Thread: Alpha and Omega
‘Here is your boarding pass. The gate will be announced 20 minutes prior to the departure, but you’re free to go straight through to the departures lounge.’
The woman didn’t hand the tickets to him directly, opting to put them on the counter thus deferring physical contact. Mr. Alpha was content with this.
Her bright red jacket made her look like a character out of a children’s programme, a sparkling gold-coloured badge attached to it, reading: “Christine, Relationship Manager” She smiled at him, a decent smile full of clean, sparkling but slightly wonky teeth – not stewardess material. Her blouse was low cut, revealing a dark valley of sin; her cleavage disseminated perfumed lies. Pretending to be available to each client, a false prostitute wearing a wedding band. Everyone was a sex merchant these days, whether they knew it or not.
He smiled back, relaxed and friendly. ‘Thank you. Thank you so much. Have a lovely day.’
With his ticket and pass, he returned to the cluster of seats to which a group of restless children and tortured parents had attached themselves. Mr. Omega sat on the other side, twitching as if on a caffeine high, pretending he was unaffected. Sometimes the old man was transparent.
One of the children whose clothes looked like they had been coloured using lurid highlighter markers, gave a high-pitched scream. A woman retorted: ‘Jeremy!’ Children’s names are commands, not appellations, Mr. Alpha thought. His own birth name would be a command for death.
Mr. Omega stood up and said, ‘Got a call from Supply. Seems like-‘
‘Jeremy stop that!’
‘-we’re good with the Saint. More perturbed by the possibility that Morgana was in the vicinity. No hard feelings. We move on.’
‘Alright, good to hear, Mr. Omega. Good to hear. Nice note to end on, even though this trip has been a bit of a fanny’s arse. So, Dubai then?’
They headed to the security checkpoint separately and Mr. Alpha cast his mind back over the incident again. What would have been the real consequences if things had gone tits up?
After killing a Saint and possibly her switchmen, the Cloth would have ordered instant excision against their pairship. Mr. Omega would have probably walked his arse back into the nearest school for his final duty, whistling into death, but Mr. Alpha would not have given in so easily. Really, how the fuck were they supposed to know who was Cloth and who was not? He would’ve gone on the run, refusing to take the fall for something that was not his fault, something he had been deceived into, the Cloth’s own secrecy used as a weapon against him.
This was what Morgana wanted. For Mr. Alpha to be like her, to suffer the same fate. Forever on the move, never able to take a breather, glancing over his shoulder every minute, half-expecting to see the dark muzzle of a Foundry gun pointed at his head, a life in the hands of others.
He joined a queue and waited his turn.