Wynn was enjoying a beer with Willy and another janitor, Carlos. Willy was regaling Carlos with an event from the day at the factory. On the whole, the factory had been quiet. It was quiet in a manner that was bothering Wynn. The usual victims had started working and traveling the factory floor in pairs or more. Any issues were dealt with a minimum of fuss and the senior workers had stopped trying to harass the support workers. Accidents were down on the floor and that made the foremen happy, but Wynn had no illusions about senior workers suddenly seeing the value of their support workers.
Willy was waving his arms, “Nobby was doing riveting in the nose. He dropped a whole bucket of hot bolts on the ground and shouted at me – ‘clean that mess up boy.’ Anyway, Wynn sneaks up behind Nobby. Nobby must be as deaf as a post to not hear him coming up behind. Anyway, Nobby raises the rivet tongs, ‘Do your fuckin job or I’ll beat you stupid.’ Wynn holds on to the tongs.” He looks at Wynn, “How did you hold those tongs anyway they had to be as hot as the damn bolts?”
Wynn took a drink and said, “Gloves. Will you finish this damn story so I can beat Carlos in Tally Hold.”
Willy shook his head, “Don’t remember them. Anyway Wynn holds the tongs sos Nobby don’t know he’s got ‘em. Nobby winds up to hit me good and damn near pulls his shoulder out when he tries to swing with Wynn holding. Nobby falls on the ground burns his ass on the hot bolts.”
Wynn mutter, “horrible accident that. Told the idiot he out to stretch out more before he lifts heavy things.”
Carlos, “Dios Mio, you told Nobby to stretch before he lifts…” and dissolved in laughter.
Wynn said in dead pan, “Main reason you lot get hurt is you don’t stretch enough.” This resulted in more laughter.
The laughter was cut short when Tony burst in. “We got trouble. Franky has half the bowers heading here. They got torches, clubs and all sorts of shit. They’re shouting all sorts of bollocks about ‘foreigners and darkies taking jobs.’”
Wynn ran to the door and glanced down the street. There were crowds coming from both sides. Both had torches. He could see bottles that were full of liquid. He doubted all that was going to be drunk. He came back in, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph the boy wasn’t joking. They’re coming from both sides.” He looked at Catarina, “Do you have a back way out?”
“There’s warehouse on the other side…No.”
“Shit”. Wynn looked around at the panicked faces. “Get those tables up against the windows. Block ‘em. Don’t let any bottles or rocks through.” He looked at Catarina, “Stow your liquor fast. If that catches the whole bar goes with us in it. I am going upstairs I might be able to slow them down a little and take an edge off.” He ran upstairs and burst into a room on the street. It was occupied by a man and woman engaged in social commerce.
The woman screamed. The man looked up and saying, “Hoy..I paid for this room.”
Wynn tipped his cap, “Sorry mate. Fun’s over for the night. Frankie brought the locals for some fun and dancing.”
The man glanced outside, “Jesus.”
Wynn said, “Get downstairs and help the others barricade. Both of you.” They scrambled to get their clothes on and hurried out the room.
Wynn could see both crowds had bottles and rags. They’d take the whole borough down. Damn idiots. He pulled out his beam pistol and glanced at it. It was nearly fully charged. At the window, aimed at parked wagon of barrels that was 100 yards away from one crowd and fired. There was a bit of light and smoke that came from the front barrel. Towards the other crowd he aimed at a trash barrel and fired. There was another bit of smoke and light. It would be tough to aim at moving lamps bouncing in the dark, but it was all he could do. He looked at his pistol. It was at %90 charge.
Willy crept into the room and whispered, “The doors and windows are blocked. Ain’t a stick of furniture left downstairs. It’s blocking windows or its clubs.”
Wynn drawled, “Wonderful. Now leave the room and join them. I am about to become a target. You got a better chance downstairs.”
“Catarina is whinging but everyone who don’t have a knife and wants a bottle is getting one. There ain’t a whole lot of the bar left.”
“Go downstairs and I’ll join you in a tick.”
“Fuck that. I’ve seen you take on four guys without a weapon. I ain’t gonna miss you taking on a mob.” He pointed to the brass pistol. “What’s that.”
“Nothing you need to know about. And you do not want to see me really angry…unless you are farther away.”
Willy leaned on the door post and grinned, “You need to work on that villain thing better. I’m staying.”
Willy smiled held up his middle finger and said, “Prick.”
Wynn cursed silently and looked out the window. All that fire in one place and the crowd would take the block down. And he was sure they wouldn’t get help. “It gets ugly now.”
Willy put his hands in his suspenders and said, “Always been ugly. Ain’t no one in this building going to argue with you.”
Wynn shot his pistol. He saw steam come up from the wet street. He adjusted and fired again. This time he hit one of the bottles. The instant heat was enough to cause the contents to explode in flames over it owner and his neighbors. He switched sides and fired again. Another bottle explored and screams as burning liquid covered two people.
Willy hissed, “Jesus what is that?”
“Shut up and get downstairs.”
“No fucking way.”
Wynn went back to the first crowdand fired again and another bottle exploded. He returned to the second and fired twice taking two bottles out. The two mobs and slowed considerably and there were screams from the front of each. The light from the flames and the slowing of the crowd made it easier to find targets. He looked at his pistol. It was at 60%. He fired several times into each crowd and bottles exploded. As the flames appeared, he took less care and hit people as well making the screams louder. The fronts had slowed but the back had not make horrible crush as burning people flayed around in the crowd. People started dropping or throwing bottles, but they were too far away. Willy’s eyes were big as Wynn shot right and left and screams floated into the room.
Finally the pistol stopped firing. Wynn stood up and then the window burst into flame. Wynn felt the searing heat but stepped to the side as the window frame burst into flame. Wynn ran for the door and grabbed Willy by the collar and pulled him into the hall. He slammed Willy up on the wall. “You say nothing about what you saw. Nothing…to no one. Ever. Am I clear?”
Willy nodded his head fast and choked out, “Clear mate. Clear…Let me down.”
Wynn nodded and let him down, “Come on, someone out there is going to burn the place down. Time to get out and see if the crowd has as much brass as we do.” He grabbed Willy and pulled him down the stairs shouting, “upstairs is burning. We have to get outside.”
This was written with the previous blog and Edward. The two men are infiltrating different parts of London society. Wynn has stirred up a hornets nest at the airship factory and the hornets are now coming to sting.
I made good progress over the weekend and have (finally) crossed the 50K mark on the story. (Only a month or so late.) I am getting the story moving towards the finish which is good. I was stuck for a bit. Look for this scene’s conclusion on Wednesday.