A Quiet Fight – All In


steampunk-computer

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

Inclusion of Edward

Edward arrived at Pamela’s home at 8PM. The night had the chill of London spring, not cold but damp and penetrating. His top hat kept the cold out but the damp seeped through his coat. When the door was opened, he was escorted to the Library. Pamela was there and nodded politely. Bertram Scowling was there. And Cedric Michaelson was there. Edward’s heart raced.
Bertram began introductions, “I remember you old chap. Into chemistry, I think.”
Edward smiled and ignored Cedric’s stare, “And a bit of mechanical engineering. You must have been in chemistry as well to remember me.”
Bertram laughed, “Only because I was forced. I am more of a finance person, like Pamela.”
Cedric introduced himself and then said, “You look familiar for some reason.”
Edward tried to sound calm, “Weren’t you a friend of Findley Brown’s. I had a gathering or two and he brought friends.”
Cedric smiled, “There were so many Findley went to. Where was your’s?”
Edward hoped he had invited Findley’s friends. “I had some summer gatherings at Oxford Court. Big gardens. Strange Canapes. A bit of hunting and loads of French wine.”
Cedric smiled, “That could have been a number of places. I seem to remember a set of Elephant topiary. “
Edward scratched his head, “That must have been a different garden. We featured fountains with Norse figures. They are ridiculous enough without the incongruous topiary.”
Cedric nodded, “Now I remember. Set of statues next to the pond. Had a jolly time there.”
Edward sighed, “Yes, I believe Findley and Winifred recreated the Battle of Salamis.”
Cedric clapped Edward’s shoulder, “Ah yes, I think I ended up on the side that was Persia. Ended up in the pond.”
Edward took a drink, “I think we all did by the end. The gardeners were quite upset the following day.” He sat down in a lounge.
Cedric leaned on the mantle, “I assume Pamela has filled you in about our …political club.”
Edward glanced at Pamela, “A short version of our discussion. England is rotting from the inside because of …lax control of immigrants and lax control of the working class. England will be better with the Lords back in charge.”
Bertram said, “Close enough. You sound skeptical.”
Edward was he sure he was but needs to sound like he could be convinced. “I hadn’t thought about it to be honest. At least not until recently. It has been damned hard to find a job.”
Cedric said, “You seem qualified. You studied a good field. Why should someone with your background have a hard time?”
Edward frowned, “I know I’ve got better qualifications. It seems all those refugees from Wapping are holding the jobs.”
Cedric smiled thinly, “Well, if they got better grades…”
Edward snapped, “Oh come on Cedric. We all know the scholarship students were treated different at University. ‘Mustn’t have our charity cases fail.’ I thought it would even out once I got out. I was wrong.”
Pamela smiled into her drink. Bertram was grinning openly. Cedric said mildly, “Why I suppose I do remember that.” He leaned forward, “If I told you we are going to change that, would you be interested in helping?”
Edward waved his hand, “Certainly.”
“How far would you be willing to go to help?”
Edward took a drink, “I don’t know. Things would have to change a lot if someone like me or you are going to get a chance.”
“When you change things a lot, that is a lot of disruption. Are you willing to cause that disruption?”
Edward smiled thinly. Things were getting close. “I suppose so. It is for the greater good. Have to break eggs to make an omelet and all that.”
Bertram said slowly, “Some fear disruption enough to call it treason.”
Edward paused. “You are talking revolution. That is more than disruption.”
Pamela finally spoke, “Yes…Edward…we are talking revolution. It is time to restore order. Too much is being lost trying to ‘better others’. We need a sense of duty and honor again. That is going to take a revolution.”
Cedric held up a hand to Pamela, “Decide now, Edward. If you say yes, we fold you into our plan for a greater England. Those who get in early will reap huge benefits. Findley and Winifred are coming back and we are preparing for them. We will be the ones who rule. If you say yes, know you have crossed the Rubicon. There is no changing your mind. We expect you to act decisively and risk all. If you waver…we will deal with it swiftly and irrevocably.”
Edward said slowly, “And if I say no…”
Cedric smiled, “You walk out the door and we have no further contact. You know nothing. You are harmless. If you tried to tell someone, no one would believe it.” He looked at his nails, “Although that would be risky on your part.” He returned his gaze at Edward. “But we would remember your choice when we are in control.”
Bertram said, “Cedric has a flair for the dramatic. Really, joining us is joining the future. You are smart enough and know how things should be. You would move high in the ranks.”
Edward finished his drink, “Hell… Yes… sign me up. I’ve got no bloody idea what you are doing or how I fit, but God knows nothing else is working right now.”
Bertram said, “Good choice chap.”
Pamela raised her glass, “Our newest member.”
Cedric raised his glass, “Our newest member…may he last longer than Darrin.”

 

Author’s Note

Findley Brown and Winifred Stanhope come from my early work. Winifred, with Findley’s assistance, has designs on Earth. A force is coming back intent on taking over. Given Earth’s meager technology stance, the outcome is certain.  Winifred has decided to side with the alien force.  Findley and Winifred have managed to notify Cedric and Chester they are coming back and get prepared.  Cedric’s goal is to sow chaos so the take over will be even easier and possibly welcome.

I have been watching the developments of my country’s government with a mixture of disappointment. The new president has lived down to my low expectations (having a hissy fit over numbers? then trying to reconstruct history?)  The women’s march gives me hope. That so many people could come out and march peaceably gives me hope that our democracy is not dead yet. I can hope that truth will eventually win even if it is taking a beating at the moment.

In the meantime, the tactics and goals are providing much material for my writing.

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