Leon Grey, the long running mayor of Lucicrescens, was vacationing in Sao Paolo, Brazil. From the balcony of his twelve thousand square foot villa overlooking the beach, he was enjoying the heat of a mid-July evening. The beach now appeared to be ablaze under the golden fire of the setting sun, while the sky was glowing gradients of magenta, brushed with azure clouds in the distance. As he reclined on the patio seat, he was reading an American newspaper that he had sent to him each week. An interesting headline caught his attention. It had been three months since Michael Apollo announced that he would no longer spend his company’s resources in support of his brother’s race for presidency, much to Senator Apollo’s chagrin. Now, the article read that Apollo Endeavours was planning to cease manufacturing weapons for the US government. What made Mr. Apollo come to such a decision baffled his associates and investors. His only response was that the untimely and unfortunate death of his youngest son made him realize that he should point his company in a different direction.

Nevertheless, that article wasn’t much of Leon’s concern. A few more pages in he saw a story that was far more intriguing to him. It was a feature story focusing on his home city of Lucicrescens. The city has seen its fair share of crime throughout its life. However, for the past few months, various criminal organizations have been suddenly disappearing with their so-called leaders either winding up dead or in police custody. These included such people as one Jeremy Powell who now faced a trunk-full of charges after he was publicly apprehended and linked to various criminal activities. Furthermore, after twelve underage girls from Thailand, were discovered on a plane at Lucicrescens International Airport, authorities are beginning to tie together this string of incidents with no apparent clue on how these criminal master minds are slipping up. Some are beginning to wonder if these events and individuals are connected, while others see this as evidence that strongly suggests the existence of the fabled, international, criminal empire known only as the Estate. When asked about this, Lucicrescens Police Chief William Fantino stated that such speculations shouldn’t even be considered and that the police force is working hard to gather more evidence before they can come to any rational conclusions.

The golden rimmed sunglasses on Leon’s face masked a disappointed grimace. He tossed the paper on the small, glass coffee table at his side and picked up his Blackberry all in one gesture. Selecting an entry from his contact list, he made the call. It was immediately answered. “I read a rather unattractive article in today’s paper,” he said to the person on the other end.

“I saw it too,” answered a man’s voice. “But what can we do about it?”

“More like what can you do about it?” asked Leon.

“Are you worried this’ll get linked to you,” said the other, “because that’s impossible.”

“Actually, my friend, that’s the farthest thing from my mind. Right now my only concern is what to get my little girl for her birthday next week. And I’m still trying to decide on what shoes to wear to my party tonight. So you see I got other things to worry about that are much closer to me. But concerning this other hobby of mine that you and I are discussing, I couldn’t care less.”

“What do you think it is?” asked the other. “Informants? FBI?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“You think it might be coming from the inside?”

“No,” continued Mr. Grey. “I don’t think it’s that either. We would have noticed.”

“Then I’m all out of ideas. Except…”

“Except what?”

“It’s nothing. Just stories.” continued the other, “Rumours about some- about some ghost.”

“And do you believe this?” asked Mr. Grey.

“Of course not. But something’s certainly got everyone spooked. And it’s only been happening here in Lucicrescens. Boys have been dropping like flies, and I heard that some people are leaving the damn city, fearing that they’ll be next. Someone is fucking with us.”

“I’ve already come to that conclusion,” said Mr. Grey. “Obviously there’s a wolf in my field, a wolf that’s going after the sheep to draw out the farmer. Still, I’m not too concerned. Let the media say what they want and allow the police to continue their investigation, they won’t find anything. This is beyond them.”

“As you wish.”

“Yes. Let them do their job. Even if the connection between us is discovered, that wouldn’t really matter. I could blow the governor’s brains out in the middle of Action Square and they’ll still have nothing on me. I’ll make sure that life goes on. So don’t worry about that. The only thing that’s bothering me is this wolf. So you just do this one thing for me. The only thing that I want- and I would like to make this clear- the only thing that I want… is the head of the dead man who thinks he can touch me.”

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