Tuesday 13th August 10:55
Two pints, two double whiskeys for under a tenner. Gotta love Wetherspoons. He steers you towards and empty table and knocks the whiskey back in one, gives a little whiskey grimace then nods.
"Yeah, I don't come out of any of this great. I know. Lets just move on from that though? Shit, I've totally forgotten what you asked now. Let's see. Right. The link, she calls it a proxy, needs updating every so often and more often for Honer's than for me. So I've figured that that's because its a building and can't give consent. Honestly, I don't know for sure though." He sips at his beer and then swirls it round a couple of times thoughtfully.
"You know what's weird? Alcohol. Stick with me. Like, everyone likes different food and has a different style of clothes and gets up to different crazy shit in the bedroom. But alcohol, it feels like it's not personalised. You with me? Like, its the same...I dunno. I don't know what I'm talking about. Ignore me. Demon girl. Helen. I was toying with tracking her down actually. She's how I met Jean. I met her through a, a thing. Online. We used to hang around, have a smoke. At the time she was in to all that Wicca shit. You know, mother goddesses and living in harmony with the seasons and that. Then she went on holiday with her family and when she came back she was obsessed with the idea of summoning demons. I kinda got the impression she'd seen a demonstration or something.
"Anyway, I went round to meet her and she was weird. Jittery. Switching between English and some other language." He's staring in to his pint as he talks. "I wanted to fuck off, I'll be honest, but I stuck around. Eventually she kinda collapsed and lay their shivering. I put my coat round her and stuff and tried to talk to her. Made her some sweet tea, if I remember right. Anyway, eventually her house mate gets home, she's a student, and starts shouting at me. I explain, housemate starts shouting at her. What the fuck have you done, how fucking stupid are you, why would you do that with noone around, so on. At this point I figured it was a bad trip or something and made myself scarce. Don't need that kind of shit in my life.
"Well, a couple of days later Jean rings me, never did find out why. She thanks me for calming everything down and staying with Helen until Michelle got back, so on and so forth. Am I OK? Yeah, I'm fine. We met up, she sounds younger on the phone. Anyway, that's when all that shit started. There was a show on at the time called Desperate Housewives and Eva was in that. That's how all that went." He shrugs and looks back at you then delves in his pocket to slide his phone across the table.
"PIN is 9472. Check the photos if you don't believe me. Just, yeah, be warned. Little John..." he snorts laughter "...average John rather, he's in some of them. Most."
Tuesday 13th August 10:50
31 Ebor Street, Heaton
You regroup to compare notes but, almost as soon as you do, Bran's phone is ringing again. He excuses himself and steps outside to take it.
As Norm squats to examine the metal detritus he notices some words carved in to one of the cogs. Shifting to get the light on it reveals:
JH. 13/8/2014 Co. disapp. #14-8530535
Now that he's looking, they all have writing on:
JH. 13/8/2014 Co. disapp. #14-8683534
JH. 13/8/2014 Co. disapp. #14-8543754
JH. 13/8/2014 Co. disapp. #14-8426747
and so on. The first part the same every time, only the seven digits after the hyphen changing. Working at a plumber's merchant not to mention his own Ham Radio experience means its easy to tell what he's looking at here - a part reference, a unique identifier for each cog. Presumably the #14 refers to this particular snake while the remainder identifies the exact cog.
The writing, he also notices, is consistent. Stamped into place by a machine rather than engraved by hand.