The guards at the door followed Haines into the room just as I reached the end of the hall. I reached the door just in time to hear a very angry young man say, “I thought my phone call would be sure to bring him. What are you doing here?”
“What?” said Haines in astonishment. “You made that call this morning? Why would you do such a thing?”
I waited just outside the door and listened.
“Connor, remember your place,” said a female voice. “This is the captain of the guard you’re speaking to.”
“I know who he is, mother. I’m just tired of him coming around all the time, and don’t think I don’t know what you two do every time he’s here. It makes me wonder if he’s not Melody’s father.”
“Connor,” said the female voice again. It was obvious from the tone of her voice that she was appalled at the suggestion.
“Just shut up, mother. I’m going to kill him; I’m going to kill you all. Maybe that’ll bring father out here. It’s too bad I can’t kill him too.”
Then, both Haines and I made the connection at the same time. Haines was the one to put the thought into words, “Ronok, that’s you, isn’t it. Its Connor spelled backward, but we never spelled it right. How could you do those things? He’s your father; he’s your emperor. You would have been emperor after him, but . . . .”
“Don’t even think to tell me that I won’t take my father’s place after he’s dead, because I will. There’s no proof of what you say and with you all dead, there will be no witnesses to this conversation.”
“Connor, what is that?” said the woman. “What are you doing? Connor, no!”
I burst through the door then. I had heard enough. I still wasn’t sure what Haines was trying to do, but it was obvious that everyone in that room was in serious danger.
At a glance, I saw Haines sitting on a couch with a beautiful woman and two little girls. A boy was standing in the center of the room, and in one hand, he held a strange looking pistol, in the other, he held an orb that was flashing. Scattered on the floor, were four guards who appeared to have been either stunned or killed.
My abrupt entrance startled Connor, but that didn’t stop him from firing. He managed to get a shot off toward Haines before I was able to shield them. I wasn’t sure if he was hit, but he didn’t react like he had been.
Connor threw the orb at me and ran out of the room. I took a moment to remove the bars from the window before throwing the orb out, but it was a moment too long. The orb blew up just outside the window and I caught the main force of the blast that came back into the room through the window.