8.1 Taking Stock

by Matt P.

“No. We don’t know where Excalibur is, although it is an actual sword we knew as Caliburn.” Morgan answered with a sigh. It was most of the working day later, after everything had quieted down sufficiently that they could discuss what had happened.

Siobhan and Antigone had waited mostly out of sight with Tania, and had proceeded to pester her with questions. Morgan had mostly spent her time tending the wounded that hadn’t needed hospitalization, before she relieved her sister from the unrelenting questions. Walter noted, as he came in and out, that they didn’t answer them so much as they re-directed. They would have made good politicians, he reflected.

“But you did lose this…Fraggle Rock?” Antigone asked, which even she clearly knew wasn’t the right word for it, but that she also couldn’t remember the real world.

“Fragarach, also known as Retaliator.” Tania answered with a very sour look at her sister. “The peerless blade of Manannan mac Lir that no armor could stop, kept safe since long before we happened to come along. And now it’s in the hands of whomever Walter,” she offered with a look over to the man himself as he settled himself in to the break room seat, “calls Professor Gloom. Are you sure you can’t remember his face?”

“I remember having the tar kicked out of me by what looked like tar, and waking up feeling like I wish someone hadn’t done that to me.” Walter responded with a sigh and a shake of his head. “So I take it Fraggle Rock is important?”

Both Tania and Morgan glared at him, while Siobhan giggled amusedly. “I told you, inveterate nicknamers.” Siobhan offered, apparently to some earlier conversation. It didn’t stop the glares, although Morgan at least smiled and shook her head after a long beat. But then her face grew serious again, and she sighed.

“There is a reason that we set it aside for protection. For…well, protection.” Morgan pointed out. “It is a powerful artifact, and like all powerful artifact it can be used to pull in even more for a time. With it they could theoretically do…many different things.” Morgan explained. “The problem is they took everything. Which unfortunately means they aren’t idiots, because if they’d only taken specific things we could figure it out.”

“How much in trouble are we?” Walter asked seriously, as the others filtered in to join them. There had been a number of tasks that had needed doing and taken them out through the day, even things as simple as figuring out where extra desks were. Those were the light duties, and unfortunately there were more serious ones; Marshal Alexander had spent most of the day making sure that the injured were being properly taken care of in the hospital.

“We’re not not in trouble.” Morgan said seriously. “A group of murderous and unknown madmen have powerful artifacts the leaders of our people would really have preferred them not to get. And with them, we don’t know what they could possibly do—but there are some rather chilling possibilities. The best option is they want to sell them or trade them for favors and muscle, but I don’t think that’s it.”

“Then what are they doing?” Andre asked as he too settled himself in to a chair, and sighed. “And is there any chance the answer is going to rate a little bit closer to the normal end of the scale then anything else today?”

Tania and Morgan shared a look. “No. None of the options are normal. Those artifacts could allow him to rearrange the Faerie world if used right. Remake it in their image, disrupt the political balance. It’s not enough power to, say, end the transfer of seasons from Summer to Winter, but it is not inconsiderate. Especially if used correctly.”

Walter nodded slowly. “So how do we stop them?”

“That’s the problem.” Tania answered with a grumble, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair. “We won’t know until we start seeing the signs. Almost anything they could do besides random acts of terror and mayhem would require more buildup then just having what was in that chamber, and if we are on our toes we may be able to see what is going on. But it’s going to require us to pay attention and stop fu—” Tania paused in her heated sentence to look at the two teenagers, “messing it up. We need to—all of us—right now decide that we are going to stop letting these people run rough shod over us.”

Walter nodded in agreement, looking at the others in the break room. “I don’t think any of us want to keep getting out balls kicked in at every opportunity. So what do we do?”

“For now?” Morgan said with a sigh that made it clear she wasn’t particularly happy about it either. “We wait, and we watch.”