“I’m sorry,” Francis sat down and folded his arms, “repeat this for me so I can understand this fully. You got kidnapped by some random secret organisation which wants you to find some notes your great-great-something-ridiculous grandfather made about the Source. The actual flipping Source! Which they also have locked up in their basement, apparently.”
“That’s about it, yeah,” Adelaide nodded, “weird huh?”
She’d decided not to tell them that she’d been recruited by the secret organisation, or that they were indirectly working for the Director as well, but otherwise Francis was pretty much spot on.
“No kidding,” Lee grinned insanely, “so it’s what? Just one thing? Not some kind of disease or mutation, some kind of… resource?”
“Seemed like that,” murmured Adelaide, “I don’t know, I got the impression it was a liquid, or something like that.”
Emma, who was sitting on one of the benches, staring around the room in mild interest, shifted her gaze two them and drummed her fingers idly on her knee. She leaned forward.
“That’s all very well,” she said, “but it leaves a question. What are we doing in Francis’ garage?”
“It’s not a garage it’s a workshop,” Lee butted in quickly, “and it’s mine too.”
Adelaide looked over at Francis enquiringly. She didn’t know why he’d brought them into the garage either once she’d broken the news. He merely allowed a thin smile to pass his lips.
“I’ll tell you when we get to it,” he said, “come on, I want to know what your plan is.”
“My plan?” Adelaide grinned, pleased that she’d actually thought up a plan, even though it had only been in the five minutes between suddenly remembering it would be good to have one and convening the meeting, “Simple. I don’t want to give this organisation anything until I know exactly what we’re dealing with. I want to see the Source with my own two eyes. Which is why we’re going on a secret mission into the heart of enemy territory to have a quick look at the Source and then make our hasty exit.”
This was only partially true. Adelaide had already had a look in her attic for the notes of her ancestor, and had turned up with nothing. It had then occurred to her that it might be good to check what the Director might be using the Source for the right reasons before continuing her hunt any further. It had been one-hundred-percent the truth when she’d said she didn’t trust the Department for Extra-Normal Relations. There was something about the Director no sane person would trust.
“How do you even know where it is,” Emma said suspiciously, “I thought you said you were blindfolded.”
“I was,” Adelaide nodded, “but I’ve got a running app on my phone, it maps were I’ve been during the day. I tracked exactly where their facility is.”
Again, the fact that she was not a runner, never would be a runner and had downloaded the app specifically to tell her where Price was taking her would remain hidden.
Lee caught Adelaide’s eye and grinned at her as she finished her bit and went to sit down. The sudden and horrible realisation that he could see exactly what she was thinking, and therefore everything about the Director, the Department and her ’employment’, washed over her. She opened her mouth to speak. Lee subtly held up a hand for her to stop. Then he winked, and turned away, addressing the others. Adelaide sagged with relief, only half aware of what he was saying.
“Won’t it be risky?” Lydia said from a corner, raising her hand unconsciously, “We might get hurt…”
“Which is why we’re here,” Lee said, “when Adelaide told us that we were going on a mission of some sort we knew it would probably be dangerous. So Francis and I came up with the perfect solution.”
Francis stood up and motioned to the table they were all sitting around. It had a cloth draped over it, and the shape of bulky objects underneath. Together Francis and Lee clasped the edge of the tablecloth and pulled it off, dropping it on a heap on the floor. The others stared at the contents of the table with astonishment.
“A table covered in junk,” Emma said eventually, “you wanted to show us a table covered in junk.”
“Not junk,” Francis blurted defensively, “weapons!”
Emma picked up one of the objects. It looked like it had once been a bottle of deodorant, which was now screwed into some sort of metal harness. A small lighter was attached.
“I don’t know how much you two actually know about ‘weapons’,” she gestured at it, the lighter fell off, “but this is definitely not one.”
With an irritated sigh Francis took the device off her, picked up the lighter from the floor and reattached it with a click.
“I assume you’ll be having second thoughts,” he said, flourishing the thing in the air, “when I do this.”
There was a hissing noise as Francis pulled the trigger. A small but not unimpressive spurt of flames erupted from the end of the device and dissipated in the air above Francis’ head. Adelaide’s draw dropped.
“How the hell did you make that?” She said.
“Lee and I are hobbyists,” Francis folded his arms with a smug smile, “of a sort, anyway. This is what we do to kill time, come into our workshop and build weapons.”
“Is that strictly legal?” Quavered Lydia.
“Never checked,” Lee shrugged, “most of ours don’t work anyway, they’re pretty much cobbled together from anything Francis and I can find. Mostly they explode, which is why we had to stop doing it in the house.”
Adelaide nodded and surveyed the objects on the table with sudden interest. Reaching in she pulled out what had once been some sort of bat. I had a intricate little system involving what looked like some kind homemade firework strapped to it.
“That’s pretty cool,” she said in hushed tones. Francis nodded, satisfied.
“Yeah,” Lee said, “actually be careful with the rocket bat. It’s still in the planning stages.”
Adelaide ignored him. Planting the bat on the ground, she looked around at the others, who watched her expectantly.
“Okay,” she said, “who wants to go find the Source?”