The Art of Swearing

The first page of this story.

In the Department we pride ourselves on being able to swear properly. And by properly I mean with accuracy, verve, volume, passion and variety. When the world is about to end and reality is tearing itself apart around you and there are seconds left to save the day it is just not good enough to shout COCK at the top of your voice.

Chris may be a genius inventor and a powerful chaos mage but his job description is still the Department’s equivalent of IT Support. He gets a lot of swearing practice.

When I snapped back to the human realm and the witness fled through the broken window Chris was swearing in shock. He started by shouting Arseburgers and then worked his way through the alphabet. Twice.

When he’d stopped for breath I tapped Mycroft and said, “Did you get any of that conversation.”

“I think I got the whole thing. The playback quality will be abysmal but I can easily do a transcript.” Said Mycroft.

“Great. Send the transcript to Chris and cc it to me and the Big Boss.” I said.

“What conversation.” Said Chris.

“The Big Boss?” Said Mycroft.

“Yes the Big Boss. I think they’re family or something. Even if they weren’t that’s still the sort of encounter that needs to be kicked upstairs.” I said to Mycroft.

“What conversation.” Said Chris again.

“The shape at the window was a witness who saw the Dingo right before she died. I just had a conversation with the Mother of all the Fae and now I think we should go for coffee and cake. Or possibly beer.” I said.

“The Mother of all the Fae?” Said Chris. I knew what was coming “You mean L…” I clamped my hand over his mouth.

“Not out loud. Not here and not now. Names have power. Why do you think we’ve all got code names? Do you really want to attract the attention of someone like that?” I said.

“Did she tell you anything useful?” Said Chris.

“Why don’t you read it while I’m hobbling down the stairs.”

Some time later we were in the Brew Dog pub round the corner and I was drinking a glass of Sink the Bismark. I don’t usually drink at work but it is allowed for shock and questioning someone older than human history definitely counts. Chris was sitting across from me reading the transcript and Mycroft was propped up on the table looking like some kind of novelty app.

“So where does this leave us then?” Said Chris.

“I don’t know. What we mainly have is a long list of people who didn’t kill her and a very short time frame in which she was killed.” I said.

“I know what happened right after she spoke to she who shall not be named.” Said Mycroft.

“You do?” I said.

“She made a phone call. We’ve got the phone records for her work phone. She called someone. It was a short call, 3 minutes and 32 seconds and she completed it less than a minute before she was killed.” He said.

“We definitely need to speak to whoever she spoke to.” I said.

“The number is a mobile phone owned by [REDACTED], its a charity that supports families in trouble. I tracked down those records too and the next activity on that phone, immediately after the call from the Dingo, was an outgoing call to an unregistered mobile. I don’t know who had that phone then but I know who has it now because the Runt called you from it today.” Said Mycroft.

“Oh she is getting a visit that she is not going to like.” I said.


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