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Harry Potter And The Game of Death
Chapter Thirty-Three: Movements in the Shadows
At the top of a spire located somewhere within the Americas, a brown-haired man stood before a collection of witches and wizards seated within a large room. Giant windows to every side allowed the sun's light to stream in, dazzling the eye as it refracted off the assorted crystals and jewels embedded into decorations and magical devices alike. It was one of the most beloved staterooms of the International Confederation of Wizards for this beauty, but those gathered within its walls were unable to appreciate it on this day.
The man had been speaking for nearly an hour to the highest council of the I.C.W. and sweat could be seen dripping down his bandaged forehead. The faces of those he spoke to wore various looks of disbelief, as though they were unable to process what had just been reported. The man bowed low to the august body, his tan robes shifting as he folded them to cover his burnt and twisted hands.
"That brings my report to its conclusion, most esteemed Mugwumps. It is my hope that you have the grace and the fortitude to act on the information it contained so that the sacrifices of my comrades were not in vain. May the gods and goddesses above guide your discussion."
Finished at long last, the man wearily walked to a nearby staircase. The heavy stone golem which stood watch allowed the man to leave without issue. He descended the stone steps with a heavy tread, the sound of his footsteps echoing in the tense air.
Albus Dumbledore leaned back in his tall chair, taking a moment to rub his tired eyes. The agent's report had been quite long, and lengthy sessions such as this wore heavily on his old bones. But that was the sole allowance he made for himself. He had a duty to perform and delaying it would only worsen the coming acrimony.
"Members of the council," he intoned gravely, "we have just heard the report of the last surviving intelligence agent dispatched to survey the unusual happenings in Albania's Dark Forest. Agent Farad's testimony has raised grave and serious issues which I hope you will consider thoroughly before you reach a conclusion. The floor is open to discussion."
The first person to speak was a wizard from the country in question.
"I must object to the fanciful testimony we have just heard, Albus!" The man's voice was filled with hurt and righteous anger as he gestured with a closed fist. "It was filled with naught but lies and deceit. I can assure the entire council that my nation remains in complete control of the area surrounding the Dark Forest. I can also state with absolute certainty that the wards which this august body have placed upon its boundaries centuries ago have shown no signs of weakening and remain fully intact."
"Are you certain of that, Murat?" A witch from the Magical Congress of the United States of America stood in opposition to the Albanian wizard. Her dark purple hat and magenta robes swayed as she spoke. "My own sources would seem to confirm the truth of the agent's words. As I mentioned at each of the three sessions prior. Your nation's control over the Dark Forest and the creatures it contains would seem to be slipping."
"Yes! We too can verify this," a third member chimed in forcefully. The man's mauve and white robes swirled about as he gesticulated wildly. "Why, within the past two days alone I have received multiple reports of trolls and giants being sighted within my nation's boundaries. And several days before that there was a report about a full-blooded Gryffon fighting a pair of mated Manticore's in full view of a Muggle village. Not since the Twenty-Fifth Compact of Wizardkind was signed nearly a hundred years ago and Albania promised independence in order to function as a neutral warden over the dangerous entities the forest contains. A duty they have clearly failed to uphold."
"Your words betray your nation's interests in this matter, Joska." Murat matched glares with the dark-eyed wizard who had just spoken. "The Austro-Hungarian Empire has always wanted to reabsorb us back into your diseased embrace. This is just another pathetic attempt in a long line of pathetic attempts to trick this august body into whitewashing your country's greedy desires. And I for one will not stand for it, you foul piece of rotting garbage!"
"How dare you insult my honour and that of my country, you arrogant son of a –"
The entire council dissolved into a verbal scrum as the various representatives argued with one another. Those who believed the agent's report, in which it was claimed that the wards around Albania's Dark Forest were on the verge of collapse, howled for immediate action to be taken lest an irrecoverable breach of the Internation Statute of Wizarding Secrecy occur. While those who felt that it was a lie, or were scared to face the truth, howled back with wild accusations of their own. Albus' attempts to restore order and guide the collective into a reasonable discussion failed, leading to the eventual dissolution of the session without a clear settlement in place to deal with the possible crisis.
The only thing of any good that came about from the meeting happened when Albus met privately with a small group of mugwumps afterwards. Composed of witches and wizards from multiple nations, the group agreed to form a joint task force that, with Dumbledore acting as its leader, would travel to Albania's Dark Forest and determine the truth of the matter once and for all. Every member selected to join the task force would be at the level of a Mage, with the goal of creating a group capable of both moving quickly while enacting powerful magic rituals on a grand scale should their worst fears be confirmed.
Like Albus, the nations who comprised the group knew that the Dark beings which dwelled within the Forest were not limited to mere magical creatures or rogue Vampires. Far greater and terrible existences dwelled within its confines, and should they break loose then the entire world could be endangered. It would take the emergence of a Chosen One, or perhaps many Chosen ones, to halt their advance. And though some of the mugwumps claimed to have information which indicated that such an individual did exist within the present era, no country had yet to publicly claim them.
Which was a second boon to have come from the smaller meeting. The knowledge that other states and organizations were searching for this Chosen One sent a cold shiver down Albus' back, but knowing that they had yet to find their quarry gave him room to act. After the small meeting had come to an end Albus had made sure to further muddy the etherial tides surrounding Harry in order to keep the boy hidden from the prying gaze of foreign scryers. Only he knew that Harry Potter was the one they sought. And until the boy had grown into his own power, with the ability to protect himself from the machinations of those who would use him, that was the way Albus wished to keep it.
The potential crisis the group of mugwumps and Albus feared lay ahead was not yet upon them. It could still be diverted through the efforts of enough good men and women. Whereas saving the world from an apocalyptic disaster was a burden that should never be placed upon the shoulders of one so young as Harry. Especially when the boy already had enough on his plate to deal with as it were, what with the fate of his destined showdown against Riddle and those who would serve the recuperating Dark Lord.
"You Muggle-loving sons of whores! Your display of naked incompetence today brought shame to your Houses. All of them! But most of all to my own House, which was the public face of this bloody disaster!"
Lucius could already see the headlines in tomorrow's edition of the Daily Prophet. 'Harry Potter Wallops Pureblood Scion of House Malfoy.' 'House Malfoy Fails Again.' Or even 'Narcissa Black Laughs at Former House's Continued Misfortune.'
Just thinking of the possibilities caused Lucius to see red as he continued to pace. "To think that you allowed yourselves to be beaten by a disgusting half-breed and the daughter of a Muggleborn. Two examples of the filth that we would see wiped from our society like the disgusting pieces of trash they are. Such an egregious travesty spits upon every tradition that those of the Blood hold dear."
Lucius Malfoy cursed out the three men before him with every invective he could imagine. After several minutes of non-stop haranguing during which the three men said not a single word in reply, he stopped his pacing and stared at them. His black gentleman's cane switched between them as if seeking a target.
Which, considering the fact that he could use it to cast spells thanks to his wand being hidden within its hilt, was a distinct possibility.
"Well? What do you have to say for yourselves?" He hissed. "I'm waiting to hear what kind of brilliant excuses you might have to explain your misbegotten actions. Or are you silent because that hoary old bastard, Dumbledore, buggered you so hard last night that you've lost the ability to speak?"
Yaxley and Morgan's eyes flashed with barely concealed rage as Lucius stared at them. He would have loved to pry into their minds with Legilimency, but to his further frustration both of their Occlumency shields held firm against his continued probes. The two men held their tempers, most likely from the knowledge that their lives and fortunes were tied to Lucius' own. For if he willed it then both men could soon find themselves in the poorhouses alongside the likes of the disgusting Weasleys. A fate which would mean instant ostracising from their social peers and the death of their ambitions.
Parkinson, however, was somewhat more bold. His bloody face, cut and swollen from where Andromeda's girl had injured him in their duel, was gruesome to see as he matched eyes with Lucius. "What did you expect us to do in that situation, Lucius? Dumbledore's pet Werewolf and Andromeda's wayward daughter took us by surprise by discovering us much sooner than you had anticipated. And despite the taint on their blood, both of them come from old and prestigious bloodlines. It is to be expected that their abilities would not shame their ancestral Houses."
His voice thickening from anger towards the end, the man began to make choking sounds. After working something through his throat he spat a bloody wad onto the dark wooden floor. The spittle nearly hit Lucius' expensive dragon-hide boots and stoked his anger anew.
"Besides," Parkinson continued, "given the tight quarters of the tent you told us to take, neither Yaxley nor I could use our magic to full effect to defend Morgan. Who, by the way, was a sitting duck because of your brilliant plan. The battleground played to their strengths and went against our weaknesses!"
"So it's my fault that you failed to protect Morgan while he was occupied? Or that Morgan failed to defeat Potter during the duel?" Lucius slapped the man's face with his gloved hand, using just enough force to whip the man's head around without breaking the skin. "Shut up, Parkinson. And don't even think of speaking again until I give you permission. I may be more merciful than our former Lord, but I am not above making an example should you continue to bleat like the cowardly sheep you are."
Parkinson's jaw tightened as he slowly moved his head around. The muscles in his cheek visibly clenched as a red mark from Lucius' backhanded slap began to form. "Yes, Lucius," the man bit out. "As you command."
"Exactly, Parkinson. You should do precisely as I command. I have ways of making your daughter's fate seem like a mercy compared to what I could do to you. A fact which you would do well to remember."
A few ideas for such a punishment flashed through Lucius' head as he spoke. Although most Dark rituals called for the sacrifice of women, creatures, or those who fought against the Dark, there were some which called for the sacrifice of a Dark Witch or Wizard. Parkinson and his wife would make for lovely choices should the man continue to buck Lucius' authority in the future.
But not yet. For the time being Parkinson and the others were more useful to Lucius where they were. So he contained his wrath with an effort of will and resumed castigating them in the hope that some small modicum of his own intelligence would sink into their dense brains.
After taking out the remainder of his temper upon the trio of failures, cursing them repeatedly and lashing out with his cane whenever they showed signs of speaking without permission, Lucius stepped back and gave the them a disdainful sneer. "Hopefully each of you now recognizes the depth of your shame. Get yourselves back to your homes and clean yourselves up. I will contact you once I have figured out a way to salvage the plan, at which time I expect you to be ready to act."
Lucius turned away from the three failures and left the room. Seconds later he felt the three Apparate, their presences leaving the Manor's wards. He snorted at their apparent haste. Parkinson barely had a spine and could hardly be counted on to perform under pressure, but Lucius had expected more from Yaxley and Morgan. The two men had been higher in their former master's favour than Parkinson had ever been, yet had displayed the same degree of cowardice.
It just went to show that even amongst Purebloods there were some families who were greater and others who were lesser. A maxim for why House Malfoy, under Lucius' leadership, was destined to ascend. It was just a matter of time.
Lucius left the room behind as he walked towards his private study. He passed the room in which his son was currently recovering, but made no move to enter. He merely spared it a glance to make sure that the silencing Charms he had placed upon it earlier were still working. It would be a bother if the boy's agonized screams were to interrupt the coming conversation, and Draco had already proven himself to be a bigger failure than Lucius had thought possible. That problem put aside for later, Lucius entered his study with a swish of his cane to magically open the door.
He stifled a relieved sigh as the dark wooden walls and sumptuous furnishings of his personal sanctuary instantly calmed his mind. Then he made his way to a crystal decanter and poured out a thimble worth of Ogden's finest into a nearby glass. The fiery liquid gave off puffs of smoke as it swirled within. Lucius quaffed it and poured out four more thimble's worth. Then he turned around and levelled a peeved look at the shaggy haired man sitting in a nearby chair.
"Well Igor, you can see the dogs dinner that those three have made of things. After their abject failure the Ministry is sure to increase security around the venue. To the point where I doubt that we will be able to affect the outcomes of any more matches." Lucius was tempted to down his second glass like he had downed the first, but ultimately held back. Too much liquor too quickly would impair his thoughts, and he needed every gram of intelligence he possessed in order to find a solution to the mess he now found himself mired within. "Even the final stage of the plan where we would use an attack on the camp-grounds to remind the world of our existence has been jeopardized. The plan that we spent months working on has nearly been ruined!"
Igor Karkaroff's cold eyes glittered above his thick black beard as the tall sipped from a goblet of Lucius' finest wine. Rich yet heavy clothing of Russian inspiration cloaked his frame. The current Headmaster of Durmstrang, once a resident of Magical Britain but gone for nearly a decade, scratched a bearded cheek and nodded his head grimly.
"I agree. My sources in your government have stated that Mad Eye has begun to raise a stink within the D.M.L.E. over the matter. The girl Auror those three fools fought is apparently his latest apprentice; her being injured in the line of duty has given Mad Eye a way into the situation after you assisted Scrimgeour in cutting him out."
Lucius swore upon hearing that. An errant jerk of his hand caused some of the firewhiskey to spill onto his robes, drawing forth yet another curse. "Don't tell me that the rotten bastard is going to be taking over the security detail for the event. That would be a disaster!"
"He's pushing for it, but I've heard that it's an uphill battle at the moment. Thus far only Director Bones and Arthur Weasley have sided with him. The Minister and our old friend Bartemius have kept a lid on the situation and levied a gag order upon Potter and his allies. Without the assistance of public outrage, it's unclear whether Mad Eye and his allies can gather enough internal support to take over the preparations. Director Bones might be a fearsome witch in her own right, but neither she nor Moody are well liked by the Ministry bureaucrats. While Weasley is, as ever, only effective as window dressing."
Karkaroff took another sip from his goblet, lips smacking in obvious appreciation of the vintage. The uncouth sounds caused Lucius to wince. Living in the frozen north had completely ruined the man's manners.
"What do you think, Lucius? We need to respond in some way, but I'm unsure what method we should use. I've only been re-establishing my own contacts within the government since negotiations for the Tri-Wizard tournament began a year ago while you know magical Britain's current political calculus inside and out."
"It's… tricky," Lucius replied slowly. "Let me think it through before I reply."
Lucius ran through the variables. Karkaroff's brief summary had given him enough information to figure out who the major players would be in the internal scrum happening behind the Ministry's closed doors. And with that knowledge came the ability to predict the course of how things were currently playing out. As well as how he could begin to influence it to better suit his own goals.
After several minutes of quiet thought Lucius nodded his head. "Yes, I do believe that your assessment is correct. But it will require some sacrifices on my part to ensure the outcome we desire. Scrimgeour might be a rather useful dupe, but the man does possess an unfortunately strong sense of ethics. He would fight us to the last if he knew that we were manipulating his personal ambitions to suit our own interests."
Karkaroff grimaced. "A pity, that."
"Agreed. Law enforcement is so much better when it is filled with people who have a respect for the proper order of things." Lucius' expression turned sour and he took a bracing draught of his drink. "But Bones has kept a tighter watch on Aurors and Auror candidates than Bartemius ever did when he ran the department. Only a bare few individuals sympathetic to our interests remain in their ranks. To keep Scrimgeour in charge of the Cup's security arrangements, in the dark about our own involvement, and keep Mad Eye out of the picture as much as possible will require me to lean heavily on Bartemius and Fudge."
Karkaroff shifted nervously in his seat. "Will we have to give up anything in regards to the Tri-Wizard Tournament? The only reason I agreed to help you in the first place, Lucius, is because it provided a way to to boost Krum's confidence prior to the competition. The boy is certain to be my school's champion and I still need your assistance to change some of the proposed rules to favour his abilities. If it means choosing between your plans for the Cup or the school tournament…"
Lucius held up a hand to dissuade the jittery man from continuing. "I don't believe it will come to that, Igor. Old Barty Crouch is no longer the powerful man who wielded life and death over us when the war ended. He's now a toothless old tiger that's attached himself to Fudge's rotten tree in a desperate attempt to retain what little power he has left."
A smile came across Lucius' face as he laughed at his old foe's disgrace. Bartemius Crouch had been a terrifying enemy to the Death Eaters back when he had been in charge of the D.M.L.E.. His order authorizing the use of Unforgiveables on Death Eaters had led more than a few of the Dark magic users to their deaths. But the man's habit of burning bridges for the sake of his ambition had left him without friends when his fall from power had come, while his lifelong aspiration to one day become Minister for Magic grew more faint with every year that passed.
"I have amassed more than enough levers with which to control Barty," Lucius said after taking a sip of Firewhisky. "As for Fudge, securing his assistance should merely require a large donation of money to one of his many shell companies. After which I'll call in a few minor favours and have some of the rank and file members of other departments help smooth matters over through internal lobbying."
"Hm. Simple enough, I guess. But are you sure that it will work?" Karkaroff's nervous face gained a green tinge to it. "What of Albus Dumbledore? Will he not interfere?"
The smile on Lucius' face widened at Igor's words. "I almost hope that he does! You see, Fudge has turned suspicious of Dumbledore as of late. It's the entire reason why Dumbledore no longer sits on the tournament's planning committee. The good Minister has begun to view the ancient relic of a wizard as a political rival, which means that any attempt on Dumbeldore's part to interfere in the matter will only strengthen our hand. The old bastard knows it too, which means that he is completely powerless to stop us."
Karkaroff shook his head in seeming wonder. "Incredible. To think that your Minister is such a useful fool these days. It is a great difference from the last time I set foot upon these shores."
Lucius tipped his glass in a salute. "Thank you. Those of us who once swore fealty to the Dark Lord have been busy in the years since. Electing Fudge as Minister has been one of our greatest triumphs."
Oddly enough, what little remained of Karkaroff's good cheer ended instantly at Lucius' comment. The man took several large gulps from his goblet as his greenish tinge worsened. He even began to cough and pound on his chest, looking for all the world like some Muggle fool had drank too fast. It would seem that speaking of their deceased master was a taboo subject. An odd little fact which Lucius made sure to note for future reference.
His posture growing stiff and rigid under Lucius' measuring gaze, Karkaroff changed the subject. "In any case, Lucius, let us simply give up on influencing the matches any further. Judging by his bracket, Krum's team would seem to have a free path towards the Cup finals. You can simply follow the agreement and have Morgan and Yaxley pay off your informant to compensate the man for any future gambling losses. Doing so will give us more time to scope out the changes in security and find methods to neutralize them for your little attack."
"Agreed. It will cost the two a sizeable fortune, but paying it should serve as fitting punishment for their failure. I may even have Parkinson add a gratuity on top of it to grease any future cooperation that we might one day require."
Karkaroff nodded. "A wise precaution, my friend. Though I do wish you would share with me the identity of your informant. There are several uses I would have for the man if he is as highly placed as you would seem to indicate."
Lucius smiled enigmatically as he clinked glasses with the bearded wizard. But he did not answer, as there were some secrets better kept close to ones vest. Such as how Lucius actually planned to ensure the informant's continued assistance in the future in a way much less open to betrayal.
Li Chang thought himself smart. The man had tricked his fool of a boss into making terrible gambling bets for years which Chang had then used to enrich his own pockets. But playing a game of deception against Lucius Malfoy was entirely different than tricking the foolish Ludo Bagman. Chang may have taken a few precautions to protect his identity from discovery during his interactions with Morgan and Yaxley, but Lucius had kept a file on the man's vices for years in case the man had ever became important enough to merit Lucius' personal attention. Between Chang's shady gambling deals, his cheating wife, his own adultery, and his delectable young daughter, the man had dozens of soft spots just begging to be taken advantage of by a seasoned schemer raised in House Slytherin.
But that would have to wait until later. For now it was time for Lucius to salvage what he could of the mess created by his underlings. To that effect Lucius bade Karkaroff goodnight. He then penned several quick letters and had a House Elf deliver them to their various recipients. An hour more of back and forth correspondence saw the first signs of success begin to appear, with Fudge eagerly leaping at the promised gold and the others falling in line behind him.
Only then did Lucius pay a visit to Draco's room and gaze upon the disappointment that was his son.
Quiet sobbing filled a dark room. The person on the dark wooden floor curled into themselves, their body shaking from the remaining tendrils of searing pain. Had they been in this position for an hour? A week? A month? Time had long since lost meaning. All they knew was pain, separated by brief interludes of rest.
A red light shone in the darkness. "Crucio!"
"Ahhhhh! Please master, mercy!" Torrential screams ripped itself from Wormtail's throat as his body writhed upon the filth covered floor. Foul smelling liquids covered his bare skin as he jerked and twisted on the scratched and stained wooden floor. "Mercy!"
"Do you know your failures, Wormtail?"
"Yes! It's my fault that Sirius Black discovered me. That he almost captured or killed me in the forest!"
The pain Wormtail felt from the torturing curse rose a notch higher. Much further and he would been unable to speak. Yet even that level of horrendous pain would be a mercy compared to the earlier periods of torture Wormtail had already endured.
"Argh! It's… it's because of… of my ineptitude! My failure to complete my mission and see the conclusion of Potter's duel!" Wormtail gasped out the words as streams of molten pain coursed through his veins.
"You are correct, servant," Lord Voldemort's cold, sibilant voice literally hissed with pleasure at Wormtail's reply. "Now receive the last of your punishment."
The pain from the Cruciatus shot higher, causing Wormtail to lose the inability to think. Spittle dripped from his lips as his muscles began to tear themselves apart from violent convulsions which wracked his body. He once again knew nothing but pain. Pain beyond anything that mere physical torture could ever achieve. Pain so intense that not even blacking out would cause it to come to an end.
Then it stopped, and with its absence a blissful peace began to fill Wormtail's being. He knew what was expected next, having seen it more times than he could count back during the days of the Wizarding War. Never had it happened to him, though, until today.
Sobbing, Wormtail forced himself to crawl towards his master's crib where he reached out and kissed Voldemort's claw-like hand in grateful thanks. For once the putrid stink of rotting flesh did not bother Wormtail as his lips touched the vile limb. "Thank you, my master, thank you. I will never fail you again. I swear it!"
"I expect nothing less, my servant," Voldemort said softly. His cold, sibilant voice wrapped around Wormtail's shivering form as though it were an icy blanket. "You must remember the mercy I have shown you today. If it were another servant who had failed me during a critical moment, such as those who have shown themselves to be disloyal through their abandonment, then I would have spent far more time on them than a mere ten minutes."
Wormtail shivered upon hearing his master's words. Those ten minutes had felt like an eternity. "Yes, my Lord. Thank you again, my Lord. Your benevolence is without equal. Your mercy unending. Your kindness–"
"My mercy is not unending, Wormtail," the Dark Lord hissed as he cut off Wormtail's praise. "Must I remind you yet again? One of my hidden operatives risked their cover to protect you. Cover which is of absolute necessity to the success of my plan! Had they been made, or the knowledge you possess been wrenched from your mind by one of Dumbledore's minions, then my plan could have gone terribly awry. My plan! Not Lucius' pathetic little diversion, or your own sad dreams of revenge against your former friends, but the grand plan that I, Lord Voldemort, have created in order to ensure my return to the heights of power!"
The Dark Lord's wand reached out and gently tapped Wormtail's forehead, causing a short burst of pain to flare inside of his brain. It was a warning of future pain should Wormtail fail again. Feeling it nearly caused his racing heart to stop dead in his chest.
His master's eyes pierced the darkness as they pinned Wormtail to the floor with their crimson stare. "Be glad that you have already proven your loyalty and are of use to me, servant. Were it otherwise… well, I would have already given you to the tender mercies of those who dwell within Albania's Dark Forest."
Wormtail quaked in fear and pain as he began to babble his understanding of his master's words. But the Dark Lord was not interested and waved him to silence. "I tire of your incessant nonsense, servant. Make yourself useful by bringing the Pensieve over. I wish to review your memories, incomplete as they may be, at my leisure."
Wormtail leaped to obey. His heart pounded within his chest as his bare feet slapped against the hard wooden floor. Only to halt in fear as his Lord's voice called out to him once more.
"Oh, there is one more thing you should know before you go, Wormtail. Nagini has been hungry of late. And she does so love to eat rats." A dark chuckle rang out in the dark. "Please keep that in mind."
Trickles of sweat ran down Wormtail's neck and back as a shiver went through his entire body. His master's latest addition to their group, a massive venomous snake, struck fear in Wormtail whenever it was around. The way it looked at him was as though it knew his Animagus transformation. As though it could not wait for Wormtail to transform so that it would be free to hunt him as it wished.
"Yes, my Lord." He whispered fearfully. "I live to obey."
He resumed his path to the Pensieve, repeating the words in his heart like a mantra. Wormtail had long since made his bed and no one could ever save him from it. He only hoped with every breath in his body that the sacrifices he had made, and the betrayals he had committed, would one day be worth the pain.
A/N: Didn't see Karkaroff coming in like that, now did ya? And I doubt that many of you guessed that Cho's dad was the figure in the woods either ;-) The hints were there, but I tried to keep them hidden so that only the sharpest of eyes would discover them. And as for the Dumbledore scene… it's been awhile since I touched on the 'grand world of magic' that I established early on in this story. It was due for an update XD
We're on the last leg of this story, folks, and then part 1 is at an end. I don't see it having more than 10 chapters remaining. Five of which are already in various stages of completion. The sequel stories will come later.
I wasn't able to locate any canon information concerning the actual composition of the I.C.W. other than a brief description stating that it is similar to the U.N. So… yeah. I'm going to wing it and create the organization using nothing but my own ideas rather than relying upon Fanon stuff. Thankfully I have some limited experience studying and dealing with large international institutions (including the U.N.) so hopefully I'll be able to make it interesting.
And though I try to avoid commenting on current politics, I feel compelled to say that I am immensely disappointed, saddened, and heartbroken to see what has become of America's foreign aid apparatus during this worldwide pandemic at time when it is most needed. Ugh!
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Until Next Time,