Thursday, April 02, 2009

Remember Me?

Lady Sylvia Vaughan looked out over the Thames from the office of Lord Ambrose Vaughan, MP for Greyminster, as she sorted through his mail. She checked it for junk mail, then constituency mail, and other policical stuff, all the while hoping that it wouldn't be long before her brother got himself a proper secretary. But he had not expected to be elected, and so nothing was in place yet. Still, after life with the Green Man, this was the most boring thing on earth. Looking away from the river, she turned her attention back to the mail.

Only to almost drop everything, as she found a letter addressed to herself. Typed on an old manual typewriter, it was an invitation for her to meet someone in the Victoria Tower gardens, that green space lying between the Palace of Westminster and Lambeth bridge. The letter was not even signed. By all rights, she should have ignored it, but bored people often do things they shouldn't, and so, at the stated hour, Lady Sylvia Vaughan was stood in the Victoria Tower Gardens, wondering just who had written to her, and why.

And, more importantly, just how she was supposed to know who it was. After all, there had been no signature on the letter. And the number of people in the gardens was always fairly substantial. Mostly tourists, and, on good days, people having their lunches (although she preferred a nice little Cafe near the Home Office). That made it safe, however, for surely no-one would try to attack her in such a public place, where every building overlooking her was in some way connected to the business of Government?

"I see you came, lassie."
A familiar voice caused Lady Sylvia to start. She turned round, a smile on her pretty face, to see a patrician figure in bark suit and bowler hat, carrying a cane, rather than an umbrella.

"Sir Richard Arcos!" she exclaimed. "You wrote that letter?"
"All on my own," Sir Richard gave her a courtly bow. "I apologise profusely for any howlers in the spelling, of course. After all, I am used to having a girl do the typing for me. But this is a rather sensitive matter. Hence meeting you here, rather than at the House of Commons or my place."
"What's wrong?" Lady Sylvia moved closer to the old gentleman.
"Nothing, my dear," Sir Richard shook his head. "Absolutely nothing. I simply need your help in a little matter - a little matter that could see us both in prison."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

From the Green Man's Private Files: Eleven

Stannard's finger tightened on the trigger. The two girls stood silent, ready for the shot when it came, each prepared to attack while the other died. Ms. Madison saw the ghost of a smile cross the face of Sparrowhawk.

But the shot which rang out did not come from Stannard, but from the lift, shattering Stannard's wrist. The criminal turned looked up, cursing, as he tried to staunch the bleeding.

"Cliveden Stannard." The unmistakable voice of the Green Man caused the girls to smile happily. "You have been given the chance to show that you were no more than a harmless con man. Instead, you have demonstrated that you are a heartless monster. You would have blotted out two lives because they threatened your career of crime. You have stolen from the most vulnerable and trusting in society, in order to line your own pockets."

"You!" Stannard fell back, trembling. "But how...?"

"You are not the only one who has tracking devices and silent alarms, Stannard." The Green Man walked slowly out of the lift. "When my agent went to that house, I suspected that she might be walking into a trap. She has several homing devices on her. Now I have found you."

"Kill him!" Stannard shouted to his men.

At once, Sparrowhawk and Ms. Madison turned, kicking the men closest to them, before tackling the others, both showing a good grasp of unarmed combat techniques. The Green Man continued to approach Stannard.

"You cannot hide behind your hired thungs now, Stannard," he snarled. "The day of reckoning is here, and you will have to fact that alone. Every man, Stannard, is to be put to death for his own sin."

"Please..." Stannard shook like a leaf. "I'm a rich man, I can..."

"Your wealth will not save you." The Green Man shook his head, raising his gun. "Whether you have killed directly or just given the order, there is blood on your hands, Cliveden Stannard. And that blood cries out for vengeance..."

"Please!" a tear rolled down Stannard's cheek, give me a chance, I..."

"You have had your chance." The Green Man was unmoved. "This was a test, Stannard. And you have failed. All that remains for you now is vengeance. The vengeance of the Green Man."
The gun spoke. Stannard screamed, as the impact of the bullet punched him through the glass of the penthouse window. The scream he gave as he fell indicated that he was still alive. Until he hit the ground.
Sparrowhawk and Ms. Madison followed the Green Man from Stannard's penthouse, leaving battered thugs behind them, and an open case of domuments detailing Stannard's activities.