Something was broken in Jean Domremy. When she was younger, she was an avowed pacifist. She cared deeply for her friends, and wanted "to help people" when she grew up. One day, her best friend moved to America, and she followed him, hoping to help him. The next year of her life was a cycle of death, and misery, and despair. Yet she still cared, even as all support was cut out from under her. She tried to find a way out that wouldn't get people hurt. She lost her closest friends, and her family, and those she'd barely met. She held onto the hope that her younger sister was still alive. The day her younger sister was killed broke something in Jean Domremy.
The red-headed girl with milk-white skin and the grimy look of one who doesn't sleep much passed a note to the couple who ordered in code. They seemed to understand. She then ended her shift, went back to her apartment, checked the coordinates on her computer, and smiled. Jean Domremy had found the person with a key to the present, future, and past. This person was at a net-cafe in the heart of London, so she went that night to find them, armed with a crowbar and a can of stolen pepper-spray. She stalked the hoodie-wearing writer to their hotel room, where she hit them with an axe and took them to the back room of her apartment. They were tied up. They were gagged. They were left alone.
She went about the rest of the day as normal. She invited a girl over, smoked a bowl, drank too much, convinced the girl to leave, and poured over medieval texts and obscure court cases. She fell asleep at two in the morning, and woke up at four in a cold sweat. She made herself a drink, to calm the nerves, and went to the back room. She interrogated the key, with a cricket bat to the knees.
Ibola and Adam were still fairly convinced that the address and instructions were a trap. Ibola was almost convinced that they shouldn't go, but Adam refused to think about any other options. The best she could do was convince him that they should both have weapons. They sat in the hotel, too tired to talk. It was cold outside, and so the heaters were at full blast. Ibola sat on the chair, staring at the television, too tired to understand it. Adam lay back on the bed, his closed eyes occasionally fluttering open to stare at the wall. The slow, heavy hum of the radiators and the background noise of the television (about 2012 conspiracy theories) made the room seem heavy, and desolate.
The next morning, they bought a cheap breakfast, and killed time in the library looking up aeroplanes and shipping schedules to kill time. Ibola listlessly asked for books on Dande, though she had no hope of finding anything.
They went to the apartment address that afternoon. It was 14a Burton Apartments, a greasy door set into grimy yellow walls that bordered a concrete floor. Ibola knocked. The girl opened the door with a cigarette in hand; "Oh, it's you," she said, nonchalantly, "Come in, I suppose." Ibola and Adam glanced at each other, uncertainly. The girl laughed, "I don't have any weapons, and I don't have any reason to hurt you. I just want to discuss a business proposition, don't you worry."
Ibola walked in first, her shoulders raised in a defensive pose. The room she walked into was messy and under furnished, but covered in an abundance of books and papers. They crowded over the crates that seemed to be used as chairs and tables, and were pinned up to the walls, covered in sticky notes. A large map was under some of them, covered in coloured pins. A few other physical pieces were around; an axe, rusty from misuse; a skull of some kind; what looked like an eye on a long gold chain; and other miscellaneous occult looking goods. The redheaded girl cleared off a couple of crates and gestured for Ibola and Adam to sit down.
"My name is Jean Domremy. I was a student in the midwestern United States up until about a year and a half ago, when the monster with no face began to stalk me." She waited a moment, "You should probably translate for your friend," she said, "I know she doesn't understand English." Adam gave Ibola a rough translation, and they continued in that matter. Jean went on, "I've spent the last two years trying to figure out some... things about the bastard and his minions. And I have a plan or two. But, and here's the thing, I need help with my plans. And I think you two can help me. I can help you."
"How?" Adam asked, and then clarified, "How can you help us?"
Jean grinned, "For one, I can get you both into the United States. And for another, I can deliver you Dande." Adam opened his mouth to respond, but Jean interrupted him, "But only-- and I mean only, if you help me."
"Well, what do you want?" Adam asked, angrily.
"I thought you'd never ask. I have a...friend who lives in the town of Malkirk, up in the Lake District. He has an item, bequeathed to him by another friend, and I need it. It's a clawed staff, and it looks golden. I'd get it myself, but I wouldn't be allowed back there in a million years. The man's name is Reverend Edward Summanus, I've got his details written down here--"
"Wait, are you telling us to steal from an old man?" Asked Adam, after he'd translated her words.
"And a priest, at that?" Ibola asked.
Jean laughed, "He's one of them, and they're barely human at all. He indoctrinates children for Christsakes. He's a monster anyway. Like the Gentleman."
Adam translated this to Ibola, who looked down at her hands. She mulled over her own thoughts for a while. Then she looked up at Jean, and asked "Comment pouvons-nous te fais confiance?"
"She asks how we can trust you..." Adam said.
"Well," Jean said, "I can't provide her with any proof, but I can prove it to you..."
"What do you mean?"
"I know who Charlie is, and I know where he is, and I know you don't want this information to get across to Ibola, so you both better trust me sooner rather than later, right?"
Adam's knuckles clenched. "Right," he said, faintly.
The Author notes, please father, hurt me not, it was not my fault, I'll get the information to you as soon as I can but I can do this no faster, it has to be timed. please father don't send your men after me again. Don't be concerned, she won't catch me.