7. The Empress Armageddon

Episode 7 - The Empress Armageddon (The Empress Yukisan and James)

Catch up on last week here

What’s Happened So Far:
On an evening out in Torquay, James finds the new restaurant run by the woman who used to be his boss. When they worked together in Plymouth, James was fired for snooping through files containing odd images and stories about a dragon. Remembering all of these memories, now with people who may actually believe him, James takes Lewis and Shannon to the new restaurant as the reopening of his first ever investigation from before the paradox…

Music for this Extract:


Extract:

The restaurant was fairly dark, lit only by red lanterns that hung from the ceiling like streamers. There were paintings of swans and cranes and trees all up the walls as a smell of oriental origin flooded into the room. The three of them were sat around a round table with a platter of Japanese food in front of them. Lewis was digging into some salmon sushi while Shannon vouched for the avocado and cucumber option. James was munching on some sesame prawn toast, however he wasn’t really paying much attention. His eyes stayed vigilant at all times as they constantly surveyed the room for anything that might be suspicious. He lost concentration as he caught sight of Lewis indulging in even more sushi.
“You guys are supposed to looking out as well, you know,” he moaned.
“Yeah, we are, but if we don’t eat this food then we’ll become the suspicious ones,” Lewis replied as an excuse to eat more food.
“You can eat and observe at the same time,” he whined.
“We are!” Shannon insisted. James rolled his eyes, shook his head and sighed. As he looked away, he caught something out of the corner of his eye; his face dropped. There, through the round windows of the doors to the kitchen, he saw her standing; Christine. Waving his hand to grab their attention so he wouldn’t have to look away, James tried getting Shannon and Lewis to look, as urgently and subtlety as possible.
Through gritted teeth, he violently whispered, “Guys! Guys! There she is! Christine!” Lewis looked up immediately with half a piece of sushi hanging out of his mouth. As he attempted to eat it, using just his mouth to save its life, Shannon gazed over through eagle eyes. She caught sight of her. Between 50 and 60 years old, Christine was Japenese, short, plump, and had a short, black, curly perm that was beginning to go grey. She was wearing a white blouse with a blue floral print that hung unbuttoned over a plain white T-shirt. There was nothing unusual about her whatsoever, but this was what worried Shannon so much. If James was right with his suspicions, maybe that’s how she got away with her crimes – by appearing normal.
“Doesn’t look like a criminal to me… or an empress,” Lewis inputted.
“Oh yeah, and I’m sure you’ve seen loads of empresses before,” James responded sarcastically. “I still don’t understand why she moved so quickly. It usually takes years of planning to pull of such an extensive move but she did it all in a couple of weeks.”
“Maybe she doesn’t hang around. Maybe she can make really fast decisions,” Shannon surmised.
“Or maybe she started planning a long time ago,” James said, with a tone of voice that suggested he’d been thinking about this for quite a while now. “Perhaps Plymouth was all just a big decoy to make people believe that moving to Torquay has nothing to do with whatever happens next.”
“And what does happen next?” Lewis asked, now deeply interested in James’ points.
“A dragon apparently.”
“A dragon?” a voice replied, sounding interested, making all three of them jump. James turned around to see Christine looming over him.
“I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again.” she spat.
“Yeah, well, we can’t always get what we want in life can we?”
“Get out, now, before I cause a fuss.” Lewis and Shannon just sat there, going red in embarrassment, not sure if she was being serious or not.
“Go on, I said get out!” she shouted, imperatively, with severity and seriousness very much present in her voice. As they got up, their chairs squeaked across the floor humiliatingly. Everyone was looking at them.
As James gave one last evil stare at Christine, she leaned in close, pointed her chubby forefinger at his chest, and angrily whispered, “And don’t you ever come back again.”

Next Time:
Night of the Worms: 8 of 13. On the first of three planets Lewis plans to take James and Shannon to, Malistoni Minor, a city famous for trade is terrorised by parasites that came in some cargo. When the team meet a group of criminals who have been sent to destroy the Cargo Worms, they realise that it’s a suicide mission. With danger around every corner, will anyone survive the night of the worms?

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