Subsubsection: 28 January 2015 (finishing off the cybergoons) Up Subsection: The Forever City Subsubsection: 18 February 2015 (harpies and a troll in the Tunnel, then out to Mumbai) 

4 February 2015 (back to England, and down the Channel Tunnel)

The train hasn’t stopped in Liège, as scheduled; a conductor explains unconvincingly that Liège is a very boring place. Thorfin and David guard the Cardinal, while Diamond and Stephen climb out of the front carriage and round to the rear cab of the engine. They work their way through the central section to the front cab, finding two French drivers, who explain that they’ve been paid to keep the train running until told otherwise. Yes, pistols are an entirely acceptable explanation, and they’ve already deposited the Cyberpapists’ money.
The train carries on to its next scheduled stop, at Luxembourg. The conductor shows signs of becoming officious; Stephen convinces him with cash that he should let the group get clear before he calls in the Grand Ducal Police to deal with the dead and unconscious Cyberpapists.
With the Cardinal not given the chance to talk to anyone else, the group heads back via train to Liège and then to Amsterdam. Manchester is no longer there, but they’re able to find Captain Groeneveldt. The trip to London is a bit smoother this time, without intrusions from the GodNet, and a phone call from Custom House quickly has two grey civil servants from the “Department of Administrative Affairs” showing up to take away the Cardinal. Tolwyn’s not in London at the moment, but the team plans to head for Oxford anyway.
It turns out she’s away from there too, but they leave a note explaining the situation, and spend a few days recuperating. Thorfin gets his armour repaired, and buys a new and more powerful crossbow. Stephen spends time with the maps at the Bodleian; the best available map of the Himalayas is a crystal ball that allows the user to browse through the terrain, but with suitable payment the details can be magically copied onto parchment.
The group returns to London, and gets the Signal Fire stowed away safely. Considering the favour that David still owes to the French Resistance, they take a coach to Ashford, and find a nervous group of Home Guard dwarves camped out round the tunnel entrance. Some more Home Guard went down it some days ago; they haven’t been seen since, but a few days later a pile of picked-clean bones was neatly deposited outside the northern tunnel entrance, with their equipment next to it.
With a good supply of lanterns and oil (and more conventional electric torches), the team heads in. There are quite a few bones scattered about the place, though no obvious footprints. The tracks seem to have replaced by iron rails for mine carts.
Several miles in, Diamond, using Kanawa night-vision goggles, spots a horned figure ahead; it starts to advance menacingly, becoming visible as a tall and powerfully-built man with a bull’s head, but Stephen, Diamond and Thorfin open fire when it gets to fifteen yards. Its hide is tough, but not that tough, and it goes down; Stephen slits its throat to be sure. Further back in a crossover tunnel appears to be its lair; as far as they can tell there was just the one. The team heads in a bit further, but doesn’t especially want to spend the night here, and returns to the surface, Thorfin and Stephen carrying the minotaur’s body between them.
 Subsubsection: 28 January 2015 (finishing off the cybergoons) Up Subsection: The Forever City Subsubsection: 18 February 2015 (harpies and a troll in the Tunnel, then out to Mumbai)