I know I've been out of touch for a while, but that's because there's been fuck-all interesting going on over at the Essential Project.
You'd think they could pick a less on-the-nose name. Someone in government's got to be creative. Maybe.
Consider this my plea for you to move closer to New Mexico. Making the trek to San Francisco is getting dangerous.
Something interesting has come up. Expect a couple more drops, one at location Beta and the other at location Upsilon.
Below is a transcript (with a few minor embellishments) of a conversation with an Essential they call Clytemnestra. The big players are present as well as Corporal Jellybean.
Yes, he chose that codename.
The Cell containing Clytemnestra's Binah Mirror. Director Homestead and Lieutenant Director Keyholder swipe their keycards and enter the cell. Stenographer Reagan bumbles in behind. Corporal Jellybean has been nervously awaiting their arrival. Clytemnestra floats patiently in her mirror. I think she looks more like Medusa, but I'm not the one in charge of naming Essentials. Private H stands guard by the cell door.
Keyholder: This had better be important.
Jellybean: (to Homestead) She wanted to talk with you directly.
Keyholder: You've pulled us away from important work with the striding patches -
Homestead: (holding up a hand) At ease, Lieutenant. Clytemnestra, it's been a while.
Clytemnestra: Let us not waste your precious time with idle chat.
Homestead: Very well. To the point then. (to Reagan) Ready?
Reagan: (fiddling with his laptop) Uuhh.... yes!
Dir. Homestead waits a second. Steno Reagan plucks at his keyboard to show that he is, in fact, totally ready.
Homestead: Clytemnestra. Speak.
Clytemnestra: I bathed among the time tides. Somewhere along the cresting of the fourth and fifth centuries after the death of your messiah. As I soaked in the time, a -
Keyholder: To the point.
Jellybean: Ma'am! You mustn't interrupt her tales.
Clytemnestra's lips curl disdainfully in the direction of Keyholder. Jellybean leans closer to the Binah Mirror and whispers a few words that cannot be discerned. Clytemnestra smirks.
Clytemnestra: A golden thread wrapped around my finger and tied itself in a knot. A blessing, truly. I unraveled the golden thread and -
Keyholder: Golden thread indicates an outcome of a hundred percent certainty, correct?
Homestead: No interruptions.
Lt. Dir. Keyholder crosses her arms and leans against the wall of the cell.
Jellybean: Apologies, dearest. Go on.
Clytemnestra: Lieutenant Director, the golden thread indicates near a hundred percent certainty. You have distracted me. (a pause) The golden thread. Yes. I could hardly pass up such a delectable find and so I threaded it through my eyes to see what it had to say. A sequence of events unspooled itself into my mind. (a pause)
Clytemnestra: You have a traitor in your midst.
A heavy silence.
Clytemnestra: If they get away with their plot, it is certain that the Essentials will run amok in your world. You wouldn't want that.
Homestead: Certainly not.
Jellybean: A traitor? Who would...?
Keyholder: Obviously, you know who the traitor is.
Clytemnestra: I do. And I shall not tell.
Homestead: Why not?
Clytemnestra: I have seen in the golden thread that my death will come swiftly if I do so. I wish you luck in your hunt. My sincerest apologies for this next part, Corporal.
Clytemnestra raises a fingernail. She taps it against her Binah Mirror and it shatters. Broken glass litters the cell floor. She is gone.
Cpl. Jellybean runs to broken glass and scoops it up.
Keyholder: Director, I recommend getting a task force together.
Homestead: Hm. Yes.
Keyholder: This could be a good test for the striding patches -
Jellybean: (trying to put the mirror back together) Come back! Clytemnestra, please!
Keyholder: Calm yourself soldier.
Jellybean: She - she -
Homestaed: Lieutenant, escort him to the psychiatric ward.
Keyholder: Director, this is beneath my station -
Homestead: Do it. Meet me in my office at eleven hundred hours. We'll discuss the task force.
Lt. Dir. Keyholder pulls Cpl. Jellybean to his feat. She displays discomfort at his inconsolable wailing.
Homestead: How long has it been since you tethered an Essential? I believe you only ever tethered with Archangel.
Homestead: Exactly. A sudden break of the tether is a deeply unpleasant emotional experience.
Keyholder: He could take it like a man and stop -
Honestead: Bring him to the psych ward.
Lt. Dir. Keyholder leaves through the doors, dragging the Cpl. on her back. The doors close. Dir. Homestead lingers, looking at the shattered mirror thoughtfully.
Private H: Yes ma'am?
Homestead: See that the mirror fragments are brought to my personal quarters.
Private H: Not your office?
Dir. Homestead glares at Private H.
Private H: Sorry ma'am.
Homestead: Quit the apologies and just do it.
Private H: Yes ma'am.
End of Transcript.
More to come. Beta and Upsilon.
Don't worry. My cover hasn't been blown. It's also not me she's talking about.