Saturday 16th June 2012
Another moving chamber
“JUST be yourself, Virgulle, and you will wow everyone. Then, tomorrow, I’ll show you the bright lights of London.”
Quite what these lights would be, I had no idea, but my first impressions of the city were not favourable. Everything seemed noisy, dirty and cramped. Between the roads were only buildings and between the buildings only roads.
Eventually the cage turned off the crowded highway, stopped briefly at a red barrier – which was soon raised to allow us to continue – proceeded through an opening in the wall of a tall building, followed a winding slope down to a large space with many concrete pillars, passed many other stationary cages and came to a halt close to two metal doors, in front of which stood a figure in a brown uniform.
“Here we are,” announced Brendan. “Underneath one of London’s smartest hotels.”
It seemed an unlikely place for the giant Me Dear to meet people, but I had heard that many people regarded his reporters as lower forms of life, so maybe it was to be expected.
The metal doors opened to reveal what must be a moving chamber, similar to the one in the nursing home, where I had behaved foolishly in Brendan’s presence on the day of the party.
The man in uniform indicated we were to enter the lift.
“Ah! Now, Brendan, I will show you how I can make this room proceed upwards or downwards. Do you know our destination?”
The man in the uniform was clearly assigned to accompany us.
“The sweet is on the fifth floor, madam.”
“That is where we will go.”
And I pressed the buttons marked G for Go and 5 for the level required. The doors closed. The man frowned. Brendan shrugged. When the lift stopped and the doors opened, I stepped out…
“I’m sorry, madam, but this isn’t qu—”
…into a spacious, carpeted room, where several serfs were sitting in armchairs, another uniformed figure was carrying suitcases towards a glass door, and a man in a coat stood talking to a woman behind a desk. Everything appeared polished, formal and opulent.