The In-between – Part 27 of 31

Okay so I’m doing M’s prompts going to try and do a full month as one long story with no planning. Today it is “Hobnobbed’.

The instructions are to simply write for ten minutes or so each day and that’s about it. It’s certainly taking me longer than ten minutes and now looking like I will probably do all 31 as one long story. Who’d have thought eh…


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part15 Part16 Part 17 Part18 Part 19 Part 20 Part 21 Part 22 Part 23 Part 24 Part25 Part 26

Back at Eldin’s McCann put the device on the table.  “There must be something you can tell us” she insisted.  ” We need to find Plumduff, you won’t get your money if we cant work out where they are and she ends up dead.”

I watched from the bed as the remaining Gadzooks poured over it.  Eldin picked it up and turned it in her hands.

“You have it all wrong McCann, you need to ask yourself ‘when’ and not ‘where’.”

McCann shot her a glance that insisted she continue.

“The thing I showed Plumduff, before she sent you to fetch this lot” and she waved a hand dismissively at Taylor, Jones, Simpson, Sparrow and Mason “was this.”  She walked McCann over to the computer screen and pointed.  “You see?”

“What is that?”  McCann looked confused.

“You still don’t get it?”

“They’re going back to stop her” said Taylor who had joined them. “Right?”

“Bingo” said Eldin.  “Pretty simple really, they take you out before you even know they’re coming for you an you will never know you’re even in trouble.”

I could tell from the silence that McCann had no idea what to do and got up from the bed and walked over.  “When are they going to?”

Eldin pointed at the screen.

“But that’s her date of death?”

Pulling up a chair she sat down in front of the screen and began to punch the keys.  Her fingers were a blur and pictures and data flashed before them.

“Margaret Rebecca Plumduff, primary date of death, location, timeline – it’s all there.”  She wheeled away from the screen to allow us to a better view.

“If that’s her date of death then why kill her then?  Makes no sense.”  Said McCann.

“Since when did ‘sense’ have anything to do with this?” I said.  If I had learned anything in the last few days it was that the least sensible option was more than likely going to be the answer to whatever question you might pose.  “So how do we get there Eldin, there must be something we can do to get that thing working?”

She smiled and pushed her hair behind her ear.  “Armitage, if I could help you I would – you seem nice enough – but I have no information on this thing other than what I have seen.  Unless you can get your hands on a couple of shadows I really don’t know, and even then I have no idea how to use it.”

“Okay, thanks Eldin”.  As far as I could tell she seemed to be telling the truth and had no reason to lie to us.

“He did ask for something else too.”

“Do tell” said Taylor.

“He has information on all of you, and was especially interested in you Armitage.”

I knew I ought to be afraid but after all that had happened I simply couldn’t muster anything other than something that came close to anger.  Perhaps not quite anger but certainly something of a mix of defiance and indignation.

“Well let him come for me” I said putting my hands on my hips, legs spread wide.  I saw McCann smile and suddenly felt rather self conscious and  shoved my hands into my trouser pockets and shuffled uncomfortably.

“That’s the spirit” she said turned back to Eldin.  “I need a copy of everything you gave him please.”

Eldin handed her a data stub.  “Figured you’d ask.”

“So what now then?” Asked Mason, “what’s the plan boss?”

“Back to the Office I guess” she said picking up the device from the desk.  We need to get this thing working.

“There is one more option” Eldin added as we turned to leave.

“Is there not perhaps a non risky option?” I asked.  “Maybe one that involves cups of tea?”

Eldin ignored my question.  “You could go and see her McCann, Quora.”

As we walked back to the office, the streets still full of life, McCann was unusually quiet.

“You going to force me to ask then aren’t you?” I said catching up with her.

“I’m sorry” she said as if a million miles away.  “Lost in thought I guess.”

“Who’s Quora?” I asked.

McCann didn’t reply so I asked again.  “McCann, Quora, who is she?”

“Do you remember when you arrived here?  When everything was grey and you wandered lost through the nothing?”

“Yes” I said.  I remembered it all too well and given the events of the last few days it held a certain appeal still.

“You met her then Armitage.”

“I never met any…Oh, I see.” I said realising that she meant the tree.  “I didn’t much care for her I will be honest.  Gave me the willies.”

“Eldin has a point though, may be worth a go.”

“Is there anything here that isn’t an immediate threat to life and limb” I asked.

“Perhaps we should just head back to the Office and talk about it there” McCann suggested.

As we left the hustle of the main through fare behind and headed back to the office my mind turned to Plumduff and O’Rourke.  Not only did we not know where they were but thanks to the device even the ‘when’ was an unknown.  If we were to find them then we were going to need some luck, and unfortunately our luck had disappeared through that portal with Plumduff.

 

Part 28 is here