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Season 5

Episode 40

(The butler is dead(2)

Jackson went straight to the bar, where Derek had been waiting now for a long while.

The second he entered the private room, he told Derek, "Tell me everything!"

Derek didn't speak until Jackson was sitting down, "We haven't learned anything beyond what I already told you. Nothing of value was recovered from the butler's body, and there were no clues discovered on his person. The police haven't learned anything either."

When Derek finished, Jackson just sat there, frowning. His eyebrows were furrowed, as he silently mulled the information over.

Derek thought about the crash site, the wreckage and as he pieced it together weighing the facts, "Jackson, I don't think the car accident was random. The truck that crashed into the vehicle with the butler in appeared to be planned and shot out suddenly, as though someone had timed it."

Considering what Derek observed, Jackson blurted out, "It had to be Mond!"

Derek looked at Jackson in bewilderment as he asked himself, 'Does Jackson have facts relative to the collision?'

Gleaning Derek's silent question from the puzzled expression, Jackson broke down his reasoning, "The butler had a secret, a valuable one, and we all wanted it. Mond didn't want us to find out what the butler knew. Consequently, it's logical to presume that Mond is tied to the crash."

Derek asked, "Wait! Do you mean to say, that aside from your shared past, there is more between you and Mond?"

"It's got to be related to the token." Jackson insisted adamantly, "All I know is, that Eric and Johnson take orders from whoever has the token. I surmise the token is worth a fortune."

"Fortune?" Derek looked over at Jackson, and immediately his eyebrows shot up, as his eyes widened in wonderment at Jackson's revelation. Derek's voice grew louder and went up a pitch as he said, "You are telling me the token is..." "Well, right now, it's all conjecturing on my part, but, yeah, I guess," Jackson elaborated, cutting Derek short, "I know the Chu Family's assets. However, even though there were funds, Grandpa struggled for many years. I believe he was stashing money, and the estate is far larger than the sum I control. I haven't completed a detailed inventory of the family's assets, yet, still, I am sure when I finish, I will find, that it isn't there in its entirety."

"Jackson? Did your Grandpa tell you anything, at all, while he was still alive?"

Derek was trying to comprehend the situation thoroughly and mulled over the components he knew. He realized that it was one huge mess, and the longer this went on, and more he knew, the messier it seemed. Everything was confusing him, and he didn't know where to start.

Grandpa Andrew died abruptly. It stood to reason that if he died of an illness, he would have told Jackson everything and even suggested what Jackson should do next. Grandpa passed away so unexpectedly that no one, not even Grandpa was prepared, and he hadn't disclosed anything to Jackson. Now, this whole ordeal was one of perplexing intrigue and the more time went by, the more twisted and strained it was all becoming. He was growing concerned and knew Jackson needed to find a way out.

Jackson frowned shaking his head as he responded, "No."

"Did your Grandpa ever give you any kind of hint about anything when you two spoke?" Derek raised more questions, probing deeper.

Jackson carefully reflected on discussions he and his Grandpa had recently and deliberated whether or not anything Andrew had said could have been a hint. After a while, he shook his head. There was nothing Grandpa Andrew spoke to him about that fit.

"I can't recall anything," replied Jackson scratching his head.

"Hmmm... What about Cherry or Joe? Did your Grandpa ever say anything to one of them?" Derek inquired.

After hearing what came out of Derek's mouth, Jackson suddenly shot him a look of incredulousness and wondered what made Derek even consider it. Why would Grandpa discuss the family's financial affairs with either of them? If Grandpa were going to talk to anyone about the finances, it would have been Jackson, no one else! Aside from that, Cherry was a woman, and Joe was a five-year-old boy; Grandpa would never consider involving them in anything dangerous.

The disbelief in Jackson's eyes ebbed, and Derek saw fury instead. Derek promptly clarified, "I was just thinking that aside from you and the butler, that your Grandpa was close to Cherry and Joe, and maybe he told them something in passing. It was a stab in the dark."

Jackson lowered his head and took Derek's idea to heart. He thought about his Grandpa and looked up at Derek as he said, "No, impossible. Grandpa would not discuss such topics with them. Plus, Cherry tells me everything. Since she's never mentioned it to me, I know, for a fact, he didn't say anything to her.."

What Jackson said made perfect sense and Derek agreed, "That's true, if Cherry knew, then she'd say something. Well, I guess, now at least, we don't need to be as worried."

Jackson felt like he was stuck in a labyrinth with the walls closing in on him, not able to figure out which way to turn, completely lost and helpless. He was more unsure daily and second-guessing himself. The one chance at a clue to figuring all this out was snatched from his grasp when the butler suddenly died.

Since the death of his Grandpa, Eric and Jonson made multiple requests to meet with him. Jackson didn't think he could keep putting them off much longer using the excuse that he was busy reorganizing the JC Group. It was inevitable that the three men would have a meeting to discuss arrangements, and soon.

"Derek!" Jackson shouted unexpectedly.

"What?" asked Derek, a bit startled.

Jackson put his finger to his lips, thinking as he spoke, "I would like you to make the arrangements for the butler's funeral. It's the proper thing to do, since he was employed by the Chu Family for many years, and my Grandpa's companion. Keep it all low key, please!"

"Okay, I will see to the preparations immediately," Derek acknowledge before asking, "What is our next move?"

Jackson was deep in thought and didn't respond. After a while Jackson further instructed Derek, "Tell Bobby I need to see him at his earliest convenience, to give him a job."

"Jackson, are you planning to set up a meeting with Eric and Jonson?" Derek was thrown for a loop, and voiced his concerns, "We don't have the token yet though! What if they ask to see it?"

"It's not like I have any other choice. The longer I put off meeting with them, the more suspicious we look," Jackson paused weighing pros and cons and then added "If at all possible, I believe it would be best to admit, earnestly, we do not have the token."

"No! That's ludicrous, you shouldn't!"
rejected Derek urgently, "If they know the token is missing, they will scour the entire city which will cause unimaginable chaos. The consequences wouldn't be something we could control."

Jackson realized there was merit in what Derek said. He imagined how awful the outcome could be. Jackson didn't want even the smallest portion of what he thought might occur to come to pass.

Jackson furrowed his brows, frowning. This ordeal was putting him through an incredible amount of agony.

"I will have to reevaluate the options," said Jackson, his voice was distracted and low.

When Derek saw the look of distress on Jackson's face, he kept quiet. He understood Jackson's stress and the anguish he was going through trying to find a resolution that would make everyone happy.



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