Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Made To Pay: Part Eight

The met in the upper room of a pub, close by the bridge. The room was full of cigarette smoke, indicating that this was not part of the public space of the hostelry, given the recent smoking ban. The air was heavy with the smell of intrigue, as well as stale smoke. The seven men around the table had every appearance of being deep and wicked plotters, some of them with the long hair of idealists (well, layabouts), others with the thin faces and suits of professional agents.

"There will be two days before the submarine arrives," one of the agents told the gathering. "Until that time, the papers are being hidden. And the money remains with our clients."

"Now listen..." one of the long-haired men objected. "We took the risks. You want to wait around, that's fine by us, but after what happened to Stone..."

"Stone was a fool and a sensualist," the agent replied. "You saw what the Green Man said, he killed Stone because of that girl, not because of his activities. Besides, we are safe here."

"Just because it's a small town in the middle of no-where?" another man piped up. "The Green Man can find us anywhere. You know these types..."

"More than you know," came the calm reply. "The chief has this town sewn up. Last time someone got close he was able to have them killed without any come back. Power like that you can't buy."

The man nodded, cowed. His fellows nodded with him, now persuaded by the grim expression on the face of the agent.

"When do we meet the boss?" one asked after a pause.
"You don't," the agent shook his head. "No-one does. Not since Stone showed what sort of a person you runners are. We cannot take the risk that another one of you will draw attention to himself. And next time the Green Man may find out more."
"But you said..." one man rose.
"The boss can't deal with every vigilate comes after us," the agent rasped.
"You know what? you're quite right."
The door swung open, and the men rose, their eyes widening. There, a breeze blowingthrough her golden curls, one hand reaching for a black whip that hung by her side, was the leather-sheathed form of Sparrowhawk.

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