Over the last few days of the month I am taking extracts and combining them into one entry. The action level is high, but the coherency might be a bit low. Discussion of the plan? Gone. Getting to Smith’s house? Irrelevant. Sadly Felicity Rand will be getting the short end of the stick again. However in this sequence, Rachael provides aid to the trapped Eleanor; confronts Winifred Stanhope; and has her fall which will confine her to a wheel chair. The entire chapter with all the parts can be found here in “The Mission to Save Eleanor”
For your enjoyment, look for more on Sunday
Rachael – in back of Smith’s house
Liam acted as Rachael’s guide after she and John had positioned the great big digging machine according to Michael’s directions. As Liam helped her into the small culvert, Liam said, “OK Lass. Next act is yours. Got your fancy toy ready?”
Rachael smiled back and said, “Wait ‘till you see the fancy toy I hid in your room Liam O’Hannigan.”
Liam looked shocked and then chuckled, “Shoulda known better than to insult a Stepney lass. Follow along.” Rachael followed Liam along a culvert for about 100 yards. He climbed up a ladder of an entry. At the top was an iron manhole cover. He grunted as he pushed it aside and scrambled out. He helped her out and said, “Now go do your magic.”
Rachael gathered herself and opened a carpet bag. Inside was a small clockwork toy with wheels and a long coat. The device was brass with wood wheels that were ribbed for extra traction. In the cart she provided the shot of Charles concoction, a small lock pick, and a stiletto. She wound up the car. The car was 6 inches long and a couple wide and fit easily under her coat. She looked down the street and then said, “Liam, I need your flask.”
Liam looked pained and said, “I ain’t got no flask. I’m on the job.”
Rachael just looked at him with her hand out.
Liam sighed and handed over the silver hip flask.
Rachael took a mouthful and swished it around and swallowed. Rachael eyes went wide and she exclaimed, “Whoa!” She shook her head and then splashed a bit on her hands and then rubbed her face and a front. She now smelled of sewer and young whiskey. She kept the flask and tipped her hand to Liam and said, “I owe you. Back in a jiffy.”
Liam just shook his head and sat in the shadows watching from the cover of the manhole. The leather pants and shirt might be close fitting, but the long coat wasn’t. She put the goggles in a pocket within her reach and started wandering down the street. She bounced from lamp post to fence singing in a decidedly off key voice.
A hundred years is a very long time, Ho, yes, ho! A hundred years is a very long time, A hundred years ago. They used to think that pigs could fly Ho, yes, ho! I don’t believe it, no, not I. A hundred years ago.
They thought he moon was made of cheese. Ho, yes, ho! You can believe it if you please. A hundred years ago.
She swung the flask at one point and took a swig. She was sure that Liam winced as she made it look like a long one. She knew Jason was watching somewhere and she hoped his aim was sure if things got dodgy. She was also sure she was going to regret this bit of acting the next time they were in a pub. As she stumbled within two house of her destination, she felt a whoosh of air as if some spirit slipped by. She stumbled dramatically and pointed in a random direction and shouted, “I say watsh where ya’ goin”. Her stumble got her a bit closer to the roadway and the grate. She slipped to the ground and pulled out the clock work and placed it in the gutter. She stood up and found herself face to face with Edward Wayland.
Rachael managed not to gasp and swayed a bit and poked his chest saying “Hoy mate, ya startled me.” She had seen Wayland on campus and had some classes with him. She sincerely hoped that she was just one more face of the unwashed masses at the moment.
Wayland wrinkled his nose at the olfactory assault from the sewer, and said, “Lad, you need to head back the way you came. You could get hurt around here.” He looked at her more closely and his eyebrows raised for a second.
Rachael brushed his hands off her and said, “’m fin’ guv’. Jus need ta know where the shubway ish.”
Wayland looked her over and his eye set on the clockwork cart for a second and looked up. “The other direction. I’d be fast if I was you. Strangers get hurt sudden like.” He looked past her and then towards the house and then said, “And I wouldn’t want that to happen to you.”
Rachael leaned on the nearby lamp post and said, “Thank ye, guv”
Wayland paused for a bit and said in a low voice, “If that stays in the gutter it will hit a grate in 50 feet. Wave a hand if you want it a bit closer to the grate?”
Rachael coughed and leaned on the lamp post and waved her left hand and then pretended to slip. Edward caught her and slipped to the gutter himself. He then said louder, “Careful there mate. I saw five of the biggest sewer rats around here. Came up right out of the ground. Now off…the subways is the other way ya’ drunk fool.”
From the door Rachael heard a stern voice command, “Wayland, is that drunk gone yet? Get back in here.” Rachael tipped her capped and stumbled in the other direction back to the man hole cover. She twirled around and watched as Wayland knelt to tie his shoe and placed the clock work right by the grate. She stopped next to Liam in the alley way with the manhole cover. She took a small swig and handed his flask back.
Liam capped it and hissed, “What the hell was that about?”
Rachael scratched her head and shook her head, “I’m not sure. Edward Wayland just made my job a whole lot easier. The cart’s in place.”
Liam fumed for a moment and then pressed his wrist and said into his chest, “Rachael says her cart is in place. Your play Charlie.”
Suddenly five bright beams lit up the sky. A second later, there was a burst of metal and flame.
Rachael – in Smith’s basement
The digging machine finished a hole in the wall. Rachael burst into the poorly lit basement. Felicity and Liam were right behind her. Winifred was holding a sword to Eleanor’s neck with her right hand. Winifred was in breaches just as Felicity and Rachael were. She had on a white blouse that was slightly open. Her hands were gauntleted and one wrist had an odd thick metal band on it. Her blond curly hair was a bit unruly with the apparent struggle with Eleanor. Eleanor was wearing a white shift which was opened in the front. Eleanor’s unruly hair was tied up in a fashion, but still voluminous. Her hands and arms were held out away from her sides. Rachael couldn’t tell for sure if the concoction was working, but Eleanor seemed to have far more spirit than someone who had been beaten and raped for close to a week. Simone was cowering to Winifred’s right in an almost fetal position. She was wearing the same light white shift that Eleanor was. She glanced from Winifred to Eleanor and then to the group and then stared at Winifred’s strange wrist guard.
Winfred spoke first, “Rachael Weiz, I got a nasty bruise from the other night. Who knew a knife had so much energy?”
Rachael sneered, “If you have to work, you learn to throw things hard. That bruise should have been more. Next time I’ll throw it harder and aim a bit higher.”
Winifred said back in a low voice, “Not if I see you first. Enough of this nonsense. Put down your weapons or the little slut dies.”
Rachael clinched her fists at the slur. Felicity was holding her cleaver and was moving to the side. Liam was holding his truncheon and batting in his hand. Rachael knew he had a pistol, but that wasn’t out.
Liam spoke this time, “Now lass…it seems we have a bit of a standoff. Right now she’s the only thing keeping you alive. And if you move towards those stairs with her…well, I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet she’ll put up her own fight not to join you. So why don’t you lower your little poker nice like and maybe we let you live.”
Winifred stared at Liam and then laughed, “Who the hell are you? I could slice you in two in a beat after I finish with our tall, lovely aeronautical engineer.” Eleanor’s eyes blazed in frustration and anger, but she said nothing and her arms remained away from her body.
Rachael smiled darkly, “While you’re trying to slice Liam here, I’ve got my own little pokers and this time I know to aim high. Felicity here has that nasty cleaver. She’s bound to find a good joint to break apart.” Felicity smiled menacingly at the comment.
Winifred made a mocking sound as she answered, but did not move the sword, “Miss Weiz, you and I have unfinished business. You should have stayed a clock maker. It suited you so perfectly. I found your persistence utterly annoying. You have no idea how hard it was to get those professors to see your limitations.”
Rachael laughed and took a step closer. Winifred moved the sword a bit and nicked Eleanor’s throat. Simone whimpered, “No… please.” Rachael slipped out two of her stilettos as she said, “The great Winifred Stanhope noticed me, the little Jew girl? I would have thought I was beneath your notice.”
Winfred’s voice got harsh, “Your kind bleed the world dry. Jews own the banks. My family nearly went bankrupt in ’37 paying off your debt notes. Those foolish Irish never should have let you in. But then they come over here stealing as well.”
Liam and Felicity stiffened with the tirade. Rachael said, “Listen to yourself. My family came here with nothing and you blame me for some banking bastard? Liam and Felicity work hard and you say they steal? It’s you pompous titled knobs that bleed the world dry. And then if any of us tries to stand up you kick us down. Let Eleanor go and I’ll take you myself you wealthy bitch.”
Winifred said, “Another day little Jew. Right now I am going to take my tall fuzzy to the stairs. Make me nervous and she dies. Come along Simone.” Eleanor flinched at the comment, but the blade stayed at her neck. Winifred began a shuffle towards the stairs. Rachael felt helpless as the threesome began to move towards the stairs. Simone stood up with a short stiletto in her hand. It was the same stiletto that Rachael had sent along in the clock work. Rachael knew that Winifred had the protective armor clothing as everyone was wearing, but Rachael knew there were seams and gaps between the clothing pieces. Simone drove the stiletto home between the top shirt and the leggings into Winifred’s arse. Winifred grunted loudly and turned around which was enough distraction for Eleanor to push away the arm with the blade and roll away. Rachael , Liam and Felicity rushed at once towards the cursing Winifred Stanhope.
Winifred backhanded Simone fiercely and then pressed a button on her wrist. Simone collapsed and screamed. Eleanor saw Simone collapse and cried out “No! Stop it. She’s hurting Simone!” Felicity pulled Eleanor away while Liam and Rachael rushed Winifred. Liam parried a slash by Winifred with his long baton, but grunted under the blow. Rachael ducked under and slashed her knife across Winifred’s belly. Winifred grunted herself but smiled as the blouse opened to reveal a dark undergarment.
Rachael looked annoyed while Liam said, “Handy things, those vest.”
Winifred pushed him away with surprising ease, shook a bit of hair out of her face and said, “Alfred said he was sure he had hit you. Your shot left a terrible bruise on his belly.” She stepped back and put the point of the sword high in front of her and said through tight lips, “But it doesn’t do much for your head.” She slashed at Rachael’s head. Rachael dodged out of the way while Liam parried the blow away as best he could. She felt a hard blow to her shoulder. The vest held, but she felt a bone crack under the pressure and she screamed out. Rachael stumbled backwards and slipped hard and landed against a table strangely. Rachael fell to the floor and couldn’t move. Winifred smiled in satisfaction put her sword back up in front and pressed her wrist guard again. Simone shook and screamed again.