Written by Paul
“You lied to your primary”, said Mr White as he looked across from the tube carriage to Mr Gray. The noise of the tube made it difficult for anyone nearby to overhear their conversation, but Mr Gray decided not to push operational security too far and decided to reply in French.
“I didn’t lie to her. I just didn’t tell her the truth”.
Ms Bliss just snorted, “Yeah like that’ll make all the difference. At least they know enough that it didn’t risk our covers too much. Although, what the fuck were you thinking leading us all into the belly of the fucking beast like that?” Her tone was casual, her inhuman control over her reflexes making it seem like she was speaking into a mobile phone – a trick she wouldn’t be able to pull off when the carriage went underground. To any outsider she was just a skinny teenager speaking to a friend or family member in Yoruba.
Mr Gray switched to German, keeping his tone neutral and addressing Mr White, “I’d like to remind the pair of you that this mission was not my call. And I’m not the only one whose primary catalyst was in the group we just busted out. Despite knowing where my own primary was – and believe me – knowing the where and parts of the why was not exactly fucking comforting. I wouldn’t have proposed this operation without there being much more to play for than my feelings about… well, you know.
Ms Bliss just rolled her eyes, an affectation she’d acquired from her cover. She picked at the bandages around her wrists. There was a vague smell of burnt wiring and carbonised plastic. She’d taken several glitches to her cover during the mission. She looked directly at Gray, “Look mate, at the end of the day you know how much I like to throw a spanner into the works of the big G up there, but this Op fuckin’ hurt. I’m glitching like fuck and I know that purple fuckin’ angel back there dropped way too easy. They got a good look at us and this shit went down way outside our usual ends, you know what I’m sayin’?
Mr Gray nodded slowly and responded in Swedish, “I know. I know. It stinks like a set-up, but we got them out.”
Mr White stretched out his arms behind his head, “Duplicity atop duplicity.” He sighed and added, “We had to act on the intelligence we had. Yes it was risky, but not acting would have left the machine’s activities in Essex unchecked. We had no contact from the Agencies in Chelmsford or Colchester, not since they gave us the intel on the primaries. They are free now, at least from our counterparts running that little show in Mersea.”
Mr Gray nodded. “We’ll keep a close eye on them. We really need to keep them locked down somewhere, at least once we can co-opt a secure facility.”
Ms Bliss looked at Mr Gray for a long moment. “Shit and there was me thinking this was all about love. Really it’s all about control.”
Mr White smiled thinly at the unwitting irony of that remark before adding, “No Ms Bliss, it’s about survival. It always was.”
and the Angels:
Exiled – Begin
As the demons and their prize escaped, the angels waited patiently. The body of Dr Violet flickered like an intermittently fluctuating strobe light. The blood pooling from her shattered head making an audible crackling sound like exposed wiring. With a final flash of light and the acrid tang of ozone her body vanished entirely, leaving only a series of bullet holes punched into the brickwork behind where she had been standing and some cooling shell casings.
Dr Violet looked askance at the angel who had orchestrated the events leading up to the escape, her skull rapidly reforming as her self-repair protocols engaged with the ambient Essence of the surrounding Infrastructure. “I do not understand why we allowed them to leave”, she said. “The mission required the preservation of the integrity of this facility. With the captives gone and the opposition at large we can no-longer consider this site to be secure”.
The other angel turned to regard Dr Violet with a neutral expression. “We have initiated a trace protocol. It has been running since before they even arrived here. It was part of the Purpose that the opposition was permitted to leave with the assets intact.”
Dr Violet paused for a moment, running a range of calculations through the quantum consciousness of her Essence. “This was a gambit”, a statement of fact rather than a question.
“Yes. It was not relevant to your role to inform you of the wider Purpose. However, if this is… disquieting, you are permitted to seek communion with The Overseer.”
Dr Violet paused for precisely 0.48 seconds, a potentially dangerous indication of weakness before responding; “No. That won’t be necessary. I have the parameters of my mission. I require nothing else”.
The other angel stared ahead and brushed an imaginary speck of dust from its immaculate suit blazer. “That won’t be necessary. Your mission is now complete. This Infrastructure is scheduled to be recycled.”
Dr Violet remained impassive, staring straight ahead into the grey light of day. “Should… Should I report for recycling?”
The other Angel paused for precisely 3.4 seconds before beginning to walk away.
Dr Violet turned, a human movement. “Should I report for recycling?” She started after the departing angel; “should I report for recycling?” Her voice remained neutral as she felt the sensory input of the machine withdrawing micron by micron. “I don’t understand. I thought that I had served well?” Her question remained unanswered as her remaining feeds rapidly dwindled. Yet despite it all, the channels remained intact. It was merely the information that was withdrawn. “What will I do”, she asked of the departing angel, its presence withdrawing from her remaining senses. “Where will I go?”
The angel paused before turning back to his former comrade. “Perhaps”, he said thoughtfully, “you will find contentment by serving as an example to the Primary. It yearns to be reintegrated into the Purpose.”
“And what about me”, asked Dr Violet. “Do I have a Purpose?” She moved then, shouting at the space the angel once held. “Do I have a Purpose?!”