Chapter 18 here … Chapter 20 here
Hugh began the history.
‘In 1980, the UN report on the environment quoted Alice Bailey who comes into this again later. In 1982, the UN tried to get religious leaders to come into the environmental issue, using committees and meetings.
From this came the UN Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development "to provide information on global survival issues to parliamentarians, spiritual leaders and the media.
This committee joined the Temple of Understanding which was at the church of St. John the Divine in New York and now made the committee a global forum.’
‘A Christian Church?’
‘Looked like it on the surface. This forum had meetings in Oxford and Moscow. At Oxford, the main speaker was James Lovelock, from the Lindisfarne Association and he said, "Orthodox Christianity, properly understood, is a distortion of the pure forms of religious truth … we must immediately return to the worship of the Earth goddess."
Also connected with this forum was World Goodwill, whose occasional papers were published by the Lucis Trust. This trust was founded by Alice Bailey under another name – the Lucifer Trust.’
Now came Global Education Associates with its Earth Covenant, Citizens' Treaty, sustainable development and systems of responsible global governance . . .’
‘What’s it mean then?’
‘It means that behind all the fine words about sustainable development, goodwill, balance and harmony, behind all these vague feelgood sentiments is a slick media campaign with millions of dollars behind it with some clear objectives, including killing off Christianity and depopulating the world.’
Her jaw dropped. ‘So what we were doing in Paris, exposing the corruption -’
‘Was the tip of the iceberg,’ he answered. ‘The corruption is global, perpetrated by agents, witting and unwitting, of the entity you just heard about. It’s everywhere, at all levels. The UN is riddled with these people. Education, law, medicine, the media – at any significant level, these people are in place. It’s been going on for years, bit by bit, establishing people in positions of power, sympathetic to all this. It’s all sewn up.’
‘I feel ill.’
‘Not as ill as Sophie felt when she was in their power.’
‘Aren’t there any good people?’
‘They’ve all been either marginalized, condemned or rounded up.’
‘So,’ said she, ‘everything we’ve been doing is all for nothing.’
‘Do you remember what’s written over the gates of hell?’
‘Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.’
‘Their whole game plan involves planting, in people's heads, the concept that there is no hope. People either go along with and join them or else they die or starve to death. We represent one tiny glimmer of hope and no doubt there are many others like us, scattered around the world, uncoordinated.’
'People would have shouted it from the rooftops.'
'Pundits did. The vast majority didn't, until they started to feel the pinch and then didn't know whom to blame - they started with the traditional, visible blame-takers - the government but the government had actually moved offshore by then.'
She paused, then asked, 'Can't anything be done?'
'You tell me. You know as much as I.'
‘Hugh, we’re in the most terrible danger. I never realized what we were actually fighting.’
‘We’ve been fighting it since the start. Its agents have tried to snuff us out many times. You’ll notice we’re still living. Why do you think that is?’
‘There’s an equal and opposite force.’
‘Not equal. Superior in straightout power but woefully inferior in world intrigue.’
‘I don’t want to speak of these things again today.’
Gabriella returned from the front of the plane and he asked, ‘Why are you coming to the village with us?’
‘To accompany the four, to protect the children, to attend to the dead.’
Emma and Hugh just looked at each other. Did angels always talk this way?
May 3rd, 2012
They knew something was wrong the moment they arrived at the rooms under Har Megiddon.
For a start, there were signs all around that something had happened, something cataclysmic and when Sophie rushed out of her room straight into Hugh’s arms, feverish, they sat her down.
She outlined the horror, the aftermath, the funerals, the reaction of the community.
As Emma listened, she gradually sank to her knees on the floor, emitting a low moan, knocking her head against the mattress, inconsolable. Hugh was sitting, inert, white as a sheet.
He got himself together first, went over to her and knelt down. She threw her arms round his neck and cried at the futility of it all, especially for Rachel who’d had the rawest deal of all.
‘Where’s Sam?’ asked Hugh suddenly.
Sophie indicated his room with her head. Hugh got up and went to him and Sophie took his place with Emma.
The man was rocking on the bed, hands between his knees and Hugh put an arm around him. He took Hugh’s wrist and squeezed it. By his face, there’d been a considerable amount of tears and that was a good thing in Hugh’s book.
‘Have you been sitting in here since the ceremony?’
‘Sophie brought food.’
‘Any sleep?’ He gave a short ironic laugh. ‘Will you walk with me to the spring?’
He was about to refuse but knew it might be best. The Druze attitude to death meant that their own deceased, Samih, had now been reincarnated as an even better man but Sam was to be pitied for the fate of the two women and two babies.
‘It’s the children most, Hugh.’
‘Yes. My Ksenia, south of Paris - she'd been carrying our child.’
‘So you understand.’
‘Yes. Sam, you’ll have to tell us as and when you need. You see, I wanted to be alone unless she came back to see me. You’ll have your own views.’
‘Just some company during the day and leave me to my thoughts at night.’
‘Don’t start down the ‘what if’ road, Sam.’
‘Hard not to.’
Hugh went on. ‘Keep the food up. You won’t want it but keep it up - here's me telling a doctor his business. Do you believe in the 9th day and 40th day? It’s the Orthodox way.’
‘Don’t know much about it.’
‘If you’ll permit, we’ll do something on those days. I’ve come to believe in it. They might visit you on those nights. I’m not sure. Ksenia seemed to visit me but I couldn’t be sure. Nikki did. Sorry to talk about that.’
‘No, fine. Brings it back, I suppose. Can you remember things now?’
‘Much of it. A lot has come back. Let’s walk to the point.’
Gabriella was at the spring, he might have known. She came over and rested one hand on Sam’s shoulder, which had the effect of calming him immediately.
‘Who are you?’ he asked.
‘Sam,’ said Hugh, ‘This is Gabriella. She was with us in Britain and saved our lives. She’s here to look after us.’
‘Well, you might have got here just a little bit earlier, don’t you think?’
‘I’m not omnipotent, Samuel,’ said Gabriella. ‘I go where I’m sent and I was in Britain. Then I was sent here.’
‘I’m sorry. Who are you? What do you do?’
‘I’m a courier. I run messages and help people.’
‘Can’t you prevent tragedy?’
‘No. I have not the power.’
‘Well, who does?’
‘No one visible to you.’
‘Sounds bloody stupid to me. So you come in after the event and offer people comfort?’
‘Those who’ll accept it.’
He faltered. ‘Will you, will you come tonight when it gets bad?’
‘I’ll be here seven more days. I’ll visit this evening, of course.’
Hugh looked at him and said, ‘Don’t fight her. She’s better than no comfort at all.’
‘But who is she?’
‘She’s an angel.’
He looked at Hugh as if the man had cracked. Hugh turned to Gabriella. ‘Can the Druze see you, hear you? Is the Oracle aware?’
‘The Oracle, as you call her, is well aware. No one else knows of me.’
Next morning, all four of them went for a wander to the spring under the mountain, hoping to catch Gabriella again. She’d appeared to Sam the previous night and it was clear he was taken with her. There she was, sitting on the low wall on the far side, feet dangling, hands clasped in her lap.
‘Albus, Belus, Samuel, Magdalena,’ she greeted them.
‘Don’t think me impertinent -’ began Hugh.
‘But you were wondering why I’m here.’
‘Well yes,’ said Emma.
‘There’s much to be done here.’
Sophie wasn’t impressed. ‘That sounds exactly the sort of thing they used to say to me in training. It made me shiver every time I heard it.’
‘There are two sides to every coin, Magdalena. You have a fine girl inside you; you’ve recovered well from your trauma. They’re not going to take you again. Your son will bring you great joy.’
‘Now let me get this straight. You’re saying that I’m to have Hugh’s baby girl and then he gives me a son as well? Emma’s going to really love that.’
‘Your son will not be from Albus.’
‘Ah ... Sam. Well, I can’t argue with that. And how do you know all this?’
Gabriella just smiled.
‘And my son?’ asked Emma.
‘Will be with you both at the end.’
‘Let me ask one thing,’ said Emma. ‘Where was our son conceived?’
‘He was conceived by water but shall be born in Israel.’
Gabriella stepped down and drifted out of sight before they could work out whether to thank her, curse her or what.
The 9th day arrived and Sam, who’d been visited by Gabriella every night, was still in a shaky condition. Hugh attended to him and the women took care of the other matters.
They had a low key ceremony at which they’d hoped Gabriella would appear and officiate but it ended up being Hugh. After the others had returned to their rooms and Hugh was tidying up, Gabriella appeared. She’d anticipated Hugh’s question and answered, ‘It was your affair, your ceremony.’
‘Are the 9th and 40th day remembrances efficacious?’
‘They’re necessary, yes. It was meet so to do.’
‘Then to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?’
‘Do you love your wife?’
‘You know that.’
‘Then now is the time to release Magdalena.’
‘I’ll go to her today and we’ll make our peace.’
‘She is at the spring, even as we speak.’
Hugh found her at the water’s edge, she spun round and they both grinned when they saw each other. ‘Sophie, my ex-lover.’
‘Hugh, my ex-lover.’
‘It’s for the best. If we were completely free, who knows? The things which went between us - je regrette rien.’
She laughed. ‘O Hugh, moi aussi. You and I will love each other forever.’
They caressed for a time, then she gave a short laugh. ‘Funny how things work out, isn’t it?’
‘You’ll be happy with Sam. Despite his susceptibility to women, he’s a good man.’
‘You know you take my embrace, Hugh, you take my kiss as a matter of course. Sophie loves you, so you accept her kiss. I’d like you to understand something - have you ever met a woman who was repeatedly raped, day after day after day?’
‘Every time you had me, you know, even in the Pool and in the field, I had to tell myself that it was not another rape. All sexual penetration of me was rape – all of it. This is the thing that I shall be grateful to you for forever, M. Jensen – you let me decide and when I handed that power back to you, I felt I’d moved forward. It was always healing.’
He nodded. ‘I was once with a woman who’d been raped.’
‘I didn’t witness it, I met her after the event. I knew her when we were both students at university, she was a keen hiker and I liked walking too. We arranged that on the Saturday morning, I’d pick her up about 09:00 in my car – she didn’t drive – and we’d go to the forest.’
‘What was her name?’
‘I seriously can’t remember.’ He thought for a minute. ‘No, it’s gone. It might come back. Anyway, she was ready with her pack and we went to the forest, parking at the foot of the hill and climbing to the peak. Then we stopped for lunch.’
‘Was she pretty?’
‘I think so. I really can’t remember. You see, I saw her as a hiker, as a new mate. So, we were on the second sandwich, I think, when she said to me, ‘I was raped last night.'
To a boy, those words were terrifying. I’d been brought up to believe it was the ultimate crime to do that. What I couldn’t get over was that she was still willing to go to the forest with me after that. I never understood how she could stand it.’
‘Did she let you make love to her?’
‘I never tried, to be honest. And after she told me, that was the last thing I would have done – it seemed wrong.’
Sophie sighed. ‘You were too young. You needed to take her hand and tell her it was all right, that not all men are like that. I think it was very important to her, to go with you.’
‘How do you know?’
‘Look, she took you to the forest the morning after a rape. You didn’t take her. She was extending to you great trust, great faith. Hugh, don’t take this the wrong way but go away from this pool right now or we’ll have to make love.’
He kissed her, knelt and kissed the child. She breathed, ‘Go now. Please go.’
They were in audience with the Oracle and she left them in no doubt as to the situation out there.
‘The troubles are almost upon us. We, the Druze people, the Sons of Grace, are destined to lead the struggle of humanity against the Destroyer, to take the lead in these final battles. The armies will gather on this vast plain. The battle for this hill is militarily strategic but also for the mysteries. The uqqal are here and unto us are given the mysteries of the origins of life. We are the obstacle to the Destroyer because we know what resides beneath the Temple in Jerusalem and we know where that which he seeks actually is. There is not just one ark. The Great Ark, the ark of Moses, is the greatest of these.’
‘Do you know where it is?’ asked Hugh. ‘I heard it’s in America.’
‘One is there but not the Great Ark.’
Suddenly, Hugh knew the answer, at least according to the Druze. ‘Then it has never been where they all seek?’
‘All has been taqiyya, dissimulation as you might say, most necessary to protect the mysteries against the unbeliever, the Destroyer and his legion.’
‘Tell us about al-Muqtana and the Book of Wisdom.’
‘To you and to Belus will be revealed some.’ Sam took the slight in good humour, not considering this any of his business anyway. ‘This must wait until later. For now, we are discussing the exact arrangements of your flight.
Samuel, you are here as you will have charge of Magdalena and her child . It shall be far better for you with us now than unprotected in the secular world.
Albus, you have one task only – to protect your child. The Destroyer will send many to seek you but you will not be there. After he is born, there is a time and then he is safe. In your remaining time, you will protect mother and child.’
‘So,’ asked Hugh, ‘we’re not the two crying in the streets and then we get cut down?’
She smiled. ‘You are gentile.’
‘Carry on. We’re listening.’
She smiled again. ‘Albus and Belus must flee with the child when he is born – there is danger for some time.’
‘What about Gabriella?’
‘She plays her part.’
‘We play our part. It is fitting that Belus and the child should be under our protection for this duration. We are the Sons of Grace, روز, we are the cornerstone. We always were and we are today. The end though, is not far away. Our knowledge is contained in the Rasa’il al-Hikmah, the Epistles of Wisdom and if you were to know our language and know this wisdom, you would know the origins of the universe and whence mankind sprang.
Your own Bible is a book of wisdom but it is a summary of knowledge, the Anagoge, somehow given to the Juhhal and we find that an interesting act of faith for it to be given into the hands of those who cannot possibly interpret nor use it. The illumined know whence life sprang and to where it will return. It is contained within the point of conception, the point of birth and the point of death.’
‘Ah, that explains a lot. What worries me is that you mention the illumined and I know you have a five pointed star. Forgive me but that is symbolic of the Destroyer.’
‘Albus, don’t you yet know that with the Destroyer, black is white and white is black? Even his white is many coloured. He apes everything. He speaks of bearing light when he conceals it. He speaks of the cosmic balance and prevents it in the same breath. He says that light and dark are two equal and opposed forces. They are not. Light is a direction and darkness is whence we came. It can consume the light from below. This is taqiyya from the destroyer, the father of lies. You surely know this, Albus.’
‘I’ve written of it many times.’
When they all returned, the emphasis was on Albus and Belus but the other two were invited to sit in and listen.
‘To answer your question of why the Destroyer destroys,’ spoke the Oracle, ‘jealousy, envy. That’s all it ever was. Ever. He was the lightbearer and the future of the universe was deposited in the conception of a baby and in its departure from the world. This is the soul. Souls confer power in this universe and he dearly wished to possess that power because it is the power to make Kings.’
‘Are you referring to the three Juwes?’
She laughed. ‘That was a poor attempt by two of the tribes who had been deluded by the liar. The power to make Kings is the power to make gods. A god is only a technical term for one from an area of space and time that your brain is not constructed to comprehend.’
‘You mean wormholes and all that sort of thing? Stargate?’
‘It all refers to the same thing. The priestly class have only ever been one thing – keepers and preservers of the knowledge. The Destroyer has debased that through popular fiction, legends, myths. He creates new ones in the film industry each year.’
‘So there is no truth in any of that?’ asked Emma.
‘It is all true but not the way it is presented to the Juhhal of the west. We are indeed of another dimension, both geographically and in terms of our fundamental construction.’
‘You’ve lost me there,’ said Hugh.
‘It is perfectly possible for the metaphysical and the physical laws to coexist. Do you accept a non-physical world, Belus?’
‘You mean ghosts, angels, that sort of thing?’
‘Well … I don’t think about it much but after Gabriella -’
‘It’s as well.’
Emma asked, ‘Are you human?’
‘Me?’ She laughed. ‘The greater part of me, yes.’
‘Can mankind, under your guidance, meet and destroy the Destroyer?’
‘No. You don’t understand the nature of these beings – they are beyond any of us.’
‘Why won’t the one you call the power, the force, why won’t He protect His people from this monster?’
‘He does. Through faith, hope and charity.’
‘That’s Catholic dogma,’ said Emma.
‘You are in error, Belus. It is the basis of the soul ascended.’
‘But so much horror goes on, so much mutilation, prostitution of children, terrible things.’
‘And they will end. But with their end comes the end of this world.’
‘Every man, woman and child is a god or has part of the god-essence inside.’
‘You mean,’ asked Hugh, ‘that every person, at the moment of birth, becomes a god?’
‘No, there is but one. Every human has that spark though. That is why the prostitution of womanhood is one key to the Destroyer’s revenge. All perversion is spittle on the divinity of the one God and from that came man. That is why our women are so chaste. The womb is, if you like to apply a secular term, the sepulchre of the new soul, the new god and the Destroyer wishes to show that this means nothing.’
‘So the humanists are right – that man can control his own destiny?’
‘Not at all. Look how he has done throughout history.’
‘Yes but that is because the Destroyer has laid traps, blocked his progress.’
‘Exactly. Man has no natural defences.’
‘So how can he be termed a god?’
‘His soul has a connection with the one God. He’s a unique design, absolutely without replication. The Destroyer wishes to possess the secret.’
‘The secret of Kingmaking.’
‘Yes. Anu and Ea thought that mating with humankind would produce a race of Kings. Lilith thought so too. The design of man is unique. There are key components which cannot be replicated. Every sacrifice at a ritual of Ea is a vain attempt to capture this essence, the code, the DNA if you like. Science has isolated much of the design but it will never find the whole solution. That is locked up in the mind of the Almighty.’
‘Hence He is Almighty.’
‘Yes. You can use the analogy of many worldly things to understand it. The secret ingredients of Coca-Cola, the microchip, the uniqueness of a particular perfume. These can all be discovered one day by industrial espionage but the secret of the soul cannot. Hence He is the Almighty. Why does anyone have a problem with that?’
‘Because of pride and envy, as you said before.’
‘Yes. There are those who know and those who don’t. There are leaders and followers. There are men and women, adults and children. The distinctions are fine. The destroyer though – he wants to turn this on its head.’
‘How much danger are we in? Can the Destroyer’s agents destroy Emm- … er … Belus’s child?’
‘Oh, of course. The child is mortal, just as you are. It’s just that his very existence conveys power, as I mentioned once before.’
‘Ah, so the end of the world cannot come before he is born?’
‘That is so but this is only one small portion of the whole. Many things must come to pass before then.’
‘So we, Belus and I, are actually quite mortal at this moment and all could still be lost?’
‘That is so. It was your job to get yourself here, knowing what you knew was happening on the island. It is our job to guard you.’
‘What about Dan Brown’s book? Was it true?’
‘It was a perversion of many truths, woven into fiction. There are many signs in that work, however and much of it was based on fact.’
‘The parts people did not understand. And yes I do.’
‘You like speaking in riddles, don’t you?’
In their room, He knew Emma would ask him. 'Knowing what you knew was happening on the island - what did that mean, Hugh?'
'She meant I knew we were to be hit at the island.'
'Well, we knew that anyway, didn't we? You were running around getting everyone to practise, practise, practise.'
'And I could leave it at that, Fayette and quietly be delighted that I’d got away with a lie and you’d love me and all would be good. Except it would be a lie.’
‘You lied to me? Another lie?’
‘A lie by omission. Not telling a lie but leaving out part of the truth.’
‘Why? Why would you do that?’
‘I wasn’t sure about you, I’d lost my memory, you recall. There were actions of yours which were puzzling and I was going to bide my time.’
‘Until now. Until we’d reached land. Gabriella has given me resolve but I was always going to do it anyway.’
‘Yes but why would you not have? What was preventing you? Fear?’
‘Yes, thought I’d lose you. At first it was as I’ve told you – not sure of you still and wanting to be more sure but the longer it went and with all the other things happening with Sophie and so on – the time never seemed right and by then it was too late – you would have been very, very upset with me because we share everything and you expect to be in on anything, to know everything about what I’m doing and thinking.’
‘Well, that’s it. But they weren’t the only reasons. There was also that I couldn’t afford to have you looking at people with certain eyes.’
‘I don’t mean sexually, i mean with detestation – you don’t hide your loathing very well.’
‘What? That’s absolute ... well ... well, all right but ... oh, I don’t know. You didn’t trust me?’
‘You’re showing me right now it was right not to. You were always going to interpret this as not trusting you. I do trust you and love you but you have a tendency, like me, to go for the enemy. You’re too open. Not about your lovers,’ she winced, ‘but about enemies who are threatening us.’
‘Yes, all right, Hugh. I don’t like you calling them my lovers.’
‘Sorry, I shan’t do that again.’
‘Thank you and nor will I. But you haven’t explained what it was yet on the island.’
‘There was treachery going on.'
'Miri came to the island in a staged shipwreck - she admitted that much later - and she came with a microfiche, yes? Who was the microfiche for?'
'Anyone. No, hold on - you mean someone specific on the island, don't you? When we look back, it's so obvious.'
'It was. She distracted everyone by introducing the sex issue with the nakedness and played up to it well but her purpose was always to deliver the microfiche. Who to? First thought was Sophie but then Miri realized it was not for her.'
'I suspected Sophie.'
'I did too because to me, Miri said, 'Microfiche is not for you,' only because she felt there were ears listening and eyes watching. She'd hand it over later. Or else it really was for someone else on the island.'
'Yes but you need a scanner thing -'
'A Seidell scanner would do fine. A battery powered microscanner, based on the Seidell, would go into a pack and if it was never used until something happened, such as the coming of Miri, then, as long as the battery was looked after and hardly used, it would be ready. Dead easy to secrete it in the hut. Did we ever search people's huts?'
'No - what for? All right, let me do this. The person or persons who were the enemy on the island - they had to be safe from the eyes of others. So, the best way to do that was for them to throw everyone's attention onto others.'
'That’s how I saw it.'
'And which huts would we be least likely to search? No, stop, we wouldn’t have searched any really, as we never thought of it.'
‘No but at the start they needed to be careful – when the microfiche appeared with Miri.'
‘So no one came to her for it or so we think and she ... let me see ... she left it somewhere and later it was gone. So she would have thought job done and could then become part of us –’
‘Bringing rampant sex into it.’
‘Which got people hot under the collar and us banned from Moran’s. You don’t think it was Laurence, do you?’
'I often wondered because of his position on the walkway, observing everyone coming and going. Perhaps he just suspected someone himself and never said. Perhaps he thought our act was a bit over the top and was covering something else. Perhaps he had a down on Sophie and suspected her.'
'Who do you think it was?'
'My money's on Mandy and Adam, with Mandy the main villain. That breaking of ranks at the pods at the end was no accident.’
‘I can see that though I don’t think anyone could see it at the time.’
‘The night Sophie and I went up to the clifftop, I did warn Laurence and Nick to watch out for any strange move, like someone going to the pods while we were up there. Plus we’d had that fight over who’d go to which pods -’
‘And you voted immediately for those two to be together in one pod and I wondered what you were up to. But what made you zero in on them? Why those two? Why not Laurence?’
‘May I come in? It was Sophie. She was beckoned in and took a chair.
‘Like a baby. You want to know what we knew?’
‘Miri and me.’
‘You’re right about Adam and Mandy but Miri and I still didn’t know until the evening of ... my bower. Miri was never sure who the microfiche was for, once she was sure it wasn’t me. She kept it in her room and then one afternoon, early in her time there, it had gone, so she told me later.
Once she knew I had been of Them and a victim, once I could tell her tales, she seemed to change and seemed to like us. When she seduced Sam, that sealed her conversion. She told me about her partner on the raft – they’d been dropped some distance away and their diving was to see if the pods were about. This was their third island. She didn’t spot the pods.
The problems started to build for Adam and Mandy – at the start, all they had to do was be careful and send the occasional report. With Miri seeming to change to our side and quietly going all over the island and also with me, that was a danger their control was not counting on.
Plus there were two genuine killers on the island – people who would instantly kill – they’d seen that during the rebellion.’
‘You mean you and me?’
‘Yes and the PM on Beddoes.’
‘But why? They knew all the things these animals have done – how could they be loyal to evil?’
‘How can anyone? For a start, they’re fed the dogma night and day, they all speak that way, all believe they’re doing good – that’s the frightening thing – they really believe that all this trauma and unhappiness is a necessary first step to a newer and better world.
The second thing is ambition – same as it always was. When people high above you pause and give you time, smile and think you’re a good person, a person of great ability who could go far – you like to believe it.
Adam and Mandy were something very special in their own eyes, which they never would have been under the PM. What they never understand is that their control says the same thing to everyone, then terminates them later on.
It’s almost impossible to reverse. And these controls don’t just have one or two in place – they pack the barracks or island with sleepers.’
‘And Hugh thought I was a sleeper? And you told him that?’
She sighed and let him reply. ‘No, Sophie has nothing to do with that. I told you my memory was patchy, I couldn’t be sure, I couldn’t remember things which had happened with us – much of it, yes but not all of it. I couldn’t take the chance.’
‘But you took the chance of telling Sophie.’
It was his turn to sigh. ‘You see how you are, Emma? You see why I couldn’t have, even after I’d become sure of you?’
She was desperately upset but also knew it was the truth, plus she wanted to hear it all. ‘Go on ... please.’
Sophie spoke. ‘Laurence and Nick were at the clifftop, talking about nothing special when Mandy and Adam came for a walk that way. They all chatted and then Mandy and Adam went back towards Moran’s.’
‘But that could have been nothing.’
‘Think of it though, Emma,’ said Hugh. ‘Why those two? Where were their partners?’
‘Is that all?’
‘No,’ said Sophie. ‘Sam does spend time with Janine and Miri then roams free and she’s silent. She was lying on top of the cliff face in the Citadel when they walked through. They were cursing Laurence and Nick in words which were not nice. Worse than anything I’ve heard on the island. Similar to what I heard among the Seven. From what Miri said, they had no principles, no restraint at all. She was shocked because they had been the moral two on the island.’
‘I never bought that,’ said Hugh.
‘Me neither,’ Emma agreed. Eyes turned to her. ‘They wanted us to develop hope, have families, have an island we loved, make it a happy place and when things were good, running well, then they’d strike. But we didn’t make it easy for them. There were two killers, as Sophie has said, then I started renting you out,’ she smiled, Sophie saw it and ignored it, ‘there was great discord and Laurence was doing everything to get it back to normal.’
‘Exactement, Emma,’ said Sophie. ‘But it’s worse. When we went to those Three Huts, it became the centre of fun – Nick, Susannah, Sam and Miri came down all the time and we’d laugh and sing, then Janine came down. Those left outside contained the traitors. The traitors had to be free to signal.
One of those, on Beddoes, got to travel all the time – she could have been caught and turned.’
‘No, it couldn’t have been,’ he exclaimed.
‘You don’t know that, Hugh. I felt sure she hadn’t been turned but didn’t know, neither did you.’
‘They were using the transmitter when they were sure it was clear. Laurence and Lisa had to be occupied somehow and they never suggested it, so Laurence told me the night after the bower. They were very patient and waited until there was a chance. When we had been banned from Moran’s, it was great for them. They could move that transmitter around.’
‘And there were more than two?’
‘Well I’m permanently a traitor because there might still be a personality left in hiding but we won’t know until there is a trigger. And now, even if there was, I’m certain it’s lost its power.’
'All that going on around us,' sighed Emma. ‘And you never told me, either you or Hugh.’
'Stop it, Emma. You had enough personal issues,' said Sophie, ‘with where your eyes were, Hugh did not have his memory and Miri came to me. Hugh happened to be there the night of the bower but Miri was coming to me, not Hugh.’
‘Near the end,’ Hugh continued it, ‘they knew things were closing in, the island couldn’t be taken any further in their eyes and it was time for me to step in and hint that they were suspected. That’s why I pushed it when we were deciding pods.’
I knew they wanted to occupy two pods, kill the others and take them to their masters. More than that, as Sophie said, I’m a killer and with them alone in one pod, we might have taken them out. At least I wanted them to fear that. So they had to try that trick.’
‘That might have been them wanting to be with the babies’ mother and father,’ said Emma.
That’s always a chance and it worried me,’ he answered.
‘Until I heard them in your bower,’ said Sophie. ‘I was going to mine, the one no one went to but I heard their voices. It was their voices all right, playing a game, spitting at each other and laughing, ‘Missed, er you got me.’ Then he started this urinating game on the bower, your bower and then she’d do it. It was this need to dirty something other people had thought was special – that’s the Seven.’
‘And Nick? Susannah?’ asked Emma.
‘How can I know? If we keep thinking about it, it can’t help them now but it can harm us a lot. We have to move on.’
Emma had been mulling it over. ‘How sure are you of each person on that island, Sophie?’
‘Laurence was clean in my eyes but I thought he suspected us, our theatre, Adam and Mandy we know about, Janine was just logically fine. Lisa – I’m not sure. The rest I’m sure are fine.’
‘They could have fired at us from behind.’
‘They might have,’ chuckled Hugh. ‘Nick and Laurence took the missiles out and put them into the other three pods. I’m sure Sam suspected. That’s why we had to put a gun to their heads and force them into that pod. They thought it out instantly – death now or a chance later.’
‘They must have been terrified of you, knowing they were traitors, forcing them into a pod and no weapons in the pod. I think they deliberately disappeared.’
‘So do I but it’s Laurence and Lisa who worry me. I’d think they’d chase those two and fire a missile if he could. Something took Laurence and Lisa away. The fear is that they’re still alive, that they came back, that they have two years of supplies, they’d know our rough plan or what the possibilities were, they might try the Mediterranean but with no protection at that end – what for them? One has to pray that they meet the Druze as we did.’
‘It’s all horrible. I want to change the subject. I want to sing a song.’
‘Then start the singing, chanteuse.’
She thought for a moment and asked, ‘If you know it, Sophie, join in le refrain:
Il était un p'tit homme
Qui s'appelait Guilleri, carabi
Il s'en fut à la chasse
À la chasse aux perdrix, carabi
Sophie knew it and was hurriedly writing as she sang so he could join in the next refrain:
Titi, carabi, toto, carabo *,compère Guilleri
te laisseras-tu, te laiss'ras-tu, te laiss'ras-tu mouri?
He tried singing along from the words on the piece of paper.
Chapter 18 here … Chapter 20 here