"I'll be damned," Jared said, looking at the pictures that Lucy had faxed to Marty that same afternoon. "It's Angela White-the girl I shot, or her double. What the hell is going on?"

"Something really strange," Marty observed. "I have been wondering for a while if she was really dead-irregularities on the autopsy, and the fact that the name 'Angela' kept coming up. Now, she's in Port Charles, and we think that she's after Lucy Coe. Lucy knows this, and is working with Connor Donely-and a couple of other people." Marty smiled and added, "Jack and Jake are in Port Charles. Fortunately, since nobody connects us with Jack, we won't be expected to be on hand during the investigation of the bombing in which he supposedly died."

"Then we're going back East?"

"Robert and Anna should be there by now. They were en-route when Tag called. I alerted Luke and Kevin is still working with Tom. He realizes that Lucy is in danger, but is intelligent enough to know that he's worth more to Lucy here by getting everything out of Tom that he can."

"Makes sense to me. Are you any closer to discovering who is behind all of this?"

"Not in any absolute sense. I've got links all over-but they still come down to the Cassadine family, Cesar Faison, and Stuart Matthews as the primary movers-at least, they appear to be the top of this arrangement. None of them is good at taking orders which also means that there will probably be a power struggle between them as to who is the ultimate top dog. Within the Cassadine family, we already know that Helena is attempting to retake control from Stefan-who wrested it, or at least a sizable portion of it from her a few years ago, but she's been rebuilding her power base ever since. That's where Faison came in. I suspected that there was something wrong when the WSB gave the orders to terminate Anna Devane Scorpio and Robert Scorpio if he got in the way. Faison has been the de-facto head of the WSB for a while, giving orders when it suits him, otherwise allowing the group to continue its mission to take out the bad guys. You see, what it's been doing is clearing the opposition for him and his minions. In other words, he's been using an otherwise clean organization to clear his path to world domination."

"And this also allows him to give the orders for the WSB to look the other way, if it suits him, right?"

"Exactly. They think that they're working on a grander scheme with a larger payoff when in reality they're setting themselves up for an even greater fall. Fortunately, and unfortunately, there have been a few WSB agents along the way who have seen through this and have vanished. Some died for real, and some have simply gone to ground, waiting for the right moment to reemerge and restore the agency to what it's supposed to be. A few have contacted me with their fears."


"I don't know yet." Marty shook her head. "I hope that he's hiding out, but he hasn't contacted me as yet, and it's been several days. I keep thinking that he'll either get in touch with one of us, or head back to Port Charles to contact his brother or ex-wife, Felicia. Trouble is, whatever I can think of, the WSB can think of, and that means that both of us are probably being watched."

Jared looked at Marty. "So you think that this is all about world domination?"

"Ultimately, though not in the sense where any one person would be the emperor of the world, or anything so obvious. It's about power. It's always about power."

Sonny looked around him and for a few moments, hated what he'd become. Tonight, he'd stand in front of his best friend, in front of the man he'd formerly trusted above all others and question his loyalty. He'd also question the loyalty of a young woman who deserved none of the misfortune that life had dealt her, and then, their lives would depend on their answers, and whatever evidence Matthews' man had to present. Even if they both vowed loyalty, denied the alleged proof, it was still in his hands to do what he chose. He saw Robin's eyes before him, saw her sweet smile, and remembered how she'd tended Stone faithfully until the moment of his death, how she'd bravely faced her illness with determination and resolution, reaching out to help others, even him as he'd faced loss after loss. She'd held him as he'd mourned Stone's death, and as he'd mourned Lily's murder and the death of his unborn child. Could he give the order to kill her as he knew he must if she'd betrayed him? Could he order Jason's death?

"Yes," he spat harshly. "If they betrayed me, they deserve to die. If they set me up, then they were never what they pretended to be, and this is no more than their just desserts." And, in his heart of hearts, he already knew the truth, knew that his life had already changed for good. No, make that forever. Nothing would ever be good again.

"It's all coming together better than I'd even dreamed," Cesar Faison commented to the red-blonde woman who smiled sweetly before him. "Helena, how soon can you deliver the Cassadine empire?"

"Soon, Cesar. I have the three children, and Laura Spencer, and by this evening, you'll have a Scorpio and a Quartermaine. We'll also control Corinthos."

"But you think that Stefan will abdicate control of the Cassadine family?"

"He'll have no choice. He'll do anything to insure the safety of his son. Anything at all. And you? What about WEB?"

Faison smiled. "WEB will soon cease to exist. Jared Andrews will be shot this evening, apparently the victim of the grieving father whose daughter he accidentally shot. Jake Lowell and Jack Johnson died quite recently, as will be discovered when enough pieces are found to verify their identities. Marty will meet with what has become an occupational hazard very soon. One of her employees, a guard, will go berserk and spray the office with gunfire, after which it will be discovered that WEB was a front for an international espionage ring that has amassed a fortune selling industrial secrets to third world countries. Her agents, should any remain after that, will never dare show their faces again. And, I have my own people in place in a number of highly placed positions. Soon, Helena, very soon, we will be able to control a very large part of the industrialized world."

"We must speak," Stefan said to Luke, as the latter rounded the corner heading towards the diner. "Spencer. Please."

"Please? A Cassadine said 'Please'?" Luke was openly contemptuous. "Take a hike, Cassadine. I've got enough problems without taking on yours, too."

Stefan looked uncomfortable, and for a moment, Luke almost felt pity. It must have taken a lot for Stefan to approach him, and that told Luke a great deal. "Okay. Thirty seconds. What do you want?"

"Nikolas is missing, and now Bobbie and Lucas are gone, too." He took a deep breath, and continued. "If she has left me, I need to know. I give you my word that I meant them no harm."

"Your word? The word of a Cassadine? The same family that was out to freeze Port Charles? And, you're the same guy who kidnapped Lesley Webber and kept her imprisoned for years on end while letting her daughter think she was dead? You're also the same guy who was playing computer games with my son, and damn near got him killed."

"I rescued your son," Stefan shot back. "And I told you that I rescued your mother-in-law. I did what I had to do to keep her safe from Helena and her cohorts."

"So you want me to think that you're afraid of that little old lady on life support?"

"On life support? Helena is as healthy as either of us. Maybe more so."

"Yeah? Well when I talked with her last she was sucking down oxygen as if her life depended on it."

"Then you were fooled. But, that is no matter. I need to know where my family is, if they are safe."

"Your family? This is the woman you've been betraying for the last few weeks, from what I've heard. Don't look so guilty, Cassadine. I know all about Bimbo Bell and the languishing looks you two have been exchanging all over GH. Bobbie is no fool, and she knows when she's been used. She's out of the business now, Cassadine. She doesn't have a price any more. She probably got smart and bailed out on you"

"Then she is safe? And the boys?"

"Are you kidding? You think I'd tell you anything if I knew it? I'm still searching for my family. Maybe you'd care to let me know what you've done with my wife and children. Oh, by the way, I've got the dog-and you didn't succeed in killing him. He'll recover, no thanks to you."

"I do not make war on animals," Stefan told him, "and I do not know where your family is, because I had nothing to do with their disappearance. But, if Nikolas and Lucky are gone, along with Laura and Lesley Lu, then we may have greater problems than I feared."

"Now that really worries me," Luke drawled. "I mean, I'm really scared."

"You should be," Stefan told him. "It may mean that Helena is ready to strike, that she is holding our families as hostages to blunt any attack we might mount."

Luke heard the edge of fear in Stefan's voice, and for the first time since the conversation had begun, began to worry. "What's she after, Stefan? What does Helena want and why does she need our families to do it?"

"What she has always wanted from the beginning. Power. And she knows that our greatest strengths are at the same time our greatest weaknesses. She is evil, Luke. I have spent my entire adult life trying to undo the evil she has wrought." He turned to Luke and asked, "Spencer, I have wronged you in the past, and I may wrong you in the future, but we will have no future to settle our differences if we do not stop Helena and her associates. Can we declare a truce to stop Helena?"

"Names, Cassadine. I need names and what you believe her plan to be."

"Does the name 'Cesar Faison' mean anything to you?"

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