Thursday, May 29, 2008


The turrets and battlements of Mainstone looked out over the park as they had for generations. Lord Ambrose Vaughan, the owner of the ancient mansion, was absent seeing to family business in Cheshire, while a number of the servants were on holiday. Not that the house was empty, for Lady Sylvia, Lord Ambrose's sister and Ms. Madison, her colleague in the work of the Green Man, were enteraining. They had visited the local market town most days, with a strange fellow guest.

The blonde girl had treated the world around her like a stranger in a strange land. She had been glued to the television, and found the computers that had had to be installed in the old house utterly fascinating. Now, dressed in a strange leather costume, the blode was sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace.

"This is odd," the blonde shook her head. "I mean, the world's changed so much. Loads of people have died I thought 'ld never die. How come you can accept this?"

"Because it happened slowly to the rest of us," Ms. Madison laughed. "Hawkie, you were in a semi-coma for ten years. The rest of us lived through the little changes that led to this world."

"Okay," Sparrowhawk sighed. "But I still thought some people would notice. Not even the Green Man has made that much of a difference."

"He'd disagree." Lady Sylvia piped up. "He'd just say that it isn't the low-hanging fruit who he goes after. "It's the big men, the kingpins. The men the law can't touch."
"And that's a good thing," Sparrowhawk nodded. "I didn't mean to be rude. Before I was hurt I was going after big people as well, with a few friends. I'm hoping to look them up again. But right now I need a bit of a rest." She sighed, stretching idly.
The insistent ringing of the 'phone caused Ms. Madison to shoot out of her seat and pick up the receiver.
"Mainstone." She spoke with a crisp efficiency. After the receiver chattered for a moment, she turned to her friends.
"Less rest, I'm afraid," she announced, "I just got a request to go to Greyminster Park, Nottinghamshire. It's urgent."

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