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The Big One

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Early lunch time in Madame Tracy’s Tea Shop.  The Them are gathered at their favorite table by the window.  Aziraphale and Crowley enter and join them.  Madame Tracy waltzes over.

Ah!  Everyone’s here.  You’re looking very dapper today, Mr. Fell.  And you, too, of course, Mr. Crowley. Adam, love, I’m so happy we could treat you to a little birthday luncheon.  I know your mum is preparing a lovely cake for tea time, so I’ve tried not to go overboard on the sweets.  Is tea all right for everyone, or do you prefer juice or fizzy drinks?

Wensleydale asks for milk, the other three kids request root beer.  The angels stick with tea, Crowley’s cupful subtly changing color as he takes the first sip.  Pepper notices, rolls her eyes and shakes her head.  Crowley smirks back at her.  Madame Tracy deposits a tower of various wrap sandwiches, a platter of fruit slices, big bowl of crisps, plate of lemon tarts. Places small stainless doggie bowls of biscuits and water upon a little braided rug on the floor for Dog.  Everyone thanks her and then falls to as she bustles off to deal with other customers.

They’re just polishing off the lemon tarts when an International Express man enters the shop.  Looks around, spots Adam, approaches him with a package and a clipboard.

Adam Young?  Took me a while to find you, and no mistake.  Your mother said she thought you might be at the tea shop across from the bookstore.  (He hands Adam the clipboard and a pen.)  If you would please sign here . . .

Adam signs, the delivery man thanks him, hands him a small plain brown parcel, and exits.  Adam removes the wrappings, to reveal:

It’s a watch!

An Apple watch, but subtly different.  Nothing subtle about the case and band though – 18K gold and diamond encrusted.  Adam tentatively taps the side button, and two clocks appear: one in green, labeled “Tadfield;” the other in red, labeled “Too Late.”  The times are identical.

There is a blinking Message icon.  Adam taps it, and fiery red script appears:

Let’s keep in touch, Son. You can call me Uncle.

Adam shows it around the table.  Everyone is silent.  Except Crowley.

Satan’s sins, you can’t go around wearing something like that. 

With a snap of his fingers, the watch is now an unplated stainless version with a black python band.  Impressed with a small sigil of Lucifer on the clasp. 

Still a bit swank for a school kid.

How am I supposed to explain this to my parents?  They’ll want to know what was in the package.

I suggest you don’t show it to them at all, until we figure out what to do with the thing.  Tell them the package was for a different Adam Young. Not a lie.  Not even a prevarication, really.

I can’t do that.  I have to tell mum and dad. Do you think it will have security issues?

Bound to.  A raft of ‘em.  Tracking, for starters.  Probably hard to discover, though.  “Run a scan of this watch and see what links it has to his Satanic Majesty Lucifer in the 9th Circle of Hell.”  Apparently it doesn’t require a companion phone, which is fairly cutting edge. Which could mean it isn’t from whom it claims to be.  On the other hand, it could just be Hell’s usual direct approach to electronics. Let’s do a little test.

Crowley holds out his hand, Adam gives him the watch.  The demon activates Message and speaks.

Hey-o, Beelzebub, give me a reason to believe this trinket isn’t bait from Gabriel.

Not a long wait before the watch gives a tiny vibration and speakerphone activates.

The St. Thaddeus Monastery.  You screamed, and you screamed, and you screamed.  Miss me?

A long minute passes as Crowley stares at the watch. Then he swipes and taps the sequence to delete the message thread.

He returns the watch to Adam.

It’s from Hell, all right.  Exactly their style. Surely you’re not considering wearing it?

No!

Angel, can you pour me some more tea?  I don’t care if it’s cold. 

Gulps down his cup of “tea” in one go.

Pepper wants to know:

What happened at the St. Thaddeus Monastery?

Bad date.  I don’t do well on consecrated ground.  Feels like I’m being barbecued.

Is that why you won’t go near St. Cecil’s and All Angels?

Among other reasons.  Adam, let me take this watch to London this afternoon.  I know some competent analysts who can take a look at it. 

Will you be able to bring it back with you this evening?

No.  Tomorrow.  I’ll let you know as soon as we find out what’s inside.  Aziraphale, I think we should get started now.  Anything from the bookshop you want to bring to London?

No.  Ready to go when you are.

Well then.  Happy birthday, Young Master Adam.  We have your permission to relieve you of this little time bomb for 24 hours?

Yes.

Adam hands the watch to Crowley, who pockets it. 

Aziraphale and Crowley thank Madame Tracy; make their way out the door and across the street to the Bentley.   Crowley has it doing 90 by the time they hit the edge of Tadfield.

 . . .

What music is this, Crowley?

Classic trance.  Paul Van Dyk. Title is “For An Angel.”

I like it!

Crowley narrowly misses driving off into a gorse hedge.