Quietus is the third story of the currently-untitled series of stories revolving around Tholker Zhevhyit.
For years, Walther Brenzig had run his criminal empire surrounded by proteges, hired muscle, gold-diggers, and business partners of dubious loyalty. All wanted a piece of him, or what he had, for one reason or another. Even when Walther would exercise the most wicked sections of his personality, they'd pretend they didn't even notice. From Zerevst to Herit, not a soul would dare do anything short of kiss the ground he walked on and blather to no end about his myriad of accomplishments. They all thought they were so clever, but it was clearer than an Imperial Navy stealth battleship. It was all just a shoddy act. They wanted the money, the power, and fame that could be acquired with the two. A popular saying in the criminal world was that a mere glance at Walther would make even the proudest or upstanding men and women let out a neverending stream of sappy compliments or jabs at his enemies in hopes of cozying up to him, and most importantly, his wealth. That was why Walther made a point of talking to his employees as little as possible. They'd be told to do a job, and they'd get a wad of Grums when it was finished. Face-to-face discussion with the man who acquired those wads was a luxury that very man avoided affording. Only the closest bodyguards to that man ever had the chance of having conversation directed towards them, or even reciprocated.
That was why, with all the employees, partners, and so-called friends Walther had, he was one of the loneliest men alive.
Punctuating his loneliness and his wealthy splendor was one exchange he conducted monthly with the only business partner of his that he actually relished speaking with. It was the closest thing Walther ever enjoyed similar to a chat with an old friend. Instead of casual discussions and inquiries about each other's lives, however, the talk revolved around criminal conspiracy, a subject both participants found both fascinating and gratifying. The two being long-time acquiantances was simply an additional appendage.
Walther paced back and forth in his posh office, the Fenwr Nebula's exotic blues and yellows dominating the view through the window-wall top to bottom. A goofy smile splayed itself on his face as he mindlessly twirled a strand of beads around his left index finger. An odd habit of his, among others. He'd always said it was a perfect outlet for pent-up energy.
"My friend... I do say you work in the capital was top-notch, though I must say it surprises me little that the corporation didn't notice the hole in one of their safes for so long. I would even say they've grown complacent since the operation that I conducted two years ago."
Walther looked down, his smile growing even wider as if recalling a pleasant memory.
"The only reason security got that close was because the boys were much too green for the operation, one of my worst mistakes, if you ask me."
He turned to face the window, taking a deep breath.
"I've made many, you know that for sure. Remember Xorgraria? Yes, I believe you do now. Speaking of which, how has the little project of yours been going there?"
Walther leans and falls back onto his desk with a certain precision.
"I look forward to seeing it. Now, you mentioned a raid? I see... Malisk again? Things have been drawing you there recently, haven't they? I assume things went as planned."
Walther set down the beads for a brief moment to stick another pin in a Kklxin doll.
"One would think they're crazy. I certainly do. All of that, just for a single kidnapping? Such a rare and touchy sort of operation, abandoning it wouldn't have been the worst outcome... Right... Oh, so it wasn't a kidnapping? A tragedy to hear it end that way. Who was the poor soul again?"
His brows furrowed and his eyes squeezed shut, attempting to recall something.
"The name, it sounds so familiar to me... Some big military story, I hear... My contacts noted its special nature to me this morning, but it escapes me... The Lieutenant General, am I correct?"
Walther's eyes opened.
"I was rather confident they were the same. Not even the right target? Well, who are you even going for?"
He stood up from his desk, and began pacing once more.
"That's bold. First an officer on accident, and now someone sharing a name with such a high-profile... Hm? Family? That's even bolder. How do you suppose you'll nab him?"
Walther chuckled, resting against the glass separating him from the frozen void.
"You simply must stop outsourcing to mere street gangs... No, I assure you, they're street gangs compared to what I know you can afford... Who else?"
Walther froze, and moved the tiny communicator from his ear to just in front of his mouth.
"Franz... I'm going to kill you."
The crunch of the quick death of an electronic device followed.