March 28, 2007

The Crane (12 of 19)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

Fay Patricia Bolt. Born 23 September 1975, Sydney, Australia.

In the air-conditioned interior of a fourth-hand Ford Fiesta, Mr. Alpha flicked through the fifteen pages of documentation one more time. Addresses and dates, business dealings, tax filings, a century of genealogy and so on. There were some points of interest amongst the detritus of Morgana’s recorded history, but largely it was dull and uninteresting. Reading about Morgana’s history weakened her somehow, transforming her into one of the ordinary lives at their disposal, slaves to the invisible power play of belief and perception. Of more importance was the fact he now knew her birth-name and that crippled her.

Mr. Omega had dismissed the most juicy item in her history as inconsequential. On a school camp in the outback, three of Morgana’s friends had died from a fall after managing to sneak away from their teacher’s supervision. Local police exonerated her from having anything to do with it, but a poisonous atmosphere of suspicion forced her parents to relocate to England in 1987.

And there was also the final, deceptive sentence in the report.

After a year without incident at The Priory comprehensive school, Fay disappeared in 1988.

In other words, the Cloth had adopted Morgana. Mr. Alpha had to give Supply credit for preparing the documentation so that, in the event that it fell into the wrong hands, there was nothing to reveal the Cloth’s existence.

‘We should go in,’ said Mr. Omega, in the driving seat. ‘Her parents haven’t been around for a couple of days. It’s time to have a look around, see if Morgana has been in touch or even been sneaking around here herself.’

Mr. Alpha agreed. The pair of them had been staking the place out for a couple of weeks now and there was no sign of Morgana’s parents nor Morgana herself. It felt like an exercise in due diligence, ticking off the ‘Check whether renegade has visited estranged parent(s)’ box. A waste of time. That Aussie whore was not stupid. She would not hand them a lead on a silver platter.

They exited the car to face the chilling night. Mr. Alpha shivered; the air was still and the ground sparkled with early formations of ice. Above, a star-encrusted sky watched over them.

As they strode towards the Bolts’ house further down the street, Mr. Alpha wondered if her parents had given up hope. As far as he knew, the Cloth didn’t provide a cover story for adoptions. The adopted weren’t raped and killed by sinners. They didn’t run away from home. The Cloth just took a piece away from the family jigsaw leaving something damaged and incomplete behind. As Morgana’s parents hadn’t returned to Australia, it was likely that they still hoped to find her again; it saddened him. Such loss, such bravery. Such sacrifice. The parents had given up their children, albeit without consent or knowledge, for the noblest of causes.

He had his own hopes. After the second disaster of losing that turncoat snag Grimmer to Morgana’s machinations, perhaps they’d be able to pick up Morgana’s trail here.

They reached the semi-detached house, doused in orange light from a sodium street lamp. ‘Gloves,’ Mr. Omega whispered as they passed through the open front gate and crossed a well-maintained garden. A high fence obstructed the nearby light imprinting a cat’s cradle of shadow upon the orange-tinted lawn.

Mr. Alpha held up glossy hands. ‘Way ahead of you,’ he whispered back.

They headed around the back, crushing some immaculate roses into immaculate dead roses. Mr. Omega tried turning the handle on back door, just in case they were the luckiest people on the planet. It didn’t budge, but the back door did appear to have an insecure lock. Mr. Omega pulled out a lock pick case from his jacket and got to work.

Mr. Alpha wanted to speak his mind, even though it would likely incur the wrath of his senior partner. ‘This seems wrong, you know,’ he whispered. ‘They didn’t do anything, well, wrong. They’re probably sin negative and we’re charging up their back door.’

The old man stopped fiddling with the lock and looked up with an inscrutable expression. Mr. Alpha wasn’t sure if he was about to bark at him or go for a shit.

Mr. Omega sighed and returned to picking the lock. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Ain’t that the fucking truth.’

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2059

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