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A whiff of crime

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Javert, May 30, 2018.

  1. Javert

    Javert Guest

    Second of May, year the seventh
    — seven o'clock in the evening


    His gait retained a certain martial flavor, but its grip seemed to loosen infinitesimally with each step he took— each step away from the barricade, with newly freed limbs. He was a dead man walking, with all the contradiction that implied. In sparing his life Valjean had not done him a favor. Far from it. His world was upended, the world of a man who up to now had stood on the solidest of ground.

    Javert allowed himself no time to brood on this new state of affairs. After all, it might disappear without his having to do anything. He therefore returned to duty, reporting to the prefecture. In a subtle indication he had not discarded the evening’s events entirely, he omitted Valjean’s part in his escape, though he told himself it was for his own preservation. A police inspector could not accept help from a convict.

    Malcontent lurked beneath the limpid surface of Javert’s being. He did not know what to make of this, nor of his own response. He had lied, by omission but he had lied to the prefect of police. Before that, a convict had him within his power and instead let him go. It troubled him; he loathed the feeling. He should be immune to this.

    Fortunately another assignment came up to distract him from these thoughts. Rebellion (being, as it was, so closely related) had not stopped crime, and it had not stopped Javert. However, before he had even had the chance to change out of the disheveled clothes of the workman’s role he’d played as a spy, he felt something tug at his ankles. He was swift to investigate but still not quick enough to prevent what followed.

    Not that he had any notion how to resist. The ground beneath his feet had always been nearly as reliably constant as the stars in the sky. Now even that betrayed him. Seeing no other choice, Javert succumbed to his fate with stoicism and shut his eyes, awaiting his arrival in hell. It was, he reasoned, merely saving from him an extremely unpleasant choice.

    Hell looked much different than expected. Never blessed (or burdened) with the gift of imagination, Javert had blindly accepted the descriptions offered up in priestly sermons. Although what presented itself did seem hellish to him, it bore no resemblance to that. Absent any better notion, he stared. From the dusk of twilight emerged unfamiliar architecture and even more unfamiliar living forms. Some, it would have struck him if it were not impossible, did not seem human. A more familiar clamor echoing from a nearby alleyway roused him; it had the unmistakable whiff of crime. Unrest, at the very least. In other words, something for him to do.

    A purpose.