Chapter Sixty-Nine: Patience
“I don't get it.” Giggles frowned as she hid behind a train.
“I don't either, but apparently Judith is going to be here soon.” Chuckles shrugged. “Something about insurance inspection.”
“And Lionheart thought we'd catch her here?” Giggles shook her head. “I don't like the idea of some insurance assessor getting involved. They might blab if they hear anything.”
“Hey, it's better than nothing.” Chuckles pointed out.
The pair looked over to where they knew Lady Silent and Lady Courage were crouched low out of sight. Lady Silent, using her ability to blend into the background and hear things that she shouldn't, had overheard Mobster Marion talking about the train yard being insured and needing inspecting. She had relayed that information to Sir Lionheart, who had casually asked about the destroyed train yard on a date one morning. Through that, he had found out that Judith Jofrey, the sister of Mobster Marion and the Emerald Mobster known as Sidewinder, was going to go through the property with an insurance assessor that afternoon.
Sir Lionheart was lying beneath a train carriage with Sir Hyper, who, as usual, wouldn't be quiet.
“I don't know what you see in her anyway.” Sir Hyper babbled on, as Sir Lionheart (who usually didn't mind Sir Hyper constantly talking) groaned. “I mean, okay she's not a murderous psychopath like her sister, but she's still a Marion-enabler. She's still a Mobster.”
“She's not though. She's starting to get thoroughly sick of her sister.” Sir Lionheart pointed out.
“I mean, we lucked out with Lady Courage, but I don't think lightening will strike twice. Could you imagine Sidewinder being a Knight of the Last Order?” Sir Hyper continued.
Sir Lionheart didn't even want to think about it.
“I don't know how Sir Dark and Lady Luck do it. They must worry about each other a lot.” Sir Hyper mused.
Sir Dark and Lady Luck weren't worried about each other at all, as they were both hidden quite comfortably in the guards shack, where they'd be able to coordinate their friends once Judith and the insurance assessor arrived.
“Hmmm…” Lady Luck scrolled through her phone. “Pasta or rice?”
“Well, we had risotto last week, so pasta this week.” Sir Dark replied. He smiled at her. “You're the best food-prepper I know. How you can make the same meal taste awesome for an entire week…”
“It's an acquired skill.” Lady Luck smiled back at him. “Especially when you're trying to stay healthy.”
“You make it easy.” Sir Dark told her.
“Are you SURE there's going to be an inspection? We've been here half an hour already and there's no sign of Judith or any insurance guys!” Lady Courage complained, bored with the stakeout already.
“I just found out this place was insured. It was Sir Lionheart who found out the inspection was today. Go and talk to him.” Lady Silent grumbled back, starting to get sick of Lady Courage complaining.
“I could have gone to my hair appointment.” Lady Courage groaned. “Melody and I were supposed to do a Mummy/Daughter day!”
“Isn't Melody a bit young for that?” Lady Silent asked.
“She's three!” Lady Courage protested.
Lady Silent raised an eyebrow.
“And it was only a few years after THAT, that Lone Revolver defeated Crusader Roger and finished off the March Hill Crusaders for good…at least, until Rogers great-grandson revived them with the help of ex-Mobster Mark.” Giggles was lecturing Chuckles, who looked ready to take the Lions Claw Blade to his ears.
“WHY do I need to know this rubbish?” Chuckles asked.
“Because it's our city history!” Giggles protested.
“C'mon, c'mon, c'mon…!” Sir Lionheart and Sir Hyper were watching the BrisVegas Leos play the Silver Coast Sharks on Sir Hypers phone. The siren sounded to end the quarter, and the two men grinned at each other.
“I can't believe we actually kicked straight for a quarter.” Sir Lionheart said.
“Good thing too, we only got one scoring shot!” Sir Hyper agreed.
“Judith is a Leos fan. I wonder if Marion is?”
“I highly doubt it mate.”
“And if we pay the phone this week, we should have enough for the mortgage and the water bill next month.” Sir Dark was going through his phone, looking at bills.
“I'm SO glad we went with solar power. That cuts at least one bill.” Lady Luck breathed a sigh of relief. “Even if it did cut into the wedding budget.”
“We still had a lovely wedding though.” Sir Dark pointed out. “You looked stunning, I swear I forgot how to breathe when I first saw you in that dress.”
Lady Luck blushed slightly. “You're always handsome.” She replied softly.
“So BORED!!!!!!!!!” Lady Courage groaned. She looked at the control panel in front of her. “If it weren't for the fact that I know this train is half-blown up, I'd be temped to give it a whirl.”
“Yeah…I don't think there's any working trains left here.” Lady Silent sighed. “Even if there were, can you imagine the hell that Lionheart and the others would put us through?”
“Yeah, I know.” Lady Courage looked out the window in front of them. The drivers cabin of the train had been interesting for about fifteen minutes, but now an hour and a half had passed and it was really getting monotonous. “How is your course going?”
“Pretty good. Soon I'll be ready for work placement. I can't wait to see how I go.” Lady Silent beamed.
“Good to hear.” Lady Courage smiled. “I've actually been thinking about getting into work, I've only done bits and pieces since Melody was born.”
“Seriously? That would be awesome.” Lady Silent approved.
“And we won't even begin to get into what the Mob and the DVG did to Laker Barrett and the rest of the Silent Lake Gang.” Giggles continued on, oblivious to the fact that Chuckles was pretending to be asleep. “Sir Lionheart told me his parents were killed in the crossfire, so I went and had a look. 32 innocent people were killed that day, 5 of them children.”
Chuckles yawned loudly, desperate to make his point. Then he saw two cars approaching the train yard.
“We're on!” He hit the face of his watch to alert the others. Lady Silent and Lady Courage dropped down so they couldn't be seen through the window of the train. Lady Luck and Sir Dark hid in an old cupboard, waiting for someone to walk in.
The cars parked in the middle of the train yard. Out of the nicer car stepped Judith Jofrey, and out of the old station wagon stumbled a portly man with a prominent bald spot who was sweating profusely. He pulled out a briefcase full of paperwork and struggled to catch up with Judith, who was looking sadly at one of her trains, now ruined.
“We'll need to check the serial numbers of all of these trains and do a count.” The assessor said.
“Fine.” Judith reached out to the train, where Lady Silent and Lady Courage were hiding. Her fingers touched the cold, charred steel, her fingers trailing sadly down the remains of one of her beloved trains.
She walked to the nose of the train, and called out the number that she read there. The assessor ticked off his pad, and they walked over to the train that Chuckles and Giggles were hidden behind. Judith read out the number again, and again it was ticked off. Then she walked over to another train that didn't look too badly damaged, but would never move again.
“We're going to wait until they're finished, aren't we?” Sir Hyper groaned as Sir Lionheart buried his face in his hands.
“I don't see that we have any choice.” Giggles sighed in reply to Chuckles whining.
“You've gotta be kidding. Every single train?!” Sir Dark couldn't believe it.
“I'm going to die of boredom before they're done!” Lady Silent let her head fall on Lady Courages shoulder.
Judith called out another train serial number. This time the assessor shook his head. “From our report, that train was just coming out of BrisVegas when the attack happened.”
“Are you kidding me?!” Judith rounded on the assessor. The hiding Knights and Chuckles and Giggles groaned. “Check your bloody paper again dingle-brain, your figures are out!”
“She reminds me of Marion when she gets angry.” Lady Courage sighed as Judith verbally beat the poor assessor into submission.
“I don't know what Lionheart sees in her.” Lady Silent agreed.
“Are they going to spend forever arguing over every little mistake?!” Giggles groaned.
“It's not so much an argument as it is a complete and total destruction.” Chuckles replied dryly. “She rants longer than you!”
“What was that noise?” The assessor heard what sounded like a yelp of pain.
“It was a stupid animal, will you focus on these trains?!” Judith thundered. She then stormed up to another train and read out the serial number.
“Make it end. Please.” Sir Dark groaned. Lady Luck just sighed.
“RIGHT, now that we've finished getting the serial numbers, let's assess the damage.” Judith finally finished checking the trains. The assessor was near tears. “I think most of these are write-offs, although the ones over here could possibly be repaired.”
“You'd need a technician to look at them, but from here they look salvageable. Just let me just double-check their serial numbers.” The assessor quickly composed himself. They walked towards the trains that looked like they could be repaired. Seeing the coast was clear, the Knights of the Last Order quickly converged with Chuckles and Giggles.
“This is STUPID, we've been here forever and there's no telling if we'll even get a chance at her!” Lady Courage complained.
“It doesn't look likely.” Giggles added.
“Look, we have to confront her eventually, it might as well be sooner rather than later.” Sir Lionheart grumbled.
“Look, I know she's your girlfriend and you don't want her to be a bad guy, but you can't drag us all into your emotional problems.” Lady Luck put her arm around her friend.
“Actually he's moody because the Leos are losing again.” Sir Hyper looked dejected.
There was a collective sigh of defeat around the group.
“Look, if I'm wrong, I'll shout everyone dinner. With dessert.” Sir Lionheart promised.
“You'd better.” Chuckles grumbled.
“I will!” Sir Lionheart protested.
“Scatter!” Lady Silent saw that Judith and the insurance assessor were coming back. The group scatted as the pair returned, deep in conversation.
“So you'll put in a request for a tech? Completely covered?” Judith asked.
“Provided at least one train gets back on the tracks, everything will be covered.” The assessor made some notes on his pad. “We'll also cover any product that you produced that was destroyed.”
“Thank you.” Judith looked prim.
“We just need a few signatures from you.” The assessor was about to set his pad on Judiths car, until she shot him a filthy look. He moved over to his car and put the pad there instead. He pulled a shiny silver pen out of his pocket, and handed it to Judith. He pointed for her to sign a page, and she did, with a careful signature.
“This is getting a bit beyond a joke, even for me.” Chuckles hissed to Sir Hyper, whom he was now hiding with. “How long does a few signatures take?!”
“A while, apparently.” Sir Hyper said dryly.
Meanwhile, Giggles was with Sir Lionheart.
“I just want you to know that even though I've found this afternoon as boring as anything, I still believe in you.” Giggles said as they watched Judith sign even MORE forms.
“Thanks. That means a lot.” Sir Lionheart replied.
Finally, Judith finished signing the forms. The assessor took back his pen, put the forms away neatly in his briefcase, placed the briefcase carefully on the back seat of his car, turned and shook hands with Judith, got into his car, adjusted the air conditioner and the radio, and slowly backed out of the ruined train yard.
“He's almost gone!” Lady Silent and Lady Luck pressed their noses to the window of the small hut they were hidden in.
Judith turned and sighed. She placed her hand against another train and bowed her head. “If only she hadn't gone mad, maybe then there wouldn't be any Crusaders and my beloved trains would still be here.”
“And he's gone!” Lady Courage grinned at Sir Dark.
“If only I had been stronger…If only they didn't always bow to her demands, getting her that dumb tank. If only…”
Suddenly, Judith found herself surrounded by the Noble Knights of the Last Order. She spun around, suspicious and confused.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?” She asked cautiously.
“You know what we want, Sidewinder.”
Judith looked up to see Chuckles and Giggles on the train above her.