Typing with fingers that seemingly were worn down to the bone, Midas hit the Enter button and finally, after months, all was done to get the new house he had set up complete. There had been setbacks, terminations, security breaches, and every other opponent to progress that could occur, but now, buried under a mountain with a world of gold and more technology than most of the houses in the city surrounding him combined. Even now, leaning back in a much more comfortable chair than he had previously sat in, he looked up to the ceilings hundreds of feet above his head and saw the vast ducting that kept it perfectly cool or warm in here as desired by the Master of, well, by Midas that is.

He pulled his phone from his pocket and marveled at the fact that he could do every single thing in this house from his phone. Closing what few windows there were, closing and locking every door either one-by-one or all at once, real-time GPS of people, things. It was enough to make your mind melt if you gave enough thought to it, which everyone tried very hard not to. He stood up and walked down the massive corridor turned hallway towards the Vault. He walked there every night, making sure personally that security was as perfect as it should. When approaching it, opulence was what came to mind. Persian rugs over the rough floor, tapestries from around the world on the walls, entirely concealing the meters, and sometimes kilometers of rock behind them. The only time you realized you were in a vast underground cavern is if you looked up in the main hallways. He had left them open on purpose so that they could be surveilled from a height with all manner of equipment from FLIR cameras to motion detectors, raw human eyesight and even olfactory sensors to see if there was a chemical agent deployed.

Taking a deep breath, Edward nodded to the single guard that sat behind a rather substantial desk in front of the Vault door.

“A delightful evening for dinner and a drink Johnson, please, take a few minutes while I see to things here.” The guard nodded and released the trigger of the shotgun aimed at his employer’s midsection as the seemingly casual passphrase was used by the correct person, on a proper day, and even at the right hour. Edward had instructed them to shoot before querying anyone, even himself if he had been compromised and forced to approach the Vault unwillingly.

Nothing was left to chance.

Edward glanced to the left to the only other door in the cavernous hallway and took a deep breath, pushing that off for a few moments while he took care of the Vault. It had taken all these months, but everything in the room beyond had been sorted, weighed, valued, cataloged, photographed, and each section, even within the vault, was in a separate vault of its own in case the worst should occur, and the vault was breached. Meters of steel surrounded each vault, not impregnable, but it would take time enough for the right people to get down here an make sure it was ended. There was a different code for each vault, rotated twice a day at random times to make scheduling an attack impossible.

Looking quickly about the football stadium roomed that he could not come close to seeing all the way across, Midas shook his head and walked back beyond the vault door to the outside and heard as it hissed as it closed behind him, the negative air pressure pushing all outside air out with him in case of a caustic spray of some kind. The door locked automatically behind and the guard, who of course had never left his post, nodded to Midas who smiled very tiredly and walked to the previously ignored door.

It was an ornate thing of thick African Blackwood. Edward had been helping the men install the door, and no matter how softly it opened at the gentlest press, there was nothing light about the wood, which was counted among one of the most substantial and most durable on the planet.

Beyond the door, Edward stopped and admired the sheer decadence of the room beyond. When he had assumed duties that evening, Monsieur had told him that it was required that each member has a place, building or the like, able to shelter not only the entirety of the Assemblage but their families as well. Edward of old knew of Monsieur’s location as he had helped in its maintenance countless times.

Midas took it a step farther than that. Having been a servant, although particularly well-treated one, his entire life, he wanted to make sure EVERYONE could come. Each Assemblage house was represented by hallways that splintered from the room Midas stood in. Each house was identified by a silhouette above the hallway entrance. This great initial room was more significant than most homes and could be used for dozens of purposes. It had all the technology that was required for war, as well as the amenities for comfort. Each hallway was a vast thing, hundreds of meters long with room for families, servants, every single person connected to the families in any way. Not only that, each person save the smallest babes had their own rooms, as comfortable as anything they had ever had. All of the comforts of each of their homes were there, including some unique things for children to do to keep frightened minds busy.

Satisfied that all was in order, Midas walked back through the door to the hallway and nodded the last time to the guard who, unseen, pushed a button under his desk which locked everything down for the evening and made sure the guards above knew that their vigil was to start.

Midas may have been sitting on a mountain of gold, but no one would hurt his people. Be they associates or the smallest children, the shield of his home would encompass all.

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