Sunday, 27 January 2008
Monday, 21 January 2008
Sunday, 13 January 2008
There is something more than mechanical about them. As with my other, more famous, creation they are greater than the sum of their parts. There is a sense, an instinct there that I do not claim to ever be able to understand, nor do I wish to, but I am slowly coming to perceive it and even trust it.
When I go out that morning there is a certain agitation about them. I put it down to the prediction for rain later in the day and make a note to myself that I should go to the village shop early. After my usual inspections I hear the rare sound of an automobile coming along the road and wonder if, perhaps, the bees are warning me of something else. I remove my veil and pack it away slowly. The vehicle appears to have stopped in front of my house although I am not able to see it yet. Visitors always irritate me. I consider for a moment whether to feign absence. The knock at the door, however, is one of those that indicates the person is likely to be persistent and best dealt with quickly. Although I rarely have much need for one these days I miss having a house keeper to handle such people for me.
I open the door to a middle-aged large-set man wearing a dark, oversize overcoat that gives him the appearance of a rather shabby beatle. His bearing, moustache and grubby boots tell me that he is a policeman.
"Doctor," he says. "Sir. My name is Inspector Grande. May I come in? The matter I need to discuss is of some urgency."
I look at him with a sense of annoyance.
"It always is." I say. I turn, leaving the door open to allow him to follow me. "The kitchen is through here. I imagine you'd like some tea."
Sunday, 6 January 2008
The taxi ascends on to the freeway and the computers take over from the driver with a short warning beep and a scripted message in Chinese, Hindi and English informing them of the additional insurance charge and their rights in the case of an accident. The messages are barely audible under the thud of the driver's Taoist Tech beats. The driver still has a limited say in the direction of the vehicle but primary control now rests with the computers of the central traffic control. The movement on the freeway, though, is not the steady calm grace of motorways back home, but an acceleration into speeds nearing 150 kph amid a chaos of shifting lanes and variable speeds. Lines marking the road's natural channels become mere indicators as 5 lanes of traffic shift in the space seemingly made for only four. The traffic constantly weaves in and out amongst each other with only inches to spare, determined by complex flocking algorithms that European and American governments would never have the courage to trust.
After a short ride they spiral back down to street level again, the adrenaline of the trip metallic in Sam's mouth, and the driver dumps him with a disinterested grunt of thanks onto the edge of the pedestrianised shopping area.