Chapter 16.3

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When Ward and Mildew reached the Cathedral they found it in an uproar. Scowerers were racing in every direction. The noise was terrific.

"Oi Flip!" Mildew called out as the Reverser rushed past with Lightfinger in tow. Flip had a policeman's truncheon in one hand and a half eaten sausage in bread in the other. He turned to them and spoke through a full mouth. "Wha the flug you wunk?" He swallowed and said, "Hant you heard?"

"Course I did," Mildew said.

Ward knew she hadn't heard anything.

"We need Scowerers," she said. "You and Lightie for starters."

"Good (unprintable word) luck with that." Flip swung the truncheon around like a propeller. "We're going to Parliament."

Mildew and Ward looked at each other. Parliament was the abandoned train station that served as Hector headquarters. It lay across the road from the houses of Parliament. Enemy territory.

"I can see you hant heard a (unprintable word) thing," Flip observed. "Where you bin anyway?"

"OldCity," Ward said.

Flip's eyes widened. "Kidsman wants everyone to meet at Parliament and prepare for something big."

News travelled fast in the underground. Nick had clearly reached Parliament, which was closer to Killing Field than the Cathedral was, and sent messengers out to the clans immediately.

"What's he got planned?" Ward said.

"If he wanted us to know he woulda tole us," Flip said.

"We need you," Ward said.

Wrinkler stuffed what remained of the sausage and bread into his mouth and chewed on it thoughtfully. He swallowed. "I'll see what I can do. Can't guarantee nothing. Okay Lightie, let's go."

"Meet us at the Derricks by three," Mildew called out.

"The Derricks?" said a new voice.

The Spectaculum floated out of the darkness. He smiled in a knowing, fatherly way. Ward wondered how long he'd been standing there listening to them.

"Whaddaya want?" Mildew said.

"Oh I've already got what I want," the Spectaculum said, his voice rising a little, for nothing pleased him more than catching others in wrongdoing.

"Go on and tell Nick then that ya great fluffed-up peacock," Mildew called out as he floated away again. She turned to Ward. "That's trouble. You can bet your red kettle on it."


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Vote now, ya great fluffed-up peacock.

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