I'm suspecting that this section will be a bit longer when I edit it. Say hello to Judith. She shares a surname with a friend of mine who does rather splendid webcomic type things.
Back on the train into London and I’m left deep in thought about what Doctor Aldbride told me, about how once the retrovirus mutated we didn’t stand a chance. How maybe if it had mutated another way it would have died off, or been less infectious, or would have had no effect on us at all.
I spend the rest of the trip deep in thought about how the world would be without people getting Clubbed with CLBD-7
There is a delay at one of the stations, ‘person on the tracks’; unlike the underground there are fewer guards on the overland trains and sometimes one of the Clubbed will get onto the tracks. Then it’s a case of just chasing them down, while the rest of us wait on the train, wondering if one day it’ll be us being chased down the track.
That or standing on the platform with the disease beginning to make itself felt waiting for a nice fast train for us to jump in front of.
After spending the night in Cambridge I’m heading into town to meet my fixer, they want to meet me in a café in Whitechapel – I’ve no idea why they don’t want to meet at the office, but I’m happy to oblige as I can walk home from there.
I’m meeting someone called Judith Wynne, she’s described herself as having a brown jacket and medium length blonde hair. She also tells me that she’l be reading a book called ‘On Combat’ and that if I don’t want to annoy her I should bring her an double expresso.
I wonder why the Finsbury Group employ her.
The café was obviously in existence as part of the Olympics that never happened, somewhat tacky decor, somewhat well worn. For some reason the owner decided to go with ‘brown and nicotine yellow’ as a theme.
Judith is easy to spot, she’s tall and pretty and wearing a brown leather airman’s jacket. She’s also chewing one of those wooden coffee stirrers like it’s the last thing she is going to eat for a week.
She looks up from her book as I enter and makes eye contact with me. Dutifully warned I go to the counter at get two coffees before heading over to her table and sitting opposite to her.
“Mr Chambers?”, she asks.
“You can call me Mike, you must be Ms Wynne?”
She puts her book down, on the cover is an image of an American soldier carrying a gun.
“Let’s get this straight”, she says, taking the stirrer out of her mouth, “TFG want me to help you get around the world, keep you safe from nasty bandit types and basically babysit you while you write about zombies.”
“Pretty much”, I don’t like the use of that language to talk about the Clubbed, those infected with CLBD-7
“And for this I get paid, and a metric shitload of expenses allowance?”
I nod, “That pretty much sums it up”.
“Sounds cool”, she looked at me intensely, “I’ll do it. You don’t seem too daft and you can follow instructions”, she indicated her coffee. “Keep doing that and we’ll get on just fine.”
She pulled out her phone and poked at the screen a bit. I noticed that it was not as nice as the one I’d had before my upgrade, it was battered and worn even though it had it’s own case.
“OK”, she said, “I’ve accepted the contract. And….”, She looked at her phone as it beeped at her, “well, it looks like we are heading out the day after tomorrow. Say your goodbyes and meet me at Gatwick Airport at 7am.”
“That’s it?”, I asked.
“What? Do I need to tell you how to pack? I assume that TFG gave you everything that they thought you’d need, I think I can trust you to pack your own knickers”.
We said our goodbyes and I started my walk home. The next time I did this walk I’d have been around the globe.