So what could happen in just one day?
star could be born. A universe could implode. An entire galaxy
could spin to a new home. A God could make a species or even
some other gods. A planet could give up. An entire world could
die. That's enough to keep everything busy. But the most probable
event would be quite mundane . . .
. . it is Monday morning in London. It is a beautiful, fine
British day; the rain hasn't stopped for weeks, the skies
are jumbled hues of dark greys and black, and the cold refuses
to let any thermometer rise above zero. It is tomorrow.
cities such as London are hectic, grimy, places to live, fraught
with danger from the madmen, council workers, government spies,
bureaucrats, officials, and even politicians, which await
them on every corner. The misery of public transport, the
seas of glass-towered work camps, and the grasping hands of
profiteering landowners, simply completes the great adventure.
despite these minor drawbacks, it is invariably better than
watching sheep and cows all day, which may explain why they
are so popular. There's also cold beer, air that doesn't stink
of pig shit, and more than stew to eat.
Just getting up in the morning and getting through the first
part of the day can be riddled with disasters for the citizens
of the deadlocked metropolis, their spirits repeatedly broken
by the demoralising repetition of their days.
Dalton is a likeable but obsessive man, and if anything can
go wrong for him it will. He is the sort of man who got mugged
as he went to collect his lottery winnings. He broke his leg
watching skiing on television. A bus ran him over on the way
to the train station, and once he got hit by a train when he
was on a bus. This is his life. he accepts it.
a meteorologist doesn't help his mood when it does nothing
but rain every single day. Although he lives and struggles
along with the rest of Humanity he can't quite understand
how the rest of the population seem to put up with the evils
of society: breakfast television, public transport, work,
traffic jams, the weather, and of course, the fact that there
is no ozone layer left and the planet is teetering on the
edge of disaster.
Desmond Trithon, the chairman of Trithon Industries,
doesn't share Jack's pessimistic view of the planet. He sees
it as one huge toyshop with a profit to be made at every corner.
He was only nine years old when he sold his grandmother. His
international conglomerate built the LTCC (London Traffic
Control System), but something has gone seriously wrong this
morning and the city is grinding to a standstill.
Drainage Control Project is in disarray and the Tube system
is being flooded. More projects built and managed by Trithon
Industries. The government is starting to suspect it may be
deliberate. There is a major panic and it's not even 9 o'clock
say the Fulcrum Consortium is to blame, that the Fulcrum
Consortium is deliberately engaged in clandestine social engineering
projects. No one knows who ‘they’ are, but it’s keeping the
conspiracy theorists in more work than they can handle. Even
the government is starting to wonder. They've even put their
names on a couple of mailing lists run by wide-eyed maniacs
operating from the back bedroom of their mum's house. Just in
government have built The Gateway, their very British version
of Cheyenne Mountain command centre and they're planning to
use it very soon. Just as soon as the decorators have finished
and the tea cups are delivered.
of these is going to help kill the planet. Many of them will
probably die along with the rest of the population. Something
is engineering the end of the experiment, and with it the
end of the human race.
may seem a little unfair, but perhaps it is for the best.
each small life on the planet there is an inextricable interaction
with the next that most of the time passes unnoticed. These
tiny and fleeting meetings can be the difference between life
and death; disaster or joy; survival or extinction.
around the city and follow the brief contact between Jack,
Sir Desmond, and the thousands of builders, office workers,
commuters, madmen and lunatics, as they try to get through
the day alive.
the meantime, until the end arrives there is work for the
experiment originators to do. A quick stopover in Jazreel,
another in Camulodunum, and one more in Sarajevo should be
just enough to make sure the world goes according to plan
and doesn't last too long. They desperately need to produce
a few acts of spectacular genocide to show they are on the
case. As an extra guarantee they could always give them a
few more gods. That always seems to work.
question is simple. Is life preordained or can we change our
does anyone, apart from Jack, care anyway?
The Beginning . . .