Mindless

- October 12th, Sprawl, late morning -

Edward stalked through the cobbled streets of the Sprawl. He had agreed to the blasted womans terms and now would have to broker a deal with the Regent to keep her on side. Still she would be useful and if even a fraction of what she claimed were true he could perhaps level the paying field between himself and his new overlords. Perhaps.

He stopped short, a frown on his face. How had he got here? He remembered being with Lilith at the University, he remembered agreeing to her terms and urging her to be about her business, but then things were hazy. Surely he had not walked here to the Sprawl? He could not remember using a carriage or a cab... could it be that despite the repairs made to his body, his mind was still broken somehow? Before the plague compound he had been getting blackouts. He still recalled sudden flashes of violence that he had no control over and then darkness. He would need to speak with Ines. Or maybe not. If she thought him volatile or untrustworthy, that could spell his end.

An Elesian patrol rounded the corner ahead, followed by one of the hulking tin men. The patrol leader, a talk slim fellow, walked over waving Edward to a halt.

"What is your name sir?" The soldier asked in the strange accents if the Elesians.

Edward stared past the man at the hulking mechanical wonder and for the first time realised his own mechan companion was missing. He looked around in sudden panic and the patrol leader was forced to repeat his request just to get through his distracted mind.

"Name sir?" the soldier urged

"Hanton, Edward Hanton." he answered absently. Gods where was the mechan!?

At the sound of his name several of the native soldiers began to murmur amongst themselves. One of them plucked up the courage to run over and whisper something in their leaders ear and his eyes grew wide as he listened.

"My apologies sir." the man said after a moment. "You are free to be about your business."

"Thank you." he replied with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

Edward wrapped his coat around him unsure of where he was heading. Soon the eastern wall started to become visible through the gaps in the tightly packed buildings. A thought came to him and he quickened his pace. There were surprisingly few people wandering the streets and he realised why as he rounded a corner and came within site of the plague compound.

A sudden panic gripped him and he struggled to breath. For a moment flashes of memory came to him. He remembered falling to the poison that had been fed him through his medication, the betrayal of Josiah and his men as they carried him to this place to die. He studied the ruined buildings and the damaged barricade. He remembered little about the night of the battle, he had been to far gone at that point. His rescuers had scooped him up out of his own filth and carried him from this place amidst a barrage of blood and fire... that was where is memory failed entirely. White hot flashes of pain and despair was all he retained of those days until the Elesians came and the new Regent made him her creature. But there was something else, something nagging. A small voice in the back of his mind. The black outs, his coming here... it was all connected somehow, but buried too deep for him to fathom. What was the last thing that Lilith had said to him...? Their bargain struck she had touch his arm and said... the memory slipped away like a wisp of smoke and he growled in frustration.

All concern was driven from his mind then as he saw a small procession emerge from the opposite street. A squad of Dusk soldiers with an Elesium commander, they were flanked by two of those monstrous Tin Men. He thought fleetingly of his own Mechan pet but the sight of the vehicle behind the troops drove it from his mind. He knew that car... he..

He started to walk forward, his breath caught in his chest. He stumbled forward and then broke into a run. He barked a laugh... a run, gods he could not remember running, but that was nothing, nothing compared with what he saw ahead.

Several of the troops had turned and were shouting orders towards him but he paid them no heed. The car was clear now and she was in there. She had not turned, she had not seen him yet. He quickened his pace, blind to everything else, all other considerations. She was here and in a few moments...

The world lurched and pain wracked his chest as he was lifted bodily from the ground. He screamed in sudden shock and flailed to get away from the vice like grip that held him.

"BE STILL." the mechans voice boomed and he managed to twist around to look up at the glowing green eyes of the Tin Man that held him. Soldiers were gathering below weapons raised and the grim faced Elesium commander looked ready to order his execution when the car door slammed open...

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