This too shall pass.

The laboratory was a large and blocky building. It was set back from the road, but no fence surrounded it, nor was there a checkpoint outside. The entire assemblage was dark, however, and slightly forboding in stillness and silence.

Osterley gave it a sharp look and signalled Beckton that they should go past and come back around.

"There ought to at least be lights on in the reception - Director Ackerson used to run experiments all night, and Sally at the front desk used to check on them every hour."

Newkirk, sitting behind them, said nothing but tipped iron filings back into a cylinder and tucked it away.

"Park outside, Beckton. We need to -"

He stopped speaking suddenly and nudged Osterley as delicately as he could. She shifted sideways in discomfort - causing the incoming firebolt to miss.

The windscreen exploded in a shower of glass while Beckton spun the wheel to a hard lock left, taking the curb at speed and shifting down gears in order to stay in control.

Comments (3 so far!)



The use of iron filings to detect the presence of active traces of magic was first mentioned in "Wildhorn" (#42020). What patterns Newkirk saw, and what he implied through it, is not stated.

Operation Bowery was another operation run by the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Fighter planes, now the more capable Supermarine Spitfire aircraft, were flown off the much larger carrier USS Wasp as part of the elite naval group "Force H" (colloquially "The Club", from which these operations took their names as "Club Runs").

Interestingly, at this point Malta was low on considerably more supplies than fighter aircraft. The fast mine-laying vessel HMS Welshman was converted for cargo haulage, disguised as a French destroyer, and successfully bluffed her way past Axis forces to unload food, spare engines and general other supplies at Malta. Despite taking damage from debris and enemy bombing action, she departed Malta and made her way back to Gibraltar two days later without further incident.

  • #3930 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
Robert Quick

Robert Quick

The firebolt passing through the car is my only point of contention. One, I'm not sure if it missed the car entirely or if it melted through the glass windshields, seared the head rest, and turned the metal frame red hot, etc. I know that space is always a consideration here but the if the side effects of the danger were more pronounced, the tension would be more taut. Otherwise you risk the bad guys becoming as ineffectual as Star Wars storm troopers.

  • #3937 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0


@Robert Quick: The projectile passes from the centre of the windscreen out through the passenger window - you're right, it would have been really good to describe the impact with more kinetics, but the character count is a cruel mistress.

  • #3939 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0

Inspired by (sequel to):

Osterley cocked her head in an inquisitive manner.

"What have you seen?"

Newkirk closed his eyes, …

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