Mark

Last updated: November 5th, 2021 12:12 am

Part of The Epic Rose Saga
Note: It is highly recommended you read these in order.

From: Steve
To: Mr. Mark David
Subject: Western Union Transfer


Dear Mr. David,

in order to once and for all end this story and make the voices stop pestering me, I turn to you at the behest of Ms. Rose Adams.

What do I need to do?

Best regards,
Steve

From: Mr. Mark David
To: Steve
Subject: WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER


We the MANAGEMENT, OFFICIAL AND STAFF OF  WESTERN UNION (WU) DAKAR SENEGAL are here to notify you that we received your information over the transfer of your funds.

We wish to notify you that the transfer of your funds has taken place today with your first payment of $5000 USD per day. However,  The arrangement has been made while you are required to pay a capitation fee of $320 USD to enable you to start receiving your money today which you will be receiving $5000 every day until you receive your total funds.

Below is your first payment details but you can not pick up the money as the money is on hold here until the payment of $320 is made.

MTCN: 9603101020
Amount: $5000

To confirm your payment online by yourself. You have to click the link below:

https://www.westernunion.com/global-service/track-transfer

Enter the (MTCN 9603101020) in the tracking number and click to Continue. You will confirm by yourself that your money transfer is ready to pick up but you can not pick up the money as the money is on hold here until the payment of $320 is made.

Yours Sincerely.
Mr. Mark David
Western Union (Dakar Senegal)
Office Number:+221 70 9709 838

From: Steve
To: Mr. Mark David
Subject: RE:WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER


Dear Mr. Mark David,

have you ever observed an oncoming storm?

I realize this may seem like a strange question. However, it is very much relevant to what I wish to discuss. So allow me to paint you a picture.

Imagine you stand barefoot atop a tall cliff overlooking the ocean. The playful luminescence of the rising sun and the soft rumblings of the pebbles rolling back and forth under dutiful guidance of the gentle waves all but lulls one into listlessness.

Yet something seems amiss. It is as if there is some sort of disturbance in the air. A sense of foreboding that you cannot quite place. As you seek to identify the source of the discomposure, you feel a tingling sensation. A gust of wind ruffles the still blades of grass, tickling your feet. It continues its journey into the nearby treetops, giving rise to a pleasant melody of rustling leaves and occasional subtle creeks in the branches.

That is when you realize it – in all these nature’s symphonies, there are no birds to be heard. There haven’t been for quite some time.

Another gust of wind makes its way towards you from the sea, considerably more aggressive than the last. You squint for a moment as you wait for it to pass and turn your head in the direction of its perceived origin. As you look into the distance you realize you are unable to discern the horizon. A dark, ominous formation of cloud obstructs your view.

You continue to observe the phenomenon. Little by little, yet with increasing speed and intensity, the grey tempest devours the sky. The chasm between the sea and the stormy clouds grows ever blacker with each passing moment. However, as if its tempestuousness renders it unable to suppress the inner turmoil, the darkness is often agitated by majestic bolts of lightning whose shattering crackle and roar rouse your ears a few moments later. The wind now furiously whistles and hisses all around you. No longer shackled by the temperament of the summer climate it now lays bare its frosty claws and icy teeth.

As you turn your gaze at the ocean below you realize the surface of the previously tranquil water is but a quaint relic of the recent past. Stupendous waves now ruthlessly pummel the rocks below, retreating for a moment, then returning with ever greater violence. The cliffs may tower above the waves, yet they can but helplessly gaze as their foundations erode and disappear in the water’s maw.

Still, all of this is but an omen. The wind and the waves are mere portents of impending doom. It will take some time before the storm reaches the shore. And while it may still seem far away presently, the certitude of its approach is not lost on you. It is only a matter of time before its unrelenting fury is unleashed upon the shores. You can do nothing but stand in awe of this atmospheric beast whose course can not be arrested by the hands of mortals.

A grim feeling of despair overcomes you as your legs give out and you fall to your knees. You come to a dreadful realization. It is too late for prayers. Too late to ask for forgiveness of past transgressions. Too late to take back the detestable, insolent, outrageous offers.

In case it is still not clear, Mr. David: I AM THE ONCOMING STORM. AND YOU HAVE TRANSGRESSED AGAINST ME FOR THE LAST TIME.

After countless hours I have allotted to this venture, after all the money I already wasted, and after all the blood that has been needlessly spilled, all thanks to the wretched ghoul who calls itself Ms. Rose, you now require even more money in fees, only to recover a measly sum of $300,000?!

I may have previously resigned myself to the misfortune which has befallen me. But your insolence has restored me fully. I am now more motivated than I have ever been.

And I am coming for you.

Best regards,
Steve

From: Mr. Mark David
To: Steve
Subject: RE:WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER


Do inform us when you are ready to have your money with thanks

Yours Sincerely.
Mr. Mark David
Western Union (Dakar Senegal)
Office Number:+221 70 9709 838

From: Steve
To: Mr. Mark David
Subject: RE:WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER


Dear Mr. David,

you must surely think me quite rude. It was well over a month ago you sent me your reply and yet naught but silence followed. My apologies. As you will soon see, I was quite preoccupied as of late. After months of miserable despondency, your brazen insolence finally spurred me on to take action and right the wrongs committed against me.

But before we continue, allow me to provide you with some context and catch you up with the events of this year’s early summer.

Following the pathetic (albeit successful, I admit begrudgingly) attempt on my life by my former servant and impertinent swine Ernesto and my subsequent reanimation I promptly began plotting my vengeance. However, with the ousting from my property came an unexpected tumbling of dominos that I did not forsee.

You see, the country I resided in had been kept stable by the implicit threat of swift and horrific violence which would befall anyone foolish enough to transgress against my (or the ruling party’s) unquestioned authority. The government I had helped put in power saw to that. The mistake I had made, however, was that I failed to anticipate the speed at which the regime would degenerate. I had always considered the commanders of the usurpers-turned-sovereigns – whom I had known personally – to be extremely shrewd and keen-eyed, not to mention incredibly ruthless. I was convinced that men of their caliber would be more than capable of keeping the tranquility, allowing me to enjoy the fruits of my labour in peace. As you know from my previous letters, this of course did not come to pass.

In a few short years the combat boots had been replaced by silk slippers. Almost to a man the new regime had turned to debauchery. These idiots became so blinded by the riches they accrued as to forget what kept them in power. Discontent quickly grew amongst the ranks of their armed forces as ordinary soldiers who struggled to put food on their families’ tables enviously looked upon their superiors obliviously content in opulence. As things stood, however, any thoughts of insurgency were but faint whispers. I was to but lift a finger and my armed hirelings would eagerly suppress any such nonsense.

And then my traitorous executioners brought to the people tidings of my demise. It was as if a ray of hope on the horizon pierced the darkness of endless night. The news spread like wildfire. The downtrodden, believing this to be their only chance to shed the shackles of their oppressors, seldom armed with little more than unrelenting fury accrued and honed through years of persecution, stormed the homes of their betters and exacted justice. With my mercenaries rationally concluding dead men don’t pay wages and the disaffected military standing aside, in a single tragic night more than one third of the party officials hung by their necks from the windows of the presidential palace. The rest were herded into the dungeons from which – ironically – the previous political dissidents were presently being released. To my knowledge not a single one of my good friends managed to get away.

Allow me a brief interlude for a moment. At this stage you might be rightfully confused about my shift of tone from our previous conversations. Yet it would do you great disservice to dwell on my relatively sympathetic portrayal of my downtrodden common folk’s plight and their subsequent actions. They are to a man loathsome vermin and shall be culled mercilessly once I get around to it. Having said that, you would be wise not to take me for a fool. Contrary to the imbeciles I helped put in power I am a great believer in knowing your enemy and learning from one’s mistakes. My seemingly positive portrayal of the rebels is but a matter of optics done for your benefit. Since the insurrection I have come to learn that it is no longer fashionable to speak of the ordinary citizens with the disdain I displayed in my previous letters. I have therefore augmented my presentation to accommodate more modern sensibilities. You are welcome.

Back to the story.

About a week after the coup I was back amongst the living. Blinded by rage and with a lust for vengeance I made a crucial mistake in judgement. Convinced that the denizens of my dominion shall be overcome by crippling fear at the prospect of my return I announced myself and in exquisitely flowery language expressed the incredible depths of agony that is surely to befall them all upon my arrival. To my eternal amazement, however, my covert operatives informed me that the reaction I provoked was the exact opposite of what I had anticipated. Instead of crippling fear it was one of even greater rage – that is to say, I merely added fuel to the fire. This was of course not ideal. It would have made my reconquista that much more difficult. Despite that, all was not lost. Enough of my loyalists who managed to conceal their allegiance were still deeply embedded in the organs of the state which – coupled with a small armed force I could still muster absent access to my treasury – would make overthrowing the rebels relatively easy.

Then suddenly, like a lightning from the sky, came tidings that had me wallowing in self-pity up until late spring.

The final part to this story I have so far omitted now comes into play. You see, back in the good old days after the installation of my handpicked regime, the new government found itself in a difficult financial situation. Having struck an agreement with me not to collect taxes on any of my vast properties, the flow of funds dropped substantially. After a few months a meeting was summoned and I was informed that the state of things cannot continue. Their hold on power was slipping without the necessary influx of capital needed to persecute dissidents and quell potential uprisings. I was of course unwilling to yield – the change in power I instigated was precisely downstream from my ideological believes on thinly-veiled governmental thievery better known by the innocent sounding name of “taxation”. Even so, I was not altogether unsympathetic to their predicament. As a means to break the incommodious stalemate and remembering one of the tricks from the playbook of the former leader of my fatherland I nonchalantly proposed they instigate an incident on one of our borders and simply raid the neighboring state under the pretense of self-defense. I said it almost in gest but the idea was adopted with great enthusiasm. Little did I know at the time that this proverbial rifle I thusly hung on the wall would come around to shoot me in the next scene.

In the years that followed, the greedy simpletons would proceed to declare war on every single one of our neighbors. Due to our relative military might and the comparative weakness of our surrounding nations they were able to strong-arm them into signing armistices which included hefty reparations flowing into their treasury for the forseeable future. I found all of this a bit short-sighted but it was preferable to me paying taxes so I remained silent and did not meddle into their affairs. Much to my chagrin, our neighbors were very much apprised of where the idea which devastated their populations and drained their coffers came from. After the recent coup it was therefore unsurprising that when the new loosely-formed rabble calling itself the provisional government informed them of my planned return, they were less then enthused. Worse than that, much to my horror I was informed by my spies that they pledged to defend the usurpers with their own armed forces should I attempt to re-gain control of my estates, much less the country.

And that, Mr. David, led to my dejected condition I spoke of earlier, the condition in which Ms. Rose found me. I had been defeated. The whole ordeal was eerily reminiscent of those bitter cold December days in 1942 when my brethren during Winter Storm were unsuccessful in breaking through the Ivan’s cauldron in the last-ditch effort to deliver us out of that god forsaken city. I was overcome with apathy. I had no moves left to make. My sleeves were bereft of aces. In a half-hearted attempt to receive some cash to get me through the year I reached out to you as Ms. Rose instructed.

Then I received your reply.

All my emotions came rushing back with vengeance. After all the suffering Ms. Rose and her schemes caused me, after all the emotional scares she and her people left upon my psyche, after all the money that had been promised to me and never materialized, some faceless, heartless bureaucrat from a second-tier bank now demanded yet more money from me?

This was the final straw.

In a way I must thank you, Mr. David. For it was you who once again lit the fire in my heart which now once again burns with the heat of a thousand stars.

In the weeks that followed I brainstormed some ideas on how to regain my land and assets. It took me a while but I am pleased to report that I am now firmly back in charge. And this time I am not going anywhere.

You might be surprised to hear this. How was I able to regain control of a nation and simultaneously subdued the threat of its four neighboring states? Well… ordinarily I would say this is a story for another time but my scheme was so deviously ingenious I shall uncharacteristically permit myself a little boast.

I unfortunately cannot reveal all the details of my scheme. I wouldn’t want to attract imitators, you see. Be that as it may – have you ever heard of Broken Arrows? The Americans – bless their hearts – and their stewardship of their nuclear arsenal leaves much to be desired. You would be amazed at the riches awaiting one on the floor of the Philippine Sea. Anyway, upon a quick search and recover mission with a bit of help from some loyal patriots I was able to smuggle my newfound thermonuclear beauty into my country, fix it up, and rig it to a device which would transmit some quite deadly signals in the unfortunate event of my heart stopping – or, you know, should I type out a six-digit code. Then I snuck into the parliament building during one of the provisional government’s televised sessions and gleefully announced my fait accompli to the rattled assembly. Let me tell you, it was quite surprising, even to myself, how quickly the revolution was rolled back. There are still some rough edges here and there but everything considered, I am back in control. You should come visit sometime. We are about to announce some proscriptions – in the old Roman meaning of the word, if you take my meaning. It is an incredibly exciting time.

As to your last email, Mr. David: I am in a fairly jovial mood at the moment. You are still alive, after all. That being said, your circumstances may change rapidly – I speak from experience. Given that, you shall transfer the money to me immediately, or else.

Best regards,
Steve

From: Mr. Mark David
To: Steve


[Awaiting reply]