This week's post is: Interview with a Villian!
I decided I would focus this week's post on my villian from The Soul Quest Trilogy, Shyam Donavan. This week's post will feature an excerpt from Soulless; The Story of Shayan, a novella and prequel to Soul Quest, the first book in The Soul Quest Trilogy. Shyam, formerly Shayan, the Oracle of Humanity, finds himself envious of human kind's free will. In the end his selfish desires over power his duty as the protector of mankind. Soulless is the story of Shyam's descent into darkness.
Meet Shyam (Shayan):
Place: Los Angeles, California
“I am as innocent regarding any conspiracy as any of you gentlemen in this room.”
As I gazed around the familiar hall housing the gun show I was greeted with a familiar smiling face. I’d met the gentleman several years ago and on many occasions. This is not an unusual or chance meeting in my line of work. These days I pass my time and earn my fortune by selling fire arms. The face of relaxed recognition approaching me now is a regular customer.
“Hello Sirhan. How has life been treating you?” I inquired politely.
“Not too bad… and yourself?” he returned easily.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to gain the trust and respect of this man just as I have the three other human men I’ve recently rallied to my cause. Today’s goal will be to compel Sirhan into my ranks too.
What is this cause I refer to, you may wonder? Perhaps I should begin with the secondary priority in the matter. The priority that is necessary to support my primary cause. The secondary priority is necessary only to insure my innocence along the journey. This has been my motivation for pursuing and acquiring assistance from Sirhan and the three other humans. These men lack credibility. They are introverts, loners and a few are just plain crazy. I intend to compel them into doing my bidding and watch them suffer the consequences. Afterward I’ll walk away with out an ounce of suspicion to deface my exemplar reputation.
So, how will I get these men to help, you now puzzle? It’s simple, hatred. Whether their hatred manifests itself in the form of revenge, prejudice or insanity I have no concern because it is this hatred that binds them to my task. I’ve lured them in by forming an assassination conspiracy. Everyone needs someone to blame for their problems, right? Of course they do. So, my little assassination conspiracy will target the culprits to these supposed betrayers, the most powerfully influential American political and spiritual leaders of the day and time; John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now, what is my primary cause? Power, of course… It is my sole objective to weaken and cripple the order and spirit of the American people. I will wreak havoc on The United States of America so that I may one day take my rightful place as the President of this awesome country. Securing the political spot as leader of one of the world’s largest and most powerful nations will be the beginning of my quest toward world domination.
“So Sirhan, my dear friend, have you made a decision regarding the opportunity I extended toward you on our last rendezvous?” I prodded.
Hopefully my compulsion is taking effect. Sirhan looked at me sternly for just one moment before tossing his head back in laughter. He was teasing me.
“Of course I have Shyam. I wouldn’t pass this chance up for anything.” he grinned. “What’s next?”
Sirhan’s eyes sparkled with intensity and excitement. I had him for sure.
Two weeks later in Manhattan I found myself sitting with the four gentlemen. We gathered around the dining room table of my suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It was time to make plans.
“Thank you for coming Sirhan, James, Lee and David. I’m delighted to know that I am not alone on my mission for justice in this newly misguided world.”
“Amen to that.” echoed David.
This man is about as dense as they come but his heart is one hundred percent committed.
“Here is what I propose we do. It seems obvious to me that the major threats at hand politically are President Kennedy and that brother of his, Robert. I want to silence this black preacher man too but these fools continue to support his cause.” I began.
“So, we knock off John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr?” Lee inquired. “Fine with me, but I get to put a bullet in the President as payback for what he did to Castro.”
“Speaking of bullets… tell us about this magic bullet of yours again Shyam.” James smiled.
This was another strategy I used to lure the men into my plans. It is true that I have created a magic bullet of sorts but I don’t dare share all of the details involved in developing it. What makes this bullet magic is my DNA. I’ve injected each bullet with enough DNA to dissolve the fired shell and destroy the surrounding flesh of the newly made wound. This effect will make it impossible for the authorities and medics to trace any bullets to their source.
“My magic bullet, as you like to call it, has been designed using a special chemical bond which I can not identify. Sorry, copyright laws and all of that… Anyway, the bullet I’ve designed is entirely untraceable. No medical or fire arms expert will be able to identify the gun used to fire the fatal bullet. In fact, they will not be able to retrieve the bullet itself because it disintegrates upon impacting human flesh.”
Four male faces stared back at me with awed expression.
“Hey, what about that actress Marilyn Monroe… she’s always hanging around with the President. I think she’s more than she claims to be, you know, a lot more than just a pretty face on the side?” David regained composure.
He was getting caught up in the excitement. I had heard others speculate that this Monroe character was much more than the President’s whore but never gave it much credence. Still, I should keep David happy. Doing so will only further my cause.
“As you wish David… I always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.” I nodded and the four men robotically copied my action.
The day has finally arrived, November 22, 1963. Today President Kennedy will breathe his last breath. The five of us were huddled in a circle on top of the Texas Schoolbook Depository. The president would pass this location in his route in some parade or event scheduled for the day. It was the perfect opportunity for his death.
“Are you ready Lee? I promised you the President. Will you be able to pull the trigger when the opportunity to execute him presents itself?” I asked.
“Absolutely, I’ve been looking forward to this with great anticipation.” Lee nodded.
He had a smirk on his face that lacked humor. He was entirely relaxed and focused on his task. David, James and Sirhan looked nervous. Sirhan even had a slight green tint to his complexion. Still, the men were here fulfilling the details of their assignment.
We decided to separate to take different firing angles in the event that Lee missed the target. Lee took aim in a room at the top of the Texas Schoolbook Depository while the rest of us scattered ourselves along the Grassy Knoll. I intended to flee the scene just as soon as I was assured of the President’s death. As President Kennedy’s uncovered limousine turned onto Elm Street and passed the Texas Schoolbook Depository shots were immediately fired. I distinctly heard three shots. Two came from Lee’s location but the third was fired from the Grassy Knoll. Lee had missed his target leaving someone else the task of firing the fatal shot. As the President lay despondent and grotesquely wounded in the back seat of the limo James, David, Sirhan and I took the chaotically, distracting moment as an opportunity to escape.
Later that evening news reports confirmed the death of President John F. Kennedy. James, David, Sirhan and I returned to Manhattan to distance ourselves from Lee. He had been arrested by an officer J. D. Tippit only forty minutes after the shooting. We watched nervously from the comfort of my suite at the Waldorf Astoria. As suspected the nation was in hysteria. I relished in the fact that with this one death I had already managed to weaken the political foundation of this powerful nation and secure an emotionally fragile state among its people. We continued to watch the story unfold on the television screen.
“Only two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy his alleged murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald has been killed by night club owner Jack Ruby.” we heard the news anchor report.
The authorities were transferring Lee from police headquarters to the county jail when Mr. Ruby shot and killed him.
I could sense that James, David and Sirhan were rattled by this news. I was not about to share my relief with them. The way I see it, I now have one less mouth to silence when this is all over.
“It’s a shame about what happened to Lee but he did get to avenge Castro as he wished. Even though I do not feel vulnerable to any suspicion at this time I feel we should take precaution and keep our distance for awhile. I will contact you when I feel it is safe to move forward with the plan again.” I said firmly.
My colleagues agreed and we returned to our everyday lives as if nothing had transpired.
Several years have passed. One month ago the assassination conspiracy reunited to continue with my mission. The motel room in Memphis was small and dingy but today the room next door housed the next target on my list, Martin Luther King, Jr. It was James who made the fatal shot in Dallas over four years ago and so it is him that I rely on today to do the same service to the preacher man. I listened carefully as I heard the neighboring hotel room door open. I could hear the preacher speaking in hushed tones as he exited his room. Within seconds I heard the popping blasts of shots fired. David and Sirhan darted toward the window to catch a glimpse of what was happening but I restrained them. It was crucial that we remain undetected. As the chaos commenced I led the two men to the back of the hotel room. There was a window located in the bathroom that led out to a small platform. I instructed them to follow me as I exited the window onto the platform, jumped from it onto a nearby dumpster and finally found the ground. They followed and we ran.
It was an oddly enjoyable and familiar feeling listening to the news regarding the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr. I’d been following the media’s accounts of James’s whereabouts since the killing on April 4, 1968. He had escaped in Memphis and gone on the run. Four days after the killing he crossed the Canadian border and fled to London using a fake passport.
“Now what?” Sirhan wondered.
“Now, while James has the authorities busied, we plan our next assassination, Robert F. Kennedy.” I said calmly. Sirhan and David eyed one another hesitantly. “Is there something the matter gentlemen?” I challenged.
“No!” Sirhan began defensively. “Well, it’s just that Lee was arrested and killed and now James is on the run. I’m just not sure…” he trailed off.
His voice was filled with uncertainty. I could tell his words had rattled David too. I can not afford to lose Sirhan and David’s support right now. Not when I’m so close to completing my goal.
“You’re not sure about what?” I snapped at Sirhan.
When all else fails intimidation works divinely. Sirhan was literally quivering in fear.
“N..n.n..nothing Shyam... It was nothing, nothing at all.” he easily bent to my will.
“Good. Go home now. I will contact both of you when the time is right to move.” I instructed.
The authorities remain hot on James’s trail. In the mean time I took it upon myself to keep tabs on Robert Kennedy. I soon learned that Mr. Kennedy would be in Los Angeles during the California primary election for the Democratic nomination in June.
“Sirhan, I need you to pick up David and me from LAX in the morning. I’ll fill you in on the details when we arrive. Be there with a car by ten AM.” I commanded into the telephone before replacing the receiver. I didn’t bother to wait for his response.
“So what’s going on Shyam?” Sirhan breathed with anxiety as we pulled out of the airport into LA’s traffic. “What is so urgent?”
“Robert Kennedy is in your neck of the woods Sirhan.” I smiled.
He shrugged indifferently. “Oh yeah, it’s June fourth. The California primary is tonight. So, you want to try to take him down in front of thousands of people?” he asked incredulously.
“Not quite. I was thinking about after the primary when he returns to his headquarters at The Ambassador Hotel.” I clarified. Sirhan only nodded. He was nervous and I could see his fear gaining a power beyond my control. He may lose his nerve and decide not to pull the trigger. “Relax Sirhan, everything will be fine. They still haven’t caught James.” I encouraged.
My suspicion was that James would be caught very soon but Sirhan and David aren’t aware of this fact. I had to use James’s current freedom as leverage tonight. My words seemed to work a little. Sirhan’s shoulders relaxed slightly and his breathing became more even.
“OK, so what do you want me to do?” he asked.
What an idiot!
“I want you to shoot him.” I explained as if I were speaking to a small child.
Robert Kennedy won the Democratic vote for the California primary election. This doubled my motivation to kill him. He could become as politically powerful as his late brother John. Currently we were in Sirhan’s car on our way to The Ambassador Hotel. Sirhan claimed that he could and would still live up to his part of the plan but I decided not to trust his commitment to the mission. I quickly devised a back up plan when we reached the hotel. People were scattered everywhere in the building. They were ecstatic over Robert Kennedy’s victory. The hotel was swarming with security and so I decided I would use these men to my advantage. As one of the hotel security guards rounded the corner I grabbed him with my inhuman strength and speed and whisked him into a linen closet. I knocked him out and traded out our clothing. I was now a part of the hotel security detail.
Shortly after midnight Robert Kennedy made his way to the kitchen of the hotel. Sirhan, David and I recognized our opportunity and seized it. I watched as Sirhan approached Robert in the kitchen. He stopped short of the man when he was a good six feet away. He lost his nerve. There was no way he would attempt to shoot Mr. Kennedy in this crowded space from that far of a distance. As this fact registered I made my way toward Robert. I stood directly behind him, close enough to touch him, to press the trigger of my gun into his back and then I fired it. Panic erupts in the kitchen and Robert Kennedy’s security personnel find a shocked Sirhan standing several feet away from the collapsed politician holding a hand gun. They seize him. I slip out of the chaos and return to the linen closet holding the unconscious hotel security guard. I replace our clothing before finding David. We walk four blocks from the hotel and hail a taxi to freedom.
David had been pacing nervously on the balcony of my suite at The Waldorf Astoria for over twenty minutes.
“Spit it out David.” I finally encouraged. I couldn’t take it anymore. “What’s on your mind?”
David responded with out hesitation. This surprised me a little. “I want out of the assassination conspiracy Shyam. I know I was the one who suggested that we off the Monroe chick but my hearts not in it anymore. I’m done with this.” he finally admitted.
Wow, he really is desperate. I shrugged as if I didn’t mind. I didn’t really. I’d already gotten what I wanted and was planning to kill him anyway, not that he was precisely aware of this fact. “Fine, you’re a free man.” I smiled. “…and just to show you there are no hard feelings why don’t we celebrate with this fabulous bottle of Champaign.” I suggested.
David immediately relaxed and approached the sofa as he returned from the balcony. He smiled at me with relief and gratitude as he fell onto the lush cushions. I turned on the news as a distraction. As David’s eyes glued themselves to the TV I began to fill two glasses with golden bubbly liquid. Ever so quickly I slipped cyanide into his drink. He never saw or suspected anything. The effects of the drug took effect almost immediately and I ignored his momentary strangled gasps and groans as my gaze was caught up in the latest news on the television. As David lay slumped in death next to me a picture of James flashed across the screen.
“At 11 o’clock in the morning on Saturday, June 8th 1968, James Earl Ray was apprehended by an immigration officer at Heathrow Airport.” the news anchor bellowed.
“Oops, sorry James… It really is a shame that the one person you so desperately trusted through all of this tipped off your whereabouts to the authorities. Never trust a criminal James, even when you are one.”
Well, that's my two cents on this weeks theme. Don't forget to meet the villians for the rest of my carni friends! I can't wait to read their posts myself!