Underby locked up the door to the Bucket, Bib looming behind him, watching the street. The sun had not yet decided to make an entrance, but was threatening to do so… the dark sky in the east was beginning to break up, and birds could be heard in the distance. Birds didn’t often come to the part of the city nicknamed “the Gut”, except for large fat crows, which feed on things floating in the canal leading to Iron Bay.
Underby turned. Bib walked up the steps, with Underby following close. The two stole around the Strife House, crossed the bridge and walked through Wheatstone until they came to a bridge near Piermont where a figure stood alone, wrapped in a black cloak.
“Darling,” Underby said to the figure, and she turned, showing a milky profile. Bib nodded, and she simply smiled slightly in return. “Darling,” she repeated, and they embraced, cold lips locking. Bib turned to look at the canal water.
“Do you have it?” he asked.
She laughed once, without mirth. “Was there doubt? I wasn’t that close to her for that long for nothing. She’s on guard now, but she was dreadfully sloppy before her vacation.” she handed over a small black bag, which weighed next to nothing, blowing in the breeze as if empty.
Underby smiled as he took the bag. He felt it in his hands. “Dreadfully sloppy.” he said.
“I detested her before, but now I want her dead.” Phaedra said, frowning slightly. “Evicting me from my own bakery, and putting in that half girl. If it weren’t for me, she would never have been able to buy the Gangplank in the first place.”
Underby laid a hand on her shoulder. “Everyone knows that.” he looked up to Bib and continued, “I’ve seen to that.”
“I cannot wait to see her strung up in the square.”
“Like your father,” Underby smiled.
Phaedra beamed suddenly. “Ah, memories.” she sighed.
Phaedra turned to walk away, but Underby called to her. “Have you seen Gil around?” he asked.
“Yes, last night. I stepped on his tail. His squeal was delightful.”
Underby smirked. “If you see him again, send him to me. I believe he has something I need for this little operation.”
Phaedra nodded, then looked up to Bib. “Do be quick about it, at least.”
Bib was stone faced. “I will ma’am.”
Phaedra looked at Underby. “We had so many plans for that little monster.” she sighed. Underby said nothing, and then she was gone, lost in the mist.
Underby turned to Bib. “See, you were hasty the other night to Miss Netizen. It actually starts… now.”