Cloak & Dagger
by Toni Walker
Agnes Edgington was a middle-aged lady who had more gray hair than most her age. She nearly had shrieked when Fergus found her dusting the second dining room. She ran to him and grabbed his hand.
"You're back? How did you convince, Mr. Knight?"
"I didn't exactly convince him," Fergus said. "We think he's been compromised by Liz Hunter."
"Compromised?" Agnes chucked a bit. "That's ridiculous. Ms Hunter is a welcome addition to the estate."
"Hey, Lady. What about Fergus? He's been Mr. Knight's right hand man for seventeen years."
"It's not like he's been the perfect servant," Agnes said. "He's been fumbling for years." Fergus cleared his throat showing Anges that he was still in the room. "I'm afraid, Mr. Knight couldn't look past his mistakes any longer."
"That's quite untrue!" Fergus couldn't believe Agnes was speaking about him in this way. His feathers were definitely ruffled. He'd known and trusted her for years.
Agnes leaned forward and whispered, "I hear he's a bit of a drinker too."
That was the last straw for Fergus. He'd been a loyal employee for his entire career, above reproach. The fact that Agnes was speaking to him this way was hateful and demeaning.
"Well, I never expected such talk from you."
"It's just rude," Faith said. She pulled a small canister from her pocket and sprayed it in Agnes' face. The woman fell sideways and collapsed on Fouts.
"What did you do that for?" Fouts growled.
"There is something wrong with her. And anyway, she was annoying me."
Fouts drug the housekeeper to the sitting couch at the end of the room and dropped her on the cushions.
"This is not promising," Fouts said. "Let's hope one of the other staff members is more agreeable."
"Maybe Liz whammied everyone," Faith said, seriously.
"I doubt it. I think they realized Fergus wouldn't comply with them and they got rid of him immediately. They might have bought off Agnes with the promise of a dollar amount she couldn't resist."
"Agnes had to put her mother into an elderly facility and it is very expensive. She just couldn't do it anymore on her own. Her mother had Alzheimer's."
"That makes sense. It makes her vulnerable and Liz took advantage of that," Fouts said.
On the far end of one wing were the servants quarters. Willie Allen, one of the outdoor maintenance workers was just lying down to get a few winks when Fergus, Fouts and Faith entered the barracks area. Willie was lying on the bottom bunk on the far wall. His eyes grew wide when he saw them.
"Oh, no. You shouldn't be here. You're going to get us all in trouble." Willie was actually scared spitless.
"We need to stop Liz. We believe she's done something to Mr. Knight and it's effecting the entire corporation," Fouts said.
That didn't seem to matter to Willie. He had his and his family's livelihood to consider.
"No. NO. Go away. Go away NOW!"
Fouts was not going away. He'd gone to a lot of trouble to break into here and someone was going to tell him something even if he had to threaten this person's life.
They heard Liz's voice down the hall and Fouts silently threatened Willie. He didn't have to speak to threaten because when he was duly motivated, Fouts could do worse than Liz, Franklin Fairchild and Julian Black put together.
The three hid in separate places just as Liz Hunter thrust the door open. She questioned Willie briefly. The silent alarm had been triggered and she couldn't find the reason for the intrusion. Fouts could see the doorway from his vantage point. There were two red whelps at the base of her neck. That had to be where they programmed her with the ADP. It gave him an idea about how they could stop her. He just had to get Chandelor and Liz in the same room for it to work right.
When Liz exited, Fouts regrouped with Faith and Fergus. The new idea fresh in his mind. He eagerly shared it with Faith and Fergus. While he was pondering the details of his mission, Faith used her Legacy issued PDA to tap into the estate's security system. She found Chandelor Knight's location within a few minutes.
"He looks a little out of it, if you ask me," Faith said. "Maybe they've slipped him a mickey."
"It's possible," Fouts said. "Some drugs along with hypnotic suggestion have hampered many of our agents in the past."
"Sounds a bit old school, don't you think?"
"Chandelor's too old for some of this Advanced ADP Programming. The process could possibly give him a heart attack and I' sure that's not a part of their plans."
"Especially, if they want Chandelor to take the fall when this is all said and done," Faith said. "I've always wondered who would inherit the estate if some dire circumstance befell Mr. Knight," Fergus said.
"Chandelor has 3 sons. All with women he never married. Mackenzie and Graham Gray and Julian Black. Plus, Graham has two children, Phoenix and Scarlett," Fouts said
"You're really up on the Knight family history. They give you a crash course on that when they hired you?" Faith asked.
"I like to know what I'm dealing with before starting a new job," Fouts said. "Family histories of the important players is always a good thing to keep up on. Their families are threatened more than most."
Faith hadn't heard the name Phoenix Gray in years. Her history may be a little cloudy in her brain, but Phoenix and Scarlett were two people from her past she knew she could trust. They had saved her brother's life in Bulgaria, after all.
"We are going to need one thing before we put our plan in motion," Fergus said. "And I know exactly where we can find one.