A Quiet Fight – Plans for the Attack


steampunk-computer

Fabio Freitas E Silva | Dreamstime.com – Steam punk vintage computer

Final plans

The following day, the group met at Constance’s flat. When Chester, Cedric and Emily had arrived, they were quickly sent to the dining room, served tea and left alone. Constance had her staff working in the kitchen or cleaning other rooms and were afforded privacy as they met. Darrin and Bertram were drinking theirs. Darrin still looked pale. Bertram was eating heartily and said, “Constance always provides a great spread. Emily, try the fruit torte. It is simply divine.” Emily helped herself to a portion. Chester prepared his tea and took a savory biscuit. Chester opened the London Times he had grabbed on the way to breakfast. On the third page, a fire in the Wapping area resulted in four deaths, numerous injuries and closed a popular pub. Cedric had the London Telegraph and said, “Well look here, mysterious fire in Wapping. Pub closed. Explosions reported but no signs of bomb.” He tsked, “Four deaths. Apparently overcrowding was an issue because people couldn’t get out.”
Darrin’s hand shook, “Could we not discuss this during breakfast. Constance isn’t here.”
Bertram sipped his tea, “Chessie, you said you weren’t using full power. How strong is that thing?”
Chester moved to the sports section to review the Rugby match between London and Edinburgh, “I don’t know for sure…our associates seemed to be using them full tilt in our first encounter.” London had lost. Chester closed the paper in distaste, “That fire took out a whole block. Stone was broken in the heat.” He scratch his beard, “I also think there are some other weapon types, but we do not get those until we prove ourselves with these.”
Bertram asked, “How many of these things can we get?”
Chester said, “30 pistols and 30 rifles. How many will we have in support of the attack?”
Bertram leaned back and sipped his tea, “We each have three recruits. That is correct, isn’t it Darrin?”
Darrin was a bit more composed, “There are lot of locale workman who are unhappy with the competition for jobs.”
Cedric asked, “They aren’t going to have a problem attacking British army?”
Darrin shrugged, “The three I am working with see the game. We attack. Make it look like Irish separatists. Then others start agitating for a crack down on Ireland.”
Chester put his cup down and looked at Darrin, “Are you going to have a problem, Darrin? You seem a bit off after last night.”
Darrin glared at Chester, “You caught me by surprise. It won’t happen again.”
Chester smiled, “Good, because once I’ve introduced you to our partner, there really is no turning back. He took very unkindly to some of our lot in Dunstable who tried to escape the contract.”
Cedric choked. Bertram grumbled, “Oh hell, I’ll ask. How unkindly?”
Emily smiled as she took a bite of her sweet torte, “He killed two and had us kill the other two in a sign of commitment.”
Bertram frowned, “That seems a bit extreme.”
Cedric said, “I thought so myself. But they are foreigners,”
Chester chuckled, “That’s putting it mildly.”
Cedric continued, “They are foreigners and apparently on the lam. They prefer to operate without fuss. It seems there is someone here who can disrupt their activities.” He took a deep breath, “So they are being cautious about who knows about them.”
At that point Constance came in, “Hello everyone, getting the staff sorted has been a pill this morning. Apparently I am disrupting no end of schedules by keeping them out of the front section. Did I miss anything?”
Darrin said, “Only that we are about to enter a contract of blood, breakable only by death.”
Constance laughed, “Darrin dear, you are such a drama boy.”
Bertram, “Connie, normally I’d agree with you, but this time he is right.”
Constance looked at the two Londoners who were very serious. She then looked to Chester, Cedric and Emily. “Explain”
Cedric filled Constance in on the previous conversation.
Chester pulled out a pocket watch, “I expect Mr. Quanah will be arriving in about 10 minutes. Key to this plan working will be he and his companions delivering us to the barracks quad secretly. I can verify without equivocation they can do that. But in doing so, all who know how it is done become…a potential risk to them.” He put the watch in his pocket and stood by Cedric and Emily. “If you are not prepared to follow through with all the unpleasantness that will be following, now is your chance to end it. Once Mr. Quanah arrives and discusses the final details of transportation and support, there will be no turning back.”

Constance looked at her tea then set it down. She went to the liquor cart and poured herself a sherry. She looked at Emily, “care for one? If I am about to sign my life away, I think a drink is in order.”
Emily nodded negative, “I’ve already done that bit. Sherry at this hour will just go to my head. But go ahead.”
Constance took the glass and said, “To a new regime.”
Chester smiled and raised his tea cup.
After the drink, there was a bit of small talk and then the door chime. The maid brought in the very tall Tecumsah Quanah. Unlike his visit in Dunstable, he had a respectable suit on. His hair, was pulled into a pony tail but well washed and straight. His dark features were undoubtedly unnerving to the Londoners. They had been to Chester. Chester was sure the man had a sense of humor. The maid closed the door behind Quanah. He looked around and then to Cedric, “It seems the demonstration last night was more in line with your expectations Mr. Michaelson.”
Cedric smiled broadly, “No problems at all. And a very clean get away.”
Tecumsah settled himself into a large chair that still looked small on his large frame. “That there were survivors, I found problematic.”
Darrin coughed a little and then said, “Our goal was to scare some workers that were organizing. The company still needs workers.”
Quanah nodded in response, “An answer I understand…Mr.?”
“Darrin Kipling. Call me Darrin.”
“Very well …Darrin. I assume that Cedric, Chester and Emily have explained my conditions from here.”
Constance said, “Yes,…Mr. Quanah. I must wonder at the severe measures. And my name is Constance Guilford.”
“A fair question …Miss Guildford.” He folded his hands together, “Mr. Brown and Miss Stanhope may or may not have explained, but your planet will be taken over shortly. Mr. Brown and Miss Stanhope have aligned themselves with the coming force. My understanding is that that you are to …ease the takeover for Mr. Brown and Miss Stanhope. Me and my associates have no interest one way or another in your planet. However, we see a market for goods and…your labor. We are taking advantage of the open market before authorities arrive to complicate matters.” He leaned forward, “When we demonstrated the weapons in Dunstable, we encountered unexpected resistance. Such resistance would complicate our commerce.” He leaned back and said, “So naturally you understand that I intend to keep the number of people who know about me and my intentions to a minimum. And I am certainly not going to let people who don’t have the stomach for activities you yourselves advocate stay around to inform authorities about my existence or intentions.” He folded his hands again, “Are we clear?”
Bertram crossed his own hands, “Perfectly. Cedric and Chester have filled us in a bit on your resources. Shall we discuss our plan at this point?”
Quanah smiled, “A man of resolve and business. Mr?”
“Bertram Scowling…my friends call me Bertie. We can wait on that moniker, Mr. Quanah.”
“Very well…Mr. Scowling. I will need to know how many people will be involved and your intended targets.”
Cedric and Bertram and Constance began to explain what they were planning, what outcomes and what resources they were bringing. Quanah provided his own suggestions and explanations of what would happen during the transport. Details of the attack were finalized by mid afternoon.
Quanah rose and said, “It is Tuesday. We will attack early Saturday morning. The Dunstable people know where to meet us. “He moved to the door. I will bring pistols for your crews. Rifles for everyone in this room. See that you and your people know how they work. People will be firing at you this time.”

Author’s Note

I had to come up with a place for them to attack.  Wellington Barracks is where the Queen’s guard quarter.  I am also presuming/assuming that the Barracks were a key administrative point in the 1800s. This is a long section and I will post several entries from here as it is an action sequence.

I am progressing along in my story. I have almost 30,000 words at this point. I expect tomorrow will be a big day.  I am hoping to get close to caught up by the end of the day tomorrow.

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