I checked my bag and footlocker and we took our places at the end of a long security line. “So, I know we’re still in public, John, but can you tell me at least something about what we’re looking for?“
He turned to me. “What do you know about Brian Tyler’s assassination?”
“I thought this was about Empress Myra.”
“Two birds with one stone. Why do they always say that about the two of them?”
“Well, Brian Tyler was Rex Tyler’s father, and the President of the Caledonian Empire. 33 years ago, Brian Tyler was riding in a motorcade in broad daylight in downtown Delli, and he took two bullets, and died shortly after that. His wife was sitting next to him, and they have that footage of her holding his head. It’s just brutal to watch someone get shot like that. It’s like a snuff film.”
“And who did people think that Tyler was?“
“They thought he was the second coming of Good King Fitz. They kept calling his cabinet the Unbroken Wheel, like Fitz’s knights. Everyone thought we were entering some kind mythical age of enlightenment, led by our good wise king.“
“And how is he connected to Myra?“
“She died on exact same spot, shot in the exact same way, 23 years to the day that he was killed. No one is even sure how she ended up in an open air car riding down Elm Street in downtown Delli.”
“And who did people say she was?“
“They said she was the people’s empress. She was named after Tomyris, the warrior queen, and the moon goddess. Some people said that she was sacrificed to the moon goddess by the Faceless Men.”
“What about Rex? How’s he mixed up in this?”
“Rex is Chester’s man now, he’s the secretary of energy. Everyone think he’s going to run for president after Chester steps down. He’s also the heir to the Tyler dynasty.”
“Is Rex his real name?”
“No, it’s Brian Baruch Tyler, but everyone’s always called him Rex because he’s got so much charisma. They’ve been calling him ‘Prince Charming’ ever since he was born.” I stopped as we neared the head of the line. “Ten years before she got killed, Myra and Rex dated. There’s conspiracy theories that say that she had his baby in secret, and the child is hiding somewhere.”
“How old would that baby be right now?”
“Twenty, I guess.” Once we made it to the front of the line, I started taking off my shoes, my belt, and my glasses. Then I started emptying my pockets of all my metal, and I pulled out what I thought was a cloth handkerchief. I recognized my panties with horror; I must have stuck them in my pocket when I was running out of the blonde’s apartment. Shit, I had forgotten to wear underwear too. I hoped John wouldn’t notice. I looked over and he was busy with the contents of his own pockets. I shoved them back in my pocket.
We stood back and mine together we got back in line together, and he turned to me. He said, “do me a favor, after you get through the line, don’t put any metal back on. Just leave it in your bag.”
“Even my phone?”
“Even your phone.”
I followed his instructions, and we split to go through the metal detector. I sat down by the end of the x-ray conveyor belt to put my shoes back on. I hoped my slacks wouldn’t fall down without my belt and show my skinny ass to the world.
Something clicked in my brain. “They’re hiding something from the world. John, do you know where that girl is? Can you prove whose kid she is?” He put his finger to his lips and nodded. My eyes went wide. He promised he wouldn’t get me killed.