Memed from lost_spook and liadtbunny, a WIP
meme. Though given the amount of writing I've done in the past five months,
the possibility of any of these seeing the light of day seems remote:
On the opposite side of the table, Lord Fear also stood, looking
half-inclined to kick it over or blast it to smithereens. "Parley?" he
repeated. "If you think that charade was any kind of meaningful discussion,
you're more self-deluded than I thought!"
"The terms I offered were fair ones."
"Fair? I don't do 'fair', Treguard. Any terms you offer me would have to be
advantageous, at least. Well, I hope you've enjoyed wasting both our time."
Running hard, the Doctor got to Zoë a few seconds before Jamie did. She was
lying rigid in the grass, her face upturned, her jaws clenched.
"Doctor!" Jamie was at his side. "Is she all right?"
"I don't know yet, Jamie." The Doctor dropped to his knees and cautiously
touched Zoë's head, then her limbs. "I don't think she's got any broken bones.
It's lucky she fell on the grass, not the cobbles."
"I remember her," Isobel said. "She was all over the charts about five years
ago. And then... she wasn't. What happened to her? Is she..."
"These days she's a single mum in a bedsit in Harlow, from what I hear." Mr
Parfitt turned back towards the house, with an air of finality. "She was one
of mine, you know. I discovered her. Saw it all go to her head. It was the
drink did for her career, in the end. Sad, really."
He didn't look particularly sad, Isobel thought.
"We've got electricity, of course." By way of demonstration, Mrs Tarrant
flicked the round Bakelite switch beside the door. "But if there's a storm
and the wires come down..."
"Of course. Well, thanks awfully for putting me up at such short—"
Georgie broke off; with the light on, she was able to get a clearer look at
her hostess. "Sorry, I think you've got something in your hair. Just about
"Oh, he knows all right. It's just an act. Vashtog pretends to be loyal to
the Emperor, as long as the Emperor doesn't actually tell him to do anything.
And the Empire pretends Vashtog's just a military contractor they pay to keep
the peace. I suppose if he went right off the rails they might pull a fleet
together and squash him, but it's the same story all over the Empire and they
couldn't do it to all of them at once. Hello, looks like they've started
boarding. I'd better get along. Nice meeting you, Isobel." She reached out
and tapped one of the antennae on Isobel's headband. "Love the deely-bopper,
by the way."
If she'd expected sympathy from Mimi, she was to be disappointed. "It is no
more than you deserve. You Boche ravaged our country — it is only right
that you should be made to repair what you can." To Helga, she looked for a
moment like a tricoteuse at the foot of the guillotine. "I would have
had you all shot."
Helga shrugged. "It is thanks to your Resistance that I was not."
He paused, but neither of his two visitors seemed inclined to speak.
"Very well," he continued. "Since I do insist on an answer, you will have
to remain my guests until such time as I receive it." He snapped his fingers;
three young women clad in white entered the room, their expressions blank and
lifeless. "Millicent and Margaret, you will be responsible for Doctor Seward.
Amanda, I am placing Mrs Harker in your care."
"What on Earth d'ye think you're dressed as?" Jamie said, once he'd
satisfied himself that his eyes weren't deceiving him. "Doctor, did you..."
The Doctor shook his head. "That certainly wasn't what it said on the
packet. Zoë, perhaps you'd care to explain?"