It Really Did March Right Up To The Gate
Rachel noted that there was yet another occupied cell, but didn't have time to satisfy her curiousity. She needed to report what she had heard to Danny immediately!
"Welcome to your new home, Frederick." she said quietly, as she guided a still groggy prisoner into an empty room. Once he was secured, she went straight to Danny's quarters.
"Yes?" said a male voice from the other side of the door, obviously distracted.
"It's Rachel. I'm here to report."
"Oh good, come in. Your timing is impeccable as usual. I have news of my own to report."
She opened the door, to find Danny and Barry poring over a set of notes, totally absorbed. Curious, she walked over to the table.
"Let's hear your news first." said Danny, putting the papers aside. This was partly to satisfy his own curiousity, and partly to build up Rachel's excitement. He knew that in no time, she would be like a kid waiting to open a Christmas present.
"I captured the Fruit Baron, just as you wanted. But first I was able to gather some valuable intelligence."
Despite the papers being tantalizingly close, Rachel gave a thorough and professional briefing. When she finished, she pointedly stared at the portfolio.
"Ah. My news and yours fits together like pizza and pepperoni. Have a look." he said, thoroughly enjoying her reaction.
When she finished skimming through, then going back to check some details, she reluctantly put it down.
"Where did you find this?"
"We didn't, it found us." admitted Barry.
"Are you telling me this just marched up to the gate, and asked to come in?" she asked skeptically.
"Sort of..." said Danny, feeling a little guilty about drawing this out for his own pleasure - but only a little.
It being his turn, he finally filled her in on how Delilah had come to him with the information about her father wanting to bring him down.
"Then we really should go check on her. Maybe take a fresh pizza along?"
"Yes. I wasn't sure what to think, but after your report I believe that she is sincere. First, I would like to see Frederick - I need to know why he's suddenly determined to blast me off of the planet. Did he actually receive false information or was he lying to the other barons..."
"I am telling you, Frederick. I don't want to be a blasted king! I never have. You can believe that or not, it doesn't matter because your little plot has been put on a permanent hold."
"Then who was using me?" he asked, starting to see reason. He was at the Pizza Baron's mercy now. The man had no reason to lie.
"Once I know that, heads will roll..." whispered Danny.
Frederick shivered. Even if he didn't want to rule North America, Danny Rupert was one dangerous individual. He was sincerely grateful that he hadn't actually crossed the man.
"I could send for the evidence. Maybe if you had a look at it, you could tell who sent it."
"Very well. You can dictate a letter to Rachel when we finish. She will edit it as she sees fit, to avoid any unwanted company. So don't think about calling for help. Once this is resolved, you will be free to go, assuming that you are telling me the truth."
Frederick sighed in relief. As he relaxed, he thought he heard a familiar female voice angrily yelling for an audience with Danny Rupert.
Cover image made in Canva using their gallery