July 27, 2008

In the Hands of Others (9 of 20)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

‘Blow something up? Kill someone? Assassinate?’ Ariadne was incredulous. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, Fay. We’re just about staying alive by keeping out of harm’s way. You want us to dive right in? I just about know how to handle a semi-automatic at last but… what’s the Foundry?’

Fay moved into a cross-legged seating position before answering. ‘Alright. The Cloth makes all its own weapons so nothing is traceable. They make them in private factories, the Foundries. They are very difficult to keep off the authorities’ radar so there aren’t too many. Europe has two and one of them up north, here in England. You take it out and it’s a serious smack in the teeth for the Cloth.’

‘Fay. You don’t go poking around in a bee’s nest.’

‘We’re stripping the bees’ of their stings. How are they going to keep half of Europe armed after this? They will have two options. Do less until they get a new Foundry established or start pushing more guns from other Foundries through insecure channels. Either way, it makes them more vulnerable.’

‘This is madness. We’re not soldiers, we’re just ordinary people.’

‘Ordinary people who believe the Cloth is more than a myth, more than a story to scare children to bed. That belief makes you more stronger than you know. And you also have firearms, which is also a plus. If you can’t get your hands on some decent explosives, you’ll probably have to resort to something like TATP. It’s your choice.’

‘Fay, will you listen to what you’re saying. You want the six of us to become… terrorists?’

‘Yeah, just for a bit. You got to ask yourself some hard questions, Ariadne.’ Fay stood up and walked to the window on the opposite side of the bedroom. She looked out, checking for something, then said: ‘How long can you keep this up for?’

Ariadne had no inclination to follow Fay to the opposite side of the room. This woman no longer felt like their saviour or benefactor. ‘What do you mean? Keep this up?’

Fay kept her position. ‘You’ve got the nipper to think of now. You can’t keep hiding forever. The Cloth will find you one day. You’ll slip up once, maybe twice, and the they’ll find the string in the maze that leads back to you and make good on their mistakes. So I ask you: how long can you keep this up for? How many days can you stay alive? Will you see Theo’s fifth birthday? Tenth? Twentieth? Grandchildren?’

Ariadne had no answer.

‘So you see, getting rid of the Cloth is our first priority.’

‘Is there a second?’

‘Everything is in the folder beside the bed. Location of the Foundry. Security for the site. Things you need to do and prepare for.’

Ariadne placed her head in her hands; shaking. She had no control over her own destiny. She couldn’t give Mummy a call tell her things were fine. She couldn’t hang out with Maurice at Dotheby’s tonight if she was in the mood. God, was Maurice even the editor of the Watch anymore? Two years in which the world moved on without her. Ariadne’s life was now in the hands of others, a piece to be played on a game she wasn’t permitted to understand. She now had to follow the moves laid out for her, with no input into the outcome. She had to believe that Fay knew what she was doing. God oh God; were they pawns or were they rooks?

She drew her legs up into her chest again and perched her head on her knees.

Talking into her legs, she said: ‘So who is the switchman? Why do we have to…’ She couldn’t finish the question.

‘Oh I almost forgot, kiddo. Switchmen are the go-betweens between the Saints, the ones who weave the Cloth, and Supply, who give out the orders and organise things on the ground. Switchmen are a rare commodity, much like the Saints themselves. Take one out and it’s as painful as the loss of a Foundry.

‘We’re taking out their teeth, one by one, without anaesthetic.’

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2057

2 Responses to “In the Hands of Others (9 of 20)”

  1. Jen wrote on 1-Aug-2008 @ 2250:

    So that’s the lovely Fay’s plan!!

    Total Cloth annihilation!!!! Hell (no pun intended!!) Why not??!!!!


  2. Jen wrote on 1-Aug-2008 @ 2250:

    So that’s the lovely Fay’s plan!!

    Total Cloth annihilation!!!! Hell (no pun intended!!) Why not??!!!!


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