Monday, 17 November 2014

Mothballs: Iron Path to the Black Forest (part 3)

"Carriage 15!" Cried Septimus. He straightened his useless goggles and jumped down, Aksel ready to follow behind him. They landed with a thump and Septimus instantly drew his spanner and began to work on the door. He levered it around and around and then the handle fell out as the door clicked open. He pushed it open and stepped in. Aksel, wishing the freezing cold good riddance, walked in and then saw why his brother had frozen before him. A hoard of White Hooded Men, the carriers of the dead from Madame Bazarian's Freak Show, held guns, two facing towards the brothers and the third placed directly against Verity's head. "You let her go!" Aksel screamed, but was silenced immediately by the unwavering pose of the gun.
"Or what, young Mr Laurisden?" Asked a voice from the back of the room. He shivered. It was that of the Obscured Man, the voice of the devil incarnate to the Laurisdens. Aksel searched the room for the source of the voice and saw it was emerging from behind a straw veil facade in the far corner. Flickering bulbs in white lamps hung from the ceiling, illuminating mock bookcases on the walls. Oak desks were positioned all around the room, holding leather rectangles and open books, ink fountain pens positioned randomly. In one corner there was a piano with a seat in front of it, next to a oak stove. First class was considerably nicer than the coal carriage they'd been staying in.
Aksel didn't have a reply, but the Obscured Man seemed to. "Exactly as I expected. You are simply disappointing."
"Tell me, what was your plan when you finally got here?" The Obscured Man demanded.
"To make you give us Sebastian." Septimus said.
"Why do you care about the cow so much?"
"Why do you?" Aksel instantly retorted.
"Clever answer. Mine is equally clever. You, Aksel Laurisden. You are a genius. How in the name of sanity did you manage to create a device that could make a cow talk?"
Aksel didn't answer. To answer would be what the Obscured Man wanted.
"It really is quite clever. And think of all your potential! All of this, it's a trap for you."
The old mission statement. Let them two get away, protect them. Three, two, one. He charged forwards, knocking the barrels of the guns to one side, grabbing Verity and throwing her out of the shot of the gun. It exploded a loud shot, tearing chunks out of the wall. All three White Hoods fell to the floor quickly and Septimus barged into the straw veil. He knocked it over hoping to catch the Obscured Man, but instead revealed a gramophone. "He was never in the room." He cried. "He'd already written the script." He turned to Aksel. "Much like you."
"Great minds think alike."
"Don't compliment the villain." Verity said.
The carriage shuddered. "What was that?" Aksel demanded. It shuddered again and the windows to the left smashed and more White Hoods jumped in. Verity, Aksel and Septimus jumped out of the right into the Black Forest to the sound of the gunfire.

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