The Llakor Project - Year Two Chapter Seven: When Can I See You?
“Daniel? Quelle Surprise!?! How did you know that I was in London?”
“I took a chance.”
“Well you are a lucky man. You should buy a ticket in the Irish sweeps. I did not know myself that I would be in London tonight. Someone got sick.”
“When can I see you?”
“Can you come to my time share tonight? I fly out tomorrow morning early.”
“DAMN! No, I am in Edinburgh. I could be in London for tomorrow, but not for tonight.”
“Quelle Dommage! Pauvre Daniel, so lucky and yet not so lucky at the same time. I return to London in a week’s time and I will have the whole weekend off. Shall we meet then?”
“Yes, Isabelle, we shall meet then. I will call for you.”
“Very good. Daniel, tell me about these new bombers. They do not seem so clever.”
“Yes, I have been wondering about this myself. There are a number of possibilities for our detective Gideon.”
“Le courageux detective Gideon.”
“Yes, well first it’s possible that the group that we are talking about were just lucky in the first attack. It’s much easier the first time. Your target does not know that he is under attack. His defences are down. The second time back he is on alert. The mistakes that you make are noted, followed up on. There is an army ready to anticipate your every move. Much harder.
So the group that did so well the first time could be the same as the second group that did so poorly the second time.”
“I see. But you do not believe this do you Daniel?”
“No and I would wager that neither does our detective Gideon. They could be copy cats inspired to emulate the success of the first group, not realizing how much hard work and planning goes into such an attack.
Or and this is more disturbing, they could have been sent by the first group to muddy the waters, to direct suspicion. They would be patsies in other words, given enough training to be caught.
This would be a daring strategy, but with great possible results. You train these students, these fanatics, train them to bomb, but not to escape. If they succeed, and explode their bombs, this is a victory. If they do not succeed, they still succeed in terrorizing the populace, making them believe that they can never be safe.
Very clever. And very little risk to the main group. Only the teacher is a danger.”
“You sound like you admire them Daniel.”
“I admire the plan. I admire the tactics. I admire I suppose the ruthlessness of the application of their strategy. The results are impressive if short-sighted.”
“Does no one remember their history? When it comes to terror by bombing, the Luftwaffe made everyone else look like pikers. They didn’t just blow up a few buses and the underground. They blew up London building by building. And then came back and did it again.”
“What is your point Daniel?”
“My point is that when that happened, the British people were supposed to fold. They were supposed to surrender. The decadent, complacent West was supposed to crumble like a slice of Melba toast. Didn’t happen. Instead they took their punches and got back and spit in Germany’s eye.
We’re already seen it happen. And we’re seeing it again. The Brits are scared. But they are remembering that bravery is not a lack of fear, it’s overcoming fear. They did it once in the Blitz and I’m pretty sure that we’re seeing it happen again. And when they regroup, we’ll remember the other thing about the Brits that people forget.”
“What is that?”
“When it came to their turn, the Brits did not hesitate to bomb right back. The Brits have a ruthlessness to their character that the Yanks have never had.”
“Didn’t the Americans bomb as well?”
“Yeah, but they felt guilty about it. Make no mistake about it. The last thing that you want to do is piss the British off. They are capable of great courage. They are also capable of great hatred. And the ruthlessness to turn that hatred into vengeance.”
“Wasn’t it a citizen of the British Empire who said, ‘An eye for an eye leaves us both blind?’”
“Gandhi? Sure he was a product of the Empire. He learned how to turn the British Empire against itself. He knew that Brits would return civility with civility, politeness with politeness. That was his genius.
But he also knew that the opposite was true - that the British Empire would return cruelty for cruelty.
No, these bombers have forgotten their history... or assumed that those days of British bravery and hard cruelty were gone and forgotten. But they have awoken something that I don’t think that they realized was still there.
There is the legend of King Arthur that somewhere he sleeps until the time that the Britain most needs him and that he will then awake and draw once again the sword Excalibur. I think that sometimes, the British people wake within themselves their interior Arthur and draw the sword. The legend of Arthur may seem to Yanks to be a fluffy cartoon. Look at the Sword in the Stone for fuck’s sake. Walt Fucking Disney. But you don’t draw a sword to make friends. It’s not about fluffy rabbits and cute kittens and puppy dogs. It’s about cutting your enemy into slices.
So, yes, I think that our brave detective Gideon is well motivated to find these bombers and I fear that I know exactly how he will deal with these bombers when he finds them. Which is why it is so critical that I find them first.”
Thread ahead: The Llakor Project Year Two: Day Seven, Chapter Eight Next thread: The Llakor Project Year Two: Day One, Chapter Minus One Previous thread: The Llakor Project Year Two: Day Six, Chapter Six
Jauss was everywhere on the Chicago sports beat, but I'm not sure he was ever the feature columnist at any of his stops. Almost always the optimist, as I remember he was the second best sidekick for a Gleason, ever.