Chapter 3: Obscurity

Aenriques ascended the stairs to the grandiose building of London’s National Gallery. The buzzing of Trafalgar Square slipped in with him but as the doors closed he found himself in the hushed silence of the museum. How come this was one of the places most sought out to make business exchanges between Agents, he had no clue yet, but he had been told that the place was common ground, enemy or ally. Most historical buildings were, apparently. The collective agreement on keeping the mortals out of the business of the supernatural society still held its sway. Aenriques did not complain.

He headed to the Sainsbury Wing and settled on one of the benches admiring the pieces of art surrounding him as he waited for his accomplice to show up. It did not take long until a shadow in the corner of his eye caught his attention. He turned and saw the man approach with well-calculated steps, a mechanical doll or machine of sorts, made to imitate the living. His hair was a military cut and his suit neatly pressed. Silently, he sat down beside Aenriques, who corrected his tie nervously. He hated that man.

“So, we have ourselves a situation,” he said quietly. The man nodded slowly, acknowledging his statement.

“Indeed,” he replied with a light French intonation.

“Where’s she at it on this?” Aenriques asked.

“Thinking. Contemplating.” The man turned his head and looked Aenriques straight in the eye. Compared to Matthew, Aenriques did not avert eye-contact, but not because he felt equal to him, no, he felt nothing. The man was as a matter of fact not a human in his opinion, and Aenriques regarded him as a lesser being, thus enabling him to repel the gaze with some superiority, although the man gave him chills. They called themselves Crusaders; a clean-shaven business man without wares for sale. Maybe souls. It wouldn’t surprise Aenriques if that were his trade.

“Well, I need something to go on. Should I drag Petyr into this or not?” he asked.

“No. The time is not come just yet. An opportunity will be given and you will be able to strike, thanks to the humans,” the man said airily and looked away again to the painting in front of them. A group of tourists passed them by, audio devices pressed to their ears. The man looked back at Aenriques.

“You will need to stay in line for as long as possible. Until she is ready. Until the necessary arrangements have been made,” he said.

“And when is that?” Aenriques asked sourly and folded his hands.

“She’ll tell you. Trust in her ways, monsieur Darklighter. Trust and wait. You’ll be rewarded when your time has come.” The man rose with a thin smile. It reminded Aenriques about Matthew’s smile. Aenriques imitated his gesture.

“I’ll wait for your call. Just let me know in due time.”

“I will. All Her Blessings,” the man answered and he was off. Aenriques sighed heavily and left. This would be harder than expected.


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