At 9am, Betsy's Bakery opened. Several hours before though, the real work would start. From across the street, M could smell the food. Bread and cakes and pastries and all sorts of baked goods. If the food tasted as good as it smelled, then he was in for a treat. M had not slept all night. First he had waited for Elizabeth to return home, and when she had he had been busy thinking up a plan. Elizabeth was, by all accounts, a nice person. But she was reclusive, scared, and unstable. Getting close to her would be difficult. He had thought about it all night, and now he had a plan, of some sort at least. The other thing that he had been thinking about was who else was following Elizabeth, and who else was following him. It was difficult to know. Lemona could have another agent following him, or another agent following Elizabeth, or both. Bandit could have people, Pepper could have people, or anyone else. They all could, even. But there would definitely be someone. As the sun rose higher in the sky, and the streets began to grow busier, M looked through this binoculars into the shop window, where he could see Elizabeth starting to place warm loaves of bread onto a table. He began to feel something growing in the pit of his stomach. He scanned the notes he had written his book. He knew what the plan was, he had to stick to it. At a quarter to 9, M abandoned his post and freshened up. A shower, shave, and a change of clothes later and he headed downstairs and across the road. The streets were noticeably busier today. Things had returned to more of a form of normality today, and the majority of people had probably forgotten that the riots had ever happened. The good thing about busy is that its easier to disappear. The bad thing about busy is its harder to notice who is looking for you. As he reached the front door of Betsy's Bakes, he saw the shop had now opened. He pushed open the door and was bathed of a heady mixture of warmth and flour and spice. 'Hello' said Elizabeth, from behind the shop counter. 'How can I Help?' 'You can help me by recommending me some bread. What's the best you have to sell?' 'That's a tough question.' Elizabeth smiled at him. 'I would argue that everything we have to sell is the best.' She walked over to the end of the counter and pointed to a pile of bread directly in front of her. 'I just made these ciabatta's, which I think are very nice.' 'Then I'll have one of those, please. And maybe a doughnut for later?' 'That'll be 5 dollars, sir.' M reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. 'Luke. My name is Luke.' Elizabeth didn't even look up at him as she pulled out a brown paper bag from underneath the counter. 'Do I know you from somewhere?' M asked her. Elizabeth flinched, and tried not to look M in the eyes. 'I don't think so. Have we met?' 'Hmm, I don't think so. I just seem to recall seeing your face somewhere.' 'Maybe I just have one of those faces.' Elizabeth then shoved the bread into the bag so hard that it tore the bottom and came out the other end 'Damn.' 'You should be more careful.' She reached under the counter and M could see sweat beginning to appear on her forehead. 'Sorry. I'm not very good at this sort of stuff. Normally Beth, my colleague does this sort of stuff but she's... um... well actually I don't know where she is.' 'It's fine.' Elizabeth placed the food in the new bag and handed it to Mister M. 'There you are, Luke. Oh, and sorry.' 'I shouldn't have startled you.' 'You didn't.' 'I'm sure I've seen you before though.' 'Well you haven't. Goodbye.' She then turned on the spot and disappeared into a back room. Mister M turned and took a quick look around the shop before leaving.
'Do you know who Linda was talking too?' 'No. She was too far away for me to able to tell.' 'Did you try and follow her?' 'Of course not.' 'Good. If anyone had seen you, then you would have put us under suspicion, and that's the last thing we want.' 'So what do we do next?' Lemona sighed for a minute and thought. It would be untrue to say that this was a difficult decision, because every decision in her job was difficult. She was treading the fine line between doing too much or too little. After a few moments of contemplation, she asked Bee another question 'I suggest you pull out.' 'What?' 'We need to cut all surveillance we have on Elizabeth and let M do his job. We're playing with fire.' Bee looked unsure. 'What about Linda?' 'You know that Linda is under Bandit's control, we can't dare to even go near here.' 'This is salsa. What are we supposed to do?' 'Be patient and have faith, I trust M to do his job properly.' 'You trust him to much. You put too much faith in him. He isn't good enough.' 'Are you questioning my decision?' Lemona fixed Bee with an icy glare that bore right into her eyes and out the back of her head. 'No. I'm just concerned.' Lemona stop up and reached over to a bottle on her desk. 'We're all concerned, Bee. That doesn't mean that this is a good time to start doubting me.' She walked over to a cabinet and returned to the table with two glasses. 'Here, drink some of this.' 'What is it?' 'It doesn't matter, just drink some,' said Lemona, as she poured the strange looking liquid into the glasses and handed one to Bee. 'Perhaps I do give M too much leeway when it comes to his mistakes, but he's had a lot of bad luck in the past. I believe that he can do well on this mission. And, most importantly, he's the only candidate we have.' Bee sipped the cool liquid. At first it burnt her mouth, but after a few moments it tasted velvety and sweet. 'But what do we do with this new information?' 'You mean Sherry Ann, I assume. It's... interesting, but I don't see anything that we need to immediately act upon.' 'Doesn't it concern you?' 'Oh Bee, everything concerns me.' 'Sherry Ann was dead, and the same person who we believed to be her killer we believe to be the killer of Jacob. Jacob and Sherry Ann were close associates until her death, or whatever it was. Surely you don't think that can just be a coincidence?' 'No, I do not. But you're missing the point, Bee. Think about this.' Bee bit her bottom lip for a moment and thought. Thoughts were rushing through her head at a thousand miles a minute, but every inch of her brainpower for focusing on trying to remain calm and composed. After a long few minutes she sighed and said 'What I am missing then?' 'Sherry Ann is clever, cleverer than most anyone I know. She would know that even letting someone as insignificant as Linda know she is alive would be too dangerous. She's had as all under the illusion that she's dead for over a year, and now she's broken that spell and she's done it deliberately. How she survived, I don't know, but she want's as to know that she has. We don't have enough information to draw any more conclusions than that, and that is where you come in. I need you to try and find out as much information as you can about Zortegus. Go back to the murder scene – both of them – and start for square one. If we find Zortegus and find out why Sherry Ann was killed, then we find out why she is alive.' 'Okay, I'll try my best.' Bee stood and turned to leave the room, slightly too hastily. 'Oh and Bee,' Lemona walked after Bee and stood directly in front of her. 'I need your complete confidence in this. I need to know that I can trust?' 'When have I ever made you doubt me?' Bee smiled at Lemona, before turning and walking out of Lemona's office. 'All the time.'
As Elizabeth stepped outside of the shop, the heat of the midday sun washed over her. She turned and locked the door of the shop behind her, and stopped to look at her own reflection in the glass. She looked okay, not as nervous as she felt. She had made her choice, and she had to stick with it now. She turned and walked down the street, which was bustling with life. It was a warm day, probably the last truly hot day of the year, and everyone was making of the most of it. Children were running around laughing, whilst watchful parents talked to one another. It was early afternoon, and busy people in important clothes rushed around to get their lunch. She was missing out on some good custom. A large group of protesters stood to one side, holding placards and signs with mocking images of the mayor. At the front of them stood a woman shouting into a megaphone, but Elizabeth was too preoccupied to take in what was being said. As she turned a corner, she looked up and could see her destination. The spire of the church pierced the dark blue sky like a dagger. She hadn't been to the church for years, not since her wedding. It would strange to be back there, especially for a funeral. There were lots of similarities between a funeral and a wedding, she supposed. Friends and family gathering together in celebration of life. Elizabeth had never been to a funeral before, not even her own husband's. She had wanted to go, but Jacob wouldn't let her. Elizabeth was so busy looking up at the church and thinking, that she wasn't looking where she was going. The sun creeped out from behind the spire of the church, and shone into her eyes and suddenly she felt herself falling into someone, and then she felt something very hot falling down the front of her dress. 'Sorry!' Elizabeth fell backwards and put her arm out to stop herself, but it was grabbed by the man who she had walked into, and he helped to pull her up. 'Woah, are you okay?' 'Yeah, I -' She looked down at her dress, and saw a huge splosh of coffee dripping down her front. 'Oh no. Well yeah, I'm sort of okay I guess.' The man knelt down to pick up his coffee cup, and grimaced. 'I'm sorry about the coffee.' 'It's fine. I don't know what I was thinking really, it's too hot today for a, er, hot drink. I'm sorry about your dress.' Elizabeth realised she had seen the man already this morning. 'It's fine. You were in my shop this morning, weren't you? ... Luke, wasn't it.' 'Guilty. The Bread was nice, by the way.' 'That's good to know.' She turned away from him and looked up at the church once more. 'Are you okay?' asked Luke. 'Yeah i'm just.... I'm supposed to be somewhere.' 'Oh, sorry.' 'No it's.... fine I just.' She realised now that she shouldn't be doing this. 'You know what? Actually, I don't need to be somewhere.' 'Well that's a relief.' She smiled at him. 'Let me buy you another coffee. Or something cooler, if you'd prefer.' 'That might be better. But only if you let me buy you another dress.'
Lemona glanced through the latest report from Quisby. It was full of the usual oddities that Qusiby liked to insert in all of his communications, and after scanning the file for a few minutes she realised she wasn't going to get anything of real content out of it. Lemona closed the file and rose from the desk, and headed towards a door in the corner of the room. She pushed her key card against the lock, and entered into a large private bathroom, one which she had never actually used. She headed into the shower and looked up at a security camera. A few seconds later there was a clicking sound followed by a mechanical hiss, and the wall at the back of the shower slid away, revealing a dark and dingy corridor. At the end of the corridor there was a flight of rusty metal stairs, which led to a further door. After entering a code, Lemona walked into the room. The room was large and cool, but with very little light. There huge windows on each wall, but each was covered up by large blinds, keeping out the daylight. In fact the only light in the room at all was coming from the numerous computers, tablets, phones, and various pieces of technology that littered the floor. Every one of them was on, and each one cast the room in an eerie blue light. The most interesting thing about the room, however, was not the computers, but the woman who was sat in the middle of the floor. Under a mass of long dark hair could be seen a slender face with an expression of extreme concentration. She had long thin arms and was sat cross legged and seemed to be taking in several different things at once. She was so deep in thought that she seemed to barely notice that Lemona had entered. She knew, though. 'Hello Lorelai.' 'Hello,' said the woman, who immediately closed the lid of a laptop to her right, and then turned behind her to pick a package. 'I thought you'd have come here before now.' 'I've been busy.' 'You always are.' She held the file out in the air, waiting for Lemona to take it from her. 'I read through the file as best I could, and couldn't find anything suspicious. As far as I can tell, Hermes' actions have been entirely consistent over the last few years.' 'Consistent isn't necessarily helpful, he's very good at keeping things secret. I was hoping for something more interesting than that though.' 'Well I'm sorry to disappoint.' Lemona sat down next to Lorelai, and tried to see what she had been looking at, but Lorelai pushed her head away 'Don't look at my work. It's private' 'What are you doing? Is that the ASCA database?' Lorelai sighed 'Yes. I'm just looking because... well, I'm doing my job' 'What does ASCA have to do with your job?' Lorelai ignored her 'What are you doing? Why are you here?' 'I wanted to ask you about Bee.' 'Then ask away...' 'Can I trust her.' 'It depends what you mean trust. If you mean “Can I trust her follow my orders?”, then yes, but if you mean “Is she withholding important from me?”, then yes, she is.' 'What information.' 'On the evening of Jacob Willis' Death, approximately 10 minutes before the event, Bee was undercover at The Pandora. She was on her way to interact with Jacob, as per your orders, when she received a text message which distracted her. The message was from Zortegus.' 'Zortegus? How does she -' 'I don't know how, but clearly she does. Her phone is obviously very secure and I've not been able to access exactly that the message said, but whatever it was it must be important. Bee was on her way to Jacob that evening, and whatever was in that message stopped her from going there.' Lemona stood up and begin to pace around the room, making sure not to trip over the mass of cables and wires strewn over the floor. 'This is... very good.' 'Thank You.' 'Zortegus killed Jacob' 'I know.' 'I wonder if....' Lemona stopped herself from talking, from revealing to much of her thoughts 'Thank you Lorelai, you've been extremely helpful today.' 'Oh mother, I always try to be.'
As Mister M left Elizabeth's apartment, the last few remnants of sunlight were beginning to fade from the sky. The had spent a lot of time together, more time than M had realised. She had been much more accessible than he was expecting, much more... open. After going for a drink he had insisted on going with her to buy a new dress, and they ended up going back to her apartment. Most of their conversation consisted of her talking and him listening, which was no bad thing, as it gave him more time to build on his background. But he was surprised about what she did reveal to him and what she didn't. She was more than comfortable telling him her real name, and that she had been having doubts over attending her brother's funeral, but she stopped short of actual saying that her brother was an infamous gangster, as if anyone wouldn't know who he was. So far, everything was going well, better than he hoped. She trusted him. As Mister M neared his apartment, he could something growing in the pit of his stomach, a sense of dread and foreboding about the days to come. He knew that people were watching him, and he knew people were watching Elisabeth. He knew what he had to do. As M unlocked the door to his apartment and walked in, his mind was busy focusing on the coming days, and so it took him a few moments to realise that something was wrong. He sat down on the chair facing the window and peered through the binoculars. The lights in Elizabeth's apartment were all out, and it looked like she had gone to sleep. M reached over for his notebook, and he realised that it was gone. He looked around to see if it had fallen on the floor, but it hadn't. He stood up from his chair, and felt his heart beating faster. He needed that notebook. What had he done with it? As Mister M walked over to his bedroom door he suddenly stopped. He thought he had heard something coming from inside his bedroom, almost like a clicking sound. He stood still, frozen to the stop where we stopped, and he listened as hard he could, but he couldn't hear anything else. The door had been locked, he knew, but that didn't mean someone hadn't broken in. Someone could have taken his notebook. It could be someone who was also watching Elizabeth, or could just be anyone. Slowly, M crept closer to the door, and placed his ear carefully against the gap between the door and the wall, and then he heard something else, a different noise, a soft hissing sound, almost like a snake. The door exploded, and M was thrown backwards onto the floor. A shape in beige jumped on top of him pressing splinters of wood into M's body. He tried to push himself up but the weight of the man was too much, and he fell back down. He saw something bright above him, and then suddenly he felt the heat and the smell of fire. He struggled to move, but it made no difference. He tasted blood and sweat and smoke, as the flames begin to burn deep into his flesh.
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2017 15:46:53 GMT -5 by Mister M
Post by Linda Rhaldeen on Jun 29, 2017 0:11:20 GMT -5
Finally got around to reading this. This is so exciting! Though Betsy's bakery appears to switch currency from pounds to dollars from one day to the next. And why are there so many parent-child relationships?
I will send a fully-armed battalion to remind you of my love.
His face was on fire, and he could feel the heat pressing down onto his face. Desperately he tried to push himself away, but it was no good, he was trapped beneath the man's weight. M tried to reach up to the man's face, but he felt his wrist being crushed. Mister M was beginning to struggle for breath, and he let out a chocked scream, and tried to shake his arm free. The attacker momentarily released his grasp but a few seconds later he felt a cool sharp pain dig through the palm of his hand. Whatever was happening, M did not know. But that didn't matter. The man was concentrating on M's face anymore. With all his strength M moved his head upwards as quickly as possible. There was a loud crack as his forehead made contact with the mans chin, and it was over. He was free. M tried to stand but found his hand trapped by something. He turned to the direction of his attacker, but he realised he could barely see anything, his vision was badly blurred. He reached over and found his hand was trapped with a knife, so he pulled it loose and stood up. He heard a noise behind him, and the man jumped at him trying to push him over. M fell back on the ground, but he thrust the knife in the general direction of the man. He felt flesh against his fingers, and the man made a horrible gasping sound. M pushed the knife deeper into the man and then pulled it back out and kicked him away. M leant back against the wall, and gulped down air as quickly as he could. He vision was starting to clear, and he looked down at the man. He was laying back on the floor, a small pool of blood beginning to spread around him. The flaming device the man had been using had set small spots of the carpet on fire, and it was beginning to spread. M turned and began to run from the apartment as best he could. What the hell was he supposed to do now? His instinct was to call Anka to help fix him up, but that wasn't an option in this situation. No contact, those were the rules. Otherwise whoever sent the attacker would know who 'Luke' really was. Who even sent the attacker? Was it even anything to do with Elizabeth? Mister M entered out onto the streets. The darkness had emerged whilst he had been in his apartment, and the night life of the city with it, but nobody paid him much attention. He quickly walked past a few buildings turning into an alleyway and stopping once more to assess himself. His vision was uneven, and he couldn't see at all out his left eye. His face was numb there, and when he touched it he felt nothing but burned flesh. His left hand was badly injured too. The knife had gone clean through it, and he could see muscle and bone and blood, lots of blood. He needed help and soon, or he'd bleed to death. There was only one place he could go, and only one place he should. She is a trained nurse, of course.
Elizabeth had been woken in the late hours of the evening by Luke, and he had been in a very bad way. In fact, he was still in a bad way now. She had done the best she could, which was not a lot. She had cleaned and stitched up his hand, but the knife had done so much damage that she was sure it would need to be redone under proper medical circumstances. The burns on his face were more concerning. She had bathed his face for several hours, and had covered the side of his face in a bandage. The burns were on the left side of his face and covered most of the area above his nose heading up over the top of his bald head. The skin had turned a pale red colour, and was occasionally oozing out between the cracks in his skin. His sight had returned, but his eyelid was cracked and broken. And he couldn't feel any pain, at least not in his face. This was bad. 'You need to go to a hospital,' she told him, for what felt like the hundredth time. At first, he had made excuses for not going such as not having insurance or not liking hospitals, but now he had given up. There was some reason that he wasn't going there, and he didn't want to tell her what. 'I know I should, but I can't.' 'You need too. There's only so much that I can do. Your wounds are going to get infected and then you're going to get sick. Really sick.' 'I know.' He pulled himself up from the couch where he had been resting, and turned to look at Elizabeth. 'I'm sure it's not as bad as it looks.' 'Then it's still really bad.' He looked at her with the one eye that he still had uncovered and she looked back at him. There was something about his face that seemed oddly familiar, as if they had known each other for longer than just... well, even less than 24 hours. 'Thank you,' he said, breaking the silence 'for doing this. You didn't have to.' 'It's fine.' 'Why did you stop? Being a nurse, I mean.' 'It wasn't for me,' she said quickly, and she stood up and headed over to open the curtains to let in the morning sun. She looked over the road at the block of apartments, and noticed a fire truck outside, with men in uniform busy milling about. Why did she trust him so much? This man who she'd never even met before. 'Actually, no. That's not the reason. I lied before.' Luke looked confused. 'Then why?' 'I'd seen to many people die. I couldn't deal with it any more.' Elizabeth had never told anyone that before. 'I know what you mean,' said Luke. 'What? How?' Luke suddenly looked confused, his eyes widening. 'I mean, um, after tonight. It can't have been nice for you, doing this.' Elizabeth smiled at him 'You're not dead yet. You will be, though, if you don't go to a hospital, now.' Luke stood up and began to walk towards the front door. 'I need to go. Maybe not to a hospital, but I need to go and see someone who might be able to help.' 'What do you mean by someone?' 'A friend. Someone who I trust.' Elizabeth was confused. Not just by what he had said, but by everything. 'What happened last night?' 'I told you, it was just a stupid fight.' 'But nobody does this to someone for no reason.' 'Well what reason would anybody have?' 'That's exactly what I'm worried about.' Elizabeth sighed deeply. 'There are things I haven't told you, things about... my past. My brother, before he died he was a … a very bad man. And because of that, because of who he was, there are people who might be watching me, and those same people might be watching you too now.' 'Elizabeth -' 'And these people might try to hurt you because of me and they might try to hurt me too.' 'Elizabeth, listen. You're just sounding paranoid. Nobody is watching you, and nobody is watching me either. It was all just accident.' M opened the front door. 'I'll be back later, as soon as I can.' As he left, Elizabeth began to feel angry. Why hadn't she listened to him? She turned and headed back into her bedroom, and reached for the piece of paper Linda had given her. A few moments later, and she heard Linda's voice on the other end of the phone 'Hello? Who is this?' 'Linda, Hi. It's... me. Elizabeth, it's Elizabeth.' 'Elizabeth? What do you want? What's happened?' 'I have a problem, and I think you might be able to help me.'
In the financial district of the city, there is a place where the pigeons gather to pester passerby's and generally cause a nuisance. They gather near a large fountain honouring some historic victory of some sort, which spouts water at occasional intervals. Near the fountain are several benches, and that was were Mister M was headed. As he sat down on the bench, he was concerned by the amount of energy it had taken him just to get here. He had hardly slept in the last few days, and now his injuries didn't help. Every step was dizzying, and every time he moved his hand or fingers he felt like he was going to pass out. But he had got here, that was the main thing. 'You look in a bad way,' said the woman sat on the bench next to his. M turned and looked at the woman, and suddenly he realised who it was. She was wearing a headscarf and large sunglasses, and she was almost unrecognisable, but it was the voice that gave her away. It was Lemona. 'It's not as bad as it looks,' he replied. 'It's worse.' 'What happened?' 'I was attacked. I didn't see who it was but I -' Lemona interrupted him. 'Stop looking at me, look at the fountain.' 'Right, Sorry.' M shuffled in his seat to face away from Lemona. 'Anyway, I didn't see who it was but I got away. My apartment's burned down, though. And Elizabeth is getting suspicious. Before long she's going to start putting two and two together, and I don't know how to convince her to trust me.' 'You don't need to.' 'What? Why?' 'She doesn't need to trust you anymore because you're going to kill her.' M sighed 'I... I know that that was the plan but I don't know if -' 'That is the plan, not was. You can't pull out now, you're in too deep. She has to die and you know it. It's the only way to convince them of your story.' 'I know it's just... does she really have to die? I think she might know something about what happened to Jacob. Maybe if you take her in then -' 'Don't get attached. That's what I told you. Don't baulk, no matter what Is asked of you.' M knew that she was right, but that didn't make it any easier 'It's... hard. That's the problem.' 'Hard? Of course it's hard. Don't ever let it get easy.' Lemon reached into her pocket, and began to throw breadcrumbs onto the pavement, and pigeons began to fight amongst themselves. 'It's just one life, to save millions.' 'I know.' 'Then remember that. We're running out of time. I need to know that I can trust you to complete your mission.' M turned his head to look at her, and he was struck with a sudden sense of dizziness again 'When I'm not so injured.... yes, you can count on me.' 'Good. Very good. But that's not why I called you here.' 'Please tell me you've brought medical assistance?' 'No I haven't. If I were you I'd go and see Dante.' 'Would that be safe?' 'If you go about it the right way. But truth be told, I didn't even know this had happened to you. I told you that we're not monitoring your situation.' Darn, thought M, I could really have done with some help 'Then why did you call me here?' 'It's your father. He was arrested yesterday evening for assaulting a police officer, and he's now being held in the downtown prison.' This was the last thing M had been expecting. He hadn't spoken to his father for years, nobody had seen him for years. Why had he turned up again now. And actually... 'Why are you telling me this? I really didn't need to know this. It's difficult enough for me already without having to think about this as well.' 'I told you because you needed to know it.' Lemona stood up from the park bench and turned to look at Mister M for only the first time during their conversation. 'You can see him again. When. And only when, this is all over. The sooner the better.' 'Have you been to visit?' 'No.' Lemona seemed irritated by the question 'No, I have not.' 'You should go and visit him, he's your brother.' 'I... I can't.' 'If not for yourself, then at least for me?' 'We'll see. You do you duty and perhaps I will do mine.'
An encrypted message had been sent. Terry sat there looking at it, unopened. It couldn't be from Hermes, they had only just spoken. If he had any important information to give him then he would have said then. So who was it from? He didn't recognise the e-mail address, but then that was hardly a new thing. Terry wasn't one to be fearful. He couldn't afford to be, not in his line of work. But something about this e-mail was affecting him. He knew the contents of it would be bad. But it was no good, he had to read it. The first thing he read made him set up straight in his chair. This was from the mayors office. Just how involved is bandit in this whole operation? He read the rest of the message with great detail, and then read it again several times over, before he sat back in his chair and thought for a while. Several questions came to mind, but no, questions are no good. It's not his job to ask questions. He knew what his job was, and that was all that he wanted to know.
'Good Evening. I'm Linda Rahldeen and I'm here with your latest headlines for the day. Questions are still being asked after a protest group stormed the Mayor's Office in the city centre yesterday, during which one man was killed by armed police. Many have questioned the lack of response from the mayor, a trend which is beginning to grow more familiar. Our reporter Comet is at the scene, with the latest' 'Thank you Linda. This is Comet speaking from outside the Mayor's Office. I've been here since this morning and in that time I've spoken to several passers by who, quite frankly, are all asking the same question: what is the mayors reaction to this going to be? This is hardly a break with tradition though, as since Mayor Bandit took office he has made fewer and fewer public appearances, with his only communication being through social media. His last online activity was two days ago, when he tweeted – and I quote – 'Looking forward to progressing through some new things to come.' - which, well... I suppose doesn't mean a lot. But since yesterday we have heard nothing. It seems that these new things will just have a little bit longer to wait.' 'Thanks Comet. Earlier today the mayor's press officer, Miss Violet B. Fortunate, released a statement which said that Mayor Bandit will respond to the previous day's event in due course. When that will be, we simply do not know.'
The Day was almost done, and so was Mister M. He had been to visit Dante, but he had gone the long way round. If he was travelling normally the journey shouldn't have taken more than an hour, but he was not travelling normally, and now most of the day was gone. He wasn't sure if anyone was still following him, other than the person who had attacked him, but he still had to be sure. He was so close now that to be discovered would be problematic to say the least. So he had to be safe. But in the end Dante had been able to offer little other than organising some medical insurance. He could go to a hospital and get treated, sure, but he had other things he needed to do first, such as check up on Elizabeth, and try and find where the attacker had come from. Chances were he was watching Elizabeth too. If he was, then chances were he was staying nearby. He needed to find out where that was and see what information he could gather, and he needed to do that before the attacker could return and take his things. If he was still alive. As M emerged from the subway, the darkness was a sorry sight. Another day gone, and still he hadn't slept. He had tried to sleep whilst he was travelling, but the pain had meant there was little chance of that. As M headed down the street, the street lamps began to flick on one by one. It was night once more. As he neared Elizabeth's apartment he looked across the street to his own residence. There was a police car parked outside, but there seemed to be little activity. That was a good sign. M glanced into the window of Betsy's Bakes, but the shop seemed as though it had been undisturbed since yesterday. Why, M couldn't be sure. He hoped that Elizabeth hadn't been too worried about him this morning. As M began to climb the metal steps leading up to Betsy's apartment, he began to grow dizzier and dizzier. He wasn't sure if it was the increase in effort to be moving upwards that was causing, or if it was searching for the next step in the darkness. No, it wasn't either of those things. It was him. He needed help. Arriving at the last step, he turned and knocked on Betsy's front door, but the door slowly swung open. Confused, he went to look at the handle and realised that someone had removed the lock. Cautiously he stepped inside. 'Elizabeth, it's me. Your door was open..... for some reason.' There was no reply, and there were no lights on. 'Hello?' he said, optimistically. Slowly, he crept forward, careful not to disturb anything. He reached into his pocket for the knife he had used last night and took it out of his pocket. It was only small, but it had done the trick before. He entered the front room, and tried to reach for a light switch, not knowing where one was. He listened closely, and after he was sure nobody else was in the room he allowed himself to fumbled around until he found it, and bathed the room light. The room was in tatters. The table was broken clean in two, and there were things everywhere, all small ornaments and books. It wasn't chaotic, though. Whoever had been here hadn't been looking for something, there had just been a struggle, or a fight. But about what, and with who? At first, he has thought he was alone in the room, and then he realised Elizabeth was laying on the sofa. She was still wearing the same clothes as in the morning, but they looked different to before. Her arms and legs were oddly positioned, almost like someone had placed her there like a doll. Her face was pale, and she was laying in a pool of blood, seeping from her throat. He was alone.
Last Edit: Jul 15, 2017 13:55:44 GMT -5 by Mister M
He wasn't sure if it had been five hours or five seconds. However long it was though, he just stood with his feet rooted to the ground, staring at her body. Who did this? Why? What the hell did he do now? A thousand thoughts rushed through his head, and a hundred questions, and there was no time to think. The plan, the story, was it over? Or should he try and keep his cover? He wasn't sure, but there was no way he could know until he could find out who had done this. He moved for the first time in ages, and tried to get a better look at Elizabeth. He knelt down and moved her hair away from her face. A single cut ran across her throat, and that was all it had taken to kill her,. This was useless, he could learn nothing from this. He stood again, and looked around the room, for any sign of any clue that could tell him who had done this, but there was nothing. He had no choice now, he had to leave. As he headed toward the door, he caught a brief glimpse of himself in the mirror, and looked down. There was blood on his hands, and over his clothes, and his face was terrifying. He looked like a murderer. He had to change his clothes, something that would make him blend in, and then he needed to go to a hospital. That would give him time to think about what to do next. Suddenly there was a loud noise coming from the doorway, and he heard someone shout. He turned quickly and saw a bullet whistle past his head, missing him by inches. 'Get down on the ground now.' shouted the man as he barged into the apartment, pointing a gun in M's direction. He was a police officer, he could tell by the uniform, and M sank down to the ground. As the officer rushed past him into the front room, M began to feel dizzier and dizzier, his vision began to blur, and it became more difficult for him to think. 'What happened here?' the man asked. 'I... I don't' M tried to force the words out of his throat, but they wouldn't come. What were the police doing here? Had somebody heard something? Maybe... maybe someone had seen who had been here. The police officer walked over to Mister M, and looked at him. He has probably noticed the blood by now. As M began to fade into unconsciousness, he could feel himself being picked up and dragged out of the apartment, and into the cold air of the night.
Bee had a heavy conscience, which was not unusual in her line of work. She had many things to worry about, and she was bad at switching off at the end of the day. She had a daughter to think about, but that didn't mean she was able too. But today in particular was troubling her, and her head was full of the things she had done, and whether she was doing the right thing. She had returned home late that night, and even though she was exhausted she knew she would be unable to sleep. Instead she laid on her bed, thinking things over, which was never a good thing. Thoughts found at night were never thoughts that are wanted. As she was deliberating potential plans to curb Sophie's behaviour, she heard a loud crash coming from downstairs. With a groan of frustration, Bee sat up from the Bed and headed downstairs. She was not looking forward to find out what Sophie had been up to on her latest drunken escapade. She headed into the kitchen and turned the lights on. 'Hello Bee,' said the man, in a heavily accented voice. He was sat on the floor, and was holding something to the side of his stomach. He was young, but his face weathered with cuts and bruises. He had dark curly hair, and a small scraggly beard. A long metal pole and a gun laid next to him on the floor. He was smiling. 'It's good that you still live in the same house, otherwise I don't know where I would have gone.' 'Zortegus... What are you doing here?' 'Saying Hello.' 'By breaking in?' The man pushed himself up, wincing in pain as he did. 'I need your help, just like I always do.' 'Don't smash my windows in then.' He laughed, and walked over to Bee and placed a hand on hers. 'You owe me a favour, you know you do.' 'I'm not sure I do.' 'I was referring to the Sherry Ann thing.' 'I meant I'm not sure I owe you a favour,' she replied crossly. 'She isn't dead.' Zortegus looked surprised. 'Really? That is unexpected. The last time I saw her I put a bullet through her head.' 'Clearly it didn't work.' 'Are you angry with me?' Bee thought for a minute. 'Possibly.' 'Well I hope not. I'm hurt, and I need some care and attention.' Zortegus moved the bundle away from his side, and she could see blood coming from a wound just above his stomach. 'What happened?' 'I was attacked... But don't worry, I attacked him first.' 'Why? 'He was watching her. Elizabeth Miller. I don't suppose you'd know anything about that would you?' 'Perhaps. But you know me, I don't mix business and pleasure.' 'No.' Zortegus laughed 'Of course you don't. But will you help me?' 'What do you need?' 'I need stitching up, I need some food, and I need a place to stay.' 'How long for?' 'The stitches till I heal and the food momentarily. The place to stay... my father is arriving in town in a few days, so just till then.' 'Your Father? I thought he -' 'It's a brave new world we live in Bee. Times have changed.' Zortegus smiled at her and pulled a chair out from the kitchen table. 'So can I stay?' 'Yes, as long as you're quiet.' 'Good. I'm looking forward to meeting this daughter of yours.'
'As far as I can, er, ascertain, they are, um, currently holding him; 'Thanks for that.' 'Yes, right.' Quisby fumbled through his notes hurriedly. 'The evidence doesn't look good but, yes, but that might not be a problem because they can't hold him unless... well unless they, um, charge him and they... they have evidence so... Yes. It, ah, doesn't look good.' 'Quisby,' said Lemona, exhausted. 'Thank you, but you can go now.' 'Sorry, yes, of course!' Qusiby bumbled. He turned around and made his way to the door, occasionally stopping to pick up a piece of paper he had dropped onto the floor. When eventually he had left her office, Lemona leaned back in her chair and yawned. It had been another long night, the latest of many. She had already received most of the information from Lorelai, but she had still wanted to test Quisby, to see what he could do. She stood from her chair and began to pace her office once more. What had M gotten himself into now? All he had needed to do was run. Why couldn't he have just done that? Now he had compromised the whole operation, the whole organisation. Everything was in danger. She needed some coffee. Good coffee. Lemona left her office and the building, and headed to her favourite coffee shop. The streets were less busy than usual, but not deserted. Armed police were on patrol, and everybody looked nervous. There had been another riot yesterday evening, and the mayor had finally broken his silence. New executive had been given to the police, and military forces were being drafted in to help keep the peace. This was going to make Mona's job much more difficult. People had not been as detered as the last time, however. There had been too much disruption to daily life to put everything on hold again, so the streets continued to be busy. There was a gloomy feeling around, however, and Lemona couldn't help but be drawn into the stark mood of those around her as she made her way through the city. If Bandit even had the slightest inkling of what Lemona was up to then she was in danger. She needed to talk with him, but it was doubtful that would happen. He was a difficult man to find, and even more difficult to contact. Sure, he would communicate with his followers a lot through online, but he seldom had public apperances. She had often found this interesting – how did a man who was seldom seen gain so much popularity to become elected, yet every decision he makes leads to protests such as the ones that had taken place last night? Lemona was so busy with her thoughts that she wasn't looking where she was going, and she suddenly found herself tripping over, bashing her cheek on the pavement. 'Hey!' she said, turning around. She saw a young man with long scraggly hair standing behind her with his leg stuck out. He had his hands in his pockets, and he was staring Lemona in the eyes. He had clearly meant to trip her up. 'Sorry,' he said, in an uncaring voice. He stood there for a few more moments, looking at Lemona as she lay on the floor. There was something about his face that Lemona found oddly familiar. Could it possibly be? The man turned and begin walk back in the direction that Lemona had come from. Lemona stood, dusted herself down, and began to follow, keeping her distance. The man didn't look back to see if Lemona was following, and kept walking in a straight line for a few blocks, before turning left into an alleyway. Lemona followed, and made sure nobody was watching before heading into the entrance. 'Lemona,' said the man, in a voice more feminine than before. 'I'd have expected you to be more careful than to follow strange men into dark alleyways' 'You aren't a man though, are you?' 'No, I'm not. I always did love disguises.' You're Sherry Ann, thought Lemona, but she didn't say it aloud. 'Why so secretive?' 'Because I'm more careful than you. The enemy is more powerful than ever, Lemona. I'm doing the best I can to help you but I felt you needed my advice.' 'Why should I trust anything you tell me?' 'Because I'm still alive when everybody wants me dead. You'll soon come to know a similar pain.' 'What does that mean?' 'There are people who want you dead too.' 'Who?' 'Near everybody I know, and that's more people than you do. But I'm trying to help you.' Lemona was unsure whether to believe a word Sherry Ann said, but she listened anyway. 'Why do I need your help?' 'You put too much trust in your employees. There are people who are working against you, even now.' 'Who?' 'Names are such dangerous things, you never which ones may be listening. Don't trust anyone with your secrets or they will destroy you.' 'I have no secrets.' Sherry Ann laughed. 'Everyone has secrets.' 'I have a plan.' 'Everyone has plans, yours is weak. You think it's the people that matter in this world? It's not, it's never the people, it's the money. Follow the money, that's what you need to tell him. Follow the money and you'll find your answers.' Tell who? Does she know about M? And what money is he supposed to follow? 'Do you know what's going on.' 'Perhaps. Perhaps knowing is the only thing keeping me safe, or perhaps ignorance in the only choice I have for a peaceful life. But I came here to tell you to watch your guard. When the time comes when you have no hope left I'll be waiting.' Sherry Ann turned to head back out onto the streets. 'Wait! If you know something, anything... please, help me.' Sherry Ann sighed, and spoke in a more masculine voice again. 'You made a mistake when you investigated the crime scene. It doesn't matter who killed Willis, or why, or how. The question you should be asking is why did it happen like that.' 'What does that mean?' Lemona said, but Sherry Ann turned and stepped back into the crowd. 'Great,' Lemona sighed. 'That was helpful.'
A car drew up outside of the police station, and out of it stepped a man who had no business being there. He looked in the direction of the police station with disgruntled grunt as if there was no place on earth he could dislike more. The man's name was Hermes, and he was becoming dangerously used to standing around in places he disliked. He was a large beefy man, tall and muscley, with a slight beard which had more hair than the top of his head. After a few moments a man came walking out of the police station, and briefly shared a look with Hermes, before turning and walking down the street. Hermes waited a few seconds before climbing back into his car, and following the man in the same direction. This went on for several minutes, with the man walking ahead, occasionally turning left or right or changing direction, whilst Hermes slowly followed along, occasionally deviating from the path entirely but ensuring he would not lose track of where the man was. Eventually, Hermes turned a corner to find the man stood waiting, and Hermes pulled up alongside the pavement, and the man climbed into the car. 'My boss is very disappointed with you, Terry Craig,' said Hermes, as Terry shut the car door behind him. 'I'm very disappointed in him.' Terry reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette he had rolled earlier. 'No smoking in my car,' said Hermes. 'And why are you disappointed?' 'I take a great risk doing what I do for him, a very great risk, and when things like what happened last night happened, it makes me doubt whether or not I made the right choice in trusting you.' 'What happened last night?' 'I went to Elizabeth Willis' apartment as instructed, fully prepared to carry out my orders, but she was already dead.' 'What?' Terry lit the cigarette. 'Someone had slit her throat. There was this guy there, I don't know if he killed her or not but I arrested him.' 'That's exactly what I'm here to talk to you about.' Hermes reached over and pulled the cigarette out of Terry's hand and threw it out the window. 'Why did you have to arrest him? All you've done is drawn unnecessary attention on this death. She needed to be killed and it needed to happen quietly, now people are gonna know.' 'I had to arrest him, he knew I was there. He saw my face. If your employer hadn't screwed this up than this wouldn't have happened. It's your mess, you deal with it.' 'You should have just killed him.' 'Those weren't my orders.' Hermes sighed and reached into his pocket for his phone. 'I'm gonna need to make a few calls, sort some things out. I trust we can take him, the man?' 'You're welcome to him.' 'Good. Who is he?' 'Luke someone or other. Does it matter?' 'Of course it does. Everything matters.'
M woke and found himself in a place he didn't know. He was laying on a bed, looking up at the ceiling, and he had no energy to chance his position. He had been asleep for a while, he was sure, but he didn't know how long. He felt better though, but he wasn't sure how or why. The dizziness was gone and so was most of the pain. What had happened? How had he gotten into this mess? And what was he supposed to do now? He... he had been arrested, yes. That was bad, extremely bad. If they found out who he really was, then they would find out what Lemona had been planning. A noise diverted M's attention, and he looked to see a door opening, and the policeman from before entered along with another man who seemed oddly familiar. 'He's awake.' Terry said. 'I can see that,' replied the other man. He had copious amounts of thick black hair, so much so that it was difficult to see any defined features on his face. 'What's going on?' Neither of the men answered, and Terry walked over to Mister M and punched him in the face. 'You're coming with us.'
The sun was starting to set as they arrived. The van pulled up outside, and Hermes sat and waited while the work was done. He took the letter out of his pocket and cast his eyes over the words once more. No matter how many times he read it, the words still didn't seem to sink in. He stared blankly at page, reading the words over and over. Terry tapped his fist on the window and Hermes scowled and stuffed the letter away, before stepping outside. 'Is he awake?' Hermes asked. 'No,' said Terry. 'But he should be soon. What are you going to do with him?' 'That's none of your concern.' 'It is. People don't just go missing, I arrested this man and now he's gone. People will know. What am I supposed to say?' 'I wouldn't worry about it.' Terry seemed to be growing more anxious by second. 'I am worried. Someone's going to find out what I'm doing sooner or later.' 'Why do you think that? Have you been lax in your operations.' 'No it's just... what I've done, what I'm doing....' 'Are you worried about it?' 'No, I just don't want to get found out.' 'Mr. Craig, you have nothing to worry about, I assure you. Mayor Bandit has been greatly pleased by your work, and he has personally assured me that he wants to keep you in operation until the project's completion.' Terry seemed to relax. 'That's good to hear.' 'I need to ask you a question, Terry.' 'Ask away.' 'Do you think that this man could have killed Elizabeth?' Terry thought for a moment, before replying. 'I believe he could have, but whether he did, I'm not sure. It's your call. But I must get back to the station. There will be questions to answer.' Terry turned and began to walk out through the garage door. 'Terry,' said Hermes sternly. 'Aren't you forgetting something?' Terry stopped and turned back towards Hermes. 'Ah, of course.' He reached into his pocket, and produced a large wad of cash. Hermes walked over and took it out of Terry's hands. 'Is it all here?' 'Of course. Except for my 10 percent.' 'Good. You can leave.' 'Good. Hopefully... well hopefully I won't need to see you again any time soon.' Terry smiled at Hermes as he left. 'Hopefully,' Hermes replied. He turned, and headed up a set of steps and into the house. It was time to find out who this man really was.
Sophie was home. This rare event would normally be met with a mixture of enjoyment and arguments, but at this moment in time it was far from ideal. Bee ran downstairs to greet her daughter, and was surprised by the first thing Sophie said to her. 'Mum... I need your help.' As Bee stood on the bottom stair, she saw Sophie leaning against the frame of the door, holding a towel to her forehead. 'Let me see,' Bee said to her. Sophie moved the towel away to reveal a deep cut across the side of her forehead, bleeding heavily. 'You absolute idiot.' 'Yeah, thanks, that's helpful.' 'You need to go to hospital.' 'I don't really -' 'You need to go to hospital. I'm taking you there. Now.' 'Now?' 'Yes now.' 'Aren't you, like, busy or something?' 'No I'm.... salsa... yes, it's fine, I just need to, um... do something upstairs.' Bee turned to head back up the stairs. 'What?' 'It's nothing, just...' Bee ran up the stairs quickly. 'It's all fine, just stay there.' Bee ran along the corridor, and stuck her head around the door. Zortegus was laying on her bed, covered in bandages, and drinking from a bottle. 'I need to go,' said Bee. 'It's fine,' said Zortegus. 'I need to go too.' 'What? Where?' 'I got a call from an associate of mine who needs my help.' Zortegus rose from the bed and put his shirt back on. 'I don't know if I'll be back or not, and if I am I don't know when.' 'Okay, fine.' Sophie called from downstairs. 'Who are you talking too?' 'Myself,' Bee shouted down, before turning back to Zortegus 'I wish we'd had more time to talk.' 'Oh Bee, I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again soon either way.' Sophie shouted once more. 'What do you mean yourself?' 'What do you mean seeing each other?' Bee asked Zortegus. Suddenly, Bee heard Sophie heading upstairs, and she stepped out of the bedroom and shut the door quickly behind her. 'What's going on?' snapped Sophie. 'Nothing' Bee replied, in a voice that was perhaps too cheerful sounding. 'Come on, let's go.' 'You were talking to someone. Is there someone in your bedroom?' 'No. What? Come on, we should go.' Bee tired to move Sophie in the direction of the stairs, but Sophie pushed her away. 'You're lying to me,' she said fiercely, and pushed open the bedroom door. For a moment Bee's heart sunk, but as she followed Sophie into her room it was a relief to see that Zortegus was gone. Sophie scanned the room, and even glanced underneath the bed. 'Okay, fine.' Sophie sighed. 'Lets go then.' 'You're an idiot, you know that?' 'Thank you.'
'Good evening Luke' M woke, his head spinning, to find himself in yet another room that he did not know. The man who had spoken was someone who he had never met before, but he had seen pictures. It was difficult to forget who the man was. 'I was wondering if I could have a little chat with you?' said Hermes. He looked around and saw the room was mostly empty except for a table with a lamp and several pieces of paper on it. He looked down and saw he was tied to a chair. 'I don't really have much choice, do I?' 'No, you don't.' Hermes, who had been leaning against the table, stood and began to pace around the room. 'I will ask questions and you will give honest answers. If you're lying to me I will know, and if I don't know I'll find out. If I find out, there will be trouble.' Hermes didn't wait a response to continue. 'What were you doing in Elizabeth Willis' apartment last night?' 'I was going to visit her.' 'How long have you known her?' 'A few days.' 'How did you get the injuries to your face and hand?' 'I was attacked' 'Who attacked you?' 'I don't know.' 'Do you know who I am?' 'Yes.' 'How do you know?' 'Work.' 'What is your line work?' M held back a smile. 'The same as yours, or so I hope.' 'Did you kill Elizabeth?' 'Yes,' he lied. 'Did you kill Jacob?' 'No.' 'Do you know who did?' 'No' 'Do you know what CADMUS is?' 'What? No, I don't. What is CADMUS?' There was a knock on the door, and Hermes sighed before walking over and opening it. Two people entered, one of whom was the man with long black hair who had been at the police station. The other man was very tall, with dark curly hair and a scraggly beard. M wasn't sure, but he could swear he had seen the second man before. 'Do you recognise me?' he said, in a heavily accented voice. 'Possibly.' M tried to move his arms, and for the first time became aware that they were tied behind his back. 'Do you recognise me?' The man laughed, and sat on the edge of the table. 'Of course I do. I attacked you the other day. I tried to kill you. You don't forget a thing like that.' It was him. 'That was you?' 'Of course.' He began to look over the various pieces of paper on the table, but started to ask M his own questions. 'Why were you watching Elizabeth Willis?' 'I was ordered too.' 'By whom?' 'My boss.' 'But why? She was nothing more than a harmless girl, she knew nothing. Why would anyone need to her watch her.' 'To see if she knew anything. Why were you watching her?' 'For the same reason as you. Only, I got distracted.' he stopped looking at the papers and turned his attention back to M. 'You caught my attention. Who are you, I thought to myself. I was curious.' 'Why did you attack me?' 'I wanted to see how good you were.' 'You almost killed me.' 'Exactly. I don't 'almost' kill many people. You passed the test.' 'What test?' 'Why did you kill Elizabeth Willis.' Hermes interrupted. 'Orders.' 'But why?' 'I don't ask why, I just follow orders.' 'Except why get you to do it. If Groge wanted you to find out if Elizabeth knew anything, and the answer was no, why get blood on your hands unneccesarily. You're no assassin. It doesn't make sense.' 'That's because it's a lie.' M sighed. 'Those weren't my orders.' 'Then why did you kill her?' said the third man, the one with the long hair. 'Because I wanted your attention.'
'How can I help?' Anka asked. 'I need you to send me all of the information we have about the crime scene.' Lemona replied. She had been trying to get in contact with Bee all day, but she was tired of waiting. Something about what Sherry Ann had said had gotten to Lemona. She had missed something, and she didn't like missing things. 'Pictures would be useful, if we have them.' 'Of course we do. I can send them to you now.' Anka, for all her ditz, was a useful assistant to have. Usefulness wasn't enough, however. Lemona had a constant feeling like she was drowning at the moment. She was struggling to stay afloat in a sea of deception and greed, and all she was being thrown to save her was a sieve. 'Thank you for you help, Anka.' 'It's no trouble.' Anka stopped typing momentarily, and stared at her hands for a moment, before looking up to face Lemona. 'I wanted to ask you... have you heard anything about Mister M?' 'Thank you, Anka, but I must return to my office.' No, Lemona thought, she'd heard nothing. No news was bad news, and bad news was trouble. As she flicked through the pictures of the crime scene back in her office, she tried to think. Why did it have to happen like that, that was what Sherry Ann had said. But that could mean anything. Why did Willis have to be killed? Why was he at the hotel? Why was Zortegus the one to kill him? Why not just posion? Either Bandit was sloppy or it just made no sense. Perhaps Willis' body falling onto the street was a deliberate move, to draw attention onto the murder, away from something else. But why send an assassin known for his subtlety? It... it didn't make sense. Of course it didn't. She was forgetting the important thing. Willis. Why would Willis, who had been rivals with Pepper and Bandit for years, suddenly start to work with them if he knew there was any risk they were going to turn on him. Willis was a bad man, an evil man, but he was clever. Of course, now it made sense. He did it because he knew they were going to kill him.
M threw another handful of breadcrumbs into the air, and the pigeons swarmed. The early morning sun was desperately trying to break through the cloud, but it was failing. There was a crisp chill in the air that indicated that summer was beginning to die, a feeling that Mister M had been trying to shake for the last few days. He had been to the hospital, he had had stitches and medication, and he felt a whole lot better for it. Now he just needed to go back to the house and sleep, soon, before they got too suspicious. He was taking a great risk by meeting her here, but he had no other option. Lemona arrived a few minutes after 10am, wearing a large raincoat and a woolly hat, as if to disguise herself. She had never looked more relieved. 'You're alive then.' she said, as she sat down. 'Am I? I hadn't noticed.' Lemona scowled. 'This is no time for jokes, M. Gods, I thought you'd blown the whole thing. What happened?' 'They took me in. Hermes, and some other people. You were right about Zortegus.' 'And they believe you?' 'I don't know. I told them the lie, that I had killed Elizabeth, and that I was disobeying orders, and that I wanted to work with Pepper, and they said they believed me. They said that I can work with them but...' 'But what?' 'I didn't. Kill Elizabeth, I mean. She was already dead when I got there, and I don't know who did kill her. The problem is, if it was them, or Zortegus, or any one of Pepper's men then they will find out soon that I'm lying. And if they find out I'm lying about that, then they might find out everything.' 'M... They won't.' 'How do you know that? We need to find out who killed Elizabeth, otherwise we don't know if it's safe.' 'Safe? Nothing's safe anymore M. You need to stay with them, regardless of what they may or may not know. We need to find out what they are planning.' 'But if they killed Elizabeth.' 'M. listen to me.' Lemona sighed. 'I know for a fact that they did no such thing.' 'How?' Lemona stared at Mister M with a piercing glare. 'I did what was necessary. You left me no choice.' 'You mean - ' 'Yes, M, I mean. That was your job, your responsibility, and I didn't trust you. I need to trust you. M, completely. I'm beginning to make progress on things, but this is big. Huge. Thousands of lives are at risk here, and if we fail, any of us, there will be rivers of blood. These people you're with, they are murders and criminals and god knows what else. Whatever is asked of you, you have to do it. Because if you fail now, they will kill you, I'm sure of that.' M sat there in silence, a thousand thoughts in his head. Lemona reached into her pocket and handed M a piece of paper. 'This is a contact you can use to tell me any information you may uncover. Other than that, this must be our last contact.' Lemona stood up from the bench. 'I saw SA recently, and she told me to tell you to follow the money and you will find answers, so there's some help for you.' 'Do you know what CADMUS is?' 'No, why?' 'Hermes mentioned it. It seemed important' 'That's very helpful, Mister M.' Lemona turned and began to walk away. 'Good luck.'
It was full of the usual oddities that Qusiby liked to insert in all of his communications, and after scanning the file for a few minutes she realised she wasn't going to get anything of real content out of it.