could muster. “You don’t look too bad, Oliver. I’m only worried about that scar on your face.”

Touching the place I’d been marked by the blows I took in Japan, I felt the rough texture under my fingertips. “My sisters say it makes me look sexy.”

“I see,” Felix smirked.

I suppose there is something odd about sisters finding any part of their brother ‘sexy,’ but I was way past caring about how we must’ve seemed to the outside world. As long as we could keep most of it secret, there was no need for pretence.

Shifting the topic, Felix thought back to our days in boarding school. “Your scar reminds me of those Germans who were a little older than us. Do you remember them? They used to fence without masks to show their toughness, but I doubt any of them could’ve survived a skirmish with hired killers.”

Smiling, I thought back to the heat of battle with a strange fondness. “I… I might take up boxing.”

Getting to his feet, my friend ignored my remark as he went to stand by the giant viewing window that separated the boardroom from the Swiss Alps. It was a remarkable sight, encapsulating Europe’s natural beauty in a single frame. Yet, he cringed as he regarded the landscape that had been the backdrop to his torment during adolescence. He looked healthier now compared to back then, but I could see being in Switzerland crushed a part of his soul.

Back in the day, we shared a dorm room at our elite school. Because Felix was the son of an eccentric Caribbean dictator, he was bullied by students and staff alike. They mocked him, inflicting juvenile tortures in retribution for the perceived sins of his Marxist father. As we got a little older, the pressures eased. I graduated at 16 and left Felix to fend for himself. We hadn’t remained in touch, but he reached out a few months prior, and we rekindled our old camaraderie.

After the betrayal in Tokyo, I could only rely on a small circle. We were done with mercenary aides and advisors. Going forward, we needed to run things as a gang of family and friends. I knew I could trust Felix, so I placed him in charge of the project to decipher the storage device that was Liz Wharry’s final bequest to me — the object I’d retrieved in Tokyo and the little box I’d almost been killed over.

“Did you register a word of what our friends said?” Felix asked, referring to the three computer scientists he’d sent outside.

We were at the Institute of Advanced Technical and Scientific Knowledge; our third stop on a tour of the world’s finest brains in computing. Like the two teams we’d recruited before, this bunch seemed unable to make sense of the device’s inner workings. Everyone was sure that whatever was on that drive had been corrupted before it was transferred and that the data had never been usable. But I was certain Elizabeth Wharry left it behind with a reason. She wanted me to recover it, and she’d have made damn sure the contents were in usable condition.

Strangely, I think she loved me as a mother would escort bursa love her son. I had a feeling she’d made a plan for me.

“It’s a type of encryption they can’t comprehend,” I suggested, drawing a sigh from Felix.

Coming to sit down next to me again, my friend regarded me with uneasy caution. To him, it seemed like I’d regained my focus, but I’d been erratic lately.

“Have you thought about the future?” he asked.

“Huh?”

“Plans,” he clarified. “You always had a plan, but it was never one for yourself. Now that you have the money–“

“I plan to decrypt the device and destroy the Doomsday Archive.”

“I see… What about a wife?”

“I have plenty of women who love me–“

“Of course,” Felix interrupted, “but you’ve also explained those relationships are ideal because they remain true to their foundations. Your sisters are still your sisters, and your cousin is still your cousin.”

I accepted the assertion.

So, come on, Oliver!” Felix encouraged. “You can add a trophy wife to the collection. Remember how we used to talk?”

“We were teenage boys with equally adolescent fantasies.”

“Perhaps… I’d say you fulfilled many of yours, though.”

As we kept up the conversation, it felt like we were back at school, laughing as we discussed the things guys talked about when no one else was around. To avoid a conversation about myself, I asked Felix quickfire questions about his life. As the chat progressed, I began to sense there was something important on his mind…

“Do you have any plans to build a home?” he asked.

“We have some land in America–“

“America?!” Felix baulked. “Boring! Boring! Boring! There are plenty of billionaires in America. No, my friend, you must come to live in my country: Nuevo Caibarién, the most beautiful nation of all! There’s a cayo with your name on it: Ten square kilometres of gorgeous land atop a coral reef. As for security? You could have a squadron of our fighters, a battalion of our finest soldiers, and a corvette off the coast to keep you safe!”

“Wow,” I grinned, “what will all of that cost me?”

Jumping back onto his feet, Felix returned to the large viewing window. There was a new kind of agitation on his face, and this time he wasn’t worried about bad memories. No, his new angst carried the signature of future concern.

“My father is old and sick,” he said plainly. “When he dies, there will be an expectation that I must take over. Look at me! Do I look presidential?!”

Though I knew he was made of stern stuff, my friend had a point: He wasn’t exactly dictator-material. He could be a kind and compassionate leader, and I didn’t doubt his intellect for a second, but he’d also make an easy target.

“The same generals whose wickedness saw my father cast as a monster on the world stage will smell blood,” Felix continued. “I will be faced with a simple choice. Either I flee the land of my birth or stand my ground and die. Neither option is particularly appealing, so I must find a third way.”

I understood. “Having me move there will strengthen your position?”

He nodded. “I will liberalise the country and bring us into the 21st century. Your investment might be modest, but modest seems massive when you consider we’ve had no economic growth for a decade. Social reforms and better living standards will win popular support, and I’ll be able to outmatch the generals. Once they’re gone, I’ll have a real chance at fulfilling my father’s vision. The torture, the disappearances, the crackdowns… It was always them! I will drive them into the sea!”

Leaning back in my chair, I wasn’t ready to give Felix’s proposal serious thought. As much as he’d helped me regain my mental clarity, it was too big a decision for the moment. Still, I could be sure of one thing.

“Whether I accept your offer or not, I’ll never let anyone hurt you.”

As soon as I said the words, I knew I’d made my friend feel small. Though I’d been his protector in school, I never doubted he could stand firm on his own.

I wanted to apologise for choosing my words poorly, but the return of our computer scientists made an apology impossible.

We settled in to listen as the three men entered the room and resumed their seats. The leader was a former Oxford professor with grey hair that fell to his shoulders and a mild disposition.

“Well… You see… Eh…”

The man spoke in fragments, nervously linking up words until he could formulate a complete sentence.

“We believe the data you’ve given us forms a pattern,” he said. “I can confidently say… Yes, confidently… I can confidently say that we’re not dealing with an encrypted device. Rather, it’s the fundamental architecture of the system that’s beyond our understanding.”

Sweeping his hand over the table, the professor tried to explain using an example. “At certain stages in history, we come to a technological crossroads and take one path while abandoning another. You can’t shove a VHS tape into a DVD player, no matter how advanced the one technology is compared to the other.”

I somewhat understood, having regained my composure after the earlier ordeal with the watch. “The data I’ve given you was developed using old technology?”

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