Author Topic: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)  (Read 39257 times)

MWBailey

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #125 on: October 22, 2012, 07:10:42 am »
"Any idea what our dear friend th' minister was doin' in 'ere?" Rourkle asked, remembering from conversations with Wilhelmina and Marmont, as well as others, that magic sometimes left traces of itself that could be traced according to what sort of power, sometimes even giving indications of what ritual or cantrip was performed.

" I smell freshly dried blood," Mina squeaked. "Me too, love," Rourke responded.
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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #126 on: October 22, 2012, 12:43:29 pm »
He turned his attention from the hatch and walked into the room to one of the Inquisition chairs, blood caked the iron spikes on the surfaces and he knelt fingering at it picking a few flakes off he spat into his hand rubbed a finger into a sticky red spot, he sniffed at his hand smelling the liquid in his hand before he strode off wiping his hand onto his clothing, he went to a collection of torture instruments which he fingered through almost as though he was distracted.

"I mentioned before that there have been a number of people with powers going missing all over the city, I suspected at first Sinclair had some involvement but with the forces arrayed against Starling and yourself Rourke I put that thought to the back of my mind."

He picked up and inspected a hooked probe turning it in the green light.

"He's had a vampire here."

He placed the probe down and turned to look at the others.

"Amongst others."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #127 on: October 22, 2012, 01:39:05 pm »
Starling started to pace agitated.  "We are going to have to do something about this.  Neutralizing unstable magic sources and mindless monsters is one thing but this will get us all killed."  There was an anger there growing along with a golden glow.  "He is not going to use the government to run his own personal crusade. I won't allow it and I have the power behind me to back it up."
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Alexis Voltaire

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #128 on: October 22, 2012, 07:49:10 pm »
Felix listened intently to what was said, a dark and rather distant look in his eyes, and his thoughts on a slightly different track as he thought over what Talbot had said.

This development with Sinclair was most likely going to make things more complicated for him, but on another hand that depended on which of his employers he considered himself truly loyal to. He was living on borrowed time as far as that was concerned, and he had been ever since Kiev. If he played his cards right he might survive, and he might even manage to buy back what he'd sold to get out of there, but it was going to be a gamble all the same...
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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #129 on: October 22, 2012, 09:46:52 pm »
"He's untouchable at present his position in Government means if anything happens to him the Government will automatically back his agenda and he becomes a martyr against people like us, we have to be more clever when we deal with Sinclair."

He turned to look at the others his eyes dark orbs in the green light.

"His position in Government also limits him, he can't risk being exposed he has to cover his tracks hide everything he does if we can upset some of his plans maybe we'll get an opportunity in the future to deal with him for good."

He leant on the table disturbing some of the tools.

"He's not our problem right now, we have to deal with those after you two, Rourke I suggest you take Starling and Morgan deeper into the Nadir court you'll be safer with the vampires, Felix and I can head to Whitehall and find out what his superiors want."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #130 on: October 23, 2012, 01:46:12 pm »
Morgan casually picked up a unique looking whip from a hook on the wall, and placed it under his coat.

"Talbot's right, Rourke. Let's just hope the vampire court is still friendly to us."
"Well, I don't really think that the end can be assessed as of itself as being the end because what does the end feel like? It's like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe, you say, if the universe is indeed infinite, then how - what does that mean? How far is all the way, and then if it stops, what's stopping it, and what's behind what's stopping it? So, what's the end, you know, is my question to you."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #131 on: October 23, 2012, 03:10:05 pm »
Felix blinked, and brought his thoughts fully back to here and now.

"No." He said after a moment of consideration. "The message I received was an emergency return order, that's about the most dire signal I've ever gotten in the field. Something very big is going on. If you feel comfortable with it, Dr. Scott, I'd like us all to continue to Whitehall, if we need to we can head back to the Nadir from there."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #132 on: October 23, 2012, 04:32:51 pm »
"I'm not so sure abou' all that, Morgan," Rourke said, thoughtfully. There was something knocking around in the back of his head, Something having to do with the Labyrinth and the Underways.  "We can get to the White'all neighbor'ood from here in a trice, anyway. Sinclair's a wily old bird, but he doesn't know everything. There're ways through and up that he'd never think of, or try if he did think of 'em.

"In fact, if you lot can stand cloimbin' through strata full o' bones, and on bones pagan an' christian, we should be only a short step or two from the bottom o' the old foundation of the original chapel, the one what burned down in that fire 'way back when."

There had been a public outcry when the new government offices went up straddling the edges of the property that had held the old Whitehall Palace, the one which had burned back in 1698, and the foundation of the old original church, which itself had been built upon a site which had been sacred long before the Cross and its adherents followed in the footsteps of the Legions to the Isle of Britain. The building was already finished, however, and it was something of a nine days wonder among the editorial pundits of the day, that those who cried out had not thought to do so before then.

The architects, in building the new government buildings in that place, had committed another mistake, but one which was not immediately apparent. That mistake had made the site inordinately susceptible to entry by the agents of the Nadir court -- They were built with one corner of the great pile firmly rooted over an ancient and forgotten burial mound, which had mingled with the bones of the forgetful descendants of the former owners of those bronze-age bones, when they dug their graves in the churchyard of the then-new Church on the same site.

Thus, such bones extended from the deep strata where the Marigold party now waited for the waters to recede, all the way up to within inches of the foundation stones of the new Whitehall government offices, and both ancient mound and old church had been profaned, their nvirons thus thrown wide open to the forces of night. Rourke explained some, bit not all, of that story to his companionsas teh last of teh water drained away and he opened the great hatch, letting it shriek on its rusty hinges and fall to the side as he let it go, and lowered the ladder.

"So, there's not really a need to go running off to the Nadir Territories," he explained, as he led the way to the area he had just mentioned.

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #133 on: October 23, 2012, 05:35:48 pm »
Starling nodded.  "We have to stay together. Otherwise they will pick us off one by one.  We may be heading in to an ambush bur we have a better chance of living through it."  Her face brightened as she rembered somthing. "Talbot what does it take for you to open a door to the fae? That would be an exelent plan b"

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #134 on: October 23, 2012, 08:07:54 pm »
Morgan stepped to Starling's side, but his face showed his concern.

"I never thought I'd say this, but I find myself trusting the vampires more in this case. Talbot's fae friends have always seemed a mite suspicious to me. But then, maybe I've been listening to the voodoo queens for too long. Marie Laveau always had a hatred for the fae."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #135 on: October 23, 2012, 09:47:11 pm »
He sighed

"If I try to open a gate to the fae in my current state it'll likely kill me."

He smiled weakly at Morgan

"I don't blame your mistrust the Fae, they have no love of humans, and with the current tensions they'd be just as like to kill you all for trespassing without an invitation as offer us protection."

He folded his arms over his chest as he thought.

"I could open a gate to somewhere more local for us all, if I had something I could focus on."
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 09:50:04 pm by Cpt Wallace »

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #136 on: October 23, 2012, 10:31:59 pm »
"Here we are," Rourke said. He pricked his thumb and let a drop of blood fall onto a rusty, odd-looking lock set in an iron gate that blocked a portal that seemed carved so as to present a doorway made of artfully-arranged human bones.

It was as if the blood were oil; the lock turned itself with a rusty creak, and the door swung open. As they stepped nearer it became obvious that the bony scrollwork was bony in a very literal sense...

"In we get , and up we go," Rourke said encouragingly.

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #137 on: October 24, 2012, 01:23:43 am »
"That's handy." Felix commented to Rourke as he went through the doorway. "I don't suppose that works for anyone but the Nadir though..."

There was a small dim chamber beyond the doorway, and a narrow flight of rather uneven stairs led upward. Closer inspection showed that they were made of stacked limb bones, with the occasional empty-eyed skull filling in a gap.

The stairs sounded oddly hollow underfoot, but felt as firm as ordinary wood or stone as he began to climb upward with the others...

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #138 on: October 24, 2012, 08:54:52 am »
He pulled the gauntlet from his wrist and laid it down, before fitting the bracelet to his wrist from his pocket a series of runes glowed along the surface and he felt immediately better for putting it on the pain that lingered in his arm and chest vanished and he felt stronger in himself, he returned the gauntlet over the top of it and watched as the gem stones inlaid into it came alive with colour.

"I can bring us back here if you wish."

He drew the sword from it's scabbard and drove it into the stone work with an ease that belied the solid nature of the stone.

"I can focus on the sword and open a gate to it if I need to."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #139 on: October 24, 2012, 06:42:38 pm »
Starling suposed that the bones should be disconserning but it felt rather homey.  She was listning hard hopeing that they were going to safty insted of another battle.  "Felix do you know what is waiting for us?  I need to know if I should load Old Beatsy."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #140 on: October 24, 2012, 10:43:52 pm »
"Not for sure, but loading you gun wouldn't be a bad idea." Felix replied. "After those helldogs were out in the streets in broad daylight, my guess is they'll be wanting to strike back against the people who sent them, or at least take some action that'll look good to the public... It's just as well for us that the Serpents aren't in particularly good favor with the Crown, it won't take a lot of diplomatic wrangling to get permission to take them out."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #141 on: October 25, 2012, 12:23:05 am »
"I think at this point I would take them out orders or no orders.  If they are letting monsters loose in the streets they have to be stopped before innocent people get hurt."  Starling carefully prepared her gun looking up above them and hoping that she would not have to use it.

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #142 on: October 25, 2012, 05:17:54 am »
"...And here we are," Rourke said, as they cam eto a stop before what appeared to be a blank wall of three or four courses of flat-sided ashlar blocks.he ereached over to the right hand side of teh passage, and pressed on the dome-like top of a skull among a cemented pile of othe rskulls, literally one nondescript among many nondescripts. The blank-seeming wall pushed back into their passageway, and then swung to the side.

Beyond lay what appeared to be a supply closet, reams of paper and crates of small glass bottles of ink, and roll upon roll of typewriter ribbons sharing the shelves along with various cleaning and duplication solutions. A separate rack held every conceivable type and size of linen towel. and several brooms and mops.

"In we get, people," Rourke said, standing aside and swinging his arm in an usher's motion. "Don't worry, we'll all fit wi' room t' spare."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #143 on: October 25, 2012, 10:31:57 am »
As he moved through the store room he pocketed several jars of ink the pause at the supply room door listening to the sounds on the other side.

"Well it's going to be a shock when a bunch of armed people burst out of here."

He smiled at the others flashing a playful grin.

"Where are your superiors offices Felix?"

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #144 on: October 26, 2012, 05:46:09 pm »
"If we're where I think we are, Lowery's office is just down the hall from here." Felix said, moving to open the door. He got a few glances from people in the hallway, and then longer and sharper looks when the others came into view.

A guard in a sharp military uniform spotted them as he walked down the hallway to his post. "Who are you lot then?" He asked as he approached.

"Felix Adair, I received a message from Tyler Lowery's office to report here immediately."

The guard considered this, and glanced to the door of the broom closet. "How'd you get in there?"

"Magic." Felix said shortly.

The guard stared hard at Felix, but knew he wasn't likely to get anything more from one of Lowery's men. "Awright, I'll see you to Lowery's office." He said, wanting to keep an eye on them until he was sure they were supposed to be here.

Felix noticed that out of the several people that had paused to see what was going on, one man seemed to take particular interest in Talbot, and as the onlookers went back about their business, the man headed off with an air of urgency.

They reached Lowery's office a couple minutes later. Lowery greeted them there in the small room outside his main office, and sent the guard on his way. Lowery was tall, with graying black hair and a mustache, and alert brown eyes that seemed to belong to a younger man.

"I've heard about the incident this morning with the Brotherhood of the Serpent's pet monsters. Longer explanations will have to wait for the moment, but we want these people hunted down and brought to justice."

He handed Felix a large sealed envelope. "This is the relevant information we've has gathered about your target. We believe the Brotherhood's main base of operations is concealed in the tunnels beneath thier temple at the outskirts of London. The adress, and other underground entrances we've identified are in there."

He handed Rourke another, thinner envelope stamped 'Confidential'. "I have word here from your superiors that you and your team are wanted on board the Marigold as soon as possible."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #145 on: October 26, 2012, 06:27:52 pm »
He moved with an urgency that made others notice him, pushing his way past fellow workers he went for a stairwell heading down, in the grand scheme of things he was little more than a functionary a pencil pusher but the man that lined his pay check with a sweetener that allowed him to live the life he wanted had him performing other duties he fed information from his department into another very secret department one over seen by a very dangerous and very ambitious man, he went down below street level into a darkened archive room and towards the rear where a black door greeted him he knocked on the door a waited.

"Enter!"

He stepped into the void beyond the room was utterly dark and he hesitated for a second looking around a pair of spectacles glinted at him from the centre of the room, light slowly rose from the mounts fitted to the walls yellow and natural he noticed the man behind the desk turning a valve built into the desk.

"What is is Wilson, you uncovered some plot in the disposition of latrine sheds?"

"E...erm no sir, I've just seen John Talbot."

James Sinclair looked up from the papers before him.

"Where?"

"He's inside the building heading for Commander Lowery's officer he had Lieutenant Rourke and Doctor Scott with him."

Sinclair leant back in his seat his fingers folding in on themselves in front of his face.

"Thank you Wilson, they'll be a little extra in your wage this month for this information, now go."

Wilson left without question rushing from the office closing the door behind him, Sinclair leant forward taking up a intercom horn and depressing a series of keys in the unit beside him.

"Captain Richards assemble a team and converge on Commander Lowery's office I want Rourke Talbot and Scott arrested."

"Understood."

--

Far beneath Whitehall ten men prepared themselves they each wore a suit of hissing black armour clockworks and steam plants working away on their backs each man picked up a collection of weapons a stub nosed heavy calibre drum fed cannon and a eighteen inch baton that crackled with energy, the suits gave them increased strength, strength enough to fight all but the strongest of vampires, and protected them from all but the move advanced weapons, they each snapped a smooth facemask down on their helmet as they turned towards the captain.

"We move out now, arrest Talbot, Rourke and the woman doctor, anyone else is expendable."

The nine men followed him from the secret armoury and headed up into Whitehall itself.

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #146 on: October 26, 2012, 07:48:43 pm »
"Sir Rourke," Mina squeaked, "enemies come from below... and a friend from outside."

A shadow passed across the window of Lowery's office just then. It was not the shadow of a cloud passing overhead, though it did blot out the afternoon sun. This far too solid a shadow, moved entirely too purposefully, and in any case was obviously moving agauinst the direction of teh wind outside as indicated by the gflags on their poles, not to mention the clouds passing overhead. looking out the window and up, intrigued by this phenomenon, Rourke saw the shipname HMAS Marigold emblazoned on the prow of the envelope as the old girl hove past, and then rose apparently up to the roof of the building.

Piggott-Steng had not been idle. As soon as Rourke had left, he had called teh aerodrome and scrambled teh Marigold. he had met the ship in a spectacular scene at Hyde Park, where the ship had nosed nown an dlanded on the green, and he had climbed aboard and ordered the ship aloft and to begin monitoring aetheradio transmissions. they had gathered the situation from conjecture, bolstered by metropolitan police flashes, particularly the ones about devil dogs in the streets, and a weird, sweeping flood in the sewers hard by Whitehall and Horseguards. that caused jets of stinking water to erupt from drainage gratings in the area. Piggott-Steng had put two and two together, and come up with four. "All Speed to Whitehall, land on the roof, and deploy your, what is it, marines?"

"The Rifle Company, Brigadier," Bledsoe answered.

"Yes, that lot." Piggott-Steng said shortly. "Get 'em, out and in p;lace, I daresay Roure'll think on 'is feet, good lad, and bring his people up there. Sinclair's in the same complex, he'll have 'is hardshells try to arrest our folk. have the 'Rifle Company' break out the artillery as  well, yes, I do mean the howitzers." he thought a moment. "Have 'em set up a secure position on the roof, and send a squad down to help Rourke and his lot get free."

"the Marigold? Rourke exclaimed. The Bloody Marigold! Roight, Mina says we got company o' th' bad sort comin' from below; and the ship happily above! The Brigadier must've got wise and called up the Marigold. They're probably on the roof just now, waitin' for us." He shouldered the ATLATL and the shell rifle; the rifle was about half-full, and the ATLATL was loaded with one torpedo rocket, one more in a sling pouch over Rourke's other shoulder. Those two weapons alone had drawn quite a few stares as they walked out into the corridor and up to Lowery's office. Rourke turned to Lowery and asked for the nearest access to the building's roof, thanked the man, and said, "let's go. Maybe we can avoid a battle with them hardbacks." They had made it to the stairwell to the roof, and were just entering it when bad luck struck.

Shouts from down at the far end of the corridor and exclamations, catcalls, and screams of office workers attracted Rourke's attention as he swung around and saw the stampede of black-armored figures racing around the corner and bringing arms to bear. He made it about forty yards distant. as he unslung the shell rifle. He'd seen what a torpedo rocket from an ATLATL could do to a juggernaut tank at about the same range; he imagined that kind of destructive power loosed in the suites of the Home Office, and shuddered. The shell rifle was bad enough, lobbing smallbore explosive artillery rounds that could take out fortified positions, but at least they wouldn't slag whole suites of offices and workers. ...As long as he didnt miss, that is...

"Talbot! Redburn!" he barked. "We've got company of the bad sort. Talbot, I need your skills here; Redburn, if you will, get the Ladies to the roof, and aboard the Marigold. He strode out in to the corridor, shouting, "LED YOU BASTARDS A MERRY CHASE, EH? Lower your weapons and back off, and maye we can work this out peacefully." Any hope of that was dashed when three bullets embedded themselves in the door jamb diractly behind Rourke.

"You really shoudn'a done 'at!" Riourke said, and cut loose with the shell rifle, punching a circular hole through the breastplate, chest, ribcage, spine, back ribs, and the armor's backplate , killing him almost instantly as the others threw themselves, or were thown by the force of the blast, to either side. They lay there momentarily, stunned, on the smoldering carpet. "Talbot, I could use you roight about now!" he said as he backed back into the doorway.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 08:25:20 pm by MWBailey »

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #147 on: October 26, 2012, 09:19:51 pm »
Felix paused at the bottom of the stairwell to draw his revolver, aiming over Rourke's shoulder as he fired, and shooting one of the armored troops through the visor slit in his helmet.

"We'll get her up to safety." He said, hearing Rourke's orders. "Come on Dr. Scott." He said, with one eye on the stairway below and his thumb holding the Devisme's hammer back and ready as they climbed. "Looks like we're not done running yet..."

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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #148 on: October 26, 2012, 10:56:01 pm »
He strode out beside Rourke and lifted the armoured gauntlet.

"Richards! I know it's you and you know what I am capable of, stand down now!"

The gems were blazing red a heat haze rising from the gauntlet.

"I'll bring down this whole section of the home office if I have to and you know I will!"

Richards paused barking orders to him men driving them back into cover their weapons were levelled at them and should they choose to they could shred them with a single volley.

"You men are under arrest by orders of Commander Sinclair and The Prime Minister!"

He looked at Rourke for a second.

"Get Sinclair here now!"

A figure in white strode down the corridor a silver cane tapping out a slow rhythmic pace a pair of armoured men snapped to attention as Sinclair approached them flanking him as he stepped before them his eyes focussed on the dead man his fluids pouring from the armoured shell and then flashed to Rourke and the rifle he held.

"I'll have your rank for this."

"Your men fired first James, Hannibal was defending himself."

Sinclair's eyes slid to him and narrowed.

"John, what do you intend to do with that? You wouldn't dare discharge that weapon in here you'd become an enemy of the state."

"Like I'm not already, the number of assassins you've sent against me."

Sinclair smiled and opened his hand in a submissive gesture.

"I am but a servant of the nation unlike you John."

He could hear footfalls coming down the stairwell and lowered his hand.

"This is not the place for a battle between us, there are too many innocents that could be harms, besides we have bigger issues with the Brotherhood of the Serpent right now I'm sure you've been tracking their activities over the course of the day."

Sinclair's hands closed round his cane as he half turned watching members of the rifle company enter the space around them levelling their weapons.

"Stand down, I will not have English killing English in the home office."

His men lowered their weapons and he turned back to Rourke and Talbot

"This is not over between us, go but be warned I already have a team ready to strike against the brotherhood."

"We'll coordinate with them, Richards can come with us to liaise."

Sinclair nodded once turning he made to walk away.

"Do as the Captain says, Richards go with them and link up with Howes ensure this Brotherhood mess is dealt with swiftly."

He paused as he stalked away turning hate filled eyes on Rourke.

"Tell Piggott-Steng he faces an enquiry as to why he felt the need to deploy armed forces against Whitehall."

Talbot let out a slow breath as Sinclair led his men away save for the single figure of Richards.

"That was too close."




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Re: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The Serpent and Cross (Part Six)
« Reply #149 on: October 27, 2012, 12:37:52 am »
"Well you cant take me anywhere can you?" Starling said as she climbed. The brace was holding out but her knee was not happy.  Hopefully they would be safe once they reached the ship.  Starling could certanly use the rest.  "Do we have men on the roof? I hear footsteps coming our way."