Meet Runt, part 2

If you’re lost try starting here.

“So you’ve been asking about [REDACTED].” Said the Runt, “Is this about her death?”

“It’s about her murder.” I said.

“You’re sure it’s murder?” She said.

“Either that or she hurled herself backwards through impact resistant glass.” I said.

“Well this complicates things. I suppose you know that I met her on the day she died?” Said Runt.

“Of course.” I said before Chris could jump in and tell the truth. The guide to field work is pretty clear on never letting people know what you don’t know.

“Well that was at lunch time and in Northfield. She was still alive when I left.”

“What did you talk about?” I said.

“I told her to stop.” Said the runt.

“Stop what?” I said. Though I thought I had an inkling.

“Stop stealing babies. There was no purpose to it. It was pandering to ancient stereotypes and it was always going to bring the Department down on us all.” Said Runt.

“So she was a Hobling then?” Said Chris. The emphasis on was showed that he had been learning. It changed it from ‘Oh crap we thought she was just a regular human psychopath’ to ‘just as we suspected’.

“Yes. She looked more human than many of us but in many ways she was a throwback.” Said the Runt.

“What did she say when you told her to stop.” I said.

“She said that she’d think about it. I told her to think quickly.” She said.

“Do you think she would have stopped?” I said.

“I hoped she would. That’s why I spoke to her. I hoped that I could talk sense into her but she was under a strong compulsion and I don’t think she wanted to stop.

“I wasn’t the only one who wanted her to stop. I’ve heard a rumour that someone else spoke to her that day. I’m not sure I believe the rumour but if it’s true then you will hear about it. She’ll track you down herself. Till then I wont speak of it more.”

“Did you kill her?” I said.

“Of course not. If I had do you think I’d be here waiting for the Department to catch up with me. We’d have moved the whole camp somewhere else. Maybe somewhen else. Now I’ve answered your questions fair and honest and I want you to answer mine.” She said.

“I’ll do my best but there are some things I’m not allowed to talk about. I took a vow.” I said.

“How did you come to hold a Geas Staff?” She said, pointing at the Stick O’ Doom.

“I made it.” I said.

“Ha. Pull the other one. That knowledge is lost. Only the High Court Fae know how to do such things now.” Said the Runt.

“And that’s the kind of thinking that’s always hampered the Fae. You think knowledge can only be passed down. Sometimes it can be rooted out or stumbled upon or extrapolated.” I said.

“Well however you came by it be careful with it. Do you know why the Hob stole babies?” She said.

“We’ve always assumed it was for the Court.” I said.

“Oh it was but we didn’t have much choice. They laid a Geas upon us. It was a hard thing to disobey it and for a long time we didn’t even know that it was wrong to steal children but the knowledge of right and wrong grew within us until it was too powerful for the Gaeas and we rebelled. It was the Geas that drove [REDACTED]. She obeyed it even though there was no-one left to steal the children for. She didn’t have the knowledge and without that and with no desire to disobey she could not fight it.” Said the Runt.

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