“Director,” Amadeus grinned, “so good of you to join us.”
“You traitor,” the Director hissed, “not that I’m surprised. You always were too damn smart for your own good.” She pointed at the guards, “fill them with bullets.”
“But Director, Rachel…” Price stammered.
“I don’t give a-” The Director’s last word was drowned out by five gunshots.
Sam huddled behind Rachel as three bullets whizzed towards them. They struck Rachel’s metal body and ricocheted away, leaving circular dents in the metal. Amadeus hit Rick with a waist tackle and they fell to the floor, the other two shots narrowly missing them.
“Well what are you waiting for?” The Director rounded on the guards, who were staring ahead of them with puzzled expressions, “Shoot them again!”
Rachel took as step forward and raised her hands in a submissive gesture. The guards each shuffled backwards.
“No, please,” Rachel said, “I’m not going to hurt you. We need to stop… we need to stop fighting.”
“Shoot them,” the Director’s voice was cold, “or you will each of you lose your jobs.”
“No!” Everyone looked up. Francis was halfway through the door, clutching a plastic bag in one hand, “I’ll give you what you want, just don’t hurt them.”
“No!” Sam yelled at him, “Get away from here you idiot. We don’t matter.”
“You have the Source,” the Director nodded, “good. Give it to me and your friends can live.”
Rachel turned to look at Francis. Her head shifted jerkily on her neck. Francis stepped fully through the door and walked over to the Director. He held out the plastic bag and she reached out to grab it. They were interrupted by someone hammering heavily on the door of the facility.
There was a pause.
“Get that will you Price,” the Director looked over at the Agent, who nodded hastily and rushed over to the door.
Adelaide was standing outside, a bundle of papers grasped in one hand and a cricket bat in the other. Lee was standing next to her carrying a short stick, which he flourished experimentally.
“What’s going on?” Adelaide looked past Price into the room.
“You have the papers?” The Director said, “Good. Give them to me.”
“No wait!” Amadeus said from the floor, “you don’t need to. We have the Source.”
Snatching the gun from the guard next to her the Director pointed it at Amadeus’ head.
“Shut up, you,” she said through gritted teeth. She looked up at Adelaide, “give me the papers or your boyfriend gets it.”
“Shoot me,” Amadeus said calmly, “and Francis here will let the world know. How would you like a horde of police officers sniffing around here? I have friends in the force, you know, my death or the death of any of these others will not go unavenged.”
“I am above the law,” the Director snorted, “do you know how many ‘little accidents’ have been brushed under the carpet? This department is too valuable for the government to lose.”
“What if the press gets hold of it?” Amadeus grinned, “I somehow doubt the prime minister will continue to bail you out if it becomes clear to the public your Department is responsible for multiple murders. This will get out, I assure you.”
The Director stared him down for a few seconds, face contorted with fury. Eventually she sighed and nodded.
“Put away your guns,” she said to the guards. Reluctantly they holstered their weapons. Rick and Amadeus got to their feet, Rick a little unsteadily.
“Right,” Amadeus turned to Adelaide, “let’s get out of here.”
“Why should I trust you?” Adelaide glared at him.
“Because I’m not the Director of Extra-Normal relations. Or your boyfriend, for that matter.”
“Suits me,” Adelaide nodded, “let’s go.”
“Wait what?” Francis said, “We can’t ally with her! She works for the Director.”
“Not any more she doesn’t.” Amadeus headed towards the door, “now she works with us.”
“And what are we going to do?”
“Make the world a better place,” Amadeus smiled, “with the help of this.”
He took the Source from Francis and walked over to the door. Sam and Rick followed him. After a moment’s hesitation Francis followed him as well, shooting a glare at Adelaide and Lee. Rachel moved after them. Adelaide turned back to the Director and gave a nervous wave.
“Bye,” she said.
Then she walked out with Lee behind her. The door banged shut.
The Director didn’t say anything for a while. Staring at the place where Amadeus had been only moments before, she exhaled with infinite weariness.
“Uh, Director m’am…” Bryony said quietly.
“Get back to your posts,” the Director snapped, “stop standing there like lemons and move!”
There was a nervous shuffling and the guards dispersed. Agent Price was left standing in the lobby, gazing at the forlorn figure of the Director.
“I’m sorry,” he said after a while.
“Why?” The Director looked up at him.
“It was my idea to recruit Adelaide in the first place. Now she’s betrayed you.”
The Director shook her head, a rueful grin suddenly on her face.
“Oh Price Price Price,” she said, “you really don’t get it do you?”
“Everything is going according to plan,” the Director smiled, “honestly, what part of ‘planning for every eventuality’ don’t people like Amadeus get? I have it covered, it’s in the bag. Everything is about to slot into place, I assure you.”
There was a knock on the door.
“There we go,” the Director said.
Price didn’t need to be asked. Opening the door he stepped back. The Knight walked in. She nodded to the Director. Her face was set.
“I have failed you,” she said after a pause, “my sister located the notes before I could.”
“Failed me?” The Director laughed, “My dear night you’ve not failed anyone yet. No, I have a very important job for you. It’s the job you’ve been waiting to do all of your life. I need you to cut the head off the serpent. End the evil in this world once and for all. I want you to destroy the Source.”
“Okay,” Price murmured to himself, “now I really don’t get it.”