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The stack of reports on her desk had managed to grow quite a bit over the last few days. With  everything that had been going on in town, the field agents that Jed had employed were feeding a steady stream of information back to her, and the news was not good. The Van Creed had kept a pretty low profile overall, but they were still working in the warehouse. She'd need some more eyes on the building, and perhaps another look inside. After writing a short note, the pneumatic tube carried the request on it's way to the maze of drops that would eventually place the instructions in the hand of an operator.

It had become apparent a while back that in order to efficiently and swiftly gather intelligence, there would need to be a network of people out in the field gathering information and sending it back to be checked, verified and processed. She laughed to herself that while this was possible on her own a few years ago, it wasn't nearly as easy or simple now. While Jed could still operate in some places with the impunity she enjoyed back in her anonymous days, it just wasn't possible to do that in New Babbage anymore. So for once, she was the handler, and she had managed assets to do the fieldwork.

She'd been diligent, reading all the reports, putting together briefings for the Mayor, working on keeping him informed. Tenk would do what he always did, nod, fiddle with his pipe, make a few sotto voce comments, and say thank you. She had hoped there would be more firm resolute action, hoping he would say “take care of it Jed” or something like that. Instead he just looked distant and peeved that this kept coming up. The man was inscrutable.

The last two bits came in very close together. One of the people watching the port reported a large number of crates being unloaded and carried to the warehouse in the Gut. Loads in, empties out. They couldn't identify the exact types of cargo, only that some of it was heavy and there seemed to be quite a bit of it. The other was a direct action report, that made Jed more worried that the cargo going to the building.

“Doors are now intact and secured. What appears to be a storage tank and distillation equipment installed in the rear of the building. Mechanical noise coming from inside. Orpheus sited on grounds. No sight of any Pluto members. Continuing to observe, will ingress if opportunity presents, or orders to contrary. JdA”

Jed read the note and made a few entries into the bound book that kept the information on this whole affair. She had codenamed Moriarty 'Orpheus' since he came back from the underworld, and the Van Creed had gotten the moniker 'Pluto' since they apparently wanted to send us all to Hades...

She fired off a note in reply, and prayed it would be enough...

“Maintain your watch. If opportunity arises, send Orpheus back home, with expedition and prejudice. If Pluto's minions are afoot, seek to identify and potentially isolate a subject for closer conversation. Morrigan”

She thought about the Writer, what the book had said about the raid. Maybe it was right, maybe she would...somehow, in the midst of that thought, she caught herself in a new habit that made her stop for a moment. Jed looked down at her left hand, and noticed that she had been absently twirling the band on her ring finger as the ideas of what the Writer had said swirled through her mind. The ring, the silver of the band and the crimson of the stone sitting against the faint lines of the scars on her hands. When Moriarty had nearly killed her before, things were different. Now, she had a few more reasons to fight. Maybe the book will be fulfilled. But maybe, the book is only what could be. Jed leaned back and decided that she was going to make sure that the future was not written.

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Jedburgh Dagger

April 2014

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