The Exile: Episode 59

“What is this?” I exclaimed, holding up the photograph.

“I’m so sorry, sir. I thought you were dead,” Colin Summers whimpered.

I felt myself losing control and reached out to attack him. Thankfully, Heckle and Jeckle grabbed me and pulled me out of the room. While Jeckle went back in the room to talk to the frightened Summers, Cazonetti wrapped his hand around my arm and made me a promise.

“Relax, man. We’ll figure this out.”

Furious, I pushed him off me and snapped,

“That’s not me in this picture!”

My anger dissipated as my eyes filled with tears.

“I know who it is, but it has to be a lie,” I insisted, dropping my chin to my chest.

“Who is it?” Heckle asked.

When I looked up to answer, I spotted a man perched on the rooftop of one of the opposite buildings. Rifle in hand, he was taking aim at the windows just in front of us.

“Run!” I yelled, seconds before canisters exploded through the windowpanes and began filling the room with gas.

I turned toward the interrogation room but stopped when I saw that Jeckle was down and Summers was grabbing Lorelei, pinning her to the floor.

“Get down!” Cazonetti yelled at me.

Just then a bullet punched into the floor, narrowly missing me. When someone began pounding on the warehouse door, Cazonetti yelled to Heckle,

“Get him out of here!”

As the warehouse door burst open, Cazonetti reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a vial of blue liquid, the same liquid I had seen him drink in the bar. In the smoke and confusion, Heckle grabbed my collar and told me to stay low as he hurried me toward a door at the other side of the room.

Looking back, I watched in fascination as knives slipped out from Cazonetti’s sleeves and he charged the men pouring through the warehouse door.

“Come on!” Heckle yelled, dragging me through the door.

Quickly, we stepped into a hallway, and Heckle shut the door behind us, sliding a large bolt to lock it.

“We can’t leave them!” I protested.

“Listen, my brother is back there, so don’t for one second think I’m enjoying this. You’re who they’re after, so as long as you’re free, the others stand a chance. Now move it or be carried!” Heckle snapped.

Stunned by Heckle’s shift to a serious side, I slowly followed him down the long hallway. Finally, the hallway ended at a set of stairs and a door. When he opened the door, we stepped out into a grove of trees.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“The park. It was our emergency exit in case something happened.”

“How did those men find us?” I asked.

“They must have bugged Summers. He lead them right to us,” Heckle said.

“What now?” I asked.

“We call in the big guns. But first, I’ve got a question for you. What did you mean when you said it had to be a lie?”

I was silent for a few moments, not wanting to say what my heart already knew. Heckle seemed to sense my anguish and waited patiently for an answer.

“I know the man in the picture looks like me, but he isn’t. I told you a while back that to the untrained eye, my brother and I looked like twins. I can tell that this man has makeup on, some sort of disguise I guess. But the eyes are the giveaway. The man in this picture is my brother,” I explained.

“Didn’t you say he was dead,” Heckle reminded me.

“He is. But this picture explains why I’m being hunted. The people after me think I’m him.”

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