Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Occult and Helios' Eye

Molly DeMode sat with her feet up on a table smiling at the back of her mark. He was walking away from a serious deal, where two briefcases had been exchanged. Once briefcase was silver and triple locked, and that was the one Miss DeMode had started with. The one she was in possession of now was new, perfectly created with a big company logo inscribed on the front, with the initials beneath. PAM. Inside was one hundred thousand pounds in fifty pound notes. She grinned. One hundred thousand pounds for a faulty key card. She took her legs off the table and picked up her phone, as she noticed the guy twist his head ever so slightly. She gave him a wave, and mouthed 'Pleasure doing business with you' then turned her attention back to the phone. She waited till he disappeared then put her feet back up, dropping the phone down. She called over a waiter, who happened to work for her organisation, and had him get her two milkshakes, both banana. He nodded and went off to fetch them whilst she stayed sat in the shadow of the gigantic church. It was a evangelical Anglican Church with the tag line, 'We hope to provide a welcoming atmosphere for locals and visitors. Our doors, like those of Gods, are always open.' Ironic. The old wooden doors, rounded at the top, were firmly bolted to stop both local thieves and those visiting from stealing old bibles. The waiter returned, placing the milkshakes down and politely asking her to take her feet off the table. She obliged and gave him a tip for being polite. "Never eat a raw blowfish."
He nodded, appreciating the tip. She waited for him to go, and then reached into her large satchel. She pulled out a card holder, like a folder that you might get with trading cards, and swapped the straws of the milkshakes around. Within a few seconds, a small child was sat in the opposing chair. The child was a boy, about the size of the average sofa, in height not width, and he wore an inconspicuous outfit. "Occult Delivery Service. We're obscure, so you don't don't have to be." He winked as he said 'obscure.'
Miss Demode smiled at him and offered him the milkshake. "You don't have to say the slogan on every delivery. How new are you to this job?"
"Three weeks." He answered.
She nodded. "I thought so. Tell me, have you got any keycards yet?"
"Just one Miss." He whipped out a basic keycard, pleased. "Lunch, toilet and lower library pass."
She remembered when she'd been presented with that keycard. "Look after that card, kid. It's a good card to have. Now, which entrance do you normally use?"
She nodded again, flicking to about half way through her book of keycards. "Well have this," she handed him a three week loan Bainsville keycard, "and deliver this brief case to the banking department, under the name DeMode."
He nodded, took the brief case and the keycard, then went away, hurrying to the Bainsville depository.
She stood up, waved to the waiter and walked to the large theatre building, slipping away the card holder.
The Obscure Meadows has been in development since 1875, opening in 1878 and then being modified for use as a theatre throughout the next sixty one years. In 1946, fresh from the end of the second world war, it was closed down, after heavy damage during an attack by the Luftwaffe. In 1956, Peter Abbandon bought the building and started to renovate it. It became his own private obsession, and, in the Obscure Meadows, he created his very own secret organisation. And he called it the Occult.
It was the Occults mission to seek out rare artefacts and strange bits of information and protect them from the general public. They also attempt to stop villainous organisations from destroying rare artefacts. Inside the Obscure Meadows, which acted as their head quarters, they had forty eight libraries, fifty studies, one hundred galleries and exhibitions, three lunch halls, two radio stations, two hundred dormitories, three actual gardens and seventy classrooms. There was, at any one time inside the building, at least one thousand and eighty members of staff present.
The Obscure Meadows obviously had a lot of doors, and a lot of their contents were classified. Because of that, all the rooms were accessible by different key cards. There was only one person who had them all, and nobody knew who that was. Many suspected Miss Demode of owning all the keycards, but she didn't, as she knew there were a few she didn't have. In three days though, that number would shrink.
She pulled out her purse, which had her six most essential cards in. The card to her study, the card to her gallery, the card to the first seventeen levels of catacombs, the basic level card, the gangway key and the lab rat card. She used the basic levels card to get herself into the building then the study card to get her in the elevator and up to her private study. The study had a small research room in front, a large table with three librarians, three restorers and, in search of a better phrase, her personal assistant.
The assistant, called Al, picked a stack of paper up and followed her into the study.
"Keep it brief, Al." Miss Demode insisted.
"Yes, Miss. The restorers have called up. That find in Africa hasn't coughed up anything noteworthy, so they want permission to negotiate on the Alley."
"Granted." She replied, sitting down in the old chair behind her desk. Both pieces of furniture were a salvage from an old high school, with both holding lots of different carvings.
"We had a call from Jamaica. They want you at the next conference."
"Send Word Chain." Word was the title that the librarians were given.
"Ok. Also, Mr Abbandon want's you to attend a meeting in the downstairs auditorium."
Miss DeModes face turned white. "That's not good."

It wasn't good. Peter Abbandon was the grand curator of the Occult, and when he called you to the downstairs auditorium, it meant one of two things was going to happen. You were going to be fired/promoted or you were being given an important job. Miss DeMode had been called there three times. Two of those times, it'd been a large promotion. The other time it had been for a robbery at an art gallery in Dubai. The Occult weren't illegal, but they weren't exactly legal either.
"Ah, Miss DeMode." Peter Abbandon announced, as she entered. It was always strange meeting Mister Abbandon, as he looked as if he should be curled up in an armchair, whinging ever so often about how everything was so much better when he was a kid, but was actually quite the opposite.
His every moved was laced with the excitement and enthusiasm of a schoolboy who truly loved the wonder of the world around him, and, in a way, that was what Peter Abbandon would always be.
A man who knew a lot, but wasn't satisfied. A man, who wanted to know more. "How are you?"
"Fine, Sir." She replied.
"Good, good. Now what have I told you? Call me Peter."
"Of course, Peter." She smiled at him. "Now, how can I help you."
"What do you know of the Museum of Alexandria?"
"Not much. The Greeks aren't my area."
"And yet you can speak it. Miss DeMode, the museum of Alexandria, which is actually in Egypt, composed the list of world wonders."
"You want me to go after the seven wonders of the world?" Miss DeMode inquired, sceptical.
"No. I want you to go after the eye of Helios."

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