May 20, 2007

The Crane (16 of 19)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

While Mr. Omega rapped on the door, Mr. Alpha stroked the handgun sitting in its holster. He knew it was there, but he just needed to feel its comforting, Foundry-cast edges. His stomach was in knots; Morgana might still make an appearance.

The door opened and Mr. Bolt invited them into the hotel room. They entered and, before closing the door behind them, Mr. Alpha made a quick sweep of the adjoining corridor, only partly to keep up appearances. He noticed some kid had scrawled something in crayon on the kitsch, flowery wallpaper opposite: “the handle turns”. He closed the door.

‘Good,’ said Mr. Omega. ‘It was better that we arrived here separately.’

Mrs. Bolt was sitting on the edge of the bed, having removed her bland coat and scarf to reveal an equally bland underbelly. Mr. Bolt was standing near the window, looking out and looking nervous. He was still dressed for a harsher environment.

Mr. Alpha said, ‘Please, sir, best you come away from the window.’

Morgana’s father resisted but soon caved, moving to sit beside his wife. Mr. Alpha watched his fingers creep across and hold his Mrs. Bolt’s hand. She turned her head in surprise and smiled weakly. Her hand accepted his advance.

‘What about our little girl? What do we do now?’ asked Mr. Bolt.

Mr. Alpha reached under his jacket to fondle his handgun again. The trigger licked his fingers.

‘Like I was explaining earlier,’ Mr. Omega said, ‘you are both in great danger. I’m afraid to say your lives, as you have known them, are over. If we don’t get you to a safe house, it’s possible you’ll be dead before the day is out.’

Mrs. Bolt blinked. ‘I don’t care about us. What about Fay? Is she okay?’

Mr. Omega’s mobile rang on cue. He pulled it out and answered, ‘Hi, this is Morrison.’ Supply said their scripted piece. ‘Really? Are you sure it’s her?’

Morgana’s parents responded immediately with worried stares.

‘Thank God for that. How the hell did she – whatever, questions for later. Get us some ambulance transport ASAP, we need to get her parents to the compound without delay.’ There were more scripted words on the other end of the line and then Mr. Omega closed the mobile.

‘What? What happened?’ Mr. Bolt asked, eyes wide.

‘Sorry to have to tell you this… it seems that your daughter was cornered by, we suspect, Cloth agents. They shot her several times-‘

‘Oh no, no!’ Mrs. Bolt wailed, hand fleeing her husband’s grip to hold her mouth.

‘-but she got away. Looks like she’s going to live, and she’s on the way to our safe house to be cared for.’

‘She’s alive? Really? She’s okay?’ Mr. Bolt asked.

Mr. Alpha felt disengaged from this obscene ballet taking place before him. He watched but could not participate. Her parents had been through enough yet the Cloth continued to torture them. He felt responsible. If he hadn’t let Morgana escape… if he had… if he had done what?

Mr. Omega was still explaining. ‘…can’t afford for either of you to work out where the safe house is, just in case… you are captured down the line. As I said, you’re probably going to have to stay with us for some time. So once you’re unconscious, we’ll get an ambulance to stretcher you out and it’ll take you to the compound.’

‘Unconscious?’ said Mr. Bolt, alarmed.

Mrs. Bolt cut her husband off. ‘Manny, I want to see her.’ She looked up at Mr. Omega with a begging expression. ‘I’ll do it even if he doesn’t want to. I don’t care. What do I take? Tell me, what do I take?’

Mr. Omega held out his hand, which unfurled to reveal two small red tablets. ‘One of these, and you’ll be out for around 24 hours. You won’t be able to guess how far you’ve travelled this way.’

Mrs. Bolt snatched at one and swallowed without hesitation.

Mr. Bolt shouted, ‘Fi-ona, for God’s sake, what are you doing?’

She moved backwards and laid down on the bed. ‘I want to see her, Manny. I want to see her.’ She closed her eyes and whispered, ‘Come with me, Manny. Let’s do this together. Come on. Fay’s waiting.’ She put her arm out and patted the space beside her, summoning her husband to follow.

This is what we do, Mr. Alpha thought. Perception and belief are our tools. This is what we make.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1834

Leave a Reply