A new section to The Recruiting Matter – Rachael is with the group that will be digging a hole into the basement. She is working her way through the bowels of 1862 London and discussing what Felicity may have to help with. Look for another update tomorrow.
Rachael had the goggles on and walked behind the large contraption. A thick wire connected the contraption to a control box in her hand. John was walking beside the slowing moving machine monitoring the connections and tubing. They worked their way through access tunnels of the underground train of London. Now they were working their way through sewers and storm drains. Olfactory fatigue should have set in ages ago, but she could not notice any reduction in the stench. The group was moving along at a bit over two miles an hour which was as fast as they dare in the mucky maze. Unfortunately, that meant they had been walking an hour and probably had another half hour before they arrived at their destination. Then the drilling would begin.
Liam and Michael were in the lead scouting the route and clearing obstacles as the group progressed. Everyone, including Felicity and herself, were wearing leather breaches, leather shirts that fit closely and leather helmet in which Charles could speak. Because of the walk, everyone wore high boots that kept the water and worse off their feet. Lamps on the great big digging machine illuminated the walk as well as the strange hand held torches. Felicity walked beside Rachael and said, “I feel a bit like a fifth wheel in this little parade.”
Rachael replied, “I think when we get to Eleanor, you will be anything but. Michael may have told you more, but he said enough and we all know Winifred and Findley well enough to fill in the spaces. She is going to need help Felicity. John , Michael and I are going to be busy as it is.”
Felicity said, “I don’t even know her.”
Rachael smiled even though Felicity couldn’t see it and said, “Might be better. Besides, I think you have some idea what she is going to feel more than the rest of us. She’ll be safer with you. What would I do with someone who has lost her wits over abuse? Thump her on the head with a screwdriver?”
Felicity said quietly, “I hope you are wrong. I wouldn’t mind if this turned out to be a lovely stroll through the sewage of London and the poor girl has just been a bit inconvenienced for the last week.”
Rachael grimaced, “I doubt it is nothing, but I am hoping Charles’ concoction will boost her spirits enough for us to get away.”
The group came to another junction. The contraption was in the main channel. It was too wide for the walkway next to the channel. The tracks gave it a strong grip and kept it out of the much enough that the water and other bits did not foul the important mechanics. John gamely agreed to walk beside the contraption tending to its needs as Rachael guided the machine. Rachael felt terribly sorry for him. He must be cold, itchy in places that weren’t proper, and wondering if he had picked the right side of this little fracas. Rachael manipulated the control box so the contraption made the tight right turn. John shouted “Clear. There is a bridge 100 yards ahead.” At the bridge, Rachael handed John the control box and Felicity helped her cross decaying and slippery bridge.
The march continued. Rachael said again to Felicity, “I hope that it is nothing, but we need to be prepared that she will be hurt in ways we can’t see. That’s your skill set, Felicity Rand. Now let’s get to this little chamber of horrors. The sooner we get there and back, the sooner I get a bath.”
For those who are new to the recruiting matter, The Recruiting Matter Home Page is a good place to learn and start the story.