The Heir

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Bryson Greenworth has worked his whole life to build SeaCorp into the sprawling conglomerate it now is. As he lays on his deathbed he recieves a visitor, his son.

Submitted: February 07, 2017

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Submitted: February 07, 2017

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Bryson Greenworth was dying.

Despite his billions of dollars, his power, his control over the governments and the business community; he was about to breathe his last.

The lung cancer had spread, despite twelve operations and two complete lung transplants, one with a cloned organ and the other from a donated body; the fact the donation was not entirely voluntary meant nothing to Greeworth; he was a vital part of society and the loss of some menial would mean nothing; they could easily be replaced.

He was still seething about the protests when the plebs had found out about it, one worker; a worker who hadn’t done anything more than worked on the production line of SeaCorp Industries manufacturing. Bryson had no idea what factory the worker had been indentured at, he owned dozens of factories and he had been assured the man’s widow had been given a payment.

What more did they want? If the workers wanted a better life then they should have worked harder to pay off their debts and those of their parents, Bryson had worked hard his whole life to get where he was; could he help it if he was blessed with excellent business sense?

And it was almost at an end.

He hated that, despite all he had done and worked for he was about to die and his son; Charles, would become the CEO of SeaCorp.

Charles; what a maggot.

Bryson may have fathered the cretin but he had no faith in the boy’s ability. Charles had been spoilt by his mother and nanny, ruined by their affection. Bryson was made of sterner stuff and made a point not to coddle his offspring, he also let his wife and the nanny know exactly what he thought of their weakness and made doubly sure to do so when Charles was watching. With any luck the kid might grow a spine by osmosis but Bryson wasn’t convinced.

What was to be done? Bryson had built an empire, a conglomerate of companies tied to his own control, each one interwoven in local governments, cartels and organisations that could lend support and manipulate processes.

What would he leave behind?

His reputation was surely impregnable, a stalwart of traditional values whose determination had shaped the globe, wresting power back from the pathetic mewling masses and their social justice groups; driving his business rivals into the ground, bringing industry to the far flung corners of the globe and crushing the opposition from so called, government organisations.

He was an unmitigated success.

Except at home, his only child was a bitter disappointment despite having had the best schooling, the most expensive tutors and the opportunity to excel in every way; Charles Greenworth was nothing like his father had hoped.

A fucking dead end.

Bryson wished he had a cigarette handy; the respirator around his face would have made it difficult to smoke though and that prick of a doctor had banned smoking in the room due to the oxygen tanks. Bloody snowflake, Bryson wasn’t going to go and blow himself up but the damn nanny state was still trying to pull him down.

All that work for nothing, there was still hope though; hope that those needle dick scientists would crack the secret of that bloody artefact. Bryson had spent billions finding it, buried deep under the sands of Iraq; he’d spent even more money getting it out here once those bloody Arabs had decided they didn’t want to give it up. Well, he’d shown them. Nothing like an extended bombing campaign to put the riff-raff in their place.

Who was he kidding, the boffins were nerds and in no hurry at all to crack the code of the artefact; the legends surrounding it were clear enough, eternal power and eternal life; what was so hard to understand? They just had to make it work.

The doorbell chimed and Bryson glanced towards the entrance; it was Charles and for once he wasn’t with his detestable mother. Bryson might have loved her once, he certainly didn’t anymore. At forty-two she was well past her prime and Bryson had indulged in numerous affairs before he had been confined to this damnable bed.

“Hello, father.” Smile Charles; his thin frame dressed in a tailored jacket, complete with ridiculous frogging.

Bryson managed a sneer behind his mask, but said nothing; allowing his contempt for this idiot child seep through his clammy skin.

“I decided it was time we had a chat about my inheritance.” said Charles, idly. “I understand that I am not exactly the man you hoped I would be; that I perhaps and a little too……”

“Effeminate” coughed Bryson, his eyes watering with the effort of speaking.

“I was going to say cultured, actually.” Finished Charles.

“You’re a disgrace to the name.” Bryson managed.

“On the contrary, father; I think you’ll find I am everything you wanted me to be and more.” Charles smiled again, a feral smile; that of a scavenger coming across helpless prey. “You wanted me to be intelligent, I’m a genius. You wished for me to be brave, I stand now before my greatest critic; unashamed and unafraid.”

The younger Greenworth moved closer to the bed, patting a ring bedecked finger on the once stocky Bryson’s wasting leg. Bryson sneered again, hissing at the touch but Charles continued, raising an eyebrow in open defiance.

“You wished me to study the art of the deal; I have done so and even now stand on the cusp of my ascension to greatness, you wanted me to step away from Mother’s shadow and do you see her here with me?”

The thought rattled Bryson, the child was right; where was his ever present mother, or at least his nanny? What ascension was he speaking of?

Charles leaned in close, his breath hot and rank. “You wanted me to follow in your footsteps, to be an Alpha, to be a predator without peer; to win and to destroy all opposition in the climb to the very top. That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it Father?”

Bryson nodded, sweat beading on his brow as he sensed his son’s sick fervour.

“Well, Father; here I am; today is the first day of the rest of my life and the last day of yours.”

Bryson tried shaking his head as Charles stepped away from the bed and with a flourish that bounced the gold frogging on his jacket tore away the power cords to the respirator and the monitoring system.

Bryson struggled to sit up, but he was too weak.

“All of that power, Father.” Sneered Charles. “All of your wealth and your guards and your endless pride, all of your victories and conquests and bravado. How does it help you now?”

As the flow of oxygen died away. Bryson felt himself begin to choke.

“No, really, where are your guards, Father?” sniggered Charles, “Oh, that’s right; they’re my guards now.”

“Rebecca” gasped Bryson, hoping his wife; forever dutiful, forever kind and forgiving would appear and stop her son’s madness.

“Oh, Mother can’t hear you. I’m afraid she took a tumble with Nanny Fielding off the balcony. Tragic, tragic accident.”

“You killed them?” choked Bryson, his throat constricting and gurgling.

“I prefer to think of it as a redundancy; they were no longer necessary to my plans and of course; now neither will you be.”

“I can’t die.” Whispered a desperate Bryson, reaching out to his son for mercy.

Charles took his father’s hands in his own and held them clasped to his chest. “Well, I’m afraid Old Man, that’s where you are very wrong. You will die, here and now and I will become the sole owner of SeaCorp. You have taught me well you know, all of the lessons you gave me.” He paused and let his father’s hands drop.

“Did you know that so far, in all my years of life; you’ve never come to one of my birthday parties? Did you know that I’ve never been hugged by you? Do you think I like the way you treat mother? Well, I don’t and now It’s time for you to go.”

Bryson tried to breathe, he gasped in the dead respirator but there was no air. His ruined lungs lacked the strength to manage more than a hiss of anger as he faded into unconsciousness.

Charles Greenworth looked at his soon to be dead father. He felt nothing but contempt for the old man; how long had he been held back, like a child, while his father refused to release control to even part of his business empire? Mollycoddled by his mother and nurse, teased by his peers for his eccentricity and brilliance, left to meander thought he corridors of SeaCorp’s research facilities and the newly build SeaCorp Towers, alone and unattended, his father had had it coming.

Now it would all be his, the whole corporation with divisions and sub-companies across the globe. Charles Greenworth would reshape the world in his own image, a product of unfettered genius no longer constrained by his father’s plodding ambition. He thought of his betrothed, Margaret, he hardly knew her but knew he’d be a better husband than his father had ever been. He’d be loyal, dedicated, they would have a multitude of happy, driven, successful children and together they would rule the world.

Nothing would stand in the way of his vision.

Nothing could stand in the way of Charles Greenworth, he had worked too hard to fail now.

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Baart Groot. All rights reserved.

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