Everyone knew him. The quiet, ruthless guy who got the job done.
I know I’ve spoken about him before. But, there is this thing you need to understand about Elliott. He was always where I needed him to be. In the down times, in the times of celebration. Just there. Like some kind of shadow. Even when I least expected him to be available. Even when it would’ve been better for him if he wasn’t around.
But, coming back to what Lachlan said to me, ‘trust your instincts; those words were churning around my mind, and giving me a headache. I needed to deal with it.
Being honest with myself was a start, right? The system angered me. The law made me despondent for the future prospects of my home. None of it made any real sense; the ban on any form of music. It was a sad state of affairs, considering almost everyone had forgotten the reasons behind the ban. Except for Elliott…he remembered.
“Elliott?” He was down in the cafeteria for a change, sans firearms and making short work of a couple of sandwiches.
He glanced up on hearing my voice, putting down the sandwich that was half eaten already. He must’ve seen something on my face, because instead of making some wisecrack he stood and tugged me into a hard embrace.
“I’m okay…” I said, “They haven’t…”
Elliott released me, brow furrowing as he said, “They’re going to. Then where will you be?”
I sighed, taking the seat next to him. “He has to face the consequences of his actions.”
“You don’t agree with that.”
I twisted my lips. “Everyone’s assuming that, lately.”
“You don’t. I know you.” His pointed look was too close.
Sighing, I leaned back on the chair. “Lachlan said much the same.” I looked sideways at him. “He hasn’t done anything that warrants execution.”
Elliott nodded as he took a swig of his beer. “So, what’s the deal then?”
I started shaking my head; the scowl he sent my way gave me pause, the seed of a thought planted in my mind. I didn’t know whether I wanted to put words to it, though. It was dangerous thinking. But, I couldn’t deal with Lachlan’s execution. And if I could do something about it…
Who was I kidding? I was down here, seeing Elliott, for a reason. Apart from him being the main bounty hunter in the City, he also had a few other tricks up his sleeve. Working under the radar was the norm for him, and the City turned a blind eye. That could work for me.
“By the way, thanks for ditching me,” Elliott said, drawing my attention back to him.
He picked at the cheese on his plate. “I had to deal with the idiots on my own. Pips was out of it.”
Right. His brother. Crap, I was meant to be there for him. Though I figured I could be excused, since I had Lachlan to worry about. I murmured an apology. He waved me off.
“Come over and buy us drinks,” he said, with a flash of teeth.
My lips twitched, because it was so like him to think that was a good way to apologise for something. He never asked for much. Gave a lot. Considering his profession maybe that wasn’t so surprising.
Elliott said, “You have a break, right?”
“Let me check with Melissa.”
Elliott, laughing, said, “She’s not your mother, Danny. Just come over.”
I nodded. “We’ll see.”
“Yeah. So, what’re you going to do about Lachie?”
Turning away from him, I scanned the cafeteria, noting that we were the only people present. In hindsight, Elliott must have chosen this particular time to be down here. No one else around to hear us. And, he had the patience of a saint. I knew he’d wait me out, no matter how long it took for me to get my head in the game. Which, if I was being honest with myself, was only a matter of flicking a switch in my mind.
Easier said than done, though.
Being part of The Creed since my teens, I had a lot of stuff ingrained in me that even if I stopped agreeing with it, forcing myself to act in contradiction to my training would be difficult.
“I’m not one to defy the status quo,” I said, breaking the quiet that started setting in. Elliott’s answering snort set me on edge. “Elliott. I’m really not.”
Elliott’s eyebrows twitched. “If that’s the case, Tav, you should get up and walk away.”
I didn’t move, instead pulled out my phone to switch it off, coming to a decision. “I need you.”
I think if I was the type to make wishes, now would be the time that a wish was granted. In hindsight, Elliott had probably been waiting a long time for me to get to this point. To come see him, and admit that there was something fundamentally wrong with our situation.
Becoming the T-One…that was a huge thing for me; maybe more so, considering that placed a lot of power in my hands and the ability to change things. Even with all the risks involved…
Elliott tilted his head, brows furrowed. “Tell me.”
“My life was a series of routines and rituals. I always had my coffee from a chipped beer glass with one sugar cube. Always scalded the tip of my tongue. Then I’d read the sports’ section of the Herald Sun from back to front.
I’d pass the paper on to old Mr Hunter who lived in the apartment opposite mine. He knew what I was but he was always telling me how he’d been on covert ops in the Great War. Never knew if he was telling the truth. Guess he thought the same of me.
Then it was on to the gym on Providence Street and then the office.
The office wasn’t much. Just an old weatherboard that sat facing backwards on a tiny block right in the heart of town. And, that’s where I waited for whatever job came my way.
It’s hard to fathom how many jobs I carried out, but it all came to a head when I met Colleen. Her father was my final job.
That ruined me.”
Don’t look back,
All you’ll see is scattered innocence.
Instead, move forward,
Leaving behind a trail of influence.
– Legacy, Sweet Death
Daniel McTavish – A/N This is McTavish as he originally came to me, long before he became the narrator of The Uprising. This McTavish is a former assassin, come youth pastor and in essence is the REAL Daniel McTavish. My number one muse.
“Christmas? Hmmm, I’ve never really talked about what this season means to me. I didn’t celebrate as a kid. Well, I didn’t celebrate the real thing. Didn’t believe in it. We did presents and the tree and a lot of eating. My parents were the devout ones.
I became a Christian later in life. Though I was raised by good Catholic parents. They’d be mortified by what I became in life, though. At least when I was younger.
Not sure they’d be particularly enamoured by my current profession either. They’re traditionalists. Go to mass every Saturday evening… I pastor youth at a large contemporary church. Not their thing really. But, I’m digressing aren’t I?
Christmas means to me? Community. Love. Joy. A lot of things that I lost over the years and had to regain. And, redemption. Or at least the promise of redemption. I mean, the coming of Jesus as a man into our midst? That’s a big thing. And the fact that He came to save someone like me?
I don’t deserve that. But, that’s another thing, right? Christmas is a time for joy not for reliving the terrible things I’ve done…
So, yeah. That’s Christmas to me.”