Friday, 10 July 2015

Exchange of Post

Steve took a suspiciously large bag from Lord Marius.  "What's changed?"
Lord Marius looked at him thoughtfully.  He was looking casual in a slim fitting t-shirt and immaculate jeans.  "Nothing has changed yet." He said coolly.
Steve kept his cool.  Elfen could feed off human emotions and some of the older ones, like Lord Marius, were connoisseurs.  Lord Marius would find his frustration far too amusing.  "So what is going to change?"
Lord Marius shrugged casually but Steve was not fooled.  Lord Marius looked at his slim watch.  "The Leeds train is due to arrive.  I must not miss it."
"The Leeds train is not due for ten minutes, and Huddersfield station is small enough that you won't miss it.  What do I need to know?"
Lord Marius looked carefully at Steve.  "You are becoming remarkably competent at dealing with the non normal community.  What you need to know is that I cannot tell you everything, at least not for a while.  But I do think you should take over some of my tasks."
"Are you employing me?" Steve asked carefully.
"Not as such, no." Lord Marius peered carefully down the track.  "It is remarkable how the trains work, is it not?  One minute in Manchester and the next minute in Leeds.  I remember the first time I saw a train - I thought one of the devils had appeared again."
"This bag is full of messages." Steve said.  "You've put notes on all of them, and they're all places I've been.  Are you training me to be your replacement?"
"I bought a ticket once." Lord Marius craned his neck.  "I put it in a frame, I thought it was so wonderful, a small piece of paper to allow me such liberty to travel and at such speed."
"What are you up to, Lord Marius?"
"There are..." Lord Marius paused and waved his hands as he searched for the right words.  "Lord Lothar warned you to never go with me into Leeds, did he not?"
Steve nodded.  "You've never asked me to go there."
"And I am still not asking you to go there.  I am asking you to..." Lord Marius once again scratched for the right words.  "You are not as good as I but you are adequate to take the messages from lord to lord." He glared at Steve.  "You are barely adequate, but you will do.  You will find many opportunities for business."
Steve knew better than to risk the fragile ego of an elfen.  "I can't do all that you do, but you have given me enough training to manage a shadow of your skills."
Lord Marius looked at Steve for long, long minutes.  His face was entirely expressionless.  "You have different skills.  It is of particular interest that your skills with magic are starting to outstrip all but the most skilled elfen.  You search for your father.  I advise you to stop looking."

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